How I’m Breaking My Emotional Addiction

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 […]

How To Feel Less Defensive

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 […]

Why You’re Not Getting What You Want

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 […]

Are You Leveraging the Power of Curiosity?

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, […]

The Guaranteed Way to Turbocharge Your Goals

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 […]

Are You Trying To Win The Worthiness Game?

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 […]

How To Master the Silver Lining

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 […]

No Rules!

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 […]

My Not-So-Bitter Break-up

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, […]

The Secret to Happiness (No, Really)

The Secret to Happiness (No, Really)

Recently, I was talking with an app developer and congratulating him for having hundreds of thousands of users. “No,” he said, shaking his head, “it doesn’t mean anything until you have a million users.” “Really?” I said, thinking I’d be pretty psyched if I had that many people on my mailing list. “But, in the […]

The No-Resolution Approach to 2014

The No-Resolution Approach to 2014

Okay, confession time: It’s 4:00 pm on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve and I’m alone in my sister’s dangerously well-stocked kitchen (think two refrigerators full of holiday leftovers and a walk-in pantry). After a week of maintaining my routine of intermittent fasting and relatively disciplined eating (considering I’m faced with daily onslaughts of French toast and sausage […]

Two Words That Are Music To Everyone’s Ears

Two Words That Are Music To Everyone’s Ears

Leo, a super-smart consultant, had a prickly relationship with his boss. Conservative and extremely process-oriented, his boss invariably found some detail to criticize in Leo’s presentations and proposals. It was clear to me from his behavior that the boss was actually very insecure and intimidated by Leo’s capabilities but his critical remarks seemed to push […]

To Thank or Not To Thank

To Thank or Not To Thank

Recently, I gave a presentation on resilience at Defy Ventures, an innovative organization that recognizes the entrepreneurial skills of formerly incarcerated gang members and drug dealers and provides them with formal training in business building. As part of the program, I’ve volunteered to mentor one of the entrepreneurs-in-training, someone whose comments during my presentation reflected […]

Five Strategies for Staying Mindful on “Social”

Five Strategies for Staying Mindful on “Social”

Ever noticed how dogs behave when they’re taken for a walk — easily distracted, stopping to sniff and/or chase everything along the way, the smellier the better? That’s our minds on social media. As I mentioned in my previous post, Are You Missing Out?, there’s no question that social media has created exciting opportunities for […]

Why Getting Things Done Is Not The Answer

Why Getting Things Done Is Not The Answer

Awhile back, during one of the sessions in my Productivity Mindset course, one of the participants asked, “What’s the best way to use 10 or 15 minutes where you don’t have anything planned?” You should have heard the shocked silence when I said, “Well, you could just do nothing, you know.” Do nothing!? Like, stand […]

How To Make Reality Catch Up Faster

How To Make Reality Catch Up Faster

In the late 1970s, Jim Fannin was coaching Adriano Panatta, one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world and a former French Open champion. He tells the story of  Panatta’s quarterfinal match with one of the newcomers at an ATP tournament. “As the match unfolded, this low-ranked, left-handed, red-headed jerk of a guy has no […]

Listen To Your Inner Critic

Listen To Your Inner Critic

Rob, a client of mine (though not his real name), recently took a one-week vacation from work, a much-needed break from a highly stressful, fast-paced corporate environment. Upon his return, one of his colleagues welcomed him back and noted that Rob’s team had worked hard and been very productive during his absence. Rob’s first reaction, […]

What Is Flow Anyway?

What Is Flow Anyway?

You know that feeling when you’re so fully immersed in an activity — an engrossing conversation, say, or a riveting mystery novel, a challenging game of tennis — that you lose track of time, your self-consciousness falls away and life seems effortless? That’s being in the flow. It’s a phenomenon that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor […]

Feed Your Mind, Think Different

Feed Your Mind, Think Different

Imagination is like a muscle: if we exercise it, it will grow more powerful and agile. Being imaginative, however, is not just about being artistic or creative – it’s having the ability to see alternative possibilities beyond the current “reality” or what’s immediately apparent. Actually, we all already have pretty lively imaginations. How often do […]

Negative Thinking: The Appendix Of Your Mind

Negative Thinking: The Appendix Of Your Mind

At my recent lecture at the Mid-Manhattan Library on developing resilience and recovery muscles, one of the members in the audience noted that she always seemed to gloss over the positive things that happened in her life and home in on the negative. Others nodded their heads in vigorous agreement and with the constant parade […]

Make Over Your Inner Critic

Make Over Your Inner Critic

Last summer, on stage in the preliminary round of a national piano competition, I experienced what is probably the worst nightmare for any performer: My mind went blank and I couldn’t remember what came next or how the piece ended. After some excruciating and dissonant fumbling, I gave up and stopped abruptly. I managed to […]