I think many of us are trapped on a hamster wheel of hyperactivity.
We simply cannot stand still.
Every empty moment in line at Starbucks is a chance to catch up on emails.
Every bus ride is a time to scroll our Instagram feed or read Facebook updates.
Every second of silence begs to be filled with music, podcasts, etc.
We fill every waking moment with productivity, entertainment, and self-gratification. We are defined by constant activity.
This obsession with hyperactivity permeates every aspect of our lives and is especially evident in the way we approach our work.
Remarkably, we even…
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” -Stephen King¹
In the same way that every teacher was first a student, every writer was first a reader. Reading is the best way to learn what good writing sounds like (and what bad writing sounds like).
Great writing purrs like a sports car after a tuneup. And the more you read the work of talented authors, the more you’ll be able to recognize that…
Where do you work?
What do you do?
Where are you from?
How many times have you been asked these questions?
The sheer lack of imagination applied to most conversations makes it seem like our species only developed speech a few decades ago and we’re still trying to figure it out. Either that or we’re so hamstrung with worry about asking the wrong thing that we decide to only ask the safe questions — the ones we know won’t offend anyone or reveal anything too personal.
In every conversation, we’re given a rich palette of colors to paint with, but…
I started writing about three years ago. I had wanted to write for years but never had the guts to start, and the idea of hitting the “publish” button was a horrifying prospect.
Once I mounted the courage to finally start writing, I realized that I had no clue what I was doing, so I turned to the only place I knew for inspiration: writing advice books.
There’s one school project I’ll never forget. What made it so memorable wasn’t the dozens of hours and long nights I put into the project. Or the nerve-wracking presentation I gave at the end of the term. Or even the fact that I had to fire one of my classmates from his role because he stopped showing up to meetings.
Nope, the project is cemented in my mind because two of my best friends took the business idea we had been working on for months, and they filed a patent on it, behind everyone’s backs.
It happened 10 years ago…
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, your first job will require a completely different skillset from the one you need in college.
For some of you, that will come as a pleasant surprise because you’ve never been one for pleasing crusty professors in tweed jackets. But if you’re a student like I was — obsessed with grades — you’ll realize that graduating means starting from scratch. After you walk across that (virtual) podium, your top-notch grades will be good for nothing beyond the grit you’ve hopefully acquired pursuing them.
I’ve now been working for 10 years. I’ve worked in retail…
“One of the things that happens when you give yourself permission to start writing is that you start thinking like a writer. You start seeing everything as material.” -Anne Lamott
When I first started writing, I was deathly afraid that I would run out of things to say. I figured I probably only had a dozen or so good ideas rolling around in my head, and once those were gone, my career as a writer would be over.
Thankfully, it didn’t work out like that. I quickly realized that the more I wrote, the more I began thinking like a…
Have you ever gotten the feeling that someone has it out for you, but you don’t know why?
That’s happened to me a couple of times in my career. The first time happened eight years ago. One of my colleagues who was very well-liked in the department seemed to hold a vendetta against me from nearly my first week on the team.
“Kara” was smart, tenured, and quick-witted — all traits that you don’t want in an enemy.
During meetings, Kara would occasionally throw out comments like, “Do you even know what you’re doing?” or “How do you not know…
I’ve read over 700 books in the past ten years. If that doesn’t grant me nerd status, I don’t know what would.
Books are a really big deal in my life, and one of my greatest joys is helping others develop a deeper passion for reading. What I’ve found is that many people aspire to read more, but they fall short of their own goals for one reason or another: too busy, not a priority, unsure what to read, don’t get much from what they read, etc.
My goal with this article is to help you overcome those objections. If…
I’ve seen a lot of reading lists out there labeled “Books to Read Before You Die.” (I’ve even been working my way through my own list like that.)
Even though it’s interesting to consider which books you should read before you die, I think it’s more practical to seek out books that will tangibly improve your life while you are living it. For truly life-changing books, the earlier you read them, the longer they can positively impact your life.
This past decade, I’ve had the chance to read over 700 books. I’ve read a lot of great books during that…