Empty (And, Reuse) Your Cup

“A university professor goes to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly serves tea, the professor talks about Zen. The master pours the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then keeps pouring. The professor watches the overflowing cup until he can no longer restrain himself. ‘It’s full! No more will go in!’ the […]

Observation vs. Judgment

Judgment: “the act of assigning a negative or positive value to an event” (p. 18). At their core, judgments are opinions and assessments that we tend to hold with a lot of attachment. A common pitfall with judgmental language is that it reinforces binary thinking, i.e., always or never/agree or disagree. Binary thinking is rigid […]

Labeling or Learning?

Labels are an integral tool of linguistics and communication because of how they help us to identify, categorize, organize, and describe objects, surroundings, and experiences. However, labels that unconsciously get applied to ourselves or others’ identities can undermine our learning potential and psychological flexibility. The reason being is that identity labels tend to represent a […]

From Best to Better

“What are the best practices?” has become an inevitable and frequently asked question in this era of quantified self, peak performance, and human optimization. It is a good question, particularly because of the intention to maximize your time and resources in an 80/20 Pareto principle type of manner. However, I invite you to consider in […]

Part of the Answer…

When you say “the answer is,” you sound definitive. When you say “PART of the answer is,” you practice sharing an answer that invites curiosity by leaving room for complexity by considering caveats and contingencies. Caveats reveal the limits of your understanding, research, and/or other perspectives on the topic. When you share caveats, you signal […]

Talent or Skill?

Skill is Great but Talent is Better… Here’s Why: Angela Duckworth, the leading expert on the psychological construct of grit, defines talent as the rapidity at which skill is acquired and improved: “So, if you’re a really talented basketball player, you improve very quickly when compared to less talented players with equivalent practice and opportunity.” […]

Learning/Leading (Two Sides of the Same Coin)

Applying your learnings deliberately and experimentally is an act of leadership. Learning, most of the time, is a process of consuming information that gets turned into knowledge. While reading this blog post, you are consuming information. The percentage of information that gets retained and integrated into your existing neural networks is knowledge. Sometimes, you consume […]

Street Smart vs. Book Smart (False Dichotomy)

The underlying assumption associated with being book smart is that you possess a lot of intellectual theory but lack the ability to practically utilize your knowledge base. Whereas, if you are street smart, you have a lot of intuitive, “real-world” knowledge but lack the theoretical understanding to explain WHY or HOW something works, instead your […]

The Russian Doll Method: Models Mapped on Top of Other Models

I like mapping models on top of other models. Even though no two models are exactly the same, it is in overlaying ones that are similar enough that you begin to see more opportunities for how to flexibly apply them, especially when filtered through the interrelated relationships of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-reflection. For example, Carol […]

Asking, Taking, & Utilizing FEEDBACK

While obviously interdependent and sequential, the ability to ask for, take, and utilize feedback are all separate skills. ASKING FOR The ability to genuinely ask for feedback is a matter of psychological safety. For instance, when you ask for feedback, how safe do you make someone else feel, so he or she can give you […]