This is a repost of my February 16, 2021 article in Psychology Today. Two people can share the same home but live in different worlds. Family ties and close, reciprocal friendships influence much of our lives, from fashion to career choice to our emotions. Though we grow from children into adults whose sense of normal tends to resemble other members of … Continue reading Same House, Different Worlds: How Relationships Influence our Medical Choices
Good stories, well told…
I’m proud to announce that I now have a blog on Psychology Today titled The Cross-Examined Life! There, I’ll be talking about the social and psychological roots of success. Please visit, and if you like it, share and subscribe!
Inspired by actual events
Five years ago, I wrote a piece titled Skip the Five Year Plan – Try These Two Avenues to Success Instead. That article questioned the wisdom of pressuring novices to map out a career before they’ve been on the road long enough to know the lay of the land. To support my argument, I guided … Continue reading You’ve Got Five Years of Experience. Now What?
As of April, 900 people have listened to my presentation, Channeling the River: Using Social and Cognitive Science to Steer Inclusion Efforts. Here’s a brief description: In 2012, I was running Brooklyn Law School’s student newspaper when the school’s New York Bar Exam pass rate dropped for the third year in a row. No one knew … Continue reading Presentation: “Channeling the River: Using Social and Cognitive Science to Steer Inclusion Efforts”
Hi! I recently wrote about lawyers and impostor phenomenon for Law Practice Today. Check it out here!
Fear has a bad reputation. It’s a negative emotion. It’s a weakness. It’s a path to the dark side of the Force. It’s a character flaw. Our fictional heroes rarely show fear, and when they do, it’s for five minutes in the second act of the second movie in the trilogy.
My 92-year old cousin is dying. She’s had cancer for 15 years. No one knew; she never complained. The doctors just found out a few weeks ago when she went to the hospital for something else. Her death isn’t a complete surprise. Not because of her age, and not because of the cancer. You see, … Continue reading When Purpose Fades
I didn’t know you could trespass in Starbucks. People bring their laptops there. People hold meetings there. One of my friends spent two months studying for the bar exam there. “Sit and stay awhile” embodies Starbucks’ business model. Even those of us who don’t drink tall half-caff soy lattes at 120 degrees know that Starbucks … Continue reading Starbucks, Us, and Them
I was in my suit, sitting in a chair that looked more comfortable than it was, waiting for my would-be employer to break the silence. The interview was going well, if you call correctly answering a set of standard questions “going well.” I passed the time by looking for useful information on the office walls … Continue reading The Bottom Line
Of all the definitions of “friend,” I prefer the one that says friends are people we share our secrets with. The idea is that we grant greater access to closer friends. Sure, we break this rule, trusting a new love interest too soon or crying in McDonald’s, rambling to a stranger while barely touching our … Continue reading On Difficult Conversations
“I can’t do it,” he said. So, he didn’t try. “With his disadvantages, he couldn’t possibly catch up,” they said. So, no one encouraged him. When I was younger, I kept hearing people say, “I can’t.” This wasn’t true. I had known these people my entire life. We had built elaborate clubhouses together, without tools, using … Continue reading We are What we Repeatedly Learn
Hi! Last month, I wrote a piece titled 3 Ways to Keep Conversations on Track for the High Performance Institute Blog. Click here to read it. Enjoy!
“How are you so organized,” my friend asked me, wondering how I always seem to have time to myself despite a full-time job and several outside projects. “It’s simple,” I answered. “My life comes before my work. The more organized I am, the faster I get my work done, the more time I have for … Continue reading How to be Lazy
Let’s imagine for the next few minutes that you’re about to have a baby. Let’s also imagine that you want to give your baby the biggest possible advantage in school a few years from now, but you don’t have a lot of money to spare. What can you do? The insanely simple answer? Talk with … Continue reading One Insanely Simple Thing You Can do to Help Your Kids in School
Are you taking the Bar Exam next week? Then read this!
Today, I invite you to take the Beat Your Brain Challenge™! The rules are simple: don’t think of something you’re good at! Seriously, that’s it! Don’t think of anything you’re better than most people at. Don’t consider how long you’ve been doing that thing, or how you started doing that thing in the first place. … Continue reading How to Work Smarter
It depends. Are you trying to game the system? Then, no. Are you trying to get an inside look at the industry before committing your time and money to school? Then, yes. Are you trying to develop skills that you can transfer to your ultimate goal? Then, yes. Are you trying to “find yourself?” Then, … Continue reading Should You Take a “Gap Year?”
Please click here to read an updated, shorter version of this article. As I write this, thousands of freshly minted JDs are just starting the 10-week slog of studying for the bar exam. By the end of the study period, these people will come out of exile, grateful to see sunlight again and not wanting … Continue reading How to Beat the Bar Exam (or any other test)