Are You Mentally Tough Enough to Suck?

Recently, I’ve gotten into rock climbing. Well, actually, I’ve only done it a handful of times and I live in New York City, so it’s  on manmade walls at an indoor gym called Brooklyn Boulders. It’s cool and trendy and I like the idea of it as an exercise in mental toughness — except that it’s really, really hard. You’re perched at awkward angles, at risk of falling if you miss the next hold, while your fingers go numb from their death grip […]

The Highly Effective + Ridiculously Under-Utilized Technique for Getting People To (Gladly) Give You What You Want

This past weekend, I gave a presentation to a group of Navy SEAL officer candidates on how to prepare for their upcoming interviews with recruiters. Obviously, with all the hours of fitness training and time they’re dedicating (some of them drive four or five hours each way to the gatherings), they all want very much to be offered a SEAL contract. They also want to avoid the fate of an earlier candidate who told the board, with sincere intention and intensity, […]

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 […]

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.” […]

Effort Is Not A Dirty Word: Five Ways You Get A Big Payback

“Lose 10 pounds in 10 days — without diet or exercise!” “Win the lottery, live a life of ease!” “Click here to meet the man of your dreams! Poof! Just like that, we’re rich, thin, in love and, presumably, happy. Except…we’re not. And yet, each time we fall for – or are at least tempted by — the lure of the quick fix because we want to believe that we can have it all, instantly, without breaking a sweat. Why […]