Use This One Thing to Boost Your Motivation

Be playful in your work

Yesterday I was struggling to get my “happy plane” off the ground to do some writing, but I just couldn’t get my mindset into a creative mood.

I knew what I wanted to write, but the sentences were clumsy. Then I did what any smart creative person does…

I took a break.

Then I picked up one of my super rubber duckies and just looked at it and squeezed it.

I give presentations and throw these superhero duckies out into the crowd to help remind people that they have superpowers. Funny how I forget the simple reminders that I know are useful to my clients.

Toys can have a calming effect on even the grumpiest adults.

More Fun

I said to myself, “Why not have a little more fun with your work?”

Then I picked up my Spiderman golf putter that my brother gave me for Christmas, grabbed a golf ball, dropped it on my carpet, picked a little opening between the wall and the couch, and hit the ball toward the opening. Another smile came over me.

After sixteen tries, I got the ball in the opening, and I smiled for the third time.

Then a thought of what I wanted to say in my blog post popped into my head. I put my putter aside and the writing started to come a little easier.

And I remembered that being playful in my work truly does matter in order for me to be creative. Taking a break can be more productive than going through the motions, and that rubber duckies and indoor golf can actually help me regain focus, clarity and forward momentum.

Although hugs, handshakes, high fives, and other experiences that bring us in contact with other people can motivate us to maintain forward momentum, we can also choose a physical object to remind us to be playful or to refocus when we’re stuck and no one else is around. Think of it as an emotional trigger to bring a little happiness back into your workday.

Step 1Find your motivation object.

Look around your workspace and see if you notice an object that you might not have been aware of before that helps quiet your thoughts..

It could be a…

  1. Photo of a loved one
  2. Action figure
  3. Coin
  4. Stress ball
  5. Letter
  6. Golf putter
  7. Feather

The key here is to use this object to trigger the next step.

Step 2Use a phrase to help you relax and shift the focus of your thoughts.

If you noticed in the example above, I used a phrase that helps me let go of my stress and helps me focus on what I want to happen next.

I said to myself, “Why not have a little more fun with my work?”

I don’t force it, and you shouldn’t either.

And don’t just repeat your phrase once and try to get right back to work.

Use your phrase and allow yourself the time and emotional space to take a break and then start to get your mindset back on track.

Step 3Bring yourself back to taking action.

When you try to get yourself back on track, think of one thing you can do to improve your motivation, and then think of the next little step to make that a reality, so you can start taking action again, but this time in a little more focused direction.

In my case, I wanted to do some writing. So I gave myself the space to allow the creativity back into my mind by being playful.

You shouldn’t force the issue of what you want your mind and body to do next. Just plant the seed and allow yourself to relax. Then let your brain and body do what it wants to do naturally.

Quick Tip

I suggest not to make your motivation object anything like your phone because it can be more of a distraction than a object to help you get back on track. You don’t want to get lost in a game and lose our on valuable work time if you can get your motivation back on track in 10 or 20 minutes.

The same thing goes for food. You don’t probably don’t want to rely on a donut every time you need an motivation boost.

Your Turn

How do you get your motivation back on track when you

Are You Scared to Make Your Next Career Move?

is it five yet

What did that little voice inside you say as you read the headline?

“I’m not afraid! I’ll read it.”

“I’m scared, but maybe this article will help.”

“That’s the stupidest headline line I’ve ever read, but I have to read it.”

The inner dialog that goes on in our head is responsible for 80% of our happiness. If it’s positive you are usually happy. If it’s not you are usually unhappy.

Pretty simple to understand, but hard to actually do.

I like to call this little negative inner voice in my head my inner arch nemesis. We can be are our own worst enemies, or our best advocates.

I recently talked to an author who linked to me on the Forbes website. We had a nice chat and offered to do an honest review of each other’s books on Amazon. I sent her mine with the caveat that it isn’t designed that well and her reply back was…

Dude, why did you couch your book on the phone as “just something you wrote in the past but my manifesto is better”?? It’s flipping great! I mean it. I really really loved it. Review is up!!!

I didn’t mean to put down my book. It’s just that it’s not as designed as well as I would like. The content is solid, but it could use some images and better transitions.

The thing is, nothing is perfect. My career, my book, and my cooking skills could all be improved.

You see my point. We can be our own worst enemies. Sometimes it’s not even conscious. I put a lot of hard work into my book. Two editors looked threw it twice, a dozen read throughs and edits by me, hours of layout and it’s still could be improved. My book might not be perfect, but I’m proud of it. The reviews have been good and I know it has helped a lot of people.

It’s why I work with mentors, coaches, and therapists who can help me in my business and life. They’ve been invaluable to my success. It’s why I also practice active relaxation and meditation. I’m training myself to be more aware of the thoughts I choose, so I choose more encouraging thoughts that support my goals instead of feed my fears.

What do you do to let go of your fear and take a career gamble that could make you happier?

Master Your Career Superpowers

happier at work

You never have to worry about your career if you are using your superpowers.

You create more negotiating leverage when you are doing great work. It’s hard to deny a raise to someone who find creative solutions to problems. It’s hard to deny a promotion to someone who’s excitement is contagious. It’s easy to find help when you are so helpful.

When you are happier you get more done.

The key is to unlock those superpowers, so you can get more leverage in your career.

I had a conversation with a client about her superpowers. She had a little trouble wrapping her mind around the idea of having superpowers.

We chatted about what it means to have superpowers. I asked her if Warren Buffett had superpowers. She agreed. He was able to find gaps in the market that other people didn’t see to earn a lot of money. Now he is using his money to help people in need.

Then she said, “Ahhh. I really do see. It’s how I help people.”

“Yes!”

That’s it. We are all here, on this earth, to help each other. Whether we make people laugh when they need it the most or help them file their taxes so they don’t get audited. This is what makes up our superpowers.

This breakthrough for her opened up the whole idea of superpowers for her.

That’s why I became a Superpower Coach (fun way to say career coach). I wanted to help people become happier and do great work.

Am I a perfect coach?

Nope, but I get great results and I love what I do.

Have you ever hired a coach before?

I’m curious… most people I meet have not. I’m curious to why. All great athletes and even some average ones hire coaches to get better. They’ll hire a tennis coach to improve their serve or a golf coach to improve their swing, but not a career coach. It’s interesting, don’t you think?

A career coach can help you make more money, feel happier, and do better work.

Do you think it’s easier to measure physical improvements vs mental improvements?

Let’s discuss in the comment section or on Work Happy Now Facebook Page.

10 Choices That Will Make Your Career More Successful

happiness quote

If only I would have…

This phrase is one of the most depressing phrases anyone can use in their career.

Depending how long you’ve been in your current career, you’ll notice the small regrets and missed opportunities adding up.

I say this because I’m living proof that it’s true. It’s usually never just one thing that I’ve passed up, it’s been the little daily choices where I’ve dropped the ball.

Here are ten choices that can prevent regret and create a better career and life.

1. Embrace challenging work.

A career without challenges is just a boring career that isn’t worth talking about. It’s a job that helps you pay the bills. You have a daily choice to seek challenging work that will grow your career superpowers or hide from it.

When you are willing to say, “Yes!” to challenging work then you are stretching yourself outside your comfort zone to a place that will open up new doors internally and externally. Internally, you’ll find that a different type of work will help you unleash your superpowers. Externally, you’ll find people seeking out your help because you aren’t afraid to tackle a new project.

You don’t need to be amazing at every new challenge. You just need to show you aren’t scared. People will be impressed by your willingness to grow.

2. Find your own definition of happiness.

Your happiness is very important to growing and enjoying your career. When you allow someone else to set the ceiling for your happiness, you’ve lost leverage and respect. To gain both back, you must look at what type of work makes you happy and make this a regular part of your day.

Even if it’s just 20 minutes, carve out time to do work that you are passionate about, work that gets you excited. Then start dedicating extra minutes to this type of work each day. When you show people the great results you are getting, I know they will want you to increase the time you spend on these type of projects.

3. Appreciate the people who’ve helped you.

Every career is built on advice, support, and love from others. You would never be where you are without these amazing people, from the co-worker that encouraged you to take the lead on a project to a boss that believed you had the potential to do even better work.

Go for a walk and think about the people who have helped you improve your career. It’s these people you should thank and make sure they know you appreciate them. This helps you because it brings more gratitude to your relationships and also reminds you that for every person who has helped you, there are people who need your help.

4. Introduce people who can help each other.

When you have a chance to introduce two people to each other so they can help each other, you are helping their careers. It’s this help that always comes back to you in some form or another.

Don’t let scarcity thinking hold you back from making these introductions. When you help other people, it will ultimately help you in today’s world that depends so much on networking.

5. Ask your co-workers how you can better help them.

A career is always a work in progress and sometimes we stall out because we burn out and/or we’ve lost interest in our work. This is natural and the ebb and flow of any good career. The best way to break out of a rut is to get feedback that challenges you to take action.

Next time a co-worker or boss asks for help, say yes and also try asking them for feedback. Show them that you are trying to improve on your results. Many people aren’t very good at giving constructive feedback, so help them along. Ask them good questions that make it easier for them. For example, “What could I have done better on project X?” or  “I felt a little awkward when I did XYZ, what do you think I could do to improve next time?”

The better the questions you ask, the easier it will be to obtain feedback that can help you improve and grow your career.

6. Share your gratitude with others.

“Thank you so much! I couldn’t have done this without you,” is one of my favorite phrases. It makes me feel like I’ve had 10 cups of coffee.

Gratitude is very important to making people feel happier. When you make people feel good, they will want to keep delivering great results for you.

Do you take the time to tell people how important they are to your projects? If not try to do this whenever you get great results from a co-worker, boss, or contractor. The key is to be authentic, so they truly feel the quality of your appreciation.

And instead of just saying thank you, insert more detail. For example, you could say “Thank you so much for all your hard work. When I saw the quality of the graphs you made, I knew that you really thought about the best way to present the information to the client.

The more detail the better. They will feel seen and appreciated.

7. Plan your projects.

You are busy. I get it. The thing is a little planning can actually save you time. You are more focused on getting the results that will help you and your company.

Look at the last project you worked on, where did things get dropped? Could this have been avoided? Probably some or even a lot of them.

Next time, try thinking about your most important goal for the project first and then work backwards. Look at how you can chunk down this big goal into little goals so the project doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Then when you have a smaller goal, you can tackle this goal before you move on to the next phase. You’ll get better results and you’ll feel less stressed.

8. Refrain from complaining.

Ahh, a complaining session can just seem to pop up spontaneously. And I admit it can feel good to complain, but what good does it do in the long run? It can really hurt your morale and that of the people around you.

Next time you happen to get caught in a spontaneous complaining meeting, try listening and asking questions. Let’s say someone complains about a co-worker. Oh, I know this doesn’t happen at your company, but bear with me.

Next time someone complains about a co-worker try this:

“Yeah, that is frustrating. What do you think they could have done differently?”

Hopefully they will feel like joining in on your little game and they say something like, “Tom could have just emailed us an agenda before we sat in the meeting for two hours talking in circles.” Then you say something like, “That’s a great idea. “How do you think we could get him to do that next time?”

Now if they just throw their arms in the air and decide to give up, you probably aren’t going to be able to help them. At least they felt heard. If they come up with a good idea, you can help them implement it.

Great questions help dig to the root of the problem. Once you understand the problem, it’s time for a little change in behavior to see if you can get the problem solved.

9. Trust others to do their job well.

As a manager of people, I know how hard it is not to micro-manage people. You have a vision in your head and want it executed well. But if we don’t allow other people to unlock their own superpowers, then they won’t feel fulfilled by the work they do, and this will cause them to lose interest in their work. And we all know that’s a bad thing.

You need engaged people who want great results. The best way to do this is to trust that they want to do great work. If they continually fall short of your expectations, then you should either coach and train them to meet your expectations, look for a different position that actually fits their talents, or let  them go so they can find a better fit for their superpowers

Making your expectations clear is the most important part of this process. When people know what is expected of them, they can do their best to meet or even exceed those expectations.

10. Make time for projects you care about.

You can’t always do work you love, but you can find time each day to do work that you are passionate about. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, it’s important to help keep that fire burning inside of you.

Set time aside to do the type of projects that energize you. Look at what projects you are currently working on and whether they excite you at all. If not, what projects have you done in the past that got your juices going?

Can you create a similar project that excites you and find time every day to move this project forward? If you need approval from your boss, then put a compelling plan together that they can’t say no to. If they say no, then try a different angle. If they keep saying no, then it might be time to find another job that is willing to appreciate your desire to do great work on what you’re passionate about.

Your Turn

What career choices have you made that were difficult at the time, but helped you grow your career?

How Do You Want to Feel in Your Career?

Desires Create Life

You deserve happiness. You deserve to get excited about your career.

But most people are unhappy in their current career, and over 80% of people are currently looking for a new job.

I was unhappy for 6 years at one job. I just stopped trying after the first year. I would go into different co-workers offices and just chat for 30 minutes at a time. I didn’t see the point to working hard. Other people would literally take naps at their desk. It was such a toxic environment.

Instead of looking at what would make me happy, I compared my situation to the people that I was surrounded by.

BIG mistake!

I stopped looking at how I wanted to feel at the end of the day and work toward those feelings. I stopped trying to make myself feel energized and took the easy way out.

So, how do you currently feel when you are working?

  • Tired
  • Bored
  • Relaxed
  • Challenged
  • Excited

If the first feeling or memory that pops in your mind when you answer that question is negative, then your career isn’t adding to your happiness.

Your passion for your work dictates your success.

If all you are doing is working for money, then your actions will reflect your results.

Money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s only a tool.

Once you choose work by how you feel and not for just for the external reward, then you will develop a career that takes you to great places physically and emotionally.

Now of course, we must connect to the external world in some way. We can’t work in a bubble.

You can’t expect to be able to write a novel, then have a publisher waltz into your house, print it out, read it, love it, and publish it to global honors.

As we talked about earlier, there is work involved.

That’s where focus and strengths come in. You focus on what will get you the best results and do work that delivers great results.

We’ll talk about focus and strengths another time because passion is the spark that starts it all.

How do you want to feel while you work? Write down how you want to feel (happy, proud, excited, challenged, joyful, etc.).  Think of your top 5.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Your desires create your life.

When you have a better understanding of how you want to feel while you work, then you can begin to deconstruct your desires and create a career plan to get there.

This is where knowing yourself is so important. The best place to start is looking at how you want to feel as you do your work and how you want to feel at the end of each day.

Here are some examples with concrete emotions of how you might want to feel:

  • I want to get excited about the people I work with.
  • I want to feel energized by the people I’m able to help.
  • I want to be curious about my challenges instead of feeling tired by them.

See how this works?  These are positive emotions:

  • Excited
  • Energized
  • Challenged

Now that you know how you want to feel, you can take the next step and deconstruct how you are able to make these feelings a reality in your career.

Visualizing what actions will help you feel happier. For example if writing makes you feel energized then how do you think you could incorporate more writing into your career?

Could you write your company’s newsletter? Could you create your own project that would help the company and create a role that requires you to write more? Could you create a side project to help you connect with other writers?

Which one excites you the most?

When you know how you want to feel then you can look at what actions make you feel this way. Then it’s developing a plan that you can act on to make these feelings occur on a daily basis.

Share in the comment section what feelings do you want to experience more at work. What actions cause these feelings?

You Have to “Own Your Desires” Before You Can be Happy

Puppy with vision

I was doing the grocery shopping for the family this past week and I overheard a beautiful older woman chatting with the woman cashier. The older woman had bought a new dress and the cashier complimented her on it. The older lady replied that the cashier would look beautiful in a similar dress, and that they even had her size – small.

To my surprise, the cashier didn’t want to hear any of it. She dismissed the whole idea and refused to take the compliment. I could see that her desire to be beautiful was strong. She briefly smiled before dismissing this lady’s compliment.

Have you ever done anything like that?

You may…

  • be in debt
  • feel overweight
  • have a big mole on your cheek
  • be bald
  • laugh at inappropriate times
  • have a stutter

and none of it really matters.

I say this because I’ve been afraid of letting the real me out. As kids we don’t care what anyone else thinks of us. What matters is to have fun.

Then we become teenagers.  We try to fit in. We want to be accepted.

What we lose is self-acceptance for who and what we are. This is one of the greatest tragedies in present day society. Yes, you need positive relationships and projects that excite you, but you will never truly be happy anywhere if you don’t own and accept your own desires.

A Story

I tested this theory out with my co-workers at my previous job. I had been afraid to relax with who I am around them. Finally I stopped worrying about whether what I thought was funny would amuse them and just blurted some jokes out.

The response was mixed. Sometimes I got a laugh and other times I was laughed at.

My joke about Shaquill O’Neil’s (former NBA player) big butt pushing everyone out of the way when he is near the basket didn’t go over that well.  I guess straight guys don’t like hearing about other dudes’ butts. :)

But it was ok. I felt better that I was just letting my true self come out rather than trying to control what people thought of me. No one can control how other people feel about us, the only thing we can do is be who we are and hope other people find a way to enjoy it.

5 Ways to Start Owning Your Desires and Enjoying Yourself

You don’t have to try hard to make your desires a reality. You just have to be willing to fail, get back up and try again.

It all starts with believing you deserve to be happy.

1. Laugh at Your Mistakes

Your mistakes can be embarrassing or a way to connect with others. I truly believe that the people who take themselves too seriously are the people who have trouble dealing with stress and finding enjoyment. They are attached to how they want people to view them.

The idea is simple, but very difficult to implement because of our ego. When we make mistakes, we usually feel the need to protect ourselves from looking stupid. We make excuses, try to hide our mistakes, and wish that the embarrassing situation never happened.

Next time you make a mistake, try laughing with yourself. Don’t point to any outside influence as a crutch. Try to enjoy the fact that you were able to make such a mistake.  It means you’re human.

I accidentally used the word crotch instead of couch in a recent email to a coworker. I noticed it immediately after I sent it, and I felt the embarrassment rising within me. Instead of letting this feeling take over, I laughed. The tension released and I made a joke to add on top of it. Something about needing to sit on a psychologist’s couch, not crotch, to get help with my dyslexia.

We both laughed about my slip up and it was easily excused.

2. Allow Your Weirdness to Shine

Most people will shun you at first for being weird, but over time the weirdness is what people learn to like about you. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m weird.

Heck, all of of us are weird. Even the normal ones are weird because they are usually normal to the point that they are so boring you wonder what their definition of fun is.

I’ll do squats in the bathroom or push-ups in the parking lot if it makes me feel good. Pretend to be a dinosaur in the grocery store. Share my fascination of praying mantises, dung beetles and sex.

I still struggle to own many of my desires, but the more I practice the better I get.

When you stop being afraid of what people think of you, that’s when you can have creative interactions that make you feel good.

Your desire to be accepted is probably very strong. I know mine is, but it’s not the acceptance from other people that you crave, but the validation from other people that you are worthy of their love.

3. Reflect on What Makes You Happy

People who worry feel sad because they stay connected to the thoughts that bring these feelings on. The people who take the time to reflect on what makes them happy are setting their mind into positive motion. They keep on connecting the dots toward a more positive outlook and become happier thought by thought.

I was a worry-o-holic. I thought that the more I worried the more I could out-think my troubles. Wow, was I wrong.

Shifting my perspective to reflect on what makes me happy is one of the most basic fundamentals to my happiness.

Focus + Positive = Happiness

But you can’t fake this. You have to truly believe your positive thoughts.

You can build slowly. For example, take the time to be grateful for 3 good things that happened at the end of each day and find one reason to appreciate the present moment.

If you practice this every single day, you will slowly shift your mind from constantly worrying to always finding the good in your day and the joy in the moment.

4. Imagine Yourself Being Loved for All Your Quirks

Michael Jackson died several years ago. That man was probably the quirkiest celebrity on earth. Also loved by millions. Michael was never happy with who he was. He went under the knife way too many times, creating an external weirdness to match his internal feelings of himself.  What if he had loved himself as he was?

Do you love yourself as you are?  If you don’t, you could.  You can see every part of you as beautiful. You just need to practice.

To start with, list the things that make you stand out. Then list why someone might like those things about you. If you can’t see why someone might think you are beautiful or smart or kind or funny, then think of talking to your best friend or even someone like the Dali Lama. Imagine you are talking to this kind and gentle soul, and ask him to help you list good qualities about your external and internal traits.

You are a beautiful person inside and out. You just need to see yourself with compassion and love. Then let these emotions out and feel them for what they are, don’t hide from them.

5. Know that Only You Can Make Yourself Happy

True love starts within you. If a person can’t love themselves and the people in their lives, how can they expect anyone else to return those feelings?

Your view of yourself will determine how you view your life. And if you cultivate a loving mind, you will have loving relationships.

That means that you can’t expect your significant other to make you happy, nor your children, your job, or your friends. You need to own your happiness and find a way to make it a reality.

I used to pray for other people’s failure at past jobs because I thought it would make me look better. What an awful way that was to live.

Now I pray for other people’s success so their desires come true. Even if I don’t like them I smile at the initial thought of wanting to see them fail and remember that the more their desires become a reality the more they learn about themselves. A much more enjoyable thought process.

Putting It All Together

The goal is to own every quirk and desire within yourself. I promise that once you get started, you will be more relaxed and able to enjoy your life.

You have the ability, and you don’t need to become vain in the process. Vanity is ego that isn’t grounded.

You can have a balanced ego that fills you with confidence. All you need to do is start practicing the ideas in this post and tweak them to fit your needs.

Happiness comes from within. Own your desire to create happiness and happiness will follow close behind.

So I suggest that the next time someone compliments you, you say thank you and take it in and enjoy it, and reflect on your desire to be smart and beautiful. And in fact, I’m wondering if there are ways to enjoy your ability to connect with your positive desires.

Do you want a raise? Do you want to add a new friend? Do you want work that creates a bigger impact in other people’s lives?

How could you let your desires create more happiness?

* Need help unlocking your desires to bring more career happiness into your life? Then let’s set up a time for a discovery chat.

Do You Have Career Superpowers?


Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto

How do you think you would feel about your career if you believed you have superpowers that others need?

It’s an inspirational way to look at your career passions, focus and strengths.

As a kid who grew up with a German father and Icelandic mother, I had both practicality and whimsy infused into my DNA.

I love percentages. It’s why I’m so good at making decisions based off of numbers. (German side)

I also love the idea of having superpowers. Stuff that I do that others wish they could do. (Icelandic side)

You probably know how much I talk about unlocking your superpowers. In fact, I have an e-course dedicated to it.

When I first started my career coaching practice, I focused on strengths (practical), but left out the whimsical side. I also kept falling into the trap of leaving out the emotional side (passion). But I kept coming back to the idea of superpowers. It’s just a much more fun way to look at our skill set. It’s more whimsical and empowering.

When I first started coaching people, I was afraid to mention the word “superpowers” thinking that they would laugh at me. When I did, I would say something like, “What is your strongest superpower, AKA strength.”

I realize now that it diluted the impact of what I was trying to accomplish with my clients.

When I finally owned up to using the word “superpowers”, everything clicked. I got better results for my clients and I had a lot more fun coaching them.

Your Career Superpowers

Many of you asked how I came up with the idea of a superpower. I would explain that too many people focus on strengths at work and forget about passion and focus.

Because my parents recently just came for a visit, I see a little more clearly who I used to be and who I am today. As I sipped on a cup of coffee with my dad, I saw myself in him, and I realized something very important.

Superpowers are passed on from generation to generation. It’s how we leverage our superpowers that makes us different from our parents.

When I talk to a client that takes their past into account as they make career decisions I found they made better decisions. They try to remember why they’ve been successful in some situations and not others and how to set themselves up for better success for the upcoming project.

It’s this balanced approach that also helps them follow through with their idea. Follow through comes from understanding your superpowers and your weaknesses, so you can work with people that complement you instead of those that replicate your superpowers.

Unlock Your Superpowers

To be able to find people who complement your superpowers, you need to have a fundamental understanding of what your superpowers are. Once you know what skills you are passionate about, get in the zone with (focus), and that come easy to you (strengths), then you can add people to your team (network) who can help you and those that need your help as well.

I wrote the Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto to help you dive deeper into the idea of career superpowers, so you can connect with people that complement you instead of weaken you.

Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto Cover

You can learn more and download the Unlock Your Superpowers manifesto right here.

I hope it provides inspiration to follow your superpowers in your career choices. The world needs people with your passion, focus and strengths to make this world a better place, so go grab your favorite drink and take an hour to read the book. You should find something to help you illuminate your next career decision.

If you know someone that could use a career boost, please send them the manifesto, or even better, send them a link to download the book. Thanks!

* Want to win a career strategy session with me. Just leave a comment below, letting me know you downloaded the ebook and what your greatest career superpower is. Looking forward to reading them.

Questions

* The Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto is being released very soon. If you want a sneak peek at the first section, please fill out this 5 min survey.

Great questions are so much better than great answers because they help us dig within to find out what we truly want to happen.

When you ask yourself a tough question and take the time to answer it, you learn how you got to that answer and why it matters.

For example, if someone hands you a great solution to your problem, you’ll have a harder time implementing it and getting great results because you won’t understand the “why’s” until after you are done working through the solution.

Simple Questions

Sometimes just asking a question to a friend or expert can help us understand more about ourselves. Their answer can help us create a more fulfilling journey.

One of the most profound questions is a very simple one.

Why am I choosing to do this task or project?

When you understand your “why”, it’s easier to connect to your work, and when frustrations or obstacles get you down, you can remind yourself of your “why”.

I do this through my writing. I ask myself tough questions that I would like an answer to, then craft my answer in a blog post. It’s how Work Happy Now got started.

Earlier in my life, I was mostly unhappy with brief periods of happiness. I struggled through depression, bad jobs, and bad relationships.

Through great questions, I began to uncover what made me happy. As I became happier, I wanted others to become happier too. I’m far from perfect, but I’ve learned a lot since launching Work Happy Now back in 2008. And I want to share that learning and knowledge with you.

Live Q&A

I’m creating a live Q&A on Facebook on Thursday, April 24th at 9pm ET (6pm PT) where I can answer any questions on this post about how to Unlock Your Career Superpowers. I also hope to create a live webinar soon.

During the FB Q&A, you might ask me:

  • How come my boss doesn’t appreciate my superpowers?
  • How do I use more of my superpowers at work?
  • I just lost my passion completely and have no idea on how to get it back. Help?
  • Why do you use the word superpower instead of strengths?
  • How come I have 6 toes and can I turn this into a superpower?

I’ve helped thousands of people unlock their superpower and I would like to help you too!

Oh, and when you join in, you’ll have a chance to win a free “Unlock Your Superpowers” coaching session. You’ll also find out when the manifesto is going live.

Sound like fun?

Good. Then let’s unlock your superpowers together. Join us on the Work Happy Now Facebook page this Thursday night at 9pm EST (6pm PST).

5 Ways to Bring Yourself More Career Success and Happiness

micro improvement

* Quick update! The Unlock Your Superpowers manifesto is so close to being finished. Stay tuned for when it goes live and a Facebook Q&A date.

Last week I had a conversation with my friend Matt. We were chatting while our kids played together and we sipped on some Earl Grey tea.

He joked about how he wished that all he had to do was play music and not have to worry about booking his gigs, marketing, finances, etc.

Have you ever said something similar?

Matt’s a popular local musician in San Antonio. He put in a lot of hard work to get to where he is now.

He laughed. I smiled and took a sip of my tea.

Those words have been bouncing around my head every since they flowed from his lips.

Everything he does from booking gigs to marketing all support his ability to do what he is passionate about.

I recently said something similar. Just recently I was frustrated because I was passed up for a speaking gig. In that moment I wished my great life to be something different. I wished my book was a best seller. I would have gotten that speaking gig I said to myself.

The words flowed out of my mouth. I couldn’t stop them. I paused and smiled at this thought.

I know it’s a good book, filled with great information, but nowhere near a best seller.

I have learned to smile when I’m getting down on my life. It’s how I cope with difficult situations.

Let’s Break It Down

As a parent of a 4-year-old, I realize that we like to try to take 4 steps all at once. Instead of getting us to our destination more quickly, it can cause us to fall on our faces. We may have had far better results just enjoying the walk.

You’ve probably heard the phrase:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know I’ve been so focused on a goal before that I forgot about the journey. Have you also forgotten to enjoy the moment you are in for its inherent worth?

There’s so much we miss when we don’t enjoy the journey, because that is the stuff of life. It’s kind of like you can’t laugh at a joke before you hear the whole thing otherwise the punch line doesn’t make sense.

This Is Where the Secret Lies

Maria Forleo was on Oprah’s Sunday show talking with two other panelists about life lessons, seeking and spirituality.

When she said:

“Bring passion to everything you do.”

A little light went off in my head. Then she said.

“Passion is like a muscle that we can build through use.”

Then the light went full bright. Yes! I knew what she meant.

I’ve talked about this before here and here and in my manifesto on Unlocking Your Superpowers that I’m completing in the next few weeks. In there is another quote:

When you do work you love, you do amazing work.

When you do work you hate, you do crappy work.

That’s why it all starts with passion, then the focus and strengths come into play to turn an action into a superpower.

How do you go about bringing passion to everything you do? First you must start with the basics. Let’s look at a 5 step process that I use with my coaching clients.

1. Become a Watcher of Your Thoughts

The words you choose before you start on a task will determine your mindset. If you say I “need” to wash the dishes, you’ll most likely go into the task dreading every moment. When you say, I “want” to wash the dishes, there is a positive choice you are making before you do the task.

You can check out a short interview I did with Jason Fischer, about mastering your internal dialog over at Domino Connection, my close your connection gaps blog. You might want to have a notebook handy because he digs into some great ideas.

2. Give Your Full Attention to the Situation

If this was your last day on earth, what would you do?

Think about this question for a few seconds. What really matters to you?

If you’re like me, you might notice that your sip of coffee tastes a little better. You might imagine what it would be like to never have another sip of coffee again.

When you give your full attention to the moment, you don’t let worrying thoughts bother you. How could you? Right?

3. Feel Gratitude

When you feel gratitude, your passion will kick in. When you really appreciate what you already have, it helps you find the right perspective. Instead of worrying about needing an extra hour of sleep, you think I’m up and awake so that I can enjoy this day for all it is ready to give me.

Try keeping a gratitude journal and work on making this a part of your daily life. You can learn more about creating your own gratitude journal here. The key will be to be consistent with keeping your journal so it becomes a habit.

4. Listen to Your Emotions, then Let Them Go

Your emotions should help guide your decision-making processes. Successful people always feel first, then make a decision after they’ve had a time to process their emotions and rationally weigh out their options.

This process will allow you to make decisions based on happiness as well as logic.

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s also essential to let your emotional attachment to the outcome go so you can enjoy the present moment.

5. Develop Career Building Habits

You probably used to practice every day. Whether it was soccer, piano, or homework, .you worked on improving yourself. This habit is ingrained in you and can easily be re-energized if given a little motivation.

One idea is to try creating a 30-Day Challenge for yourself. Ask yourself, “What part of your career could use a little help?”

For example, do you need to grow your network? If so, what could you do every single day to find more people you can help as well as lean on them when you need help?

I’m working on bringing you action oriented courses like a 30 Day Connection Guide and course and Unlock Your Superpowers course to help people grow their network. Would this interest you? If so, please fill out this survey link and let me know a little more about what you want help with so I can create something that can really help you grow your career.

Putting It Together

Your career is dependent on micro-improvements. When you try taking small steps every day, you can turn your career into something that makes you happier and helps more people.

Try applying one of these ideas to your career and let me know what happens after one week. If you like the results, I suggest turning it into a 30-Day Challenge in order to make it into a habit.

What has helped you bring more or the most success and happiness to your career?

* I can’t wait to share the Unlock Your Superpowers manifesto with you. I think you are going to love it. Stay tuned. :)

Why Do Projects Take So Long?

Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto Cover

Have you ever wondered why projects take so long to complete?

This thought has been on my mind for a few weeks now because I’m working on a manifesto for How to Unlock Your Superpowers. When I first started it, I thought it would take a few weeks. Now that I look back on my naiveté, I have to laugh.

I’ve been at the ebook and project creation game long enough to know better, but I guess I still have to fool myself. Because if I knew up front how long it would actually take to create the concept, write it, edit it, lay it out, design it, launch it, and follow up with people who like it, I would never even start it.

You have probably had projects that seemed to take forever, or even worse, ones that were never finished.

This got me thinking about what it takes to work on a project from start to finish. Why are some people so good at finishing, while others don’t follow all the way through?

What I realized is that the only way this manifesto is even close to finishing is due to my finding people who have superpowers that I don’t have. I’m not a good editor, so I sought one out. I’m not a good designer, so I sought one out for that part of the project too.

A Superhero Team

I realized that I’m not a superhero taking this book from start to finish all on my own. I’ve been putting my team of superheroes together so that the end product benefits from the combination of our superpowers.

I’ve written about this before, but never really showed people step-by-step how they can create their own superhero team. So, that’s what I’m going to do with my next post.

I’m going to walk you step-by-step through how to find the right people to create your own team, how to grow your network, and how to boost your career to the next level.

Before I do that, I would like to ask you to think about the following question:

What have you struggled with as you try to build a strong superhero team (network) around you?

And if you’re willing to share, please do and I will do my best to address it in future postings. More to come soon, so stay tuned!

Karl

Like Us On Facebook