Category: Personal Development

Doing “That Thing You Do”

Lovely image from acobox.com

I bet you have a special thing. Some hobby, or interest that makes you giddy. When you work on it your smile stretches from ear-to-ear, and you realize just how beautiful life really is.

If you spend some of your free time plugging away at projects that give you that good feeling, kudos! Rock on! This post really isn’t for you, though. This piece of writing is for all of my peeps that neglect their projects.  You know who you are.

Maybe you have been too busy working at your day job to really work on “Project You 2.0.” Perhaps it got lost in the hustle/shuffle that is “real world’ life. Are you spending your extra time trying to make some extra cash? I feel ya.

Extra cash is a good thing, but what about your special thing, you know the thing that you love to do just for the sake of doing it?

Are you neglecting THAT thing?  The thing that soothes you, sustains you, and feeds your creative soul. The thing that makes everything all right again during the dark moments.

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably been neglecting it. But alas, we aren’t going to bash ourselves. Nope, we’re going to figure out how to bring it back. (Resisting the urge to throw in a Sexyback/J.Tim reference here.)

Story time!

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Stop Seeking Approval to Live the Life You Want

 

The list of complaints about Generation Y is miles long.  We are lazy. We’re entitled brats who don’t know what it means to work hard for a buck. We’re whiny. We’ve heard it all before.

But we know the truth.

What they don’t know is that  more than anything we want to look like we have life all figured out. We want to look like we are mastering our universe. Monday through Friday, many of us pimp ourselves out in button-down shirts and polyester pants to head to jobs that have us  living paycheck-to-paycheck because we are hesitant to admit we are scared.

We aren’t afraid of getting our lights cut off. Making credit card payments late is unpleasant, but we don’t fear that.  We aren’t terrified of eating MSG-ladden Ramen Noodles for a few more years.

Nope. What are we most afraid of?

Disapproval.

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Managing the Move Home

Despite all of the articles that come out calling Gen Y’ers “boomerang kids” and insisting that we flock to our parent’s houses in droves, we know the truth:  we really don’t want to return to the nest.  In fact, we’re usually hell-bent on not doing so…even when heading home might be in our best interest.

If it looks as if you will be homeward bound, relax. Although there will be some bumpy moments, anyone can navigate their time at home if you maintain a clear focus.  In 2008,  I moved back in with my Dad in Tennessee.   At times it was an exercise in patience. But looking back, I think I benefited a lot. It was a difficult time for me professionally (didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do), so it was great to have the support of my family and friends as I searched for purpose in my life.

If it looks like moving back in with your parents might be in your future, fear not.  Keep these three things in mind:

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How to Trust Your Vision, Even When Others Don’t

When I made the decision to blog about living life against the status quo, I knew I would receive some feedback that would be less than positive. In fact, I had my fair share of warnings.  Every blogger that writes about lifestyle design has said that when you try to encourage people to think outside the box, some people will freak out. Then they will speak out. And sometimes what they have to say will be pretty nasty.

Well, this weekend I received some criticism about this blog that wasn’t nasty, but it still took me by surprise. One of my friends (who is a great, delightful person) said she thought the pace of my writing is slow, and that the blog reads more like a letter than a blog.  I’m always open to feedback, so I took her comments in stride. In fact, I’m glad she said what she did.

Because now I get to write this post about the three things I think you should remember when people start questioning your vision.  *Drum roll, please*

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Finding the Value in Your Skills

A few days ago, I was blog surfing when I stumbled across a post that made me do some thinking out loud.

The majority of this person’s post was about changing job descriptions in the work place.  The author expressed his sentiment that sometimes your job can include more tasks than the job description outlined, perhaps even some duties you really didn’t bargain for. Now, we all know this happens. And sometimes it provides an opportunity skills that you can use later you to leverage your way into a new position. That is thinking smart.

However; this person went on to say that you need to do whatever your company tells you to do because you should be grateful that you have a job.  As a worker bee, you should haul ass to help the company pull through in these (wait for it, I’m about insert a buzz phrase here) “tough economic times” because it is not only your duty to save yourself, you must save the company too.

The same company that probably wouldn’t have a problem tossing you out on your hinny cheeks when times get rough.

Which brings up the question: when does getting more experience start to turn into the company getting over on you? We all know that sometimes we have to do things that are not officially in our job description, yes. But at what point are you being undervalued and well, cheated?

Outside of robbing us of a sense of security, I believe this recession has also robbed some people of their personal moral. Getting laid off hurts. Searching for months to find a job hurts. In the midst of it all, it is natural to start to question your skills, but at some point you have to lift yourself up.  And most importantly, I think you have to remember that you have options. They might be harder to find, but options are out there.

Sometimes we do have to work at jobs we don’t want to do to make money. Believe me, I get that (remind me to tell you all about my temp jobs!), but at some point you have to value yourself and your skills. The company should be happy to have YOU. Yes, times are tough right now, but that doesn’t mean you need to put up with being ill-treated, right?

What do you think?  How are you reminding yourself that your skills are valuable?