The Art of Being Present

I have spent the past few years, observing how people behave, both when they are at work, where they should be investing their time as productively as possible, earning a living and also whilst they are at home, where they are meant to be relaxing and recharging their batteries. It astounds me to see, that they are never present when they are doing either.

My observations have shown that when they are at work, they are lost in distraction, day dreaming about, how wonderful it would be, to be away from the office, involved in an activity with their spouse and children or even on the golf course. This means that they are not focused on working, so they perform below par and don’t get everything done they need to do whilst at work. This means that they reach the end of the day, without having wrapped up all the things, they needed to do for the day.

So they go home stressed, overwhelmed and are then forced to think about all the things they need to do the next day, when they go to the office, whilst they should be present, at home with their spouse, children or on the golf course. So when people should be at home resting and re-charging their batteries, they are instead stressed out about all the things they did not get done that day at work. Man, this is a crazy, pointless cycle of endless distraction and overwhelm.

Break Free from Distraction

This means people are never completely present, with anything they do. They are not focused at work, so their productivity is low and they are never able to concentrate and give their full attention towards completing tasks at work. Research has shown that if you are distracted, your IQ drops by 10 points. People, who smoke marijuana, only experience a drop of 5 points in their IQ. So allowing yourself to be distracted, has a greater negative affect on you, than smoking marijuana does. Combine this with the loss in productivity because you are never present, both when you need to be completing tasks at work and re-charging your batteries at home and you can understand why people, seem to just spin their wheels all day, achieving very little.

Learn the art of being present

If you truly want to achieve greatness, then it is time to accept that you need to be 100 % present and focused on what you are doing at that time. When you are at work, forget about how great it would be to be out with your family or water skiing. Be present, focused on the task at hand. This means that you will actually get far more done each day at work, so that you will reach the end of a day, having actually got everything done, which you needed to do that day. So when you leave the office and head home, you really are done for the day and you can go home to spend quality time with your family, where you can be 100 % present too. When you are sitting watching TV with your spouse, you are no longer procrastinating and not doing work related stuff. You are resting, recharging your batteries and spending quality time with the person, who matters most in your life. What could be better?

Being Present invites happiness in

I believe that one of the major reasons why most people struggle to find happiness is because they are never present in the moment. They do not understand that to be happy, is to be present. They do not understand that happiness is really just a state of being, where you are present, living in the moment.

When you are not present, you also never really listen to what people are saying to you. Yes you hear the words, but you can never truly hear what they say. You can never completely absorb the message people are trying to send to you. This can be a huge challenge if you are involved in supporting your customers. You never completely listen to and connect with them.

Distraction gets you through the day

When you are not 100 % present in every moment, where you are instead, locked in a place where you are dreaming about future possibilities or past experiences, you never notice that you are squandering your most valuable possession, namely right now. This means that you float through each day, merely hanging on. Instead of finding ways to get as much as possible from each day, you are left licking your wounds every night, thankful that you got through the day.

Try to learn the art of being always being present. Be where you are 100 %, focus everything in the current moment. Draw as much substance, wealth of experience, productivity and everything on offer from each moment and you will finally get to really live. Truly living is all about being as productive as possible when you work, listening in silence, watching a sunset, investing time with people, who matter and capturing each moment, so that it can become a new part of who and what you are. Life is not something you do; it is something incredible, which you have the privilege to experience, every day. Learn the art of being present; enjoying every moment and you will have mastered the art of living.

The Hidden Value of Trust In A Negotiation (DACA) – Negotiation Tip of the Week

When someone trusts you in a negotiation (you’re always negotiating), they’re more likely to believe what you tell them. Thus, there’s hidden value in trust when negotiating from a long-term perspective. Once trust is broken it’s difficult to regain it. Therefore, broken trust sets off negative ripples that can have unintended and unexpected consequences in the future.

Let’s look at the trust factor with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as an example. The kids in the DACA program were brought to the US by their parents. In most cases, they had no input as to whether they would stay where they were, or travel to the US. They instinctively trusted their parents with that decision. Then, there’s the US government.

The US government basically said, if you register for the DACA program and abide by our requirements (i.e. check in every 2 years and make payment to stay in the program, go to college, serve in the military, stay employed, pay taxes), you’ll be OK in the US.

Some registered and some didn’t. Those in the DACA program trusted the government and abided by their mandate. Then, trust was thrust out the window. Those in the DACA program cried, ‘We did what you asked of us! Why are you going back on your word? We trusted you!’ Those that did not register for the program, if not stated out loud silently thought, ‘see, I told you so; you should not have trusted them. The government can’t be trusted. Now, the information you gave them will be used against you.’ The ripple that such a message sent to non-DACA members was, stay in the shadows and let the darkness protect you.

In the eyes of those in the program, the US government went back on its word and broke the trust it had conveyed. Suffice it to say, the ripples set forth from this situation will cause the government not to be trusted in future matters by different entities. They’ll mentally relate their situation to the resemblance of the DACA plight. That means those submitting information requested by the government will be skeptical at best and cynical at worse when contemplating a course of action that they should adopt. In essence, through the loss of trust, the government has made it more difficult for others to trust it.

If I tell you the truth, will you believe what I say and trust me? If my perception of the truth is altered in the future, will I be declared a liar? If so, what will become of our future negotiation efforts? Those are questions every negotiator needs to consider before and during a negotiation. That’s the hidden force that trust has on a negotiation.

When trust is the foundation upon which a negotiation is built, the truth becomes a happier companion in the negotiation. Therefore, when the truth as one knows it shifts, the shifting of the truth can still have believability.

Change allows you to embrace new experiences, and everything changes. Thus, what’s true today may be proven not to be valid tomorrow. Nevertheless, once trust has been established and nurtured by consistency, over a period of time change can withstand the onslaught of doubt and suspension. In so doing, even when your negotiations become difficult, you’ll have less of a challenge finding a path to success, simply because you had trust adding hidden value to your negotiation… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

How to Present Your Work History, Education, Awards and Personal Interests on Your Resume

This is the information common to all resume formats, and the most boring. No different format, font type or size etc. makes these sections of your resume, any more exciting. They are important, but be very careful of the wording used, how and what you emphasize.

Unless you have just finished school, and have no work history to speak about, start with the education section. Additional [online?] training courses, community education programs, etc. can be combined here, with the heading, “Education and Training,” or something similar.

List your education, starting with the most recent. Highlight the degree, and major, followed by the school, especially if it is well-known. Whether you include year of graduation is a personal preference, but realize it could provide a clue to your age. However, since schools have gone online, more and more adults, over 40, are earning degrees, so dates don’t necessarily mean anything.

If you are a current student, add the above, but this time include the expected date of graduation, or even some such phrase that indicates you only have 3 credits, or 2 classes to complete, before graduating.

Don’t include high school, unless you are 18 through 20, with no college whatsoever, but did well in high school, especially coursework related to your targeted job.

Only list GPA if you graduated recently, are still in school, it’s above 3.2. Include honors regardless of when you graduated. Examples may look like:

Bachelor of Arts in English, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University, IL

Or

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
American InterContinental University-online
Currently attending, will graduate 1/2012
3.7/4/0 GPA

Obviously, there are as many ways to state these, as there are degrees to state!

List work experience starting with your present or most recent job. Company name, city, state, dates you worked there, title of job, and description of your role. This can be done in countless ways, so here are some examples:

Abc Company, Inc., Madison, WI ยท 2006 – 2009
King of the World
Managed and oversaw all store functions. Addressed customers’ needs…
Developed marketing strategies, which increased sales 20% over previous year.

Or

ABC Company, Inc. Madison, WI 6/2006 – 4/2007
King of the World
Managed and oversaw…

Or

2008 to 2010 King of the World, ABC Company, Madison, WI
Managed and oversaw…

There are limitless ways to do this, but the most important thing to remember is, be consistent. Make sure your type fonts, sizes, spaces, etc. are the same throughout.

Other categories, such as awards, memberships, certifications, etc. can be grouped together, under a “Miscellaneous” title, or, if you have numerous certifications, for instance, you can include them on a standalone basis. Just remember, anything miscellaneous, must be relevant to the job or profession you are seeking, and not that you enjoy playing baseball. Employers don’t care about that, and assume you have a life and interests outside of work.