My keys to making the most of your time.

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Artwork: Tithi Luadthong

When was the last time you attended a work meeting you felt was absolutely necessary? One that brought incredible value to you and the team and positively contributed to the company’s bottom line?

For me, the word never springs to mind.

I’ll be honest, I woke up today with a wide-open calendar for the first time in years, and it felt like paradise. Suddenly, after finally diving into being a full-time writer, I felt like I was in complete command of my days.

So why am I back here talking about meetings? Because it feels like a service for the…

This week, I’m ignoring my evolutionary response and diving into being a full-time writer.

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Artwork by Tithi Luadthong

This week marks my first official week as a full-time writer.

Please allow me to pause here briefly for dramatic effect.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written plenty of things in the past. Between gaining a college education, spending two years writing for a major tech blog, another seven as a copywriter at a fast-growing agency, and the last three contract-writing for several clients, I’ve written tens of thousands of lines, from short-form social commentary to full-fledged marketing campaigns.

But until recently, I never really considered myself a “writer.”

But if you share your gifts with the world, good things will inevitably come back.

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Artwork by Tithi Luadthong

Magnus Carlsen is a 29-year-old chess grandmaster and current world champion in the competitive sport of chess. In May of 2015, when he was 24 (and I was 29), I got the opportunity to spend an afternoon with him in New York City.

It wasn’t by pure happenstance or anything, and, sadly, we didn’t get to sit down for a proper lunch, but my job that day was to shadow him during a public event. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into.

Then client of mine, General Electric, sponsored a “Play Magnus Event” in which…

You can have everything you’ve ever wanted. The dream is in the doing.

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Artwork by Tithi Luadthong

I believe it was Bill Gates who famously said that “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten…”

For all intents and purposes, I am one of those people.

Ten years ago, I was out of school and struggling to find my first real job. And by “struggling to find” I mean “struggling to bring myself to find,” because to be honest, I wasn’t in a huge hurry to jump into a career.

My resumé was pathetic, for starters, as most entry-level post-grad resumes tend to be. As an IST…

It’s time we look to the stars as humanity’s crystal ball.

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Artwork by Tithi Luadthong

On May 30th, 2020, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley became the first astronauts to ever reach orbit in a vessel designed and operated by a private company (SpaceX). It was a remarkable achievement with wide-reaching implications for the future of commercial space travel.

One news outlet referred to it as “the most eagerly anticipated space mission for a decade or more.” Dubbed as NASA’s most-watched online event ever, over 10 million concurrent viewers streamed the launch live. Perhaps you were one of them — I, unfortunately, was not.

Ordinarily, I would have been overly excited about this type of event…

An attempt to provide a framework for life’s true calling

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Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Make no mistake, we’re living through unprecedented times. This global crisis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and it’s affecting everyone.

Like much of the world, I’ve been sheltering in place for the last several weeks, avoiding unnecessary trips out as well as physical contact with others. Luckily, my work has remained steady, and operating strictly from home has not been a new reality for me.

Like many, however, I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to concentrate on any one thing. My attention and focus have been scattered, even more so than what I’d consider normal for me.

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Art by cheink84 | Photo by Casey

For us, this week marks 3 months living in LA, and what a great 3 months it has been. We love our apartment, our proximity to downtown, the weather we’ve been experiencing, the food we’ve been eating… all of it, really.

Then, last Sunday happened.

We got up early that morning, as is typical for us, and headed out and about to run errands before most of LA was awake. We noticed a heavier-than-usual fog that greeted us near Burbank, disguising the Hollywood hills as we drove away.

We were in Whole Foods when I got the news.

The group…

Take steps to make confidence your permanent state of being

Man on stage performing, fans visible in the crowd. Image copy reads: “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”
Man on stage performing, fans visible in the crowd. Image copy reads: “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”

George Carlin, my favorite standup comedian of all time, once had a bit where he poked fun at the idea that “it’s the quiet ones you gotta watch.”

“This sounds to me like a very dangerous assumption,” said George, as he made the correlation between quiet individuals who more or less keep to themselves and crazy, loud individuals who might just kill you.

It got me thinking: I was once referred to as a quiet one.

During my youth, I pretty much kept to myself, especially in a classroom setting. I wouldn’t raise my hand very often, though I did…

It’s time we all looked at our creative output a little differently

A crowd gathered around a high school track at dusk ready to watch a football game in Friday night lights fashion.
A crowd gathered around a high school track at dusk ready to watch a football game in Friday night lights fashion.
Source photo by Rachel Ellis

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece about the importance of finding your voice in a 2019 world. In it, I addressed a lengthy break I had taken from writing and proclaimed how things would be different in the months to come.

Now, here I am, 10 months later, feeling the same thing…

In all honesty, I didn’t have much of an excuse the first time around, except for the fact that I was “busy.” But let’s face it, everybody’s busy these days.

When I look back at my year now, though, I’m seeing things much differently.

First and foremost…

This is one journey I really wish I didn’t have to document.

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Top: Mike, Melissa, Myself; Bottom: Donna

My mother, Donna, has never been one to shy away from a challenge.

When I was 8, my parents divorced, leaving her in a tough spot with myself and my then 3-year-old brother, Michael. The head coach of both the women’s gymnastics and track & field teams at the local high school at the time, she needed to secure full-time work, as those were both part-time roles.

She heard about the downtown YMCA needing help with its gymnastics program, so she applied. …

Steve Campbell

Future bestselling author. Owner of @TheAscentPub. Out to help you share your voice, document your journey, and discover the path to a happier you.

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