Female Scientist Brings Awareness of Hepatitis B in China and Bay Area by Stuti Upadhyay


A week-long trip to China doesn’t sound like a big deal. After all, thousands of people visit China every year, many for months at a time.

But for me, a sixteen-year-old Indian girl traveling from San Jose to Beijing, this trip was a daunting ordeal. I would be spending the week with six other kids I didn’t know, sharing a large apartment with my dad as the only chaperone.

We were traveling to China as part of an International Outreach Awareness Committee with Team HBV, a student-run organization under the Asian Liver Center. The Asian Liver Center, along with Team HBV, aims to educate the general public about the prevalence of chronic Hepatitis B infection in Asian communities.

Chronic Hepatitis B, which can lead to serious liver damage and eventually liver cancer, claims the life of 600,000 people each year. Furthermore, although Asian Americans consist of only 4% of the American population, they comprise of over 50% of the nation’s chronically infected people.

Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination, but the disease often does not show symptoms until it is far too late. Because of this, early screening and testing are of utmost importance.

Unfortunately, there is a strong stigma surrounding Hepatitis B in Asian communities. Our group traveled to China as a way to start the conversation regarding the disease. By encouraging even a few people to get screened or encourage their friends to get tested, we could take small steps to eradicate the taboo and saving lives.

Our group consisted of kids from all around California who were handpicked to represent the Asian Liver Center in China through an application process.

The first few days of our trip were awkward and tense; no one knew each other and everyone was trying to get accustomed to their surroundings. Our shared goal of spreading information brought us together, and we spent several hours rehearsing our presentations, going over HBV facts, and working out the details of our outreach.

Although we weren’t able to present at some of the elementary and middle schools we had planned to visit, we educated everyone we talked to, from college students to workers in the Subway.

We even worked with interns at the Peking ALC to see if they could replicate some of the outreach that was working so well in America.

And over the course of this week, the trip that I once so feared became one of my favorite experiences in my life. I grew incredibly close to the other committee members, and I visited many amazing, historical places in China.

I also grew even more passionate about our cause. Before, I volunteered with Team HBV because I thought it was a good cause to support. I got involved because I felt like I couldn’t let innocent people die when I possessed knowledge that could help them.

During my trip, I grew close to people who experienced first hand the tragedies of HBV: people who had lost loved ones to the disease; people whose own parents couldn’t tell them they were infected because they were embarrassed; people who wished they had gotten tested just a little sooner.

After returning home, I started looking for more opportunities to get involved. One of my first attempts was to rent out a booth at the monthly De Anza Flea Market to distribute outreach information and spread awareness. My two friends and I talked to over one hundred and fifty people about Hepatitis B and what they could do to help.

I used to think that this trip to China would be my biggest contribution and involvement with Team HBV. After all, I traveled all the way across the globe for outreach. Now, I know this is only the beginning. There are so many more things I can do, from starting a club at my high school and later at college to writing a blog and volunteer more frequently locally to help make a difference.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Stuti Upadhyay – She is interested in the field of Biology – particularly molecular biology for cancer.  Looking forward to participating in many cancer-related molecular biology research opportunity, including hands-on lab work. She is passionate about helping disadvantaged kids, health and exercise, and environmental sustainability. A Bay Area native who enjoys the beach, running, soccer, watching movies and listening to music.

 

Can Sustainability and Minimalism Improve Your Happiness?

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

 

In Graham Hill’s TED talk, he asks if having less stuff can lead to more happiness. He makes the case that when we own less, and in turn need less space, we will have less debt, more money, more freedom, more time, and we’ll also be leaving a smaller environmental impact. He believes that these things combined would lead to less stress and a happier life.

 

You can move into a 600 square foot home and eliminate most of your stuff, but you only have to do a little bit in order to make an impact on your happiness and positivity. In this article, we’ll discuss how bringing minimalism and sustainability into your life can improve your overall happiness.

Happy Communities

Your home makes a big impact on your happiness. Like Graham states, a bigger home is more expensive and leaves a greater footprint on the environment, leading to more debt and more stress. But the size of your home isn’t the only factor impacting your life. Your community, location, and accessibility all play a major role.

 

Sustainable living, and sustainable communities, commonly boast a higher quality of living, not in luxury but in fulfillment. Sustainable living can help nurture economic and environmental health, and social equity. In sustainable communities, everyone is expected to do their part and everyone works toward a healthy lifestyle for all that live in the community. But it takes work.

 

Look for sustainable communities, or community groups in your area to get involved and become a happier person by working with others toward the same goal. Or start one in your own neighborhood. Do a self-evaluation of your home and find out what you can do to make your home, and your community, more sustainable for the environment and for your own finances.

Minimalist Living Tips

Sustainability and minimalism often go hand-in-hand. Minimalism is known to improve your life in many ways, but at its core, minimalism leads to more time, money, and less stress. These three simple changes can end up providing more memories with your family, new hobbies, more adventures and travel, and more creativity. But you don’t have to move into a tiny house to be a minimalist. Here are a few simple tips to live a more minimalist life:

 

At first, it is important to remember minimalism is a mindset. It’s not only about minimizing your material possessions. A big part of minimalism is working to focus on individual things or activities one at a time. Instead of ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, minimalists stay in the present moment in everyday life. It’s easier said than done, but here are a few tips to help:

 

  • Actively take note of what is happening in the present moment.
  • Meditate.
  • Take a technology break.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Start a journal or just write down your thoughts.

 

Next, it’s time to cut down on the clutter. But you don’t have to go through your whole house with a fine-tooth comb. Start with the one room you use every single day, where happiness and relaxation are important. That’s right, we’re starting in the bedroom.

 

Your bedroom is meant to be your personal escape from the hectic outside world. So take a look at it now. How does it make you fee? Do you feel relaxed and maybe even a little sleepy? Or do you see the pile of laundry, the unmade bed, and the old dishes on your nightstand and feel stressed? Let’s fix that and turn your room into a cozy escape. A minimalist bedroom design could improve your sleep quality, make it easier to keep clean, and even get ready for the day faster. Here are some tips for a creating a minimalist bedroom design:

 

  • Remove all electronics from your bedroom including the television, phones, tablets, etc.
  • Get a bed fit for optimal comfort, whether that means a firmer or softer mattress is up to you. Or, invest in good linens for a cozy night’s sleep.
  • Find simple curtains, or thrift them, to create solitude and ambiance.
  • Remove busy posters or any pieces that aren’t soothing and relaxing.
  • Get basic accessories, like a rug and lamp, and stick to just the necessities.
  • Organized your clothing and sell or donate any items you haven’t worn in at least a year.

 

Sustainability and minimalism can absolutely improve your happiness. Many people have proven it before. But the impact often depends on how you approach life changes. Are you open to positive new changes or worried and nervous? Relax and let these tips guide you to a happier, simpler life.

What do you do when it’s done

Structures

We spend our youth in a specific structure called school.

It tells us when we have to be certain places and what things we do at those places. Then, suddenly as you graduate from school, you enter into the vast expanse of you now and you in 89 years and there’s practically nothing that’s giving that future a structure.

Many of us like to grab onto dreams as things which guide our future. We think about family, work, home, hobbies, and then somehow after it’s all said and done, it can feel really unsatisfying.

Or maybe you’ve been putting in your time for years and now is your big break where you get to live in paradise, travel the world, and have freedom. Except, you wake up and realize there’s nothing. What happened?

Achievements

Especially in cultures like the U.S. and Japan, we thrive by encouraging ourselves to focus on achievements (ummm anyone have a bucket list?). Yet we rarely are taught to navigate the moments after everything is said and done. The day after you’ve gotten that promotion you’ve been waiting for. The morning after you’re final day of work for retirement.

For me, this reality of the ???? after achieving a dream came after I finished my book, In My Own Skin.

I felt like I had created something so dark and depressing I wondered if anyone would ever read it. In fact, as I was writing, I had people offer to help me review it, and rarely did they ever finish it. I also didn’t know what do with myself now that it was done. Do I just start writing something new? After three years of hard work, is this it?

Then, a friend said, “Why don’t you host a reading?”

What comes next

Much to my surprise, as soon as I started sharing the published book, I have felt just how much joy it brings me to offer my experience and story as a guide to others on these big journeys of transformation.

I went from thinking no one would ever look at what I’d done to a line of people out the door waiting to talk with me. 

As much as I have my experience with finishing a big deal project or losing someone close and suddenly so that a phase of life ends with a big bang, I’ve also found there are all kinds of other ways death manifests in my everyday life, and yours too. Death, in other words, as endings.

The Everyday endings

Most recently, I’ve become lactose intolerant.

When I was a 9th grader fresh after my dad’s death, I LOVED ice cream. I would have said it was my favorite food. I also would have said I never thought there would be anything that brought me closer to my dad again.

Then, I became lactose intolerant as a 24 year old.

Suddenly, those memories of setting 5 glasses of milk for Mom, my sisters, and I and 1 glass of water for Dad around the dinner table have taken on a whole new meaning. I’ve become connected to him in a way I never thought possible.

That is to say, there are so many things we lose in our lives (loss takes on many faces in our lives). Especially with really big things like people we care about, we can get focused on just how much is taken away from us.

We can feel like we get to the other side of an accomplishment and have no idea what comes next. 

But that’s not all that happens with loss. 

When my mom decided to move across the country and go to medical school, I saw my first real example of how being broken open by my loss meant not just things getting taken away but also new things coming into our lives and taking root. 

Now, I am so grateful to work with people like you on your own journeys of transformation.

From Deep Waters Back to Shore – Transition Coaching

I was very good at getting myself out to deep waters as I wrote and processed my loss, but I needed a guide to get back to shore.

I believe that’s true for all of us.

Whether we choose to act on it or not, in those moments of transition we need people to help guide us back to shore.

That’s why I’m here for you. Click here to learn more about how you can age courageously.

After years of feeling under constant attack from my grief, I can finally look at my lactose intolerance and not say I’ve lost another thing, but to instead say, “Thanks, Dad. I know how much you love me.”

Endings are Beginnings

Seeing those grief triggers as love notes is just one of many ways I’ve come to feel at peace with my loss. It is an honor and a privilege to support you in finding that peace too.

There’s so much here for us, even when we think it’s all gone. That’s what I find so amazing. All this darkness we experience is what reminds us how alive we are.

When we can settle into our own aliveness, that’s when the new dreams start emerging and we find the path for our next thing has been there for us all along.

Originally published on Aging Courageously. Kirsten Schowalter is the author of In My Own Skin and founder of Aging Courageously.

How to grow up and live a fulfilling life

When you grow up

You spend your life trying to figure out what you’re going to be when you grow up. Maybe you know from the get-go or maybe, like me, you are just trying to figure out the next step along the journey.

When I was little, I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought, “I could be a ballerina, or maybe a teacher, or a doctor, or a secretary.” Every time I picked something, I felt like I was jumping in a category of people and nothing felt just right. What if I started a job when I was 22 and woke up ten, twenty, thirty years later and decided it wasn’t for me? In some ways, I feel like my early career has been dictated by the fear that I will have to choose something and stay with it… for the rest of my life.

That’s intimidating.

When I was 18, my mom (age 48) decided to quit her job and go back to school to become a doctor. Nobody knew how this was going to go.

There was only one school that accepted her, so clearly not many places thought she could do it, right?

How can someone reinvent themselves just like that?

Last year, my friend Aaron lost his job at age 52. He told me, “It’s likely the best years of my career are behind me now, Kirsten.”

When we live to be a 102, how can the best years of our lives be behind us at age 52?

One day while my uncle drove me to the airport, he said he wished he could find work he really loved. “I love antiques, but where are the jobs in antiques? Plus, who would hire a guy in his late fifties anyway? I’m worthless on the job market.”

Do you know the feeling? You have experience, and yet somehow it doesn’t mean anything?

So what’s left for you?

While I was in grad school at UC Berkeley, I studied demography, or population studies. In one class, the professor put up a picture on the screen and said, “The U.S. population is aging. We know it, we can see it, and the only way we are going to be able to survive it is if you go out and make better institutions.”

When I look at these four situations, I think, “There’s got to be a way that we can live that supports us in finding something we care about and can make a living doing, no matter how old we are, no matter what stage in life we are in.”

Now there is.

Whether you’re looking for a new story, sending kids off to school, leaving a long standing career for retirement, or something else entirely, you can reinvent yourself. This is something I believe deeply.

Launched in 2018, Aging Courageously will inspire and strengthen you to make your dreams real at EVERY age. Rather than follow the social momentum of slowing down as you get older, with Aging Courageously it’s never too late to feel engaged and passionate about your life.

Who am I?

I’m Kirsten. I guide people in restoring their sense of self through major life changes.

How did this become my life?

As I said, when I was little, I felt like every time I considered a career for myself I was deciding on something that would stick for the rest of my life. Honestly, being put in a category like that scared me. So, I decided I didn’t have to just do one thing. I researched brain cancer in a genetics laboratory at Mayo Clinic, curated exhibitions at an Austrian ethnographic museum, worked as the head baker in a farm to fork bakery on a fruit orchard, and got a Master’s degree at UC Berkeley where I studied populations and aging. After it all, I was sure there was something more for me.

That something more turned out to be sharing my own story. I wrote a memoir called “In My Own Skin”. It’s memoir about my story of loss, love, and growing up after my dad died when I was 14 and my family was in a car crash. Reflecting on the choices and circumstances that have shaped my life, I want to help you love who you are and make your dreams possible from where you’re standing right now.

Let’s get this started!

That’s why I started Aging Courageously. Because the best way to grow up to a fulfilled life is to believe it’s possible at ANY age.

And that’s why I’m excited to share stories of Aging Courageously with you, my new friends at Scrappy Women. We know what it’s like to create something from nothing – “to take risks and put ourselves out there;” “to care about something more than we care about being comfortable, socially acceptable, or politically correct;” and “to be absolutely, totally committed to extraordinary results.” As we venture on this journey into the world of aging, grab hold of your scrappiness and dive in. Let’s show the world just how far our scrappiness can take us in living long, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

Stay tuned for my next post about my friend Sherry, a 70 year old “graduating” into entrepreneurship.

Kirsten Schowalter is the founder of Aging Courageously and the author of the memoir In My Own Skin.

(In case you’re curious…Above is a picture of my mom speaking at her medical school graduation.)

You May be Due for a Sabbatical

Enjoy this contributed post provided by Discover. – Kimberly

When’s the last time you were able to take enough time off to feel like you really were refreshed? Unfortunately if you’re like too many people, it’s been too long. Take this statistic into consideration: While time off has generally increased for most workers, vacation use has not kept pace. So we’re earning more vacation, but taking less vacation—in fact in just 2016, we left over 662 million vacation days unused. And that number hasn’t decreased over the years; it’s increased. The result is a workforce that’s stressed out and unproductive, in addition to spending too many hours in the office. But there’s a solution that you might want to consider: a sabbatical. Think of a sabbatical as a vacation, but only longer (and sometimes unpaid). A sabbatical is generally more time off—at least several weeks if not more—that an employee uses to pursue travel or some other endeavor. What else does it entail? This graphic explains it.

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Changing the World One Woman at a Time by Patricia Rain

Patricia 1 DSC_12251African Women’s Leadership Summits: Kenya and Uganda 2013

On July 29th, 2013, I leave for East Africa for five weeks. I will attend two African Women’s Leadership Summits, then visit the farms and projects of some of these women leaders. Also, I will finally meet, in person, hundreds of generous, caring farmers who prayed for my survival during my battle with terminal breast cancer!

Our Goal: To Establish a Women’s Leadership Cooperative Throughout East Africa.
Women’s Leadership Summits

In 2005, I was one of twenty women in the inaugural Women Leaders for the World (WLW) training program at Santa Clara University. This program, conceived by the Global Women’s Leadership Network, was designed to further empower women leaders in their work, locally, nationally and internationally.

The training helped me to expand my work as the voice for tropical vanilla growers worldwide, many of whom I met while doing research on vanilla in Mexico, and many of whom I have met through my business. Over the years, I have come to be known worldwide as “The Vanilla Queen” for my work representing and working with the farmers.
I have helped three women leaders attend the WLW training. However, Mariam Mukalazi of Uganda, whom I met through my business and who work with women farmers in East Africa, were unable to secure a visa. In January I decided I needed to go to Africa this summer to meet Mariam, other African farmers I know via the Internet and also the WLW graduates living in Africa, whom I have never met.

Initially, I thought that we might have a one-day gathering of women leaders in Kampala, Uganda. The project quickly grew into two two-day African Women’s Leadership Summits – one in Uganda, the other in Kenya.

Our ultimate goal is to establish a loosely-knit cooperative of women leaders throughout East Africa. To this end, our proposed summits will add value in the following ways:
* Women who have gone through the WLW training will have the opportunity to meet women from other classes, get to know one another and determine how they can potentially share their training with other women leaders.

* We will continue a conversation about how we in the industrialized world can support these leaders as the Millennial Goals become due in 2015. How can we train women leaders unable to come to the US? How can we create a network of support – a leadership cooperative for women in East Africa – and connect with other leadership groups globally? The conversation has started via e-mail and Skype. We will meet in the two countries in August to expand this vision.

* The owner of the largest certified organic vanilla farm in continental Africa has committed to teach interested women farmers the technology for the labor-intensive curing and drying of vanilla beans. As we are again facing a shortage of vanilla worldwide, this could be an extremely helpful revenue stream for the women and their families.

* Should our project be fully funded, we also plan to document the summits, farms and projects on video and in writing..

The Magic Has Started
The WLW leaders in Kenya and Uganda are excited! They have begun the arrangements for the summits. Some of these women will travel hundreds of miles to attend. We want this to be the beginning of a larger conversation for setting up future women’s programs in the developing world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Rain, the Vanilla Queen, who launched The Vanilla.COMpany in 2001 as a socially-conscious educational site and retail/wholesale business focused on pure vanilla and the promotion of those who grow it worldwide.
In 2005, she created the International Tropical Farmers Network (ITFN) and set up a Google Group so that farmers worldwide could communicate with one another and share assistance regarding issues concerning vanilla.
Visit her website http://vanillaqueen.com/ or join her at The Vanilla Company on Facebook.

Valerie’s Magical Success Tool by Jacky Hood

jacky_hood professional low-res(1)

Jacky Hood

At the 10-year college class reunion, everyone is gathered around Valerie: happily married with children in school, a highly successful realtor, published author, recently elected to the city council, invited to join a prestigious social club, fit, healthy, and relaxed. Plagued by the green-eyed jealousy monster, a classmate blurts out: “What is the magical tool that makes you so successful?” After assuring everyone that they are also successful, Valerie answers: “I have had and still have great mentors”.

Mentors are magical! They provide a golden thread to the future. Throughout a career – and a lifetime – it is critical to seek out mentors and to be a mentor to others.

Sometimes we ask why two people with apparently similar knowledge, skill, and talent fare much differently in their careers and in their communities and beyond. Often the more successful person has great mentors.

Mentors provide advice and feedback. They can also open doors by making introductions and providing references for education admissions, employment, professional associations, and social organizations.

Rarely does a single mentor suffice throughout a lifetime. An older sibling, cousin, or neighbor may be an excellent mentor for a middle school student. Near the end of high school, a college student or new college grad provides much-needed assistance in making the agonizing post-high school choices: college, employment, military, travel, volunteer work. If college is the route, the mentor can assist in deciding where and how to apply for admission, choosing between local schools or incurring greater debt at a remote residential institution, choosing a major, joining a Greek society or remaining independent, selecting extra-curricular activities, living on or off campus, and whether or not to work part-time during college.

Education today is seldom the traditional four years at a single institution. Most students transfer at least once. Many take time off and require many years to acquire a degree. Some pick up credits from online classes. An education mentor not associated with any particular school is needed.

After college, mentors assist in the critical first years of a career and far beyond. One very successful Silicon Valley firm assigns executive mentors to managers in their 50’s!

How Possible Mentors are Identified

A few employers assign mentors to new-hires, at least those considered to be on a fast-track to advancement. Usually, however, the mentee must ask someone for mentoring. Choosing a mentor and making the request require homework and skill. The would-be mentee needs to identify a few possible paths to success or visions of success. Then she should look for people in positions along the route to that successful goal.

For example, if a graduate student would like to eventually be a Nobel prize-winning scientist, he is unlikely to find a Nobel laureate as a mentor. Instead a successful researcher who has received grants and published papers would be a good choice.

Similarly, a new-graduate aspiring to the executive suite in a corporation, might choose a mid-level manager as a mentor. The mentor and mentee may move up the organization together, or the mentee may reach the same level as the mentor and need to seek out a new, higher-level mentor.

How Mentees Convince Someone to Become Their Mentor

Many mentor-mentee relationships evolve and are never formalized. The future mentor offers some advice, then the mentee shows gratitude and follows up with the results. The second encounter may be a request for advice. Later the mentor spots an opportunity and calls it to the attention of the mentee. The relationship lasts for years without ever using the word ‘mentor’.

Some mentoring relationships start as manager/employee relationships. Law clerks typically become mentees of the attorney or judge for whom they clerk. Graduate students become mentees of their thesis advisors.

Success-seekers who are not assigned to a mentor or in a natural mentoring relationship need to ask for a mentoring relationship. Two ways to ask: (1) through an intermediary who knows both the requestor and the possible mentor, and (2) directly. There should be no fear in taking the direct approach; being sought out as a mentor is a confirmation of success. Also, mentors derive many benefits from the relationship.

The possible mentor may hesitate only out of modesty and/or because of concerns about the time commitment. The mentee should request a monthly or quarterly face-to-face or telephone meeting of about 40 minutes, occasional questions between meetings, and for the mentor to be on the outlook for opportunities. Most possible mentors will say yes; the first meeting should be set up immediately. Usually the mentor provides far more time than the mentee has requested. If the possible mentor refuses, the mentee should show gratitude for considering the request and ask the person to recommend someone else.

In today’s electronically connected world, mentors may be geographically separate from their mentees. Also, online mentor-mentee matching services have emerged. Open Doors Group operates a mentor matching service. Because of a generous donation by MentorCloud, Inc., there is no cost for mentors or mentees and contact information for an invitation appears on the portal page. This post provides more information about the service.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacky Hood, is FieldDay Solutions, Inc. CEO, Open Doors Group Director of Alliances and Sponsorships, and an Account Manager at RightWave, Inc. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and patents on parallel processors. Jacky has published several books including Happy About Working to Stay Young: Expanded Careers for Boomers and Seniors. She and her husband Dave enjoy listening to chamber music and large vocal works, reading, hiking, and travelling.

Do Not Deny Yourself by Hanako Justice

Zebras Hanako Justice sm

I am 24.

I have brown hair, hazel eyes, olive skin, 5 foot 2. Well, almost. 5 foot 1 and ¾.

I have had 9 jobs in the past 2 years. The longest stint was 6 months. Well, almost. 5 months and 3 weeks.

I know friends who found that one lucky job as soon as they got out of college. Some think that job is forever. Some think it’s for a year or two, just to get enough experience for the real deal later. Some are just doing it for the money.

I was not so lucky. You can probably already guess that. 9 jobs in 2 years is pretty ridiculous. Kind of awesome, kind of crazy, kind of sad. Out of my depression that some jobs were voluntary while others exploited my labor – I created a blog called Life Will Work Out. Check it out: lifewillworkout.blogspot.com

Despite the wild roller coaster ride of being a cross-country-coach to a substitute-teacher to a wellness-aid to a waitress-who-received-no-tips and FINALLY to a more solid station of interning for Robbins Research International – I STILL felt unsatisfied.

Why?

I had a roof over my head, a dog to walk, my first car, why should I feel unsatisfied?

Oh right. Because ever since I was 17, I wanted to live in AFRICA.

That deep intuition, that ticking question of “When when when,” that pulsing desire from my heart – always, always drummed inside of me.

Despite my fantastic internships and ticket-sales at the Old Globe Theater and tutoring math, I knew that if I wasn’t going to go – I would have to live with a regretful unfulfilled sunken heartbeat. No thanks.

So I applied. 3 times. The School of St Jude, located in Tanzania Africa. They fight poverty through education – giving students who come from impoverished backgrounds a free education. The day arrived when they finally said yes. The day arrived when my mother helped me pack my things and my father kissed me goodbye at the airport.

A year ago today, I arrived on this campus. My heart was elated. It drummed with a steady wholesome glow. “This is meant to be,” it said. I couldn’t agree more.

Those 9 jobs were also meant to be. I gained and learned a lesson from each one. Some good, some bad. All shaped and molded my beliefs and desires. Some small, some big.

I continue to shape and mold. We all do.

What I learned and need to share, is that you should never, ever turn your back on something that your heart wants. It may take a while to get there. You may have excuses and it may not be the appropriate time. But if that desire is there, waiting and gnawing at you – then you should never, ever ignore it.

What your heart wants, is what it needs to feed you being You.

Do not deny yourself.

I am 24.

I have brown hair, with natural highlights. I have olive skin, because the sun here is hot. I still have hazel eyes, and I am still 5 foot 1 and ¾.

I also have a resident’s permit to live in Tanzania, and I’m living my dream while
creating it at the same time.

Will you?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hanako Justice  began a Leadership Program at The School of St Jude. She will finish volunteering in April, and is looking for opportunities to begin a career in Leadership Training and Personal Development. Please feel free to contact at hanakojustice at gmail dot com.

You are welcomed to contact Hanako:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/hanako-justice/14/210/724
Facebook Page: facebook.com/HanakoJustice
Twitter: twitter.com/HanakoJustice
Or read more about her blog: Blog about St Jude’s: http://mitioverseas.wordpress.com/

Top Ten Rules for Leadership: Top Ten Tips for Sharing Your Stories by Linda Holroyd

85_Todd_R-_color_284_Linda_HolroydEvery leader has seen and felt this, the desire to share a story in response to a query from another – the look and sound of ‘oh good, a s-t-o-r-y’ from eager eyes and ears crosses all ages, genders, and cultures. And the leader feels the pull, the urgency of the problem, situation or scenario, reflects on why it may be more relevant than the immediate need, contemplates what he or she may share that might be helpful (or who might be more supportive and experienced to address the need), the consequences – good and bad – of doing the sharing, and dives in to tell the tale.

If you buy into the benefits for you and others around you, have seen the growth and benefits and rewards appear before your eyes, and if you’d like to do more story-telling, consider some of the Top Ten guidelines below.

 Reflect On Why There’s a Need, and Why Now

1.     When someone approaches you and values your input and advice, ask yourself who is this person, what does she/he know about me and my background, why is she/he approaching me now, am I the right person to support this person, and if so, do I have a tale to tell?

2.     Be generous with your time, but only if you think through #1 above, and it makes sense to share with this person, and others they will touch. Think that it’s just as much for your own benefit than it is for theirs, and even when it’s not, it’s a task worth doing, an investment worth making.

Make It Feel Real, But Not Personal

3.     Your story must be heart-felt, hard-earned, relevant, and personal, even if it did not happen directly to you.

4.     Bring your story alive with your non-verbal clues from inflections to gestures, from phrasing to idioms, while being sensitive to the needs of your audience.

Connect the Dots, Without Hitting Them Over the Head

5.     Everyone hates a know-it-all, especially if the speaker doesn’t know it all. Remember this especially when you’re sharing a tale. Nobody wants to be preached to, especially by a know-it-all wannabe! (Not that I’m referring to *you* specifically, or anyone else you know.)

6.     The best leadership tales help listeners connect the dots between disparate, previously unconnected people, ideas, things. They address the in-your-face issue of today, and generalize to anticipated, expected or desired opportunities of tomorrow. So walk the right balance between helping listeners make the connections and spelling out what the lessons-learned should be, as the best listeners will see far beyond where you think it could go, and could benefit the story-teller in ways unimaginable.

Be Humble and Even Self-Deprecating When Sharing Your Tale

7.     We connect with people who are successful *and* human. Someone is reaching out to you out of respect for who and what you are, and think that you have something to share with them. If you are humble, and share your humanness, rather than pointing to your credentials (which is unnecessary in their eyes), they would be more likely to be responsive to your tale.

8.     In fact, when you collect a series of tales-to-tell, start with times that you’ve been at your worst. The tales will be the most engaging, humorous *and* healing for you.

Offer Follow-Up and Resources and Support

9.     You’ve told a tale. It has sunk in. The other is joyous, pleased, energetic. But don’t stop there. Be there for her or him to follow up and support their journey, from the immediate need, to the path well beyond that.

10.  Share resources beyond yourself who could address themes, concerns, networks, and other anticipated interests of the listener, so that your gift keeps on giving, and you’re less likely to be the only avenue of support.

Make a new year’s resolution, a gift to yourself. Tell a tale to someone who needs one, ask for a tale from someone you respect, to address a need that keeps coming back!

ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Linda Holroyd
is the CEO of FountainBlue, a Marketing and Strategy Adviser Company for many Tech Companies.

The FountainBlue’s monthly top-ten rules of leadership article is designed to guide Linda’s clients, entrepreneurial tech companies and the community in general on leadership best practices for themselves, and for their teams and organizations. Launched in December 2012, the questions and stories raised and the advice given has been mentioned before to individual members, and compiled and gathered to benefit the larger community. This month’s top-ten-leadership rules are on ‘The Top Ten Tips for Sharing Your Stores’.

She invites your questions about your marketing and leadership successes and challenges.  Please E-mail her at info@FountainBlue.biz if you have your suggestions on her marketing and leadership topics.  You might want to ask for her help with your own marketing or leadership opportunities or questions.

You can follow on her Scoops http://www.scoop.it/ageofpersonalization.
Tweets http://www.twitter.com/@lindaholroyd
Facebook posts http://www.facebook.com/linda.holroyd,
FountainBlue group on LinkedIn http://www.tinyurl.com/fountainblue.

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