Reclaim the “WHY?” Phase of Your Childhood to Change Your Life Today

17 May

Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to go to school? Why do we tie our shoes this way?

I remember a game my dad and I would often play when I was a child and he made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I would say, “Tell me to put the peanut butter on top of the jelly!” He would instruct me to do just that, and I would proceed to do the opposite – placing the jelly on top of the peanut butter – and throwing my head back in hearty laughter. Perhaps you just call this defiance. I look back and see it as my early exploration of “why do we do things a certain way?” and “what could be done differently?”.

If you remember the “why” phase of your childhood or if you are around children today, you know about the exciting discovery that takes place when we question the world around us rather than ignore it or blindly make assumptions about what we do and how we live. For many of us, as we get older, we have a lot of facts in our heads, fewer questions, and we get more accustomed to the behaviors and accepted paths that seem to be our options in life. ducklings50913b

When it comes to work, what are some of your assumptions? Work has to be drudgery. I don’t have the energy for a job search. I’m not adventurous. This is just what adults have to do before they can retire and play. No one will hire me. I’m stuck.

Your inner child might say, “Why am I stuck?”

“What would it look like if you weren’t stuck?”

Before you try to force yourself to tackle the big topics such as, “I have a mortgage”, start with the exercise of shaking up your thoughts a bit. Get CRAZY!

If your routine makes you feel like a robot, start by doing little things every day that might not be as practical as you would normally consider. This is purely to get your creative and slightly rebellious juices flowing in order to reconsider your options. (And I don’t mean skipping work without calling in and going skydiving.)

For example,

  • Leave early one day and take a walk in a park (in the daylight). If you’re a little sweaty when you arrive at work, let it go!
  • Found some extra money? Buy some fun shoes that you enjoy but could never wear to the office.
  • Journal about 6 intriguing though “impossible things” before work every day. (lemons are purple, fish can talk, “I can move to Hawaii”, “I can write a book”, “I can quit my job – soon”…)
  • Practice saying “yes” with fewer boundaries. (invitations to go golfing, a last-minute urge to get in your car and drive – without a plan…)
  • Most of us spend the last minutes of the day worrying about the next day. As you go to sleep, revisit the fantasyland of your childhood. Would you save damsels in distress? Would you build a bridge to space and sit on a star? Go there! It’s your mind and your time. Dreaming is not just for kids.

The list above could be limitless. Sometimes, in order to break up with the abuses of our relationship with toxic workplaces and outdated commitments, we have to remind ourselves of the possibilities. We can do this by retraining our minds to think and create. We can disassociate ourselves from our assumptions, take a fresh look at our priorities, and answer the question, “Does my lifestyle actually reflect my true priorities?” You have to take action and experience these types of activities in order to enliven your spirit, rather than only ask yourself to think about them.

Do your crazy new shoes hold the keys to a new life? Probably not. Your openness to them reveals pathways of thought that could lead – who knows where! I am also not suggesting that you will find yourself abandoning your responsibilities. I propose that agitating your clogged mind will unleash a flurry of creativity you might not have experienced in years. You might have forgotten your capacity to invent and reinvent your own life.

Imagine the applications of freeing your thoughts. These activities should come with a disclaimer:

WARNING: You may experience increased confidence and emotional energy when considering new job opportunities. You may boost your personal brand and score new relationships in industries you’ve only seen in your dreams. You may command a lifestyle more suited to your priorities, and you may design a customized life that allows you more freedom to be true to yourself and your desires!

Why are you stuck?

What is NOT so impossible in your mind today?

6 Key Ways To Explore A New Industry

2 Apr

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the average person will have 11 different jobs in his/her lifetime and keep each job for 4.5 years. If this rings true for you, one thing is for sure, you need the skills and tools to reinvent yourself, reimagine yourself, and explore industries that might be new to you.

Below are five key ways to learn about an industry that piques your curiosity and is new to you.
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Is The Search For Your Passion Actually Holding You Back?

21 Mar

I know. I know. There’s that word again, “Passion”. “We should all be passionate.” “What is your passion?” “What is my passion?”

Over these last few decades that encompassed the self-help movement, the career development journey, and the self-actualization experience, we saw the word “passion” emerge like never before. We were all suddenly charged with a mission to find our passion and live it out loud.

While I agree that passion is an integral ingredient to a fulfilling life, I believe that the pursuit of passion in our lives and our careers has become a bit of a monster for many people. In some instances, it has become an obstacle.

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What It Really Means to Use Your Talents and Be Yourself

14 Mar

It is interesting to me how we live in a society today that is fresh with innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, and yet at the same time, it seems that many of us still suffer from the inclination to look to others for direction, understanding, and approval on our uniqueness.

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The Why and How of Making Inspiration Boards

5 Mar

What is an inspiration board?

Inspiration boards have become a popular way to visualize what attracts you or visualize brainstorms. They are used for individuals, groups, companies, retreats – for coaching, counseling, events, and projects.

The benefits of you creating an inspiration board for you

First of all, if you are rolling your eyes and thinking this is just another “time-wasting touchy-feely hippy-dippy” exercise, I challenge you to hang in there with me and read on. This is not about giving self-hugs and visualizing a trust fall with yourself. This is a truly effective way to unstick your overly programmed thoughts and perceptions and discover or rediscover pieces to a larger picture that realistically illustrate your true nature, desires, creativity, and even fears.

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Seven Tips To Maintain An Ongoing Networking Mode

27 Feb

For many people, even accomplished and advanced professionals, the term “networking” elicits a negative connotation and conjures feelings of bewilderment and exhaustion. The reality is that those who learn to network successfully as a lifestyle choice, not only in sporadic acts of career desperation, have superior advantages in life and work over their peers. Networking used to be seen as an impressive extra effort as a professional, though now it is the name of the game.

First, it is important to reframe the concept of networking from a seemingly forced and unnatural situation with narrow options to the natural art of seeking and building relationships for mutual benefit. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, pursuing a specific career direction or simply looking to nurture and enhance your curiosities and connections, there are networking tactics that work for you.

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Feeling Defeated? Rethink Job Search Strategy in Today’s World of Work

20 Feb

In my work with job seekers, one common struggle I see is the temptation to give up on the job search after the first couple of setbacks. This is understandable, and I have been there myself.

It is frustrating, to say the least, when you’ve worked extra hard and long hours to incorporate a job search into your busy life in order to improve your situation only to get a “no thanks” or worse, silence.

Whether it’s been twenty years since your last job search or whether you’ve been trying cutting-edge ways of searching for the last year, it may be helpful to take a fresh look at today’s world of work.

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Ten Tips: How Extroverts Can Successfully Work From Home

19 Feb

I am an extrovert and extroverts get energy from being around other people. Many positions and ventures that allow you to work from home mean that you will be on your own most of the time, unless you do something about it. The reality is that even my traditional office job became isolating…the lyric “so close yet so far away” comes to mind.

If a main part of your desire to live differently means transitioning to a solo work-from-home situation, here are a few tips for the extroverts who want to seize an opportunity that they know will cause right-down-the-hall co-workers to no longer be a resource:

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How To Talk To Your Family and Friends About Living Differently

5 Dec

Deciding for yourself that you are ready to take a risk and live and work differently is one thing. Trying to talk about it with your friends and family is another thing.

So, you decided to quit your job, change jobs, work from home, and/or take “time off” from a traditional worklife in order to explore yourself and potentially launch your own business or freelance work. Fabulous! No matter the path you take in this endeavor, inevitably, you will end up sharing this news or even discussing your motives and ideas with those closest to you. Though we would all love for this to be an easy scenario, it is often fraught with uncertainty, hurt, confusion, doubt, speculation, and worry. Here are some tips when attempting to talk about your new life with friends and family:

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10 Insights Into Health and Fitness While Learning to Live Differently

26 Nov

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that when I set out on this voyage to live differently (fuller, “flexier”, and freer) after leaving my traditional full-time job, I was initially determined to do everything I’d been waiting to do all at once. I thought I would wake up on day one and hit the gym, cook healthy meals, leap into my writing and new business ideas, clean the whole house etc… As it turned out, my body needed to take everything at a different pace in order to achieve this new life overall.

It became clear that if I was going to make this happen as a lasting change or happen at all, it was going to happen in stages and as my body could adjust healthfully to the changes, rather than forcibly. I had to remember how to listen to my body for its natural cues as so much of my crazy traditional worklife and stresslife had taught me to plow through everything I was feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in order to get to some alleged greater result. Also, the practice of denying your own human needs is so often celebrated in our overly stressed and sleepless culture. Learning to live differently and making the changes with my physical health has truly been a process of letting go of a familiar way of operating and getting on the ride to listening to the signals truly coming from my mind and body.

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