Tag Archives: change

Commencement Speech by Jeff Bezos

3 Aug

I came across this Graduation Speeh today on TED, by Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon. The whole speech is wonderful, but the end (pasted below) really struck me.  I think these are important questions to ask yourself at any point of your life.

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.


Must Read Book of the Week…

27 Aug


Close your eyes and think about the most successful people you know. Got em? Now, estimate how many books they read per week. Chances are it’s at least 2- and that doesn’t include the many articles and blogs they are reading regularly.  So time to start reading! Each week,  we’ll be reporting back on a new book or article we’ve read.

A book came in for my boss yesterday afternoon called “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck.  I snuck it home last night and read it until the wee hours of the morning, and can say with conviction that my life won’t be the same after reading it. It’s a quick read (about 250 pages), and discusses the “growth mindset” vs the “fixed mindset.” Basically I realized that I had been living my life in the fixed mindset.  I was brought up thinking that your intelligence is fixed- you either have it or you don’t. I’d say things like, “I just wasn’t born with the art gene” or “I’m not very athletic.”  People with the growth mindset, look at themselves more as clay that can be molded and change shape. If they can’t do something, it’s not because they “just aren’t intelligent enough” but because they haven’t developed the necessary skills yet or put enough effort into learning.

To illustrate this further, Imagine playing a game on your phone with different levels.  Do you prefer to stay at the same level you are good at so you feel great about yourself? Or do you like to challenge yourself and take it to the next level even if you might not pass it? Growth Mindsets will do the latter- they thrive on challenges and learn from their mistakes so that they can constantly grow.

I won’t give away too much of the book, but this really is a great book to read as it discusses something that applies to every aspect of your life- relationships, work, parenting- pretty much everything.

Even today I saw my mindset change. When given a difficult task by my boss, instead of thinking ” I don’t know how to do this, I’m going to need to ask for help.” I looked at it and said, “Awesome, this is a challenge that I will learn from!”

You can buy this book here on amazon.

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

21 Aug


Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves… for growing up.”- The Wonder Years

We all come to that point in our lives, when we realize it’s time to grow up. This happens at a different time for everyone. For some of us this happens at a very early age when circumstances force us to take on responsibilities and face challenges others don’t. Others happen after they graduate, and are on on their own. Yet for some (like myself) this happens a little later.

I don’t know what it was today that made me realize I hadn’t grown up yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Will Ferrell from Wedding Crashers. I graduated college early, went right into working full-time and moved into the city with roommates. I guess I realized, that acting like a grown up is more than just going through the motions, it’s taking responsibility and control for everything in your life. Below I’ve listed what to me defines being a “grown up.” Some of these may seem obvious, but they can easily be overlooked.

1. Taking control of your finances- Unfortunately, ignoring your debt won’t make it go away. As we enter our early- mid twenties we have loans, payments and costs that don’t magically sort themselves out. It takes really sitting down, and making a budget for yourself to have your money work. Mint.com is pretty awesome in that it shows you graphs of your spending and balances automatically everyday so you can see where your money is going. In college, we have time to bounce back if our credit score falls, but as we get older this prevents us from huge things- like buying houses and getting loans.

2. Partying responsibly-  In college, day drinking with friends and dancing on tables was funny. As we get older, it’s not- our strikes are up. When we are older, not only does drinking take a toll on our bodies, but one bad night out can cost you your reputation, relationships and job. Drinking like a grown up, means a drink or two with friends- not shots and beer bongs.

3. Admitting fault- when we were younger, it was so easy to place blame on others- the dog, our siblings, someone else in our class. But now, the mark of a grown up is being able to admit when you are wrong, and except the consequences. In relationships at home and at work, sometimes we need to take a step back and realize how we affected the situation. If we made wrong, then it’s our responsibility to make right. If you mess up, take responsibility and go above and beyond to make it better.

4. Getting healthy- In high school and college, we could eat pizza late night, and skip weeks at the gym and have banging bodies. Now, the weight and health problems creep up on us. Exercising, eating healthy and getting regular checkups aren’t optional, they’re required.

5. Following through- When I was younger, I’d get so sick of my coaches telling me to “follow through” when I played sports. But you know what- it paid off every time. It’s no different now as we live our lives. If we made a promise in college or high school it was okay to brush things off if we didn’t feel like doing them- we are young and aloud to change our minds often. But now, we are accountable for our words and actions and must follow through with our promises- even if it’s something we don’t want to do.

6. Being confident- as we figure out what we want to do in our lives and in high school and college, and as our bodies change, naturally we lose self esteem. But when we actually grow up, we realize that not having confidence becomes an anchor holding us down. It gets us in bad relationships, prevents us from being the best at work and loses the respect and trust from others. Feeling confident in our abilities, and self is essential to growing up.

7. Realizing it’s okay to not be perfect- I’ve always (as I’m sure many other bloggers out there are) been a perfectionist. Even in elementary school I’d never settle for anything less than a A on my report card. If I didn’t feel that my weight, hair or outfit was perfect, I’d get really depressed. But as you get older, it gets draining. Growing up, means realizing that it’s okay to not do everything perfectly. It means realizing your strengths and weaknesses and focusing on what you are great at. It means not beating yourself up for a pound or two, and wearing what makes you happy.

8. Cleaning up after yourself- I know what you are thinking, this is an obvious one right? Well, for me I’ve always been super cluttery. In college, my roommate and I would clean our rooms once our sides joined. (gross I know) Eager to move on to the next thing, it’s easier to just to drop a shirt on the floor and clean it later. But growing up, means taking care of what you have, and spend your money on. It means picking up your clothes, cleaning the house daily, doing dishes and vacuuming. It’s understanding that you have to sacrifice some of the fun stuff to do chores once in awhile.

9. Deciding a career path- in college and highschool, even after graduation it’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life. But, as we enter our mid twenties (yikes!) it comes time to pick something and run with it. This might mean going back to school and taking classes, having a mentor, or networking to decide. There’s no rule that says you can’t change your career path along the way, but mastering whatever you are doing at the time (and makes you happy) is necessary. Growing up means sticking with our commitments to work, excelling at whatever we are doing and not giving up when things get hard.

10. Ending the booty calls. With thousands of young people partying, drinking and living next door to each other, hookups in college weren’t looked down upon. But as we get older, we have to have respect for our bodies, and seek relationships instead of random hookups. Growing up means expecting to be courted- to go out to lunch/dinner, talk on the phone before 12am, and avoiding the “text-only” relationships. It means that if you aren’t being treated with the respect, being comfortable enough to be on your own.

As I look back on this list, It sure doesn’t look fun to be a grown up 🙂 But, as we get older if we don’t do these things, it makes our lives a lot harder than necessary.  As Winston Groom said,If your gonna screw up, do it while you’re young. Older you get, the harder it is to bounce back.

What Does Your Wake Look Like?

20 Aug


First, off apologies for majority slacking on the blogging lately. As Jenny posted earlier, this has been a whirlwind of a summer! I had the chance to finally relax the other day and picked up one of the many books I’ve been dying to read lately: “Integrity” by Dr Henry Cloud. I only got around to reading the first chapter, but he brought up a very thought provoking topic that I thought was worth sharing.

He talks about how one of his favorite things to do, is sit on the boat and watch the wake that it leaves behind. He said that you can tell a lot about the boat from the type of wake that it’s leaving- if its choppy, smooth or rippling all depends on how the boat is being driven. This brings me to the point we should  all ponder- what type of wake are we leaving behind? Are we making it an enjoyable experience for the people behind us, or are we sending them flailing and screaming for mercy?

At my last job, my coworker gave me excellent advice- he said no matter how long I am there, to be sure to make change and add something to it. He was right, because in every interview there was always one question- “What change did you bring to the organization?” (aka what was your legacy?) Stop for a moment and think about what change you have brought to yours. If you can’t think of anything, you are probably just gliding along with no concern for the wake you are leaving behind. If you aren’t making things easier for people around you, and really contributing and building others, why should any company hire you or keep you?

Just as if you want to change the wake, you have to change how you are steering the boat, to change the wake you leave behind in life, you need to first look at yourself and how you are “steering your course”. If you are believe in hard work and building people around you up, your wake will be smooth and enjoyable for everyone in your path. If you are lying, cheating and being lazy, chances are your wake is going to be bumpy and not something that anyone wants to be in.

This is definitely something to think about. I know this inspired me to be a better captain!

Change: a.To cause to be different b.To transfer from (one conveyance) to another c.To become different or undergo alteration

1 Jun


If there is one thing in life that is certain it is that change is inevitable.

Change comes in many forms, today will change into tomorrow, your age will change each year, you will change you mind, you will change where you live, you will change who you love, the things that matter most in the world to you will change.

Everyone deals with change in their own way, some embrace it and seek it out, while others reject it and do absolutely everything they can to avoid dealing with it.  So what makes change so hard and why is it something that causes constant fear and stress? Change can mean taking a risk and often not knowing what exactly is going to happen next. Change comes in many shapes in sizes from something as significant as getting a new President of the United States to deciding to change your morning routine.

As a society we often overlook the fact that we have much more control over change than we sometimes realize. It is too easy to just blame things in life on change and act as though we had no say over them, when more often than not we do.

The most important characteristic of change lies in the beauty of it’s power. Over the past few years the world has witnessed the impact that Gen Y has made in politics, social issues and becoming a prominent and respected part of the business world. With this being said our generation has been given more opportunity than any before us, we have access to so much information instantaneously through the Internet and accessibility to millions of people through social media.

Slowly becoming an adult gives us the freedom to decide and figure out who we are and where we fit in this world. Although it is a confusing time it is so exciting because we can decide what we want to do with our free time what we dedicate ourselves to, and instead of just being a student or a employee we have the choice to become ambassadors of change. I know this many sound a bit intimidating but it doesn’t mean single-handed saving the world but it does mean becoming proactive in your own way.

It is easy to get caught up in the every day routine of life and forget about everything going on outside our personal world. Here and now is the time to ask ourselves what have we done for others? What positive change have we contributed to? Maybe making a change is as simple as getting a compost bin to help eliminate trash or taking an even better step and setting aside a couple hours a week to an non-profit that you believe in and helping them out.

Change is an overwhelming word but when we think of it in terms of the small every day changes we can make and encourage others to make it seems a lot less scary. I know everyone always makes the point that if everyone made small changes in would in fact make a HUGE difference but it is the truth and it is now about taking matters into your own hands.

The founders of CoolPeopleCare recently published a book called New Day Revolution discussing the importance of taking even one minute our our busy days to make a conscious effort to do something proactive. Highlighting the importance of making an impact where we are with what we’ve got. The past month Life Without Pants has been asking bloggers to share their thoughts on change so check out their site for all the thought provoking posts and different approaches others take dealing with change.

Do the world a favor and ask yourself today, what am I doing to instill positive change in the world?

And as my favorite all time quote states above, be the change you wish to see in the world!

Guest Post: Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes

27 May


Graduating from college is a huge step in life. The question changes from what do you want to be when you grow up to  a more realistic one- now what? The first steps you take after college are the start to your adult life. I started thinking about this in light of a friend deciding to move back home.
My friend Matt went to college in Oregon and moved to San Diego upon graduating last summer- to live with his best friend and start a new life. He got a job as a waiter to pay the bills while he looked for a job. He felt like he didn’t fit in here and talked about it often. He was constantly reminiscing about the college days and how he was the “big man on campus.” After less than a year, Matt has decided to move back home. I have mixed feelings about his move, because he did give it a shot, but I don’t think he was open minded enough.

Here’s a few pearls of wisdom for the new grad out there:

1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND: Be ready for new experiences and new challenges. Be ready to LEARN. Managing my own money and supporting myself financially was something I had to adjust to.

2. EXPECT TO BE DISAPPOINTED: You will be let down at some point, that’s life so just be ready. You might not get the first job you interview for. You may not get the salary you expected. All I’m saying is be realistic. Especially in this economy the game is totally different.

3. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE: Even if you stay in the same city you attended college, your life will not be the same. Friends will leave and life will be different. There are no “mental health days” allowed at work like in college. You need to change your method of thinking and remember that you are being paid to be there and your company values your time so you should too.

4. TAKE RISKS: If not now, then when? Move somewhere new. Apply for a job you might be under qualified for. Travel and work somewhere exotic for a while. Go out and meet new people- NETWORK! This is probably the most valuable take away networking will do wonders for your career in the present and in the future.

5. TAKE YOUR OWN PATH: This is your time to be selfish. By that I mean, you need to make decisions for yourself  about where you will live, work and play. Don’t make your plans according to what your best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is doing- you will be left thinking what if. Go with your gut and make sure that you are doing something that you are proud of and are in a place that you feel excited about going to work and being part of the company.

Starting off is both frightening and exciting and you will never get another first chance to decide what the first thing you will do after college is going to be so make it something great and do not be afraid of listening to your heart!

-Nicole LaVelle

Nicole LaVelle is a recent graduate from San Diego where she studied graphic design she has also studied in Florence Italy and she is now working as a Designer at a marketing company. You can see her work here http://www.nicolelavelle.com

Internship and PR opportunity with MWW Group

2 Feb


The MWW Group, an award winning public relations agency, is hosting an incredible opportunity for new students, graduates, or anyone who owns a business. With the recent inauguration of President Obama, there is no doubt that he will be expected to bring change within his first 100 days of Presidency. 

They are asking for written and verbal submissions, of 100 words or less, that answer the questions: “What change are you ready for in the first 100 days?” and “What can YOU do to bring about this change?” The winning entry, will receive 3 months of pro bono support worth $30,000 for your business, or a $5,000 internship at any of their ten offices to learn the necessary pr skills to implement the change described. 

I think this opportunity is pretty  awesome, because it not only gets people thinking about what they would like to see changed, but provides the tools for how to make that change happen! And in this economy, what better prize than an internship or free consulting with a top PR company? 

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and submit your entry before February 20th.

Become an online mentor for high school students

16 Jan


One of our favorite bloggers, Quarterlifelady works for an organization that has just started an awesome online career mentoring program. The program gives working professionals and grad students a chance to share what they have learned in highschool, college and post college experience with highschool students. After signing up (which takes 5 minutes), you go through a brief online training, complete a profile, pass security clearances and then complete 10 online activities that can be used with the mentees.

Once you are matched, you send one or two emails a week (about 30 minutes total) for 10 weeks on a variety of specified career topics. None of your personal information is shared, the work is minimal, but the impact you have is tremendous.

Looking back to highschool there is so much I wish I knew an had done differently that impacts me even today. Email Akirah at quarterlifelady@gmail.com. if you have any questions, or sign up today here. Under the “How did you hear about us” be sure to type in “Akirah” so they have a reference.

Millennials Impact on the Workplace

15 Jan


I came across an interesting article about how millennials are changing the work environment by Tom Davenport the President’s Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, where he also leads the Process Management and Working Knowledge Research Centers. His article can be found here about his opinion regarding millennials and the workplace.

After reading his 2 cents I became curious thinking about this subject. Reviewing the kinds of jobs that people my age have these days and the type of multi million dollar companies millennials are creating every days gives this argument a lot of validity.

Do the stringent dress codes and 9-5 work hours really matter? Most people I know do not have a dress code or 9-5 but with that being said they are usually working much more than 8 hours a day.  So what matters most in the workplace to the employer? I would think that productivity and performance would be at the top and if these can be accomplished if your employees are wearing converse and rolling in at 10am then do those things really matter?

Keeping the employees content and making sure they are enjoying their job and environment has a direct affect on productivity and therefore increase it tenfold.

Obviously if you choose to work for a young employer at a dot com versus a prestigious law firm there are definitely going to be differences in the way things are run, so ultimately this too influences the environment and the amount of impact that millennials can have on their workplace.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think we have the power to completely revamp the way the working world runs business?

Hey Millennials, Change your future!

4 Nov