An Act of Good Karma

My actions are my only true belongings.  I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.  My actions are the ground upon which I stand.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Yesterday I realized that I had this modest, yet extremely eclectic, group of people in my personal network that I’ve collected over the years but have largely done nothing with.  Everything from performance artists to computer geeks. Writers. Designers. Accountants. Professors. All of them have something important to give. And more importantly, all of them probably have something valuable to give to other members of my network, but they just don’t know each other.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of social networking and how we can use it for the greater good, as well as my own place in the social and professional world. And then it occurred to me… perhaps some of the best immediate good I can do is to help my friends and colleagues by actively hooking them up with others I know that they could help in some way, or that could help them. And so the Good Karma Project was born.  I am offering up my network to everyone, and trying to find ways to connect people in beneficial ways. There’s nothing in this for me, other than the good feeling of affecting even a small bit of positive change for someone else.  Some I won’t be able to help out very much; some won’t respond to my requests; a good handful will think that I’ve completely lost my mind.  But a few will be happy to help or be helped.  Those are the ones I’m counting on.

Wish me luck.  And if you are looking for a particular skill/service or have one you can share with others, let me know.  I’ll widen the circle to bring you in.

Newton’s Law of Employment

An old colleague asked me the other day, what would be my perfect employment scenario?  Good thing he asked me via email, because I’m afraid if he asked me in person I would have blurted out, “Anything, anywhere, as long as it’s not HERE!!”  Very unprofessional, I know — but also not very far from the truth.

Over the last couple of days I’ve really been thinking about this.  What IS my dream job?  If the Employment Fairy flitted down right now and told me I could go forth and do anything my little heart desired, what would that be? Truth is, I don’t really have a good answer. (At least not yet, but I’m working on it.)  I’ve been “stuck” (in quotes because it’s my own fault) here for almost a decade, and I now realize that I’ve wasted far too much energy railing against the negative changes in this company that I can do nothing about, instead of funneling that energy into initiating positive change for myself.  In this case, finding another job. One that I like.  I mean REALLY like, not just tolerate in exchange for a paycheck.

Why do we let ourselves get stuck in these dead ends? Part of it is that it’s just easier.  It’s always easier to complain than to initiate change.  It’s easier to stay here where you are than face the uncertainties of going elsewhere.  It’s the law of inertia – a body at rest stays at rest.  This isn’t working for me anymore. I need to get restless.

So back to my “dream job.”  I don’t have a specific title or position in mind, but I’m pretty sure that I want to stay in design and marketing.  I like the creativity and the challenge, especially when I’m allowed to be creative and take on challenges. I want to be part of something big, even if it’s on a small scale.  I want to be part of a positive driving force that can make something bigger, better, faster or more; for the world, or the country, or the consumer, or the local retirement home. I want to take pride in what I do, and be able to take ownership of my work;  to wholeheartedly celebrate the successes of the company, as well as dig out from the failed attempts, shoulder to shoulder with others that share a common vision. I want to help shape that vision, help map out the route for our collective forward progress, and help build the roads we need to get us there if none already exist.

A body at rest stays at rest.  A body in motion stays in motion. Looks like my colleague gave me that one mental push I needed to start moving on. Where will I go? What will I do?  Not sure yet, but I’m really looking forward to the journey.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Give something of yourself today. Donate a few dollars to a local charity; take a few minutes to listen to someone who is largely ignored; teach a kid to tie his shoes.  Then go convince someone else to do the same.  It’s good karma.

Summertime ‘Do’s and Don’ts

Summertime Don’t #1: Don’t hand your hairstylist a picture and expect to get something remotely similar. Assume that all cut requests are subject to his or her artistic interpretation. Be thankful that it grows back.

Summer Don’t #2: Don’t underestimate the hardness of a toddler’s head. I am secure in the knowledge that my child’s brains are well-protected. My eye socket? Not so much…

proof that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time
proof that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time