Monthly Archives: July 2019



Constructing a workable, tenacious career trajectory will result in sustained success over time. Individuals who put the effort, wisdom, and willpower into planning their professional futures will become positive outliers, or Maintainpeople who distinguish themselves from the crowd. Becoming a positive outlier requires an avoidance of rigidity and a constant eye to the changing future. Individuals operating at full capacity may not be the best or brightest in the room, but they will achieve sustained success based on their proven track records of excellent work.

Everyone ultimately controls his or her own success. Achieving full potential requires harnessing the power of self-esteem and positive thinking. Professionals should consistently and willfully visualize positive outcomes. Every significant challenge that comes down the professional pipe can be thought through and dealt with in advance, as positive outcomes are willed into existence and alternative or worst-case scenarios are dreamed up and dealt with. Individuals who put in the prep work of thoroughly visualizing challenges will be in a great position to respond to every possible factor thrown their way.

Visualization must be accompanied by self-efficacy, or a real belief in the inevitability of one’s success. High levels of self-efficacy generate a positive feedback loop, resulting in a higher sense of self-confidence and a greater likelihood of positive results. Self-efficacy can result in self-fulfilling prophecies, where positive expectations create positive outcomes. Positive expectations, when properly and realistically maintained, can result in a cycle of perpetual success where excellent results are visualized, worked toward, and achieved. Much of the energy needed to achieve this cycle comes from having an internal rather than external locus of control. Individuals who cultivate an internal locus of control accept and take responsibility for their failures and successes, while externally-oriented people consistently look to outside circumstances.

To achieve sustained success and truly enjoy it, individuals must align efforts with passions. Success can be achieved outside the realm of personal desires, but the best career trajectories come when individuals put their efforts toward activities they truly love. By cultivating passion and applying positive lessons to career development, anyone can construct a remarkable career trajectory.




Today’s consumers want to buy products that have a balance between form and function and that are enjoyable to use. For a product to achieve enchantment, it must address one of six human desires:IMG_1506

1. Omniscience. The amount of information available today is overwhelming, and people want assurances that the information they are receiving is correct and factual. People have not lost their sense of curiosity or their desire to learn, but information needs to be compelling, believable, and fit naturally into people’s current lives.

2. Telepathy.Advances are happening today in devices, such as the Apple watch, that allow users to do much more than just tell time. These devices help people stay connected to one another. Enchanted devices will continue to become more ingrained in everyday life by providing data about loved ones. Rather than disconnecting people from one another, enchanted objects will result in a more connected society by improving genuine communication.

3. Safekeeping. Safety is a primitive human drive. Enchanted objects of the future will build upon the surveillance capabilities of smartphone cameras, police body cameras, and street cameras. They will also allow for instant communication with law enforcement and loved ones. A feeling of safety will arise from this ubiquitous surveillance and the ability to receive immediate help when needed.

4. Immortality. Many people understand the idea of a quantified self, where people keep track of diet and exercise to promote longevity. Sharing this information with others helps keep people motivated. This information could also be connected directly to medical providers.

5. Teleportation. The idea of teleportation is appealing due to the hassles surrounding traveling today. However, it does exclude the pleasurable parts of travel, such as meeting fellow travelers and enjoying the journey. There is much room for improvement in traveling and how people arrive at their destinations. Google’s self-driving car does not offer teleportation, but it does provide friction-free travel.

6. Expression. The desire to create is one of the most primal human drives. The game Guitar Hero spoke to the desire to become a rock star by making it easy to experience playing a guitar without the technical skills of playing a real guitar. It is an enchanted object because it works with a familiar object, the guitar, but makes it possible for anyone to use.


The Extraordinary Capability of Human Senses

People interface with most technologies via sight and less so with the senses of touch, hearing, taste, and smell. However, these other senses can be just as powerful as sight. For example, the cocktail party effect occurs when people are in conversation about one topic but are able to tune into another conversation when a familiar name or word is mentioned. This demonstrates the human ability to use senses peripherally, and this ability should be considered in the development of enchanted objects.

Technology Sensors and Enchanted Bricolage

Although computers cannot recognize subtleties such as facial expressions, sensors can gain a lot of information from a person’s touch, movement, temperature, and location. For example, the Nike Fuelband not only tracks exercise but measures pace and distance based on footsteps.

The Seven Abilities of Enchantment

1. Glanceability. Enchanted objects provide necessary information with only a glance so people do not need to give their full attention to something. The Windows 8 operating system was designed with this in mind, placing the most important information in tiles on the screen. Other everyday objects that use glanceability include clocks, which only need a glance to determine the time.

2. Gestureability. People do not need to think about how to interact with familiar objects, so the question is how these objects can be improved. The Amazon Trash Can transforms an everyday trash can into a trash can that also notifies Amazon when an item needs to be reordered.

3. Affordability. Adding sensors to existing objects to create new features will become less expensive as hardware costs continue to plummet.

4. Wearability. People already wear technology to monitor their fitness levels. In the future, more enchanted objects will be wearable, including wrist bands, clothing, and shoes.

5. Indestructibility. Objects commonly found in homes, such as coffee tables, last for years due to their durability. Enchanted objects will need to mirror this level of hardiness to become staples in everyday life.

6. Usability. Objects with minimalistic interfaces are desirable because there is no need for an on/off switch. An example is the Google Latitude Doorbell, which senses when a family member is close to home and plays a sound specific to that person.

7. Loveability. To encourage people to connect emotionally to devices, designers need to include human attributes that are lacking in today’s devices.

Five Steps on the Ladder of Enchantment

The Ladder of Enchantment is a five-step process for design and development of enchanted objects. As an object climbs the ladder in features, it becomes more sophisticated and more enchanting.

1. Connection. Successful enchanted objects allow users to connect with them virtually via smartphone or computer.

2. Personalization. Amazon and Netflix already make recommendations based on individual profiles. The same concept could apply to any object, such as a scale that provides feedback based on age, weight, and medications.

3. Socialization. In the future, objects will interact with humans as if they themselves were human. A plant could signal the need for water to its owner. A smart trash can could recommend future purchases.

4. Gamification. Video game designers motivate players to reach new levels with points and leaderboards. They tap into the desire for achievement and recognition. These principles can be tied into other objects.

5. Storification. Stories speak to emotions. Creating personal goals within enchanted objects enables the objects to help tell individual stories.




If failure is viewed as an opportunity to learn lessons and make advances, it will result in positive outcomes. Individuals are evolutionarily hardwired to fear failure. The biological circuitry humans have developed results in the magnification of negative information and experience to the detriment of positive information and experience. Van Rooy advocates a type of learned optimism, where concerted thought and effort is put into pulling out the bright points of failure and working them into the fabric of a career trajectory.img_1500-e1563419831257.jpg

Not all failures are created equal. Failure can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Preventable failures are one-dimensional. The only lesson to be learned is to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
  2. Failures driven by complexity can result in important lessons learned.
  3. Intelligent failures at the edges of human knowledge can create learned lessons with wide-ranging impact.

While the self-examination that inevitably follows personal and professional mistakes can be painful and humiliating, individuals can emerge from such reflections with greater insights into their limitations and greater knowledge on how to hone their efforts and learn from their missteps. Professionals should ask themselves questions after every failure to understand the situation and make needed corrections.

Failure is not inevitable, and a tendency to see it as inevitable reduces necessary risk taking and puts a cap on courage. Failure should be accepted, dealt with, and learned from. Failure is not permanent, but is simply a helpful transitory stage to the next accomplishment on a career trajectory. Failure should be put in its proper place.



page20prismBuilding and managing a trajectory involves breaking down professional goals into manageable steps. Everyone is familiar with the experience of dreaming big, but many people get lost in the execution. Setting goals is the first step in achieving a goal-oriented career trajectory. Difficult but attainable goals consistently result in the greatest success, but there is a tension between the hard and the impossible. If goals are too difficult, motivation is lost and individuals are discouraged from making future attempts. Professionals should set goals for the near future, as goals extrapolated too far out do not exert much influence.

Goals are best achieved through small, incremental progress. Patience can be a tricky subject to master, but it is well worth the effort. Most goals are not achieved in a rush of energy; they are reached over time as individuals put in day-to-day effort. Specifying intermediary milestones is a good way to measure progress. Professional choices are best made after careful consideration rather than through knee-jerk reactions to every new development. Incorporating the principle of delayed gratification into one’s goals will result in increased willpower and avoidance of an instant-reaction feedback loop.

While progress is best achieved in small increments after thoughtful exploration, that does not mean individuals should paralyze themselves by considering all options and refusing to move forward. Individuals must identify the right opportunities and seize them at the right time. While the decisiveness and responsibility this entails may seem overwhelming, a carefully mapped trajectory can provide the information needed to make good choices in a timely manner. As individuals think big, act small, and move quick, their confidence and ability will increase.