Motivation Archives - The Winding Road

Becoming Better

How could I have done that better? Like creativity, learning, and becoming better at something is an incremental process — bit by bit. You learn one thing, and that sparks questions, more curiosity, and you dive a little deeper. You begin to uncover edges you never knew existed. Once you’ve done something, ask yourself, “how could I have done that better?” Even if you only find one little thing, that would make it better, right? Then, what happened if you found one other little thing? And on and on. Incremental changes, over time, add up to significant change and improvement. …

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Imposter Syndrome’s Kryptonite

Imposter Syndrome and Curiosity Recently, I was talking with a friend about imposter syndrome and making career pivots. We explored a lot of different angles and examples of this topic. I’m not big on the term “superpower” to describe our core strengths, but I’m warming up to it. During our conversation, I came to realize that one of my core strengths or “superpowers” is actually not knowing what I’m doing. At least the feeling of not knowing what I’m doing or the feeling of not knowing enough. One thing I know about myself is that I’m extremely curious and love …

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It’s a Side Project, Not a Side Hustle

They’re Projects, Not Hustles Recently I’ve been hearing more buzz and conversations around side gigs or “side hustles.” Personally, I hate the term “side hustle,” and I don’t particularly like “side gig” either. Side projects or just projects would be better. As the economy (and world) changes, the way we work will also change. The way companies hire is myopic and transactional. It’s nearly impossible to pivot your career at any point if you feel it’s not going down the path you’d like. Networking, Not Applying Especially if you don’t know anyone working at one of your target companies – …

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Brands Make Promises, So Should You

Marketing is a Promise   I’m in the beginning phase of writing a book about marketing and, more specifically, recruitment marketing.  In the beginning, I’m providing background and building a foundation based on what marketing is (and what it isn’t).  This morning I wrote (in my book) about the promises that marketing makes, and it made me think about how we extend that to our careers. Every day, every bit of communication we have with people – email, phone calls, Zoom meetings, conversations at a conference – is part of building others’ perception of who you are and what you’re …

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What does it mean to ‘make the most of each day’?

Making the Most of Each Day? Are we really making the most of each day? When you hear someone say that, what does it even mean?  Does it mean we’re effectively utilizing every minute of each day?  Or, does it mean have we properly prioritized the things in our life and then focusing our energy on getting the highest priority things done? Or, does it mean if we had a chance to take a break that we didn’t take because that would mean we’re ‘lazy’ or unfocused? Does it mean we sat at our desk for 8 straight hours today …

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The irrationality of fear

It’s been nearly a year since I spun up my site The Winding Road to talk about careers. I didn’t quite know exactly what I was going to talk about but I knew it would have something to do with our careers and the non-linear trajectory that’s the reality for so many of us.  One of the first things I wrote about was fear.  Little did I know that fear would be such a prevalent feeling or so many of us a year later and not only as it relates to our careers and willingness to try new things, but …

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Who’s it for?

Who’s it for? That’s what was on my mind as I was running this morning.  This is an important element of any marketing strategy or campaign. I’ve always thought of it as complementary to the question of “what’s it for?” Usually putting more emphasis on the latter question, probably because it’s usually easier to figure out.  That’s what I’ve done with the writing and content creation I’ve been focused on over the past year.  This is on my mind because I don’t think it just applies to my content or marketing projects. It applies to nearly everything we do. It’s …

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Your Harshest Critic

We’re our own harshest critic. That’s a fact. Sometimes the criticism is more stinging than at other times. Sometimes we brush it off, but usually, that’s when the stakes are low.  The higher the stakes, the bigger the critic.  If we’re stretching our capabilities, learning something new, the nasty critic will show up again. Always trying to talk us out of whatever it is we’re doing.  It’s a big reason people don’t learn new things – adults at least.  We’re afraid to look like a failure at something we’ve never done and have zero experience doing.  Think about that for …

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Changing the Game – Without a Resume

How can you get noticed without a resume or a LinkedIn profile? If you’re a software engineer and have a LinkedIn profile it’s like throwing bread out to hungry pigeons. It doesn’t take long before the flock of recruiters sending you messages grows and grows and grows.  LinkedIn has all kinds of fancy filters that recruiters can use that make discriminating against people pretty easy. Things like filtering results by graduation date making it nearly impossible for older employees to even show up in some search results. That’s why you won’t find my graduation dates anywhere on my LinkedIn profile. …

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Our Narratives and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

It’s all invented. Those three words have changed the way I view the world. A few months ago I read the book The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. The very first chapter is titled “It’s All Invented.” It’s a great book and I would highly recommend it. However, I probably could have stopped reading after Chapter 1 because that phase was all I needed to understand. It was a game-changer for me. The premise is so much of the world around us is and has been invented. Invented by humans. We invent things every day. …

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