The most strategic decision of your life will be deciding which people you allow into your life and which you ask to leave it. It will be which family members to be close to (and which to not). It will be whom you choose as friends (and whom you choose to no longer be friends [...]

The key to “winning” any argument is to recognize that some arguments not only can’t be won, but shouldn’t be “won.” Arguments take place in one of two contexts: Unimportant Relationship Important Relationship (Notice how the two categories are MECE… I couldn’t help myself. :) …) How you approach arguments in these situations can vary [...]

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in the number of conversations that involve critical reasoning and independent thinking. I’m very concerned by this trend. One obvious place this has occurred is in American politics. I have friends across the full spectrum of political beliefs. I am shocked at how many debates [...]

You have an enormous advantage in life when you have the capacity to tolerate the truth. Anyone can tolerate the truth when it’s positive and favorable. It’s much more difficult when the truth isn’t what you want to hear. Just because you wish something wasn’t true doesn’t make it any less valid. For example, it’s [...]

Criticism involves telling someone what they did wrong (or worse yet, telling them what’s wrong with them). A request involves asking somebody to do something a specific way next time. When you’re talking to a spouse, an employee, or your child, and they do something you don’t like, you have a few options. 1) Criticize [...]

When I was a child in school, I was taught that if you work hard, you would be successful. If you did your homework, you would get better grades. If you practiced your sport regularly, you improved and got better results. While there is definitely a relationship between hard work and better results, the relationship [...]

Confidence (and the lack thereof) comes in two flavors: 1) Earned 2) Unearned Earned confidence comes from one source, and one source only: Competence You earn the right to feel confident about a particular skill or ability when you’ve invested the time to develop competence and mastery. For example, I have very high confidence that [...]

In my mentorship program, one of the recurring topics I discuss is how to be more powerful and influential with others at work. Here’s one powerful technique that I’ve taught my Inner Circle members in the past that I’ll share with you today. I call it the “You’re Mostly Right” technique. When you’re arguing with [...]

At one point or another in your life, you’re going to be overwhelmed. Overwhelm comes in two flavors — functional overwhelm (such as when you run a car engine past the red line and it blows up), or emotional overwhelm. In this case, you have two “levers” to pull to deal with overwhelm. 1) Increase [...]

When I mentor people, they often ask me for my thoughts about specific career choices they are considering. Invariably, the questions fall into two categories. 1) How do I succeed in a pre-structured career path (e.g., making partner in a consulting firm)? 2) How do I succeed in forging my own path that isn’t pre-structured [...]

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