writing

How Much Confidence Do You Need to Start?

A colleague is supposedly writing a book. He’s amassed research, taken and written notes, and told (too many) people he’s writing. But he’s not writing. No book excerpts, no blog posts, nor articles. His “writing” is invisible to other people. Another colleague thinks he wants to run a marathon. He researched the “right” way to run …

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Which Forcing Functions Do You Choose as a Catalyst to Help You Change?

During the pandemic, I chose to say, “Yes” to many speaking opportunities. Now, because I’m finishing books, it’s time for me to reconsider these requests so I can focus on the work I want to do more. (The more I speak, the less I write.) However, I’m lazy by nature. How can I choose to …

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What Would It Take For You To Leave Work Every Day as If It’s Your Last Day?

A close friend, Sue, is trying to hire a mid-career engineer. She had a lead on a great guy, who then dithered. He could not decide to leave. (I wrote a little thread on Twitter.) What kept him there? He felt as if he owed his team more work. (How to learn what he knew, …

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Stop Resolving: How Can You Challenge Yourself to Seize Each Day Next Year?

I stopped with resolutions years and years ago. Instead, up until now, I examined my systems and see where I might want to practice one small change. (See What’s the Smallest Change You Can Make? for one example.) That has worked well for me. This year, I’m experimenting with a suggestion via Daniel Steinberg’s Driving …

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Three Questions to Become More Adaptable and Resilient in the Future

I’m working on my next year’s “plans.” I use quotes around that word because I use lean approaches to plan my work. I decide which work to do now, and I finish that work. Then, I pick from many options for the next bit of work. Based on my throughput, I have enough possibilities for …

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Mistake vs. Success: When Do You Learn from Each?

Back when I was a software developer, I excelled at certain mistakes. I could write an infinite loop faster than anyone. Then there was the off-by-one mistake for arrays or tables. I repeated certain mistakes too often. Until I started an engineering notebook. Once I started to learn about my mistakes, I stopped those mistakes. I …

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CAL Newsletter​​: How Can You Use Optimism to Achieve Your Goals?

How Can You Use Optimism to Achieve Your Goals? I recently learned about “dynamic optimism” and “passive optimism.” Dynamic optimists act. They see their reality, they set a goal. They use a variety of steps to achieve their goal, using the growth mindset all along the way. They persevere. Passive optimists don’t do those things. They hope for …

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