Find a job you love

Discover Your Path

This weekend, Friday-Saturday & Sunday (June 23 – 25, 2017) my 1st book on finding the best fit in a job or career is FREE to download from Amazon.

Perfect for anyone who feels “lost” in a career and doesn’t know where to turn, or for those just starting out who want to “get it right“.

The first half of the book walks the reader through a simple process to map out what it is that makes a good fit in a job or career by use of a specific “mapping” process.

The second half of the book is career coaching for new job seekers OR for those who haven’t interviewed, prepare a resume or cover letter or looked for a job in a while. As a professor at a Research I university, I taught these tools and techniques to senior students who were beginning to interview and head out into the adult world. I still get email from many of them thanking me for my “real world” approach to these tasks.

Some people say that if you love what you do, you’ll never really work a day in your life. My take on this is a little more practical.

Here’s the advice I share with my students:

“You’ll spend a majority of your waking hours at work—make sure you choose a job that gives more back to you than it takes away.”

On Monday, the price goes back up to $3.99 so take advantage of this special offer and kickstart your journey to a better career or job experience, today!

 

Integrity can’t be borrowed

IP

One of the things I try hard to do in my role as a manager/leader in my workplace is to be transparent about my shortcomings, my mistakes and when others have helped me to do something that gets positive recognition.

It’s not hard to do these things, but the pace of the workweek is sometimes so busy that these seemingly-simple tasks can get lost. To stay on track with these important things, I have made a habit of intentionally stopping to address the issue(s) as soon as they come up. I’m not hitting it at 100% but I am working hard to reach that goal.

To achieve these self-imposed goals, I say “I was wrong” to my staff when I am, accepting responsibility without qualification. I apologize when I have done something that was hurtful or caused someone pain or distress – even if it was unavoidable or unintentional.

I acknowledge that it was not my genius, but the hard work or helpful coaching of another person (whom I name) that resulted in the gain or advance and I give credit to the source of the helpful hints I share, the solutions I offer to problems of the day and even the stories I tell.

The human experience is a collective one, thankfully! There’s no book anywhere that says we have to do it all, but there *is* a book – lots of books, actually – that say we need to be honest in our dealings with others. And when we are honest in our dealings with others, there is a universal law of reciprocation that directs honesty in dealings back to us.

We can borrow great ideas, compelling stories or sound advice from others. And most people with a good idea, compelling story or sound advice are happy to share. Isn’t that the basis for much of today’s social media? But it can be easy to forget that when a tweet, post or article inspires us to speak, write or tweet; the authors appreciate being acknowledged for providing some of that inspiration.

According to government sources on the laws about these things, there are 3 types of property that a person can own:  land (and things attached to the land like trees), personal property (things you can take with you, like clothes, jewelry, cars) and intellectual property.

Intellectual property refers to “…creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols…

I would not steal tangible property from anyone, so I need to take care not to steal someone’s “creations of the mind” and present them to the world as my own.

In our increasingly online world, the concept of “intellectual property” may seem quaint and outdated. Wasn’t the internet built to bring us zillions of ideas with the click of a mouse, and if it’s out there for the world to see, how much “ownership” can or should any 1 person claim? This topic may even feel more appropriate for a legal blog than a spiritual blog, but I disagree.

I have a friend who uses the phrase, “…being impeccable in our word and deed“. It’s a great phrase and one I think of quite often when faced with a challenging decision. It has helped to remind me that I can borrow ideas; but integrity I must cultivate on my own.

And so as I continue on in my journeys, spiritual and professional; I rededicate myself to “impeccability” in my word and deed, knowing that as we sow, so shall we reap. I invite you to join me.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

In appreciation of,…”donkeys”

Jackass

Many years ago I lived next door to a woman who made me glad I didn’t make my career in retail. She believed fully in the adage that “the customer is always right” and worked hard to educate all retailers around her that this was to be observed at all times.

We’ve all had times where we had to get stern to exert our rights, or ask for a manager when the sales clerk wasn’t understanding, but this woman took these activities to a new level.

If she purchased something in a store that didn’t live up to her expectations, she would take it back – sometimes after using it for a while. If there was some sort of small print on the receipt that said “no returns” or “returns not honored after 30 days” she didn’t care and would begin to argue. If that didn’t get immediate results, she would begin to raise her voice and make a scene.

When the sales clerks would argue with her, she would pull a phone out of her purse and tell the clerk to call the manager because she was calling her son, who was an attorney (this was a lie – he was not).

As the bewildered clerk and manager listened, she had a full out conversation with her “son-the attorney” about damages and lawsuits. She would make the phone conversation sound like she didn’t want to be mean and that her son (the “attorney”) wanted to throw the book at them. She would nod her head, and say “Yes,…” and “Uh-huh,…” and other things on the phone while the activity all around her ground to a fascinated halt, hanging on every word.

She would end the call – only after “talking down” her son and go on to assure the clerk and the manager that she just wanted was was due to her; that her son has suggested that they file a suit, and that they owe her not only a refund but additional money for the time and aggravation she had to expend in returning the item but that she only wanted fair treatment.

You may be rolling your eyes, but very often she walked away with a full refund (even if she bought the item on sale and wore it 3 times) and sometimes even extra money or a gift card. After a good 10 minutes of her hissy fit, they simply wanted her to go away.

I was remembering this woman today when I had to call a major shipping company about a problem with a pick up from my house – a problem caused by their delivery/pick-up person – not by me.

I always start out friendly, and try really hard to remain that way. The customer service agent on the other end of the phone was also friendly but he made the mistake of telling me I would need to bring these packages into one of their locations – because of their driver’s mistake.

That was not going to happen. But I did not get all crazy on him, threaten to call an attorney or use foul language.

I smiled (you can actually hear smiling through the phone) and told him politely but firmly that no, that’s not what was going to happen and asked him if there was any other option for us to explore to resolve this issue.

And I believe that it was at this point where the JACKASSES in the world made my life a little easier.

He immediately changed his tune and after a few clicks on a computer keyboard, he suddenly found a way for those packages to be picked up tomorrow; as they SHOULD have been picked up today.

I thanked him profusely, wrote down my reference number, thanked him again and hung up.

I firmly believe that the JACKASSES of the world have left such a negative impression on retail and customer service professionals across the nation that when you show that you’re not taking no for an answer, but that you are willing to be a reasonable human being; you can get what you need in relatively short order.

And so today, I am grateful for all the customer service jackasses out there who have acted so badly that a smile and a firm request can turn a “no” into a “go“.

Giving and Prosperity in the 21st Century

Across time and cultures, humans have attempted to put the spiritual nature of life into a box that they could control. A box they could keep away from others who thought and lived differently than they did; a box that they could hide from themselves when it suited and take out again when they were ready; a box they could claim as theirs and theirs alone.

They even gave names to It. In some cultures It took on multiple names such as in Greek, Roman, Hindu and other cultures. In the 3 religions of the Book, monotheism came forth and it was named God.

Today we live in a world where we have discovered the vastness of the visible universe, the depths of the unseen ocean and microscopic worlds once unknown. And yet much of the world’s view on this spiritual aspect remains rooted in the ancient past.

Not that the past is all bad: we do well to remember the lessons of history. But using 4th, 10th or even 20th Century technology in 2017 would be looked upon as foolish – except in religion.

Take the beliefs around Prosperity prominent in many Christian and New Thought circles. If you follow closely the teachings in these areas (some you can find in earlier posts in this blog!), you’ll see a theme repeated: all you have to do is give to receive.

It seems simple enough. If you want more, give! But is it even simpler than we are making it? What if the act of giving was less an intentional act, and more our state of mind? 

Of course, if we began to teach people to stop mindless giving/tithing and work on their inner world – their minds and hearts – many organizations may find themselves cash-short. But I think this is exactly where the evolution of Prosperity and giving is headed in the 21st century.

It is taught in many of these traditions and organizations that you can “learn how” to be prosperous. And it always involves giving 10% of all you make ($) to the teaching organization. The funny thing is, however; while people often experience little gains here and there, rarely do we see significant, life-changing results from the applied practice. And I think it’s because in typical human fashion, we’ve put spiritual Prosperity into a box, just as humankind has done to spirituality in general for eons.

Prosperity comes not when we give “10% to the person/entity where we receive spiritual food” – but when we live our lives with a default response that is generous, no matter what.

Life is generous with us when we are generous in all we do; our thoughts of goodwill, our actions, our time, our kindness and yes, our money. But being generous with our money may not have anything to do with a church or Center.

When someone needs our help, do we give or do we judge and then consider giving? Before we answer, we all need to look closest to home. If we cannot be generous with our family members, we have lessons to learn before we start throwing money into an offering basket and claiming we are provided!

Once we’ve mastered generosity within our family units, it’s time to look at the next circle: our close friends and associates, and this will include our church and spiritual affiliations. Beyond that, our giving to the community and world at large.

This is the lesson at the core of most spiritual traditions, and taught in biblical (& other) stories across time. Honor your father and mother; love your neighbor as yourself; visit the widow and orphan in their time of need.

So as we examine our relationship to prosperity, let’s move beyond the superstitious practices of earlier centuries where it was believed that the right percentages, prayers or practices brought wealth; and move fully into the 21st century, mind, body – and spirit.

Prosperity Angel

Laser focus

laser_beam_teaserI recently read an article about how many of us sabotage ourselves from achieving goals. It resonated with me on several levels and aligned with some of my recent revelations.

Here’s the Cliff Notes summary.

  1. Get clear on what you want in your life
  2. Limit time spent with people who impede your progress
  3. Make choices that support your forward movement

When I first began studying the spiritual side of successful living, I would read or hear about “getting clear” and think that I was clear – except that I wasn’t. I began to pay close attention to the activities I was engaged in, the choices I was making and the places I was investing my time, energy and attention.

The first thing I did was to look at the top 3 things that were taking up my time, energy and attention. In the midst of each activity, I took time to ask myself the following questions:

  • where is this going?
  • do I want all that “this” entails or just pieces of it?
  • how important is this to achieving my goal?

Where is this going

It’s important to ask this question when we find ourselves investing time, energy and attention into projects, activities or groups. We need to look past the present moment and see where it is headed.

If it’s a temporary activity and we’re enjoying ourselves, it may be a “keeper“. If this project, activity or group is a vehicle that will take us closer to our goal, the time, energy and attention we invest will be worthwhile.

If, however; we are investing our time, energy and attention to further someone else’s goal; it may be time to reevaluate the engagement.

Do I want all that “this” entails?

Several years ago I changed jobs and moved from one industry into a totally different one. I had several good reasons for leaving the 1 industry, but in the first week of that new job, I realized that I had not fully vetted all that this move involved. I had evaluated “pieces” of the new industry and not looked at the complete picture.

This can happen when we jump into activities, groups or projects that on the surface, seem to align with our goals, but once we get the whole story, we see things that are not a “fit” for us.

The good news: we can always change our mind and move on.

How important is this to achieving my goal(s)?

The zeitgeist of the late 20th-century suggested that we can have it all, do it all and remain sane. I think we’ve come to the realization that this was baloney.

There are only 24-hours in a day. We need to sleep – and doctors are telling us 8 hours is not a luxury but a necessity. We can’t live healthily on drive-thru dinners. Multitasking has also been exposed as a farce.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

If we want to achieve success in something, we need to focus our time, energy and attention on it – to the exclusion of most other things. In other words, we can’t become a great writer if we’re volunteering all over town and not spending time with butt-in-chair. We can’t become a great leader if we abdicate our leadership responsibilities to others because we’re busy doing other things. We can’t become a great “anything” if our time is spent doing “everything else“.

To achieve greatness in something, we need to narrow the scope of our time, energy and attention investments so that we put an almost fanatical focus on our goal area. And when we do, the opportunity for greatness begins.

Notice I said that the opportunity for greatness begins.

The real work begins after we clear out the extraneous noise and:

  1. Get clear on what we want in our life
  2. Limit time spent with people who impede our progress
  3. Make choices that support our forward movement

Addendum: here’s some research that supports these suggestions.