TED Talk: Why you will fail to have a career?

Loved this talk! For all of you who still hadn’t found out your passion or know what is your passion but are too afraid to pursuit, then this is the talk for you!

Actually, this is the talk for all the people who want to have a goal in life and achieve it!

Professor Larry Smiths presents, in quite a peculiar way, a talk that changes lives and inspires. He is a professor of economics at University of Waterloo. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many of his students on start-up business management and career development. The most notable start-up he advised in its infancy is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry.

Invest 15 minutes in this talk and it will be an investment for life!

 

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The TED talk all women should see

I try to start my workday with a TED talk. I wish I could say I do this daily, but sometimes I can’t. I usually do it when my work energy level is low or when I feel I need motivation to go with the work routine. Today I came across with “Why do ambitious women have flat heads?” by Dame Stephanie Shirley.  The title was enough to call my attention since sometimes when the talk’s title is too predictable, I might just pass it. But this one wasn’t and I’m glad I clicked it.

Dame Stephanie Shirley had it rough. She was one of the Jewish kids saved by being sent to families in northern England during the Second World War . She grew up in an era where women’s only objective was to get married and have kids. There were scarce work opportunities for them. I work in the software industry. Women in the 60’s didn’t just pursuit that area at all. But one woman did it. And this terrific woman showed nothing is impossible. Yes, there was a programming market in that era, believe it or not. If you want to know exactly how it worked, then you have to check the video.

Stephanie Shirley went through all the fights my generation didn’t have too. My generation won’t suffer that gender discrimination again. We have it easy. And what are we doing with our lives? We don’t aim high enough. We don’t dream big enough. We don’t do the fights for the next generations.

I invite you to watch the following TED talk (only 13 minutes of your time but worth your life change).

HOW HARD IS IT TO BE PERSISTENT?

So, PERSISTENCE, what is the definition of PERSISTENCE?

The Oxford dictionary says

“the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”

Well, we can understand this meaning, it is simple, and everybody knows it, but can we understand it well enough to apply it in our lives?

Since I remember, I use to make plans for improving my life; I would make things like these ones:

  1. Make a written, signed contract where I compromise myself with improving in all aspects: losing weight, going to the gym, learning mandarin or Italian (whatever was I felt I needed to learn at that time), read 3 books per month, learn this or that, etc.I would get to do this for a couple of days, maybe a week and then I would get weaker and I would just forget it.
  2. I would also do more detailed plans, I would write my resolutions in a paper, make detailed plans to achieve them and even set daily goals. I would buy a diary or notebook, just specifically for this purpose. I would start with all my enthusiasm and then the same would happen, I would forget it or just get consumed with the daily routine.

So this is the summary of the dozens of times that I have tried different approaches. Some methods would work better than others, but always at the end I was swallowed with the everyday routine.

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Image source: http://www.empowernetwork.com

At this very moment, I´m with one method, I have a little notebook at work where I write the hours of the day and try to assess every hour I let pass, so I just put a happy or sad face next to it when I feel an hour has been productive or not. Until now, it´s been lasting more than any method. But, I must admit it, there are hours, even days, where I forget about this thing and I find myself filling hours with sad faces trying to remember what I had done before. I hope this method lasts….

But, besides this, I have actually realized the following: I´ve been persisting in improving my life, trying different methods but with the same idea: improving. So I have accused myself many times of not being persistent enough and it´s is true, in some ways… after all, the most difficult thing to achieve in life for me has being persistence.

But the idea is to persist right? And I have persisted in figuring it out these methods, even when they didn´t work, I would look for another one… little step by little step, mistake by mistake, and at the end NEVER SURRENDER…

And more than anything never stop persisting in trying to achieve our dreams, no matter how our methods are, but never give up on our dreams, never forget them….

I would like to finish with this quote:

“If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of Persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked seventy times and get up off the floor saying, Here comes Seventy One!”

DeVos, Richard

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Image source: http://www.empowernetwork.com

Fear of mistakes and risks? Why? Those are the best things in life!!!

Well, this is the final week of my gift store. Well, it’s a long story but I’ll summarize it for you.

Two years ago I decided to quit my job because I was tired of the path I was taking and I wanted to be independent (meaning not working for somebody else). I didn’t have much money at that point and started a little business of my own: a gift store with many novelties that were not to be found anywhere in my city. I didn’t do much market research and I thought that the products I was trying to sell were so awesome that people were going to buy it without hesitation. Unfortunately, things in my country are really different from what I expected, and after 2 years of investing money in renting a place and trying to make the business grow, I came to the conclusion that it was not profitable. I was never good in accounting and finance, but I know that in the course of those 2 years I have invested a significant amount of money and I haven’t recovered not a third of it, yeah it sucks…. But I’m actually happy, I‘ll tell you later why.

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So right now, everything is on sale at my store, and while I write this blog, I’m sitting here in my store trying to get some of the merchandise sold until this Friday – the due date for the rent contract.

So, how do I feel? Actually pretty relieved and I can’t wait for this weekend to arrive. Maybe in some way, it has become such an economic burden, through this time, that I’m willing to let it go.

At the same time, I’ve just started working full time as a technical writer in a Software development company, and you may think, well she has her job so she’s going to be ok. Indeed, I’m going to have a very relaxing next week, leaving my job at 5 and going to my home just to rest, because I used to run to my store after work and stay until 9 pm. I used to live in my store on weekends too, and it was really exhausting.

The thing is that my resting plan is only for next week, because I have learnt that being an entrepreneur and being independent HAS NO PRICE!!! It’s very fulfilling, so I’m just turning my physical store into a virtual store, and I have many plans for my website and that kind of stuff… let’s see how things go.

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The learning experience, given the fact that I’ve lost money, has been priceless and I’ve already passed the worst and from here to the future I’m pretty sure things will go up. The scariest part is when you start doing a business of your own, you take so many risks, you quit your job and you make so many mistakes along the path.  But for me,  the worst part is gone, I don’t feel scary anymore, I know the mistakes I made and what I should do to avoid them, I’ve grown a lot and I don’t fear for things to come! So if there is something good for you in this, is that mistakes and risks are part of your life, don’t be afraid of them, they only make you STRONGER!!!!

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People have tried to cheer me up, seeing this as a failure, and I keep thinking why are they doing that? This is actually GOOD!  A NEW START! With better defined goals, better experience and NO FEAR at ALL!!!

LESSON OF THE BLOG: Don’t give up, learn from your mistakes and rise higher!!!

Why waiting for weekends could be so bad?

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So this is part two of previous blog but don’t worry this piece can be read separately.

I was saying that I actually found the solution for stop being so passive and from escaping the routine of 9 to 5 jobs. I would dare that almost 99 % of the people who have fallen into the darkness of this routine, wait desperately for the weekends to arrive. Don’t do that! Believe or not waiting for weekends is not that great, because:

–              It gets you in your endless routine:  work from Monday to Friday, jump on your feet on  Fridays  and hate with all your heart Mondays.

–              Then weekend comes and it passes so fast that you really feel bad on Sunday nights.

You keep complaining that you lack of time for doing things that will help you improve towards the accomplishment of your goals?

You want to take courses in Accounting, astronomy or whatever it is you want to do and you don’t have time for it? You want to go to the gym, learn how to knit, learn Japanese or any other interesting activity, or maybe you just simply want to be able to spend more time with your family and do more family stuff and you find out that weekends pass so fast that you didn´t do all the things you wanted to do?

These are the sort of stuff that usually fills our lives, we want to do so many things, from learning how to dance salsa to learning Korean… but we don’t have the time!

Let me tell you something… time management is the hardest thing you’ll strive to achieve in life because it all comes to this: We spent 5 days in our jobs and those days are about our routine and nothing else, then we find out that the weekend went so fast that we didn’t have the time to do all the things we wanted to do, ring you a bell somewhere?

We will usually work only 8 hours per day and let’s say sleep another 8 hours(sleepy heads or the insomniac ones don´t count here) , so we get another 8 hours for living our lives, yes 8 hours more per day!!!  Of course some of that time will be spent on commuting to work and doing other needed stuff (like taking a shower, eating, etc) but I want to believe that we will have at least 4 hours remaining to do our stuff, and 4 hours times 5 is 20 hours! Which is like an extra weekend in between week!

So each day has a little weekend of its own, each working day is a whole new adventure of the things we want to achieve! do you still want to let your five working days pass by you – without any impact – and in a constant wait for the weekends of your life? You can find time in weekdays to do many things, really think about your routine…

When Monday comes, I say to myself: Well this is good! A new opportunity to start running the life that I want for myself! And I begin my countdown, I have five days to go, so many things to do until Friday I better hurry up!

Please stop hating Mondays!