thoughts on life

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 [...]

Chasing Dreams

I’m a big believer that everyone should spend at least a portion of their life chasing their own dreams. Whether dream chasing is your life focus, or something you do a few hours a month, it has enormous value. The act of pursuing dreams brings a sense of vitality and aliveness to your life. It’s [...]

This is Better than Perfection

Many of my students strive for perfection. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this PURSUIT. However, in practice, many people associate validity and self worth with the attainment of perfection. If you achieve perfection, you are a good, worthy human being. If you “fail” to achieve perfection, you are somehow “less than” those you perceive [...]

The Glory of Success or Failure?

Is the following a photo of success or failure? (The answer appears below the photo) This photo I took captures the moment a split second after the Osprey failed in pursuit of its prey. At that time, the Osprey had swooped down to grab an extremely large fish. It succeeded in grabbing on to the [...]

How to Make Impossible Decisions

Over the entirety of my career, I have repeatedly witnessed very smart CEOs and individuals stumble when making one kind of decision… The Impossible Decision In general, most people can decide between two options: An option that is good, and an option that is better. This is often an easy decision to make. Sometimes people [...]

How to Disagree without Being Threatening

In the United States business culture, we have an idiomatic expression called “The Elephant in the Room.” The expression comes from the idea that if you were having a meeting with a bunch of colleagues and there was literally an elephant in the room, the natural response would be to say, “Oh my, hey there’s [...]

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