" He Who is Afraid of Asking is Afraid of Learning... " ~ (Danish Proverb)

Being Productive Amidst Frenzy (Productivity Series, 2012 )

It’s easy to be productive when you do not have a care in the world, are fully rested and nothing is overwhelming nor aggravating you. But what happens when you have work to do, demands to be met and are just not able physically or mentally to accomplish them? Are you confused, overwhelmed and not sure where to begin? Are you unable to decide if you are confused? Then, you probably are confused…

This is where planning becomes your best friend and worst enemy. A plan allows you to see what you need to do and cycle through each item/step robotically. That said, if you’re not in a completely coherent nor efficient state of mind, the plan could also resemble a trap from which there is no out.

I’ve discovered a few tips which help when overwhelmed and unsure how to get anything done…

  1. Create a list – You have heard it here before. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Regardless of whether you stick absolutely to the plan, it allows you a bar from which to come in under or over safely.
  2. Prioritize the list – Particularly when you feel like you cannot do anything, allow yourself to prioritize the one thing you can do…realizing that if certain things do not get done, you – and many others – will survive.
  3. Tackle the list according to priority, one item at a time – Harvard Business Review expert – turned Energy Project founder – and the CEO every other CEO wants to know, Tony Schwartz, has advice for us all in a world of overwhelming demand. According to Tony, the brain is not designed to do multiple cognitive things at a time. Lower quality, higher personal costs and overall sloppiness are the results.

    So, what does Tony recommend?

    • Determine in advance what needs to be done (i.e., plan…) and tackle each item individually and with focus
    • Understand how your body and mind work
    • Do not demand constant responsiveness…of yourself AND others. All this does is reduce the likelihood you will be productive
    • Encourage renewal
  4. Listen to your gut – If you could only accomplish one thing today, or this week, what would it be? Putting guilt aside and assuming you have the luxury to choose, what could you do to make you feel like you have done something although it’s not everything? Most of the time, that is better than nothing….
  5. Get some air and move about – Whether a short walk, a brisk run, time at the gym, or just sticking your head out of a window – your thoughts will clear enough for you to move forward in ways bigger than you previously imagined.

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

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Image Courtesy of
: Blast Your Project

Evernote is for Everyone! (Productivity Series 2012)

So thus far in 2012, as my year-long quest toward re-defining the limits of productivity continues, I’ve theorized about giving yourself a break in order to move forward and about the upside of trial and error. But now, I thought I would stop for a moment, and interject something practical – as opposed to theoretical musings…

Organization is definitely my thing. But, recently I realized that organization ≠ productivity. Imagine my disappointment and horror.

Regardless of how organized I am, I still risk not being productive if I do not have the correct organizational and productivity tools to use (and the knowledge) to use them. This also requires me to assuage my technophobia and embrace all things ‘i’, ‘cloud’ and ’smart.’ Enter the iPhone, iPad and iCloud. Still a PC user at heart, I needed some help to determine how to take all of the various bits of knowledge, research and reminders and make them accessible to me anywhere, anytime and in a format that made sense.

It’s taken months to finally make my Dell laptop speak to my iPhone and both of those to speak to my iPad. Enter: 3 different email addresses, 3 calendars, 2 sets of contacts, different categories of notes and reminders, apps and programs – and we have all just entered a technological abyss. That is, unless, you – like me – happen to know someone who is blessed with the technology gene and could make the whole integration seamless and painless, putting the fun back into functional!

HOWEVER, all that said, I am proud to admit that I made a discovery of my own!!! It has changed not only the way I organize information, but how I organize my brain. And, unlike custom closets or shoe racks or garage shelf built-ins, the brain is a far more chaotic space much in need of spatial compartmentalization. Let me introduce you toEVERNOTE.

Perhaps you have already discovered this wonderful utility, and maybe not. Even if you have, perhaps like me, you learn new things about it every day.

Did you know that, with Evernote, you can:

  1. Download the program onto your PC or MAC (in addition to the Evernote app for iPhone and iPad, of course)? So, you are not just limited to using Evernote on a smart device.
  2. SYNC the notes you enter (whether entering them on your computer, phone or tablet) so that they’re accessible to you anytime, anywhere? This is huge – unlike other similar “note” programs, which are local, you do not have to wait until you get home to complete that note or add to it or email yourself appendages.
  3. You can create NOTEBOOKS. This is what I call organizational utopia. I can have a notebook which contains all of my notes of inspiration, another notebook with notes pertaining to past, present or future blog entries, another with notes for each room in my house, notebooks for Pro and Con lists, etc., etc., etc. The possibilities are endless.
  4. You can create To-Do lists
  5. And, last, but certainly NOT least. You can not only tag your notes but then SORT by these tags. Say, for example, that you are an avid reader of investment articles and blogs online. And you like to make notes on each one or create lists of websites to which you’d like to refer back. You can tag each note by the investors the article mentions or the opinions stated therein, and then SEARCH back by these tags. All of a sudden, you see everything that you ever read which mentioned Warren Buffet and have a virtual bucket of Buffet. Similarly, I could create a notebook for each project I am tracking, each with its own notes, tags and to-do lists. All of which are easily searchable and would allow me to pin my finger on any type of milestone, date or project deliverable I needed!

Clearly, these are only my observations thus far, and there must be many other uses, tips and tricks for this wonderful program. Insert your own topics or areas that need organizing and the list goes on and on. I look forward to exploring them all. And, if you have not tried Evernote yet, do!

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

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The Steve Jobs’ Effect

Trial and Error…Trial and Error…Trial and Error… (Productivity Series, 2012)

It’s difficult for anyone of us to stay on task, sometimes. Staying motivated, productive and upbeat takes a strong dose of discipline, positive self-talk and balance. Even if your strides have been moving steadily and momentum is helping you along. One small setback, unexpected brain lapse, moment of exhaustion, or negative voice (your own or another’s) is all it will take to stop your pace and freeze you in place. Then we wonder, is it really going to happen? Is it worth it? What’s wrong with what I am doing? Why is this all so hard?

I have been a contributor on the implementation of a new CRM (customer-relationship-management) system as part of a larger project with which I am involved. The system is robust and has many fine attributes. It’s also brand new, and does not work intuitively in most cases. What was supposed to be made easier is now more complex, and what was flawed but work-able before is now simply foreign. We’re forced to rely on each other and many external resources to move us forward, shed light on complexities, provide us with new methods to test, and try again..and again, and again.

Needless to say, no one is able to move as fast as necessary in this won’t-slow-down world in which we live and work; and as quickly as we move forward, we have to stop and rewind to determine why something failed. Efficient? Maybe not. Part and parcel of learning and experiencing a new way of doing things. Why yes, indeed.

We can (and do) get very frustrated with this CRM system. We submit copious numbers of trouble tickets and wait for the Gods of technical support to shine the solutions down on us so we can test the solution, then – resume the swift speed at which we feel we should be moving, and doing, and accomplishing.

Our only choice during this implementation has been to try, and try again..and again, and again. And, eventually it does work. Issues are fixed or we find acceptable work-arounds. The process takes time, but eventually, we do end up right where we needed and need to be. So, even when we feel at our least productive – it is in the patience and the process that our solution and ultimate productivity reside.

And, too, our goals and dreams may take longer than we wish. When resolutions do not appear instantly and people do not behave exactly as we think they should, we panic that the paint will dry while we are in the middle of creating the masterpiece that is our life. Yet, if everything went along exactly as planned, at the speed we believe we need, we would never stop to learn the lessons along the way nor meet the people who show up to help us learn them. Life, too, is about trying again..and again, and again.

Our primary source of success is not speed, despite what we might think. It’s the unwillingness to give up nor give in. Solutions do lie ahead if you’re patient and persistent enough to follow the course and all that it shows you along its path.

What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!” ~Alfred Adler

Special thanks to my dear friend, JH, for always showing me ways to not sweat the small stuff and that it’s ok to keep trying…again, and again.

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

So here it is, 2012…(Productivity Series, 2012)

So here it is, 2012, and I’ve been anxious to launch my ” Productivity Series” of blog posts. Yet, as I sat down to write, the only thing I could focus on was my past several weeks of waiting and resting (translate: non-productivity). By default, and not design, I’d just been through 3 weeks of doing a whole lot of nothing. R & R, except one of the ‘R’s was missing. I quickly learned that ‘ not doing’ is NOT synonymous with ‘ relaxing .’

I’d been under the weather and forced to come to a complete halt. I tried planning projects I could tackle during the downtime, priorities I could finally shoot to the top of my list. For a planner like me, even my downtime needed to be accounted for. But, it simply wasn’t to be…

I had no choice other than to STOP DOING. My brain simply could not, would not shut off. I kept thinking of all of the personal projects I could ( translate ‘ should ‘) be working on, given this unusual and prime downtime. Shame on me if I did not take advantage !!! So many things I’d been putting off, so many personal development resources at my fingertips; if I did not complete some and begin on all, I’d begin 2012 feeling lazy, unproductive, behind the eight ball, weak and doomed to fail. I chastised my brain for being foggy, and would not let myself off the hook. I even tried to start back officially working and meeting personal commitments before my health would agree, because the calendar said the holidays were over; I was met with disaster, disappointing others with my poor results and sending mixed signals that I could, when – trust me – I could not.

Roughly one month later, and after the proverbial fog has passed, I notice myself with a greater strength and clarity than I’ve had in quite a while. Although my task list was left unattended, and part of “the old” me still wishes I had gained greater ground, I may just have gotten more accomplished by allowing myself to do nothing at all.

I’d ended 2011 hardened, exhausted, and generally tough on the inside and out. Fighting against a self-imposed timeline and working under constraints that no one else was measuring except me. Having had [forced] time to decompress, my mind, heart and intuition are slowly beginning to come together and listen to each other’s signals. With time comes patience and with patience comes clarity. With clarity, I choose to believe that my task list will magically prioritize itself; and I can begin 2012 with far more personal power and anticipated productivity than I would have otherwise, even if I’d spent all 3 weeks mapping out goals. Just maybe, giving myself a break instead of pushing forward aimlessly, is a very appropriate beginning to the productivity posts, after all…

Well, fancy that.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be. ~ Douglas Adams

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

Three Words for 2012 (via www.justinrlevy.com)

A simply awesome concept – MUST READ for 2012!!!

Although I recently “unresolved” to do many a thing heading into 2012 – I wanted to share a most inspiring and intelligent blog post citing “three words” to lead into the year – from a a fellow blogger and someone whose accomplishments and work ethic I admire greatly.

Thank you, Justin Levy for this wonderful blog to start out the new year and for the cross reference to my article on work-life balance as well. Honored to be in such company.

Via Justin Levy

It’s that time of the year again where we look at the new year full of vigor and motivation, ready to take on everything that the upcoming year has to offer. However, it’s so easy to get bogged down and sidetracked from accomplishing our goals that by the time we look up again, the year has already escaped us.

This is why for the past few years I’ve joined Chris Brogan and several other friends in choosing three words that will serve as my guiding pillars for the upcoming year. These three words will help me to accomplish the goals that I have set out for myself, both professionally and personally. Read More….

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

My New Year’s UNResolutions

I’ve realized that there is a distinct difference between planning and resolving. Planning is helpful to get your to-dos, wish list or goals in order. Plans can change, and most often do. Resolutions, on the other hand, imply some level of absolutism – one can infer that to veer from a resolution made is to fail or to have lost the willpower needed to achieve.

So, if I must make any “resolution” for 2012, it would be to NOT make any. Taking that concept one step further, I’d also like to suggest a few things I plan (translate: unresolve) to do:

  1. I refuse to believe any longer that writing down my expenses equates to ” budgeting.” This, perhaps, is the biggest lie I have ever told myself . Tracking what you spend and where is useful, so if you have to start somewhere – start there. But, please, set some limits ( ie, ” budget ” ) in your primary spending categories and be honest with yourself if you don’t stay within these parameters. If nothing else, awareness of your spending habits will increase and you’ll permit yourself the conscious choice of working to support your spending -or- working to meet your basic expenses. BIG difference.
  2. I unresolve to get so hot and bothered about things over which other people don’t seem to be losing sleep. I can’t solve the world’s problems, nor can I make everyone’s work ethic the same as my own. I can, however, set my own standards, measure myself against these, and let go ( translate: walk away) when others’ choices, behaviors or timelines are outside of my control. I’m really hoping to conserve some emotional and mental energy with this unresolution.
  3. For as disciplined and focused as people believe I am, I erred on the side of scattered and unfocused at times throughout 2011. So, I am moving toward less multi- tasking and more focused prioritization. PS: I’m learning that means minimizing distractions, too; so, don’t take it personally if I tell you ” not right this second, but how about –:– time, instead?” That way, I hope to manage my interruptions so they don’t manage me.
  4. Last year this time, I took a goal-setting seminar. I could not tell you one goal I “set” in that 7 hour workshop nor if any were achieved. Since then, and thanks to some brilliant people I’ve met along the way in 2012, I will continue to set goals using new and improved techniques. But more important than even the goals themselves will be the daily or weekly check-in to gauge where I’m at on the goal continuum and what I need to adjust. Goals are like finish-line flags, set in place to give you a marker to aim for. Either you wave it down when you reach it and shout ‘Victory’ or you decide to move the flag and adjust your path as life proceeds.
  5. And, lastly, on my list of “unresolutions,” I will be more positive when talking to MYSELF. Like it or not, life plays tricks on your mind; and although all bad things do come to an end, some of us relive them every day in the negative thought patterns these experiences leave behind. “It has been demonstrated that nearly 90% of our thoughts are negative…and these nasty little beasts can be even more powerful than positive thoughts because we often find them easier to accept.” * So, more so than merely repeating positive affirmations a la Stuart Smalley, I choose to use positive thoughts to challenge those automated negative ones and become MORE aware of my thoughts and words in everyday life.

Wishing You Success in 2012,
N
atalya

* Excerpted from www.vitalaffirmations.com

Consultant v. Employee- When the Two Worlds Collide

For the past 25 months, I have felt like a traitor, hypocrite and schizophrenic. Why, you might ask?

Well, I thought I became a consultant in June 2005; but, that is also when my former employer became my most important client, and I remained an employee. If you are confused, then welcome to my world. :)

I would (and continue to) work tirelessly to maintain my commitments to my former (translate current ) employer, deliver the best work possible, ensure that the only work I do is defined within individual project compartments and that each project continues to swim along wavelessly. Then, I would come home and figure out ways to continue to define my [separate] consulting identity through article and bookwriting, twitter and blog updates and professional associations to grow my network and build future possibilities. Needless to say, the days have been long and tiring. But, after a while I realized that the work was not tiring me out – the identity crisis was!

What was I anyways, an employee or a consultant? Both? Neither?

Then, I happened upon an article entitled “The Project Manager Consultant.” in PM Voices, an online magazine published by the Project Management Institute.

Aside from the article’s author, Jim DePiante PMP , speaking my language and describing my life, he sent me a subliminal message that it’s ok to NOT fall inside one box or another, that what I might define as the “only” way something can be (ie employee OR consultant) – somewhere, someone else in the world is doing the exact same thing as me but defining it differently and without judgement!

What matters most is not what or even how you do what you do, but rather – WHY…because you enjoy it, learn and grow from it, help others along the way, make a good living, and open doors to what might follow…

So, herein begins my journey to UNdefine what I do and just do it…

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

Lessons From My Father

Happy Father’s Day to a man whom the world looks up to and seeks for advice, yet we have the privilege and blessing of calling him “DAD”.

Almost two years into writing this blog, I only just realized – firsthand- that history does, indeed, repeat itself. I grew up under the “reign” of a father who guided, protected and provided for us as children, and who has had virtually every ounce of advice we have needed as adults. There was never a school report, standardized exam nor professional problem that could not be addressed in his library at home- leaving no need to seek external resources and making short work of bibliographies, when all we needed to do was quote one man. So today, when so many ask me for advice and I give it sometimes hesitantly – questioning what worth my words might have and sometimes begrudgingly- when I am strapped for time, I realize that it would be a privileged legacy to continue in my father’s footsteps and impart even half the help and wisdom he has given to many over his lifetime.

And, his words:

  • On Forgiveness… “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”
  • On Adversity… “Adversity is the best teacher.”
  • On Generosity… “The best measure of generosity is your time freely given to others…”
  • On Gratitude… “Never expect nor look for gratitude.”
  • On Children… “The best education you can give a child is by the example you set and not the lectures you give.”

Special thanks and credit to those who compiled and published the short book, WISDOM from a Family…by the Children of Abdou and Linda Sabga, 2009 – from which the above quotes were excerpted.

The Downside of Overconfidence

Sometime ago, in a post far far away, the subject of expectations came up…but it did not cover expectations’ evil twin, over-confidence.

Even “I Dream of Jeannie” had an evil twin, Sabrina. :)

Now, please don’t misunderstand me – Confidence is GOOD. Planning, preparation, knowledge, and experience should all contribute to a sense of confidence and expectations for success. Confidence propels us to take action, to put our training to use. Those attributes are the “good angel” sitting on your left shoulder. However, let us not forget who is sitting on the right shoulder -the devil…IS in the details.

Paradoxically, while some may feel that overconfidence is a signal of success – in fact, it is most often attributed to weakness and, yes, even failure!

Let’s examine a case of overconfidence on a project:

You begin a new project which closely resembles many others you have handled in the recent past. You’re familiar with requirements, have extensive knowledge of what it will take to get it done and are well-acquainted with all of your stakeholders. What could possibly go wrong? You certainly know what to do and how to do it, and the project proceeds according to scope and schedule. Then, all of a sudden, your engine goes on autopilot and you involuntarily close your eyes (metaphorically). Like sneezing behind the wheel of your car. All of a sudden, you don’t negotiate the space between you and the car in front of you and wham! You CRASH. The project still required your full attention; yet, by not concentrating on it fully, the opportunity for oversight therefore now exists.

Enter our friend, risk. Regardless of how well-versed you are in an area, unexpected things do happen. Yes, unforeseen changes can happen. They usually do happen. So, even when situations or projects appear to be easy and predictable, do not rest on your laurels nor reservoir of experience. It’s no time to “rest”. In fact, the stakes are higher and change may be just around the corner.


Remember that when things are easy, you are expected to win. ~ An ‘INTJ’

We are human and it is easy to make mistakes, despite years of experience or vast training to guard against error. So, successful outcomes are as much about managing expectations (your own and others’) as about balancing confidence.

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

Image courtesy of – http://www.despair.com/overconfidence.html

Manage Expectations or Expect to be Managed

In a recent post, I spent some time on change management..which led me to thinking…what happens to our expectations when change happens?

Ex*pec*ta*tion (noun), as defined by Merriam Webster, is the act, state or basis for expecting.

So, what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that if you have expectations, you expect something! Whether the expectation is well-defined, rational, or realistic is entirely another layer which we will get to…

Expectations can be both unconscious and inadvertent as well as overt and cognitive. What we do with these expectations often spells out their positive or negative impact.

If you are a project manager, you are trained to handle the effects of change on project scope, schedule, time or resources and manage project outcomes to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations; since all projects are different to some degree, a project manager must exert conscious effort to learn and earn a flexible toolbelt which can be used to deliver positive project results – regardless of how far reality veers from initial expectation. “Change Control,” a documented tool in the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 4th ed., is defined as “how a PM deals with changes to the project plan.” In other words, an actual tool has been created so that PMs can stay in control of the change.

Managing to change takes experience and skills. Now, imagine if you are not aware that expectations need to be managed! Consider the employer which straddles the fence of changing business needs and employee skills’ adjustment, or the employee who feels as though they can customize their position instead of staying within the one for which they were hired. I don’t even think that works for employees at Build-A-Bear-Workshop! Take also into account the millions of teenagers who get in serious trouble for a messy room, yet were never taught that they were expected to keep it clean or how….

These circumstances, faced by employee and employer or parent alike, can be both predictable and thoroughly manageable…given the right expectations

Manage Expectations or Expect to be Managed…~David Alev

It really is that simple; thank you, Mr. Alev! In his consulting practice, Alev goes further to state that “expectations are your vision of a future state or action, usually unstated but which is critical to your success.” The operative words being “critical to your success.” I have seen one too many an employer who expects employees’ skillsets to be as flexible as gumby and malleable as taffy when new management comes in or roles need to redefined. Subsequently, you have a team stretched to its limit with low morale and a lot of confusion. I have also known an employee or two whose actual job duties become buried far beneath their expectations of what their job “could” be. Subsequently, they swim in a pool of frustration – losing sight of a job they could actually do well if they simply level set their own expectations and understand the reality of the position. In either case, employer or employee, inaccurate expectations result in losses of productivity and increased levels of micromanagement. Then, everyone wonders why the opportunity to grow is further and further away.Parents can also relate when their attempts at disciplining their teenagers render them frustrated because they expect immediate results without gradual training and expectation-setting.

Project managing your life, career or a project is as much a philosophy you choose as it is a methodology you learn; and learning to expect change and manage expectations are keys to success.

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

“It’s Called Being Human”

I rarely make it home on time most evenings to watch the news. But, every so often, a person or story comes along that etches an image on my heart and mind. An image of hope amidst agony, faith against facts, and peace within turmoil.

Recently, no one has embodied this image more so than Elizabeth Edwards. Saddened not only by her untimely death, but especially by seeing someone leave Earth so early who was here to spread a message of selflessness, hope and peace.

…I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious.And for that I am grateful. ~ Elizabeth Edwards

Particularly now, as we end the year 2010 and reach for a glimpse into the future, it is only natural that we reflect on our biggest wins and most painful losses of the year – holding out hope to either live through the turmoil or expect something better in the next.

And yes, we are all human. We face difficulties, lose patience in a battle against pride, weaken in the face of adversity, and tire at the promise of more turmoil. In order to successfully experience the pain and welcome in the blessings, we must look beyond ourselves – to our faith, to our family, and to the enduring power of selfless compassion and love within us and around us – those things which really do make the world go around.

“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. ~ Elizabeth Edwards

Wishing You Success,
Natalya

The iNspired Series #4: What Would You Tell That Girl…?

So, for anyone who has been following the past three installments of my “iNspired Series” – you know by now that I had an epiphanous weekend thanks to the Inspiration University conference I recently attended. I had the opportunity to clear my head and reprogram my internal GPS, to empty my elevator, and continue holding my own space.

I also had the rare opportunity to hear from 3 very accomplished women and go “inside” their minds to discover what made them successful. And, of all the wisdom they shared – I remember only one thing. A young woman in the audience asking the panel: “If you were me [ a young professional] sitting in the audience, what would you tell that girl…?”

So, if asked the same question, my answers would be:

  1. YOU Can Do It – Even If They’re Doing It Now
    We all have to begin somewhere; for me it was as a secretary answering phones. And, by the time I was promoted 3 times over to eventually land in a project coordinator role, I had realized that what “they” were doing [i.e., those at the manager/director level] was simply a compilation of skills I had already learned or could easily learn with time.
  2. Do the Jobs No One Else Wants to or Can Do
    OH, I am the poster child for this – no job too big or small, above or below me. Don’t underestimate the amount and quality of information you can glean by photocopying a 500 page binder from the Legal office, nor what a big picture you can paint doing data entry for an annual budget template and discovering which programs really fund your paycheck. I could go on and on. I’ve done everything from the menial task of carrying water bottles in for training groups to monumentally impactful tasks such as coordinating over 20 SMEs and an entire company to respond to 100-page RFPs and win contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those who are MOST successful know the AtoZ because they were willing to start at A and build to Z, leaving those who only know Z at their mercy.
  3. YOU are Not Your Job
    The panel of women all acknowledged that they live full lives, where they contribute and excel in places other than the companies at which they work. In so doing, they were able to keep a perspective about their jobs, as well, for their worth was evidenced outside of the office. Regardless of the title on your business card, you must not be defined by it. I recall beginning a new job and feeling like the lowest wo[man] on the totem pole; however, after invoking my experience and skills for just a few short months I was being sought out as a decision-maker.

    So be confident about what you know not what your business card says!!! In a more evolved world, our business cards would reflect our strengths and contributions, not a title! ~ N

  4. Work Toward YOUR Goals and Overcome the Roadblocks
    So what if no one else thinks or performs like you do? Define YOUR personal best and work with the resources you have to achieve it. Don’t wait for a manager, VP or colleague to spoon feed you with solutions. Much like relationships, another person cannot “complete” us. Nor can any job. Not even the “perfect” job. So pursue that continuing education even if it won’t be acknowledged – it may make your job easier to do and you can take it with you wherever you go! Go the extra mile on a project because it reflects the quality you want to be associated with, regardless of any naysayers who take shortcuts.
  5. “A” is for Attitude
    Keeping a positive attitude and surrounding yourself with the same will make you a more strategic and effective contributor. Not everyone should or will share your views, but know your own truth, maintain a ‘can do’ attitude and overcome the roadblocks others’ perspectives and tactics place in your way.

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

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The iNspired Series #2: Holding a Space for Yourself

Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Ghandi

So, who among us has not hard that quotation? I always thought Obama said it, not Ghandi – so enter in epiphany #1! And, I never ventured beyond my own shallow interpretation of that statement until my recent time spent in a powerful seminar entitled “Your Life – Your Destiny” led by speaker and coach Wendi Blum*.

But what does it really mean?

Since high school I held close to me the notion that, regardless of success or failure rate, I would live according to my own belief system and moral compass and act accordingly. I feel this so strongly about this, in fact, that this premise provided the overarching theme for my book: From Secretary to CEO: A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Without Losing Your Identity..

But the reality of life is that you cannot control the events which occur nor the behaviors of those around you. Essentially, what you can control are your own behaviors and reactions. But there’s one other thing you can control, that is rarely acknowledged. You can choose the space in which you live and the vibrations which resonate from this space. Consider the combination of your personal beliefs, behaviors and people with whom you surround yourself as a bubble. You live within the circumference of this bubble. In a sense, this bubble is your “space.” A space you’re holding for yourself in the largess of the universe. And much like the effect of throwing a small pebble into a pond, there are resonant ripples (vibrations) which emit from this bubble.

Those resonant ripples may take the form of integrity, standing up for what you believe against popular opinion, doing the right thing, doing unto others, etc., etc. But most importantly, this space reflects the place where who you are and how you choose to live your life reside; where others’ enemies are not your enemies; where you can choose the things you say “NO” to every day; where you elect to invite in those who support your beliefs and strengthen your walk; and, most importantly, where you find happiness and contentment within yourself so that surrounding events/people/crises fail to remove your own inner glow.

And believe me, because I have seen it happen:


…Your vibrations from that space will change other’s vibrations as well. ~[paraphrased from] Wendi Blum

Wishing You Success,
N
atalya

* The concepts of “holding a space for yourself” and “vibrations” solely credited to Wendi Blum.

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