Monday, October 31, 2016

The Power of Silence

In conversation, we underestimate the power of silence. In my article today, I offer examples, both in one's work and personal life.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

When Is Ignorance Bliss? When do you really want the information?

When is ignorance bliss?  In my article today, I ask a number of questions that may help you live the life you want to live.

Under-Noticed Sensations

Many people tend to focus on what's on their mind: their thoughts and feelings. Yet there's another side of existence that may deserve more attention: sensations.

Of course, we all notice obviously powerful sensations., for example, the sight of an exceptionally beautiful flower, great music, or a lover's touch. But there are sensations that may be under-noticed.

My article today lists a few each for sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Countering Isolation at Work

Ever more people work at home. And many of them appreciate the fewer distractions, no time-wasting commute, and not having to get into a work get-up every day.

But some of my clients who work alone feel isolated. Fortunately, there are mitigators. Frankly, most of these suggestions are just common sense but a number of my clients told me they hadn't thought of them, so I figure it's worth a blog post. Of course, this is an incomplete list but if nothing appeals, maybe it will trigger your own ideas. 

It's my article today.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

11 Sayings That Reduce Your Credibility

How would you feel about a person who chirped, "Happy Friday!" Many people would think a bit less of him or her.

Indeed, many sayings risk lowering your credibility. In my article today, I offer 10 others you should think twice before saying.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Role of the Parent, Caregiver, and Teacher in Young Children

What’s the role of the parent, the caregiver, and the teacher with young children?

Alison Gopnik has spent her life exploring that both from a psychologist’s and philosopher’s perspective. She is Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor in Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She was ranked among the most influential psychologists working today:  Her newest book is The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.

She is my The Eminents interview today. 

Tools of Influence: Excerpts from influential speeches that demonstrate powerful rhetorical devices

In my article today, I offer another approach. From 200 of the most influential speeches of modern times, I selected 11 excerpts that brilliantly illustrate a powerful rhetorical device.

And above is the YouTube video of me performing those excerpts. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What's the Speech You'd Give After You Died?

On, I plan to create a post consisting of 100-200 word speeches that my readers would be unwilling to give if alive but might want to record for play after they died. It can be posted anonymously if you wish. I welcome your submitting me yours at 

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Grown-Up's Guide to Friendship

When we were kids, we made friends by acting and looking cool and by being nice but so nice that we seemed desperate.

As adults, many people use the same tactics. And they work, but as grown-ups, we’re capable of more. 

My article today offers ideas for making and deepening platonic friendships and for surviving disagreements.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Moments of Moment

Adolph Hitler aspired to be an artist but was rejected by Vienna's Academy of Art, purportedly by a Jew.  If Hitler had been admitted, just perhaps the Holocaust might not have occurred.

Each of us have had moments that have changed our lives' path. Sometimes, those changes are not unidirectional.
I discuss in my article today. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Early Memories

Our brain is a filter. Generally, we remember what's important, for example, some memories that have survived the decades.

My clients have found that strong early memories have implications for what they might do today: careerwise and personally, plus psychological issues they may still have to deal with.

In my article today, I offer examples as well as suggestions for how you might unearth and then use your early memories to improve your life today.

Nine Under-the-Radar Psychology Careers

This is the third in a series of posts on specific careers. The first was Popular Professions' Downsides. Next was Underrated Jobs.  

Today's offering focuses on under-the-radar niches in psychology.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ten Underrated Jobs

A couple days ago, I described downsides of nine popular careers.  A commenter on that article asked if I might describe some underrated jobs' upsides. Okay.

An objection to many of the following jobs is that they pay poorly. But some people feel their lives are, net, better with a low-pay/low-status job that lets them do what they enjoy or to have lots of free time after work rather than a higher-pay/high-status career that requires after-work worry and after-work work.

The ten jobs I describe in my article today aren't for everyone but, especially if you need a career win, a life win after some setbacks, these not-unduly-competitive jobs may be worth a look.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Burned-Out Occupational Therapist Thinks About Quitting

A burned-out occupational therapist called into my radio program.  I offer the edited transcript of our exchange as my article today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In Search of Cracks

Especially when trying to solve a big problem, it's easy to miss a crack of opportunity. Perhaps the examples in my article today will help you stay alert to them so you can widen or at least appreciate them.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Nine Professions' Downsides: Physician, clinical psychologist, manager, lawyer, teacher, social worker, accountant, career counselor, librarian

Most reviews of careers have a positive bias. That's largely because most of the reviewers are in those careers. Those unhappy with it have left before being asked to describe it in an interview.  Also, cognitive dissonance causes a positive bias: People have devoted years to the career, so it's hard to acknowledge that it has been a poor investment of time and money.

To provide a bit of counterbalance, in my article today, I offer downsides of nine popular careers.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Finding Good Work: From stalled to jazzed.

As my article today, I posted edited versions of two very different exchanges between a caller and me on my KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco) radio program today. Perhaps you might find something in them to help you find well-suited work.

To Be Awakened

Ah to be awakened. perhaps by the sunrise, a lover’s touch, or often in my case, my doggie licking my face saying, “I want to go out.”

Of course, those are mere literal awakenings. More interesting are awakened ideas.

As my article today, I offer some of my clients', colleagues', friends', and my recent awakenings, changed views.  

I've chosen to include a wide range to make it more likely that one or more will resonate with you or trigger an awakening of your own.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Staying Grounded in a Negotiation

Employers and employees can lose perspective and even their cool in a negotiation. In my article today, I try to help.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Good Public Speaking Without Fear

PublicDomainPictures.Net, Public DomainA core reason that people fear public speaking is that they're scared of screwing up and thus looking foolish. 

That fear is valid if you're trying to be "perfect"--scripting and when near-memorizing. You're bound to get thrown off.

Fortunately, unless you're a master at reading off a teleprompter, the best talks are not scripted, nor memorized. They're given largely ad-lib, with just a brief outline to keep you on track.

I offer a step-by-step process in my article today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In Praise of Nuance in a World that Values Black-and-White Thinking

At times, we all have to opine on difficult subjects: at work and outside of work. 

And when doing so, because we understandably are affected by our leaders, we may be tempted to use what works for politicians: reducing complexity to black-and-white sound-bites and sounding very sure of ourselves. Often, that mitigates against the required nuance.

As a modest attempt to encourage all of us to move toward more nuance, and hopefully to make the case in a way more interesting than lecturing at you in typical how-to article style, my article today offers what an nuanced set of responses to an interview of a presidential candidate might look like.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Halloween Costumes as a Tool for Personal Growth

Vector Open Stock, CC 2.0

Halloween costume parties offer us a ready opportunity to try on an under-expressed part of our personality or even a persona we'd never want to assume in real life.

As my article today, I offer examples of costumes that differ from a person's personality and ways to make the experience a tool for personal growth.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Using Job Simulations: Key to hiring wisely

Despite a mountain of evidence that the job interview is a poor way to choose employees, we continue to use it.

Key to hiring wisely is using simulations of difficult tasks that the employee will often have to do. As with most things, the devil is in the details so in my article today, I was quite granular.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

On Being a Rabid Sports Fan

Of course, one cannot generalize from one fan's reportage but as my article today, I recount the exchange I had today with my lifelong friend, who is a rabid Dodgers fan. I found it instructive.

On Being Unattractive: Upsides, Downsides, and Compensating

Lookism is the last ism that goes unpunished. My article today explores the upsides and downsides of having an unattractive face and what you might do about it.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Stoicism Doesn’t Mean Emotionless: An under-considered approach to life

Many people think Stoicism is merely a synonym for "emotionless" or, at most, a dusty ancient-Greek philosophy.

While, yes, Stoicism originated with such ancient illuminati as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, it's far beyond “emotionless."

And Stoicism is more widely adopted today than one might think: from the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks staff to rapper LL Cool J and broadcaster Michele Tafoya.

Plus, Stoicism's devotees have included some of history's most admired people: George Washington, Walt Whitman, Frederick the Great, Eugene Delacroix, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

What is Stoicism? It asks us to do good while staying calm, to focus on what’s important and under our control, not wasting thoughts let alone time on what’s beyond our control.
Easier said than done, especially with all the modern pressures that beset even successful people. 

To help, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman have written the just-published book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living. 

For each day of the year, this beautiful book (complete with ribbon bookmark) offers a quote from a top ancient Stoic followed by Holiday’s commentary to elucidate its relevance to us today.

My article today offers some nuggets I've extracted from the book.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Potpourri of Career Questions

Marco Bellucci, CC 2.0A reader asked me a number of career questions. I've answered them all as my article today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Irrationality and Human Behavior: An interview with Robert Shiller

Most prediction models assume that people act rationally. Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize, in part, for adding people’s irrationality to those models.

My interview with him is my article today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Are You All Talk? Coming Up With an Idea is Rarely Enough

Dogbertio 14, CC 3.0It's far easier to come up with ideas than to see them through to completion. Should you just be an idea generator? Learn to be an implementer? If so, how? That's my article today.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Tough Guy: A remarkable story of resilience

The guy who came to take care of my rodent problem, not only did that, but he told me his life story. Remarkable. It's my article today.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

My History With Money

In my article today, I tell my life history with money, starting with my excitement at age 5, upon finding a penny on the street.  At the end, I invite you to reflect on yours to see what, if any, changes you'd like to make.

How I've Come Up With a Topic to Write About for 932 Days in a Row

I've now posted an article on for 932 days in a row. 
A friend asked me how I can keep coming up with topics.  I thought you might find the answer of value. After all, everyone has to keep coming up with topics: when you're with friends, romantic partners, roommates, coworkers, etc.

In my article today, I list tactics that might apply to non-writers and writers alike.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

How Beneficial is the Life You're Leading

Alexander Boden, CC 2.0How beneficial is the life you're living? I offer a self-assessment inventory as my article today.