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!


Unlocking Your Superpowers to Advance Your Career

smiling-at-work-2Have you ever felt stuck in your career?

I was recently talking with a client and she told me, “There is just no room for improvement in my present career.” She felt handcuffed by her situation.

I asked her, “So there isn’t a creative way you could improve your situation?”

She paused. “Ah, um, well…” She trailed off. “I could do a better job of playing politics,” she said unconvincingly.

“Is that what you want to do?” I asked.

“Um, no,” she said.

“Ok, so you have one option. What other options do you have?”
[Read more...]

Jenny Blake of Life After College Interview

One of my favorite things about having a blog is being able to reach out to amazing people who have different points of views. Jenny Blake is an amazing story and you’ll learn a lot from this interview.

The video didn’t turn out very well. I’m still working on my video recording skills. The content is great and I think it makes up for the out of sync lips.

Here are a few key tips that you’ll take away after you watch the video:

  1. Why great loss can be the best time to start fresh.
  2. How to let go of your fear and reach out to people who can help you.
  3. How to find clarity within your goals.

[Read more...]

10 Steps to Starting Your Next Career

Next-Career“That’s something that is almost accidental at the beginning of a career, but the more you write, the more trained you are to recognize the little signals.” – Stephen King

If you want to know what your next career might be, then start experimenting. That means starting a side business, blog, or volunteering at local organizations. You have to take action on what you think will make you happy, so you can find out if this potential career will fulfill your needs.

You have to visualize your goal. Feel it. See yourself working on the small steps to make this goal a reality.

If your best guess isn’t right, I guarantee that you will get closer to meeting your needs after failing. It’s the best way to discover your next career.

Fail, adjust and try something new.
[Read more...]

Be the Rabbit with Focus

tortoise-hareAlmost everyone loves the story of the tortoise and the hare. It’s a classic.

I hate it!

It’s too limiting.

If everyone thinks of themselves at the tortoise, nothing would get done. Yes, I understand the story’s concept. If you stick with something you’ll win the marathon in the end.

The rabbit has the superpower of speed and that’s great, but like any great strength he lacks passion and focus. This is where I actually love the book.

Yes, I admit. I love the book too!
[Read more...]

Work Happiness In All the Wrong Places

I’m afraid of failure. I’m not so afraid of failure that my creativity locks up. I have a popular blog, social media accounts, and I’ve interviewed superheroes in the business world. I’m putting stuff out into the world to help people, but I’m still holding back.

I recently hopped on Twitter tried to think of something cool and insightful, gave up and went to watch an old episode of The Office. Then as I watched the episode my arch nemesis was whispering at me for being so lame and worthless. I hate when that little voice inside me whispers to me instead of screams. It’s so much harder to ignore him. Why is that?
[Read more...]

Listen to Your Heart

work-heart“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”

- Earl Nightingale

Cells are the foundation of life. Each cell works together to help you survive. Unnourished cells become sluggish. It’s these cells that are starving. They don’t just want to live they want to thrive.

You must constantly feed these cells to keep them energized. That means eating right, sleeping well and feeding your curiosity every single day.

You’ve seen a train pulling over a hundred freight cars behind them. It takes a long time for a train to get the whole load moving, but once it does it requires a lot less energy to maintain velocity.

[Read more...]

What You and a Hermit Crab have in Common

hermit-crabWe can’t live freely. No one can. We need self constructed rules, so our brains don’t explode.

We all need rules in order to feel comfortable. Even your favorite A-list movie star lives within rules that a regular person can’t even fathom.

You tell yourself that you can’t ask your boss for a raise.

You tell yourself that you can’t find a better job that matches your superpowers.

You tell yourself that you don’t need to love what you do.

You function well within this mental cage. You don’t want to be able to live a fully unrestricted life because it would be too free.

The problem is that your self-created cage is too small. You don’t see the little door behind the couch. The door that opens up to the perfect playground. Those cool monkey bars that challenge your muscles. Those cool puzzles that challenge your mind.
[Read more...]

Your Attitude and How it Affects Your Career

positive-negativeHave you ever noticed how positive people are more resilient?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of attitude. Back in 2009, I put myself on a no complaining diet for 30 days. It was a tough and enlightening experience. I realized how much I complained and that I needed to do something to change.

After looking back on my career, I realized how much my complaining has affected my productivity. Whenever I complained, I would wreck my confidence. I used to get so down on myself that I couldn’t do any meaningful work. I thought it was just the way I worked.  I did busy work that didn’t challenge me or demand me to be creative.

At one point my complaining was so bad that I caught myself complaining about gifts that I received from generous friends and family. It was a splash of cold water down my back. I was sabotaging my own happiness.

I knew it wasn’t helping my career or my personal life, so I vowed to make some changes.

That’s when I put myself on the no complaining diet. It was one of the best 30 day trials I’ve ever experimented with.
[Read more...]

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