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 […]

The Judge, the Jury and Something Unexpected

“I never want to do this again.” “I’m so stressed.” “I haven’t been sleeping.” “Next time, I will make sure I don’t get chosen.” Two men from Ghana were on trial for dealing drugs, and we were the jury. And after three days of listening to witnesses’ testimony and four more in deliberation — cooped up in a room every day for 7½ hours with 11 strangers – we were feeling pretty resentful about the demands of this civic obligation. But when we […]

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 the wisdom and philosophical depth he’s developed over the course of 18 years (!) in prison. Earlier this week, I received from him a handwritten […]

Five Ways To Flex Your Gratitude Muscle

Developing the habit of gratitude has become a common buzzword in mainstream media, touted as the key to less stress, better health and more happiness. Considering there are hundreds, if not thousands, of books written on the topic (based on a quick Amazon search), however, it seems we  need a little instruction on how to be grateful on a regular basis. In the developed world at least, where most of us can take our fundamental needs for granted, too often, […]