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Activ8 Excellence News

INSPIRE

The Corsage

"You've got to help me!" My friend pleaded with me. "You've got to take this girl to her sorority event." This girl was getting interested in my friend, an interest he didn't want to grow. While I was reluctant to get involved in this mess he had created, he was a good friend. I consented to this blind date.

He certainly sold me on her. Her sister had been Miss Edmonton the previous year. She belonged to this sorority that all the kids of rich people belonged to. I, on the other hand, had only $20 to my name. With about half of my life savings, I decided to buy a corsage for my date.

I arrived at her home dressed in my only suit, corsage in my hand. The door opened and I saw that she was beautiful. I also saw that her dress had very thin straps. There was no place to put a corsage. I also saw the funny look on her face that said she would have never worn what represented half of my worldly riches anyway.

I also noticed that her leg was bandaged. She had injured herself skiing that afternoon. What else could go wrong? Plenty.

I escorted her to my chariot, a red Toyota pick-up truck with a canopy camper on the back. That was my vehicle then. From the look on her face, I wish that a fairy godmother could have come along and turned it into a Mercedes. In spite of her sore leg, she insisted that we park a couple of blocks away from the party.

We entered and I was briefly introduced to a couple of people, then she sort of disappeared. I wasn't too disappointed. I hadn't had a good meal in a long time and the food here was plentiful and tasty.

What a party it was! The children of the rich and famous of Edmonton were there. People kept coming up to me and asking what I was "into," instead of what I did. I answered that I was "into" education, since I was taking my Bachelor of Education at the time. I wondered if these rich people really knew how poor I was.

I'm glad I am a fast eater, because a half an hour after our arrival, my date, whom I had barely seen, came back and asked to be taken home. Her leg was aching too much, though she declined my offer to bring the truck to the front door. I still have a hunch that she got rid of me to return to the party. My feelings weren't hurt. I had eaten well, although the friend who set this up was going to hear about this.

I dropped her off. She made sure I didn't walk her to the door, but I did the unthinkable. I asked for the corsage back. Why? Was I out of my mind?

No. I had a second blind date a couple of nights later. A girls' group was having a father-daughter banquet. A friend had asked me if I would be the father for a night for a young girl who didn't have one. This way she would be less embarrassed at the event. Even though I didn't know what I was getting into, I told my friend that I would do it.

The night of the second blind date came. You know what? I was more nervous meeting this ten year old than the sister of Miss Edmonton. What if she didn't like me? What if she was ashamed to be with me?

Then she came through the door. I was introduced, and then I showed her the corsage. Her eyes grew like saucers. She trembled with joy as I pinned it on her. While she was the only one without a real dad, she was also the only one with a beautiful corsage. She held her head up high as we walked into the room. We had a great time. It was wonderful seeing her smile and hearing her laughter. I think she was proud to have a special friend like me. I certainly was proud of her, just like a dad would have been.

It was the same corsage. In one person's eyes it was worthless. In another's it was priceless. Every one of us has a gift. You know what? In some people's eyes, it will be worthless. Ignore them. I can assure you that if you meet enough people you will discover somebody who finds your gift priceless.

John Stevens

John Stevens is a freelance writer in St. Marys, Ontario. You can read more of his writing at his blog at http://johnnyvfanclub.blogspot.com or send John an email to: john.stevens@rogers.com

EMPOWER

Activ8 Excellence in Making Choices

When faced with any challenge, a Creator can make a responsible decision which is empowering by following the following steps.

1. WHAT IS MY PRESENT SITUATION?

The important information here is What exists? (There is no room for blame).

Quiet your Inner Critic, that self-criticizing voice in your head.

Ignore your Inner Defender, that judgmental voice that blames everyone else for your problems.

Consider only the objective facts of your situation, including how you feel about them.

Rely on your Inner Guide, your wise, impartial voice that tells the truth as best it can.

For example: I had put a lot of time into preparing for the job promotion interview. I dressed appropriately and had prepared answers to questions I thought could be asked. The felt the interview went well and I was optimistic. I was told today that I didnt get the promotion. I feel depressed and angry.

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2. HOW WOULD I LIKE MY SITUATION TO BE?

You cannot change the past, but if you could create an ideal outcome in the future, what would it look like?

I would like to get the next promotion that I apply for.

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3. DO I HAVE A CHOICE HERE?

The answer for a Creator is always YES!

Dont fall into the Victim trap of believing you have no options.

Instead assume you can find a better choice; then you often will.

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4. WHAT ARE MY POSSIBLE CHOICES?

Create a list of possible choices that you could do, knowing that you arent obliged to do any of them.

Compile your list without judgment. Dont say. Oh that would never work. Dont even say, Thats a great idea. Judgment during brainstorming stops the creative flow.

Move from judgments to possibilities, discovering as many creative options as you can.

Give yourself time to ponder, explore, consider, think, discover, conceive, invent, imagine. Then dive even deeper. Your patience will often pay off with a helpful option that would have remained hidden had you merely dashed across the surface of your mind.

 I could complain to my work colleagues and anyone else who will listen.

 I could resign from my current job and try to find another job.

 I could complain to my boss that I had been unfairly overlooked.

 I could ask my boss what I would need to add to my skills and experience to ensure I was successful next time.

 I could look for a promotions position in another workplace.

 I could seek career coaching, polish up my resume and practice interview techniques.

 I could send out resumes to other workplaces I would like to work for.

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5. WHAT IS THE LIKELY OUTCOME OF EACH POSSIBLE CHOICE?

Decide how you think each choice is likely to turn out. If you cant predict the outcome of one of your possible choices, stop this process and gather the information you need.

 Complain to work colleagues: Id have the immediate pleasure of criticizing the boss and maybe getting others sympathy.

 Resign from my job: Id lose a secure income and may be out of work for some time.

 Complain to my boss: Probably hed view this as sour grapes and I would have no hope for promotion in the future.

 Seek advice from my boss: I might learn how to improve my interview next time. Id be viewed as proactive and creating an opportunity out of the situation. Id be remembered for next time.

 Seek promotions positions elsewhere: This could take considerable time and effort. I may find just the position Im looking for.

 Seek career coaching: This action wont help with this interview but it would ensure I am prepared as best I can be for the next interview.

 Send out resumes: This will require less time and effort and I may be offered the position I am looking for.

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6. WHICH CHOICE(S) WILL I COMMIT TO DOING?

In this final step, decide which choices will likely create the most favourable outcome and commit to acting on them. If no facvourable options exist, consider which choice leaves you no worse off than before. If no such option exists, then ask which choice creates the least unfavourable outcome.

I will talk to my boss and I will undertake professional development as suggested by her. If I do not get the next promotion position I will make an appointment with a life coach for assistance in clarifying my goals and what I want out of life and career advice. I will up-date my resume, practice interview techniques and possible interview questions and send my resume to firms I am interested in working with.

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No matter what your final decision may be, the mere fact that you are defining and making your own choices is wonderfully empowering. By participating in the Activ8 Excellence in Making Choices process, you affirm your belief that you can change your life for the better. You reject the position that you are merely a Victim of outside forces, a pawn in the chess game of life. You insist on being a Creator of your own outcomes and experiences, shaping your destiny through the wisdom of your choices.

TRANSFORM

This month we champion those who have taken a stand for the people in their lives that are important to them and that they love and have said, "Enough is enough!".

I have witnessed true transformation with ordinary people living extraordinary lives because they have made a decision to actively create the life of their dreams. I am sure you know people like this.

This often begins with getting "real" with oneself and acknowledging that they may have been at effect of the things in their lives or a Victim and now they are prepared to play at 100% and grab life with both hands and be at cause for all of the outcomes they are experiencing in their lives. To all you Creators and you know who you are......Congratulations on choosing to play a big game!

Keep shining,

Christine Anderson