Be Encouraged

The dictionary defines encourage as “to inspire with courage, spirit or hope.”

Have you ever had a time when you felt that things weren’t quite going how you expected? Life is always good for throwing us a curveball or two. And it’s not always easy to just stop and begin smiling. Sometimes we have to really analyze what we’re feeling and why.

I’ve learned that when I try to push down a feeling or emotion it just comes back twice as strong. Acknowledgement is the first step to changing your frame of mind. Once you recognize what’s bothering you, you can then start to find a way to make changes.

One of the things that have been helpful for me is to change my thoughts. Instead of thinking about what’s going wrong change your focus to what’s going right. You can usually find a few things to change your disposition and boost your emotions.

Also, consider your own discouragement and take time to encourage someone else. Many times taking the focus off of you really helps to make a difference. Your problem may not seem so large when you compare it to somebody who needs your assistance.

Also, rely on your resources. It could be a clergyman, a counselor or a good friend with a knack for helping you see through the confusion.

Faith plays a big part in your ability to know that things will get better.
We can’t solve everything in a vacuum. Letting someone know you need assistance improves the social bonds and also makes others feel good.

Put yourself in situations and around people who you know will uplift your spirits. Feeling good is infectious. By reaching out and letting someone know you need help you open yourself up to endless possibilities.

Lao-tzu says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

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Endless Possibilities

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti.

Do you remember your high school graduation? How about your wedding reception, your first kiss, the first day of school?

Was your body bubbling with excitement? How happy were you? Did you feel that anything was possible?

There was a time when most of us believed we had endless possibilities. However, as we travel through life, many times we forget that there was once a time when we felt we could conquer the world. When we assumed we could do anything we wanted.

At some point, many of us start to feel that there is nothing more to accomplish. We begin to coast through life without stopping to think how it affects the quality of our existence.

I understand because I was one of those folks who didn’t believe I had any more options. I figured all I could do was stay in my career until retirement and maybe get a promotion. And then I woke up.

I decided I was going to live the life I wanted. I realized it was within my grasp to create whatever life I chose. I now feel excitement when I wake-up each morning. Do you want that thrill about life again? If so, here are three tips I recommend to those of you who want to realize endless possibilities.

Ask yourself different questions – what is it that you really want? Instead of saying it can’t be done, ask yourself, “How can I do it?” The mind has an amazing capacity to come up with a solution to any question asked of it. When you start asking “how” your mind will start giving you answers.

Next, pay attention – the answer to those questions many times will be quite subtle. You might have a hunch about something as you’re walking down the street. Or maybe you get an answer as you’re getting out of bed in the morning. Carry a small notebook at all times and write the answers down as soon as you receive them.

Finally, take immediate action – when you get an answer you must act. It could be as simple as returning a phone call or doing an internet search. Do not put the action off. Not taking quick action could have an adverse effect on your forward movement.

And in all of this, remember to have fun and lighten up. Joyfulness will help with your ability to be open to never-ending potential.

What is the one thing you will do TODAY to get started on your path of endless possibilities?

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What if Now is Not the Time

Many of my prior posts have been written to help those who are attempting to navigate a career change. What about those of you who would like to change your career, but you know now is not the time?

How do you navigate a career that you’re unhappy with and maintain your peace of mind on a daily basis?

While I’m currently involved in a career I love and I believe to be my life purpose, it took me nearly two years from knowing I wanted to leave corporate, to the point that I actually left and began doing what I love.

Some of the challenges I faced were going to a job I knew I no longer enjoyed; and how to get through the day in the proper frame of mind. I realized there were some aspects of my job that I completely loved. I loved solving problems. I enjoyed helping my employees become adept at expanding their career and finding the right career path.

I also kept the idea of my future career in the forefront of my mind. As I made incremental steps towards what I wanted to do, I made a mental note of every accomplishment of forward movement. In addition, I made a list of goals I needed to complete to move forward.
If you’re in a career that you absolutely abhor and you know you need to be doing something different, here are some steps to follow:

1) Change your focus. Keep a mental image of what it is you ultimately want to do.

2) Find portions of your current job that you enjoy. Take advantage of opportunities that arise to involve yourself in those aspects.

3) Make time to visualize your future. Create a vision board that shows every aspect of the life you want. If you can create it in your mind than it is attainable.

4) Take steps toward your ultimate career. It may mean taking a class, volunteering or something as simple as an internet search of career requirements needed to transistion.

5) Realize that what you’re doing now is only temporary. Once you get clear on what is achievable, keep track of what you accomplish as you move forward. This allows you to see your advancement.

6) And finally, wherever you are, enjoy the moment. Life is too short to be unhappy. Remember to be grateful for all that you have.

So what is the one step you’ll take today to change the focus from where you are to where you want to be?

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One definition of networking is developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason for the initial contact.

For example, a sales representative may ask a customer for names of others who may be interested in his product.

For many of us networking is something we don’t look forward to, but it is absolutely essential to success in any business endeavor. It makes no difference if you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate employee. If you want to be successful, networking must be a part of your plan.

Some key points to remember when networking are:

Always carry your business cards – you never know who you’re going to meet and where you’re going to meet them. Make it a habit to always have business cards on your possession even if you’re just walking to the corner store.

Be authentic and genuine – remember it’s so important to be you and build relationships. Focus on how you can help others.

Visit as many groups that peak your interest – this gives you time to observe group dynamics. Are the meetings efficiently run? Is this a group that you see yourself a part of?

Be visible – become involved in the inner-workings of the group. Make it a habit to meet at least 3 new people. Join a committee. Become an officer. Again, this is building your network.

Be willing to give – it’s important to remember the old adage to give what you expect to receive. Be open to giving referrals, giving assistance and helping others achieve their goals. It will come back to you in big ways.

Follow through quickly on any referrals you are given – follow-up is a reflection on you and the person who gave you the referral. Be sure to make contact quickly.

And remember to have fun. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. In all of this you’ll be building your network, improving your business and possibly creating some new friendships.

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I Am Alive

Yesterday while flipping channels I came across the documentary “I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash,” on the History Channel. It chronicled the true story of a rugby team from Uruguay whose plane crashed while en route to Chile in 1972.

They were trapped in an Argentine mountain region so remote that it didn’t even have a name.

After 72 days of being stranded and surviving below zero weather and a snow avalanche, two of the survivors, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, decided to cross the mountains to find help to rescue the remaining passengers. By this time only sixteen of the forty-five passengers were alive.

Their conditions had become so bad they began to eat the dead bodies in order to survive. They had no other source of food on the plane. However, it wasn’t a decision they made easily.

Parrado and Canessa walked for ten days over snow covered mountains and eventually found a farmer who was able to assist them and get help to rescue the remaining survivors.

What amazed me about their story was their desire to live. They did everything in their means to survive. What I learned watching the documentary is that the human will is remarkable.

They had to cross almost 2,000 feet of snow-covered mountains on simply their will. When asked how they did it, Parrado said that they put one foot in front of the other and never gave up.

How does this translate to you and I? Luckily most of us will never have to survive what these Uruguayan young men did. However, we often forget what we’re able to accomplish. Our mind is an amazing instrument that can be used to accomplish whatever it is that we want.

We just need to take one step at a time and never look back or give up reaching our dreams. It’s that simple.

What is the one step you’ll take today!

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Today is the day!

Today is the day to start whatever it is you’re going to start. Not tomorrow, because tomorrow will never be here. Today is all that you have and when tomorrow comes it will still be today.

So don’t keep putting off whatever it is that you know you need to do.

Maybe it’s time to sign up for that class you’ve been saying for months that you’re going to take, or maybe it’s that workout you are always going to start. Or maybe it’s time to stop cigarette smoking or ask your boss for that promotion.

Maybe it’s time to talk to your loved one about what needs to be changed in your relationship. Or maybe, just maybe it’s time to change your career.

Only you know what you’ve been putting off. All of us, me included, take time to wait until tomorrow to do what we know needs to be done today.

So do yourself this one favor. Complete today’s work today, whatever it is. Tomorrow’s work will take care of itself.

So what do you have to do today?

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How to step out of your comfort zone

One of the biggest obstacles to starting a new career is stepping out of your comfort zone. Most of us become so contented where we are that the unknown becomes frightening.

We forget that so much of our early life was spent trying new things, going to new schools, making new friends.

I’ve found that as we get older we believe the stakes become bigger and we become contented even when we know we’re in a rut and need to make changes.

The average person will wait until the pain is unbearable before something new is tried. Some people will hang around on a job they couldn’t stand, until they are laid off, before they decide to try something new. Or some will become ill from the stress of what they’re doing before they realize a change must be made to live a better life.

Wouldn’t it be easier to prepare yourself for the change you want instead of waiting until the change is forced upon you?

I recommend trying some very small things to shake up your routine and get yourself to try new things. It could be as simple as taking a new route to work or taking a class in something totally out of your norm.

I once took a hip-hop dance class just to try something totally different. I admit I initially felt completely out of my league. I was a forty-something year old man who had never taken a dance class in his life.

I was scared as hell. However, as I became more comfortable with myself I began to have fun and loosened up a bit. At the end of the class I made a few friends and even lost a few pounds.

Of course I’ll never be a back-up dancer for Lady Gaga (thank God); however I was proud of the fact that I tried something totally different than I ever would previously.

The more you step out of your comfort zone in little ways, the more you build an ability to step out in bigger ways. It’s almost like lifting weights. The more you lift, the more the muscle gets stronger and you are able to lift heavier weights.

So take some new classes, drive a new route to work. Shake up your routine. You’ll find that it becomes easier to try new things and you realize that you can endure stepping out of your comfort zone.

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10 Books to Inspire Your Mindset

As I continue to grow, I’m learning that Mindset is everything. Mindset determines if we move forward or stay stuck. It helps us accomplish our goals and expands the idea of what we can be and achieve.

I’ve listed ten books (in no particular order) that have helped to shape my mindset and encourage my inner growth. I highly recommend each one.

What books would you add to the list?

1. The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D Wattles

2. The Millionaire Mindset – Gerry Robert

3. The Attractor Factor – Joe Vitale

4. A New Earth (Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose) – Eckhart Tolle

5. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

6. What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life – Bruce Frankel

7. The Artist Way – Julia Cameron

8. Remembering Wholeness – Carol Tuttle

9. The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence – Deepak Chopra

10. Outliers (The Story of Success) – Malcolm Gladwell

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Make Career Change a Priority

In today’s tough economic times many people become fearful of taking a chance at changing their career. However another line of thinking suggests that now is the opportunity to really do what you love.

If you are ready to make the change, there are four steps that I’ve found to be quite effective when it comes to jump starting your career change.

Clear the deck
It is so important to make career change your primary priority. That means for a minimum of six months your main focus should be on gaining access to your ideal career.

Make a list of the areas in your life where you are losing time. It could be the two hours spent watching television or surfing the internet on a Saturday afternoon. You’d be amazed how much time most of us lose in a given day.

I found it helpful to set a time for no television watching between 7-9pm. This gave me three hours every evening to ensure that I spent time working on the plans that I set for myself to achieve.

Do not take on any major projects.
It is so important that those around you understand that you currently do not have the time to work on the family reunion committee or you cannot help plan the church bazaar. This may sound selfish however it is a major key to your success.

Gently let others know that you currently do not have the time. Give yourself the permission to say no. You’ll find that this gives you the space needed to focus.

Prioritize your time
It is important that you make a list of daily, weekly and monthly priorities. Create a list of what needs to be accomplished and check it off as you complete the task.

This helps keep you on track. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment as you check off what you’ve completed.

Identify what may get in the way
Take time to clarify what may stop you from achieving your goal(s). There can be internal and external obstacles. Address your internal fears. Determine if they are valid or if it is something you can work through.

Sometimes our fear is just a belief that we can’t do something; but in actuality we can.

External obstacles can be anything outside of yourself that you can’t control. Family and friends reactions to your plans may not be what you expected. Decide how you will handle the naysayers in advance. This helps you to handle any objections and you won’t feel put on the spot.

Taking a chance at doing what you love is a big step. I believe that we are all here to live our purpose. Trust in yourself and don’t let anything stop you.

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The Career Planning Process

This is a very interesting article by Dawn Rosenberg McKay from on the career planning process. I’ve found that many times it is tough really deciding what it is that we really want to do.

Dawn breaks the process into four steps. I’ve found having a process really makes a difference.

Let me know what you think.

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