Mysteries of a Gen-Y Confidant Rotating Header Image

Getting Wrapped Up in the Future

Girl laying in field of flowers

Sometimes we get so excited, so enthralled, and so consumed that we forget that we still have to perform in the present. New ideas are intoxicating, they envelope all of our senses and appeal to our imagination. With all of these great attributes what could possibly go wrong. Many things! We can get so consumed with our fantasy of success we never make the first move or decision. Remember the “Inches” speech in Any Given Sunday?

Life is the six inches in front of your face

Embracing this tradition leads to the choices which make success possible. The epic and miniscule decisions which build momentum and progress. You may have the best goal structure ever conceived but if the construction of that structure hinders you from making moves toward the next check point or finish line what is the point? Often it isn’t the idea men who drive our success but the task oriented and organized managers that focus on the little details that push our ventures forward an inch. Many preach living in the moment, but in the business sense it is most crucial. Executing the small often tedious tasks produce some of the most powerful results. Everyone should be a contributor to the main goal or dream of an idea but each member should remain focused on the little tasks they are given to keep the wheels of progress turning.

Know when to daydream and when to perform. Everyone wants to work on the big projects, the big accounts, or the big decisions. We often undermine the actions taken minute to minute that help us fulfill our daydreams and fantasies.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Summer Syndrome

Summer in Greece

If nice weather and outdoor activities were not enough, there is also the lack of motivation facilitated by the low productivity of those around you. Unquestionably spring and summer can be some of the most distracting as well as most beautiful times of our lives. We need to find a balance between our relaxation and our ambitions. Why not start with your schedule.

I find it much easier to work while the distracting sun is preoccupied with the other side of the planet. It’s easy to focus at 1 am when no one is awake to disturb you. Too late for your liking? What about early morning? I realize that at these times our bodies are either exhausted from the day, or foggy from sleep. I support my habits by starting my work session with a workout. Physical activity is proven to provide energy. Usually it is enough to get me through my work period. I understand that not everything can be accomplished during these odd hours but if you can accomplish 3-4 hours of work at these times, that’s an extra 3-4 hours in the beautiful weather.

Obviously most people do not want to schedule meetings at these awkward hours in the early morning or late evening. Why not use the power of the Internet and schedule a remote meeting, enjoy the weather and work outside. Lets face it, connectivity is everywhere and our laptops challenge us to be productive anywhere. I’ve written while in cars, in parks, or at the hotel pool. We can accomplish everything we need to where ever we can find an Internet connection. Make your next step an adventure to find a remote Wi-Fi connection to utilize.

Summer syndrome as I affectionately call it is easily defeated by determination, but who has that? Find ways to trick yourself into working with summer instead of against it. Be happy and work effectively, embrace summer syndrome and find away to get outside for that dose of Vitamin D.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Excuses

sad baby

Who are you? The inspired, problem solving task destroyer or the “what can be done today can be done tomorrow” kind of person. Although most people are categorized as one or the other, I would argue that the latter just hasn’t discovered their passion.

Exhibit A: One of my best friends is an average student; somehow he is graduating although he never seems to attend class or complete homework. Most would categorize him as a procrastinator, right? Well I believe that he is very talented but at the moment he is forced to focus on a topic, e.g. school, which is not his passion. Why would I say he is talented? Maybe he chose the wrong school but give this guy a microphone and he will sing and rap until it crumbles from the vibration of his voice. He will sit in his room alone or with friends writing hundreds, maybe thousands of versus. He knows what his true passion is.

Measure him by the work he produces for his passion, which is music, and you would see that he is “the inspired, problem solving task destroyer.”

Exhibit B: Measured by test scores he is average at best, but measured by drive and ability he is first rate. Give him a task such as an assigned paper or project and he will not complete it until it is pushed as far down the road as possible. Show him a blog that will inspire him and improve his quality of life and he will listen to one and a half hour long podcasts, or read blog posts thousands of pages long. Or impress him with a movie idea and he will run with it until his lungs collapse. He knows what his true passion is.

Life is a matter of perspective and relativity. You may be accomplishing a large list of tasks. You may be inspired and hard working, but are you working for the right reasons? Do you have a long-term goal, if I asked what your true passion is; would you have a ready answer?

Variety is not the spice of life. Variety? You will find all the variety and spice bundled up in your passion. Finding and pursuing your true passion is the spice of life.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

In Our Idle Moments

woman doing push up

The question is efficiency. Do we work best non-stop or do breaks provide the relief we need to pursue our intellectual and business goals. The short answer is that it depends on how you’re feeling right now. Is your mind a flutter of random activity refusing to keep its focus on the task at hand? Maybe you just cannot stop reminiscing about last night or last weekend, or maybe planning next weekend. On the other spectrum is your mind destroying your to-do with ruthless efficiency. Chances are if your mind is experiencing the latter, you aren’t reading this post. You’re tactically executing the tasks that are keeping you from the freedom to enjoy the rest of your day.

But if you have found a moment to read this post maybe a few tips to help collect yourself will come in handy.

1.      Lay off the coffee, Mr. Jitters. It may help you wake up but there are always diminishing returns, it might just be the force that is keeping your mind flipping channels like late night infomercials.

2.      Bring a snack to work. One thing that keeps us from focusing indefinitely is hunger; it is the enemy of productivity. That growling is not only a biological function, it is a distracter. So find a healthy snack and chomp away, then get back to work.

3.      Do a quick set of pushups. It sounds stupid but physical activity is a great motivator of the mind. It stimulates, awakens, and focuses your mind at the task at hand. Do them in jeans. Do them in a tie. Do them at work or home. Just do them. Can’t do a push-up? Try a sit-up or a squat!

4.      Change locations. If the sunny weather outside your window prevents you from getting work done, grab a chair in a quiet spot overlooking your great office carpet, or a place with a great view of a soothing wall. Sounds boring but how can you be distracted by a wall.

5.      Close those damn windows. Not the ones that provide the great view but the ones on your computer screen with the flashing banner ads and pretty girls/guys. Those extra windows, that blinking chat window and Facebook don’t add any value to the screen when you’re distracted and attempting to accomplish something. Close them and have a Zen moment of focus with your trusty companion, your computer!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Knowing Who Matters

Life is a balancing act we all attempt to master, life vs. business as well as friendship vs. relationship. We can learn a lot from an analysis of our choices. Do we betray the trust given to us or do we embrace it and remain as loyal as a German shepherd? People trust us all the time, our business partners, our significant others, and especially our friends. They always get in to our business, they always care, and they never give up on us.

These important people form the foundation of our safety net; they protect and nurse our emotions. The question is do you return the favor, do you embody someone who they seek out for a helping hand, a comforting touch or an open ear. I like to think of myself as the open ear, offering sage advice and private council.

Reputation is everything, these personality traits are important indicators of character. Remember that personal recommendations are the most powerful introductions. Word of mouth in business is the same as word of mouth in life. When a friend introduces a new person to the group it is easy to understand why we drop our guard. The more credible a business associate, friend, or confidant you are, the more easily your network of relations will expand. We all understand the importance of networking but we have to remember the most important aspect of networking is the value we provide to that network.

In many instances people come and go, we all know who has been around for the long term and they should be rewarded by our upmost devotion. We should honor their wishes and build that relationship, and when the time comes for an introduction you will be first on their list.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

The Psychology of a “Job”

Measuring the effectiveness of a worker is the business of a corporation. We are not measured by our ability or uniqueness. Only in the task we are given are we measured.

There are many great and depressing metaphors for the employee, all of which we ignore for the “American Dream.” We believe that if we work hard and long we can all have what we desire. The only problem with this is that the loyalty you share for your company, it does not reciprocate. We are all emotionally on guard especially with an economic climate such as this. I have seen this disloyalty firsthand; the problems we’ve faced are not unique lightning strikes but a disheartening commonality. What is the result of these events? We learn that changing careers frequently is normal, the job search is a part of life and we will never have the opportunity to be comfortable in a position.

Especially in this economy we are emotionally battered, new graduates have no company to call theirs and seasoned employees are turning their efforts to resume writing and job searching, something they thought they were past. Preparing for a round of layoffs or a restructuring is something all employees have lost sleep over. It is not surprising that a majority of employees are unsatisfied, unhappy and depressed. We are farming a society of drones, humans on autopilot. We are only allowed fleeting moments of happiness, those few weeks of vacation or the misused sick days. There is never a sense of freedom, freewill or lighthearted carefree mentality. We are always obligated to another, our group, our boss, or our corporation. I want to be obligated only to my family, my goals and myself.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Reaction or Opinion

When we open our mouths a number of things can come out. We express our emotions as well as our talents through the gift of speech. One of the most important things we can do is provide our insight into a particular subject. We are often asked of our “opinion,” these could be defined as a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. A reaction is described as a response indicating a person’s feelings or emotional attitude, we can see that one is useful and one is not.

Being hasty is one characteristic that most people can identify with; this adjective is synonymous with a reaction. We under think and over express, we provide no value and often experience the awkwardness that accompanies a reaction. We could use this word to describe an interaction where we failed to fully explore the way we really feel about the subject. Another characteristic of a reaction would be when our opinion is spoken and there is more left unsaid. Our opinion should be a fully formed expression of our true beliefs on a subject.

Although we don’t necessarily have the ability to fully articulate our opinions one thing we should all strive for is control to stem the flow of a reaction. Make sure that each response we utter is the most fully formed and valuable opinion we can make on a subject. I know I have not mastered this ability but consistent progress is a valuable investment in our personal growth.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

The Risks of Pride

The word apologies with text

My business partner reminded me of the hazards of being prideful. Many situations create the environment to be prideful but the reality is many people do not intend to bruise your pride when they make decisions or forget a phone call. They don’t intend to create an enemy or cause you to over think the situation you may be currently in. We’ve made a pact to set aside our pride and instead take the most effective path possible.

Maybe we will have to be the pest and continually call instead of wait weeks for one answer. One of the biggest roadblocks to progress is the pride involved in the return phone call. Whether the reason for not calling back is forgetfulness or a decision not to, we have to be able to set aside our pride and call again. We feel like were being a pest, or we feel like they are neglecting us, neither of these feelings are good ones. Once we decide something needs to be done we should be willing to be relentless in the pursuit of progress. Relentlessness is a word that inspires while filling us with purpose and drive; it also doesn’t apply in the next situation of pride.

While the previous example could be solved with some persistence this roadblock is silent but requires one delicate interaction. The apology is one of the biggest instigators of awkwardness as well as hinders team cohesiveness. We are often so prideful that an apology is nearly impossible; both parties think they are right or one party is so shameful they never come forward. This presents another opportunity to overcome pride and reignite your once symbiotic relationship. Realizing your offence and correcting it with a genuine apology requires an evolved mind, one that understands the feelings of others as well as the terms of a successful working relationship.

Find ways to overcome the hazards of a prideful life. Remember there is a time and place for everything. In business and sometimes in life with profit, success and reputation on the line, pride should be the least of your worries.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Finding your personal catalyst

Multiple opportunities present themselves to build upon our experiences in life and not everyone has the ability to embrace it. Those who can take charge and seize the moment of opportunity inspire us all. We want to be like them but we are unsure as to how to achieve that level of confidence. Maybe we believe that our personalities are not cut out for that sort of initiative but I believe that with a little bit of self-discipline we can all achieve a level of spontaneity.

One of the easiest ways to cultivate this characteristic is by learning from a professional. Just as we intern with companies or job shadow, we can learn from our more spontaneous friends. This is more difficult than it sounds, with spontaneity comes elusiveness. They are always on the go, moving from one exciting venue to the next. The habit that helped me the most when I was working on my own spontaneity was to get my work done early so that when my professional opportunity seeker called I would always be available.

We all posess some measure of a wild streak, whether we allow ourselves to be dragged onto the dance floor or whether we’re up for a spur of the moment weekend road trip. One sure killer of an interesting and well lived life is a set schedule, repetition and the hated rut we sometimes fall into. Remember that our lives are constantly being written one moment at a time. One of my favorite quotes:

One day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it’s worth watching.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

Positivity is the key to success

There is one place that harbors our inner secrets and securities. The mind is our greatest vault but sometimes our only cage. The mentality of success is what separates the top 1% from the rest. The ally we need most is our own confidence, without the inner voice telling us we are invincible we are left to the commentary of those around us for better or worse.

Not only can we focus on the negatives surrounding our mental self-talk but the positives as well. Constantly eroding our defenses is the voice of insecurity. Each phrase threatening to crack the façade we display each day to our peers. Always we are hiding some facet of our lives, we are hoping that others won’t notice some physical or character flaw. Each of these considerations is more effort than they are worth. Although people tend to notice these flaws, the attempt to hide them is often more distracting. Leave these insecurities behind along with the negativity. We are often our own worst enemies; we all need to make a move toward positivity.

Building upon our unique personalities, a positive mindset creates a mental environment which facilitates our own success. We unconsciously build upon our existing physical and character flaws to create a unique and confident person. The question of success is often a matter of our own positivity and belief in our own ability. Often it is not the person who works the hardest, but the person who believes and visualizes their success. Surrounding us are examples of success based on hard work, a positive mindset and the visualization of success.

Ego is one of our most powerful defensive and offensive weapons protecting and facilitating our success. We need it as much as we need the knowledge and critical thinking we draw our conclusions from. Use your ego and positive mindset to facilitate your success, remember the first key to your success is your own positive belief in your ability.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter