Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

On any given day you can either live passively and let the world control you or you can decide to be unstoppable with an active life strategy.

Here’s how.

Just Decide To

Do you want to be unstoppable? Do you want to have days where you can actually get something constructive done? Do you want to be able to remain unfazed when persistent emotions and life situations drag you down? Forget the one-size-fits-all self-help gurus, online therapy, or unsustainable drastic life changes. …

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice — Martin Luther King.

One of the discussions that I look forward to in my American history classes each semester starts with the famous quote from Martin Luther King’s 1968 speech at the National Cathedral. King’ who was paraphrasing transcendentalist Theodore Parker’s words from a century earlier, was acknowledging that progress is slow, yet he believed that morality had positive momentum in the same way Newton’s First Law of motion posited that a body in motion stays in motion. The beauty of teaching with the King quote…

A photo of an empty classroom.
A photo of an empty classroom.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

One of my earliest memories growing up was seeing my father’s name on a plaque hanging on a forgotten wall in the rural school that both he and I attended. The walnut framed sign had my father’s name and a few others, and I recall it had some stars on the top and said something about service. When I asked my dad about it, he said, “oh — yes, that’s a list of all of us boys who were drafted to serve in the Army in WWII during the summer after our junior year of high school.” …

Student engaging with an online class.
Student engaging with an online class.
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Perhaps ironically, as I was grading earlier in the week, the old song “Everybody Loves You Now” by Billy Joel streamed through my computer. It was the capstone of a long week — I had suddenly heard from a number of old colleagues who had questions about putting their courses online. Many of my fellow instructors, especially the Luddites who never did believe in online education, were now reaching out to me for help as their institutions were moving classes online as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19. For those who haven’t taught online before, the directive elicited some…

A graphic of a sign that says “do something great.”
A graphic of a sign that says “do something great.”
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Do it no matter what. If you believe in it, it is something very honorable. If somebody around you or your family does not understand it, then that’s their problem. But if you do have a passion, an honest passion, just do it.
— Mario Andretti

Passion inspires you, it captivates you, it is what life is about. Passion to develop, to build, to pursue a dream, to create, to prove something — it drives everything. Nothing happens without passion, passion to help, passion to succeed, passion to impress, passion to make a difference. All success is informed by passion…

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So you’ve decided to go back to school. Good for you. At the beginning of every semester, at least one older student approaches me to tell me that they’ve been out of school for 20 years, and they’re worried about what to expect. They’re concerned that they may not be able to keep up with the younger students, and worried about technology, often expressing the idea that they’re not good with computers or getting around on the web. Their trepidation is understandable, but as someone who has been around higher education in one role or another for nearly 40 years…

A person celebrating on a mountain top.
A person celebrating on a mountain top.
Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

How to get past the roadblocks that stop you from moving forward.

A great idea. Something that you want to do. A goal you want to reach. A New Year’s resolution to complete. A personal change you want to make. Have you ever had a great idea that remains unfinished? What about taking steps towards a significant life change? How about restarting a project or a goal that you haven’t gotten off the ground? Why can’t you make it happen? What are the reasons you can’t follow through? How do you move forward?

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford

First of all, let’s deconstruct the…

This is a picture of a smokestack.
This is a picture of a smokestack.
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

For most of my teaching career, this time of year was a period of relaxation and celebration. As the semester was winding down, I would finish grading my student’s final exams and enter their grades into the college’s student information system. Sure, I’d have to get ready for the next semester, but after the last grade was in the books, I usually took a few well deserved days off and left the past 16 weeks behind me. That was the way it used to work, but not this year.

To understand what’s different this year, I need to provide you…

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One of the distinct characteristics of a person caught in a lie is a series of swift and forceful accusatory statements blaming others for whatever behavior one is accused of. Noticeable earlier this week, when Donald Trump was first questioned publicly about his dealings with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump fired off a barrage of statements including the suggestion that someone should look into Mike Pence’s conversations with the Ukrainian leader.

As with Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, Pence will likely become the next member of the under-the-bus club, and this will happen soon. The reaction from Pence is…

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Why colleges who don’t make recruiting and enrolling students “Amazon-Easy,” will quickly go the way of Sears.

Each year when a new group of students enters into my class, Business and American Society, one of the first lessons they face involves the theory of Creative Destruction. Admittedly, I’ve twisted the term from its original meaning, but whether one follows Marx or Joseph Schumpeter, the main idea is that there are creative-destructive forces in all businesses and institutions. Whether one is an economist, historian, or biologist, the theory is easy to understand. Charles Darwin wrote in 1859 that “the extinction of old forms is the almost inevitable consequence of the production of new forms,” which is perhaps the…

Educator, author, and over-thinker writing about current events, teaching, learning, and life.

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