My New Year’s Resolution

9 01 2010

Disclaimer:  This post is highly philosophical.  It’s about changing the way you think and how you approach your work and life.  Happy new year to all!

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Happy Twenty-ten, Awesome and almost employed!

I apologize for taking such a long time between posts.  I’ve been working on a big project all quarter and it’s truly taken up a lot of my time (and sanity)!  Even this first week back hasn’t lighted up at all.  That being said, I’m here, I’m yours.  All my attention for the duration of this post is dedicated to you.  (Side thought: Apologies if you sent me an email and I didn’t get back to you.  I will!)

When I looked at what I could do differently this year, compared to previous years, I kept coming back to the same thing:  Operate with love.

Before you run screaming, “Stefanie has lost her marbles.  This ain’t a dating blog.”  Hear me out.  (Although, it could be a dating blog, too.  Would you like that?)

Everyone I have ever admired operates with this philosophy AT WORK.  If you do what you do for your own glory, you’re standing alone at the finish line.  Isn’t it better to have a whole hoard of close colleagues, friends, family, and fans cheering you on?  You may not be this loving, giving person now, but I am altruistic enough to believe that we can all operate with love.  It’s this passion that improves the world and gives others hope to be better than they are.  (Think Mahatma Ghandi, Betty Williams, and Matt Flannery, Founder of Kiva.org.)  In your own way, with your own work (whatever it is), this should be you, too.

Embarrassing note:  This Nickleback video moved me to the brink of tears in my office one day!  (Thanks, Judy.)

Example #1:  My dad.
When I graduated, my dad and I talked about what I would possibly be.  He told me that no matter what I did, I should give back to others.  He dedicated his entire life to microbiology and genetics.  I wish you guys could see the look on his face when he talks about finding genetic connections and cures for cancers.  My dad is one person, trying to change the world (and every day he does)!

Example #2: Gopi Kallayil
After yoga, my teacher, Gopi, sat a few of us down and talked about the philosophy behind yoga and meditation and how they are all pathways to love and God (Hindu in his case).  Gopi is extremely successful, well-liked and respected at work and he’s someone that I always want to emulate.  When we asked him what his secret was, I was surprised when he told us that it was this yoga philosophy of love.  His motivations for creating phenomenal work product are not for himself, but they are for the greater good of others.  Giving love freely is his secret to success!  Transferring love into his work and then giving it freely, without sense of ownership (mine, mine, mine), has gotten him far.

When I think about my own career at work, this has also applied.  The times when I’ve been fully committed to helping someone else are the times that I’ve received the most recognition and satisfaction in my work.  Hmm… maybe we’re on to something here.

Example #3: Chade Meng Tan

Meng, like Gopi, is one of my favorite Googlers.  Meng is on a mission for world peace one person at a time.  He teaches a course about emotional intelligence and self-awareness called, “Searching Inside Yourself”.  I’m an alumnus of the class and learning from Meng has really changed how I operate.  Not only have I become more introspective, but I have learned to love myself and forgive me for my mistakes and for others’ mistakes and ill will.  Granted, there are still some really SHITTY people out there, but you know what?  It doesn’t change the fact that we all want to feel loved and respected.

Example #4: Alex Duong, actually–he’s just like us!  But here’s how he’s different.

Alex has been working as a consultant for a few years after graduating from UC Berkeley.  At some point, he decided he needed a change of pace.  He applied to Kiva.org and now he’s a Kiva Fellow in Vietnam reviewing loan grants and supporting small business owners in the country.  The impact he, and the other fellows, are leaving behind are going to transform these communities.  He’s helping these small business owners and entrepreneurs one loan at a time.  Read about their experiences here.

Even your manager, an executive, and your recruiter needs love.  Imagine if you approached them with love, forgiveness, and without judgement–what might change in your relationship with this person?

Most importantly, how does this help you in an interview?  In your job search?

Seek problems and aim to solve them for a company.  Before you walk in or before you apply, ask yourself, “What is my motivation?”  Are you doing this for your own glory or are you doing this with a genuine desire to add your expertise to a solution?  It can still be a little of both, but make sure that when you deliver your work (or answers in an interview), you’re delivering it for others.  You’re part of a larger purpose.

This kind of thought leadership is contagious and can dramatically improve your relationships with the people you meet in the interview process.  If they know that you are a point of positive energy (I’m not talking about hyper energy, but positive energy), they will want you.  Be present.  Be engaged.  Be supportive, giving, and smart.  Give it your all, give it freely, and have a fantastic 2010.

With love and respect,

Stefanie

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5 responses

9 01 2010
Nicole Bryant

I loved this blog post. I love that you choose a different view and motivation to look for achievement in life. As I was reading this post, I wanted to start utilizing its message instantly (which usually doesn’t happen).

Thank you for providing a breath of fresh air and a positive message.

~Nicole

@NBryant

9 01 2010
Stefanie

Thank YOU for adopting it, Nicole! Perhaps we CAN achieve world peace if we spread this message! Meng would be proud of us! 🙂

9 01 2010
Nicole Bryant

We’ll just have to work hard and do our best!

1 02 2010
mrsloschrohloff

love the angle of your blog, i can relate – my blog is along the same lines as yours…thanks for sharing! you can read my blog at http://eatcakehaveshoes.com

26 07 2010
Gopi Kallayil « Awesome & Unemployed

[…] 26 07 2010 One of my favorites, Gopi Kallayil, on filling an empty cup.  Stay positive, Awesome and […]

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