In case you were wondering what happened to the 20,000 bulbs I planted, here they are. But don’t worry that this is going to be a post full of happy spring cheer. That sort of post would embarrass me.

First of all, these bulbs didn’t come up until after spring. Partly because it was 50 degrees in Wisconsin this spring, and partly because my bulbs probably have some sort of photosynthesis version of schizophrenia since I planted fall bulbs during a blizzard in Janurary. But even those came up.

But first, look. When you plant bulbs in a blizzard, it is too cold to put the bulbs at the right depth and make each bulb point up so it’s ready to sprout. I ended up planting some bulbs in the muted moonlight of thick snowfall. I shoveled snow until I hit dirt, then I dug a little deeper and dropped handfuls of bulbs into piles. And even those came up. Read more

This webinar will show you how to make the most of your 20s so that you can set yourself up for an engaged, fulfilling life. It includes four days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

Get access now.

The most important thing to do in your 20s is figure out where you fit. Find your place in the world, pick your friends and family. You will make 85% of the major decisions in your life by age 35. And your earning in the first ten years of your life has exponential impact on your earning throughout the rest of your life. So act like your 20s matter, because if you act like they don’t matter, then they won’t matter.

To make the most of your 20s you need to make mistakes, because mistakes show that you’re moving forward and trying new things. But it’s important to make intentional mistakes. This means that you need to have goals, and plans, and when they don’t work out, you make new goals, and new plans. This four-day webinar will show you how to do that: Read more

One of the biggest changes in the workforce in the new millennium is that we have to be information synthesizers instead of information producers.  All information is available online.  So we can’t add value by memorizing it.  We have to add value by reframing it. I call this synthesizing.

IBM conducted a survey of CEOs to find out what they thought were the most important leadership skills of the near future. And in the top five was boundary spanning, which is networking ideas and collaborating in order to synthesize information in new ways.

Side note:  I have a theory that this is why we suddenly are noticing how many people have Asperger’s, because it used to be that people with Asperger’s were extremely valuable for their memorizing capacity.  Today, when we don’t need to hire people to memorize things, people with Asperger’s are suddenly viewed as weird and unemployable instead of savants and extremely valuable. Read more

One of the things I had to do as an adult was learn to see what makes a good job. Some people intuitively know how to find a job that feels good. Most of us spend the first half of our lives trying to learn what feels right and the second half of our lives trying to get it. Maybe this post can speed up that process for some of you.

The bottom line of a good job is that it makes you feel like you have unlimited energy for your work because it’s so fulfilling. Psychologists would say the job matches your personality type. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would say it puts you in the state of flow. However you approach the idea of a good job, though, The Economist presents research to show that good work has these four components: Read more

Whenever I write about grad school, someone writes in the comments about how I’m just bitter that I didn’t get a degree.

But what I’m really bitter about is that no one wanted to have sex with me. Some famous poet was a visiting professor, hitting on every grad student but me. And Leslie Epstein was there, who is not only king of the Jews but the father of Theo Epstein, a big name in baseball. Leslie said I’m the best sex writer he’s ever read. So why wasn’t he asking me for sex?

Probably because I’m the master of bad sex. There is no anal penetration that I cannot ruin with a piece of poop at the end of the paragraph.

So no one hit on me in grad school except maybe Susanna Kaysen. I was starving and homeless and she was getting movie deals that included Winona Ryder riders. And if I had not been so Aspergery I would have done anything to get her to edit my memoir – she is a master of the line edit. I’ll always worry that my memoir could have been edited better.  Read more

Jason Collins is a professional basketball player who just announced that he’s gay. It’s rare enough for a professional athlete to be openly gay that President Obama called him up to offer support, and former President Clinton tweeted his support, adding that he’s known Jason Collins since he was friends with Chelsea Clinton at Stanford.

Collins is a 12-year NBA veteran who has played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards and chose to come out in the new edition of Sports Illustrated . He says, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.”

It’s a great conversation to have, because we all do better in our careers if we are honest about who we are.

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