Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where could you be a contribution today?

Recently, I received an email with an amazing story about 10 ducklings and a quick-thinking employee. You may have read a version of this, so I'm attaching the link to the article that posted so you have the facts. As you read it, consider the impact this had on this employee, his coworkers, onlookers, and even people reading the story.

Now, we don't know what this guy's intention was when he went into work, but would you guess that he was thinking something like, "I've got to get my work done, I hate my job, etc."or "I wonder how I could be a contribution and have a great day today?"

I'd bet on the latter. Research in quantum physics is proving that what you think about affects what happens. Dr. Bruce Lipton, the Institute of HeartMath, and other experts are publishing studies on this. 

Do you head into work thinking about all the things on your to do list, the projects you're behind on, the meetings you need to attend, etc.?

What would happen if you walked into the office thinking, "What would it take for me to be a contribution and have a great day today?"

Pay attention and see what happens. It may look different than you think, but I'll bet interesting possibilities will show up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ready for a New Game?

What do you do when you can't find (or don't want to do) the type of work for which you're qualified?
What do you do when you feel like you don't fit in the current system and want out of the "rat race"?
What do you do when you don't want a "job" but need an income?
What do you do when you want to use your gifts and talents to make the world a better place but aren't sure how to do it?

We've been trained to play the game-- the game of work. But, the game isn't so fun any more for many people. Those who are working are doing more with less and are overwhelmed with the amount of work. Tighter budgets mean rewards like pay raises aren't even there to make it worth the payoff. As one employee said yesterday, "The reward is I get to keep my job and do more of this. Gee, thanks."

Most job search classes and advice focus on techniques for getting a job, which teaches you how to play the game well. Sure, it can be important to have a well-written resume, connect on LinkedIn, search for openings, network with other professionals, etc. But, the underlying assumption is, "If you do all the 'right' things, you'll end up where you want." Is that necessarily true?

If you're asking yourself any of the questions I asked at the beginning of this post, it sounds like you're ready for a new game. If so, I'm glad you're here! Instead of waiting for someone else to create a job opportunity for you, how about creating satisfying work yourself? This doesn't mean you have to run off and start your own business, although there are opportunities for that. But, it does mean recognizing your strengths, skills, and interests and aligning them with changing needs and knowing how to find or create opportunities that delight you. By the way, you can also create satisfying work right where you are by changing how you work to better fit your needs and support your goals.

Creating satisfying work is a different game. You have to let go of thinking there's a "right" way and instead find your way. That's why I'm here. I'll teach you how to do that so you can be healthy, enjoy your day, and feel good about your contributions to the world.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lessons from the Man with the Golden Voice

Did you see the story about Ted Williams, the homeless man with a golden voice whose life changed within hours because of a news dispatcher?

I thought I'd share it to inspire you to stay true to yourself and what your heart wants. If you want to create a satisfying livelihood, it can be frustrating and discouraging if things don't go as planned. You may have a dream or passion and be taking steps towards what you want, but the results you want haven't happened. You may be wondering, "What am I doing wrong?"

Maybe nothing. Because everyone and everything is interconnected, there's a timing of when and how your gifts and skills are needed to solve a problem or make a difference. Think of a basketball player who finally gets the ball in the last few seconds and makes the winning goal. Just like her, it doesn't mean you just sit around and do nothing while you're waiting for the moment. You've got to be alert and ready.

How? Here are a few reminders from Ted's story:

Be conscious. Are there any habits, actions or behaviors that interfere with your ability to be present, notice what's going on, and act with clarity?  Hopefully, you don't have an alcohol or drug problem to deal with; however, eating, shopping, watching TV, surfing the web, or doing tasks mindlessly are examples of ways to "check out" or escape what's going on, but the risk is missing opportunities.

Notice what you can do. Ted said when he was standing on street corners, he used his voice to imitate local radio stations and wish drivers a good day. He noticed they'd smile and come back to hear him again. Small steps, perhaps, but see how ready Ted was when the cameraman asked him to say something? He'd been practicing!

Patience. Because there is a timing to things coming together, you don't want to force something to happen that's out of sync. How you get what you want is just as important as what you achieve. So, just focus on what your heart wants and ask to be shown the next step.

Let go of expectations and outcomes. Do you think Ted imagined what would happen, that companies and basketball teams would be making him employment offers within days of seeing the video of him? Be open to possibilities about how your dream shows up, big or small.

Be grateful. When you appreciate what you've got and feel it from the heart, you attract more to you.

What reminders did you get from Ted's story?

P.S. The latest news about Ted and how he's handling his overnight success are not flattering, which provides another reminder. While you may think it would be great for your dreams to come true overnight, slower progress may be better for you. You learn how to handle success in small doses and stay grounded.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now, here's a cool idea! Ways to Meet Needs in Your Community

If you're looking for work or considering what's next in your career, it can be depressing looking online at what's available, especially if the job doesn't really interest or inspire you.

So, take some time to consider what's needed in your community.  What problems need to be solved? How could you use your gifts and skills to make a difference?

For example, here's a guy who came up with the idea of a tool share program that's starting in Boulder. Read his story in the Daily Camera newspaper.

A few weeks ago I was part of a panel with Ryan Ferrero, who was disillusioned by the auto industry he grew up in. Yet, he found a niche based on what's missing and created Green Garage. Ryan said their business model is based on education, so consumers can make personal choices based on values, cost, etc. Also, their goal is to help a lot of people a little, rather than relying on unnecessary sales. (e.g. Oil change guidelines of every 3 months or 3,000 miles is based on marketing, not science!) Elephant Journal did an article and review on Green Garage here.

While we're on the subject of cars, here's someone who started a "do it yourself" auto garage for people who like working on cars but don't have the space or tools at home.

What I notice about these ideas is that they're empowering people to help themselves, instead of outsourcing everything to specialists. They also help people save money, develop skills, and build community. Now, that's a cool idea!

If you see other cool ideas, please comment or email me. Do you have a cool idea? Where can your gifts and talents meet the needs of your community? Need help? Contact me & let's find your niche for satisfying, sustainable, work.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Forget the "right" way. Create YOUR way.

What would it be like if you could be free from fear? If you could let go of what no longer serves your best interest and be open to possibilities?

How could your gifts and talents be most helpful to your community because of who you are now?

What would it be like if you really let your light shine in the world and followed your heart?

These are the questions I ponder for myself and invite you to consider.

I don't want to teach you a "right" way to thrive at work, find a job, switch careers, etc. There is no correct way, despite all the books, articles, and other well-meaning advice.

When you try to do it a "right" way, you lose touch with your own intuition and creativity. It's harder to be inspired and take action when you're doing something somebody else said you "should" do.

But, if you get your mind out of the way and imagine being the thing you wish for, deep down, the next step appears. Take that step in faith, even though you don't know what will happen.

It reminds me of the scene near the end of the movie, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," where Indiana Jones is at the doorway that opens into the massive walled canyon. As he takes the step in faith, the hidden bridge appears. Whew!

Did you realize you're on an adventure? You're the hero in your life, and no one, including you, knows what's going to happen next or how it's going to turn out. It can be scary--- but also inspiring.

Your answers to the questions above can free up energy and help you focus on what you really want. That's your destination. Then, trust yourself and take a small step and see what happens.

Want some support? Contact me & let's talk about what you need to create satisfying, sustainable work-- naturally.

Everyday Practice to Create What You Want

A cool thing happened a week ago. I've been expanding my garden. As I was writing a note to my sister that read, "I want some wood chips to make pathways . . . ", I paused because I heard a chainsaw. Turns out, workers were chopping down a tree 2 doors down (hate to see that happen). But, they had a truck load of wood chips and said I could have them. They left the WHOLE LOAD in our driveway! Jackpot! :) I was thrilled, and that feeling translated into confidence and skill in creating what I want next.

If you want to create work that inspires you, let go of following all the "right" things to do. It doesn't work that way. The key is to focus on what your heart wants and pay attention to synchronicities and/or small steps you can take to move you closer to that. 

Use every day situations to develop your focus and skill. What do you want today? 

Gifts like the wood chips come along all the time if we are open to possibilities and take appropriate action.