#053 – Choice (Essentialism Pt 3) [Podcast]

Choice, this is the very first pillar … the first mindset we need to embrace Essentialism.  It is the ability to choose that makes us human.

Choice

Choice

We often think of choice as a thing. But a choice is not a thing. Our options may be things, but a choice—a choice is an action.

Click to Listen

Play

#052 – Essentialism Overview (Essentialism Pt 2) [Podcast]

Before we embark on the study of essentialism in detail, let’s first give an essentialism overview.  What is essentialism all about?  What is the big picture?

Essentialism Overview

Essentialism Overview

Greg McKeown did an excellent lecture at Linkedin over this very issue.  We listen through Greg’s presentation in this episode as we prepare to land and explore the Essentialism landscape.

Click to Listen

Play

#051 – Essentialism Introduction (Essentialism Pt 1) [Podcast]

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you sometimes feel overworked and underutilized? Do you feel motion sickness instead of momentum? Does your day sometimes get hijacked by someone else’s agenda? Have you ever said “yes” simply to please and then resented it?

Essentialism

Essentialism

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.

The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.

Click to Listen

Play

#050 – Why We Suck at Email [Podcast]

We suck at email … no really, we REALLY suck at email.  I’ve heard countless podcasts and read many books that talk about being more productive at email … “inbox zero” … creating tasks from emails … but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone talk about why we have such a hard time communicating by email.

Why We Suck at Email

Why We Suck at Email

 

In this episode, I’m going to share the work of two psychologists to help explain why we suck at email.  Then I’ll give you 3 guiding questions you should ask yourself every time you email, and about a dozen practical suggestions to implement email etiquette.

Click to Listen

Play

#049 – The Road to Success [Podcast]

Depending on whom you ask, the road to success means different things. If you were to ask me, I’d say it means having a career that revolves around my real life. If you were to ask my cat, she’d say it involves finding a way to catch, immobilize and destroy her own tail. The first step in achieving success is often deciding what it means to you.

Road to Success

Road to Success

 

Chances are your answer is similar to mine. But whatever your version of success, people who want to be successful should mimic the behaviors of the great ones who came before them. 

Click to Listen

Play

#048 – Cultivating Your Passion [Podcast]

Cultivating your passion requires a dedication to unstructured exploration. You have to leave large swathes of free time in your schedule, and fill this time with the exploration of things that might be interesting. Of equal importance, when something catches your attention you must leverage your free time to aggressively follow up.

Cultivating Your Passion

Cultivating Your Passion

 

Faced with the task of identifying their “passion,” most people have one of two reactions:

The first is a frantic search of their lives with the aim of uncovering some magical pursuit that unmistakably sings to their soul. As a writer of student advice, for example, I frequently receive e-mails from young people that begin: “I’m trying to decide what my passion should be…”  (If only it were that easy.)

The second reaction is paralysis: faced with the life-changing importance of this discovery, many people freeze — hoping for a sign from above that will make things clear. (Spoiler: This can be a long wait.)

Neither of these approaches succeed, as passion is not something that can be forcefully identified, and though it sometimes bubbles up serendipitously, this is not something you can count on happening any time soon.  So what’s a passion-seeking minimalist to do?

Click to Listen

Play

#047 – Essential Assertiveness Skills (Assertiveness Pt 18) [Podcast]

Wow … 17 episodes on assertiveness!!  As we finish up this series on assertiveness, I thought it would be good to summarize what we have discussed for 17 episodes.  This episode is a bit longer than other episodes (one hour and 21 minutes, so be forewarned!).

Essential Assertiveness Skills

Essential Assertiveness Skills

In this episode, we first go through a brief summary of the entire book … chapter by chapter.  Then, I dug up a rare, old interview with the author of the book.

Click to Listen

Play

#046 – Constructive Confrontation (Assertiveness Pt 17) [Podcast]

How good are you at confronting someone? Do you, like most people, prefer to avoid confrontations? It turns out that the majority of people are pretty bad at confrontations and opt to dodge them whenever possible. The prospect stresses them out, and they’re even more anxious in the encounter. It’s not uncommon for people who dislike confrontation to feel their heart racing during these episodes.

Constructive Confrontation

Constructive Confrontation

People can get very creative when it comes to protecting their self-image – but when doing so gets in the way of your agenda, you have to confront them about it. At the same time, confrontation can prove deleterious. Tensions may rise and your adversary’s psychological defenses may come up. As the objective is to move things forward productively, what’s essential is not confrontation per se, but constructive confrontation.

Click to Listen

Play

#045 – Confrontation Countdown (Assertiveness Pt 16) [Podcast]

Confrontation countdown … A former colleague holds complete conversations in his head with people with whom he is angry. He rarely speaks directly with the other person. This anger in his mind continues to build because of his frustration, yet he never lets the other person know that he is frustrated and subsequently angry.

Confrontation Countdown

Confrontation Countdown

His conflict avoidance almost cost him his marriage because he didn’t let his wife into the conversations he was having with her; but by himself. It was almost too late by the time he did bring her into the real conversation. His need to avoid confrontation is so strong that he has a safe confrontation in his mind and feels that he has dealt with the issue. As you can imagine, this doesn’t work – especially for the other person involved. Are you guilty of holding mental conflicts and confrontations?

Click to Listen

Play

#044 – Making Requests (Assertiveness Pt 15) [Podcast]

Making requests … getting what you want isn’t always easy, and, for many, neither is the asking. Even so, we have learned that assertiveness is not about getting your way in the first place.  Yet, the ability in making requests that are clear and concise is a hallmark of those who achieve what they want in life, to include personal success and great relationships.

Making Requests

Making Requests

If you read this and are thinking, “but I am making requests,” “I do ask,” “it falls on deaf ears,” or “nothing works,” etc., think again.  It’s not uncommon for people to think they are making requests when instead they’re merely venting, complaining, or repeating a well-worn mini-lecture.

Click to Listen

Play