Bold Vision And Determination
When President John F. Kennedy’s delivered his famous “moon speech” at Rice University, in 1962, he articulated a bold vision. He also provided a clear statement of determination, and framed the necessary execution to achieve the mission.
It was clearly inspiring, and I believe showed us that we become more successful when we set a bold vision and take on and accomplish hard challenges.
Yet, for most of us, the situations we face are more often like a walk in the park. Sure, uncertainty can create some anxiety. Yet, there is in most of what we do a degree of safety. After all, what’s the worse that can happen?
Still, recall a time when you faced a situation that was really hard. So hard you wanted to just quit. But didn’t! Now, think about it. By digging deep didn’t you learn some great things about yourself, and your capabilities? And wasn’t that accomplishment worth savoring more than others?
Still, rarely do we push ourselves so far beyond our comfort zone that we end up feeling totally spent…
…maybe it’s time we did that more!
Career Fitness is a lot like Physical Fitness. To make it optimal, you need to get out of your comfort zone. And you need to break some rules. Most people don't.
What J.C. Herz, author of Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness, captures in the following is instructive:
"...the first round of a....[workout] like “Kelly” (a 400-meter sprint , 30 jumps onto a 24-inch box , then 30 wall balls, five rounds), you think, “Why am I doing this?" When the 150th wall ball shot "reaches its zenith....[it] lands with a thwump as you take a controlled fall to the ground." You are totally spent.
Now compare what she says about what people normally do:
"[On the cardio machine, at the gym, there is a] ...yellow zone …where people are supposed to stay. It’s the “fat-burning zone” that doesn’t actually cause people to lose weight. We’re implicitly instructed by this piece of equipment and the industry behind it to go faster than a walking pace, but never to really push it. To stay in the suitably safe and virtuous middle ground. People follow instructions. They stay there. And as long as they do, there is something that will always be hidden from them, which is the knowledge of what their bodies, as glorious machines, can do, and the competence and satisfaction of actually doing it."
When you play it safe, you never get to experience your greatness. So, push beyond the "suitably safe and virtuous middle ground."
Of course, you don’t need to choose to do CrossFit, but do consider what success lessons it holds.
A good place to start, I think, is to re-evaluate (and probably dump) many of your goals. And then, think in terms of journey NOT destination. I've written about this on Success Reimagined, and am now reading Stephen M. Shapiro's wonderful "Goal-Free Living."
Hope this is helpful perspective!
The Whole 30 Program may be one of the most demanding nutritional challenges I've taken on. Still, at six days in, it's going well!
What tough challenges are you taking on?
Up to now, I’ve taken emotional connection to brands for granted, and not looked any deeper. Yet, in recently reading Virginia Postrel’s The Power of Glamour, I’m getting a deeper appreciation of the emotional connection we have to our favorite brands.
Fundamentally, the attraction starts with the glamour conveyed by the brand. That is, with its power to tap our longings, even if only barely formed, it gives them an object of focus. It is pleasurable, even if only for a few moments. Glamour can make an object attractive. Yet, glamour is double edged. As Postrel says:
“Glamour is an illusion and, according to its critics, a dangerous snare. But because it recognizes and concentrates real desires, the mirage can also prove a valuable, life-enhancing inspiration. Glamour, we can now say, is … an illusion “known to be false but felt to be true.” It focuses inchoate desires and embodies them in the image or idea of a person, a setting, an artifact, or occasionally a concept. By inviting projection and making the ideal feel attainable, the glamorous image intensifies longing and, in some cases, moves the audience to action.”
If you think about it, what’s attracted you to particular brands goes beyond packaging and promotion. Rather, what makes a brand attractive is it’s promise of transformation.
Cross posted on LinkedIn and Success Reimagined (http://bit.ly/1p0pz1I)
“Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family.” ~ Don Vito Corleone
Fortunately, our digital world supports us in pursuing friendships. Certainly, it’s one way to keep up with friends we already have. Yet, it’s also possible to start and nurture new relationships online.
Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and other social media platforms, the idea of online friends is not quite as inconceivable as it once was. Well, as long as you’re able to get past the distinction between online friends and real life friends.
Are you making real friends?
- Threshold Consulting LLCCareer Coach Specializing In Personal Branding, present
- Lee Hecht Harrison
- Wachovia Bank
- Credit Suisse
- The Depository Trust Company
Walter Akana is a career and life strategist, who brings a unique blend of training and experience in coaching, personal branding, and online identity to guide mid-career clients who are hungry for change. Using proven discovery methods, as well as his own finely-tuned perceptions, he helps clients uncover their own “brand DNA,” and then convey who they are in a way that allows them to truly stand out. Passionate about learning, self-development, and self-direction, he brings a distinctive philosophy to running his life, and to working with clients: It’s your life, own it!
Point of View
Walter often takes a contrarian approach to traditional career advice. He sees the key to career and business success as the ability to convey one’s expertise while engaging one’s “brand community.” He believes this means shaking off the status quo and bringing distinctive value backed up by a brand story that shows others you’re the best choice to meet their needs because you’ve walked in their shoes.
Notable and Quotable
Walter’s career advice has been featured on marketwatch.com, cnnmoney.com, and online.wsj.com. A social media early adopter, he and his advice have been referenced in Smart Networking, I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?, Find a Job Through Social Networking, The Twitter Job Search Guide, and Social Networking for Career Success. He has also been invited to speak at major universities, including CU Leeds, Northwestern University, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Management, Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Up Close and Personal
Believing that the key to a great life is moving beyond the traditional idea of “work” and “life” boundaries, Walter brings his passion for discovery and learning to a wide variety of activities, often mixing “fun” and “work.” With eclectic musical tastes, it is not unusual to find Walter listening to Pandora Radio as he works on various client projects. A recent convert to iPhoneography, Walter enjoys the social sharing of photos with people from all over the world.
- Columbia University
- State University of New York, Oswego