October 30, 2018

Practice Makes Perfect

Posted in Personal Image tagged , , , , at 12:37 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Prevail and Progress

Achieve Words Indicating Wordcloud Prevail And Progress

Practice makes perfect is the old adage. That’s one of the reasons why we go through so many explorations of different rooms in a game setting. We develop expertise of that room. That’s why in sports there are hours of practice before the main event. Much like learning the course of a 5K or a marathon – no surprises and better performance. You know what to expect and have practiced various ways of handling the situation before going into the real event. That’s why practice and rehearsals are so important for speakers, presenters, and performers (of whatever nature).

Likewise, the more we master different environments, the more expertise and exposure we have, the greater mastery we develop and the better we become at being nonplussed in new situations.

Being able to recognize what objects (or obstacles, or even personalities) are in the environment provide increased confidence and the ability to more readily anticipate where they will be hidden and then exposed with dispatch and little, if any, alarm.

We just need to keep in mind that the practice is also fun while providing education in many aspects as well as developing expertise. However, it’s also important to put that expertise to use in meaningful ways. Otherwise, the older job seeker, worker, or individual living with an impairment becomes just another outspoken oddity to be tolerated but not heard. While developing the expertise, include refinement to what’s brought to bear. Make certain, in agreeable ways, that you’re heard and sought for the insights and advantages you can provide.

However, the important thing is to remember that practice makes perfect. Practice develops expertise. Expertise eliminates fear and anxiety and the desire to press on for even better challenges that lead to additions to our list of accomplishments. But be certain that list of accomplishments has meaning. Put it to use in areas that matter. Get people started talking about how great you are.

Most of all, just be really good at what you do.

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May 7, 2018

No Excuses

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , , at 1:35 am by Yvonne LaRose

A new day is dawning. Time for a new start.

A new day is dawning. Time for a new start.

There comes a time when, after enduring abuse for too long into the times when the support system has disappeared and you’re left with your raw and shredded self esteem. You don’t want to venture into harm’s way again. That means compounding the isolation is avoidance and more living in solitary.

You no longer have self identity. The criticisms, the fault finding, the demeaning language, being told how useless and incompetent your are have taken their toll. You started believing the words and evaluations. In order to no longer be bad at what used to be one of your skills (or a desired goal), you simply don’t do those things anymore.

Now that you’ve broken free of that toxic situation, it’s time to start doing all the right things to regrow and rise to new heights.

First step: Put yourself in the company of positive people. Two or three is a good number to begin with. Make your involvement with them occasional but regular. Being in positive company becomes infectious – the good kind of infection. Become an adventurer. Join a club that’s involved in doing something that’s important to you.

Second step: Dare to do what you’ve been told was not adequate. It doesn’t have to be making the next Venus de Milo. It can be something as simple as working a jigsaw puzzle with a child or writing out the notes from a lecture for a person who couldn’t be present. Without your notes, they will have no idea what happened. Your notes that convey what you heard will be helpful.

Third step: Focus on the activity. Seeing the activity through to completion is the goal. Focus on the finish line. Don’t allow any distractions. Self doubt is a distraction. Fear of failure is a distraction. Fear of embarrassment and ridicule is a distraction. Focus on what needs to be done. Give it your best. Tune in to making certain you’ve done the best you know how to do, mindful of the small details that actually need attention. Your involvement is needed. No excuses for backing out. Focus on what needs to be done.

Next: Make sure you know what’s supposed to be done. First time? Get some exposure to what’s supposed to be done. Practice. Learn what the elements, the parts, of the activity are. Learn to recognize the pieces, the steps, and the order that should be followed to accomplish it. Practice. Become more efficient, more accurate, faster. That can only be done by rehearsing through practice.

No more excuses. The ugliness of the past is just that. Learn from that. Eliminate the opportunities to be vulnerable in the wrong company about the wrong things. You survived. There’s a reason for that. You have more to do and it’s needed. This is your Springtime, the time to start regrowing you. It’s time to find what was good and attractive in the past and redevelop it for the new day, a better day.

No more excuses. Just do what needs to be done. Focus on becoming a positive, healthy person who is needed for all the right reasons. Just do it.


April 28, 2018

A Watched Pot and Multi-tasking

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , at 11:08 am by Yvonne LaRose

Too much going on

Too much going on

Ever heard the old adage, “A watched pot never boils.” It seems to be true. You sit and wait for an interminable amount of time and that blessed event of having the water finally come to a boil seems to take forever – if ever.

One of the reasons for the enormous wait time is a bit like waiting for Christmas when you’re a small child. There’s nothing else that’s meaningful that needs to be done in order to fill in the time except grow, learn, play, be respectful, and all the rest of that stuff. Twelve months was a huge amount of time and very little of the space was actually devoted to building toward the next milestone. There were small episodes of multi-tasking to prepare for the next visit from Santa but (like that watched pot) we didn’t notice that we were adding to the holiday stockpile. We were simply passing time.

But we really were multi-tasking during those other 11 months. Which brings me to my point. Multi-tasking is not doing several things simultaneous while telling ourselves we are brilliant because of how many things are being done. Remember the carnival act where the performer gets five, six, even ten plates to spin on sticks without having any of them fall and break? That’s an extreme example of multi-tasking but that isn’t what it is.

The performer was multi-tasking by virtue of the fact that they pulled out a plate and a stick. Spinning the plate began and then that stick was place on a platform. The next stick-plate combo was then started, and then the next, and the next, and the next. There were periodic checks on the initial plates to make certain they were still spinning or re-enforce their motion while even the next plate-stick combination was prepared and started.

Real Life

It’s a bit unreasonable to go around spinning plates on sticks and then saying we’re able to multi-task. However, think about your daily routines and what you do in order to economize on time and effort to accomplish a particular goal. Let’s use getting ready for work as an example.

The first thing that happened was awaking for the day. You rose out of bed. Before leaving the bedside, you straightened the covers (made the bed) so that duty no longer needed attention. You could move on to other tasks.

Perhaps the coffee maker was prepared the night before. All that was necessary to start the fresh pot of coffee was to turn it on as you made your way to the bathroom to brush your teeth and the other routine hygiene practices of the day. By the time you returned to the kitchen, the coffee was ready.

However, the preparation of breakfast could also be done in stages. If it was making a cooked item, the example of multi-tasking was complete in just that single responsibility. There was choosing the correct cooking utensils for the food to be prepared, starting the heat and getting the right temperature to cook – not burn – the meal. While starting one ingredient, the other items were being chopped or measured and added to the vessel. (Some stirring may be involved to avoid burn and to mix whatever should become a blended concoction.)


Multi-tasking is actually all about organization, systematic prioritization, and focus. There are some things that are so basic, so fundamental, that little attention to detail is required. They can be accomplished while other (sometimes related) things are being developed. Flaws in those processes are inconsequential, thus, other things can be done at the same time – while things are cooking.

There are other things that require a lot of precision and exactness. At those times, it is wise to devote full attention to the details. Distractions should be avoided. In other words, exactness and precision are not the times when attention should (or can) be divided in order to have quality outcome. Precision and exactness do not pair well with multi-tasking – unless, of course, it is part of a distinct stage of the development.

Examples? We’ve Got ‘Em

So you’re building a rocket. The parts can be ordered while the platform is being prepared. Putting the parts into an area where they can be stored and accessed when needed can be done before the order is delivered. Putting the parts together to make a functioning rocket requires full attention to getting the right pieces into the right places and properly affixed before jettisoning the instrument.

Writing your resume requires attention to details and organization as well. A Post-It Note construction thrown together and then tossed at an online job board proclaiming it was done while doing five other things is not going to make a huge positive impression on the desired employer. But then, how much research went into making the application to the right job or employer?

Multi-tasking is about doing things in organized stages. Some short-term things can be done while building toward the long-range final product.

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April 11, 2018

Behind the Scenes

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , , at 2:14 pm by Yvonne LaRose

A Churning Ocean at Sunset or a Beacon?

A Churning Ocean at Sunset or a Beacon?

Well, it seems this is a little tardy for what it was intended to do back on March 21. But the message still applies and was underscored in regard to its importance. The message was all set to be published except for a couple of minor, fine tuning details. Somehow a “bug” affected my browser and it crashed, taking the entire blog post with it while not preserving any of the auto-saved content. This happened five more times.

Did I learn my lesson after the first crash, or the second? Nope. I continued to strive to share the content. In the process, I became increasingly discouraged. About two weeks later (a new anti-virus software, and a support ticket opened for the browser), it finally dawned on me to save often and save in an alternate space as well.

That’s part of the message from last month. Although we want to put forth the perfect image to the world, there are things that happen that either prevent that from happening or cause delays in the manifestation. It’s the behind the scenes stuff that we just don’t talk about. It’s a bit embarrassing to have the world know about our “failures.”

They’re not failures. They’re learning opportunities. They’re called gaining experience. It’s the stuff of shaping how much determination we have for our goals. And the stuff that happens that impacts immediate compared with delayed is called Life. Life happens.

Life stories is what I wanted to share with you via a guest podcast from Mark Minard. He graciously consented to allow use of his Facebook Live episode to share some significant stories about the stuff we don’t see that went into creating that perfect image.

Without further ado, please go over to the “Entrances: Refueling” channel to hear Mark’s message and grow from it. Be inspired by it. You’ll find it at “The Back Story” on YouTube.

Well, actually, you could also subscribe to the channel so you’ll know about other additions and guest appearances. And you could leave a comment or strike up a conversation about what you heard. I’m certain Mark would love to have you visit his site to hear more of his inspiring messages.

Just realize that just because there are setbacks is not a reason to give up. Simply take a break to consider what happened. Then re-strategize and continue on your journey to being the best you know you can be. Let that part of you show. When it comes to the interview question about how you feel about your disappointments, share one item and take responsibility for what happened while also talking about the intensified growth that came out of that experience as well as how that knowledge can be used to the potential employer’s benefit for helping to make their business more successful.


Additional Content:

January 16, 2018

Who Said This Was Going to Be Easy?

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Job Search, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:04 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Some cracks in the wall need to be filled

Some cracks in the wall need to be filled

There are times when it seems we’re challenged to even exist. The tide of events seem to be building into a tidal wave that will crush us. No matter what strategy is used to overcome the obstacles, be it interview for a job, having the proper qualifications, submitting a resume and cover letter, getting a raise or a promotion, being recognized for some effort that will actually prove beneficial for the entire department, nothing works out and the whole effort falls apart. During those times, it seems as though the ones who would have you fail are delighting in your struggles. And sometimes it seems as though they may even be adding a little kindling of their own for the sake of the entertainment – watching you fail.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes talk to God about those times of futility. The types of conversations that go something like, “God, this is so hard,” or “God, why doesn’t anything work out,” or “God, why can’t this be easier?” He doesn’t actually answer but the thoughts that come in response to those mental conversations are pretty on point.

“Who said this was supposed to be easy?”
“If it were easy, there’d be no victory. It would be the same as going through the motions.”

And other, similar responses. And then the appreciation of the situation begins to come into focus. “Nothing I do seems to work out,” ruefully thought while the desire to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head start to sound like a good idea. “All that work and nothing to show for it except nothing – failure, no results. Defeat.”

Ah, then the hearkening epiphany as you think, “But how can I accomplish anything more if I’m sitting on my butt playing Solitaire?” Indeed. How can anything be accomplished if you have the covers over your head and are striving to put yourself into a coma, become PVS (persistent vegetative state)? Who wants to hire a vegetable for some type of position where the company is supposed to be earning money and creating customer satisfaction from their products and services? None that I know of.

The old adage is very true, the Lord helps those who help themselves. So you need to continue to put forth the effort to overcome these obstacles. Apparently, you haven’t done everything because your results are still in the negative. There’s something that’s missing from your strategy. It’s time to examine it to find the missing piece. It’s time to get some input, maybe even some alternatives and fresh ideas. But you can’t get those things if you’re asleep. It takes being actively engaged in fine tuning the efforts in order to reach the goal.

All those things that didn’t prove fruitful actually were useful. They were practice runs. There is now an awareness of what doesn’t work. There’s also an awareness of what doesn’t work in certain places. You’ve gained some knowledge of the places you’ve visited and the people who are there; it’s more than just a name on a website or brochure. There’s appreciation of what the culture is and whether there’s a good match. (HINT: You were supposed to be sizing up that information.)

There are things that should be part of one’s daily routine that are above the mere basics. Reading and exercise are two of them. Conversation and socialization are two more (and not sitting around grousing with your buddies on the corner). There needs to be time spent learning more about some subject and fine tuning one’s expertise in that area. It takes being motivated. It’s important to stick with a regular schedule as though you’re still working and are still required to be at your work station on time and ready to start (or resume) the project. Those all lead to being mentally alert and able to do what’s necessary.

Yes, it’s been hard. It’s taken a lot of work and you still don’t have anything (that you recognize) to show for the effort. Okay, make that efforts. Who said this was going to be easy? Where’s the victory in easy?


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October 21, 2017

This Thing Called “Big”

Posted in Personal Image tagged , , , , , at 1:44 pm by Yvonne LaRose

While it isn’t appropriate to put these videos in raw form on the blog (view the YouTube content here “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKHS4PIVRxg”), what is appropriate is to plant the seeds for consideration. These thoughts were started back on November 26, 2016. So many things have been happening and this got put on the back burner while matters of higher priority (urgency) were tackled. In the meantime, Hollywood has taken huge strides toward more inclusiveness on more than just the race and ethnicity front and on more than just the matter of gender identification.

Hollywood is finally showing us that not everyone is 20- or 30-something and a Size 0 (if you’re a woman) in order to be acceptable and progressing in a positive trajectory. Not everyone is a washboard hunk who’s 30-something and wearing a suit just because the only place successful men work is inside an office in a managerial or executive position.

Hollywood is finally also doing a good job of putting disability issues in front of us. We’re finally recognizing autism as not tantamount to being dismissed and shut out. Unfortunately, most of the images put on the screen are of people using wheelchairs. And when it comes to considerations of what to do in emergencies, those with any type of impairment (temporary or permanent), they are overlooked when it comes to planning and preparation. They’re pushed aside.

Success and intelligence are no longer represented by a very small demographic. The space has broadened; it’s vastly more inclusive. And, to the point of this post, it doesn’t necessarily mean thin is tantamount to capable. (Actually, sometimes that’s an indicator of something else. But we’ll deal with that another day.)

Plus and Attractive

Plus and Attractive

And this thing called “insecurity”? Just leave it back there in the distance. (Yet another YouTube video that’s inappropriate for display; but you can view it here, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LK0_8pL4ys”). Body shaming and self image guilt can become a thing of the past. It’s okay to be large. However, it’s important to realize that being large carries risks, especially for health. But increase in size also comes with age. Consider there are women with middle-age full figures. They are happy, outgoing, and full of life. Their bodies are not impediments to their being. There are women (and men) who are not middle-aged but do have full figures. They also project an enjoyment of Life and living and embrace many healthy, admirable attitudes and behaviors. They are also adept at what they do and are respected. That frame of mind needs to be captured.

Just live your life and know that those skinny people on the large and small screen are the exceptions from the rule. (Here comes another unpublishable YouTube video, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeRd5xlaY94”)

There comes a time when size can cause detrimental impacts on health and livelihood. Avoid those pitfalls but just keep in mind that you should be happy with the “who” of you. That person should be pampered and made the best they can be. That means getting the right nutrients into your temple (also known as your body). Just as with anything that’s used to empower, it needs to be maintained so that the parts don’t stop functioning, or wear out, or “rust.” Exercise will not only keep joints lubricated, it will also prevent muscle atrophy as well as maintain physical and mental dexterity. There are subtle ways to exercise that will rebuild muscles that have already begun to atrophy. Sometimes the integrity of those muscles can even be restored.

It’s the attitude and skill you project during the interview that will keep the attention riveted on the who of your, not the what of your presence. How capable you are is the important matter. Be seen as a winner. Project a positive attitude. The rest will follow.


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February 25, 2017


Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , at 11:12 am by Yvonne LaRose

One of the most important things in Life is to make certain you do not take yourself so seriously that you forget to see the human side of you. It’s important to know how to laugh. Yes, even being able to appropriately know how and when to admit that you made a mistake is okay – as long as it isn’t a chronic condition. Being able to say you don’t know but will find out is acceptable.

When your nose goes into the air so high that people can see your nose hairs (and whatever other precious items they hold), you’re taking things too far and being pompous. Maybe you really are the resident expert about knowing or doing something.

Balanced and solid as a rock

Balanced and solid as a rock

If you’ve proven your worth by demonstrating that skill quietly and when it’s needed, people will notice. When they can’t get it done properly and have made the attempt to do so repeatedly, your ability will be recalled; your ability will be requested. What should you do then? Quietly move into the position of taking care of the matter. Explain to the previous one what steps you took to accomplish the task and why you did it that way. Once matters are resolved, just go back to what you were doing. No need for closing comments; no need for calling attention to the fact that you were the one who was able to do it. There’s no need for that. Besides, you’ve now done a bit of training so that your attention can be more focused on getting to the next milestone.

Everyone will feel much more comfortable with your being human while sidestepping the allure to appear better than everyone else. Do you want to be included in things? Would you like to be invited to the festivities? Conduct yourself with dignity but also realize you’re just like everyone else. But also know that you have some special skills that are in demand. You’re good at what you do and everyone else knows it. They don’t need constant reminders; nor should you.

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November 27, 2016

Timeless Grooming from the Female Perspective

Posted in Job Search, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , at 1:29 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Getting ahead of the pack in the work world can be a race against the competition. But it’s easy to get tripped up by the issues that we’re traditionally told are not part of the formula for being the best for the job. Being the best for the job is supposed to be the amount of training that translates to executable knowledge and skill. It’s supposed to be about years of experience. And then there’s that thing about past work history.

A diverse office environment

business people team at a meeting in a light and modern office environment.

You’d think little dumb things like personal appearance wouldn’t matter. How much makeup do you wear, if any? Does it make people want to be around you? Maybe it attracts too much attention so that others want to constantly touch you – in all the wrong places and times. And that then gets us into clothing as well.

Then there’s the factor of age appropriate makeup and wardrobe. You Millennials think this is a walk in the park (that is, easy). But there are other demographics competing for the very same jobs and advancement that you are.

This job search, job succession thing is too complicated.

Those over 50 need to keep thinking about earning power and paychecks, getting hired and marketing themselves when just 15 years ago the rule of thumb was to start considering what to do in retirement. They’ve been told they’re worn out and no longer useful. Yep, competition is very high.

Take heart. AARP shared some insights into makeup and wardrobe and I want to share some of their advice with you.


Are you having makeup issues now that your years are more than 50? AARP to the rescue.

Maybe this is the answer to why so many women (on TV) seem to be overdoing the black eye makeup and overpowering clear red lipstick.

Oh well. Here’s what the writer suggests. AARP’s writer strongly urges using a lot of black around the eyes (lashes, brows, liner). The trouble is when you look at photo shots of women who have gone heavy on the black in order to emphasize the eyes. It’s overdone and defeats the purpose. In fact, many look as though they’re making a desperate effort to appear younger. Makeup is caked on.

Lighten up. There’s still the color palate thing, folks. You know, winter colors, cool colors, and so on. Blondes don’t need to gravitate away from browns and probably shouldn’t. Thin lines still work well for rimming and emphasizing the eyes.

The same principle applies to lip color. A flattering gloss works better than glaring red. And a flattering soft color won’t show up as easily on shirt collars and cheeks when that little buss of a greeting is Europeanly bestowed on a colleague at the after work coffee bar.


Dressing for success is the perennial issue. Age is not as much of a factor as much as what fashion trends are compared to your pocketbook and body dimensions.

While I like some of the suggestions in AARP’s fashion section, I still default to some advice given to me by my step-grandmother. When living on a limited budget, opt for coordinated pieces instead of one dress.

Coordinated pieces mean a small item can be washed out mid-week and used again rather than having an entire outfit relegated to the laundry bin – and you’re out of a mid-week wardrobe item until then or need to take up valuable space to wash and then wait for an entire outfit to dry. Smaller items are also less expensive and more efficient to launder.

Comfortably loose (so that bending and stooping can be done without tearing or ripping the clothes and still allows normal breathing) is much better than clinging or tight. What’s the right length? It depends. It depends on the time of day, the activities that will be routine, amount of hazards involved in the work, the norm for that industry, and many other factors.

Then there’s the matter of shoes. I’m going to stop here. We can talk about shoes another day. Just keep in mind that it’s you who is doing the work. The shoes only help you get it done and protect your feet as you’re doing the work. Wear them; wear the right size.


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October 29, 2016

Survivor and Disabled

Posted in Job Search, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , at 3:30 pm by Yvonne LaRose

There are many who have reached an unexpected status in the climb toward their goal, their dream career and a feeling of greatness in their own right. Some type of accident occurred. Maybe it wasn’t a physical accident but was an illness or even an unexpected turn of events. Injuries were sustained. A disability was the result. Sometimes it’s an obvious disability; sometimes not. Still, things are no longer done in the usual way – as they were done before.

The fact remains that the incident is now history. The person is a survivor. New skills need to be learned or old skills need to be adapted so that the race can be resumed and the competition for “best” can be turned into the trophy – a win – whether tangible or just the satisfaction of knowing the latest milestone was reached.

Building strength

Building strength

Yes, there is now a new type of weight to carry in order to continue. But it doesn’t mean stop and start letting grass grow around your feet. There will be no dust collecting on this survivor. However, it is wise to do some self assessment so the internal strength and confidence, the confidence of self is what’s projected during interviews and while interacting with others. The last thing we need is doubt clouding our objectivity as we interview for the new job or make a return to the old one.


First things first. Do that internal assessment. Find the person within. Make friends with them. Identify the innate strengths that were part of the package from the very beginning. Identify the newly acquired admirable qualities. They’re probably little things that were previously taken for granted. Acknowledge them and celebrate that they’re in your possession. Be a survivor of the race. Be a survivor – the one who got through the task.

Adaptation and Practice

So there’s something new in the picture. Maybe it isn’t obvious; it’s non-visible. All the better. It isn’t necessary to go around bragging (some would call it complaining or whining) about it. It’s simply something that is, like the nose on your face. When does it need to be mentioned? When an accommodation is required or when your endurance is tasked and you need an interval.

How to Toot a Horn

Meanwhile, there’s something else that needs to be done in the self assessment mode. That’s the time when the disability needs to be given serious thought. This disability has imbued you with the ability to adapt and develop new skills, maybe even new abilities. It’s forced you to identify skills that were previously overlooked. There were some critical things learned about bad habits that gave you this gift of disability. Be quick about identifying what those habits were so that can be countered in the future.

What are the new abilities? Why are they valuable? In what way will they make you an even better choice for the job or become a tool for being the best? Not only have you identified your own basis for validation, you’ve developed your own sales pitch during the interview or during the salary negotiations. (Just be certain it’s appropriate to make the disclosure. It may not be necessary except for convincing you of the advantage.)


Once you’ve seized your confidence in new and old abilities, it’s time to charm others with your beguiling self. Do a little boasting about how good you are in a charming way, sort of in the sports field jocular manner guys have of ribbing one another or putting out a comrade’s challenge. Let the boast be about how skillfully you can be at what’s a desired skill for the role. Have a little fun with it. (We don’t have to be so serious as to be boring and up tight.)


So it may take a little extra time to do something. Or adapters may be required. That only means you need a little focused practice so that the specific talent can become second nature. If we have Special Olympians who are setting and breaking records in all events, so it is with you in your new state of being. How well you execute your duties without complaint is a testament to how well you can blend into the culture where you want to be.

Likewise, being erect in your stance is a subtle way of showing confidence. Speaking in a clear voice and without whispering or mumbling, is another way to achieve that. Good eye contact also works. (Just don’t stare or glare.)

Of course you’ve been reading and attending webinars to stay up to date on current practices. As you go through your interview discussion and questions, there may be a very opportune time to observe how that subject was so interesting when you read it or got more insight about it during the webinar (class, organization meeting). The point is, you’ve not been vegetating; you’ve been involved and engaged and are eager to be totally immersed in being part of, and the cause of, the mix.

Are We There Yet?

So, Survivor, what are you going to be doing next? What are you going to tell me (in a subtle and pleasant way) about why you are an outstanding person because you are a survivor?

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October 10, 2016

Following the Standard

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:58 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Today I’ll start with a question.

Who in your industry is the leading figure in your area of specialty or your target career area?

Looking at the top

Looking at the top

Now that you have two or three names in mind, I want to ask you another question. Why are they considered a leader? What is it about them that makes them stand out from all others? Maybe it’s because some survey was conducted by an organization and they were the top vote getter. Maybe they have a good publicity agent who is able to keep them in the public eye for their accomplishments in whatever manner.

Just because they’re a noted leader in the industry doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best model. Sometimes it only means they have the most notoriety, know how to get invited to speak at plum industry conferences, is blustery enough to intimidate others so they won’t have the audacity to openly question their theories.

The next thing I want you to think about is the vintage of the list you just created. Are those the names of leaders from 15 or even 20 years ago? Maybe they aren’t really today’s leaders and you haven’t been keeping up with the current movers, shakers, and thought leaders in your industry. Which names are coming up a lot today? What is it they’re doing that’s creating such a stir? Search engine optimization isn’t that astounding. There’s something more to it.

Dissect your role models. Learn more about the what of who they are. Investigate the how of what they do and where they do it. Look at who they know and where they go to be around (also known as “network“, see #8) those people. It isn’t necessary to start emulating their habits and putting yourself into bankruptcy. There are starting points that can help you leverage your abilities, knowledge, and career vitality. Sometimes those starting points are in fraternal organizations that cater to your avocations (causes, hobbies, interests). Their existence is gratifying because they provide reason and purposefulness. The things you volunteer to do have meaning in some way – even if it’s merely staying fit or well read.

So, who are the leaders in your industry? Are they your role models? If so, it’s time to do a personal study of their habits and then adapt those habits to suit you and your purposes. And then carve your path to your destination.

Incidentally, it’s entirely possible that you may change your mind about your destination. That’s okay. But you have some points of light to help you understand whether you want to stand out from the crowd and how to do it. Just make certain you do it in the right way and have the best role models to guide you.

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