High Five – The 2nd Half

“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.”

Being positive about the age you are, the situation you are in, or the state of your career can be a little difficult at times – especially if you are in the “Mid-Life” stage in the year 2014. The job market isn’t that friendly to, well, anyone but less so to those who are in the 40-65 age groups. However, at this stage, you are the more likely to find the career fulfillment you’ve been searching for since you left college. According to Carl Jung who created a model called Stages of Type Development in which there are four major stages – Childhood, Adolescence and Early Adulthood, Adulthood and Mid-Life, Maturity and Wisdom – this age group stands in stage where they have assets, experience and confidence enough to make positive changes.

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“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.”

In short, the first half of life (Childhood through Early Adulthood) is when family and cultural influences are most import and we are seeking experiences from which to learn. The “Mid-Life” stage (Adulthood and midlife) is when a major transition in energy and interests occurs. Additionally midlife is when people become aware of limitations both in time and possibilities and prepare to meet those challenges in life’s “Second Half” stage (Maturity and Wisdom).

Early adulthood is when most people pick a career; some are content with that choice and can excel in their chosen field until retirement or beyond. Others of us pick a career, love the career, but want something additional – not just to “be happy” as has become the joke, but to find some level of fulfillment and have some form of stability. Midlife has been defined as roughly between 40 and 60 years of age; however, Jung considered 56 as the beginning of the “Second Half” stage.

Those in midlife and beyond can be assured that they still carry the qualities of being positive, optimistic and determined because they have the assets and experience to meet career challenges. J.T. O’Donnell of CAREEREALISM.com wrote a great post on “3 Must-Dos in Your 40’s to Make Sure You’re Employed in Your 50’s” so give this a read and prepare to meet your second half with a smile.

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High Five – Positive Vision

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I saw this quote and realized, I have not posted anything about my positive vision!

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“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

I’ve always been fascinated by psychology, I think it started with my elective classes in college. In one class, I agreed to be a graduate student’s guinea pig (the control groups included those who did homework in silence, with heavy metal or classical music. I was in the group that had to listen to classical music and do some writing while it played. Kind of tranquil actually). I didn’t know at that point that I wanted to be more involved in psychology because I was on my way to becoming a technical writer (majoring in English).

Flash forward 15 years. I am inspired by a presentation at a local ATD meeting and learned that I enjoy personality assessments and the psychology as well as working with all levels of individuals that make up an organization. Add to this, a timely report comes out stating that Organizational Psychology one of the 20 fastest growing occupations. So I obtain my MBTI Facilitator Certification and enroll in a Psychology Masters program.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology defines the field of Organizational Psychology as “versatile scientists specializing in human behavior in the workplace. Employers hire them—either in-house or as consultants—because their expertise results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower labor costs.”

There will be more posts as I begin my education and continue my research into this interesting and growing field. Until then, I will maintain my positive vision.

High Five – Be Encouraging!

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” -Goethe

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I am a dog lover and married to a part-time dog trainer. Mei Mei, our Belgian Malinois, contributed her paw to the Paws-itivity cause!

I’ve always been a carrot vs. the stick kind of person. Positive reinforcement allows people to feel confident and accepted. And those attributes provide them the opportunity to do even better in learning, working or in their personal lives. E-Learning and adult training have even started using a badging system to teach. The badge system helps with goal setting, recall, and is used as an ongoing incentive.

Positive reinforcement not only works on humans, you favorite furry friend can benefit from some positive encouragement as well. Renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stillwell, has a training site called Positively and she explains the positive reinforcement principal!

Click here to read the details and see the video!

                                                                                                                                                                

 

High Five – Make a New Path!

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

I admit it, I have a background in English and I have a weakness for verse. But when I re-read this passage from Robert Frost, I thought it fell right into the positive category. Why? Because making and owning a decision gives us control and that control allows us confidence to go forth and make more decisions, even to divert from our current career path. As I’ve stated before, having control can lead to a more positive life.

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“I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

According to Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert on aboutcareers.com, “Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 11 job changes) during his or her career, which means a good amount of time is spent changing employment. Job searching and networking, along with staying on top of the job market, has become an integral part of everyday work life, rather than something you do once or twice during your career.”

This could mean you change jobs for better pay, hours, more work-life balance, a chance to expand your skillset or you change careers to develop your skills in a different area. Maybe you remain at the same company and grow in your current job – team lead, supervisor, manager or encourage those in power to help you create a new position. If job changes are a constant, why tread down the same old path? No sighing involved, make a decision to take the less traveled road and make all the difference for yourself.

High Five – One Step Starts a Long Journey

In researching positive thinking, I found a quote from Lao Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I immediately thought of all the journeys I wanted to undertake. It was exhilarating to know that traveling a long distance requires the simplest of motions to get started – taking the first step. That, however, is often the hardest part because there is fear – fear of risk, fear that there won’t be enough resources or fear of giving up the life you already know. But, upon consideration, that first step allows you see a different perspective – closer to your goal – and can indicate a new, positive beginning, the start of something you’ve always wanted. Fear will be there, regardless, but it will fade with each successful step.

Everyone’s journey is individual – some may include learning a new skill, breaking a bad habit (like negative thinking!), exercising more, losing weight, getting a business off the ground or writing a novel.

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“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

The journey I am planning involves going back to college for my Masters. For many years, I looked for a profession that would combine my love of process and organization (technical writing) and convey instructions either through eLearning online or as presentations (training) and conduct individual assessments to determine group interactions and organizational functions. And, after much investigation, I found Organizational Psychology.

According to Onetonline.org, Organizational Psychologists “apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee testing and selection, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to organize the work setting to improve worker productivity.”

It appears to be everything in one bundle. However, taking the first step is a little unnerving. Logically, I know and I’m sharing this: with the right mindset, one step will follow another until the mile marker shows that a thousand miles has passed. So, get moving! I’ll be walking right there, too.

High Five – Positive vs. Negative

“You cannot have a positive life and negative mind.” So, according to an article in More magazine that I read recently which lead me to the book written by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, PhD, called Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, all we need to do to be happy – and change our way of thinking to be positive – is rewire our brains. Or change the structure of the brain and how it responds to life experiences, thoughts and feelings. For example, have a good experience and dwell on it – thereby replacing a bad experience with a good one. Like saving a new file over an old one!

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“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind”

I am currently reading this book and will have a review soon; however, here’s a link to the More magazine article.

http://www.more.com/health/wellness/hardwire-yourself-be-happy

I hope it influences you to read the book as well and allows you to reprogram you negative mindset to create a positive life.

High Five – Be Positive

As I stated in this post, I will be writing daily about thinking positively and will be including my “high five” pictures with quotes!

I will start by stating the obvious – there are so many negative things in the world like violence, hunger, taxes and the general unfairness of life. Another obvious statement, I am, by nature, a “glass half empty” sort of person. Not sure if it’s a generational, psychological, or hereditary phenomenon but I am a pessimist who tries to masquerade as an optimist.

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Be Positive High Five

With that being said, I’m taking the month of September to not only write about subjects on which I am educating myself – such as type indicator assessments, organizational psychology and learning and development training initiatives – but to find a way to be positive about the fact that for the second time in three years, I am being laid off due to the government contract on which I am working not being renewed.

So enough introductions, onto the Be Positive (B+) part of today’s High Five.

What do you have to be positive about?

On a basic level, we can be positive that most of us have minimum resources: food, shelter and clothing.

After that, we have electricity, running water, transportation, communication and we also have access to healthcare if needed. American psychologist Abraham Maslow detailed our needs in a pyramid starting with the physiological (food, shelter, clothing) and moving to safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization.

I think most of us, having access to minimum resources, get hung up between safety (where’s my security in this ever-changing world?), belonging (what do my friends/partner think of me?), esteem (do others respect me?) and self-actualization (how can I accept the facts of my situation?). Of course, these do seem like “first world problems” but nonetheless keep us from being positive.

Some people say “count your blessings” and others say “what good have I done today” and I would challenge you to consider what you have to be not just happy – but positive about. For example, I have a nice home that sits on a few acres, a wonderful husband who supports me, two great dogs, and extraordinary friends that challenge me. I have the opportunity to volunteer, love to interact with people and learn something new each time I do. I dearly love running and power yoga – I find that these two activities bring me the closest to self-actualization as I may ever get! So just in the time it’s taken me to write this post, it seems that I have climbed the pyramid quite successfully. I am still working on finding security in a job but perhaps through positive thinking and by accepting the positive things I have, I can attain that security as well.

Please post in the comments if you have positive changes you would like to make, have made or need some encouragement to make!