JLM & Associates offers personal development counseling to help you take control of your personal and business success. Learn how to seize the kind of income you deserve and achieve the successful future of your dreams.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Taking Responsibility

It seems that the more decisions are taken out of our hands, the more irritable we become. Haven't you noticed that people are becoming more short-tempered than they used to be? They are less friendly, somehow more suspicious and more impatient?

I believe that two main factors are responsible for this increase in tension and irritability that we see on every side of us. The first factor is change. We are living in a time of unprecedented and threatening change. Things and forces upon which we used to count on as fixed and permanent, we now see as temporary.

While change is an important and desirable factor in keeping people happy and interested, there is a point beyond which people don't like to let go. A little change is a good thing. But when change begins threatening the factors on which we build our lives and careers, when it threatens to topple institutions and factors we once believed to be permanent, that's a different story.

This phenomenon is no longer localized but is cropping up all over the place, in different forms; it's causing anxiety, anger, aggression and withdrawal, among students, in ghettos, labor unions, workers, intellectuals, and high-ranking officials.

The decisions that are affecting people today are being made by levels of government, by departments of levels of government, by economic interests, by the media, and other so-called experts.

The resulting fragmentation destroys the deep psychic need for wholeness, which in the end can be recovered when a person decides what he or she wants out of life. Self-control, coupled with accountability, will be the basis of a healthy human ecosystem.

People feel that most of the decisions being made, decisions that affect their lives and destinies, are beyond their own control. The resulting feeling of fragmentation and anxiety leads to irritability, to anger, to short tempers, and a lack of any sense of humor or positive attitude.

What do we do about it? We take the decision-making process back into our own hands, at least to the extent that it's possible. Self-control coupled with accountability, being accountable for what we do and for what we are, taking charge of our own lives and destinies, can help us get back on a more human and friendly basis once again.

It's all about maturity. We don't think of a mature person flying off the handle, getting angry over ridiculous little things, being short-tempered. When we think of a mature man or woman, regardless of his or her age, we think of a calm, understanding person, a person who would smile at a another person's mistake before he or she would become angry or upset about it. A mature person tends to be accountable.

So if you've found yourself caught up in the modern sickness of irritability and short-temperedness, if you've lost some of your patience with your fellow men and women, chalk it up to change and to having others make our decisions for us. It is time for each of us to become responsible and take over our own life again

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Your Career Is Not Like A Marriage

In the highly competitive and constantly changing world in which we live today, there are so many interesting career opportunities that it's very difficult for most people to make a perfect decision the first time.

In fact most people worry because they think a career is like a marriage, to be broken only by failure or death. This is not true. You have to accept your uncertainties as normal. It is only a few early-maturing people, and the number is very small, who know from adolescence what they want to do. But the rest of us have to find out.

The Information Age has created so many interesting opportunities that it's difficult for most people to make a perfect decision the first time. Perfect or not, it seems most people do look at their work as they would look at their marriage, as a permanent thing. If it's not what they happen to like, well they often think that's just too bad, that they're stuck with it. That's not true either.

One of the great tragedies of our educational system is that it often steers young people into the more acceptable or better known fields simply because it's easier to get them to conform to the curriculum then it is for the school to branch out into less popular studies.

For example, a student who wants to be an entrepreneur or an investor gets discouraged or steered away from doing what he or she wants to do and ends up being a lawyer, or a CPA, an engineer or some type of computer professional.

But with this being said, people who dream of more interesting, more challenging and perhaps, more rewarding work should ask themselves very seriously what is preventing them from fulfilling their dream.

No matter what field a person chooses, there's always room for someone who's excellent at what he or she does. People in that field are getting older; they're moving up and out, retiring, and sometimes there are very few in the field at all.

If people can discover the field they would like to enter, chances are they can get into it, if they're willing to make a few sacrifices. It might mean going back to school or starting all over at the bottom, but if they want it bad enough, they can get into it.

Remember, too, that in the Industrial Age most people in most jobs were restricted to work in the country of their birth. Today, the whole world, or at least a big part of it, is available.

Opportunities are literally everywhere. There's a kind of work that can be congenial and interesting to just about everyone if people will just go to the trouble of deciding what it is they want to do and then getting the education and experience they need to do it well.

As I have mentioned many times before, the happiest and most successful people in this world are those who enjoy and can find personal fulfillment in their work.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Dangers Of Thinking Literally

If you don't know what a word means, or you have the wrong definition, you can go through life in a state of bafflement, shaking your head and trying to figure it out.

For example, take the word faith. Many of us learn as children that if we have faith, nothing is impossible, that faith can move mountains.

What is faith? We have learned that it means confidence and belief. We've been told that if we have confidence, if we believe, whatever it is that we desire in our lives will come about. And that's true.

The literal translation of the word faith is “to think from a different level.” The problem with this is that people who think literally all the time don't know much about what's really going on in the world.

If we're having a problem, and if we can't find a solution to it, we're thinking, the odds are, from a very literal and obvious level. That's the way it looks, and that's the way it is. But that's not true, because what we see, and what's really true, are usually miles apart.

We've all had too many seemingly mysterious events come to pass in our lives to believe in a purely, literal, obvious world. But we grow impatient. We don't seem to fully understand that we can have what we want, if we just take the time to decide what it is that we really want.

We have to create it in our imagination, our consciousness, and then relax and give it time to manifest. But we first need to think at a different level.

Psychologist and philosopher, William James once said that genius is nothing more than the ability to think in ways that are not habitual. It is because we tend to think in habitual ways that our lives can become dull and dreary. We see only the obvious, the external world around us, and miss all the wonderful opportunities that are there for each of us.

We need to think from new level and have patience. And we want will come to us, because thinking from a new level will show us the way to get what we want in this life.

People who think literally are not living in reality, they don't know what really going on in the world. They need to learn the thrill, the excitement, and the sure fulfillment that comes from thinking from a different level.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Make A Difference

I'd like to share a great quote with you from the late actor and writer, Leo Rosten: “The purpose of life is to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we lived at all.”

Makes you think, doesn't it?

The truth and accuracy of this quote is something anyone can accomplish to some degree no matter what your social or economic position is at this moment. To make a difference there are two fundamental things you must do.

The first is you must discipline yourself to lifelong learning and the second is you must check your references.

In the 21st Century knowledge and information in virtually every field is doubling every two to three years. Whatever information base you have is rapidly becoming obsolete. You must be in the process of continually taking in new information and ideas just to stay even.

You must read something educational 30 to 60 minutes every day. Reflect on what you have learned, and think about how you could apply new ideas in your daily business and personal life. One of your goals should be to contribute what you have learned so that others can learn your thoughts and discoveries.

You should invest in audio learning programs. Whether you travel to and from work in your car or use public transportation you can use this time as valuable learning time. These are valuable hours of down time that you cannot afford to waste, so use them to learn.

Attend all the live training and educational seminars you can. You can often save yourself weeks, months, and even years of hard work by attending seminars given by an expert who gives you state-of-the-art ways to get your job done faster and easier.

The second thing you must do to make a difference is always check your references. When you do, say, or write something you should always ask yourself, “Am I going to do, say, or write this because of what I've observed or heard others doing, saying or writing, or because I feel it's the best thing I can do, say or write?”

Keep in mind we live in a politically correct and opinionated society where most people say or write things that are wrong most of the time. Most people do, say or write things because they have either formed the habit or are part of a political ideology. There's got to be room for improvement here.

Yes, the purpose of life is to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we have lived. We need to remember that in each of us there's a considerable gap between our political, habitual way of living and our potential.