“Look at me as an example of what not to do,” my father once told me.

As he is now serving a life sentence in prison, it was pretty solid life advice. It’s also an excellent example of a mental model called “inversion.”

Inversion is simply looking at the opposite of your problem to find an easier path to a solution.

On New Year’s Eve, I dodged a moral bullet.

I was reading an article about some banks and credit unions holding stimulus checks hostage on overdrawn accounts. Concerningly, a local bank was specifically called out. I asked my team if anyone had heard what our organization was doing around this issue. I was directed to an internal post explaining the policy — one that put us firmly in the white hat category. …

It’s the first day of 2021, and it’s the perfect time to talk about fear.

We are all cowards when facing our true fears and those fears aren’t what you’d expect.

I’m pretty gutsy. Once I realize I have a fear, I attack it head-on. I was afraid of heights so I joined a rock climbing club. That fear isn’t dead, but it has shifted into an electric jolt of thrill.

More importantly, it’s not limiting.

I was intimated by a superior at work so I asked him to be my mentor. I’m still intimidated but it’s not limiting.


My sister called me around midnight, sobbing. Her only words were “Come quick.” I ran downstairs to the basement she and her fiance rent from me, fearing the worst. She was on the couch, curled in the fetal position. Her body wracked with spasms, face pale and sweaty, and she moaned as waves of pain overtook her.

We spent the next few hours coaxing old prescription pain meds into her. Her fiancé got advice from his mother a state away, who is thankfully a nurse. …

I’m going to tell you a secret.

Applying for a job doesn’t really work anymore.

Yes, obviously companies are hiring, recruiters are interviewing candidates, and some of those candidates are getting hired.

But this is the reality: you find a job description on a website, craft the perfect cover letter, upload your perfectly tweaked resume, retype all that same information in the boxes for some reason, maybe you connect with the recruiter on LinkedIn. Then you wait….and wait…if you are lucky you will get an email rejection. If you are super lucky you might even land an interview. More than…

While I was in my MBA, my boss off-handedly mentioned she was cleaning out her closet and offered to give me some of her old clothes if I was interested. I jumped at the opportunity to replace my threadbare office garb snatched from an Arizona thrift store (which did not translate to the snowy climate of Utah as well as hoped). The bag was filled with winter gear, trendy office-wear, a pair of desperately needed snow boots, and crumpled in the bottom of one of the bags — a receipt from the day before. …

The world is changing in unpredictable ways. By keeping your mind open and being willing to grow where you are needed, you can take advantage of the upcoming opportunities.

We live in a weird time.

At nearly any other time in history, there were things you could put stock in to stay much the same over your life. If you were a farmer in the year 1200, you would likely be confident that those skills would be relevant to pass down to your children.

A writer in the 1800s would cultivate their skills, confident that the years of practice would…

A personal story about the value of salary transparency.

I knew my boss wanted me.

And I wanted her — professionally speaking, of course.

I also wanted to stay in that job. This mission was inspiring, my boss encouraged all my weird projects, and they gave me free food every day.

The only issue was salary.

The company was known for paying on the low-end of the salary spectrum, assuming the mission and perks would be enough. Making the salary issue more complex was that my role could have had a dozen titles. …

Be brave enough to go against the norm, this is where the true leaders lie.

Ok, here is an experiment. Look at these two lines and choose which letter most closely corresponds with the bar on the left.

Super tricky, right?

Of course, it’s not. Everyone gets the correct answer — C.

However, what would you do if everyone around you said the correct answer was A? Would you be willing to stand your ground stick your answer?

The researcher who first performed this experiment hypothesized that most people would keep their correct answer. And the researcher was wrong.


Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable allows you to get a step closure to control.

The Chief Financial Officer stood at the podium giving a speech. I sat in the back of the auditorium and yawned exaggeratedly before pointedly looking down at my phone. The executive noticed and glared. I shrugged and tried to hide a smirk. She spoke louder, working to project her voice over my discourtesy. I kept my eyes on my phone, and I could tell I was getting to her. She spoke louder. My eyes stayed fixed on the screen.

Finally, getting frustrated, the CFO started to…

Samantha S Easter

A socially awkward jumble of contradictions, questions, and tangents.

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