Two Critical Traits You Need to Focus on in 2015


In the book “Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits,” writers Emma Barrett and Paul Martin explore what makes thrill seekers get such a rush from being out on the edge. “Brain imaging studies,” they write “have found that risk seeking behavior is preceded by activity in the region of the brain associated with the anticipation of pleasurable experiences like sex, drug taking, and monetary gain.” In other words,


Struggling With Distraction Is Older Than We Think


In 1925, apparently there were so many distractions in the typical workplace, that Hugo Gernsback – a writer, inventor, publisher, and member of the American Physical Society decided to do something about it. Gernsback was called by some the “Father of Science Fiction.” His writing was well known, and he created the first science fiction magazine. The result of his work on the distraction issue was called


Multi-Adapter Plugs and Multi-Adapter Lives Don’t Work


On a recent trip to London, I was reminded of one thing: Electrical multi-plugs don’t work. You know the kind: the all-in-one plugs that have all the electrical adapters from countries around the world. One big block, and different plugs spring out for different countries. Like most things, they work in the store, but in the field, they break down pretty easily. That’s a lesson in most “multi” things:


Stop Spending So Much Time on Other People’s Priorities


Write this down:  “If you’re spending your day sending and receiving email messages, then you’re spending your day responding to other people’s priorities.”  Rinse and repeat. What does your typical day look like? Spending all day in your email inbox? Or spending the day working on the projects that matter to you?  Sure, email is still a vital communications tool, but our problem is that we get stuck in it. As a result, we


Changing Careers In A Tough Job Market


Today’s job market may be the most challenging in recent history, but the truth is, a volatile economy can actually be the best time to change careers. When researching my new book, “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,”  I discovered that finding your purpose – what you were born to do with your life – is the single most important key to finding the career you’ve always dreamed about.  In today’s distracted and cluttered culture, it’s far too easy to become average at many things. But to cut through and get noticed today, start


How to Achieve Olympic Levels of Success

Detailed view of a sprinter in the starting blocks

I love watching the Olympics because it’s one of the few places where you can spend a few weeks watching the best in the world. It’s really a celebration of sacrifice, training, and performance that’s hard to beat. But how do they achieve these extraordinarily high levels of success? Certainly it’s a complex answer, but when I was writing my new book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” three areas stood out as absolutely essential to Olympic level success on the field or in business:


Driving in India is a Lot Like Life

2012-07-02 09.24.26

Driving in India is quite an experience. There are far too many cars, gas powered rickshaws, busses, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, and the occasional herd of cows. On first glance it’s total chaos, people trying to cross, moving into the flow of traffic, squeezing in and out. The first rule of Indian driving is that traffic lanes aren’t a requirement, they’re simply a suggestion. But the great surprise is that in the middle of what looks like total confusion, there are very few accidents, and in most cases, those that happen are just minor fender benders. It’s amazing really. But then, after you’ve been there a few times, and made the effort to really look at it closely, you notice something important:


Being Good at One Thing Doesn’t Mean We’re Good at Everything


There’s a frustrating trend I’m seeing among leaders in both the religious and secular worlds regarding expertise.  I’m talking about people who are highly successful in one area, then seem to assume they’re experts in other areas as well.  Of course, sometimes it’s true.  I love the concept of “Renaissance people” who have multiple talents.  But for most, expertise in one arena doesn’t assure expertise in others.  For example, because a pastor achieves numerical success in building a large church, doesn’t automatically make him an expert in leadership.  Some are, but most aren’t.  Some of these misled guys are out there writing leadership blogs that are largely hooey.  In other cases,