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 […]

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 […]

How To Avoid the Main Pitfall of Success

Roger Federer, the great tennis champion, has been playing tennis for 30 years, since he was four years old. In a practice session before the US Open, he was tired. Federer wanted, as Michael Terry tells the story, to cut practice short. ”That’s when I started to run in and hit returns,” he said later. “I hit a couple for a winner. They were, like, ridiculous.” He tried it again in the next two practice sessions, to see if it actually would […]

Stop Playing The Comparison Game

I’d been having a productive morning — knocking off client calls, writing assignments and errands like a boss. Then I saw that someone had left the October issue of Fortune magazine down in the laundry room. On the cover was Sheryl Sandberg and the tagline: “There’s never been an executive like the Facebook COO. A billionaire bestselling author she’s one of the most powerful women in the world.” Suddenly, I felt deflated, unaccomplished, insignificant. Why wasn’t I on the list of most powerful women […]

Mental Toughness for the “New Normal”

Do you ever catch yourself thinking that maybe all of this – this pace of relentless change and uncertainty – is really just temporary? That we simply have to ride it out and, eventually, we’ll go back to the way it used to be. You know, pre-9/11, before the financial meltdown, without the weekly slew of disasters, natural and man-made. Well, enjoy the fantasy because this is the new normal. “The pace of change in our world is speeding up,” […]

‘Tis the Season to Be Emotional, Part I: How To Stay In Control (And Avoid Regret) – Part 1

RIDING THE ROLLERCOASTER Ah, the holiday season. That time of year when we experience those delightful emotional extremes — from the joy and exhilaration of spending time with people we care about to the discomfort of performance reviews and dinner with difficult in-laws. Even if, on balance, you enjoy the holidays, when your emotions start running the show, the rollercoaster ride between the highs and lows can feel incredibly stressful and uncomfortable. WE HAVE A CHOICE When the doctor hits […]

How To Stay Calm and Cool In A Crazy Uncertain World (Gus Fring Style)

In the hit TV show Breaking Bad, Gus Fring is a drug lord and one of the most prominent meth distributors in the southwestern United States. At one point, Gus is brought in for questioning by the Drug Enforcement Agency. He doesn’t know why until they start asking him about his connection with the murder of Gale (who they don’t know was his former employee). Watching the scene and knowing Gus is sitting there right under the nose of his enemy […]

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 […]

Three Ways To Killer Focus (No Mafia Required)

Have you seen the movie Limitless? Bradley Cooper plays struggling author Eddie Morra, who is suffering from serious writer’s block. His life dramatically changes when he runs into his former brother-in-law, who introduces him to NZT, a revolutionary new drug that allows him to instantly focus and tap into his full potential. Voila! He cleans up years of clutter in his apartment, starts working out, finishes his book in four days, learns to speak Italian and Chinese, outsmarts the stock […]