How I Conduct A Personal Annual Review – and Highlights from 2017

Every year, for nearly the last decade, I’ve conducted an annual review. When writing a personal annual review, my process looks like this: Going on the week by week view of my 2017 calendar and listing out every single thing that I spent my time doing. Given that most days I usually have 10-20 things […]

Doug Kirkpatrick on The Morning Star Company and Building Self-Managed Organizations

Doug Kirkpatrick is the author of Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization. He spent the first season of his business career in the manufacturing sector, principally with The Morning Star Company of Sacramento, California. In addition to being a world leader in the food industry, the Morning Star Company is known for being […]

Meredith Haberfeld on Fostering Leadership and Building High Performing Organizations

My guest today, Meredith Haberfeld (@merhaberfeld), is the co-founder of Think Human, a coaching company that has worked with a wide variety of organizations – including, among many others, SoulCycle, Spotify, and Flat Iron Health – to foster leadership and build high performing organizations. Meredith looks at things from a unique viewpoint bridging a scientific, […]

Are You Afraid of the Happy Idiot?

Happiness is an overused term, and rarely well defined. The Happy Idiot Usually, when we think of a “happy” person, what comes to mind? A kind-hearted, somewhat bumbling buffoon. Charlie from Flowers for Algernon in the earliest and latest stages of his development. And yet we spend most of our lives, in innumerable ways, trying to […]

When Everything You Have Learned Is Sufficient

I’ve never considered myself a sophisticated business person. Several years ago (albeit, after interviewing more than a dozen MBAs) I decided against going to graduate school in business, focusing instead on a less tradition career of which business is more the necessity than the focus. That said, I enjoy learning. And “business” – encompassing everything from tax law […]

The Best of Robin’s Reading List from 2014

In 2014 I’ve read more books than in any previous year of my life. That includes the Reed College humanities curriculum, which is just ridiculous. I chalk up the depth and breadth of my reading to the combination of my  infra-red sauna, Amazon Prime, and the fact that I’ve been writing. These are some of my favorite books, and miscellaneous media, […]

Getting Back Up Does Get Easier

Fair Warning: This post is more personal than many of my solution-oriented articles. If you are more interested in specific tools for cultivating successful habits, the blog is full of them. I think it is only fair to share stories of challenge, too. — I have fallen over more times that I can possibly say. Literally, in my variety […]

Why Habits Are The Future

Habits are the future of our health and livelihood.  While you might not think in terms of the word “habit” you probably recognize that you are pulled between nearly infinite information and how you chose to spend your time. Current educational systems are unable to change to teach to 21st century challenges quickly enough. The solution to modern problems are up […]

Fixation, Addiction and Pursuit of Perfection

When I find something I like – a new sport, person, company or restaurant – I fixate. Culturally we usually discuss fixation only in terms of “addiction.” I’ve discussed before the benefits of enthusiasm for special needs children and non-attachment for overcoming hurdles. There is utility to the boundless (perhaps incessant) enthusiasm that accompanies discovering […]

Always Be Cross-Training – How Multiple Disciplines Will Help You Succeed

I am always cross-training. I’ve just returned taking letters to the post-office, meaning that I ran there and ran back. I could have used Shyp or driven to the Post Office but it took less time to run, and besides, I was cross-training. I don’t mean cross-training in just the traditional sense. While I do […]

Attached to the Outcome? Doomed to Fail. Try These Shortcuts!

Anytime someone is completely fixated on a specific outcome, they are doomed to fail. I recently found this to be true when a broken toe severely limited my ability to turn in ballet, but we see examples across the board – from special needs to athletic performance to business successes. When someone is fixated on […]

Cultivate Presence

The last 5 months have a been a whirl-wind. Since January 1, 2014 I’ve founded a corporation, attempted to launch a 500+ person workshop in the Bay Area, failed to publish a book, begun ballet and achieved triple pirouettes, spoken at Stanford University, UCSF, and Ignite SF, and more. Today I’m going to look at […]

The Attitude That Works to Learn Anything

The Attitude that Works is how I describe an attitude I bring to my coaching with special needs children, and try to apply everywhere, in any learning environment. The attitude consists of three parts: Love Presence Acceptance For background, I’ve been developing an attitude that works for years. When I talked a guy down from […]

How to Learn From Entrepreneurial Manic Depression (And How To Avoid It)

I chose the header of this blog for a very specific reason. The up and down arrows are a reminder to me that learning anything has ups and downs. Last week I wanted to punch things and felt like sleeping all day to avoid reality, but had to get out of bed, answer emails, issue […]

Closing the Creative Gap

Learning anything worth learning is tough. And especially for those of us who want to not just learn a skill but excel, there are a lot of ups and downs. It seems that the more exciting a venture is, the more I’m liable to turn manic-depressive. This is actually the reason I created the header […]

Ask Questions with an Attitude That Works

I have spent most of the month of January refreshing my study of the Option Process Dialogue, a form of socratic questioning which I have found invaluable in my practice, personal life, and physical training.  If you haven’t heard me discuss questions before then by way of introduction, I suggest reading my post Ask More […]

Tiny Steps Towards Change

Tiny Habits.com is my all-time favorite habit building tool, created by B.J. Fogg, PhD of Stanford University. BJ studies how to change habits. and over the course of his decades of research B.J. has come up with the Tiny Habits system. The idea is quite simple: smaller habits are easier to build and sustain than […]

Make Smaller Circles

In The Art of Learning Josh Waitzkin has a chapter called “Making Smaller Circles.” These three simple words have profound implication on the learning process and on rapid skill growth. Making smaller circles fits with my experience of learning in several different ways. First, I’ve been making a habit of examining the small steps necessary to […]

Breeching The Comfort Zone (And Thoughts On Working Abroad in Buenos Aires)

I’ve talked before about one of the reasons I love working with autism. Kids on the spectrum are constantly violating my assumptions and in order to be effective I have to continue re-evaluating my beliefs and discarding what doesn’t work. This week I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina working with several families with special needs […]

Tools to Learn Anything Well (Hint: It Is Simpler Than You Think)

The more time I study learning the more I realize that the tools which improve performance apply across disciples. Everywhere we look there are struggles and every-day heroes overcoming those struggles: athletes achieving record-breaking feats, regular people losing that last 10 pounds and children with autism self-regulating, tantruuming, and improving. I make a study of […]

Lessons in Spontaneity: Driving for Lyft

I’ve rarely taken taxis in San Francisco, generally preferring to walk, bicycle or drive myself. But with the recent abundance of peer-to-peer ride sharing in San Francisco I couldn’t help but be impacted and eventually get involved. Among my peer group I am a middling adopter of new technologies so it was only after Lyft […]

Escape, Exercise, or Appreciate? A Few Shortcuts to Happiness

One Habit That Will Change Your Life, which I posted during Thanksgiving in 2012, has been shared more times than anything else I have ever written. In that post I described one habit I’ve cultivated, What Went Wells (or WWWs) as described by Martin Seligman in Flourish. This is just one of many behavioral patterns I’ve […]

Parking in San Francisco is Easy (Or How to Hack Any Task)

There’s just one secret that anyone parking in San Francisco needs to know. Read the fine print first! I use my car to travel throughout San Francisco, a city that has twice as many cars as parking spaces. I was recently parking in the Inner Sunset – or attempting to. I circled the area six […]

Option Process® Dialogue – The Practical Philosophy Tool

I spent the month of January 2013 at the Option Institute – an international learning center and home of the Autism Treatment Center of America. I am now one of 125 people in the world ever to be certified as an Option Process Mentor. I’ve brought in a friend from the Institute – someone who […]

Running 100 Miles “Because It’s Fun”

January is the biggest month for personal trainers everywhere. February and March make up the largest number of discarded fitness goals every year! When I am continually successful within any new discipline it because I really want to act and enjoy the process. So I’ve brought in my friend Kiwi to talk about how she […]

One Habit That Will Change Your Life – What Went Well

Gratitude works. What I mean by this is if you want to have a good life – be grateful. Try this short exercise: think of one thing in your life – be it a friend, an object, or an experience – that you are grateful for. Picture that thing clearly. I find it helps to […]

Learn How to Overcome Discomfort (by Jumping into Ice Covered Lakes)

I’ve always gone swimming in really cold water. I’m not sure that I really enjoyed the swimming part but the thrill afterwards kept me going back for more. From an age when I was still learning how to walk I would follow my father into High Sierra snow melt. There is one lake that I […]

Sweaty and Frustrated – Shortcuts to happiness

As I write this I am covered in sweat having spent the last hour pushing a 600 pound motorcycle up San Francisco “hills.” Had I stopped–paused for just a moment–and considered why the bike wasn’t starting up I would have realized that I had forgotten to turn the fuel valve back on. No gas, no […]