Monday, February 13, 2012

What Would You Do?

I always get annoyed with the little "inspirational" quotes that say things such as "You can do anything" or "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?". For one thing, the first one is wrong and the second one is ridiculous because there will always be failure. It's part of the process.

And yet... I've found myself asking these questions more and more. What would I do if I thought I could start from scratch? What would I do if I had the resources to pursue the dreams I've held in the back of my mind for god knows how long?

What would you do? Would you stay where you are? Would you get a new job? Go back to school? Give up and go live in an artists' commune? Is it possible to reach dreams when it's painful even just to think about them?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

StrengthsFinder 2.0

I'm at that point in my life where I'm out of college, but not yet in an established 'career'. Lately, I've been thinking about personal development and really trying to work with my natural talents. So many people go through life  not fully living and get to the end only to wonder "what did I do with my life?"

I don't want to be one of those people. I don't want to reach my 50s only to wake-up to a cookie cutter life in Suburbia. That's the sort of thing that gives me nightmares. I want to be one that lives life to the fullest no matter where I am. I want to be able to say that I helped others and gave all I had.

Abbie Hoffman said that he'd lost faith in the newer generations because they were more concerned with money rather than important things like values, passion, and revolution. It's true. It's sad. And it took me a long time to be able to admit that even to myself. I did what I was 'supposed to do' because it was supposed to make me financially stable, not because it makes me happy or it fulfills me as a person.  It's just so saddening to think of the time and money (there it is again!) I've wasted on things that are just pulling me down.

As I said before, I'm trying to get to the point where I actually like myself and like what I'm doing with the talents I've been given. That being said, I'm recommending a great resource. "StrengthsFinder 2.0" is, in it's most basic form, a book put out by Gallup Press (yes, that Gallup) based on their research over the years in strengths/talents.  I'm going through the material in a six-week course with a local group. Included in the book is an access code so that you can complete the assessment online. After completing the assessment, I was pretty surprised to see what my strengths and talents are, but at the same it seemed like they 'fit'. I'm really excited about what this will actually do for me and, not only my personal career development, but also my life overall.

At this point, something's gotta give.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Susan G Komen? Never Have, Never Will

There has been a lot of discussion flying around the past few days thanks to Susan G Komen withdrawing funding from Planned Parenthood for breast exams.  Whether or not you agree with this act is of no concern to me.  However, since it is a hot topic these days, I thought I'd share about why I never have and never will support the Susan G Komen foundation.

When I first heard of Susan G Komen, I was  a little bemused, but overall optimistic about their impact on American society for cancer awareness.  A few years later, it was getting to the point of annoyance.  All the pink, all the ribbons, all the walks and for what?  We haven't seen a drastic reduction in breast cancer cases (walk for what cure?). I asked a friend and breast cancer survivor where she would want funds to go to help someone diagnosed with breast cancer. The answer? Hands down, the American Cancer Society. Plus (and this has been my beef from day one), why are we churning out millions of dollars to a foundation that neither seriously funds research nor helps with the causes for far more common cancers.

The Susan G Komen Foundation is a hyped up publicity campaign fueled by scads of pink ribbons, survivors, and grieving families. I admire what they at least said they were trying to do in the beginning, but actions speak louder than words.   A great post about what Susan G Komen actually does with their funding can be found here (plus a lot of comments from a lot of people with too much time on their hands).