Having adopted life in Kinsale, County Cork Ireland over five years ago now we have become adept at managing the celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday specific to one country when living in another. Upon reflection, the changes we have experienced are instructive of our settling in and making connections within our community.
I met a friend of mine while we were walking our dogs this morning, and my interaction with him reminds me of the importance of "setting my head space" or "the power of my mind creates my reality". There are a couple of tasks in my life which I find less than innately invigorating. One of them is grading doctoral and masters level papers, and today the other is writing Chapter 5 of my new book.
We all want to feel good, be loved, have nice jobs, etc. These things make up what most people around the world call "the good life." Yet, we all know that being loved having a nice job etc. does not always make us feel good. This article will tease out the relationship between the way we use the power of our minds and our sense of well-being.
You may have heard the phrase, "What you see is what you get." It implies that our view of the world inhibits our ability to experience it. Few would argue with the fact that a person who has never experienced love in their lives has a great deal of difficulty finding, maintaining, or sustaining a first-class relationship. In a similar fashion if you've grown up in abject poverty, it takes a great deal of personal transformation before you can live with abundance easily.
Several authors have written on the transition process, but the one I like the best is William Bridges (2004 ), Transitions: how to make sense of life's changes. His book points out that there are three stages to the transition process: first, we have to die to what was and morn its death; second, we have to go through the neutral zone (more about this later); and third, we move into our new life.
For people not embroiled in the world of research, it seems a strange suggestion to use a standard research practice to enhance your career. Nevertheless that is what this article intends to do. Because action research has proven itself "a tool for complex times", great success can be enjoyed by employing it in the personal arena. After all, our lives are nothing if not complex. In this article, I will introduce the three steps involved in action research, and give examples as to their importance in each of the three main time periods within a career: 1) as you get started, 2) making strategic plans midway, and 3) transitioning to new endeavors.