How I’m Breaking My Emotional Addiction

Standing at the crowded coffee bar, I waited patiently to catch the attention of the server frantically busy filling orders. A tall German woman strode up next to me and, with no hesitation, called out her order for two cappuccinos. I looked at her, incredulous, feeling the urge to slap her arm and say: “Are you serious?! Do you not see the rest of us waiting here?” The thing is, I wasn’t in New York, where a moment of indignant […]

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 […]

Why You’re Not Getting What You Want

“What do you want?” I asked my client, who had salvaged a major project for the company and was disappointed that the CEO wasn’t articulating his appreciation for her efforts. Well, he had said “good job” in one of his emails but apparently that wasn’t what she was looking for. It turns out, however, she didn’t know exactly what she wanted. All she knew is that she felt like she wasn’t getting it. That seems to be the case with […]

What A Flight Attendant Can Teach Us About Creating Certainty in An Uncertain World

Recently, on a cross-country flight from New York to California, the flight attendant announced: “We’re heading into a thunderstorm so the seatbelt sign will be on for the next 45 minutes. Feel free to get up and use the bathroom if necessary but keep in mind that we will remind you to return to your seats as quickly as possible.” As a student of neuroscience, I was impressed by the attendant’s understanding of the “fight-or-flight” threat response. Because typically, what […]

Juggling Lessons for Entrepreneurs [Work Reimagined]

Covering multiple jobs is the most difficult aspect of owning a business said 53% of those polled in a recent eVoice survey; nearly half said they juggle three or four roles. Unlike corporate employees, who often specialize in a particular skill set, a business owner needs the versatility to toggle among a wide range of tasks every day — from head of sales to bookkeeper, from chief marketing officer to receptionist. Wearing different hats doesn’t have to be stressful and […]

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 […]

Deadlines Are Your Friend

As a student at Juilliard, most of my “studying” revolved around practicing for my weekly piano lesson – and with all day everyday to spend in the practice room, it was hard to maintain intense focus. When the day of my lesson rolled around though, guess what: I was suddenly able to shift into high gear, tune out the usual distractions (“Alex the cellist is practicing shirtless again?”) and get into a place of deep concentration. Three hours would fly […]

How Do You Measure Up?

“What gets measured, gets managed.” Are you familiar with management guru Peter Drucker‘s famous quote? Here’s my version: measurement motivates. That is, the simple act of paying attention to something inevitably leads to improvement in those areas – and often without noticeable effort. I love this story that Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Workweek and himself a tracking fiend, tells about Phil Libin, the CEO of Evernote. “Phil had tried diets and exercise but it was inconvenient, it took […]