Once-weekly emails sharing valuable, bite-sized chunks of wisdom you can consume in 30 seconds

Embracing Curiosity: The Power of Questioning Our Own Convictions Oct 03, 2023

For most topics, when someone says "There's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise" they are announcing their unwillingness to change their beliefs based on an evidence-based argument. It's impossible for a change to take place when there is no openness to being wrong.

One healthy habit for those who do seek change or growth is to value, seek, and become CURIOUS about how/where we might be wrong, rather than why we're certain we're right.

The "Outcome" formula Sep 26, 2023

You are precisely where you are today primarily due to the energy you put into past decisions.  Want to change future outcomes?  It's a simple formula (simple yet very difficult to deploy):

C+E=O.  Choices + Energy = Outcomes.
The Choices you make + the Energy you put in = your Outcomes.

It just happens that the acronym is "CEO", reminding us that we are the CEOs of our lives.

Unlock progress: Harness the domino effect achivement habits improvement Sep 12, 2023

Leverage the Domino Effect. Find one task or action that acts as the catalyst for a positive chain reaction.

Example: Prioritize sleep. Opting for quality sleep improves overall well-being and can catalyze other changes, reducing late-night outings; and early rising for exercise or meaningful pursuits.

Tiny choices spiral into significant life shifts.

Elevate yourself: Proving vs. Improving achivement improvement Aug 29, 2023
It’s hard to exaggerate the difference in mindset when you shift from proving yourself (to others) to improving yourself (for you). 
Mindful intentions reshape perspective.
Attack the problem, not the person Aug 15, 2023

Too often, people get emotional and start personal attacks during disagreements, moving away from the original issue.  When you attack or accuse someone, you're on opposite sides of the table.  Attacking the problem means you're both on the same side of the table, and the problem is on the other. 

Assuming you're both acting in good faith and want to resolve an issue, the first step is identifying exactly what you disagree on. The "what" is always an idea or opinion and never a person.

Are you present? Aug 08, 2023
It's easy to tell whether you're being present in conversations.
Be self-aware while the other person is speaking, and inspect whether you're truly listening with intent to understand or waiting for your turn to talk.
Collaboration over competition Jul 18, 2023

It's possible to win without others losing, and it's possible to be ultra-competitive with who you once were without comparing your progress to others.

Often there are opportunities to collaborate and build something greater than ourselves. Not everything in life is a zero-sum contest. Collaboration is an alternative to competition.

The grass is greener... emotional intelligence relationships well-being Jul 11, 2023

Placing energy on relationships - both friendships and primary relationships - is an investment. Worldwide studies over several decades reveal that the quality of our relationships is one of the most reliable predictors of our overall well-being.

The grass isn’t greener on the “other side.” It’s greener where you water it.

Your story can inspire others inspirational Jul 04, 2023

The story of overcoming your own challenges could catalyze others to reconsider their perspectives, make positive changes, and act as a survival guide for strangers you may never meet.

Share your success stories. It's a sure way to improve your happiness - and with luck, that of others.

Why write or journal? Jun 20, 2023

Writing exposes unclear thinking and helps us organize our sincere thoughts and opinions.

Although everything I've written has likely been said before, occasionally, my words resonate with people in a positive, life-changing way.

Whether you write/journal for yourself or others, knowing there is a high potential for intrinsic motivation and, if we're lucky, providing inspiration for others is helpful.

"Shoulds" and "Musts" Jun 13, 2023

We all have a list of things we tell ourselves we "should" do.  The thing is, what we should do never happens.  What we do are the things we "must" do.

Willpower is short-lived and over-rated.  Intrinsic motivation driven by the desire to grow is not.

If you find you're continually telling yourself that you should do something, either change it to a "must" or stop talking about it.

Knowing vs. doing Jun 06, 2023
Sometimes we fail to implement helpful advice only because it seems simple and obvious.
Things that are simple to do are also just as simple not to do.  But that's not a good excuse.  There's a truth here begging to be stated out loud: knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing.
The logic (or lack thereof) of complaining gratitude life lessons May 30, 2023

A complaint is the antithesis of gratitude. It's an inherent way of saying: reality is what it is, but it SHOULDN'T be!

Which makes as much sense as being in the freezing cold and saying: it shouldn't be cold.

A recipe for improving competitive skills life lessons May 18, 2023

Once you know the fundamentals of a sport or craft, you’ll need competitive partners in 3 categories: those that are better than you, those that challenge you, and those you’re better than.

You’ll be forced to up your game and constantly strive by training with better people than you. You’ll reinforce your skill set by challenging yourself with those at your level. And you’ll be able to teach those you’re better than. And teaching reinforces your learning more than anything else.

Applying the 80/20 principle to learning achivement rapid learning May 17, 2023

Most English speakers use roughly 1,000 of the 250,000 English words in the dictionary.  Knowing that a tiny fraction of words will immediately allow you to have functional fluency makes learning English less daunting.

Here are a couple of other examples:

Learning to play just four chords on the guitar or piano will allow you to play hundreds of songs

Of the thousands of exercises and fitness routines, pushing, pulling, and squatting your body weight a few days per week will allow you to strengthen your body and gain muscle/lose fat faster.

What are the few most critical things you can learn/develop to leverage 80% of the results you seek? 

On communicating better communication emotional intelligence life lessons relationships May 09, 2023

Unless it’s a revelation for you that “communication is the key” to relationships of any kind, it’s not useful without context on how to communicate in a healthy way.

Here are details on just a few things I’ve learned from my personal communication failures:

  • Fear of consequences or aversion to uncomfortable conversations has led to worse consequences than the discomfort I thought I was protecting (one of my most glaring deficiencies).
  • Body language, tone, and attitude (HOW you say what you say) are as important as the message itself (WHAT you say).
  • A conversation at a time when one or both parties are not the best versions of themselves could be the difference between understanding/growth and a relationship-damaging outcome
  • l must be able to articulate your argument or feelings in a way that makes you feel heard. If I don’t,  you’re not ready to hear what I have to say.  The reverse is also true.
More important than talent inspirational positivity success talent May 02, 2023

Our society praises talented people, but there’s an attribute even more valuable for making progress, personally, professionally, and as a society: an attitude of determination.

As Paul Graham points out: “One sign that determination matters more than talent: there are lots of talented people who never achieve anything, but not that many determined people who don’t.”

Exceedingly simple ways to establish resolutions goals resolutions Apr 25, 2023

This year (or month or week) I will improve the quality of my life by:

  1. Starting to, or continuing to do more of…
  2. Stopping, or doing less of…
  3. Spending 5 minutes each month/quarter assessing how I’ve done
Safe vs. happy emotional intelligence Apr 11, 2023

We are wired for safety, not success or happiness. Our lizard brains know that we must protect our “selves” (bodies) from harm. Our loved ones may, with the best intentions, persuade us to stick with safe paths to stick with what seems to be tested and safe.

Fortunately, we’ve evolved enough to be conscious of how we optimize our lives. We can choose to optimize to get the most from every investment, the most important of which are time and attention.

It’s a nebulous word, so it’s harder than it seems to know what would make you “happy truly.” One hack to help you determine this is to explore the percentage of your time you spend doing things out of obligation rather than desire or excitement. Desire and excitement are more useful proxies for “happy.”