Published June 18, 2012
In today’s 24-hour wired world, it can be tough to get away from the constant bombardment of digital noise. Whether it’s streaming headlines, mobile alerts, web banners, or talking heads, it’s hard to escape the doom and gloom associated with our struggling economy.
Yes, the economic recovery has not gone as planned and has fallen short of expectations. However, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to let the steady stream of headlines impact your outlook on the labor market and career path.
When it comes to shutting off the noise, there is no better time or place to do so then during a vacation. Whether you plan to hike the mountains or cruise the open seas, take the time to unplug, kick back and absorb the beauty around you. Make sure to be present—it will allow you to re-connect with yourself and identify areas that may need improvement and rejuvenate.
When you step away from your digital leashes, take the time to consider the following three questions:
Do I Play to my Strengths? Life is full of choices, and happiness is one of them. When you find yourself worrying about what’s going wrong, stop for a moment and consider what’s going right. A successful life, just like a successful business, is built on bolstering strengths and not harping on weaknesses.
As a society we tend to spend more time worrying about overcoming weakness than we do on playing to our strengths. The notion that anyone can accomplish anything they want if they work hard enough has become so ingrained in American culture that we forget how much of a fool’s errand this can be.
The constant battle to overcome weakness will only lead to frustration and ultimately a negative attitude. It’s not hard to fall into the negativity trap when you spend all your time banging your head against the wall. Whatever your pursuit in life, focusing on strengths will always help foster a positive attitude because success will come with relative ease.
Am I Committed to Me? Once you make the shift to focus on positivity and personal strengths, it’s time to make some commitments and create a personal plan and to develop an execution plan.
Creating a plan is about committing to a destination and drawing a roadmap for getting there. Ultimately, it’s about creating your own hope with an end in sight. When you have a solid plan and a destination, it’s much easier to combat the negativity of minor daily setbacks.
Do I Have the Right Support? We all need a support system. We all suffer from living in our own heads, which means that our perspectives are often flawed. It’s important to check yourself with those you trust to help keep pesky negative thoughts from snowballing during tough times.
The next time you are out on the golf course or grilling with friends in the backyard, throw out a workplace or career challenge you are struggling with and ask for feedback. Don’t be afraid to invite a little criticism—you may be surprised at the perspectives you hear and how helpful it can be to get an outsider’s take.
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership.Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook