Attention: Focus, Action or Both?

I posted a quote this morning that really resonated with me, and seems to be resonating with others as well:


 “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers.


I have been sitting on the tracks and been very frustrated because I am not seeing the results that I want.  It has made me quite grumpy.


I am a big fan of Bob Procter says and I heard him say what you give interest, attention and expectation to you will receive.  This makes sense to me.  I am following this thought. 


So what is the deal?


I’m giving it interest by setting the goals; I am giving them interest by being focused on them and I am expecting them to happen. 


So what’s the hold up?


I have even asked this out-loud in a very frustrated way to no one in particular but any higher power that was listening. 


Then I saw the quote.


Oh damn.  An ah-ha moment and it is on me.


It is the attention.  I was screwing that part up.  I was translating it incorrectly.  Yes, focusing on your goals is giving them attention but it is a pebble on the mountain of importance.  The real key is attention by action.


I can focus on something all I want but guess what – it is not going to change until I get off my butt and stop staring at it and do something about it.


Sometimes I have a client that we have worked through the process of creating a resume and they have all the tools they need to move forward:  they  know what their value is and they know how to communicate it and yet they have not moved forward.


In the course of a follow up conversation, I discover that the missing element is the action.  You have to network with people to tell them your value; you have to go after positions to give them your resume and open doors.  You have to take action.  Without it, your awesome tools are just keeping you company rather than working for you.


What is it you want?  Define it and see yourself in that role.  Then prepare yourself by getting all the tools you need to get there.  Further prepare yourself by seeing yourself in that role.  Now to make it full circle and actually get there determine what action you need to take and do it.


Not all action will be successful or correct; however it is action and it will take you one step closer to getting where you want to be.  Even if it is wrong, even if it is does not result in immediate results; any action is propelling you along your path. 


If you are not moving then you are sitting still; and if you are sitting still you are more than likely to get run over.


Lisa K McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach & Brand Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer


What Are You Going To Do – Pursue Happiness Or Create It?

Before you take any action you must want to do so. Sounds simple, right? That’s what resolutions are all about. So why are so many long forgotten by February? Because the failed resolutions were made with interest, not commitment.

Oh sure, I am interested in being more healthy – but I’m not committed to it. How could I be when I do not eat well, drink way too much caffeine, exercise minimally and have other bad habits?

I meet a lot of people who want to change jobs or at least secure a position – most are interested, not committed. Simply having me review a resume with no follow up action on their part is pure interest. At the very least, use some of the suggestions.

I have a good friend that told me that people to not commit until they feel enough pain. I tend to avoid pain at all possible – it is a general rule I like to follow and for the most part it serves me well. However, I have also discovered it has its flaws.

Avoiding pain is a way to avoid commitment. The biggest reason to adopt the avoiding pain is to avoid rejection. No one likes rejection; however it can be used as a growth tool.

When I was in the financial industry and was contemplating looking elsewhere within the industry I remember being struck with a thought: “what if another company does not think I’m as good as I think I am, what if I have just fooled this company and I really suck?!” Yes, welcome to my mind.

So I avoided it, I did not prepare my resume, I did not prepare for networking, I did not want to interview – I completely avoided it. The pain came when I was forced to take action and the avoidance increased the pain.

Sometimes we just need to think or talk through it. So let me ask you these seemingly simple questions. Write down or say out loud your initial response – don’t think about it. It all boils down to three questions:

 Are you happy?
 Why not?
 What are you willing to do about it?

Taking it a step further:

 What do you want?
 What do you need?
 What is the worst that could happen if you do nothing?
 What is the best that could happen if you changed nothing?
 What is the worst that could happen if you take action?
 What is the best that could happen if you take action?
 What is involved in making change?
 What do you need to do to get what you want?
 What are you willing to do to get what you want?
 What are you not willing to do?
 What are you afraid of?

I suggest writing down your answers so you can come back and look at them again. For each response keep asking “why?” until you get to the real reasons.

Maybe you are okay where you are and have felt the need to change based on other people’s intentions. To that I say: “Knock it off! It is your life, you create your own happiness – stop worrying about what other people think.”

Maybe you can uncover what your real fear is and this will give you the opportunity to reach out for assistance. Whether it be a significant other, a good friend, a coach, a professional, a mentor – whomever it is you need, reach out and ask for help – once you commit.

If you are interested keep your wants to yourself. It is like the boy who cried wolf. People will soon learn that you are just blowing smoke and tire of hearing it. If you have repeatedly stated you want to change something but have never done anything to prove it people will not believe you when you actually make that commitment.

However, if you are committed, commit to yourself first, take some steps and prove to yourself that you truly want this. Answering the questions above is just a tool – not an actionable step. But it is a good start to taking action. Once you have identified actionable items within your answers – go with them and perform them. Each action taken is a commitment fulfilled, a step toward success, proof of your commitment.

“Some people pursue happiness, others create it.” One of my favorite quotes – something to think about.

Once you start the processes of taking actionable steps you can work on allowing the good things to come to you. Which will be the next post – how to open the door to welcome and allow the good to come in and stay awhile….

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.