thoughts on life

The Secret to Building Relationships

  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ability to interact with other people. People skills are incredibly valuable, both in your career and personal life. One factor that gets in the way is feeling intimidated by other people because of their role, background, or another factor. I’ll give you an example from my [...]

Talent is Not Enough

For most of my life, I assumed that the keys to a successful life were simple: 1) do well in school; 2) get a good job; 3) work hard. Those were my operating principles as a child, in college, and in my early 20s. As I got older, however, my beliefs were constantly conflicting with [...]

New Year, New Goals, Old Habits?

As we enter yet another new year, I can’t help but feel a little jaded. Every new year, millions of people set new goals, only to give up on them by March 15th. I know this because I analyzed the sales data of companies that depend on New Year’s resolutions for a sales boost — [...]

The Greatest Gift on Earth is...

The greatest gift on earth is presence. Being present means showing up physically, and devoting your undivided attention (emotionally, mentally, and spiritually) to another human being. It is being there for another person when they’re facing the worst day of their life. It is being there with someone in their most triumphant moment. It is [...]

Good Decisions vs. Luck

Today I’d like to discuss something profoundly important regarding decision making. Ninety-nine percent of people do not grasp these concepts, as they are subtle and nuanced. My question is this: What makes a decision a good one? It’s a simple question. Most people say a good decision is one where there is a good outcome. [...]

Why Good Strategic Planning Sucks

Strategic planning involves making decisions to allocate time, money and focus in the present to achieve an outcome in the future. Resource constraints make strategic planning necessary and useful. If you had unlimited funds, people, and time to invest, you don’t need strategic planning. You would simply decide to pursue all options simultaneously without any [...]

The Gift of Failure

“Failure” always has a gift. The gift is an opportunity to learn a lesson. The challenge with failure is it feels just awful. And when you feel awful, you’re hardly in the mood to learn. But this is a mistake. You’ve just paid your emotional tuition. The lesson is sitting right in front of you [...]

The Curse of Success

Success teaches you virtually nothing. The real learning comes from the the micro and macro “failures” (I prefer the term feedback opportunities) that preceded the success. Success can be a curse. This occurs when you mistakenly conclude you have nothing else to learn. I see this with some new Ivy League graduates. I see this [...]

Satisfying Life vs. Successful Life

If you would like to have a deeply satisfying life, do what you love. However, contrary to what some people say, doing what you love does not automatically mean you will have a financially successful life. To have a financially successful life, do what others value and are willing to pay for. If you want [...]

Relief Isn't the Same Thing as Happiness

Relief occurs when feelings of anxiety and stress fade away. It is the reduction of a negative. Happiness occurs when the presence of joy exists within you and is broadcast to the outside world. Do you live your life to seek happiness or merely relief? They are NOT the same thing. I’m a big proponent [...]

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