Recovery Redefined

I’ve written elsewhere that you can use your pain as the catalyst for figuring out your life’s purpose.

In one section of a chapter in Working Assets I talk about opting to have a purpose-driven life.

People who exert their time energy and labor on “Keeping Up with the Joneses” are less happy. They go into debt buying things that make them appear rich.

In the Andrew Hallam book Balance: How to Invest and Spend for Happiness, Health, and Wealth he talks about the four quadrants of success:

Having enough money.

Maintaining strong relationships (with yourself and with others).

Maximizing your physical and emotional health.

Living with a sense of purpose.

It’s living with a sense of purpose that is key to flourishing in recovery.

I recommend you buy Balance to have on hand. It’s one of the great personal finance books.

Whether a person can hold a full-time job or not the difference is in doing things that give you joy every day.

One person might bake a cake. Another person might ride a skateboard.

I’ve come to redefine recovery not as only possible when a person returns to having a normal life.

Hello–I worked in corporate insurance offices in the 1990s and wasn’t thriving. Even though I technically recovered.

My purpose as I see it that gets me going is to advance my vision of recovery in two ways:

From whatever illness or distress or trauma is in a person’s life. In whatever guise recovery comes to them as.

Healing is possible and there’s hope for healing.

I’m fond of using the skateboarding analogy as a recovery lifestyle that could suit a person.

In Working Assets I also make the case for doing volunteer work when you can’t work at paid employment.

In my view we must expand the definition of what constitutes recovery.

If you ask me the four quadrants of success should be achievable for everyone regardless of what we’re in recovery from.

This is because It’s Not About the Money. It’s Not About Acquiring Material Things.

Plain and simple recovery is about finding what gives us joy and going and doing that.

On and off the job.

Finding the job that is the right fit can enable a person to recover.

My Too-Crazy Dreams

At 5 years old I told my mother I wanted her to buy me Silly Sand. I must have seen the kid’s product advertised on a cartoon show on TV. She didn’t want to. So I told her I was going to go out and buy it myself.

Mom should have known then she wasn’t dealing with a normal kid.

In college I toyed with having a double major in English and Business. Scrapping that idea I graduated on time in four years with a BA in English and a Minor in Marketing.

Since the 1980s I’ve known what a target market is. Having taken marketing, retailing, advertising, and consumer behavior courses.

As a professional librarian today I check out business books shelved in the 658s and books about the economics of business in the 338s.

I search for these books on the library catalog limiting the copyright date to the current year 2022. In one burst I placed on hold 13 business books that were published this year. They’re being sent to me all at once.

Though Working Assets has just been published my goal is bring out a second career book within two years. To give peers tons more competitive information that picks up where the first guide left off.

In June 1987 I had graduated from the local public university where I lived. That fall I had a breakdown and couldn’t go straight to work. My goal at the time was to obtain a full-time job and live independently apart from “the system.”

I was a radical to believe this was possible. At a time when others though recovery wasn’t possible.

At 23 years old I had no role models for what I wanted to do. Without a blueprint I was sent out into the world to make my way. After my failed first career in corporate insurance offices burst into flames I went back to school to obtain a Masters’ in Library and Information Science.

Your dreams are beautiful and so are you.

A friend once described me as “a beautiful dreamer.” In Emotion by Design Greg Hoffman is a cheerleader for beautiful dreamers like me who ask “What if?”

Long before I read this in his book I had written a blog entry telling followers to keep asking “What if?” and “Why not?”

Reading Emotion by Design I’ve become hot to celebrate the distinct voices of the peers who are in my target market.

It’s 2022. Too late in the history of America to not speak out on the things that matter to us. Publishing Working Assets was my humble attempt to create economic justice for peers who traditionally were shut out of the workforce.

That’s a tall order for one person to undertake. I’m a tiny person with a loud mouth. I’m also Sicilian–so it makes sense that I would be stubborn and think I could do this.

In coming blog entries I want to give a human and person-centered spin to my belief that recovery is possible for the peers I’m writing blog entries and books for.

I was a person who believed in myself when no one else did. With the support of my family, therapist, and doctor I defied the odds.

Giving others hope for healing and having your version of a full and robust life has been my motivation for everything I do as an Advocate.

The UNCF had TV commercials in the 1970s that touted: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” A life is a terrible thing to waste too.

In the coming blog entries I’m going to touch on the theme of recovery in more detail.

Earning by Learning

Though I’m an Advocate for mental health and other social justice issues I think Conscious Capitalism shouldn’t be written off as a viable economic engine for businesses and workers and individuals alike.

The founder of the Container Store wrote the book Conscious Capitalism. If I remember right he coined this term.

Another author has written a scathing expose of Nike. His book allegedly corroborates that Nike’s sponsorship of student athletes caused the rise of rapes on campus.

Going back years ago Nike was also excoriated for their sweatshop scandal involving workers who sewed their clothes.

Taking this as it might be and has been I was compelled to read the book in the photo despite the fact that Nike isn’t infallible.

Greg Hoffman the author is a biracial man whose father is Black and mother is white. His adoptive parents were white and encouraged his love of art and sports from an early age. After meeting both birth parents and their families it clicked where he got his innate art talent from: His birth sister was a graphic designer too. And his grandmother was an artist who painted.

No–I don’t like to single out people along the lines of their race. Yet the facts of who Gregg Hoffman is and what he stands for deserve a call-out. He rose from being an intern at Nike to becoming their Chief Marketing Officer. In a 27-year career with the company that spanned breakthrough product campaigns.

The number-one principle Hoffman espouses is that through storytelling you can build a brand by making customers feel they are a part of the story. Treat them as humans and appeal to their emotions to create a fervor for your product.

One of the Nike campaign videos that I viewed circa 2017 left a lasting impression on me. The message of the video played into having empathy for your customers.

As a brand marketer (and as an ordinary human being) you need to step outside yourself to understand the experiences of others.

The video in question provoked a lot of people’s ire. Colin Kaepernick is narrating the idea that the dreams of your youth should not be abandoned when you become an adult.

The theme of the video was Dream Crazy.

The last thing Kaepernick says in the video is: Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.

Those last two sentences inspired me to dare greatly.

I recommend you buy Emotion by Design or check it out of the library.

In the coming blog entry I’m going to tell my story. I was crazy enough to think recovery was possible at a time when everybody thought it wasn’t.

7 Ways to Thrive in a Painful Job

I understand what it’s like to work at a painful job. Too I know what it’s like to love your job. Then to fall out of love and view the exit door as a great escape.

In my experience three prime reasons exist as to why a job can be painful:

The type of work. Robotic, boring, or monotonous.

The type of management. Abusive, money-hungry, inhuman.

The type of coworkers. Rude, nasty, back-stabbing.

Getting a new job might not be possible or necessary.

What to do when you’ve lost the loving feeling for what you do?

Prioritize seeking happiness.

What gives me joy is reading nonfiction books that help me achieve my life goals.

Research the firms in Fortune’s Yearly 100 Best Companies to Work For(r).

See what their hiring practices are and how you can sell yourself as an attractive future worker there.

Have an active social life.

Go on meetup.com to find a wealth of group events. In NYC you can join the #1 New York Shyness and Social Anxiety Network, for instance. They offer support groups, movie nights, and Zoom workshops.

Consider making a “lateral move” to a different position in the same company.

Here is where you can do new things. Years ago I transferred to a new location.

Volunteer to do new things in your current job.

Three years ago I signed on to mentor teen interns.

“Dress Your Best Life” like the title of the Dawnn Karen book.

Licensed therapist Karen has a practice focused on fashion psychology. According to her, how you dress can alter or amplify your mood. I try to dress extra sharp to rocket how I feel.

Fund your retirement as sky-high as possible.

This way you can afford to go out the exit door. Sooner rather than working into your old age.

Pre-Ordering Print Copy of Working Assets

Amazon has set up the pre-order sales page for Working Assets: A Career Guide for Peers.

The print copy goes on sale on October 9 of this year. You can pre-order the print copy by clicking on the above book title link.

If tons of people pre-order the print copy Amazon will keep more inventory of the book in stock.

It’s great if an author generates pre-order sales. You will then get the book shipped on October 9 to get the print copy right away when it goes on sale.

Today the e-book can be bought for $5.99 on Amazon to read with the free Kindle app on any device or computer.

You can also like I did use the Apple iBooks app to install the Working Assets e-book on an iPad.

Working Assets: A Career Guide for Peers contains competitive information that would benefit people who don’t have mental health issues.

The difference is I had the idea as the Visionary I am to create a book for individuals living with mental illnesses.

No one else thought peers could be a target market for a career book. What I’ve done has had no precedent in the marketplace.

I’m the author so I might be biased. However I think Working Assets is a brilliant book that fills a need.

I’m grateful to my blog readers for supporting me all these years.

Publishing Working Assets is a dream come true.

Thank you for your support.

Working Assets E Book is On Sale Today

Hi everyone,

Today Working Assets: A Career Guide for Peers has gone on sale on Amazon and Apple iBooks.

I installed my copy using iBooks on my iPad.

Working Assets is also available via Amazon Kindle.

The Career Guide has competitive information culled from my over 12 years as a professional librarian with a niche helping customer create resumes and conduct job searches.

Latest Career Corner Column

You can read my latest Career Corner column at City Voices Online.

The article contains advice culled from Working Assets: A Career Guide for Peers.

The e-book version of Working Assets is set to go on sale this Friday 7/15/22.

The column talks about creating an Action Grid to figure out the right job to work at.

Creative Mental Health Boosts

I’m happy to introduce this month’s Guest Blogger Jackie Cortez.

They are writing about techniques that are in the vanguard. Read on to get empowered.

Creative Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

No two people are exactly the same, so it’s no wonder that all people experience the world and even mental health challenges differently. With more people than ever reporting signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, now is a great time to consider ways you can give your own mental health a boost in a way that’s unique to you. For a closer look at outside-the-box ways you might be able to raise your spirits and even help others, read on.

Brainstorming Ideas

As the world changes and advocates work hard to tear down the stigma around mental health, many would argue that the world is currently in a mental health crisis. People from all over the globe are taking a closer look at their habits, lifestyles, and routines in search of answers to ways to find balance and improve mental well-being. If you’re like many people, you’ve probably given some thought to ways you can help yourself feel more hopeful in uncertain times.

Try making a list of things, people, places, and causes you’re passionate about. Write down three words that describe the person you want to become and consider activities or changes that might help you get there. To get you started, here are 10 ways you could begin to take steps to improve your mental well-being in combination with professional help when applicable:

  1. Visit a place you’ve never been and keep a journal.
  2. Take a class where you can explore a new interest.
  3. Join an online mental wellness support group.
  4. Volunteer to support a cause you’re passionate about.
  5. Start a social media blog, vlog, or other platform to promote something that’s important to you.
  6. Start a new business.
  7. Change careers.
  8. Renovate your space in a way that better reflects you.
  9. Make changes in your relationships and begin to set better boundaries; keep positive people in your life and eliminate toxic ones.
  10. Engage in one random act of kindness for a stranger per week.

Teaming Up for Mental Wellness

No matter how many great ideas you have, it can be more fun to work in a united group. One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to make it a team effort. One way to do this could be to help others by starting your own nonprofit to meet a community need. It’s easier than you might think to apply for grants and public funding to form a nonprofit corporation. While you’ll need to create bylaws with details on how you’ll operate and govern this organization, the energy you put into making a difference in the world will likely help you, too.

Be Kind to Yourself

No matter how you decide to go about taking care of yourself, it’s important to go easy on yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend or licensed professional on bad days. 

You Matter

At the end of the day, your mental health matters. Finding creative ways to honor your spirit and journey while helping the community is a great way to give yourself hope. Check out Christina Bruni’s website for more ideas on ways to improve your daily life and overall wellness.

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system I instantly fell in love with. Its creator Francesco Cirillo is an Italian from Italy.

Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. The Pomodoro Technique sounds so much better than The Tomato Technique.

The author was a student studying for an exam in 1987 when he first used a kitchen timer like the tomato design one on the book cover.

You time-box the tasks you have to complete each day into multiple “Pomodoros.”

Set the kitchen timer for 25 minutes to allot for one task. At the sound of the timer going off at 25 minutes take a five-minute break.

Schedule each Pomodoro in 25-minute intervals.

This is a genius time management system. Up soon I plan to buy a kitchen timer for this purpose.

The timer will tick while you’re working and that’s okay if you are the only one in the room. Or if you work in an office where you can close the door.

In the book Cirillo gives tactics for using team Pomodoros.

25-minute intervals are the perfect length of the Pomodoros.

There’s no reason to warm a chair 10 hours a day at your desk at work. The trick is that you should be productive within a normal seven-hour workday.

The Pomodoro Technique is perfetto as Italians would say.

It’s the perfect solution to getting things done with more focus power and energy.

Dream first Details Later

Ellen Bennett wrote Dream First Details Later:

Her memoir and how-to-succeed in business guide.

The founder and owner of Hedley and Bennett she sells cook’s aprons (for chefs and at-home cooks).

The higher quality aprons cost $85 to $125.

A chef at Providence in Los Angeles she was frustrated with the ill-fitting poor-quality aprons the restaurant owner was going to buy.

“I have an apron company. I’ll sell you better aprons,” Bennett told him.

That was the right-then start of her own apron business.

She chronicles the evolution of Hedley and Bennett from first thought to ultimate sucess.

The trick is that most start-up businesses fail because the products being sold no one wants to buy. To become a Next Millionaire Next Door, you should be able to see a need in the market and capitalize on filling the need.

Today according to Sam Conniff Allende in Be More Pirate creating a business plan is Out. Drafting a Pirate’s Code is In.

A one-page business plan is all you might need. See the book The One Page Proposal by Patrick G. Riley for details. I’ve used this book to create a one-page sales pitch.

See the lovely Hedley and Bennett aprons for sale.

Coming up a review of another great book. It didn’t get listed in the book directory in the forthcoming print copy of Working Assets. Owing to the fact that the career book was already in production.

Click on the Career Resources header at the top of this blog for an updated list of books that are in the forefront.