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Be More Childlike In Your Career

Are we struggling with work life balance because we think too much like adults and should be embracing life like children? A recent e-mail from career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman, president of SurpassYourDreams made me think hard about my approach to life these days.

Deborah writes: "As a mother of a toddler son, I watch a lot of kid's shows. What strikes me about these shows is the positive messages that come across; messages of hope and encouragement.

Deborah asks: Why is it that as adults we lose hope when it comes to our careers?  Did career setbacks or the economy make negativity more prevalent than being positive?

Remember back to a time in your life when you believed that anything was possible? A time when you looked forward to the day and all you could do and learn. What happened to that belief? What happened to that person? Do you want that person back?

Next Deborah offers "childish" perspectives that could transform your career.

1. I Will Try, Try Again.

Kids fall down on a regular basis. My son falls 400 times a day. And, he gets up 400 times a day. He never gives himself a hard time for falling. He doesn't feel guilty about past falls. He just gets up and tries again. Life is about getting up again after falling. So is your career.

2. I Know It All Works Out.

In kid's shows, characters find themselves in sticky situations. They ask themselves, "What do I do now?" Then, they find the answer. They don't go backwards, ever. They go forward, and because they go forward, they build their confidence and self-esteem. The pathway forward may not also be in a straight line, or it might take a little longer, but they find their way out because they know they will.

3. I Will Ask For Help.

Kids are not afraid to ask for help. It's a way of life for them. They do so regularly and naturally and that's how they are able to reach their goals successfully. Kids don't expect to work out their difficulties alone. They know that alone they are not as effective.

4. I Will Have A Good Attitude.

No matter what happens, no matter how grim a situation looks, kids look at the bright side. If the bridge they need to cross falls down, they take another bridge. If the road is blocked, they find another road. They keep doing different things (with a smile) until something works. If they get afraid, it's short-lived, and they are on their way again.

5. I'm Growing And Learning.

Kids don't give themselves a hard time when they make a mistake. They know they can't do everything. Frequently their limitations are frustrating, but they keep learning because they understand that success happens over time with hard work and practice.

Deborah asks: Which one of these can you apply to your career?

I would answer they all apply to me. Who would have thought there would so much career advice in a kids show? Maybe it's time to disect some of the lyrics from the Barney songs I haven't heard in years!

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Paul Maurice Martin

Yes, they all apply --

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