Gain an Edge in Your Career

In all my classes as a professor of music industry at the University of Southern California, I assigned this book that had absolutely nothing to do with music.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

To be sure, most students never read it for exactly that reason because it had nothing to do with their course work.

But many read it over the summer on their own and they would contact me with their gratitude for suggesting it.  Imagine a college student reaching out to a professor and thanking them for assigning a book that had nothing to do with their chosen field of interest.

Most of us already have plenty of talent although some people don’t have the confidence to believe in themselves.

The missing secret to success for people who are already talented is how to get along with others – inspire them, deal with their foibles, win cooperation.

And in spite of the fact that How to Win Friends was written before most of us existed, it is still the best template for gaining skills that will give you the edge over others.

Buy the paperback (or digital version).

Read it all the way through.

Then read it again one chapter at a time.

Rip it out and carry that one chapter around until you believe you have mastered it.

Then onto the next.

I know people who start the book over again because mastering human relations isn’t just reading a book, it’s about changing the way you think and act.

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Anxiety Helpers

Prescription sales of anti-anxiety meds are going through the roof.

Yet anxiety is getting the best of us because even if we don’t suffer from it, chances are good that someone around us does.

Put the phone in its place because it is not helping anxiety.

Social media can be an addiction for people of all ages.

We are in denial.

Must stay in touch with our children.

Have to be connected to answer work-related email.

No one can multi-task successfully.  We don’t need research to tell us that but that’s exactly what research is telling us that we already know.

Start today …

Prioritize rather than multi-task. 

Only complete 20% of everything you have to do – so make sure you pick the most important 20% and you’ll be more productive and less anxious. 

Don’t let anxious people give you their anxiety – recognize it and put a stop/loss on it immediately.

Make your phone a tool, like a pencil or pad.  Use it to make yourself less anxious.  We are the masters of our iPhones and Androids when we decide how we’re going to use them.  Using them because they exist is the path toward more anxiety.

Don’t pull a phone out when you are waiting for something or in between things.  Instead, think about what you’re grateful for.  Don’t wait to become a cancer survivor to make gratitude the greatest anti-anxiety “medication” of all.

Gratitude – the instant anti-anxiety helper. 

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Texting Addiction

Texting is an addiction.

It’s like pressing a button in the hospital to get another dose of narcotic painkiller.

Everyone is affected – this is not only a Millennial disease. And it is a disease.

We text rather than engage people in real time as if it’s normal.

We attend sporting events, pay good money and spend our time there texting elsewhere.

Texting includes addiction to social media – the need to stay connected and to check your phone for the next shot of adrenaline.

There is no known cure because, after all, texting and social media also have positive benefits when they are in balance with the rest of our lives.

Your family wants you to set an example and leave the phone alone and make it about them – in real time.

When texting or social media gets out of control (perhaps you don’t know it or acknowledge it), think about making a phone call instead.  Think about it, don’t make it because if you had to commit to a conversation rather than a text or social media post, you might not make it.

Communication in the digital age is easier, not better.

Being addicted to being connected is often bad for us, our families, our careers and now with increasing medical evidence, our health.

Ask is this texting worth a phone call.  If it isn’t and you’re getting trapped in the back and forth, it’s more likely because you need the boost rather than the other party needing to hear from you.

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Change

Whether we know it or not, even standing still is change.

YOU may not be changing but the world around you is.

When you decide to pick up and move to a new job, a new city, a new life, you are channeling hope.

Hope is more powerful than change.

Without hope we cannot live but without change, everything around us changes regardless whether we benefit or not.

Better is more powerful than new.

Hope is the fuel of happiness.

Change is the end result after we hope and make things better. 

Just as in exercise or physical fitness, if you’re not feeling some pain, you’re probably not going to receive the gains.

Hope your way forward to accomplish the goals you’re seeking.

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Setting Goals

Why are we surprised when we don’t achieve something we really want?

You can’t get from here to there without knowing a direction.

And we can’t accomplish something worth having without a plan.

I want to make more money, but specifically how? 

I want to meet a new friend, but where will you look? 

I want to spend more time with the kids, but is it more time or better time?

I want to go on vacation – to rest, for an adventure or to return to a happy place?

It’s time for me to change jobs, but what’s the plan to start looking (waiting until you’re out of work is too late)?

Dreams are good.

Plans are the steps that give our dreams a chance to come true.

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