How to Pick A Career You Like
May19

How to Pick A Career You Like

Most career problems stem from the fact that we are terrible at picking jobs. We think we are picking a good job and then it turns out to be a bad job. It’s almost impossible to pick a good job on the first try, actually. So don’t think you’ll be the exception. I’m not an exception either. When the reality TV people came to our farm , I expected that it would be fun for them and it would suck for me. In fact, though, my family had a really good time, and I couldn’t believe how difficult the work was for the film crew. Economist Neil Howe, says that only 5% of people pick the right job on the first try. He calls those people “fast starters” and in general, they are less creative, less adventurous and less innovative, which makes a conventional, common path work well for them. So it’s questionable whether you should even aspire to be one of those people who picks right the first try. But, that said, we all still want to be good at choosing paths for ourselves. So, here are some guidelines to think about – whether it’s our first career or our fifth career. Don’t believe the hype. We have a grass-is-greener approach to professions that are not our own. For example,this award-winnng video from Chipotle about farmers becoming more animal-friendly pretends that it’s just a mental and emotional evolution for farmers to realize that going back to nature, and being good to animals, is what feels best, so they should do it. It’s so easy, for example, to take the pigs out of an assembly line. The Chipotle video is total crap, to be honest. It’s not that farmers don’t know that pigs on pasture is nicer. It’s that there is no market for pigs on pasture because consumers won’t pay enough to eat humane meat (without farrowing crates, for example, pork prices would quadruple). So the idea that being a farmer is so beautiful and back-to-the land is just absurd. Being a farmer is actually really complicated, hard entrepreneurial work with very low wages. Another example of a hyped up job is a lawyer. You see their exciting life on TV: a gloriously safe path from college to law school to a high paying job. But behind the scenes, each year the American Bar Association conducts a survey to ask if lawyers would recommend their profession to other people, and the vast majority of lawyers say no. Pick a lifestyle not a job title. Look at the lives you see people having, and ask yourself whose life you would want. That’s easy,...

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8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On
May05

8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On

You are changing.  The universe around you is changing.  Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is.  This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc. It happens to you slowly as you grow.  You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you. The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  The specific people and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values.  So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving on. If you’re currently dealing with this process you may feel a bit awkward, and that’s OK.  This feeling is normal.  I’ve been right there with you on more occasions than I can count. Reasons to Let Go and Move On Someone’s negativity is rubbing off on you. – You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.  In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become.  If you are around cynical and negative people all the time, you will become cynical and negative. You have grown apart from someone. – Sad but true, no matter what you do or how much you explain yourself, some people will graduallyevolve away from your core values.  As time goes on they will prove over and over again that they are committed to misunderstanding you and clashing with your needs. You are truly unhappy with your current circumstances. – It’s always better to be struggling at something you love than succeeding diligently at something you despise.  (Read Quitter.) Your goals and needs have changed. – What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now.  Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather realizing that you have changed, and then learning to start over with your new truth. Fear is holding you back. – Part of letting go and moving on is facing the fears and disappointments of the past that are binding your spirit. You catch yourself living in the past. – If all you do is attempt to relive something that has already happened, you’re missing out.  The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind you gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and fun. An old grudge is still hurting you. – Holding on to the weight of anger, resentment...

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A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
May01

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

A wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She is thankful to be loved and seeks to make herself more lovely. A wise woman doesn’t allow herself to be a liability but strives to be an asset to the marriage bond. She looks for ways to make, save, and use money wisely. Her husband knows he is a richer man because she is his wife. A wise woman seeks to be a part of her husband’s life. His interest becomes her interest. She looks for ways to help him in every endeavor in which he is involved. When he needs a helping hand, it is her hand that is there first. A wise woman knows that his peace of mind (and sometimes, wise understanding) is something she can give or take away by her observations and conversation concerning circumstances or people. She limits her conversation to the positive. A wise woman sets a joyful mood in the household. She uses laughter, music and happy times to stir the children to a positive, joyful frame of mind. She knows this light-heartedness helps take stress off her husband. A wise woman gauges her husband’s needs. She seeks to fulfill his desires before even he is aware of them. She never leaves him daydreaming outside the home. She supplies his every desire. A wise woman understands that her husband’s need to be honored is not based on his performance but on his position. She learns quickly to defer with enthusiasm to his ideas or plans. She looks for ways to reverence him. She knows this is God’s will for her life. A wise woman is not pitiful, puny, or whinny. She seeks to be confident, capable and thankful. A wise woman does not dream of what “could have been.” She sees clearly that she is not God’s gift to men; thus she is blessed in her present circumstances. She learns to be content. A wise woman never expects anyone to serve her; therefore she is never disappointed. She is ready to help—a giver. By her example her children learn to serve cheerfully and energetically. A wise woman doesn’t attempt to instruct her husband through feigned questions. Her questions are sincere inquiries concerning his will. A wise woman is always learning. She is open to change. She is ready to hear. She wants to know. She doesn’t cloud her mind with the foolish folly of entertainment. She uses her time wisely.   Originally...

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The Importance of Listening
Apr29

The Importance of Listening

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to: better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work. Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success. See our pages: Employability Skills and Customer Service Skills for more examples of the importance of listening in the workplace. Good listening skills also have benefits in our personal lives, including: A greater number of friends and social networks, improved self-esteem and confidence, higher grades at school and in academic work and even better health and general well-being. Studies have shown that, whereas speaking raises blood pressure, listening brings it down. Listening is Not the Same as Hearing Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages. The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. ~Rachel Naomi Remen~ The 10 Principles of Listening A good listener will listen not only to what is being said, but also to what is left unsaid or only partially said. Effective listening involves observing body language and noticing inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal messages. For example, if someone tells you that they are happy with their life but through gritted teeth or with tears filling their eyes, you should consider that the verbal and non-verbal messages are in conflict, they maybe don’t mean what they say. 1. Stop Talking “If we were supposed to talk more than we...

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Maximize Your Motivation, Determination, and Perseverance
Apr02

Maximize Your Motivation, Determination, and Perseverance

6 ways to uncover your true grit As a prisoner of war in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, he held out for months, repeatedly refusing to sign documents decrying American aggression in Southeast Asia presented to him by the North Vietnamese after his crash and imprisonment. During these times, he drew inspiration from the memory of how his grandfather had been the only person in their village strong enough not to vote for Hitler during elections, despite threats of execution. As a child in Germany, he had looked up and marvelled at the US enemy planes, and resolved to one day fly for the United States of America. His father had been killed in the war and his mother was desperately poor. People were starving to death in Germany after WW2. He got used to feeding off garbage. He was a survivor. In these conditions, he sold scrap metal to raise money and hitch-hiked to Hamburg to get passage to America. Once in the US, he lived on the streets in Manhattan. He studied for years (sometimes living in an upturned boat), eventually achieved his dream, and became a US Navy pilot, but… Motivated to persevere He was shot down on his first mission over Vietnam. Eventually, he was captured by enemy troops; he managed to escape, but was recaptured. He joined other captives and instigated an escape plan. The prisoners heard their captors planning to kill them; there was no time to lose. They managed to escape and overpower their guards. Leeches, starvation, danger, and misery followed. He never gave up hope. At one point, he and another man thought they’d been spotted by US planes and rescue was imminent – it wasn’t. They kept going, trying to make it to Thailand. His friend was killed by villagers. He kept on alone, eating snakes but always on the edge of starvation. After 23 days surviving in the jungle, sick, injured, but managing to evade capture, he was rescued by a US helicopter. He had been behind enemy lines for over six months. His weight had dropped to 93 pounds. He was the only POW ever to escape and survive during the Vietnam War. He continued a successful career as a pilot for many years. We can all persevere even when we think we can’t. How to increase determination and maximize motivation Okay, most of us don’t experience such stark conditions as Dieter Dengler (1), but we all sometimes need to keep going when every part of us is screaming, “I can’t go on!” Whether it’s: facing illness; keeping a family together; facing massive life changes after divorce; making...

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The Importance of Being Independent
Mar15

The Importance of Being Independent

The Importance of Being Independent As children we have to rely on others. We need them to provide food, shelter, safety, and the right environment for us to grow and achieve our potential. Some of us receive more support than others. Some of us thrive better than others. But as we get older we have to learn to make the best decisions and choices that suit us and the way we want to progress in the world. Making the wrong choices, either to please others, or because we feel that we ought, benefits no one long-term. Becoming an independent, functioning human being is the most worthwhile outcome we can hope for ourselves. – Making our own choices and decisions is an important part of being independent. Sometimes we may make the wrong choices, but those are often the experiences in life which are the most valuable. The times when we learn the most, the situations that teach us a lot. – Knowing ones own mind and developing independent thought, which is expressed in a courteous, respectful way is an important skill. Being independent means sometimes agreeing with others and their opinions, and sometimes disagreeing. This approach can lead to interesting conversations, discussions and debates which encourage independent thought and add value to lively interactions. – Standing on ones own feet is important. Knowing that one can function well either in or out of a relationship is invaluable. Then if a potential new relationship comes along it will add to their quality of life rather than define who the person is. Some people are so fearful of being without a relationship that they stay in a bad one until a new person comes along. They never discover how capable they are as a person in their own right. – Having ones own money is often valued by independent people. They do not have to ask for an allowance and can pay their own way. They value not being beholden to others, and being able to do simple things like buying gifts without a second thought. – Maintaining ones own home is the ultimate in independent living. Some people choose to keep their own home even after they have committed themselves to a relationship. They may see it as an investment, part of their retirement plan, but it can also be regarded as an insurance policy in case their new relationship does not work out as planned. – Some people are wary of relationships. They may have been single for a long time, or may have been hurt or let down by an important relationship in the past. They may want...

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