“Get Your Spiritual House in Order!”

meditate_opt

I heard this fervent command not from the lips of a Sunday morning television evangelist but in a commercial on a prime-time radio show.

The ad features the CEO of a training company who uses short radio spots to promote to business owners his sales training programs on how to motivate and manage a sales force.

What does spirituality have to do with selling products and services in the marketplace? A lot, according to this sales trainer.

He suggests that sales people need to clean up on the inside in order to present a positive attitude on the outside. If they are holding onto any anger or resentment, then it is only a matter of time before they dump that negativity onto prospects and clients, thereby hurting the bottom line of the business owner.

We’ve all been knocked down in life because failure and defeat are part of life. Failure is inevitable. That’s why so many parents are keen to have their children participate in competitive activities, such as sports, chess, spelling bees – anything that can provide an experience of victory and defeat. The sooner they ride the roller-coaster of life’s ups and downs, the sooner they have a chance to adjust to reality.

As young children, we need our basic requirements handed to us because we cannot fend for ourselves. As we age, we are supposed to learn skills to help us do so. If we don’t learn those skills, or if we don’t apply what we learn, the world will often teach us in the manner of a harsh taskmaster. You can’t cheat life.

One of the most difficult transitions we make from childhood to life as teens and then as adults is to discover that our selfish needs are not the center of the universe. At some level, we need to learn compassion for and service to others.

The sales trainer mentioned above knows that even the best sales performers will face rejection more often than they will get a sale. One of the key factors of success for any salesperson is to persist in the face of rejection, to know that each ‘No’ brings them closer to a ‘Yes.”

Anybody can make a sale, given a proven product and a proven method for selling that product. What gets in the way of a sale is very often a person’s attitude towards failure and their ability to get up after being knocked down by rejection.

A rejection is often felt personally and can foster feelings of anger or resentment or fear. When that happens, it can show up in your attitude towards others. As the sales trainer knows, a negative attitude produces negative results.

Rejection is just a part of life. Successful people know how to process the negative experiences of life. I think it is important to recognize that most successful people have a spiritual dimension to their lives to help them process those experiences. They connect to it; they realize that their work is part of something bigger than them and their needs.

Too often we focus only on the financial aspects of work. When we do so, we let work undermine our hunger for spirituality. The world of work tends to make us dry and weak spiritually. By contrast, successful people often exhibit an air of enthusiasm about their work. They are their own best spokespersons for what they do. They inspire confidence in themselves and their work.

The roots of both words, enthusiasm and inspiration, are related to spirituality. The source of the word ‘enthusiasm’ is Greek , for “having the god within.” The word “inspiration” comes from Latin, which meant originally “to blow into”, to describe God giving Adam the breath of life.

Successful people have learned that their achievements are predicated to some extent on the good energy they bring into the world. They have poured their energy, love, talent, and creativityinto others through business, public service, teaching, coaching, volunteering, art, or some kind of investment in others.

And, by doing so, they have achieved success in the more important dimensions of life, such as their health, self-respect, happiness, courage, self-worth and relationships.

When your spiritual house is in order, it shows up in your work. It’s part of living a better story for your life.

George Dutch
www.jobjoy.com

How high do you bounce?

bruins-adversity

Everybody gets knocked down in life, everybody. When you have a goal or objective in life, does the universe allow you to achieve it quickly or easily? Not likely. We live in a universe of adversity.

Our best laid plans, our deepest desires, our clearest objectives will run into opposition. Whatever path we are on, we will run into roadblocks and obstacles. The nature of reality is adversity.

This is a new year. And you can expect to get knocked down this year at some point. For example, I just got off the phone with a client who recently made a career change, one that has changed her life dramatically. “I feel like I can breathe again,” she says. “I’ve got my life back.” She loves her new job and is very happy she switched careers.

However, there is adversity in her situation. She has been parachuted into a key position with this company, and she is facing resentment from co-workers who undermine her enthusiasm with gossip and petty actions. The director of her division regularly criticizes her performance, sometimes with verbal abuse. On the worst days, she wants to quit.

Eric Hoffer, an American philosopher, wrote: “Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of failure and decay.”

Everybody fails, everybody. It is normal. You can expect to fail this year at some point. You will have a strong desire to do or get something and you will not attain it. You will set a goal and not achieve it. In fact, the year starts with resolutions, most of which are never fulfilled. But the odd setback here and there does not a year make.

Life goes on. The setback does not last. Don’t confuse failure with defeat. I love that quote from General George Patton, the WWII hero: “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” Failure is a temporary condition; defeat is an attitude.

Most of us play or watch sports because sports reflect the nature of reality—adversity. In each game or contest, every player is trying to score or win. In order to do so, the players and teams must overcome their adversaries. Every player gets knocked down. The key is to get up and focus on what really matters to you.

Life is not a game but it is a structured event, full of circumstances around which we have no control as individuals. Adversity is woven into the very fabric of life. Life owes us nothing. We are entitled to nothing. We are simply given the opportunity to face adversity head on.

We consciously or unconsciously do the things that make us successful or unsuccessful. For example, we are in control of our attitude, of how we respond to circumstances. You will encounter both good and bad circumstances throughout your life; how you respond to them is your choice.

You can choose to be passive, and simply accept whatever life sends your way. Or, you can choose to take actions that will move you closer to what really matters to you. Yes, there will be roadblocks, obstacles, and adversaries that get in the way. By we can choose to meet them head on. That takes courage and strength of mind. To quote General Patton again: “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

Let me close by going back to my client who got a new job but inherited a bad boss and jealous co-workers. As bad as this might appear to be, it is nothing in comparison to the toxic work environment she left last year. I have seen this scenario hundreds of times over the past 20 years. A new year rolls around with a new set of challenges. We live in a universe of adversity; what does not break us makes us stronger.

She is learning to stand up for herself, setting boundaries, and focusing on priorities. Vitality is nurtured by overcoming adversity. We grow personally and professionally by confronting and overcoming challenges. May you bounce back all year long!
BounceBack

How to Inoculate against job flus and blues

how-_to-_inaculate

The current economic recession has resulted in millions of layoffs for workers across North America. On top of that, there is an H1N1 pandemic forcing millions to lay down from work for a week or more, jeopardizing good health, or even job security.

Learning to adapt to changing circumstances in life is a necessary skill. Being forced into such circumstances means letting go of situations that feel comfortable and predictable. Here are some examples of losses you may experience and what your thoughts might be about it.

Loss of the Familiar – “I felt secure in knowing what I was supposed to do each day.”

Loss of Structure & Clarity – “I liked my routine and felt comfortable with what was expected of me each day.”

Loss of a Hoped-for Future – “I thought I’d work here until I retired.”

Loss of Career Direction – “I knew where I fit into the big picture and what my options were.”

Loss of Influence – “My colleagues respected me, and they listened to my ideas.”

Loss of Friends – “My workplace was my second family.”

Loss of a Network – “I could count on them for personal and professional help.”

Loss of Knowledge & Expertise – “Staff and co-workers counted on me.”

Loss of Security – “I had a great compensation package.”

You can better adapt to changes like these by taking large doses of three Vitamin ‘A’s: Attitude, Aptitudes, and Action. They can help inoculate you from the negative consequences of job-related flus and blues.

Attitude

You have every reason to stay positive. You were able to learn your job and do well in it. So, it’s only a question of bringing your ability to learn and work hard to your new or next job.

You’re not starting from scratch. You have skills, knowledge, contacts–a vlaue proposition!  What other organizations would value your expertise? There are so many potential employers out there and you will likely find one to work with for many years.

And, once you have a new routine, do you think you’ll feel comfortable in your job? You’ve shown the ability to do good work and be rewarded for it, so you can apply that same ability in your next job. You were able to gain respect with people at your previous job, so why would your ability to establish and maintain friendships at your next workplace be any different?

Aptitude

There are over 60,000 jobs operating in the world of work, and you are suited to a dozen or more. You have experience, and dozens of managers are waiting for you to walk through the door and make their life easier by putting your unique set of talents, experience, and skills to work in helping them meet their organizations goals and objectives by solving problems, overcoming challenges, coping with impact issues, and dealing with pressure points that are acting as roadblocks to the attainment of those goals.

It is very likely that you will find a new career path at your next employer that’s even better than your last!

Action

You have a lot more experience now, so what kind of professional help do you need to position/package you for new and better opportunities?

Once you identify and define that next opportunity, you can communicate to your family and friends with clarity and confidence which organizations you are targeting.

When you are ready, you say goodbye to colleagues at your previous workplace, and invest some energy in friendships you want to maintain. Then draw on their goodwill because they WANT to help you, and they each know a lot of people.

Tell them specifically the kinds of jobs you are best suited for. They can refer you to people who can refer you to people until you get face-to-face with someone who will recognize and reward your talents and skill

Learn what simple and effective actions can help you break into the hierarchy of hiring and get job offers.

Transitions aren’t always easy but building up your immune system with these three Vitammin ‘A’s will help you adopt certain attitudes, aptitudes, and actions that can put you in a better place than the one you leave behind!