Three Ways You Can Use Your Brain Better

Three Ways You Can Use Your Brain Better

Last month, I was in Tokyo, Japan to speak at Pioneers Asia, a tech event for entrepreneurs and investors. Even before I left on the 14-hour  flight, my brain was in overdrive: deciding what part of town to AirBnB in, figuring out the best way to get from the airport into the city, and deciphering […]

Get Out of the Judgment Zone

Get Out of the Judgment Zone

Recently, I was in Paris where I gave a talk to 150+ start-up entrepreneurs on how to “get a mental six pack. Speaking about resilience and bouncing back from setbacks, I pointed out how anytime something unwanted happens, we spend an inordinate amount of time and energy in “the judgment zone,” making it bad or wrong. And […]

Are You Leveraging the Power of Curiosity?

Are You Leveraging the Power of Curiosity?

My dad likes to tell this story from my childhood: I was three years old, we were eating dinner and my mom chastised me for chewing with my mouth open, saying “That’s how pigs eat.” My immediate response: “Do cows do it too?” Apparently, I’ve always been curious about behavior, bovine and otherwise.  Over the years, […]

The Four-Letter Word Slowing Down Your Success

The Four-Letter Word Slowing Down Your Success

We say it all the time: “This is hard.” “This sucks.” “I hate this.” “This.” Sounds innocuous. But using it as a vague catch-all when we’re under emotional duress keeps us feeling helpless and out of control. It mires us in a place of “all or nothing,” where we lose our perspective, judge everything about a situation […]

How To Avoid the Main Pitfall of Success

How To Avoid the Main Pitfall of Success

Roger Federer, the great tennis champion, has been playing tennis for 30 years, since he was four years old. In a practice session before the US Open, he was tired. Federer wanted, as Michael Terry tells the story, to cut practice short. ”That’s when I started to run in and hit returns,” he said later. “I […]

Are You Mentally Tough Enough to Suck?

Are You Mentally Tough Enough to Suck?

Recently, I’ve gotten into rock climbing. Well, actually, I’ve only done it a handful of times and I live in New York City, so it’s  on manmade walls at an indoor gym called Brooklyn Boulders. It’s cool and trendy and I like the idea of it as an exercise in mental toughness — except that it’s really, really […]

Are We Less Evolved Than We Think?

Are We Less Evolved Than We Think?

See the presentation on Slideshare.com. My last year of high school brought two momentous developments. One, I got contact lenses. And two, I decided I was tired of being a nerdy bookworm and wanted to be on the tennis team. My mom (who was making huge sacrifices so I could pursue music) said okay, as long […]

The Judge, the Jury and Something Unexpected

The Judge, the Jury and Something Unexpected

“I never want to do this again.” “I’m so stressed.” “I haven’t been sleeping.” “Next time, I will make sure I don’t get chosen.” Two men from Ghana were on trial for dealing drugs, and we were the jury. And after three days of listening to witnesses’ testimony and four more in deliberation — cooped up in a […]

The Guaranteed Way to Turbocharge Your Goals

The Guaranteed Way to Turbocharge Your Goals

Over the years, I’ve shared a variety of approaches to goal-setting. In 2012, I suggested focusing on creating habits. In 2013, I said, start at the micro level, with micro-goals and micro-practice. In 2014, I said let’s resist the “all or nothing” lure of a new start and start fresh every moment.Whatever approach you take, you can turbocharge […]

The Goofus and Gallant Approach to Greatness

The Goofus and Gallant Approach to Greatness

Recently, I’ve become a fan of Instagram. One of the accounts I follow features Harlow, a stately Weimeramer and Indiana, an adorable Dachshund, who are best friends and a shining example of model canine behavior (@harlowandsage). The two of them lie peacefully on the couch, gaze adoringly at each other and maintain their composure at all times. My sister’s dogs, […]

How To Stop Worrying About Getting It Wrong

How To Stop Worrying About Getting It Wrong

Last week, I co-presented a live workshop here in New York City with rock star coach and founder of Six-Figure Start Caroline Ceniza-Levine on how to handle high stakes performance situations (a client negotiation, funding request or performance review, for example). The participants were smart, accomplished and asked insightful questions. What I realized, however, is […]

Are You Trying To Win The Worthiness Game?

Are You Trying To Win The Worthiness Game?

Last week, I went to Standup for Passion — an event series founded by two entrepreneurs, Arnaud Collery and Serge Karim Ganem, that brings together fascinating people to talk about their passions in life. This latest one featured seven successful entrepreneur founders — CEOs who had built and sold businesses for millions, won awards and been recognized by major press — talking about […]

How To Master the Silver Lining

How To Master the Silver Lining

I’m up in the Boston area this week for meetings, and visiting my dad in Concord. Today, around 5:30 pm — rush hour — we were driving toward the city to pick up my sister at the airport. There had been quite a bit of discussion beforehand about what time we should leave to take into account […]

How To Have A Green Thumb In Your Brain

How To Have A Green Thumb In Your Brain

I used to have a nice collection of plants. Now I have a nice collection of pots filled with dirt. Why did they die? Simple: I didn’t water them regularly. Now you’re probably wondering: “But, Renita, what does this have to do with neuroscience?” Well, every time we process new information — a thought, experience […]

No Rules!

No Rules!

A few weeks ago, on a rainy day, I came out of the subway turnstile at 72nd Street. I was following a guy out one of the doors when he stopped suddenly, right there in the doorway — because of the rain, I guess. I gave him what I thought was a gentle “keep it […]

How To Outsmart Your Fight-Or-Flight Reaction

How To Outsmart Your Fight-Or-Flight Reaction

A few months ago, around the holiday season, a friend and I walked into a wine bar on the Upper West Side. (Sounds like a bad joke.) Sitting there at the bar, with a Britney Spears song blaring on the loudspeakers, struggling to read the menu in the dim light and pressured by the overly attentive bartender coming […]

How To Feel (A Little) Better

How To Feel (A Little) Better

Back in 2007, I went to a weekend marketing conference in Los Angeles. Every morning for three days, a group of 500 business owners gathered in the big hotel ballroom for a day of speaker presentations and panels. And every morning, an unbelievably cheery emcee came bounding out onto the stage, starting belting out some Broadway-style […]