How to Give a Meaningful Gift

How to Give a Meaningful Gift

For thousands of years, gift giving has been a part of the human experience. It is a multi-faceted practice, as it surrounds both joyous and sorrowful circumstances. Whether to celebrate accomplishments / momentous events or to ease pain, gifts are always appropriate and always welcome.

The problem arises, however, when it comes time to actually choose the gift to fit the occasion and, most importantly, the person. How are you supposed to know what kind of gift to give someone?

How To Plan For Professional Networking

How To Plan For Professional Networking

The old adage about “who you know” seems contrite, but the art of effective networking can completely change your life, your career, your opportunities, and your compensation.

If you’re someone who keeps to yourself or you’re more socially awkward than most, you’ll need to put in some work. It’s called net-“working,” after all.

Do Something: the How and Why of Volunteering

Do Something: the How and Why of Volunteering

The average person volunteers very little of their time to helping others. It’s incredibly easy to sit back and complain about things, maintain a cynical view on life, and focus only on the negative aspects of life and human suffering. While there are an insurmountable number of calamities in the world, sitting back and lamenting about them gets you nowhere.

No matter how insignificant you feel your contribution may be, even the smallest iota of positive influence and change you endeavor to send out into the world is worthy of your time and effort. No fight was ever won with a single battle. It’s a “death by a thousand cuts” situation. Every little bit helps.

How to Find Your Career Niche

How to Find Your Career Niche

When you're a kid, one of the most commonly asked phrase on any sort or generic questionnaire is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It's expected, from a very young age, that you have enough of a secure identity to confidently declare your dream profession,...

An Argument in Support of Remote Work Opportunities

An Argument in Support of Remote Work Opportunities

ork / life balance is a popular phrase to throw around to describe the intersection of a person’s career choices and their social pursuits outside of their working life, but most of the discussion focuses on spending that work life inside of an office. That doesn’t have to be the case.

Due to the evolving nature of technology, the ability to work from wherever the hell you want on planet earth is more of a reality now than it ever was before.

Transformative Exercise: Why You Should Take a Hike

Transformative Exercise: Why You Should Take a Hike

Everyone seems to put “hiking” as a hobby on their dating and personal profiles, but why is it so common? Maybe it seems like a symptom of the “hippie” attitudes pervading food and exercise culture the past few decades, but there are a huge list of reasons that myself and so many others are taking to the trails, beaches, forests, mountains, and national parks to experience hiking firsthand. Find one or several reasons for hiking that I’ve listed below and use the motivation to help transform your own life in a positive way.

The Art of the Work Life Balance

The Art of the Work Life Balance

If I hear one more person say that millennials are “lazy” or “entitled,” I’m going to explode like a shaken up can of Mountain Dew pitched full-force onto asphalt.

Just because we strive for a balance between work and life doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us smart people.

The People We Meet

The People We Meet

Maybe I just have a face that makes people think I’m non-judgmental or a good listener, but random folks have always gravitated toward entering into open discussions with me. I’ve chatted casually about everything from asinine weather opinions to in-depth conversations about addiction histories or mental illness. Personally, I welcome the shoulder shake out of my daily routine and the fascinating humanization of people I wouldn’t otherwise notice beyond a casual glance.

What is it about the people we meet that leaves such a lasting impression on who we are and how we view the world?

How to Make Your Mind Let Go

How to Make Your Mind Let Go

Letting go of things both metaphysical and physical is one of the hardest, but most

fulfilling achievements of a human life. Meditation helps a person practice what it takes to let go. It focuses your thoughts away from the millions of swirling ideas and feelings passing through your head.

Think about when you sit in quiet stillness and close your eyes. Your mind is very active. It does not linger on one thought very long. Images, sounds, memories, emotions, sensations all seem to pop up and vanish as quickly as they materialize. The goal of meditation is to let go metaphysically. You are practicing the ability to accept each moment with awareness and without expectation, as these expectations lead to suffering. The goal is to experience each moment fully.

The reason that meditation is such a necessary training exercise is the same reason that we write first drafts of essays and show them to friends and editors: it’s a safe space to try new things. We don’t have to worry about the weight of our new routines and ways of thinking completely obliterating our credibility or ruining our lives. Practice is the key to success, after all.

All of our difficulties would be alleviated if we possessed thoughts that didn’t need to attach itself to expectations.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering to Leave Your Current Job

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering to Leave Your Current Job

When you’ve decided that it might be time to vacate your present position, it can be a daunting decision. It’s so easy to stick to routines and decide not to explore. You may feel a misguided sense of loyalty to your current company despite how they’ve treated you.

How do you know when it’s time to go?

These 7 questions are the perfect litmus test for weeding out true career ambitions from the sea of fanciful idealism.

3 Things That Make Me Incredibly Happy and Why

3 Things That Make Me Incredibly Happy and Why

It’s easy to go through a normal week of routine and wallow in the pain of the moment. With so many minor pieces of your day and week that don’t go exactly as planned, it’s common for people to internalize and catastrophize small obstacles.

Instead of telling someone or yourself to minimize the seriousness of the struggle, instead focus that energy on remembering things that did go your way. Find aspects of your life experience to be grateful for. Be thankful for the myriad of good things and details that far outweigh the bad.

Why It’s Better to Choose Bewilderment over Panic

Why It’s Better to Choose Bewilderment over Panic

In times of political and social upheaval and attacks on commonly-held ways of thinking, it’s easy to hit the panic button and explode into Nostradamus-like predictions of worldly destruction. That kind of thinking does not lead to change, answers, or progress, however. It’s better to take your misunderstanding by the horns and lead it to new places of self-discovery, skepticism, and eventual insights that could help shape the future.

I recently picked up Yuval Noah Harari’s “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” and, like a canary in a coal mine, its loud tweets have been a wake up call to my own way of thinking. The following passage, on which this article will be based, spoke to me in such a way that it’s helping me realize my own internal panic and has inspired me to try to guide it toward someplace different:

“We are still in the nihilist movement of disillusionment and anger, after people have lost faith in the old stories but before they have embraced a new one. So what next? The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that one knows exactly where the world is heading: down. Bewilderment is more humble and therefore more clear-sighted. Do you feel like running down the street crying ‘The apocalypse is upon us’? Try telling yourself, ‘No, it’s not that. Truth is, I just don’t understand what’s going on in the world’”

Removing Negative People from Your Life Ethically

Removing Negative People from Your Life Ethically

Much like the reality that you can’t please everyone, it’s also a universal truth that not everyone can’t please you either. There will always be negative forces in everyday life that threaten your ability to be happy, healthy, mentally stable, growing, and/or your best version of yourself.

These negative people may resent your successes, cling to your place of subservience in their life, feel jealous, or prefer stagnation to change.

The effects of these feelings on the way the negative person treats you can range from anger to manipulation to outright cruelty and a whole mess of dangerous emotions and reactions in between. They are sabotaging every step forward you take and clinging to your wrists to hold you back in their sad little rut.

It’s time you commit to identifying, understanding, and removing these people from your life before they steal more pieces of your precious life that you can never get back.

My Favorite Poem in “Forage” by Rita Wong

My Favorite Poem in “Forage” by Rita Wong

The idea of poetry strikes me as the highest form of language. It takes all the pieces of language that matter: context, sound, rhythm, pace, emotion, truth, shape, form, purpose, and places them into a package where all of the beauty of words can be experienced in one place.

Rita Wong is a Canadian poet who has authored several collections of note. Her words take a very semantic dissection of heavy topics such as the environment, social justice, decolonization, and the way in which human beings can take words and assemble them in a poetic fashion to elicit emotional truths and evoke change through a unity of experience.

How to Trick Yourself into Being More Social

How to Trick Yourself into Being More Social

Many people struggle with the idea of being social. You could be an introvert, lazy, insecure, unmotivated, depressed, anxious, or a combination of all of the above, but the first step is knowing that you want to change and admitting that it’s a shortcoming.

Like any journey to self-improvement, you can’t climb the mountain in a day. Every effort you put into surrounding yourself with more positive people who will uplift you and round out portions of your personality or call you out on your blind spots is a worthy pursuit. Lay a single brick toward this end every single day.

What is the Curse of Competence?

What is the Curse of Competence?

Do you feel as if you’re always the one doing your work properly, accurately, and efficiently?

Are you constantly bugged by the people around you weighing you down with their laziness, apathy, deceit, or ignorance?

You may be suffering from the workplace ailment known as the curse of competence.

Why I Don’t Want to Grow Up

Why I Don’t Want to Grow Up

Take that road trip. Go grab a 3am pizza slice. Swing on the monkey bars. Do whatever it takes to feel young again.

Here are some irrefutable reasons why it’s not such a bad thing to be in touch with your inner child.

Food Donations in Exchange for Overdue Library Book Fines

Food Donations in Exchange for Overdue Library Book Fines

Library late fees have always been a reality of checking out books or other media. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in a book that you forget to return it, while other times it’s stuffed in a schoolbag or under a couch cushion and you don’t even know that you have it. Before, these fines could add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars over a long enough period of time. It reminds me of the “Bookman” episode of Seinfeld. However, I recently came across this MSN article that sparked an interesting new way of looking at library fines: Food for Fines: Libraries Across the Country Will Let You Pay Overdue Fees With Donated Food.

The Philosopher’s Notebook: Writing Prompt #001

The Philosopher’s Notebook: Writing Prompt #001

Recently, I stopped inside of a local Barnes & Noble near my workplace to grab an overpriced cold brew from Starbucks. Whenever I’m in one of these book stores, as rare as they are nowadays, I’ll always take at least 5 minutes to page through some of the clearance books.

After gliding over a few of the cooking and self-help books looking for anything that struck me as interesting, I was drawn to a particular publication that caught my eye instantly. Laying prominently on the third shelf up in front of me, I found a copy of “The Philosopher’s Notebook: A Creative Journal for Thinkers and Philosophers.”

Why Art is an Essential Element of Human Life

Why Art is an Essential Element of Human Life

Creation is at the core of the human experience. By the time we’re old enough to recognize ourselves in a mirror, we’re expected to begin crafting an identity. We’re constantly forming sounds, words, phrases, likes, dislikes, symbolic representations of our emotions, and imbibing and regurgitating our understanding of the world around us. Thus is the core of art.

You Can’t Be Liked by Everyone

You Can’t Be Liked by Everyone

All of us have talents, passions, and unique aspects of our personality and physical form that are worthy of admiration from onlookers, but after every compliment we get, our focus immediately shifts to obsessing about each person who isn’t fond of, drawn to, understanding toward, or envious of us. How do we, as humans, deal with this kind of pressure? We serve the interests of others and forever walk on seas of eggshells in the hopes of universal acceptance as social creatures.