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Category: Life

Back to the Drawing Board

I’ve been feeling removed from my music for quite some time recently, but yesterday I found myself drawn to the piano. I sat down and wrote a song. It’s been a long time since I’ve put something like this together. I’m happy to be back.

-Josh

LYRICS

Feeling the pain and reeling from shame
The nights are the same as the days were before
Winning the race and beating the pace
The trials we face we needn’t face anymore if we don’t want to

Breathe…

Expanding the light, and breathe into the night
We’re just borrowing life from the ones here before
If we could see through the dark if the shadows would part
We could walk through the park knowing who we were as a person

And I know we’ll find a way
To discover what we were before
We’ll find the door
The rain will pass, and we’ll sail out from this shore

And find ourselves brighter day
With our brothers and sisters from the war
Not in pain anymore
We could close our eyes in peace forevermore

 

Passion

Allow yourself to feel passionate about your job.

Get attached.

Fall in love.

It’s okay to nerd out. It’s okay to talk people’s ears off about the things you like.

It only makes you happier and more of an asset in the future, so find something you like about your job and focus on it.

-Josh

Versatility

Disclaimer – this post is not meant to dissuade you from specializing. Once you find that thing with which you have a fierce connection, by all means, specialize. Go after it an inch wide and a mile deep. But if you are still looking for that magic nut you want to spend your whole life cracking, you’ll have be open to shifting tides and rolling with the punches life throws at you. Follow the course of progress wherever it leads – we all know the technologies we depended upon a decade ago are now the punchlines of jokes. Never stop learning, and you will increase your marketability every day.

Don’t miss opportunities when they present themselves at inopportune times simply because they aren’t what you imagine yourself doing forever.

-Josh

Dependability and Reliability

In times of chaos, people seek out stalwarts. As a reliable leader, you will be where people expect you to be. You will do what people expect you to do. When storms strike, people need a lighthouse to orient themselves to. Be that for them. Invite them to depend on you.

Where there is fire, you are there putting it out. Where there is gold, you are there mining it. Where there is struggle, you are there working to ease the burden of others. And where there is celebration, you are there to revel in your successes, because for a leader, your successes are everyone’s successes – remember to spread them around.

-Josh

Communication

This is a big one, y’all. Clear and prompt communication is a hallmark of a leader. The beginning, middle, and end of a job depend upon it, and never underestimate the importance of courteous communication – especially for those dealing with client-side interactions. Ask how someone’s day is going, and be sincere about it. Make a personal connection, however brief, and that connection will be stronger. Don’t waste time, though – professionalism is a mark of good communication as well.

I can promise you this – make your points quickly and answer questions succinctly, and when you open your mouth people will listen.

Answer your emails. Join LinkedIn. Tweet. Blog. Return phone calls. Communicate.

-Josh

2017 Madison Media Institute Commencement Address

I was honored recently to speak to the graduating class of 2017 at the Madison Media Institute. It was a wonderful experience, and I was inspired by all of the students who had accomplished so much already through their time at MMI. I saw a lot of hope and excitement in the faces I saw, and I know that they will meet with many successes as they travel their diverse paths. Thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations to all of the graduates.

I am inspired to expand upon the leadership aspects I covered in the speech, and will be doing so in the next series of posts to this website, so stay tuned!

-Josh

Taking Notes?

The ability to jot down a quick paragraph can follow us anywhere. Whether on the phone or on a notepad, the ability to quickly empty the brain and take one’s thoughts out for a stroll is a great way to develop critical thinking, creative thinking, and communication skills – make sure you take advantage. Hell, it’s (virtually) free! 

My note taking… 

  • Field Notes notebooks for quick thoughts 
  • Office Depot steno pad for long form 
  • Google Keep for writing in bed, at the movies (kidding!), or while driving (KIDDING!!!) 

Stretch

  • Stretch out your body – try a little light yoga after waking up in the morning. I enjoy a simple “Sun Salutation” (I learned it on the Nintendo Wii!).
  • Stretch out your mind – make time for reading every day. Fiction or nonfiction, it doesn’t matter.
  • Stretch out your soul – find a way to be creative every day. For me, I try to sit down for fifteen minutes each day to play and write at the piano.
  • Stretch out your heart – when interacting with other people, lead with love. Imagine the best in them. It may seem like you’re leaving yourself open and vulnerable, but take the chance. It can expand your everyday relationships to something more meaningful and powerful. As we age, our default becomes cynicism and skepticism. Fight it!

Every Day – Inspiration

Find inspiration every day.

  • Read a chapter – Right now I’m reading “A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano” by Katie Hafner.
  • Quietly sit – Go to a park and absorb some nature. Go to a coffee shop and absorb some commotion. Feed your senses.
  • Listen to a “brand new music” playlist – All of the streaming music services have a collection of cutting edge releases. Check them out!

Light a spark. Set your creativity ablaze! 

-Josh