0 comments on “What fuels you?”

What fuels you?

FUEL

This is a word with so many meanings. What immediately comes to mind when you think of this word? Fuel on the surface is something that creates energy. As a verb, it is a substance which powers, ignites, and inflames.
What fuels you? What produces that energy in you?

For many, it might be their family, community, career, or perhaps something much deeper. Whatever creates a burning passion in your belly is the fuel for your life. Each day that passes without enough passion makes us drained, tired, uninspired, and weak.

What are you passionate about?

Some people struggle through their life without feeling energized. They are existing, going through the outward motions of living but are not fueled by any passion that ignites true life in them.

Is this you?

Finding a purpose as a fuel to power you up every day beyond the existing mundane is another powerful energy source. Purpose comes in many forms and can be widely explored and mined.

Purpose and Passion are the most precious fuels that cost nothing but must be sourced from within one’s self, not from the outside world. The mining of this fuel can be done at an early age and it just grows with intensity and abundance. When Passion and Purpose are only excavated later in life, it is much harder to chisel away the layers to discover them.
It is a sustainable and renewable energy that never changes its firm grip.
Purpose and Passion exist in each of us. It is simply about making a choice to go on that adventurous discovery process to mine that which is abundant within. To know that this is our life’s energy source, it makes the exploration process a powerful and tempting discovery.
When searching for our purpose and passion, it takes awakening your desire and heightening your curiosity level to endure the painful and dark days that come along the way. Many people do not desire or crave the energy, so they never go digging!

Have you gone digging? What is stopping you?

If you knew you would find the most precious, valuable thing on earth that no one could steal from you, would you go searching?

You have it within you!

Treasure yourself. You are the most precious and unique thing on earth, and your Passion and Purpose are waiting to fuel you!

0 comments on “Pieces and Parts”

Pieces and Parts

Pieces and parts are incomplete, useless, and meaningless.

A puzzle piece tells us nothing about the final picture. It confuses us with the unique texture and colors because it does not look like it is matchable with any other piece on the table. Even with the vision of the final picture on the top of the storage box, we find ourselves at a loss as to how to begin the puzzle. Big or small pieces makes no difference. If the textures and colors of other pieces look similar to the one we have in our hand, then we tend to gravitate toward starting with making a connection there.

But, wait! That similar looking piece that’s supposed to match up and looks like it’s supposed to connect with us, does not! This only adds to our continued confusion, frustration, anxiousness, and fear that we will never get the puzzle put together.

With a bit of perseverance, a pause, and an openness to start just by trying to make connections with any piece in front of us, voila, we miraculously make a match. This small, but meaningful match, fills us with a bit of hope, energy, and strength to try the next connection. In the beginning, most attempts are met with failure, but the few matches give momentum to the spirit to keep going. The vision always in view, acting as a beacon of hope and reference to what we are looking to create.

As the hour moves to a day or a week, we sit with progress toward finishing the puzzle. Undisturbed on the table, we walk by it on the way to work and try again to make a match. Over the evening chat, we share stories of our busy day and meander a glance around the table in hopes of making connections. Some days, we are on a roll. The matches seem to be detected effortlessly and the puzzle seems to be coming into view. Other days, we can stare at what is obvious and yet nothing makes sense. Others might offer a helping hand or give advice on how to connect the pieces, but it makes no difference. Have you experienced that? Despite someone seeing it clearly, we cannot. We do not allow them to lift the piece for us, we must complete the puzzle on our own.

After a week or so, we start asking for help. We so desire to have the puzzle complete. Others are not allowed to complete the puzzle but only provide helpful advice that will help our roadmap to the next view. As we meet success and connections, we can feel the momentum inside our thoughts, our energy rises, and the anticipation of completing the vision is more than we can stand.

It is tempting to put the last few pieces together and complete the picture. However, you can feel a bit sad as well in the process. The moments and days have been full of wonder and adventure with this puzzle, so after it is complete, what next? Will there be another puzzle to do?

For those that are glad the puzzle exercise is over, they will sit in a relieved state and never look at a puzzle again. They found it too tough, too painful, and too time-consuming to create the final puzzle.

Yet, for many, the joy and happiness of completing the puzzle is so profound that one cannot help but look forward to the next puzzle. Perhaps, will it be more pieces? Or, perhaps, will it be more complicated? That does not deter the one that has fallen in love with the pieces and the puzzle. They have discovered that the pieces make a masterpiece.

They have learned that with a puzzle you must keep your vision open to possibilities beyond what is obvious. Patience was practiced daily so that perseverance could be exercised as well. Asking for help was no longer out of the question. So many lessons learnt from working on the puzzle that there is much more confidence built to help create the next one.

Where else do we encounter pieces in our life?

Pieces of a broken glass that used to be able to nourish us with water. Pieces of a broken figurine that was once adored, got swept up and tossed in the garbage without any consideration. Pieces of leftover fabric after a beautiful dress was made are mere scraps and worthless to the seamstress. Pieces of a recipe, like the added flavor from spice.

It is hard to see the value in the pieces and parts, which is why we treat them as garbage and toss them out of site. For they are the after effects of something, the results of something happening. But, does that make them worthless? No.

A recipe is only complete when the spices are added into it. Glass scraps can be molded into a piece of art. The ceramic pieces from the figurine could be patched together to make a vase. The scraps of fabric can be sewn together for another dress that is more unique.

Simply put, pieces and parts can have more value if we do something that is purposeful with them.  We need to see the potential, believe in the potential, and take our time to create the completed work. Like the puzzle, it takes a vision of what is, to align the eyes to see the potential. Knowing the vision and seeing it so clearly allows you to believe every day.  The patience of working with the pieces and creating the right connections is where the magic is found.

Sometimes, you might not even have enough scraps of fabric to complete the newly “visioned-out” dress, so one must wait for more pieces. Ironically, now that there is a purpose for the pieces, one sees the value in the pieces and quickly shifts the thinking from worthless to needed and treasured. The anxiousness for more broken pieces or more scraps becomes more intense. Now, no longer are the pieces a nuisance. They are sought after because one has learnt that they can create even greater treasures with the pieces, or unique things that are beautiful.

What are the pieces and parts of you that you think are worthless, not valued or treasured?

What are the broken pieces of yourself that you have buried deep as scraps and have considered useless, in an effort to ensure that the broken pieces do not hurt you? We know that the rough edges of broken pieces always can cut.

A person’s life is made up of lots of pieces and parts. Some are broken parts and other pieces are simply collected along the way daily. Experiences create many pieces and parts. Often, there are so many pieces and parts that we choose to separate them into the useless pieces and the valuable ones. In the baggage we carry around, we can easily connect and identify the beauty in each of the valuable pieces. They seem to go together effortlessly, like some of those puzzle pieces.

Yet, despite the beautiful connections made with the valuable pieces, we are incomplete. We are incomplete because we do not recognize the value in the broken parts we carry around. We have missing holes in what we see as the vision and picture of our life, but we cannot find the missing parts and pieces to complete the vision.

We are made whole when we choose to keep an open mind about the broken pieces we carry around. Just like the disregarded puzzle pieces discussed early on in the process, we disregard and ignore our broken parts. It is only when we layout all the pieces of ourselves in full view that we can see the connections between the broken and beautiful pieces.

Keeping all the brokenness buried does not serve to complete us. It simply serves to frustrate us, cause anxiousness, disappointment, and pain. Exactly what we sought to avoid by keeping the pieces in a buried bag inside.

As we begin to see the value in the broken pieces, as we make one connection at a time to completing ourselves, we look forward to exploring and searching out more of our broken pieces and parts. In fact, with each connection, we jump for joy, laugh, and begin to see how much easier it is to complete ourselves, and the puzzle in our life when we have a view of all the pieces.

We start to tell others of this profound discovery. Slowly, but surely, others around us, test out the theory. The testimony of one person becomes the roadmap for another. During the puzzle completion, it took guidance from others, sharing their strategies or insights, to help the person see differently and complete the puzzle. Before then, the person was stuck.

When we can see differently and can help another to see differently, we create a ripple effect. We create greater and more beautiful masterpieces in the world that are of value and purpose. Shifting one’s own sight to look deep inside and begin to cherish all parts of oneself is a gift to yourself. Helping someone to see that the broken pieces are valuable and have a purpose, is a gift to them. Giving them hope and strength to persevere is encouraging.

We are masterpieces in the making. We are outstandingly incomplete without all the pieces of ourselves. When we can accept and cherish all of our parts, we will quickly be able to complete ourselves and become the masterpieces we are.

We have been broken over the years in various ways for a purpose. We were to learn to love all our parts and pieces. We were to cherish the moments of pain and brokenness. The brokenness was to help us discover all that we are through the pieces and allow us to choose how we put the puzzle of our life together. The search and desire lie within to find all the parts, even the missing ones. When we realize there are no missing parts or pieces, but only ones simply not visible through the ruins of brokenness, this gives us hope of seeking our completion.

Think about it. We were created and born complete and whole. Over time, for some, they were chipped away at, shattered, smashed, or forgotten. With the brokenness and chips, we look out to others and see their portrayal of perfection. It seems as if they have all their pieces put together. Eventually, something chips and we must go in search of the wholeness. It does not matter whether we only have a few chips missing or big pieces tossed all over, the hunt is the same.

Life is all pieces and parts. It is how we look at the pieces and if we choose to embrace them that will determine how long it takes for us to complete our masterpiece. We have all the parts, we must look at them all, open our mind to their value, and start creating. Remember, it takes time to create a masterpiece but it is done with each moment, day and week. The sooner we complete this task, the greater our impact on others and our own fulfillment will be.

Go looking, seeking, unburying, and treasuring all your pieces. You are a masterpiece in the making! Share your joy with the world as you discover new pieces about yourself and make new connections. Spread hope and encouragement to others.

Written by Jacquie Fazekas

6/17/18

 

0 comments on “Rhythms”

Rhythms

Rhythms of energy…it connects us all.

Positive energy produces the connections that make us tingle inside.

Birds songs are positive rhythms sent out to the Universe.

The sound of the trees moving with the wind vibrate positive waves through our spirit.

The sounds and flow of water in a creek or from the ocean calms the restless energy into a tranquil vibration.

The heartbeat has a rhythm and our breath has a rhythm.

Life is all about rhythms.

Connect to the rhythm of positive energy and it will connect you to the Universe’s calling.

 What rhythm are you connecting to?

0 comments on “Personal Branding: Their perception is your reality”

Personal Branding: Their perception is your reality

What is Personal Branding? Why is it important?

Personal branding is what you convey to the world about yourself.

How you look, what you say, how you say it, what you don’t say, and your facial expressions convey to others who you are and what you value.

The concept of personal branding is not relegated to the workplace. In fact, your brand started to be created as a child.

Think about it!

What did you say about yourself in elementary school? How did your teachers react to you? What did your parents say about you? What did you think about yourself?

Were you the shy child? The curious child? The obnoxious bully?

Were you the cute one? The well-groomed one or the messy dresser?

Preppy one? Sporty one?

 

What did you think about others? How did you perceive others around you? What do you believe and perceive yourself to be?

Did you believe what others said about you or did you counter their perception of you?

Unfortunately, we are not introduced to this concept early enough to realize that we control our perception to a very strong degree.

It all starts with how we perceive ourselves!

If we like how we are, then we should convey it to the world!

For instance, if we know we are curious, we are cute, we are aggressive. It becomes our choice to convey to the world the things we like about ourselves.

Seeing is believing

 On the flip side, if we want to improve and become something better, then we must believe we are, act that we are and then we will become closer to that thing that we want to be in the world.

As an example, if you want to become more outgoing and less shy in class, then you should be determined and act more outgoing in class. Overtime, with behavior changes that you make, their perception of you will change as will your perception of yourself. Yes, it will feel uncomfortable! Growing is painful.

How many people want to be perceived as professional?

Then you must dress, act, and portray yourself every day in a professional manner! It is as simple as that!

Every choice you make says something about who you are and what you value!

It is not a ‘sometimes’ proposition, it is an “all the time” proposition!

By the way – this is not a business concept it is a relationship concept and is relevant in your personal life as well.

Think about it! If Nike was inconsistent with how they created and manufactured their brand, would we be happy or disappointed with them? If they changed the fit periodically and did not have consistent specs, would we think that they are a reliable, consistent, honest, trustworthy brand? Would we trust the next purchase? Would we look to Nike as the first brand preference when buying product?   Of course not!

What brands have you experienced and been excited about, only to be disappointed the next time you interacted with it?

Your personal brand is no different!

What are qualities you want someone to say about you?

Did you know that 93% of what we communicate is done non-verbally?

Albert Mehrabian, a pioneer researcher of body language is credited in the 1950’s as finding that the total impact of the message is driven by 7% verbal, 38% voice tone, inflection and sounds and the 55% is non-verbal.

Clearly, we are visual people, so the most obvious brand elements are the ones that we see.

And that then speaks to why perception of how we show up is important every day.

  • Personal Hygiene
  • Personal Attire
  • Body language – posture
  • Energy level
  • Activities we do
  • Tone of voice/communication

Then there is the 7% verbal communication that we are telling the world , in verbal or written words.

You have heard the saying, “it’s not what we say it is what we do.” This gets right to the heart of Perception – that is 93% of how people perceive us is through what we do, and how we say it, not what we say!

 

Let’s dive into each of these personal branding elements!

 

Personal Hygiene

WOW! Am I allowed to talk about this?

Yes, personal hygiene is important. What is a person telling the world about themselves? It does not make it fact, but with perception from others, it speaks about the person’s brand.

  • Messy Hair – Don’t care about themselves? Did not make time to take of themselves
  • Body odor – Don’t care about others
  • Biting nails – nervous

Personal Attire

Yes, this matters too! Understanding your environment and how to dress and connect with others around you is important to communicating and letting others know you get the environment.

Many of us were probably taught that we need to dress for the occasion. For instance, if going out to a cocktail party, we would not dress in jeans and sneakers. Or going to work, we might not think that shorts would be appropriate.

Generally speaking, every business or environment has a dress code policy, many written and many unwritten.

It is important to ask about the dress code policy, but equally important to understand how your personal brand will adapt to it.

As well, it is important to constantly assess the environment and situations to modify your personal attire to convey what you want your brand to say about you.  Cultural impacts needed to be considered as well.

For example, if you are a trendy personality, there are way to express your style.

Body Language

So, this is a big one!

We often keep body language top of mind for interviews, but the idea of always being conscious of what our body language is saying about your brand is important.

 

  • Have you been in class/meeting and seen someone falling asleep? What did you think?
  • Or someone slouched in a chair with their arms folded?

How your brand is perceived is directly connected to your body language in every interaction and situation.

Paying attention to your body language is critical to how you are communicating.

Energy Level

What do I mean by “energy level”?

Do you show up tired, disengaged, or do you show up energized and smiling?

We are human beings and can feel the energy from others.

My tip here is that life happens to us and we cannot always control our energy level, but we can certainly verbally explain our energy level to others, so that they understand that it is “off your brand” for the day…explaining a shift away from what you want to convey from your brand is critical for others giving you the benefit of the doubt.  Just like when there was an error in manufacturing and the brand explains the product as seconds.

Activities we do

What do I mean?

Yes, for your brand, what you do is as important as what you do not do.

Now, there are some top activities that are much more positive in perception.

PROACTIVENESS

SENSE OF URGENCY

BE CURIOUS – ask questions

BE A STUDENT OF YOUR BUSINESS- always be learning, reading

NETWORK – be interested in others and learn from them

These are the top activities that I have witness make the biggest positive impact on your brand.

Be Proactive –

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do  You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.

Sense of urgency –

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­–  Work harder than others. It conveys that you care about exceeding expectations.

Be on time ­– or early – It is important to be on time or early. It conveys you care and respect the other persons time or respect deadlines.

Be Curious – Ask questions and share opinion

Speak Up, Not Out – Speaking up on topics let others know you care about the topic and are engaged. If you have a concern that needs to be voiced, convey it without emotion and share facts and opinion. Always good to direct in your concerns or praise.

Ask Questions – Ensure you have taken the time to understand the issue before hand. If you have, then asking questions continues to show proactive engagement. Asking questions when you don’t understand, shows you are a student and continuous learner, and not afraid to speak your mind or make mistakes.

Be a Student of the Business –

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career. You shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your mistakes. You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes and committing to learn from those experiences. Fail fast, frequently and forward!

Read More Books, Listen to Podcasts  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover. All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.

Network

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter  It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible.

Look for a Mentor to learn from  The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be. If you connect with their personal brand, then it is a good way to learn shamelessly on how to shape your brand that way.

Pick Up the Phone – Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home. Relationships are still a human activity!

NOW LET’s EXPLORE some ACTIVITIES that detract from your brand!

I am sure that you can come up with a long list quickly!

Examples –

  • Tardiness
  • Sloppy mistakes
  • Interrupting others
  • Taking credit for someone else’s work

Can you see how “what you do” creates your personal brand?

Now, certainly what we say impacts our personal brand, but that is much more widely understood intuitively by everyone.

  • If we a rude, yell, or promise something that we do not do – that detracts from our brand
  • Poor language conveys lack of caring or education
  • Tone of voice – is more about how we say it and goes back to what we do vs. what we say

 

Your personal brand can be destroyed overnight, but often it is destroyed over time, with one action or interaction at a time.

What is your brand? What do you want your brand to be?

How are you going to show up every day to demonstrate your brand qualities?

Take the time to reflect, define, and celebrate your brand!

How can your personal brand be shared with the world?

 

  • Social Media sites – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Photos
  • Your work
  • Word of Mouth – mentors, ambassadors, sponsored, detractors

 

REMEMBER!

You are what people perceive you to be!

You are in control of how you show up in the world!