The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
One of the personal qualities that helps most with handling change is called self-efficacy. It’s an odd word, and not one you hear a lot in everyday conversation. It’s been around since the 1970s, though, when Albert Bandura invented it as part of his theory that the beliefs we have about our abilities affect our actual outcomes. Or, as Henry Ford put it many years earlier, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”.
In 1979 Ralf Schwarzer and Matthias Jerusalem came up with a test to predict how well people are likely to cope with daily problems and stressful life events. Since then, a lot of research has gone into showing that, in fact, our beliefs about our own abilities do affect our success in many different areas of life.
David Thornburg is an award winning author and consultant who specializes in the ways in which computer technology influences our lives, particularly the ways we learn. As part of his research, he has proposed that we need access to four basic environments, or ‘learning spaces’ in which to operate in order to learn effectively.
The campfire is where we share knowledge and information with others. This is about preserving knowledge and, in the past, where technologies for encoding information (such as writing, books and, now, the Internet) were not developed, this was an essential means of ensuring that essential information was not lost to the community, that it did not, for example, die with one individual. The oral traditions – the stories – of many cultures are the embodiments of their campfires.
The watering hole is where creative discussions take place. Information does not exist in a vacuum – we have to make sense of it, put it into a context. The same data can mean different things to different groups at different times and, in the end, the sense made of all knowledge is contingent on time and place. We are social animals and so the watering hole is a place where we explore knowledge in the context of the community.
A police officer turned music agent. A Navy captain who became a circus manager. A botanist who traded plants for making chocolate. Those are a few stories of major career changes from the baby boomers and retirees I interviewed for my new book, “What’s Next: Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job” (Chronicle Books). Each one faced a different set of challenges. But their stories reveal common threads.
Many of these men and women were spurred to discover what really matters to them and transform their work (and, in turn, personal) lives by a crisis or loss that starkly revealed the fleeting nature of life. No one acted impulsively. They paused. They planned. They bypassed helter-skelter approaches and pursued prudent, well-researched moves.
Each person had flexible time horizons for his or her venture to make it. If necessary, these people added the essential skills and degrees before they made the leap. They often apprenticed or volunteered beforehand. They reached out to their networks of social and professional contacts to ask for help and guidance.
When I was in the work force every time I got promoted it never seemed to be quite enough. Sure, it was fun for a while, I got to go to meetings that I hadn’t been invited to before and I had a new set of peers to rub elbows with, but eventually I’d find myself looking at the folks the next level up wondering “What do they have that I don’t?”
I thought I’d left that behind when I became a Life Coach and blogger, but lately I’ve found myself in the same trap, looking at other, more “successful” blogs wondering “What do they have that I don’t?”
Success is the quintessential slippery slope – the more success we have, the more we want. But there are some simple ways to manage the quest for success.
Show me a kid who doesn’t love creativity. Show me a kid who doesn’t enjoy making some type of art — painting, singing, writing stories, dancing, playing music or making things with clay.
You won’t find one.
Until life beats it out of us, we naturally find joy in creativity. Then life (a.k.a. confused grown-ups) tell us we are or aren’t good enough.
You hear that your picture of a cat doesn’t look like a cat. You notice the teacher got excited about Johnny’s singing voice but didn’t seem as thrilled about yours.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~ Maria Robinson, American author
Have you already identified an area of your life you want to change, but you keep putting off doing something about it? Perhaps you’ve read all the ‘how to’ guides under the sun and researched every technique needed to make that change a reality… yet you don’t ever take any action.
I’m sure at one time or another you’ve promised yourself that you’ll begin a new habit another day: you’ll give up smoking tomorrow; you’re going to eat more healthily from Monday; you’ll be more confident at next week’s team meeting. All too often, however, the promised day passes by and still you haven’t done anything to achieve your goal.