Let’s keep talking about life crafting

One of the hard-won lessons of burnout for me is that unless I make huge, sweeping changes in my life, I will keep hopping right back on the hamster wheel—not because I’m a workaholic per se, but because I have a certain aversion to moderation. Consistency, predictability, the daily plod…yeah, Read more…

Happy birthday, #emergingleader Jermaine!


(Jermaine will be very pleased to see that I’m not reposting the same old photo I kept using of him from last year’s YAB retreat.)

Jermaine and I first met in September 2012, when New Yorkers For Children engaged me to work with their Youth Advisory Board. This past September he and I began working more closely through Emerging Leaders and together we determined that he would work on three areas for the 2013-2014 school year. Specifically, Jermaine would make an effort to:

  1. participate more actively in discussions;
  2. figure out a way of weaving his diverse interests into a plan for purposeful work; and
  3. reach out for help as needed.

Believe it or not, he hit it out of the park with all three by the end of February. This year he has been a strong and consistent voice in Emerging Leaders (you can read about that here), and he also brings that same presence to his work at YAB.

Jermaine has also put a lot of effort into bringing together his great respect for the creativity of young people (including his own interest in music) with his commitment to finding meaningful work and gainful employment not only for himself but for others. He has honed his vision for a program that will help launch young people into creative careers. He also took full advantage of the connection I facilitated to a youth development organization called Building Beats. The folks who run it couldn’t be more thrilled with the operations work he is now doing for them.

Let’s talk about goal number three, though, because learning to ask for help is no small feat. (more…)

Decision-making with an #emergingleader


Emerging Leader Maurice came into office hours last week wearing his red power tie. Our initial plan was to unpack his “hustle” from the Work On Purpose workshop we did in our last Emerging Leaders meeting, but he announced that he wanted to share some “good news” and a “dilemma,” which were in fact related. It turned out that Maurice needed to choose between two very different housing options that each appealed to conflicting values, and the decision was overwhelming him. With his permission, I’m sharing some of the details of our meeting because it contains an exercise that might prove useful to the young people you work with (or to you yourself, if you’re in the market for a decision-making tool).


Every woman should travel/live abroad alone

[For Autumn, on her current adventure] I’m in the middle of Jennifer Egan’s debut novel, The Invisible Circus, which is about an 18 year-old girl who takes off for Europe to search for the place her sister died. The account of her coming of age has gotten me reminiscing about my travels alone. I’ve already written about how finishing my dissertation and changing careers were two of the most significant rites of passage I’ve ever undergone. Prior to graduate school, however, traveling by myself and living abroad (not in the Philippines or the US) ranked highly on my list of transformative experiences. This is a story in four parts.

The US

To my mother’s great credit, she started instilling in me very early on the notion that I should go forth into the world intrepidly. Having seen how a sheltered childhood caused my sister to fear unfamiliar places and abhor being on her own, Mom took care to show me that traveling alone was nothing to be afraid of. (more…)