I’m sorry to report — in case you haven’t already noticed — that parts of your work or your life that you thought were solid and safe can totally fall apart, sometimes without very much warning. This may never happen to you. If it does, it may not last very long. But it’s an eventuality that’s in the cards for too many people, too often.

One very normal reaction to this turn of events is to give up, to cry “Why me?”, and to go hide under the covers for a while, or maybe forever.

But there’s a better response…

One of the things I’ve tried to do my whole adult life is expand my personal limits. Early on, I realized I inherently gave little or no credence to the limitations that others tried to put on me (“You can’t do that!). Where I faltered was in my encounters with the limits I subconsciously or fearfully put on myself (I’m not capable of that!)

Although I’ve been pretty successful, I’m still working to expand on those self-imposed limits. …

There’s a story about basketball’s Hall of Fame superstar, Magic Johnson, which may or may not be true. But it’s a great story anyway.

Supposedly, he was the star player on his team in high school and one of the best players at his age that anyone had ever seen. Naturally, he received a lot of praise for his ability to score points and make dazzling moves on the court. One day, his coach took him aside and said something along the lines of: “You’re a great player, and we can win a lot of games with you playing as…

I try to focus in this space on productivity and success, mostly in terms of techniques and ways to handle specific situations. But as with most aspects of your work and your life, there are also some extremely helpful general principles that can bring you important benefits.

Let’s go over a few of them right now:

Redefine “Failure”

Most people define “failure” as some kind of inadequate or substandard performance. But thinking along these lines creates both pressure and anxiety that impairs rather than aids your ability to deliver. …

In this space I have written quite a lot about the importance of knowing, in a given situation, what other people are thinking, feeling, and trying to achieve. I have even lightly touched on some of the ways you can do this.

But not enough, apparently. I’ve received many requests for more detail on this topic of “reading” other people. As you probably know from you own experience, “reading” people is partly an art form, as well as a skill or a science.

But there are some specific ways you can learn to see deeper into a person’s thoughts, feelings…

I’ve pounded the table many times about the importance of working well with others for a variety of good reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a way of helping maximize your own productivity and success.

There are several keys to working well with others, and this time around we’re going to focus on listening better as a route to improved relationships in every part of your work and your life.

Although it’s true that almost everyone can listen, hardly any of us do it well.

Some experts say the average person remembers very little of their conversations…

The importance of interpersonal intelligence is clear, along with its relevance to increased productivity and success. So it’s no surprise that many people have asked me to say more on methods for acquiring and enhancing what many call “emotional intelligence.”

Here, then, is a brief rundown on some ways you can kick up your base level of EQ:

Take a Moment

Regardless of how much emotional intelligence you may be able to call upon at any given moment, you can’t make full use of it unless you give it a chance to operate.

That’s why one of the best ways to behave with…

No matter how smoothly you navigate through most of your work and your life, you’ve undoubtedly suffered a few of those inevitable awkward moments.

You know the kind: where your brain stops working and without warning you “choke” in the midst of whatever you’re trying to do. You may suddenly find:

· You can’t remember the name of the person you’re conversing with,

· You can’t come up with a proper response to a question or comment,

· You can’t think of what you were going to say next,

· You suddenly feel foolish and out of place,

…or something…

Unless you’re leading a totally charmed life, you’re going to be rejected. At some point, people will refuse you opportunities, refute your opinions, limit your choices, prove you wrong, steal credit that’s due you, and perhaps even take away a goal or an achievement that’s already or potentially within your grasp.

It’s just an unfortunate aspect of life.

But while you probably cannot avoid some of these painful moments, you can avoid some or all of the debilitating impact they can have on your work and your life.

Here’s how:

Get in Touch with Your Emotions

It may perhaps seem strange that the first step in…

It’s been a long time since I’ve thought specifically about “time wasters,” those ordinary actions and choices people make that suck time out of their days without providing any major benefits in return.

I guess it’s because I’ve been largely focused less on “doing things right” and more on “doing the right things.” But with my recent post on Ways to be Smarter, and this one, it appears I’m at least temporarily revisiting this “don’t do it” mindset.

So let’s take a quick look at some ways to sidestep several of the common “time wasters” that habitually lie in wait…

Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz is a successful, award-winning writer and consultant, and the author of “How to Organize Your Work and Your Life.”

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