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Introduction: Finding Your Power, Passion and Joy Being At Work

"A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind."
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Welcome to our world of coaching and your opportunity to find your power, passion and joy! This process is going to take you on an exciting journey of discovery about what you have to bring to your world of work and what work has to offer you. We will coach you to take responsibility for your work life, so you can become your own mentor and leader.

Together we bring over half a century of knowledge and experience navigating our own careers, with both opportunities and disappointments, allowing us to recognize that work can be an exciting, pleasurable and fulfilling part of life. Work can provide the opportunity to achieve great things and help you to realize your Life Purpose; it does not have to be a painful and burdensome experience. Since, when it is all said and done, we will each spend close to 45 years of our life working, why wouldn't we want that time to be enjoyable?

We three authors are a very diverse lot. We have worked as master coaches to support individuals who want more from their work. This book comes from a desire to make our coaching accessible to everyone. We know that what was true for us is true for you, and we have the skills and talents to support you in Finding Power, Passion and Joy Being at Work.

This is Our Story We like to say that while our writing partnership would appear somewhat unusual, the combination was the only way this book could occur. You will see that although we advocate planning and goal setting to accomplish your dreams, we are living testament to the purpose of a higher power, and the strength and determination of the human spirit, along with a little luck and serendipity!

Mary probably began studying people form the moment she was born. This natural curiosity led her to educate herself within the fields of psychology, philosophy and the other social sciences including metaphysics. She has always loved to learn and reads voraciously, reveling in information that would enhance the human experience. Her interests have been a magnetic force in her work life, drawing her first to service oriented positions, then a career in vocational counseling, business ownership, motherhood and now to the role of author. From her experiences in vocational counseling, she became very intrigued with how and why people make their choices. She concluded that our life, and perhaps even the reason we are here, is defined by our self, who we authentically are. That self is the compass by which we can navigate our life. Mary believes, as a result of her research, that every person is deeply creative, rich in potential entrepreneurial spirit, a belief that has guided the work for her company, Aspect Consulting, Inc. What she offers is support in finding and following your heart as your mentor, discovering the leadership of your natural inherent character, to not only "find," but also to own Power, Passion and Joy.

Prudence's career began after college and like many, followed a profession that was more a reflection on society and women's roles than an actual direction. While being a teacher was rewarding work, it did not provide the challenge and opportunity she craved. It also did not provide an outlet for her leadership abilities. Leaving the teaching profession led to a position with the government and from there steadily increasing positions of leadership in corporate America. Thus there was a pattern of recognizing what she needed and wanted from work, and a willingness to take the risks to achieve it. Ultimately, she reached her goal of an executive position and then walked away from it all to pursue her dream of her own business, being@work, Inc. Now, having achieved her goal of building a successful leadership and work life coaching company, she knows that even when it looks like you have all your dreams coming true, there are always room for more!

Bob has over 40 years of experience in leadership and professional development training programs. Early indicators of Bob's career were visible as a young boy: Bob loved playing soldier. It was no surprise that after high school he joined the Marine Corps, where he had a very successful military career. Once retired from the Marines, Bob took his leadership and counseling skills to corporate America, where he managed and taught others in corporate organizations about employee and leadership development. In addition, he has been a keynote and motivational speaker, and a consultant in the areas of professional and individual development. He has taught thousands of people how to better manage their occupational and personal lives. Now, retired for the second time (bringing a whole new meaning to the word) Bob has embarked on his third career as R.S. Hunsberger Consulting, Inc., a professional development consultant and writer. In addition he is an associate of being@work, sharing his leadership and coaching skills with others. Bob's writing adventures express how individual lives can and have impacted history. This interest has made it natural for him to help others be the force of their actions, becoming their own leaders.

Whether your work history is as a businessperson, entrepreneur, member of the military, homemaker or student, you have accomplished many things that have shaped you into who you are. It is our belief that by completing this process, you will identify what opportunities are in front of you, understand the lessons you've learned, acknowledge your gifts and recognize your purpose for being at work.

How Has Your Journey Been So Far?
Do you believe you can't be, do or have what you want? Do you know how to mentor yourself? Do you have fears about work? What perceptions about work have you assumed to be a reality and continue to perpetuate? Is your career a total accident, or something for which you have thoroughly prepared and planned? Are you your own leader, or are you waiting for someone to rescue you? We suspect, if you are like most people, you have grappled with these questions at some point in your life.

So how can you address them? One way is by taking responsibility for your career; easily said, and actually easily done with our help. You can start by discovering your interests, aptitudes, and abilities and skills, as well as what tends to get you stuck. You can gather your work history so that you can give meaning to the things you have done and the outcomes you have experienced. You can set goals and a direction that you are invested in, that have meaning, and that align with your purpose. In doing this, you will effect positive change in your work life that can begin immediately.

Our Commitment to This Work and to You
One way to set the process of manifestation into motion is to look at what you want to have, and then ask yourself what you think you would have to be and then do in order to achieve it. This is the be, do, have paradigm. Being who you are, "the state of well-being," naturally inspires you into actions (the doing). What you can have is the end result of what you are being and comfortably doing. Another way to understand this is that having is what results from being and then doing.

In our experience, many times the problem is not knowing what is truly desired. Thus, the approach that we take in our book is to have you engage in creating your "living" career portfolio. Using our process, you will be able to identify your relationship to work, as well as to others, in both your personal life and in the workplace. This process helps you pinpoint your assets. You will be able to determine what you desire and create synergy with others who can support you in your goals. You will know if you are in the right place, and decisions will tend to become easier. You will have "fit the pieces together" to create a balanced picture of yourself, positioning yourself for career opportunities that enable self-fulfillment.

Your living career portfolio will cause you to become the expert on you, so that you can be your own mentor and leader and make the best choices for your life. It is a process that grows with you and maintains its relevance as you continue to learn how to inspire yourself into actions that will change your life!

The world of work has definitely changed. These are times not only of multiple jobs, but multiple careers. Traditional leadership roles and forms of structure are changing. It is common to hear that there are no longer such things as loyalty or job security. Mistrust and manipulation appear to be far too commonplace. The good news is that our collective workplace has become more diverse, with many different perspectives. So being prepared for change and opportunities is not only a smart use of your time, but will enable you to make the wisest choices when the time comes to make them. You don't have to wait for a problem or crisis to motivate you, or for any outside force to move you. There is no time like the present to get started.

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."

Carl Jung

Five Key Messages In all our years of working, we have learned that there are some truths, which when understood, begin the process of moving forward. To prepare for this work, we ask you to read through these truths and think about them. We guarantee that you will view these messages differently as you move through this process.

Message 1

“If You Don’t Care Where You’re Going, It Doesn’t Matter Which Way You Go.”

In a conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in the book, Alice in Wonderland, the cat points to a well understood fact: that successful people know where they are going and what they want to achieve in life. Many have defined their life purpose. Without a purpose or direction you just wander around, and therefore it doesn't matter which way you go. Your completed living career portfolio will be your road map to your goals and life purpose.

Message 2

“No One Is Coming!”

The reality is, it is up to you. No one is going to come and tell you what to do or define your life purpose. No one is going to rescue you from your current situation. Even from a spiritual perspective, if you believe that a higher power will do it for you, you still must be aware enough and willing to see the opportunities that are put before you. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to move forward. This is where fear tends to stall people from making a change. It is up to you to take action, provide your own support, and become your own mentor and leader.

Message 3

“You Don't ‘Have To’ Do Anything You Don't ‘Want To Do’ Except Die!”

Many individuals feel they cannot achieve their dreams because of what they believe they have to do. They believe they no longer have a choice. This becomes an excuse and a self-made trap. You always have a choice. The sooner you realize that what you have to do is really what you have chosen to do, the sooner you reclaim your power and take responsibility for your situation. This includes what you believe about having the "right stuff," such as an advanced degree, a friend in the business, or a natural born talent. I "have to" becomes no different than an excuse.

Message 4

“Life Is Full Of Trade-Offs.”

Each decision we make has consequences, and making a decision with an understanding of what you might gain and what you might lose is taking full responsibility for that decision. Another way we talk about this is "choosing which problem you are willing to live with." This message prompts us to think about what is really important to us and what we really need to have in our lives. Having choices means taking the responsibility for what you get and what you give up. No one can ever tell you what to do, although many people may try. You are the only one who will live with the end results of your decisions, and you are the only one who knows what it means to you.

Message 5

“There Is No Failure, Only Feedback.”

Failure is defined as an omission of performance, or lack of success, but describing omissions or lack as failing is to miss out on the opportunity they provide. When we focus on failing, we are talking about outcomes; when we focus on feedback, we are talking about the opportunity to improve and grow. You could say Thomas Edison failed at over 2,000 experiments, or that he developed the light bulb from the feedback he received from those 2,000 experiments. Failures, or mistakes, are learning opportunities for growth, improvement and innovation. After all, if you were always right and knew just what to do, life would not be very adventurous.

Why have we included these messages? Throughout this book, you will be prompted to analyze and reflect on your work and decide whether one of the five messages could apply to your present thinking or way of being. Are you willing to let go of something that always has worked for you, or at least are you willing to open up a little and look at it another way? Your reaction to these messages can indicate a gap or block in how you are being, and therefore in what you end up doing, and thus, ultimately, having.

Enjoy your adventure, and congratulations on taking this step toward improving your life and your living!

© Copyright 2005 - being@work