Words matter

Inflection and other important nuances aside, there’s an obvious difference between “What seems to be troubling you?” and “What’s wrong with you?”

You can be well-intended, honest, and accurate, and still unintentionally create conflict (or enemies).

Especially in this age where you are forever accountable for everything you say, it makes sense to examine your speech by:
1) considering whether something must be said at all
2) being mindful of HOW you say what you say

My best career advice

I published a longer article on LinkedIn here for people contemplating career/job changes. Here’s the 20-second version:

DECIDE WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO by considering 1) what problems you enjoy and excel at solving, 2) what kind of people you want to work with.  Don’t base either on how you think people view you because of your resume. History is not destiny.

Decide on and be able to articulate your dream job. Write your own job description then MAKE IT A PROJECT to research and network.

CREATE OR UPDATE A LINKED-IN PROFILE to catapult the odds that you’re “found”, using appropriate keywords, technologies and skills.

To get hired by a specific company follow this immediately actionable advice (search “Derek Sivers how to get hired”) or click here.

The habit of re-centering yourself

Criticizing technology is popular as over-use has negative consequences.  But since technology IS an integral part of our lives, using it to serve us seems wiser than protesting it.

I’m a big fan of the Breathe app, which lets me customize reminder messages to myself throughout the day, like “stop and breathe for 10 seconds”.  Now that it’s actually programmed, re-centering myself went from something I knew was a useful (often ignored) task, to one that’s actually a habit I repeat at 5 times per day.

Knowing what’s important isn’t enough – habits make us.  Let’s use technology to foster the good ones.

Your real priorities and values

It’s so easy to declare through what we say and with our positive social media quotes, to convince people (including ourselves) of our priorities and values.

Show me your calendar (how and with whom you spend time) and your biggest monetary spends (the “stuff” or experiences that you really feel are worthwhile) and I’ll show you your priorities.

Listen to what those closest to you say about HOW you do what you do, and I’ll show you your values.

“Actions speak louder than quotes” – Steve Acho

The joy of others’ success

There aren’t a lot of books or articles on “the top 5 ways to help others succeed.”  Unlike chess though, most of life is NOT a zero-sum game where someone else’s win means your loss.

It’s easy to understand this intellectually, but the true embodiment of understanding comes when you get the same spark of joy for someone else’s success as you would if it were your own.

Maybe you’ll spark joy just for helping, regardless of the outcome.  Bonus points if you can do this without expecting anything in return, although it’s highly likely that the universe will pay you back.