Road Trip Mindset

When I was a kid, I didn’t particularly care for long car rides (but what kid does?), and remember on frequent occasion anxiously wishing away the passing farm fields as we got closer and closer to my Grandpa and Grandma’s house in Waterloo, Iowa.

At the time I was restless and really only concerned about arriving at our destination so I could get out of the car and run down to the basement with my cousin to play a game of pool or assume our typical X-men or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle alter-egos.

But over the years, I grew to enjoy the journey as well.

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Passive Personal Improvement

Continuous personal and professional development are critical components of achieving and maintaining work satisfaction.

Personal development allows us to grow as people and helps us gain self-awareness in areas where we want to improve.

Professional development is essential for staying on top of the latest changes in our industries and job roles in order to help us be a top performer.

Many of us might feel like we don’t have the time to commit towards furthering ourselves, but...

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Failing Forward

When you’re embarking on a journey to find work that aligns with your personality and talents, starting a business, or focusing on developing passion for your current work, sometimes you can hit a sticky patch where it feels like you’re not progressing, or even moving backward.

These feelings tend to show up when we aren’t picking up momentum as quickly as we’d like.

Other times they show up when we flat out fail at something.

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Make a To Be List

I love to do lists.

I make a new one every morning when I get to work.

I even make one on the weekends.

There’s something about listing everything I want to do, and checking off the boxes that I’m extremely motivated by (most likely tied to the “judging” preference of my MBTI personality type, INFJ)

But sometimes it’s better to think about these task lists differently.

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How to Discover When You're Most Productive

Productivity is doing great work and doing a lot of it.

What seems to evade us, though, is the ability to understand how we can find the balance between doing our best work and being our most productive selves.

Let’s face it, sometimes doing our best work is hard and can take a lot of time.

But what if we could find out when we’re in the right frame of mind to produce more of our best work?

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The Power of an Abundant Mind

Let’s shift from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.

Gratitude journaling has been the single-most impactful tactic I’ve used to help create this shift within myself.

This simple daily habit of listing what you’re feeling grateful for (even if it’s just one or two things) can have a huge impact on how we live our lives.

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Beware the Saboteurs

We all suffer from the shenanigans of our inner saboteurs.

Whether that be bouts of self-doubt or that feeling of dread that comes over us when we try something new, our self-saboteurs are always waiting in the shadows.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re being manipulated by them.

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Choose Your Passion, Don't Follow It

Passions are a funny thing.

They’re talked about like unique predetermined destinies we all have awaiting us; we just have to find them!

They’re often found hanging out with phrases like “what should I do with my life,” and “follow your dreams,” where we await direction from the universe like an omnipotent GPS.

But here’s the thing about passions - when’s the last time you woke up and had a surprise and sudden passion for something new?

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Jobs Are like Dating...Kind Of.

Changing jobs (workplace or role) is a lot like dating.

You learn what works you and what doesn't from your previous experiences, and look for a better partnership that meets more of these important design factors.

The key is to become aware of what these are, and keep a prioritized mental, physical, or digital checklist.

But there is one big difference.

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How to Intentionally Apply for a Job

Looking for a new job is a big time commitment, and if you are still working full time, you don’t have hours upon hours of spare time to devote to it.

So how do you gain more traction in your job hunt while optimizing to find the right move at the right company?

Use the power of research and informational interviews to go about it in a more intentional way.

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Don't Wait.

So many of us are waiting.

Waiting for our boss to notice the extra hours we’re putting in at work.

Waiting for that perfect someone to walk into our lives.

Waiting for the right time to make the next big move.

We’re just...waiting.

So why do we wait?

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The Myth of Work Life Balance

There’s a legend we’ve all heard in our adult lives; a tale commonly brought up at happy hours, discussed at gatherings with friends and loved ones, or foretold in the manuscripts of job postings. But unlike other legends that tell a story of the past, it prophesies about a future where our work and our personal lives exist in perfect harmony. This legend is commonly known as “work life balance.”

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How to Deal with Stress

We all deal with stress and anxiety, and it can be a huge emotional and physical drain. Work-related stress is all too common; in fact, according to a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 40% of workers say that their job is very or extremely stressful.

I went from a job where the stress was impacting my mental and physical health to one where I feel like it can be completely managed. Sure, I still get worked up, feel overwhelmed, and have a bad day here and there, but it’s nothing compared to the job I walked away from.

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How to Get Unstuck

I’m stuck. We've all felt that way before. Telling ourselves things like “I want to change my life, but I’m not sure how.”

It’s that helpless and frustrating feeling of not being able to make forward progress.

If you’re feeling stuck the good news is that now you can do something about it!

Acknowledging that you’re stuck in a rut means you’ve shaken yourself from the daze you’ve been wandering in, and can start to identify what’s holding you back and what’s not serving you.

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Worry Threshold

Recently, Mrs. Red Elm and I were talking about how as you progress in life, you seem to take on more responsibilities (a house, pets, children, a snow blower, etc.) almost without thinking because it is what you are "supposed to do."

But for many people, some of these responsibilities aren't what they really want, and without taking the time to design an intentional life, they end up on the wrong side of the responsibility fence stressed out and sacrificing personal values in order to take care of all that they've put on their plate.

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Are You Settling?

It's a constant struggle - are you settling, or are you choosing to be content? How can we tell the difference? 

Settling comes with a pile of negative baggage while being content is seen as an admirable and noble achievement. Because of these stigmas, people get caught up in not wanting to settle and striving to be content. So how do we know when we are settling and when we are content? 

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Be Alone. Be Inspired.

Earlier this week, I spent a few days up in the Wisconsin woods close to Lake Superior at our family's cabin. Actually, "cabin" is a bit of a stretch. Imagine building the coolest fort in the woods ever; a rustic structure with no running water, electricity, or real modern amenities of any kind (unless you count the propane-powered refrigerator, a marvel in its own right).

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When I Grow Up

When you were a little kid, you were probably asked what it was that you wanted to be when you grew up. I had various answers that ranged from being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle to being a Paleontologist. 

While I think dinosaurs and genetically modified turtles trained in martial arts are still really cool, my path has varied dramatically from these original answers. 

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Make a "To Don't" List

Whether it’s written down, typed up, or in your head, we all have “To Do” lists. 

Sometimes they’re just an annoying voice reminding us of what we should be doing instead of what we want to do. Other times they’re concrete tasks we have to get done in order to move on with the rest of our lives. 

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