Defining the Goal

Now it’s time for us to be able to understand what our goal looks like. I hope you’ve been writing everything down and keeping track of who goes with you to your goal, what goes with you to your goal and something new for you to keep an eye on what and who do you pick up along the way to your goal.

The first step in knowing where you want to go is to know where you are right now.  This is where the lists and notes you have been taking throughout this book come in handy.

You can be different and live in a cave and wear an old monk’s robe and not do anything. You could also be a lottery winner. How often does that happen?  Back to reality?  OK.

The first thing we need to do is help you find out where you want to be, and then we want to work on how to get you there.

Remember, it does not matter how outrageous or costly or in need of education or any other impediment might stand in your way. This is just establishing what you would really like to do. The mere fact of writing it down sets you on the journey. It does not guarantee you anything. It is just a start.

If you are not sure, you can find a short quiz to take online.  There are many free on the internet.  The one I like, and which is free and given to you by the Department of Labor and the Department of Education is called my next move. The web link to it www.mynextmove.org.

You can also check at local colleges, and other organizations in your area to see if the Myers-Briggs test is given anywhere. The Myers-Briggs might be given free by some organizations, and other organizations may want to charge a small fee to administer it. Look around and find your best bargain. Or, look for a free test online. Just be careful, some websites will give you the test and then want you to pay for results. I wouldn’t do that.

If you are not sure what you want to do, and you take some of these tests, they should point you in some pretty good directions. If you take the test, and you still are not sure of what you want to do, don’t worry.  Some of my best friends are over 39, and still trying to figure out what they want to do in life. And, they’re good people, and I know that someday they will figure that out. Do the best you can with where you are and what you have.

One thing I should warn you about so that it doesn’t happen you as it has to so many people. Some people (and I have done this before) don’t figure out what they really want to do. They want to do everything.  Rather than being happy with one goal and one direction, some people are always running around looking. Every time they hear something new from somebody, they are off trying it.

It’s interesting to see new ways of doing things, and it’s fun. It is also, sometimes, very costly and leaves people empty. Why is that? Because they’re looking in the wrong direction for the answer.  Nobody knows you better than you do.  Most of what’s going to motivate you, and make you work do not live in some webinar somewhere, it lives inside of you.

You are the person in control.  You must live with whatever your decision brings. Paying others to tell you about ideas or having others do everything for you is not very helpful.

It is good to take classes and learn things. When you pick something you want to be, do your research and make sure this is the path and the goal you truly want. A little research up front may save you from some real future mistakes.

I know this looks like a lot to do today.  Look into the ideas and consider your options.  Tomorrow we will start to draw the map to the goal.

Have a great day.

 

 

The Computers Aren’t Coming, They Are Here

We have something new that you really need to consider when you’re looking at goals. That new item is an old friend called technology. We all love technology. Technology gives us wash and wear clothes that we can just throw in the dryer pull out and put on a hanger. Technology gives us everything from three-minute popcorn to being  able to watch all shows and movies for next to nothing without even having to leave the house. Computers allow us to talk to anyone in the world. To run our own business., and to do many other marvelous things such as the ability to look up anything we need to know at any time 24/7and be able to get a credible response.

Technology has become so good at what it does that it is now taking over jobs. We’ve all heard the talk about someday and some way. Well someday and some way, have arrived. There are 21 different jobs which automatons now do. An article in the Los Angeles times reports that in the next 15 years 38% of jobs can be run by automatons.

30 years out it looks as though those numbers more than double.

Take a look at the goals that you have set for yourself. Does anything include employment that may be considered dull and boring, dirty or filthy, dangerous or life-threatening? You may want to rethink careers that fall into these categories. The reason is those are the areas that are best suited for automatons to work in.

Humans will never be totally pushed out of the picture.  Yet the positions for humans who want careers done in mass by automatons will go to those who are outliers.  That is to say, those who lead and innovate in that career field.  You can be one of those if you are willing to do what it takes.

Tomorrow we will help you to look at your completed goal.

Have a great day.

Supporters and Mentors

Hi, how are you?

Did you spend some time researching what you would like to do in life?

Remember, it’s researching that will save you money and time. You don’t want to invest heavily in something and then after for six years of schooling and apprenticeship find out that you really don’t like to do the job that you just learned. Believe it or not, this happens to many people.

Part of your research should be finding people who are willing to talk with you and give you some encouragement towards your goals. Trying to improve, can feel like trying to move mountains.  Having people who are willing to help mentor you is a great benefit to your work and your morale.  Find your supporters and invite them to be on your team as mentors, collaborators, partners or friends.

Most people are proud of what they do, and it is easy to get people who will talk with you for 20 minutes. It is easier if they can feel you are not going to put them on the spot, ask for a job, or take too much time from them. Below we have some do’s and dont’s and some ideas on finding and setting up mentors.

Ask those who you admire and look up to in your profession if it would be all right for you to call them some time with a question.  People who rise up in their business are frequently proud of what they do.  Professionals like to talk with others about what they do and how it helps others.  Most of them usually make time (20 minutes or so) to talk to someone or answer a few questions. 

As the person seeking the advice of a professional or mentor, it is important you not waste their time.  When you talk with them, have questions ready to go.  Pay attention to them.  Ask follow-up questions; however, do not argue with them.  Whatever you do, do not ask a professional who is giving you a little of their time for a job.  Asking for a job would put them in an uncomfortable position and cause the interview to end prematurely.  If they ask you, then you can give them a copy of your resume.

An Exercise in Collaboration

Call ten supportive friends and ten people whom you respect and who work in the same profession you want to work in.  Tell the friends what you are doing and ask if they could be part of your support group. Ask if you could speak to them, on occasion, about what you are doing. 

Ask the professionals if you could ask them a question now and then, and count them as a mentor.  Keep track of who says yes.  This looks hard, and you will be surprised how easy this exercise ends up being.

What does a new person to an industry want to know what they want to become?  Each of us will have different questions.  Some of these issues may be:

  1. What does the professional I want to become actually do?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the profession I am going into?
  3. What does the job I want to go to pay?
  4. What are the milestones in the business that I should look for to tell me I am doing well?
  5. Who are the industry leaders in my profession and what sets them apart?
  6. How much do the industry leaders make?
  7. What is an industry leader’s lifestyle in my desired profession like?

Many people will give you 20 minutes to ask a few questions about what they do and how their business actually works.  If you ask to talk to anyone, they will probably say yes.  When you meet with them, you want to ask real and specific questions and honor the time limit agreed to unless they wish to spend more time with you

Here are some Dos and Don’ts.

Do

  1. Have questions ready.
    1. It is hard to think of the right questions on the spot.
  2. Be polite, the person you are talking to is freely giving their time.
  3. If you have questions based on what the professional says go ahead and ask them.
  4. Be on time.
  5. Dress professionally.

Do Not

  1. Ask questions that you can find out from their (or their companies) Website.
    1. Do your research.
  2. Ask them for a job.
    1. Asking for a job often puts them on the spot and ends the interview.
  3. Waste their time.
  4. Dress or act unprofessional.

Next time, we will evaluate the desired positions in relation to new technology that is taking over many positions. 

Have a wonderful day.

 

Congratulations – It’s a Website

Here at ReadingSticks, we have exciting news today.

Today we have launched our newly revised website ReadingSticks.space.

This allows you us to bring everyone the ability to find and procure our courses, books, charts, and other help.

On our new site, you may contact us either by email, on our scheduling and contact page or you will be able to schedule a phone call with us. The first phone call which can last up to 30 minutes is free.

This offers us the ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone who needs help, or individualized service for them or for their companies.

Although this site was brought online today, you will see many additions installed and various changes in the next few weeks as we calibrate the site to the needs of our audience.

Please enjoy viewing this site at http://www.readingsticks.space

Please leave us a comment telling us what you like about the site and/or what you would like us to add or take away.

Thanks,

Mike Balof, Director Reading Sticks, LLC

 

Doing Research Is Critical

We hope everybody is doing well.

Did you take your time last night to consider what you would like to do in life?

Now it’s time the time to research what you would like to do, or what you would like to be. As a matter of fact, research is the most important thing you can do when trying to plan what you want to be or and where you want to go in life. It’s even the most important when you decide you’re going to go on any trip

I want to share a story with you about a true incident that happened when I was in basic training. This really identifies why research is so important when you’re looking at doing something.

When I was in basic training, on our second week we all went to a briefing and were given a chance to sign up for our jobs in the Air Force.  I went into weather maintenance.  It was a career field with a 9-month technical school.  I learned all about electronics and the weather.

Others in my flight chose their desired profession.  One of the airmen in my flight wanted Fire Control Operations on a bomber.  He was very happy and very proud.

We asked him if he liked to fly.  He said he did not like to fly.  The obvious question then was why he signed up to be a gunner on a bomber with the Viet Nam War in high gear.  He told us his position as Fire Control Operator entailed loading all the fire extinguishers and refilling them when and if the planes came back.

Everyone in the flight tried to convince him otherwise, and he would have no part of it.  Three days before the end of basic training the Drill Sergeant called the flight together. The drill sergeant told us about a hero to be in our midst.

The airman who volunteered to be a Fire Control Operator was being graduated from basic three days early.  The reason was the airman’s new crew flew in to pick him up.  They were waiting in a jeep out front to meet their new gunner.

It Actually Happened

For today, please do research on your goals and destinations.  Tomorrow we will look at who to talk to, and about finding mentors.

Not Planning Forsakes Goals

 

When you make your plans and set up your timelines, start with who and what is most important to you. Then you have to think and make plans for what it will take to sustain those people and things which are most important to you.

Make your plans synchronize to the movement of life. Those plans must meld with the time, the seasons, the phases of our lives, and our trek towards our goals and objectives. And while doing this, understanding that no matter how perfectly we develop these plans and goals, nothing is guaranteed. At the same time understanding that not planning forsakes those goals to the whims and desires of everyone and everything else. Planning and goal setting is essential.

Last week the blog spoke on gathering your lists and data and knowing where you were. This week we will look at identifying where we want to be how we want to get there and what and even more important who we take with us along the way.

The first question is, “What I want to be when I grow up?” If you’re in high school, this is a very good question. If you are in college, this is an excellent question. If you’re in your mid-20s and tired of service level jobs, this is a most needed question. In your 40s this is a mandatory question and believe it or not between 55 and 65 this is a vital question. These questions at each step of our life help to hone and know where we are and where we want to be. If you are not sure of your goals, how will you know when you get there?

For today, please think about what you would like to do in the future. At this point don’t worry about money, education or other items. Think about what you like, what you think you would enjoy doing, and how that supports not only you but those people and things most important to you, and write it down.

Tomorrow we will start more exercises and have a lot more fun. And hopefully, I will have good news about a reconditioned website

Talk as Though You’re Saying Nice Things

It’s interesting that we can be the most knowledgeable on the subject. We can be the most caring on the subject. We have desiring compassion and understanding, and we want to act on something. Yet, without good communication and collaboration, we often fail.

Often, we failed because we get too eager and try to do things too fast and in that effort, we end up putting others off rather than bringing them into collaboration.

We are humans. Humans run on emotions. Yes, humans do run on facts, yet often those facts are clouded by emotional and often irrational fears. When dealing with others, a slow and steady approach is better than rushing the other person. The idea, you don’t want to scare them off.

There are ways to talk to people, and there are ways to talk to people. One the best things I learned in my 13 years as an instructor in the classroom is that it is not what you say to people, rather it is how you talk to them. I’m almost embarrassed to tell the way it works.

The trick to having a good tone in the classroom, in the boardroom, on the factory floor, or at the coffee shop, is to speak kindly. That is,  speak in such a way that your puppy dog would stop and listen to you if he or she heard the talk.  The dog would not understand the meaning, just the pleasant tone.

If you can talk in such a way that your dog will stop and listen to you, then people will also stop and listen to you. It is not what you are saying. It is the way you are sending the information. I often practiced my courses with my dog in attendance, and she paid very good attention. I am glad to hear it was not because of the tuna fish sandwich I held in my hand.

The trick is to talk soft, and whatever you’re saying, talk as though you’re saying nice things. If you do this and do not get pushy, people will listen to you.  They listen because they hear empathy.

Another thing to think of is not to make my favorite error. Rush to judgment. It turns out I’m a guy. And guys like to fix things. I’d like to blame it on John Wayne. Unfortunately, I think this goes all the way back to the beginning of mankind. The trick is to stand back and listen, and this is true for both men and women. Listen, have a good understanding, understand the main characters in any situation and what is going on, and then when asked, have a polite recommendation or to.

Now even though the guy thing (above) is something I’ve been able to practice for many years, I recommend listening and learning and then suggesting or helping to act. It is hard, it is frustrating, and it is very necessary. No one will see the situation the same way you will. Because they are using different eyes different knowledge different brains and a different position within any situation.

This is something to think of and something to consider.

I am proud to announce that we have redesigned the http://www.readingsticks.space website. We are putting the final touches on to the website now. You may see it on Wednesday as we perform live testing. And, depending on how the testing goes we will be live, and running either Wednesday or Thursday.

If you’re interested in what I work with and talk about, please come and take a look at the website there are many interesting things.I think you’d like it.

Have a great day.