If you want to move on to greener pastures, you should do it right.

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Photo by James Scott on Unsplash

There’s a memorable scene in one of the earlier seasons of television’s The Simpsons in which Homer Simpson determines that, given his current situation, he can afford to quit his job at the nuclear plant and take on a more pleasant and relatively stress-free gig at a bowling alley. Homer then leaves in a very loud, obnoxious manner, puts his boss in a headlock, and begins playing them like bongo drums. As Homer heads toward the door, dragging his boss — helplessly seething with rage — along, a coworker shouts out, “Hey! …

A cranky author presents a gem about embracing your art.

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Photo of Kurt Vonnegut from an appearance on WNET-TV. 1972, public domain.

A week or two ago, a long-ish Kurt Vonnegut (1922–1977) quote was passed around Facebook. I’d come across it via a variety of Facebook friends — and friends of friends — to the point where I can’t reliably credit the original poster, but the quote itself is the point of this piece.

So let’s start with the words of noted author and professional grump, Kurt Vonnegut:

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of ‘getting to know you’ questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. …

The trick involves moving the goalposts

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Daily to-do list got you down?

You’re not alone.

People approach the day’s tasks in many different ways, but one of the most popular is the simple, laundry-list style to-do list of tasks you’ve set yourself to accomplish by the end of the day. It doesn’t matter much what type of work you do or where. Office employees, freelancers, work-from-home warriors, and retail managers often start their day composing or reviewing their to-do list for the day — and finish the day growling at that same list.

The problem with the daily list

Huh… not everything was checked off, was it? That’s annoying.

This happens to me all too often. …

Taking hold of life’s rudder and picking a direction.

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Photo by Evan Smogor on Unsplash

We all feel stuck sometimes. We feel like we’re going backward or — even worse — in a hundred directions all at once while never actually going anyplace.

Sound familiar at all?

It can be frustrating. It can be disheartening. But taking control of your life is not an impossible task. It’s not even all that hard.

Take some time to ask yourself some authentic questions, and do yourself the favor of working on some real answers.

You’ll be well on your way.

How invested are you in the status quo?

Are you satisfied or happy with your life right now? Are you really okay with things continuing as they are? …

And they dare to call me mad…

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Photo by Mitchell Gaiser on Unsplash

What if I told you that a super-tweaked, streamlined perfect home office or workspace wasn’t necessarily the only way to work from home and still be productive?

You’d think I was some kind of sociopath. That I’m spitting in the face of that recent Tim Denning article about building a great office space at home.

I admit this piece is somewhat a response to that piece. Somewhat.

I actually like Tim Denning’s office setup. I’d love to have one just like it or similar.

But the sad fact is that’s not where my life is right now.

I live in a small house with surprisingly little storage space. I have a recently-turned-four-year-old and a wife who is working from home now. To say that I’ve had to make some adjustments from the more optimized setup I rocked a few years ago is an understatement. …

It’s all about the approach. Call it an action list.

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Image courtesy of blush.design.

What does your to-do list look like?

If you’re anything like me (and why wouldn’t you be?), it’s a shopping list style of brief words indicating needed tasks. Very brief words.

Here’s what part of my work to-do list would have normally looked like before I switched things up a little:

  • Softball
  • NoCoLi
  • LED
  • Med art
  • Silvertone
  • Painting

Like I said, very brief. Unless you were inside my head, you probably wouldn’t know what any of these mean. You might have some guesses based on what you may know about me, but that’s about it.

The vagueness of my to-do list isn’t the point, though. …

No bad habit is insurmountable. Your goals are always within reach.

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Image courtesy of blush.design.

What do you want to do?

Write a book? Get in shape? Learn an instrument? Get a promotion at work?

Setting goals is great. I’ve always felt we should always be reaching for something. That’s how we grow.

The trick is when we fall into habits that lead to self-sabotage, and we end up giving up on our goals before giving them a real chance.

Most of the bad habits that get in the way of you achieving what you want are pretty simple to overcome. It takes some effort. It takes some will.

But you can overcome self-sabotaging habits. …

What? You thought this was going to be easy?

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Image courtesy pexels.com.

In 2007, science fiction author John Scalzi put together a pretty good book on writing entitled You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop. While parts of the book may seem dated now, the title is pretty spot on.

For some people, it seems that being a writer is a fashion, not a vocation. I knew a lot of these folks back in my college days in the 80s. You could always spot a wannabe future novelist. …

And what to do next time.

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Photo by Alex McCarthy on Unsplash

So you didn’t get the job.

That’s okay — for now, that is. Job hunting is a process, and it’s rare someone is successful the first time out. Hopefully, you’re coming from a position of seeking a new place of employment while still collecting a paycheck or other income stream.

If not, then I understand why you might feel a little panic and confusion.

Don’t let it get you down too much. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, let’s look at some reasons why you didn’t get the job you were after and what you might be able to do about that.

Your resume didn’t stand out

The best jobs often have the most competition. You’re one among dozens, maybe even hundreds of applicants all sending in roughly similar resumes. They all follow the same template, font, and work histories. …

Track your progress. Count your wins.

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Photo by Kat Stokes on Unsplash

It feels like a grind, sometimes. Work, that is.

Every day I sit down to my computer and bang out articles, landing pages, and blog posts for all manner of freelance clients. Sometimes there’s a book design project.

Even personal creative projects can seem like a grind, whether they’re t-shirt designs for my Redbubble store, a short story, or a watercolor.

It’s not like I’m not rewarded for any of this work. I earn enough to cover the mortgage and pay some bills. That’s better than it used to be. And it’s not like I don’t enjoy everything I do.

I very much do. …


John Teehan

Writer specializing in tech, business, parenting, pop culture, and gaming. Visit wordsbyjohn.net for more info and rates. Twitter: @WordsByJohn2

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