I’ve had a love/hate relationship with planning, and I’ve finally figured out why. Although I love the clarity I get from planning, and I see that planning helps me in the long run, I had always been distressed when a project didn’t go as planned. This is crazy. Most plans fail. Even excellent plans. I […]

Do you find the term “anxiety” a bit puzzling? It’s always been described to me as a non-specific fear. My fears are always specific, so I never knew quite how to differentiate fear from anxiety until I read an article about anxiety by Brooke Castillo that clarified the issue for me. She described anxiety the […]

Happiness is not a prize you get sometime in the future, after you achieve a goal, or pass a test, or become worthy. If you believe that it is a prize you have to wait for, I guarantee that you are struggling to achieve your goals. You are sabotaging your own happiness due to a […]

By far, the primary influence on my work is Ayn Rand. Her philosophy infuses my entire approach and underlies all my conclusions. One important secondary influence is F.M. Alexander, the inventor of the Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique is training in conscious control over your body. It’s been around for over 100 years, but it’s gained popularity […]

I’ve become a fan of Brooke Castillo’s “Self-Coaching Scholars” program. I find her methods to be a valuable complement to the ones I have already developed. She’s helped me speed up how I deal with distracting, unproductive emotions, while still maintaining the self-respectful, value-oriented perspective that is essential to success. For example, I recall a […]

I use “old baggage” as a generic term to refer to any recurring motivation that gets in the way of pursuing your goals in the present. For example, writer’s block is caused by old baggage. So is fear of conflict, which stops you from having the conversations you know you need to have. Sometimes you […]

I recommend “thinking on paper” * every day, on whatever issue seems important. But what do you do if you aren’t sure what to think about? Start with a “thought download.” ** A “thought download” is a page of thoughts–your thoughts. The page could be filled with “freewriting,” a record of the thoughts that pop […]

One of my top life lessons learned is: if you want to create your dream life, you must stay ruthlessly committed to identifying and pursuing your top priority at each choice-point during the day. I call this “The Priorities Mindset.” It took me years to truly learn this lesson, and like all important life lessons, […]

Improving the quality of your own performance, or that of an organization, can be a complex and long-term endeavor. In his book The Lean Startup, Eric Reis explains a doable method for making incremental adjustments that can dramatically improve performance in yourself and others over time. For example, Reis described how their computer network went down […]

Way back in 1998, when I wrote my first article on what to do when you get stuck on a difficult thinking problem, I offered one general piece of advice: Identify the problem. As Louis Sullivan said, “the problem contains and suggests its own solution.” Although I now offer a lot of more specific advice, […]

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