Published Writer for The Startup, Curious, The Post-Grad Survival Guide, and ILLUMINATION. Want to Grow? Follow Joel and subscribe at tinyurl.com/joelsigrist

(Significantly less than) 986 lessons I learned this month.

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

On August 14th, I wrote a piece titled: Today, I Write. It was about beginnings. It was about stepping into something new, even though I didn’t fully understand what that even meant.

I wrote about wanting to commit to something and see it through, even though in the past, I have been more interested in ideas than execution.

In that piece, I wrote about the fear of publishing my ideas, about the anxiety that comes from knowing that anyone can read what I’ve written.

But since then, a lot of what I’ve written has been worthwhile! …


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Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

I thought applying to jobs when my latest internship ended would help me stay active and land in a new job quickly. After all, I’ve never been sharper than I am today.

Instead, I rolled into job interviews sluggish and worn out. I wasn’t able to be prepared properly, and I couldn’t find energy or interest in nearly any position.

I would scroll LinkedIn Jobs and Indeed for hours on end, searching with different keywords and filters to find the perfect fit for me and my skillset.

But instead of finding something I wanted to be doing, I just got demoralized. …


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Photo by Max Ilienerwise on Unsplash

The rollercoaster of life is an adventure with ups and downs, twists and turns, feasts and famine.

The sweetness of new relationships and the pangs of heartbreaks that end them.

But through it all, life keeps powering through.

No matter what’s going on in this journey, we always are moving through life and powering forward — that’s the beauty of it all.

There are things many of us miss, though, when we are young and impressionable. These things are a part of our journey, and we may all find them eventually.

1. Calmness can lay great things to rest

In the hardships and the pain, a steady approach and a stable mind can put great hardships to rest. …


Don’t You Wish You Could Do What You Were Hired For?

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Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Before getting into the practical takeaways of the book, it’s important to address the biggest complaint with Deep Work.

It’s not written for the real world. It’s written for academics and writers who can lock themselves away for hours on end, shut away from the world, and unreachable by any distraction. And there is no consequence.

It assumes that you are already an aficionado at your craft and that the only thing missing from your legendary productivity is time.

Sadly, most of us don’t get to live in that world and most of us aren’t in the top percentile of our field. Instead, most of us are real people working in real jobs. We are constantly derailed from our work by the needs of our boss, our colleagues, and our customers. …


“The Obstacle Is The Way”

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Photo by Lāsma Artmane on Unsplash

The blame game started as far back as anything can start. In the Christian story, the blame game began with the first two people, Adam and Eve.

You know the story, Eve took the fruit from the forbidden tree, ate of it, and passed it to Adam, who also ate. When Adam was confronted by God, he blamed Eve, who blamed the serpent who had tempted her.

Since the first people, humans have been shirking responsibility and complaining about the hand they were dealt, and some very rightfully.

2020 has rekindled that mentality in our society from the beginning of it through the pandemic and with a toxic election right around the corner. …


How Taking Ownership Will Save My Life

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Photo by Specna Arms on Unsplash

During the Iraq war, Jocko Willink led a team of Navy SEALs in the war-torn city of Ramadi, an epicenter of insurgence at the time. Early into the deployment, Jocko’s squad conducted a large operation with some other branches of the US military and some friendly Iraqi Army soldiers.

There were a lot of variables moving on the battlefield, and in the fog of war, a miscommunication led to a hellish battle of friendly fire between a squad from Jocko’s SEAL unit and one of the friendly Iraqi army units.

One Iraqi soldier was killed, and there were wounded and injured on both sides of the battle before the reality of the battle was caught. …


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Photo by Chronis Yan on Unsplash

Young adulthood is one of the most turbulent times in a person’s life. If you’re anything like me, you no longer live with your parents, you’ve moved around a few times, and you’re figuring out where to settle and put down roots longer-term.

This is the time to be figuring out political beliefs more solidly, and it’s challenging to walk that journey when political identity formation is contrary to the beliefs you grew up in with your family or friends.

It’s the season to start the first stage of a career, whether that first stage includes secondary degrees, low-paying jobs, or figuring out what direction you even want to go. …


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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

But instead, our journeys of a thousand miles begin with mapping out the path, preparing for the journey, and telling enough people about the journey that it doesn’t begin at all.

With so many stories on Medium and the self-help world focusing on goals and productivity, both of which I am guilty of myself, we often lose focus on what’s important.

We diversify and don’t put all of our eggs in one basket to make sure that no single task or goal could become our downfall, without realizing that these practices hold us back from accomplishing anything at all. …


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Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash

This piece is casual and fun. Don’t worry about politics, finances, or health for a few minutes and enjoy, with me, thirteen words that sound exactly like what they mean.

Some adjectives just fit and others don’t at all. Take pulchritudinous as an example of the latter.

This definition is far from what would be expected from the clunky, heavy-sounding word derived from “pulchritude.”

Instead, this piece is about phonesthemes. These are words whose form and meaning seem to be related.

These are not onomatopoeia, which are words that are formed based on the sound associated with their meaning, such as sizzle, crunch, or boom. Instead, these are words that just *fit* with their definition. …


Two ways (and a bonus) to stay focused without attention residue.

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Photo by Tomas Yates on Unsplash

*Ding*

Another ‘urgent’ message hits the inbox. “Stop what you’re doing and take care of this task instead” it beckons.

But even as you move to work on this new task, you struggle to engage with it, struggle to really focus on the task at hand. Your attention seems to drift back to the task you had just tabled for later.

Sound all too familiar? Me, too.

The problems with multitasking are well-documented, but it turns out that rapidly switching between tasks has some serious negative impacts, too. …

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