In 1986 Robert Fulghum published the number one best seller, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” I recall how the book “spoke to me” at a time when my life had recently been turned up-side-down and I was having to deal with things that were totally unfamiliar to me. I found that if I could relate the unknown to something for which I had experience (something that turned out positive) it was easier to cope, and learn, and accomplish my goals.
Looking for employment and finding my way in a world full of professionals who seemed to have some secret guidebook on how to successfully manage their careers, was one of those unfamiliar things that was thrust upon me. As with Fulghum’s book, I found familiar life experiences – for example, child rearing, planning a trip, or dating to be somewhat analogous to my tasks at hand. And as I found employment and began molding my career, I discovered that I could help others do the same by connecting them to analogies in their own life that would help dispel some of the mystery – and anxiety – about job search and career management.
In that regard, I am creating this book review to tell you about two delightful children’s books I discovered a few years ago, which were written by Stephen Krensky: “How Santa Got His Job” and “How Santa Lost His Job.” This has been an extremely trying year for professionals. Many have lost their jobs and many have spent an unprecedented amount of time (28.5 weeks, on average) trying to find new employment. When faced with the unfamiliar (and somewhat scary) reality of the job market, why not turn to something/someone more familiar for guidance. And who is better known than Santa Claus?
I gleaned from Krensky’s books 10 valuable, yet simple, lessons about finding employment and a satisfying career taught by a jolly old fat man in a red suit:
Identify your interests, abilities and values
Sample different jobs
Recognize when something is not a good fit
Accept that some people will not like you or the way you work
Keep your eyes open for new opportunities
Don’t internalize failure – learn from it
Build and nurture a strong professional network
Don’t go it alone – work and problem solve as a team
Leverage your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses
Remember that no job is perfect – always be prepared with the right tools and resources
This is pretty straightforward but many people fail to be too conscious of exactly what is going in their minds. Books, music, movies and art all have profound effects on our mind. They change the very chemistry by inducing emotions. It is why you must choose what is allowed to go into your mind. You must be the gatekeeper. You must control what goes in least the product is allowed to run amok.
Does this resonate positive emotions or negative ones?
Is the person that created this a person I would like to know in real life?
Does this product fit into my life plan, my goals, my idea for what I want my future to look like?
Will this product engage me, make me learn, make me open my mind to new ideas?
The reality is that everything you consume, every conversation you have, every image your brain sees effects your future. Often I wondered when I was young why certain people seemed to ignore me when I spoke of something negative or in a cynical tone. The answer I know now – they were filtering their reality. They were keeping their mind, the world around them, exactly how they wanted it. Think of it as pruning the roses.
You are the only person that can allow something in your mind.
So let it be the stuff you ACTUALLY WANT in your mind.
I believe Hitler was a great person, the holocaust never happened and that fathers may throw battery acid on their daughters faces when they misbehave. Who are you to tell me I am wrong?
Many people take a subjective view of the truth and believe each person shapes their own reality according to his or her own terms. Thus whatever they believe is true is right for them and you can’t tell them they are wrong. However I argue this subjective view of reality is not only delusional but false for the following reasons:
1) It directly contradicts the generally accepted view of the truth which is: The correct representation of objective reality (the bigger reality we’re all a part of).
2) If people do in fact create their own truths than Galileo’s claim that the sun is the center of the solar system is not true for everyone but just for those who want to believe it. Those who deny the holocaust happened and those who believe the earth is flat are correct and so are those who take opposing views. However this is a fallacy of logic because a statement can’t be both true and false at the same time.
See the problem?
The truth is not personal, subjective and shaped by our own preferences and desires; just because we believe something doesn’t always make it correct. By looking at the above examples, we clearly see that the notion that each person creates their own truth doesn’t hold up under close examination. Instead, we discover the truth by asking questions, seeking new knowledge and keeping an open mind.