Balancing Work and Well-Being · Leadership · Leveraging Skills & Knowledge · Personal Competencies ·

What do you have in common with Thomas Jefferson?

10 Things We Can Learn From Thomas Jefferson

What’s on your reading list for 2016? I started with Jon Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. I like to learn about and learn from successful people. As a certified trainer and performance coach, I work independently – spending little consistent face time with any particular group of people. Through podcasts and reading I establish my virtual peer group from whom I learn and am inspired.

It’s important to me to kick off a new year with rituals symbolic of how I want to live the year. Those rituals include reading something of importance. After a trip to Boston my understanding of the history I learned in school came into focus in new ways. I longed to learn more. Jon Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson had just hit the stands so the purchase was timely for me.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn about some aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s life that paralleled my own life. For example, he liked to write in code with his close friend. His father’s practice of reading and continuous learning influenced the same practice in Thomas Jefferson. There are other aspects of his life that have proven beneficial in my career.

Some of the habits and qualities I’m learning about in the book might also be of interest to you.

  1. Rise at dawn.
  2. Put your feet in a basin of cold water when you get up. (Current trend leans toward cold showers as a method for good health).
  3. Exercise two hours per day. For Thomas Jefferson, this typically took the form of walking no matter what the weather. He also believed the sun to be his constant physician.
  4. Read every evening. Establish the constant quest for knowledge.
  5. Be flexible enough to do what needs to be done in any given moment.
  6. Master your interpersonal skills. Make every person feel as if you are keenly interested in him/her.
  7. Make friends and influence people (sound familiar?)
  8. Practice resourcefulness and analytical skills: think before you act.
  9. Learn how to translate complex ideas into a language all your coworkers can understand.
  10. Write often. Write well. Write quickly.

History was never my strength when I was in school. Now, with life experience and more understanding of how the world works, history fascinates me. I’d probably still struggle with the memorization of dates, but I’m enthralled with historical narrative and the reality that all if it led to where we are now.

My focus is training front line employees, supervisors, and managers so they can reach their highest potential in their careers. I also taught college level Business Communication and Employee Readiness courses for 15 years. Employees and students tell me my courses change their lives for the better, and my evaluations consistently rate me as an engaged and motivational speaker. I decided to produce a podcast in the effort to support a broader audience of people in higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity, as well as encourage people to find jobs for which they are a good fit.

If you know anyone getting ready to start college, or even at a crossroads in life trying to put things back together in a positive way,  may I encourage you to give them my book, From Average Student to Academic Rock Star? This is my foundational college orientation available on Amazon in paperback. Set up like a workbook with action steps, this information has helped thousands of people get their goals on track. Some readers are purchasing it as a gift, and then deciding to keep it for themselves because of the life lessons addressed in the book.  Check it out on Amazon!

From Average Student to Academic Rock Star!

If you use a technique from the podcast or find any information especially useful, please jump on over to my website at and you can email me or post your feedback on twitter CatherineGoggia@goggia

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