Monday, July 18, 2011

Jeanne Erikson, PhD, PCC on Optimism




A June 6, 2011 TIME magazine article on brain wiring and optimism caught my attention. To quote the article,

“On average, [people] expect things to turn out better than they wind up being. People hugely underestimate their chances of getting divorced, losing their job, or being diagnosed with cancer; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; envision themselves achieving more than their peers; and overestimate their likely life span (sometimes by 20 years or more.)”

I find this amazing in our day of “real” instant news overload. The article, by Tali Sharot who has written “The Optimism Bias” (2011), goes on to claim that although we might expect young people to be optimistic, even adults over 60 show this “optimism bias”. The TIME article points out that collectively we develop pessimism about wars, violence, the environment, and the euro, but individually we tend to be resilient. For example, a 2007 study found that 76% of persons were optimistic about the future of their own family—while over 70% simultaneously believed families in general had poor futures. This is partly credited to our unique brain wiring that allows humans to travel back and forth in our heads from the present to the imagined future. Our brains likely evolved with the ability to be positive side by side with the assurance/ imagining of our own death. This makes sense. Without the ability to imagine a life worth sticking around for, why bother?

When researchers took functional MRI images of brain activity in persons imagining positive futures, two areas lit up. These areas were most active in persons who were rated as most optimistic. The researchers were able to stimulate people to be more optimistic and lessen negative thinking when they gave them the task of choosing between two negative future events (i.e. a broken leg and a job firing). As they got to select their own fate, their brains were scanned for activity. Later, the volunteers re-rated the negative fates; the one they chose had become more positive The brain structures hard at work to create this magical feat were the frontal cortex and sub-cortical regions. These researchers found it is very likely we are hard-wired with the natural brain ability to mitigate negative thinking. I am reminded of the common directive “choose your poison.” Maybe there is some verifiable science behind this tactic.

An opposite experiment reported by Ms. Sharot had volunteers rate 80 destinations for their top vacation preference. They were then forced to select the “best” between two choices they had rated exactly the same. Interestingly, following more active brain regional interplay, the volunteers later also rated the rejected choice as less desirable . Sound familiar when you had two job offers, or you were at the Humane Society and made a choice between two puppies or kittens? Our brains seem to do magic, and assist us to become satisfied.

I am fascinated as to how I can help my own brain and that of my clients exploit this new scientific information. I am wrestling with the following questions, and would love your feedback and thoughts about the whole notion of how optimism is experienced and created.

Please respond back adding a comment  or to my twitter @serenesuccess.

 What is YOUR response to these questions?

1) When I feel discouraged, would constructing a choice between two options be a useful way to change my brain activity and change my mood?

2) When I help clients envision what they want as a coaching exercise, would it help them reach their outcome to also understand their own brain hard wiring and activity? If you were my client, would it help you or just confuse you?

3) Could one reason I feel happier when I exercise be that rhythmic exercise stimulates the inter- regional activity in the brain and make these type of optimism tasks easier?
I wish you active brain drama this month that leads you to more optimism!


Jeanne Erikson, PhD, PCC

on twitter at Serenesuccess

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The NEW New World of Work, Help Wanted!: LAND IT, Job Tips for Prime of Lifers by DeDominic...

The NEW New World of Work, Help Wanted!: LAND IT, Job Tips for Prime of Lifers by DeDominic...: "I'm so pleased to share the great news with you! Our book is just available in electronic form but it is already changing lives and I am so..."

LAND IT, Job Tips for Prime of Lifers by DeDominic Wins 4 Stars from Readers Favorite Awards!

I'm so pleased to share the great news with you!  Our book is just available in electronic form but it is already changing lives and I am so grateful!  Thanks for your support and for your wonderful testimonials!

       Click to preview book
  •              Click  on this book to read it  now! Available from Amazon in August 2011.
Trouble? please try pasting this into your browser:

"Whether you have just been laid off, have been spending months slugging through the seemingly over-whelming task of securing your next position, or trying to get more consulting clients, “Land It… Job Hunt Tips For Prime of Lifers” is a “must have” resource.

Sometimes all it takes is making minor corrections to what you’re already doing or just getting a specific piece of information that makes the difference between landing the job or not. Author, Patty De Dominic, the founder and former owner of two multi-million dollar placement firms, is an expert in this field -- providing a “no nonsense”, quick read, easy-to-implement plan for success that is sure to shorten either your time out of work, or add more clients to your business.

On the same day I read her book, I used one of her tips and secured a consulting client. In my opinion, this is one book you can’t afford not to buy!"

Suzanne Stanford, President, MISC, Inc.

Betsy Meyers, former Chief Operating Officer,  OBAMA for America Campaign
Former Executive Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government said  

  " Land It, Job Hunting Tips for Prime of Lifers is the little black book of confidence.  it is your friendly reminder of all the skills, assets and networks you have gained during your life that will help you land the job of your dreams at this stage in your life.   We never stop needing mentors and this is one you can carry around in your pocket."

READERS FAVORIE Reviewers said:
Reviewed by Rita V for

Land It! is a valuable book with essential tools in helping people of all ages find quality higher job placements. Patty DeDominic has helped place over 250,000 people into the job market, and through her experience, she has written a very helpful book on how to find those jobs quickly and easily. Her book talks about job hunting tips for prime-of-lifers, not just the younger people! Let’s face it, people of all ages need jobs in today’s society, as everything has changed drastically in finding employment.

DeDominic talks about how to get the ‘good’ job offers and provides a job hunting checklist that everyone should refer to when seeking jobs. This checklist is unique and gives invaluable tips for readiness and tips for a successful job hunt. She also shows how a person can learn to find Government Grants and other resources that people do not know about but will aid in finding and financing job opportunities. One's resume is a calling card, and every action and interview is a learning opportunity. Companies look for people who add value to their company, and they also look for special qualities that people bring with them to the table. Also provided are examples of three different types of resumes depending on what best fits each individual. DeDominic shows the reader how to build a Skills Based Resume, a Chronological Resume and a Keyword Resume. The reader will learn the differences between the three and see which one is right for him or her. The reader also learns the differences between recruiters, headhunters and staffing agencies.

Who doesn’t need a little help in finding job placement in today’s changing world? I found this book to be very educational and helpful for all people including the ‘prime-of-lifers’ that need to find jobs just as badly as everyone else today. I had no clue as to how many resources are really available to aid people in finding the right job for them. There isn’t a person out there looking for a job who couldn’t benefit from using these valuable tools. This was a very easy and detailed book to read. If I were looking for a job at the moment, this is definitely a book that I would invest in!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Joke or No Joke by Robert Whipple MBA, CPLP

I was having an online conversation in a class I am teaching about teams at work. The discussion was relative to having online messages misinterpreted. Clearly we have all experienced this uncomfortable situation more than once. I got so fascinated about this topic that I wrote a book on it a few years ago.

One student brought up a situation that is common in person as well as online, but the damage done online is usually much larger. This is when a person tries to rib another person with a joke, but the meaning on the part of the receiver is taken literally. The writer is astonished when the reader takes umbrage at the barb. The writer says, “but I was only joking.”

When people say things in jest, there is usually an element of truth in them. Jokes are often just distortions of reality; that is what makes them humorous. The problem occurs when we make a joke where the punch line puts down another person. This is so common you probably witness it a dozen times a day or more, and it hardly registers because it is ubiquitous. If you are listening for it, you will hear it often.

Unfortunately, when the joke is documented in online exchanges, there isn’t the opportunity for the writer to let the other person know through body language that the barb is totally in jest. Actually, even in person there is usually a part of the barb that is for real. Online, the danger is magnified for two reasons, 1) the person cannot see the facial expression and emoticons often are misinterpreted as well, and 2) e-mails are permanent, so the person can read and re-read the joke. It becomes more menacing with each iteration.

The antidote for this common problem is to establish five behavioral norms in your work group as follows:

1. We will not make jokes in any forum at another person’s expense.

2. We will praise in public or online but offer constructive criticism face to face in private.

3. When there is a disconnect in communication, we will always assume the best intent and check it out.

4. If something in an e-mail seems upsetting, it is up to the person who is upset to meet face to face with the other person as soon as possible.

5. We will call each other out politely if we see violations of these rules.

These five rules are not difficult, but it does take some training and resolve to get all people in a population to comply with them. It helps to get firm agreement among the entire group and to post the rules in the team meeting area. If you can get people to actually follow the five rules above, it will change the entire complexion of the work group. This is not rocket science; it is much more important than rocket science.

The preceding information was adapted from the book Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, by Robert Whipple. It is available on

Robert Whipple is also the author of The TRUST Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals and, Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind. Bob consults and speaks on these and other leadership topics. He is CEO of Leadergrow Inc. a company dedicated to growing leaders.

 Contact Bob at or


Bloggers Wanted! Patty DeDominic's new Best Selling Job Hunting Book for Prime of Lifers!

My newest book has just been released in hard copy and for a limited time you can read it on line for free.  It will be for sale on Amazon after July 15th!  Please tell your friends!

 LAND IT!  Job Hunting Tips for Prime of Lifers
  by Patty DeDominic

Click to preview book

Click the book or the link to read the entire book on line for free for a limited time only!
Also, bloggers wanted:     Requirements:

1. Newsworthy, tell us about your job success or share job hunting leads!

2. Quality writing... short or long, we want to hear from YOU!

3. Basic rules of journalism apply (substantiated quotes, stats, and links to outside sourcing)

4. 1000 words or less
 An image or your photo will be used with the article.   thank you!  Comment below or write to me directly at   

6. A short bio about the contributor

7. List of contributor's core areas of expertise (marketing, branding, finance, taxes, etc.)
Thank you.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do What YOU LOVE! Let your passion drive your career.

Follow Your Passion,

 Let Your Passions Drive your Career

Patty DeDominic
Coach to High Achievers
Santa Barbara, California   

Want to Do More of What YOU LOVE?
Need more energy toward your career?

You can easily learn the Secrets of Talented Professionals and Celebrities.  Really!

Celebrities and Star CEOs and Investors make  money because they focus in areas where money grows AND they prioritize their engagements to the things that they love to do that will pay off bigger for their brains and their bank accounts.

Celebrities, smart executives and investors  do their homework and they build teams of helpers to leverage their expertise, their success and their return on investment. Then they repeat, and repeat and repeat.  They also have mentors, coaches and advisors and they learn from them. You CAN do this too.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Outliers, talks about the 10,000 Hour Rule. Gladwell contends that it takes more than 10,000 hours of doing something with passion to become an expert.  I content that is how much time it used to take in MY generation.... but it does not have to take 50 years to become famous, or even 10,000 hours of practicing your craft to develop a commercial expertise and reputation of being great at what you do and what you love to do.  It can be done faster and with more effectiveness than ever before with todays tools of technology and the resources available to you on line today.       Yes, today, and starting this very hour if you choose to make it happen!        How?   read more......

How do you become a pro? An expert?

Practice, practice and more practice.

 It takes focus and commitment and you can't do it easily. Not too many shortcuts but thanks to technology we can speed up the 10,000 hour rule. With time and determination to continue growing and getting better, you will almost always net a deeper expertise. When you combine this with modern technology and Moore's law of exponential knowledge, we'll soon be able to become expert at most things in less than one year of intense study!

Imagine one year to your dream job!  This is possible, if you focus and decided what you want and work diligently to make it real!     Not too much to ask is it? For a dream job?

Focus Matters
So does talent, time investment and connections.

Financial and career success usually starts with a clue about your own personal "gifts," your natural talents and life's desires and sometimes even a bucket list!

Too young to make a bucket list? I think everyone can use ONE!
What's a bucket list? (+ see below for help)

Everyone can make a bucket list
Take a Personal Inventory.

What do you have to offer?

 What dreams do you have for yourself and your family that can be accomplished in the next year? Before the end of your life?

What is holding you back?   Don't let a need for perfection stop you from getting started on a more passionate life and career success.     This is not a magic bullet....success does take work but there is no ceiling on your personal success potential and their is no term limit on how much you can learn when you are driving your own career.

Everyone can benefit from taking stock of their goals in life and their personal assets in this economy.

Write Down Your Career Wishes and Goals right now.
Make a list of the things you want in your next job.    Perhaps it will include a new job or simply things you want to do to make the next job better.   Ill talk more about your goal list in a future blog....leave me some comments about your own list.  What more would you like to know or say about this topic?    I appreciate your input!

Who Benefits by Making a Goal list?      Then the Action Plan and People Needed to help make it happen?
Everyone can benefit by making a goal list and an action plan.

Is anything too big to ask for?   Maybe not....... ask Jane Goodall.   Once a child who dreamed of traveling to Africa.

One of my favorite icons is Dr. Jane Goodall. Dr. Goodall dreamed of moving from England to Africa to study the animals. To hear her tell it, she used to read and watch about Tarzan and Jane while a young person, and she fantasized about being THE Jane..... she loved the animals from her earliest memories. When Jane was a young woman, she had the opportunity to travel to Africa with her mother under the research program of Dr. Louis Leakey.  She was not an expert then. 

  Jane was a young woman with passion and over the years she developed deep expertise, she practiced her craft and now more than fifty years later she is known around the world as not only one of the world's great primatologists, animal and environmental experts but also a the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador of Peace.          For Jane this took a life time and a contract with National Geographic to "tell the world" about Africa, the chimps and her passion for empowering local people to protect their environments.     

I had the privledge of serving on the board of the Jane Goodall Institute board of directors for six years and I learned so much about economic development in Africa and in igniting youth around the world.  Jane illuminated these areas for me and her board and frankly for millions of other people via her youth programs at   and her work for microfinance and sustainable farming and economic development via eco tourism.     If you are not familiarl with her work in this area, please visit the website of   

If  you have an extra minute,  you can watch Dr. Jane greet audiences...... chimpanzee style at her website.    Is there any doubt that she is passionate about her work?

I am humbled by a recent endorsement that Dr. Jane Goodall gave me about my work with her board and about me:

"Patty definitely shares many of my ideas for a better fairer world. She joined the board of the Jane Goodall Institute USA in 2003 and soon became a valuable member, embracing and advocating our mission. She helped to develop TACARE (our community conservation program in Tanzania) and Roots & Shoots (our conservation and humanitarian education program for young people of all ages), now active in over 125 countries.

A few years ago, when JGI was in a transitional period between CEOs, we counted on Patty’s professional help. I know that we will have Patty’s support in the years ahead for her interest in our work is undimmed.

Thank you Patty."
  Jane Goodall PhD, DBE
Founder – the Jane Goodall institute & UN Messenger of Peace

Thank you Jane!   

+ What's a Bucket List?What do you want to do before you 'kick the bucket'?
Why not make a list of your life goals and get help from friends and the BucketList (see community in fulfilling your goals?
1. Make a list of your life goals.
2. Bring joy to others by helping.
3. Live your dream and find joy in your life.
4. Give credit to those who have helped you.

This blog is not affiliated nor does it receive compensation from, we just thought it was a useful resource and wanted to let you know about this on line service.

It does not matter if you are a CEO coming out of retirement after a home run or a business setback or if you are a new college graduate, you are likely to be more effective and land in happier places if you are clear about your passions and your life's goals.
int, they mostly do what they love and they allow their passions to drive their education, their network and their commitments.  They try to stear clear of treadmills, balls and chains and mills of any type. They try to stear clear of treadmills, balls and chains and mills of any type. Why do they make so much money?  Not all of them do, but the folks who earn six and seven figures have discovered the cash flows and how to tap into them for recurring revenue streams.