Archives for reflection

Change in Altitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Skyline Drive, VA by LindaDee2006

I’m driving through the clouds on Skyline Drive right now on my way home with my family after an epic road trip. I’m feeling more grounded, and yet also delightfully detached from my earthly obligations.

I’ve had time to reflect on things from multiple physical and psychological perspectives.

Sometimes, attachment to a mission or outcome is what’s necessary to create movement, and sometimes detachment is what’s needed.

If you experience chronic resistance in achieving outcomes, detachment is a great tool to use to allow the flow of new ideas.

I know a lot of job seekers who deny themselves time for guilt-free fun. Some of you need permission, so here it is:

You are allowed, encouraged and absolved to put your career challenges completely aside for many short or few long intervals.

Consider it your spring renewal tool.

Go on. Adventure on. If anyone asks, let them know it’s coach’s orders.

Jimmy Buffett- Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

No copyright intended uhh yeah

What do you want to leave in 2017? What do you want to add to 2018?

Part 1 of 4

Notepad Art by Stephen Dann on Flickr

As the year winds down, and holiday activities kick into full gear, not all of us are focused on the reflection that actually comes naturally this time of year, nor are we always thinking about the new year until we make it through the other winter holidays.

However, before a commercial, consumerist, highly socialized society created new traditions for this time of year that keep us busy rushing around, the tradition was very much focused on peace, quiet, reflection, and resolution.

In Vishen Lakhiani’s book Code of the Extraordinary Mind, he recommends reflecting on 12 different categories of your life and rating where you are and creating a clear vision of where you want to be to know where to focus on improving and determine how. We’ll go through all 12, 3 at a time, leading up to the New Year. Starting…now!

  1. Money

There are the administrative tasks, like making sure your financial records are in order, that need to be done. This gives you the chance to pay attention to a very critical part of your world, your income, where a lot of us derive our value, right or wrong. Even if what you see when you confront the financial part of your life isn’t what you sought, noticing a contrast sets the foundation for creating a new financial goal and vision for the new year. Many people save this reflection for last, or might find it ironic that I appear to be discouraging materialism toward the beginning of this article, but quickly put the focus on money. This says a lot about your relationship to money, actually. Have you been taught that money isn’t spiritual, or that having money means not being spiritual, or even that it’s evil, or to love it is? How do you treat money? If money were your lover, would it want to be with you based on how you treat it? We all know that money is essential to living, but often we resent it, neglect it, or even fear it. I am not promoting making money the most important area of your life, but I am saying that if it is the area of improvement that you want most to focus on improving in 2018, give it the focus and attention it deserves.

If you hadn’t reached your 2017 goals, what accountability can you take for that, and what new knowledge can you gain, people you can meet, or habits can you create to bring about a better result in 2018?

Also, in regards to bookkeeping, here are 5 tips for people who changed jobs in 2017.

2. Career

Speaking of jobs, there is also a very good reason I started with money. While there is a “market price” for most positions, did you know you can still reverse engineer your income to match your desired lifestyle? If there is something that you LOVE to do so much, that you would do it for free, but it traditionally doesn’t pay well and you need to make a good living, there has never been a better time to build an income infrastructure that allows you to do what you love WHILE earning a healthy income. There are formulas you can follow, depending on what kind of life you want to create, and while I’m not saying they’re easy, or even simple, if you have the resolve and vision to pull you through the challenges, you can absolutely follow steps that will lead you to freedom and empowerment in your career. Too many have settled for the “safer” path, but how safe is it really?

“Life is all risky, if you think ‘trying’ is risky, wait til’ they hand you the bill for NOT trying. Wait til’ you get the tab for not investing. It’s all risky, getting married is risky, having children is risky. Don’t worry, in life, you’re not going to get out alive” ~ Jim Rohn

Is your health suffering because of stress at work or based on finances? Do you ever go to work with anxiety, or even physical ailments like headaches or stomach aches that could be caused by anxiety?

Do your relationships suffer because of the time and energy required of your job? Is there a level of joy in life you have yet to experience because your priority was financial “security”? Is your job that secure?

Here’s the most important question: Does your job give back to you as much or more than you give to it?

Most people have not yet tasted what it is like to be exhilarated by their jobs, and if you have tasted it, have you been striving ever since to re-create that feeling but landing jobs that continually fall short?

There is a formula and a system (with tools) you can follow that will put the power back in your hands to bring this experience into or back into your life. We previously made this available to you, have since dropped the price dramatically so that it’s affordable for most people, and intend to bring you a new and improved format that maximizes retention, application and FUN in 2018.

3. Health

Speaking of health, our life expectancy just went up dramatically, but we will only live that long if we take proper care of our self-healing bodies. This, I know from experience, is no easy feat. But good health enables all of the other areas of our lives to operate. Without it, we can’t expect to achieve fulfillment in any other area of our lives, so it’s pretty important.

So many people struggle to create better habits in this area. We all have heard by now that diets don’t work, and that aiming for a healthy lifestyle of moderation instead is a more realistic goal. That sounds like a commitment, though. It’s scary. From 2015-2016, I was in great shape. I started small, with subsequent 21-day challenges. Within those 21 days, I lost enough weight to motivate me to continue my journey, developed better awareness of old habits and created new ones, and improved my relationship with my body, which was an unexpected, but a very welcomed, outcome.

Honestly, my habits now are a far cry from those, and a year is a long time to sustain results, but it wasn’t a lifetime. I had began to crave better and better results, and dove into more and more intense exercise regimens, and stricter and stricter diets, until – I needed stitches in my arm and wasn’t able to lift for a month. When I read Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin pointed out that often when we develop good habits in one area of our lives, we find it naturally easier to develop good habits in other areas of our lives, as well. From my observations, health is the area in which I see that trickle down impact most powerfully, and I can say that when good health habits deteriorate, good habits in other areas tend to go downhill, as well.

It seems counter-intuitive, because if we devote more time to health, we’ll have less time to sustain all of our other habits, but I am challenging myself, and I challenge you too, to creating a habit of devoting time to exercise and nutrition, starting simply. I will exercise 5 days per week to make it a habit, even if it’s only 10 minutes, but it has to challenge me at least 3x per week, in other words, I will work to my limit. I will also make sure that I eat something plant-based with every meal before I go for a starch, meat or treat. I am not committing to depriving myself of anything. I will make this about ADDING what is good for me, which I feel will naturally lead to a decrease in cravings for what I know isn’t good, but I enjoy.

Starting small worked for me at the beginning, and I believe it’s sustainable for a lifetime, though I may not experience the initial large weight drop that motivated me so much the last time.

It’s all about finding what works for you, and if you form healthy habits, but they don’t have the desired outcomes, such as massive weight loss, you know at least you are gaining better health.

Next week, we will explore 3 more critical areas of your life to evaluate as 2017 winds down and 2018 approaches.

Remember to rate yourself in these areas and write down a vision in each of these that inspire you to make changes in 2018.

Counting Crows – A Long December

Listen to more from Counting Crows: https://CountingCrows.lnk.to/Essentials Explore the incredible history of Counting Crows here: https://www.udiscovermusic.com/artists/counting-crows Stream a playlist of their biggest tracks: http://playlists.udiscovermusic.com/playlist/counting-crows-best-of Experience Counting Crows on Vinyl LP: https://CountingCrows.lnk.to/f6ubC Follow Counting Crows https://www.facebook.com/countingcrows/ https://twitter.com/CountingCrows https://www.instagram.com/countingcrows/ http://countingcrows.com/ Music video by Counting Crows performing A Long December. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 2,037,577.

Bias is Human, Yet Harmful

Interview by Alan Cleaver of Flickr

 

In my recruiting days I had a Vice President who advised repeatedly, “Refute your bias.”

Obviously there are biases that could get us in legal trouble, but she was more so referring to the more subtle biases that can make us dismiss or favor certain candidates. This advice was not in contradiction to using your intuition, but it was just a way to check ourselves before we make decisions that impact our candidates or clients.

Bias is not always bad or wrong; it is a built-in safety mechanism in which we make associations to decide if we are in any harm. It is automatic and it is human. However, now that our brain has evolved higher intelligence beyond our reptilian, instinctual brain, we can take into consideration much different input and make decisions that are more based on logic. The tricky part is recognizing which part of your brain has made the determination.

How much does bias really interfere, though? Why can it be detrimental?

Last week we talked about how critical EQ and empathy have become to corporate success. Bias, on the other hand, when not accurately and promptly assessed will impose unnecessary limits to what you can achieve with other people. This is because you are, by nature, actually limiting the population with whom you can successfully create or limiting the success that you can have with people for whom you have a bias.

It is easy to see that from a recruiting and hiring perspective, a bias will slant what the right candidate looks like, causing you to overlook someone who does not fit that image, but is the better candidate for the job.

As a job seeker, you may think that your intuition is telling you that a potential boss or co-worker is not someone with whom you could work successfully, and you may either decide to not pursue that opportunity or not to give that opportunity 100% of your effort in expectation that it will not work. This, then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Biases against the wealthy keep poor people poor. Biases against the poor have the same effect. You may have biases against generations, religions, races, genders, status, roles, opposing teams’ fans, people from a certain area, where people shop, etc.

If I continue to list these, I will eventually hit upon a bias you possess. The question is, will you recognize it? The ability to recognize and evaluate your own bias is absolutely essential to your EQ.

Here are three questions to ask yourself to determine if bias is impacting your perceptions, beliefs and actions, and potentially limiting your success and happiness:

  1. What HARD, TRUE evidence do I have to support my opinion?
  2. What do I still need to know and understand in order to know if I am accurately assessing this person?
  3. Could I be wrong?

Only someone with a high EQ would be willing to accurately answer #3, but just asking these questions in the first place are a great way to raise your EQ.

I would like to disclaim that I believe strongly in developing and using your intuition. I distinguish my bias from my intuition by asking these questions. However, once I acknowledge and remove bias, I lean on my intuition, which is a completely different exercise – one that I’ll save for another time.

 

How has bias impacted you?

 

The mirror of my ugliness

We-are-entitled-to-our

It was a pretty ugly morning yesterday. The event that occurred later that morning was equally as ugly.

 

Ron Nash’s recent LinkedIn post got me thinking about how I get sometimes when people drive carelessly around me on the road, especially when my kids are in the car. I think to myself, “How selfish is that.” Yesterday somebody felt the same way about me and took it to an extreme.  It stood to completely unnerve me and keep me in a state of upset for days. But that would’ve been my choice.

After dropping my oldest daughter off at school yesterday, I stopped at a stop sign, looked to merge with speeding traffic, and did so “successfully.” This particular stop sign is positioned kind of like an on-ramp, and the locals treat it as such. The cars that were coming were going faster than I could accurately gauge – much faster than the speed limit there. To be considerate to cars that are coming from that direction, I usually accelerate pretty quickly and get up to speed with them so that they don’t even have to tap their brakes. In this case, the car behind me, a big, mean-looking, black SUV with one daylight out, sped up and was very close to my bumper by the time the light just ahead turned yellow. I “ran” the yellow light to make a right turn into my neighborhood. The people behind me were stopped at the red light. In my estimation, they probably would’ve missed it if they were going the speed limit. I suppose that it is fair to say, then, that I prevented them from making the light.

 

As I passed my street, my two-year-old insisted we not go home and continue drive around. Thank God she did, because I was unaware that a car several cars behind that big black SUV decided to follow us to tell me what he thought of my maneuver. This irate, irrational individual might have found out where we lived had we actually went straight home. We stopped at a light by a sandwich shop right past our street and I noticed the car behind me seemed to have trouble stopping in time. I inched up at the light to give him a little more room to stop only to notice that he wasn’t having trouble stopping; he was intentionally getting really close to my bumper. When I looked at the driver to try to figure out why he was getting so close to my bumper, I saw that he was giving me the finger and lewdly gesturing to me. He rolled down his window and I, very curious as to why you would be giving me the finger, rolled down my window. He exclaimed, “Learn how to drive! I saw you back there.”

 

So I asked, “You mean that yellow light that I ran?”

 

No. He said, “You cut everybody off back there.” As he started to continue to exaggerate lewd gestures to me with my two-year-old in the backseat, I quickly decided that I was not going to have a rational conversation with this gentleman to explain that I had plenty of room to merge in with moving traffic and accelerate at a safe speed as long as everybody else was going the speed limit. I also realized that in his current emotional and psychological state, he may not see the irony in the fact that he sped through my residential neighborhood to catch up with me and ride up on my bumper with my toddler in the back seat to tell me that I was a traffic menace. I rolled the window back up as the light turned green. He stayed behind me riding my bumper and exaggerating disgusting gestures to me with an awful face crinkled with anger the whole way through the next town, which happened to have the closest police station. I traveled the speed limit, if not slower, the whole way. I even refrained from turning on red (where it is permitted) when the cars going straight seemed to be in their own jam.

 

He was still too close to me to see if his turn signal was on and if he was going to continue to follow me. When the light turned green, I turned right to go towards the police station and he continued straight into the next town. I thought about trying to turn around and follow him to get his license plate number, but thought better of it. I was shaking pretty badly and I just wanted to regain my sense of calm. As my daughter, completely unaware of what was transpiring, continued to sing happily in the backseat, I regained my sense of calm. Over the course of a couple of hours I made it a point to reframe the situation and gain a healthful and helpful perspective of it, just as the Ron Nash post echoes.

 

I looked how I could take accountability. This probably seems a little crazy for people who have no understanding of the law of attraction. Because this law states that you attract what you give your attention to, I had to accept that it was because of how ugly I had been behaving with my daughters that morning that the event transpired – my anger, my lack of patience, my obscene, exaggerated tone of voice and facial expressions. I didn’t actually say anything obscene or insulting, but I’m fully cognizant from other personal development and therapy that I’ve done of how kids very easily make things mean, “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never get it right,” and “I’m such a screw-up,” “I’m a bad kid.” That guy was a mirror. I hardly believe myself when I say I’ll never be that ugly again. But, I more vividly understand how I was being, how I want to be, and why I should choose more wisely. I have increased access to the tools I’ve been taught to control my anger and extend more patience to my kids so that they can forgive themselves for their mistakes and grow from them, rather than being hindered and stifled by them.

 

That guy may have been suffering from a psychotic breakdown. In my effort to use this experience as a moment of enlightenment, I started to come from a place of compassion. I thought to myself, “He must really hate himself to be expressing that amount of hate on the outside to complete strangers.” I thought about all the ways that this guy is probably damaging relationships with other people and impeding his own personal growth by placing the accountability on others. He must really be hating where he is in his life right now.  I actually started to cry for him and pray for him.

 

The protective mother in me really hopes that my house is not a regular landmark on his commute into work every day. I hope I never have a run-in with him again for the sake of the safety of my children and myself, and I hope that I don’t read about a road rage incident involving the same guy that escalates to even higher level. I pray, more than anything, that he has a moment of clarity and perspective on decisions that he can make to be happy and feel connected. I am grateful to him for giving me that moment. As long as I choose to be who I want to be more than I choose to react in ways I find ugly, I am confident I will have few more ugly encounters like that.

 

Also, I will be more careful and considerate merging into speeding traffic. Who knows whose day I’m messing up by making them miss a light, especially when I am in no particular rush.