High up above the city, I stood in my boss’s office, looking out the vast window. To the left, the tallest volcano was far off but still loomed large over the city. On the right, the sprawling lake lay out before me, its far shore only a faint line of mountains in the distance.
The office door opened, and my boss walked in straight to his desk. He motioned for me to sit down, as he sat down at his computer, peering at his monitor through the lower half of his glasses.
I took my seat in a chair across his desk and took a deep breath, trying to make it as silent as possible. Telling your boss you want to quit isn’t easy, but hiding the anxiety is better than letting it show.
I told him there wasn’t enough work for me to do because I was being blocked off by certain people. I told him that, instead of sitting around idly, I could become a consultant for the company, providing value as soon as there’s actual work to be done.
He tried to convince me to stay, telling me that it was up to me to fix the internal communication problems and get myself in front of clients.
Kindly, I said: “My life’s work isn’t about fighting people for a pat on the back or an award. My life’s work is about reaching people, helping people. If I can’t do that here, I’ll go do that somewhere else.”
He shifted in his chair and brought his feet up to rest on his desk, one beside the other. Sighing, he rested his head on his hand and agreed.
I didn’t know where I was going or what I would do, but I knew that I would figure it out by exploring my options.
As of this writing, it’s been nearly two years since I walked out of that corporate office forever. I still have not received a single phone call from them. Not a single project to work on. I jumped at the right time. Without a single project to work on, they would’ve ushered me down the plank soon after. Instead of waiting for them to open the door for me, I steered clear of their issues and opened my own doors.
I wasn’t sure where my own doors would lead me, but things don’t always have to make sense.
That’s the main lesson I’ve gotten from starting a blog on a whim, writing books, and starting my own company.
Every single time I do something out of sheer exploration (with no real end in mind), crazy things happen.
I was scared to speak at a TEDx event, and I wasn’t too sure what I’d speak about, but I took the stage and had a blast.
My business’s first year was more or less wasted on the wrong kind of clients because I had no clue what services I wanted to offer, but I’ve learned so much now that I’m implementing in a better version of my business.
I’ll be nervous to press Publish on this article, but I’ll feel glad I shared my experiences afterward.
That’s not to say things always out turn out wonderfully. I’ve made huge mistakes (like working with disrespectful clients or letting the wrong people onto my business’s founding team), and I have yet to find the “silver lining” of these mistakes. But these roundabout mistakes have all contributed to where I am today.
If I hadn’t been open to exploring, I don’t know that I’d have picked up all of these different experiences, lessons, bruises and opportunities along the way.
1. Opening Up to Possibilities
The first months after I quit my job were so serene. I woke up and did what I wanted to do each day–I wrote. I’ll never forget how peaceful and zen I felt making my tea each morning, sitting down for two or three hours of uninterrupted writing.
I didn’t rush. I bathed in the possibilities to come.
As time went on, I didn’t always make the right choices, but they were my own explorations of the possibilities. Some of those choices turned out to be incredibly right.
A few weeks ago, I received an email out of the blue from my master’s program in Spain. They wanted to know if I’d get on a plane and come speak to their incoming students? My answer: hell yes!
This is a great opportunity, to be sure, but what’s more important is how quickly I was able to say yes. Leading a flexible and open-minded lifestyle means I am able to switch things up and do amazing things, like going to Spain to speak.
For that, I’m so grateful.
2. Enhance Creativity
When we’re nose-down in tasks and beeping phones and incoming emails, it’s difficult to let our creativity reach its potential.
They say it’s healthy to take a new route home or to brush your teeth with your left hand just to get your brain out of its comfort zone. While I do agree that changing things up can help you do that, I also think its helpful to passionately explore new areas.
That means reading books that are outside of your industry just because they spark your curiosity. That means watching a silly movie just because you need a moment to refuel your batteries. That means calling up an old friend just because you miss who you were when you hung out with her.
Mind-wandering allows the brain to focus its attention on more distant tasks and issues in a unique way, allowing you to approach them in ways you’d never considered.
When we’re trying to perform, perform, perform, we might just be scaring our ideas away.
3. Identifying the “Wall”
Sometimes, I go for a long run. When I do, there is always a moment between the second and third mile that will almost stop me in my tracks. I’m tired, out of breath, and my body wants to be anywhere but here. I call this “The Wall”.
“The Wall” is temporary–every single time.
Not everything in life is easy. Many of the examples I mentioned above (like working with difficult clients) weren’t easy to go through, but they all taught me one thing:
Hitting a tough moment is much easier when you can recognize it as such–because every tough moment passes.
The beautiful part is this: if you start exploring knowing it will be an adventure, you can identify a rough patch as you’re sitting in it and think, “This is that tough moment I knew would come eventually. It will pass.”
And the next moment is much more beautiful.
Allowing myself to explore opened up entire fields of possibility that I never knew existed. Are you interested in exploring more in your life about yourself, your loved ones, and the world? Share your stories in the comments.
Ready to take the five steps to positive life change?
Posted January 30, 2012
In my first post in this exploration of how we can produce meaningful and last life change, I described the four obstacles that prevent change. In my last post on this topic, I introduced you to the five building blocks of change. These steps I just described set the stage for change, but the real work lies ahead. Change can be scary, tiring, frustrating, and repetitious. And change takes time. How much?, you might ask. It depends on your ability to remove the four obstacles to change and embrace the five building blocks I discussed above. It also relies on your ability to commit to the minute-to-minute process of change. But I have found that when someone makes a deep commitment to change, they can expect to see a positive shift in 3-6 months.
With the foundation for positive life change now in place, it’s time to take action. Here are the five steps you must take to turn possibility and hope into real change.
Explore Your Inner World
Perhaps the most difficult part of changing your life involves exploring your inner world. True change cannot just occur on the surface or outside of you. Change means not only understanding who you are, but also why you are who you are, in other words, what makes you tick. The first step you must take is to identify the obstacles that are preventing you from changing. You need to “look in the mirror” and specify what the baggage, habits, emotions, and environment are that are keeping you from your goals. Understanding these obstacles takes the mystery out of who you are and what has been holding you back. It also gives you clarity on what you need to change and gives you an initial direction in your path of change.
These explorations of your inner world can enable you to finally understand why you have been the way you have been and done things you have done even when neither have worked for you (“So that’s why I’ve been this way all of my life!”). This process will also help you to remove the obstacles that have stood in your path to change. These insights also, at a deep level, liberate you to move from your current path to another that will take you where you really want to go. Most importantly, truly understanding your inner world will allow you to finally put the past behind you-when most of your life you have been putting your past in front of you.
Once the path to your goals has been cleared, you still need to have a clear idea about your final destination. Think of its like GPS; you can’t get directions unless you input where you want to go.
When you establish clear objectives of the changes you want to make, you are able to better focus your efforts and direct your energy toward those changes. These goals should identify what areas you want to change, how you will change them, and the ultimate outcome you want to achieve. Moreover, the goals should be specific, objective, and time defined.
So far, everything you have done to change has been talk. Now it’s time to actually make change happen. Action steps describe the particular actions you will take to achieve your change goals. They may range from adhering to an exercise regimen to maintaining emotional control in a crisis situation to staying focused when surrounded by distractions. Action steps give you the specific tools you need to act on the world in the present and to give you alternative actions that counter your old baggage, habits, emotions, and environment.
Forks in the Road
Taking the action steps and achieving your change goals depends on recognizing important forks in the road. I make the distinction between the bad road and the good road (there can actually be multiple bad and good roads, but let’s keep things simple). The bad road is the one that you’ve been on for so long driven by the four obstacles I described above; it’s a “feel bad, do bad” road. In contrast, the good road is the one you want to be on; it’s a “feel good, do good” road.
This fork in the road is simple, but not easy. It’s simple because you would, of course, want to be on the good road. It’s not easy because you have years of baggage, habits, emotions, and environment continuing to propel you down the bad road.
A key to the change process involves recognizing the forks in the road when they appear because without seeing the forks in the road, you obviously can’t take the good road, that is, makes positive changes. This awareness isn’t as easy as it seems because all those years of obstacles has created a myopia that can limit your field of vision causing you to miss the forks when you come upon them.
In all likelihood, you will initially only recognize the forks when you are long past them (“Darn it, I wish I had seen that fork earlier!”). But, with time and vigilance, you will see those forks earlier and earlier until one day an amazing thing will happen; you will see the fork when you arrive at it.
Unfortunately, because of the Sirens’ call of the four obstacles, you will still probably take the bad road at first. But, one day, another amazing thing will happen. You will recognize that fork in the road as you approach it and, yes, you will take it! And you will never be the same person again.
Don’t get me wrong; you don’t have it made yet. You’ll have setbacks and struggles because you will still go down the bad road sometimes; those obstacles take time to dismantle. But every time you take the good road, you’ll see what a great road it is to be on and it will encourage you to continue to resist your baggage, habits, emotions, and environment and to take the good road at the many forks that lay ahead.
One of the most difficult aspects of change is the need to make a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute commitment to change (Every time you miss an opportunity for change, you further ingrain your old obstacles). A helpful reminder of this necessity is what I call the Three Ps.
The first P, patience, is a constant reminder that change takes time and that if you maintain your commitment, you have a good chance to make the changes you want long lasting.
The second P, persistence, means you must keep vigilant and, as the saying goes, “keep on keeping on” in your journey to change.
The third P, perseverance, refers to your ability to overcome setbacks and maintain your motivation and confidence in the face of periodic failures and disappointment.
There is an immense payoff for your commitment and efforts at change: A life-altering shift in who you are and how you think, feel, and behave. A new direction that your life will take. And finally moving toward achieving your life goals. As a former client told me so poignantly: “I realized that I would never have to go back to the way I used to live my life, and I have never been so happy!”
Most of the time we’re aware when there’s something important in our lives that needs to change. Sometimes we even know what kind of change we need, like ending a relationship, leaving a job or moving.
However, we can’t find the way to move from purpose to action. Our mind gets foggy and we postpone the decision indefinitely.
An important decision is essentially composed of two elements. First, you must have identified that there really is a serious problem.
Second, you know that it’s necessary to change the situation in order to overcome the problem. You understand that it’s no longer time for band-aids. Instead, it’s time to take concrete and often radical measures.
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”.
Most of us have gotten to this point. Afterwards, we get distracted by other things or let time pass “to see what happens”. We don’t end up making the big decision that we know we should.
Perhaps what we need is a method for moving from thinking to action or just accepting that we don’t want to radically turn this situation around.
Next we’re going to talk about some suggestions that can help you in the difficult process of making a big decision. It’s not a “step by step” you have to follow to the letter. Rather they’re guidelines, stages to go through before making a final decision.
Get rid of the idea that your decision is going to create too many problems
We would all love to make a perfect decision. A decision that solves everything right away. One that has no “cons.” In other words, a “strike”, like in bowling when you knock over all of the pins in one go. To our disappointment, those kinds of decisions do not exist.
This article is available for download as a free PDF ebook. Click the button below to download.
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
How do you feel about your life today? Do you live every day in excitement? Do you look forward to what’s coming up next? Are you living your best life?
If your answer to any of the above is a no, not sure, or maybe, that means you’re not living your life to the fullest. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because your life experience is yours to create. We all have good days and bad days, and the most important thing is to make the best out of each day, regardless of the good or bad. Ultimately, we only have one life to live. We can’t control all the bad things that happen, but we can change our attitude toward them — and in the process, shape our future and create our most amazing life experience.
In this post, I want to share 101 timeless tips to live our best life. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by these 101 tips — use them as a guide, and focus on applying just one or two a day. As you work on these tips, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious and more proactive in creating the life of your dreams. Be sure to bookmark or print out this page and refer to it daily!
Here are 101 ways to live your life to the fullest:
Live every day on a fresh new start. Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, or even decades ago. Life is short, so live in the present moment.
This is part of the Inspiration & Motivation series. Check out the other articles in the series:
Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program
If you love this post, you’ll love the Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program (30DLBL). Also known as “personal growth on steroids,“ 30DLBL is a 30-day intensive life transformation program designed by me to help you live a better life in just 30 days. It is packed with 30 high-impact tasks, some of which are inspired by this 101 list post, to be done one per day.
At the end of the 30 days, you’ll find yourself at a completely different place compared to a month ago.
Dynamic Secrets To Making Law Of Attraction Work
Some people seem to get everything they want by using the Law of Attraction. They live charmed lives. How about you? Do you feel the Law of Attraction has been working for you? Have you used the principles to overcome difficulties? Is it working for you OR are you struggling with it?
If you’re struggling you are not alone. Just as there are people who make it work there are many who have had some difficulty. This could be you.
I want to change that for you. I want you to become incredible at manifesting what you want!
First, let me ask you, do you want to create and attract an incredible life? I hope you said yes! Would you like to put an end to your negative thinking? Again, hope you said yes because it matters!
Have you struggled to learn how to change your thoughts, words, and habits for success, happiness, health and wealth? Do you get down on yourself or does your self-talk support you? For many people it hinders them, rags on them.
Trust me, I want to help you change all that. I will deliver the goods so you can transform yourself and your life!
So you can begin to live without worry, fear and anxiety. You can become filled with confidence, power and joy. Your dream life can become your life!
You can make your dreams come true. You can begin today!
What do you want? What have you always wanted? Want to get a great job? Do you want a happening career? Want to book more gigs? Would you like to be happier? Want to live debt free and have more than enough money? How’d you like to meet your soul-mate and improve all your relationships? Are you interested in a much better good life? Boy, I hope you said yes.
Some people try all sorts of things; they work really hard, hope, pray, they bargain, try magic and the Law Of Attraction (LOA). They do lots of different things but seem only to be spinning their wheels. Would you like to stop wasting time and start getting what you want.
Lots of people work hard but don’t get anywhere. They try all those things but still struggle. That is sad. They think they can have what they want if they only work harder. They keep trying to get better results. Perhaps, that includes you. If you said yes to this you must read on.
Look, you don’t have to work harder. That is a myth. YOU don’t need anything added to you from the outside, but might think you do. SO you’ve tried lots of things that don’t produce the results you want. Right?
I don’t really like the term ‘the law of attraction’ but it has been around for a hundred years or so. It is popular but somewhat inaccurate. Still, I use it to discuss what you can make happen.
The Law Of Attraction is powerful and absolutely works all the time but it is not the ‘instant magic pill’ people wish it to be. Often, when they find out ‘it’ doesn’t match their unrealistic expectations of it, they quit.
They blame IT for not working, and move on. It’s not IT that doesn’t work. IT Does! ALL THE TIME!
The change that must first take place is an inner change with you and me. We need an inner attitude adjustment. Without this, IT won’t work as you would like it too. That is the truth. Still, it is working.
Here is the rub. It works to get you what you want or don’t want. It is basic ’cause and effect’. It works all the time BUT if you aren’t getting the results you want, hope for and dream of, you aren’t using it properly to get what you want. It is working to continue to bring you what you don’t want! Get it? It is HOW you use it that matters!
Trust me, it isn’t magic. It doesn’t come from outside of you. No one waves a magic wand. It begins within you. It is a process. It requires time, so be patient AND It is absolutely reliable.
From ancient times up until today people have used it to revolutionize their lives and the world.
It works and it’s completely up to you. Just don’t believe all the hype about ‘finding the missing ingredient that wasn’t included in the secret’. There is much marketing BS around the LOA.
The Law Of Attraction is one of many laws of the universe. Think of it as what goes up must come down. It works. Gravity is reliable. It is a law, or a force. For us to fly we had to learn how to work with the law of gravity. It is still working while the plane flies overhead. If the engine stops the plan starts coming down. No question.
You throw a boomerang out and a boomerang comes back. You don’t get a tea cup back. You get what you put out there. Cause and effect. Get it?
What is the law of attraction then?
The law of attraction is a process. It is a set of conditions for creation. Consider this, anything that humans have created first began as a thought or an idea. It may have solved a problem or presented an opportunity. Whether that is a spoon, a chair, a building, and airplane, a computer or a government. Everything begins as a thought, or a notion. Then plans are made, resources assembled and it is translated into physical reality. There are actual steps.
Napoleon Hill, who wrote Think and Grow Rich stated ‘anything you can conceive and believe you can achieve. He stated he didn’t say ‘will achieve’ because he couldn’t know what you would or would not do with the information or the practice.
What makes you feel alive?
If your experience and life is less than everything you had hoped and wanted it to be I promise you it can be different. It can be so much better! You can get centered, balanced, find your bearings, set a new direction and instead of a dreading getting up, going to work and facing your day you can be thrilled to be alive. You can be filled with positive energy and enthusiasm. Instead of feeling like a robot going through the motions, in a life that lacks meaning you can be clear about your purpose, your vision and mission in life. You can create small and large miracles. You can create and attract great things and have all the fun you want to have.
If anything I have said or written resounds in you then YES it is time for you to make a change. You have come to the right place! You shouldn’t have to experience life as unfulfilling when it can be outstanding and wonderful. You don’t have to go through life feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled. You can begin feel greater joy. Dive in.
Let me assist you in learning how to aim the Law of Attraction to begin getting more of what you want and to stop getting what you don’t want. It is a delightful journey. Come with me.
How you see the world, and how you interpret different situations, will determine your decisions, actions, and reactions (and you do have some control over this).
So if you want to be something, you have to have the right mindset to get there. You have to get into the right frame of mind so you can be focused, motivated, disciplined, accountable, driven, committed and ultimately, successful.
Change Your Perspective To Change Your Life
But how is it done? How can you change your mindset?
Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there”. And he hit the nail right on the head. Your beliefs are powerful things, and they can steer you into the direction of your choice.
So, when you’ve decided it’s time for a change, and you are ready to achieve a goal, now what?
Now it’s time to figure out what you really want, why you want it, what you are willing to do for it, and then stay positive. Let’s look at these steps in more detail:
1. Figure out what it is that you want.
Now this point might appear to be fairly obvious, but it’s not as clear-cut as it
For example, you might have someone who says: “Okay, what I want is a promotion. I want to be the big boss”. Now let’s say we asked that person: “Why do you want a promotion?”, and the person answered: “I want financial security
for my family”. Now that, is gold. What that person really wants, is financial security; they want to be a good provider. They want to makes sure that their family has everything they need. The promotion and the boss stuff, that’s just fluff.
If you’re going to pick a goal, it’s important to really get right down to it, because superficial ‘stuff’ doesn’t make us happy. Not really. Deep down inside, there are things that we really want, and these are the things that we should be striving for. Dig deep here- skip over the fluff and figure out what will really make you happy.
“The important things in life aren’t things”- Anthony J. D’Angelo
2. Ask yourself: Why do I want this?
Once you’ve figured out what you truly want, the next step is to figure out why this is important to you.
The truth is, you will not succeed unless the goal you choose truly
means something to you.
It has to be something that you are passionate about; something that touches an emotional chord for you…
This isn’t about what you ‘deserve’, and it can’t be something you think you should have. Even worse, it can’t be something that someone else thinks you should have. If those are your motivations, you won’t stick with your goal when the going gets tough.
To figure out if your motivations are true to your beliefs and values, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why is this important to me?
- How will this make me happy?
- How will my life be different if I become this?
- How will this affect the people in my life?
3. Decide if you are willing to do what it takes to become what you want.
When you have a specific goal in mind, something that you are passionate about, you need to know what you are willing to do to achieve that goal.
Are you willing to work hard? Take risks? Get out of your comfort zone?
Make sacrifices for this goal?
If it is something that you truly want, you’ll do what it takes to get there. But if you are not willing to put yourself out there and take a chance, then your goal is probably not the right goal for you. If you have any doubts that your goal is what is right for you, then you need to head back to steps 1 and 2. You have to be sure about this; sure that you are going to give this goal your all and sure that this goal is going to get you somewhere you want to be.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”-Thomas Jefferson
If this goal is something you’d do whatever it takes to achieve, then you can move onto step 4.
4. Keep positivity close by.
The truth is, there will be challenges and tough days.
We can’t avoid that. And it’s times like these when your mind can start to really get negative, and eventually give up. In order to work through these difficult times, make sure you have tools to bring you back into focus (before you even get started).
The tools you choose are up to you:
- It can be quotes that are uplifting, that you have posted around you.
- It can be some kind of talisman that you can carry as a personal reminder of your end goal.
- It can be a support system that you can share your journey with.
- It can be a journal that holds your successes, your excitement, and your strategies (no negatives).
- It can be activities that you can do for fun, when you are starting to feel down.
Find what works for you; whatever it takes for you to mentally turn around and get back on track when you are faced with a challenge or roadblock. These reminders will be the lifesavers you are grateful for when you finally become what you want. They will be your lifelong motivators to see things through to the end.
No one expects you to be on top of your game all the time- sometimes you will struggle, and sometimes you will fail. And that’s okay. But mentally, you can always turn that around, if you believe in what you are doing, and have the right tools to help you stay on track.
Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negative.
Many people fail to follow through with their dreams, simply because they don’t have the right mindset to get them to success. Some don’t pick the right goals, some aren’t willing to dive out of their comfort zones, and others succumb to negativity. Before you jump into any project, lifestyle change, decision etc., you have to make sure that you are prepared to succeed. Prepping your mind will allow you to stay strong throughout your new journey. And in order to prep your mind, you have to be able to connect with yourself.
No goal is too big if you are serious about achieving it.
There really is no such thing as thinking ‘too big’. Your own self-imposed limitations can hold you back more than anything else. But those limitations are just that: self-imposed. Our minds can play tricks on us, convince us that we will fail and make excuses…but you are so much stronger than that pesky little negative voice in there. You’ve connected with yourself, you’ve figured out what you truly want, you’ve committed to doing whatever it takes to get there, and you’ve surrounded yourself with positivity.
Like a soldier prepping to fight for what he truly values, through these steps, you’ve just done the same thing.
So go out there and become whatever it is that you want to be.
Everyday Power ► Personal Development Articles ► Change Your Perspective To Change Your Life
Interested in a new career? People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals or values may have changed; you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.
Before you decide, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options, to decide if your career needs making over, and to choose a career that will be more satisfying for you.
Why People Change Careers
There are many different reasons why people want to change careers. Of course, it's a personal decision with many factors involved. Joblist's Midlife Career Crisis survey reports on the top five reasons people change careers:
- Better Pay: 47%
- Too Stressful: 39%
- Better Work-Life Balance: 37%
- Wanted a New Challenge: 25%
- No Longer Passionate About Field: 23%
The Benefits of a Career Change
The Joblist survey reports that most people were happier after they made the change:
- Happier: 77%
- More satisfied: 75%
- More fulfilled: 69%
- Less stressed: 65%
In addition, the people who change careers were making more money. Survey respondents who changed careers for better pay earned an additional $10,800 annually compared with their previous positions.
10 Steps to a Successful Career Change
Review these tips for assessing your interests, exploring options, evaluating alternative career paths, and making the move to a new career.
- Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work? While you’re doing this, there are some things you can do at your current job to help you prepare to move on when it’s time for a change.
- Assess your interests, values, and skills. Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are free online tools you can use to help assess career alternatives.
- Consider alternative careers. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
- Check out job options. Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
- Get personal. Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews. A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
- Set up a job shadow (or two). Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers. Here’s more information on job shadowing and how it works.
- Try it out. Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.
- Take a class. Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
- Upgrade your skills. Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change without having to go back to school.
- Consider a new job in the same industry. Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would use the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a store manager for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry. Or if you are a programmer who doesn’t want to program, consider technical sales or project management.
Write a Career Change Resume and Cover Letter
When you’re ready to start applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to write a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well a resume that is refocus based on your new goals. Here are tips for writing a powerful career change resume and a sample career change cover letter with writing advice.
Starting your day mindfully can make a heck of a lot of difference in improving your mood. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some of these mindful habits into your daily routine.
According to a study done by Matt Killingsworth, mindfulness practice may just be the secret to happiness.
Killingsworth made an app that would survey thousands of individuals, from many different backgrounds, at different times of the day, about their moods. Basically, it shows that whenever someone is more present in the moment they tend to be happier than someone who isn’t, regardless of what activity they are doing.
He even has a TED talk about it here.
We love being mindful and strive to make it practice in all activities of our daily life. It’s your life you might as well be present in it. To help you along with your mindfulness journey we have created a list of 7 mindful activities.
Get into a routine of mindful activities
Waking up early every day can bring routine and healthy habits into your life.
We’ve found our best days start with a mindful activity like yoga or meditation.
Sometimes that’s not always so easy in the van, especially getting out of bed on a chilly morning. But we usually make do and have never regretted starting our day mindfully.
Simplify your life
Everything. When you practice being present in the world, you tend to appreciate the beauty more. You begin to desire less. Consume less.
If you spent less, perhaps you wouldn’t have to work so much at a job you can’t stand.
Practice being mindful of what you are consuming.
We’ve all heard the phrase “you vote with your wallet”
Learn about the brands you buy from and support the awesome ones.
Like Patagonia the clothing brand. They reject fast fashion trends and create quality clothing that is durable and long-lasting. They seem to care about the environment and world we live in.
I love supporting people I know and building up the beautiful community here on Vancouver Island.
Start with what you eat
Nutrition is closely linked to your mental health and general wellbeing. No food should contain fillers. We strive to eat what is grown close to us and what’s in season. Food that contains the simplest ingredients. Real living food.
Often found taking a trip to the farmers market.
If you have a farmers market of any kind near you, I would 100% recommend hitting that up.
I highly recommend a book called the Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan
“Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.”
Plant a garden
If you haven’t planted a veggie garden yet, go do that right now. I honestly can not think of a better mindful habit to get yourself into than tending a garden every day.
One of the first things I do when I get home is to water my garden, or just walk around it and observe the progress all my plants have made.
To grow something beautiful and tasty from nothing is pure joy.
And there is nothing more exciting than watching those adorable carrot tops pop out of the soil.
It’s easy to let someone else’s anger harsh your vibe. We are social creatures living in a world that is getting more and more isolated. Have patience for those who are struggling to adapt, or who may not have the support.
One of my favourite quotes by the buddha is “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
This one may be especially important, due to the state of the world at the moment.
Honestly just meditate in the morning, you have nothing to lose, only good vibes to gain.
Calm mind = Happy life.
Take a walk. Or a hike!
Even better do it with a friend. Or a furry friend. Everyday. The mental and physical health benefits of walking every day are extraordinary. Grounding yourself with the day. With the weather. With nature.
Living in the van enables us to wake up in a new usually beautiful spot.
My favourite is waking up next to the beach. Listening to the soothing waves in the morning. Having that fresh salty breeze wafting into the van. Delightful.
Photo of Cream lake, on our multi day hike in Strathcona park
Dive into a creative project that you enjoy but maybe have been putting off. Go out into the world and breathe in some inspiration. Hunt it down. Wherever it may be hiding.
Throw some paint at a canvas. Do something to stimulate that creative part of your brain.
I find some perspective gives me new insights into projects that I’m working on.
We have a great post on how to live a more sustainable life that may inspire.
Thanks, everyone for your continued support!
If you enjoyed these mindful habits please share in the comments and let your friends know.
As bloggers, our content may include affiliate links from advertisers. If you decide to make a purchase using one of the links we gain a small commission to support our journey. These are items we recommend fully and have helped us tremendously.
Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. When there is something you need to learn, something that you need to work on, the same situation will continue to repeat itself until you either learn your lesson or find a healthy way of dealing with that particular issue.
Think of the movie Groundhog Day. It was one of my favorites. Once Bill Murray realized that he was living the same day over and over again, he came up with ways to fix the things that went wrong before.
He learned how to fix the relationship with the object of his affection. He even learned to deal better with the annoying insurance salesman who approached him every morning.
It wasn’t until he learned to accept his fate that the cycle of reliving each day ended. He also became more compassionate and more sympathetic—an overall better version of himself.
I hear people say: Why do I keep going through the same things in relationships? I’m with different people, but things always end up being the same, or they act just like someone who I used to know.
Some of these people give up, some get stuck in a vicious cycle of their own making, and others don’t even realize that they are basically chasing their tail, repeating the same situation over and over.
Recently, I found myself in a pattern of attraction. It took some time for me to understand it. I had a hard time coming to terms with my divorce, and for years I wanted a second chance in that area of my life. A new start. A new marriage.
Only problem was that when I did come across someone I liked, he was unavailable—already in a relationship or emotionally unavailable to me, and therefore, unwilling to participate in a relationship with me.
I went through a period of time when the only guys who asked me out were either married or in a relationship of some type, live-in or on-and-off with a current girlfriend.
Instead of pursuing those situations (for obvious reasons) I would instead go for the single, yet emotionally unavailable guy. And I would try to win him over, to no avail, trying to prove that I was “good enough.”
It wasn’t until recently that I had an “a ha” moment, in which I realized that the critic I was trying to “prove myself” to was not someone else. It was me—the inner critic who still had not come to terms with the dissolution of my marriage and considered it a complete failure.
My thought process was: If I could turn this person around or make this person change his mind and love me, then I would be worthy of love.
It was an erroneous way of thinking. Had I not done the emotional self reflection I would probably still be in a pattern of trying to win someone’s love, or what I like to call chasing my own tail and going around in circles.
A good question to ask is: Am I reliving the same scene, over and over again? What’s my part in that?
It might not be in relationships, but in different situations, like at work for example, when the same issue comes up disguised. If you work with the public it could be the same issue with different customers, until you find a way to deal with it or until you learn the lesson.
While working with the public, I have noticed times when every single person I come across is upset, angry, or annoyed, and at first I would react in a similar way. We are all mirrors of ourselves.
After a number of people with the same, or similar issue, came up to me, I started to try to find different ways to resolve the problems—for example, not taking things personally and showing empathy to the person I was helping.
Around that time in my life a pattern, or lesson, I was in could be described as: How to stop taking things personally and how to view problems as opportunities.
Had I not experienced the same problems with customers and made the necessary changes, I would possibly still be in the process of learning that lesson.
I’m still working on this; some lessons take longer than others. Instead of reacting to situations, when something comes up and seems familiar, I try to stand back—if even for a second—to think.
For a while it will seem like coincidences playing out, but over time the pattern of your lesson will come up. This is the lesson you need to learn at this time.
It could be a lesson in humility, or a lesson in gratitude, or maybe you may need to learn empathy to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Instead of reacting all the time, every time something challenging comes up it could be an opportunity to learn.
One lesson I’ve needed to learn recently can be summarized with a Shakespeare quote:
“To thine own self be true.”
I’m realizing that, no matter what other people say, do, or think about us, it is our opinions of ourselves that really matter. And, when making decisions, sometimes it is good to question our own intentions. Think: What am I doing here? Or what am I up to?
Ultimately the question I’ve needed to ask myself is: Am I being completely honest with myself? What is the particular reason why I’m scared of change?
There are times when opportunities have come up for me to change my residence, or my place of employment, or even my car, and I haven’t seized those possibilities. I’ve stayed in place. Why?
One particular opportunity entailed moving out of my city to live closer to my family. My family members have offered to help with an out-of-state move, including offering me a place to stay with my children. But still, I haven’t.
When I started being honest with myself, I realized that this fear of change was a big issue for me. I needed to handle it because, if I did not, situations would continue to come up where I was forced by circumstances to make a decision involving a change.
I learned that not making a decision is in itself a decision—and that my fear of change was actually a fear of failure. That was when I noticed the pattern of things breaking, or circumstances changing, forcing me to deal with my inability to make decisions.
Find your pattern. Find your lesson.
A good way of recognizing patterns in your life is by listening to your feelings, your intuition. I’ve found that when I am involved in a pattern, my emotions run a bit stronger, kind of like a warning from my subconscious mind to pay attention to what’s happening.
More often than not, I recognize the pattern when the situation has ended, or changed. Hindsight is 20/20 in this way. It can be difficult to recognize a pattern while it’s playing out. So, usually we realize what happened afterward. And that is okay.
In turn, life will continue to send us ways to overcome our patterns and learn our individual lessons.
The key is to be alert. When you’re open to recognizing a pattern, you can change it by learning the lesson, and in doing so, change your life.
About Maria Cristina McDonald
Maria Cristina McDonald is a writer from the Dominican Republic living in Pittsburgh. She is currently working on her first book, a collection of short stories, which she started this year. A mother, she’s also a store manager, a mom, and a dreamer. Email her at starchick77(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Change can happen from a state of suffering or from a state of joy and inspiration.
Regardless of your driving force, it is your intention to take responsibility for your life and your desire to truly live your best life that will design your destiny.
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How did I decide to change?
I decided to change from a state of suffering and despair.
I became addicted to anger and food: Sitting with my feelings was so difficult that it was just easier to be angry and when it got too much, well reaching for food looking for comfort was just so much easier.
This is not uncommon. Reflect for a second do you have a hard day and then, you want to reach for a glass of wine? Or is it a bowl of ice cream?
Let’s be clear, I am not saying wine or ice cream is bad, all I am saying is when we reach for them in order to numb a low vibrating feeling such as anger or boredom we are not doing anything that will raise our vibration. And after the wine or the ice cream effect wears off, we are back to the same emotion.
In my case as I did this more often than I would like to accept I drove myself down to the ground until I fell on my knees.
Why do we have to change?
I have been seeing a therapist for longer than a year to this moment. But I had so much resistance, accepting I needed to change. At this point, I was indulging in my suffering because it felt known and familiar. It was easier to go to the therapist and sit on the chair and complain about how I felt about my parents, my husband, my life than to take action to change.
The reason was simple: changing means taking full responsibility.
Even if it feels unfair.
You are not taking responsibility for other people’s actions, you are taking responsibility for how you feel and how you respond to them.
The problem is: Once you are fully aware something needs to change, but you neglect to fully accept the place you are in, you are not changing. You are just spinning in circles and becoming sadder, emptier, lonelier.
I am not a doctor, but based on my own experience it is out of this place is when chronic depression starts to take over our identity: You become so familiar with all these low vibrations emotions that they take over you.
How do you break the resistance to change?
My therapist, I guess frustrated with my unwillingness to take responsibility for my emotions, sent me home and asked me to schedule an entire day for me to cry and scream. And so I did.
I remember I locked myself in a room and I did nothing but cry, scream and punch a pillow. Honestly, I literally let it all out. I said horrible things out loud. I was angry, very angry.
This time, I didn’t look for ways to numb this feeling: I didn’t turn the TV on, I didn’t pick a fight with my husband, I didn’t reach for the wine, I didn’t call a friend…
Think about the ways you look for comfort when an uncomfortable feeling takes over you.
On the contrary, the angrier I got, the more I said, the more I cried, the harder I punched the pillow, the louder I screamed. I continued for hours until I fell on my knees.
And this is when I broke my resistance:
I surrender to a higher mind.
I was raised catholic, but I have never been very religious. God has always been on my path, but I was angry at him too. There is so much there, that it is a post for another day. But, this was different.
What happened that day was a revelation: I didn’t feel alone. I felt loved and guided.
I believed change was possible and with this feeling of serenity among the storm, I said out loud: ” I don’t care how long it takes, I don’t care how I feel, I don’t care who I lose in the process but I am going to change. I don’t want to live like this anymore!”
And this is how I took full responsibility for my destiny.
I am not suffering, do I need to change too?
What I would say:
If you are in fear that if you environment changes you will lose your joy and peace, there is change that needs to take place to not rely on the external environment for how you feel.