Success in Life

Success = Being good at something. Satisfaction = Doing something that’s personally meaningful to you. The two are not the same thing. There also is not a causal relationship between the two. Success does not automatically bring you satisfaction. Most people assume such a relationship when that’s not always the case. The key driver of [...]

The biological purpose of fear is to help the human body avoid pain. If you’ve ever burned your finger by touching a stove, you know what I mean. When you get too close to a hot stove, something you KNOW will cause you pain, it’s beneficial to feel fear. It prompts you to take action [...]

I find strategy concepts that I would typically use in the business realm are often surprisingly useful when moved to determine a strategy for one’s life and vice versa. One idea, in particular, I’ve been thinking about over the years is developing a strategy to “win” as opposed to one designed to avoid loss. The [...]

You can live a safe, predictable life, or you can live a wild, chaotic, unpredictable life. The former provides you with a sense of safety, and the latter a sense of excitement. Living your life on the line that separates these two extremes is what I call “living life on your edge.” One secret for [...]

I have written previously about the benefits of striving for excellence rather than perfection. Perfection is based on an external standard – an impossible to achieve one I might add. Excellence is about striving to be the best you can possibly be. The standard is one set by yourself. The goal is to be YOUR best [...]

Four years ago, my old college dorm neighbor, Brian Acton, was looking for a job. Up until that point, he had spent 11 years at Yahoo in a variety of engineering jobs. He landed an interview with Twitter — but they didn’t give him an offer. He interviewed with Facebook — and they too did [...]

I’ve written extensively about my time working in McKinsey’s New York office. However, today I will share with you something I learned outside of work while walking the streets of Manhattan. I grew up in San Diego, CA. It’s a warm city where temperatures range from 15 to 23 degrees C (60 to 75 degrees [...]

Today, I’m going to cover something different. I’m to going to explain how to be one of the 500 most powerful people in America… to be a U.S. Congressman (or woman). Actually, I’ll explain a behind-the-scenes look of how one such person came to power — and how the underlying lessons are applicable to any [...]

If you want to make an impressive first impression with someone, show them how smart, brilliant, and accomplished you are. Share with them your resume, income, and job title. If you want to make a lasting impression, treat them with kindness. I have met hundreds of very accomplished, wicked smart, and talented people over the years. [...]

In a recent article, I wrote about an interesting application of the 80/20 rule as it applies to musical songwriting. I had no idea it would generate so much backlash. There are so many lessons to be learned and taught from the response. I thought it would be instructive to go through it all. As a [...]

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