Wednesday, May 12, 2021 (Day 132)
Meditation Music for the week: I Am Willing: Liquid Mind (7:56) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dJIsrvL80Q
Question: What opportunities do you currently have within your career? What opportunities would you like to have?
Answer: As far as the first question goes, I believe that the sky is the limit regarding the number of opportunities that are available to me. If I was interested in moving up in positions, I could easily pursue assistant dean and director positions at a multitude of 4-year institutions and as high as vice president positions at the community college level. However, I served as a Director and Assistant Dean at two different schools in three different positions – and realized that all three positions took me away from the work that I really love to do (Life Design Catalyst work, in case you didn’t know). And now that I see my role transitioning at UNCG, I’ve been curious to see what’s out there in higher education land – and I don’t find interest in anything that’s out there. For example, I saw that one institution had (life) coaching positions available, but both positions had “registering students for classes” as the number one role for the position. That’s not coaching, that’s advising – and it’s something that I have NO interest in doing. I’ve done registration and scheduling for 30 years and have NO interest in doing it any more. To be honest, there’s more to helping students than figuring out what classes to take each semester. What I realize is my answer to the second question – that I need to create the opportunities that I’d like to have. I’ve created a proposal for my Dean at UNCG to create an Office of Transitions and Transformation within the School of HHS. It’s work that I’m already doing effectively; the goal is to offer it to even more students and have a greater impact. But I get a sense that the Dean and the School wants to move in a different direction, so I’m preparing for the conversation where they will tell me that my job right now is to do registration and scheduling. So, it’s time to see how valuable LDC work could be, by sharing it with the outside world and see if anyone might be interested in creating a “place” for me, for Stephanie (my business partner), and others interested in joining me on this wonderful journey. I believe that we could make a HUGE impact on education, as we help young people develop plans for the future based on the characteristics, attributes, and gifts that make them great! And now that I finished teaching my classes, I can both develop a plan for what this looks like on a greater scale and continue to create awesome tools that our students can use to gain clarity about their lives and their futures. I HAVE to keep moving forward, right?
Today, it’s not an article, but an piece from an article. As someone in the “helping professions,” I find that this piece of advice is most precious, especially as I continue to work with people. The article is, “The 3 Best Pieces of Life Advice I Ever Got” by Karen Nimmo: https://medium.com/on-the-couch/the-3-best-pieces-of-life-advice-i-ever-got-7e1ae2a5b88f. The first two bits of advice were good, but the third one REALLY stood out to me, not only because it’s something that I could use when working with others, but also use when working on myself. Here’s the piece that I loved, which is the 3rd best piece of life advise she got:
3. What’s going to make the most difference to this person’s life right now?
When I trained as a psychologist the information, the knowledge came at us like an avalanche, I could fill books with all the stuff we learned and I hope a lot of it stuck.
But one lecturer had a way of distilling complex information into a pill that was easily swallowed. She was a working clinical psychologist and her lectures were filled with useful tips for working with clients like “keep the plane off the ground.” In other words, don’t crash and burn therapy. If you find yourself veering off the flight path, get back on it — quickly.
But the tip that most stayed with me — and I think of it in EVERY single session I have with clients now — is this: what’s going to make the most (positive) difference to this person’s life right now?
When you’re working with people, it’s tempting to bring all you know into the room, to take someone too quickly down into their core schemas and beliefs to figure out what’s driving their thoughts, feelings and actions.
But that’s not helpful. It’s too much, too soon, and can even be a little mean. It’s better to help a person leave the session feeling a little better about their life outside the room.
- So, if someone is lonely, how can we introduce more social contact?
- If someone is struggling with their weight, how can we get them started on a plan today?
- If a person is depressed, what will help them get up tomorrow morning?
What’s top of the heap? How do we nudge this person’s life forward? How do we give this person some hope?
Whenever I’m struggling I think of this: what’s going to make the most positive difference to MY life right now? Then, I go do that one thing and I almost always feel better.
Taking action in your favoured direction is the first step in building or renewing hope.
And hope is everything.
I hope you found it as enjoyable as I.