Self-critical thoughts get a bad rap. You should neither reject self-critical thoughts nor treat them as revealed truths. Instead, treat them like crazy ideas from a brainstorming session. They, too, are products of your current knowledge, values, and skill. Used constructively, they can help you achieve your most ambitious goals. This new approach to dealing […]

“Certainty denotes confidence that one can act on a conclusion without doubt, without needing further deliberation or investigation.” (Harry Binswanger, How We Know) I learned firsthand of the need for certainty to act during Superstorm Sandy some years ago. I was living in Midtown Manhattan in a section of the city that lost power for […]

“Empathy” is a widely misunderstood concept. Understanding it properly is the first step to transforming your relationships with other people and yourself.  Empathy is not the same as sympathy.  Sympathy is a feeling you have in relation to someone else. You feel sympathy when you feel the same feeling as the other person. For example, […]

People sometimes come to me, distressed that they resist using “thinking on paper” or some other tactic. They are sure it would help them, they know that they can take the steps, but whenever the time comes to use the tactic, they feel a wall of resistance.  This seems crazy, right? You are blocked against […]

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 […]

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