Confirmation bias is when we look for evidence to validate a position. But admitting when you are wrong can be liberating. No amount of belief will get you to your destination if your car is on the wrong road. The only option is to admit fault, check your ego and pull out a map.
Twenty years ago this month, I graduated from the University of Southern California. Three years before that, I hit one of the biggest challenges in my life. My disability felt like an anchor and sometimes I worried that the only people who would help me were my parents. These thoughts regularly crept into my mind when I thought about the future, however by the time I reached the age of 20, I was pretty good at dismissing them.
But then one day I could no longer suppress these feelings. I had chosen a school that was in driving distance of my house, yet I became haunted by whispers that if I were not disabled, I could attend a bigger college.
After about eleven months of fretting, I revealed this worry to my...
When life isn’t going our way, it is easy to blame our challenges on anything and anyone but ourselves.
If we are to achieve our goals, we must accurately diagnose what is wrong and, more importantly, how we can do better rather than playing the blame game.
Don’t get me wrong, unless you are totally delusional the total blame won’t ever solely be yours. But there is a nuanced way to play the blame game which requires going beyond the obvious. The only way to diagnose your problems is to understand how hidden factors can affect your life.
My disability can feel like an anchor. Everything I do takes extra effort and energy. And while it would be easy to blame everything on my disability (even when my favorite sports’ team loses), this narrative doesn’t help me achieve my goals. Instead, I look for the things I can control like my routines, processes, habits or attitude – even if it is sometimes hard to remember to do this.
The reality is, many of...
Just because something is true does not make it honest. While it is true that parts of life can get in the way of achieving success and happiness, an honest perspective can show us how to minimize those challenges and exploit the opportunities.
It would be easy for me to paint a depressing picture of living with a disability. I could show you how many activities I simply can’t do on my own or that might take more effort to finish. I used to worry about not being there for my kids in the ways I wanted. After all, I cannot help them get dressed, or play sports with them or even whip up a quick lunch for them.
This is all technically 100% true, but if I’m being honest, I have an amazing and fulfilling life. I laugh a lot. Many of my friendships have lasted for decades. I have incredible parents. The honest truth is, I am blessed.
Of course, obstacles will always exist. For instance, it’s harder to make money in a bad economy; growing up in a low socioeconomic...
Your parents or the people who raised us had a major influence on your adult mindset. People can achieve amazing success by drawing from the great lessons passed between generations like mental heirlooms. That’s the upside. Unfortunately, the downside can be that most people never think to challenge their childhood narrative. Indeed, a surprising number of folks never move beyond fifteen miles of the town in which they were born.
Of course, none of this would be a problem if the people who raised you had the perfect mindset, but that is a fantasy. The law of inertia means your ancestors were probably just following the same pattern as their parents without giving much thought to how their mindset could change. The inertia means they will likely raise their kids too with the same mindset.
Parents aren’t the only ones with influence on a person. A peer network also has plenty to do with shaping one’s mindset. After all, we are social creatures that...
Wanting success is the first step, but it’s not enough. You must be willing to put in consistent, daily effort. "Hard work" won’t cut it, either. Every effort must focus on the right goal. After all, the right effort in the wrong direction will get you no closer to where you want to go.
It’s not about trying some tactics a few times and then giving up, saying: “it is what it is.” If a business idea does not pan out or the new employee is lazy, try something else. Change your approach. Come up with new ideas, hire someone else or navigate around whatever obstacle gets in the way.
Study great businesses and people to see what it takes to succeed. For instance, it is extremely tough to win a Super Bowl by paying top dollar for a quarterback. The formula to win means paying a reasonable price for a quarterback and spreading the funds to surround that star player with a decent team. Think about it: every dollar spent on a good QB above a reasonable price is...
The next time you shake hands with a professional gardener, notice the callouses. Without their rough skin, the gardener can neither grow vegetables for dinner nor flowers for the vase.
The wisdom that growth comes from discomfort is obvious when talking to a gardener. So why do we want our loved ones – especially children – to be happy and comfortable all the time? It wasn’t always this way. Sometime in the late 1990s, just after my childhood years, too many people embraced this dangerous new habit and it was wrong.
In the name of love and caring, adults started handing out trophies for just participating. Some sports leagues even stopped keeping score to avoid any bad feelings among the children. I understand these choices aimed to protect our kids from suffering, but obstacles are the callouses of life and without them there is no growth.
I don’t want my kids to have it easy. They should learn that life is imperfect. I don’t want them to...
Just like that, the second quarter of 2021 has landed. Are you still on track to reach your goals?
April is also the first anniversary of the world turning upside down due to Covid-19. A year after the outbreak, we must all keep in mind that life will soon be back to normal and the post-pandemic world will be brimming with opportunity to prosper. To make the most of this emerging bounty – and not be an April Fool – you must take control of your goals today.
Here are five steps to stay clear-eyed about your progress:
Everyone has a notion of what it takes to be successful. I was born with severe cerebral palsy which left me in a wheelchair. But I too wanted to be successful.
The key principles of success were always important to me because I had to find new ways of achieving it. This is what I have been focusing on since the early 2000s. I don’t want to sound like a contrarian but some common wisdom about success simply doesn’t make sense and may even be stunting your growth if you believe it. I have discussed many of these ideas in my two decades of studying and research.
1. Self-made person
The self-made person does not exist. We are all influenced by those around us and by education. This could be reading books, attending conferences, or watching people succeed (or fail). It could even be asking for advice. We have all done that. But nobody came out of the womb as a full-fledged football player or guitarist.
Every entrepreneur has somebody who gave them their first account,...
Last week I wrote about the lessons that this pandemic has taught us, and how to apply those lessons to your goals. This week, I would like to explore how to deal with a big goal and look at how we are going to get rid of one of the biggest goals that everyone wants to achieve— getting rid of a pandemic.
Last year was definitely one of the most unique years of our lives. A little more than a year ago very few people had heard about the coronavirus, and then it hit us hard and fast. In the middle of March we were trying to get our heads around the ensuing disruption in our lives. The first time I was concerned about the coronavirus was when I went to the mall, and it was empty. The same day I heard that my cousin’s restaurant had a whole bunch of cancellations. Then, we heard about America’s royalty getting the coronavirus (yes, I’m talking about Tom Hanks). After that came the cancellation of the NBA season. One by one we cancelled most things including baseball and the Olympics. We started working from home, having school around our kitchen tables, and the world found out about a little software called Zoom.
Before the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, I was planning three amazing trips, including watching my...