How a Pink Duck With a ‘Fro Helps Me Practice a Different Kind of Self-Talk

“How dare they cancel at the last minute? They’re supposed to give you 24 hours notice. Your time is valuable. How dare they waste your time, you could have scheduled 10 different things instead, your time is valuable, you know…” Aargh, that’s what the yammering voice in my head sounds like when it gets on a roll. Around and around it goes in this endless loop luring me with the promise that eventually it’ll come to some kind of conclusion. […]

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 […]

Yes or Yes: How to Make Fewer Decisions

A married couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. At the party everybody wanted to know how they managed to stay married so long in this day and age. The husband responded, “When we were first married we came to an agreement – I would make all the major decisions and my wife would make all the minor decisions. And now, after 60 years of marriage, I can truthfully say that we have never needed to make a MAJOR decision. […]

How To Be A Lean, Mean Thinking Machine

“Watch out! Oh no, you’re gonna screw up, you’re gonna screw up, you’re gonna screw up.” That’s what’s usually going through my head during a piano performance…..right before I screw up. Here’s what’s going through my head when I’m in the flow and playing my best: Yep. When it comes to thinking, less is definitely better. In the first few five or so years of life, our thoughts are simple and focused on the present moment: “I’m hungry.” “I’m sleepy.” […]

Why You Choke Under Pressure – And How To Avoid It, Part I

Blowing a high-stakes presentation, flubbing a chance conversation with a senior partner in the elevator, bombing the exam you studied months for – choking under pressure is one, really painful and two, usually means lost opportunities. What’s funny is that while it was our brainpower that’s instrumental in getting us to that point of achievement, it’s also the culprit that sabotages our performance. (Okay, it’s not that funny.) The good news is you can train your brain to help, not […]

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 Is Flow Anyway?

You know that feeling when you’re so fully immersed in an activity — an engrossing conversation, say, or a riveting mystery novel, a challenging game of tennis — that you lose track of time, your self-consciousness falls away and life seems effortless? That’s being in the flow. It’s a phenomenon that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor and former chairman of the University of Chicago Department of Psychology, has spent over 20 years researching and views as the key to enhancing the […]