How I’m Breaking My Emotional Addiction

Standing at the crowded coffee bar, I waited patiently to catch the attention of the server frantically busy filling orders. A tall German woman strode up next to me and, with no hesitation, called out her order for two cappuccinos. I looked at her, incredulous, feeling the urge to slap her arm and say: “Are you serious?! Do you not see the rest of us waiting here?” The thing is, I wasn’t in New York, where a moment of indignant […]

How To Feel Less Defensive

“Have you ever been incarcerated?” When I was mentoring at Defy Ventures, an organization that trains formerly incarcerated individuals for employment and entrepreneurship, I learned that that was the question participants dreaded most in a job interview (and understandably so, since it often meant the end of the interview). Though, for most of us, the question we dread being asked may not be as damning, we all have one that puts a pit in our stomach: What’s your market traction? […]

Why You’re Not Getting What You Want

“What do you want?” I asked my client, who had salvaged a major project for the company and was disappointed that the CEO wasn’t articulating his appreciation for her efforts. Well, he had said “good job” in one of his emails but apparently that wasn’t what she was looking for. It turns out, however, she didn’t know exactly what she wanted. All she knew is that she felt like she wasn’t getting it. That seems to be the case with […]

Are You Leveraging the Power of Curiosity?

My dad likes to tell this story from my childhood: I was three years old, we were eating dinner and my mom chastised me for chewing with my mouth open, saying “That’s how pigs eat.” My immediate response: “Do cows do it too?” Apparently, I’ve always been curious about behavior, bovine and otherwise.  Over the years, living in Japan and Europe and working in diverse company cultures, I’ve developed an endless fascination with understanding why humans behave the way they do […]

My Rules For Making Dreams Real (When I’m Feeling Full of Doubt)

“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” Tupac Shakur Yesterday, I woke up feeling a vague sense of dissatisfaction, for no concrete reason. All day, it kept dogging me. So finally, I sat down on the couch with my journal and started asking myself some questions. “What am I afraid of?” was the first one. The answers that came out: that my dream – the big, hairy goals I have for my life – aren’t going to happen. That I […]

The Guaranteed Way to Turbocharge Your Goals

Over the years, I’ve shared a variety of approaches to goal-setting. In 2012, I suggested focusing on creating habits. In 2013, I said, start at the micro level, with micro-goals and micro-practice. In 2014, I said let’s resist the “all or nothing” lure of a new start and start fresh every moment.Whatever approach you take, you can turbocharge the process by shoring up your belief that what you want is possible. How do you demonstrate that? By acting as if your future has already happened.This […]

Are You Trying To Win The Worthiness Game?

Last week, I went to Standup for Passion — an event series founded by two entrepreneurs, Arnaud Collery and Serge Karim Ganem, that brings together fascinating people to talk about their passions in life. This latest one featured seven successful entrepreneur founders — CEOs who had built and sold businesses for millions, won awards and been recognized by major press — talking about their ups and downs. One by one, each shared their personal variation on a theme: how having money, power, recognition — the external validation they […]

How To Master the Silver Lining

I’m up in the Boston area this week for meetings, and visiting my dad in Concord. Today, around 5:30 pm — rush hour — we were driving toward the city to pick up my sister at the airport. There had been quite a bit of discussion beforehand about what time we should leave to take into account the traffic and as we headed in, sure enough, there were lines of cars in every direction. “Look at all the traffic!” I kept exclaiming […]

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No Rules!

A few weeks ago, on a rainy day, I came out of the subway turnstile at 72nd Street. I was following a guy out one of the doors when he stopped suddenly, right there in the doorway — because of the rain, I guess. I gave him what I thought was a gentle “keep it moving” tap on the shoulder and he turned around angrily and said, “Don’t touch me.” Annoyed, I said, “Well, don’t block the doorway.” And then […]

My Not-So-Bitter Break-up

I’m breaking up with you, conventional thinking. Sorry, we’ve grown apart and it’s just not working anymore. Oh, you want to know why? I’ll tell you why. It’s because you’re so focused on — obsessed even — with physical reality like it’s the end-all, be-all; this undeniable truth that you have to pay attention to, even if you don’t like it. You’re always saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” with that smarmy, self-satisfied grin. Yeah, I know, I […]