Category Archives: Lifestyle

An International Career: The Biggest Adventure of Your Life?

Are you interested in an international career, perhaps like the one I have had, working abroad for such companies as Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Microsoft, and now as an international coach and consultant? If that is your dream, here are some tips, extracted from a workshop I recently held in Peru. Let’s start with the basics. Following are the three most common types of international careers:

  1. Work in another country with local, regional, or global responsibilities.
  2. Work from your country with clients or responsibilities from another country.
  3. Perform work that requires constant trips abroad.

An international career is a life choice. To achieve this goal and be successful, consider the following five steps:

  1. Develop a plan to meet your international career goal:
    1. Set the goal within your long-term career aspirations, and ensure it is compatible with your personal goals.
    2. Develop an action plan and create a tracking system to monitor your progress.
    3. Be 100 percent accountable for your plan.
  2. Crystallize what you want in an international career. Are you looking for professional growth? Improved compensation? Or to learn about other cultures?
  3. Know how to position yourself as an international candidate:
    1. Find a job or occupation that allows you to work in a global labor market.
    2. Build an international network leveraging LinkedIn, targeting the geographies, industries, and companies you’re interested in.
  4. Develop a unique value proposition. Why should an international company hire you instead of a local candidate? Pinpoint the capabilities, experiences, and personal traits that will make you stand out.
  5. Become a “professional student,” and never stop learning. Here are some areas in which you can increase your knowledge:
    1. Research the courses, best practices, industry trends, and leading companies in your target field.
    2. Learn foreign languages and cultures, especially those related to your target countries.
    3. Study information technology in your target field, and make sure you are up to date with the latest in personal communication as well.

One half of my life has been spent in the international arena, and the trend is likely to continue. What has worked for me? Seeing the glass half-full and not half-empty, learning English as a second language, adapting to the countries I have lived in, being open to change, and, last but not least, ensuring my wife and three kids were happy wherever we went. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably follow the same international path. It has been the biggest adventure in my life. Percy M. Cannon www.cannon.consulting

How Can You Enhance Your Mental Capabilities In 2014?

Have you defined the actions you will take during 2014 to enhance your mental capabilities?

\nIn this and future newsletters, I will provide insights and tips on how you can improve in several elements of your life. If you haven’t done so, read my previous three newsletters, in which I provided insights to strengthen your family relationships, accelerate your career progress, and improve your physical health this year.\n\nThis month, I will continue with your mental capabilities. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider in 2014:\n

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  1. Assign a high priority to making your brain healthier. Beyond what little bit I learned about brain anatomy way back in high school, I hadn’t really allocated much time and effort to educating myself on what makes a brain healthier, until my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of us may have a higher genetic disposition for getting this terrible disease. As with most things in life, we have two choices: Let genetics dictate our future, or do something to overcome a potentially negative genetic setup. So I found and read The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription book, by Vincent Fortanasce, MD. My key take-away was that, independent of genetics, we can proactively work to enhance our brain’s health. In his book, he outlines a four-step plan:\n
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    1. Diet: I have applied most of his suggestions into my diet, which was part of the previous newsletter.
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    3. Daily aerobics and an-aerobics for the body and mind: I have been more consistent with the former.
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    5. Increase your brain reserve with daily mental exercises (neurobics): This is one of my goals for 2014.
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    7. Reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep quality: I’m constantly working on the former (exercising helps) and continue to pay attention to the quality of my sleep.
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  1. Define your learning priorities for 2014. I suggest you go back to your overall life priorities and goals for 2014. Is there a new professional skill that you need to learn? Should you assign more time to keeping up with your industry trends? Is there a specific non-work role where you have identified the need to improve? Is there a new language you’ve been longing to learn but haven’t started yet?
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  1. Commit to a plan. What is the one thing you will do differently during 2014 to enhance your mental capabilities? Here are some potential actions:
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    • Set a target number of books to read in 2014 (say, 1 per month).
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    • Consider using your travel time (driving, walking, on a bus/train) to listen to an audiobook, motivational thoughts, or soothing music. I try to always have an audiobook available in my car. My latest one is an Italian for travelers CD: “Defiendete en Italiano.” I’m having a great time learning the language!
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    • Block an hour a day for reading, which could come from watching less TV.
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    • Pick one of the four areas outlined in the first section and work on it for the next month.
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\nIn the next newsletter, I will share suggestions to grow your spirituality in 2014. Stay tuned!\n\nI want to close this newsletter with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\n\nPS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

How to Take Baby Steps to Start Living Your Mission In Life

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Are you finding it hard to stick to those improvements and goals you have committed to work on?

\nIn a previous newsletter, I outlined a process to define the priorities you plan to cover during the following week and how to pick the top two to three activities you will perform on a particular day. In this newsletter, I will provide three tips on how to take baby steps to maximize the odds of executing the priorities and activities you have defined as important for you.\n\nTip #1: Allocate the first 15 minutes of the day to an activity that is relevant to you.\nIf you committed to exercise every day, do it in these first 15 minutes. If you want to eat a healthier diet, jump-start it in those first 15 minutes. If you want to meditate or feed your soul, do it as soon as you wake up. In other words, take care of what’s important to you, literally, first thing in the morning. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting distracted by household chores, email, the newspaper, or other external stimuli.\n\nTip #2: Allocate the first hour of your workday to the most important (not urgent) business priority.\nThose of you in the business world are familiar with facing urgent emails, meetings, or requests the minute you start your workday. Usually, these urgent demands last the entire workday, and sometimes they even follow you afterward via text messages, phone calls, emails, etc. It has been my experience that blocking the first workday hour for an important priority increases the odds of executing that activity, like a deep analysis of your business, coaching an employee, developing a relationship plan for a set of customers, etc. The rest of the workday can then be “syphoned” into putting out fires, but at least one hour will have been allocated to predefined (and usually longer-lasting) important work priorities.\n\nTip #3: Allocate the first hour of the weekend to an activity that is relevant to you.\nThe weekend gives us the possibility to allocate time to personal activities. However, it is easy to fall into a routine of social or entertaining activities that may or may not contribute toward achieving your personal goals. My suggestion is to at least pay attention to that first hour of the weekend, and make sure it is allocated to an activity consistent with your mission statement, to what you had chosen as a priority in your life. Some examples of what to do in that first hour are exercising, reading, building (or fixing) relationships, etc.\n\nIn summary, my advice is to consciously allocate the first time period in the day, workday, or weekend to activities consistent with your personal mission statement. It’s a good place to start toward living your life more consistently with what you have defined as important to you.\n\nI want to close this newsletter with the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\nIn the next newsletter, I will share some insights on how to assess your 2013 life performance and prepare for a much better 2014. Stay tuned!\n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com\n\nPS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.