CareersCraft is an exciting and innovative new education resource available on Minecraft Education Edition.
The CareersCraft world enables players to develop their future career skills through a series of inspiring lesson plans, all linked to the new Curriculum for Wales. Players will explore some of Wales’ iconic landmarks and discover more about Welsh heritage while they learn.
Players will be asked to complete a range of different challenges and activities at each landmark including:
Learning about a wide range of different types of jobs in the creative industries as they organise a performance at the Millennium Centre
Discovering jobs of the past, present and future while organising an event at Caernarfon Castle
Developing their health and wellbeing by exploring their strengths and interests on a trip to Tenby
Mining for the jobs of the future underground at Big Pit, Blaenavon
Welsh Government has made Minecraft Education Edition available to all schools and learners in Wales. CareersCraft is available on all devices on Minecraft Education Edition.
Please note: You will need Minecraft Education Edition installed on your device in order to be able to open the CareersCraft world download file.
The game allows students to prepare for the future workplace, building skills like collaboration, teamwork, communication and critical thinking. It also gives players freedom to experiment and encourages creativity.
This ‘gateway’ level guidance will make it easier and quicker for all trustees to check what is expected and to find more detailed information if needed, which is all the more important as charities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commission’s research and testing with trustees have helped shape their design and content.
The publications come as part of the Commission’s programme, outlined in its 2020/21 Business Plan, to deliver updated core guidance and an improved website, so that it is easier for trustees, who are overwhelmingly unpaid volunteers, to access the information they need. This is in line with the Commission’s strategic priority of ensuring trustees have the tools and understanding they need to succeed, and helping them maximise the difference they make.
The new tools have been launched to coincide with Trustees’ Week, the annual celebration of charity trustees and the contribution they make to society.
There are serious concerns that unless there is some form of extension to or replacement of the furlough scheme, tens of thousands of job losses are inevitable. In this context, public pressure to create a fairer and more prosperous society is likely to increase.
This will bring about a paradigm shift in our thinking about schooling and its relevance to a changing world of work, home working and a sharp turn towards protecting jobs, livelihoods, health and wellbeing so often limited by structural inequalities in society.
Addressing widening educational inequalities
A new National Funding Formula for schools should ensure the funding system is more responsive to geographical areas of deprivation. However, a recent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report highlights “in the short run, the new formula will deliver funding increases of 3–4 percentage points less to schools in poorer areas than to those in more affluent areas up to 2021.” Government hopes a one-off payment of £80 per pupil aged 5-16 and a national tutoring programmetargeted at more disadvantaged pupils will help address the widening of educational inequalities during lockdown. In this context, what messages will young people, teachers, parents/carers receive about the evolving education and careers landscape?
The launch of T levels
A recent FE News podcast with Minister Keeganhighlighted the launch of T levels with discussion on the differences between this route and other pathways, including apprenticeships. I was struck by the reliance on a national campaign the ‘Next Level’ idea which shows students as they literally climb the floors of a building. Their rapid progression will dramatise how T Levels can help young people get further forward, faster – while also highlighting the qualification’s first three launch subjects of education and childcare, digital and construction. But the massive shock of Covid-19 and its effects on education and career opportunities requires more than this. The narrative of climbing upwards fast will need to shift more towards career adaptability, mental toughness, resilience and building a personal ‘safety net’ of support. In essence, having access to good career guidance (including highly skilled coaching techniques) addresses these basic fundamentals.
Career guidance in schools, colleges and local communities must be strengthened
The views and experiences of highly trained and qualified career development professionals in England have been overlooked by DfE, since May 2020 meetings with the professional body and the trade body has been promised but yet to materialise. Last year, a study commissioned by Careers England reported “less than a cup of coffee is being spent on careers advice for young people in our schools and colleges.”
To date, very little of the money the DfE are spending on careers actually goes to the schools and those working with and supporting young people in local communities, particularly those most in need. It is estimated that 1000 extra employment, training or education opportunitiesare needed each day to bring the number of young people not in education employment or training back to pre-crisis levels by October 2021.
Under the £2billion Kickstart Scheme, the Government will pay towards six months of wage costs of each 16 to 24-year-old hired by an employer. But this approach needs ‘feet on the ground’ (beyond DWP Work Coaches) to work directly with employers advocating on behalf of young people and gathering local labour market intelligence (LMI) to feedback into the education system. Adults too need to know where are the jobs and training opportunities?
The forthcoming FE White Paper should further shed light on the government’s thinking about evolving education and careers for young people and adults – aligned to a refresh of the Careers Strategy(2017). The shock to universities of a diminished international student population and uncertainty surrounding the 2020-2012 local student experience, brings a sharp focus on the availability of careers support, student placements, work experience and internships.
In our higher education landscape, those most privileged often have the best careers support made available to them delivered by highly trained professionals.
So, what’s the massive shock all about?
In essence, we are talking about more individuals in our society being ‘unsettled’ and ‘uprooted’ from the normality of their so far lived experiences and expectations of education and work. At its core is the issue of identity, dignity, livelihood and sense of belonging and fulfilment.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Britain’s were forced to tighten their belts, contend with high inflation and increasing unemployment blighted their horizons. Fast forward fifty years, people’s expectations are higher today and in a modern society it should be an entitlement to have access to high quality careers support as part of a lifelong learning system that supports improved education, economic and social outcomes.
Interestingly, government responses back then saw the wisdom and realised the benefit of investing in careers services for young people to enable work programmes to operate effectively.
Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER
 Department of Employment – Careers Services Unemployment Strengthening Scheme.
Climbing the career ladder has never fit with how I see my work life. I don’t lack motivation or the desire to succeed. Rather, I pioneer and innovate. I need to climb outward not just upward and I like options and opportunities to work in ways that fit with how I want to live my life. However, I’ve second-guessed myself and asked, “Why can’t I find comfort and security in the idea of a career ladder?”
I blame my parents. I grew up the daughter of portfolio careerists who streamed income from various sources. Before the portfolio career concept was trendy, my father and his wife made a living from their grain farm and three side businesses. My mother and her husband made a living from a grain and cattle farm, one seasonal job, three part-time jobs and a variety of side hustles. I had role models who indirectly taught me to diversify my income and even though they suggested I get a “nice, cushy, secure, 9-to-5 job with a steady paycheque and a good pension,” they never worked like that themselves.
Reasons why the climb is no longer as appealing
The career ladder has had a long life. All we have to do is search online to find countless articles teaching us how to climb it quickly and other articles advising us how to successfully survive the climb. Although it’s still a way of working that has provided solid careers, the ladder has come under scrutiny.
Randstad Canada predicts 35% of the Canadian workforce will be contingent by 2025. There’s also a change in how workers want to work. Many of us no longer want to put in the long hours it takes to climb to the top, not to mention the fact that not everyone wants to be a leader. In addition, we have learned how to define success in other ways, and with new workforce models allowing us to work differently and technology giving us the option of working from anywhere in the world, we now have interesting options.
Creating resilient, agile workers that adapt to change
My parents were the epitome of resilient, agile workers who were able to quickly adapt to changes in the farming industry in the 1980s. Resiliency was fostered through a willingness to diversify income streams through side hustles, working salaried jobs off the farm or starting additional businesses. Our family side hustles ranged from making pickled eggs and selling them in the local pub, to commercial ice fishing in -30-degree winter weather, food catering for local events and painting homes. At one point, my father took on a side hustle working with the local plumber and when the plumber left town, my dad saw an opportunity, went back to school in his 40s, and added plumbing and heating to his resume because the work fit around the farming season. It was this type of agile, entrepreneurial thinking that helped my family maintain their way of life.
Today, the changing nature of work is demanding that we develop a similar resilient, agile mindset. Whether it’s out of choice or out of necessity, workers across the globe are diversifying their income and working differently. A 2016 McKinsey Global Institute report, Independent Work: Choice, Necessity and the Gig Economy, outlines the growth in independent workers in the US and Europe. People are participating in the gig economy because they are either “financially strapped” and needing extra income or they are taking advantage of the opportunities to earn extra money.
Side hustles are also growing and are now classified as a subset of the gig economy. They are entrepreneurial in nature, a creative outlet and can also be a smart career strategy. A CBS Eye on Money segment called “Why Side Hustles are on the Rise” featured the growth in side hustles in America. Seen as a residual outcome of the former recession, side hustles are still on the rise with participants flexing entrepreneurial muscles or growing passion projects.
Highly skilled executives are also jumping off the ladder. Michael Greenspan, in his article for Harvard Business Review, How to Launch a Successful Portfolio Career, provides advice on how to move from the corporate ladder to a more organic portfolio career of consulting, contract work, writing and speaking, among other options. Income streaming has become not just an idyllic daydream but a realistic option.
The Tree Approach™
In my parents’ world of work, there wasn’t a career ladder with rigid rungs to climb. There was work to do, a living to make and agile was just something you became. Today, we’re expected to have the same approach. But does the career ladder support agility?
After many years of watching my family work unconventionally and working out of the box myself, I began to wonder how I became so highly adaptable and agile. Was it because, like my parents, I didn’t have a career ladder inside my head? What did I envision as a model for my career? I decided to capture how I saw, organized and managed my career. I put it to paper and it came out looking like a tree.
Over the past three years, I have piloted The Tree Approach™ and it has resonated with clients of varying occupational backgrounds. It is both a visual model and a process of seeing our work life in a new way. Unlike the career ladder that can be swept away in an economic downturn, The Tree Approach™ has us build capacity and resiliency by developing a strong root system. We then learn to explore new workforce trends and opportunities in varying economic conditions. We learn how to adopt broader strategies for managing our careers in a global workforce that is evolving because it provides us with a new framework for how we envision possibilities. The model also supports long-term sustainability by developing skills in strategizing our careers throughout changing seasons of our lives and changes in the evolving world of work.
Rather than seeking stability and security in a career ladder that can blow away in the wind, we create a solid tree with a root system that can weather storms and career strategy that can grow in any climate.
Gail Kastning is a Certified Career Strategist. She is a portfolio careerist who streams income from consulting, contracting, coaching, speaking, passive income and rental property. Her company is called PURPOSEFUL CAREERS.
Labour markets across the world were already experiencing profound shifts and changes before the onset of COVID-19 – a process which has since accelerated. With young people especially vulnerable to unemployment in the changing world order, it is critical that they receive the best possible career support. Parents and carers of these young people also need support from career professionals, so that they can maximize their ability to help.
Aninternational study, undertaken from 2019 to 2020 in the UK, found that parental engagement in career education and support is moving away from passive forms of involvement and information giving, to creating spaces for active engagement, collaboration and communication among parents, carers and educational institutions. What does this research tell us about how we can adapt our practice to best integrate parents and carers into career development support? This article summarizes some key findings and discusses implications for practice.
Learning from others
Increasingly, the careers community is being expected to justify its practice by basing it on robust evidence of what works. This study revealed that, unfortunately, formal, large-scale, longitudinal evaluations of the integration of parents and carers in career practice have not yet been conducted. However, the study has brought together a range of experiential evidence from which we can learn about various practices.
Where and how are parents/carers integrated into career development activities to support young people? In Canada, the Explore your Horizons intervention provided high school students with enhanced career planning and information about the costs and benefits of post-secondary programs. The program was delivered through voluntary, after-school workshops beginning in Grade 10 for students and their parents. It was designed to enhance career education in the school by helping students improve their knowledge of the role of post-secondary education and provide guidance to their parents on how to support them through this process. A combination of interventions (workshops, financial aid, career guidance, resilience training) was found to be most effective. Significantly, there was an increase in high school graduation rates and post-secondary education enrolment among underrepresented students, including those from low-income families.
“Parents and carers of these young people also need support from career professionals, so that they can maximize their ability to help.”
In the UK, the Brilliant Club also aims to increase the number of young people from under-represented backgrounds to progress to higher education. It is a structured program of funded activities for young people that have been designed to develop the career aspirations of academically able young learners. Some schools have adapted these activities to include parents and families. As a result of engagement in the program, young people were reported to have greater engagement in the school’s curriculum and their parents/carers had gained a shared sense of achievement. Practitioners working on the program recognized that it was useful to have LMI knowledge about future opportunities in order to challenge ideas and dated information that some parents/carers had about particular educational pathways.
Further examples of interventions and activities from Australia, Czechia, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, the US and the UK are presented in the report.
The research evidence helps us to crystallize what we know, and what we need to know, about successful parent/carer engagement in career programs. Specifically, strategic leadership and management support emerge as key factors. Parental involvement in the design of career engagement activities is also important, as well as targeted, personalized communication to parents/carers. Training for staff in schools and colleges in how best to communicate with and engage parents/careers was considered valuable and needed.
Additionally, mixed programs (both online and face-to-face) that involve a range of activities and events are more likely to succeed in engaging parents/carers. Programs, where parents/carers and young people have a shared careers-related experience, are a good way of enabling a conversation about educational and career pathways. Finally, ongoing monitoring and development for sustaining improvement are essential. National policies and strategies that identify how the education system could engage parent/carers were found in Denmark, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. Such policies typically facilitate career support, rather than making it mandatory.
The study highlights challenges to parent/carer engagement in career support. For example, the timing of events often conflicts with parents’ working hours. There are also issues around the general lack of time, space and resources available in educational institutions. Despite difficulties, details of initiatives in various countries and promising practices can be found in the research and practice reports linked to this study. The strongest messages from the study are:
Using technology, since this offers ways of communicating, disseminating and enabling access to information for parents/carers.
Redesigning existing activities, such as careers fairs and careers open days, to involve parents, wherever possible.
Creating parent-friendly environments with activities to draw parents/carers into schools and colleges, such as breakfast clubs and coffee mornings.
Designing new activities in the community and in collaboration with other schools and colleges that engage parents/carers, employers and the local community to build parental knowledge and skills.
Creating a space and opportunity for shared conversations between parents/carers and young people through careers workshops and personal guidance sessions, which can be a good way of parent/carers’ learning about careers and starting a dialogue with their young people about their educational and career pathways.
Undoubtedly, parent/carer engagement in careers is important, with a need for them to be “career aspirants” (i.e. supporters of education and career pathways and providers of accurate information). It is also important to remember that they are likely to have different expectations and needs at different points in their young people’s career development, so there is a challenge in how to communicate information ensuring it is of interest and relevant.
The study has evidenced that parents/carers have the single-most powerful impact on a young person’s career development, values, attitudes and self-concepts. Career professionals need to understand how to maximize their influence as a positive force. Even before the onset of COVID, some governments were interested in finding out what policies and resources ensure that career practice maximizes opportunities to integrate parents/carers into career development programs. Pilot programs are needed to build a stronger evidence base on which to take careers practice forward.
JENNY BIMROSE AND SALLY-ANNE BARNES With over 40 years’ experience in higher education, researching, managing and teaching at postgraduate level, Professor Jenny Bimrose has extensive international experience of research management and consultancy. Her ongoing research relates to the effective use of labour market information in career guidance practice, supporting the use of ICT by professionals in careers and employment practice, and the role of careers guidance in the career biographies of people making transitions into and through the labour market. | Dr Sally-Anne Barnes is Reader at the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick managing and working on a range of projects in the careers field. Her international research projects have investigated the transformation of careers and the labour market, plus how individuals engage with lifelong guidance and learning across the life course, navigate the labour market and the narratives around these transitions and decisions.
When you are unaware of self-limiting beliefs, your most fitting career choice will likely remain out of reach.
BY ANDREA S. KRAMER AND ALTON B. HARRIS5 MINUTE READ
We normally think of stereotypes as preconceived ideas we have about other people because of their gender, race, domestic situation, or other social identity.
However, we also have stereotypes about ourselves because of our own social identities. Thus, we are likely to unconsciously hold assumptions about our own skills, available opportunities, and appropriate goals. These assumptions are the result of the gender stereotypes we have internalized throughout our lives. Unfortunately, these stereotype-driven assumptions frequently foster negative preconceptions about our abilities and prospects, creating what we refer to as self-limiting biases. For example, as a woman, you tell yourself you are not good at math, or computer science is not an appropriate pursuit for you, or negotiation would not fit your abilities. And as a man, you might think you are not good at emotional expression, or nursing is not an appropriate pursuit, or you would be a poor human resources manager.
Negative assumptions like these can cause you to restrict the type of activities you pursue, circumscribe the possibilities you believe are open to you, and make you anxious and uncertain when faced with new tasks or ones about which you doubt your ability.
Take one well-documented phenomenon: Men typically apply for jobs when they meet approximately 60% of the stated job criteria, but women typically won’t apply until they feel they meet 100% of the criteria.
Women’s hesitancy in such situations is due, in part, to uncomfortable feelings associated with hirers scrutinizing their abilities; they feel more comfortable when the requested abilities are precisely the ones they possess. For the same reason, women often choose career assignments and positions that involve less risk, lower visibility, fewer challenges, and less responsibility than those chosen by their male colleagues—all situations which reflect instances of self-limiting bias.
The concept of “stereotype threat” is often the trigger for self-limiting bias. For example, a stereotype threat is at play if a woman becomes anxious or uncertain about her abilities when expected to perform a task around which there are strong male stereotypes—say, one calling for leadership, competition, or self-promotion. Likewise, stereotype threat might cause a woman to be uncomfortable and apprehensive in a situation in which gender is highly salient—say, negotiating against a man, leading a team composed primarily of men, or being one of only a few women in a large meeting (whether virtual or in person). And stereotype threat is likely to be the primary cause when a woman believes—unconsciously—that her gender takes her out of running for certain career pursuits (roles in engineering, investment banking, or construction come to mind), which are not “right” for her like other roles (such as careers in teaching, publishing, and fashion) may be.
Another example, if a woman believes women are not particularly skilled negotiators but adequate administrators, she is less likely to volunteer to work on a major merger or acquisition over offering to, perhaps, develop a new employee training system.
SELF-LIMITING BIAS AND GENDER SEGREGATION
The substantial gender segregation among job types in America is frequently attributed to the “demand side” of the process, such as employers’ decisions about whom they will hire, welcome into the fold, and later advance in the company.
There is some recent evidence, however, that “supply-side” factors play a role. That is, women’s and men’s personal decisions about where they want to work and what they want to work at contribute to this segregation. For example, 80% of social workers are women but only 15% of computer programmers are. Unquestionably. this is not entirely the result of demand-side factors. Past research studies appear to bear this conclusion out. Women MBA graduates were found to be far less likely to apply for jobs in finance and consulting than were comparably credentialed men. The researchers concluded that the women’s choices were due in large part to their concluding finance and consulting were not “appropriate” for them because of the strong male stereotypes associated with these pursuits.
COMBATTING SELF-LIMITING BIAS
We are pointing out the existence of extreme gender career segregation not to suggest that some career pursuits are better than others but to alert you to the need to think carefully about whom you are and whom you want to be before making serious career choices. You should be certain these career choices are not being inappropriately limited by internalized stereotypes and misgivings about your abilities simply because of your gender. To keep you from unnecessarily limiting your career choices and advancement opportunities, here are some helpful techniques to take on.
Do a self-analysis. First of all, it is essential to understand when and why you experience threats around stereotypes. If you can recognize the presence of stereotype threat, you will realize the anxiety you are experiencing has nothing to do with your lack of ability and is more about your personal preconceptions. In this way, you will transform your anxiety from self-doubt to something more akin to stage fright, which can become a source of energy, heightened awareness, and improved performance.
Take differences out. A second thing you can do to combat self-limiting bias is to view situations in which gender is highly salient through a nongendered lens. Don’t think, “I am the only woman in this meeting,” but something like, “I am one of only two MBAs in this meeting” or “I am the most experienced person for this job.” In other words, in these situations, think about your strengths, background, and potential—not your gender.
Humor yourself. Finally, keep in mind that a sense of humor is always a useful coping method to self-limiting bias. By bringing humor to difficult, unfamiliar, or just plain uncomfortable situations, you can diminish your negative emotional reactions and increase your performance capabilities.Using humor to cope with self-limiting bias is not about laughing the situation off, but rather cultivating an attitude that sees gender stereotypes not just as discriminatory and limiting, but slightly ridiculous, too. For there is something truly laughable about anyone believing in the 21st century that women are poor negotiators, lack ambition, or cannot be effective leaders. When you can see the absurdity of gender stereotypes, around your own gender and those of the opposite, you are far better able to reimagine uncomfortable and stressful choices as opportunities not dangers.
By being aware of your own internalized stereotypes, as well as how to fight these problematic limitations, you can unlock more activities you want to pursue, reduce personal anxiety, and discover more about yourself.
An article by Elaine Mead and published by the Australian Careers Service.
After a few months stuck at home, half the world is either just beginning to return to normal (and the office) or they’ve been left wondering what comes next after experiencing job losses.
Losing a job or part of your professional identity can be a shock to the system. Know you are not alone in this experience. When you’re ready to take the next step forward, there’s plenty of ways to do so.
It’s going to take a while for recruitment to pick up again and we’re certainly going to face a few more challenges as we deal with the impact of COVID-19. Making a plan for finding work might seem like a mammoth task.
The small things can quickly become the building blocks of bigger changes and help you feel empowered rather than trapped during this time. Aside from updating your resume and cover letter, here are six to get you started:
1. Update your LinkedIn profile
If it’s been a while since you looked at your LinkedIn profile, now is the perfect time for some updates. You can set your profile to ‘actively seeking opportunities’ to indicate to potential employers and recruiters you’re looking for work and follow companies for job openings as soon as they happen. Spend some time making sure all your job titles are up to date, remove anything outdated and include links to projects or resources that align with your work or professional identity.
2. Expand your knowledge
Learning professional skills is a lifelong hobby and a great way to kick start your own development journey if it’s been a while since you studied. If you’re seeking ways to feel in-control and proactive about your career, an online course or workshop could be just the thing you need. Whether you want something to help you in your current industry or you’re seeking to strike out in a new direction entirely, there’s something for everyone.
3. Check-in with your network
Networking might seem like a foreign concept in our current climates, but it’s not completely off the table. Are you involved with any professional associations for your industry? Many are offering free professional development workshops, as well as regular Zoom meetings simply giving members a chance to chat and discuss how COVID has been impacting their industry and day-to-day jobs. It’s a great way to feel less alone but also connect with some new faces.
4. Set up a professional website
If unemployment is on the books, setting up a digital space that contains your resume, write-ups of any projects and programs you’ve helped on, as well as a weekly blog on your own thoughts about your industry could be what sets you apart when job hunting. Consider this a portfolio where you get to showcase your in-depth knowledge and understanding of your work and include the link to your site on your resume. It’s a great way to invite employers to get to know you better.
5. Create some ‘how-to’ guides
Lots of people every day are looking for ways to simplify their workday or understand how to do something quickly and easily. If you’ve got some niche knowledge, creating a how-to guide is a great way to boost your professional identity. Identify common question-points in your day-to-day job or industry and do a write-up — you might even visit a few of your own gaps and write about those! Share online (either LinkedIn or your website) and invite others to share their input.
6. Start a business book club
There are books for every single industry imaginable, or you could pick a broader topic such as leadership, workplace culture, or emotional intelligence in the office. You can read alone or rope in a few other colleagues or industry peers to read along with you. It’s a different way of adding to your personal knowledge and growing as a professional.
Elaine Mead is a Careers and Work-Integrated Learning Educator based in Tasmania.
Psychology is a subject that interests a lot of people, but not everyone is cut out to transform it into a successful career.
The following article, published by Arden University, may help your clients decide if Psychology is really for them.
Ever find yourself wondering if you could make it as a psychologist? Here are eight signs that you could be perfect for a career in psychology – if you manage to tick off five or more, you’re probably on to something!
You have a curious nature
There are several careers which are made for those with a naturally curious mind and psychology is definitely one of them. A psychologist has to have that urge to find out what makes people tick. Every case you come across will be different, so the more you learn about psychology, the more you’ll feel that there’s so much you’re yet to discover. Your curious nature will drive you forwards and help you to excel as a professional psychologist.
You’re the friend everyone feels they can confide in
Hopefully you won’t read anything in this letter that you haven’t already heard from me many times before. I’ve always tried to lead by example when we are together, so I will do the same in this letter by reminding you of a few thoughts that will help you navigate your incredible life journey ahead: Always be present, read the signs, stay in your lane and never back up more than you have to.
I have always tried to be present for you regardless of how old you were, where we were, or where I was. I wanted you to know that I am always there for you spiritually, emotionally and digitally. You never need feel isolated or alone. You know I am on 24/7 for advice, love, or just to share a funny filtered photo, bitmoji or laugh (even though I know I laugh inside). Being fully present, by listening, feeling, empathizing—always holding serious eye contact, and often the touch of a hand—builds trust. Trust builds confidence and confidence enables you to look forward, dream more and focus on others vs. yourself. Being present is the greatest gift you can give another person, and the greatest way to more closely connect with them. When you are present, you are living in the moment vs in your mind. You are seeing, hearing, and feeling another person, and together you are even more empowered to do great things. This is a gift that often comes more naturally to women.
I have also tried to share with you as many of life’s precious lessons and secrets as I can so that when I am not here, you have a solid foundation of learnings and values regardless of what potholes in life you may hit along the way. Stay open; always try to read the signs as you pass by them or they pass by you. I’ve often reminded you that there are no coincidences. Everything that happens in your life is for a reason or was predestined. Every book you receive, every new person you meet, everything you call lucky is a sign just waiting to be read. It is tough when you are young and so inward-focused, but once in a while you will look back, make the connection and then be more open to and curious about those signs in the future. You see, signs aren’t blatant or obvious. You have to be open and present to instinctively feel or intuitively see them. You’ve seen firsthand, and we have often discussed, the role signs have played in my life and the incredible things that have happened as a result of me listening and reacting to them. You are blessed as sensitive women to more naturally understand this.
You are fully aware of how blessed you are, the incredible gifts you were born with that your brother doesn’t have and the gifts he has that you don’t possess. You know how happy you feel when you are doing what you love and that comes so easily and naturally to you. So please, please, please connect to your passion, and then just stay in your lane. Great athletes, musicians, scientists, etc., all have an expertise that they focus on and perfect. Don’t let anyone persuade you to do anything that doesn’t feel natural or isn’t aligned with your values or God-given gifts. You know what excites you more than anyone else. The sooner you recognize your passions, and the more you focus, the happier you will be and the greater success you will achieve. Still, don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what your lane is yet. The path will illuminate itself so long as you stay present, open to the signs, and follow your passions. It’s all related.
Lastly, my loves, never back up more than you need to, and this means in life, not just when driving. Just as you are blind to what’s behind you while backing up a car, if you keep looking back in life and focusing too much on the past, you may find yourself running things over and over in your mind,often seeing or creating things that never existed in the first place. Even worse, living in reverse blinds you to what lies ahead: Your lifelong dreams waiting to be achieved, your destiny waiting to be fulfilled.
I know what you’re thinking: why do Dad and I always have our old family photos streaming on Apple TV? This is O.K., because your family is your foundation, and also your greatest enabler. When it comes to your family, we should be with you everywhere you are, as you are always and forever with us.