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Note from Tory Johnson

February 19, 2010 5:27 PM

Last week for the show I host for ABC News Now, a digital news channel, I interviewed mega bestselling author Daniel Pink about his most recent book, DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

There’s a neat anecdote he shared that I want to share with you.

As legend has it, Clare Booth Luce, a journalist and one of the first women to serve in Congress, paid a visit to a young President Kennedy. She told him that “a great man is a sentence.” By that she meant the life’s work of any successful leader should be summed up into one sentence. She said she feared that Kennedy didn’t have a sentence but a muddled paragraph—and that he risked losing focus by trying to do too much.

Dan Pink suggests asking yourself, “What’s my sentence?” In other words, how can you summarize the mission of your work clearly and concisely?

In my case, everyone who knows me is very certain about what I do. Nothing makes me happier than when someone yells out in the airport, “Hey you’re that jobs lady.” Everything I do falls under one very clear umbrella of women’s job searching and career advancement.

What’s your umbrella? How would you sum up in one sentence what you do and what you want to be known for?

The second question Pink suggests asking yourself every night: “Was today better than yesterday?”

He says none of us should expect to answer yes every day. Far from it. But if you ask that question tonight and the answer is no, you’re more likely to wake up tomorrow and hustle to ensure it’s a yes by bedtime.

This is very much in keeping with what I suggest to all jobseekers: You must take consistent action to engage with others every day. It’s not enough to just apply online. You need deliberate action daily to reach your goals.

Finally, I’d suggest a third question to ask yourself. This one should be asked every morning: What will I do today to make today better than yesterday?

Some days you might build on the disappointments of the day before. What’d you forget to do? Where did you fall short of your goals that you can pick up on today? Other times, you’ll build on successes from the previous day. You’ll have accomplished something great that you want to repeat and grow.

Get in the habit of asking—and answering—these questions to set the tone for success.

Share with us what YOU do to maintain a positive attitude and to tackle your goals with a sense of purpose.

Comments (4)

start every day with at least 10 minutes of quiet meditation, and some correct breathing.
Then decide what you have planned for the day and move forward. During the afternoon do some deep breathing and move forward. If done consistently, this shoud keep you focused and energetic to pursue your daily goals.

I firmly believe in be better today than you were yesterday. As a retail coach I repeat that mantra constantly! Every day is a chance to be a little bit better than you were yesterday. In this time of recession this has been more pronounced than ever. Even if the big goals can not be achieved liitle ones can by beating the day before.

I set inspirational messages per alarm on my blackberry throughout the day. It's like receiving word of encouragment when the alarm goes off. I have certain quotes like "focus on the bigger picture the one where you are in charge".Also: "remember you will run your own company" "you dare stay here". The one for the end of my day is "You've made it through today. Tomorrow is another chance to pursue your dreams. Thank God for his grace and welcome him in tomorrow. I work a very stressful job, but these quotes has given me so much confidence that my dreams will come true.

I have repeatedly tried to find work but can't. I
have networked to the best of my ability. I am in
Financial Services and Licensed,BA Economics.I am
also 59 years old, could this be the problem? I
don't know what to do other than go to the website
which is the only place they direct you to apply.
I need help. I have no other support. Please advise. I feel myself going down the drain.
Thank You.

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