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I recently watched a really interesting video with John Hayes, CMO at American Express when he discusses the relevance of personal branding in today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing world of business. It makes me think really hard. Because I I thought all “personal branding” stuff is just not for me. But recently I am thinking about taking b-school online classes and it seems personal branding is a hot topic there.

All the way through his discussion, Hayes pointed out that branding is paramount to success, not just for businesses and organizations but likewise for personal employment opportunities. John’s approach to the topic of branding was perfect for various students from all sorts of qualifications. He centered on three primary topics: getting education  – personal brand building, re-invention, and consumer relationships.

 EDUCATION AND PERSONAL BRAND BUILDING

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careerYou are your own best career adviser. The role of an outsider is chiefly that of fog dispersal, a critical yet preliminary and adjunctive role.

Should you stop me in the hallway today and ask the meaning of desuetude I’d have a puzzled look on my face and answer “I know it but no I just can’t come up with it”, my voice trailing off as I felt I disappointed you. Yet if you’d shown me a sentence in the newspaper like “… after years of desuetude and neglect the old school house was only fit for the wrecker’s ball”, I’d have said “oh, disuse”, though in truth it’s more likely that you’d not have needed to ask me at all.

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I took another step and swore under my breath. My skies, firmly attached to my ski boots, were getting heavier with every step I took. The sticky wet snow was balling up under my bases. The only way to get it off was too lift my leg and bang my ski pole against them. I tried waxing my skins but the snow still stuck. We had hoped to arrive at the cabin three hours ago, at noon. I was feeling a little pissed. Apart from the horrible snow conditions, god knows why I can’t pick a cold weekend when the snow is powdery, to go out skiing, the fourth member of our party was having knee problems and feeling a little unsure because this was his first time on back country skis and I was beginning to realize the trip wasn’t really shaping up to be a skiing weekend but more a bushwhack/slog on skis. Continue Reading

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power-career-moves-help-get-noticed1My goodness, how totally gorgeous is it outside? It is almost 6pm and I’ve had a *very* full day and weekend. Where shall I even begin? Friday night, my husband and I walked to the Thirsty Scholar, a local bar, to have dinner and watch the Sox play. We went to bed early to gear up for our Saturday packing extravaganza.

Saturday morning, I did indeed get up early, headed over to Dunkins for a big ol’ box of joe, and some munchkins, reinforcements for our troops of packers, which included my mom, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend. Oh did we pack. My husband tackled our living room, his office, his closet – my brother carted trash.

My mom and brother’s girlfriend packed up our kitchen, and I braved our bedroom, ending up with three huge trash bags of clothes to donate. I didn’t even venture down in our basement storage unit. Everything down there is already in boxes, so I figure as I unpack, I’ll fill up bags again with clothes to donate.

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Now that you’ve identified personal attributes or activities that you have a special gift for or make you feel very good about yourself, the obvious question becomes, “so what do I do with this knowledge”?

All self-knowledge has great intrinsic value. The better we know and understand ourselves, the more peace of mind and self-confidence we feel. This is not just to our benefit, but also aids our patients, colleagues and support staff. There’s a tendency in our rush-around world to want some quantifiable product out of any initiative where we’ve put forth effort. If the results are subtle, subliminal, or evolve slowly, impatience may ensue. Witness the busy gyms in January but the return of normal usage by February as an annual example.

Reflect on this new understanding as it applies to your current life and work situation first. Even a minor difference in perspective may make your work life much more tolerable. And, even if you still wish to pursue new ventures, it may allow you proceed at a more graded pace, and handle subsequent transitions more gracefully.

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self-help-yoga

May was rough for me. As much practice as I’ve had living in the Place of Not Knowing (where we all live), preparing for my volunteer role at a GED prep facility and the celebration of my father’s life over Memorial Weekend dipped me deep into the grief that I’ve not expressed–I simply hadn’t been able to feel.

His transition seemed unreal because I was in China last October for three weeks when he left, and I missed everything. Dreary as they can be, burial services do offer some closure.

But this was a Celebration– a family reunion–a 2200 mile round trip. Continue Reading

self-help-yoga

Frequently during times of transition God will toss me a big beautiful bouquet, just to keep me focused on the world of wonders he reveals when we’re alert and open to guidance from beyond.

Although I don’t really gravitate to the word “obedient,” it really is a matter of recognizing that “where there’s no will, there’s a way.” Stop trying to force my will on the outcome that I believe is THE WAY.

This statement is really a corollary to holding a goal gently in your hands–because if you don’t grip that one specific goal so tightly, there’s room in your hands for the Universe to place far greater miracles than you could ever imagine. Continue Reading

self-help-yoga

Life may get going so well for us that we have to create some chaos to disrupt the beautiful flow that’s bubbling up.

And we have such a marvelous variety of options from which to choose! Partying to excess and getting sick is popular with the younger set. One friend fell into bed with someone who not only didn’t respect her in the morning, he stole her favorite coffee mug on the way out.

Many choose to create some kind of financial shipwreck by spending way beyond their means. Some martyrs may send themselves into a state of overwhelm and snippiness by taking on too many activities or charitable ventures, becoming a “human doing” instead of a “human being.” Insanity then springs from being out of balance. Continue Reading

self-help-yoga

At one point along my path I was involved with a lovely man who did computer graphic design, had been in recovery from alcohol & drugs for ten years and was actively involved with Alcoholics Anonymous.

After one year with me he’d fallen off the wagon into alcohol relapse, partially because we weren’t on the same page & he was never the right person for me. But I did learn some valuable lessons in his presence.

On his mantel perched one of those cheap statues of a goofy-looking ghost with the slogan he’d put on it: “Have you hugged your shadow today?” Continue Reading

self-help-yoga

Have you ever tried to run away from the silence of a Sunday afternoon?

For years of my life I certainly tried. It was that one slot in the week when I had no pressing deadlines, no charity work, nothing churchy going on; no classes, choral groups, dates or parties–nothing to distract me from the very challenging business of just being me–by myself.

The prospect of Sunday afternoons often depressed me, because that was the sole time during a frenzied week that I would slow down enough actually to FEEL what was going on inside–my endless impatience to ‘be there’ (wherever there was–most certainly it was somewhere I was not in either my career or personal life)–and my sadness over not having achieved that elusive state yet. Continue Reading