So what is community? Dictionary.com (yes, there are other sites besides Wikipedia where you can find out stuff!) defines community in the following ways;
So what is community? Dictionary.com (yes, there are other sites besides Wikipedia where you can find out stuff!) defines community in the following ways;
I am dedicating this week’s blog to friend and colleague Troy Payne who has a story and message that will inspire us all. He is now using his experience to teach others about the amazing gift of resiliency! Here’s a little bit of his story.
The journey for ‘Out of the Darkness, into the Light’ began on ‘The Road to Resiliency’. This is the name of Troy’s keynote presentation and international bestselling book. Troy took the cards that life dealt him and turned them into opportunities to connect with and impact the lives of others. Abandoned, neglected, and abused as a child, his personal story of triumph over tragedy inspires people to overcome their adversities and find resilience. Music has been one of the tools he used to survive those painful years. Now he collaborates with high school students in performing rock concerts with a message called the ‘Rock’n Resiliency Projects’. As Troy gives his inspirational message of overcoming adversity, he and the band have been performing cover songs to compliment the storytelling. This has been a powerful way of teaching resilience.
Eventually the band no longer wanted to perform the songs of other artists and decided to begin writing their own music. Aside from Sorrow’s debut album release; Out of the Darkness, into the Light, is a consistent roots rock metal hybrid. Its primal sound depicts the struggles and adversities we are all faced with but also inspire hope, peace, and healing. Fans of Gun’s n Roses, Nickelback, and Pearl Jam will get into Aside from Sorrow. You can sample the entire album and even get a free song at www.wellnessrealization.net/album2
So in my little town, we have a little post office, and in that post office, on any given day, one can be treated to a floor full of litter, as depicted in the photo. That is to say, that folks will deposit their flyers and junk mail right on the floor because the post office removed the large garbage bins where we used to be able to discard that stuff.
We didn’t recycle it before mind you. We just threw it in the garbage bins to get rid of it! It was convenient for us to do that, and of course, we didn’t ask for the flyers and junk mail in the first place, so we feel justified to get rid of it in any way we choose. Then the post office decided that they were’t in the garbage business, and they’re certainly not in the recycling business, so they removed the bins.
I think people feel that now they are justified for throwing the flyers and junk mail on the floor because they are rebelling against the post office’s decision to remove the bins! It’s a classic power struggle and of course the folks who made the decision to remove the bins are probably far removed from the day-to-day operations of this establishment.
So what is actually going on here? Why are people deliberately doing this when they know the effort is futile, and, at best, they might get the bins back, so they can dump all that stuff in the landfill instead of recycle it? Are we talking sheer laziness? Stupidity? Stubborn Mules?
Personally, I think this is a golden opportunity for us to be THANKFUL to Canada Post for MAKING us recycle! Now I take those flyers and junk mail and simply stick them with the other paper products that I recycle. That’s a good thing! So all you people, and you know who I’m talking about, GIVE IT A REST AND DO THE RIGHT THING!!!
A participant in a training course I was facilitating is looking to develop a career as a Belly Dance Teacher. It got me to thinking about how belly dancing incorporates many of the principles of the career development process. This blog is dedicated to Trish and Stephanie who helped me formulate this framework over an East Indian feast.
Teaching belly dancing is fuelled by a passion for the origin of the dance, for the music, the creativity, the expression. Passion is also what drives career development, with discovering one’s true essence as the final destination.
Belly dancing is a process that involves learning a series of steps that are rhythmic in nature, and when the steps are not realized or they are not aligned, there emerges a sense that all is not right with the world. The same can be said for allowing oneself to stagnate in a career that has lost its rhythm.
Progression through elements of the dance, through cultural variations, through refinement of technique and artistry, provides the learner with the opportunity to re-tell her story over and over, and with each chapter she grows closer to manifesting her true self. Each element of our career path is also shaped by tapping into our truth about who we are and what we value.
And finally, there is a “vocabulary” to the dance, one that needs to be mastered and appreciated, and when it is spoken with love, passion and understanding, it provides the world with a gift that can be enjoyed by all on so many different levels. Finding what “speaks” to us in our career will transform us, and in turn, the world.
Here’s some beautiful belly dancing…
Are students customers of schools “buying” career planning information so they can make great choices and live happily ever after? Of course they are. Students, parents, teachers, support staff, the community, society….EVERYONE really is a potential customer for a school. So why is their customer service so poor???
I think we really need to look at the customer service aspect of schools. My bias is, and has been for the 35 years or so I have worked with youth, that generally speaking, our schools do a terrible job when it comes to serving their customers. If I was a customer shopping for inspirational and creative ways to tap into what my gifts are and how I can manifest them in this world, why would I shop at a school? If I wanted to really examine personal and professional relationships and the skills and nuances required to become excellent at them, which department in the school would I find those? If I wanted to access “salespersons” who were truly dedicated to empowering me to make the best purchases of decision-making, risk-taking, skills and opportunities, would I be talking to teachers?
As an Educator, I feel qualified enough to say these things, as much as it saddens me to do so. So what’s the answer? There of course isn’t one easy answer, and us career development dudes and dudettes will continue to work with schools and develop programs, systems, structures, models, and god knows what else, in an effort to help students plan their career paths more effectively. In the end, as long as we continue to rely on “science” to try and determine human behaviour, which is really what most of our career development programs tend to do (stemming from Frank Parsons himself, the first person to do career planning in this way back in Boston in 1905), we will continue to miss the mark. And our customers will be unhappy.
Everything….absolutely everything…is about customer service…Simon & Garfunkel knew it. Now you do too!
So I’m involved in a personal job search, and for the most part, I have learned a great deal about cutting edge work search tools, tips and tricks. This information is invaluable to me, not only during ths current process, but also because I use it in the career development consulting and training work I do with individuals and organizations.
What I am also learning about is the tremendous emotional impact this is having on me. Each position I apply for requires it’s own cataclysm of energy, from getting excited about the job description, to researching the company, to tailoring my resume and cover letter, preparing for the interview should I get one, doing follow up activities along the way, dealing with the rejection (so far at least) and finally, asking for some direct feedback on how I did.
It’s an emotional roller-coaster, and there isn’t time to wallow in self pity or self doubt. There is only time to generate the enthusiasm again for the next opportunity. Otherwise, I would not do it justice.
So where does entitlement fit in? A man with my background, experience and skills. Why am I not getting the jobs I want and prepare really, really well for? Where is the justice in that? Do employers not see what I can offer them? Are they blind? Am I too old???
I’ve discovered that disappointment, bitterness, resentment and anger will get me absolutely nowhere, and if I give the “big 4” any energy at all, I am taking away from the task at hand, which is to dust myself off, set ego and pride aside, and take the next right step. I may not be able to always get what I want, but as Mick says in the classic 1969 video below, if I try sometimes…I just might find…I get what I NEED!
I admit it! At the very core of the resentment and anger I feel about all kinds of stuff…oh ya, I admit that I feel those things too, is that nasty 4-letter word – FEAR! I am afraid! When I reflect and try to analyze what it is I am afraid of, it comes down to two major things for me really; success and failure. It’s hard to say which one predominates, but clearly, they are both a factor. Where does that come from? Who cares? I can spend years in therapy trying to figure it out, or just point a finger at my Mom, but what good does that do?
Regardless of where my fear comes from, I am still compelled to DO something about it! And blaming my Mom hasn’t helped, neither did BECOMING a therapist! So where does that leave me?
It leaves me staring that F monster right in the face! I need to do that! I need to recognize the fear. I need to FEEL it! I need to experience what it’s doing to me physically, and emotionally. Then, I need to surrender it…give away that feeling of fear. And finally, I need to walk towards it, not run away from it, but meet it, confront it head on. I am learning, as I get older, that the things I shy away from are the VERY things I need to embrace. When I do that, lo and behold, 9 times out of 10, the MONSTER turns into a mere pussycat. Meowwwwww!
This piece from “Coach Carter,” a great movie about basketball and about life, says it all…It MATTERS!
Some of you are aware that Valentine’s Day is coming up. If you’re not, and you’re in a relationship, here’s your slap in the face wake up call! For me, while I don’t celebrate VDay, I do think about love, and love leads me to thinking about passion! And one of the things I associate passion with is career!
Now you may not be aware of the fact that approximately 50% of the people that work in this country hate their job! Yes, FIFTY percent! So it’s you or the person standing next to you! Look at him or her. Which one of you is it? If it’s you, then pay attention! If it’s not you, show this to the person standing next to you, and tell them to pay attention!
If you don’t love your work, aren’t passionate about it, then you need to leave it! YES, you NEED to LEAVE it! You’re doing no one in your entire world any good by being miserable. In fact, you are doing yourself, all those that love you, and the world at large a great disservice! You are spreading negative energy around in the way you carry yourself, and you’re metaphorically ”kicking your dog” when you get home.
When was the last time you did some research about work? There are so many new and interesting opportunities out there that you haven’t even heard about. But you’re lazy aren’t you? Or “comfortable” in your misery. Or, maybe, just maybe, you have no idea what your passion is. So here’s your tip for the week. This comes from relationship guru David Deida.
Sit in a room by yourself and just be. Then let things come to you, in terms of what you might do for work. But the trick is you CANNOT get up (unless it’s for food, bathroom, sleep) until what you’re thinking about is SO powerful for you that you can’t NOT get up and go do it!
THAT’S your passion! And it MATTERS! Tina Turner agrees…
Ok...so... "Crazy Teenage Love" is a song I wrote about a girl I was gaga over when I was 16. And it's the title of a screenplay I'm trying to write about those formative teenage years. But what does that have to do with career planning in the here and now? The answer? EVERYTHING!
When I say "gaga," I MEAN just that! I used to take taxi cabs to this girl's house just to hang out with her for a few hours. I would put up with eating the "frozen green peas" snack she offered every time I visited just to see her smile when I told her how much I loved them! She wasn't just a PART of my world back then, she WAS my world! Everything revolved around her. I couldn't wait to see her, be around her, smell her, talk to her.
PASSION! It's ALL about PASSION! That's what Crazy Teenage Love has to do with career planning! You need to get passionate about it. You need to find out what it is you get passionate about. You need to be passionate about finding out what it is you get passionate about!
Do the math...Take a career that spans between the ages of 21-65. That's 44 years. Figure 40 hours a week during that time, deduct holidays, and you end up with a total of 328,500,000 seconds of work! Now I don't know about you, but to me that is a heck of a lot of time to do something I hate!
People tell me that you don't need to be passionate about the work you do. I think they must be the same people that bypassed adolescence and never got crazy over love, or they've buried that feeling under tons of "responsibility," "circumstance," and "reality."
Get out your shovels people and dig yourself out because this MATTERS!
And oh...here's a version of the tune with Amos Garrett sitting in...You can find the polished edition on my new CD "Love is Like a Chicken!"
I imagine you may be aware that the Eastman Kodak Company filed for bankruptcy recently. So what? If you’re from the pre-digital age, you may have never heard of Kodak, and if you’re a post-digital dude or dudette, who cares? Well, every business person should care! What is happening at Kodak can happen to any one of us, unless we are prepared to change with the times. After all, we are talking about a company who invented digital technology, and is dying because they have been unsuccessful at gaining a market share in the industry they created!
Now, transfer this scenario to you and your business. Maybe you have chosen NOT to have a website to showcase your company. Maybe you have chosen NOT to utilize social media to market your goods and services. Maybe you have chosen NOT to hire younger workers because you have a stereotypical mindset about what they can or cannot do. Maybe you have chosen NOT to change your management style because it has worked for you since the dawn of time. Well maybe, just maybe, you won’t need to worry about any of those things for much longer, because you too will be filing for Chapter 11!
Check this out; “Business failure statistics show that about 96 percent of small businesses (1–99 employees) that enter the marketplace survive for one full year, 85 percent survive for three years and 70 percent survive for five years” (Key Small Business Statistics – January 2009, Industry Canada).
So, set aside your ego and put your pride on a shelf somewhere where you can admire it every now and then if you need to. Then, take a long hard look at your business and keep up with the times. Get the picture?
And oh, take a look at what will be an everlasting memory of one of the great visionary companies of our time…