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A publication from Medium on personal development.


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I don’t know if I’m any good at this yet, but I’m trying

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This Sunday will be my 10th Father’s Day as a father. My first son was born in November 21, 2011, and not a single thing in my life has been the same since. I did not know how tumultuous the next 10 years of American life would be when my son was born. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and my country, and my fellow citizens, in those 10 years. But I’ve learned even more about being a father.

In honor of those 10 Father’s Days, here are 10 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Father.

My wife and I…

Here’s the advice I’m giving my coaching clients

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I recently tweeted a piece of advice that I often tell my coaching clients: If I had to feel motivated to start a workout, I would have done 23 workouts last year, not 230. If I had to feel inspired to start writing, well, there’d be hardly any writing. If you want to stop 20 minutes in, fine. But give yourself a chance.

It’s a platitude, yes. But it’s also true and not just for the concrete tasks on your to-do list. In every part of life, there are highs and lows, periods of energy and periods of exhaustion. Sometimes…

The words that have impacted me the most come from people I know — and who know me

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I’m a big believer that the fastest way to change your life is by carrying a notebook everywhere you go.

Taking note of the interesting things you come across serves as a solid reminder that your primary job isn’t to do more—it’s to learn more. It can help you to be a better listener and life observer. Plus, collecting thoughts has a funny way of generating new sparks.

Since becoming an avid note-taker, however, a glaring pattern’s emerged that’s hard to ignore.

The thoughts and quotes that mean the most to me didn’t come from Tony Robbins. Nor did they…

You’re simply not going to find what you’re looking for online

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Every time I go online these days, three words rattle around in my head like a mantra. Often, they are directed towards myself, when I’m clicking on the fourth article about some stranger who has been cancelled for dubious reasons. But increasingly, I say them as a kind of incantation to the countless people I see online acting in a way that is clearly counter to their best interest: Just log off.

I can’t think of one online dust-up, cancellation, ruckus, brouhaha, Twitter screenshot apology, or controversial company statement—followed by another bizarre statement that clarifies the first one—that wouldn’t be…

Human beings aren’t robots or mind readers

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I know you’re busy, so let’s start strong. There’s nothing you can do that will “make” someone do what you want them to do. I’m very sorry, but I see no benefit to you if I lie and say that your passive behaviors will magically result in the outcome you’re too scared to ask for. It’s 2021, babes — I’ve neither the patience nor the marbles left in my head to coddle fools.

As humans, we have a bad habit of thinking we can do something that will somehow prompt someone else to take the action that we want. We…

💡 Tip: Instead of saying “Here’s what helped me,” try asking “What’s helped you before?”

When friends and colleagues come to us with problems, we often—with the best intentions!—make it about ourselves. “Oh yes, that happened to me once. So what I did was …”

A better approach comes from author and Wharton professor Adam Grant, who suggests: Instead of saying “Here’s what helped me,” ask “What’s helped you before?” The question prompts the person to use lessons from their past to overcome the challenges they’re facing right now, a skill they can carry throughout their lives. If they’re still…

💬 Today’s tip: When you’re feeling stuck, talk through the problem out loud.

Yes, we mean talking to yourself. And yes, it’s going to feel weird at first. But as Kate Morgan points out in Forge, giving voice to your internal monologue is a research-backed strategy for improving your cognitive processing abilities.

“You understand the concept if you’ve ever walked around the house going, ‘Car keys… where are my car keys?’” Morgan explains. Struggling to find the perfect phrasing for that email to your boss? Gearing up for a hard conversation with a friend? Find some quiet space and start…

It only works if you do it out loud

Three versions of the same woman in a green shirt sit together around a wooden table.
Three versions of the same woman in a green shirt sit together around a wooden table.
Photo: winsmiss via flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Whenever I’ve got bad writer’s block, or I’m anxious about an interview, or I’m not sure how to approach a conversation with an editor—or, for that matter, a friend — I talk to myself. Out loud.

I like to go for a drive, or a walk, or even jump in the shower, and I just chatter away. I try out lines until I find the perfect opener for the story I’m stuck on, rehearse arguments, and brainstorm with my voice until my ideas come together.

Sure, anyone who happened to hear me having these full-blown conversations with, uh, nobody might…

How to get back into the world even if you’re feeling anxious

Photo: Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

If you’ve been vaccinated for Covid-19, you may have noticed that your pandemic anxiety isn’t going anywhere. A crowded grocery store, or even a hug from another vaccinated friend, can feel like too much too fast.

Some of this anxiety may be about the disease itself, but often it has to do with new relationship challenges. As many people step back into their social life, they’ll inevitably encounter conflict with others: Maybe you have friends who are not ready to hang out in person yet. Your spouse isn’t thrilled that you’re spending less time with them. …

A less-masked future is near, and our facial expressions will matter more than ever

Illustration by the author

As vaccination rates increase, we’re getting closer to a future where masks are less of a presence in our lives, and our smiles (and non-smiles) will once again be visible to friends, co-workers, and the strangers we pass on the sidewalk and in the grocery store.

If that sentence didn’t make you smile, please keep reading.

Until I looked into smiling while researching my book Works Well With Others, I didn’t realize how powerful a force it is. The simple act of smiling can change you and everyone around you, and that’s true now more than ever. A smile —…


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