Category Archives: Living Your Purpose

Intending to Keep the Faith During Job Hunting

job huntingby Rachel Kossman 

It is my intent to stay positive as I search for a writing and web-editing job, but I’m struggling. The job search is time consuming, frustrating, and seemingly endless. It can often be fruitless for long periods of time, which is a truly demoralizing feeling. I feel as though a black hole is swallowing every cover letter and resume I send out to the interwebs.

I told myself I would do at least three things a day, even if they’re small, to forward my job search – sending out a networking email, writing a follow up message, searching LinkedIn for connections, starting a posting, or sending in an application. It was manageable, and there were days where I did twenty tasks, not just three. I was chugging along, gaining optimism the more I put myself out there.

Then, I got an interview for a full time gig I could easily label my dream job. A phone interview led to an in person interview, which led to a second in person interview, and then a cross-country phone call with a third employee. I thought I had it in the bag. All my energy and excitement hung on the prospect of this job.  Yesterday, they gave it to somebody else.

So now I’m back to square one. Slowly plodding away, one task at a time. This time, I’ve upped my expectations for myself: at least five tasks a day. It has only been three weeks since the interview process started, but it feels like ages ago. I’ve lost my steam.

I want to stay focused and determined as I look for people and companies who will believe in my writing abilities, and pay me for the content I produce. But with this experience of nearly nabbing my dream job — being told I’m great, but not quite great enough, it’s seeming even more difficult to remain positive.

Everyone told me job searching would be hard. But isn’t the truth that things aren’t really hard until you experience them yourself? Everyone told me how much I would struggle, and part of me knew that I would. But I said to myself “It’ll be a challenge but I can manage, it won’t be that bad!” And that statement seemed true when this interview opportunity came along. I had worked hard, and it had seemed to pay off. But now I’m feeling down, and it seems like my hard work has landed me nowhere, and I’m struggling.

California’s unemployment rate is nearly eight percent. With a statewide population of just over 38 million, that means more than 3.5 million people are out of work and looking for jobs. And that doesn’t include the folks who are working a job they don’t want, and are searching for another position on the side.

I have to remind myself that I’m not the only person facing this battle.

I have to remind myself to stay motivated, and not let my frustration and sadness get the best of me, because those emotions don’t lead to productivity, and what I need right now is to keep moving and working toward my goal.

I have to remind myself that instead of a retail or waitressing job that pays little and wears your body down, I have found an amazing nanny job for a wonderful family that pays my bills in the interim.

I have to remind myself that I’m in always sunny Los Angeles, so having an irregular schedule with days that don’t start until 5 PM means I can hike with my golden retriever in the mornings and still have the afternoons to work on job applications.

I have to remind myself that even though this feels like a giant back step, it’s a great sign that I scored an interview for a job I truly wanted, and that has to mean there are bigger and better opportunities out there for me.

I have to remind myself that if three tasks a day (and on good days, many more) led to that opportunity, pushing myself to do five will only help me succeed faster.

And I have to remind myself that I’m only 25 (with my entire life to work) and that regardless of whether I’m job searching for one more month or six more months, in the scheme of my life, this will only be a blip.

Rachel is an aspiring writer and journalist, born and raised in Los Angeles. She lived in Boston for six years, where she attended Northeastern University and wrote for Boston.com and the Boston Globe, Her Campus, Bay Windows, South End News, and Tech Target. Rachel spent much of 2012 backpacking and blogging her way across South America. Follow her on Twitter @rachelsarahsays, and check out her blog on RachelKossman.com.

Get Active: 5 of the Best Cities in the US for Cycling

cyclingAs time goes on, an increasing number of people have started leaving their cars in the garage and grabbing their bikes instead. As populations grow, streets become more crowded. Rising gas prices make driving in a car more expensive. Cabs can cost a fortune, and nobody enjoys riding the bus. That leaves a lot of people looking to their bikes for transportation. But what cities accommodate such a decision? Let’s check out some of the most bike-friendly cities in the USA.

Madison, Wis.

Madison began turning itself into a bike-friendly city around 1972 during an oil crisis. Since then, the cycling situation has consistently improved. The city now has a well laid out network of paths off the street as well as bike lanes all over the city. Madison draws some of the top cycling companies thanks to its bike friendliness such as Planet Bike and Saris. Motorists have gotten used to the cyclists over the decades. The city has also implemented a “Safe Routes to School” program designed to help children safely walk and bike to class.

If you head just outside the city, you can find pastoral and hilly terrain, which is great for riding. Also, if you’re into competition, Madison hosts the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon, which usually draws around 2,500 each year and has one of the most difficult bike courses in the country.

San Francisco, Calif.

This city has recently become one of the biggest biking places in the country. It’s not just cycling enthusiasts; it’s the business men too. Twitter–headquartered in San Francisco–claims that 25 percent of its employees use their bikes to commute. The company even leased a building near one of the main bike-ways to help accommodate them, and probably to encourage others to join.

Recent innovations in 2010 included 20 miles of new bike lanes, 25 bike parking corrals and traffic signals to help give bikers right-of-way. These led to a huge increase in cycling over the past five years; around 71 percent more. But with those increases in cyclers came a rise in bike crash statistics, despite the heightened level of safety offered by these lanes.

Chicago, Ill.

In 2011, Chicago got Washington’s progressive transportation director, Gabe Klein. Together with the new mayor, they set an ambitious agenda to refuel the city’s bike network. The call the plan the Streets of Cycling 2020.

One of the main goals of the plan is to install 100 miles of separate bike lanes in the next four years. So far, they installed a protected bike lane on Kinzie Street, which only took six weeks. Fifty one percent of traffic during rush hour now consists of bike riders. Elevated railways should soon become bike paths, and the bike-share system should soon expand to 5,000 bikes.

Minneapolis, Minn.

The bike culture in Minneapolis thrives thanks to the Stupor Bowl Alley Cat Race, wintertime cycling tours, the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s thousands of volunteer hours, and a general enthusiasm for biking around the city. What started off as a simple cultural phenomenon has now become a community attitude. It’s made the city one of the best places to cycle in the country.

You’ll find the 4.57 mile Cedar Lake Regional Trail as one of the largest biking trails in America. The trail also connects to other biking and walking paths. It’s got two one-way bike lanes and a pedestrian lane running from the Mississippi River through the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field and into the suburbs in the west.

Portland, Ore.

Portland has long-held the title of best biking city in America. It often serves as the only American city on lists of the world’s top places for cyclists. It’s the only big city (with a population of over 600,000) to earn a “Platinum” status from the “League of American Bicyclists” thanks to 180 miles of bike lanes and 79 miles of off-street bike paths.

You’ll find a bike-rack or bar just about anywhere you go in the city. In Portland, sometimes it seems as if bikers have more control over the road than cars. When huge groups of bikers roam the streets, cars simply have to back off and wait for them to get through. Motorists have spent so much time around bikers, they’ll often let you into the road when no bike lane exists.

If you’re looking for a place where you can rely on cycling, you can’t go wrong with any of these cities. Find one that sounds like it best suits your riding style and enjoy fully embracing the healthy lifestyle.

One World: Josh Siegel on Maintaining Financial Community

Josh SiegelAs humans we are drawn to other humans. We find comfort and strength in bonding together to form close knit groups that keep in mind the interests of the entire group rather than focusing solely on the needs of any one individuals. We call these groups communities and we create them in nearly every aspect of our lives; our neighborhoods are communities, at work we may have another close knit community and via the web, we can have communities based on common interests not bound by geography. With community playing such a key role in our lives, it seems like a natural step to create financial communities. This was the vision that Josh Siegel had in 2003 when he founded StoneCastle Partners which has grown to be one of the largest and most respected firms in Community Banking.

“It’s the purest of banking,” Siegel explained recently in an interview with Deepak Chopra for the series One World on Newswire.fm. “All they do is they collect the local dollars of people like us, they put in together and give it to a person in their community; its very community oriented.  Its starting a business, it’s buying their first house. It’s doing something very connected and personal.”

These community banks are not only better in terms of the personal touch that they provide; they also tend to do a better job fiscally as well. “They lose less money, believe it or not, than the money center banks, they earn a better rate of return for their investors and they do more good,” says Siegel. In other words, they do everything that the larger mega banks do but on a manageable scale which allows them to be more successful.

It’s a simple and refreshing model; one that keeps a community’s money in that community and making sure those dollars are working for the people who need them. Josh recounts unusual stories of community banks helping in towns where natural disasters have hit without focusing on how they will recoup profits. Why? Because the banker is a member of that community and has a personal connection to the people with whom he does business. It is the humanization of fiscal responsibility. Banks don’t have to be the huge, profiteering machines that they so often turn into. Banks can and should treat people like people. It’s not just a pipe dream. Josh Siegel has proven that it works.

You can see Josh’s entire interview here.

How to Overcome 7 Spiritual Blocks to Success

spiritual blocksEverybody has a dream in their heart. They stem from our unique gifts which are part of our higher purpose here on this earth to share with the world. When the life we’re living is not in alignment with this calling, it can result in feeling less than happy and fulfilled.

But, it’s not always easy to muster up the courage to go after your dreams and break status quo. What if you fall short? Where do you even begin?And those who do find the strength to go for it sometimes give up too soon upon realizing it’s more difficult than they imagined. Things aren’t happening as fast as they “should.”

I’m here to tell you – don’t give up on your daydream! What that little voice inside is telling you and the direction your heartstrings are pulling you is some not-so-subtle guidance on how to live your life with intent and purpose. If you want to be ridiculously happy, you have to follow the calling and live and breathe your truth.

But how? It takes time, persistence, flexibility, focus, energy, and a darn good sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. As an unconventional 7-figure CEO that runs multiple business ventures, I have fallen flat on my face plenty of time. And, yeah, I’ve even felt like throwing in the towel a time or two. It sucks when the Universe punches you in the gut. But, it happens to the best of us. And, there is usual a pretty major lesson and opportunity for growth within … if you stay open to it. In these instances along my journey, I got up, brushed myself off, and kept trying. And, in the process, I learned a thing (or seven) about what really limits our success and learned how to overcome these blocks. They’re not what you typically hear about or learn in business school, either. While business savvy is important, these truths touch more on the spiritual side. They can help elevate your success to a whole new level.

How to Overcome the 7 Biggest Blocks to Success

  1. Don’t stop believing. Not believing in yourself & your vision will kill your dreams faster than you can say “hold on to that feeling.” (That’s a Journey reference for you young folks reading this!) Belief is the cornerstone of every successful person’s repertoire. When you don’t believe in yourself, other people energetically pick up on it, as will the Universe. You attract more of the energy you put out, so you don’t want to be putting out a lot of self-doubt and other negative and low-vibe thoughts. Self-love and confidence, on the other hand, are very high-vibe and will resonate with the Universe in a way that allows you to more easily bring your vision to life. Many people start out with a strong belief, but allow it to wane when the going gets tough. In trying times, it is important to always go back to the “why” behind what you’re doing. What impact do you want to have in the world and on your life? How do you want to feel as you go about your day? Are you more focused on the cause or the applause. Reconnecting with these pure intentions will help you stay connected to your dreams and vision in a positive way.
  2. Fix financial woes. Whether it’s not having clarity on what you need to make vs. what you need to spend, or not understanding the amount of capital it actually takes to start-up and fund a business, running out of cash is a very common reason that many businesses go under. But, digging even deeper, many people have money “issues” at a subconscious level. Perhaps it’s the notion that making money is not spiritual (as money being the ‘root of all evil’ is a common misconception), or it could be a deep-rooted belief that one is not worthy of financial abundance. These limiting beliefs are often a show-stopper when it comes to aligning your purpose with earning a living. As a result, dream-chasers can end up packing it up and heading back to day jobs they don’t love (That is, of those who weren’t too scared to risk leaving in the first place). Taking the time and making the effort to have a clear understanding of financials as well as uncovering and healing any deep-rooted money blocks can exponentially increase the likelihood of business success and financial abundance.
  3. Don’t quit before the finish line. Some people will never know how close they really were to success because they threw in the towel right before their big break. Times will get tough and you will be tempted with every ounce of your being to call it quits. And, there might even be times when that is the right decision. But, more often than not, if you are following your heart, you probably just need to look at things with fresh eyes. What makes one successful is digging in when you really feel like giving in and giving up. Instead of calling it quits, get back up, dust yourself off, be open to the lessons you are blessed with, revamp and try and try again. You wouldn’t train for a marathon and then give up a mile before the finish line. No way! Walking, limping, or even crawling across are perfectly okay. Same goes with your life and dreams. Just don’t give up!
  4. Bust through internal blocks & limiting beliefs. Energy-sucking thought-vampires come in all shapes and sizes. Much like the money “issues” that often come up, there could also be some deep-rooted beliefs that you will never be successful or that you don’t deserve to be. Or, perhaps it is your own greatness that scares you the most. These beliefs often stem from childhood and we might not even know they are there. I find that self-reflective journaling and meditation are highly effective tools to help bring these destructive thoughts to the surface so you can heal them. Find a quiet spot to mediate and before you begin ask yourself “What am I most afraid of? What is holding me back right now?” As you sit in silence, the voice of your heart and soul can rise up over the negative chatter in your brain. Be open to whatever thoughts come and go in your meditation and simply label them “thoughts.” When you are done, take your journal and allow the feelings and observations to flow out of you through free-writing. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Just let it all out. When you’re done, reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself. It can be pretty eye-opening and life changing!
  5. Listen to your gut! At any given point, we have at least a hundred other people in our ears: friends, family, business partners, random strangers on the internet. Many of them mean well (some not so much), but they all have opinions about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. While it’s always a good thing to keep an open mind and give some value to the thoughts of others, at the end of the day: You are the guru. Always! We all have our own internal guidance system built-in. When we learn to become still, we can clearly hear the gentle guidance of our heart and soul. Learn to take what others say and do with a grain of salt and, instead, follow your own intuition. It will never lead you astray.
  6. Be adaptable. We often find ourselves out there trying to steer the river instead of just going with the flow and allowing the current to take us along for a ride. We get so attached to the vision in our own mind that we sometimes forget we are actually co-creators in our lives. Yes, I believe in taking accountability for our own actions and that we can manifest our own reality. But, at the same time, there is so much in our lives that is completely out of our control. Once we learn to become easy-going and less-attached, we soon realize that the Universe has an even greater plan than what we originally intended. What does that mean to you? Sometimes the plan has to change. You need to be willing to re-write again and again. We must learn to hold our vision and dreams ever so loosely (like a cute baby chick). Imagine what happens when you squeeze that baby chick too hard. (Oh no! Right?) The same thing can happen to your dreams. So, be easy. Learn the art of unattachment while striving for achievement. It’s a delicate dance.
  7. Be in alignment. When you’re listen to the calling of your heart and soul and what you do is alignment with your truth, amazing things start to happen naturally. Otherwise, it can seem like nothing is going like it should. This would be the equivalent of getting up and doing something everyday that you don’t love … just for a paycheck. Figuring out a way to line up some of your passions with your work is the recipe for a happy and fulfilled life. When you combine the use of your talents with fulfilling your purpose, the impact you can make in the world as well as your own happiness have limitless potential.

Of course, business savvy is always a plus when it comes to turning your dreams into reality. You need to bring a unique offering to the table or have the ability to solve problems and a strategic business plan that covers all the business nuts and bolts. But, there is so much more beyond the physical world that also plays a major role. When you combine both the practical and the metaphysical, you become a powerful creative force to be reckoned with, you dream-chaser you! Now go make some magic happen. xo

(To learn more of these strategies at a deeper level and turn your passion and purpose into profits, join Dawn Gluskin’s six week online course: The Time is Now! Registration is now open. Also, join the Type-A Zen movement by signing up for email inspiration & following on Facebook and Instagram.)

How to Live with Questions Instead of Hunting for Answers

questionsI am a child of the West. More specifically, I am a child of the United States and the mentality of answering a question is deeply-ingrained in me. I often think back to when I was in school, third or fourth grade and the teacher asked a question. I can still see the class, all boys, in sport coats, dress shirts and ties as we collectively raised our hands, we knew the answer. We wanted our teacher to know that we knew.

Someone was picked and the answer was given and then, it was on to the next question. When I worked on presidential campaigns, John Kerry in 2004 and Bill Richardson in 2008, I would sit at the edges of the rooms as the press asked questions. Q&A sessions are the core of journalism. You couldn’t possibly just have a “question” session where a question was left to float and linger; nor have there been many great ‘answer’ sessions where everyone gathers around and shares an answer to a question that was never asked.

We grow up and we want the answers. Why does she love? Why did she stop? Why did this happen or that? We hire therapists and read the books. We seek answers in the stars, our friends, and our family members. Today, in the world of electronic connection, there has to be an answer to every text; there has to be a response to every post and every email.

Not only that, we often read the simplest of pieces of communication over and over for an answer. We want to know why the person sent it; what’s the logic for the use of wink and not a smile. We pull layers off of layers and try and see what lies underneath. We need to find the answer.

Almost two years ago, I set out on my own journey to find out what happened to my father who had died in Southeast Asia in 1984. This was also less than a year after my mother had died in my arms in a hospice in Arizona. I set out with a mission. The impetus for my leaving was  a dinner I had with two close friends in Cape Town, South Africa while on a business trip there. “Go” they each told me, “go find out. It’s what you need to do.” I remember sitting at restaurant, as the waiters bustled about. I remember the feeling of the crowd and the room. I remember thinking, ‘yes I will go.’ So I went.

I learned an enormous amount on my journey. The journey concluded with me being back in that same restaurant last week while back in Cape Town on another business trip. I sat there and thought about what I had learned and what I hadn’t.

I left on my journey with my Western sense of “I need to find the answers” fully intact and front and center. I thought if I worked a bit harder, if I went to one more place that my father had gone to back then, if I stood on one more street corner where I knew that he had stood, I could find the answer. Any answer. An answer to how he felt when he was there. An answer to how he felt when he died. Something.

What I learned is that you should always go on your journey. We each have something that we have either always wanted to do. A place that we went to when we were young that we have wanted to go back to. Or perhaps we want to see where our parents were from, or where they met. We could want to see where someone near and dear to us lived, or died. It can be as far reaching as traveling Southeast Asia as I did, or as simple as wandering an old neighborhood where you grew up at night.

Go on the journey.

But go, not as I did as Westerner looking for the answer, though I suspect that you will leave that way. Go as the Burmese and African friends that I met along the way would go. Go knowing that the answers are elusive and not only are they elusive, the questions travel with you.

When you learn to live with the questions all day and all night, you realize that the answers don’t matter nearly as much as you once thought. When I was in Burma, I would get emails from my friends from the States, ‘did you find out what happened to your father?’ But no one there ever asked me that. They knew that it wasn’t the answers that mattered so much, but the journey itself. And living with the questions.

I wish I could go back to the classroom of my youth and when the teacher asked a question, instead of shooting my arm up and seeking to be the one with the answer, I would be the boy who sat there and just thought about the question.

 

photo by: paul bica

Getting started, again

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We started off the year with high hopes.

We were going to find love!
Start new jobs!
Let go of old hurts!

Now that it’s March, it’s time to do an evaluation.
Are you any closer? Are you have the sort of realistic conversations with yourself that are going to stop you from repeating the same old, same old? Or are you still back in 2013?

I hope as you’re reading this that you are thinking back on the short time since the turning of the year and you’re already proud of how far you’ve come, but in case you aren’t, here are some ideas to help you get back on track.

1. Time to affirm your intent. Remember the feeling and place you were in to make you set a big intent in the first place? Maybe you were worn out. Maybe you were on fire with the passion of a new idea. Even if you’re not in the same place you were when you originally made you’re intent, affirming it means you’re still saying “yes!” to that idea. Regardless of where you are today, you are just as committed to your dream.

2. Set visual reminders. I’m not above taking a page out of a teen girl’s book and leaving decorating my walls with reminders. Whether that’s notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator to remind myself of a new mindset or empty boxes in my bedroom to remind me to finally purge my closet of all the things I don’t need, a visual reminder is a tangible shift from seeing things the way they’ve always been.

3. Make an appointment with yourself. A boss I had taught me how invaluable it can be to make appointments with yourself, especially living in our fast-paced culture. You have someone asking you to get coffee (not necessarily a bad thing) and so you look down at your calendar and find an open place. If you’re like me, this might happen half a dozen times in a week and so you keep filling up the open places in your calendar with meaningful conversations and meetings. But then you arrive at the end of the week and realize you’ve left no time for your own plans or progress. Before you make it to Monday, sit down and find a block of time that can be added to your calendar that is reserved for the tasks that are hanging over your head. Writing? Organizing? Going to the gym? Sometimes it feels selfish to save time for you, but you would never tell a friend that making their own positive progress was selfish, so why is it for you?

So where are you getting started?
It’s possible you don’t feel progress being made because you never set an intention to begin with.
Check out this Year of Intent intention made my Mallika Chopra:

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.02.44 PM(click the image to see the entire intention)

Since originally posting about her new book, Mallika has been updating, affirming and responding to the comments left by other users. It keeps her motivated and, most importantly, focused on accomplishing a satisfying task- her newest book.

If it’s March and you lasted a good week on your resolutions and intentions, that’s fine. We’re here to get you started again.
So, again, I’ll ask where are you getting started?
What’s it going to take to get going?

Interested in checking out other Year of Intent goals? Check them out here.
Then set your own at Intent.com!

Kindness – It Does Your Body Good

Helping the homelessI remember being told to be kind as a kid, primarily as it related to how I treated any of my five siblings. I was thinking about this again this week while watching how little kindness there seems to be in the news. Between political battles of ideology, fighting for land, arguing over resources and fighting over egos, we have forgotten how to be kind. “Be kind for everyone you meet is fight a hard battle,” is a quote attributed to Plato. Regardless who said it, its message rings true now more then ever. What would it take for us to be more intentionally kind? And, how would our world change we did?

To me, the word Namaste says it all – “may the divine in me acknowledge the divine in you.” May whatever is great in me focus on seeing the greatness in you – even if I don’t know you. And if I did, I would be kinder. If I did, I would be more generous, more loving and more forgiving. I would see the greatness in you, trying to express your inner divinity. “We must find out for ourself that inside us is a god or goddess in embryo that wants to be born so we can express our divinity,” says Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Here is an exercise I regularly use for myself and as a challenge I share with my audiences. The next time you are on the highway and someone cuts you off, or you are in line and someone steps ahead of you, how will you make a point of seeing their greatness and their divinity instead of feeling offended? How will you see them as related to you, part of you and part of a greater plan? It isn’t easy because we have been trained to focus on ourselves more than on others. We feel violated, slighted or insulted. But it doesn’t have to be this way – our reaction to this is our choice. As we can choose to be unkind, we could also choose to be kind.

Changing a habit takes intention. To change a habit of focusing first on us takes the intention of wanting it to be different and committing to make the change. The starting point is awareness. We have to be able to see when we are kind and not kind. We have to be present enough to see ourselves in action – to notice our triggers and be aware of our responses. Only then will we be able to stop the “go-to” reaction of selfishness and retaliation, and instead see that we have a choice. That choice could include kindness. In the example of the car cutting you off on the highway, it could mean not blaring the horn and passing a gesture, but instead slowing down, letting the other car in and be entirely unaffected by the event. This is a choice.

The most amazing thing about being kind, is the greatest benefit is not for the other person; it is actually for you. The more unkind we are, the more damage we inflict on ourselves. I was coaching a client this week who is getting ready to leave an employer for some unfair and unprofessional things the employer did. This employee has the ability to “stick it” to his employer; be upset, carry a grudge and bad-mouth his employer. Or, he can realize that in a win-win termination solution, the employee can choose to not be at the effect of the situation, but actually choose to show up kinder, more aware and more committed to greatness. He can choose a mutually beneficial response that treats both sides kindly and professionally. He took the higher ground. His mood, health and spirit were left intact from the event. Kindness, it does a body good.

In what ways can you be more intentionally kind today, this week and this month? Feel the effects of it. See the effects of it. Though kindness does a body good, it also can do a planet good. Choose kindness.

Best Friends Club

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I am an adult with a Best Friends Club.
You read that right.
I remember being a kid and making a list of friends for my birthday.
20 people on the list? Man, I was popular.
But I also remember asking my parents if they had 20 friends.
I’d never seen them hang out with their friends late at night.
They weren’t going to meet friends at Hot Wheels Roller Rink like I was.
Did they not have any friends?
I decided I would never be an adult without friends.

Then I grew up. I’ve realized how difficult it can be to maintain relationships as you get older. People have jobs. They move away to different states. They get married and have kids. They start posting really weird political things on their Facebook pages. Being an adult with friends can be tough.

A really wonderful and wise man I know wrote this blog about Mastermind Groups.
Based on his description, a Mastermind Group is “12 (or less) people meeting once a week, reading books, and sharing life together.” He talks about how starting his own group of 5 guys who were in similar places in their lives pushed ALL of them to levels they never thought imaginable.

So I did it.

I started a secret club with four of my friends (really, there’s no reason for it to be secret. It just made it more fun for all of us and when you’re adults, sometimes you have to make your own fun) and we get together to share scripts and books, work on writing projects together and occasionally eat fancy foods. We check in with each other. We set goals for delivery of new material. We work on writing stuff.

The interesting thing is that our mastermind group kind of overflowed into the rest of our lives. Aside from the really great accountability it provided for us to get pen to paper, there were some other unexpected things we took away from this group:

1. Choose your team well.
When you’re in elementary school, your friends are the 23 other kids that happened to be assigned to the same teacher. The nice thing about being an adult is that you can be active in deciding who does and does not have access to you. So choose your team well! Choose people who allow you to feel like yourself. Choose people that are going to challenge you, not just fill the room with hot air.

2. Spend your time well.
Making time for something in your life that will meet regularly is a quick way to see what fluff is filling your calendar. I say time and time again that if your favorite thing to do is cook but you make no time for cooking, what are you doing instead? If the fruits of your labor with your mastermind group are the things you want most, you’re going to have to find places to cut back elsewhere. And don’t forget that the meeting time isn’t the only time you need space. If you’re writing, you have to have time to write if you’re going to bring anything to the group. Don’t forget that important piece of the puzzle!

3. Communicate well.
When there are 5 people you’re managing, you have to learn to be quick and honest. We don’t have time to waste rambling or not being intentional. So whether it’s in our meetings, where we employ stopwatches when we’re sharing material, or in our email chains, a date for our next meeting is suggested and everyone has until the end of the day to respond , we have learned that dragging out communication means keeping all of us in limbo. A real quick way to have 5 angry people is to keep them all in limbo. So be decisive. If you can’t be somewhere, say it. If you can, say it. You don’t want 4 masterminds turning against you.

So who would be in your group?
And what do you even want accomplished?
Maybe it’s a group that exercises together.
Maybe it’s a group of budding entrepreneurs.
Maybe it’s a group of moms or comedians or people from Washington state.
You get to decide. They’re your friends after all.

Be a Guest on OWN’S “Help Desk” with Caroline Myss in San Francisco March 13!

(Click to enlarge image)

Caroline Myss

PARTICIPATE IN AN “OWN” TELEVISION SERIES

IN SAN FRANCISCO WITH CAROLINE MYSS!

 READ APPLICATION PROCESS BELOW AND APPLY ASAP TO:

carolinemysshelpdesk@gmail.com

WHAT:            The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), is seeking participants for the “Help Desk” series featuring Caroline Myss!

WHEN:             March 13, 2014

WHERE:           San Francisco (specific location TBA)

WHO: Caroline Myss is a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition.  In addition to her most recent book, Archetypes: Who Are You? (2013), Caroline’s best-sellers include Anatomy of the Spirit (1996), Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can (1998), Sacred Contracts (2002), Invisible Acts of Power (2004), Entering The Castle (2007), and Defy Gravity (2009).

Description: Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned teachers, authors, and experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it. Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives. Although the event is public, we are looking to secure a select group of participants who will be given priority to sit down with Caroline.

What we are looking for: We need people who are seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance. Below are a few examples but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped

-Questioning faith or belief in higher power

-Overcoming addiction

-Difficulties with weight loss

-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears

-Divorce or breakup

-Coping with job-loss

-Issues revolving around sexual identity

-Financial hardship

-Sex and relationship issues

-Loss of a family member or friend

Requirements: 

1. We need applicants to be available during the day on March 13th in the San Francisco area.  Specific time and location TBA.

2. Provide a simple description of yourself (age, profession, relationships status)

and contact information (email and phone number).

3.  Photo of yourself.

4.  Specific question(s) you would like to ask Caroline.

5.  Single paragraph description of the specific life circumstance that led to your question(s).

6. Please tell us how you heard about this opportunity (specific website, social media, word of mouth, etc.).

7. If selected, applicants will need to sign an Appearance Release.

 Send email with answers to the above questions to: carolinemysshelpdesk@gmail.com

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