What I tell people who ask for career advice

Great mentors—and personal experience—have taught me some valuable lessons.
  1. Happiness is an attitude, not a set of circumstances.
    My first job was delivering pizza. My car smelled like food all the time and I did more dishes than I care to remember...But tips were great, I got paid to cruise around town while listening to my favorite tunes, and I could call myself a "professional driver". Always look for the bright side.
  2. You can learn to do anything.
    Wanna learn how to code? Or how to fix your car? Or become a better writer? The resources are out there to help you learn to do anything...but in the end, TRUE learning comes down to doing. It takes time, but remember: Everyone was "the new guy" at some point.
  3. Everyone needs to feel appreciated.
    People crave to be acknowledged for their work, and they deserve to be shown appreciation. So as you see others do well, commend authentically and regularly. Because that will inspire them to do more.
  4. But we also need (constructive) criticism.
    No matter how skilled or smart we get, we can still learn from others. Don't correct every wrong—that's annoying. But if you see someone with a bad habit or damaging behavior, speak up. And if you're on the receiving end of negative feedback, put your feelings aside and learn from it.
  5. Schedule time to think.
    It's way too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, without taking time to reflect. But when we pause, we can find answers to questions like "What mistakes have I made recently?", "What can I learn from them?" and "What do I want to accomplish this week? This month? This year?" Never underestimate the power of an hour of pure, concentrated thought.