Thoughts on Life

Many people struggle to pursue what they really want, out of fear of what people will think. When I hear this, I always ask, “Which specific people?” As in, “What are their names?” In many cases, the other person has a hard time responding. They’ll often say, “You know, ‘people.’” The great irony is that [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

I have a confession. I talk to pigs… specifically my daughter’s guinea pigs. More specifically, they talk to me. (No, I don’t hear voices; they don’t speak English). They chirp, squeak, and squeal to communicate their wants and needs to me. Their needs almost always revolve around wanting more food or water (when my girls [...]

The other day, a friend was praising me for my accomplishments. I felt the praise was not justified. Contrary to my friend’s perception, I attribute my success to two things: 1) the ability to learn from my mistakes; 2) a high pain tolerance (that’s needed to tolerate making a great many mistakes). Step back and [...]

You can approach life in one of two ways. You can focus on surviving, or you can focus on thriving. There’s a time and place for both approaches. Like most things in life, neither is inherently good or bad. These approaches are merely tools — to be applied in the appropriate situation. More than approaches [...]

When my oldest daughter was four years old, she would constantly blurt out all her problems. “I am hungry.” “I want my doll.” “I am cold.” She got very good at talking about the problems. She kept expecting me and her mother to solve all her problems for her. I finally got tired of this [...]

I was in Chicago recently, hosting a dinner meeting for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. During dinner, someone asked me a profound question: “Victor, do you consider yourself successful?” For most questions, I can answer off the top of my head with barely a thought. For this question, I had to think about [...]

Here’s a simple ritual to help improve your EQ skills — especially if you’re managing or collaborating with other people. When you make a mistake, do two things: 1) Acknowledge and take responsibility for the mistake; 2) Do what you can to rectify the situation. It’s impossible to be perfect 100% of the time. When [...]

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