Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gold Medals Don't Buy Happiness

Gold Medals Don’t Buy Happiness

Mark Twain said, “The secret of success is to make your vocation your vacation.” With four out of five people “unhappy” in their current jobs, our society doesn’t have enough vacationers.

What is success? Many people define success simply as winning. During the London Olympics, so much pressure was placed on winning; not just winning, but winning a gold medal; not just winning one, but multiple gold medals. With only one gold medal awarded per event, is every other participant who didn’t win gold unsuccessful? I’m all for being the best you can, but if you feel unsuccessful because you only won a silver or bronze medal (or none at all), sheesh! Did you notice there were plenty of them at the games?

Beyond the Olympics, why are 80 percent lacking happiness in their jobs? I believe the pressure to succeed (i.e. win) causes negative results. Many people see success as something on the horizon. In my business as life coach and executive recruiter, I speak to countless people who are stuck on this treadmill of have, do, be: If only I had one million dollars, then I could do what I really wanted; then I’d be happy. These people wander through life unhappy, then are surprised when they get that involuntary “early retirement.”

The true pathway to success is be, do, have. All you have to do is simply be happy, then you’ll be drawn to doing work that feels like a vacation; then you’ll have more than just financial reward; you’ll find success in all facets of life. In my book, “The Bliss List—the Ultimate Guide to Living the Dream at Work and Beyond,” (www.YourBlissList.com) success is defined as meaningful happiness. The good news is that meaningful happiness is easy to obtain—it’s a state of mind, a choice. And it doesn’t cost anything.

Thomas Jefferson, in the “Declaration of Independence,” wrote about our inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That phrase has different meaning today. Pursuit today is akin to the word “try.” Hey, I’m moving this weekend, can you help me? I’ll try…Pursuit in 1776 meant practice. Quite a different meaning. Jefferson figured it out and I wish our schools would add a footnote.

Sheryl Crow nailed it in her song Soak Up the Sun: “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.” Be, do, have starts with gratitude—being grateful for what you’ve got. Gratitude is an ideal starting point to obtaining success. Beyond gratitude, provide value. Provide double the value for your goods and/or services and success will follow. The more you give—without expecting anything in return—the more you will receive.

If it sounds easy, it is. The best things in life are free and choosing happiness is at the top of the list. Be leery of obstacles—four letter words—can’t, don’t, won’t, and fear. There is no true reason you cannot find happiness—it’s your inalienable right! There can only be one successful gold medal winner, but there is no limit to success.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Declaration of Happiness!

Why have we strayed so far from Thomas Jefferson’s bestselling essay (aka The Declaration of Independence), proclaiming our “inalienable right” of the “pursuit of happiness,” and made it feel so alien?

With 4 out of 5 people “unhappy” in their current jobs—an epidemic I call “The Whine Flu”—how about a return to a Declaration of Happiness?

Find out how: www.YourBlissList.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

Students Looking for Summer Jobs

Fox TV - Denver interviewed me about students looking for summer jobs (linked on www.YourBlissList.com under "Press Room"). I offered the following tips:

  1. Dress professionally and always apply in person.
  2. Bring a resume and a brag book (letters of recommendation, awards, etc.)
  3. Be enthusiastic!
  4. Be flexible on hours, including holidays.
  5. Consider an internship with a company you would like to work for after graduating-even if it is unpaid.

The job market has been in an upcycle for the past four months. There are plenty of jobs available. Don't limit yourself to "Help Wanted" signs. Apply in person with enthusiasm and think big!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 3 P's of a Winning Interview

In today's job market, the person who "wins" the job offer isn't always the best candidate on paper. To win, you have to demonstrate the 3 P's of a winning interview:
  1. Prepare
  2. Practice
  3. Persuade

Prepare: find out as much information about the company, hiring manager, reason for the opening, needs of the position, key skills and attributes required.

Practice: become Lance Armstrong. Think back to when you first tried to ride a bike-you probably fell (I rode into a fire hydrant...and the hydrant won). After several tries, finally you were able to ride the bike. In today's tight job market, you have to ride like Lance. Practice with interview Q&A in "The Bliss List" at www.YourBlissList.com.

Persuade: put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes and sell your sock off! Always ask for the order (job offer) before leaving.

People who practice the 3 P's are winning job offers today! Practice makes perfect.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Case of the Yeah, Buts...

I've done eight interviews during the past nine business days with the #1 rated Radio shows in key markets across the country. I've noticed a recurring theme: the hosts all have a case of the "Yeah, buts..."

What is a "Yeah, but?" It's when a guest like me suggests optimism onto the airwaves, and, as if on autoreply, the host automatically responds, "Yeah, but..."

With the mainstream media infecting us with negative news 95% of the time, having an optimistic message like the Business Roundtable CEO Report revealing that 73% of the CEO's see sales increasing this year or Business Week reporting about a dramatic economic recovery that will resemble a "V-Shape," the media can only retort, "Yeah, but..."

Well, to all the doom-mongers who would rather wallow in fear (remember Y2K?), you're running out of steam. I have only one thing to say: "YEAH!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Number That Matters

During the past week, I've been doing extensive radio interviews around the U.S., speaking on the positive news in the job market. That's right, I said it: positive news! That's become an oxymoron.

After speaking as the "jobs expert" with very influential and successful talk show hosts around the country, I've noticed a recurring theme (after 5 interviews): the media cannot process or convey positive news. Despite numerous positive signs of an uptick in the job market, the media cannot accept the glass as half-full.

Part of the problem is the paradigm that negative news sells. Almost all of the positive news was met with yeah but...yeah but don't you think its an aberration? NO I DON'T!

Why do we focus on the unemployment number? Shouldn't we focus on the over 90% of the U.S. who are employed full-time? Isn't this the number that matters?

www.YourBlissList.com for podcast recordings of some of the interviews.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Cure For Tiger Woods

Everyone is talking about Tiger Woods' "problems" lately, but nobody has accurately grasped the essense of his woes. And, it has nothing to do with his putter (pardon the pun!).

Tiger had a Michael Jackson-esque childhood with a father determined to constantly force golfing greatness on his son. Not many 3 year-olds get on The Tonight Show putting golf balls for the host. Eldrick (that's right, Tiger's real name is Eldrick) grew up as the classic nerd you'd expect with that name. He couldn't buy a date - even in college. Then overnight, Eldrick became super-hero Tiger and was cast onto the world stage. He performed admirably on the golf course but failed to achieve The Six Spokes of Bliss (www.YourBlissList.com).

Tiger carried Eldrick's insecurities into adult life. Any negative emotion that is suppressed festers and repeatedly rears its ugly head until handled properly, especially insecurity.

To achieve greatness beyond the golf course, he needs to go six for six on his Bliss Spokes. Physically, financially, and intellectually, he's fine, but his relational, spiritual, and emotional spokes are broken right now. If his "sex addiction therapy" includes work on these missing components, superb; if not, so much talent will ultimately go to waste.