thoughts on life

Words Reveal Your Thinking

For the last decade, I’ve had an ongoing fascination with linguistics. I strongly believe that the words we choose to use reflect how we think. Let’s look at the word “love.” Most people use the word love in a passive sense. Examples: I fell in love. I feel love for you. In this context, love [...]

Thanksgiving Day 2018

Today is my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving. On this day, I remind myself to give gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things in my life. I have a remarkable life. I am grateful to my parents for the many sacrifices they made to give me certain advantages in life. I am grateful to my friends [...]

Just Show Up

“Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up.” – Woody Allen, Actor I first encountered this quote by Woody Allen decades ago. At the time, the idea that the majority of success involved merely showing up seemed overly simplistic and surely an exaggeration. I’ve since come to the conclusion that his statement is more true than [...]

Mental Energy Units

When you’re an individual contributor, you focus mainly on time management. There are 24 hours in a day. You allocate them according to what’s most important to you. As you progress in your professional career (and as your personal life gets more complex, such as raising multiple children or caring for aging parents), it makes [...]

What Will People Think?

Many people struggle to pursue what they really want, out of fear of what people will think. When I hear this, I always ask, “Which specific people?” As in, “What are their names?” In many cases, the other person has a hard time responding. They’ll often say, “You know, ‘people.’” The great irony is that [...]

What Does This Face Say to You?

In every professional interaction, the other person communicates on two channels. First, the other person communicates verbally what they’re thinking. Second, the other person communicates non-verbally what he or she really means. The big insight is that in many cases, what someone says and what they mean are not always the same thing. If you [...]

The Most Strategic Decision of Your Life

The most strategic decision of your life will be deciding which people you allow into your life and which you ask to leave it. It will be which family members to be close to (and which to not). It will be whom you choose as friends (and whom you choose to no longer be friends [...]

Even Bad People Have Good Ideas

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in the number of conversations that involve critical reasoning and independent thinking. I’m very concerned by this trend. One obvious place this has occurred is in American politics. I have friends across the full spectrum of political beliefs. I am shocked at how many debates [...]

Tolerating the Truth

You have an enormous advantage in life when you have the capacity to tolerate the truth. Anyone can tolerate the truth when it’s positive and favorable. It’s much more difficult when the truth isn’t what you want to hear. Just because you wish something wasn’t true doesn’t make it any less valid. For example, it’s [...]

Criticism vs. Requests

Criticism involves telling someone what they did wrong (or worse yet, telling them what’s wrong with them). A request involves asking somebody to do something a specific way next time. When you’re talking to a spouse, an employee, or your child, and they do something you don’t like, you have a few options. 1) Criticize [...]

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