Category Archives: Hope

14 Habits of Highly Miserable People

Most of us claim we want to be happy—to have meaningful lives, enjoy ourselves, experience fulfillment, and share love and friendship with other people and maybe other species, like dogs, cats, birds, and whatnot. Strangely enough, however, some people act as if they just want to be miserable, and they succeed remarkably at inviting misery into their lives, even though they get little apparent benefit from it, since being miserable doesn’t help them find lovers and friends, get better jobs, make more money, or go on more interesting vacations. Why do they do this? After perusing the output of some of the finest brains in the therapy profession, I’ve come to the conclusion that misery is an art form, and the satisfaction people seem to find in it reflects the creative effort required to cultivate it. In other words, when your living conditions are stable, peaceful, and prosperous—no civil wars raging in your streets, no mass hunger, no epidemic disease, no vexation from poverty—making yourself miserable is a craft all its own, requiring imagination, vision, and ingenuity. It can even give life a distinctive meaning.

So if you aspire to make yourself miserable, what are the best, most proven techniques for doing it? Let’s exclude some obvious ways, like doing drugs, committing crimes, gambling, and beating up your spouse or neighbor. Subtler strategies, ones that won’t lead anyone to suspect that you’re acting deliberately, can be highly effective. But you need to pretend that you want to be happy, like everybody else, or people won’t take your misery seriously. The real art is to behave in ways that’ll bring on misery while allowing you to claim that you’re an innocent victim, ideally of the very people from whom you’re forcibly extracting compassion and pity.

Here, I cover most areas of life, such as family, work, friends, and romantic partners. These areas will overlap nicely, since you can’t ruin your life without ruining your marriage and maybe your relationships with your children and friends. It’s inevitable that as you make yourself miserable, you’ll be making those around you miserable also, at least until they leave you—which will give you another reason to feel miserable. So it’s important to keep in mind the benefits you’re accruing in your misery.

• When you’re miserable, people feel sorry for you. Not only that, they often feel obscurely guilty, as if your misery might somehow be their fault. This is good! There’s power in making other people feel guilty. The people who love you and those who depend on you will walk on eggshells to make sure that they don’t say or do anything that will increase your misery.

• When you’re miserable, since you have no hopes and expect nothing good to happen, you can’t be disappointed or disillusioned.

• Being miserable can give the impression that you’re a wise and worldly person, especially if you’re miserable not just about your life, but about society in general. You can project an aura of someone burdened by a form of profound, tragic, existential knowledge that happy, shallow people can’t possibly appreciate.

Honing Your Misery Skills

Let’s get right to it and take a look at some effective strategies to become miserable. This list is by no means exhaustive, but engaging in four or five of these practices will help refine your talent.

1. Be afraid, be very afraid, of economic loss. In hard economic times, many people are afraid of losing their jobs or savings. The art of messing up your life consists of indulging these fears, even when there’s little risk that you’ll actually suffer such losses. Concentrate on this fear, make it a priority in your life, moan continuously that you could go broke any day now, and complain about how much everything costs, particularly if someone else is buying. Try to initiate quarrels about other people’s feckless, spendthrift ways, and suggest that the recession has resulted from irresponsible fiscal behavior like theirs.

Fearing economic loss has several advantages. First, it’ll keep you working forever at a job you hate. Second, it balances nicely with greed, an obsession with money, and a selfishness that even Ebenezer Scrooge would envy. Third, not only will you alienate your friends and family, but you’ll likely become even more anxious, depressed, and possibly even ill from your money worries. Good job!

Exercise: Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, and, for 15 minutes, meditate on all the things you could lose: your job, your house, your savings, and so forth. Then brood about living in a homeless shelter.

2. Practice sustained boredom. Cultivate the feeling that everything is predictable, that life holds no excitement, no possibility for adventure, that an inherently fascinating person like yourself has been deposited into a completely tedious and pointless life through no fault of your own. Complain a lot about how bored you are. Make it the main subject of conversation with everyone you know so they’ll get the distinct feeling that you think they’re boring. Consider provoking a crisis to relieve your boredom. Have an affair (this works best if you’re already married and even better if you have an affair with someone else who’s married); go on repeated shopping sprees for clothes, cars, fancy appliances, sporting equipment (take several credit cards, in case one maxes out); start pointless fights with your spouse, boss, children, friends, neighbors; have another child; quit your job, clean out your savings account, and move to a state you know nothing about.

A side benefit of being bored is that you inevitably become boring. Friends and relatives will avoid you. You won’t be invited anywhere; nobody will want to call you, much less actually see you. As this happens, you’ll feel lonely and even more bored and miserable.

Exercise: Force yourself to watch hours of mindless reality TV programs every day, and read only nonstimulating tabloids that leave you feeling soulless. Avoid literature, art, and keeping up with current affairs.

3. Give yourself a negative identity. Allow a perceived emotional problem to absorb all other aspects of your self-identification. If you feel depressed, become a Depressed Person; if you suffer from social anxiety or a phobia, assume the identity of a Phobic Person or a Person with Anxiety Disorder. Make your condition the focus of your life. Talk about it to everybody, and make sure to read up on the symptoms so you can speak about them knowledgeably and endlessly. Practice the behaviors most associated with that condition, particularly when it’ll interfere with regular activities and relationships. Focus on how depressed you are and become weepy, if that’s your identity of choice. Refuse to go places or try new things because they make you too anxious. Work yourself into panic attacks in places it’ll cause the most commotion. It’s important to show that you don’t enjoy these states or behaviors, but that there’s nothing you can do to prevent them.

Practice putting yourself in the physiological state that represents your negative identity. For example, if your negative identity is Depressed Person, hunch your shoulders, look at the floor, breathe shallowly. It’s important to condition your body to help you reach your negative peak as quickly as possible.

Exercise: Write down 10 situations that make you anxious, depressed, or distracted. Once a week, pick a single anxiety-provoking situation, and use it to work yourself into a panic for at least 15 minutes.

4. Pick fights. This is an excellent way of ruining a relationship with a romantic partner. Once in a while, unpredictably, pick a fight or have a crying spell over something trivial and make unwarranted accusations. The interaction should last for at least 15 minutes and ideally occur in public. During the tantrum, expect your partner to be kind and sympathetic, but should he or she mention it later, insist that you never did such a thing and that he or she must have misunderstood what you were trying to say. Act injured and hurt that your partner somehow implied you weren’t behaving well.

Another way of doing this is to say unexpectedly, “We need to talk,” and then to barrage your partner with statements about how disappointed you are with the relationship. Make sure to begin this barrage just as your partner is about to leave for some engagement or activity, and refuse to end it for at least an hour. Another variation is to text or phone your partner at work to express your issues and disappointments. Do the same if your partner is out with friends.

Exercise: Write down 20 annoying text messages you could send to a romantic partner. Keep a grudge list going, and add to it daily.

5. Attribute bad intentions. Whenever you can, attribute the worst possible intentions to your partner, friends, and coworkers. Take any innocent remark and turn it into an insult or attempt to humiliate you. For example, if someone asks, “How did you like such and such movie?” you should immediately think, He’s trying to humiliate me by proving that I didn’t understand the movie, or He’s preparing to tell me that I have poor taste in movies. The idea is to always expect the worst from people. If someone is late to meet you for dinner, while you wait for them, remind yourself of all the other times the person was late, and tell yourself that he or she is doing this deliberately to slight you. Make sure that by the time the person arrives, you’re either seething or so despondent that the evening is ruined. If the person asks what’s wrong, don’t say a word: let him or her suffer.

Exercise: List the names of five relatives or friends. For each, write down something they did or said in the recent past that proves they’re as invested in adding to your misery as you are.

6. Whatever you do, do it only for personal gain. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to help someone, contribute to a charity, or participate in a community activity. Don’t do it, unless there’s something in it for you, like the opportunity to seem like a good person or to get to know somebody you can borrow money from some day. Never fall into the trap of doing something purely because you want to help people. Remember that your primary goal is to take care of Numero Uno, even though you hate yourself.

Exercise: Think of all the things you’ve done for others in the past that haven’t been reciprocated. Think about how everyone around you is trying to take from you. Now list three things you could do that would make you appear altruistic while bringing you personal, social, or professional gain.

7. Avoid gratitude. Research shows that people who express gratitude are happier than those who don’t, so never express gratitude. Counting your blessings is for idiots. What blessings? Life is suffering, and then you die. What’s there to be thankful for?

Well-meaning friends and relatives will try to sabotage your efforts to be thankless. For example, while you’re in the middle of complaining about the project you procrastinated on at work to your spouse during an unhealthy dinner, he or she might try to remind you of how grateful you should be to have a job or food at all. Such attempts to encourage gratitude and cheerfulness are common and easily deflected. Simply point out that the things you should be grateful for aren’t perfect—which frees you to find as much fault with them as you like.

Exercise: Make a list of all the things you could be grateful for. Next to each item, write down why you aren’t. Imagine the worst. When you think of the future, imagine the worst possible scenario. It’s important to be prepared for and preemptively miserable about any possible disaster or tragedy. Think of the possibilities: terrorist attacks, natural disasters, fatal disease, horrible accidents, massive crop failures, your child not getting picked for the varsity softball team.

8. Always be alert and in a state of anxiety. Optimism about the future leads only to disappointment. Therefore, you have to do your best to believe that your marriage will flounder, your children won’t love you, your business will fail, and nothing good will ever work out for you.

Exercise: Do some research on what natural or manmade disasters could occur in your area, such as earthquakes, floods, nuclear plant leaks, rabies outbreaks. Focus on these things for at least an hour a day.

9. Blame your parents. Blaming your parents for your defects, shortcomings, and failures is among the most important steps you can take. After all, your parents made you who you are today; you had nothing to do with it. If you happen to have any good qualities or successes, don’t give your parents credit. Those are flukes.

Extend the blame to other people from your past: the second-grade teacher who yelled at you in the cafeteria, the boy who bullied you when you were 9, the college professor who gave you a D on your paper, your first boyfriend, even the hick town you grew up in—the possibilities are limitless. Blame is essential in the art of being miserable.

Exercise: Call one of your parents and tell her or him that you just remembered something horrible they did when you were a child, and make sure he or she understands how terrible it made you feel and that you’re still suffering from it.

10. Don’t enjoy life’s pleasures. Taking pleasure in things like food, wine, music, and beauty is for flighty, shallow people. Tell yourself that. If you inadvertently find yourself enjoying some flavor, song, or work of art, remind yourself immediately that these are transitory pleasures, which can’t compensate for the miserable state of the world. The same applies to nature. If you accidentally find yourself enjoying a beautiful view, a walk on the beach, or a stroll through a forest, stop! Remind yourself that the world is full of poverty, illness, and devastation. The beauty of nature is a deception.

Exercise: Once a week, engage in an activity that’s supposed to be enjoyable, but do so while thinking about how pointless it is. In other words, concentrate on removing all sense of pleasure from the pleasurable activity.

11. Ruminate. Spend a great deal of time focused on yourself. Worry constantly about the causes of your behavior, analyze your defects, and chew on your problems. This will help you foster a pessimistic view of your life. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by any positive experience or influence. The point is to ensure that even minor upsets and difficulties appear huge and portentous.

You can ruminate on the problems of others or the world, but make them about you. Your child is sick? Ruminate on what a burden it is for you to take time off from work to care for her. Your spouse is hurt by your behavior? Focus on how terrible it makes you feel when he points out how you make him feel. By ruminating not only on your own problems but also those of others, you’ll come across as a deep, sensitive thinker who holds the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Exercise: Sit in a comfortable chair and seek out negative feelings, like anger, depression, anxiety, boredom, whatever. Concentrate on these feelings for 15 minutes. During the rest of the day, keep them in the back of your mind, no matter what you’re doing.

12. Glorify or vilify the past. Glorifying the past is telling yourself how good, happy, fortunate, and worthwhile life was when you were a child, a young person, or a newly married person—and regretting how it’s all been downhill ever since. When you were young, for example, you were glamorous and danced the samba with handsome men on the beach at twilight; and now you’re in a so-so marriage to an insurance adjuster in Topeka. You should’ve married tall, dark Antonio. You should’ve invested in Microsoft when you had the chance. In short, focus on what you could’ve and should’ve done, instead of what you did. This will surely make you miserable.

Vilifying the past is easy, too. You were born in the wrong place at the wrong time, you never got what you needed, you felt you were discriminated against, you never got to go to summer camp. How can you possibly be happy when you had such a lousy background? It’s important to think that bad memories, serious mistakes, and traumatic events were much more influential in forming you and your future than good memories, successes, and happy events. Focus on bad times. Obsess about them. Treasure them. This will ensure that, no matter what’s happening in the present, you won’t be happy.

Exercise: Make a list of your most important bad memories and keep it where you can review it frequently. Once a week, tell someone about your horrible childhood or how much better your life was 20 years ago.

13. Find a romantic partner to reform. Make sure that you fall in love with someone with a major defect (cat hoarder, gambler, alcoholic, womanizer, sociopath), and set out to reform him or her, regardless of whether he or she wants to be reformed. Believe firmly that you can reform this person, and ignore all evidence to the contrary.

Exercise: Go to online dating sites and see how many bad choices you can find in one afternoon. Make efforts to meet these people. It’s good if the dating site charges a lot of money, since this means you’ll be emotionally starved and poor.

14. Be critical. Make sure to have an endless list of dislikes and voice them often, whether or not your opinion is solicited. For example, don’t hesitate to say, “That’s what you chose to wear this morning?” or “Why is your voice so shrill?” If someone is eating eggs, tell them you don’t like eggs. Your negativity can be applied to almost anything.

It helps if the things you criticize are well liked by most people so that your dislike of them sets you apart. Disliking traffic and mosquitos isn’t creative enough: everyone knows what it’s like to find these things annoying, and they won’t pay much attention if you find them annoying, too. But disliking the new movie that all your friends are praising? You’ll find plenty of opportunities to counter your friends’ glowing reviews with your contrarian opinion.

Exercise: Make a list of 20 things you dislike and see how many times you can insert them into a conversation over the course of the day. For best results, dislike things you’ve never given yourself a chance to like.

—–

I’ve just listed 14 ways to make yourself miserable. You don’t have to nail every one of them, but even if you succeed with just four or five, make sure to berate yourself regularly for not enacting the entire list. If you find yourself in a therapist’s office—because someone who’s still clinging to their love for you has tricked you into going—make sure your misery seems organic. If the therapist enlightens you in any way or teaches you mind-body techniques to quiet your anxious mind, make sure to co-opt the conversation and talk about your misery-filled dreams from the night before. If the therapist is skilled in dream analysis, quickly start complaining about the cost of therapy itself. If the therapist uses your complaints as a launching pad to discuss transference issues, accuse him or her of having countertransference issues. Ultimately, the therapist is your enemy when trying to cultivate misery in your life. So get out as soon as possible. And if you happen upon a therapist who’ll sit quietly while you bring all 14 items on this list to life each week, call me. I’ll want to make an appointment, too.

 

You’re Welcome.

 

cross posted from alternet.org

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Be Wary During the Job Search

Sometimes you just need a job.

And in tough times, many people will take virtually any job that comes along if it means they can collect a paycheck.

I get that. Do what you have to, at least temporarily, to provide for those who depend on you.

But what if you don’t have to take the first job that comes your way?

In that case, you can afford to pay attention to those alarm bells that sometimes go off in your head during an interview — the kind that make you wonder if this job is really right for you, or if you’re about to join the office from hell.

Here are some ways to prevent you from moving from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.

Knowledge can be power if used properly. Do your homework on a company. Perform Web searches, not just of the company’s website, but look for other places where it’s appeared in news stories. Seek out people who can provide a sense for its corporate culture, how the company deals with its customers, vendors, etc.

Armed with that knowledge, you can ask open-ended questions during your interview. While you can’t say, “A friend tells me your company treats its employees like indentured servants,” you can weigh the employer’s feedback against what you’ve heard or read.

Maybe seek out a third source before deciding whether to accept the job. An employer will typically put his best foot forward. Part of your job is to determine where the land mines may be.

Listen to how a manager describes his team. Does he use words like “them” or “those people” frequently? You like to hear terms like, “us, our, we.”

Ask about corporate culture. Answers will vary. Does the answer sound plausible? Ask about training and opportunity for advancement. Be sure to qualify that latter question by saying, “Assuming someone comes in and performs up to expectations, what do you see as future opportunities?” This should give you a sense for whether the company promotes from within.

Take a look at your physical surroundings while on the interview. How clean and new does the place look? A rundown facility might reflect on company ownership and leadership. While you can’t always judge a book by its cover, a decision to work for a company is a biggie, and you need to take all aspects into account. If they don’t invest in upkeep of their facility, what does that tell you about how they’ll invest in you?

Listen to the employer. If all he does is talk in glowing terms about the company, he might be trying to “sell” you on the place. An interview should be a healthy exchange of information. Be wary when the employer seems to go out of his way to impress you.

Other questions to consider asking include why the position is open, how long it’s been open, why they haven’t been successful in hiring to this point.

Remember, it’s best to ask open-ended questions, such as “tell me about” or “help me understand how.”

If the company and/or the job content isn’t to your liking, ask yourself why you’d trade a known entity for an unknown you don’t feel good about. The mere fact someone wants to hire you is an ego-booster, but is it truly a positive career move?

Do your homework and ask good questions. Good luck!

 

 

Randy Wooden

Director, Professional Center at Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC

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7 ways to change your life in the next 7 days

Life change may seem to take years to achieve but there are steps you can walk today and in the next week that perhaps can change your life forever.

Most are little steps, but when combined together they can create big and lasting change.

Here are 7 ways to change your life in the next 7 days.

1. Change your words and phrases

One of the most effective ways to change your life is to change your attitude and mindset. And the best way to change your attitude and mindset is to remove certain words and phrases from your vocabulary and to replace them with others that are more positive.

It might take some time to remove negative phrases and words because you’ve gotten so used to them. But once you start using new words and phrases that are more positive, you’ll be surprised at how almost instantly people around you react differently and how you look at the world around you in a fresh way.

Your entire life changes without you having to change everything.

Here are some words and phrases to stop using:

- “It’s just one of those days.”

- “Same s**t, different day.”

- “Same old, same old.”

- “Pretty good.”

- “What’s the world coming to?”

- “Kids these days.”

- “I can’t.”

- “I don’t know.”

- “The good old days.” (Suggested by Lyved reader Tyler)

- Hate – It’s such a powerful word that has become too common in our vocabulary.

- Retarded – I don’t know why people insist on using this word to describe something they don’t like or understand.

- Gay (Requested by Lyved reader Max based on the same negative use as “retarded”)

For some ideas on what you can start saying to improve your life and make lasting, positive change, please read our article: 50 things to say before you die.

2. Count your blessings

We all get caught up and forget to reflect on how fortunate we are. So in the next 7 days take an hour and think about:

What you’re glad to have experienced – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s a bad experience, but it’s shaped who you are. For me, one thing I’m glad I experienced was poverty.

What you’re fortunate to have – family, food, shelter.

What you’re fortunate to not have – it could be sickness or debt.

3. Dust off your bucket list

Take out your list of things to do before you die and find something you can do in the next week. Or write something new down and do it.

4. Wake up claiming the Best. Day. Ever.

One day can positively change your entire life. And that one day needs to start with one good morning.

During the next 7 days wake up claiming that it will be the best day ever and try your hardest to maintain that attitude all day.

5. Try something you think you’re bad at

Perhaps you think you’re horrible at singing, writing, basketball, or some other talent. But perhaps you’ve just never really given yourself the time to attempt and if you do, you might find a new talent for yourself.

6. Declare your life’s purpose

It can certainly be done in a week with focus and a bit of work.

To help you, here are two articles you might be interested in reading:

5 easy pieces to piecing together your purpose in life

What do you want on your headstone?

7. Recognize change happens constantly

Every single day your life changes no matter what. Even if you go through the same routine over and over again, no two days are ever the same. Recognize this and even the days of adversity and pain will become bearable because you know that “good new days” lie ahead.

 

Cross posted from lyved.com

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I’m a Young Mom and Would Like to Go Back to College. How Can Goodwill Help Me?

First of all I would like to commend you for wanting to further your education.  Being a mom is challenging in itself.  Goodwill can help you in exploring your options.

  • We would first need to explore your needs (financial, childcare, transportation, etc.) and make referrals to agencies if needed.
  • You need to explore your interests and skills.  Goodwill can give you an assessment test.  Actually www.careeronestop has several good self assessments.
  • Once we know your interest and skills, Goodwill can recommend different avenues to achieve your goal.  My Goodwill has several training programs which would be useful in getting a job and continuing the pursuit of your education.  For example I had a client complete her CNA1 and CNA2.  The hospital hired her and paid for her Nursing Degree. Success!!!
  • Another avenue would be the Wal-Mart Foundation program (www.goodwill.org/beyondjobs/).  This program assist single moms get job training and placement in certain areas.
  • Goodwill can help identify local job trends.  What are the areas of job growth?  Industrial Engineering is a growing in my area.
  • Goodwill can set up information interviews.  While on line websites, such as www.americasjobbank.com, have great information; there is nothing like hearing from the horse’s mouth.  You can find out the good, bad and the ugly.  Then decide if it is what you want to do.
  • Goodwill can also help in researching colleges.  You can find information on financial aid and which college would be best for your interest area.
  • If you need a job while going to school, remember that is Goodwill’s specialty.  We are here to help.

Good luck on your new adventure.  You are a great example for your children. Remember Goodwill is here to help guide you through the process and celebrate your success.  That’s my favorite part…

Tempy Albright

Job Developer/Skills Training Manager

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New Year Career and Job Search Resolutions

Are you finding it hard to make a career change decision? Are you looking for a new job position? Are you planning to start a business of your own? Making New Year’s resolutions is not a tough job. What is tougher is keeping or sticking those resolutions. Given below are some essential tips on how to make and keep resolutions.

Develop a plan
While making career resolutions, remember not to make compulsive resolutions. Studies show that career resolutions that are not developed according to a plan are very less likely to be achieved or fulfilled. Therefore, follow a series of essential steps to develop an effective plan for achieving the resolutions that you have made for your career.

Prepare a list of all your career goals
What are the changes you want to make? What goals do you want to achieve? Those who are faced with crossroads in their lives need to enlist all the future goals which they want to work towards and achieve. Setting up goals also requires you to be specific. You can not just say that finding a new job is your goal. The goal should be to find a job with the employer that offers you workplace flexibility and meets your specific requirements, in terms of your personal values, unique skills and strengths.

Rank your goals in order of priority
If you really wish to make your career resolutions work for you, break your larger goals into multiple smaller ones and prioritize them. Be realistic about resolutions you make and what you expect from your career. Do remember not to have too many goals at one time. This will only lead you to losing your focus. If a change of career is on your career resolution list and you require some additional training, your first goal should be to complete the training and acquire the skills you need. Next comes the step of changing a career .

Think of all the possible ways needed to reach your goals
Whether it is about finding a new job or changing a career, you need to think of new ways of achieving your career goals. For example, if you have been unsuccessful in getting a new job and are still trying, you certainly need to polish your job search skills. You need to review each single step involved in the process, right from resume making to landing a job of your choice. Be prepared to think new and different and use all the possible means that can lead you towards your goals.

Make changes in your lifestyle
Making resolutions and achieving your career goals relate to your surroundings. If your surrounding supports your efforts, it will help you a lot stick to resolutions you have made and lead along the path of career success . But how do you create a surrounding that supports your efforts? Well, you do it by making changes in your lifestyle, by reprogramming yourself, by replacing old behaviors with new one and by reorganizing yourself.

Be ready to celebrate your successes
So, you have broken your larger goals into smaller ones or smaller manageable tasks. Now be ready to reward yourself and celebrate each time you take a successful step or achieve a smaller goal. In this way, you will be able to record your progress and know that you are actually on the right path and progressing towards your ultimate goal.

Be mentally prepared to face setbacks
No path to success can be free of obstacles. Whatever career goals you have set, you need to include this in your new year’s career resolutions and stick to it. When you are trying to find a new job or planning to change careers, you will always come across many hurdles in your career. When you are prepared in advance to handle these setbacks, you will never by discouraged by such circumstances. And the setback will never become your excuse for giving up on your goal.

The most important thing to remember is that resolutions should never be created only to please others. At the end of the day, only you will be responsible for keeping to your resolutions and achieving your career goals. Making a career change decision or finding a more fulfilling new job always head the list of New Year resolutions people make. No doubt, New Year is a good time for making resolutions. However, you should not wait for an arbitrary date to start making resolutions.

 

Courtesy of Jobdiagnosis.com

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Why Stress Yourself?

There are so many circumstances that individuals are faced with on a consistent daily basis that may cause stress.  Some of these stress factors, whether internal or external are challenges, difficulties and sometimes just unexpected situations that are due to our environment, jobs, relationships and our families.  Often, we may feel the pressures of these factors bombard us all at one time causing stress, anxiety and depression.  Stress is a known “silent killer.”  Stress has been a proven cause of heart attacks, aneurisms, ulcers and even fatalities.

In today’s economy individuals are stressing over unemployment as well as working jobs that require the labor of two people.  Being employed or unemployed can create a stressful environment, but we have to choose how to handle situations.  We, solely allow ourselves to become stressed.  I believe our attitude and how we respond to situations dictates the amount of stress we place upon ourselves.  So always try to keep a positive attitude about your situation or circumstance.  Don’t compound the problem with worry cause it only leads to stress and other illnesses. Remember, Nothing stays the same!

Bryant King

Career Connections Specialist

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Keeping Hope Alive

One of my greatest life lessons, to date, is learning that everything in our lives happen for a reason.  Upon my release from prison, I applied at more places than I could count, was turned down by many, and applied for more positions.  One employer, after being honest about my criminal record, offered me a position as a receptionist.  I was so excited and thought things were looking up.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short lived.   I arrived early for my first day but was disheartened when the employer notified me that another employee in the organization did not feel comfortable with me in the office as I had been incarcerated.  My heart plummeted and my hope diminished.  The person apologized but ultimately the job was offered to someone else.   I had to take a moment, regroup, and begin my search anew.

When one door closes, another one opens.  After this obstacle, I secured employment at a transitional house, and began my 500 hours of community service hours at Goodwill Industries of NWNC.  Now 5 years later, I am working at Goodwill Industries assisting others with criminal records.
I look back to that moment and now want to thank that employer for not hiring me as I am now in a position that I love.


Tonja Fultz

Project Re-entry Employment Specialist

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