You can get to a place in your career where you are asking yourself, “What’s the use?” Many things can get you to this question: an inability to affect what happens in your workplace, failure, frustration or obstacles you are not able to overcome. When this occurs – beware. At the point of feeling powerless, you are obviously not at your best.
If you find yourself asking, “What’s the use?” take some time to assess what has gotten you there. Remember that you are CEO of your career. You have some control over what happens. If something isn’t working for you, you know how to move on and make it better.
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A well-known quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca says “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” One way to establish the aim (and wind) to carry you forward is to identify what you hope to gain from your work in 2019. Are you looking for a promotion, satisfaction, monetary compensation, building skills, growth, being of service to others?
Ask yourself “What payoff am I going for this year?” In doing so, you will firmly set your aim and your plans will carry forward.
How are things moving along for you in the new year? Just right? Slow? At warp speed? It helps to focus on the type and level of momentum you want to create in 2019. In doing so, you set the pace of the year and, hopefully, ensure a productive and fulfilling one.
Momentum involves many aspects of your work, including the pace at which you work, the amount of work you handle and the direction you go in. Take a moment to look at the level of momentum you created in 2018. Then, set your sights on the new year and creating a level of momentum that works well for you. Before you know it, you’ll be in your “zone” and getting to where you want to be.
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In this time of polarity, sides are drawn and listening is not always an honored skill. How would our workplace interactions be different, if all viewpoints were welcomed and valued?
For one, we’d have access to a variety and diversity of ideas. We would be more sensitive to and, possibly, understanding of each other. We could synthesize ideas and come up with more creative and sustainable approaches.
With all viewpoints welcome, perhaps we could change our world. ☺
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Our world seems defined by polarity these days. Opposites are not exactly attracting. The constructive answer to polarity is to get through it.
Do you see examples of polarity on a day-to-day level? You do our world a service, if you find ways to get through it to harmony.
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My Mom was a Rosie The Riveter during World War II in southern California. You know the motto: “We Can Do It!”
How does a “can-do” attitude fit into your work life? Has it been stifled by work cultures that discourage creativity and individual initiative? Has it been encouraged by those who realize the power of empowering workers? A “can-do” attitude serves you well. If you do not have many opportunities to cultivate it – find some.
A can-do attitude is contagious and leads you to opportunities you will never find by standing still.
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Expect: to consider probable or certain
Expectations are natural. Our experiences and attitudes lead us to a sense of what will occur in situations, before we actually encounter them. They can have an undue influence on how we engage in a situation, however. Have you had an experience where your expectations of a situation were proven wrong or got you into trouble?
The first step in dealing effectively with expectations is to be aware of them. How about taking a challenge to spend a day with no expectations? Of course, you may have some, but you consciously put them aside and enter situations in a neutral state of mind. This way, you are fully in the present moment and can act according to whatever the situation presents. It could be a powerful way to build awareness of your expectations. Are you game?
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What are you doing right now? Being present in every moment gives you major advantages. Fully in a moment you have a clear picture of what is happening, can act when it matters and be at your best. What allows you to be fully present in a moment? Calmness, focus, discipline? What brings you away from the present moment? Stress, distraction, avoidance?
Cultivate your ability to be fully present and make the most of now!
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There are many circumstances and times in your career when it behooves you to ask, “How far can I go?” By asking this question, you assess your chances of success in what you are doing. Say a co-worker or manager has crossed a boundary with you. When you ask this question it helps you consider what reactions and responses you could receive as you protect your boundaries.
This question also has relevance in relationship to your independence and creativity. What are the lines you cannot cross in your organization’s culture? If you find yourself restricted and are not able to go as far as you like, perhaps some reflection is called for on whether the culture you are in is right for you.
It would be great if you lived in a world with no limits. However, limits do exist – some are imposed arbitrarily and some with good reason. Ultimately though, you are the one who answers the question, “How far can I go?”
What does it take for you to be “on point”? Being on point increases your influence, productivity, self-confidence and effectiveness.
There is a lot in our world that can pull you off point. These things can be: creating distractions, unsettled emotions, stress and anxiety, poor preparation, being tired, losing focus, being late, falling into dull routine or disliking what you are doing.
Keep yourself on point by being aware of what you need to be at your best!
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