I just learned about this… Got Your Six.
In the military when someone tells you that they’ve “Got Your 6,” it means they’re watching your back.
This post is about 2 things:
1) Who’s back do you have and who’s got your back?
2) What are you doing to help our Veterans who are returning from service?
Regarding #1 – I think it’s my job to care for every person I meet. By ‘care for’ I mean see them. Look in their eyes, smile and listen. As for who has my back… there are so many people who have watched over me; I am blessed. I am sending out a loving thank you to each of you today.
Regarding #2 – Our Veterans are coming back from service– they need our support. The “all-volunteer” group of servicemen and women face significant issues resulting from multiple tours of duty and injury — to the body and to the spirit. We can all do something. We just need to find it. They need support in– jobs, education, health, housing, family and leadership.
We need to take the skill and experience of those who have served and let them show us the way — while we stand by them and stand up for them. It is our duty and privilege.
My aha career moments… here are two.
1) I had been working in corporate America (a Fortune 25 company) when I got pregnant with my first child. I realized that if I was going to create the ‘life’ I wanted, I was going to have to figure out how to work part time. There were no ‘part-time’ ‘professional (non-exempt) women working as managers at the company at that time. I made my pitch to my boss… I’ll continue to manage the group, get my work done and you can pay me less (I’ll work 30 hours a week). In return, I’ll manage my own schedule. He didn’t want to say yes but I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. (Well he could have but he had a daughter my age..etc.) My aha moment was not getting the green light to test this new idea, which I did… the aha moment was the incredible push-back I got from my colleagues; particularly women.
Take-away: Be clear about your priorities and don’t let anyone stand in your way. I decided that the push-back came from inside these people. They were jealous that I was ‘brave’ enough to do something so radical (haha, radical).
2) Jumping off a cliff – When I left that same large corporation during a down-sizing (I was made an offer.. go back to full time or leave the company) — I decided to leave and start a company. I was the single mother of 2 school-aged children. People thought I was crazy. What they didn’t know was that I was carefully plotting my career to be an entrepreneur. Every assignment I took inside the corporation was designed to teach me a skill I would be able to use in my future entrepreneurial adventure. So I jumped off the cliff and started a company. It worked for about 2 years and then 9/11 happened and all our customer’s funding dried up.
Take-away: If you wait until everything is perfect, until you know what you’re going to do, until you’re certain… you’ll never jump. Some people are born to jump, some people aren’t. Don’t waste your time wishing you were one or the other. Know yourself and take the risks that make your life meaningful.
Live for today… the sun is shining, you can walk, talk, eat, smell, smile, see — but pay attention to your tomorrow. Don’t listen to others when they tell you — you can’t and leap when the leaping feels right. I sleep well at night and look in the mirror with a quiet confidence. I can always improve myself. But I can happily say; I didn’t let fear get interfere with doing it my way.
Image credit – GE Pinterest Board -That’s Genius – Thomas Edison
I have one special gift, I have a good ‘ear’…I can’t sing …but I can recognize and imitate sounds. This is why I studied languages in college. I started taking French in 3rd grade and then studied German and Spanish in college. I loved learning about culture through understanding the language. I had a chance to read Victor Hugo, Franz Kafka and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in their original languages. Let me assure you that there are MANY things that don’t translate from one language to another. We Americans think our language is sophisticated– in the sense that we accommodate words from all kinds of other languages. However, just like us as a nation, it is young and immature — with all the good and bad things that flow from that.
When I came across this article: How Do You Say…? For Some Words There is No Translation – I loved the idea and examples. I especially appreciated…
Swahili: Tuko pajoma -Denotes a shared sense of purpose and motivation in a group. It transcends mere agreement and implies empathetic understanding, or “We are together.”
As we move forward into this unknown and unknowable future.. let us remember Tuko pajoma. We have a shared sense of purpose and motivation… and that is to help one another, to find our way together and to learn and grow. This takes a conscious effort and I am glad you’re on this journey with me. I couldn’t do it without you.
Heiwa no tabi suru May peace be your journey.
Image credit: How do you say…
The number one most common mistake at a job interview is:
failing to ask for the job*
WOW! Imagine if this is true. I took a few moments to think about how many times I wanted something– and walked away wondering why I didn’t get it and guess what I realized, more often than not, it was probably my own fault.
I didn’t open my mouth and say, “I’d like.. that job, that favor, that ‘whatever’…” but my own stubbornness or low self esteem or cowardice (ok, that’s a little strong) prevented me from getting what I wanted.
If in fact I want the job, why don’t I ask for it?
And if I want to be sure to get what I want, how do I get better at asking? The answer is; I practice. I practice asking for what I want. This requires me to know what I want. With some of us that’s the first step. Some people are completely clear about what they want (and some go to a lot of trouble to make sure EVERYONE knows and delivers). If you always are very clear about what you want and don’t have a problem asking for it.. then this post isn’t for you. But feel free to leave a comment!
However, if you are someone who generally knows what you want but sometimes hesitate to ask for it; I want you to stop and think about why that is.
Because every job is temporary.. we all need to be able to look for work and understand how our skills match a potential employer — efficiently and effectively. That includes opening our mouths and asking for the job when we find it. The worst that can happen is — we are told no. It may not be fun to hear no, but it’s better to hear no than silence. You can’t get a hit if you don’t swing the bat. You can do it.
Photo credit: brokenchopstick
*resource = How Interviewers Know
Are you ready to get on with the challenges that you face in your life? Your mouth says yes but your attitude and body language are saying no.
Now let me give you and me credit… we are doing a lot of hard stuff, everyday. Good for us. However, we live better than 95% of the people on the planet so let’s get to the heart of the matter. We’re soft.
If we’re soft… then we’re lousy role models and unimaginative workers/parents/business people/community leaders.
So pick one… any one of these and commit to stop doing it— even just for one day… today.
1) Blaming — what difference does it make who’s fault it is? What are you going to do about it? Sticky wicket relationship? I gotta do my part. Change my attitude. I’m not right. Who cares?
2) Judging – focus on yourself. Let others do what they need to. Live and let live.
3) Tilting at Windmills – when I get all upset over something I can’t change… it slowly dawns on me that I am wasting precious energy. I could be laughing. What the heck?
4) Defending – try listening instead.
5) Being afraid. What’s the worst that can happen? I can tell you that many people have lived through MUCH worse. You can do.
Here’s a good article on 10 things to stop doing. I believe in you.
Photo credit: broken glasses 1 Photographer jfg
“Life is like a ten-speed bike… most of us have gears we’ve never tried.” Charles Schulz (creator of Charlie Brown comics)
I’ve led a rather colorful life. I had the advantage of growing up in a difficult family environment. Why do I consider that an advantage? Because I can empathize with people — in fact almost everyone. Pushing myself is part of my DNA and my life circumstances.
So what’s that go to do with the 10 speed bike? Well, because I know what it’s like to be hungry and scared… I’ve probably used a few more of my gears than others. Would I wish difficulty on anyone – no. But I can tell you that it made me the person I am and I am happy that I have challenged myself in almost every aspect of life.
So how do we figure out which gears we’ve used and which gears we ought to try? It’s a matter of understanding where we’re comfortable. Trying a new gear has to do with making a conscious choice to do things differently.
Here are my energy gears:
- before I’ve had my tea BUT I wake up everyday in a great mood. (it’s truly annoying to those around me)
- reading, skimming, thinking, meditating
- making art in my little studio or creative writing
- at work, talking to folks, making sure I’m present in my day
- starting something new or pushing through an existing project
- talking in front of a small group – less than 50 people
- talking to a big group > 50 people – energy needs to be really high
- going into a room full of strangers and talking to people (takes everything I’ve got)
- Not sure what this is..
This is only one measure of the gears that relate to the amount and kind of energy I need to summon. What are your gears and what pushes you use new ones?
Photo credit: Snowed In Chris Metcalf
People close to me… ok, my husband and my daughter specifically… told me I should get a dog.
“You love dogs… you’ll really enjoy having a the unconditional love…. they’re so much fun!” They said it to me often enough and I finally relented and here she is. Her name is Gildie (means ‘celebration’ in Icelandic) and she’s an Australian Terrier.
I call her a terrior’ist’ because she attacks the world with a quiet ferocity. She doesn’t bark a lot… she just waits until the time is right… sizes up her opponent..(right now that’s often a two liter soda bottle rolling around on the kitchen floor) and then in she goes for fun and exercise.
I’m exhausted from all the up and down and in and out. It’s a relentless schedule of training, positive reinforcement and the occasional distraction/accident/discipline.
I can see why my family wanted me to have a little companion. She reminds me of the basics of life…
– Don’t sweat the small stuff.. and it’s all small stuff
– Be here now. Wherever Gildie is… that’s where life is best. Be in the moment
– Love is the answer
– Curiosity is a wonderful thing
– Remember to play, rest and make friends
There will likely be more updates from the puppy front. In the meantime.. what does your pet teach you? I’d love to hear.
My kids favorite book was Professor Wormbog’s Gloomy Kerploppus.
What did they love? the silly pictures? the way I did the voices of the various characters? or simply the comfort of snuggling and reading the same story over and over – completely predictable in an unpredictable world. As children we are naturally attracted to what interests us. We are open. Life is compelling and fun. Do you still feel that way?
Check out one of my favorite bloggers – Julien Smith - his post 19 Thoughts on Finding Your Purpose. There’s a little something for everyone here. I particularly like…
“Go through your childhood and find what interested you. Combine those things and add a trend or two. Do it right and you’ll have a great business.”
What did you love as a kid? Do you still do it now?
If you can’t remember what you loved as a kid– think about how you can remember? Smells and sounds can be evocative so remember those childhood foods and songs and see if that helps. Ask someone who knew you then how they remember you.
What book, stuffed animal, cartoon, movie, friend, house, toy -do you remember? See what you can learn about yourself today.
As I kid I loved to read and write. I had a very difficult and unhappy childhood but I still remember sitting in an orange wing chair (oh the 70′s!) next to a window where birds chirped all day. Those books and that chair took me places where I felt safe. Now I look to find ways to help others “find their way.”
What did you love as a child and how might it help you be happier and more fulfilled today? You can do it!
Choices, do you have too many or not enough?
People without food, homes, jobs, health. self-respect, family, etc. don’t have many choices. Most of us have a ton of choices (like the cereal aisle – 100 kinds of cereal – really?)
We’re so invested in our comfort and conformity that we literally say… we have no choice but to… work a job we hate, stay in relationships with people who harm us, believe things that make us hate other people.
Here’s a little inspiration by Liz Strauss. I don’t know Liz except for her twitter posts. but I really loved this.
Be a treasure.
Start a quest. Create and conspire.
Be a mentor, a leader, a teacher. Inspire.
Be a beginner, a learner, an adventurer. Aspire.
Shine at being you.
Shine because being brilliant is what you do.
Do it because YOU have decided you’re living up to being a treasure.
– ME “Liz” Strauss
Do you understand that you are a treasure? Do you know how much you can influence the world? Start with yourself. If you’re not sure where to begin– try being quiet; the answers will come to you– I promise.
Photo credit: Nightgaunt Graphics
Do you know when you’re stuck?
Sometimes it takes me a while. But when I’m crankier (than usual), finding fault in the people I love over small things, am afraid to try new things and so on… I realize that I’m stuck. Here are a few things to think about… You’re not the only person who is stuck, you just need to be brave and reach out to someone else.
Remember, ” When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
Symptoms of being stuck include, thinking you’re…
- always right
- always wrong
- the only person who has money troubles (really you lived below your means? … hmmm)
- married to/in partnership with the wrong person (without fully examining your part in it)
- in a job that you’re too good for (but you haven’t kept up your skills or networking)
- in a job you hate (but you don’t haven’t even looked for a new job in years)
- unemployed for several months (and still scoff at… social media, networking, building skills) unable to remember the last time you learned something new that took real effort not helping other people
- a drip… you don’t even want to be around yourself
I understand. The reason this post was so easy to write… this is me. But I’ll tell you this…I stopped doing it as soon as I could.
Please tell me, what are you afraid of… go on, explain it to me or someone else. Get unstuck. It feels so good. Take one little step. You can do it!
Photo credit: CHUD.com