Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If You Want to Change, Burn the Boat

That title probably doesn't make much sense, but that is what I took away from Oprah Winfrey's interview with world famous life coach Anthony Robbins on her show "Oprah's Next Chapter".

I first became aware of Anthony "Tony" Robbins back when I was in high school and I read his bestselling self-help book "Awaken the Giant Within". I remember being so in awe of the concepts presented in his book. The idea of taking control of my life, and being better than I ever was prior to reading the book was astounding to me.

Fastforward to the present and here I am, still needing to improve upon things in my life. I still have many goals that have yet to be accomplished. While watching the interview between Robbins and Oprah I was struck by his saying, "If you want to take the island you have to burn the boat." He went on to explain that that means if you really want to change something, you have to take action and turning back can not be an option.

Have you ever started working towards a goal only to turn back when things got tough, or your motivation waned? I know that I have. 

Lately I've been working on a new goal, and I've been telling myself "burn the boat" over and over again, to remind myself that turning back is not an option.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

After Graduation

I just received one of those after graduation surveys from Chatham University, where I got my Master's degree. I can hardly believe it has almost been one year already since graduation. The survey asked questions like, "What did you major in, have you found a job related to your field of study yet, will you go on and get more education, and how much money do you make?"

Just yesterday I was cleaning up my email box and came across so many emails from last year, and also when I first began my Master's degree program in 2010.  In all of the old emails I saw a very unsure and nervous person, and yet a determined one. There was  A LOT that I did not know (and still don't know) about my career field. I had lots of questions, and with everything I did I wondered, "Am I doing this right?" "Will anyone ever want to publish my writing?" etc.
Now, one year later, although I still get nervous about lots of things, I can see my growth. While filling out the survey, of course I would have been happy to be able to write that I have a full-time job that is writing intensive (I don't), or that I'm currently making $100,000 + per year (I do not), I'm still happy to have made progress.
Although it has been difficult, and I've been unsure of my steps 90% of the time, I am moving forward and having some successes along the way.

I have a great mentor now who helps me whenever I get stuck or want to wallow in self-pity or as I call it "rejection-pity."  Slowly but surely my publication and résumé credits are growing. So while I may not be able to say that everything is perfect post-graduation, I can say that I'm heading in the right direction.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Did A Dumb Mistake Cost You The Job?

I've written a few articles about job searching. My article "7 Mistakes First Time Job Seekers Make: And How to Avoid Them" has gotten a lot of positive feedback. People want to know these mistakes so that they can be sure not to commit them while they are looking for their perfect job. I know that I wouldn't want one silly mistake to take away my chances of attaining a goal.

I also wrote about "How NOT to Write a Cover Letter" because an inteview with a company starts well before we are face to face with a potential employer.

I came across this article, "Dumb Things People Have Said During Job Interviews".  While some of the dumb statements made me laugh, it is hard to believe that anyone would go into an interview and say things like, "I'm in anger management." The idea that anyone would confess to abusing someone to "teach them a lesson" is just crazy.

Check out this article for a good laugh, and to see yet again, what NOT to do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Volunteer Plunge

I've often heard how volunteering, or working to make someone else's life better will make you a happier person. I admit as much as I believe in volunteering, I don't make as much time for it as I would like to. I came across these stories, and they inspired me to renew my commitment to volunteering.

Dorrie Aber Noyek recently turned 105 years old. What did she do for her special birthday? Volunteer of course. Noyek has volunteered at the same hospital for over 38 years. She says that because she has been very blessed in her life, she wants to give back to others. 

Adam Pervez was working a job where he earned a six- figure salary, but this job didn't make him happy. Pervez felt that there was much more that he needed to do with his life. He decided he would take "The Happiness Plunge" in which he would take two years off from working, to travel the world and volunteer. Pervez developed a website which documents his travels, and volunteer efforts. Please do explore his website and let it inspire you to make a difference wherever you are.

You, however, don't have to quit your job in order to volunteer a few hours per week, or month. Are you ready to begin volunteering? Here are some places to find volunteer opportunites.

Friday, March 9, 2012

National Women and Girls' HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

With all of the heavy issues that have been in the news lately regarding women and contraception it's easy to see that a lot of old ideas and rhetoric are still out there. Rush Limbaugh came under fire, and rightfully so, for calling Sandra Fluke  a "slut" when she wanted to testify about the need for contraception to be covered by insurance companies. 

The idea of a woman being villianized for wanting to be in charge of her own body/sexuality is not a new one. Marsha Graham Bartenetti came up with the idea of a "Just In Case" condom carrying compact back in 1983 in order to help women prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

When she intially came up with the idea, she said that she was met with laughter, and a lot of people shamed her for trying to get women to carry condoms. The women, she was told, would be treated like "sluts."

According to Marsha, even recently her product was shunned she says:
"But what really shocked us was when we set up a booth at a very big woman's conference out here in Los Angeles, and moms were coming by, saying 'Oh no, not my daughter, she's too busy studying to be having sex' or 'I couldn't get her one of those, what would she think of me.' If we keep judging it to the point of silence, we're throwing our daughters under the bus."

Marsha continued, however, to persue her goal of getting the "Just In Case" product sold, and has even been on the show The Doctors discussing the importance of women carrying their own protection.

There is a new population of women who need to learn to protect themselves according to Marsha.
"Now we need to get the message across to women my age," Marsha, who recently turned 62, says. "There are huge numbers of baby boomers getting STD's and HIV. They're relieved they can't get pregnant -- so they're not thinking about anything else. It's a game of Russian roulette out there today and women who are newly divorced or widowed don't understand that."

In honor of National Women  & Girls' HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, talk to your mothers, sisters, cousins, and friends, about the importance of  a woman protecting herself.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Scholarships For Adult Learners

It has been a while since I posted about new scholarship opportunities that are available for adult learners. I hope that everyone really takes advantage of the money that is available for college. It may take some work such as researching opportunities, writing essays, or creating  videos, and filling out application forms, but it is worth it.

It is so much better to be awarded funds that do not have to be paid back as opposed to taking out tons of loans. I've written about the dangers of borrowing student loan money frivilously before, and think that receiving a scholarship is a much better idea. So here are some of the newest scholarship opportunities I've come across.

Are you environmentally friendly, and pride yourself on your recycling efforts? This may be the scholarship for you. The Castle Ink Paperless Scholarship 2012 will provide a $1000 scholarship. All you have to do is describe how you reduce, reuse, and recycle.  The entry form is very short, and shouldn't take very long to submit. The deadline is March 31, 2012.

"From Failure to Promise Essay Contest" I've featured this $1500 scholarship opportunity on this blog before. The deadline for this year is July 31, 2012.

The 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition is for students who have a brilliant idea!  The award is $5000, and also if you are a finalist, you will receive an all expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to present your work before a panel of expert judges. The idea of this competition freaks me out, but if you know that you have what it takes, then please do apply! The deadline is June 15, 2012.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Live Healthy Links

Every day there is some new news, about getting healthy. What one article says you should do, another says you absolutely should not under any circumstance do. Sometimes it's hard to dig through all of the information out there. While searching the internet for health information, I came across these links. Some are informative, and some a just for fun. It's never too late to get healthy!