As we enter into 2017, some are looking forward to a new year filled with possibility. Others are dreading what could be a dramatic change in the global political climate.
Regardless of where you stand on the issues, one thing is certain: there are incredibly passionate people making very impassioned arguments. People who feel their emotional involvement and need to create or support a cause as an outlet for their passions. It's as if a spark has been ignited, and that cause serves as the oxygen and fuel that grows that spark into a flame.
If I came back from the future and told you that in the next 12 months you would need to launch a spaceship into outer space to ensure the survival of humanity...what would you do?
After you got over the shock of having time-travel confirmed (or called the police to have my mental state evaluated), there's only one thing to do.
You begin to plan.
After the ball dropped and my wife and I sat sipping Bellinis at home to celebrate (watch out we get crazy), we talked about our plans for the new year. It was a good moment, one in which we discussed not only what we wanted individually, but also as a couple.
Later that night, as I sat in bed thinking about the year ahead and reminiscing about the year gone by, I started to wonder: Was there something I wanted to get done in 2016 that I didn't do?
Back in April I mentioned my hope to build Crazy Enough To Try into more than it is. I wanted to grow the website and mission to provide additional resources to help you incorporate your passions into your life.
Specifically, I planned on referring products and services that have helped me in my journey to not only incorporate my passions, but build upon them. To that end, I've worked to narrow down the field to the best items that I think will help you on your journey. So appropriately, I've called them The Tools.
I'm a big fan of to-do lists. I use them as an external memory bank, storing up all of those tasks that are important, but I'm unable to work on at that moment.
Need to make changes to my insurance plan in a few weeks? On the to-do list.
Need to call someone back when I'm not in a meeting? On the to-do list.
Need to change the cat's litter every week? On the to-do list.
It's super helpful to let something else remember everything that floats through my head. However, every few weeks a task is added to the to-do list and it just stays there forever. I look at it and think "I really don't want to do deal with that right now" and easily find something more appealing to do.
Looking at the definitions of expert and expertise, you would be hard-pressed to see a meaningful difference between the two. In fact, as you probably could guess, expertise is derived from the word expert. However, in practice, the two words are very different, with one increasingly becoming more important in today’s workforce.
When I sit back and look at what I've accomplished in life, I have a lot to be proud of and a lot to be grateful for. A strong education, good jobs, great family and friends, and so on. Many of these accomplishments came not only from hard work and sacrifice on my own part, but that of many others as well.
So why do I feel like a failure sometimes?
We all have our most productive time of day dictated by our chronotype, the natural times of activity driven by our circadian rhythm. For some it's the dead of night, after everyone has gone to sleep, and there's nothing left but your thoughts to keep you company. The evening can be a great time to be productive, and for some it is probably the only time.
But for me, and many others, there's nothing like an early morning to get going on something wonderful. Before everyone else starts moving, the world is just...quiet. And there's a lot of very interesting research that points to why the mornings can be the most productive time of day.
We've all been there. Stuck on a project, job, or even a career that just does't seem to fit. We might be capable, and even excelling at our work, but that doesn't mean we like it.
The feeling goes deeper than 'not liking it' though. It doesn't fulfill us. Most days are spent looking forward to when we walk out the door to the office and get on with the rest of the evening when we get to do what we want. Most weeks are spent looking forward to the weekend for the same reason. And most months just seem to go by in a blur, waiting for the next holiday, vacation, or anything that keeps us away and busy with life.
When you think about it...that's a terrible way to live life. We spend so much time working, it's a complete waste to do that while being miserable. But what's the alternative? Living a life of leisure, and most likely poverty? Wasting the work that we have put into building our education, the sacrifices that others have made for us, and the potential good we can do in the world?
We all start out with dreams. Big ones and small ones. Maybe you wanted to become an astronaut. Maybe you wanted to cure cancer. Maybe you just wanted to make a nice dinner.
Those were my dreams, and growing up, if you asked me what I wanted to be I would rattle off the names of all of the professions: scientist, chemist, astronaut, dirt bike racer, chef, and a computer programmer (in that order).
And if you had met me early on in college, I would have told you that my goal was to cure cancer.
We all start out with dreams. But then they start to fade. Reality sets in, and the truth comes out that our dreams are just that: dreams.
But do you know what the biggest killer of dreams is?
Time is of the essence. If you’ve ever asked a question in a meeting and half of the time is spent going over what you already know, or worse, something that is completely irrelevant, you know the feeling of having your time wasted. Time is money, energy, and progress, so having your time wasted is not acceptable.
Here’s how to ask the right questions to get you the answers you need quickly.