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Why Problems are a Good Thing

Why Problems are a Good Thing

Most of the time, we think of problems in our lives as a bad thing. We want to remove or get rid of our problems. I think this is a natural tendency—problems can cause pain, stress, and anxiety. These can be unpleasant emotions, and it’s natural to want to get rid of...
8 Steps to Apply the Apple a Day Principle to Your Life

8 Steps to Apply the Apple a Day Principle to Your Life

When you are trying to make a change in your life, the key is to engage in consistent effort for a long period of time. Most change efforts fail because people give up and quit too soon. It’s easy to go outside for a jog one time, or order a salad for dinner one time....
How to Succeed at Big, Long-Term Tasks

How to Succeed at Big, Long-Term Tasks

It’s difficult to succeed at a big, long-term task. For example, students often struggle to make consistent progress on their thesis and dissertation projects. The projects are so big–they literally take 2-3 years to finish. It’s hard to see the light at the end...
5 Ways to Harness the Power of Self-Efficacy

5 Ways to Harness the Power of Self-Efficacy

At the beginning of 3rd grade, my teacher, Mrs. Brown, told our class that she only took the absolute smartest kids from the 2nd grade into her class. She said we were the best of the best. Looking back now, I can’t imagine we all took a test in 2nd grade to figure...
Take Your New Year’s Resolution Outside

Take Your New Year’s Resolution Outside

We are in the season of New Year’s Resolutions. There’s something about the beginning of the new year that gives us a chance to think about the things in our lives that are working, as well as the things in our lives that are not working. The beginning of the New Year...
How to Find Success: Take the Penny Test

How to Find Success: Take the Penny Test

What would you do if I offered you one of the following two options? Take 3 million dollars right now. Take 1 penny on December 1, and double that amount every day for the month of December. If you’re like most people, you probably did a little bit of math in your...
When Working On A Goal, Succeed Early and Often

When Working On A Goal, Succeed Early and Often

Let’s say you’re working on a new goal in your life. Maybe you want to lose weight or get in shape. Or maybe you’re trying to learn a new skill, like playing golf or the guitar. Or perhaps you’re working with one of your kids, trying to teach them their multiplication...
Let Your Life Speak

Let Your Life Speak

This blog post is Part 11 in a 14-part blog series on discovering and living your mission. (If you missed the previous posts, you can find Part 1 here.) In this blog post, I will walk you through an exercise that can help you discover your “how”: let your...
Be Coca-Cola or Pepsi

Be Coca-Cola or Pepsi

At some point early in graduate school, I had a powerful conversation with my mentor that I still remember today. In what seemed like an odd conversation starter, he asked me to think about the best known cola companies. “Who do you think is #1?” he asked me....
Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable

Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable

When you are trying to change something in your life, having a goal that is broad and ambiguous is a sure way to fail. But these kinds of goals are really common. Maybe you have set some of these goals yourself: I want to be healthier. I want to lose weight. I want to...
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