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How to effectively rise ‘Up’, identify and control unnecessary distractions in order to get things done

One of my favorite characters in Disney▪Pixar’s movie, “Up”, is the dog, Dug. He is a loveable, enthusiastic member of the team, eager to help in any way he can. However, one of his biggest flaws is that he is continually distracted — even mid-sentence or walk — by what he thinks is a squirrel in his periphery.

While we watch and laugh at how silly it is for Dug to react this way, many of us are constantly chasing our own squirrels…


Mastering the Power of Perspective

JC Dela Cuesta via Unsplash

When many of us hear the word “conflict we may tense up, begin to sweat, start to put on our mental (or physical) battle armor, or look for the closest exit to get as far away from it as possible.

However, the reality is that conflict, when it’s healthy, productive, and progress-focused, can be an amazing tool in your toolbox, whether you’re dealing with it in your personal life, or with your colleagues and within your team.

Prefer video? Watch the YouTube video version of this post.

One of the primary reasons why conflict gets a bad rap is that…


How Uber ruined the single-point rating system…and how we can get back to “Good”.

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

Prior to the last, say, 3 years or so, when searching for and assigning ratings to services or products online, there was a universal understanding of the scale, weight, and reliability of a 3-star vs. 5-star rating. Now, I feel, this is no longer true. And I blame Uber. Well, not Uber, exclusively. Rather, I blame how we’ve placed reward on an unrealistic, expected result, rather than using those results to inform, implement, and measure an improved outcome.

“If You Ain’t First, You’re Last”

In the modern comedic satire Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Ricky’s father imparts some (rather flawed, yet motivating!) wisdom on…


How Welcoming Criticism Can Lead to Meaningful Improvement

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Feedback sessions. 360 Reviews. Net Promoter Scores. One on Ones. When you read those words, what emotions or responses are bubbling up in your mind (or your gut)? Is it Fear? Anxiety? Anger? How about Elation?

I’m sure that, for most of you, that last one made you laugh out loud (and maybe spit out your drink). In fact, science has shown that we when hear criticism, our bodies have a physical and psychological response, where our “ego can get so defensive that it becomes its own ‘totalitarian regime’, where information is censored in our mind.“[1]

But, what if you…


“A man stretching out his two hands with careless written on them in black and white” by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

How many times has this scene occurred in your life:

You stumble upon a great [idea, job, mate, car, event, whatever]. You’re totally psyched about it and can’t wait to take the next step. But then, somewhere in the back of your mind (or out of the mouth of a so-called trusted friend/colleague/partner/parent/sibling) the following thought is uttered: “What will [fill in whoever or whatever] think?”

Immediately, you stop your momentum, and self-doubt and excuses begin to enter into your mind grapes.

Amy Yackowski

Founder of Painted Porch Strategies, where we help individuals and businesses Design a Blueprint for Eudaimonia (aka “the Good Life”) through Stoicism.

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