success in life

Learning vs. Unlearning

Over the years, I’ve paid a lot of attention to teaching methods. I’ve done so in my role as a teacher in my work and also as a parent. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the value of learning the fundamentals of any domain. Whether it’s math, how to swing a baseball bat, or [...]

I Can't Do That

Let’s take a look at the following two sentences: I can’t do that. I can’t do that… yet. Only one word separates these two sentences. But, they have profoundly different meanings.  The first sentence, “I can’t do that,” implies a permanent state that can’t be altered. By adding the word “yet,” as in “I can’t [...]

The Unforced Error

In some sports, they track a statistic known as an “unforced error.” I’ve always found this concept intriguing. When a competitor does something exceptional and beats you, that’s a “forced” error. It’s when your opponent hits a nearly impossible cross-court groundstroke to win the set. It’s when you throw the batter your absolute best pitch [...]

Success vs. Satisfaction

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 [...]

Making Mistakes

A wise person once told me, “Making mistakes is how we human beings learn.” I spent most of my life trying to avoid mistakes and then beating myself up when I inevitably made them.  In hindsight, this was terribly arrogant of me, counterproductive, and a difficult way to live. It was arrogant because to never [...]

Signaling Effectively

I’ve always been fascinated by turn signals on cars. It’s such a simple thing. You make the left light blink on the rear of your car to signal to others that you intend to change lanes or make a left turn. I’m fascinated by the dynamics around what happens when signals aren’t sent or when [...]

How to Make a First or Lasting Impression

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. [...]

Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs

I’ve noticed that very few people in this world pursue their goals or dreams. When I ask why they don’t, I usually get some answer like, “I can’t,” or “it’s not possible.” When I hear that, I am often tempted to ask the following questions: “You can’t accomplish X because it breaks the laws of [...]

The Red Line

In every system, there’s a point where the system can not do more. In a car, this limit is denoted by the gauge that measures the engine’s revolutions per minute (RPM). When you step on the accelerator, the RPMs zoom up. However, you’ll notice the top end of the gauge is marked in red. This [...]

The Perceived Detour

Sometimes, life throws us an obstacle. In the moment, most people’s reaction (mine included) is to get irritated at the obstacle and at the detours needed to overcome it. To paraphrase the late Steve Jobs, all the “detours” (my word choice, not his) make sense in hindsight, even if they don’t in the moment. Through [...]

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