037: 5 Things That Rob Passion In Life And How To Get It Back [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

copyright Chris Real

copyright Chris Real

Have you lost passion for life?  Are you bored with the daily grind and want to know why?  This episode identifies 5 things that could be robbing your passion and how to do something about it.


ON THIS EPISODE:

What robs us of our passion for life?:

  1. Hurried schedule – Being busy vs being hurried.  When we overload our schedule and we end up rushing from one event to the other, that’s when we get in trouble.
  2. Financial worries – Each year more than a million people file for personal bankruptcy.  The average amount of credit card debt per cardholder: $5,700 in 2015.
  3. Past Failure – Many of us have a fear of failure.  What plays into that failure is usually a past failure.  Failure isn’t a label, it’s an event.  You may have failed at that business venture, but you are definitely not a failure.
  4. Lack of balance –  When you are spending all of your time, energy or focus on one part of your life, you are stealing time, energy and focus on another area.  Often the area that gets gipped is your family.  I know many guys – especially – that ‘sacrifice their family on the altar of work’.
  5. Sickness – First, there’s physical sickness.  I’m not talking about a cold once in a while, but a chronic ailment that never seems to go away.  Maybe you’re overweight.  Maybe you have a back pain.  Maybe it’s more serious.  Maybe it’s a lifelong disease, cancer, physical deformity.  Often this robs us of the joy in life.  Then there’s emotional sickness.  When you feel there’s something going on emotionally, it can make you feel physically sick.  Stress is an example of this.  What happens to your shoulder muscles?

How to get passion back:

Discover, Develop and Deploy

  1. Discover your wiring and your likes.  Surveys about your work-style and personality help.
  2. Develop your strengths. Learn about your likes and your strengths.
  3. Deploy them into the world.  This is where you really come alive and regain your passion!

The world needs what you can uniquely bring to the table. 


Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

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035 HELP! I’m Stuck In A Dead End Job! [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

deadend jobThere are two feelings you need in order for you to feel fulfilled at work and in life.  Today I talk about them and also share an update from our recently created private Facebook group.


On This Episode:

In order for you to feel alive and have a sense of purpose and meaning in your work and life, you have to have both

  1. a sense of progress and
  2. a sense of control.

‘Progress’ takes on different forms but it basically means the feeling of moving ahead or the accomplishment of a goal.  If you begin a work task from small to large, upon completion, there is a sense of movement in what you do.

This is ‘results-oriented’ encouragement where you achieve a task you’ve set out to do.

Adm. McRaven explains at a University of Texas, Austin commencement speech That as a Navy Seal, they were required to make their bed to perfection every morning.  Why is it the best way to start off your day? He said that it shows progress.  You’ve told yourself that you can accomplish something.

‘Control’ is just what it sounds like only on the positive side.  When I do career coaching, in the assessment phase where we are evaluating a person’s current situation, I often ask, “What part of your job/life do you feel like you have control?”  Even if the person can identify one thing it’s a starting point. For example: I have control over the decorations in my cubicle or I have control over what I do on Saturday afternoon.

Why is this important?  Because without a sense of control in even a small area of your life, your brain and emotions get a little wacky.  Emotionally, you feel stressed and chaotic and most of the time, you end up making a stupid decision.

You need a sense of control to steady yourself before you decide to leave or quite your job and you need a sense of progress in order to feel like your life has purpose.  That’s why the phrase ‘stuck in a dead end job’ is so appropriate.  ‘Stuck’ means you don’t have control and ‘dead end’ means you can’t go anywhere.


Resources From This Episode

  • Audible.com – 180K audio book, right at your fingers
  • Career Coaching – If you need some clarity on your career and life, I can help.
  • Adm. McRaven explains at a University of Texas, Austin commencement speech why making your bed everyday may be the best way to start off your day
  • 48days.com – great resources for finding work you love.

 

014: How To Live Life Large – Todd Stocker.com

Live_life_large.001The world doesn’t need more people playing small. It’s time to stop hiding out and start stepping out. It’s time to stop needing and start leading. It’s time to start sharing your gifts instead of hoarding them or pretending they don’t exist. It’s time you started playing the game of life in a “big” way.  Here’s how.


PODCAST SHOW NOTES:

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the phrase “Go big or Go home.” As I was thinking about out topic today of living life large, this phrase popped into my head.

Here is the origin from the originator:  “The real origin of ‘Go big or Go Home’ was as a product slogan for a motorcycle exhaust system. In the early 1990’s there was a company in Southern California that was a distributor for motorcycle parts and accessories. They started making over-sized (2” diameter) pipes for Harley’s. They were called “Porker Pipes”. As one of my jobs at the company I designed the product packaging. The slogan almost ended up as “Go Big or Go Slow” but that just didn’t work. Go Big or Go Home came across with more attitude. Everyone from the company owner on down asked the same question, “What does it mean?”. My reply was, “It didn’t mean anything”. It was just another packaging slogan for just another product. Little did I realize then, how popular it would become. My total commission for the packaging artwork (including the slogan) was $50.”

Another phrase is “YOLO”: you only live once.

The problem with both of these approaches to life is that they focus only on the now.  I used to work with high school and college students and those who adopted this kind of living usually ended up happy for about 20 minutes and then had a lifetime of regret.

“A life lived without borders is a life lived in captivity.”   Some of you may recoil at that because isn’t the essence of life total freedom … doing whatever you want.  Yeah, that’s okay, but a better way to live is living life large.

So let me explain what that means, if it isn’t about no boundaries…

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly OR  to the full.”

People get hung up on this verse saying that God wants you to be financially wealthy.  Maybe for some – but to do good work.  But that’s a limited view of what Jesus is saying.  There is so much more to life than the accumulation of money, cabins, cars and bling.

How many people who have tons are constantly looking for more?

Don’t get me wrong.  Stuff is okay.  My wife and I have been very blessed by the life we’ve created and worked hard for but it isn’t what makes life good.

Yet, living life large is a mindset more than it is a strategy.  The happiest people and the most fulfilled people are people who have a positive view of their life and others in their life.  They feel content but constantly challenge themselves to new things.  They may have tons of money or very little but they pay their bills and have what they need.

The LARGE part comes in when you are at a point of impacting others by adding value to their lives.  You should listen to the sermon series called “Happy” by Andy Stanley (see link below)

John Maxwell among others says that a persons goal should be to live outside themselves in a way that adds value to others lives.

The world doesn’t need more people playing small. It’s time to stop hiding out and start stepping out. It’s time to stop needing and start leading. It’s time to start sharing your gifts instead of hoarding them or pretending they don’t exist. It’s time you started playing the game of life in a “big” way.

So here’s a first step for you.

Ask one question, “What is holding you back from living life large?”  What obstacle is in the way?

LINKS:

Take Back Your Life!

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012: How To Handle Pressure At Work – Todd Stocker.com

Pressure gauge

Sometimes, work can be stressful as you feel the pressure of deadlines and overwhelming expectations. Here are a few tips that can help take the edge off of pressure at work.


Show Notes:

A listener asks, “I’m in a very high stressed job and constantly feel the pressure to do more and be more. With deadlines constantly looming, how can keep my sanity in my stressful position?”

I know exactly what he’s talking about. All of us feel the pressure of our jobs at one point or another. You need to remember,

Pressure doesn’t define you; it refines you.

But you have to make the choice to respond.
Episode 004 has a formula that outlines the power of choosing our response: E+R=O:

E= events
R= response
O= outcome

They key is how you are responding to the events.  Your response often determines the outcome.

It’s okay to be busy. Being busy means that theres is plenty to do.  But being hurried is what causes the stress.  Even Jesus was busy but he still had time to stop, connect and help people along the way.

Here are a few pointers on handling stress:

  • Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. …
  • Develop healthy responses. …
  • Establish boundaries. …
  • Take time to recharge. …
  • Learn how to relax. …
  • Talk to your supervisor. …
  • Get some support.

It is also important to prepare for you day.

Preparation is the pressure valve on a busy schedule [Tweet that here].

Plan your day. At the beginning of the week, either Sunday night or first thing Monday, look at your week and make sure you’re not over committing or scheduling meetings or events too close together.

If you’re still becoming more and more stressed you might need to evaluate if you’re in the right position to begin with.  If you’re cranky, taking it out on family over a long period of time, it may be time to move on.

Links:

010: 3 Ways To Enjoy Your Job – Todd Stocker.com

 

These are Show Notes for the Podcast: 

From a Forbes article:

Right Management ran the online survey between April 16 and May 15, and culled responses from 411 workers in the U.S. and Canada. Only 19% said they were satisfied with their jobs. (81% were not fully engaged in their work).

Another 16% said they were “somewhat satisfied.” But the rest, nearly 2/3s of respondents, said they were not happy at work. 21% said they were “somewhat unsatisfied” and 44% said they were “unsatisfied.”

Why are people unsatisfied?
  • low pay
  • hours
  • benefits
  • they type of job it is
  • feeling of being stuck
  • wrong expectations based on the “Overnight” success stories.
Nothing beats hard and smart work.
Dan Miller from 48days.com outlines our work decades.
Age 20-30 is a time of discovery of what work we like.
30-40 time of development of the skills needed.
40-50 time of mastery of the skills and a chance to niche down.
50-60 time of gathering, money making.
60 – time of returning or giving back to society.
So as you’re driving.  on a scale of 1-10, what is your job satisfaction level?  Do you feel fulfilled or like you’re going to scratch your eyes out?

3 ways to handle the job you’re in now.

  1. Thank God for your job.  Tracey Steivang who was featured on episodes 5 and 6, says that gratitude is the strongest emotion.  The bible says that work is a gift from God.  What would it look like if you took time tomorrow morning and before you began your day and said, “Lord, I am thankful for my job.” Be thankful for it because it is a gift.
  2. Ask yourself “Why did I get into my job?”  It could be that you’ve forgotten the key purpose of why you’re in the job in the first place.  Sometimes just refocusing on the positive reason you dove it can limit you focus on the negative struggles today.  If you do realize that you need to make a change…
  3. Don’t jump ship.  Create a plan for transition.
Dan Miller says an intentional transition is best.

Links:

Labor Day: 3 Reasons Why Your Work is a Gift From God

labor day workEcclesiastes 5:18-20 outlines your work this way: “It is good for people to … enjoy their work … And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God.”


It has only been within the last few years that I’ve come to realize that work is indeed a gift from God.   Did you know that?  Obviously, your work helps pay the bills, provide for your family and secures your future, but did you know that what you are doing now to create income is a gift from God?

Why would that be a gift?  Doesn’t it say in Genesis that man would toil in the earth all the days on earth?  (Genesis 3:17).

Three Reasons:

  1. Work reflects the heart of God.  God isn’t sitting in His heavenly lazy boy chair watching football games and soap operas.  He is active in every aspect of your life.  He is guiding and leading and working for the benefit of His kingdom here on earth and in heaven.  By working, you are doing a God-thing.
  2. Work gives voice to your inner soul.  If and when you find the kind of work that resonates with how you’re hardwired, if provides purpose and drive for your life.  It creates a framework around which you feel alive.  I spoke with someone who was transitioning out of a company and asked him if he’d go back into the same line of work.  Without hesitation he said, “Absolutely!  I love what I do.”  This kind of resonation can take years to accomplish.  I’ve heard it said that in your 20’s, you are discovering what you like to and are able to do.  In your 30’s you are honing in on your skills and passions.  In your 40’s you are developing a foundation and establishing your position.  In your 50’s you are earning and reaping the benefits of your work.  In your 60’s and beyond you are giving back and providing for the needs of others.
  3. Work adds value to others.  The phrase “lot in life” means “what you are doing right now.”  What is your work right now?  Do you feel that it is adding value to others and if not, how can you change your outlook?  If you work at McDonalds, your work helps feed people a meal.  If you work at an office doing accounting, your work helps organize the financial situation of others.  If you are in construction, your work provides refuge for others or helps provide spaces for others.

God has given you your work – what you are doing right now – as a gift.  It may not be perfect.  It may not be your ultimate landing place.  It is, however, a good thing to work and do what you do as if you have God as your boss.

Ephesians 6:5-7  “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Peace!

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The Value of Work

8 Labor-Day

ashton-kutcher-teen-choice-awards

Ashton Kutcher, Teen Choice Awards, 2013

Did you know that your work is a gift. As frustrating, random and meaningless as it may feel, your work is a gift. We’ve seemed to have lost that truth in recent culture. The refrains of our society echo “entitlement” and “you deserve this” rather that lifting up the value of hard work.

Ashton Kutcher’s comments at the Teen Choice Awards a few months ago sparked a national “hurray” for those of us in generations that had work ethic. He said,

“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a steppingstone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job.”

It’s true. Working hark is beneficial. Sometimes financially, but most times holistically. Not everyone wins. Not everyone gets a trophy. And as grandpa always said,

“Anything worth getting is worth working for.”

So those of us who have been given the title “parent,” consider your role in developing a thriving work ethic in your kids. Help them discover, develop and deploy their God-given abilities and let them know that working hard is pleasing to our God.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 “It is good for people to … enjoy their work … And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God.”

(Click Here for another post relating to Procrastination and work).

Peace!

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Teeing Up Your Purpose

I’m not great at golf but I do love the game.  Maybe it’s the outdoors.  Maybe it’s the relaxed environment. Maybe it’s the calming chatter with friends.  Whatever it is, I like to play.  But after a few rounds, I tend to get bored.  So it was when I was living in Arizona in my youth.  In Arizona in the summer, golf establishments would offer killer deals just to get people out on the course.Golf_main2

One time, after a few rounds of cheap golf, my brother and I decided to turn the clubs handle up in our bags, close our eyes and pick one club with which we’d play the entire round.  I ended up with my putter.

So, yes.  Driving, chipping, hawking out of the rough (which is where I was normally) was all done with my putter.  It was the worst round I’ve ever played, even though it was  very fun.

Many of us live our lives like that round of golf.  We almost randomly pick our career or our work for the money or because our parents were in the same field.  We don’t first examine how God made us and what we like to do.  Just like a putter was not designed to be a driver, you may not be designed to be spending your hours doing what you’re doing.  Maybe that is why 70% of people describe themselves as frustrated or unsettled in their work environment.

So how do you begin getting at how you were made?  How do you discover God’s unique wiring for you?  There are many personality tests and work-style inventories you could and should take and I put a few references at the bottom of this post, but to begin, you can ask yourself three simple questions:

  1. What do I love to do?  When you’re given a free day, what do you naturally gravitate toward?  Would you immediately call friends and go play golf?  Would you write a book, work in your garage or create a spreadsheet that details and lists things?  What do you love to do?
  2. At what have others consistently said I’m good?  It’s one thing to like to sing but it’s quite another to be good at it. (ala American Idol!).  Listen to people around you.  You could even be more intentional and ask your family and friends this question: “If I was doing what I’m doing now for my job, what could you see me doing?”
  3. With what do people need help?  Ruth Stafford Peale who was the wife of the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale author of “The Power of Positive Thinking” is credited with the quote ” Find a Need and Fill It.”  Using what you love to do and what others say you’re good at, see if there is a way that you can help others.  Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life.  (Hey, I just made that up!).

So, are you a putter trying to be a driver?  If so, this year may be the year that you begin to transition to fulfilling how you’ve been created.  It would honor God, help others and create a deep satisfaction in your own soul.

RESOURCES:
Website that has helped me sift through my giftedness.  Make sure you sign up for Dan’s podcast as well:
48days.com

Excellent books (among others) that are simple reads and help you walk through a process of discovery:

CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE.          LIVING THE LIFE YOU’RE MEANT TO LIVE.

Peace!

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USE SMALL, DAILY ACTION TO ACCOMPLISH MORE

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite app, but it is one that I use several times per day.  It’s called Wunderlist.  It’s free (of course) and it is a simple to-do list that syncs across all of my screens.  While it is a way for me to organize my day, I’ve found a greater benefit:  I accomplish more while working less.  Let me explain.

Before I started organizing my daily activities, I would gravitate toward accomplishing tasks that I liked to do – writing, researching, reading etc.  Some days this worked fine, ending my day with a small sense that I’ve finished what needed to be done.  Most days, the tyranny of the urgent decimated my hit-or-miss schedule and I’d end up stressed out and overworked.

Once I began thinking in “small-daily-action” terms and dedicated my tasks to Wunderlist, my productivity level skyrocketed as my stress level plummeted.

How do you use Wunderlist (or, another app – Evernote)?  Simply put everything on the list with a due date.  Write notes by each task if you need to but make sure that you create a global list for larger tasks and break them down into smaller chunks using due dates.  Then be diligent about completing the small, daily tasks by the end of the day.  Like me, when you reach the end of your day, you’ll find at least one or two tasks that weren’t all that important and thus, didn’t get accomplished.  Decide if you need to change their due date to tomorrow or take the due date out all together.  Take 5 min. at the beginning and end of your day to organize and you’re set to go!

As it says in Proverbs 6:6,

“Consider the ways of the ant and be wise.” 

Question:  How do you stay organized during your day?  Write a Reply below …

Peace!

How to Master any Task

I passed the bathroom the other day and noticed my daughter, Maddie, applying a few drops of lens solution onto her contacts.  Without a thought, she popped it in.  Then the other.  A few blinks later and she was off.

It wasn’t always that way.  At the beginning, this simple morning ritual was torture.    If you’ve ever worn the lenses, you remember how difficult it was to stick your finger into your eyeball, affix the lens onto your eye with the right suction technique and then smooth out the extra air-bubbles that inevitably hid between your eye and the lens… ALL WITHOUT BLINKING!

Morning after morning, I woke my daughter extra early to take on this monumental task.  However, the more we dove into the routine, the more mastery she gained.  Now, the lens application process is done without thought or effort.

Most everything that we try for the first time is awkward.  When learning a new job or skill, remember that routine is the tool toward mastery.

  • At the beginning of any new task, identify small victories.  What part of this task can I do?  Remember it for the next time around.
  • Keep your vision.  When learning something new, keep the vision of what it will look like when you’ve accomplished the task.  I call this “Jumping the Wall.”  Think of the unfamiliar process as a wall that keeps you from the goal.  Focus on the goal and the wall becomes small.
  • Ask for help.  Inevitably, there will be parts of the new task that you can’t just figure out.  Enlist the expertise or wisdom of others.  Ask, who has done this before?  What did they do to overcome the obstacles?

Newness creates fear.  But keeping the vision of your goal and practice the routines associated with the task will lead you to master anything!

Peace!