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This post marks my 100th blog post. I started in December 2009, and wanted to get myself into the practice of writing (I’ve joked that I’m writing my book a blog post at a time). I’ve written about a lot of things, but the themes, as best as I’ve been able to keep to them, is the listening to one’s own authentic self and then seeing how that can be manifested in the world. As my professional area is career development, I’ve also shared my philosophies about how one can best identify what is mist precious and to state your best case about doing that for others. I’ve gotten a few comments here, and many more in person or other venues, that people have appreciated what I’ve had to say and it’s helped them in their professional journey.

After having written so much, I’ve learned some things about myself and the process, and how people have reacted to my words.  Some of my learnings are:

  • You’d be surprised at what gets the most comments.  Topics that I thought were the most benign can sometimes get the most heated debate.
  • There’s always something to write about.  Even if it’s what you had for lunch, if it makes you think about something bigger in life, it can be a blog post.
  • You’d be surprised who is most interested in your writing.  Someone random will tell me that they follow my blog every post and have gotten a lot out of it, and I didn’t think they even knew about it!
  • Writing a blog is fine, but you have to get people to read it.  There’s a lot of things to read, and the struggle is getting eyes on your words.
  • Forcing yourself to write is a good practice, like doing many other things that you know are good for you but take effort.
  • Writing about events in your life can be cathartic, in that it forces you to think through things and present them in a way that shows your reflected on things and how you want to be seen.
  • Practice makes perfect.  Keep doing things and you’ll get better at them.

So, what have you learned from doing something 100 times?

Note: The Resonare Summer Talk Challenge is still on! Register now to get the chance at prizes!

 

 

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Here are the most interesting stories I’ve found this week! Enjoy!

So, what’s gotten your attention this week?

 

I think that a lot of us feel like “If people just knew the real me, they’d realize I’m a fraud”. Everyone seems to have that little voice in your head that says that you’re not good enough at (fill in the blank). I’ve definitely heard this voice too often.

It’s so surprising when I’ve talked with the most talented and creative clients and they too have this little voice. Given that reality, I’ve come to believe that it’s probably a more universal source. We’ve all got the voice, but it’s our unique version of it It’s like we’ve got a resident bodyguard whose job it is to point out to us at every step what might go wrong and protect us.

I’ve found it helpful to give this voice I name. I’ve named mine Gollum after the character in Lord of the Rings, as he seems to work out of a position if fear and secrecy. When he shows up, I can view him as another input, but one that I can easily acknowledge but not put too much faith in.

This shows up in job searchers in that many times they don’t speak well of themselves to others. This is the classic “bombing the interview” or missing the networking opportunity. They are listening and putting too much credence into their own personal Gollum that they don’t put themselves out there.

Thus is where my recommendation to ” fake it ’till you make it” comes it. I’m not talking about faking your competence at anything, but to fake your confidence. Nobody wants to be around someone who is nervous and twitching.  If you just act like you’re confident, your results will probably be better, and that will lead to more confidence. Hopefully, this cycle will continue and you will get more successes, which will lead to more confidence.

So, what kind of confidence do you need to fake?

As I’ve done before, here are the stories that have really gotten my attention over the past week that deal with career, passion, and spirit.

So, what interesting stories have you seen this week and would like to share? Post them on here!

Also, remember to sign up for the 2011 Resonare Summer Talk Challenge!

 

Ken Overlooking San Francisco Bay

We are finally getting some warm and sunny weather in New England. And like most of us who have been wearing too many layers for too long, all I’m thinking of is summer and vacation. I’ve started to plan the days I will be away and hope for good weather.

I like to say that too often I don’t have enough “mind space”. For me, this is having the freedom to think about whatever I want to. Too often, my brain is either cluttered or bombarded with facts and information, and often both! At these times, I really don’t feel like I’ve got the capacity to actually process much of what I want, and I’m not in control of myself. I’ve found at these times that my sense of personal power and control is at its lowest. I’m always looking for the opportunity to clear my mind and get that clutter out.

As I’ve written about before, I have been a student of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, and I attended a training in May where David was the instructor. One of the things that he mentioned is that most of us are frazzled except for one time: when we’ve just wrapped everything up before going on vacation. That made me think of the relief I’ve felt when I’ve crossed everything off my list and am now ready to head off on an adventure.

I’ve decided that I want to strive to have “vacation mind” as often as possible. When I’m on vacation, I also don’t tend to let little annoyances bother me as much. If I can keep this in mind, I’ll let myself have the space for other things to happen, like create s great new idea or write something great.

So, Where do you have vacation mind? How do you get it back when you’ve lost it?

PS – Don’t forget about the contestSign up now!

Summer is a time for fun, and I’d like to contribute to that by having a contest that will get you to take more action, think more about your life’s direction, and let your friend’s know more about the issues that I think are important to connect your career, spirit and passion.

The prizes are:

So, how can you get these great prizes? Here are the rules.

  1. First, register that you are in the contest by filling your contact information on this form.
  2. Accrue points by subscribing, sharing, and commenting.

Contest starts on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, and will end on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at midnight.  The person with the most points will get the first choice of prizes. Second place will get choice of the two remaining prizes and third place will receive the remaining prize.

Good luck everyone! Share with your friends!

*Note: The Easton Mountain prize is only available to people who have never attended a program at Easton Mountain before.

Been thinking about hiring a career consultant (namely me!) but been putting it off? You might not want to wait any longer!

I have not gone up on the prices for my services in eight years, and I’m as affected by the whims of the economy as much as anyone else, so I’m finally adjusting my rates as of July 1, 2011.

  • Single One Hour Session $130
  • Bronze Package: 2 Hours $240
  • Silver Package: 5 Hours plus assessments $575
  • Gold Package: 10 Hours plus Assessments $1100
  • MBTI Assessment $140

The good news is that my old rates will be in effect until then. If you’re ready to work with me and make a proactive change in your life, purchase a package before the rates go up!

So, what changes do you want to make in your life, and what are you waiting for?

Here are the top articles/posts that I’ve seen over the past week that interest me, and hopefully interest you!

As many of you know, I’m a single guy and have been for a few years.  I’ve been doing a lot of personal development work recently, and really feel pretty good about myself and what I’ve got to offer.  That said, I’ve been more strongly putting myself out there in the dating world.  As you can imagine, the world is quite different for a middle-aged gay man than it was in the late 1980’s when I was first looking for love.  Now, everything is online and you are presenting yourself and your features and benefits for all to see.  You can be screened out or screened in depending on how you present yourself.

One thing I feel pretty strongly about is presenting myself as closely as possible to who I am right now. I post my current age (if you aren’t interested in maturity and experience, fine), my physical size (this is what I’ve got; take it or leave it), and my current interests and how my personality comes through. Also, I want people to think that I look really good for my age, not that I look really old for 10 years younger than myself.

I am surprised that not everyone feels the same way.  When I’ve met guys, sometimes I’m surprised that what I’m presented with doesn’t match the information I was giving.

  • One guy posted that he was 53, but stated that he was actually 59 when we got together for dinner.
  • Another stated that he was 5’9″, but when I met him he was shorter than me (and I’m 5’7.5″!)
  • A third was very chatty in our messages going back and forth and showed a lot of enthusiasm in meeting, but when we did meet, I had to practically drag a conversation out of him.

I’m of the point that I feel good about myself and I’m looking for the right fit: a mature, intelligent, communicative, adventurous man who can be my partner in crime.  I know the criteria I’m looking for, and I’m willing to wait, but also willing to give a guy a chance if he doesn’t initially seem to have all the qualifications but looks promising.

As I’ve mentioned before, a job search is like dating.  You both are looking for the right one and everyone is awkward.  You want to present the best you have as truthfully as possible.  If you’ve got little lies here and there, they will be found out, and your reputation will take a nose dive.  If you’re willing to play fast and loose with your own information, they might not trust you with their business. If what you present (resume, cover letter, stories about yourself) don’t match what I get when I meet you, I will feel like it’s a waste of my time.  (That’s one reason I like to chat with guys a bit before agreeing to meet.  If you can’t hold up your end of a conversation virtually, you certainly can’t do it in person, and I hate wandering into that trap!)

The key here is that there is someone for everyone in the dating world and the job search.  It’s not automatic and people won’t fall out of the sky into your lap, so you have to be proactive to find a mate and find a job.  As I say, figure out where the people are that you want to be with, and go to those places and say you want to be there (and figure out what they want and if you have it or need to acquire it!)

So, are you presenting yourself truthfully, and do you know what others are looking for?

Man resting in the Public Garden on a warm summer day

I’m one of those rare Americans that actually speaks a language other than English. I was a Linguistics major in college where I learned German and lived in Göttingen, Germany for a summer. For fun, I also studied Esperanto and got good enough at it to participate in a four day conference speaking only Esperanto. After graduation, I moved to T’aip’ei, Taiwan where I taught English and studied Mandarin Chinese. I also sang in a Scandinavian singing group for 11 years and I worked to pick up Swedish. Needless to say, I like languages and the different way people use words interests me.

Sometimes you find a word in another language that perfectly describes what you want to say, but there isn’t an English equivalent for it. One of those for me is the German word “aufgeregt“. As I understand it, it means off kilter, but a little more than that. For me, it embodies that uneasiness when things aren’t they way you expect them to be, you’re not sure where your grounding is, and you feel like you’re not sure of your next step.

I’ve been feeling very “aufgeregt” lately. My grounding of my rituals and what I need to do has been a bit rocked by my celiac diagnosis.  I feel like I have to make all of my own food as I can’t trust that there isn’t any gluten hiding in something.  I’ve been spending a lot of time making food, and it’s also messed with my head.  I know that I need the grounding of getting to my routines, which is the gym, meditation, walks, and being in control of my life instead of letting other things control me.  In essence, I’ve let my gluten intolerance become a big, fat hairy deal. It’s become a distraction where I’m not in charge of my direction, and letting that dictate for me what I need to do.

When I react to other input, I take away my own power, and I make poor choices for myself.  I need the grounding that can only come when I realize what’s good for me and work that, instead of letting my circumstance work me.

So, how are you getting into balance and grounding yourself?

 

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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