Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Lisa had just graduated from college. Her dad was a client and a friend. He asked me to have lunch with her and give her some tips on finding a job. So there we sat, she with her resume and references and me chock-full of advice. It did not take me too long to realize that Lisa knew exactly what she wanted from her first job. During her last year of college, she had carefully plotted out a career path that would ultimately lead her to becoming a pharmaceutical representative. That was just the first half of for journey. The second half culminated in Lisa becoming a CEO. Talk about energy! Her dad had given me a decent idea of what the job she was applying for entailed, so I was able to do a salary search to give Lisa an idea of what she should expect.
I take a different approach to conducting a job search. I believe you are an equal partner in employment. I believe you have as much to offer a potential employer is they have to offer you. "The door swings both ways." I believe that you bring up salary and compensation during the first interview as one of your questions or discussion points. If a company and a candidate are miles apart, as it relates to compensation there is no sense continuing the interviewing process. It shows that you've done your homework.
There is an old adage: "You are never paid what you are worth. You are paid what you negotiate."
Lisa told me what her salary expectations were and I glanced at my notes. Suffice to say her expectations and my research were far apart. I went into the traditional human resource song and dance about entry-level wages, six-month evaluations, and all that other neat stuff. Lisa never lost her composure nor did she lose the look of determination. "I believe this company will be getting a good deal by paying me what I ask for." I wished her luck.
Three days later Lisa called very excited. The company hired her and gave her the wage she requested. They agreed to evaluate her in three months and potentially increase her wage if her performance allowed for it. After we finished talking I sat scratching my head. This was a 22-year-old college student who defied all conventional wisdom as it related to her job search. A few months later, at a job fair, I had the chance to talk to the person that hired Lisa. I asked them if they could tell me what tipped the scale in her favor.
Lisa supervisor said, "That's easy, I've never interviewed anyone who had that much confidence in their ability to not only do the job but go above and beyond what we were requiring. I felt good the rest of the day just by being around her for the half-hour or so I was." She went on to tell me they had interviewed three other candidates who had previous experience in that job position. They will ready to offer one of those candidates the position when Lisa walked in the room for her interview. Her strong belief that she deserved to be successful swayed the verdict in her favor.
That was five years ago. Today, Lisa is well on her way to reaching her goal of being a CEO. She works as a sales representative for major pharmaceutical company and is planning her next move. I feel energized anytime I talk to her or him in the same room with her.
The only thing that separates Lisa from you and I is that Lisa believes she deserves to have every success in life she desires. She sits good goals for herself. She is willing to do the work. The foundation she lays is the foundation that begins with her believing, unequivocally, in her right to be successful.
Often the intangibles in life tip the scale in our favor. I have worked with many highly qualified and intelligent people who cannot ever seem to get to the things in life they desire. They have never realized it starts between your ears. The internal recognition and acknowledgment that you deserve to be successful will catapult you to heights you never imagined.
Finally, it is worth noting Lisa had some strong goals. From the first time we talked, she was very clear about what she wanted to accomplish. We often confuse lack of self-esteem with lack of a plan. When I look out over my world and have a clear vision of where I want to go I already have a lot of confidence I need to get there. It is called security. If, however, I just spin my wheels in the mud I become disheartened in short order.
Tomorrow is the first day of March and today is not too soon to start laying the foundation of the great things you and I want to accomplish for our not only health and fitness before our entire lives. It is never just one thing. Our success begins with us believing we deserve to be successful partners with the vision and goals we create to get there. If Lisa can, why can't we?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There are certain irrefutable truths in life. You may be eight or eighty; it does not matter. We all share a unique formula for success. It is what moves us forward and at the same time holds us back. It is what puts a large grin on our face and at the same time; it causes us to lay awake at night tossing and turning.
The first constant of a successful life is this: Beyond any other truth, you deserve to be successful.
However, here is the rub: Deep down inside there is a voice that reminds us of all the mistakes we have made in our lives. They are the reasons to remain exactly where we are and stir our little pot of misery. We feel we do not have the education, or we are the wrong gender. We perceive ourselves as being too old, or too young. We question our intelligence, or our ability to communicate effectively. We have a built-in excuse for everything. We tell ourselves we do not deserve happiness, health, or success. I cannot make an investment in myself unless I believe that investment is going to reap a great return. Each morning when I get up and I fight the same battle and make the same mistakes and each night as my head hits the pillow I end up with the same results. Eventually, I give up. After all, it is our lot in life. "Pity, party of one your table is now available."
The answer is simple and at the same time the most excruciating experience, we will have. It is learning to forgive ourselves for whatever crazy notion we have of why we do not deserve a successful life. If you are like me, you felt your heart drop the first time you realized that. That kind of self-interaction will take a lifetime. It may mean dealing with issues we have long since forgotten. Along the way that self-doubt, and that lack of self-forgiveness will be replaced by the notion that you deserve to be successful. As the pain and suffering subside they are replaced by warmth, self-appreciation and a true feeling that you deserve to live a rich and full life.
Last Thursday evening I lie in bed 200 miles from home trying to get to sleep. While I have traveled extensively for the past 10 years I can never quite get used to someone else's bed. I lie there thinking, waiting for the fatigue that allows me to sleep. I noticed that my jaws clenched. I noticed that I was "uptight." And I wondered why. Back in the old days, Kenny Rogers wrote and sang a song called "Tell It All Brother." There is a line from the song that has been etched in my mind. "And in the dungeons of your mind, who do you have chained to the walls." I began to think of all the people I put an emotional shackle and chained to a wall that would not allow them to be forgiven. Somewhere inside of me, though, a voice pointed me to myself, hanging on that same wall. The ability to forgive other people comes much easier than the ability to forgive ourselves. Most of us sincerely believe that no one on the face of the earth and in the history of mankind has ever done or ever said the terrible things we have.
If I can't forgive myself how can I ever believe I deserve to be successful. I am not suggesting that we simply forget. I'm suggesting that the past is over and the only way it remains in the present is when you and I allow it to do so. I'm not suggesting we deny what we've done I am simply asking "Isn't it time, we made peace with our past. “
That journey will take a lifetime. With each moment, we have the opportunity of forgiving ourselves while we begin to discover our potential.
Our success is not solely dependent on internal activity that makes us feel better. We can only feel deserving of our success when we have some clear goals in front of us. As the sewage of our alleged sin drifts away, we must replace it with something strong and challenging. As we look upon our world, it is inevitable that we choose some goals to reinforce the belief that we deserve to accomplish anything and everything.
Be blessed today.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I live my life by three major principles: I deserve to be successful, I am worth all the effort I put into myself, and I am who I hang around with. I will have to admit, for the most part, these three principals have served me fairly well.
Yesterday, however, a little voice inside my head said the following: "if you don't take advantage of the opportunity before you today, someone else will!" Talk about a kick in the head! There was really no warm fuzzy there. That small voice, call it my inner guide, call it the Holy Spirit, call it what you will, it certainly wasn't a warm and soft caress. Moreover it was a challenge for action.
Come closer, since were all friends here, I need to whisper this. Sometimes those challenges scare me half to death. Do you ever hear a little voice inside your head? Maybe the voice says something like "You are not worthy." As I pondered that exhortation I began to realize that in many ways I don't believe the first principle I espouse: I deserve to be successful. Oh, don't get me wrong, I deserve to have a nice house, a decent car, a meal in my belly and all that other neat stuff but when it comes down to it that fear, that fear of being successful , well, what keeps me from being successful? There are so many things I want to do in so many things I want to share. What holds me back? I can answer that really easy, it's me.
I lost a significant amount of weight, participated in some athletic activities I never dreamed I'd be able to accomplish and quite frankly the responsibility involved with that success scared me back in to being obese. Last week I received a phone call from a marketing group in Florida. They offered me an opportunity to participate in a video marketing endeavor that is going to be very similar to the Home Shopping Network but only for business services and products. As I shared my vision with the person on the phone they began talking to me about marketing DVDs and CDs all containing my infinite wisdom, LOL. In the beginning, right after I hung up the phone, I was really excited. Imagine me, plastered all over the world. Imagine me, reaching all kinds of people with new and unique ideas. After a few hours I wasn't excited anymore, I was scared. I looked in the mirror and that little voice, you know the one, the one that incriminates us all the time seemed to shout "You're old, you're fat, and oh by the way you're not real handsome." Cut to the scene of me having a minor anxiety attack. When all was said and done, the decision was made for me. BI didn't have the financial resource to participate in this endeavor. It would have cost a significant amount of money for me to get involved and while the payback look good to be quite honest with you I just don't have the money right now. Between me and you, part of me breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was one of those "reasonable excuses," no one could argue with.
Later today I'll go to church. Someone will smear ashes on my hand and suggests I spend the next 40 days examining, pruning and removing all the dead branches on my tree. For those of us who are Christian it is the season of Lent. It commemorates the 40 days that Jesus went off alone to prepare himself for his mission in life. I, for one, have never understood how as a society we have contorted that experience into 40 days of self-denial and self-deprecation. Again, between me and you, I wish I had 40 days to go off somewhere and set a plan for my immediate future. Since I can't, here's what I can do. I can take that time and examine, explore, and come to terms with the part of me that doesn't seem to want to accept the fact that he has so much to offer, so much to give and really and sincerely deserves to be successful.
It is cold comfort, at times, to realize I'm not alone in this feeling. There are so many of us who begin each day hoping and praying nothing goes wrong to upset our fragile applecart. Is there good news? We come back every day. There might be a tear in our eye or a catch in our throat. We might feel ashamed and uncomfortable that we haven't reached any of our goals in a while but somewhere, somehow we keep digging deep and we keep coming back. Yup, I had failed more times than I care to think but I feel pretty blessed to of had this revelation and even more so to realize it is a key to my future. Be blessed today.
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