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Complacency: The Art of Career Self-Sabotage

Complacency: The Art of Career Self-Sabotage

It seems to come out of nowhere. Boom. Blindsided. That’s complacency. It’s career suicide. Sounds harsh, I know, but the job market is highly competitive and companies are under pressure to grow in a time of uncertainty.  They are looking for employees to add value each and every day.  In a perfect world, leaders would be phenomenal mentors guiding your career development. We don’t live in a perfect world. Although there are some truly outstanding bosses out there, that doesn’t always equal a great career mentor.

The reality is you own your career. You know yourself better than anyone else so why leave something so important in the hands of others?

Being complacent can derail your career rather quickly.  You have enough to worry in life so don’t use complacency as a means to self-sabotage.

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Here’s 8 quick tips to keep you on track:

1. Be the problem solver

Revolutionary ideas are seldom born from the status quo. Problem solving is the essence of a visionary employee. Bosses love problem solvers. It makes their life easier. And, being viewed as a problem solver can accelerate your career; they are in high demand.

2. Don’t be satisfied

Having healthy discontent is good.  Being comfortable is being stagnant and being stagnant doesn’t add daily value.  Accomplishments and success are driven by discontent.  Use the power of dissatisfaction wisely.

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3. Build your network

Build your network now.  Build it before you need to use it. You will use your network for mentors, for expertise you are lacking, and if you ever need to find a job.  Building a strategic network takes time so it’s best to devote proper time to do this.

4. Be engaged

Your best work will be performed when you are engaged. Highly engaged employees have focus, energy, and are driven for results. You’ll also experience a deeper connection to the company and to your co-workers when you have a sense of engagement.   Engagement and innovation create high-performance results.

5. Keep exploring your passion

A passion felt at age 22 may not be the passion felt at age 32.  Life changes and life transforms.  It is important to conduct regular reevaluations of your goals and visions.  Once you have your goals clarified, ask yourself how passionate you are about your goals.  If you are going to be successful in meeting your goals, you will not be able to do it without passion.

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6.    Know your personal brand and personal identity

Jobs come and go but you need to live with yourself 24 hours a day.  Be sure you like the person you have become or you won’t be very happy with the results.

7. Professional development

Don’t be left behind. It is crucial to keep up with industry knowledge and technology trends.  Become the subject matter expert in your field.  This means people will need you instead of you needing them.  That’s the best way to own your career.

8. Take your vacation

Sounds like a no-brainer but it’s not.  You will never be at your best if you are tired, run down, or just mentally drained.  You will always be dragging your butt instead of leading the way.

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“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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