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Posts Tagged ‘success’

Eureka! I Found My Motivation!

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 16, 2010

Now that I knew my problem was a lack of motivation, I set forth trying to determine what would motivate me. Some people are motivated by “haters”; others are motivated by family. The one thing most of these forces have in common is that they are external forces. Well, I am not motivated by external forces. I didn’t grow up feeling the need to be successful in order to prove something to someone who didn’t believe in me. Nor did I feel pressure to be the future caretaker of the family. Consequently, I developed a highly independent nature, relying on research, deductive reasoning, and some common sense to influence my mindset.

The benefits of being highly independent are clear when it comes to problem solving. You learn how to become resourceful when in need of answers to puzzling questions. I began by asking my friends on social networks and in real life what motivates them. Popular responses included faith, a desire to succeed and bills. In Socratic fashion, I pursued further, unsatisfied with the responses. Every self help book, article, and quote about motivation gives those responses and still people get stuck in the mire of mediocrity. I needed to know what it was about having faith, a desire to succeed, or bills that spurred these people into action; and, not just action, but progression towards goals that they found intrinsically connected them to their inner being.

Far too many people are on paths defined for them. Maybe my Generation Y status gives me a proclivity for idealism, but I believe it necessary to a happy life. Essential to it is defining your own path that connects you to your own spirit. This is not about religion. Connecting to your spirit is about finding who you really are, what you really want to be, and developing a conviction to hurdle over any obstacle that enters your lane. Some people know this, though, and still can’t make the connection. Some people need to start at the beginning by analyzing themselves. If you don’t know what road you should be on, do the following:

  1. Ask yourself what brings a smile to your face
  2. Write it down
  3. Ask yourself what you find yourself talking about all the time
  4. Write it down

After you’ve done these things, you will see a pattern emerge. Somewhere in this list is your career. If you already know what you would do with the rest of your life but can’t get yourself motivated to do it, then you are in the position I was in not too long ago. After talking to people about their motivation and reading through multiple articles and quotations, I realized the secret to finding your motivation has nothing to do with you. Everyone who appears to have a special gift to succeed is only successful because they are motivated by their desire to be of service to others.

Cosmopolitan magazine, Sean Combs, and John Mayer all list multiple motivators. Cosmo suggests that the emotion of envy is an indicator of lack and desire. We become envious of what others have only when it is something that we desire in our own lives. This desire to have what others have is mistaken as a good motivator because it appears to be a catalyst for action. What if you feel undeserving of what others have but still want it? That feeling of being unworthy will kill any desire. In an interview with Playboy Magazine, John Mayer stated the following:

PLAYBOY: So you’ve lost the motivation of playing music to meet girls.

MAYER: If I was playing it so I could meet hot chicks, I’ve met hot chicks, quote unquote. If I was playing it to make a ton of money, I’ve made a ton of money. If I was playing it to be well-known, I am well-known. Once you put aside girls and money, it forces you to realign your motivation for being a musician. Now I’m not a have-not but a have. Which is interesting, because music has to come from a have-not sort of place. And there are many places where I have-not.

PLAYBOY: What motivates you now?

MAYER: My motivation is to prove people wrong, to confuse them. I enjoy the challenge—I must be addicted to the challenge. I’ve gone from being a musician to being a celebrity. And when people do that, their work usually suffers. There are tunes on Battle Studies that are more applicable to other people’s lives than anything I’ve ever written before. This whole time I’ve stayed vulnerable, stayed frustrated, stayed confused. This record is the trade-off to having sort of brutalized myself for a few years. So if people see that over the past couple of years I actually got a firmer grip on writing songs about the ups and downs of life, they might go, “How did he have the time to make a record? Was he writing ‘War of My Life’ in the middle of me thinking he was a douche bag? Did I ever actually know him? Maybe he’s a pretty solid guy.”

John Mayer started his career motivated by women and fame, but he has those now. Without those to serve as motivators, what keeps him interested in playing music? Somewhere in there is a desire for people to be less judgmental. I suggest John Mayer lose the motivation to prove people wrong and write music that allows him to reconnect with his true self – the good guy with the best intentions. Sean Combs has said that his mother served as his main inspiration to become the media mogul that he is today. I’d like to ask him what keeps him motivated now that he can provide everything for her.

I’ve come to realize where my motivation comes from, how I obtained it, and how I will keep it. My hope is that by reading this, you will develop your own realization. My goal is to help you get there from here.

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mr. Director, What’s My Motivation?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 8, 2010

After asking myself what was wrong with me, I sought to find the answer. This was not a quick process. I hemmed and hawed, acting with no deliberate speed. Not because I didn’t want the answer and not because I was busy with other things, but because finding an answer would bring a finality to only one situation. If successful at finding the answer, would I even know how to move forward? If I did move forward, would I move in the right path? If I took the right path, would someone be disappointed by my work? This series of thoughts repeated themselves ad infinitum in my mind rendering me paralyzed.

I was paralyzed by fear. In an attempt to get out of it, I researched what it meant to be afraid of success. I wrote a post labeling the symptoms and solutions. It is exactly 6 months after the posting of that article, and I am only a few steps closer to where I want to be. At one point, I immersed myself in work. If it had been the work that made me happy and appears to be my passion, this would have been a good thing. It wasn’t. It was the very work that I had been striving (not so well) to get away from. I wanted to be better. I knew I was smart enough to handle the work. The problem: I didn’t believe in myself.

A disconnect existed between my belief in my capabilities and my belief in myself to follow through. I wondered what made people do the work to advance themselves further in life? If everyone is motivated by something that spurs them into achieving their goals, what was my motivation? Sean “Diddy” Combs owes his motivation to his mother who barely slept working multiple jobs to take care of her children. He developed his work ethic from her, and relentlessly pursued his dreams wanting to be the source of her support. I didn’t grow up seeing someone work nonstop to take care of me. I saw someone working regular 9 to 5’s that they hated. Every job. I was not relied on for financial support. My only role was as student. My follow through came from a fear of admonition. External factors goaded my early success. The motivation never evolved into an internal force.

So, I asked myself, “What the hell is my motivation?” (Coming soon)

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Am I Really Ready for Success?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 4, 2010

Are you ready for the good life?I was talking to a friend and even through a text message my friend could tell that something was bothering me. I went on to tell how I felt trapped by my circumstances. Some might call what I am experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Circumstances surrounding the incompletion of my higher education have me living at home, working two part-time jobs, and wishing that things could have just been different. What do I want from my life? I want the success that I can see is on the horizon; and, I want it now. I want to move out. I want the life that other people younger than me have. I know I shouldn’t compare my journey to anyone else’s, but I am so so so so so so tired. Mediocrity is exhausting. Then, my friend asked me how I was going to get what I want. My answer: I don’t know.

Every day I’m reminded of how much I want my life to be different. Every time I get on the bus, watching the unwed pregnant teenagers, having to drown out the derogatory tunes emanating from the iPod 5 feet away from me, dodging the smokers’ spit puddles, I say I can’t do this anymore. Then, I wake up and do it all over again the next day. We all know the definition of insanity, right? That’s it. That’s what it is. I’m insane. I must be to want something better for myself, to be able to see it, and to not be trying ridiculously hard every day to achieve it. What is wrong with me? Then, I wondered, “Am I really ready to receive all that I want? Am I really ready for success?”

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on how I started moving towards getting what I want.

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She’s so “Precious” – A Review

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on November 26, 2009

Precious, her mom, and her daughter

Upon entering the theater I felt nerves and anticipation coursing through my body. I expected to cry. I expected to feel anger and helplessness. I did, indeed, feel all of those emotions; but, I also felt more emotions than I expected inspired by the people around me and their comments. The experience of watching Precious has likely strengthened my resolve to tell my story. Not because anyone can do it if Precious did it, but, because, it will be my red scarf handed down to the little girl who feels all alone in the world.

Prior to viewing this movie, I read tweets from people who refused to see it, from those who saw it and were deeply touched, and from those who opined on the gross amount of racial stereotypes. Of those who refused to see it, many found fault based on the previous work of the people responsible for bringing the film to the big screen: Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. Words and phrases such as “coonery” and “typical black girl from the ghetto” were common in their complaints. Of those who saw it and were unimpressed, this tweet speaks volumes: “Whoeva suggest anyone too see this movie “precious” need to kill urself….dis givs black familys a bad look smh.” Please don’t listen to this person. I could cry peeling back the layers of disillusionment and incongruity present in that one allegorical onion. What came first: Precious or the Black Family?

This movie was adapted for film by Lee Daniels based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire. It is a first person narrative dictated to us by Clarice “Precious” Jones. Walking through the streets of Harlem with a scowl on her face and the weight of years of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse on her shoulders, she tells us the story of her life in such a manner that it prompted one viewer behind me to say, “This is realistic. I like it.” A concise and accurate statement, it is the reason to see the movie.

In the afore-mentioned tweet we see a common model for behavior in (Black) families. What goes on in the house, stays in the house; and, this is a thread that runs throughout the movie, as well. From the outset, we see Precious avoiding the truth and refusing to tell her story, petrified that her mom would kill her. Meanwhile, her mom continues to call her a fat ass, tells her that she’s a dummy, education won’t help her, she’s a nobody, and she should rely on a welfare check to get by in life. These are the racial stereotypes that people are afraid to see. They don’t want people to know what is said in their homes. Well, maybe what is said should change. It’s just a theory. A theory that “Precious” is attempting to make a practice.

In one form or another everyone can relate to her story. We have all either been the abuser or the one abused in some way. Other comments heard around me include: “Is that really how big she is?” “She looks like a boy. She looks like Eminem.” “Y’all ain’t right.” The second comment was directed to Mariah Carey’s performance as a social worker. Without her glamorous hair and makeup team, Mariah looked like an average woman, but it prompted someone to call her a boy. Worse, her friends laughed and made other jokes about her appearance, causing one girl (the only big girl in the group) to casually denounce their behavior. It is this casual accusatory tone that encourages the abuse. It is not seen as something that is really bad behavior. If she were to leave the theater and discontinue the friendship, she would be blamed for taking herself too seriously. “It’s just a joke” they might say. Well, Precious didn’t take it as a joke when she smacked her classmate for calling her fat.

The tagline for the movie is: “Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is….Precious.” Does it have to be this way, though? We’re so busy preparing each other for the “real world” that we forget to take care of each other. We forget to love. We forget to be the models of good behavior that we actually seek in others. Life is not some made up entity that comes out of nowhere to do us harm. Life is people. We are the creators of Life. If our lives are so rich and precious, why do we choose to de-value it?

Posted in Media Analysis, RandomThoughtOftheDay | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Doing Everything Right But Still Not Getting Hired?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on September 1, 2009

What advice do you have for new grads in PR/journ/marketing/comm?

What advice do you have for new grads in PR/journ/marketing/comm?

I find so much information about what GenY is not doing right in regards to the interview process, but I know plenty of people who don’t show up to interviews in a bath robe; they have their resumes reviewed by experts; and, they ask what they are told are really great questions; but, they still don’t get hired. I wondered if there is still something that we’re doing wrong.

On August 17, 2009 I was participating in a hashchat called #journchat on Twitter. Towards the end of the discussion the professionals on the chat responded to this question from the host, @journchat: “Q8 What advice do you have for new grads in PR/journ/marketing/comm? Doesn’t have to be social media specific. #journchat” I re-tweeted what @katcalbes said, and, after speaking a few more times, I asked if she would mind offering more advice.

Kat Calbes is a PR strategist and branding counselor based in Los Angeles. What follows is her advice for interviewees on other statements or behaviors that can result in a poor interview.

In general, telling an interviewer that you are a “people person” because you’re an outgoing social butterfly doesn’t mean you should be in PR.  Here are other “no-no” behaviors and statements that can jeopardize one’s potential for landing a job:

Dropping the L-word too many times. This is a personal favorite of mine because I learned this lesson through one of my mentors early in my career. Plenty of young (and not-so-young) professionals wander through life using the “L-word” a bit too much.  It’s distracting. It’s unprofessional. And frankly, I want my company to be represented by someone who can clearly articulate their thoughts.  For example, We represented this “like” one company that “like” offered this “like” product that “like” does X, Y and “like” Z.  It was “like” the best campaign that I “like” ever got to work on and “like” I would work there in “like” a heartbeat.

Showing up to an interview without a portfolio or writing samples. We want to know if you can actually write (not just talk talk talk!). In PR and marketing, writing is one of the most basic, yet most important, tools for success. Writing means both internal and external documents – from press releases and byline articles to internal newsletters and basic memos to your bosses or clients.

Telling the interviewer you don’t really read the news. As PR pros, we need to be alert and on top of current events and trends in order to leverage our company/clients for timely media coverage or promotional opportunities. Make sure to follow the news, read industry-related blogs and pay attention to what is being covered in the media landscape. Hearing an entry-level candidate say, “Oh, I get my news from reading People, InStyle, etc.” is not what you want to hear (unless the position is for entertainment PR, which would then of course be relevant).

Don’t say “Oh, I don’t have any questions, you answered them all already.” It’s important to ask intelligent questions that show your genuine interest in the company. Even if the interviewer has covered every nook and cranny, always have questions handy. Write them down on a notebook (I’ve seen this and totally support it!). If the conversation truly covered every topic under the sun about the job or company, ask questions about the interviewer.  It’s just as important to know more about your future supervisor as it is for them to get to know you. “How did you get started in this company? What have you learned so far in your position?  What do you enjoy the most about your job?  What is your management style? Can you tell me a little about the department or team that I’d be working with?”

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