Category: career

What are you choosing to pay attention to?

If there is a sudden loud sound, your awareness will immediately focus there. Your inner thoughts can capture your attention in a slightly different, yet still commanding, way. They too get pulled toward what distracts us most. Unlike an external loud noise where we identify the source and then move on, with internal loud noise, it is often difficult to steer your focus away from the hypothetical issue, which quickly turns into worry.   

Thoughts have weight – they can pull you down.  Thoughts have height – they can lift you up.  Thoughts have length – they can last a lifetime.   What direction are you allowing your thoughts to take you?

Worry is, sadly, an inevitability of life.  However, worry is rarely productive – so it’s crucial you not allow yourself to sit in that state for long.  Treat those thoughts just like an external loud sound- identify its source, release it from your memory and move on. 

Every time you’re pulled into unproductive thoughts, that’s the precise moment you need to relax and release.  Here is how:

  • Identify the thought – Is it good or bad?
  • Observe how it makes you feel – Optimistic or pessimistic?
  • Dispute the thought – Does this thought serve me well?
  • Come up with an alternative (and more accurate) way of looking at what happened.

Now you know…

“I did then what I knew how to do.  Now that I know better, I do better.” -Maya Angelou

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What do you see?

What about work has been weighing most heavily on your mind? 

Maybe it is a challenge, a change, or a struggle you find yourself in.  Now hold that thought and pause for a moment.  Reflect on it. 

If you are like the rest of us, human, then your answer was fixated on limitations and/or obstacles.  Rather than feeling a sense of progress, you feel stuck – Right?

“We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe.” –  Don Miguel Ruiz

What a profoundly simple yet simply profound concept.  Whatever it is that weighs most on your mind, just observe the situation without trying to solve it.  Silence the analytical judging mind so you can be in a state of wonder and curiosity.  Your focus begins to shift away from the obstacles and towards possible opportunities. Right?   

Always know that every dip and rise in the roller coaster of life holds opportunities.  You just need to tell yourself so – because, you see what you want to see. 

The goal of this message is to give you something more useful than answers…the ability to arrive at your own answers. Life will always have uncertainties and challenges.  The key to thriving, both personally and professionally, lies in what you choose to see in such trying moments.      

You are able.  You are capable. 

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Want to become highly resilient and super happy?

It’s summer!

A magical season where us northerners come out of winter hibernation (being indoors) and soak up the sun.  Whether you prefer a trip to the mountains or a trip to the beach, we tend to view the next several months as a time to recharge ourselves.

 

CAUTION:  Summer is temporary.  Being resilient and able to recharge yourself should not be.

 

 

Here is my challenge:  Right now, invest less than 20 minutes, pull up and watch two short videos.  The links are below…

I can guarantee that these will forever change how you recharge for resilience and happiness.

Will you accept this challenge?

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How many hours will you work in a lifetime?

A quick Google search will reveal that we can expect to spend 90,360 hours on the job, working.  That is 1/3 of our lives!  How do you spend each of those hours?  Are you engaged in what you do?  Another Google search, and you will find that 70% of U.S. employees are not engaged by their jobs.  The scary fact is that 7 in 10 people are exhausting 1/3 of their lives slogging into a job feeling stuck on a treadmill of emptiness.  Sounds nonsensical, right?

While there are numerous aspects to fulfilling work that engages our hearts and minds, I pose that it boils down to one essential factor – purpose.  The desire for purposeful work is a fundamental human need.  It is a need just like love and belonging.  When we lack a sense of purpose in our jobs we disengage; we join the masses stuck on that treadmill of emptiness.

steps

First step:

My advice is that you start infusing your work with purpose immediately!  Identify with your company’s mission.  If you can’t or don’t then it is time to seek out a truer calling (employer/job).  A role that has you working towards a big picture.  One that brings fulfillment to you and the many others your job will impact.

Second step:

If you DO identify with your organization’s overreaching mission…Take two minutes each afternoon to think of one purposeful moment you had that day. If you do this for a month you will find that you are doing more things everyday that bring you purpose and that you also come to appreciate them more and more.

Know that the possibilities of creating purpose in your work/job are vast and growing.  Start with the big picture (mission) then work backwards tying meaning to every task.

Make that 1/3 of your life worthwhile…make it count…start today what you should have started yesterday…ACT!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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I welcome you joining my tribe on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

 

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Make your current job a DREAM job!

“Your job comprises a set of building blocks that you can reconfigure to create more engaging and fulfilling experiences at work.” – Harvard Business Review, June 2010

refocusThink about the lens through which you view those less favorable tasks of your job. We all have them!  Rest assured in the fact that there is a way to make these necessary “to do’s” more meaningful and intrinsically rewarding.

How? 

Choose a new outlook!  Look at those less favorable tasks and begin to consider how to incorporate your own unique personality/strengths into them.  Often it is not the task itself that’s daunting, but rather the way you view it.

Take for instance the many phone calls experienced each workday…

Sales calls – Scrap the idea of them being “sales” calls, and instead approach them as learning calls.  After all, the intent is to inquire, gather facts, and build rapport – sales will be the by-product.

Whether it be incoming or outgoing phone calls, don’t be nerve racked, just change the way you look at them.  See each call as a pursuit of learning about the other person.  After all, have you ever heard of anyone getting in trouble for being a “good listener?”

It is important to successfully execute even those less favorable work activities (ring-ring-ring).  Now you know how to make them meaningful and intrinsically rewarding.  You simply just choose the lens through which you view them, whatever they may be!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

 

 

 

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Pay attention to your attention!

Pay attention to your attention! – Really that is not a typo!

To achieve our goals and dreams, the ability to harness our power of attention is critical. This has never been truer than in modern time.  Our ability to focus is constantly impeded by pop-up notifications, alerts, texts, emails, and so on.  Each one threatening to hijack us away from the task at hand and derailing our forward progress to success.

Fortunately, attention is a skill; and like any skill it can be strengthened.  You simply need to pay attention to your attention.  Consciously choose where to direct your efforts and take back control. pay attentionHere are some tactics for winning the war on distraction:

  • Each morning jot down your “focus” list. Set multiple reminders for referencing it.
  • Do less, then obsess.
  • Push back against distractions as they arise.

In any moment, we can choose to be successful by giving our 100% focus to the most essential tasks at hand.  Be mindful, be deliberate, and always be strengthening the power of your attention.  Distractions will begin losing their power and you will be on a straight track towards achieving those goals and dreams.

You got this…take charge of your attention!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

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You have options – work hard or work smart?

 “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and I can move anything.”  – Greek mathematician Archimedes

That’s working smarter – that’s quality activity!

smart kidLet’s apply this concept to a modern-day project.  Imagine this scenario, you must move a heavy piece of old furniture out of your garage and to the curb.  You have options – work hard or work smart!

One scenario, working hard, would be to solicit a group of friends/family to tackle this project with you.  This would entail having to select and contact multiple people, coordinate a date and time among their varying schedules, and (if you are a good friend) providing some adult beverages afterward for their effort.  This is a perfectly viable option that will provide the desired result, yet it requires a lot of steps.

Another scenario, working smart, call that one friend or family member who owns a dolly and ask to borrow it.  Then you can do the job yourself and save those coveted adult beverages for the remainder of the weekend.  Another option producing the same result but this one demands far less time, energy, and effort – and keeps the fridge well stocked for the weekend.

Admittedly parts of every job will have tasks we can’t just eliminate.  Still, most jobs do have parts we can combine, delegate, or remove.  Ask yourself, “What existing activities of little value should we eliminate?  What existing activities of high value should we increase? What new activities of high value should we create?” 

Reflect on the questions posed above then take action!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

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“Work smarter not harder.” – Duh!

The way we approach annual goals, meaning our specific work practices as opposed to sheer effort, does indeed provide greater results.  Think about those goals you have previously identified for the year.  Are you making forward progress?  Is your pace of progress on track?

Confined only by walls you buildWith the mid-year mark approaching, circle back on those goals and key activities being engaged.  Are you working harder? Smarter?  Neither? Both?

If you find yourself working harder, be aware!  You are spread too thin and falling into the complexity trap.  Thus, working smarter holds great truth.  Confirm that you have clear direction, reclarify your goals, and literally focus on “fewer” activities.

The smart way to work is literally “do less, then obsess.”  By no means does this imply slacking off – quite the contrary.  Author of Great at Work, Moten Hanson, sums it up perfectly – “As few as you can, as many as you must.”  By this he means we should do everything possible to discard non-essential activities.  Take the fewest steps – while retaining everything necessary to do great work.  Rather than “do more, then stress” we should “do less, then obsess.”

Reconfirm those goals.  Recognize the most critical activities needed.  Invest huge efforts into each activity and obsess over them!

What will you obsess about?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

 

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Visualize this…

What does a successful tomorrow look like for you?  No really, what does it look like?

VisualizeThe most successful athletes and business people can tell you. They take the time to actually visualize success of their next goal.  Do you ever take the time to visualize what a successful tomorrow will look like for you?  You should – it’s a great exercise!

And once you have that picture in your head, you’ll see that you start planning to make it happen.  It’s just the natural progression of how your mind will flow.  That picture of “success”, whatever it might be, becomes your goal, and one that you don’t want to fall short of.  So, close your eyes – picture success for tomorrow – and start mapping out how you will achieve that success!

Mentally rehearsing success is both easier and more difficult than it sounds: easier because the ability to do so is entirely within your control; more difficult because it requires discipline and perseverance.

Your thoughts matter.  Give more attention to this practice.  Make it your morning routine.

No matter what your goals are for tomorrow, if you want to increase the chances of success, give   visualization a shot.

What dream/goal/ambition will you start with?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

 

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Behind Goal? Channel your inner-infant self!

Do you ever find yourself struggling to make progress on a goal – what do you do?  Act like an infant! …metaphorically speaking.

infante walkingGoals are meant to be big.  They are meant to take time; yet too often we outpace ourselves early on which can be detrimental to overall success.  Ambition turns into defeatism as we begin telling ourselves the finish line is out of reach.  This is precisely the moment where we must act like an infant, because all infants are successful!

“When you were still a small child, you made your way around the world crawling on your hands and knees. Everyone else was walking, and one day you got into your little head that maybe you could give that a try to. Once that thought appeared, there was suddenly no “maybe” about it: you had to give it a try.  There was no way you were not going to attempt it, fail at it, and then keep attempting it until you mastered it.  Step-by-step, quite literally, we started working to develop the skills needed to walk.” – Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Could you imagine if you gave up when you were an infant?  Today you’d be crawling around on your hands and knees as a grown adult.  Of course you didn’t give up then – and you shouldn’t today either!

Embody the relentless determination you had when learning to walk.  Approach your goals moment to moment.  Like learning to walk you should expect to fall.  And just as you did when you were an infant, you get back up and keep working at it.

You first had to learn to crawl before you could walk.  Similarly, you must break down annual goals into smaller (more manageable) milestones.  Begin with a walking pace  towards your goals; and before you know it, you will be running towards the finish line.

This is the power of continuous effort…this is the power of acting like an infant!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page and/or check out my twitter handle @JimCarchidi

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