Creating Room to Breathe: Emotionally, Financially

Creating Room to Breathe: Emotionally, Financially

All of us need planned buffer zones or slack to avoid the domino-like consequences of over-planning. Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You have an hour until you have to get to work. You woke up late, and now you need to get a shower, iron your clothes, double-check your project that is due today, and run by the drug store to pick up your prescription before the day starts. Of course, the water heater has been on the fritz, so your shower took a lot longer to warm up than you … [Read more...]

This Is Why I Bike 80 Miles a Week

This Is Why I Bike 80 Miles a Week

My daughter has Crohn's disease. If you're not familiar with that particular ailment (I wasn't), then you should know that the disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can be a pretty severe disease, and it's not something that just goes away. There are various methods of treating the disease, which I won't dig into at the moment. The National Library of Medicine has a pretty good write-up about it if you want to know more. For my family, Crohn's disease has meant a few … [Read more...]

The Power of Small Wins in Your Work

The Power of Small Wins in Your Work

Goal-setting is a tricky thing. Half the "experts" out there will tell you to reach for the stars and come up with the biggest ideas you can possibly dream up, and the other half will tell you to start small. Kinda infuriating, right? Thankfully, there are alternative views to the all or nothing approach of big goals. You can still achieve big results in smaller increments, but it will take persistence and focus. In their book Rework, authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson … [Read more...]

How to Approach Uncertainty: Faith or Reason?

How to Approach Uncertainty: Faith or Reason?

For many, the question of how to approach uncertainty is defined by either faith or reason. Not both. It's one or the other. Do you go by faith, hoping that things will turn out due to whatever good fortune may come along? Or, do you use reason to discover your way out of the problem? This question extends to far more than just individual decisions. The approach of faith or reason weaves its way into our worldview, determining how we not only make decisions but also how we create our … [Read more...]

When to Satisfice and When to Dig Deeper

When to Satisfice and When to Dig Deeper

In Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes, author Maria Konnikova mentions the dangers of satisficing for investigation and decision-making. Even though satisficing sounds like a made-up word, it is a concept that has actually been around since the 1950's. Here is the definition Konnikova supplies, in the context of the great detective and those who would do lesser work. [O]nce we reach an estimate that sounds satisfactory to us, we stop thinking and consider the problem resolved. … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Persuasion and Manipulation

The Difference Between Persuasion and Manipulation

According to Merriam-Webster.com, persuasion is "the act of causing people to do or believe something." We persuade people everyday, and we can see that there’s clearly a self-interest in the effort. You need to get someone to change from the beliefs they held—beliefs that in some way served them—to a viewpoint that will serve your worldview. Persuasion isn't evil. It's just one of the many ways that we interact with those around us. Maybe you are coming at it from an altruistic … [Read more...]

Right Where You Are

Right Where You Are

My whole life, I’ve believed that I needed to get somewhere and to achieve something in order to fulfill some sort of grandiose plan. No matter how hard I tried, I was never getting “there” because “there” kept moving, and it left me very disoriented. Only recently have I truly begun to understand that my value isn’t determined by what I do. At the end of my life, my personal achievements won’t be what was most important to the rest of the world. It’s the “how” more than the “what” that will … [Read more...]