Welcome to Toward Vandalia, a personal development blog that I hope will empower you to discover your truest self and maximize the potential of that self. The aim of ToVa is not to be an airy-fairy feel-goodery that encourages you to “Reach for your dreams!”. No, the goal here is to offer practical insights and wisdom. I do want you to reach for your dreams, of course, but I’m hoping to help you conceptualize those dreams before developing and implementing a plan of attack based in the realities we all face out in the real world.
What you will not see: a poster featuring a hand reaching for the sunny sky and a caption telling you to “Reach!”
What you will see: advice on engaging in constructive introspection that will indicate where you should reach and practical tips on how to get there one step at a time.
That said, inspiration will feature on the site (on Wednesdays, specifically) but it’s going to be practical inspiration in the vein of real life success stories or lessons to be gleaned from creative works. You’ve probably read stories similar to the ones I will share, but the mission of this site will be to help you bridge that gap between “Man, I wish I had the ability to do that” and showing yourself – by doing it! – that you’ve always had that ability.
Each week is going to have a prevailing theme. The meat is going to appear on Monday and Wednesday, while Friday will feature curated content gathered from around the interwebs that particular week.
Monday is going to set the pace with a longer thought piece and discussion of the theme that week. These themes might be general like “leadership”, but the Monday post will typically have a specific point to make on the topic. Occasionally the topic will be quite specific – such as a specific tool that will help you achieve forward momentum – and I’ll break the article into parts so as to give you the option of reading a brief overview or an in-depth walk-through.
Wednesday will give you a mid-week blast of practical inspiration. Typically this will fall in line with the theme of the week but every now and again something ‘breaking’ might be featured instead.
Friday will close out the week and give you a few pieces to check out over the weekend. Typically these links will be from that week (a “best of” the articles that I found helpful) but I’ll also include “throwback” links when they’re appropriate matches to the theme of the given week.
The Monday posts may sometimes be broken into two and concluded on the Tuesday. Off-topic issues that I feel might interest some segment of the readership (but may not appeal to the whole readership) may occasionally appear, but always on an “off” Tuesday or Thursday.
The goal will always be to get you thinking constructively about yourself and your goals. Whether your ambitions are to tackle and finally complete a pet project (like that novel you’ve been “working on” for the last ten years) or to scale the ladder at your company, ToVa aims to help you along the way.
I hope that you find the content to come both helpful and interesting. If you ever have any comments or suggestions, I urge you to get in touch via the “Contact” link in the main menu. Alternatively, feel free to comment on any given article so that the readership at large can benefit from the ensuing discussion.
Thanks for reading – best of luck out there!