You Won’t Find Happiness at the Finish Line

We devote immense amounts of time, effort, energy, and money. Yet, that pursuit seems to be wholly unsatisfying and ineffective, as evidenced by the fact that there exists a ‘happiness-industrial complex’. One place that many people look for happiness is at the finish line. Yet, I can assure you that it can’t be found there.

The Ultimate Price of Our Hyper-Achievement Culture

In an earlier post, I described the high cost that pushing kids too hard can have on their lives. A truly tragic example of this trend is Madison Holleran, a U. of Penn student and athlete, who committed suicide in early 2014. On the surface, she was a happy and successful young woman. But inside there was turmoil.

Four Steps to Making Change an Opportunity Not a Threat

In general, people don’t like change. During primitive times, change was perceived as a threat to survival which triggered our ‘fight or flight’ response. Unfortunately, though we like to think that we have evolved far beyond our ancestors, the reality is that we are still quite primitive in some basic ways including our response to change.

Make Mental Training a Priority in Your Sport

I work with many athletes each year, from juniors with big dreams to pros and Olympians who are realizing their dreams. What is abundantly clear to me is that, once the foundation of fitness, technique, tactics, and equipment are established, it is the mind that separates athletes who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

There is No Formula or Timetable for Athletic Success

Wouldn't it be great if sports had a formula that you could follow to be successful? Imagine if you had a list of things you simply needed to do (for example: get into shape, hone your technical and tactical skills, get your equipment dialed in,) and, voila, you would have a 100 percent chance of performing your best and getting the results you want.

Are You a Free-Range Parent? You Should Be

Children need to have the freedom to explore their worlds on their own without parents acting like helicopters, always hovering around to "protect" them for the apparently dangerous world in which they now. Yet, our children are fenced in, literally and metaphorically, almost every moment of every day.

Sports Are Like Sleep

So, how are sports like sleep? You can’t TRY to play well. Forcing yourself to play well creates overthinking, muscle tension, and the attempt to control your body in the hopes that you can make your body play well. But, the harder you try to play well, the less likely you will play well. You want to allow great play to emerge naturally.

4 Rituals to Create a “Green Family”

One of the best ways to communicate any message to your children is through regular rituals that are woven into the fabric of your family’s lives. The consistency of intention and action help ingrain the messages you want your children to get most. The use of rituals is very effective in teaching your children about nature and environmental stewardship.

6 Catchphrases to Connect Your Children to Nature

Because words send powerful messages to children, you can further help your children connect to nature by associated their wonderful experiences in nature with meaningful catchphrases related to nature. Our catchphrase for sending positive messages about the environment to our daughters is “We’re a green family.”

“Be Different” for Increased Performance and Productivity

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, nothing will change. Plus, the best way to get the same results as your competitors is to do the same things that they are doing. These conclusions seem obvious, yet corporate change is very difficult because people and companies are inertial and change is difficult.

The Burden of Expectation: A Lesson From an Olympic Champion

Mikaela Shiffrin, the 19-year-old ski racing phenom, has certainly put herself between a rock and a hard place. The rock is the expectations she has created from her short, though illustrious, career. The hard place is that the 2015 World Ski Championships will be contested in Shiffrin’s home town of Vail, Colorado. The expectations on her get ratcheted up big time.

Compete Like You Train or Train Like You Compete?

One of the first questions that I ask athletes and coaches I work with is: Should you compete like you train or train like you compete? By far, the most frequent response is: You should compete like you train. This answer seems perfectly reasonable if you think about it. When you train, you’re relaxed, feel no pressure, and are only focused on performing your best.

8 Ways to Nurture Your Children’s Connection to Nature

Children love the Earth. They really do hug trees. Kids care in the purest and sweetest way for birds, flowers, plants, and animals. Help your children develop a deep connection to nature that can result is a commitment to and sense of stewardship for the future health of our planet.

In Tragedy, Putting Sports in Perspective

When young people lose their lives in sports, it is a bracing slap in the face about why we are involved in sports and a reminder about what is really important (and it’s not the results!). Let’s honor them by keeping sports in perspective as a marvelous part of life, but not life itself.

5 Reasons Athletes Don’t Do Mental Training

When I ask athletes how important the mind is compared to the physical and technical sides of sports, the vast majority say that it is as or more important. Yet, if I had to guess how many athletes actually make mental training an integral part of their preparations, even after learning all about it from me, I would put the number at less than 10%. Why is that?

Five Ways to Weave Gratitude Into Your Family’s Life

To ensure that your children embrace the value of gratitude, you must immerse them in a culture of gratitude. You can do this by weaving gratitude into the very fabric of your family life.

Vote for the Worst Toy of the Year

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an organization whose mission is to support parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing, is having a Vote for the Worst Toy of the Year contest. There are five worthy (or should I say unworthy) candidates.

3 Goals for Playing Your Best on Game Day

Defining success in sport is a difficult task. When I ask most athletes and coaches how they define success, it is usually in terms of results. Though, admittedly, results are the ultimate determinant of success, I have found that a preoccupation with them can both interfere with achieving those results and can produce feelings of disappointment and frustration (or worse).

6 Steps for Making Tough Business Decisions

The decisions that are made, from the boardroom and the corner office on down, dictate the direction that the company goes. Yet, decision making may be the only area of a company that doesn’t have a clear structure or process for maximizing quality.

3 Essential Mindsets for Athletic Success

When I talk about mindset, I mean what is going on in your head just before you begin a competition, whether on the field, course, court, track, what-have-you. What happens in your mind during that oh-so-important period sets the stage for whether you perform to the best of your ability or crash and burn. I have found three mindsets that the best athletes use most.

4 Words of Kindness to Teach Gratitude to Your Children

Gloria believes that all good actions must come from the heart. So her catchphrase for gratitude is “Have a grateful heart.” Whenever her two children start to take what they have for granted, she invokes “Have a grateful heart.”

Five Messages of Gratitude You Can Send Your Children

Though it's easy to blame children for not expressing gratitude, it isn't really your children's fault. Young children are often not developmentally ready to move beyond their egocentrism and recognize the role that others play in their lives. Older children are bombarded by messages from popular culture that stand in sharp contrast to your messages of gratitude.

Gratitude Fuels Your Child’s Heart (and Your Own)

Teaching children gratitude can feel like an impossible task these days. We live in a culture where a sense of entitlement is ubiquitous. Celebrities, CEOs, and politicians believe that they deserve everything and react to their riches, status, and fame with smugness and disdain. Advertising tells kids that it is their right to have what they want.

The Digital World is Full of Wonder and Worry

There is no doubt that the digital world has much to offer children and families. The Internet provides an almost infinite universe of information that can inspire and educate and it can connect people across vast distances. But the digital world has a dark side as well, for example, cyberbullying, online pornography, privacy and anonymity, sexting, and more.

Acts of Compassion Speak Louder than Words to Your Children

Developing the capacity for compassion and sharing is a huge challenge for young children. Because they are still in an egocentric stage of development, they lack the awareness of and empathy toward others necessary to see how not sharing impacts those around them. Yet, sharing, as an expression of compassion, is a message that your children must get.

Tech Savvy Doesn't Mean Tech Skilled

Parents getting their children involved in technology as early as possible has become a societal imperative and a source of great pressure on parents these days. The belief is that if children don't get on the technology train at an early age, they will be left behind and be doomed to a life of Luddite failure.

Leader-as-Decision-Maker: Decisions Matter

I’m often brought into a company to help them solve a problem. The problem might have to do with strategic planning, research and development, or entry into a new market. I’m no expert in any of these areas, but what I am pretty good at is helping companies understand and go through the best possible process for making decisions.

Weave Compassion into the Fabric of Your Family’s Lives

Your family life is rife with rituals that can send messages of compassion, kindness, and sharing to your children. When you sit down for a meal, you are sharing your food and each other's company. When you hug and kiss your children good night, you are sharing your love. When you play games together, you are sharing your time.

Are Young People Getting a Bad Rap These Days?

Young people in America don’t seem to be held in a very high regard these days. They’re accused of a veritable rap sheet of bad attitudes and bad behaviors. We constantly hear about the impending Armageddon when the next generations take over our country.

Is Emotional Openness the Key to Healthy Relationships?

What do I mean by emotional openness? It is really about the ability to share your emotional life with others. Emotional openness, of course, comes with risks that involve making yourself vulnerable and not knowing whether this emotional exposure will be accepted and reciprocated or rejected and deflected.

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