Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tip#101: Take Inventory of Your Value - Peaceful Warrior

After writing my 100th tip I took a break to reflect on the past year and my successes over the decades. It reminded me that we all have specific skills of value that we may not be fully aware of it. We have all made a difference somehow with people around us. We just have to remind ourselves by taking inventory of our value.

Most people I meet these days know me as a motivator and a life skills facilitator. And sometimes someone comes up to me after my keynotes or workshops to ask who did the fun illustrations in my power point presentations. They are always surprised to learn it was me.

Value Growing Up

I had been drawing since I was a child winning art awards at an early age. By high school I was illustrating for the school newspaper and then the yearbook which I also ran as editor-in-chief for 2 years.

By the time I graduated high school my achievements led me to being chosen as valedictorian. It was an honour and even then was given signs for my gift for inspiring others with my art, words and leadership skills. And this natural skill made people feel good. It had value.

At age 16 I was the youngest caricature artist at Canada's Wonderland and was trained by Jess Rubio who had instructed the original Disneyland artists in the 60's. This was an exciting gift and privilege. I worked at the theme park for the first 5 years it opened and it was fun! I loved making people smile and laugh with the wild cartoon portraits I did for them. Again it felt great to bring joy into other people's lives. Earning a living doing what I loved was just a bonus.

Value As An Entrepreneur

Later I attended the Ontario College of Art (now called OCAD, Ontario College of Art & Design) and graduated with numerous scholarships including a working position at McCann Erickson Advertising. I created illustrations and storyboards for clients such as Kodak Canada, Labatt's and Coca Cola. That amazing experience helped me decide on opening up my own illustration business. Thus Crackers World Communications was born in 1986.

It was an amazing era filled with an overflowing output of illustrations for international clients like American Express, British Airways, Amnesty International, Globe & Mail Newspaper and Toronto International Film Festival. In just 3 years I had won many illustration industry awards and made a dream come true by being featured on CityTV's Fashion Television as a successful illustrator and entrepreneur. Click here to see illustration samples.

During this time I developed some of the important core life skills I now teach such as: how to build people skills for supportive relationships and clients; maintaining optimism; and how to re-ignite your passion.

At the time I took all these valuable core skills for granted. I only realized years later that people were hungry to learn the keys to my successes. Ultimately it was my survival skills for overcoming situational depressions that would be of greatest value for my new audiences and clients. I knew their pain and could articulate the methods that helped me stay optimistic and move forward especially during the difficult years of my mid-life crisis.

See Your Value & Service

So take time to review your accomplishments over the years. Look and see where you've made a difference for others. What actions in your life have left a positive mark with someone? These questions could reveal hidden gifts and skills you never saw that could enhance your career.

One method is to update your resume once a year. Remind yourself of your strengths and skills. Remind yourself of your value and service you can offer people. Here's a list to jumpstart your inventory review:

Your Accomplishments:
1) As a child:
(what you loved doing, look at old photos, ask parents)
2) In high school:
(what you loved doing, extra curricular activities, subjects you excelled in, awards, ask old friends and teachers what they remember about you)
3) In college or university:
(see high school suggestions)
4 Career in 20's, 30's, 40's etc.:
(positive job reviews, awards, where did you make a positive difference for the business or co-workers)
5) Personal interests:
(hobbies, activities you gravitate towards without being told to do)

Value = Self-Worth & Self-Esteem

Peaceful Warrior (2006)

In the film, Peaceful WarriorNick Nolte plays a wise mystic named Socrates who worked as a gas station attendant. At first he was quickly judged by his soon to be apprentice for working at a gas station. He couldn't believe he could learn anything from someone who worked at a place like this. Socrates then corrects him and says, "This is a service station. We provide service."

Providing service is key to great success. And knowing your service comes from knowing your value. This automatically builds your self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence. The apprentice in the Peaceful Warriorlearns all this the hard way and eventually achieves incredible accomplishments that astounds and inspires everyone around him.

So remember all your accomplishments over the years. Remember your value in how you've helped others in some way. Take inventory of where and whom you've made a difference for. Discover your hidden values in the strengths and skills you may have taken for granted, forgotten or never developed.

Look back at your hidden talents and share them with the world. It could be the missing piece of your puzzle for the happiness you've been seeking.

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007


Anonymous said...

This is excellent! Your 'resume' adds credibility which means you are not just a 'flash in the pan'.
These are personal experiences that you are teaching in your seminars, your successes, awards.

Most important was the mechanism you used to deal with disappointments and depression, rising above all these on your own.
Acknowledging your self worth and counting your blessings. 'If you get lemons, make lemonade'.

I feel very strongly that people esp. those attending your seminars need to know your career history even before they come. Your new blog describes it all.

Of course your accomplishments were impressive which everybody should know and be aware of. It describes what you are all about and you don't have to prove anything to get your point across. 'Been there, done that'.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

The word thanks is very small for your kindness.

Thanks for sending me the tips.

Your Fan
Saira Bashir

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea you had done so much, and some of it at such a young age. It is amazing what one can accomplish when what s/he is doing does not feel like work and when the support, kudos and mentorship are there to encourage him or her to continue achieving ever greater success however, that person should value and measure success - with awards, by inspiring others, monetarily, or otherwise.


Anonymous said...

It must be so rewarding to know you made a difference in so many peoples lives… keep up the optimism… it does change people’s lives for the better, Emmanuel. Your parents must have known that when they named you.