Sunday, December 11, 2005

Curious about the Core and Its Innumerable Attributes

There is a need to discover that we are capable of solitary joy and having experienced it, know that we have touched the core of self.” - Barbara Lazear Ascher

How about that almost overused word, “core?” It pops up in an incredible number of ways. And yet, they all do relate in fundamental strength and meaning. In this blog, I am going to discuss the core of our careers, our physical cores and mental cores.

Last week I was being interviewed about my “Portfolio Career” (many careers at the same time) and I shared that a well-known marketing guru had suggested that I pick one (career) to be the “best in the world at” and keep the others as hobbies.

Just as those of us who pursue a variety of avocations experience similar advice, I found myself on the defensive. We have been told that generalists are not valued. We should specialize, specialize, specialize and focus, focus, focus.

The refreshing part of last week’s interview was that my interviewer suggested that my core approach is portfolio careering and I answered that I plan to be the “best Portfolio Careerist in the world.” Yes, I am excellent at focusing on the career or task I am pursuing at the time. And, I have a heck of a lot of fun doing it, too!

  • “Human beings crave freedom at their core.” - John Ensign
  • “You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and be true to your core values.” - Alastair Wood
  • “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” - Max Lerner

And then, there’s the physical core. If you have been involved with any kind of physical fitness, you know that one of the latest trends is to build and establish “core strength and stability.” I teach a class called Resist-A-Ball where we work on our cores - our “powerhouses” - to build strength, stability and proper alignment. Yoga and Pilates classes also stress and work on these same goals.

  • “My athleticism was really the core to social acceptance, because in those days the overwhelming number of students came from more of a public school background than I did.” - Roger Bannister
  • “1. Optimize potential. 2. Facilitate empowerment. 3. Implement visioning. 4. Strategize priorities. 5. Augment core structures.” - Connie Willis

Finally, our mental core. We have been told over and over again that attitude is everything. As you may have gathered by now, I am a self improvement junkie, so own and consume a plethora of self improvement programs. They may state it in different ways, but they all agree that our core mindset determines the outcome of every goal, project, task and relationship.

I believe right down to my core that optimism and a positive mental outlook prove to work in our favor. Yes, we do need to couple them with action. But, I submit to you that even with action, if we have a bad attitude, we won’t get very far.

Here are a few more quotes for you to chew on and think about:

  • “Above and beyond having the social life, to have a core group of people that you work with and spend time with and learn how to work with is a nice thing.” - Shawn Ashmore
  • “Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.” - Isaac Asimov
  • “There has always been a small core of people in this world who migrate to the outside, or to the fringe. I'm painfully aware that I am one of those people and that I have to surround myself with those people if I'm interested in any sort of social interaction, not to mention, education.” - Trevor Dunn

What do you think? I love receiving your feedback and comments!