Every New Year’s Day,  I run a “Thinking Day” in the Thinking Lab, to provide coaching for members who are setting goals for the new year. To make sure you set goals from a position of strength, I recommend you systematically review all the past year’s accomplishments before deciding what to do next year.  There […]

People often ask me how to make themselves do something they think they’re supposed to do. As a public service, I will answer that question. To make yourself do something, you need to shut out any thoughts that conflict with taking the action. That includes any thoughts that might distract you or change your mind […]

Two days ago, I got my email inbox down to zero, for the first time in at least 18 months. Several times in the last few months, I had gotten down to 40 lagging emails, but never to zero. The story of my getting to zero is a case study in how a change in […]

Be present. Do what matters most. Stay in focus. These are three life-affirming intentions. Are they different? Do you need to think about holding all three intentions in one instant? If not, which intention should you hold? Will it conflict with another intention? The short answers are: Yes, they are different. No, you don’t need […]

What does it mean to be “present” or “in the moment”? This concept comes up often in acting and communication classes, but it was never explained to my satisfaction. I could tell it was something good: those who were “present” seemed more authentic. They created an empathic bond with the other person. They seemed more […]

I found an old article of mine arguing that you should pursue only one initiative at a time. It was a little embarassing to read, because I am still learning this lesson the hard way. My latest conclusion is that you need to distinguish initiatives from other projects. When you really see what’s involved in […]

People often ask me how to remember to do something in the future. The answer usually is, make a plan. Then remember to check the plan. But some kinds of actions cannot be planned.  For example, I started a humor notebook at the recommendation of comedian Judy Carter. She says, “Notice anything that is weird, […]

Paradoxically, celebration and mourning* are similar processes. They involve similar steps and achieve similar purposes. And they are similarly misunderstood and neglected, despite their critical importance to a joyful life. Neither celebration nor mourning concerns an emotional experience per se.  Their essence is that they involve strengthening your own values. I will explain this first […]

Do you take 15 minutes to plan each and every day? I strongly recommend you do so. 15 minutes is enough time to let you review your calendar and consider your priorities. 15 minutes is enough time to get an overview so that you know what matters most today. 15 minutes is also short enough […]

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 […]

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