Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! The New Year is a great time for renewal and change. When making your resolutions for this year, don’t be afraid to set lofty, but accomplishable goals and to take whatever prudent risks are necessary to reach them. You may also be inclined to set some pretty conservative goals for the year, and they can be just as important. While it’s most helpful to set goals that are specific and realistic, remember that staying in your comfort zone has its price!

One great New Year’s resolution for you may be simply doing whatever it takes to let go of all unrealistic fears and anxieties that hold you back. The ball is in your court! So what’s the next step to fulfilling a big dream of yours in 2017? Take some time this week to think about this, and then get started by taking at least one step in the direction of fulfilling it!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here to access my complimentary online mini-course which can help you recognize how fear may be holding you back from achieving your potential!



There’s an old Zen proverb, “You only get to keep what you give away.” So as the lights and the decorations come down, and the holiday season fades away, it may be time to think about how you can give back.

Whether you do one small act of kindness for someone or give money to a charity or organization whose mission you believe in, think about getting involved with something new that’s beyond yourself. It’s not the size of your mission that is important, only the intent that it be driven by your own true desire give help to a person or cause — when there’s truly nothing tangible in it for you. What can you do this week to connect with your benevolent side?

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for my complimentary mini-course, which talks about the benefits to you of accessing your benevolence!



Fantasies, dreams, and goals are often words used interchangeably to describe things we desire or want to accomplish in our lives. Understanding how they differ can help you to prioritize your action steps when seeking positive change!

A fantasy is something you imagine doing that you pretty much realize you’re never going to actually accomplish or that is truly out of reach (For example, a 50 year old with Olympic or NFL ambitions). It can be fun to fantasize, but just know that’s what you’re doing. Dreams, however, are the precursor to results, as long as they’re possible given your realities. To convert a dream to a goal, simply set timelines. For a dream that’s become a goal to come true, all you need are the strategies, the will, and the commitment to make it happen!

As a way of fine-tuning your goals and intentions for the New Year, take some time this week to clearly differentiate your fantasies, dreams, and goals. Recognize your fantasies for what they are. If you have a dream you’d like to pursue, set a timeline to it (or maybe consider it a fantasy until you do), then consider it a solid goal. Now you’re ready to prioritize and then begin working toward your most important goals at whatever pace will insure success!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more clarification between fantasies, dreams and goals.



For some people, the thought of “having it all” but still not being happy or fulfilled can be extremely confusing. But fulfillment is about doing what (or being with those) you love, are best at, and most importantly, enjoying (being “in joy”) about the most important aspects of your life.

Our positive passions — the things we love, the things that put us most in touch with our feelings of joy and our life’s purpose — are the engine or life force behind our creativity, our ability to love others deeply, feel best about ourselves and even to accomplish great things.

Take a moment this week to think about what would put you “in joy.” What are your unique talents and passions: What are you best at? What comes easiest for you? What can you do perhaps better than anyone else in the world? Use your feelings of joy as a barometer take some time this week to honor your gift of uniqueness and pursue something that triggers in you the best feelings about yourself!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to connect with your best feelings of positive passion!



Whenever you find being a role juggler — that is keeping up with the many different roles your life may require of you — to be especially stressful, take an inventory. One way to clarify what’s really important to you is to pretend for a moment that you’ve literally dropped all of your roles. Then take a moment to imagine yourself completely free and without obligation. Take another moment to really savor this feeling.

Now ask yourself: Which roles do you want to let go of? Which would you like to change? Which do you cherish? Take this opportunity to clarify what’s really important to you. Then vow to stay with the important stuff and let go of as much as possible that is merely taking away from the quality of your life.

What roles do you choose to keep? What action steps are you willing to take to bring about the changes you want? What are you fearing or telling yourself that could prevent you from succeeding in creating the life you really want?

How can your life be simpler, more enjoyable, more purposeful, and less overwhelming? This week, take some steps that are guided by the insights these questions inspire, toward creating that life.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for a video that contains strategies for clearing the obstacles to that life you want to create. 



Perhaps some version of becoming physically fit may have been on your list of resolutions for 2017. But what about your emotional strength? Becoming emotionally fit means building emotional muscle. The surest way to do this is to step out of your comfort zone, by taking the prudent risks that will make a difficult goal far more attainable.

Whenever the fear of failure is holding you back, remember that not trying or not giving it your best effort is the only guarantee I know of for not succeeding. And each time that you fail to get a result you want, you have proven to yourself that “failure” was not the catastrophe you imagined it to be! Then make sure you use all the knowledge you’ve acquired to get it right next time. This makes prudent risk taking a no-lose proposition, and the emotional muscle you’ll acquire is a great bonus.

This week, try something new that you want to do or change, without holding yourself back in fear of failure (rejection, looking foolish, or anything else that keeps you in that stifling comfort zone, or comfortable state of discomfort). Do this consistently and the emotional muscle you acquire will amaze you!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more opportunities to acquire and flex your emotional muscle.



Valentine’s Day is sometimes oversaturated with consumerism and expectations — a.k.a. premeditated disappointments!  A great way to bypass the expectations trap is to take some time to contemplate and fulfill a need that your spouse or significant other may have: be it emotional, sexual, or even material. If here she reciprocates, fine; but if not, let the act of giving be all the reward you need this year.

If you’re not in a relationship, don’t put yourself down or compare this one to your happiest and most romantic Valentine’s Day ever. Instead, think of some ways to make the most of your solitude and freedom. Your relationship status can fluctuate, but never forget the importance of your one (guaranteed to be) permanent relationship: the one with yourself. The stronger that relationship is, the least likely you’ll ever be to get into a bad love relationship in the future. And if you still find Valentine’s Day to be painful this year, remember that when you wake up Wednesday morning it will be over!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for tips on strengthening your marriage or love relationship.



Ambivalence is usually a toxic force whenever you are contemplating major life choices or even minor decisions. But the attitude of ambivalence is usually powered by the idea that you must be certain of the outcome. If you think about it, certainty of outcome is the one factor that really doesn’t exist, in any form. Sometimes, simply refusing to pretend that certainty is possible is all you need to overpower stifling feelings of ambivalence and indecisiveness.

Sure, weigh the pros and cons of any decision you’re  considering, then remind yourself that certainty is a myth. What  decision, major or minor, can you commit to get moving on this week?

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



Reaching your most difficult, yet rewarding goals requires self-discipline! And self-discipline is nothing more than choosing to put your long-term gratification (for the greater or more lasting good), ahead of short term gratification or doing what merely feels good right now. The key word here is “choose”.

There is no law of the universe that says you must succeed, and there’s never a guarantee that you will no matter what you do. But in my experience, the best way to increase your odds dramatically, is to is to visualize your goal as clearly and boldly as possible. Then use the long-term benefits of reaching it, as your incentive to ignore those ever-present distractions (and you know what they are) that may feel good to enjoy right now, but that often sabotage success.

What do you really want to accomplish, that could happen with a bit more self-discipline, by simply ignoring all those “bright shiny objects” that distract you? This week, resolve to leave no stone unturned in keeping your focus on the goals that will reward you long term. With persistence self-discipline to will soon become your new habit!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to increase self-discipline.



If you were to ask me to name what I believe is the most common yet undiagnosed condition today, I would have to say dysthymia, which is simply a form of low-grade depression that can quietly zap the joy out of any or even every aspect of life. Few people consult me about this condition directly or by name. Instead, it’s usually with a variation of this common theme: “I can’t put my finger on why, but I just don’t feel happy like I used to”.  Now there can be many psychological and even some medical explanations for this. But in my practice, by far the most usual underlying explanation for dysthymia is a lack of passion in an area of your life where it once existed. And as soon as you reconnect passion to that part of your life (your career, relationship, or spirituality, for example), fulfillment once again kicks in and dysthymia quickly disappears. 

However, making this shift happen, requires that you take a serious look at where passion—the best fuel for happiness and fulfillment that I know of — is lacking. Then you’re ready to make the decisions and life changes necessary to restore passion as your principal vehicle for inner motivation. This week, take some time to explore whether there Is a part (or perhaps more than one part) of your life that literally needs to “come to life”, so that you can light up the path to your highest potential.

Click here for my complimentary online mini-course that will help you bring this to fruition.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



Here’s technique to get you into peak performance mode at will! Make a list of times (and the more the better) when you were at your absolute best-at peak performance — feeling the best about yourself: strong, successful, unstoppable, even “bulletproof,” and full of passion. Now, select just one of the times you just listed—perhaps the one you consider most powerful. Next, close your eyes and relive that moment. Allow yourself to literally re-experience the feelings and the glory associated with the moment you’ve chosen. See the sights, smell the smells, and hear the sounds, while you allow yourself to re-experience that feeling of superb excellence as fully as possible. Then open your eyes. Now, observe the body language, breath, thoughts, and facial expressions that go with the experience that you just relived. This is your mind and body in a peak state-your zone of passion. This state of mind is something that you can trigger at will. It’s also the part of you that contains your natural and most powerful innate gifts.

You can access this zone anytime, by setting your intention and changing your body language accordingly; and the more you do it, the more natural it will feel. Eventually you will default to this state automatically, whenever you wish to be at your best. What’s one thing (and there’s no reason to stop at just one) that you could accomplish this week, simply by operating at a peak state and out of this zone within you? 

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here to access my complimentary online mini-course that will further help you understand this peak state and bring it to fruition.



When asked what is the best form of meditation, The Dali Lama once answered, “the one you’re doing”. But just in case you’re not yet meditating, here’s an easy way to get started: with Mindfulness meditation. Sit comfortably in a chair with both feet on the ground, close your eyes, and gently focus all of your attention on your breath, without trying to change how you breathe in any way. Focus on your nostrils or your diaphragm for the in breath and your mouth, diaphragm or stomach for the out breath.

Do this for a set period of time. If you haven’t experienced meditation before, start with a five-minute session daily, then increase your sessions by five minutes each week, until you are at somewhere between twenty and thirty minutes per session. For optimal long-term result, do one or two sessions daily as time and your willingness permits. Simply stay in the present moment, being still, centered, grounded and non-judgmental, while following your natural breath as a guide. Whenever you are aware of your mind taking you in another direction simply let go of the thought and then gently bring your concentration back to your breathing. 

Thoughts and distractions are a normal part of the practice. Just notice them when they come up, and then return your focus to your breath. This takes some practice; but is well worth it both in the short run and over time. For many years, I personally have done this for twenty-five minutes twice daily. It’s returned more dividends than I had ever imagined, when I began. A regular meditation practice will reward you incredibly with short- and long-term benefits to your health and an increase in well-being, inner peace, clarity of thought, intuition, wisdom, and connection to your higher self!

Remember, there’s no wrong way to meditate. So give it a try; but most importantly, make it a habit!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here to learn more about meditation and other related practices.



You may have heard the expression, “crossing the invisible line”.This usually refers to passing some milestone along your path, where there’s no turning back. So because the “line” is invisible, you don’t realize you’ve crossed it until it’s too late. (For example, when a troubling habitbecomes an even more troubling addiction; or by ignoring a problematic marital or relationship issue, you cross that line where it can no longer be saved.)  You’re still empowered to change almost any troubling pattern before you’ve crossed this invisible line, and the ability or motivation for positive change is lost.

This week, why not take some time to identify any issues or areas of your life where some changes are ripe to be made — in your business, career, a relationship (love or otherwise), or with a health issue you’re ignoring. Then commit to confronting the situation head on, before it’s too late to get your desired result! 

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for some powerful problem solving strategies you can apply to almost any part or parts of your life where you can use some help.



There are two words whose meanings couldn’t be more different, but way too often they are used interchangeably: insight and hindsight.

Insight is the healthy learning that results from both positive and negative life experiences. Insight is a gift. Most high achievers attribute their success to the insight they gain, by learning from their failures.  So insight empowers us to grow and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. For example, let’s say you choose to pass on an opportunity, simply because it would have taken you out of your comfort zone and regret it later. Insight would encourage you to be less risk adverse in the future.

On the other hand, hindsight usually results in berating yourself for not “knowing ‘then’ what you know now”.  For instance, think about how foolish it would be to put yourself down for not having bought that lottery ticket yesterday, now that you know the winning number.

So this week, if you find yourself having a bout of self-doubt or anger regarding something that didn’t turn out as you hoped it would, be aware of how you may be having what I sometimes call a “hindsight attack”. To stop confusing insight with hindsight, be aware of how you can both identify and use the lesson learned to achieve happiness and/or success the next time you’re faced with a similar situation, issue or decision. And in any casethis week , ask yourself how you could replace a painful hindsight with an insight in one or more important aspects of your life!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for more strategies to use insight as an important tool for success. 



Throughout my career, I’ve written about and consistently urged clients and high achievers I consult with to leave their “comfort zones”, in order to reach higher goals; since it’s that “road less travelled” (as many notables such as Walt Whitman, Scott Peck and even Mark Twain have taught us), where your originality and creativity for making the unique contributions you were born to make— whatever they may be—reside.

In fact, whenever you find yourself on the side of “the majority”, ask yourself if you are really there by virtue of your own values and passion or due to some anxiety about being different. Then make the choice. Anxiety can be one of the greatest blockers of passion and your ability to turn your dreams into reality. 

This week, do something to honor a dream or some area of your life, where you’re different and unique. And, commit to making this a habit. The long-term benefits to maximizing your uniqueness are incalculable!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for some strategies to address anxiety both on the spot and by its roots.



Whenever you find yourself in a rut in one or more areas of your life, avoid the temptation to look only outside of yourself for the answer.Instead, focus on what it is that you may be believing about yourself that powers your rut, and keeps you from doing something you’ve always wanted to do or making a desired life change.

For example, if you’re thinking “I can’t do it,” “I’ll wait until it’s easy,” or “I must be certain I won’t fail or have regrets”, then your rut is winning the argument. Perhaps you’re believing “I must do it perfectly,” or “I need others to approve of my new life choices.” These are also unhelpful attitudes that will most likely keep you stuck in that rut.

 Ask yourself which of these or other unhelpful attitudes are sabotaging you in one or more areas of your life.

 Then do at least one thing this week you’ve wanted to do, but held back on.

You’ll never know how much your quality of life will change for the better, until you take the plunge and leave that rut behind.

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Please click here for more strategies to overpower self-defeating attitudes.



Nobody else can ever tell you what you are, should, or should not be passionate about. Moreover, your specific passions themselves are never things you consciously choose. Your true passions actually choose or call upon you! That’s why we sometimes refer to them as callings. To reach your highest potential, never ignore these callings, but choose how to respond to them consciouslyOften, your callings represent the reason(s) why you’re here, or aka the life you were born to live!

What are you feeling most passionate about right now; and what are these passions trying to tell you? This week, take a ‘passion guided’ step or two you might have avoided, to answer some calling. Then note the shift you feel. This can become delightfully habit forming!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Please click here for strategies to connecting with your passions and calling.



Your negative passions are equally as important as your positive passions, since they serve several purposes. They can be wakeup calls that tell us what we need to avoid, change or get away from; such as a bad marriage or relationship, an unfulfilling career, or certain toxic people. Don’t ignore these messages that often come in the form of negative feelings like anger, anxiety or depression! Think of your inner voice in all of its forms as perhaps the most significant and reliable source of information available to you.

Is a message that’s grounded in negative passion trying to act as a wakeup call for you, regarding some important part of your life? This week, take some time to look at areas of your life where you’re feeling negativity. Then resolve to hear and act on a message or two that you may have been avoiding.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Please click here for additional strategies to handle negative emotions. 



Whenever you’re having difficulty leaving your comfort zone in order to accomplish a difficult goal or pursue a change in some part of your life, take a look at what it is that’s actually motivating you in the first place. For example:  Is it money?  Prestige?  Anxiety, boredom or anger? A desire based on a dream of how things will be when you achieve the result you want? All of these could be solid and effective motivators. Or perhaps in your case, it’s some unique combination of these or something else that’s driving you (if so, please fill in the blanks)?

Take some time this week to contemplate what’s motivating you right now. And when doing this, be aware of what you may be telling yourself should be motivating you— whether it’s towards something specific or even generally.  Most importantly, when you confuse what you should desire with what you actually desire, you are most likely to stay in what I have long called that “comfortable state of discomfort”. Remember that the key to staying motivated is to be operating according to your true choices and desires.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more motivational strategies!



As the ancient Chinese proverb reminds us: “One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.”

When the forces of gratitude and passion work together, the result is often the desire to contribute to something larger than yourself, or engage in some act of benevolence. All the things that gratify you personally are great to have, but whenever you notice that they lose their ability to inspire and satisfy you as it once did, listen for that calling to give something back. For example, to change the world in some way, large or small, by having an impact where you think it matters the most to a person, group or cause you believe in. For many, this is where goodness morphs into greatness and there is no limit to where it can all lead.

In fact, there is something in it for you: the unmistakable feeling of satisfaction specifically connected to making a difference.

This week, why not contemplate some difference that you can make, simply by applying benevolence to something you deeply care about. 

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



Some of you who reacted to last week’s Insight about following your passion to a benevolent cause larger than yourself, asked what happens when something you were passionate about simply stops being a passion and no benevolent calling is heard.

In my experience, this too is practically always a sign of progress! Remember, we don’t pick our passions, they pick us. And then it’s your decision whether and how to act on them. We also don’t decide when a passion has run it’s course, and a change or new focus is in order; whether with an avocation, with a relationship, or in the business/career part of your life, for example.

Some passions are permanent, while others take on that “been there-done that” quality. But when passion is your favorite fuel, expect a new passion to surface whenever an old one fades. The only thing we can’t control is when this will happen and in what form.

This week, give your life a quick scan and notice an area of your life where this passion principle may apply to you. If you do this, don’t be surprised if a new sense of joy or direction in that part of your life emerges!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more tips on how to connect with and enhance the passion that resides within you!



The most important thing to know about operating at your highest potential is that it’s a high standard — for sure — but also one that’s highly reachable. This is true, simply because that zone where you operate at your absolute best, is a natural and organic one that resides within you. 

Your commitment and willingness to remove your own custom obstacles that block access to this zone is all that’s needed to be operating there in any part of your life, very soon — wherever you aren’t doing so already. By following your strongest desires and gifts (aka passions) into territory that’s often unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first, this zone will soon become second nature and provide you the highest levels of fulfillment.

This week, pay special attention to some nagging desire in any part of your life that you may be ignoring, or to pursuing a natural gift that can use a higher priority. For now, don’t worry about where it all leads. Just enjoy the process of connecting with a unique part of yourself that’s always there, but in the course of a busy life, tends to be neglected. For many, this simple awareness has been profoundly life changing!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for a variety of resources used by some of our highest achievers, to help you access this amazing zone within yourself!



Albert Einstein is not only the most consequential physicist of all time, but also one of my favorite sources of timeless wisdom. For example, nobody in my field has ever topped his (some would say, tongue in cheek) definition of “insanity”: Doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different result.  

An extremely effective way to break a self-defeating pattern (whether work related, with a relationship or virtually any other part of your life) is to recognize how you may be habitually repeating the same mistake(s) — perhaps without even realizing it. Then come up with a new strategy, using that insight you’ve acquired, first by recognizing what doesn’t work. Finally, take all the action necessary to implement your new strategy until you’ve gotten the result you want.

This week, take some time to think about how this great piece of Einsteinian wisdom, can work for you!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for strategies for breaking self-defeating patterns!



Albert Einstein is not only the most consequential physicist of all time, but also one of my favorite sources of timeless wisdom. For example, nobody in my field has ever topped his (some would say, tongue in cheek) definition of “insanity”: Doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different result.  

An extremely effective way to break a self-defeating pattern (whether work related, with a relationship or virtually any other part of your life) is to recognize how you may be habitually repeating the same mistake(s) — perhaps without even realizing it. Then come up with a new strategy, using that insight you’ve acquired, first by recognizing what doesn’t work. Finally, take all the action necessary to implement your new strategy until you’ve gotten the result you want.

This week, take some time to think about how this great piece of Einsteinian wisdom, can work for you!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for strategies for breaking self-defeating patterns!



A question I am often asked when helping people to operate in synch with their highest potential is, “how do I know if I am on the right track?”

This is a great question, since each of us has a unique path to the zone of excellence that only exists within ourselves. So the short answer is to be doing what comes easiest and most natural to you. And ironically, it sometimes takes a lot of hard work to make this energy and passion driven discovery. Of course, the goal is to be doing what you love and loving what you do. But as obvious as this sounds, it is wrought with challenges!

When the work you do is the work that you love, not only will it come easier to you, but you will feel more aligned with your purpose when doing it, as well as more satisfied, engaged, fulfilled, and inspired. This is a wonderful standard for any part of your life!

Even though financial rewards, recognition, praise, and approval are certainly nice, when you are in this zone, no motivation other than that which resides within you is necessary.

This week, focus on any area(s) of your life where this question is important. Are you doing you what you love to do? If not, what would have to happen for you to answer yes? Let your desires, natural flow of energy and passions guide you. 

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to be on the track to your internal zone of excellence!



If you think of your comfort zone as the enemy of your highest potential and still find yourself worrying about the consequences of leaving that “comfortable state of discomfort” behind, consider this:

— Most high achievers will tell you that the things you most worry about, are the very things that rarely happen. And that’s certainly been my experience, both personally and as a psychologist that helps a lot of worriers! So ask yourself, haven’t you found this to be mostly true in your life? Remember, worry is nothing more than just another expression of anxiety! 

— What’s the real cost of staying in your comfort zone? Not realizing a dream? Letting your creativity morph into sameness? Perhaps even missing out on an opportunity that you’ll later regret?

As Mark Twain famously said, Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”. I can’t think of a better argument for leaving an unfulfilling status quo behind, and putting new strategies, backed by a new outlook in its place!

This week, why not put a bit of Mark Twain’s wisdom to work for you, in the part of your life that can use it the most?

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 For some strategies for leaving your comfort zone, click here.



As we approach Independence Day, you’ll be well served to take a few minutes to reflect on what independence means to you. The national holiday we observe on July 4threminds us of the virtually unlimited opportunities that we all have, to reach our highest potential. Indeed, we have the freedom to use and enjoy every one of our unique gifts that inspire us to live the lives we were born to live. Unfortunately, too often we take this blessing for granted.

But no national holiday is necessary for us to conduct our lives, with the inner feelings of independence that enable us to be creative, to think out-of-the-box, and to pursue the dreams that are unique to each of us. Independence is an empowering feeling, and can strengthen any part of our lives when we use it to overpower fears and anxieties or get past old patterns we live by that no longer serve us.

This Independence Day, celebrate and be grateful for the freedom that was granted us all over 200 years ago, while remembering that the inner feelings of independence to reach your potential reside within you and merely await your own permission to use them!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



When you’re dealing with a setback—no matter how severe— be aware of one of the most unhelpful types of “support” that well-meaning friends and family members can give you (often without realizing it) — sympathy.

Now sympathy certainly does have its place. (For example, when you’re first grieving over the death of a loved one or struggling to cope with some other recent and painful situation or loss.) But beyond that, sympathy can be poison to your healing process and prevent you from getting back on your feet, since it contains an often-subtle and toxic message that suggests a variation of, “you should be suffering” And when this happens, sympathy can morph into stifling feelings of victimhood. Then once you see yourself as a victim, you’re likely to be stuck in problem mode and believe you’re unable to think in terms of solution— a very destructive cycle indeed!

On the other hand, empathy provides an acknowledgment of how you feel, but also supports using the insights you acquire to switch to solution mode as quickly as possible, and use whatever learning that results, to benefit you or perhaps someone who is or could be in a similar situation. So whether you’re the person seeking emotional support or giving it to someone else, remember how crucial this change in attitude can be to the healing process.

Sympathy and empathy are often thought of as the same, but they cannot be more different. This week, think about how this distinction can empower you or someone you care about.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for numerous strategies to support yourself or someone else through a difficult situation.



Is there a goal in some area of your life that you would really like to achieve? If so, it can sometimes be extremely helpful to get back to the basics. So first, take a moment to think about one or more difficult goals that you may have set for yourself in the past, and then reached. And as you’re thinking about this achievement(s), try to relive and savor the empowering feeling that came to you once you were able to successfully reach your goal – especially if it was a daunting one. (And then dare to repeat this mental exercise with an even tougher goal you may have reached!)

Then, take one specifically defined goal you are now working on. And make sure you have all the “W”s:

  • What is the goal?
  • When do you want it accomplished by?
  • Who is or can be involved with it besides you? (Or who can help you to achieve it?)
  • Where is this to take place?
  • And perhaps most importantly, Why do you want to achieve this goal anyway? Ironically, this —“what’s in it for me question” — is the motivation one that’s most often overlooked.

This week, keep tweaking these 5 crucial questions, until you’re completely satisfied with the answers. (And feel free to repeat this exercise for as many goals as you are committed to achieving.)

Strategies you employ to reach the finish line with your goal, will have the best chance to be effective to the extent that they are in sync with these questions. However, motivation is the fuel that will keep you going and help you fight off goal killers such as procrastination, excessive perfectionism and all the distractions that are vying for your attention.

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for more strategies to reach difficult goals!



Feeling overwhelmed? Try this simple “mental housecleaning” exercise: Imagine yourself completely dropping all of your roles, obligations and current relationships. Pretend for a moment that there are absolutely no sacred cows in your life and that you can be literally free of anything and everything that consumes your time and energy.

Make your imaginary housecleaning as thorough as possible, by making a list of everything you’re leaving behind, which constitutes your life as it now is. When your list is complete, it will be a sort of summary of your present life. Once again, imagine your life without all the roles, people, obligations and other things on your list.Then take a moment to savior this feeling of absolute freedom. (Some people experience this as a “George Bailey” moment as in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.)

When you have that image, and are ready to move on, it’s time to start your next list. Only in this one, include first who and then what (roles and things) youreally want to “put back” into your life as is. When this second list is complete, make one final list. This one will include whatever is in your second list (what you want “back” in your life), of things that cry out for change—major or minor. The purpose of this third list is to recognize what relationships, for example, need some work; what roles you want to be more or less involved with and anything else in your life that needs some degree of fine tuning.

I do this “mental housecleaning” exercise often. It’s one of my personal favorites and almost always results in some great insight!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies for making changes in your life.



When being interviewed for topics related to my books and other writings, I am frequently asked, “is there is a secret for maintaining happiness?”

 Indeed, one could probably fill the shelves of several world class libraries with books and articles that have been written exclusively on this topic.

 Yet even though it’s been said in an infinite number of ways, happiness really comes down to two main things:

  • Being grateful for what is working in your life. Rather than focusing on the negatives (e.g., what’s lacking), take time to savor and appreciate all the positive forces you may take for granted or overlook. This “gratitude principle” can apply to relationships, your business/career or any other part of your life.
  • As for what’s not working in your life, if it’s important enough to cause upset, leave no stone unturned in correcting, changing, tweaking or shifting it until it’s working. That may sound like a no-brainer. But once you have determined that change is not within your power, let go of it! Letting go can mean cutting something or someone toxic out of your life, or simply giving up the demand or expectation that something out of your control magically changes.

Gratitude and letting go are a powerful and happiness inducing one–two punch. This week, why not put them to use in the area(s) of your life –and you know what they are— where you can use them the most!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more happiness triggering strategies!



One way to be on track for getting exactly what you want in a part of your life is to accept, tolerate and even honor the void or empty slot that appears when something or someone exits your life, until you know what it is that you really want to take its place. The key is to choose your lifenot simply let the empty the slots fill themselves. For example, a rebound relationship is usually the worst solution for getting over a relationship that’s ended. Similarly, replacing a lost job or business opportunity with one that’s unfulfilling (except with the understanding that it’s very temporary) is also a recipe for longer term discontent.

Expect some short-term discomfort. Whenever you give up or lose a role or some other staple in your life, that void alone can bring about some uneasiness. But don’t get discouraged. Remind yourself that things happen for a reason; and that there is something, far better ahead for you, even if you don’t yet see it.

Consider whatever is missing to be a temporary situation, to be replaced by what you really desireYour life is the sum of your choices. So one option is to resolve that for now, you’re better off not replacing what you’ve lost or chosen to give up in any form. Then simply let the universe take over and be open to a pleasant surprise, you probably couldn’t have anticipated!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for transformation strategies you can apply to any part of your life!



I’ve heard a lot of talk recently about how world events magnified by the sheer volume of negativity that results from a constant 24-hour news cycle, for example, seem to be triggering painful feelings of helplessness in so many.

The Dali Lama correctly points out that the first step in changing the world is to change yourself. And in this case, that means to resist all temptation to hide behind those feelings of helplessness and do something —anything— to make a difference! Perhaps in your case, it’s a life change that will overpower any feelings of helplessness. If so, get moving on some new goals. If it’s a world or political situation that you tell yourself you’re powerless to change, find a way to get involved. Make it a part of your life purpose to find like-minded people that share your cause or simply employ solution oriented strategies to do what you can. Don’t be surprised if you discover that you’re far more powerful than you may have ever thought.

The good news is that helplessness is merely a state of mind.That means you have all the power you need to make the shift from being stuck in problem mode to being empowered by thinking in terms of solution. Where can you best put this simple shift to work for you this week?

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

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Do you sometimes ponder the mystery of whether there is life after death? This is one of the many secrets, which the universe and the divine do indeed withhold. I’ve found that after you reach your own conclusion to this great mystery, the best frame of mind is to remain keenly focused on this lifeyou are now living. To contemplate the afterlife is natural, and perhaps by design, not knowable with any certainty. But a great question to ask yourself regarding this unknowable reality is, would you live this life any differently, either way?

Skeptics often view spirituality (and religion, which is perhaps, the path to spirituality that’s most often traveled) merely as ways to cope with the fear of death. But, if death is inevitable, why fear it? In working with many people on this issue, I’ve observed that a layer or two under the surface, lies the real fear: of dying without identifying or fulfilling your purpose and thereby missing your potential. Thus, the degree to which you allow yourself to follow your passions and enjoy the one life you know you have, is the extent to which you’ll be much less likely to fear death—regardless of your unique circumstances.

This week, take some time to recognize where you are living in accordance with your purpose (which could range from simply enjoying yourself and the people around you, to having some profound impact on the world) and where you may not be. Now is the time to make the changes and tweaks necessary to be living according to your own choices and selected commitments, that constitute your purpose.Then watch those fears dissolve!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for more strategies for reaching your highest potential!



What you love and what you hate (or dislike intensely) are your passions at their most extreme. Thus, a passion can trigger a feeling of strong positive gut-level excitement on the one hand, or of intense negativity on the other. Ignoring your passions can rob you of a huge slice of what life at its best offers you. The opposite of ignoring your passions is to listen to them so that they become your inner guides that can always be relied upon at the very least, for great sources of information.

But often, passions are transient in nature. You may have noticed that something passion driven which used to give you a great deal of pleasure, at some point stopped being enjoyable. And since, our passions choose us, not the other way around, when one passion fades, expect a new passion to take its place.

Most of the world’s truly accomplished people would probably agree that passion and the willingness to pursue it are the most important ingredients that make success likely. So consider passion to be your roadmap to maximum enjoyment as well as the path that leads you to your highest potential.

This week, take some time to explore a new passion you may be ignoring. Sometimes this simple exercise can be the first step to an exciting new phase of your life!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more passion enhancing strategies!



For many, Labor Day, is a favorite time to regroup and forge ahead with that new project you may be procrastinating on, a bad habit you’re trying to break or a new habit you’d like to hardwire. But if you’ve noticed a pattern of being really motivated (like with your New Year’s resolutions) but only for a short time then giving up, it may be time to break that pattern with some new attitudes.

However, the first step toward this fresh level of commitment which will result in success, is to make sure you are clear on exactly why you want to complete the project, reach the goal, or change that habit. Ask yourself a few questions; and answer them in detail (go beyond one sentence answers). For example: What’s in it for you to put out all this effort? What are the consequences of failure? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, how important is it to you that you achieve the results you’re looking for? If you’re not maximally motivated at a 9 or 10, why not? And what do you need to do to be operating at that level of motivation?

Now you’re ready to give it all you’ve got! And anytime you find yourself slipping or moving toward procrastination, go right back to the basics: On that 1 to 10 scale, how motivated are you? Motivation is nothing more than an attitude. And never forget, that it’s our attitudes that power our behavior. So this week, break a pattern and pick something important enough for you to apply this principle to your life!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to be the master of what motivates you!



I cannot emphasize strongly enough that with the right strategies and the stubborn determination to pursue them, there’s very little you can’t overcome or achieve. And since this is a logical time of year to regroup, make plans and set goals; be aware of some of the most common (yet overlooked) landmines you may need to clear away along your path to success:

  • Never confuse perfectionism (bad) with doing your best(obviously good). Perfectionism is often the cause for avoidance. Remember, you can’t do better than your best and demanding “perfection” is a subtle way of telling yourself that your best isn’t good enough. So if that were the case — why even try?
  • A great habit to form is to say “no” to things that zap your time and energy, and give you little in return. Instead, take command of your mission or agenda and stick to it.
  • Remember that one of the most necessary ingredients for success is to forge ahead even though you realize you could fail, in pursuit of your larger goal or higher purpose. The best way I know of not to succeed is simply to not try or to give up when things get challenging. True failure then occurs when you fail to learn from your mistakes.
  • A goal is only a dream, until you establish timelines and action steps. Once they’re in place, you’re ready to accept no excuses and get moving!

This week, why not power something you’d really like to accomplish with these simple principles and attitudes!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Please click here for access to more strategies you can use immediately to reach difficult goals!



Your highest potential is not a destination, but rather a natural zone that resides within you where you are operating at your very best. And the greatest news of all is that once you remove the obstacles that block your access to this amazing zone, you are there — naturally and organically for any part of your life that you’d like to optimize!

Here are some important things to keep in mind: Operating at your highest potential is far less difficult than living with the obstacles that prevent you from doing it. 

And when you’re operating at your highest potential, you’ll find that the things you were born to do, become quite easy for you.  You’ve probably noticed that when you’re using your natural gifts — which this zone is home to — you’re never struggling.

Also, in the zone of your highest potential, you’re competing with nobody. It’s a fact that the only valid comparison you can make, is the one between where you are now and where you could be. So whenever you compare yourself or your accomplishments to someone else’s, you lose your “home team advantage” — mainly because we never have all the information and other factors to make that valid comparison.

So this week, make a commitment to unburden yourself of any invalid comparisons and keep that psychological “home team advantage”. You’ll almost certainly feel much lighter!

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for what you need to know about removing your obstacles and gaining access to that natural zone within yourself where you’re operating at your highest potential! 



Few would argue that Self-confidence is one of the most important ingredients for success, as well as personal fulfillment at virtually all levels. And wouldn’t it defy logic to expect someone else to have more confidence in you then you have in yourself?

Whether you think of it in terms of self-confidence, self-esteem or self-acceptance; one of the most important keys to both developing and maintaining a strong self-confidence is to view yourself as someone completely separate from your achievements. That is, to think of who you are and yourachievements (or lack thereof) as two parallel lines that do not meet and are therefore never dependent on each other. This way, failing to reach a goal can no longer negatively impact your self-confidence or how you view yourself!

I’ve seen many people—both high achievers as well as those who are striving to become high achievers— acknowledge this somewhat subtle shift in thinking as a game changer! So this week, if there’s something you’ve been putting yourself downabout, take a fresh look at it through the lens of this new attitude, and notice the effect that shift has on your self-confidence.

Click here for more self-confidence building strategies!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



Here is one of my favorite and most life changing quotes by Henry David Thoreau (first said over 150 years ago): ” I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with an unexpected success.”

To put this great attitude to work for you, imagine that you were completely fearless and that nothing could hold you back. Imagine that all the naysayers were powerless to stop you — even if the loudest pessimist in your way is yourself. Where would your most persistent, ambitious and tenacious dream lead you?

This week, take at least one step, however small, in that direction. Feel free to pick something that you’ve never shared with anyone else. But most importantly notice how empowering that attitude, so well articulated by Thoreau can be! 

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D. 

Please click here for a plethora of empowering strategies you can apply to any area of your life. 



Hurricanes, earthquakes, unspeakably horrifying acts of violence along with certain unfolding world events that threaten our very existence remind us of an often-overlooked reality:  that as powerful as we are to set our intentions and to passionately pursue what’s important to us, in reality, we’re powerless when it comes to controlling outcome. 

This is a truism that many, including some of the highest achievers I’ve worked with find difficult to comprehend or accept. There is certainly much you can do to make the probability extraordinarily high, of achieving the outcome and results you want. But the ultimate outcome of your efforts is rarely in your hands. This rule applies to relationships, business and career endeavors, parenting, leisure activities and in actuality, I can’t think of an exception!

Practically all of us at times take credit or blame for factors that are really out of our control. But we can only be the true masters of our intentions and efforts. When they are optimal, we can massively improve our odds of success, but never guarantee it.

So, once you’ve done your absolute best with whatever is important to you, lighten your emotional load by taking the victory lap and then letting go of any self-imposed demands, that you do better than your best. What’s an aspect of your life that could benefit from this important principle?

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



One of the best psychological fitness definitions I know of is very simple: to be the undisputed champion or CEO of all your choices. In working with thousands of clients for over 40 years, this has been the most universally empowering goal. It is your choices and power to make them that enable you to create the life you want, within the boundaries of any external factors that are beyond your power to change.

To the extent that you are the master of your choices, you are free to take whatever action is in your best interest – when possible and appropriate – as well as find peace within yourself when accepting a situation that you don’t like and can’t change is your only real option.

Is there an area of your life where are you may have forgotten how much personal power you have? If so, sadly the result could be needless unfulfillment in a part of your life where a much better result is possible.

This week, take a fresh look at the issue or problem in your life with which you’ve been struggling the most. Remembering that your choices are what power your ability to do great things, imagine that all the choices available to you are on the table. Expect to recognize a fresh perspective you may have neglected up until now!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Please click here for more perspective and strategies for self-empowerment!



Courage is nothing more than an attitude that’s part of our nature! And a great, yet widely overlooked reality is that we all have the power to choose our attitudes. Courage is our default position, when it’s not being blocked by fears or anxieties. So remember, it’s fear and anxiety that undermine your ability to take a risk that could deliver great rewards, get moving on an important goal, or make an important life change.

FDR’s most recognized quote “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, reminds us that we also have the power to forge ahead and refuse to let needless fears and anxieties block or stifle us! Each time you do that, you display your innate gift of courage.

Pretend for a moment that you were completely and absolutely fearless, and that you had all the courage you could possibly want. What would you accomplish or at least attempt this week? This month? This year? (Or you set the time frame, however big or small.)

Take a moment this week to commit to at least one thing, you could tackle in your fearless state of mind. The first step in trading fear for courage is to act as if you are fearless, even if at first, it’s merely in the privacy of your own mind. The next step is to move — however slightly — away from your comfort zone. Once you do this, notice how good it feels. Expect to find that you’re not merely acting as if for long!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for more strategies to convert fear and anxiety to courage!



When you fail to reach a goal or achieve the result you’ve hoped for with something important, how are you likely to react?

 First a word about failure. I’d be hard pressed to name a single person with a major achievement who hasn’t experienced at least one major failure. So if the fear of failure (aka one of the most common excuses for not pursuing a dream) is holding you back, consider making a shift in your attitude that practically all high achievers tend to make in their own unique way.

 Instead of putting yourself down or thinking in hindsight about the mission with dread — which will never be helpful and could even program you to not even try next time — look at failure as a gift!

Let me explain. Chances are you have no problem looking favorably at success. That’s a no-brainer. But each time you fail, you’ve actually gained on two fronts: First, you’ve proven to yourself that you really can handle that which you’ve dreaded.  And perhaps even more importantly, you have the opportunity to learn what to do (or what not to do) next time, in a way that no one else could ever teach you.  You only need to remember to take the time to digest the lessons. That’s called insight, which is the most powerful source of internally generated information I know of!

What would you attempt this week, if you could continue to savor your successes, while viewing the lessons of even failure with gratitude? There are few attitude shifts that could be more instrumental to long-term success!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D. 

Click here for more strategies to adopt the attitudes for success!



If this is a normal day or week, something or someone is likely to deliver some kind of roadblock to your dream. Thus, it follows that the more you try to achieve, the more of these obstacles you’ll most likely encounter. So anticipate that, and recognize that your obstacles and roadblocks are unchosen “cards” you’ve been dealt. Then you know you do have a choice, which is how you play those cards. High achievers realize that with very few exceptions, almost nothing has the power to stop you, unless you somehow allow it. 

Now here’s your challenge for this week: Keeping your most important dream or goal in mind, pretend that you are totally immune to any obstacles, roadblocks or other outside forces that are standing between you and your goal. Imagine you had the power to “jump over”, get around or obviate any obstacle or roadblock that’s in your way. How would you proceed or rethink your mission?

First experience how empowering this vision feels! Then, apply it to an impasse you’re struggling with and/or something else— whatever it is — that’s really important to you. But don’t let this be a one-shot deal. Make this your default attitudetoward any obstacles, roadblocks or impasses that could hold you back from now on!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to make conquer those inevitable obstacles! 



Something that the greatest achievers in history — Edison, Einstein, and Jobs, for example, as well as scores of others — have taught us is that when you have a passion, there are really only two simple master strategies that lead to success: Get started and keep going. 

Remember that the first turn of a rusty screw is the hardest. But so many dreams and passions fall by the wayside, merely because they were never started.

And don’t give up before you’ve done everything you can to bring your vision to fruition.  Success is never a certainty, but whatever you consider the opposite of success is a done deal without these two steps.

Where can you best apply this basic and ultra-simple two step strategy this week?

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to bring a passion to fruition!



We all know that Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates gratitude. And when we feel gratitude, we are adopting perhaps the most healing attitude there is! 

To feel gratitude is simply to put the focus on what is presentin your life — even if it’s just life itself and the positive forces or people around you — instead of dwelling on negativity or what you don’t have. Most importantly, the more gratitude you feel, the less bandwidth exists for negative feelings, such as anger or self-doubt. Feelings of gratitude have the power to push resentment, depression and anxiety off the radar screen.

Then, the positive energy that results can change almost any negative outlook you have. In time, this can work almost like an internal perpetual motion machine. And wouldn’t that be something to be grateful for?

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.



Since last week was a short one, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed today, so I‘ll keep this week’s Insight brief.  And if you find yourself saying, “I have no time….”, today, take a moment to notice what you consider to be overwhelming you versus what you truly look forward to spending time or working on today. Make a note or set a reminder to explore how you can reduce or eliminate those things in the “overwhelm” category, so that you can allow more focus on the good stuff.

Also, if you found that last week, you succeeded in getting the important things done in 3 days, that’s because — perhaps out of necessity — you made a special effort to prioritize. And if this is the case, use that same underappreciated skill to prioritize on a regular basis, so that you can focus, as much as possible, on what’s truly important and/or fulfilling.

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here for more strategies to prioritize the things in your life.



There’s a popular misconception that to operate at your highest potential is a goal that’s either impossible or takes years to achieve. But the fact is that the zone where you are at your absolute best, resides within yourself at this very moment, just waiting for you to access it. This is the zone where you are guided by and operating according to your unique gifts, passions and purpose. You need only clear away the mental debris —the fears and habits that keep you imprisoned in your comfort zone—to access it.

In this zone of your highest potential, you are naturally and organically living your best life and therefore competing with no one. So this week, take some time to visualize what your best life would look like. With the right tools and a strong determination to use them, this could be an accurate vision of the next phase of your life.

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for a complimentary mini-course that contains many strategies to access this magical zone within yourself!



There’s something to remember this holiday season that can also be a source of strength all year around: True faith is something that you determine internally and is unique for each of us. This also means that your connection to faith can manifest itself through a variety of channels.

You can experience faith through your internal spiritual nature (e.g., what you recognize as your higher purpose), through religious practices or your distinct combination of both. And for some people, faith is simply a product of their own characteristic thoughts and intuitions. When this is the case, it’s your commitment to recognize, trust, and honor your own uniqueness, that becomes faith’s foundation.

Take some time this week— perhaps through meditation or by whatever means you self-reflect — even if it’s for just a few moments, to acknowledge the messages that are coming to you from that source. The quality of every aspect of your life this season and beyond will be richer for it.

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

 Click here for more information about connecting to your unique sources of faith and wisdom.



Holiday stress occurs for many reasons. For example; too much to do (even if it’s just good stuff), financial concerns, toxic people you can’t avoid, or being alone during a life transition. If there’s one often overlooked thing to remember this holiday season, it’s to beware of your expectations.

Sometimes, expectations can be perfectly healthy metrics for making sense of your world. But expectations are also premeditated disappointments! So should you find yourself feeling disappointed, dissatisfied or stressed out, reflect first on your expectations — especially those predictably unrealistic ones you may be putting on yourself and others in your life. The good news is that changing your expectations is practically always doable. In fact, it’s often the only part of a given situation that you can reliably control.

This week, take a moment to think about your expectations regarding the holidays or any part of your life, for that matter, that you experience as stressful or disappointing. Did reality meet your expectation? Or did the situation fall short of what you hoped for? When expectations go unmet, use every coping tool at your disposal to resist the temptation to put yourself or the other person(s) down. Instead, look at your expectation — was it realistic? — and then resolve to eliminate whatever unrealistic expectations you still have. This is an extremely powerful step you can take to eliminate unnecessary stress and all the toxicity that powers it!

 Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.

Click here to download and enjoy my MP3 program: How to Manage Your Stress and Make It Work For You with my compliments!



How about a great Holiday present for yourself? My suggestion is the gift of a “demand free” week — a week where you put no stressful burdens on yourself, as you reflect on the year.
Allow some time to savor your 2017 triumphs and to let go of the disappointments or perhaps simply enjoy not looking back and letting 2017 go, while being open to whatever the present moment brings. Most importantly, let your passions and desires— without any stifling self-imposed restrictions — be your guide!
Happy Holidays!
Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.
And our entire Media Psychology Associates team
We hope you continue to enjoy your Weekly Insights!