Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid-life crisis as a wake-up call and a turning point

Mid-life awakenings

It frequently happens in middle age, that sudden onset of a seeming temporary flight of fancy that discards plans that had been built for years in pursuit of an elusive dream, a forgotten cherished hobby, or passions that had once been sacrificed on the altar of pragmatism. A highly successful magazine editor, on top of her game, quits the prestige, the perks, and the power…to just “help out” in a small family-owned resort in a distant province. A communications executive who turns her back on a stable and high-paying job to finally concentrate on acting…and in the low-paying theater circuit, to boot. An educator who has a couple of degrees and several published journals to her name eventually eschews the academic life to learn and teach…the more physical, sensual art of spa massages.

That it usually happens when one reaches his or her 40’s is no accident. As told to me by a friend and colleague who experienced one such internal revolution, it’s like some kind of subconscious realization dawns that the mid-mark of life has been passed. A first half of a person’s living years is over—and he is facing the final second act of his life, with lesser energy, lesser physical stamina, resources that now demand some kind of prioritization for its use, and perhaps narrower choices.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

How to create your personal vision

How to create a personal vision? 

It means rediscovering the dreams that we may have left behind.

Easier said than done, especially when we don't even know what our dreams are.

Elena Tuason-Verlee, a U.S.-trained and certified personal coach, gave a set of questions that could help us create our own personal and professional roadmap.  It's just a part of a greater and wonderful article in the February 2010 edition of Working Mom Magazine, an ABS-CBN publication.  I've posted the cover here.

Here are Elena's guide questions for a productive kind of introspection:

"1.  What do I want more of in my life?

2.  What do I want less of in my life?

3.  If money were no object and failure wasn't possible, what would my career be like?

4. What relationships do I need to nurture, or let go of?

5. What is my relationship to money?

6.  My secret passion or dream that I never mention because it's too big or unattainable to even think about is...

7.  What am I most afraid of?

8.  What accomplishments or measurable events must occur during my lifetime so that I will consider my lie to have been satisfying and well-lived; a life of few or no regrets?

9. What could I do that would bring more joy into my daily life?

10. What am I grateful for?"

Thanks, Elena! Click Here to Read More..

Friday, April 30, 2010

Donald Trump's two tips for success

To paraphrase what Donald Trump said in a Biography Channel interview, when the reporter asked him how someone still starting out in his career can enjoy the kind of success that the billionnaire has:  First - do what you love doing, and you'll never get tired doing it. 

Second - never stop.  Doesn't matter if you succeed or fail (and Trump has had his share of divorces and bankruptcies), set your course straight, don't waver and walk.  If you hit a wall, don't stop.  Go around that wall, climb over it, find a way around it, dig under it - but don't let it stop you. 

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Friday, April 23, 2010

The comeback stories of two titans

Achieving success may be a tough climb, making sure you stay on top of the game can be one nerve-wracking battle – but no exercise may be as torturous as picking yourself up and climbing again once you have fallen.

Failure is a bitter pill to swallow, regardless of its source. Although a newbie who is just starting out in his professional life may begin with virtually nothing, at least he has the benefit and the excitement of an open frontier ahead of him. On the other hand, the successful executive or manager who has reached a certain measure of success has the fallback of resources, allies, and the wisdom of experience to see him through.

Resurrection after a fall, though, can appear downright discouraging, at least from the beginning. Think about it: the blow to the ego after one has scaled the summit only to crash headlong into the pit. The doubts that follow after a depletion, both in material wealth, self-confidence, and probably, even relationships. The crushing fatigue that can just overwhelm one enough into throwing in the towel.

Not many people can make a comeback after a fall. That’s why those who do and get a second act are widely applauded – because despite the difficulties, they show it can be done.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rediscovering the love of reading

The title of this piece might sound incongruous to those who know me. Friends have explained away the huge bags (or knapsacks) I carry to the couple of books I’ve stashed inside. I’d rather read on a long commute than chat in my cell. And with writing and editing as a profession, it’s a no-brainer that I’d always be perusing words on the printed page, if not on the World Wide Web.

Now for the confession: while it is true that I’ve never stopped reading, a huge chunk of it for the past ten years was work-related. Research work for an article I’m about to pen. Background context for this famous person I’m about to interview. Or maybe just the necessary homework that you’d have to bone up on every single day just to remain knowledgeable in your field. Then there were the four years of taking up my graduate studies in Journalism (it should have been just two years, but I was juggling education with work).

Reading became a duty, not a delight. If I had to entertain myself or relieve some of the work-related stress, I’d gorge myself on DVDs during the weekend.
Maybe that’s why it took a sabbatical for me to return to my first love. A one-year corporate stint that saw me keeping regular hours, where I’d report promptly at 9 a.m. in the morning and return at 7 p.m. (My lifestyle before that was 18-hour workdays that had me leaping out of bed at 8 a.m. and crashing at 2 a.m.).

Because I slowed down (in a manner of speaking), my intellect was able to breathe. All of a sudden, the pressure to read all the stuff that I ‘had to’ read disappeared – and wonderfully replaced by a growing awareness of passions, preferences, and interests I had buried deep inside my psyche. I could pull back and “feel” within the things that were precious to my heart. And since the internal had to find something external to connect to and nourish it, I found myself gravitating again back to books.

This time, reading became not only a delight, but a manner of self-expression and of self-discovery. As I escaped into new worlds and grasped concepts and ideas that held me inthrall, I re-connected to my inner soul – and the words of my fellow writers became their fuel.

Now there is a downside to this – I’ve been on a binge the past two months. I’ve been buying a bestseller or a thriller almost every week – and when the craving is intense, it’s been a real bear clamping down on the temptation to download those hard-to-find books in my Kindle in my PC.

Yes, we’re talking about those thousands of books that can’t be found in a bookstore in the Philippines but which now can be downloaded in my precious laptop (sans the purchase of an Ipad or a Kindle). Downloading them means also saving on those outrageous shipping costs. As a friend and fellow book reader said, it’s a paradise – but bad news for our credit cards.

That, however, is for another post. Click Here to Read More..

The richest man in the world, according to Forbes Mag

Maybe the tide is changing as far as the world economy is concerned. Experts have touted this century as the rise of Asia. India and China are the powerhouse economies with the former rightfully claiming an expert talent pool to beat. Now Forbes Magazine says that the richest man in the world is a Mexican: telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu who's beaten IT guru Bill Gates and genius investor Warren Buffett for the top spot with a net worth of US$53.5 billion!

Link to the article here: Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Your career and the economic crisis for 2010

With 2010 just around the corner, the dissatisfied and the searching will likely do their career shifting the first quarter. The bad news is that, the economy won't be making a strong economic upturn any time soon, says my friends in the industry. The good news is, the elections and all its resulting funds can create a buffer, at least temporarily.

For most of us working types, though, it's important that we greet this harsh brave new world that's getting harder by the minute with equally grim determination and a smart attitude if we are to swing it to our favor.
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