It's Not About You

By Paddy Steinfort

FBI = Four Big Intentions.

As the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program within the Counterintelligence Division, Robin Dreeke was often in charge of getting information from people who had a good reason not to give it to him.

Over 15 years of experience in getting unsavory characters to reveal important information to him, and subsequent research into a topic he was super curious about, he drilled it down to a very simple question that people often asked him:

How can you build rapport quickly, and make it easier for people to trust you?

It’s not about you.

You read right. The simplest way to think about it is to make the conversation all about the other person. From sales situations, to management discussions, to marriage counseling, all sorts of research points to the same thing.

The FBI uses four basic aims throughout an entire operation, all focused on making the target of the questioning feel like they are the ones getting something...

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The Easily Avoidable Mistake that Could Cause Your Break-Up

By Danny Southwick

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”

-Will Rogers (attributed)

 My phone rang just after midnight.  It was my buddy, Chris.  “I screwed up dude—I think it’s over.”

Groggy, and a little bugged that I he was calling me so late, I tried to collect my thoughts.  I spent an hour earlier that evening telling Chris that he should give his girlfriend some space.  They were fighting quite a bit, and it was clear that he needed to give the relationship some time to breathe.  Apparently, my advice didn’t sink in.  “Why did you call her?” I asked. 

“I called her because I was missing her, and I was hoping that she was missing me, too.”

“So, what happened?”

“Dude, she just was so cold.  I tried to just be warm and loving—like we used to be—but she was just giving me one word answers and staying really distant.  That’s...

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Looking for Your Passion? Try this.

By Yashi Srivastava

“What my true passion?” “Do I need to follow my passion to find fulfillment at work?” “Should I chase my dreams, or be satisfied with my current career path?” Are these the kinds of questions you’ve been asking yourself lately?

Perhaps you’ve been given the increasingly common advice to “follow your bliss” or “do work you love.” Or maybe you’re out of your mind working at a job where you feel miserable, and are drawn to the idea of finding fulfilling work. There’s a lot of contradictory advice about following our passion.  For example, Steve Jobs encouraged Stanford graduates in 2005 to find what they love.  But, others argue that “following your passion” is bad advice.  And, still others propose a middle path, which says that you can find fulfillment in almost any job. What should you make of all these perspectives? Should you, or should you not,...

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Leading Ladies: How 2 Powerful Shifts in Mindset Can Give You Courage to Lead

By Annie Littrell Senior

What does leadership look like to you? Take a second to create an image in your mind. Who is leading? What are they doing? What are their characteristics?

Here’s the thing: Leadership looks like you. Just as you are, and in the position you are currently in. Yet many of us, especially women, may struggle to picture ourselves as leaders. We have fewer examples of women with leadership titles (in the United States, only about 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women; less than 20% of congress members are women; and exactly 0% of Presidents have been women). We are told that women should be more aggressive, take more risks, stop talking about feelings, and be more like men. That leaves us at risk of being perceived as cold and mean, or worse, to begin to feel inauthentic to ourselves.

Given the staggering realities about women in traditional leadership roles, women’s confidence can take a hit. Wiebke Bleidorn, researcher at UC-Davis, found that across...

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4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Productive

By Leora Rifkin

If you are reading this you’re probably like me, a high achieving perfectionist, juggling multiple balls and wearing many hats. If that’s true, then there is also a decent chance that you struggle with procrastination. Over the years, I’ve tried all types of tips and tricks to overcome this unhelpful habit. I have found however, that following all the latest productivity “hacks” is not a sustainable approach. During my time in grad school at the University of Pennsylvania, I shifted my focus from trying out the latest trends to adopting evidence-based approaches to conquering procrastination. 

Studying the scientific literature about productivity taught me two important things: 1) Conquering procrastination has as much to do with our beliefs as it does our strategies, and 2) Not all strategies are created equal. To save you the thousand-plus hours it took me to learn this stuff in grad school, I’ve made a list of the four...

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Build a Better Brain with Exercise

By John J. Ratey, MD

Most people are motivated to workout for the physical benefits-losing weight, toning up, getting healthy and looking good.

But there’s a growing body of scientific researching showing it’s just as important, if not more so, to work up a good sweat to give us a bigger, smarter, more successful brain. If you want to optimize your life, it’s time to put down the remote, step away from the computer, and get your heart rate up through exercise.

How do we know exercise builds a better brain?

The studies are overwhelming.  In fact, in 2011, The Mayo Clinic went through 1,600 papers on exercise and there was no disputing, exercise had a definite positive effect on memory, learning, performance and motivation.

The research continues to explode and confirm the striking link.  Even a 2014 study out at Stanford University found that just by doing something as simple as walking, creative output was increased by 60% while walking and the...

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How to Stop Procrastinating Right Now

By Dr. Timothy A. Pychyl 

As a psychological scientist who has been studying procrastination for over 20 years, I have earned a reputation as a productivity expert. Procrastination and productivity may seem like strange bedfellows, but our research has taught us a great deal about successful goal pursuit.

The link between understanding procrastination and how to reach our highest potential in life is not as indirect as might first seem.  As Brené Brown wrote in The Gifts of Imperfection, “we have to talk about the things that get in the way of doing what is best for us.” My research has taught me that one of the key things that gets in the way of our motivation and energy is procrastination.

Interesting, isn’t it? We often think about it as the other way around, that we procrastinate because we lack motivation and energy. It’s a two-way street.

I don’t feel like. I don’t want to. I’ll feel more like it tomorrow.


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For Better Exercise, Go with the Flow: 5 A+ Tips To Boost Your Enjoyment and Energy

By Elaine O’Brien

“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen.”

- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Do you want to heighten your energy, vitality and enjoyment in life? Have you ever wondered how to thrive at the peak of your abilities, and experience more high point moments?  The psychological state of flow, also referred to as “being in the zone,” is defined as a motivating and joyful experience created when we are fully immersed in an activity. This cognitive state goes beyond mere concentration.  It involves stimulating, goal-directed behavior creating a feeling of full immersion within the activity.

Learning a new language, playing an intricate piece on a musical instrument, hiking a new nature trail, aiming to beat your own record swimming, building something, or...

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3 Ways Mindfulness Improves Productivity

By Cory Muscara

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You sit down, intent to get some quality work done, only to find yourself caught up in a completely different task ten minutes later. You were ready to write a blog post, and before you knew it you were in your inbox, even though you said you weren’t going to respond to emails. Or maybe you were redesigning your website, and next you know you’ve spent the last 20 minutes aimlessly scrolling through Facebook.

If this has happened to you, you’re not alone.

We live in a world that pays premiums for our attention. TV shows and movies are filmed to jump rapidly between camera angles so we don’t lose interest. Social media is designed so we can endlessly scroll from one story to the next until we find what we’re interested in.

Our culture is conditioning us to move rapidly from one thing to the next, reducing our need to sustain attention in order to be entertained.

So it’s no wonder that when we set...

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Journey to the Book: Researching High Performance Habits

Today, Brendon Burchard, the CEO of High Performance Institute, has a new book releasing titled, "High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way."

Burchard published free excerpts of his book here, and the first three chapters of the audiobook here.

He also posted his methodology chapter for the book here.

You can hear him discuss his book and journey in his interviews with Larry King, Lewis Howes, and in his short film about his book tour.

Below is the official publisher summary, followed by additional research insights and methodology from the book.

[Full disclaimer: as Burchard is the CEO of HPI, we benefit from the sales of his book by increased awareness to our programs.]

Publisher Summary of High Performance Habits

After extensive original research and a decade as the world’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever...

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