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Winning the Battle of Negative Expectations

Check out this article I read on overcoming pessimism…

Joe a middle-aged mental health professional is what I like to call a closet pessimist. On the outside, Joe looks and sounds like an optimist. He’s quick to offer advice to his clients, as well as friends and family, like:” Hey, it’ll work out- you’ll see “or “Better times are right around the corner.” But when it comes to his own future, Joe is much more pessimistic. He says, “Every time the phone rings, my first thought is ‘Oh Lord, what’s wrong now?’ I hate that but can’t help it—it’s just automatic.”

Joe thinks like a pessimist. Like millions of others, he was raised in an alcoholic, abusive home. As a kid, Joe earned to hope for the best but to expect the worst because in his family life was always one beer away from chaos- It’s how children of alcoholics survive. The problem is, the pessimism of his past has persisted, and now it just complicates his present mental and emotional life.

If you see yourself in Joe’s story, the good news is that you can win the battle of negative expectations. (Happiness for Dummies pg. 69)

Here are five simple rules to help you do just that:

  • Accept the fact that you’re a pessimist at heart. You don’t have to go around sharing the information with just anyone, but you should be honest with yourself about the challenge you face in becoming a more positive-thinking person.
  • Accept the fact that your first thought is always a negative one- that’s just a given- But DO NOT go with this thought, don’t dwell on it, and certainly don’t let it guide your behavior at that momnet.
  • Remember that it’s the second thought that counts. Learn to counter act your initial pessism by substituting an optimistic thought. So, for example, “I’m not sure if I can do this” becomes “wow, what a great opportunity!”
  • Separate the past from the present (and the future). Start saying, “That was then; this is now.” No longer link chaos of your early years (or whatever negative experiences you had in the past) with the expectations you have for things that come up in today’s world.

ü  Reward yourself for this self-initiated change in thinking. Give yourself a pat on the back, or head to your local coffee shop for yur favorite drink.

Remember Anything that was learned can ultimately be unlearned J

“Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.” Thomas L. Friedman

It’s your choice…

Hello Fellow followers!

Did you know researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, completed a survey of over 1,300 healthy men, and found that pessimists had twice the risk of developing heart disease over a ten-year period compared to optimists? You can bet this made the optimistic men and their families- happy.  That’s huge! But sadly many of us continually postpone our happiness, and its not that we consciously set out to do so, but that we keep convincing ourselves, “Someday I’ll be happy”. We tell ourselves we’ll be happy when our bills are paid; when we complete school, get our first job or promotion. We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, or when our spouse gets his or her act together. Meanwhile, life keeps moving forward.

The Truth!

The truth is there’s no better time to be happier than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to acknowledge this and decide to be happy anyway. Here are a few of my favorite quotes about deciding to be happy

-Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness. -William E Gladstone

 

-The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy- it’s all that matters. – Audrey Hepburn

 

-Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy. – Dada Vaswan

 

-Be happy with being you. Love your flaws. Own your quirks. And know that you are just as perfect as anyone else, exactly as you are. -Ariana Grande

 

Remember IT’S YOUR CHOICE!

It’s not them…it’s your Attitude

Greetings fellow followers! Check out this passage by Charles Swindoll.

I challenge you to implement at least one of the below tips into your daily routine.

“The longer I live, the more I realize

the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude to me is more important than facts.

It is more important than the past, than education,

than money, than circumstances, than failures,

than success, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill.

It will make or break a company…a church…a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday

regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We can not change our past…

The only thing we can do is play on the string we have,

And that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10%

What happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you…we are in charge

of our attitudes”.

 CHARLES SWINDOLL

pastor, author

So how do I change my attitude? Good question-Here is two ways you can actively adjust your attitude when you’re not feeling so content.

Monitor your thoughts and substitute new ones-it takes some practice, but once you master it, you’ll find this skill to be a godsend. Because our feelings are connected to our thoughts, if we can change our thoughts, we can change our feelings. But before you can do that you have to be aware of what you’re thinking. Practice by listening to the voice in your head, the inner one that is probably often critical and cranky. Notice what it’s saying when you’re feeling your bad mood. Then ask yourself- what thought would be a more positive one? Deliberately work to insert that one instead, and make yourself think it.

Question yourself and your attitude-One way to get to a point and changing your attitude is to play the game of questioning your attitudes, especially ones you hold on to. Ask where they have come from. Ask what they are serving. Ask what you’re getting by not letting them go… journaling can be really helpful for this. We hold onto things generally because they serve some purpose. Or we hold onto thoughts because we can’t see a way around them. Write them down, and evaluate if they are truly worth focusing on repeatedly.

Remember your attitude affects your altitude. See you at the top!

Learning to Dance in the Rain

Greetings Fellow Followers!

Reading Inspirational stories about the trials and tribulations of others is one thing- finding gratitude in your own struggles and sufferings is another. It’s easy to appreciate and applaud the courage of others who’ve defeated their pain to find beauty and meaning- but it can be much harder when it’s our turn to rise above.

So what can we learn from others’ experiences? How can we adapt their lessons to our own lives?

Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher authors of the book “Learning to dance in the rain” give a few tips that may be considered “dance lessons” for the storms that will sooner or later blow into your life.

Dance Lessons

  • Begin by being thankful for what didn’t happen (i.e. you lost your job…but you didn’t lose your health. Your dog died… but your spouse didn’t. Your mother has Alzheimer’s disease but your father doesn’t)
  • Play the glad game or make a gratitude list. The glad game helps you focus on what’s right in your world today instead of what’s wrong. It’s a terrific way to change your attitude in a hurry. Make a list of the things you are grateful for and glad to have. For example: I’m glad I have you as a mom, I’m grateful I have healthy children,   I’m glad I have reliable transportation.
  • Practice forgiveness- let go of resentment. Someone wise once said, “Holding onto resentment is like swallowing poison, and hoping the other person will die” Resentment doesn’t hurt the person you’re angry at- it hurts you.
  • Look for the lesson in every experience-then move on.
  • Make gratitude a habit
  • Teach others how to be grateful- its contagious, you can catch it from others and they can catch it from you. Teach gratitude to others by living it not just scolding people for not being more grateful.

Remember if other people have learned to dance in the rain, so can YOU!

Eat’n Parks Summer Internship Rocks!

Hello Fellow followers! Check out this cool interview from one of Eat’n Parks summer interns- Courtney Hegeman. Courtney is a student attending Robert Morris University and is working towards completing her Bachelors in Hospitality and Tourism. But before you delve into her interview here is a little background on our management internship.

Our Management Internship program is designed to provide college students the opportunity to explore a career with Eat’n Park restaurants!

The internship spans ten weeks and is modeled after our management training program.  This allows each intern the opportunity to experience all departments, learn management functions, and assist in running shifts under the supervision of the general manager.

Courtney’s Interview

Please describe the most important things you learned during your internship

“The most important things I learned during my internship included learning the roles that every team member serves in the restaurant. Working in all of the different departments taught me how each department depends on each other. My duties included assisting in different department positions including greeting, serving, cooking, prep, baking, and assisting the managers with completing paperwork (shift cards, pull lists, prep lists, and payroll)”

Describe which personal and professional strengths you have developed during you Management Internship.

“Professionally, I have developed a management presence. At first, I was nervous about managing a group of people but this experience has given me confidence in myself to do so. I developed practical skills in the kitchen, and prep areas. Personally, I’ve developed more confidence as well as personal drive to succeed in this field because I love it so much!”

 

 

What areas would you have like to develop further during your Internship experience?

“Honestly, the only thing that I wish is that the internship was longer. I know how to do the basics, but would have liked to work on finding the balance between wearing the different “hats” of management. I have always struggled with wearing the “police hat” and correcting people who are set in their own ways which are commonly wrong. Throughout this experience, I genuinely pushed myself to speak up more when needed.”

What did you enjoy the most about the internship?

“All of the people that I got to work with! It honestly started to feel like a little family. No matter how frustrating things would get at times, we all would come together to get the job done. This caused all of us to bond together-which makes the ending of the internship a little sad”

What could we do to make your internship better?

“The only thing I would recommend is to have a day to work one-on-one with the general manager when he is not on duty. This would make it easier to train in certain areas without interruptions.”

Would you recommend Eat’n Parks internship program to peers at your College/University?

“I would definitely recommend Eat’n Parks internship to anyone! It was such an amazing experience and I met so many great people along the way. The company is so amazing from the top down and I loved seeing different angles of how the organization is run.”

Understanding Separate Realities

Hello fellow followers! While enjoying a day at the spa I had the opportunity to relax and read the excerpt “Understanding Separate Realities” from the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson. Reading this chapter struck a cord- since last week’s blog I featured- learning how to connect with people. So, while on the subject of connecting with people, I find real value understanding that people will have separate realities but when connecting you still have the opportunity to build a valuable relationship if you’re willing to understand and learn what makes that individual tic.

Understanding Separate Realities

It’s not a matter of merely tolerating differences but truly understanding and honoring the fact that it literally can’t be any other way. -“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”

If you have traveled to foreign countries or seen depictions of them in movies, you are aware of vast differences among cultures. The principle of separate realities says that the differences among individuals is every bit as vast.

Richard Carlson states that understanding individuals have separate realities can virtually eliminate quarrels and helps you develop compassion. Why? Because when we expect to see things differently, we take it as a given that others will do things differently and react differently to the same stimuli, the compassion we have for ourselves and for others rises dramatically. The moment we expect otherwise, the potential for conflict exists.

Being interested, without judgment in the way other people choose to live and behave is a strategy geared toward developing your compassion, as well as a way of becoming more patient. When someone acts in a way that seems unusual to you, rather than reacting in your usual way, such as, “I can’t believe they would do that,” instead say something to yourself like I see, that must be the way she/he sees things in their world.

Connecting the dots…to connecting with people

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” - Dale Carnegie

Hello fellow followers! Connecting with people can sometimes be more challenging and uncomfortable than we think.

Take a look at the following tips on how to connect with people by Scott Dinsmore.  Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend, a coaching and digital product company helping people build a career around work they love.

 

  • Be genuine. The only connections that work will be the ones that you truly care about; the world will see through anything short of that.
  • Pay attention. It’s nearly impossible to genuinely offer help if you don’t pay attention — I mean real attention, not just to what sports and foods they like! Learn about their backgrounds and passions. Invest genuine time in learning what really matters to them and how you can help.
  • Make real friends. Think about how you’ve made the friends you have. That’s all this is. You only make friends with people you genuinely want in your life. Don’t over-think it. Be human, be helpful and most humans will happily be human in return, regardless of who they are.
  • Provide help. Even the biggest and most powerful people in the world have something they’d like help with. Too many people never reach out to those above them due to the fear that they wouldn’t be able to offer anything in return. But you have more to offer than you realize: write an article or blog post about them, share their project with your community, and offer to spread their message through a video interview with them. Give real thought to whom you could connect them with to benefit their goals.
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