Laying The Groundwork
This post provides links to pertinent aspects of The Laying The Groundwork project, so that you won’t have to sift through the archives to find out what you want to know.
The original idea, basic concept, and statement of intent is here:
If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can start on Day One: You Are, and come back daily to continue on thru Day Thirty: Falling Into Place. Or, you can pick through the posts, finding what seems interesting and useful. The important thing is to commit to a daily practice.
As you work with the Laying The Groundwork, we encourage you to post your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply, and give you the benefit of our own experience and support if it seems pertinent or appropriate.
Here is the complete listing of the daily posts for the Laying The Groundwork project:
- Day 1: You Are …
- Day 2: Writing It Down
- Day 3: Imagine That!
- Day 4: Something Good
- Day 5: Prosperity – What is it?
- Day 6: Defining Our Limitations
- Day 7: I Would If …
- Day 8: Baby Steps
- Day 9: Yes, but…
- Day 10: Scary Stuff
- Day 11: Easy Peasy
- Day 12: I Did It!
- Day 13: Comfort Zones
- Day 14: Breaking Out
- Day 15: But I Don’t Want To…
- Day 16: Give Us A Push
- Day 17: Slave Drivers
- Day 18: Stuck?
- Day 19: Simple Pleasures
- Day 20: Character Development
- Day 21: Something Simple
- Day 22: Just For Fun
- Day 23: Anger Management
- Day 24: Over The Cliff
- Day 25: Help Wanted
- Day 26: The Interview
- Day 27: Helping Ourselves
- Day 28: A Look Back
- Day 29: Let’s Double Check
- Day 30: Falling Into Place
So here we have the results and the comments on the Laying The Groundwork project. These are taken directly from comments left on the website, and from the Facebook page. Self exploration is hard work, and it was a bit much for many of us to do the exercises every day. That being said, those of us who did complete all or most of the work did get some great results. The feedback is as follows:
This to me is one of the more enlightening projects for me. It really worked for me to answer all of the statements. I found that if I did it more than once my answers became more honest. The project lead me to a very dark realization but also hope to over come. Loved it so much I printed it out to do again. Thank you so much Shirley Twofeathers
- I did not do all the exercises.
- The ones I did do have helped me a little.
- I was a little more confident about myself, more comfortable about myself.
- The exercise that I benefited from most was the one where you had to write your greatest fear or weakness and find ways to deal with it.
- I didn’t really have a least favorite part.
- Yes, I learned that I can truly be myself and not care about what others think and not let my insecurities get me down if I really put my mind to it.
- I have discovered that I don’t have to have someone tell me I’m beautiful to know I am… I know I am in my own way.
- It really brought out some stuff about myself that I didn’t even know about, and it help me sort through them!
I really like the concept of this project. I unfortunately fell behind and was not able to really catch up. I am going to redo this on my own.
It was a great project. I just got behind on it. It is a fun experience.
- Yes. I did complete all the exercises, most of them more than once. The only one I didn’t complete was the big ass character development one… but I do plan to eventually get it filled out.
- I don’t think I could pin it down to just one or two exercises that were the most beneficial to me. I had so many insights all through the project….
- My favorite parts were the help wanted ad and the movie trailer tags… so much fun !! I’m still playing with the idea of posting my help wanted ad on Craigs list… LOL
- My least favorite part was when I was the only one leaving comments.
Did you learn anything new about yourself?
- Did I learn anything new about myself? Yes. I learned what my motivations are, a new appreciation for all that I am and all that I do, and I quit beating myself up for the things that I don’t do, don’t want to do, and can’t do.
- One of the other things I discovered is that self exploration is hard work … and a challenge … not everyone enjoys it as much as I do.
- Is there anything else I’d like to say about this project? No, I’m pretty sure I’ve said enough.
When I first had the idea for this project, I looked up the definition of the phrase, “Laying the groundwork,” and this is what it means:
- To create or prepare the basics or essential foundation (for something); to pave the way (for something).
- Something that is done at an early stage and that makes later work or progress possible.
Most of the exercises this time around were aimed at getting a clearer understanding of ourselves. And in the process, discover where our strengths, weaknesses, limitations, motivations, talents, and abilities lie.
Now that we’ve come to the end of our 30 day experiment, it’s time to check in with your results, experiences, and insights. Even if you didn’t complete all of the exercises, it will still be helpful to know what worked, or did not work for you.
Note: A simple way to leave feedback on the project is to copy and paste the questions into the comment box, and then answer the ones that appeal to you.
- Did you complete all of the exercises?
- If not, were the ones that you did do helpful to you?
- In what way?
- Which exercise did you get the most benefit from?
- What was your favorite part of this project?
- What was your least favorite part?
- Did you learn anything new about yourself?
- Did you discover anything important that you’d like to share?
- Is there anything else you’d like to say about this project?
I would really love it if everyone that did the exercises would leave some feedback on this project. The fact that other people participated is a huge motivator for me. I deeply appreciate every person who visited this project and took part in it.
- I am …
Let’s do that one again and see what, if anything has changed. What’s the first word that comes into your mind? Now do a few more. Are they new words? or the same ones as before?
We’re coming to the end of this project, and now it’s time to take a look back over our lists and notes. I thought it might be a fun exercise to pick the famous movie tagline that most accurately sums up your experience of life. Alternatively, pick the one you wish would most accurately sum up your life experience, or the tag line that is most representative of this particular project and how it worked for you.
Here are 80 memorable movie tag lines to choose from (movie titles not included):
- In space, no one can hear you scream.
- The longer you wait, the harder it gets.
- Whoever wins, we lose.
- The bitch is back.
- Everyone wants to be found.
- Eight legs, two fangs, and an attitude.
- Earth. It was fun while it lasted.
- An epic of epic epicness.
- Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.
- Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail.
- Everyone has one special thing.
- War is hell … but peace is f*#!%!! boring.
- The true story of a real fake.
- Where there’s a will, there’s a relative.
- Escape or die frying.
- Yule crack up.
- He’s in town with a few days to kill.
- The story of a man who was too proud to run.
- Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you.
- One dream. Four Jamaicans. Twenty below zero.
- See it with a bud.
- After a night they can’t remember comes a day they’ll never forget.
- For Harry and Lloyd, every day is a no-brainer.
- His story will touch you, even though he can’t.
- She brought a small town to its feet and a huge corporation to its knees.
- A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.
- Check in. Unpack. Relax. Take A Shower.
- One man’s struggle to take it easy.
- There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They’re looking for one.
- There’s more than one way to lose your life to a killer.
- A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood.
- Love is a force of nature.
- Be afraid. Be very afraid.
- Vietnam can kill me, but it can’t make me care.
- All the power on earth can’t change destiny.
- There is no gene for the human spirit.
- Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
- Does my gluteus maximus look big in this?
- Here they grow again.
- Even a hit man deserves a second shot.
- There can be only one.
- Just deux it!
- On May 6th … see Paris die!
- The last man on Earth is not alone.
- Earth. Take a good look. It could be your last.
- Welcome to the suck.
- An adventure 65 million years in the making.
- Reality is a thing of the past.
- They’re young…they’re in love…and they kill people.
- Protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe!
- From the brother of the director of Ghost.
- If Nancy doesn’t wake up screaming, she won’t wake up at all.
- Work sucks.
- Who will survive and what will be left of them?
- The first casualty of war is innocence.
- They’re back.
- Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…
- Having a wonderful time, wish I were here.
- The classic story about a boy and his mother.
- He’s out to prove he’s got nothing to prove.
- Fifty million people watching but no one saw a thing.
- They’re tobacco chewin’, gut chompin’, cannibal kinfolk from hell!
- Family isn’t a word. It’s a sentence.
- The mission is a man.
- On every street in every city, there’s a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.
- Oh yes, there will be blood.
- Great trilogies come in threes.
- The list is life.
- Love never dies.
- You’ll believe a man can fly.
- A romantic comedy. With zombies.
- Man is the warmest place to hide.
- This might hurt a little.
- See our family. And feel better about yours.
- Get a grip on yourself.
- This is Benjamin. He’s a little worried about his future.
- You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.
- Daddy’s home, and he’s not very happy.
- The thing that won’t die, in the nightmare that won’t end.
- Love is in the hair.
- Does for rock and roll what ‘The Sound of Music’ did for hills.
- If at first you don’t succeed, lower your standards.
- This is the weekend they didn’t play golf.
- The first superhero… from New Jersey!
- On the air. Unaware.
- When he said I do, he never said what he did.
- The coast is toast.
- You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl.
- A lively comedy about a guy who isn’t.
- Cocktails first. Questions later.
For almost 30 days now, we’ve been working to figure ourselves out. We even interviewed ourselves for the job of being ourselves. I’m thinking that, by now, we should have a pretty good idea of our strengths, our weaknesses, our motivation talents, abilities, assets, good qualities, knowledge, and our strengths.
Now the big question is, how do we tap into it. How do we use what we’ve learned to create true prosperity, happiness, interesting, and fulfilling lives? What can we do to give ourselves the hand-up, the boost, the help that we need to make the leap from writing and thinking into action and reality?
I thought it might be helpful to try the following exercise. If it seems familiar, that’s because I have adapted it from the Meet With Success spell we did during our Gypsy Magick Project. In this exercise we are going to ask ourselves, our deepest strongest selves for help. If you feel more comfortable asking your spirit guides, guardian angels, or higher power for help instead, that’s fine too.
For this exercise, you will need to write down exactly what it is that you need. If you aren’t sure what is needed, write a brief statement of your view of what you’d like the end result to look like, followed by a “How do I get there from here?” or even, “Please I need help to get there from here.”
Keep in mind that this must be something that you truly do want. If any part of you wants to hang back, if you feel a twinge of fear, or the slightest resistance, go back and do a rewrite until it feels right.
You will need:
- A clear idea.
- A true desire for change.
- A mirror and a candle.
Write down your request for help. We talked about that already. If you are asking your guides, angels or higher power for help – make that part of your statement. For example: “I ask my guardian angels to please give me the… etc.” If you are planning to speak to your deep inner self, you might begin with, “I ask my deepest, strongest, truest self to please…”
Find a place that is quiet and private. Light the candle in front of a mirror. Sit at the mirror and stare into your own eyes in search of your deepest truest self. Imagine a circle of gold light around you for protection and a circle of blue or violet light around you for healing and transformation.
Repeat your Christian name (or names) twenty-one times. Then ask for the help you need. and repeat it twenty-one times. Blow out the candle and await success.
” …I think the self interview is the essence of creativity, asking yourself questions and trying to find answers.” ~Jim Morrison
I logged on to Facebook this morning, and this quote was at the top of my news feed. A memory from two years ago. Since this is exactly what we’ve been doing in this project – I decided to take the idea and run with it. I had this thought that it might be really interesting if we interviewed ourselves AS IF we were looking to hire someone to BE US.
Initially, I thought it would be a simple list of questions, but then I realized that we’d first need to write a “help wanted” advertisement, which we did in yesterday’s exercise. Now, today, we are interviewing our prospective selves, as if we were applying for the job opportunity we posted yesterday.
So, what questions would you ask someone who is interviewing to BE you in your life? Before I wrote my ad, I went on an online search for employment interview questions, and came up with a lot of generic stuff that bored me to death. After I wrote my ad, I could see how these questions could be answered with the parameters of the ad in mind.
Note: I did include links to the politically correct recommended answers because it occurred to me that this little worksheet might be useful in a real world situation where a person is applying for an actual job.
1. What is your greatest strength?
This is one of the questions that employers almost always ask. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it’s important to discuss the attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates. (Recommended answers.)
- My answer: I love a challenge, and hate to let anyone down or be a disappointment.
- Your answer:
2. What is your greatest weakness?
Another typical question interviewers will ask is about your weaknesses. Do your best to frame your answers around positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee. (Recommended answers.)
- My answer: Junk food and beer. Provide me with plenty of both, and you’ll have me for life! (Remember this is based on the help wanted ad I wrote yesterday… LOL)
- Your answer:
3. Tell me about yourself.
Answer questions about you without giving out too much – or too little – personal information. Start by sharing some of your personal interests which don’t relate directly to work. (Recommended answers.)
- My answer: I love science fiction, philosophical discussions, and going camping.
- Your answer:
4. Why should we hire you?
Are you the best candidate for the job? Be prepared to say why. Make your response a concise sales pitch that explains what you have to offer the employer, and why you should get the job. (Recommended answers.)
- My answer: Because I am actually capable of doing this job, and not many people are. You’re not going to find a more qualified candidate anywhere.
- Your answer:
5. What are your salary expectations?
What are you looking for in terms of salary? It seems like a simple question, but your answer can knock you out of content for the job if you overprice yourself. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: I’ve never been motivated by money, but I would expect there would be enough to provide for my basic needs with enough left over for little luxuries, and lots of fun.
- Your answer:
6. Why are you leaving or have left your job?
When asked about why you are moving on, stick with the facts, be direct and focus your interview answer on the future, especially if your leaving wasn’t under the best of circumstances. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: The woman I am currently working for is a slave driver and not nearly as much fun as I had hoped.
- Your answer:
7. Why do you want this job?
This question gives you an opportunity to show the interviewer what you know about the job and the company. Be specific about what makes you a good fit for this role, and mention aspects of the company and position that appeal to you. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: It sounds really interesting and not boring at all. It also sounds like it would be a challenge and I love a good challenge. It almost sounds like my dream job. (LOL… really?)
- Your answer:
8. How do you handle stress and pressure?
What do you do when things don’t go smoothly at work? The best way to respond to this question is to give an example of how you have handled stress in a previous job. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: I usually get quiet and just dig in. Bathing insanity dogs can be very stressful, and I have found that if I just bulldog my way through, the day does eventually end. This too shall pass…
- Your answer:
9. Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
The interviewer wants to know what you do when you face a difficult decision. As with the question about stress, be prepared to share an example of what you did in a tough situation. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: Hard question! Usually, I whine and complain, maybe rant for a while, then I ask my family and friends for advice. Eventually, the answer or solution becomes clear.
- Your answer:
10. What are your goals for the future?
This question is designed to find out if you’re going to stick around or move on as soon as you find a better opportunity. Keep your answer focused on the job and the company you’re interviewing with. (Recommended answer.)
- My answer: My goals for the future are to have an interesting life filled with fun, laughter, color, light, family, and adventure.
- Your answer:
Here are some related questions that you may be asked during a job interview that will require some thought to answer. Consider how you’d respond so you’re as prepared as possible to answer the hiring manager’s questions.
- How do you handle success?
- How do you handle failure?
- Do you work well with other people?
- What can you do better for us than the other applicants?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Source: b the balance
Here’s something that I think will be really interesting. Lets make a help wanted ad. The idea being to put out a notice of employment for someone that would effectively take your place in your life.
Why? Because I think this will really help us to define ourselves. If we can look objectively at what skills, talents, and attributes are required to be who we actually really are, it might be a real eye opener. It might even give us a deeper appreciation of ourselves.
Here are some guidelines to get us started:
1 – Begin with an attention-grabbing headline.
Use positive language and action-oriented verbs, and include specific details about the position and employer.
For example, a help wanted ad headline reading, “Secretary needed for realty office,” could be more effectively reworded in this way: “Dynamic Executive Assistant needed to organize, manage and oversee office procedures for busy, uptown real estate firm.”
2 – Provide the basics.
Before you get into the more creative aspects of writing help wanted ads, it is important that you provide readers with some basic information that will give them a preliminary idea of what your ad is all about:
- Give your company name and location.
- List the job title, along with specifics like job level, full/part time, temporary/permanent, night/day shift, salary range, application due date and date needed to start.
An example of a suitable help wanted advertising opener would be, “ABC Corporation, located in Capital City, is currently seeking a full-time, entry-level Specialist to assume the night shift on a temporary contract basis. Salary is market-competitive and commensurate with experience. Applications must be submitted by March 1, as this position is expected to start on April 1 and run for a total of 6 months.”
3 – Summarize what you are looking for in an employee.
Qualifications include any expertise that may be required for the job, such as knowledge of computer programming, familiarity with specialized equipment, proficiency within a certain skill-set and or an understanding of job-related terminology.
For example, your help wanted ad qualifications list may read like, “must know how to use basic accounting software, able to use a 10-key with 100 percent accuracy and familiar with billing/coding terms.”
List any formal training requirements. Help wanted ads should include details about college education and/or special certification courses that apply to the position.
Be specific about the type of experience you are seeking in prospective employees. In addition to employment-length guidelines, also include generalized experience requirements. For example, you may say, “Candidates should have at least 2 years of hands-on experience working in the industry, and should be able to prove focused experience in the areas of customer service, recruiting and training.”
4 – Describe what you offer employees.
This is a chance to sell yourself, and should include a number of components:
Say something about your company’s history and/or reputation. For example, you may include something like, “We are the industry-recognized leader in providing customized, effective marketing solutions, in business since 1977.”
Expound on the company culture. For example, you may choose to point out the open-door policy of management, the casual office atmosphere or the importance you place on team building.
Offer details about the benefits of working for you, such as advancement opportunities, insurance, 401K matching, bonuses and incentives plans.
Include a standard equal-opportunity employer disclaimer.
5 -Close your help wanted ad with a call to action.
Instruct interested prospects on how, exactly, to move forward with the application process. You may want them to fax a resume, email a letter of interest or complete an online application.
Provide readers with a contact name, phone number and email address.
I thought this might seem a little daunting, but it was actually a lot of fun. I really encourage us all to do it, and am sharing my ad here because I’m hoping it’ll give everyone some good ideas, and the desire to write one of their own. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
Here’s My Example:
Amazing and talented individual needed to take over for reclusive, anti-social, eccentric artist, blogger, and dropout from society.
Shirley Twofeathers, located in the middle of nowhere USA, seeks a full time worker that is capable of:
- Writing a ridiculous number of posts every day for an overly ambitious website.
- Creating as much cool art as possible from overflowing boxes of art supplies and junk.
- Spending 3 to 4 days a week bathing dogs, cleaning up nasty messes, waiting on customers, answering phones, keeping up with payroll and paper work, and being happy to do it.
- Caring for 2 birds, 4 cats, and a great big dog.
- Minor and not so minor home repairs.
- Outside renovations involving fence building, landscaping, gardening, trash removal, mowing, and more.
- Meeting all family obligations, as well as spending quality time with children and grand children.
Must also be intelligent and interesting, have a sense of humor, be easy to get along with, and fun to hang out with. Great cooking skills would be a bonus. The right candidate will also be someone who enjoys hanging out in grave yards at night, meeting the Spirit of the Corn in a cornfield under a full moon, skipping rocks across a pond, and screaming at the top of their lungs for no particular reason.
This full time position requires overnight stays, an absolute commitment to stick it out no matter what, and comes with these amazing perks:
- A huge library of books, music, movies, and TV shows on DVD.
- A large piece of property to enjoy.
- Bird songs in the mornings.
- A loving family.
The salary is adequate to meet basic needs with enough left over for a few luxuries and some fun stuff.
Shirley Twofeathers was founded in a moment of madness when she decided that it’d be a great idea to come screaming into life with lots of big ideas, and a propensity for epic fails. She pretty much raised herself, and is dedicated to remaining true to that self.
She is an equal opportunity employer, wiling to give just about anything or anyone a chance to prove themselves. If you wish to apply, leave your resume in my mailbox and then tag me on Facebook. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have questions about the position.
- A Perfect Illustration on
- What Do You See? on
- Optical Focus on
- Optical Focus on
- Finding Beauty in Every Freakin’ Moment on
- Finding Beauty in Every Freakin’ Moment on
- Finding Beauty in Every Freakin’ Moment on
- The Sweet Spot on
- The Sweet Spot on
- Losing Focus? on
- Finding A Better Focus on
- Feeling Good on