A Collection of Thoughts and Insights
As it is Thanksgiving week (for our US-based readers), today’s article discusses how to sustain an attitude of gratitude all year long. All too often, the relationships, jobs, environments, and possessions that used to excite us lose their shine as they become an everyday experience. We start to take these blessings—miracles, if you will—for granted. We feel entitled to them and the risk of losing them becomes real.
Today’s post is a little different in that there is no angle to the story. Here, I am simply describing a new experience I had some years back: that of traveling to work far away from land. If you have never been offshore, you may find this interesting.
Have you ever felt like a fraud? No, I am serious. Have you ever felt like a fraud because of where you are, what you have achieved? There is a name for that feeling: Impostor Syndrome. Like all syndromes, it can be handicapping. This post is about how to overcome it.
I am not one for New Years resolution. But some years ago, I found myself in a dark place and took the opportunity of a new year as a chance to begin anew. But how? How do I avoid the mistakes that plagued me before? Today’s post is about the one goal I set as a way out of the darkness. I made myself just one promise. It is a promise that I have largely (not 100%!) managed to keep.
Today’s post takes the form of a letter to my oldest daughter, who just turned six. I want to let her know she is incomparable, as are others. I reflect openly on my journey with comparisons, how I struggled, how I overcame. The overarching message here is—you are one of a kind and the only person you need to beat is you.
To paraphrase a cliché, a great job is in the eye of the beholder. You may think my job is great because of the pay, whereas I may think it sucks. On the other hand, I may think I have the greatest job in the world because I work from home (it’s true, I love what I do and how I do it), and you may think I am missing out on adult interactions at the office water cooler. We all want different things in a job, and this article focuses on what’s needed for an awesome work experience.
We talked about the best times to ask for a raise last week. In a way, this post is a prequel to that topic because, when you ask for a raise, it should be for the right reasons. No need to talk about timing if the motive is unsound. There is simply no good time to make a sorry request.
In his bestselling book, When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing, Daniel Pink reminds us of the ageless advice that timing is everything. This cannot be truer with respect to one of the most nerve-racking things you will do on the job: ask for a raise. In this post, I will walk you through the three best times, in my experience, to take the leap and just do it.
In today’s information age, the principles of success are the worst kept secret, but knowing and doing live in different time zones. The cultivation of effective habits helps us build a bridge from knowing to doing, so that we can leverage our knowledge and skills to accomplish our goal.
I start my paternity leave today. In the next several weeks, I look forward to sleepless nights and movie nights. Which reminds me, I have been meaning to share two of my best movie quotes for some time now. They are not clever one-liners, in fact, they are speeches. Enjoy!
Michael Taiwo, PhD
Whether you are a high school grad going to college, or a college grad moving to the workforce, or a worker contemplating a career switch, transitions are unnerving. The old rules no longer hold true, and failure feels near. Your dreams brought you to this doorstep of change, but your fears can send you back. To change your dreams into reality, you must walk through that door, outside threats and inner doubts notwithstanding. DREAM inspires you to slay what terrifies you so that you can have more, do more and be more.
Hear what readers have to say
I want to reach out to 'personally' thank you for sharing your speech. I've read it four times now, and suspect I will read it a lot more over the coming few months. I was recently admitted to INSEAD to study for a MBA, and I'm certain it's the right thing to do next...but suddenly, I am realizing how much I have fallen in love with the predictability of working at --- (which is quite a good place to work), and I have been hit by crippling fear. I find that it helps to come back to read 'Dream' every time the fear peaks. So I thought to thank you for writing it. It almost feels like it was written for me.
Wow. I am inspired by this piece…It simply re-echoed what I believe in: winners never quit and quitters never win. As I push on with my PhD program, this piece has revved up my engine and I believe soon, I will be echoing these same words of yours. 'Fortune favors the bold'
This resonates so deeply, as it’s how I’ve consciously chosen to live my life and I’ve seen similar breakthroughs by pushing ahead for my dreams in spite of fear.
I will have my kids read this. I wish I read this earlier in life. Fear is surreal, never feed it.
What a great message. Dreaming will be my second nature. I should learn to starve my fears.
Your speech at the Spring 2017 Chemical Engineering Banquet here in Fayetteville was truly inspirational and your story and experiences truly aligned with mine here in Fayetteville. Thank you for coming back to our town and inspiring us young soon-to-be engineers!
Love it. A simple yet profound message from the heart that resounds and reverberates everyone's once heard inner voice... Act or do nothing.
Words on marble...."Your dreams will always exist side by side with your fears. Both of them are a product of your rich imagination. And you have the power to make one or the other a reality"- Dr. Michael Taiwo. I love the simplicity and the message. People need to come out of fear! It's evil!
About the Author
Michael Taiwo was born and raised in a town in the middle of nowhere in Nigeria. He considers himself low maintenance probably because he was raised on less than 50 cents a day. As a child, he would walk a mile to the town’s public library because there were orange, mango and cashew trees behind the library and he was welcome to them. He would have as many fruits as his stomach could hold, and then go into the library to enjoy yet another free item: books.