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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > Asking a lot of myself…and you, too – Podcast and Column

Asking a lot of myself…and you, too – Podcast and Column

December 24th, 2010

Career Opportunities podcast logoAfter a busy few months, things have slowed down a bit here for the holidays. This has given me more time to reflect on the year and think about what I want to accomplish in 2011. After a bit of this thinking, I find that the watchword for the New Year is going to be “demanding.” It will be a demanding year, but that demand will not be entirely external. The fact is, I am going to be demanding a lot more of myself, too. Even more importantly, I am going to be a bit more demanding of you…at least as much as I can be at a distance.

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I am not going to be demanding because I think you are failing in your career. Just the opposite. I am going to ask more of you because I think you have more intelligence, more energy and are more innovative than you might even believe yourself. As I have said for years, I truly believe that you each have the power to build the career you deserve — the career that best fits your wants, needs and desires. After the last few years of recession, though, I think we are all a bit tired and worn out. This is why we need to refocus on what is important and how we might achieve it.

For my own part, I’m tired. I feel as if I have been fighting an uphill battle for years now. I try to focus on my own goals and projects, but the weight of bad news, political infighting and frankly, stagnation of business and the government can wear down anyone over time. You can’t ignore what is happening in the world, but you also can’t let it grind you up. Instead of looking for outside energy, motivation and affirmation, you need to turn your focus inward. You need to look to your own innate powers. You need to stop worrying about what the world is doing and concentrate on what you want to do.

Too often, we come up with great ideas, but then let them be buried under mountains of doubt. “The current laws wouldn’t allow that. Someone else will copy it. Corporations will quash it.” We need to stop talking ourselves out of projects and instead move ahead as if the constraints never existed. The truth is, in many cases the constraints are only in our minds. We can find a million reasons to say “NO” to an idea. Instead we need to look for the one good reason to say “Yes” — the one good reason to keep creating, keep trying, keep working.

So, here is what I am going to be demanding of myself in the coming year. I will force myself, whenever possible, to look for the “yes”. I will ignore, whenever wise and feasible, the naysayers, the gloomcasters, the crazymakers that sap my energy and wear me down. I will “demand” the same of you.

I will also demand that I notice when I am hiding from my work in other, semi-productive activities, and refocus on those things that can really make a difference in my life. While I need to stay in touch with what is happening in the world of technology and elsewhere, I can also use the concept of research to dig myself into a productivity hole. I think this can be true of all of us, so we all need to guard against it.

Finally, I will demand of myself better treatment. We can all get dow n on ourselves from time to time, but this is probably the most destructive of all behaviors. Negative talk, even casually, damages ourselves and our productivity. We all stumble. We all fail. We all have issues. If we pile on lots of negative talk we stop ourselves from moving forward. In some cases, we can even reverse our progress, losing whatever gains we might have made. This is a big demand, but probably the most important. Treat yourself right in all areas of your life. Take care of yourself or you won’t have the energy, physically or mentally, to keep moving forward.

Let’s all be a little more demanding this year. Demanding of ourselves. Demanding of others and demanding of our careers. We all have much to gain.

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