[PODCAST] The Courage to Be Authentic (and Why It’s the Secret to Greater Productivity and Speed in Building Your Company), with Andrea Shillington

Download Listen in a New Window iTunes Stitcher SoundCloud Leave a Review Clammr It Subscribe via RSS Subscribe on Android As an international brand strategist Andrea Shillington built brands for Fortune 500 companies, seven star hotels and governments including the United Arab Emirates. She then pivoted, launching Brands for the Heart to help visionary entrepreneurs develop authentic brands. We talked about her journey to living a more authentic life after she achieved all the markers of success early in her […]

What You Can Learn About High Performance From A Junior High School Teacher

Dave Brodkey teaches shop class to sixth to eighth graders at New Brighton Middle School near Santa Cruz, CA. Eleven and twelve year olds are typically not known for their sustained attention at school so when Brodkey told me his students consistently get into a state of flow — or what he calls the “quality zone” — in his classes, I had to learn more. Indeed, it turns out he’s intuitively and brilliantly incorporated all the key components that encourage flow states. […]

[PODCAST] Becoming Fit and Legit: How a Former Drug Dealer Founded ConBody and Turned His Life Around, with Coss Marte

Download Listen in a New Window iTunes Stitcher SoundCloud Leave a Review Clammr It Subscribe via RSS Subscribe on Android Starting at the age of 13, Coss Marte built a $2M cocaine-and-marijuana empire in New York City before getting busted. While serving time, he developed a bodyweight exercise program that he could do in a 9’x6′ prison cell — he lost 70 pounds and went on to help his fellow inmates lose a total of 1,000 pounds. Once released, he […]

Are You Tolerating Too Much?

Wait, Renita, what are you talking about? Don’t you always say we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable? Well, let’s make a distinction between two kinds of uncomfortable: there’s the discomfort of going into the unknown, the unfamiliar, taking action when we don’t know how it’ll play out. And then there’s the discomfort where we put up with some very familiar aspect of our lives that serves no greater purpose — a lack of challenge at work, an unethical boss, […]

9 Ways You’re Already Mentally Tough

As you know, I think a lot about “mental toughness” and how we can train ourselves to have more of it. But I also think we can get so caught up noticing the times we aren’t mentally tough that we overlook or discount the instances when we are.  Mental toughness doesn’t have to be reserved for some high-stakes situation where we grit our teeth, put our head down and forge on. In my playbook, at least, it can simply be a moment where we overcome a part of […]

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 […]

Want to Bounce Back From Disappointment Quicker?

Do you know the story of the Chinese farmer? When his horse ran away, the neighbors came around to commiserate, “So sorry to hear your horse  ran away.” And the farmer said, “Maybe, too soon to tell.” The next day the horse came back, bringing seven wild horses with it, and the neighbors came around to say, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events.” And the farmer said, “Maybe, too soon to tell.” The next day, his son was riding one […]

The Curse of Finishing Second (and Five Habits of Happy High-Achievers)

After finishing third in the men’s 100 meter race at the Rio Olympics this week, bronze medalist Andre de Grasse excitedly embraced Usain Bolt, who had taken the gold. While Andre and Usain were hugging it up, silver medalist Justin Gatlin looked less than thrilled, lost, no doubt, in counterfactual thought about “what might have been.” As Seinfeld points out, “If you win the gold, you feel good. If you win the bronze, you think, well, at least I got something. But if […]

The Time I Got Busted Not Paying Attention

On Saturday afternoons, I take one of my favorite class workouts, Forza, based on samurai sword fighting, with martial arts fitness instructor Ilaria Montagnani. After the warm-up and technical exercises, we learn two combinations, each a series of 16 moves – half cuts, diagonals, horizontals, for example – combined with squats and specific footwork moving backward, forward, sideways and diagonally. Once we’ve learned the combination, we repeat it, without stopping, for five to six minutes. For years now, we’ve done […]

What A Flight Attendant Can Teach Us About Creating Certainty in An Uncertain World

Recently, on a cross-country flight from New York to California, the flight attendant announced: “We’re heading into a thunderstorm so the seatbelt sign will be on for the next 45 minutes. Feel free to get up and use the bathroom if necessary but keep in mind that we will remind you to return to your seats as quickly as possible.” As a student of neuroscience, I was impressed by the attendant’s understanding of the fight-or-flight threat response. Because typically, what […]