Friday, September 18, 2015

What’s your personality worth?

When searching for a new job, we normally pay attention to information like experience, education and skills.  But what about our personalities?  Have you ever considered how your personality translates into a paycheck?

That’s the question the Career Assessment Site put to the test.  Using the Myers-Briggs personality test, they determined the traits that earn the most and those that earn the least. 

The most prevalent personality traits of top earners include being driven, forward thinking and decisive.  These are people who are focused on getting ahead and often don’t allow other people to steer them off their paths.  They’re also more often the people who are unafraid to ask for raises in pay or to take risks that may pay off for their companies and themselves. 

Top earners are also results-oriented and are quickly able to notice inefficiencies.  This allows them to streamline company procedures and maximize profits.  You may notice more questions in the interview process geared toward identifying these personality traits.  Questions that require you to highlight the outcomes of your previous job performance. 

The people who earn the most are also able to take criticism.  They understand that the goal of the organization is to maximize profits and the quality of services and that criticism is not meant to be taken personally.  They don’t allow insecurities to get the best of them or grudges to prevent them from doing the best work they can do.

Lastly, top earners are visible.  They don’t hide out in their cubicle and avoid interacting with others.  They embrace a team mentality and are eager to get involved in projects.  They also tend to be more optimistic which fosters persistence and an ability to rise after failure. 

The good news is that our personalities, while consistent, are not completely fixed.  This means, we can learn to behave a little more like our opposites intentionally.  For instance, introverts can learn to behave more like extraverts by learning to balance opportunities for visibility with their need to recharge after social interactions.  The effort may equal more change in your pocket.

How to get over a Crazy Ex!

Has your relationship history been more like this

Then this

  You're not alone.  Many people struggle with finding the right person to share their lives with.  Particularly when we have few examples of healthy relationships in our own lives.  It can be difficult to recognize red flags when they pop up.  Or you may be so focused on the happy ever after that you miss them or ignore them all together.  It could even be your unconscious sabotaging your success!

Next month, Forward Recovery will be talking about this exact topic at an October 10th workshop.  In it, you'll learn about Relationship PTSD and how to know if you have it.  You'll also learn what to do about it, including how to be more discerning of the person you are hoping to spend a lifetime with.  Join us for lunch and some learning and I promise you won't leave disappointed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't worry - it's unlikely you'll marry your mother.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before.  The theory that everyone ends up marrying his or her parent.  That because your earliest exposure to the opposite sex is often your mom or dad, they either blessed you or doomed you to seek out a mate just like them.  Well it turns out, that’s not quite true. 

In a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, researchers found that you’re more likely to be the one most like your parents than your significant other.  And your significant other is only likely to share their level of openness with your parents. 

So, while we do learn our relationship rules and communication skills from our families of origin, such rules and skills are malleable.  Meaning, we can always learn new ways of relating to other people in our social circles.  And this ability to adapt helps to bring new experiences and ways of being into our sphere or influence. 

So the next time you’re worried whether you’re marrying your mother or your father, look more toward yourself for your parents’ reflections.  And embrace the new relationship features that come with inviting a new person with whom to share your life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Six Quick Tips to Reduce Stress At Work

 We’ve all had those days at work.  The ones where the boss is in a cranky mood, your coworkers are non-stop gossip mills, you’ve got a ton of work to get through on your desk and your clients are constantly in your ear with one complaint after another.   I bet even reading those sentences had you feeling stressed.

Stress has become a never-ending part of modern life and is one of the leading causes of discord in the office.  And it makes sense.  As our stress levels go up, often our patience and abilities to concentrate go down.  And this can lead to bad work reviews and poor service.  So how can you manage this daily stress and keep your cool?  Here are six quick tips.

Step One

First, assess where your stress most often comes from.  Is it a demanding boss?  Is it a nosy co-workers?  Is it even self-created?  Knowing the source or sources of your stress is the first step to being able to do something about it.

Step Two

Next, decide whether the source of stress is something that can be avoided or has to be managed.  For instance, if the office gossip is not someone you have to work closely with, it may be best to cut off communication with this person and avoid them.  

Step Three

If you cannot avoid your source of stress, then you have to manage your stressors.  To do this, you need strategies that you can implement when you feel your stress levels rise.  One way to do this is to schedule yourself mini-breaks.  You can take a walk to the bathroom or get a cup of tea, but get away from your desk for a few minutes to clear your mind.

Step Four

Another way to manage stress is to practice mindfulness.  Mindfulness is about being aware of what is going on in the present.  For instance paying attention to the task at hand while breathing deeply – kind of like you would do in yoga – a breath in during one movement and a breath out during another. 

Step Five

A fifth way to manage stress is to practice compassion.  Compassion is a gentle showing of concern and forgiveness of a person who is struggling.  Notice your suffering in the moment and forgive yourself for feeling stressed, angry or upset.  Notice the shortcomings of those you work with and forgive them for that too.  You will be surprised how powerful the act of forgiveness and compassion can be.

Step Six

Lastly, you can use the Safe/Calm technique.  Take a few moments and think of a place in your mind that makes you feel calm, safe or both.  This can be an actual place or a place you make up entirely in your mind.  For example, many people choose to imagine themselves at the beach.  Allow yourself to really experience the beach in your mind.  Notice the sounds, smells and feelings associated with the scene.  Notice how your body responds to the image and also your breathing.  Choose a word that goes with how you are feeling.  For example, peace.  Then hold the word and the image together in your mind.  You can strengthen this by gently and slowly rocking back and forth – side to side.  Notice how calm you are now? 

Managing stress is a skill that can help you live a longer life and a happier life, especially at the office.  For more on how to improve your work environment, visit


Monday, September 14, 2015

Trust - The currency of the therapeutic process.

If you’ve ever spent time in a therapist’s office, you know about the variety of emotions that therapy can bring up.  Some days you wish your session would never end and on others, you can’t wait to hit the door.  When a person comes to therapy, they are expecting to work through some issues and feel better.  However, sometimes with deep issues, the feeling better part doesn’t come as fast as you might like.

Therapists know that sometimes it’s our jobs to push a client and that can be uncomfortable for them.  They will at times feel frustrated with us or even angry.  But it’s important to know that all of this is ok.  It does not necessarily mean you are not getting along with your therapist or that the therapist doesn’t like you.  It doesn’t mean that you’re beyond help or that you should give up.  It means you’ve just got to trust the process. 

And trust is often a difficult thing for our clients, another thing that us therapists know.  It’s why we go to such lengths to make sure your sessions are private and that we check in to make sure you are making the progress you told us you want to make.  However, in order to make progress, you may have to go out of your comfort zone and say, think or do things you normally don’t like to do.

Trusting the process also means not rushing the process.  Therapy of all kinds, even the brief therapies, take a certain amount of time.  You will gain the insights you need at your own pace.  You will experience healing when your brain is ready to.  You will often change in very slow and small ways.  But remember, small changes over time can be very big things. 

Trusting the process also means trusting yourself.  Trusting that you can heal yourself.  That you can be a better, healthier person.  Trusting that you have the skills to get there or at least can learn them with some effort.  Trusting that you can change is important to the process of therapy. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Relationship PTSD - What is it and how can I get past it?

As human beings, we require social relationships in order to grow into functioning adults.  We evolved this way because our survival depended on strong communities working together.  In fact, on an instinctual level we know that to not belong can mean death.  It is because of this that the quality of our relationships often determine the quality of life we will have. 

For all of us, our first relationships were with our parents.  In fact, everything we know about relationships started with them.  So, think about your early relationships.  Were you parents nurturing?  Were they available?  Were they involved or preoccupied?  Were they abusive or loving?  Were there conditions placed on your worth as a person?  Did you find you never quite measured up? 

When a person is involved in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, it can leave behind scars.  You may find it difficult to extend trust in new relationships.  You may be on guard for when your new relationship “turns” or when your partner begins to change towards you.  You may feel like the world is not safe anymore.  You may not be able to trust your instincts about people.  You may even have flashbacks of the abusive or unhealthy relationship, become filled with rage or isolate yourself from friends and family.  All of these behaviors are symptoms of what experts are calling Posttraumatic Relationship Syndrome or Relationship PTSD. 

Traumatic experiences are handled very differently by our brains than normal experiences.  In a normal experience, the brain has the time and ability to process the situation at hand, make sense of it and apply coping skills.  In fact, our brains are hardwired with an internal processing system geared toward healing.  The system helps us learn from each of our experiences and then let go of any information that does not serve a purpose.  But with disturbing experiences, the normal processing system becomes interrupted and the memory is stored as you experienced it – in its raw form.  It then remains this way, unprocessed and not integrated with our general memory networks.  Because of this, we experience lingering effects of the original experience.  And although time can dull the effects of the experience, it often fails to heal it. 

So what can be done about this?  The good thing is that the brain can reprocess the lingering memories of the negative experiences, through a form of therapy known as EMDR.  EMDR therapy is a form of therapy using eye movements that simulate REM sleep – the period of the sleep cycle characterized by an increase in brain activity and is thought to be the time where experiences of the previous day are processed by the brain and then stored in the memory networks.  This therapy helps to remove the lingering symptoms experienced as a result of the bad relationship.  This leaves you free of the past to enjoy new, healthy relationships in the future.

Once the effects of the negative memories are processed, you can then work on learning how to spot bad relationships before you get into them. 

If you live in the Tampa, FL area and want to learn more about Relationship PTSD and how to overcome it, you can attend the Relationship PTSD workshop on October 10, 2015.  For more information, visit and click on the events page.

Friday, September 4, 2015

5 Steps For Kicking Your Toxic Relationship To The Curb

Human beings are hard wired for social interaction.  We crave the feeling of belonging to the point that sometimes we may even overlook a person’s bad behavior to avoid feeling like we’re alone.  But toxic relationships can do way more harm than good.  Here’s how to kick those people to the curb.

Step 1: Realizing Your Own Worth

The first step, is realizing that your time and your presence is worth something.  I have a mantra I share with the clients in my therapy practice – “It’s a privilege to be in my presence.”  A saying I’ve written about before.  This saying is so true and believing it sets up a measuring stick for how the people in your life are treating you. 

What this saying means is that your presence is worth something and that anyone who wants to have a relationship with you has to recognize that.  If they don’t, you remove your presence from the equation.  But think about what it means for something to be privileged?  Think about something or someone you value and then think about how you treat that object.  Do you take care of it?  Are you gentle with it?  Do you place it in high regard?  This is how another person should be treating their relationship with you!

Step 2:  Their emotions are NOT your FAULT or your RESPONSIBILITY

Another of the rules I have for my clients is they are never, ever responsible for another adult’s emotions.  We choose all of our emotions every single moment of every single day.  I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, because most of the time we simply react to daily events without much thought.  But at any time, with the realization that our emotions are all under our own control, we can change what we feel. 

When someone does something we don’t like, we can choose to be angry, or we can choose something different.  When someone says something mean to us, we can again choose to be angry, or choose to let it roll off our backs and move on.  We have that power. 

The thing is, sometimes toxic people will blame you for “causing” their uncomfortable emotions.  This blame is a manipulation strategy to keep your relationship always on their terms.  They may use threats such as if you do x, I’ll never speak to you again, or I’ll have to do whatever with someone else.  Because they have trained you to believe that without them, you would have no one.  Hold that one up to the evidence.  Is it really true?

Step 3: Expect Them to Act Out When You Cut Them Out

Toxic people thrive off of being able to manipulate others.  They do this through behaviors such as blaming, complaining, nagging , etc.  It’s all designed to get you to be the bad guy and come running back to them willing to do whatever it takes to appease them.  When you make up your mind to cut them out, expect some push back.

Your toxic person may react with anger, but remember they are choosing this anger.  You are choosing to be healthy, and you have every right to do so.  This is the time to remain assertive, calm and stand your ground.  By giving in to the anger, you are rewarding this toxic behavior.  You are also not treating yourself like a person whose presence is a privilege to be around.  

Step 4: Make Room For Healthy Relationships

In order to have healthy relationships, you have to surround yourself with people who know what a healthy relationship is.  Removing the toxic person from your life opens room in your life for a person who can treat you with the respect you deserve. 

 Here’s an exercise you can try:  Find a notebook or piece of paper and divide it into two columns.  On one side, you’re going to write “I’m making room for a new, healthy relationship.”  Then sit quietly for a moment and see what kind of thoughts come to mind.  Whatever they may be, write them down in the second column.  Then repeat, “I’m making room for a new, healthy relationship” in the first column, and whatever thoughts you have in the second.  Through this exercise you’re priming your brain to accept this statement as a truth and processing through any negative thoughts that may arise that might stop your progress.

Step 5: Limit Your Exposure

Sometimes the toxic people in our lives are family members and can’t be completely cut out.  In this case, it’s important to limit your exposure and plan for time spent with this person.  You may need to set limits for yourself, such as I’ll only stay for 30 minutes or if a certain behavior goes on, then I will take a break, go home, etc.  Your number one goal is to protect your own mental health and you give yourself permission to do this ahead of time.  A good idea may be to rehearse your exposure before hand so you know what to do and to reduce any anxiety.  Just remember, when people treat you like your presence is not a privilege, it is completely within your right to remove your presence.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Stop Shooting Yourself In the Foot

Have you ever felt like nothing you were doing was getting you anywhere?  Like you're not getting any closer to your goals and can't figure out why?  You may be a victim of self-sabotage.

There are many ways in which we engage in this irrational behavior - and many reasons.  For some of us, it is a way to avoid doing something we know we should do, but don't really want to.  For others, it's a way to stop ourselves from having to deal with negative feelings.  But whatever the reason, we end up doing ourselves more harm than good.


Take procrastination for example.  We have probably all experienced this force of nature at one time or another.  When we should be working on that work project or school paper, we find ourselves more strongly drawn to our Facebook pages or that Netflix series we heard was really good.  Experts describe procrastination as the gap between our intentions and our actions.  We want to succeed at work or school, but feel overwhelmed by the task at hand.  The problem is, in order to act, we must choose to do so.  

Behavioral experts describe three basic reasons for procrastination: 1) to avoid doing something we find aversive; 2) because our intentions are weak and vague; and 3) because we're easily distracted and highly impulsive.  The first one probably makes the most sense and is the easiest one to catch ourselves doing.  If we hate writing, for example, it would make sense that we would put off writing that term paper until the last possible minute.   In the second instance, there may be a gap between knowing we have a task or series of tasks to complete and figuring out where to start.  In the case, a lack of confidence or feeling of overwhelm may be getting in the way.  In this instance, learning how to break a big project down into smaller pieces is a good skill.  It takes your focus off the scariness of the big picture and allows you to take just a small chunk at a time.  

The third reason boils down to our inability to really estimate the time a task might take.  For instance, we may assume it will only take a minute or two to go through our email, but then end up bogged down by the task for several hours.  It's important to remember that there is only so much time in the day to work on our goals, so prioritizing our tasks can be essential.

So, how do you stop procrastination?  Simply put - just get started.  If the task at hand is more than you want to deal with right now, then just do one piece.  As an example, if you hate writing that term paper, for now, just do the title page and the works cited portion.  Getting yourself moving often helps keep you motivated to continue.  Set yourself a hard and specific deadline and if necessary engage others to help you stay on track.  Also, eliminate distractions - turn off Facebook.  Work in a room away from the TV and make a rule that checking email comes after your goal for the day has been reached.  You can also work in rewards for getting unpleasant tasks done.


Another way that we self-sabotage is by allowing ourselves to escape negative emotions.  Everyone does this some of the time, but some people make it a habit.  Examples of behaviors that provide escape are comfort eating, substance abuse, excessive shopping and to some extremes self-injury and cutting.

With the exception of self-injury, most of these behaviors are not damaging if only done once in a while.  But overtime, comfort eating and shopping sprees can land people in some very uncomfortable situations.  Thus, creating more instances where engaging in these behaviors would be necessary.  A vicious cycle indeed.  In these instances, people quickly decide to give up on long-term goals for short-term periods of feeling good.  

In these situations, it's a good idea to keep a record of stressful situations and how you handled them. This way, it becomes easier to spot patterns such as what types of situations and what behaviors go with them.  Once these behaviors and their triggers come into your awareness, you can actively work to change the way you behave - replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones.

Negative Beliefs

Another way in which we sabotage ourselves, is that we listen to our internal, negative beliefs.  These are beliefs that developed throughout our lifetimes, but most likely started in childhood.  They were caused by negative experiences that left behind a negative message.  Examples of such beliefs are "I'm not good enough" or "I'm a failure."  Oftentimes, these beliefs lie just below the surface of our consciousness, so they sabotage us without our knowledge.  

But think about it, if your underlying belief is "I'm not good enough" then it stands to reason you might not want anyone to confirm this by thinking your paper stinks or your presentation is lousy.  You may sabotage relationships in order to prevent being the one who's dumped.  When you behave in some way where you wish you could stop but don't know why you're doing it, it's usually a sign that there is a negative belief in play.  In these instances, if you stop and ask yourself what you might be believing about yourself in this instance you might learn what message is guiding your behavior.  

It's also good to remember that self-sabotage is not an act, but a process.  It begins long before the behavior that gets us into trouble.  But with awareness, comes the ability to fight back and hopefully win the battle.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's a Privilege to be In My Presence

I was talking with a friend recently who was having trouble with an ex-boyfriend.  Her ex has not been feeling well lately and has asked her for some help.  Actually, he demanded her help and he demanded that help on his terms.  What this meant for her was re-arranging her schedule and going out of her way to do things like picking up dinner for him and doing some of his shopping.  When she was unable to get to it on his timetable, he became angry, sent her some nasty texts and then went out to take care of his needs himself.  Afterwards, he continued his barrage of irate text messages putting her on the defensive.  

My friend was afraid to be assertive with this man because doing so might cause him to stay angry with her and eventually remove himself from her life altogether.  This fear that if she stood up for herself she would end up alone controlled how she related to other people and opened the door for those who would treat her with disrespect.  So how do you turn something like this around?

First, it’s realizing the very basis of respect.  Respect is honoring that I have a choice in this relationship of ours.  That true, you might leave me, but I could just as easily leave you.  It’s a 50-50 partnership and you have to put up your half too.  It is understanding that you can make requests of other people, but not demands.  Because you don’t control others.  

In our society today, we LOVE control.  It’s in our very language.  Just do it.  Make it happen.  Control your child.  Control your dog.  Get a grip.  Man up.  You get the picture.  In reality, all we really have control over is ourselves.  Only our own thoughts, feelings and behavior - that’s it.  So, when you’re faced with a person who has forgotten this concept, in my opinion, it becomes my job to remind you.  Not in a mean way, but in an assertive way.  

Assertiveness is merely stating what I am and am not willing to accept.  No anger, no harshness is necessary.  It’s simply a statement.  It comes from a decision I have made that I am not willing to take on the responsibility of another adult’s emotions.  

I have this saying that I use a lot in practice and I wrote it down for my friend and told her to put it in a place where she will see it each day.  The saying goes like this: “It is a privilege to be in my presence.”  Think about this statement.  Think about what it says and what it means.  Being in my presence, getting the benefit of my knowledge, experience, empathy, you name it is a privilege - not a right.  It is something to be honored, not expected.  It is not guaranteed.  Therefore, in order to get my presence, you have to show me that you understand that it is a privilege.  At the same time, it is a privilege for me to be in another person’s presence and I must act accordingly as well.  

So when you look back at my friend’s story, you can see that her ex-boyfriend did not treat her presence like a privilege.  He also placed the responsibility for his emotional health in her lap.  Why cling to a relationship that has so little respect for you?  Sometimes cutting the chord of the old, makes way for the new.  But if you want to (or have to) keep someone like this around, you have the power to decide how the interactions go by your control over your presence.  When the ex became angry and decided to send nasty texts, my friend has the power to delete them.  If the ex came over pounding on her door for an explanation, she has the power not to open it.  When he asks for help, she has the right to decide the limits of that help.  She has power because she has choice.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

To Add Good Advice to Good Advice.....

I recently read this advice column in a magazine that dealt with relationships.  In it, this young man was discussing his relationship problem with an even younger woman who he believes was not showing him the amount of affection that he feels he requires in his relationships.  He described her as “indifferent” and “short on affection” even though he showers her with endearments and tender touches quite often.  Although he does mention her once telling him “I don’t like sleeping alone,” when he wanted to hear “I want you to stay with me.”  He feels her behavior “makes” him feel insecure, and then attributes her behavior to a lack of experience with long-term relationships.  

The columnist gave fairly solid advice, agreeing that it’s no fun to be in a one-sided relationship and suggesting that relying on external cues like being introduced to the girl’s family are not enough to guess at inner workings of the woman’s mind.  The columnist also suggests that each is acting out relationship roles they are familiar with from childhood - which is very likely true.  

However, my experience as a therapist has shown me that often people don’t ask questions when their insecurities have them fearing the answers.  Instead of having a frank conversation with his girlfriend, our lonely romantic is looking for external clues and trying to read between the lines of the woman’s actions and statements.  In this way, he can keep guessing without ever having his internal fears confirmed, although the opposite is just as likely.  

Another point forgotten is that couples are not often speaking the same language with each other.  Each of us gets different meanings from the words we hear and the inflections and body language that goes with them.  Have you ever had your statements misunderstood?  A lot can go wrong in the interpretation.  So, while she says “I don’t like sleeping alone” believing that she is letting him know that his presence is welcome and comforting, he interprets this as “well, that must mean anyone would do and it’s not exactly me she wants” or something along those lines.  Don’t you think that would be an opportune moment for some clarification?  When you hear “I don’t like sleeping alone,” the simple question “Does this mean you want me to stay with you?” can clear up a lot of doubt.  It can also open the door to conversations about this difference in communication and love styles.  Not everyone is as comfortable with touch, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be taught to be comfortable.  It may be that she needs a sign that touch is safe and welcome.  That it doesn’t require permission.  

Don’t forget, no one comes to a relationship without a past behind them.  We are all carrying around various emotional baggage - remnants of old wounds that we collected in our childhoods.  These bags can be sprung open without notice and can weigh down our actions.  Without knowing it, you can pop open a big bag of hurt or fear and in this case, it sounds like each side opened a pocket on the other’s bags.  The easiest way out of insecurity is holding up your fears to the evidence and be brave enough to ask for confirmation.

If your fears are preventing you from communicating freely and openly with your significant other - then get help!  If you know there is lingering baggage that you can’t put down - get help for that too!  There is no shame and only a rewarding relationship experience to gain.  And that’s the best advice I could give.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The 10 Traits of People Who Love What They Do

Have you ever met a person who felt passionate about their career?  Who appeared to relish their work and the hours required to become successful?  Have you ever wondered what made them love what they do and how can you get to be like that?  Here is a list of the traits those people share:

  1. They always keep their personal goals in mind.

People who love what they do are internally challenged to succeed.  They’re the people who have laid out the five-year plan and refuse to let anything get in the way.  Although their career paths rarely resemble a straight path to success, they don’t get bothered by the twists and turns that can throw other people off guard.  That’s not to say that they don’t struggle with motivation from time-to-time, but they never fully lose sight of why they are doing what they do.  They fight their way back to that plan, which serves to recharge their batteries.

2.  They remember what energized them as kids.

Do you remember way back when what you used to tell people when you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up?  People who love what they do still remember what sparked their passions long ago in childhood.  For some, it was building things with their Legos.  For others, it was taking care of “sick” stuffed animals.  Today, the work may not exactly resemble the play careers of the past, but the elements of those play careers that created excitement remain.  People who love what they do have found ways to integrate what they used to love into what they do today.

3.  They think Big Picture.

People who love what they do don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day, or even the week-to-week.  They understand that life has its ups and downs and they also understand that each state is temporary.  The people who love what they do are in it for the long haul and they understand that the long term return on their investment will make up for the short-term failures they experience along the way.

4.  They ignore the naysayers.

If you again think back to those childhood memories of your future career, what did the people around you say about them?  Did they encourage you or did they feel your career choice was cute, but unrealistic?  Was there a naysayer who dashed your dreams?  People who love what they do ignore the naysayers.  They don’t allow others to steer them away from what they’re passionate about.  

5.  They groom their replacements.

People who love what they do believe in abundance, not scarcity.  They believe there is always another opportunity to be had and so do not feel threatened by another person who shares their same passions.  They are happy to share the lessons they learned and help another person further their own career because they know their trajectory is always pointed up.  

6.  They’re committed to their dream - not their company.

While for many career paths, it’s important to have a good relationship with a company, for people who love what they do, they are not married to any particular company.  That’s not to say that they aren’t loyal, but their loyalty lasts as long as the company provides a means to reach their personal, internal goals.  People who love what they do are not opposed to moving on when the company they work for can no longer provide a place for them to do what they love doing.  Passion always comes before practicality.

7.  They don’t allow THEIR goals to be replaced by anyone else’s.

This goes hand in hand with those early year naysayers.  People who love what they do don’t allow present-day co-workers or managers knock them off their path.  And they don’t allow a company to replace their internal goal with the goals of the company.  You have to remember that the passion-driven worker seeks to continue to do what fuels their passion.  If what management has in mind for that person doesn’t fall in line with those goals, the passion-driven person may decide to move on.  People who love what they do may tow the line for a short period of time, but they will work to find a way through the roadblocks to continue on their own career path.

8.  Their passion is contagious!

Have you ever been around someone who was so passionate about their work that you couldn’t help being swept along with the excitement too?  People who love what they do share their passion with others and in turn can inspire others to follow their lead.  

9.  They’re mindful.

People who love what they do are aware of their goals for their future and their past wins and losses, but they spend the majority of their energy in the here and now.  They don’t wait for things to be perfect or the time to be right.  They seize whatever opportunity presents itself and they go with it then and there.    

10.  They don’t put limits on their visions.

People who love what they do can see unlimited potential in their long term goals.  They don’t fear competition, but at the same time know that there’s enough business to go around.  They know how to be productively competitive and avoid dealing in scheming or underhanded deals.  In other words, they don’t have to step on others in order to succeed.