Thoughts on Life

Many people make the mistake of confusing their performance results with the trophy and their goal. Let me explain. One of my favorite actresses is the legendary Meryl Streep. She has more Academy Award nominations than any other person in the history of planet earth — a total of 18 nominations. She was nominated for [...]

The other day I was assembling a basketball hoop for my girls. I had played when I was in high school, and the girls have suddenly starting showing an interest. As I was putting things together, I ran into a small problem. To keep the backboard smooth, the fasteners that connect the backboard to the [...]

I’ve spent most of my life under a lot of stress. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that stress management is a pretty big deal. In short, stress can literally kill you. In this article, I describe my theory about the underlying root cause of stress from modern day life, and suggest a [...]

If you attempt anything meaningful or ambitious, you will eventually fall down and “fail.” The only way to avoid such failure is to not try. My former McKinsey colleague and old friend Angela Duckworth has done extensive research in this area. It turns out that the ability to persevere in the face of adversity is [...]

The premise behind being strategic is simple – begin with the end in mind. My first encounter with this principle came from Stephen Covey’s classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When I worked at McKinsey, much of the client work was focused on this principle — begin with the end in mind. [...]

I recently wrote about the purpose of having a purpose and how it provides clarity in decision making. In response, I received a question about how one goes about going from Point A to Point Z when nothing seems to be working. I used to adopt a lone ranger mentality, whereby I would insist on figuring [...]

In business, career, and life plans, one common factor exists that determines whether such a plan is strategic or not. What is this X factor? It is PURPOSE. Most plans of any type lack purpose. Purpose is the end game you are trying to achieve. It is the “WHY” behind any plan — at least [...]

There have been times in my life when I felt completely beat up by life. I’d close myself in a room, curl up in the fetal position, feel sorry for myself, and hope life would stop kicking my *ss. I learned the hard way that hope is not a strategy, but taking action is. The [...]

One of my favorite questions to ask my teachers and mentors is “Who are your teachers and mentors?” Today I wanted to introduce you to one of my teachers and mentors. His name is Ryan Holiday. Ryan’s very unusual. He’s one of the most well read people I know. He has a voracious appetite for [...]

I’m often asked how one can project self confidence in a case interview or with senior level clients. I’m also asked how one can develop a sense of confidence after an enormous setback of some sort — “failing” at a case interview, messing up a meeting with a partner or a client, and so forth. [...]

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