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Vision 30

Career Coaching for Young Professionals

Your Dream Career

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What is your dream career?

As a recruiter and career coach, I get my fair share of people reaching out and sending me their resumes.  Early in our conversations, one of the first questions I ask them is “What is your dream career?“.  It’s startling how many people aren’t able to answer this.  These are professionals who have been ‘playing the game’ and having success for a few years now.  For whatever reason, they are ready for their next move, but they just aren’t sure what that next move is and they aren’t quite sure how to figure it out.

What is your dream career?Think about this!  You are likely going to spend 40+ hours per week of every single week for many many many many many weeks to come working in a career.

That’s a long time!

Isn’t it worth taking the time and energy NOW to figure out what you want that to look like?

Some questions to ask yourself?

  • What kind of organization do I want to work for?
  • What is important to me?
  • What excites me?
  • What am I good at?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What impact do I want to make?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What legacy do I want to leave?
  • What do I deserve?

When you start asking yourself questions like these, you start to focus on what is important and meaningful to you.  And believe me . . . you want a career that is meaningful to you!

There are too many people doing things they don’t love doing.  There are too many people who are stuck in a position because they never thought about the impact they wanted to make.  There too many people who are scared of change.

That doesn’t have to be you!
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What dream career will you be pursuing by 30?

A Dozen References

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Yesterday I was on the phone with a client who had interviewed a candidate of mine the day before.  He said the candidate was really smart and had a great personality, but after that it’s all question marks.  He said the next step was to do a deep follow-up and reference checks.

My client said there were three things he needed to learn about the candidate:

  1. Will the candidate work well with their customers?
  2. Is the candidate who he says he is?
  3. Will the candidate “stick with it” when the wind blows the other way?

I said that sounded good and that I would have my candidate put together a list of references.  For the purpose of making sure we were on the same page I asked my client how many references he would like.  I assumed they would come back and say three or four, but they said

“At Least A Dozen References”

A Dozen ReferencesSay what?

I replied with “a dozen references?”  They said “Yes… we are going to know everything about this candidate before we move forward.”

What if that was you?

What if you were interviewing for your dream job and were asked to provide a dozen references?

  • Who would you select as references?
  • Why would you select them?
  • How would you coach them?

My candidate has all the talent and qualifications to be successful, but his references will make or break whether or not he gets an offer.  This can’t be taken lightly.

This got me curious so I Googled “Reference Checks” and I came across an article titled: References: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search

The article outlines 8 key steps:

  1. Don’t even bother with those generic “letters of recommendations.”
  2. Never, ever list names of references on your resume.
  3. Think strategically about reference choices.
  4. Consider different categories of references.
  5. Get permission to use someone as a reference.
  6. Collect all the details for each reference.
  7. Keep your references informed (and perhaps coached).
  8. Be sure to thank your references for their help.

You may interview well.  You may have all the educational and professional qualifications.  You might think you are awesome!

Do you have quality references that agree?

References may be the difference between getting an offer and getting a thank you letter.  Think a head and be prepared!

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How many quality references will you have by 30?

6 Reasons Why You Won’t Make It

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There are a lot of great resources available that outline formulas of success in pretty much any area you wish to be successful.  Normally, what holds people back from execution and “making it” is the unproductive ‘stuff’ they continue to do.

I Made It!What needs to happen in your world for you to be able to say:

“I Made It!”

What does “Made It!” mean to you?

We are all on the same mission and fighting the same fight to live a life of meaning and fulfillment and to have a sense of security that we “made it” or are in the process.

Though this journey will involve and impact others, it’s very personal. Your attitudes, emotions, and actions will dictate if and when you’ll ever be able to utter those three prideful words: “I Made It!”

Here are six reasons you won’t make it!

  1. Your Attitude Sucks
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    Your attitude about other people sucks.  Your attitude about yourself sucks.  And your attitude about what is possible sucks.
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    I can’t think of one benefit of having a crappy attitude.  If you have a bad attitude, for your own good, you must work to change it.
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    Read How to Create a Positive Attitude from Inc.com!
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  2. You Don’t Know
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    You don’t know yourself. You don’t know what “make it” means to you. You haven’t given much thought to your values, passions, and talents.
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    I came across a great online tool last week called the Mission Statement Generator. The process of writing a mission statement is a great way to “get in the know” and may provide some much-needed clarity.
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  3. You Don’t Believe
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    You don’t believe in yourself. You don’t believe your “make it” is possible. You don’t believe the positive things people tell you. You don’t believe you deserve it.
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    A friend of mine recently wrote a post called The Tipping Point where he talks about the power of your belief system.
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  4. You Don’t Need Help
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    You are independent person and you’ll be damned if you are going to depend on someone else to get what you want.
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    In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about his “Maturity Continuum” where he outlines three levels of maturity: Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence.  Though you can reach success being independent, your potential is far greater when you involve others.
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    Click here to watch a video that talks about this.
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  5. You Don’t Try
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    Let’s face it, it’s initially a lot easier to go through the motions without putting in a lot of effort.  Plus, trying is risky! What if you don’t succeed? What will people think?  What if it’s too hard?
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    Check out Ditching Your Comfort Zone” in Psychology Today!
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  6. You Are Not Ready
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    I often get approached by people who communicate they desire something to be different.  When I start asking them questions, they put little effort in answering them.  When I recommend a course of action, they rarely execute.  So rather than forming the opinion that people are unmotivated and lazy, I just settle on the fact that they simply are not ready yet.  So… maybe you’re just not ready.  In grad school a professor used to say “People change for two reasons:1. Fear 2. Opportunity”.  You may not be ready because either things aren’t bad enough or the opportunities aren’t good enough to make you start knowing, believing, trusting, and trying.
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    Only you can answer the question: Am I Ready?
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    If you think you are than it’s time to start taking action.  Check out this article at Psychology Today titled: How to Get Motivated.

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For how painful it can be, growth is not always possible without challenge and sometimes we need to hear things we don’t want to hear.  This is where the opportunity lies.
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What will you do with it?

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What needs to happen by 30 for you to be able to say “I made it”?

(Repost) Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know

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A couple of weeks ago Huffington Post publised this article I thought alignt fabulously with the mission of Vision30.

Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know

Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know By 30, you should have …

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.

9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

13. The belief that you deserve it.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know …

1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

2. How you feel about having kids.

3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.

7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.

9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.

10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.

13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

15. Why they say life begins at 30

 

Click here to read the entired article!

 

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What will you know by 30?

 

Drive, Ability, and Knowledge

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Hiroshi MikitaniHiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten Inc. wrote a short piece that can be found on LinkedIn titled:

“The Fool Proof Method for Predicting Individual Success”

Read his entire article here!

He says the successful business person has three traits:

  • Drive
  • Ability
  • Knowledge

That’s a great foundation for any success in life.

I don’t care if you are trying to lose weight, save money, or have a meaningful relationship with your family, you need to:

  • Know how to do it
  • Have the ability to do it
  • Be driven to do it

Simply ask your self the following question “Am I getting the results I want?”  If not, follow that up with “Do I have the knowledge, ability, and drive to get the results I want?”

Be honest with yourself and if the results you desire are meaningful enough, you’ll do what you need to do to achieve them.  If they really aren’t that important to you, you won’t.

It’s up to each one of us to make the necessary changes to get the results we want and live the life we want to live.

What are you waiting for?

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How knowledgeable, able, and driven will you be by 30?

New Year’s Resolution – Motivation Is Not Enough!

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With less than a week left of 2012 a lot of people are getting ready for the New Year by setting their New Year’s Resolution.   Finally they are going to make the decision to lose weight, stop smoking, go back to school, save money, travel, spend more time with family, and be happier.

Yes, on January 1, 2013 millions and millions of people will suddenly find the motivation that has been avoiding them the other 364 days of the year.

And . . . this year is going to be different!

Motivation won’t be the difference maker.

Every now and then I get asked if I do “motivational speaking”.  I always cringe a little when this happens.

Here’s why . . .

Motivation is a temporary emotion that comes and goes.  We have an experience that provokes something within us that fires us up.  It’s an awesome explosion that will quickly fade unless one major decision is made.

That decision is commitment.

Commitment will be the difference maker.

I don’t know about you, but I can get excited about a lot of things.  I’ve set a lot of goals in my days and every single one of them started because I felt motivated.  However, the only goals I’ve followed through on and achieved are the ones I committed to.

Motivation might be the spark that ignites the explosion, but only commitment will keep the fire burning!

Commitment is a choice.

It’s true; commitment is a choice to be made.  It doesn’t just happen.

I always shake my head when I hear people say “I have no motivation” or “I need to find some motivation” like it’s some wonder drug that is going to dramatically change their lives.  The problem is they haven’t made the choice to commit to whatever it is they can’t find “motivation” to do. When you make a commitment it’s amazing how motivation is much more accessible.

Don’t half ass it.  If you are going to set goals, don’t rely on motivation.  Commit to your results!

The process of commitment.

I can only speak for myself, but it tends to be easier to make a commitment when things are meaningful to me and really align well with who I am and who I want to be versus trying to commit to every explosion of excitement ignited by external influences.  The challenge is knowing … I mean really knowing what is meaningful to you… not what society says should be important … not what your family or friends say should be important … what you determine to be truly meaningful.  Now, I’m not saying disregard what your family and friends say, but you have to make the final call and when you do it has to be true to you!

Whether you have a hard time articulating what’s meaningful to you or you just need to do some reassessing there are some great exercises out there that can help you figure this out.  For me it was reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective people 11 years ago.  I can honestly say my life changed. No exaggeration.

What is meaningful to you?

If you would like to go through an exercise that will challenge your thinking and help you articulate what is truly meaningful to you, complete the V30 Questionnaire.

At the end of the day you have to decide what type of person you want to be.  Do you want to be like the masses and talk a big game only to fizzle?   Or do you want to be one of the few that sets a goal, makes the commitment, and achieves success.

It’s your choice!

How committed will you be by 30?

Nine Things Everyone Should Be Able To Do By Age 30

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No need to reinvent the wheel here!

Check out this article from Business Insider that outlines 9 things you should be able to do by 30.

Are there any others you would add?

  1. How to budget
    Whether you’re looking ahead to your 30th birthday or are smirking  from a place of divine wisdom, check out these 10 things everyone should know by  30—and tell us what you think.
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  2. How to cook a signiture dish
    Living off nothing but pasta and canned tuna is all well and good when you’re  fresh out of college or still embracing your inner bachelor, but at a certain  point, your palate should mature—without your wallet picking up the slack.
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  3. How to write professionally
    Sure, you speak and write English, but when occasion calls, can you draft a  cover letter, résumé or email that commands attention? Your career could depend  on it.
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  4. How not to part with your hard-earned cash
    Sure, your 20s may be the decade of impulse buys, but with age should  come fewer occasions for buyer’s remorse.
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    BusinessInsider.com
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  5. How to change a flat tire
    Changing a tire in the cold by yourself sounds way less than fun, but this adult  skill can save you in a bind, both in terms of money and safety.
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  6. How to look up your credit report
    Your credit is one of the most fundamental building blocks of your financial  life. Solid credit enables you to do everything from getting a mortgage to  taking out an auto loan. Good credit also means you’ll be eligible for credit  cards with better perks and lower interest rates.
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  7. How to manage your money… digitally
    You shop online, have made the transition to going paperless (after all, seven years of bank statements  eat up a lot of filing space!) and, if you’re a responsible money manager, by  now you ought to have made the leap to knowing where your money goes while  you’re on the go.
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  8. How to move on
    We mean this in the broadest sense possible, whether it’s moving on after you  didn’t get the job you wanted, after learning that the mortgage for the home you  loved is way out of your price range, and, okay, sure, getting over old  relationships.
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  9. How to strike a balance between work and life
    One of the hottest conversations in America is the perennial one about work-life  balance: From moms too busy to take maternity leave to more women than ever burning out in the workplace by age  30. Some experts have argued that the key is less about work-life balance  than work-life purpose, or prioritizing what’s important to you and  fitting it into a composite of who you are, and what you do with your time.

Our goal is to provide and/or pass along any insights and information that can make your world more meaningful and contribute to your quality of life.

Please take the time to read the full article at BusinessInsider.com by clicking the link below!

http://www.businessinsider.com/know-how-to-do-these-things-by-age-30-2012-12
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How many of these 9 things will you be able to do by 30?

Manage Your Morning Messages

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When I was in my mid 20′s I lived in Richfield, MN and worked in Minnetonka, MN.  My office was a 30-40 minute drive from my place and many mornings I filled that 30-40 minutes with talk radio.  Frequently I would find myself extremely engaged in the conversation and often times being very excited as I would be talking or yelling to myself in the car about what I was hearing.  One morning after arriving to work I realized how emotionally drained and frustrated I was and the more I thought about the more I realized two things.

  1. This wasn’t the first time.  Most mornings I felt like this.
  2. It was all because of what I was listening to on the way to work.

The messages I was listening to affected the quality of my mornings, which impacted the rest of my day.  The next day I switched the radio to a sports morning show and it was an instant game changer.  I went from being agitated on my way to work to laughing my ass off and arriving to work in a great mood.

What are your morning messages?

NOISEThink about what mood you are typically in when you arrive to work.  If you don’t like it, there is probably a reason why!  Simply admit it to yourself and change it.

How does your mood impact others?

This epiphany I had eight years ago changed the way I talk to everyone around me in the morning, because I don’t want to be a messenger of negativity.  A positive spirit is infectious and outside of the benefits you will experience, it’s pretty cool to think about the impact you can have on those around you, simply by managing what messages you are receiving and putting ‘out there’.

You impact those around you!

To me, this is a no brainer.  By managing your morning messages you will make yourself a happier and more productive person, while making those around you better too.

Sounds like a Win/Win to me!
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How will you manage your mornings by 30?

What are your BIG 5?

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In this crazy… fast paced… dog eat dog world, it’s important to have an established set of rules that you live by.  A set of rules that have the final say in every decision you make.  If what you are about to do aligns with your rules, it’s safe to proceed.  If it doesn’t, then you don’t.

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

If so, why are so many people driven by other factors than their own rules.

I believe it’s because most people just haven’t taken the time to set them.

Well, here is your opportunity!

Now, many of you are probably thinking to yourself… “What the heck does he mean by rules”?

Fair enough!  Let me give you a few examples from my world.

I have two children.  My daughter is 16 years old and my son is four years old.  I know… I know…  When people ask me about my kids I cushion the shock of the age gap by telling them I on the “1 every 12 year plan” and my next kid is scheduled for when I turn 44.  That seems to detract them from any follow-up questions.  Phew!

Anyway . . . back to RULES!

I have certain rules and expectations for my children and I need them to eventually take ownership of these rules and most importantly live them.  Because of their ages I have to communicate the rules differently, but over all they are the same.

I call these the “BIG FIVE” and they are in order of priority:

  1. Respect!   Yourself and others!
  2. Family
  3. School & School Related Commitments
  4. Other Commitments Made
  5. Friends

I have been “beating” these in my daughter’s head for years and have made it clear that her ability to have freedom in # 5 is 100% dependant on her prioritization of the previous four.

I use the example of my children because it’s much easier to judge the world around us and give advice or recommendations.  It’s important we learn how to do the same thing for ourselves.

Another example!  My rules.

When I set my rules I think about what kind of man I want to be and more importantly, what kind of man I need to be to become the man I want to be.  I think about my attitude, emotions, and actions.  I think about the different roles I play and responsibilities I have.  I think about my passions are and what gives meaning to my world.

  1. Everything I do has to be meaningful and have purpose.  I refuse to go through the motions.
  2. I have an obligation to provide value to the world.
  3. I must walk my talk and set the example.
  4. My mental, emotional, and physical health are the foundations of everything.
  5. Financial Security & Prosperity = Freedom & Opportunity

These are the rules I TRY to live by.  I’m not always successful.

I’ve done things where I’ve asked myself “why am I doing this?”.  I’ve behaved in ways that don’t align with the type of man I want to be.  I have eaten too much fast food and spent money recklessly.  It’s OK… it’s going to happen, but because I’ve established “my rules” I know pretty quick when something is off.

So, I challenge you to think about and establish “YOUR BIG 5″.  What are five rules that if you were to follow, will enable you to living a life of confidence and fulfillment.

If you’re not following your rules, you’re probably following someone elses!
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What BIG 5 will you be following by 30?

Prime Your Mind

 

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You might say I am on a bit of a Malcolm Gladwell kick.  In the past week I’ve finished two out of his three books.

Yesterday I started listening to his third book: Blink

In Blink, Gladwell talks about the significance of a concept called Priming.  Check out these two excerpts:

“Two Dutch researchers did a study in which they had groups of students answer forty-two fairly demanding questions from the board game Trivial Pursuit.  Half were asked to take five minutes beforehand to think about what it would mean to be a professor and write down everything that came to mind.  Those students got 55.6 percent of the questions right.  The other half of the students were asked to first sit and think about soccer hooligans.  They ended up getting 42.6 percent of the Trivial Pursuit questions right.  The “professor” group didn’t know more than the “soccer hooligan” group.  They weren’t smarter or more focused or more serious.  They were simply in a “smart” frame of mind, and clearly, associating themselves with the idea of something smart, like a professor, made it a lot easier – in that stressful instant after a trivia question was asked—to blurt out the right answer.  The difference between 55.6 and 42.6 percent, it should be pointed out, is enormous.  That can be the difference between passing and failing.”

“The psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson created an even more extreme version of this test, using black college students and twenty questions taken from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the standardized test used for entry into graduate school.  When the students were asked to identify their race on a pretest questionnaire, that simple aft was sufficient to prime them with all the negative stereotypes associated with African-Americans and academic achievement—the number of items they got right was cut in half.”

In both situations the results were impacted by things that influenced the thoughts or mindset of the individuals.  They didn’t even know it.

Isn’t this kind of scary?

What this tells me is MINDSET IMPACTS RESULTS, and we can do things that impact our mindset.  We can prime our mind!

Prime Your Mind - Vision30This message probably isn’t anything new to you.  Between playing sports and my educational and professional experiences, this has been something that has been pounded in my head.  Perhaps you can relate.  The challenge I have is, if this message is so often communicated, why isn’t it used more?

Consider Gallup polls that show that 70% of our US workforce are disengaged in their positions.

Let’s think about this for a moment.  What is the mindset of someone who is disengaged?  If “mindset impacts results“, what kind of results are these employees getting for the organizations they work for?  How does this impact the rest of their lives?

What are these people doing to Prime their Minds?

Prime Your Mind

Think about the power you have to impact the results you are getting.  Consider all the things you can do to prime your mind and set you up for success?  What if you were intentional about the things you surround yourself with and pay attention to?

How would that impact each day?

How would that impact your life?

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How primed will you be by 30?