Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Only Source of Confidence: You

Whether you're looking for a job, looking for love or looking to make the sale, one thing can help you on your quest - confidence. Finding confidence, however, is no easy task. Over the years, I've always been amazed and amused that men's shaving products have been sold to us as a source of confidence (see below):

I like this commercial (and a close shave), but the fourth blade on my razor is not going to give me the extra confidence to introduce myself to that woman that I'm infatuated with. It's not going to help me make the winning basket to win the championship game.

According to Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, confidence is "a faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way." It also describes confidence as, "the quality or state of being certain."

I am not an expert on confidence, but a student. However there is one tip that, to me, stands out when it comes to having more confidence. You can call it the law of attraction approach to confidence: it is to act as if you have the confidence already.

Like everyone, I've had moments where my confidence has been tested. But, I'm happy to say that acting as if has helped me in those circumstances. I noticed a distinct improvement in my confidence overall when I acted as if I were confident. It is important to remember that your level of confidence is constantly changing and different situations and circumstances will have an effect on your confidence. Unfortunately, you cannot leave the confidence switch "on" because it always seems to shut itself off by itself from time to time.

In the introduction to his book, The Confidence Course, Walter Anderson asked his friend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale how to achieve a life of confidence. His answer: "Be one hundred percent alive."

We are living at a time when we humans will spend an endless amount of money for clothes, plastic surgery, cars, and other unnecessary items all in the name of feeling good about ourselves and gaining confidence. If you're looking for a boost of confidence, start within before spending all of your money.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Miracle of Everyday

Yesterday, I ran into a friend who had a heart attack two weeks ago. He had been eating in a restaurant when he lost consciousness. Thanks to the quick action of another customer who knew CPR, she saved his life by keeping oxygen flowing to his brain until paramedics arrived. When I saw him, he was smiling and pointed to his waistline which had shrunk a little in the past couple weeks. He was also profiled on a local television news story as he gave thanks to the customer and the paramedics that saved his life. He did not have health insurance and was understandably concerned about all of his medical bills. But, he was grateful to be standing next to me.

I woke up early this morning to the sound of a hooting owl and birds chirping in the trees nearby. As I laid in bed, half-awake, I was comforted and appreciative to hear their beautiful music. At that moment, it struck me how precious life was. Most of us, myself included, live our lives with giant to-do lists and the expectation that tomorrow we can finish the things we can't get to today. Seeing my friend, I was reminded that there are no guarantees.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.

-Walt Whitman

There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Getting Somewhere by Getting Organized

One of the biggest challenges many of us face on a daily basis is clutter. I am, by nature, a pack rat and believe that your desk or your workspace is a reflection of you. I am also someone looking to re-invent the way I live (and work) my life. With this in mind, I took out an interesting book out of my local library, When Organizing Isn't Enough by Julie Morgenstern.

There have been a lot of books written about de-cluttering, but the Morganstern's latest book makes a strong case for not just organizing, but also SHEDing. To SHED means:

  • Separate the treasures
  • Heave the trash
  • Embrace your identity
  • Drive yourself forward
In Morganstein's words, "organizing is about identifying what's important to you and giving yourself access to it. SHEDing is about getting rid of the old and obsolete so that you can have space to discover what's important to you."

While I haven't finished the book yet, I realize that it is perfect for someone looking to get organized on a holistic level. If you are looking to re-invent yourself, When Organizing Isn't Enough is a perfect companion to help you release the old you in order to become the new you that you are seeking to become. The following video illustrates how Morgenstern put the ideas into practice...

I don't mean to turn this post into a commercial for the book. But as someone looking to make changes at many levels, I wanted to let you know that its out there. Good, I've got a bag of trash to take out.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blog Update

First off, I want to thank everyone who has visited this blog, which continues to be a work in progress for me. During my last job search three years ago, I became quite obsessed with the wealth of creativity, entertainment and information provided by numerous bloggers. Some of my early favorites included Scott "The Nametag Guy" Ginsberg, Tom Peters, Christine Kane, Adpulp, and Brand Autopsy to name just a few.

There were two things that kept me from starting a blog at that time:

1) I was not ready and did not know what to say.

2) My work "hiatus" was shorter than I anticipated.

So I let my ideas simmer and started blogging in early 2008. I wasn't very sure of what I was doing so I blogged anonymously under my first name. Even worse, my "about me" section was virtually non-existent and I had great difficulty figuring out how and where to put my Google Analytics code.

These days, I feel like I've begun to hit a writing groove - on this blog and in other areas of my life, but I know my best work is still ahead of me. I am also feeling the urge to upgrade, so I will soon be switching to a hosted WordPress platform. Hopefully, this will be completed by the end of month. I will keep you posted with the new address.

In any case, the new version of 360 Degree Self will feature some improved content and a more detailed "about me" page. I welcome any feedback about what you have enjoyed here and what you would enjoy reading.