vulnerability and conflict

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

There’s a lot of talk these days about vulnerability and the need for people to embrace making themselves vulnerable. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought and intent into over the last several months, with varying degrees of success. For one, it’s difficult for me to understand the line between transparency and vulnerability. This newsletter, my social media, the …

the stories we tell ourselves

In deep thoughts, inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

For a while (until it wore off) I had an address label on my wallet that I had written on it, “why are you buying this?” When I was at a restaurant or store, I saw several people look at it and laugh. Sure, it did serve a small purpose to make me think about whether or not I should be …

opinions vs. experience

In learning, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

I spent this weekend with 14 other individuals in a Florida Airbnb named, “Decadent Compound” as part of an amazing birthday celebration of my good friend, Jordan. She booked the trip with the intention of bringing together 14 people who have been important to her, that she thought would get along, and frankly most of us were strangers to one …

flipping a new lie

In creativity, deep thoughts, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

Right before I took my summer writing break (which I just cut short), I shared some information about why I started writing in the first place. In the words of my coach and mentor, Chris, I needed to “flip the lie” I was telling myself — and specifically, I was telling myself that I wasn’t an artist or able to …

rules — real or imaginary?

In creativity, learning, stories by Jay Clouse

A few months ago, I signed up for Level 1 improv classes because I thought I’d be good at them. Then, just a couple weeks ago, I signed up for Level 2 improv classes because I realized I was not. But I’m really enjoying the process of it, for a lot of reasons. For one, it’s fun to fail hard …

attitude, unnecessary risk, and 8th grade football

In deep thoughts, learning, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

I’ve written before about my varsity football record being 5-25 over three years. BUT, we were actually pretty good and mostly undefeated from grades 7-9. What I’m trying to say is, we had some dominating 14-year-old athletes. One of those athletes was our backup quarterback. He was a backup, but at that age it’s more like “second” quarterback, because he …

put on a show

In inspiration, motivation, stories by Jay Clouse

When I was in high school, our football team wasn’t very good. My sophomore year we went 2-8, my junior year we went 2-8, and then my senior year….we went 1-9. Woof. Before all of our games my senior year, we had a team dinner. And during that dinner, we had a local church pastor give some remarks to help …

my gym closed, and I’m upset about it

In learning, stories by Jay Clouse

I had a really sweet deal. By random chance, the gym I worked at while I was in college was across the street from my current apartment. When I moved in, I weaseled my way into a free membership, which I’ve enjoyed for the past couple of years. But about two months ago, the gym closed. And I’m upset about …

exercising agency and influence

In deep thoughts, inspiration, leadership, learning, motivation, relationships, stories by Jay Clouse

Learning to be a leader is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do. Besides high school sports, my first leadership position was running a college newspaper organization, and I ran it into the ground. It no longer exists. Later on in college, I more successfully ran the OSU entrepreneurship organization, where I learned the important of succession planning. …