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Photo Credit: Matt Hotze

How to Feel Powerful During the Pandemic

You could save the lives of 4 people a month until this pandemic is over. One in ten people in the United States is carrying a superpower around with them.

This power is remarkable in a time where very little feels within our grasp and most of us feel like we are drifting. We all need a way to feel a little agency again.

What can you do that makes you a superhero? Donate your blood. Don’t wait. Here is why.


Trigger production, not consumption.

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Photo by SplitShire from Pexels

I’m writing from the examination room of our veterinarian’s office. A hard and cold concrete floor is under my feet; animal and cleaner smells mix strangely together as they only can in a vet’s office; a computer with a random screensaver on flickers from across the exam room. Our family dog is not feeling tip-top. I’m wearing a mask.

There isn’t much to do except wait. Previously in these types of situations my first impulse was to take out my phone and read the news, check Facebook or Instagram.

Boredom had always triggered me to make the time into dead time, a moment, or longer, in your day when you do something without it being connected to your larger purpose. …


Save, Give, Spend

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Photo by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash

The United States is the land of self-reliance and bootstrap entrepreneurs. Why do so many people have massive credit card debt?

“Americans owe nearly $1 trillion in credit card debt, and that’s an all-time record high according to a report out this week from the Federal Reserve. And delinquencies, or overdue payments, are rising, especially among young people.” — National Public Radio February 13, 2020

We are also a place where kids are taught from an early age to earn their keep. Start a lemonade stand or wash cars to make some pocket money. …


How I stopped worrying and learned to love bath time and bedtime

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Photo by Lubomirkin on Unsplash

Last week, for the five hundredth time, my kids took 15 minutes to brush their teeth. They just ignored me when I told them to do it. Things got ugly. Raised voices, threats, raised voices in return, not fun. What’s causing this, and how do I fix it?

Am I the problem? Probably!

My kids are unfocused on the task at hand because they are watching me be unfocused. I hang towels while they brush their teeth. I do dishes while they finish up dinner. I order diapers on amazon while they pick a book to read.

Inevitably I find them doing something else (anything else) they feel like doing rather than the thing I told them to do. A fun one is eating toothpaste directly out of the tube. Another fun one is finding my reading in bed wearing nothing but a pullup. …


A simple strategy to help keep you on track

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You set a big goal. Then you wake up six months later and realize you are no closer to that goal than you were six months ago. You get frustrated, and you give up. What happened? What distracted you from making progress?

Sick and Tired

You are sick and tired of trying to answer these questions. It’s a cycle in your life. You have ambitions, and you don’t reach them. It is time to break the cycle by identifying the two major types of distractions, eliminating the kind that is under your control, and not worrying about the other sort.

What Happens When You Eliminate the Right Type of Distractions?


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Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

You can transform your research team meetings from a dreaded time into a time you and your team enjoy and cannot function without. Here are some simple suggestions that you can take and make your own.

Always Have an Agenda

It sounds silly. But how many meetings have you been inited to where you did not see the point? Agendas give meetings targets to hit. Without them nobody has a reason to show up.

Don’t have time to make an agenda? Rotate the responsibility between your team members. (Bonus Tip: for great meeting templates pick up Michael Hyatt’s book No Fail Meetings)

If you don’t have an agenda cancel the meeting. It will respect your team’s time and signal to them when to pay attention to the next meeting. …


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Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash

Call me crazy, but my best days are days when my inbox stays open less than 1 hour. These are the days when I am checking the big things off my todo list. When I shut down for the night I feel I have just crushed my day. I can explain before you decide this is impossible.

There is a scientific reason for this and it is pretty simple to understand. Think back to physical education or basketball in school and you may remember this …

Suicide sprints were when you started at one end of the court and ran to the free-throw line and touched the floor. …


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Do you have someone in your life you can call a mentor? I don’t, and that is sad. The more I’ve matured the more disappointed I’ve become because I missed the opportunity to find a mentor of my own.

Reading The Coaching Habit showed me how easy it might be to transform into a mentor. It also showed what a true mentor might do for me if I finally manage to find one.

If only I had established a mentor/mentee relationship in graduate school I could have catalyzed my career. …


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Credit: Federico Racchi

Culture defeats strategy, every time.

Seth Godin

It happens, you wonder how in the world other professors continue to pour out students who go onto successful careers and write articles that go on to be important pieces of the scientific literature. Year over year those who have had success in the past generally continue to replicate it. Is this just hard work and great science? Harder work? Everyone has that; and who wants to push themselves further into the night or toward smartphones that buzz earlier and earlier? This is not the sustainable way to success. …

About

Matt Hotze PhD

Dad of 3 🤩. Learning and writing about fatherhood, leadership, and life. All profits from my writing here go to water.org. Learn more at matthotze.com.

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