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Fabulous Setbacks That Changed My Career

February 3, 2003, at 3 pm I was fired! It was life changing. I repeatedly would ask myself “Who fires Chere Bork?” I always over-deliver and over-accomplish every task I set out to do…often to my detriment.

Today I work with many Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who think there is a golden path to success. I am an example of how my failures which I now call “fabulous” have led to my success and Gary’s early retirement.

My first job at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin. This was my office on the surgical floor. The VA was hopping with cute med students and the window sill behind me was where I would often find a med student sitting waiting for me. I never knew my first job would be so fun filled!

When I look back on my job history I realize I had a “problem” being supervised since my very first job.  The first day of my first job at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin I was asked by a cute med student if I wanted to see an autopsy. My new mentor Jean Wroblewski RD went with me.  Twenty years later I learned she had decided if I was going to see an autopsy on my first day of work she was going to see it too, despite worrying about being written up.  I never even thought to ask if I could do this I just told Jean I was going. The VA job had lots of rules. I guess that is why I was written up 3 times in 3 years. In hindsight, I realized a federal government job was not for me as I had a problem following rules that did not make sense to me.

Do your students call you Mrs. Bork?

I moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and began teaching at University of Wisconsin – Stout. Being a Registered Dietitian for five years, I was not accustomed to so many people telling me what to do. And certainly did not appreciate the old overweight Ph.D. nutrition professors interviewing me every semester and inquiring about my teaching methods. I was raised to tell the truth but I lied to them every semester when they asked me, “Do your students call you Mrs. Bork?” I smiled and said, “Yes.” But I was Chere to my students. I never felt good about myself after those interviews, like I was missing the mark. Yet my students loved me and I loved them back. How many college teachers received earrings and other presents from their students?

My happiness lasted a mere 12 weeks

I moved to Minneapolis and was employed in the health promotion department of Hennepin County. Ninety-nine people applied and luckily I landed the job. After 12 weeks I gave my notice. In those short 12 weeks, I interviewed Tony Bouza the police chief (I got in trouble) and I also interviewed a Hennepin County Commissioner (I got in trouble for that too.) I later learned I was supposed to ask permission to interview these people. I also discovered a respiratory therapist on staff with an associate degree was making more money than I was with my 9 years of experience and a Master’s degree. I created a proposal and got a raise. Needless to say, this job caused me many sleepless nights as I felt like I never measured up, yet the evaluations from my presentations were always excellent.

I was always exceeding expectations

Every job Gary would say, “The person who hired you liked you but the person who supervised you was threatened by you. You won’t be happy! He was right! I felt like I was always exceeding expectations, yet I felt like I was a failure and not successful. There was always a black cloud hanging over my head. In every job, I showed up with the passion for helping others but it was never enough. 

Real success

All of these setbacks led to real success for me and my family. A week ago I overheard Gary telling a client that if I had not been fired and started my business he would not have been able to retire so early. I made enough money that I paid for the kid’s college and did not have to take money out of our savings. The pay of a clinical Registered Dietitian would never have afforded that.

There is no right way

Clients always think there is one “right way”. Scratch that idea! Every job was a key stepping stone in my journey. You can learn from me. You and I take thousands and thousands of steps. Some steps are big risks and other steps are safe and secure. Some steps are a coincidence. Some of these steps become setbacks. Treat setbacks like a scientist would. Examine them and learn from them. You are not your successes. You are not your setbacks. If you are experiencing a setback right now, I want you to hear my voice. “Get up. Keep going.”

Setbacks are just data points from one experiment to the next experiment. #dietitianlifecoach Click To Tweet

Decide today life is one big fat juicy experiment

There is no right way. The right way is your way. Let go of the past and revel in today. Every day is a new beginning! Your friends and family are waiting! Better get busy!

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Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day

I “should” invite my neighbors over for dinner because I owe them.

I “should” have gone to a different college, maybe I would be earning more money.

I “should” have changed careers earlier instead of staying with the one I don’t love.

Today is your lucky day! Today we celebrate the Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves”

Today is the day to divorce yourself from should’ve, could’ve and would’ve!

The problem with “shoulds” is that it steals away your time and energy from your wants and true desires.

Next time your to-do list is overwhelming and you are second guessing yourself,  ask yourself, “Am I living in “shoulds” or “wants?”   

Shoulds

  • Shoulds are those things you think you ought to want.
  • Shoulds are based on shame, duty or guilt.
  • They are externally prompted (our ego, spouse, parents, peers, boss, society, etc.) or consequence avoidance.

“I should do this to be a good daughter!”

“If I do this, then “y” will happen.”

“My spouse tells me I need to….”

“I should lose weight!”

The problems with “shoulds” are that they make you feel like you are doing the right thing, yet they typically aren’t motivating enough to inspire change. This creates a state of continual dissatisfaction. The satisfaction in achievements is short lived. You can also start to feel resentful that you are not living your life your way.

Ask yourself:

How much of my life am I living versus how much of someone else’s life am I living?

What is one should I need to let go of?

Who is “shoulding” on me?

Wants

  • Wants are internally prompted and those things that are important and fulfilling to you based on craving or desire.
  • Wants to support your values and who you are.
  • Wants create a quality of life.
  • They are natural.
  • They provide gratification. For example, you don’t need to exercise, but your quality of life plummets when you don’t exercise.

Wants can be motivating. Think…

“It is so me!”

“I will enjoy this!”

“I’m ready to have this!”

Wants are full of life and can be fun!

Ask yourself:

What do I really, really want?


Take out a pen and paper and write down all of your “could haves” and “should haves” and then throw them away.

Then, create this intention. “From this day forward I choose to live my life, not someone else’s “shoulds”.  I choose to live in the present, not the past.  I choose my wants. I choose happiness.”

#TossAwayTheCouldHavesandShouldHavesDay

What “shoulds” have you tossed out of your life?

We can’t wait to hear! Your happiness is waiting! So are your friends and family!

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Savor Your Life Series: Georgia Kandiko, Award Winning Water Color Artist

Are you living your dream life on purpose like watercolor artist Georgia Kandiko? 

You must meet Georgia who is living out her passion! (I want that for you!)

When I discovered that July is World Watercolor Month I knew I must introduce you to my award winning watercolor artist Georgia Kandiko, a signature member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society who has 30 glorious years of teaching and painting experience.

Georgia Sea Dragons Dancing was accepted into the Minnesota Watercolor Society’s Juried Spring Show, Dancing With Color and Light. The show hung in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Reedy Gallery from April through June 2017.

I am especially proud of Georgia as only sixty-four water media paintings were accepted out of 160 submissions.

Georgia is deliciously living her life on purpose! Research conducted at the University of Rochester has shown that having a sense of purpose in life not only increases the quality of our lives, but may also help us to live longer — regardless of our age.

I asked Georgia to share some of her most recent works.

This picture is called Liquid Asset. Georgia saw the general manager reach for the bottle while on the tall ladder in the glassed-in wine vault. It was such a cool image that she had to paint it. She shot references photos but she had to make up the image of him in action from memory. 

This poppy painting is called Poppy Heaven. She has grown poppies and loves them. She had a reference for the flower head but made up the rest. She painted this on a rainy Saturday and loved every minute of it. Talk about passion. I want that for each of you!

This picture is called the Sunset Leopard. She got this shot in Africa. Leopards are so elusive and quick. This one beautiful leopard shot out of a shrubby area and was gone in the wink of an eye. She made up the background.

This picture is called Busy. (Don’t you just love …her watercolors names!)  She took photos of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Experimental Dahlia garden. The blooms of this one variety of Dahlia were covered in bees. Georgia went home and painted the scene of three busy bees. She was not totally happy with the piece, so she left it alone for a while. Last night she kept her poor husband poor Joe waiting for drinks-on-the-beach while she added acrylic paint and unryu paper to it. It is now a mixed media piece. 

You can contact Georgia if you are interested in purchasing any of these paintings.

I interviewed Georgia to learn more about what puts a sparkle in her heart and gives purpose to her life.

 

 


Georgia, tell me about how you got into art?

If anyone asked me at 9 years old, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I immediately said, “An artist!” I was in the middle of a large non-art oriented family, not gifted in drawing, and didn’t faze in well with art taught in school, so by Fourth Grade, I quit identifying myself as an artist. I was still ‘the artistic type,’ hypersensitive, collected markers, always had great assignment notebook illustrations, haunted Chicago’s Art Institute, and then any other art museums where ever I landed, but I studied science, then business in school.

It wasn’t until I was crazy busy running a household with an infant, toddler, and preschooler that I thought, “When I have some time to myself, I have to take a watercolor class.” Once I started, I was hooked. I worked hard learning to draw. The painting part always felt wonderful and natural. Now I teach art classes and workshops. I display my work at galleries and public places; I do commission work and have had some interesting installations of my mosaic work.

I enter show competitions because I think it is fun but also because it raises my profile and gives me something to claim on a resume since I did not attend a formal art school. I am so happy when I paint. Now if you ask me, “What kind of work do you do?” I get to say, “I am an artist!”

What were you passionate about as a child?

I was passionate about ART! I was a good student but sometimes I would daydream about my crayons and how they looked best lined up.

What makes you forget the world around you even forget to eat?

Painting! If I get jazzed working on a painting, I can easily lose track of time and paint past midnight. I try not to do that when I am scheduled to teach the next day.

What is your typical day like?

I don’t really have typical days. Each teaching day is different depending on what I have dreamed up for a class or workshop. I have a family, friends, home, and gardens that all take time and scheduling.

What do you do to reset your energy?

I am an extrovert so I get energy from a group. That is why teaching is fun for me. I also have high energy so I like swimming year round, skiing in the winter, rollerblading whenever the paths are clear, kayaking and sailing, walking, hiking, reading, snorkeling, and gardening.

What is on your bucket list?

More travel is on my bucket list. After visiting Africa once, I would like to go back. I would also like to see Greece and Iceland in the near future.

Georgia in Africa

How do you want to be remembered?

I would most like to be remembered as being loving and kind. If people find my paintings and mosaics to be interesting and maybe even transporting then yeah for me. (You are loving and kind Georgia!)

I was so blessed to have Georgia teach me to paint my first ever watercolor. She is patient, kind and says exactly the right words to guide your painting. She helps you see the world differently. When you are with Georgia the world is seriously more beautiful.

My “Georgia bonus” is she is my superstar friend who rocks at cooking healthy, gourmet meals, gardening (you should see her orchids) and being a friend who cherishes you.

The “guy” behind the artist is Dr. Joe Kandiko her award-winning photographer husband.

Joe’s Moonlight and Dock was selected for the Minneapolis Photo Center Winter 2017 International Wish You Were Here photography contest. There were 1000 submissions from all over the world and only 70 were selected. Way to go Joe!
 
Joe received his first 35 mm camera as a wedding gift from his wife. As a busy medical resident, he had little time for photography. Through reading and attending workshops he “learned to see”. He was active in the Minnesota Nature Photography Club for years. Currently, he is fascinated by the creative options with iPhone photography. Joe’s work has appeared in multiple MN Weatherguide calendars, pharmaceutical calendars, MN Monthly Magazine, public and private collections as well as the MN State Fair.

The best? They are an active, healthy and very loving happily married couple who cheer each other on with their artistic pursuits and living their best lives.

Curious? 

Curious about discovering the beauty and passion of watercolor? You are in luck as Georgia will be teaching a class Watercolor on Wood Panel: A Feast for the Bees at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in August.

Thursdays, August 10, 17, 24 and 31, 9:30 a.m. – noon

Celebrate August and discover your passion for watercolor with Georgia. Each week you will produce a different piece featuring pollinator-friendly flowers selected by Arboretum horticulture staff: blazing star, New England aster, butterfly weed and purple coneflower.

With Georgia’s compassion, and creativity you will see your skills advance week to week in a supportive atmosphere. You will produce four complete 8″ x 8″ watercolors on wood.  What fantastic presents these would make but you will like them so much you want to keep them for yourselves.  Georgia will give you all the supplies! Bring a friend.

Georgia also teaches at the Artistry (Bloomington Art Center) and Minnetonka Center for the Arts, www.minnetonkaarts.org. She is a gift to our community. 

She can be reached at Gkandiko@gmail.com

Check out Joe and Georgia’s art at www.KandikoAndKandiko.com

World Watercolor Month is a celebration to inspire people to paint with watercolor while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity your life and the world.

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Here to help you discover your purpose!

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Alison Sjostrom’s Purpose – Cheesemaker and President of the Redhead Creamery, LLC.

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Happy Independence Day 2017!

You have to love a nation that celebrates its’ independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.”

– Erma Bombeck, 1927 – 1996, writer and columnist</h3>

Happy Fourth of July!

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The Power of Appreciation – The Key to Standing Out in the Crowd

Everyone I know wants “success” however they define it. But, have you ever thought of what success means without special friends to enjoy and celebrate life with? I am known to say, “Relationships oxygenate life,” and who really cares about “the money or the job” if you can’t share it with people you love. 

William James a well- known psychologist said, “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” Our deepest needs are to be accepted, acknowledged and appreciated. We manage what we measure. Do you measure how you make people feel or how they make you feel?

We care when our friends are fine and worry when they are not. We show people we care by the actions we take. My favorite way I show people I care and appreciate them is by leaving a singing happy birthday voice mail. I love doing this but LOVE it even more when people call me and sing happy birthday. (Thank you sweet sisters and Tim Thoma!

Every year on my birthday, my God mom Aunt Doris calls me and plays happy birthday on her violin. Isn’t she a beauty! She is 89 years young!

Many  years ago my friend Justine Philllips (whom I met in aqua aerobics class and always came 20 or 30 minutes late and disrupted class EVERY time) called and left me a happy birthday singing voice mail. For two months I played Justine’s deep male-sounding voice singing me happy birthday. I was stumped! It was Justine Phillips! She got me.

Justine happily retired from Carver County and began to teach at a college. She was born to be a teacher as she taught all of us how to live outrageously. Shortly after she “refired” with her new college teaching profession she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had treatments and a huge bra burning ceremony that was written up in the local paper and she seemed to get better.  Her breast cancer returned.

I have certain birthday dates set in my Outlook to remind me to call and sing happy birthday. February 4th was Justine’s birthday. I was too busy and I didn’t call. Every day the reminder came up and every day I was going to call. I was too busy, or needed to “do it later.”

Justine died on February 16th, without me singing happy birthday! Years later I still have her birthday reminder set in my Outlook. I lost! I lost out on connecting with Justine one last time. When was the last time you let your friends know that you love and care about them? When was the last time you told them why you appreciate them?

When you smile, or give a sincere compliment you are making the recipient’s world a better place. At the end of the day we all want to simply give and receive love.

Showing appreciation is a way to get ahead in your work world. People have to know, like and trust you. Is there an easier way to get to know people then to appreciate them?

Positive words beset more positivity (the secret to happiness.) Focus on what people are doing right instead of wrong. What you give you get in return.  The more you show appreciation the more people will appreciate you.

Live today to your fullest with no regrets because tomorrow is not promised! #dietitianlifecoach |… Click To Tweet

Justine held the patent on making a late and grand entrance and she now holds the patent on not taking the next day for granted. Emails and stuff can always wait. So, remember to keep special people close to you before it is too late! My coaching advice for you is to live today to your fullest with no regrets because your tomorrow is not promised.

How do you show your appreciation to others? We can’t wait to hear!

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Happiness is Often Risky: 4 Steps to Take Risks

Today we celebrate National Take a Chance Day – a day that encourages us to break out of our comfort zone.

We all have goals and dreams. What if today the day is you take a chance or a risk to make your dreams happen?

I always knew I was not a “normal dietitian.” I will forever remember the day I realized it was not the food people were eating that was important, it was “what was eating them” that proved to be most important. With crystal clarity I remember providing an outpatient diet instruction at Waconia Hospital with a retired, extremely pleasant overweight woman who told me what she ate for dinner and that she always ate her dinner in the living room on her sofa. Wanting to explore “mindful eating” with her I asked her why she ate her dinners seated on her couch. With discouragement and sadness in her blue eyes (I always look at eyes and see if they match their shirt) she explained that her husband Harry ate his dinners in his Lazy Boy recliner while he watched TV.  She just wanted to be with him and grab a morsel of conversation after being (delete all) alone all day.  She was feeling all alone in her marriage and desired more togetherness and to feel more cherished. It was not the food that she was eating, but her loss of “togetherness” in her marriage.  She was grieving and that lead to her overeating and her disgust with getting on the scale.

It’s not what you are eating it’s what is eating you!

Looking back, I know I spent more of my outpatient diet instructions talking about mindsets and beliefs than I did about food. Sure, I showed patients those rubber food models, but they left with more than the portion sizes needed to achieve their new health goals.  They left with a new confidence to question their beliefs. My journey helping others continued until a key pivotal day – March 5, 1999 when I attended a Registered Dietitian meeting and there was “Life Coach” talking about life balance. I thought I do this! Am I a life coach? Three or four weeks later, I attended  a meeting  to learn about life coaching and got so excited I signed up on the spot spending over $3,000 to enroll in a life coaching course. If I signed up that day I could get the Co-Active Coaching book for free. (It cost $25.00)  I was so caught up in the excitement of this new adventure that I totally forgot about Gary. I can still remember driving down 494 and remembering I would need to tell Gary. Let’s just say Gary was not as excited as I was. I signed up and spent $3000.00 to get a free book! Excitedly, I called my dad and I will never forget what he said in disbelief, “…people pay people to talk on the phone? People are going to pay YOU to talk on the phone?” Even though I didn’t get much support, I took a risk! And there has been no turning back!

Many of us have taken risks that never paid off. I have invested in friendships, mastermind programs, speaker programs, graphic designers, and once even purchased a franchise to audit energy bills for companies… and wasted over $12,000 and many sleepless nights. But the bigger question is how many times have you and I lost a great opportunity because we were afraid of risk. Is your life on hold because you are waiting for the risk to diminish? Think about it, your risk could diminish but so could your opportunity.

Your ONLY limit is your desire!

Your only real limit is your desire. And sometimes to get what we want RISK is involved. Risk taking is essential to learning what our limits are and, to being our absolute best. 

4 Steps to Take a Risk

Here are a few ways to become a positive risk taker by Barbara Sahakian, a cool professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine who has discovered RISK TAKING is one of the primary behaviors that leads to the “good life.”

  1. Increase your risk tolerance. Take small risks that make you feel slightly uncomfortable. 
  1. Expect and prepare to fail. Determine the worst thing that can happen with a particular risk and come up with a plan to handle the failure.
  1. Become more risk aware. Just thinking and learning about risk taking may actually increase your chances of taking positive risks.
  1. Learn the routine/ risk balance that is best for you. Have your routine life filled with some positive risk taking and excitement. A healthy thriving life requires both risk and routine and you need to find the right balance for you.

Author Eria Jong reminds us, “If you don’t risk anything you risk even more.” She is right!

My risk back in 2000 has provided me with priceless happiness, a deep life satisfaction helping others combined with a flexible work life while earning much more money than I ever imagined as a Registered Dietitian…all because I took a risk! 

What is one small risk you would be willing to take today to create the life you were meant to live?

Today is the day you buy that plane ticket, tell your special person you truly love them, or create your business plan.

We can’t wait to hear.

Love Chere

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowline, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.  ~ Mark Twain

#NationalTakeAChanceDay

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