Word-Of-the-Week #776: Challenge

June 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Challengesomething new and difficult which requires great effort and determination.

Do you LOVE a good challenge? Or do you tend to dread it? When was the last time you felt determined to do something new or difficult? How long did it take you to handle the challenge?

I found this in the USA Today by Ken Fisher, Female executives offer some career advice to younger women: ‘Leave the comfort zone.’

“With the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death approaching, this Mother’s Day was wistful. She would have turned 100 in weeks.

Mom grew up tough in southwest Arkansas. Pre-Great Depression, before penicillin, where railroads and river shipping reigned. She married my father during World War II, moved west and never looked back.

Honoring her memory, I asked top women at my firm what advice they would give women seeking to fulfill their vision of life. 

  • Don’t settle for comfortable

Jill Hitchcock, a 20-year veteran, who heads our national Private Client Group, offers this advice: “Run toward the things that scare you, especially early in your career.

Too often, I see associates, especially women, seeking ‘comfortable’ roles instead of what really challenges them to build new skills,” she said. “Don’t close doors opting for comfortable or known roles that play to skills you have; move toward roles that build skills you don’t have.”

Carrianne Coffey, also 20 years at my firm, who runs our comparable overseas group, echoed this: “Feeling role-comfortable creates mediocrity and stagnation. Get a comfortable bed, some good sheets — then leave the comfort zone when you wake in the morning.”

She adds, “Be direct about your aims.” Her favorite advice comes courtesy of her older brother: “If you don’t ask for it, some other jerk will.”

  • Don’t expect to have all the answers

Take time to breathe and reflect, says Laurine Garrity, our global marketing head.

“Don’t expect to have all the answers early in your career,” she says. “I often see young adults seriously stressed thinking they need a long-term career roadmap. Life is unpredictable. You need to be flexible and resilient. So find out what you enjoy, what challenges you — then learn from those experiences and build on them. Over time, with work and self-reflection, you should land in a good place.”

Lane Jarvis, our human capital tsar, stressed avoiding burnout.

“Take care of your health. Don’t prioritize work over taking care of yourself. It will make you better and healthier so you can work longer.”

This week’s focus is on challenges. When was the last time you had your abilities tested? How did it make you feel? Does it make you more determined and want to put forth the extra effort?

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

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Word-Of-the-Week #775: Recalculating

June 13, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Recalculating re-thinking and or re-planning in order to eliminate errors or to incorporate additional factors or data.

Have you arrived at your “perfect job” destination? Are you living the life you dreamed of? Do you ever feel you are off track?

I am taking the liberty to rerun this WOW. It came up for me personally as its how I feel about parts of my life right now. I probably have 25% to 30% of my life left and that has caused me to think about how I want to spend that precious time. “So instead of accepting things I cannot change, I am changing things I cannot accept.” I am recalculating relationships.

Henry DeVries, assistant dean for external affairs UC San Diego, featured a UT article titled, Recalculating the next career step.” He writes, When Karen Jacobsen walks on a stage, there is no question she is in the driver’s seat.  Known as The GPS Girl, Jacobsen’s speaking voice is in over 100 million GPS units giving drivers directions worldwide as “Australian Karen.” 

“You could say I specialize in telling people where to go,” says Jacobsen, an Aussie who moved to New York over a decade ago and had an unexpected twist in her singing career when she got a 50-hour voiceover gig giving driving directions. 

a gps

Today she is also an author who speaks to audiences on how to create a road map for their future. Jacobsen, who is also the Australian voice of Siri for the Apple iPhone, has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, the NBC Today Show, the CBS Early Show, in the New York Times, Glamour magazine and was named one of People magazine’s Most Intriguing People. 

In her book, “The GPS Girl’s Road Map for Your Future,” she writes about how to listen to your Inner GPS and to ‘recalculate at any time in life’ just as we do when driving. She knows drivers hate it when they get off course and hear her say, “recalculating,” but she loves the word. 

“I think the word recalculating is actually good news,” says Jacobsen. “It may mean you have been off track, but by the time you hear the word recalculating, you are already back on the right road. Recalculating is how I got from the Great Barrier Reef to the Big Apple.”

This week’s focus is on listening to your inner GPS. Are you in the Driver’s seat or the Passenger’s seat? Is there a part of your life that needs recalculating? How would it feel to create a new road map?

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Word-Of-the-Week #774: Receptive

June 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Receptive willing or inclined to receive suggestions or information. 

How willing are you to receive suggestions? If new updated information comes to you how receptive are you to accepting it? Would you say the company you work for is open and receptive to suggestions or new information?

My dear friend, speaker buddy, and mentor Gloria has given me great “Words of Wisdom” over the years that I found to be very timely and helpful. She would always start by saying, “If you are receptive…”

Sometimes I would answer, “No. I’m just not feeling that today.” And then giggle. She has been a great teacher and I a great student. In order to learn and grow you need to be receptive to new ideas or different ones. As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

I got lots of positive responses to the past couple of WOW’s and felt they were worth sharing. That’s of course if you’re receptive!

This from my sister Lurene, “I think if everything in our life was certain it would be boring. The Buddha says, “Life is uncertain, death is certain.” I had a Yoga Master tell me that quote in one of my very first yoga classes and said “If you came here, to this class with certain expectations – wait – you might leave with something much different or better – be open.” 

And this from long time subscriber Joe, “Fear can be used as a crutch to not try anything or go beyond one’s abilities to change and better oneself. It can be an excuse. But when we actually go into the arena to attempt something that no one else will, regardless of the consequences, that allows us to conquer whatever fears we have in this life. 

The unfortunate thing in this life is that so many people fear death so much, that they don’t LIVE”. 

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” – FDR 

On Comprehension Joe had this to say,“These skimming habits don’t allow us to really sit down and take our time reading a newspaper, magazine or even books. It is too bad, really, because in the process we lose the basic communication skills we need to connect with our fellow man. 

Too many people today, especially the young, need to stop looking down and start looking up, or they will miss life.”  

This week’s focus is on being receptive. Is there an area in your life where you’d like to see different results? Do you have a good friend or mentor who can help you with that? Could you be more open to receiving suggestions or information?

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Word-Of-the-Week #773: Trepidation

May 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Trepidation a state of fear or anxiety. 

How often have you felt trepidation? Is there something you need to confront that you just don’t want to do? How would it feel to just deal with it so it’s all over and done with?

Once again, Steve Strauss, author of STEVE’S 3-MINUTE COACHING, sent a very thought provoking piece!

Great Question: Fear To Hear?

(Great questions lead to great answers; weak questions, weak ones.)

“What do I fear to hear?” (Or see?) (Or experience?)

Coaching Point: This S3MC surfaced when I recently realized I was avoiding having a necessary, but probably unpleasant, conversation. As I projected the thought of it onto the future the imagined emotional energy felt really uncomfortable. Simply put, I didn’t want to experience it. So there I was, uncomfortable in what-was-so right now, yet unwilling to experience the (imagined) greater discomfort of having the conversation.

And that’s the key to moving forward – notice the cost of what you fear to hear (see/experience) and know it will continue to accrue until you act. The longer you delay taking action the greater the cumulative cost.

Of course, one time, long ago and far away, you put off taking action on an issue and it resolved itself. “Maybe it’ll magically happen again,” you tell yourself. Really? ‘Maybe’ is a winning strategy?

Not for people leading highly successful lives. They have learned the cumulative cost of putting off what they fear to hear is far greater than the cost of action.

Where in your past have you experienced the truth of this?

See all past issues and subscribe here Steve’s 3-Minute Coaching

Copyright © 2019 Steve Straus, All rights reserved.

This week’s focus is dealing with trepidation. How often have you put off doing or saying something that needs to be done? Is the cumulative cost affecting your emotional well being? How would it make you feel to take action and resolve it?

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Word-Of-the-Week #772: Inspiration

May 23, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #772: Inspiration 

Inspiration a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something. 

When was the last time you felt enthusiasm for something or someone?

This is the follow up to last week “Blind San Diego sailor completes trans-Pacific crossing to Japan.  Mitsuhiro “Hiro” Iwamoto and his sighted sailing partner Doug Smith have become the first blind sailing team to sail nonstop across the Pacific Ocean,” by Pam Kragen.

“The men sailed 24 hours a day, alternating 6-hour shifts at the wheel. Iwamoto mostly sailed at night since he’s comfortable sailing in the dark. They subsisted on a lean diet of power bars, protein drinks and freeze-dried foods. Smith lost 30 pounds and Iwamoto lost 10 during the voyage. Both also grew thick beards. 

Iwamoto, 52, grew up on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu where he began losing his sight at age 13. By 16, he was completely blind. Faced with a future of being dependent on others, he initially thought of committing suicide but decided instead to push his own limits to inspire others. 

He went to medical school, studying in Japan and San Francisco, to become an acupuncturist, and in his 20s he met his American wife, Karen Young Iwamoto, who had moved to Japan after college to teach English. They married 22 years ago, moved to San Diego in 2006 and have a daughter, Leena, who’s in eighth grade. 

Iwamoto runs a holistic health medicine practice in Kearny Mesa and travels the world doing motivational speaking. It was on one of those tours in Japan in 2016 that the two men met through a mutual friend. 

Smith, 55, grew up in Alexandria, Va., and graduated from college in 1990 with an economics degree. He flew to Japan, found work in the real estate finance industry and met his wife, Naomi. They married in 1995 and have two daughters, Rachael and Hana. Smith commutes between Japan and the U.S. for his job with GreenGen, a Maryland company that creates sustainable energy systems for companies worldwide. 

Smith had dreamed for years of sailing across the Pacific but he didn’t know how to sail and couldn’t find anyone to go with him. When he met Iwamoto, he saw a way to fulfill both of their dreams. 

Most of the news coverage over the past few months has focused on Iwamoto, which is just fine with Smith. Instead, his focus has been on the adventure itself and raising money for four charities including San Diego’s Challenged Athletes Foundation. He said he’s enjoyed helping Iwamoto’s dream come true. 

“I looked at this trip as our moonshot,” Smith said. “We needed a spaceship, we needed mission control and we needed an astronaut. There was always the plan that I’d build the spaceship, which was our boat, and be mission control keeping track of all the data every day. But he’s the astronaut. We did it together in our different capacities and we did it with the Dream Weaver. I think we both felt there were three of us on the voyage.” 

Iwamoto said he plans to spend a month relaxing in Japan with family before returning home to San Diego. He’s considering writing a book about the experience from the blog he kept along the way. Smith is moving Dream Weaver to a different harbor in Japan for long-term storage. He isn’t planning to sail the boat back to the U.S. for at least two years. But if and when he does, he knows exactly who to call for a second hand at the wheel. 

“We share the same determination,” Smith said of Iwamoto. “He wasn’t going to let people tell him he couldn’t do it and I wasn’t going to let people tell me I didn’t have enough sailing experience to go with him. If you tell us we can’t do something, we’ll work hard to prove you wrong. That personality trait really bonded us.”

This week’s focus is inspiration. Have you ever dreamed of doing something that you had no idea how to do? Would you risk your life in order for that to happen? Is there someone in your life that shares the same determination as you?

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