Life Begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

Life Begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsh Your comfort zone is the behavioural space where your patterns and routines minimize your stress and risk with a situation. It provides you with mental security and provides you with the obvious benefits of basic happiness, reduced anxiety, and lower stress. It is also one of the most important challenges to your success and enjoyment of life - if you stay in your comfort zone you may be less stressed, but you will also be learning less, experiencing less, learning less, and growing less. The idea of "stepping out of your comfort zone" isn't just a great sound bite or quote - it actually stems from the research of Robert M Yerkes and John D Dodson in 1908 where they found that to maximize performance they needed to create a state of "relative anxiety" that they called "Optimal Anxiety". This doesn't mean putting someone into a completely uncomfortable position, but it...
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The Millennial Challenge

The Millennial Challenge

Last week I was at the Niagara Economic Summit where they tackled a number of issues related to employment in the Niagara Region including a power talk on the topic of millennials. The millennial discussion was led by a panel of largely millennial speakers including Chris Sinclair, Julie Rorison, Allie Hughes, Alyssa Lai, Stephanie Harper, and Stephen Murdoch. In the discussion the panelist spoke about the way millennials differ from previous generations in their work styles, their own experiences as employees and employers, and some strategies for other millennials to getting themselves started in the work force. Having recently been doing some work supporting the start-up of a non-profit focused specifically on helping millennials make the leap from student to productive professional I've been doing some research on the topic myself and I found the discussion at the Summit very interesting. It is one thing to read survey data from big corporations and newspapers and to talk to professionals about their...
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What Have You Done For Me Lately?

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I was speaking with someone recently who had recently been downsized from a company that they had been with for over 15 years. Over that 15 years they had moved up the corporate ladder and were regarded as a rising star in the organization early in their career. Over the past couple of years however their political "stock" had started to fall as the organization had shifted their focus and direction slightly and there had been some turnover in the senior management team. Ultimately this individual had been part of a broad set of job reductions that the company had taken to improve productivity. They were lamenting the fact that they had given 15 years of their life and hard work to an organization that didn't appreciate that legacy and they were feeling very "hard done by" by the whole situation. Having recently gone through a similar experience myself it gave me a great opportunity to reflect on what was different...
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Who Are You?

Who Are You?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I define myself as a person. What parts of my life define who I am and if I'm asked what would I consider the most important things to communicate about who I am? What I've found is that by taking a good long look at all of the components of my life I have been able to create a better framework for how I face daily challenges and big decisions. (more…)...
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Unleashing Authenticity

Unleashing Authenticity

I watched an incredible TED Talk this morning from Caroline Casey that had an extraordinary effect on me. I'm fairly sure I got a few looks on the GO Train as I alternated between wiping tears from my eyes to chuckling out loud, but the message struck a core nerve for me. I won't spoil the talk, but Caroline makes a stunning admission to open the story and then discusses how her life and parents taught her the power of believing in looking past and defeating limits that might be placed in our way. (more…)...
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Keep Your Head In The Game

Keep Your Head In The Game

I've taken a bit of a hiatus from writing over the past couple months because I felt I really needed to refocus myself a little bit and give myself the time and space to step up from the weeds of life and career and get some perspective on how I want to frame my future.  I found myself not feeling like I was progressing myself internally in a meaningful way, and I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes: It’s only when you drop yesterday’s assumptions that you can glimpse tomorrow’s patterns and possibilities. To see deeper, unsee first. – Umair Haq (more…)...
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