February 5, 2009
If you want to control the direction and pace of your career growth, you need the ability to balance short and long term views – to maintain a right perspective that brings clarity to your sense of what’s working and what’s not working for you.
Be aware of your horizons – the near, the far and the in-between – and always be willing to straddle different horizons as you explore your possibilities and revel in your progress.
Be prepared to focus and to shift focus, to rise slowly and to leap suddenly, as your direction and pace match the terrain.
February 4, 2009
You want to explore your endless possibilities – at work and otherwise. You want to respond effectively to opportunities and to benefit in any scenario.
For this, you need the ability to find and assess possible conditions, actions and outcomes.
Possibilities arise in the face of reflection, for example: What are your intentions for your work in the next 3 months? The next 3 years?
Intention – something you want to have, to be or to do – is your primary motivator.
Asking “why” to an apparent intention can lead you to a clear statement of your real intention.
Asking “how” to a real intention can lead you to possible conditions, actions and outcomes, from which you can choose the appropriate (necessary and sufficient) ones to give your time, attention, energy and value.
Play DICE. Discover, Invent and Create possibilities, conditions, actions and outcomes by Exploring what is meaningful to you and to your intentions.
February 3, 2009
The vital message here is that you own your career – warts and all – it belongs to you and only you.
You have zero obligation to serve anybody else’s ideas about “what you do” and “who you do it for or to”.
That said, if you want to maintain control of your work circumstances – and you do – then you need to have the ability to anticipate, influence, accept and leverage whatever conditions and situations arise.
Consider the similarities and differences between your views of work and your views of life? You have one or more models that help you to understand and to influence how the world works – you may have different models for work and for life in general.
You need working models that work reliably for you. Use the acronym CIRCUS to help you remember and assess the attributes of an ideal working model: Coherent, Insightful, Relevant, Cohesive, Useful, Simple.
Your models are constructed from basic truths – things that you believe – universal or objective truths, personal or subjective truths and conditional or situational truths, things that are “true enough” in specific circumstances.
This can lead you to have three working models: an authentic model rooted in universal truths, an espoused model rooted in personal truths and an active model rooted in the situation.
February 2, 2009
To begin – here’s my quick list of the 10 ways to make the most of your life at work –
- Own a career that works for you
- Explore your endless possibilities
- Master your career path
- Maintain a good fit between you and your career
- Direct your career from a solid foundation
- Choose your own direction and destinations
- Give deliberate action to get results that matter
- Say and do what’s right for you and your career
- Appreciate your career
- Make your career – make a difference
Going forward, we will explore each of these in more detail.
October 19, 2007
The Buddha speaks to you about “Right Livelihood”, and places your need to make a living – to pay your way in the world – in a much larger context of what it might mean to live your way in the world.
Consider the interdependence between your inner and outer experiences of living and how your choices integrate and align the two experiences. This helps you to better place, and keep, work in the larger context of living.
Work is only a part of your complete experience of life.
The eight fold path presents four paths of your inner experience and four paths of your outer experience. The interplay of your perception and your interpretation which you engage when you are making choices brings your inner and outer lives together.
In this view of your working and living experiences, the point of working is clearly and only that it frees you to devote as much time, energy and attention as you possibly can to fully living other inner and outer experiences. In this way, right working sets the stage for right living.
And what is right living?
Right living properly includes the work you do to sustain it, and also holds the promise that you can manage that work effectively to gain fulfillment in other comprehensive areas of your inner and outer experiences, such as:
Knowing what is available to you, as well as how to discover, invent or create the resources necessary for you to experience those possibilities. The Buddha’s “right understanding” sees only suffering and desire. There is much more in the world of possibility, and you are free to consider any and all of what can be. Right living includes consideration of the possibilities as a common practice.
Focusing on what appeals to you, and setting your intention to channel your resources to serve an effective realization of those possibilities. Here you can freely explore impending realities, in as little or as much detail as you please, before committing your self to live in them. Here you can also monitor your vision as it unfolds, and explore whatever adjustments might serve you better. Right living includes the habit of clear focus on where you are and where you want to be.
Accepting what comes. Through your experience in and of the world, what is possible becomes what is. Your experience moves and shapes two worlds: the world of possibility and the world of manifestation. Ripples cascade throughout both worlds to accommodate your experience of manifesting a possibility that appeals to you. Right living includes the unconditional acceptance of such natural perfection.
Thinking clearly. Your thinking is the conduit through which you exercise your power to perceive, interpret and influence the worlds of possibility and manifestation. Here the world of possibility meets the world of manifestation. Here your inner experience meets your outer experience. Right living includes the practice of clear and deliberate thinking.
Choosing. Here is the linchpin and primary driver which allows you to direct your living experience with your perception and interpretation of the worlds of possibility and manifestation. You choose effectively when you give equal weight to the voice of possibility and the voice of preservation, when you fully engage your instinctive perception of what is, your intuitive perception of what can be, and both your emotional and rational interpretations of what is becoming. Right living includes making your choices with all cylinders firing.
Relating to one and all. One way in which you conduct your outer experience of the world is through your relationships with other people. Your experience is determined by whether or not you communicate and, when you communicate, your experience is determined by the content and nature of your communication. Right living includes knowing what to say as well as when and how to say it.
Doing “that which is before you to do.” Another way you conduct your outer experience of the world is through whatever you do, just for the sake of doing. Your experience is determined by whether or not you are active and, when you are active, your experience is determined by what you do and how you do it. Right living includes knowing what to do as well as when and how to do it.
Working to pay your way in the world. Another way you conduct your outer experience of the world is through the work you do to pay your way. Your experience is determined by whether or not your work is necessary and sufficient to earn your livelihood. When you under-work, you may depend on others to support you. When you over-work, you may affect your other inner and outer experiences, as well as the experiences of those around you. Right living includes doing what is necessary and sufficient to pay your way in the world.
Investing in yourself and others. Lastly, you may conduct your outer experience of the world through the investment you make in yourself or others. You make investments without an expectation of immediate payback and/or without an expectation of payback for yourself. Right living includes doing what you can to contribute to, and improve, the world, your own life experiences and the lives of those around you.
October 18, 2007
You make choices about the work you do – choices rooted in who you are, what you need and what you want. Your choices about your work may be deliberate, maybe not, and may be a bit of both.
You do the work you’ve chosen and that work becomes your career. You may have intended for your career to be what it is, or your career may seem to be something that just happened. Either way, your career becomes a part of who you are, what you need and what you want – your career then affects the ongoing choices you make about the work you do.
So, minding your own career is about who you are, what you need and what you want. Minding your own career is making clear choices about the work you do, the career your work becomes, and the effect your career has on who you are.
When you mind your own career, you can easily answer questions like these, and more than that, you are pleased with the answers:
How well does your work reflect who you truly are – can you always “be yourself” at work?
How well does your work support you in getting your personal needs met, either directly or by giving you the resources, e.g. the time, money, networks, etc., to get your needs met outside of work?
How well does your work support you in getting you what you want out of life, either directly or by giving you the resources to get what you want outside of work?
Is your work worth the time, energy and attention that you give it?
How often do you wish that you could work less, or that you could earn more money, or both?
How effectively do you work? Does your work give you anything that is relevant and important for you, e.g. an appropriate and enduring sense of achievement or recognition?
Does your work enable you to spot, and to respond effectively to, your opportunities, whether for your work or for your larger life? Can you benefit in any scenario?
How readily can you find enjoyment and meaning in your work?
How easily and effectively can you maintain control of your work circumstances?
Do you have full and effective control of the direction and pace of your own career growth?
Can you make confident, timely and appropriate choices for your work and for your life in general?
How does the work you do – and your resulting career – affect and reflect who you are, to yourself and to others?
How well does your work support you, directly or indirectly, in improving yourself and your life? How well does your work enable you to contribute to improving others and their lives?
How well does your work respect your personal integrity, values, boundaries and standards?
Do you generally know what to do in any work situation, and when and how to do it?
Are you happy with your work? Are you happy with your career? Are you happy with your life?