From Career Treadmill to Fast Track

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Roadmap for Success: 7 Steps to Effective Change

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With all the uncertainty and anxiety that pervade our thoughts and discussions about the economy, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the gloom-and-doom mentality and feel completely helpless. While layoffs and losses can erode confidence, to overcome and succeed we must not let them! We encourage everyone to put the past in the past and focus on the future. Dr. David Krueger, author of Roadmap for a New Wellness Story, shared with us how a systematic approach to change can empower us to achieve career and life goals.

Dave Krueger, M.D., is an Executive Mentor Coach and currently serves as the CEO of MentorPath (www.mentorpath.com), an executive coaching, wellness, and publishing firm in Houston, Texas. He helps executive clients “write the next chapter of their business stories” by combining elements of psychology, neuroscience, and professional coaching into a comprehensive method for effecting change and achieving goals. Dr. Krueger is the author of over fifteen professional and trade books on self-development, wellness, and success, and he frequently gives keynote addresses nationally and internationally. His strategies look at success as both an art and a science, and in his coaching and writing he focuses on the principle of “mind over matter.” In the past Dr. Krueger has served as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, and has practiced and taught both psychiatry and psychoanalysis. He has been listed among America’s Top Psychiatrists, and from 1996 until his retirement from practicing clinical psychiatry in 2002, he was listed in The Best Doctors in America. Additionally, he has founded and served as CEO for two healthcare corporations, and co-founded a third startup that began as a venture capital endeavor and eventually became a merger/acquisition.

Systems for Implementing Change

What fascinated us while reading Dr. Krueger’s book Roadmap for a New Wellness Story was the striking number of parallels between his strategies and philosophy and our own principles in Job Search: The Total System. In both we recognize change as a prevailing theme, and we learn about how to implement change strategically in order to enhance our personal and professional lives. One element in our similar methods of effecting change is the concept of visualization. Envisioning an optimum and ideal future is essential for reaching the next step in achieving our goals. Another parallel in our approaches is the application of a systematic change process. The system becomes the “roadmap” for getting to where you want to be.

A third parallel is the realization that for a change to take place, it is essential to come to the end of our “old stories”letting go of the past, and create a “new story” focusing on the present and future. In this way we can make the best and most informed choices based on where we are in the here and now and where we want to be next. This emphasis on the present and future is central to Dr. Krueger’s framework for facilitating change, and he asserts that we begin to implement change by looking objectively at our present selves and situations. He says that this can be challenging because objectivity runs contrary to our natural function of the brain. Our facts and beliefs are hard-wired, and we cannot simply tell ourselves a new fact and expect it to replace a previously held belief. Instead, we must go through a process of change in order to incorporate new facts, beliefs, principles, and practices into our ways of thinking and behaving.

Wellness Involves a Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit

In his executive coaching practice, Dr. Krueger emphasizes the concept of wellness, which he defines as the story we each write every day with the choices we make that influence the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Wellness is a whole system of energy that involves our emotional, spiritual, and physical choices, how we relate to ourselves, and how we relate to others and the world around us. For this we need “roadmaps” for how to objectively tell our individual stories to ourselves so that we can see ourselves clearly, make the most informed decisions, and accomplish the changes that will help us reach our goals and visions for our lives.

Energy and Experience = Who You Are

Dr. Krueger shared how our “system of energy” relates to wellness. Each person is an open system of energy taking energy from various sources around us, and organizing, transforming, and returning it to the environment. According to Dr. Krueger, we either create or accept everything we experience, and if we do not like our experiences, we must take ownership of them in order to begin to change them. For real change to occur, we must implement a systematic and step-by-step process to obtain the object of our focus. It is not sufficient to simply listen to advice or tips on how to change our lives. Instead we must actively implement a system of change principles.

Dr. Krueger pointed out that when we are given new information it does not simply replace or rewrite our existing beliefs or conceptions. Rather, we have to evaluate and assess where we are in the present moment and then consciously work to incorporate a new fact and expand our range of experience.

Grab Your Roadmap and Cruise Down Your Highway to Success

Dr. Krueger’s vision of change can apply to the work you do, your wellness, or any other aspect of your life. His principles for change are encapsulated in the acronym ROADMAP:

1) Recognize authorship. Each individual writes his or her own life story, and we should constantly be aware of the power we have as authors and creators of our own stories.

2) Own your story. Accountability is a prerequisite to change, and it establishes effectiveness and mastery. Therefore we must take responsibility for our choices and our stories.

3) Assess plot and story: We should recognize and assess the behaviors, hidden beliefs, and language of the mind and brain that influence our individual stories each day.

4) Decide what to change. We are responsible for the experiences and beliefs that we maintain, enhance, let go of, and/or change.

5) Map changes. We define and create our goals and strategies for success.

6) Author new experiences. We plan, create, and write the stories we want to tell with our lives.

7) Program a new identity to incorporate and sustain changes. When we begin living a new story we have to actively work to make it part of who we are, otherwise we see our change or transformation as interference, an afterthought, fate, luck, or circumstance, rather than who we are.

What is the Plot of Your Life Story?

Dr. Krueger explained how we can assess plot and story, and how we can rewire our brain in order to implement change. When we assess plot we are essentially investigating what is not working in our lives and trying to understand why it is not working. In doing this we can move forward with the next step in accomplishing change, which is deciding what things we will keep, enhance, let go of, and finally change. The challenge we face in the assessment and decision stages is our natural tendency to revert back to habits and familiar paths. Dr. Krueger pointed out how ironic it is that the trepidation we feel when we implement changes in our lives actually validates that change is occurring. Through repetition and consistency we can overcome our anxiety by rewiring our brains so that the new factors and elements we have implemented become our natural, normal patterns of behavior.

Living Up to Your Own Ideals

Dr. Krueger mentioned that positive actions and experiences are linked to self-confidence, and that is connected to our specific ideals and beliefs systems. We build self-esteem by aligning our wants, needs, and goals with our beliefs and we pattern our behaviors and actions so that we live up to those internal ideals. Dr. Krueger emphasized the value of setting specific goals for ourselves, creating plans and programs for achieving those objectives, and patterning and repeating our actions in order to rewire the brain. The end result of this is that our new actions become our natural, default behaviors.

Another Parallel…

In Job Search: The Total System we have provided text, video, and audio resources to facilitate repetition and reinforce effective job search principles and practices as individuals implement our system for job and career change. Dr. Krueger shared two important insights on implementing systems of change: First, he suggested seeking out sources of informed information, such as mentors, consultants, and systems like Job Search:The Total System and the Roadmap for Wellness. These serve as catalysts and guides for effecting change. Second, he advised developing the right paradigm or map to proceed in implementing change.

The Balancing Act – Emotion vs. Reason

There are some challenges that can become roadblocks on our paths to change. Our emotions have a tendency to trump the logical and rational parts of our brains in what Dr. Krueger defined as “emotional override.” The key to successfully overcoming this challenge is to find the right balance between our emotions and rationality and to manage and regulate a proper state of mind. We can find this balance by taking a step back from stressful situations to reflect and reestablish a mental equilibrium.

You’re Mapping Your Future, and Visualization is Your Compass

We concluded our fascinating discussion with Dr. Krueger by talking about ways for mapping the future and implementing change. Dr. Krueger called his formula the “ABCs for Success,” which stands for Ask, Believe, and Create. The more we focus on a specific goal, idea, or change, the more we construct new default ideas and behaviors in the brain. It is necessary to define specific, relevant, and attainable goals for ourselves in order to map out success strategies consistent with those goals and with who we are and want to be. Dr. Krueger emphasized that we eventually obtain what we focus on – not necessarily what we want. So if an individual focuses on developing a particular skill or behavior, for example networking in a job search, he or she codes the brain and aligns the “self” both consciously and unconsciously to achieve that goal. Once again we see a parallel with The Total System for one of our favorite quotations is: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve!”

Visualization is an important component of focus and is essential for successful job and career transition. In The Total System we challenge you to envision your life with a better job for better pay. This visualization has a tremendous impact on your success because not only do you see that you can achieve a better life, but that you will. Dr. Krueger confirmed that when we repeatedly focus on and visualize our goals and objectives we develop pathways in our brains that create the experience of success.

Energy and Psychological Leverage

Dr. Krueger reemphasized that as fields of energy we interact with others and teach them how to respond to us. With positive alignment we attract others with similar ideals, we teach them how to interact with us, and we create positive expectations in our relationships. This is another powerful parallel with The Total System in which we train you to develop psychological leverage in your networking and interviewing relationships.

Each of us has the power to mold our behaviors and control how we respond to what is happening around us. By aligning our goals with our ideals, incorporating positive thinking, and actively implementing the changes we desire, we empower ourselves, take ownership of our lives – and our “stories” – and create our own success.

To learn more about Dr. David Krueger and to access his wellness teleseminars and books visit: www.mentorpath.com

Listen to the entire show with Dr. David Kreuger.

Categories: Author · Career Development · Job Search · Motivation · Organization Development · radio show · stress management

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