Will is a force that can be used to construct if one is not guided by blind desire. Thoughts lead to words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. These are powerful statements from Margaret Thatcher, which are further carried by James Allen in As a Man Thinketh. Men and women, he writes, are … Continue reading Intentionality

Democracy can work better

It isn't that people are apathetic, that they don't care about what's going on at city hall and just want to live their lives with the government operating in the background. It's that the government's communication strategy is terrible. We live in a hectic world where we're constantly interrupted, and they are publishing 150-page documents … Continue reading Democracy can work better

The failures and successes witnessed

My first internship with the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce terrified me. I walked away so dismayed about professional life I emailed Northern Illinois University's College of Business, telling them I was terrified. Here is how I ended the email: I feel like college and the real world is going to crush my twenty year old dreams, … Continue reading The failures and successes witnessed

The emotional labor of professionalism

Seth Godin in his book This is Marketing advances the idea that a professional puts aside their authenticity using emotional labor to do a job that is useful to others. Emotional labor, he writes, is "The work of doing what we don’t necessarily feel like doing, the work of being a professional, the work of engaging … Continue reading The emotional labor of professionalism

If you feel uncomfortable, you’re probably doing something right

Seth Godin says that it's dangerous to be average, to appeal to the masses. You look just like everyone else. You're just another individual. This idea is conveyed in this TED talk. Platitudes that hold up: 1. A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. 2. Fortune favors the bold. Authenticity … Continue reading If you feel uncomfortable, you’re probably doing something right

The artist and the professional

The professional tends to live according to a system. There is a method in place. When meeting people they follow the rules of the game. They follow their checklist, introducing themselves with a smile, shaking hands firmly with eye contact, trying to display a good attitude, and if they're smart, letting the other person talk … Continue reading The artist and the professional

10 things good mentors do

Express their intentions. Tell you they're busy, but they'll get back to you when they can. Empathetically inform you when you've made a mistake. Listen to what you feel you need. Introduce you to other people who can help you. Give honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. Shun selfishness and put their egos to … Continue reading 10 things good mentors do

Triage & crisis management: The way of the graduate student

Triage usually refers to something that takes place in a medical environment, but it is also applied to students in graduate programs and professionals with a lot of responsibility and little time to make a decision. It's the idea that when you're in an emergency or urgent situation, you have to group (in the case … Continue reading Triage & crisis management: The way of the graduate student