It Isn’t Arrogant to Pursue Your Dreams


Forget Being A Workaholic: Why Balance Is Key To Living A Life Free Of Regret

Forget Being A Workaholic: Why Balance Is Key To Living A Life Free Of Regret

Okay, I admit it: I’m a bit of a workaholic. I love what I do, and on a consistent basis, I unwind after a long day at work with my laptop, only to find myself working again.

All of us are guilty of being some sort of “-holic” these days. Whether you’re addicted to work, Netflix, Facebook, the gym, the party scene or whatever else, all of us have things in which we indulge a bit too much. But, who is at fault if we do what we love all the time?

It makes sense to do things that make us happy, right?

After years of following the fun for so long, it seems that the keys to happiness aren’t found in doing only the “happy” things. Rather, the keys are in balance: equal parts pleasure and pain, in all areas of our lives.

The most interesting people in the world are the ones who have been through the whole gamut of life experiences. These are the people who have had it all, lost it all, then worked through the pain and worked through the pleasure to build themselves up again.

The truly happy people of the world have figured out that balance is the true path to happiness, and they take care not to get too caught up in addictive things. They’ve realized that one cannot and should not allow one area of life to rule all others.

For the rest of us, however, the path to happiness is a difficult one. We may love doing one thing and think we’re on the right track, but after a while, we move on to yet another thing, into which we inevitably get sucked.

In life, finding balance starts with owning up to what we really value, and to be honest, that isn’t so easy. None of us literally values just one thing, either; we value many things all at once — career, friends, health and adventure, to name just a few. How could we honestly be happy if we valued one above the other?

Therein lies the kicker. Life for a Millennial is not just about figuring out what we love and what we don’t love. It’s about navigating the balance between all things and all values. Once one area supersedes another, we begin to seesaw out of control, and before we know it, our faces are down in the dirt and we’re wondering what the hell happened.

In psychology, our value system is the single-most important factor for determining thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It’s these values that lead us to seek out or avoid experiences that shape our views and our attitudes, especially in regards to happiness.

Whatever you value, you typically do, often at the expense of your other values. You may value work, like I do, and spend a lot of time achieving purpose through your career. However, doing so will only get you so far. You have to make room for other things you value and not let them fall by the wayside.

The core issue here is how the balance of your values enhances or diminishes your quality of life. Any imbalanced pattern puts the path to happiness further outside your grasp.

In recent years, a nurse and her elderly patients at a terminal care facility put together a captivating study about regret. The study asked dying people what they regretted most about life. (See the infographic here: Top 10 Regrets Of The Dying.)

As these people are quite possibly in the best positions to answer this question, the study was downright eye-opening and showed us just how important balance really is. Each of the top 10 regrets held personal values at the core of living a happy and fulfilled life.

The top two regrets had to do with where they spent — or in this case, did not spend — the majority of their time.

The number one regret among the elderly was that they were never brave enough to pursue their dreams and instead, settled for what others expected them to do. In other words, they ignored balancing passion and personal growth at the behest of their other values.

Coming in at number two was never making time for friends and family. Excessive dedication to work can often lead a person to spend less time with their loved ones. This is one area of balance that might not only hurt you, but others, as well.

Life can definitely be a double-edged sword, and where one thing can get you, another thing canreally get you. So, do yourself a favor and cut out some of your “holic” tendencies. Indulge in more things you value, but never get around to doing.

Introduce some true balance to your life. Go to the gym; take your loved one on a date; get out into nature with your friends or go on a vacation. If you need to spend a little extra time at work to get that promotion because you value hard work, then absolutely go for it.

One day, you will find yourself at the end of your life, only to realize that you never really lived, and you were never really happy.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It


44 Apps You Need to Be Way More Productive

In our smartphone-dominated society, “there’s an app for that” is as much a cliché as “raining cats and dogs” or “as good as gold.”

Yet permit us some unoriginality, and let us say it anyway: When it comes to being productive—there’s an app for that.

Actually, there are a ton, and this infographic has handily organized the 44 best for kicking ass, taking names, and getting ’er done (more clichés, sorry). Scroll down to see what’s on the list.


4 Things That Can Make You a More Inspiring Leader


Most bosses worry about how they’re perceived by their employees. Are they too nice? Too strict? Overbearing? Passive-aggressive?

Thankfully, if managers sense that something’s off, these things seem relatively straightforward to correct: There are prescribed strategies for becoming a fair, attentive, not-too-nice-but-not-too-mean boss.

But being inspiring is a different story. It’s a trait that seems intangible; something that can’t be improved upon. You either are or you aren’t—right?

While some managers may seem by nature to be more inspiring than others, I tend to think that it’s not exclusively innate. It’s just a matter of finding out what traits in a leader push employees to strive to be better—and incorporating them into your own day-to-day management style. Here are a few of those things:

1. Someone Who Works Harder Than Everyone Else

When I worked at a startup and looked to my boss, the founder of the young company, I wanted to see someone who was desperately hungry for the company to succeed; who was willing to do what was needed, whenever it was needed, to get the work done. There would be days when she would already be in the office when we got in and would stay for hours after we left.

And that made the rest of the team want to work just as hard.

Does this mean you need to work crazy hours just to show your team that you work harder than them? No. But they should be able to clearly see your dedication to your work and the success of the department and company—because they will pick up on it and follow your example.

2. Someone Who’s Enthusiastic About What They Do

Just like employees, bosses can go through stints of burnout. Just the other week, I was talking to my boss on the phone, and he couldn’t seem to get through a single sentence without a big dramatic sigh as he talked about how overwhelmed he was.

But hearing about how much work you have, how frustrated you are with your boss, and how you just can’t take it anymore isn’t going to inspire your employees to be enthusiastic about their own jobs. In fact, it’ll probably do the opposite.

Employees want to be able to look to their managers and see that they love what they do—that even amid frustrations and heavy workloads, they’re passionate about their work and enjoy what they do on a daily basis. That kind of enthusiasm is infectious. It reminds employees of why they’re there and what they’re working toward.

3. Someone Who Sets the Bar High

The best leaders know what their team members are capable of—and then push them just a little bit further.

At first, this can be frustrating to employees. They hear a challenging goal and theirfirst thought is that the expectations are unrealistic and the manager is simply being cruel to assign something so unattainable. But a truly inspirational leader will then provide a way for the employees to achieve the “unachievable”—by providing the guidance, coaching, and resources necessary to get to the finish line.

In the end, when employees see what they’re truly capable of, they’re inspired to continue working for those hard-to-reach goals—knowing their manager is there to back them up the whole way.

4. Someone Who Doesn’t Ignore the Problems

We’ve all had that one boss who tolerates the underperformers for a little too long, who treats the employees who don’t do quality work (or much work at all) the same as the employees who go above and beyond.

Or, there’s the boss who allows sub-par work to pass through his or her hands. “This isn’t exactly what the client wanted, but we’ll just have to go ahead and submit it,” he or she says.

But the inspiring leader is the one who pays attention to the issues and doesn’t tolerate mediocrity. She addresses low-performing employees so that her team is as strong as possible; he sees—and points out—when assignments don’t meet the mark and explains how to make them better. The inspiring manager says, “I have high standards, and we’re going to do whatever is necessary to produce work we stand behind and can be proud of.”

“Be more inspiring” can seem like an unattainable goal—and one you don’t have much influence over. But when you know what your employees find inspirational and work toward embodying those things, you can boost your inspiration factor big time.

Photo of chess piece courtesy of Shutterstock.