By sweetened virtue I start out, dashing as the cavalier Knight:
The butterflies cut from the paper from the womb of a Beautiful girl’s diary:
And I read her out under the sun, as I wait for the bank robbers To drive by:
This night is pillaged by lucky horses, while I have never Been by Sarah’s grave,
Or my grandfather’s grave, but I know that my one good grandmother
Is buried atop the hill underneath the welded cross at the northern
End of the summit of the Springerville Cemetery:
Sharon, she is buried just above her little house, across the churches
And the swings that I have articulated back and forth on the Other side of her;
And you never even saw or knew her body’s warmth, Sharon:
Sharon: but your body is still sparking like a wish culled from A cloudy day:
And I wonder what is was that made you choose the man you love;
And if I had just one wish rubbed from the gilded belly of a genie,
Then Sharon, that wish would be for you love,
But I still have to go back to work on Monday.
Look Forward to Getting Back to Work on Monday
“Tish! It’s Monday,” is a thought that has run across all our minds. The word ‘Monday’ is a big nightmare, associated with dread. A whole five days of work that we must get through to get to the weekend. When the weekend does arrive a few blinks later it’s Sunday night and we’re stuck with thoughts of a dreadful five days ahead of us till the next weekend comes.
You may have a twinge of this feeling right now. You are probably rehashing memories that only build more fear.
You must take the time to see those little details that bring happiness into your work life, says Karl Staib, a Career Strategist. The example given is that it is Sunday night, you’re chatting with your family and bang: you are hit by “Aw heck! I have to wake up early and go to work.” It doesn’t stop there. Negative thoughts start to cascade. “I’ve got a report due that I’m not close to finishing” or, “I have to attend a boring meeting.” These negative thoughts stir up stressful emotions, and this cycle just continues throughout the night until you go to bed. All of us try to ignore these thoughts by introducing mental distractions like cooking, watching TV or surfing the Internet. They only distract for a little while until the thoughts start coming back. It’s up to you to change this habit and create positive thoughts that lead to better feelings.
Ernest Vinaya Kumar, the well known author of ‘Think Positive’ says that there is no greater joy than a healthy, positive life. You feel exhilarated, energetic, happy and on top of the world. A sense of total well being permeates your mind. The future looks bright. You feel good to be alive. Great, but how do we get out of our innumerable worries, tensions and fears that the increasingly competitive life burdens us with? Simple! Tell yourself that you are good, healthy and capable. That is the power of positive affirmations. Such affirmations are also called self-suggestions. It is a powerful tool for transforming your inner self into an amazing health generating, self-healing entity. You can record these affirmations on a tape synchronized with pleasant instrumental music and replay them often to make them more effective and permanent.
He suggests that you can indoctrinate yourself. Psychology says that our mind controls our body. So, taking charge of your mind becomes a vital factor in keeping your body healthy. You can do this through affirmations that establish the power of your mind. Try: "With the power of positive thinking I now take charge of my body to maintain perfect health, strength and happiness unconditionally, now and always, so be it." When you repeat this, the misleading programs of your mind will be erased.
It is said that we are never given a wish without the power to fulfill it. Each person is capable of programming his own mind to achieve what he desires. You can tap this capability by following a few simple steps. But before you begin, make yourself totally relaxed and be consciously willing to adopt the method. Attuning yourself with nature guarantees an overall healthy life. To modify this statement into an affirmation, say: "I attune myself with nature to stay healthy now and forever." You can have the right kind of food by affirming: "I can attract healthy food to keep myself fit, healthy and strong, everyday." You can develop the habit of exercising your body and mind by affirming: "I can easily get up early in the morning everyday to exercise and keep fit and cheerful."
In case you find it difficult to find sleep, all you have to do is repeat: "I can relax into sound sleep now and wake up revitalized, alert, bright and cheerful early in the morning. It is done. So be it." Sometimes, social influences play their part in either inducing or encouraging negative thinking. Analyze them to get rid of the negative influences. Believe in the power of positive thinking. A positive attitude is the key to success. You can live a positive life if you have the right attitude, think positive and have faith mixed with a good measure of hope. Believe that all things work together for our good.
All of us get discouraged from time to time and need a little encouragement and motivation. Sometimes we just need a little pat on the back. Some of us read an uplifting and inspiring book to get recharged or listen to a motivational speaker to remind us how wonderful life can be and how great it is to be alive. The best place to get encouragement and motivation is from our family and friends. It’s unfortunate, but there are some families and some friends that don't know how to be encouraging. They just don’t have a positive bone in their bodies. So, we look elsewhere for support. Make it an aim to convert their outlook towards life. All of us at one time or another have lost focus of our goals and have got temporarily side tracked. This is usually not a problem and resolved by thinking positive.
So you want to know how to think positive? Thinking positive is a way of life. In order for us to live a successful, positive life, we must have a positive attitude. It’s critically important to develop a positive attitude. You can’t have positive success without a positive life and you can’t have a positive life without a positive attitude. The ability to think positive is a result of a positive attitude toward life. The thing about thinking positive is that it's a developed trait and it all starts with your heart and your mind. If you want to think positive, then you have got to make a commitment to change. You've got to make a willing commitment to become positive.
The first thing you've got to do is guard your heart and mind from those things that are
destructive. You instinctively know what they are and if you have any doubt, just read the newspaper and watch the news on TV. How many positive articles or news casts do you see? Not many. This world is filled with negativism so, it is important to fill your heart and mind with good, clean, positive thoughts. There is great wisdom in the words "whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things". In fact, in some circles it's considered duty to think this way because it helps us help others.
It is good to surround yourself with family and friends that are positive, upbeat and optimistic. You can also help yourself by getting a self-help book or CD that shows you how to move from the negative to the positive. There are lots of good books and CDs available that will help you transition from negative to positive thinking. Consider buying some books or tapes of your favorite author, teacher, or pastor that you admire because we all need a little motivation and uplifting every once in a while and especially those of us who are prone to depression. Take a look at Zig Ziglar's book Staying Up, Up, Up, in a Down, Down, Down World, for help with staying positive in this negative world. Do something good for yourself. Stay encouraged through positive self-talk. There's absolutely nothing wrong with telling yourself that you can make it; that you're doing a good job and things aren't as bad as they seem. It's ok to say some daily affirmations. There are plenty of resources available that will give you some tips and techniques on how to keep yourself motivated and on the right track. Thinking positive is just the beginning to a wonderful life and once you begin to learn how to think positive things will change for you.
I'm relaxed, my body is relaxed.
My mind is relaxed, my emotions are relaxed.
I am now totally relaxed.
I am getting better, stronger and happier forever.
I am looking at the positive side of life.
Opportunities seem to become more available. Believe it or not but, your finances will increase because you're thinking actually becomes clearer and you can make better decisions. Along with positive thinking comes a positive life. In order to live a positive life, you've got to have integrity and you've got be honest and decent to yourself and others.
On the opposite side of the coin is negativity which is associated with those things that are not forthright and things that are little bit shady and deceitful. These things only serve to drag you down and to cloud your thinking and disrupt the natural flow of things. When you think positive, things will be better and your life will just be a whole lot easier. There are many benefits that come along with thinking positive. Number one, you'll become a happier person. You won't be so depressed and by thinking positive you can decrease your anxiety and control it. Think positive and increase your happiness and joy in life. Staib sums it up nicely:
Feeling Positive While Relaxing on a Sunday
2. Add a positive thought.
After that negative thought happens and you notice it, this is where your mental muscle will come into play. You must stop building on this negative thought and create a positive thought that will help you see something that you like about Monday morning. Maybe it’s your morning workout or seeing your best work friend and rehashing the weekend.
3. Build on positive thoughts.
Now that you’ve created this positive thought, you can build upon it with another positive thought that applies to work such as, I’ve got a chance to improve my report or make a customer happy. “This will steer your mind in the right direction to help you see Monday as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.
4. Relax with this feeling
Take the time to feel your sensations after you have implemented this new process. You’ll probably notice that there is an enjoyable calm. This feeling is proof that this 4-step process works. This may seem a little basic, but it works. Sometimes we have to get back to the core of our emotional state so we can make lasting improvements that actually work instead of applying some band-aid that eventually needs to be ripped off and causes more pain. I’ve used this technique to help improve my mood many times, and it has always been a success. You have a great opportunity to make your Sunday (day off) a pleasant experience instead of mentally torturous, but this 4-step process won’t happen overnight. I still struggle to enjoy some Sunday nights, but on the whole I enjoy almost all of them now and I’ve been able to feel a twinge of enjoyable anticipation for Monday because I’ve learned to create curiosity for what the day will bring.
Now is the perfect time to be creating a great career for yourself. As the economy moves from the Industrial Era into the Knowledge Era, everything is in a state of flux. That means it’s no longer true the only way to succeed is by climbing the corporate ladder with a lifetime employer. Instead, there are no limits to what you can do and how you can shape and mold your own career. It’s now easier than ever before to use your initiative to put together a fabulous career for yourself – something you look back on with pride because it involved doing fabulous work.
To create an ideal career:
Understand how to define and then build what you personally would term an “ideal career”.
Know the answers to two questions:
Learn to master the mechanics of the job search process so you maximize your opportunities.
Carol Bartz, CEO and Chairman of Autodesk Inc. adds to this thread.
I'm at the stage of my career when people often approach me to ask, "Will you be my mentor?" I don't know what the heck that means. Does it mean that they want me to be their mom? Does it mean that I'll be personally responsible for their success? Am I supposed to share my life secrets and private thoughts with them? To me, the prevalence of that question is a sign that a lot of people don't understand what is probably the most important shift in the new world of work: the demise of lifelong employment and of the corporation's promise of long-term stability. Today you are largely in control of your own destiny at work.
As just stated, now is a great time to be working towards making your career happen
because we’re in the middle of moving from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age. Workers in the Industrial Age were considered to be “small cogs in a large machine.” The way to succeed back then was to get a job with a stable company and work your way to the top if you were lucky. You would stay with one company for your entire career and then retire with a pension. In today’s turbulent job marketplace, that model doesn’t hold true for most people. Corporations have downsized and shed workers with such regularity nobody but an optimist today believes they will stay with one company forever. The dynamics of the marketplace means today, there are lots of problems coming to the surface. People who can solve these problems will do well. There is no need to be bound by an old set of assumptions about careers which no longer applies. You’re free to design and then build a career which will unleash your highest and best talents and passions. The first step in starting down that path is to sit down and figure out what a career means to you.
“A person with a fabulous career makes a distinctive contribution and generates a strong feeling of loyalty and trust in others. Anyone, regardless of title or position or profession, can do these
things. Fame, fortune, unusual gifts – these are not the issue. A career does not rise from the need for outside affirmation, but from within you, from your own curiosity, from your own
unique mix of talents and passions.”
– Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colosimo
As organisations outsource, downsize, restructure, rework, reinvent and refocus strategy to meet protean demands of the market, employees need to retool survival skills and focus on building sustained employability. If economic transactions are any guide, Technology's state of perpetual motion dictates: You Are Responsible For Your Career.
If that be so, then five rules apply:
You must be tech savvy: Techno-able is no longer good enough. The new paradigm is: Domain, domain and more domain. Substantial investments in specific technology skills hold unfailing promise of a stable run in the meanest economic phase. Rather than taste, sample and experiment every new technology, zero down on a specific area of interest and dig deep. The critical operative term is relevant years of experience. The embedded IT segment is creating more jobs. Frost & Sullivan have completed a study that estimates the embedded software market at $700 million with a growth of 30 per cent. An earlier news article gives an insight into the key sectors that are driving the growth of the overall embedded space (both software development and hardware design) - automotive and industrial electronics, digital consumer electronics, enterprise and carrier class communications, wireless, broadband, aerospace and defense. As a corollary, you cannot use the hop, jump and skip mode to advance careers. Companies with fluctuating fortunes in the market want steady workers to prevent disequilibrium.
You cannot be just tech-savvy. In an era of tectonic upheavals in the marketplace, techies need be add market analysts to their skills. To be market savvy, do not engage in long-term transaction with a company, without checking on its market credentials. Its not foolproof, but an ability to analyze organizational policy and response to market conditions improves survival chances.
Sift through every piece of available information: your company's area of operations, its long-term viability. If you are a WLAN engineer, for instance, how many WLAN news sites do you visit on a daily basis?
Do not see yourself as an employee: In the wildly altered rules of the workplace, the traditional employee mindset is a sure dead street. See yourself as an ideas corporation and behave as though you are in the job for your survival. Failure would result in a crash in personal stock price and migration of business to the next competitor. Hence internalize performance metrics and processes of the company and deliver value quarter to quarter. Be a fixer rather than a finger-pointer. Steady growth in performance, quarter to quarter, will keep stocks of individual techies from crashing.
Do not resist change: "Stable times force us to think of our companies as machines. They are finely tuned and easy to copy, scale, and own. We build machines on an assembly line, focusing on how to make them cheaper and ever more reliable. If your company is a machine, you can control it. You can build another one, a bigger one. You can staff it with machine operators and train them to run it faster and faster. In times of change, this model is wrong, says Seth Godin in Survival is not Enough." In a volatile, fast-paced economy, smart companies can ill-afford to function as well-oiled machines with set processes. Rather they are constantly reshaping realigning and innovating on business strategy to fend competition. Employees need to be flexible and adaptable enough to quickly realign to changing company policy. Resisting change and being weeded to an old strategy or technology is a precursor to death.
You must network: It’s not for no reason that the new economy is called the networked economy. The three elements on which the economy rest are ideas information and relationships. Smart employees don't wait for a vacancy sign to appear in the window. Rather they researches top companies in their area of interest, meet executive and people working in these companies and build networks. It's a sure-fire safety network in an economy where chaos is the safest bet of all.
As Dan Miller says, “Embrace change, and don’t worry if people call you ‘stupid’.” He adds, “Ideally, your daily work should say something meaningful about you. It should reflect whatever is the very essence of your being. It should make maximum use of your talents and passions.” Before you reach there, one question has to be answered.
Are you ready for it? This is the key question. You will find this question popping up quite often, in different guises. If you are ready, go for it. If you’re not sure, I suggest you pause a while and carry out a self introspection, which may mean answering more such questions. This key question is designed to put you through an acid test to find out if you are aware about yourself. Make yourself aware about your abilities that compose you. Thereafter, armed with this knowledge, you will have to identify your niche. Decide how to get in, simply because the goal is what you have identified yourself, based on the many self-analyses you have carried out. As you go deep into the subject, you will find what you are looking for if you know what you are looking for. It will come out as the perfect blend of ability, proclivity and passion. We will look at these three aspects, shown as Figure 1, in detail later.
The Opening Gambit: Take pen and paper and write down what your attributes are. This is simpler than you think. Just stay chronologically correct. Start from as far back as you can think of, early childhood and nursery school days. What did you excel in? What were your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies? Your interests? Your activities, skills and abilities? Were you professional? What did you want to do next? What did you want to become? Who was your role model? Did you receive awards for anything? How was life at home? It may come out as a mélange, a goulash at first sight. No matter, get your chronology right and you will be surprised at the end result. It will invariably show you what you like to do best and that is actually what you’ve wanted to always do. But, are you are aware about yourself? Possibly not. You have only seen what you like to do best and that it is what you’ve wanted to always do.
There are many other factors which remain to be added to the cornucopia of talent and the odd shortfalls that you are an integration or embodiment of. It is always best to allow your entire self into the open. Expression could well be healing, but repression is most definitely deleterious. Many great persons have had grave disorders: Socrates, Plato, Julius Caesar and Lenin were epileptics; Isaac Newton was psychotic and King Louis XIII of France had bipolar disorder. If expression is indeed healing, you are one step closer to self awareness.
The Outer You: The outer you is reflected in the mirror every time you look at it. Don’t forget, you are visible to the outside world whenever you step out of your house. As a matter of habit, you must project the best possible image of yourself at all times. The first impression is vital. Research has shown that the first impression is made in four seconds−just 04”! What does an observer see in four seconds? He sees bearing and demeanor, clothes, shoes, hair, shaven face and smells body odor and then draws your personality. You cannot afford to let it go all wrong here. It might even call for you presenting just a façade. But the means justify the end and at this point in time, you are portraying your best self. If you feel that you have covered a facet that is weak, work on it and remove that weakness using sheer willpower, which you have. Attitude: What’s attitude got to do with the outer you? It’s abstract, whereas you are a proper human entity. True, but in your first impression you must show you are the happy kind; a bundle of infectious effervescence packaged well. Think of it as Body Language. Your disposition gets reflected in your work. No one likes a grump. Folks would rather spend their working hours with people who have a bounce in their step and a smile on their face. A depressing outlook on the visage of people tends to make others depressed. Daniel Goleman, an expert on Emotional Intelligence says, "Research shows that when people are in a good mood at work, it builds emotional capital and enhances productivity. The art of leadership is getting work done well through other people, and laughing together is a great way to do that."
What have we achieved so far? We have achieved a shell of the person called you. We are trying to get you into your best possible job, from where your career will take off.
A person who has a good career makes a distinctive contribution to his or her organization. You want to make a difference because you’re very good at what you do. Because of what you generate each day, the world is a better place, your company is stronger and people or clients you care about get the benefits of the value you add. The idea of working towards having a fabulous career may look like it’s out-of-reach at first glance but don’t be too quick to reach that conclusion. Why should having a good career be restricted to the rich and famous? Why should such careers only be available to those in specific professions – perhaps doctors or others who save lives? The simple truth is anyone and everyone can have an ideal career but very few ever take the time to figure out just what this term means for them.
“In the Industrial Age, workers were treated like machines. They had ‘user manuals’ called job descriptions. You didn’t expect or even want workers to contribute anything unique or unexpected, any more than you wanted a toaster to do something ‘unique’ to your bread. But a knowledge worker is the opposite of a machine. She chooses the problems she works on. She creates new solutions. She recognizes no limits to the contribution she can make.”
Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colosimo
People have traditionally equated time-on-the-job with productivity. That dynamic doesn’t hold true anymore. Today, we’re living in a results-based economy. Build your claque.
In the Industrial Era, job seekers were encouraged to network vigorously – to establish working associations with as many people as possible as a way of getting your foot in the door at
various companies. This concept of seeing people as tools you may need to use at some stage
has been largely superseded now. In the Knowledge Era, it’s important that you build a claque
of people you value. A claque works differently to a network. In a network, people know how to
contact each other. In a claque, people know each other well and take action to help one another. Much more effort is injected into building and maintaining long-term relationships. Claque connections are more genuine as opposed to the superficial associations of networks.
What’s involved in building a claque? Four suggestions:
Identify potential members of your claque – from those you already serve or support or those who help you in various ways. There will probably be some obvious choices you can think of right away. Start with them and build outwards.
Create an emotional bank account with each person. Work hard to build up credit with each person in your claque by doing things to help them before seeking their help for yourself. Build relationships by doing things which are consistent and aligned with your stated policy.
Build your Internet presence – Start your own career blog. This can be a great resource when you’re looking for a job because prospective employers can get to know you quickly and concisely. Write and publish an e-book. That should also impress any prospective employer.
Look for ways to generate synergy – perhaps everyone in your claque can work together to generate new advances in your field. If you start a global conversation going around a subject you’re passionate about, all kinds of things can happen.
Prior to the Internet era, the phone was the medium of interaction during office hours and you got together over a drink the odd evening, or even had a barbeque over the weekend. You wrote down what was discussed and agreed upon. But that was before the Internet era. The World Wide Web has expanded your contact list exponentially. In a claque, people know each other well simply because of constant interaction, social internet sites like Facebook, Linked In, etc. There is much more effort injected into building and maintaining long-term relationships. Claque connections are more genuine because they are no longer faceless voices in the ears. You can speak tete-a-tete from thousands of miles away. Remember that a face is worth a thousand words.
One known face leads to another and, like in a pyramid scheme or scam, the theoretical number of people you could get to know is limitless. But things are different in real life. A scam research unveiled that one friend could lead to no more than five contacting you; going ahead, only eight more would include you in the list at the next level, dwindling rapidly to zero as the certainty of interaction dropped below 50%. You are happy with just four certain contacts who will ultimately become your friends, through a single source. You have quite a few in your claque, so the going’s good.
Dan Miller identifies twelve steps to finding the work you love. The important ones are:
Create a job which epitomizes you.
First and foremost, you need to know the unique strengths you can leverage in your
career. There are generally only three categories:
Talents: Talents are the unique knowledge, skills and competencies with which you can make a contribution. Everyone has a unique set of talents. Talent is generally considered to be an innate, personal gift possessed by relatively few people. In essence, someone with talent has an aptitude to do certain things. Talent (in the sense of natural ability or giftedness) is not the same as skill, which is a learned process, and one which is enhanced or inhibited by an underlying talent. Talent is defined by production, not opportunity. Talent is not a person. Talent is a capability. Talent is not an employment contract. Talent is the delivery of the capability. To put in another way, talent is:
With that background, talent is “An ability to get the right job delivered to specification with the minimum acceptable amount of resources.” Let’s break it down a bit.
Right Job – We have all worked inside of organizations where really bright people march to really bad orders and end up blowing the project and / or organization out of the water. So being able to execute to plan is not talent. It’s like heroism. A hero is not someone who beats up a helpless person under the duress of orders. A hero is one who does the right thing, even when they are scared to do it. It’s the same thing for talent. Talent does the right job, even when everybody else is telling them to do something completely different.
Delivered –It’s not art if it’s just in your head. Talent is artistry in that it usually has a creative component in it. In that respect it means that there is a certain level of “art” to being able to deliver the right job to specification with the minimum amount of resources. But most importantly, it means that “talking a good game” is not talent. Donald Trump has to build buildings before he can say “You’re fired.” Real talent ships. There is something that she / he / then deliver that can be evaluated by others and either accepted or rejected.
Specification – There is always a specification. It can be as detailed as a product document or it can be as loose as “my vision.” There is always a driving force and a certain way that resources are aligned and allocated. Real talent seeks to get clarity around the specification. On the flip side, you can always tell a lack of talent when they seek to get certainty around the specification before they take action.
Resources – A lot of people probably shake their heads at this last part. Even if you agree with what I have said to this point, few would equate how much is consumed with the quality of the output. But it is a critical component of talent all the same. The only resource that is not constrained is imagination. Everything else is finite. You can argue that regardless of how much marble he used Michelangelo was talented because he created “David.” I’ d say that “unlimited marble” was an appropriate allocation of resource to accomplish such a masterpiece, just as unlimited canvas was appropriate to accomplish Renoir’s “Woman with a Parasol.” Here’s the critical question: how many projects do you have going on at work that are worth everyone losing their jobs over? In corporations capital is consumed in the creation of value that is delivered to customers / clients. If you consume all the working capital you go bankrupt. Usually when companies go bankrupt they fire people who work there. Hence the question.
This definition of “talent” can apply to a person or a group of individuals. It is about the output, what is shipped, not about the number of participants, their location or any other factor. But, as we explored in the “talent=star” post, we most often associate talent with the concept of an individual. Let's look at this definition in respect to someone we all would commonly agree was talented: Michael Jordan. Clearly one of the best, if not the best, basketball player of all time. So, is he “talent”? The answer is obviously yes, but only because he meets the definition regardless of any reasonable application of different specifications. For instance, if the specification was increased attendance, then Jordan meets the spec. Wins? Yes. Make the Bulls into a marquis club? Yes. Draw money into Chicago? Yes. In fact, you could go down a whole list of specifications that are only tangentially related to basketball and he would still meet the definition. OK, but what about the resources angle? It is obvious that he meets the criteria.
There must be easier ways of stating this principle. But when I say “Talent is more valuable than capital” this is what I am referring to. And when I agree with the phrase “It’s all about the talent” I am agreeing to “It’s all about the ability to get the right job delivered to specification with the minimum amount of resources.”
We’ve already skimmed over passion earlier. Martha Stewart, the American business magnate & TV host also has strong views about passion. “Without passion, work is just work, a chore. To be really successful, strive to understand your customers. Appreciate them and care about their happiness. There are no people more important to you in your business life. When faced with a business challenge, assess the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind, and move on,” says Stewart.
What is passion? It is mystery within ardently reaching out to the mystery beyond; intense, overpowering and overwhelming feeling and emotion, a consuming zeal, driving, pulling, pushing, burning us up. Passions make life real. Life can seem grey and flat sometimes, but when you feel passion – in body, mind or spirit, whether it is anger, love, jealousy, fear or whatever – you know you are alive.
But then there’s another sense to the word we generally don’t take into account except this time of year. When Mel Gibson does a film about the passion of Jesus, it’s fairly obvious straight-off that he’s not referring to the same kind of compelling burning. A few years ago, a pastor did a radio show about the Christian holiday of Palm Sunday. In the course of it, he was asked why the torture and crucifixion, the last agonies of Jesus are called the “Passion”. Was it because he was so passionate, so loving of the world that he was willing to die for the sins of the world?
No, he said, it’s because passion is the opposite of action. It’s like in language when we use the passive and active voice. Active is action as passive is to passion. With the active voice we say: “I do this” or “I do that.” With the passive we say: “This is done to me. My volition is still. I will only this: that I allow whatever is to be done to be done.” Passion is to “let go and let God” – as the bumper-sticker puts it. Passions wash over us and we don’t act. We react in ways we wouldn’t will to act otherwise because we have no say in the matter. It may lead to some action we undertake, conscious or not, conscientious or not, but passion is more than that by which we push, yearn and pine because passion is the negation of action. Passion is not that by which we do things, it is that by which things are done to us.
Theologian Paul Tillich says “there is no such thing as the immaculate conception of an idea. Every idea came from somewhere else.” Creativity is not a matter of conjuring up something brand new straight out of the head of Zeus. Everything always depends on what went before. Any new way of thinking or looking at things depends on what has gone before and then it simply adds some little bit more. Newton said the only reason he could see so far was that he stood on the shoulders of the giants who went before him. One idea plus another idea adds up to be not two, but three ideas. A new path appears on the common ground between minds. This is creativity. This is the making of meaning.
My point is that the only way to develop a depth of wisdom and meaning for your life is to take what you’re given not as gospel truth because even gospel truth isn’t all that gospel-y true. Instead take what you are given as something given you for the sake of your doing something creative with it, making more than what you were given, so the world is a little better off for your having lived. Add two ideas, shake-n’-bake a third. Work with what you have and it will always be enough. Be creative. Add something to the world, something good – a helpful deed, a kind word, even a good thought. That is creation! It is amazing. Its how anything and everything has ever been, is, and will ever be accomplished. It may all seem so little at times, but bear with it – it brings you that one little bit closer to the realm of light and love.
Covey advises us to examine our conscience – because this is a moral compass which will whisper what your true responsibility is and what contribution you should be making. To probe
your conscience, answer these questions:
• What is my real responsibility to my organization?
• What do I owe my co-workers?
• What do I owe my customers to deliver?
Identifying and articulating your strengths is an important step in transitioning from an Industrial Age worker with a job description to a Knowledge Age solution provider. You need to
have clear a picture of the tools you have available.
Douglas McManaman, a Deacon and a Religion and Philosophy teacher at Fr, Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in Markham, Ontario, Canada says, “Whenever I think certain popular misconceptions are finally behind us, someone who should know better, such as a priest, teacher, or God forbid, a bishop, brings me back to reality.” One such misconception that seems to never go away is the idea that conscience is the final arbiter of what is morally right — a misconception often designated under the expression “primacy of conscience”.
But to put it bluntly, conscience is not the final arbiter of what is morally right or wrong. In its truest sense, conscience is the intellectual apprehension of a Divine Law. In his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, Newman quotes Cardinal Gousset, who writes: "The Divine Law is the supreme rule of actions; our thoughts, desires, words, acts, all that man is; and this law is the rule of our conduct by means of our conscience. Hence it is never lawful to go against our conscience." Essentially, conscience is one's best judgment, in a given situation, on what here and now is to be done as good, or to be avoided as evil. Because conscience is one's best judgment, a person has a duty to obey it. The Fourth Lateran Council says: "He who acts against his conscience loses his soul".
Moreover, the duty to obey one's conscience includes an erroneous conscience. For example, if, as a result of being brought up by neurotic parents, you judge that in this particular situation right now, drinking this cup of coffee is contrary to God's will, then you have a duty not to drink the cup of coffee. Should the Pope or a local Bishop try to persuade you that there is nothing sinful in drinking a cup of coffee, yet for some reason you continue to judge, erroneously, that drinking this cup of coffee would offend your Creator, you must nonetheless follow your conscience and not drink the coffee. The reason is that if you were to drink it, you'd be doing what in your best judgment is morally wrong. This is what is meant by the “primacy of conscience”, that is, conscience having the final word on what you ought to do in the here and now situation.
”Primacy of conscience” does not mean that you can dissent from law on a particular issue because you don't agree with the regulation or see anything wrong with doing whatever you’re doing. Let us say that you regularly engage in a particular behavior that you think is perfectly innocent, such as telling off-color jokes to a classroom of teenagers, and your conscience does not bother you in the slightest when doing so. Clearly, your conscience is deficiently formed. But one day a colleague approaches and says: "I think what you are doing is unprofessional, but I can't explain it now, I've got to run for an appointment. We'll talk later." At this point you are surprised, and begin to consider the friend's character and past judgments. You know he's not trying to manage your life and that he generally gives a great deal of thought to what he holds to be morally right or wrong.
Already your conscience has been altered, even though your friend had no time to explain himself to you. When you find myself in a situation in which you are about to tell these jokes, your judgment bearing upon the act is now different as a result of your colleague’s remarks. Here and now you know that choosing to tell these off-color jokes might very well be morally wrong — although you don't quite understand how — because your friend told you that it is wrong. You best judgment at this point is that "perhaps I should wait and think about this further". For you to proceed with the jokes because you enjoy making people laugh and judge that doing so is morally noble is not good enough at this point; for you know that you have been wrong in the past, and so you know your judgment might now be mistaken.
Dan Miller advises you to do something different if you want different results in your
life. No one “owes” you anything – you make it happen yourself. I’d say, start where you are.
The greatest hurdle you have overcome, when you are set to do big things, is to start with little or nothing. With every little step in the right direction gives room to take another and another. The kind of step you took in the beginning will dictate the final end result. It is advisable to start anywhere, or anyhow, but it is important to start right and at the right time. Always remain a student. Life is a never-ending school that treats you like a school kid. The Era of Knowledge is expanding exponentially. Keep your mind open; you need regular updates of skills and knowledge to keep up with the new ways of doing business. Learn to be a good listener. A good listener can learn a heck of a lot. The good thing in life is that there are those willing to be your free tutor and coach in life. You only need to approach them tactfully. Display professionalism.
What is Professionalism? Professionalism has been defined as ‘meticulous adherence to undeviating courtesy, honesty, and responsibility in one's dealings with customers and associates, plus a level of excellence that goes over and above the commercial considerations and legal requirements’ (www. businessdictionary.com). Heather Eastridge, a business professional, believes that professionalism is an essential trait both in business and society. ‘It is that quality which drives a person's appearance, personal and professional interactions, and which provides others with a first impression.’ Professionalism is of significance as it plays an important role in how a person is perceived by his employer, his co-workers and casual contacts-actually, by every person with whom he interacts. The greater the degree to which a person exemplifies professionalism, the easier it will be for him to be set apart from people around him. This outstanding characteristic will cause his superiors to take notice. Professionalism can and should be applied in every business setting in all industries. The more a person displays professionalism, the more opportunities for success he will have. Fire yourself – It’s the best way there is to increase your income, esteem and standing.
How to Look for Success in the Future: Dan Miller sets out five points.
The five best predictors of future success are:
But we have said that already, haven’t we?
One Step Further: Dan takes us through the traditional route to generate residual income, like
I think we need to go further. Online options are increasing daily.
Passive Residual Income: Traditional passive income is defined as "Income generated with minimal work from your investments such as interest, dividends, or real estate rentals."
Investment of time and money is initially required to build a passive income online, then possibly minimal work thereafter.
The benefits of generating a passive income:
Types of Passive Income Streams to Build Online:
Building multiple passive income streams is a great way to secure yourself for the future. You never know if you will be laid off from your regular job, get too ill to work, experience a disaster or want to start saving for your retirement.
Be True to Yourself
For inspiration about new business ideas, look inwards. Trust yourself; this self trust will emanate from you as a beacon. It essentially boils down to a matter of how you establish and subsequently increase the virtual trust accounts you have with other people. The key here is to act consistently at all times and in all circumstances. High-trust leaders consistently exhibit constant values of outward trust, each of which can be learned and then applied by everyone in order to generate trust. Covey suggests that we:
Always be honest and up-front about what you’re thinking. Tell the truth and let people know where you stand without putting any spin on it. If you make your agenda clear and call things as they are, you demonstrate personal integrity and build trust.
“The people who I have trouble dealing with are people who tend to not give full information. They purposefully leave out certain parts of the story – they distort facts.” – Shelley Lazarus, chairman and CEO, Oglivy & Mather
Break your routines; Focus on your strengths; Track your ideas; Embrace failure – and use it to accelerate your learning about what works and what does not.
Where Will the Money Come From?
Most of the world’s millionaires live in America, with 3,000,000 millionaires (29.7% of worldwide millionaires) in the USA. The number of millionaires in the United States jumped by 16 percent last year after slumping by 27 percent in 2008, a report released on March 10, 2010 shows. Last year, some 7.8 million US households had a million dollars or more in investable assets—not counting capital invested in their primary residence, the report by the Spectrem Group shows. That was up by 1.1 million from the year before, when the number of US millionaires fell to its lowest point since 2003, hitting 6.7 million as the US economy stumbled. "While still well short of its all-time high of 9.2 million in 2007, this year’s growth in the millionaire population is nevertheless welcome news for an economy still working to recover,"
says George Walper, president of Spectrem Group.
The number of quintuple-millionaire households—with assets worth more that $5 million—was also up last year, climbing by 17 % to 980,000 from 840,000 in 2008. And what the report calls "the broader affluent population," made up of households with a net worth of half a million dollars or more, grew by 12 percent last year to 12.7 million. US millionaires were 62 years old on average while the average age of the ultra-millionaires—people with assets in excess of $5 million—was 67. Of these, 74 % are business owners; 10 % are senior executives with major corporations; 10 % are doctors, lawyers and other professionals; 5 % are salespeople and consultants and 1 % are actors, sports people and stock brokers. How much money will you need to start a business?
According to the most recent Census Bureau data, the amount of money required to start a new business in recent years has been:
Nearly 70% of startups required less than $10,000. Today, you can get a good website up and running for less than $60 a year. All you need is a neat landing page with minimal navigational links, taking you to another neat page with say ten links to other websites that work for you. Commission Junction, Clickbank and others give hefty profits to successful promotions and sales of their products. You need to study their hit and conversion rates, which are provided, Alexa ranking and a Whois check. The trick is to offer bonuses, which are available freely on the net. And if you have a good idea, like new Bonzai plants, monetize them. The fact is, those who work in a field which aligns with their passions typically make more money than those who endure and persist with something they hate. How did you find this job? The answer is deceptively simple: You defined and then set about building your career. In your focused learning curve over the years, you actually carried out an investigation. You investigated career opportunities. How? By learning about requirements, demands and sacrifices involved, working conditions, salaries and educational requirements. Knowing about the wide range of working environments allowed you to relate what you knew about yourself to the many occupations available, which you started to filter.
After you choose your field, you must prepare to enter your career area by creating a realistic set of goals comprised of mini-goals and plan to attain them sequentially. Your plan will naturally include the education and training necessary to reach your career goal. If you have mini-goals and progressive mini-aims, you may not even require capital! Start small, grow. This is a rule of Nature and will always succeed, provided you took your safety jabs in time! Success never sneaks into your life. It is the inverse story of the camel and the Arab. Success is a cascade of riches, not just material, but emotional and psychological as well.
"Every one of us, unconsciously, works out a personal philosophy of life, by which we are guided, inspired, and corrected, as time goes on. It is this philosophy by which we measure out our days, and by which we advertise to all about us the man, or woman, that we are. . . . It takes but a brief time to scent the life philosophy of anyone. It is defined in the conversation, in the look of the eye, and in the general mien of the person. It has no hiding place. It's like the perfume of the flower? unseen, but known almost instantly. It is the possession of the successful, and the happy. And it can be greatly embellished by the absorption of ideas and experiences of the useful of this earth." George Matthew Adams
Justus Daniel Eapen is a policy level Organizational Transformation Consultant with over 25 years experience in Banking & Government.