How To Micro-Cize Your Life

It always takes me by surprise. When I give my presentation on “how to get a mental six-pack,” I ask the audience, so what’s your biggest takeaway? In my mind, I’m thinking it’ll be something like “I didn’t realize we have to master our biology in order to change” or “now I have a model for mapping out the stress factors in my office dynamics.” But no. The single most popular takeaway is that we have to set “micro goals: […]

How To Feel Less Defensive

“Have you ever been incarcerated?” When I was mentoring at Defy Ventures, an organization that trains formerly incarcerated individuals for employment and entrepreneurship, I learned that that was the question participants dreaded most in a job interview (and understandably so, since it often meant the end of the interview). Though, for most of us, the question we dread being asked may not be as damning, we all have one that puts a pit in our stomach: What’s your market traction? […]

Three Ways To Develop Mental Toughness Right Now [Fortune Ventures]

One thing every entrepreneur quickly discovers is that building a business is an emotional roller-coaster ride. As Matt Salzberg, CEO of fast-growing meal kit startup Blue Apron, so eloquently put it: “One day you may think your business is going bankrupt, one day you might be riding high because you just landed a new client, partnership or really great story.” That ability to ride the ups and downs is one of the few things you actually control in building your […]

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 […]

What To Do When You Can’t Get Into The Groove

Today was one of those days. Sluggish. Unfocused. Namby pamby. There wasn’t even a specific reason to point to: I’m 100% healthy, fully carbed, well-rested and pain-free, with plenty of interesting projects in the pipeline. I tried the usual slew of strategies to get a mental jumpstart – calisthenics, watching a pep talk from Kid President, journaling, even a 10-minute nap – but simply could not get into the groove. As high performers, we’re used to operating at, or close […]

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 […]

Navy SEALs, “Full-Contact Living” and a Quick Jumpstart

This Friday, I’m attending a memorial service for one of the Navy SEALs who was on the helicopter downed in Afghanistan while rescuing Army Rangers. I met Special Operations Chief Brian Bill briefly back in April when he gave a presentation to the Navy SEAL RDAC, an organization that prepares candidates for the rigors of BUD/S training (and where I provide mental toughness mentoring). The SEALs and their special operations counterparts “conduct these missions night after night knowing that every […]

The Power of 10

I’m talking about the power of ten minutes. That was the one of the recurring themes I picked up on as I was interviewing 12 diverse 
experts for the Mental Toughness Summit last month. For example: In visiting talent hotbeds around the world from Russia to Brazil, 
Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, noticed that deliberate
 practice happened in 10-minute bursts. In a pilot study with Marines preparing for a tour of duty in Iraq,
 Dr. Liz Stanley found […]

What’s Your M.O. — Crash and Burn, or Rest and Recover?

Are you operating at your maximum or your optimum? Nido Qubein, president of High Point University, asked this question and it highlighted one of the behavioral mysteries I’ve long observed in the business world: So many people operate in maximum mode, running as fast as they can, barely keeping their head above water. Crash and Burn They rush around in reactive mode, relying on external pressures and sheer willpower to create adrenaline-driven motivation. Pushing as hard as they can for […]

[Flow Tip #13] Transport Yourself

In my ebook, Focused and In the Flow, I came up with 21 tips for getting into the flow. Here’s tip #13 and a Nike ad that shows you how it works: Not inspired or excited by your immediate environment? Why not imagine a different one. Children do it all the time, transforming the living room into a haunted castle, one minute, or a jungle filled with spies, in the next. Why tether yourself, in spirit, to the same old […]