Podcast alert: Passion, creativity and trusting yourself to go after what you want

I was recently interviewed by Dave Cuda on his Journey of Ambition podcast. We had a really great chat about personal development, creativity, being multi-passionate and trusting yourself to go after what you want.

Click here to listen!

Leave any comments or questions about the podcast below!

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You should be reading these books

Some self-development books I highly recommend:

 

StrengthsFinder 2.0: By the New York Times Bestselling Author of Wellbeing
One of my favourite books. It helps you find your five strongest talents (what you were born with), and then suggests ways to hone your talent and make it into a highly coveted skill.


 

The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte
This book outlines the Desire Map process. In short, it doesn’t matter what you want in life. What matters is how you are going to feel when you get there. Identify your core desired feelings, and all decision-making will be easy and clear after that.


 

The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene breaks down the ‘game’ being played around you every day with these 48 cunning ‘rules’ that almost feel ruthless. Excellent read!


 

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
Excellence is not an act, but a habit. Jeff Olsen explains how to become successful, you will have to regularly practice excellence and chip away at it every day.


 

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything
Stephen Covey explains why trust is so critical in organizations nowadays. If you are trying to build your own business or create a reputation, trust is one thing you must master.


 

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Chris Guillebeau writes about how it is possible to start a money with little to no capital, and entertains the reader with various case studies that prove this.


 

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
 Tara Mohr asks women to stop playing small in their life and in their workplaces. She devises a methodology for women to put their inner critic away and play BIG.


 

Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, And Live Happily Ever After
Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur who went against her family’s well-meaning expectations and launched a series of startups including restaurants, women’s products, etc. She tells you how she did so you can do it too.


 

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What happens when the Head and the Heart find their sweet spot

The Head: The Rational. The calculated risk-taker. The responsible thinker who sees logic and values reasoning. Nothing can go wrong in their world because everything has been thought out umpteen times.

The Heart: The Dreamer. The spontaneous rebel. The creative, emotional feeler who sees possibility and values imagination. They go where their wild and carefree imagination leads them, with not a care about the process needed to get there.

So how do these two notoriously different ends of the spectrum find a way to work together? Why would the rational, calculating Head take into account the free, spontaneous Heart’s wishes and desires? Will they ever be able to work together? HOW would they ever converge into a meeting of the minds? Is it even possible?

Is there a sweet spot?

I am here to tell you, that yes there is.

Meet Danielle LaPorte. She wrote a book called the Desire Map which sparked a revolution of people digging deep to get in touch with their hearts and uncovering what makes them feel good. What makes them feel in tune with their true selves.

In other words.. the Heart.

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I recently got licensed as an official Desire Map facilitator and I am getting ready to host workshops that will finally bring together the passion and the practical.. the HEAD and the HEART.

In these workshops we will be finding the sweet spot where we can work with clarity and ease, being true to both the Head AND the Heart!

My first workshop is going to be held in Calgary, Alberta Canada in April. Interested? Sign up here.

I will also be hosting VIRTUAL workshops from April through to May. Interested? Email me so I can put you on the list.

Out of curiosity, what was the conversation like in your house (growing up) around emotions and feelings? Leave your comments below.

‘Core beliefs’ and how they shape everything about you

Yesterday I was having coffee with a friend of mine who is a teacher. She was telling me about this student she has in her class who seems to ‘always be in trouble’.

We have all known that guy/girl growing up, who just seems to always get in trouble. They may be up to no good perpetually, or once in a while, you will see that these people don’t do anything out of the ordinary, but get into trouble regardless. You feel sorry for them, they feel sorry for themselves, then everyone laughs and moves on.

But if you trace it back, there is a point where this started. There always is.

Take the student my friend was talking about for example. She took the student aside and they talked for a long time. Turns out, this student got ‘in trouble’ for the first time when she was in kindergarten. She had been sitting in class, zoning out into her own world, while rubbing two pencils together. Maybe she was thinking of the last Dora The Explorer episode she saw, or she was dreaming up a whole scenario of games she would play later with her friends that evening. But her teacher at the time suddenly noticed this little girl rubbing two pencils together, and raised an alarm. She thought the little girl was trying to burn down the school. Poor girl was taken to the principal’s office, sent home, and was suggested disciplinary action.

This occurrence obviously affected a 5 year old girl, because the message she got was that she got in trouble – for not doing anything wrong.

90% of a human being’s perceptions and beliefs are developed before they turn ten. So at the ripe age of five, this occurrence just got deeply entrenched in her brain, and became one of her ‘core beliefs’.

When you carry a core belief through to adulthood, a majority of your actions stem from that belief. If one of your core beliefs state that you are ‘generous and caring’, you will likely be in situations where your genuine care and helpfulness are frequently called upon. Because your core beliefs dictate how you BEHAVE, which in turn dictate the type of people you attract and the type of situations you create around yourself. If you grow up with a core belief that you are always ‘in trouble’, you will inadvertently find yourself in situations where you end up in trouble.

I always find it very interesting when some people say they got walked all over, and when you ask some more questions, you will find that they have a pattern of this type of behavior. Same goes for people who seem to just ‘win’ at everything in life. They are the ones that get the job, get the promotion, get the girl/guy, etc. It’s a pattern. And patterns stem from core beliefs.

Are there any patterns that you happen to notice in your life? Where do you think they stem from?

What happens when passion, potential, and purpose find their sweet spot

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Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

How to use Clifton’s Strengthsfinder 2.0 to propel yourself to success

The Strengthsfinder 2.0 is a widely popular book based on the research done by Gallup scientists. They came up with 34 intrinsic talents that is most common in human beings, and developed a test that helps uncover your top 5 talents at play. The premise of the book is that, it is a much more effective use of your time and efforts if you choose to work on bettering your already established talents, rather than working on improving your weaknesses. In other words, take something good and make it GREAT, instead of taking something lacking and bringing it up to mediocre.

Once you take the test that comes with the book, it will give you your top 5 traits. These are the talents you already possess, which are intrinsic qualities about you, the way you behave, the way you think, and the way you see the world. 5 of your top qualities which may or may not be apparent to you on the surface. Now, in my humble opinion, the Strengthsfinder test and its explanation is one of the best on the market. It does not give you superficial answers/qualities and a lengthy explanation of it and leave it at that. This book takes it one step further.

Let me give an example. One of my talents that they revealed was ‘Individualization’. What it meant was that I had an innate ability to see every person as unique human beings with their own differences. I am able to recognise the individual strengths in people and bring them out. While this is all very true and resonates with exactly how I deal with people, I kept reading and saw that Gallup actually had ‘Ideas for Action’. These ‘Ideas for Action’ gave me clues as to what types of vocation I would excel at, and what types of projects I should take on that puts my talents (in this case Individualization), front and centre. Things like people management would be something I would excel at, because I can see my team members as individuals with their specific strengths, and I would thus be able to put them all to work in the area where they will perform their absolute best. I would be able to communicate with people from all backgrounds with ease because I would be much more sensitive to cultural and other biases since I will not view all people as the same. Other areas such coaching, organizing networking events, etc would be a great fit for me. Gallup posed questions that made me stop and reflect on how I could really put my Individualization traits to use, so I could help those around me in their lives and in turn they could see me as an authority.

Now this is just an example I used out of my own five talents. You can look through your own results after taking the test and go through the same process of reflection and self-improvement.

See, there are a lot of such self-discovery ‘quizzes’ out there, but several of them have very simplistic results and elementary levels of explanations. The fact that Gallup has a team of scientists developing this system, shows. The book does not explicitly tell us ‘what to do with our lives’, but rather does something more powerful: it reveals to us what our innate talents are on a deep psychological level, and gives us ideas for action that will help us put these talents front and centre. The idea is to make a regular habit of putting our innate talents to use (instead of working to improve on our weaknesses regularly), so we can show the world our unique strengths and establish ourselves as an authority. Now, what field you want to establish yourself as an authority in, is up to you. But for maximum success and fulfillment, it should be a product of your vision for yourself and your innate talents.

Did you read the book and take the test? Shoutout below and tell me about your 5 talents and how you have been using your time to turn them into strengths.


 

Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

Experiental Avoidance: Is it holding you back?

I wanted to share this really nifty little concept with all of you.

You know how we tend to have some goals or visuals in our mind of things that would make us REALLY HAPPY if we only did them? Those things that excite and simultaneously scare us that we would LOVE to do, ONE DAY? So exciting, but doing them just seem so daunting

For example, maybe you dream of doing a triathlon one day. You know you’ve been training, but your mind could be saying: “Am I good enough? I think I am okay, but I need to be REALLY AMAZING to do it!”

Maybe you want to quit your job and create your own consultancy. Instead of figuring out how to take the leap, your mind could be saying:
“I dont have enough knowledge to do it yet! Maybe after another 5 years I’ll be good enough.”

Maybe you want to write a book! Instead of starting on it already, your mind could be saying:
“Oh one day when I have enough time I will do it! I want to do it so BAD but thinking about it right now is making me anxious!”

All this going on up there is a concept called ‘Experiential Avoidance’, where you subconsciously attach fear-based thoughts to your goals. With this, you end up creating a negative energy around your otherwise positive goals, thus hindering the process of actually moving towards them.

I came across a fantastic blog called The Career Psychologist where they explain this concept with a brilliant little video. Take a look.

Now tell me, what mental blocks do YOU have that are keeping you from moving towards your goals?


Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

 

One simple exercise that tells you if you are living your life purpose

A fun exercise I like to do that usually assures me if I am on the right path in life is to visualize myself 10 or 20 years down the road. I like to imagine what type of ‘me’ I would like to be by then. I like to call this the Idealized Me. From that point, I visualize the actual path (often like a little dirt path!) from the present ‘me’,  and see if it is leading to the Idealized Me. If I see that my starting point i.e. the Present Me is NOT leading nicely to the Idealized Me, or if the path from the Present Me is going somewhere else altogether, then I take a step back and reassess.

See, the thing is.. Oftentimes, we get too caught up in our present lives. We have full-time jobs, an education, and the world’s concerns on our shoulders. We are so busy making a living and earning money and paying bills and taking care of loved ones, that we rarely have time to reflect or assess. You are living your life, but the concept of ‘living your dream’ falls by the wayside.

But what does ‘living your dream’ really mean though?

You see, within all of us are passions, talents and characteristic that are absolutely unique to us. These are our unique intrinsic qualities and talents. Maybe you are an adept problem-solver and you LOVE working with your hands. Or maybe you are someone who sees the beauty in everything. Perhaps you are someone who loves to dive deep into people’s minds, analyze situations, behaviours. Or perhaps you are someone who comes up new crazy ideas to change the world everyday and are just itching to run with them.

Whatever your own intrinsic talents are, they give you immense pleasure and make you feel pretty good about yourself, since well, you are just naturally good at them. Right? Now, if you were living a life where you had the freedom to flaunt and utilize your intrinsic talents on a regular basis, how spectacular would that be? And by regular basis, I mean as a career. Just think about this for a minute. Indulge your imagination.

If our passions and unique talents align themselves with what we do for a living, the potential for pure happiness, the potential for innovation, the potential for impact, and the potential for RICHNESS.. would be absolutely THROUGH the ROOF!

And THAT, is what I mean by ‘living your dream’. It is, simply, a heightened state of consciousness where you are truly in tune with WHO YOU ARE and what your life purpose is.

So if you have never really given any of this much thought, go to the top of this post and do the little exercise. It takes a few minutes, but it can be profound. It gives you a lot (of exciting things) to think about.

Now, tell me. Have you been able to carve out a life for yourself that gives you the privilege to live your purpose every single day? Shout out in the comments below. I would love to hear it.


Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

Got ‘laid off’? How this can be a FANTASTIC time

One week everything is normal at work, and the next week you get the grave news that your company is cutting a few jobs and you happen to be one of the unfortunate ones. Perhaps you saw it coming, or maybe you were completely blindsided.

Either way, a lay-off is an EXCELLENT time to really achieve things you simply did not have time for when you were working full-time. Let us assume you have been responsible with your finances and regularly put a chunk of your income away for a ‘rainy day’. Instead of wallowing in misery and throwing yourself into panicked job-search frenzy, consider taking this time for the following areas in your life:

  1. Travel. This is my number one suggestion for anyone who gets laid off. Travelling is something everyone wants to do, but work commitments seem to be one of the first things that get in the way for professionals. But a lay-off is the PERFECT time to lets say, go explore Bali and spend a couple of weeks living your travel dream. Or how about visiting a family member who lives in Australia? Just find a good cheap flight, and GO!
  2. Bucket list items. This goes hand in hand with point 1. Always wanted to hike the Machu Pichu? Though about spending a week holed up in a cabin to work on that novel? Now is the time.
  3. Pursue your passions. Did you come home every evening after work, looking forward to working on your hobby, and wished you had more time? Well, now you do. Whether it is training for a triathlon, writing that book, or working on your bicycle, you can now give it your 100%.
  4. Time for family. If you were a hard working professional, your family probably did not see much of you. Take this opportunity to spend time with them and really connect with every family member. They will truly appreciate it. You will be glad you got to do when you had the chance.
  5. Re-assess. Step back and re-assess your career, industry and if that is truly where you belong. Maybe you want to change industries completely, or maybe you are happy where you are and you want to pursue some courses to further your credentials. Take this time to do it.
  6. Launch your own business. Finally, if you wanted to venture out into entrepreneurship or freelancing, there has never been a better time. You have absolutely nothing to lose pursuing something independent at a time such as this.

So make good use of your time now, before launching yourself back into the job-hunt. Because as they say.. don’t forget to make a memorable life, as you are busy trying to make a living.


Thanks for reading UnPsychology!

Do you feel like you are not living your life’s purpose? Know that you have a lot more to offer and want to make a real difference in your life as well as the lives of others.. but just have not yet figured out HOW?

Enter your email address below and I will personally send you a FREE copy of my 12 Questions to kickstart your internal purposefinder right away.

While you’re at it, feel free to check out some of my other posts on Unpsychology.

6 tell-tale signs that it might be time to quit

Have you ever been in a job where you felt that your energy was being drained? We have all had a job or two where we felt undervalued and overworked, but when do you know that your current career path is simply NOT the one you should be on? Maybe it is time to call it QUITS. Your life and your talents are too valuable to be wasted on doing something you are not passionate about.

If you are even slightly doubting your current job / career path, the signs below are worth considering seriously:

  1. Your passion is gone. Your friends and loved ones would be concerned for you if they saw you in this state. The fire in your eye, the spring in your step is gone as soon as you enter your workplace.

 

  1. Your work suffers. Your lack of passion has started to negatively affect your work and it shows. You find no value, have no interest, and certainly no desire in producing the work you have been hired to do. You spend hours looking at your to-do list and get nothing accomplished. Don’t mistake that for being lazy – you are unmotivated because you have stopped feeling inspired and passionate.

 

  1. You KNOW there is more out there. You are overwhelmed with the feeling that there is way more to life than this. You know your heart and your calling lies elsewhere, and can almost feel an invisible pull. You cannot bear spending another moment doing something you don’t love because you know WHERE you want to be. And it is not here.

 

  1. You stop socializing at work. Those coworkers you used to go for coffee runs with, those friends you used to go grab lunch with, you barely want to speak to them anymore. You just want to be done with your day so you don’t have to have anything to do with this part of your life anymore.

 

  1. You feel physically sick. The night before the start of another workweek is the worst. You physically dread going to bed, and waking up the next morning because you know what awaits. This is an important sign that it is time to quit. No job or amount of money is worth feeling physically and mentally sick for.

 

  1. There is no one at your workplace whose position you want to take over. A few years ago you would have gunned for his position at the company. You were the uber-ambitious newcomer looking to climb the ladders and move up the ranks. But now, you look at your senior executives at work and can hardly point out one person whose job you want to take over. You just know this company, this industry, is not one you want to be in. So why stay?

 

If you have identified with these signs, maybe it is time to take a step back and re-assess. Maybe it is time to take the big bad step and call it quits. Life is all too short to be spending doing something less than what you are passionate about.

But be careful. Although these signs can say a lot about the way you feel about your work, there are a LOT of other factors at play. It might be a tad bit fool-hardy to jump the gun before exploring the root of your issues. An in-depth consultation with a coach will be your best way of determining whether there are other factors in your life contributing to these feelings, and if they can be resolved first, before you pull the trigger and call it quits.