[PODCAST] Effortless Mastery with Kenny Werner

Download Listen in a New Window iTunes Stitcher SoundCloud Leave a Review Clammr It Subscribe via RSS Subscribe on Android Veteran jazz pianist Kenny Werner has been performing and composing for 40+ years. Since writing his seminal book Effortless Mastery, Liberating The Master Musician Within in 1996, Kenny has lectured world-wide on how musicians, artists and business people can allow their “master creator” within to lift their performance to its highest level, showing us how to be spontaneous, fearless, joyful and disciplined in our work and […]

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 […]

Are We Less Evolved Than We Think?

See the presentation on Slideshare.com. My last year of high school brought two momentous developments. One, I got contact lenses. And two, I decided I was tired of being a nerdy bookworm and wanted to be on the tennis team. My mom (who was making huge sacrifices so I could pursue music) said okay, as long as it didn’t affect my piano studies. So I’d finish class mid-afternoon, train with the tennis team for a few hours, come home and practice […]

How Much of Your Life Do You Want To Spend In Survival Mode?

In The Art of Possibility, Ben Zander tells this story: Inscribed on five of the six pillars in the Holocaust Memorial at Quincy Market in Boston are stories that speak of the cruelty and suffering in the camps. The sixth pillar presents a tale of a different sort, about a little girl named Ilse, a childhood friend of Guerda Weissman Kline, in Auschwitz. Guerda remembers that Ilse, who was about six years old at the time, found one morning a […]

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 breakfasts, homemade pizza and lasagna dinners and decadent desserts), I make it to the last day of the year only to give into a mini-feeding frenzy. […]

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 in line without checking your phone? Like, sit in a chair and stare out the window? What a concept. Most of us feel like we should always […]

Five Things That Are Rocking My Summer (2012)

Summertime is here and along with the rising temps, I feel like my world is expanding by leaps and bounds. Blockbuster movies aren’t my thing (though it was kind of fun to wear 3D glasses to watch The Amazing Spiderman) but here are a few of the books, projects and ideas that have me buzzing with excitement. 1. The power of vewy quiet. When I was growing up in Iowa, a trip to the library with my mom and sisters […]

How Jeremy Lin Deals with the Pressure of Expectation And You Can Too

Seven weeks. That’s how long it’s been since New York Knicks Jeremy Lin burst onto the NBA scene — and already there’s speculation whether he can take his game to the next level as other teams gear up for him, or is he just a “one-year wonder?” In a matter of weeks, Lin went from sleeping on his brother’s couch to being in the glare of the global spotlight. On top of it all, he’s carrying the hopes and dreams […]

Iced Tea Vendor In The Flow

One of the surefire ways to get into a flow state is to make sure there’s an ideal balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and our own perceived skills — if we perceive the challenge to be greater than our ability, we get anxious; if the challenge seems too easy, we get bored. The key lies in proactively and imaginatively figuring out how to do that. Check out how this ice tea vendor in Bangkok* does it and,  in the process, makes […]

How To Enjoy The Job You Have Until You Have The Job You Want (Part II)

You don't have to be this guy.

A few years back, I wrote a post about how to enjoy the job you have until you have the job you want. Here’s another suggestion Over at The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle wrote a post about how a disproportionate number of CEOs began their careers in the mailroom and worked their way up. (This was also the plot line for an 80’s movie, The Secret of My Success, starring Michael J. Fox.) Despite their lowly position on the corporate ladder, these underdogs […]