Want Career Success? Embrace Change!

Do any of these scenarios resonate for you?

You've been on a great career path for several years, but you've hit an advancement plateau.

You've been working in one industry since college, but you find yourself thinking about doing something else.

Your company has gone through a merger, and you feel like there's a "downsize" target on your back.

Seeing yourself in any of the above situations means you're contemplating change – on your terms, or on terms handed to you with a severance package. Current conventional wisdom is that each of us will have three to five careers AND between 10 to 12 jobs in our lifetimes, so fasten your seatbelt. Change is inevitable.

Change is the only constant in our lives. Our bodies change as we grow and age, our lives change as we travel on our career and domestic paths. Human nature resists change – the child in all of us wants our world to stay the same, to maintain the familiar comfort of predictability – but a more empowering response is to see change as an opportunity, to embrace change as a growth medium.

Change and risk are in many ways conspiratorial – during change, the final result is not visible. You're flying blind. Think of Stevie Wonder at the helm of a 747 and you'll get a gut feeling for what "flying blind" really means!

So, here you are, knowing that change is inevitable but frightened because you can not see where you're going. The key here is to immerse yourself in the challenge – if you're busy strategizing, you will not be focusing on your fear.

First, decide what you really want. If change is inevitable, why not ask for what you want? I'm not asking you to "think outside the box", I'm telling you to throw the box out the window and build a new box.

If you know you're management, VP or partner material, but you've hit a ceiling in your current position, research the firms in your industry that would welcome your skill-set and experience and network your way in the door.

If you want to go back to school to get a degree that will give you the credentials to land your "dream job", put your project-planning skills to work and turn achieving that goal into your # 1 project – and see if your company has a tuition-assistance plan.

If you find yourself with a merger or downsize bulls-eye on your job description, put your network to work to identify opportunities at other companies that would welcome your skills and experience.

The key here is to focus on positive outcomes – do not let fear immobilize you. Concentrate on what you want , not what you fear .

Life is short, so it should be sweet. Do not be afraid of change – turn those forks in the road into adventure challenges and manifest your own destiny. …

How to Gain More Than You Invest in Reading

Are you really reading?

You may have found yourself in a position something like this before. You have a book that you will be quizzed over in your next college literature class, only your chums convinced you to hit the big party at the fraternity the night before. Or maybe you just fell asleep reading it.

Next morning, mind fuzzy and hungover, you thumb through James Joyce's Ulysses in an hour, over Fruit Loops and strong coffee. The book reads like an elaborate joke written for hungover college students.

Still, maybe you remember a detail or two and get a couple points you would not have received on the quiz otherwise. You gained something. Not much.

I'll confess to having just an hour to prepare to teach The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, which I had somehow not yet read, to a chipper group of 60 college students. Luckily, it's short.

But, suppose your boss tosss you a 50 page white paper that you need to report on in 20 minutes.

Regardless of the circumstances, you do a lot of different kinds of reading from emails to biographies, and your brain adapts to the needs of the situation (or not). The more skilled you are as a reader and writer, the easier this adaptation becomes.

Reading with a purpose

A spectrum of reading exists, from the challenging to the simple, and I 'mention just a few here to give you some context before I share some tricks for adapting your reading style. You change your reading depending on your purpose and how much time you have:

  • Critical: the serious, methodic, and evaluative. Aims to retain, learn, enter a dialogue, assessment.
  • Serious: the studious, attentive, and focused. Intends to learn but not necessarily assess or evaluate.
  • Strategic: the quick, planned, and purposeful. This is the kind I'll describe in more detail. You do not actually read the whole piece, which makes it different from the next kind.
  • Speed: the super fast and systematic. You can take courses that teach you how to do this various different ways successfully.

Just to reassure you that I'm not taking you down a path to madness, check out this quote and who said it:

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

Albert Einstein

So my aim here is to provide you with tools to allow you to adjust your reading rate depending on the circumstances.

Strategic reading
You can do strategic reading at various rates depending on how much time you have. This is the coolest quality: you can adapt on the fly. Here are the steps:

  1. Note how much time you have and how long the piece is. This lets you know how to pace yourself as you go through the process. You may even decide you need to skip some steps.
  2. Look at the title

If You Want to Take Your Mission in Life to the Next Level, Don’t Look Outside Yourself, Look Inside

This is a little story of a boy and a girl who were playing together. The boy had lot of marbles and the girl had sweets with her. The boy asked the girl if she would exchange her sweets for the marbles. The girl agreed and handed over all the sweets to the boy. However, the boy sneaked out the biggest and the most colorful marble that he had and gave the rest to the girl. That night the girl slept well but the boy was restless all night thinking that the girl may have hidden some sweets from him like the way he had hidden the marble.

The moral of the story is – ‘What you give is what you get and what you get is what you deserve’. In this case, the boy was not honest and thus had a sleepless night filled with doubt.

How often do we come across people who cheat themselves and blame the rest of the world or curse destiny for their level of existence? By nature most people like to play an inferior game and expect superior results; when results fail to come in, they begin the blame game. Isn’t that true?

Introspect and see if you too have been a victim of this self-initiated unfair game of defeat.

While you were in college, you wanted to score a distinction in your academics but put in efforts only to get a second class. What was the result?

While at work, you promised to achieve a certain result but failed to achieve it. Did you and your team really play the game of commitment at level 10?

While attending a training program you expected the trainer to give his level 10, but you never participated at level 10. What was the end result?

Think about it! Why do 1% of people control 85% of the wealth of the world? Why is it that only a handful of people have millions of followers? Why only a few people attain and maintain stardom? Why and how do champions become champions?

The answer is simple – they play their game at Level 10.

You can either believe in destiny or make your own destiny.

Do you think Sachin Tendulkar was destined to become a great cricketer or did he actually steer his life in a manner to become one? When he was barely 8 years he would spend hours practicing cricket, at the age of 12 he was scoring centuries, at the age of 16 years he played for our national team facing the likes of Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. Imagine if he had spent hours watching TV, playing silly games with friends or just lazing around for hours, would he have become an Icon?

At the age of 37, most people ignored his achievements and passion for the game and criticized him for not retiring. And he went to score a double century in one-day internationals, he was the most consistent performer in test …

Truck Driving Schools – What You Should Know

Are you about to make a career change and considering driving truck? There is nothing wrong with that idea. There are jobs out there to be had. You do need to find a company and hope they will be around for a very long time. Even the best and largest can close their doors without any warning whatever.

  • What do driving schools cost?
  • What will you learn?

You'll be able to find a pretty large and varied list of prices for schools all around the country. If you look around you may find one for under $ 1000.00 or so at a community college. The courses may be stretched out so long that they may not meet your needs. The shortest schools that I have been able to find were two weeks in length. You'll find them running from about $ 3000 – to $ 4000 for the course. Do not panic usually only the big outfits are able to hire you straight out of school and there is a blessing in disguise in that. Most of the larger companies will pay a large portion of the tuition over a period of time. They do not want you to quit as soon as you get the loan paid so they stretch the payments over a year or so.

There is financial aid for those who qualify and you can call and ask your school if they can point you in the right direction. They'll have that sort of information. You can also ask your city, county and state organizations if there is any aid to be had for the schools. The guy who sat next to me in my school received a full ride from his National Guard benefits. Ask someone if you need help.

You will all need the knowledge in order to pass the state truck driver exam. They should teach class in order to also receive several endorsements, such as Hazmat, doubles, tankers and others. The driving ranges will be there to get you to go forward, change gears, turn corners. They are not going to teach how to do basic driving; it's assumed you can drive because you already have a license.

After going forward they will teach you to backwards. There will be classes on preventive maintenance, air brakes, dropping and hooking to the trailers. You will also get out into traffic on the highways and put all of your knowledge to practical use. The training will provide you with practice going on to on and off ramps and then how to merge, line up your truck to make turns and other essential maneuvers that you will need to know. …

How to Get Into US Colleges or Universities

The United States of America is the world’s largest educational hub for the students around the world with an approximate 1,000,000 participation so far in different courses. The stat says, 5% of the aspirants in higher studies are from different part of the world, and it implies education system of the nation is top-notch; which has been mainstream of many success stories around the globe since a long ago. We can say that these numbers are not going to find a pause at least for next few years though!

The boundless reasons and opportunities attract the students to spend precious time in the USA to pursue undergraduate and graduate level programs. However, one should know the benefits and offers provided by the USA to the International student. Nevertheless, it would help to plan the journey in a smooth way.

On the other hand, an aspirant should be thoughtful about the decision to study abroad; perhaps the lack of transparency in approach would lead to tiff situations.

The ideal way to prepare for the big day:

It’s a dream for many to study in the US, and it’s not as easy as eating cherry on a chocolate cake. The process starts by filling an application form and understanding the guidelines to be a part of the certain course. On the other hand, competition environment demands the student to prepare for the entrance tests even before joining the university or college. Thus, patience and self-belief are essential to be in the race; eventually, your hard work and consistency can bring a smile to your face during result time.

Moving further, gathering informative details about the college/university helps you to make a firm decision on your selection, also you will have a clear thought about your preference. Hence, the collected information would be your guide to make your next move.

The meaning of the life comes into the picture when you take a brave step to face the new situations as a challenge. When an individual chooses to change the way he/she lived, ate, spoke and led the life, it results in the change in an approach of that person towards the society. In the same way, aspirants who are anticipating to move abroad might leave their home out of the blue, possibly without any clue about the life in other parts of the world. When they touch base in their new host nation, they are entranced by the new breeze, and new environment though, but the difference will be felt from the day one. Self-enlightenment would help you to adjust the routine cycle; however, you don’t need to plan anything before catching your flight to your destination but you should be mentally prepared for the new beginning.

And then again you will find that you have an opportunity to live the life which you dreamt off and appreciate the people around you and their culture, hence it could be a new version of yourself.

Maybe the adjustments and routine in a new …

Private Education Loan Consolidation – 3 Tips

Whether you attended a public or a private college or university, you probably owe tens of thousands of dollars or more in student loan debt. If you are like millions of other graduates, you chose to fund your education with private student loans.

Private student loans differ from federal loans in that the private loans are issued by private banks and other lending institutions. Private loans may be offered at variable or fixed rates and come with a range of possible repayment periods (terms) like 5, 10 or more years.

If you have multiple private loans, you may be interested in consolidating your loans into a single private consolidation loan.

Advantages To Loan Consolidation

The main benefit of consolidation is that that it gives you the opportunity in most cases to reduce your monthly payment obligations. Being able to save money each month on student loans offers a huge benefit to graduates who hold a lot of debt. Most graduates – especially those in their 20s and early 30s – are busy trying to pay their monthly expenses while building a small nest egg. High loan payments but a serious damper on that goal.

Another benefit of consolidation is the opportunity to simplify one's financial life. Having to make multiple payments to different banks each month – which are due on different dates and in different amounts – is no piece of cake to manage.

Comparing Private And Federal Consolidation Options

Note that if your current student loans are federal loans, you should opt for federal consolidation. Otherwise, private consolidation is the way to go.

3 Tips For Private Education Loan Consolidation

If you are considering consolidation, here are 3 tips for you to consider:

1. Shop The Best Bank Rate: Just shaving a point or two off of your interest rate can save you a lot of money in your future consolidation loan payments. It is always worth it to spend a bit more time now shopping the rates from multiple lenders before settling upon one.

2. Check Each Company Out: Do research on each lender to make sure they are viable and represent a company you would want to do business with. For example, ask these questions: Do they have the ability to service your loans? Do they allow for easy online application? Are their repayments plans simple and easy to understand? Do they offer any benefits to borrowers who pay on time? Keep meticulous notes about each lender you evaluate.

3. Get The Payment Terms You Want: Before contacting lenders, make sure you know what your idea payment terms are. Remember: a longer term of, say 20 or 30 years means lower monthly payments now but much more paid over the life of the loan in interest costs. Tip: choose the shortest term possible while still leaving you with a monthly payment you can afford now.

Follow these 3 tips to a more successful loan consolidation. …

High School Wrestling: The Path to Wrestling Greatness

Wrestling is not just a sport; It is a state of mind. It is a way of life. Wrestling basics principles and concepts that one can follow on and off the mat.

The samurai of Japan followed the Bushido Code. Bushido means "Way of the Warrior." Taoists follow certain principals as well. Tao means "way" or "path." Zen Buddhists also follow certain principles. Zen has to do with being quiet and observant. In Zen, meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition are very important concepts. Someone online made this observation regarding Zen: "One way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togethrence of body and mind. Dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts. "

What principals do wrestlers follow? Does a wrestling code exist? What is the path to wrestling greatness? I contemplated these questions and others and wrote this article to share some of my thoughts.

The Way of the Wrestler:

Remember Your Elders and the Rich History of Wrestling

Wrestling is considered one of the world's oldest sports; It has been around for thousands of years. Wrestling was practiced in the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Grecian, and Roman empires.

Wrestling is mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh , one of the earliest known works of literature. Wrestling is also mentioned in the Bible . Jacob wrestles through the night with a man (possibly God) and ends up with a dislocated hip. In Beowulf , the hero Beowulf "grapples" with the Monster Grendel historically tear off Grendel's arm. Beowulf is said to have a strong handgrip. He grapples with Grendel because he does not want to have any advantage by using weapons. Other ancient works of literature mention wrestling as well.

The philosopher Plato was a wrestler. Plato was actually a nickname given to him by his wrestling coach. Plato means "broad" and may have referred to Plato's broad shoulders or perhaps his sturdy, powerful build. Plato thought highly of wrestling. In his book entitled Laws , Plato states, "… the art of wrestling erect and keeping free the neck and hands and sides, working with energy and constancy, with a composed strength, and for the sake of health-these are always useful , And are not to be neglected … "

Some famous politicians (including presidents), soldiers (including generals), businessmen, actors, writers, comedians and other celebrities were wrestlers at one time. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, General George Patton, General Norman Schwartzkopf, Senator John McCain, John Irving (author), Tom Cruise, Vince Vaughn, Ashton Kutcher, Jay Leno were all wrestled. Some famous football players and boxers wrestled as well. Hall of Fame Football Coach John Madden stated, "I would have all of my offensive lineman wrestle if I could."

In the book Wrestling Tough , author Mike Chapman mentions legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant who coached the University of Alabama to six national titles. According to Chapman, "Bryant held wrestling in such high esteem as a developer of athletes, physically and …

Making Money at College Without a Job

Is it really possible to make money at college without a job? While it's possible to get a paid part time job while you're away at college, in many towns, those jobs are few and far between, and the compensation is rather poor as well. However, it is possible to find yourself making money at college without having a "real" job, it just takes a little bit of know how.

The easiest way to make money at college without a job is to post an ad at Craigslist and offer your services doing odd jobs, like helping people move or doing babysitting. This is a decent way to make a living from time to time, but you need to have the time to work on someone else's schedule, and the money is not reliable. If you do not find something to do in a given weekend, then you're basically out of luck (and out of money!), And sometimes the jobs you'll be doing are guerling.

You could also offer services to your fellow college students. If you can perform, offer to give a show in the student lounge for a couple of hundred dollars, or if you have spare time and can write, offer to write papers and do research for your lazier collections. Even if you have no skills, you can still offer a laundry service and make a couple of bucks cleaning and folding clothes. Making money at college this way is about finding something you can do that others hate doing, and charging for it! However, with this method, keep in mind that the vast majority of college students are poor as well, and you may not have too many customers who can afford your services.

Then, of course, you could also try to start your own business. Risky, yes, but the payoffs can pay for your college education if you're lucky! If you have skills like web design or the ability to program fairly well, you can make a decent living offering your services. Buy and resell other student's textbooks at a better rate than the school bookstore gives, and you can make a fortune if enough people know about you. Advertising is key, and of course, you need to have a little money or a lot of skill to get started.

Alternative to that, you could try to make money on the internet. There are a lot of scams out there, and a lot of things that could cost you money, but there are real opportunities available for making money at college as well. Try getting rid of old junk on eBay, or do online surveys for $ 3 here and $ 5 there. The profit margins for online work are not huge, but this can help pay for meals from time to time, and that is very important. …

How to Choose an Appropriate Study Abroad Program

It is important that students choose an appropriate study abroad program to get the most out of an international experience. Because there are a variety of program types, structures, locations, and requirements… it is worth the time and effort it takes to find a study program that meets your individual academic and personal needs.

Study Abroad Programs have distinctive characteristics, like students, and thus it is important to find the right “match” between the student and the program. Your friend, or sister, or teacher may have participated in a program that was “absolutely great” for them, but may not be a good fit for you. Thus, a glowing recommendation from someone who went on a program is not necessarily the most appropriate approach to choosing a program.

o Understand your needs and characteristics before choosing a study abroad program

o Explore several options and compare program characteristics

o Choose a study abroad program that fits your needs and characteristics

Your Needs and Characteristics

Ask yourself these questions, and get a friend or family member to confer with you on these topics.

1. What type of courses do you need to take (major requirements, major electives, general education requirements or lower-division courses, electives)?

2. What academic topics do you need (and want) to study (only your major, or a mix of academic disciplines)?

3. Does your home institution approve experiential courses (ie, internships, field study, independent study, independent research, service-learning, touring)?

4. Can you take courses in another language / are you sufficiently fluent?

5. Do you have beginning or intermediate foreign language skills?

6. Does your home institution have requirements about the number of weeks and/or contact hours the courses must fulfill to transfer credit?

7. Would you feel comfortable living in a fast-paced, urban city where it is difficult to make friends and interact with locals living in a city?

8. Do you feel comfortable using public transportation (buses, taxis, trains)?

9. Would you prefer to live in a community where you can easily navigate your way, and meet local people?

10. Does the weather bother you? Have you experienced the type of climate common to the host country you are considering?

11. Are you a self-starter, outgoing, and self-motivated, experienced in exploring new/different situations?

12. Do you prefer functioning in a group with leaders and/or guides making decisions for you and being surrounded by others much like yourself?

13. Do you have any dietary, medical or mental health needs?

14. Do you want to become a “specialist” in one location (language and culture and history and current events) or do you want a comparative perspective of several different places and perspectives?

15. Have your friends or family ever called you “high maintenance”? Do you have a high level of attention to conveniences, personal appearance, the newest fads or specific activities?

16. Do you enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, “roughing it”?

17. Do you have a good sense of how (and if) you will use alcohol in a mature setting? …

Newspaper Reading for Language Students

A Khmer student wrote to me on YouTube and asked me to produce videos about how to read English language newspapers.

“I’d like to ask you to make videos how to read newspaper and translate it from English to Khmer. I Khmer and I having a problem to understand English phrases.” Wrote the student.

Language learners often write telling me about some area of learning or area of their lives where they are experiencing difficulties of comprehension and ask me for a trick or a guide to help them learn.

As I have said in numerous other language learning articles, there are no tricks and no hints. The more hours you invest, the better you will get. And if your goal is to read at a native speaker level, then you need to read things a native speaker reads. If you are a 22 year-old university graduate, then you need to be reading at that level in the foreign language. And you won’t get there by reading textbooks ABOUT the language. You will get there by reading books, articles, and textbooks IN rather than ABOUT the language.

If we analyze this latest email, the student says he has trouble reading, and he specifically singled out newspapers.

Obviously, reading is reading. On some level, reading a newspaper is no different than reading a novel or reading a short story.

If you are reading novels and short stories, you should be able to read newspapers. If I asked this student, however, he is probably is not reading one novel per month in English. If he were, newspaper reading would just come.

Therefore, the problem is not the reading or the newspapers, per se. The problem is the lack of practice.

I never took a course called “Newspaper Reading” in English. I just started reading newspapers. And at first, I had to learn to deal with the language, structure and organization of newspaper writing, but no one taught me, or you. It just came to us. The same was true for German or Spanish newspapers which I can read almost as well as English. No one taught me, or taught Gunther or Pablo, it just came through practice.

A point, that I have made many times in articles, is that when you begin learning a foreign language, you are not an idiot. You are not starting with an empty brain. One reason it takes babies three years to learn their native tongue is because they are also learning what a language is and how language works. You know all of that, and much more. Babies don’t know that there is such a thing as grammar. Every single piece of vocabulary has to be learned. A seven year old may not know the words “population, economy, government, referendum, currency” in his native tongue. So, reading a foreign newspaper would be difficult for him, because reading a newspaper in his mother tongue is difficult for him.

If you are an adult, coming from a developed …