That was what my mentor told me after I got laid off from Kraft in 1987. It was the beginning of the era of corporate downsizing or eliminating "redundancies" like myself. Everything had changed again for us Baby Boomers. We had started out rejecting the system. Then we embraced it. And, predictably we wound up dependent on it. That was over. We had to, like Mary Richards on "Mary Tyler Moore," make it on our own.
I ponied up my $1000 for the starter Dale Carnegie seminar in Stamford, Connecticut on how to make friends and influence people. My mentor was right. Magically, it seemed, I made the transition from being locked in myself to being able to understand the pain points of others. The business I started quickly grossed six figures.
At the same time, and ahead of his time, the editor in chief and chief executive at ESQUIRE Magazine Phillip Moffitt had also sensed everything was changing, again. Abruptly he fled that scene. He went in search of what eastern philosophy could provide him. Some of that is in his new book "Emotional Chaos to Clarity." At the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Moffitt and his team of teachers help professionals break open to reality. Yup, Dale Carnegie repackaged as Buddha.
WIRED Magazine outed how ambitious Millennials are studying the tenets of Buddhism or mindfulness to gain the competitive edge. In the July 2013 issue, Noah Shactman writes:
"Meditation and mindfulness are the new rage in Silicon Valley. And it's not just about inner peace - it's about getting ahead."
When that communications boutique I established in 1987 crashed in 2003, my new mentor, along with my cognitive therapist, recommended I study mindfulness. They are, it certainly turns out, on the money. Not that all eastern-philosophy gurus would approve of my blatantly secular objectives.
When I first knocked on the doors of Buddhist temples in central Connecticut, I kept my wild careerism under wraps. Funny, the more successful I became in my business, the aura attracted others who were struggling with their own professional comebacks. The generations ranged from Baby Boomer to Millennial. Currently, after we sit on the cushion (or me in a chair since as an aging Baby Boomer I can't negotiate those lotus positions), they approach me in the parking lot. For marketing insight. Both the materials and the how-to of presenting themselves to employers and prospective clients.
Advice to Dale Carnegie franchises - Rebrand as The Clarity Edge.