Have you ever noticed that everyone seems busy all the time?
As couples, we're often too busy to talk about what's really going on, too busy to make time for date night, or, sometimes, even too busy to have a meaningful conversation.
As individuals, we're too busy to stay in touch with friends, too busy for hobbies (remember those?), or too busy to relax.
This harried state marks a strange inversion from previous generations. Leisure time used to be a marker of status. Now it means you have no goals, no ambition or drive.
Just imagine what would go down if you responded to someone at...
Originally published in Inc. Magazine.
You just got off the phone with one of your most important clients. The game-changing deal you were trying to close is off. They're not interested.
You've just pitched 10 potential investors. They all say they're "interested" but it's been two weeks. You refresh your inbox hourly, and yet still no word.
How do you react in these situations?
If you're like most people, your mind floods with negativity. "Maybe our product sucks," "Why can't I just get a break?" or "Maybe there's something wrong with me."
Neuroscientists have a name for this...
Originally published in Inc. Magazine.
I'm 40 years old, and I've burned myself out twice so far in my career. In both cases, it was painful, terrifying, and yet life-changing in its positive effects.
The first time happened in my late 20s. I was in the final year of finishing up my PhD. The stress of graduate school combined with a serious bike accident left me drowning in waves of anxiety, depression, and fatigue. The second time happened just recently, in a milder form. It sprung from a combination of stress, long hours, and forgetting to rest.
Each time it happened, the...
Many of the traditions see autumn as the time of year when fear and anxiety reach their apotheosis. Halloween. Elections. Falling leaves. Wind. Grey skies. Which is why now might just be the perfect time to talk about the nature of fear.
Throughout my life, fear and anxiety have been constant companions.
In fact, I think it’s fair to say that much of my motivation for mindfulness practice springs from an almost primal urge to placate fear and anxiety.
When I was a young boy, I feared leaving my parents. I feared...
I have a confession to make. I struggle almost every day to stay resilient in the face of stress.
I realize the irony in admitting this. After all, I work in the industry of self-improvement and resilience – an industry where most “experts” purport to live a perfect life, where happiness and success arise almost effortlessly.
I wish I could make a similar claim. But even after over a decade of intensive mindfulness training, on some level, my experience of reality still feels utterly normal. My mind is more open than it was...
Even as I write this post, I am conscious of my desire to be somebody.
I want you, the reader, to see me as intelligent, witty, deep, and impressive. At the same time, I’m hoping that you also see me as humble and down to earth, like the kind of person you could grab a cup of coffee with and have a great conversation.
I don’t want you to see me as fake, superficial, uninformed, or full of myself. I don’t want you to say to yourself while reading this: “wow, this guy’s writing sucks” or “reading this post was a total waste of my...
This article was originally published in Inc. Magazine.
When it comes to anxiety, we've got everything backwards.
Just consider the last time you felt a wave of raw fear minutes before a big presentation or a difficult conversation. If you're like most people, your first instinct was to say to yourself, "Stop freaking out. Calm down."
And yet, according to Harvard Business School professor Allison Wood Brooks, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Her research shows that shifting from anxiety, a negative state of high arousal, to calm, a positive state of low arousal,...