Read time: 10 min

October 7, 2020

Good morning! Tonight is the vice presidential debate. Here are the details:

  • When? 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
  • Where? The University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Face masks will be required.
  • Who’s moderating? Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, USA Today.
  • What’s the format? The debate will be divided into nine 10-minute sections. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to the opening question in each segment.
  • Topics? Page hasn’t released a list of topics.


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

–Robert Frost

STAND UP EIGHT: Triumph & persevere

Losing VS Being Beaten

We never minded being beaten, but we don’t like losing. That could be a famous quote one day, you heard it first. Yes, there’s a difference between “losing” and “being beaten.”

Imagine your favorite sports team and a memorable match they played. If they didn’t win, they either lost or were beaten. To lose means, your team made too many mistakes or didn’t have the skill, experience, or finesse to secure a victory. The team lost against itself because they made too many mistakes or couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities available. To be defeated means they played a superior opponent. Here, the team could’ve done everything correctly, but the skill of their opponent lead to their defeat.

In your personal or professional life, both are going to happen. Don’t get too down after losing. While super frustrating, you can improve yourself and reduce your chances of “losing” in the future. It’s not that you’re not good enough or on the same level yet; you just lacked skill or made mistakes at the moment. For those who enjoy a challenge and a healthy dose of self-improvement, being beaten is less frustrating because it means you were against an opponent of greater skill. You’re just not quite there yet.

The next time you’ve “lost,” think back and decide if you “lost” or “were beaten” and adjust accordingly. It can be fun to go up against a competent player, but it can be equally frustrating to lose because of a lack of skill. Consider where mistakes were made and adjust accordingly.

ACHIEVERS’ ARMORY: Equip yourself with proven tools & tactics

Use Big Words, Sound Smarter

They say a sign of intelligence is a large and impressive vocabulary. Possessing a great vocabulary allows you to express your feelings and emphasize specific ideas or concerns. When writing items such as work e-mails or sales materials, it’s useful to know words that will hammer your point home. is a free mobile app that helps you expand your vocabulary through algorithms, data, and an adaptive learning game. First, the app asks you a series of questions to better understand how you learn and retain information. Then, each time you look up a new word, it provides a simple explanation that will help you remember it for the future.

It can take your learning experience farther by providing real-world examples of when and how to use the word correctly. You’ll feel more confident about using your new vocabulary when speaking to colleagues and friends.

Click here to get started learning new words and sounding smarter.

MINDSET: Unleash the Achiever within

The Calling

How do you currently think about what you do for a living? 

John C. Maxwell explored the answers to this question in his book, Leadershift. We’ve highlighted some major points below.

Regardless of industry, their profession’s social status, their pay, or their title, people respond with answers that fall into three categories, revealing how they feel about their work.

  1. You do a job. Your main goal is to earn a living and support your family. When you finish your workday, you walk away and don’t think about it. Your fulfillment comes form activities outside of work. You’re not strategic in terms of career building.
  2. You build a career. It’s certainly a step forward to be creating a career rather than merely holding a job. You’re on a trajectory of skill mastery, greater responsibilities, increased earnings, and reverence. You have all the marks of a successful career.
  3. You fulfill your calling. Author Frederick Buechner said that our purpose is at “that place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” When you find and embrace your calling, your skills, talents, and the lessons you’ve learned culminate in a desire to lead, inspire, and make a difference.

Do you understand and, more importantly, appreciate the differences between your career and your calling? A career is about you, a calling is about others. A career you can do without or have a different one, a calling never leaves you. A career is measured by success, a calling by significance.

So what is your calling? Have you found it yet? Once you find your true calling, you won’t regret the difficult journey it will take to pursue it.

Here are three questions to set you on your journey to discover, embrace, and pursue your calling:

  1. What do I sing about? What fills my heart?
  2. What do I cry about? What breaks my heart?
  3. What do I dream about? What lifts my heart?

Maybe you’re doing a job yet hoping for more or have a successful career but long for something more meaningful. Keep working towards your calling. If you’ve already found it, I’m sure you can attest to how great it feels.

MONEY: Become wealthy

The Can Opener Bridge

What is the best use of your money and time? When is it best to plow ahead at full speed, and when is it best to travel a longer route? Of course, this question is situational, but it’s not always best to take the shortest path.

A bridge in Durham, North Carolina, teaches this lesson harshly to those who would ignore clear warning signs beforehand. The 11’8″ bridge, nicknamed “The Can Opener Bridge” by fans, was built in the ’40s and is several feet shorter than today’s bridges. The bridge rips the tops of trucks that don’t obey the “OVERHEIGHT” messages beforehand—quite the spectacle for onlookers and quite the truck drivers’ expense.

Trucks and tall vehicles hit the Can Opener Bridge so frequently that the traffic commission had to install sensors, warning lights, and a screen telling vehicles to turn to reduce the damage in the area. The bridge carries a railroad track over it, which the railway won’t move because of the expense, and underneath the road below the bridge lies sewer pipes, eliminating the option of lowering the road. Despite these warnings, many drivers remain ignorant or oblivious and plow through the stoplight and hit the bridge, tearing the tops of their trucks off.

The drivers of the unfortunate trucks illustrate an essential lesson in life: sometimes, the straightest path is the most costly. In our haste to “get there,” we can ignore crucial warning signs that could save us from poor decisions and illuminate better options. Taking the time to recognize signals around us can save us from making mistakes others have made. No one can avoid all the negative consequences of life, but being vigilant and aware helps us avoid costly blunders, especially if they’re avoidable.

Sometimes it’s better to spend a little extra time to save a lot of extra money.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Keep healthy in the hustle

Drug Trials And How They Work

With some drugs getting emergency approval for treating COVID-19, we thought we’d shed some light on the usual process of getting drugs approved.

Clinical trials are “experiments or observations done in clinical research.” Only about 10% of all drugs that begin clinical trials are approved and become drugs legally available in the market. Trials follow a typical series from early, small-scale, Phase 1 studies to late-stage, large scale, Phase 3 studies. Here are the stages of clinical research listed by the FDA:

Phase I

  • Study Participants: 20 to 100 healthy volunteers or people with the disease/condition.
  • Length of Study: Several months
  • Purpose: Safety and dosage
  •  Approximately 70% of drugs move to the next phase

Phase II

  • Study Participants: Up to several hundred people with the disease/condition.
  • Length of Study: Several months to 2 years
  • Purpose: Efficacy and side effects
  •  Approximately 33% of drugs move to the next phase

Phase III

  • Study Participants: 300 to 3,000 volunteers who have the disease or condition
  • Length of Study: 1 to 4 years
  • Purpose: Efficacy and monitoring of adverse reactions
  •  Approximately 25-30% of drugs move to the next phase

Phase IV

  • Study Participants: Several thousand volunteers who have the disease/condition
  • Purpose: Safety and efficacy



os·​ten·​si·​bly | adverb

apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually; to all outward appearances

NEWS BREAK: Stay informed

  • Dow futures fell 100 points, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.53% and 0.5%, respectively, in overnight trading on Tuesday after President Donald Trump called off stimulus talks until after the November election.
  • VP Pence asked that no plexiglass dividers be placed on his side of the stage at Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate.
  • On Tuesday, Apple sent out invitations for an October 13 event, presumably to unveil the new iPhone 12. The invite said, “Hi, Speed.”

1% BETTER: Improve each day

Make a list of 3 social/personal events (ex: your kid’s soccer championship game) you will never miss because of work.