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A “Must Read”…in My Humble Opinion

16 Jul

We’re all busy, right? Right. Lately – well, the past year – I’ve been juggling ideas of starting my own business, enrolling in an MBA program, and a bunch of other personal and professional endeavors. While I figure things out…or life just figures itself out on the go…I decided to dedicate 2012 towards professional and insightful reading. Sure, the latest Nicholas Sparks book and a few fun ones have been thrown into the mix, but I’ve really embraced this new trend going on in my iPad’s ebook reader.

I’m just 6 months into this resolution to read professional development style books. Can’t. Get. Enough. In conversations, I consistently find myself referring to new ideas or studies I recently learned about. Dan is probably so sick of hearing me say, “This book I’m reading…so interesting! Listen to this….!”

This new-to-me genre has pushed my mind to think in new ways. I’ve developed a broader sense of success. As my reading list continues to grow, my ways of thinking, planning, and problem solving have evolved. This is good. While I still figure out my next few career goals (MBA is the primary question mark right now), I feel like I’m learning more than I have in years.

Now, I leave you with a “must read“: Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. If you are an idea-generator, creative professional, entrepreneur, manager…the list goes on – read this book. While I finished this almost two months ago, it has remained in my thoughts since. Now that’s a sign of a good read.

Since posting (just 10 minutes ago), I’ve already received a few messages about other reading suggestions. Please check out my two public reading lists:

Katie Vojtko on Goodreads

Katie Vojtko’s Book Wishlist (on Amazon)


What Energizes You?

2 Apr

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the last 9 months, and I recently saw it asked in one of my favorite blogs, heyamberrae. Basically since my big move from Pittsburgh to Philly, I’ve been trying to hone in on what truly gets me excited and overly-passionate. I began by asking what makes me happy. But I’m realizing this is a much different question than that of what energizes me. Things that make me happy are simple: happy hours with friends, trying a new restaurant, that first sip of coffee in the morning, pay day.. the list goes on. But am I passionate about those things? Do they enable my creative side, and make me want to do something more? Maybe.

Let’s take my love of shoes for example. I’m pretty obsessed. I’d like to say it’s my only true girly characteristic, but I’m sure it’s not. You can ask anyone who has ever looked at my shoe closet.. or the overflow of neatly organized heels and flats on my shoe mat by the door.. and we can’t forget my boot corner. I have a “shoe guy” back home who will message me to let me know a perfect pair that I’ll just love have arrived, and they’re saving a pair in my size for me. So it’s safe to say that I LOVE shoes. But do I see myself finding inspiration from my purchases, aside from the inspiration for an outfit? Not really. At the end of the day for me, shoes are just shoes. Beautiful pieces of artwork for my feet that make my heart beat a little faster when I see a pair I have to have.

So I have things like shoes, material items that make me happy, but fall short of giving me creative energy. Then there are experiences that make me feel alive. I’ve taken note over the past few weeks that the second I get home on a Friday, it feels like I am being reborn. No matter how long or tough of a work week it was, no matter how tired I was on that hour long drive home, when I walk into my apartment knowing I have approximately 56 hours in a row just for me, I am a new woman. Anything is possible, and I have all the time in the world to explore my new(ish) city. This it what gives me energy. It is now that I can surround myself by people: old friends, recent acquaintances, and strangers whose brains I can pick for the first time. This is the time that the unexpected happens.

What, then, is the source of this energy? Is it the mere fact that I’m not at work? The knowledge that I don’t have any homework that I’m putting off until Sunday night? (As a recent college grad, this is a huge perk for me.) I’m still working on the answer to this question. But I’m leaning towards the idea that I’m gaining energy from being surrounded by people, new and old, and gathering information, making friends, and creating memories. These are the things that make me think harder, form strong opinions, and analyze those around me more closely. The next step in this for me: What does this mean on a bigger scale? What does it mean for my career, my aspirations?

I’m still trying to figure that one out.