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Raising Your Career Trajectory

When everything inside of you cries out that you can achieve more, make your goals more challenging

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As you progress in your career, the goals and aspirations that you had during earlier years often don’t match the ones that you now have. You might seek to take on more responsibility at work and to be paid more for your services.

More Challenging Goals

Here is an issue which is subjective and simply isn’t the same for everyone, yet there are common indicators that point to the right times to ‘up’ your goals

If you’ve achieved some of your challenging goals in a fraction of the time you originally allocated, that’s a strong indication that you could set even more challenging goals, or keep them the same, but decrease the time frame for reaching them.

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Chip Eichelberger, formerly Tony Robbins’ International point man, has been a motivational speaker to 1000+ groups. He says that as your competence and expertise develop, and the ease with which you perform compared to others in your profession or industry is notable, that is as good a sign as any that it’s time to make your goals more challenging. Some notable examples will bring this topic to life.

Oh, Oh, Oh, It’s Magic

When Michigan State sophomore Magic Johnson won the NCAA basketball crown in 1979, he entered the NBA and became the starting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. Among many other rookie stars that year, he sought to make his mark in the pro leagues, and be a major contributor to his team.

During his first season, he received rave notices for his passing ability and leadership skills. During the NBA finals that year, against the Philadelphia 76ers, when All-Star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was forced to miss the sixth and deciding game because of injury, Magic Johnson filled in at the center position.

In an amazing performance, he scored 42 points and was named the finals MVP. As his Lakers team was crowned NBA champions, it was apparent even in his rookie season, that one championship for Magic wasn’t going to be enough. Any earlier goals he might have had regarding his performance, how the Lakers would fare, and what kind of champions they might be, suddenly became outdated.

Consumer Advocacy Redefined

Ralph Nader had been a one-man crusader for consumer rights in the middle of the last century. In the early 1960s, when he challenged the automobile industry through the court system and with his book, Unsafe at Any Speed, he was quickly hailed as a consumer advocate par excellence. The book, which went on to become a bestseller, documented the known risks and engineering shortcomings of the nation’s most popular selling cars.

Whatever goals Nader had as a consumer advocate, following his sparkling victory in compelling the auto industry to increase its safety standards, soon became surpassed. Nader realized that one well-presented jury case was more impactful than 10,000+ protesters clanging on fences outside of General Motors headquarters.

Not resting on his achievements, Nader initiated the Public Interest Resource Group (PIRG), which ultimately launched a branch in every state. He founded Common Cause, an organization and national magazine directed at illuminating the practices and procedures of special interest groups, in particular, when they ran contrary to the “common causes” that benefitted so many more people.

After that, Nader became an unbowed advocate of environmental protection. He relentlessly exposed corporate and multinational interests that appeared to act contrary to the wants and needs of larger society.

Even More Challenging

In perspective, Nader’s whole career was one of choosing goals, and then by enlisting the dedication and support of legions of followers, – primarily volunteers, making his goals even more challenging.

When everything inside of you cries out that you can reach your goals, and achieve even more, it is an appropriate time to make your goals more challenging.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Doing Our Best in Handling What Was Unforeseen

Despite obstacles, there is a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish

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By now, everyone has mentally marked 2021 as one strange year. (Actually with Biden and Harris ‘leading’ the United States of America, it was already marked to be a disastrous year).

While we can’t guard against the unknown, we can do our best with what we have. Each day when you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day?

No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the tasks, unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that still could throw us off.

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How do you react when you are humming along, and all of a sudden, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on a task or project immediately. Maybe a client calls and needs something ASAP. Maybe something gets returned to you that you thought was complete.

Stymied No Longer

If you are like most people, you might become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day.

Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?  There is, and it involves first making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately encapsulates the new task that you need to handle.

Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Anticipating the Unexpected

Unforeseen issues and tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations. Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions on our workday take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting.

Hereafter, when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed with the mindset that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course. The key question is ‘Can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions?’

The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

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Business

Avoid the Post-Vacation Slam

Build in a small period for decompression and it will serve you well

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The holidays are here… Would you like to minimize stress associated with your  your travels?

Suppose your time away from the office is ending. Once back at work, you have a stack of messages on your desk. Your mail is eight inches high. There are email messages, memos, reports, and announcements all over the place. You experience extreme pressure to catch up. The moment you return, the whole world seems to falls in on you.

The Remedy

Plan your trips so that you return before you announced you would. Include a “decompression” phase in your plans; your trip is not complete until you comfortably reintegrate yourself. Also:

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: A Compound National Fracture

* Take one less vacation day and build in a day for transition and decompression rather than coming back too abruptly.

* Avoid returning to work on a Monday if you can; a Monday is already a high-pressure day.

* Instruct others to handle or reroute as many phone calls as possible; and to segment your mail and other papers that come in. Return to a clean office and a clean desk.

* Unpack all your bags quickly. You might be tired, but the task will only be more burdensome later. Put all notes and papers in their place as soon as possible if you ever intend to act on them.

Whether taking time away near a holiday or merely for a few hours in mid-week, build in a small period for decompression and it will serve you well.

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