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 […]

How To Stop Being A People-Pleaser (and Take Back Your Power)

“This feels too nice and polite to come from a ‘mental toughness coach,’” was my coach’s feedback when I asked him to review an email I had sent introducing myself to a high-profile entrepreneur.   “Well, yes,” I thought. “I am asking for his time and attention, I want to be respectful.” In fact, I was reaching out with an offer to be of service. In the process, I was tripped up by what Jean Tang describes in “Sorry, Not Sorry,” as women’s […]

The Goofus and Gallant Approach to Greatness

Recently, I’ve become a fan of Instagram. One of the accounts I follow features Harlow, a stately Weimeramer and Indiana, an adorable Dachshund, who are best friends and a shining example of model canine behavior (@harlowandsage). The two of them lie peacefully on the couch, gaze adoringly at each other and maintain their composure at all times. My sister’s dogs, Ruby and Domino, on the other hand, bark wildly whenever a rabbit (or other living creature) steps foot in the back yard, gnaw holes in imported […]

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. […]

A Sneaky Secret for (More) Self-Control

Here we are, heading quickly toward the end of the year. If you’re tempted to throw in the towel on your goals — whether work, fitness, diet — and just wait to start fresh in the new year (are you forgetting how much harder it’ll be if you’ve let everything slide?), here’s a powerful tip for increasing your self-control: Remember that no matter how strong the impulse to do (or avoid) something feels in the moment, it won’t last. It […]

The Power of Boring: Why Discipline and Consistency Trump the Adrenaline Rush

A TALE OF TWO ADVENTURERS In October 1911, two teams of adventurers were heading separate expeditions toward the South Pole – one led by Roald Amundsen from Norway and the other by Robert Falcon Scott of England. Amundsen adhered to a regimen of consistent progress, traveling 15 – 20 miles per day, resisting the temptation to go farther in good weather, in order to avoid reaching a point of exhaustion that could leave his team exposed, and pressing ahead even […]

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 us to connect, stay informed and build community. At the same time, it’s being integrated into our lives so insidiously seamlessly that most of us haven’t […]

Are You Missing Out? How To Handle The Double-Edged Sword of Social Media

A pic of someone posing on a sunny beach, fervent opinions on the presidential election, updates on  wedding prep, kiddies looking adorable — just a typical glance at my Facebook feed. ON THE ONE HAND There’s so much that’s good about social media: It updates us on the lives of people that we care about but might otherwise not keep in close touch with, creates community and provides an easy forum for self-expression. In the aftermath of hurricanes and other […]

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 Telltale Signs You Lack Mental Toughness (Or How To Know When You’re On The Road to Mediocrity)

“Recalculating…” That’s what the GPS system in your car diplomatically says when you’ve deviated from the set route. What it’s politely refraining from saying is: “Dude, you’re not following the plan.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have something similar when you get off track en route to your goals – when you’re deviating from your game plan for success? If you had a GPS inside your head, here are the “wrong turns” that would set it off: 1. You think it’s […]