Make Your Choices Count Toward Your Future

Make Your Choices Count Toward Your Future

Some people are born great at something. Maybe it’s painting, or piano playing. Perhaps they are exceptional leaders from the get-go. That is fantastic. A potential career/life path is laid out for them and all they have to do is follow the yellow brick road to success. (Notwithstanding the work they have to do to actually get to Oz – or wherever their success destination is).

Choosing to aspire

Most of us though, look out over the horizon and rather than seeing ourselves succeeding at this thing we were born good at, see possibilities. The possibility that with work and determination, we could make ourselves good at X.

Turning a potential future into a manifest one

Imagining a possible future is all well and good, but without follow through that possibility on the horizon will never be anything more than a mirage.

You don’t have to be a born writer to eventually write a best seller. You do have to take writing classes and write all kinds of terrible things on the way to writing something good. You will mostly likely endure more rejection than your frail sensibilities feel like they can endure. You will have keep working at your craft every single day.

Continuing to write in the face of rejection is a choice. Taking more classes is a choice. So is the willingness to persist in the face of persistent rejection. Each choice we make today helps add weight and substance to the mirage on the horizon, thereby manifesting it into reality.

Choices create abilities

You don’t have to be born with an ability to eventually have it. Who you are and what you can do is the culmination of the choices you make every day. When you are born your future is an unwritten book. The choices you make will determine what is written on those pages.  Whether it is a story of success or complacency.

Where To Look For A Mentor

Where To Look For A Mentor

Where To Look For A Mentor

As much as we might think we’ve got a pretty good handle on our lives and our careers, sometimes the help of a mentor is just what we need to get things moving with stronger direction and purpose. Whether you’re in sales or marketing or accounting or script writing, there are people who have been where you are. People who have more experience and insights than you. And who would be willing to share what they’ve learned to help you navigate the road ahead.

What exactly are you looking for?

The first step is determining exactly what you want help with. Has it got to do with a specific aspect of your career? With getting into a particular industry? With something more basic like getting organized? The more specific you are the easier it will be for you to find someone to help.

Your immediate circle

Once you know the aspect of your life or career where you want help, start by figuring out if you or someone you know (friend, neighbour, family member), knows someone with that particular skill.

Finding these pre-existing connections can be a huge help. From there you can impress them with your enthusiasm and willingness to learn and discuss the possibility of creating a more long-term relationship.

Human resources

Many larger corporations actually offer mentorship programs. Check and see if that’s available in your workplace or even if the HR person knows of someone in the organization with whom they could make an introduction.

Demonstrate your potential

One of the best ways of finding a mentor is by demonstrating that you are someone another person would be interested in helping along.  People will be more willing to consider mentoring you if they’ve seen examples of your work and your willingness to work. Get noticed by people ahead of you in your field.

Once you’ve got their attention don’t immediately jump in with a request for swaths of their time and attention. Offer to buy them a coffee.  Ask for some advice.

Be of benefit

From there you can offer to help them in some way. Maybe you could do some work for them for free and learn a few things while getting into their good books. A mentor/mentee relationship starts with a relationship.

Once you have a relationship established you can go on to asking for more advice and then depending how it goes, maybe some more.

You probably won’t get a mentor overnight, but by keeping lines of communication open with people from different aspects of your life you will be someone others are interested in helping.

Be The First To Believe In Yourself

Be The First To Believe In Yourself

What do you think about your abilities?  Do you think you are a competent person? Do you believe you are capable of achieving your goals and your aspirations? Why do you think what you do? Is it because people have told you that you have certain talents? Is it because people have told you that you don’t?

 

Who do you listen to?

How would you feel about your potential if a random person on the street told you that you could achieve your goals? What if it was the person who knows you best in the world?

 

Obviously you’re going to feel better about the opinion of the person who knows you best in the world than a random person on the street.

 

A matter of perspective

That is precisely why your opinion of yourself and your abilities matters so much. If you feel like you can be successful you will wake up, throw the covers off and face the day with determination and excitement. If you feel like trying is a waste of time then you simply won’t have the energy to try.

 

Your abilities don’t actually have to factor into the equation either way. Because if you feel like you can be a success, you are going to put yourself in situations where you will learn what you need to succeed. You will practice and succeed and fail and come back to do both again. You will turn yourself into the person you already believe in.

 

If you feel like you can’t succeed, no amount of talent in the world will make up for your attitude.

 

Start with the person in the mirror

The opinions of others are great validations, but the first and most important person you need to convince of your worth is the one who looks back at you in the mirror. The opinions of others will come in response.

Happy New Year

bring it on2

 

A New Year is upon us. A chance to reflect on what came before and determine what we will choose to do going forward. An opportunity look at everything in our lives with a renewed perspective. A fresh slate without a word yet written.

 

To all that potential, to all the opportunities and fresh starts, to the do overs and the do for the very first times, we say bring it on!

 

Bring on the challenges. Bring on the adventures. Bring on the triumphs and the failures.

 

2019 -Welcome! We can’t wait!

Help Others Cultivate Their Potential

Help Others Cultivate Their Potential

How do your favorite people treat you?

Think about your favorite teacher in school. If you’ve had a boss you really enjoyed, think about them for a moment. Do you remember what you liked about them? Were they kind, or friendly? Did they treat you as not just a student or employee but someone who could be trusted and shared with? Did they treat you as you could be, rather than what you were? Was your potential cultivated?

 

Acknowledge potential

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey points out how one person can have a tremendous effect on others. Most of us have been in a position where we felt like we didn’t have much wiggle room in our work or assignments. For the most part our teachers have treated us like students. This doesn’t sound so bad, they’re there to teach. But what if, instead of treating you like a student or an employee, your teacher or boss treated you like someone who could run the company some day?

 

Create confidence

That could be by offering you more responsibility and bigger tasks. Tasks that you can handle and excel at, that will enable you to grow your role. You’ll feel more respected and important, and in turn you’ll start acting with more confidence in your work.

 

This isn’t just for people who have others working under them either. You can do this for your coworkers as well. Treat your coworkers as people who can both help you and bring new ideas to the table, rather than just people you work with. You may find that they’ll go out of their way to help you in the future.

Everybody Has The Potential To Be Great

Everybody Has The Potential To Be Great

Not every famous person is billboard famous

There are many potential ways to be famous. There’s fame where everyone knows who you are because you are a superstar singer or actor or athlete or scientist or inventor – spotlight famous.

There’s also famous within smaller spheres. Like being president of a company – making you famous to everyone that works in that location. Dial it down a little and you can make a case for people being famous all the way up or down the ladder within an organization.

You can also be famous within your family or school or on your team for accomplishments over time or a single outstanding moment.

Perfectly wonderful everyday people

There may be many potential opportunities to be famous in one capacity or another, yet the majority of us will not be more than another person in the crowd for the majority of our lives. And we are here to say that’s perfectly wonderful.

Not everyone will be or needs to be famous, or a head turner, or the talk of the town (or dinner table). A person’s worth has nothing to do with how famous or well-known they are. It has everything to do with what they bring to this experience we all share called life.

Purpose and service have nothing to do with fame

The people most deserving of our recognition and our esteem are those that realize no matter how far apart or how different we may all seem from each other, we are essentially one big family. Thus the most important thing we can do is help each other in whatever ways we can. That may be as small as helping someone standing confused at a bank machine terminal. It may be as regular as a weekly volunteer stint at a soup kitchen. It may be through the donation of time or money to causes close to our hearts.

The greatest people among us are not the most famous. They are the ones who share their hearts with others.

The Positive You

The Positive You

Many of us wish we were better. Better at our jobs, or better with certain skills. The surprising thing is, most of the time, we actually are better then we think we are. How often have you thought “I can’t do this” before you’ve even tried. How often have you seen a job ad and said “I’m not qualified” and didn’t even bother to applying? How often in your work day have you thought “This will be good enough” so that you could go home? Negativity keeps you from reaching your potential.

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar was a salesman. He worked at a number of different companies as a sales person and eventually became Vice-President at the Automotive Performance company. Throughout his career he wrote numerous books about sales and selling and worked as a motivational speaker. Even after an injury reduced his short-term memory, Zig Ziglar continued to speak publicly and write books until his passing in 2012.

 

His books include “See You at the Top”, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale”, “Over the Top”, and “Success for Dummies”. With a following of millions, he was quoted often. Forbes put together a list of some of his best quotes.

Positivity

Thinking positively is the first step in unlocking your potential. You are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. Keeping a positive attitude is essential to believing you can do the job ahead of you. If you have a negative attitude you’re unlikely to push yourself harder and further to see where your limit is. Don’t let negativity bring you down. Be positive and use the abilities you have to their fullest potential.

Nurturing Potential

Nurturing Potential

 

Find potential and nurture it

With the job market the way it is, most employers will get a huge response to the ads they post. The question isn’t how many responses they get, it’s how many exceptional people are responding. They don’t necessarily look for people with the most experience, but people with the most potential. The ones who are energized by challenge. Who thrive on the potential for success. Who are willing to test the boundaries.

Once they find those people employers want to retain them and, help them grow. Smart managers know, to keep exceptional people they need to keep them motivated with opportunities for training and growth. They need to give them independence and opportunities to prove themselves and they need to recognize their efforts to nurture that potential.

 

Know when it’s time to let people go

They also know when to cut cords with people who are only there for a paycheck or to pass the time until something better comes along. A team of people is made up of the sum of its parts, and all those parts are influenced by the others. When some people see a lazy, unmotivated person they start to wonder why they try so hard when it’s obvious they can get by with little effort or initiative. Then they too  fall into that pattern of behavior. When they see an innovative, striving person, they believe in greater possibilities and push themselves to higher levels. Unmotivated, bored people demoralize everyone else, motivated, striving people energize everyone else. By populating the office with high caliber, top performing people, that sets the culture. It’s the attitude everyone tunes to.

 

Great people contribute more to the company than they cost both in terms of profit and in terms of what they bring to the office as a whole. You can’t build a strong team if the foundational people are weak. Every person is significant, every person affects others around them. Everyone one is a link in your team-chain and we all know, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.