Habits

When Perseverance Costs You Success

Most of us know that persevering -- staying the course and not giving up despite difficulties and setbacks -- is an important part of what it takes to be successful in many areas of life. Intelligence, or talent, alone isn’t enough if you cannot persevere and weather frustration and challenges.

But perseverance, like other intrinsically healthy behaviors, can be taken too far and actually work against moving forward. When this happens, what may look like constructive perseverance functions behind the scenes as an unconscious attempt to avoid loss or avoid the positive risks required to progress to the next chapter. Another issue masquerading as perseverance, particularly with bright, driven people who are used to getting it right, is the compulsive need to prove themselves or restore a feeling of omnipotence.
Continue Reading

Anger

4 Ways To Stop Overthinking Your Mistakes

You know how when you trip walking down the street, it feels like the entire cityscape of people is staring at you in amusement? Or when you’ve worn the same pair of pants three times in one week, you’re completely paranoid your colleagues are judging you for your lack of fashion sense (or cleanliness)? What about when you fumble over your words in a presentation, and then can’t stop thinking about how every person in the room now thinks you’re a terrible speaker?

As human beings with egos and an innate self-awareness of our own feelings, actions and thoughts, we tend to notice and greatly exaggerate our flaws while assuming everyone around us has a microscope focused on our faults, mistakes and slip-ups. In truth, other people don’t notice them nearly as much as we assume. Why? Because they’re too busy noticing and greatly exaggerating their own flaws!
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Your Life: Are You Winning or Losing?

Many of us have given up on ourselves. We've given up on our ability to manage who we want to be and how we want to live. Modern life comes with a plethora of distractions. Abandoning the potential of our own lives has become the new normal.

I'd like to offer another way: viewing life as a poker game, with mindfulness as your poker face. One of the goals of mindfulness is to redirect us into the game of our own lives. Mindfulness can also help us be a little more playful when we've been dealt what we perceive to be a bad hand.

Continue Reading

Addiction

The Dangers of Rising Adderall Abuse among Teens

Call it a case of unintended consequences. Twenty years ago, the prescription medication Adderall debuted as a treatment for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A stimulant, with amphetamine as its active ingredient, Adderall helped sufferers of narcolepsy stay awake, but it also increased mental focus and endurance for those diagnosed with ADHD.

Because of its effectiveness and relatively mild side effects, Adderall quickly became a common treatment for ADHD. But as its popularity increased, use of Adderall also began spreading beyond the people it was intended for. Today, students without ADHD regularly take Adderall as a study aid, in order to work longer and later than they would be able to otherwise. In 2009, 5 percent of American high school students were using Adderall for non-medical reasons, according to a University of Michigan Study—a rate that increased to 7 percent in 2013. A recent review of multiple studies published in the journal Postgraduate Medicine estimated that up to 10 percent of high school students and 5 to 35 percent of college students are misusing stimulants.
Continue Reading

Creativity

Be Smart About Time: 7 Tips to Use It Wisely

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

While we know that time is precious and a scarce resource, reflect for a minute at how often we find ourselves wasting the time we have. Frittering away hours at the computer, playing video games, watching endless hours of TV, and any number of other voracious time-wasting activities can leave you feeling edgy, restless and incomplete.

Nothing good comes from deliberate squandering of time. Note that this isn’t the same as when you consciously choose to engage in a hobby or pastime or recreational or leisure activity. Everyone needs time to play, to rest and recharge, and to gain a new perspective on life. Play time helps you lower stress levels, eases tension, and provides the opportunity to see things clearer and without distraction. Solutions come easier after you take the time you need to play.
Continue Reading

Mental Health and Wellness

When Everyday Is Game Day: How to Manage Distressing Thoughts

Thank you, Lee Corso.

Lee Corso, for the football uninformed, is the doddering analyst for ESPN’s College Gameday.

Specializing in well-worn cliches -- with the occasional insight, Corso raptures poetic about grit, tenacity, and toughness.

“Wow, they really wanted it,” Corso gushes about a ballyhooed team. As the ESPN highlights roll on, an ebullient player appears on your plasma screen. He barks into the camera, “We just wanted it more. We were flat-out tougher!”
Continue Reading

Inspiration & Hope

4 Steps to Make Your Dreams a Reality

Everyone makes fun of the dreamers. “You are a dreamer,” Angela’s friend said. Angela knew it was an insult and that what he was saying is that a dreamer cannot achieve success. The dreamer, by all accounts, is incompetent to take care of herself she scoffed in her head.

“I have heard this from you before,” her friend continued when he heard Angela say that she was going to write a book. Defeated, Angela went to the gym and stepped up and down on the stepper to her thoughts and dreams to write a book until she forgot about the haters and could see herself as an author down the road.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

7 Tips on Mastering Change

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”
– Brian Tracy

Change is nonstop. Life coaches and proponents of positive thinking are nearly unanimous in recommending that we accept and embrace change.

While that is good advice, sometimes change brings with it uncertainty, fear, doubt, failure and dashed hopes. We may start off with an optimistic outlook, only to encounter some difficulty or unexpected problem that throws everything we had planned off-kilter.
Continue Reading

General

Failure = Motivation

The purpose of failure is to motivate you to do something different to make your dream happen. After you fail, there are four steps to take to turn failure into success.

Step 1: Find the Lesson



Venture capitalist Manny says, “I will not invest in a business unless the people heading the company have failed at least once.” Many venture capitalists agree with Manny. Why is that? Why would an investor purposely invest in people that have failed? The reason is rooted soundly in Psychology. Failure teaches us lessons that success never can. Failure teaches us humility and character, both of which are highly valued and rewarded by both society and business.
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

Challenging Self-Doubts

Talented and thoughtful, she was a successful non-profit executive. She was well-known throughout the region for her philanthropic endeavors. She had founded three businesses in separate niche industries.

To the outsider, my client was a skilled entrepreneur, a connector between the business and arts communities. She was a self-made woman. When she spoke, others listened -- and followed.

Continue Reading

Books

5 Indispensable Parenting Practices

Being a parent is anything but simple or straightforward. Every day is essentially a new adventure. A beautiful, winding, topsy-turvy adventure. What can be a great help along the ride is your approach.

Sometimes, we assume that parenting is about striving for perfection. Or we think we need to be privy to some significant secret. Or we assume that parenting requires natural talents or natural instincts that we don’t have.

But really, parenting is a skill. It’s about learning and practicing.
Continue Reading