Human beings are wired to want the next thing. And the next, and the next, and the next. Desire is rooted in raw survival instinct. This applies to anything we enjoy — achieving our career goals, tasty food, physical intimacy.

The flip side of this, of course, is the dissatisfaction that often comes with unfulfilled longings or outcomes we have yet to achieve. It can give a sense of “never enough” or grass is greener. Even if we get the thing we want, we almost immediately want more, or we want something else. …

You ran 7 miles, got to inbox zero, cleaned your whole house, etc etc, etc etc… You’re on top of it by all appearances. But what if these seemingly helpful actions are ways to avoid doing something bigger and more important?

A career change, a difficult conversation, an exciting-and-intimidating project, perhaps?

Welcome to the world of procrastin-acting, where busyness and productivity… are entirely at odds.

My procrastin-action habits of choice? Cleaning, shopping (and returning half), creating to-do lists I never finish, going down bunny trails of way-too-much-information, and editing my work a zillion times.

Usually procrastin-action includes behaviors that are…

When it comes to career achievement, we ladies often get it backwards.

We do things because they look good, substitute others’ opinions for our own, constantly chase the next accomplishment, and verbally lash and push ourselves in ways that at the end of the day, just don’t feel good. At the other extreme, we may get cocky, desensitize and pursue our goals irrespective of the impact or opportunity costs to others.

The same came be true for men.

I’m no stranger to these patterns. I took the path of many a second generation American with a 4.3 GPA in high…

In a world that puts so much emphasis on appearances and external indicators of success, shoulding is common and in some cases outright dangerous.

Many of my clients start out with fixed mindsets or full of “shoulds” for what they do and how they do it. Like them, I played by a strict set of rules, swimming in a sea of musts, shoulds, “I am this way” and “the world is that way” for most of my life. I have a lot of compassion for those who work this way to their own detriment.

Because what often appear to be…

A career sabbatical is a privilege not everyone has access to. Is it the right time for you to take one? Read on for my sabbatical story and 5 questions to ask if you’re considering one yourself.

2018 was a year of massive change and personal growth for me. …

My story isn’t all that different from many others who see themselves as “high achievers.” I played the academic and career game by a set of obvious external standards, and I did pretty well by those standards… rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

And like many first gen Americans, especially with parents from Asia or the Middle East, I didn’t concern myself much with my feelings or preferences. In a sense my success wasn’t “about” me.

Setting goals this way gets you to a certain point — it can’t get you to fulfillment.

If you find yourself in a similar predicament as…

Fear is an old friend of mine, and much of the common advice — be bold, you’re a rock star, and variations on YOLO/IDGAF — for me did not produce reliable results.

Why? Because like many people working hard to get a result, it wasn’t always obvious to me that fear was my sticking point to begin with. Instead, I would focus on what I was afraid of, and I would cleverly try to “fix” it—but oftentimes this just gave my fears a lot of time and energy when they were beyond my control.

Once I became aware of my…

Love this... Just reminded myself to do this today!

Photo by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash

Ah, entrepreneurship. Freedom, impact on your terms, deep and inspired missions, limitless opportunity, clear blue skies and a great wide open. And… potential for failure and free fall, the likelihood of significant challenges, the chance you could face plant so hard your face will never look the same again. Not to mention the occupational hazards of self-doubt, confusion, burnout and isolation.

It’s a land of creative spirit fairies, where unknowns are many and external resources can be relatively scarce.

Fear is designed to help us survive, but in the case of entrepreneurship it’s often the very thing that stops us…

Recently psychologist Adam Grant wrote an article in the NYTimes on languishing or a sense of “blah” at work that so many people are experiencing right now. He doesn’t mention leisure time as a solution — but it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Grant defines languishing as a sense of stagnation and emptiness, somewhere between burnout and fulfillment.

Ring a bell?

It’s a truism in psychology: The absence of mental illness is not the same as health and flourishing.

You might be languishing if:

  • You don’t feel especially excited about your work or future, but you’re not hopeless…

Casey Onder, PhD

Psychologist, success coach, believer in solid behavioral science and the power of tuning in.

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