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Why You Should Visualize Your Worst Nightmare

December 13, 2018


Have you incorporated visualization into your career goals? Another word for visualization is “positive thinking.” And it’s true that focusing on the best possible scenario can assist you in actually making that goal a reality. But there’s another side to the coin: failure. Luckily, visualization can still help.

If you’re scared of failing at something, imagine the worst possible scenario–and how you would react to it. How would you feel? And more importantly, what exact steps would you take to climb out of the mess? It’s probably not as bad as you think.

Productivity expert Tim Ferriss calls it “fear-setting.” He claims it’s the “most powerful exercise” he does each month. In Ferriss’s case, he realized that his worst nightmare was really only going to temporarily impact his life on a scale of 3 or 4. But if things went well, his life would be permanently changed to a 9 or 10.

When you visualize the worst case scenario and compare that to the best case scenario, it might help you take a leap of faith. You may become a more “risky” person, but you can feel confident knowing the risk is worth it–and possibly minimal at best. This exercise can be applied to smaller every day decisions or big life changes. Seriously imagine: what’s the worst that could happen?

Image via Matt Reinbold/Flickr. 

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15 Career Quotes to Motivate You in 2019

December 11, 2018


“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” ― Sheryl Sandberg

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  ― Michael Jordan

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ― William James

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ― Stephen Covey

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Confucius

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” ― Oprah Winfrey

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ― Milton Berle

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” ― Steve Jobs 

The future depends on what you do today.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”― Elon Musk

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

Whatever you are, be a good one.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ― Vince Lombardi

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”― Dalai Lama

Image via Mish Sukharev/Flickr.

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5 Ways to Use Visualization at Work

December 6, 2018


Have you ever tried visualizing your goals? Like really and vividly imagining what each step of the process would look and feel like? It can make a difference. Ask any Olympic athlete if they visualized themselves on the podium. The answer is likely yes!

According to The Muse, “by using visualization, you’re tricking your brain into acting as if your desired outcome—whether that’s nailing a presentation, landing a big promotion, or launching your own business—has already happened. And because your brain thinks your desired outcome has already happened, you’re more likely to take the actions necessary to align with your brain’s perceived reality.”

  1. The perfect meeting: Imagine yourself nailing your presentation and hitting all the right talking points. Take it another step further and envision others reacting positively to your pitch.
  2. The promotion: Vividly dream about what today would be like if you had the position you wanted. Imagine everything from waking up in the morning to what you would wear to what it would be like to walk through the hallways in your new role.
  3. The networking event: Regardless of whether or not you like networking, envision yourself interacting with others. What are you saying? What is your body posture like? How do you feel?
  4. Resigning: Feel stuck in your position but can’t imagine leaving it? Visualize what the process would be like from start to finish. How would you feel?
  5. Starting a new position: A new job is nerve racking so pump yourself  up by imagining your first day going smoothly. While you’re at it, visualize what your day will be like three months from now when you’re a more seasoned employee.

Image via ClaraDon/Flickr.

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Why Specific Goals Matter for Your Success

December 4, 2018


As the new year is fast approaching, you’ve no doubt thought about what you want to achieve in 2019. Perhaps you’d like to eat better or work out more. Maybe you want to be more productive or spend more time with your family. Those are all great goals…in theory. But they are missing one important element: specificity.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “abstract ambitions—such as “doing your best”—are usually much less effective than something concrete, such as bringing in 10 new customers a month or walking 10,000 steps a day.” So instead of ‘spending more time with your family,’ agree to plan one two-hour family activity every weekend. And instead of ‘eating better,’ eat three vegetarian meals per week or cook at home five nights per week.

Another tip mentioned by the Harvard Business Review’s Ayelet Fishbach is to choose a goal that is intrinsically motivated instead of extrinsic. For example, if you want to work out more, you may set a goal to attend a yoga class once per week. Once you attend the yoga class, you’ll feel great and de-stressed. That’s a better motivation than say rewarding yourself with a coffee every time you leave the gym. In short, choose a goal that you actually find enjoyable. While working out might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is probably some sort of way to work out that you enjoy more than others.

Now here’s your homework: write down three areas of your life that you’d like to improve in the new year. Now translate those items into an actual goal that’s measurable and can be achieved on a weekly or monthly basis. What will your goal be? Good luck!

Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr.

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Beat Holiday Stress with These Helpful Tips

November 29, 2018


Happy holidays! You’re likely balancing party planning, shopping for gifts, working through some deadlines, and life’s other demands. It’s a wonderful season but it’s also a season that requires some extreme need for coping. These tips can help you cut through the overwhelm and find some time for yourself.

Just Breathe.
Here are three breathing exercises that will help you beat stress. Breathing is one of the easiest ways to get centered and find calm when you’re in the middle of the holiday frenzy. It only takes a minute or two and the results are very effective.

Go to Your Happy Place.
Here are seven quick ideas that can help you de-stress almost instantly. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself to take off the edge. Especially during this season, when there is so little time to focus on just yourself!

Stay Positive.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do life or your career. Stay positive, which means cutting out any negative distractions like the news or social media, especially if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.

Image via Lucky Lynda/Flickr.


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Job Searching Over the Holidays? Read This.

November 27, 2018


Feeling overwhelmed? Then it must be the holidays! No doubt that this time of year is full of a lot of fun and a lot of stress. And if you’re in the middle of a job hunt, you may be tempted to wait until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. But this is actually a great opportunity to hit the ground running in your pursuit of a new position.

Don’t Stop Searching for a Job Over the Holidays
You heard that right! November and December are actually a great time to search for a job. Here’s why.

7 Reasons You Should Continue Your Job Search Over the Holidays
Learn how parties, catching up with old friends, and the spirit of giving can work to your advantage.

How to Stay Focused on Your Job Search During the Holidays
Learn three tips for getting through the busy season including why you should set goals–and tell your friends and family about it.

Image via SimplyPanda/Flickr. 


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How to Track Your Successes (and Failures)

November 15, 2018


Like most people, you likely started the new year with lofty goals in which you may or may not be still pursuing. It’s easy to let our big plans and ambitions fall to the wayside. But there is one hack for staying on track: record the progress we are making. There are tons of apps and websites out there than can help you observe and assess your very own data. Your efforts will be staring right back at you. Let’s be honest–whether it reveals a failure or a success, it will be motivating!

Goodreads: We’ve touted the benefits of reading many times, and it’s a common goal on many people’s list of personal improvements. Keep track of how many books you’ve read this year, and what books you want to read next with Goodreads. Set a reading goal for the year and check your progress as you go.

RescueTime: If you’re focused on changing your habits and improving your focus while sitting at your computer, RescueTime can give you a report on how you spend your time. Want to write a novel? How much time did you actually spend on Microsoft Word? And how much time did you spend on Facebook instead? The data can be incredibly motivating.

Toggl: For those who want to track their entire day and see how they spend their time, Toggl lets you manually do so. Choose whether you want to track everything or just a few important goals. Again, the reports will be telling and can encourage you to be more intentional about how you spend your time.

Image designed with Canva.

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5 Ways to Make Your Meetings More Engaging

November 13, 2018


In many corporate environments, the Powerpoint presentation is put on a pedestal. Someone may spend hours or even days perfecting slides for an upcoming meeting. But according to one company, the most productive meetings don’t have slide decks.

The thought process is that slide-run meetings become too much like a college-style lecture. The presenter holds all the power, and the coworkers diligently listen. That makes it harder for the audience to chime in and for everyone to have a true back-and-forth conversation. Slides also feel permanent, like the ideas stated on them can’t evolve.

Whether you agree or don’t agree with this concept, here are a few ways to make your meetings more engaging.

  1. Fill up that whiteboard. Ideas can be easily added and erased, and a marker can be placed in anyone’s hand. Ideas can flow more freely and can constantly evolve throughout the meeting.
  2. Write up a brief. Summarize the problem, goals, and potential solutions then pass it out before the meeting begins, or give people five minutes to assess and take notes at the start of the meeting. Kick off the conversation by asking for feedback.
  3. Go around the circle. Instead of letting people chime in willy nilly, make the conversation more accessible for those who may be too shy to speak up. Everyone gets a chance to share their opinions and views.
  4. Set a time limit. Time limits can be motivating and can excite participants to chime in quickly, but get their point across briefly.
  5. Get outside. Break out of the meeting room and head for a picnic table outside. Or, make it a walking meeting and have an authentic and thoughtful conversation.

Image via Lance Nishihira/Flickr.  

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3 More Ways to Stay Positive in Work and Life

November 8, 2018


Let’s face it: everyone is busy, especially during fall when commitments surrounding the new school year as well as an onslaught of holiday planning can become incredibly overwhelming. You’re constantly wondering, Where did summer go?! It’s a rude awakening after a too-short break. If you’re feeling a little run down already, these tips can help you power through a long work week followed by an action-packed weekend.

  1. Think of the big picture.
    Don’t let the little details bog you down. Little frustrations, negative feedback, and unexpected challenges can easily dampen your spirit on a daily basis. Keep the end game in mind or remember how small this bump is in the road.
  2. Perfect your daily routine.
    Every day should be filled with a nice mix of friends, family, and you time as well as work and play. Find the perfect mix for you. Develop a schedule that meets your needs and your goals. Easier said than done, but worth a concerted effort!
  3. Utilize your strengths.
    Ideally, your current position would put your best talents to good work. If it doesn’t, offer to take on a project that does. Or find other ways throughout the day to utilize your strengths. When we do good work, we feel accomplished, we get great feedback, and it can improve our mood.

Image via Simon Varwell/Flickr.

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Would You Hold a Silent Meeting?

November 6, 2018


New trend alert: silent meetings. Say, what? Well, say nothing. Silent meetings are group gatherings (they can be in person or virtual) where everyone silently works at the same time. Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame is said to be the originator of the silent meeting. The idea behind silent meetings is that they are more effective, productive, and democratic. Typing is involved, so while the meeting is “silent” it isn’t without discussion.

There are a lot of different ways a silent meeting can work:

  • Together, We Can: Think of it like a sprint work session. Perhaps you’re all working toward the same goal or all working on the same project at the same time.
  • Start Quiet: The first 30 minutes are spent reviewing a detailed memo and taking notes. The next 30 minutes are spent in discussion, which should be more focused and thought-out.
  • Silently Share: Give access to a shared Google Doc for a certain time period. During that time, anyone has a chance to express their opinion in writing without worries of not being heard or being talked over.
  • Group Chat: Use a messaging program like Slack and the text-only conversation will also double as meeting minutes.

How else do you envision a silent meeting?

Image via Pete/Flickr. 


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