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Six Practices to keep your momentum and stay in the game

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Mark Guterman

Mark Guterman, career consultant and JVS coach and trainer, shared his intelligence, experience, and wit with SFPCN member on May 17, 2011 in our community room at Valencia Gardens. Mark advised the job seeker and career changer to maintain momentum and accept that the irrational process requires trust rather than control. Stay in the game, Mark said, for the fun, the opportunities, and the improvement in your attitude, mindfulness, and self-esteem.

Mark is a avid Giants fan, reader, and skier who learned to sky at 65. He’s reading up on the American Civil War.

He offered Six Practices to keep your momentum and stay in the game.

Be responsible

Ask yourself, What is it here that I can control, and take responsibility for that. Why pursue what you can’t control when your attention and energies get results when focused on where you have control? By that process, you acknowledge that you have choice, are the author of your destiny, and build discipline and self-esteem.

Stay relaxed and alert

Recognize that life has flow and flows can be fast and slow. Develop an appropriate sense of pace and urgency to match those flows, while using your self-discipline to try to not panic when overwhelmed and rest when needed. The job search is de-energizing and requires pacing. Learn to stop, breathe, and exercise to put life in balance. Develop a mindfulness to work hard and play fun.

Keep your goals both focused and diffused

Develop alternative life scenarios by having an A Plan, B Plan, and C Plan. Create those plans by writing down one vision statement after another, take a break, and then plan for the unexpected. Make a practice of seeing what’s in front of you and well as what’s ahead of you. Life takes many turns, so work on seeing its context and patterns as you move forward. You can find context by answering the question, How am I impacted by ______? The blank may be a culture, company, trend, or financial situation.  You find patterns using your ability to connect events and circumstances as you see them.

Trust the process

Trust is the hardest skill to practice for perfectionists and controlling personalities. Embrace the power of transformational change and be disciplined to keep moving. Understand that moving is sometimes not in the direction you anticipated and can require you to let go. If you learn to know yourself, build up your self-esteem, appreciate the power of change, you can trust the process.

Keep your sense of humor

Churchill promised the British blood, sweat, and tears when least wanted but most needed. We all experience difficult times not of our choosing, but how we meet those times keeps up our momentum. Dance halls and odeon theatrics flourished in Britain during the Second World War. Have several good laughs a day to keep your sense of self-importance in check while realizing and appreciating the absurdity of many of life’s challenges. Humor helps you stay in the game and be ready for a wild or illegal pitch.

Allow moments of inspiration and awe

Whoever or whatever your higher power, take time everyday for silence, meditation, and prayer. Allow your sense of divine to guide your work while remembering your journey is as meaningful as the destination you reach.

Mark Guterman wrapped up his presentation with a quote from Carlos Castaneda:

A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.

Thank you, Mark, for a learned and inspiration talk on flow and movement in our lives.


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