Our Times

Writings of Susan Ople aka Toots, columnist of Panorama Magazine and Tempo, proud mother of Estelle and 7 dogs, namely, Picasso, Monet, Suzy, Miggy, Marty, Chandler and Joey. Daughter of the late war veteran, journalist, writer, labor minister, constitutional commissioner, senator, senate president, and foreign affairs secretary Blas F. Ople aka Ka Blas.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Shifting Gears

On a daily basis, my inbox receives dire messages from readers seeking employment. Some readers make it a point to attach their resumes complete with photos perhaps hoping that I can pass these on to my own contacts. Unfortunately, my personal network is composed mostly of friends who are gainfully employed but not in a position to employ others. A lot of them serve government for a wage that can only be described as a pittance given the load of work and pressures involved.

When I left government, I was suddenly thrust into the very same predicament most of my readers found themselves in. For eighteen years, I had a salary to count on to maintain my simple needs. Although I voluntarily relinquished by position in order to remain true to my principles, it was still a major change to wake up one morning fully aware of the uneventful day ahead of me. Change is always tough especially because I did love working for my bosses and enjoyed the camaraderie of several friends in government service. Nevertheless, I conducted an inventory of my own personal skills and sought the advice of well-meaning friends on how best to proceed with my life. I decided to handle the daily affairs of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute while taking on writing jobs and consultancies on the side.

Today, I have settled into a daily routine with a small, competent staff that I can count on through thick and thin. My days are just as hectic as before but there is a real sense of pride and freedom in finally being on my own. Looking back, I recall a life-altering conversation with a wonderful lady named Tupao Lindberg. It was our very first meeting and I came away from that encounter less worried about my future. By sharing with me her own personal experience, she encouraged me to take the leap from a fixed salary to the more uncertain life of a communications consultant. She told me,” don’t be afraid because I know you have what it takes to make it.” With a giant leap of faith, I decided to let go without a safety net to cling to but with a clear vision of how to create one out of nothing.

I am writing this down for a purpose. I am sure that some of you out there may also wish to shift gears, change lanes, and look for an alternative career or to be self-employed. There is nothing wrong with exploring one’s options and dreaming of a better future in some other place, in a different company or even from your home. Change is tough but in some cases, inevitable. If what you have in mind is a career change, let me cue you in on some strategies that helped me along the way.

One, be candid in assessing your own personal skills and experience. If you are an accountant and you see little potential for growth in your company, you can try to see if there are opportunities for more decent employment elsewhere. Ask around, check with your contacts, spread the word that you would not mind receiving information about companies or individuals who may have accountancy problems that you can help resolve.

Two, be bold in defining your vision. Do you see yourself working abroad as an OFW or holding a job in a huge company? Would you rather be self-employed as a freelance writer perhaps or operating a home-based business like a small catering outfit? This is your vision; let your imagination run wild before checking all ideas against present realities. Some of the best businesses came from having what initially seemed as an outlandish idea.

Three, once you have settled on your vision, do the spadework on how to achieve it. Read books, ask around, interview people who clearly have “been there, done that.” Get all the information that you need to make an informed decision on whether to take that leap of faith or not.

Richard Bolles, in his book “What color is your parachute?” offers this advice:

“In evaluating any ideas that you pick up, the first thing you ought to look at are your dreams. What have you always dreamed about doing? Since childhood? Since last week? Now is the time to dust off these dreams. “

“And please don’t pay any attention, for now, to whether these dreams represent a step up for you in life, or not. Who cares? Your dreams are yours. You may have been dreaming of earning more money. But then again, you may have been dreaming of doing work that you really love, even if it means a lesser salary or income than you have been accustomed to. Don’t judge your dreams, and don’t let anyone else judge them either.”

Life is short and unpredictable. The Lord has given us the same share of minutes to either waste or put to good use. To those of you who are contemplating any kind of change, I say don’t feel guilty about even considering it. And after carefully exploring all options and undertaking a candid appraisal of your own talents and skills, once you have decided to shift gears, change courses, and take flight – I say, go and be fearless because you have a right to flap your wings and deviate from a life plan that may have been imposed on you by others. Have faith in yourself and in the goodness of the Lord. Good fortune is really all about preparation, hard work, and a determination to make your dream finally happen. For those who wish to seek friendly advice, write to me. I am here for you.

1 Comments:

At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!
Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.
1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.
2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.
3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.
Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! personal-development.info

 

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