thoughts on life

The Value of Obstacles

For most of my life, I had goals and would get irritated by obstacles that got in my way. I heard a wonderful quote the other day, but don’t recall the original source. The quote went something like this: Having obstacles in your life is a sign you aren’t settling for what life gives you, [...]

Performance, Trophies and the Goal

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 [...]

How to Eliminate Stress from Your Life

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 [...]

The Ultimate Strategic Life Decision

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. [...]

How to Accomplish... Anything

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 [...]

How to Develop Unshakeable Self Confidence

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. [...]

Job Interview Reject = Billionaire

Four years ago, my old college dorm neighbor, Brian Acton, was looking for a job. Up until that point, he had spent 11 years at Yahoo in a variety of engineering jobs. He landed an interview with Twitter — but they didn’t give him an offer. He interviewed with Facebook — and they too did [...]

How to Tell Someone They're Totally Wrong

In a recent article, I wrote about an interesting application of the 80/20 rule as it applies to musical songwriting. I had no idea it would generate so much backlash. There are so many lessons to be learned and taught from the response. I thought it would be instructive to go through it all. As [...]

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