The Constructive Criticism Conumdrum

The Constructive Criticism Conumdrum

Originally published 2/20/2016

For years, I’ve lived by the mantra that I am always seeking change and improvement.  I’ve long known of the dangers of using words like “never” and “always” when characterizing behavior, but I’ve usually applied it to interactions with others, making sure I don’t accuse people of always or never doing something.  Recently, I was forced to confront this mantra head on and ask myself if I am really always seeking development.

Change is hard for everyone...

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

Originally published 2/9/2016

The Millennial Generation often gets a bad wrap.  We’re often described as entitled, impatient, and naive to the ways of the world.  While I’ve certainly met people who expect to get something for nothing, I would say these people are not limited to this particular generation, nor do these characteristics describe the vast majority of young people I have interacted with.

Every generation is shaped by its own experiences, and it is often a rebellion against the previous generation that can have the most profound influence...

When Nothing Is Going Your Way

When Nothing Is Going Your Way

Originally published 2/6/2016

I used to have this misconception that successful, optimistic people were happy all the time.  I thought that they let the little things roll off their shoulders, and they focused only on the lessons of a hardship and always found the silver lining.  Because of this erroneous thinking, it took me a long time to figure out how to handle situations when nothing seemed to be going my way.

When I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or when the chips seemed stacked against me...

To Hell With Resolutions

To Hell With Resolutions

Originally published 1/5/2016

Each year around this time, I hear the joke from several people to avoid the gym for the next three weeks for all the New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m sure gyms make a killing by signing people up for a year’s membership, only to have them stop showing up a month later.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we commit to completely reinventing ourselves overnight?  And why are we so convinced that each year will be different and the changes will stick?

I know what it’s like to beat myself up after indulging over the holidays.  I used to tell myself that after letting the pendulum swing too far over into Indulgence Apex...

#2015bestnine

#2015bestnine

Originally published 12/31/2015

I’ve seen this tag all around social media lately, and I think it’s a great way to reflect on your year.  Inspired by Liz Gilbert’s Instagram post of her favorite books from 2015, I decided to do the same.  For some of these, I sat down with the physical copy, but many I listened to through Audible during my commute to and from work.  I’ve found that, for me, it’s the best way to consume books in a timely fashion, and helps me make the most of my unavoidable driving time.  Here goes!

Rising Strong, by Brené Brown – I really love anything by Brown, and all of her books are very much worth reading.  As a shame and vulnerability researcher, I feel she gets at the core of what it means to be human...

Get Rich Quick!

Get Rich Quick!

Originally Published 12/31/2015

No, it’s not a pyramid scheme or a new batch of snake oil you can sell to unsuspecting customers.  I don’t have the answers to give you a bulging bank account.  I do, however, have ideas about how you can enrich your life without spending a lot of money.  The answer, my friends, is travel.  An unknown author once said, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear the word travel is an exotic adventure in a far-off land...

Don't Wait For A Crisis

Don't Wait For A Crisis

Originally published 12/30/2015

During a conversation with a friend recently, he mentioned that the Chinese word for crisis is the same as that for opportunity.  While this is a bit of an etymological fallacy, it got me thinking about why we often wait for a crisis before we are willing to make changes in our lives.

A few years ago, I got divorced and left a PhD program, all in the span of a year.  It was a time of great upheaval in my life, and the experiences made me very introspective.  At first I questioned how my life had gotten to this point, confronted with failures at every turn...

It Was Never A Dress

It Was Never A Dress

 

Originally published 12/30/2015

I recently got to meet Tania Katan, the genius behind the #ItWasNeverADress campaign.  She challenged everyone to rethink a simple image we have all seen hundreds or thousands of times. Rather than a dress on the familiar ladies’ bathroom sign, it’s actually a cape.

Inspired by this new insight, I decided to have a bit of fun with it myself during a recent photoshoot with my good friend Jen, owner of Jen Riedel Photography.  While I am wearing a dress, the cape is a reminder for me to be a #corporatesuperhero (feel free to repurpose this for whatever setting you find yourself in)...

Follow Your Passion – The Misconception

Follow Your Passion – The Misconception

Originally published 12/29/2015

We’ve all heard the stories.  A coworker quit his job to travel the world and take photos.  A friend of a friend came up with a million dollar idea and she now runs a successful startup.  These are the people I used to think of when I heard the phrase “follow your passion.”  I thought following your passions had to be loud, audacious, and radically different from what you were doing before you caught the scent of these so-called passions.  This often left me feeling frustrated and defeated.  It wasn’t risk aversion that kept me from following my passions, the problem was much bigger than that...