The Difference Between Unusual Success and Wasted Effort

The Difference Between Unusual Success and Wasted Effort

Let me introduce you to two individuals. They are fictional, but based very much on real people. In fact, you may recognize them in people you see every day. Busy Joe (BJ) and Productive Jim (PJ) have a lot in common. They both came from similar family backgrounds and did fine academically and socially in high school. They both went to college and earned a degree, graduating with a solid GPA. Both of them graduated with the same major. Both of them landed starting level jobs at the same company on the same day within a few weeks of their college graduation.

They are both very hard workers, but their careers are going in very different directions. 

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Get Started!

Recently a colleague and I were talking about a project that we work on together. We laughed at how bad we were at doing what we are doing when we first started doing it and we marveled at how easier it is to do what we do now and how much better it is. 

I commented that if we had known all that we needed to know to make it work and how hard it would be we would have never started. But we did start. And now we are much better and we have accomplished much. 

That conversation reminded me of this important Live Deliberately video from the archive. 

3 Steps to Build Your Community

Everyone talks about academics and good grades and high GPAs and awesome test scores as the success metrics of life. It's easy to conclude that academic knowledge and the ability to do great in school is the most important skill out there. Get good grades, get into a great college, get great grades, get a great job, live happily ever after. 

I disagree. The best path to happily ever after is a path that you travel with a group and that means one of the most important set of skills you can have is how to find and form great communities.

Feeling Fried: Three Strategies to Deal with Burnout

Feeling Fried: Three Strategies to Deal with Burnout

Things were going great! New opportunities were popping up everywhere! I hated to go to bed at night and was excited to get up in the morning! Then things weren’t going great. Nothing was working. It felt like being alive was a chore and took constant effort. I couldn’t wait to crawl in bed each night and when the alarm clock went off it felt like the bell of dread. Can you relate? Have you ever felt like that?

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Are You Using Technology or is Technology Using You?

Are You Using Technology or is Technology Using You?

It’s the subject that everyone loves to complain about, nobody really wants to do anything about it, and most people are self-confessed hypocrites on the subject. We all know we are technology obsessed and technology enslaved. We whine about how everyone posts stupid stuff on Facebook, but we spend hours reading about that stupid stuff and then wonder where the time went? We rage about the stupidity of the driver in front of us on the phone and then glance down to read the latest text that just came in. While meeting a friend for lunch we make fun of the couple at the table across from us that are both absorbed in their phones, then interrupt our conversation and ask our friend to wait while we take the call that just came in.

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Lessons Learned From a Little Girl

Lessons Learned From a Little Girl

My oldest daughter had a birthday recently. Not just any birthday. A 16th birthday. It has been more than a decade and a half since I became a parent. In more than a decade and a half you should be able to learn something, so after her birthday I sat down to reflect on what I have learned since I picked up the title of "Dad." Here are some of the things that came to mind:

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How to Learn the Most Important Academic Skill

How to Learn the Most Important Academic Skill

In last week’s post I argued the formula for intellectual success is QEMCI (Quickly and Effectively Master Complicated Information). In a world of unmerciful change the constant reality is disruption. Disruption causes problems, and problems need solutions. The people who are able to bring practical intelligence to these problems are the people who will become problem solvers. A key trait of practical intelligence is the ability to quickly learn new things. This brings us to the question. How does one go about learning how to quickly and effectively master complicated information? Like most things it starts with practice. 

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