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You’re Gossiping and You Don’t Even Know It


People say all the time “I never gossip” but unfortunately many of them are mistaken. 

They do participate in gossip, they just don’t realize it. 

Because we think of gossiping as “telling” secrets we’ve heard; but there’s more to it than that. 

To listen to gossip is to participate in gossip. 


Because when you listen to gossip you create a clearing and an environment for an emotional person to propagate their story. 

In other words you give a gossiper an audience. And that invites and encourages them to continue talking about whatever it is that they are talking about. 

Listening to gossip will at minimum make the person feel more validated and at most fan their flame to share even more. 

Because it’s hard to listen to gossip and not be agreeable and supportive of the person you’re listening to. It’s human nature to want to empathize with another person- especially when they’re frustrated or complaining. 

But by doing that you become an active member of the gossip crowd. You are advancing what is being said. 

So how do you know if what you are listening to is gossip?

Simple: Gossip is anything even remotely negative being said about a person who isn’t there. 

The moment someone you are talking to starts talking negative about another person you have immediately crossed into the gossip zone. 

And remember if you’re listening to gossip then you are participating in gossip. 

So how should you respond?

Also simple: You interrupt the person as quickly and politely yet firmly as possible and say “Hey, hopefully you don’t mind but I actually made a resolution this year that I would not talk negatively about or listen to negative talk about someone who isn’t in the room with me. I do want to support you and be a good friend though and the biggest thing I’ve learned that helps is to go talk directly with ________. I think that would probably help.”

This of course is simple but not easy. 

And yes you may lose some friends over this. And the ones you lose will probably be vocal about you being on your high horse because misery loves company and misery often gets angry when their company moves on and leaves them alone. 

But it’s the best thing you can do for yourself, the person who isn’t there, and the person who is frustrated. 

Because, as Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Career Planning Decision Making


There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to deciding what our next career move is going to be.

Things like:

How much money will I make?

Will my job be safe and steady?

Is there opportunity for advancement?

Over the years I’ve begun to notice a theme and difference in those who end up both happy and successful and those who only get one or neither of the two.

The surprise?

It comes down strictly to how they evaluate their initial decision.

Most people’s top priority for determining their next career move typically includes things like: job security, money, opportunity for advancement and what skills will I learn.

It’s easy to understand why most people use those as their key criteria because they are somewhat black and white, logical, objective, measurable and therefore simpler to evaluate. Unfortunately, while those criteria aren’t “bad” necessarily, they typically are insignificant contributors to our joy and satisfaction in the long term.

So how do the happy, fulfilled and extraordinarily successful people make their decision differently?

They consider and ultimately let their deciding factors be things that are more intrinsic, human, emotional and admittedly obscure.

  1. Satisfaction over Security – For example, they would be more likely to value the enjoyment of the daily work over something like job security. Ultra performers always trust themselves rather than others for their sense of stability because they know that if they’re always willing to work hard then they’ll never have a hard time finding good work. And so they will default much more to caring about how enjoyable their daily work will be and how much it aligns with their natural skill sets and long term passions rather than just considering if they’ll get to keep their job. When it comes down to it, they will choose satisfaction over security every time.

  2. Purpose over Profit – They also will consider the impact they are making in the world much more valuable than the money they will potentially make. Because they know that while there are lots of ways to make money – and that if you get good enough at virtually anything you will make a lot of money – they know that dedicating 1/3 of their breathing life to doing something that makes a difference in the world will create much more sustainable meaning in their life than will money. If forced to choose between the two, a happy person will choose making a difference over making a dollar.

  3. People over Opportunity – Finally, and most important of all, people who become ultimately successful and happy seem to make a calculation that most people overlook entirely. Ultra performers weigh who they will be working with as much more valuable than what they will be doing or how it might advance their career. They know that the people they surround themselves with has a much stronger shaping effect on the success of their life than do their career checkpoints. They are always much more concerned with who they are becoming than they are with how their resume looks. Thus, their single biggest criteria and consideration is evaluating the other team members they will be around. And not just the top level leaders they might have access to, but who are the people they will actually be working with side by side on a daily basis. While it is their #1 deciding criteria, most interviewees never even ask about or know a single person they will end up working with on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Ultra performers always choose people over opportunity.

The biggest irony of all of this is that when you make a career decision based on satisfaction over security, purpose over profit, and people over opportunity, is that those people end up being the ones who make all the money, build all the influence and security, and end up with the biggest opportunities for advancement!

First who.

Then why.

Then what.

And let money be last as a bi-product of the others.

Choose wisely.

The Power of Personal Choice with Stephen Hanselman – Episode 168 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

personal choice

Stephen Hanselman began his career as a bookseller 30 years ago and refined his passion for publishing at Harvard Divinity School, where he served as director of the bookstore. After graduating Harvard in 1986 with a Master of Theological Studies degree, he founded Divinitas Books, a specialty chain and direct-mail operation. After selling his business in 1991, he joined HarperSanFrancisco. This began a 13-year tenure at HarperCollins in a variety of roles including marketing, sales, editorial, and from 1999-2005 as publisher of HarperSanFrancisco. From 2002 to 2005 Steve was group publisher responsible for HarperBusiness, HarperResource, and HSF. Stephen is a co-author of the book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Self-Mastery, Perseverance and Wisdom: Featuring New Translations of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus.

Show Highlights:

  • “Some things are in our control and others are not.” – Epictetus @SteveHanselman
  • Most of what we know about stoicism comes from the writings of the three figures found in this book. @SteveHanselman
  • Virtue is the source of happiness. @SteveHanselman
  • We cannot have our hope based on external things. @SteveHanselman
  • We have to focus on the things that are in our control, the decisions and choices that are ours alone to make.  @SteveHanselman
  • If you want to get good out of this life, you have to get it from yourself. @SteveHanselman
  • Stoic disciplines help us turn away from the false values we put on external things. @SteveHanselman
  • The pursuit of virtue makes us effective in our lives and brings joy in what we experience. @SteveHanselman
  • The 4 primary stoic virtues: self-control, courage, justice and wisdom. @SteveHanselman
  • When we work with others we have to see it their way. @SteveHanselman
  • We need to continually ask ourselves, ‘To what is my soul committed?’ @SteveHanselman
  • There is no virtue in things staying the same, and there is no evil in things changing. @SteveHanselman
  • Too often we give our time and energy to things we should just say ‘no’ to. @SteveHanselman
  • Inside of every circumstance, we always have a choice to how we will respond. @rory_vaden
  • Busy is not something that happens to you; It is something you allow. @rory_vaden

To find out more about Stephen, learn about Stoicism and get your copy of his book visit:

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to Solve Your Competing Priorities Problem


The first action step for becoming more productive is to write out your vision.

Write out in specific detail what you want your life or business to look like in 5 years.

The clearer you see your vision, the more obvious you will see your priorities.

Priorities are not a matter of right and wrong or good and bad. Priorities are simply a matter of relevant and irrelevant.

The reason people have such a hard time prioritizing is because we live and work in a world with unclear vision.

An unclear vision means there either is no vision or there are too many visions.

If there is no clear vision, then everything is a priority. If there are many visions, then you will bump into having conflicting and competing priorities pulling you in different directions.

Either way, you will have frustration, stress, lack of clarity and feel overwhelmed.

The proper selection of your next most significant priority then is 100% dependent on its context as it relates to the vision.

When you clarify the vision, the sequential set of steps that are needed to make it a reality usually become clear.

But if you don’t have a clear vision, then you may find yourself running in a thousand directions just doing everything that shows up as something you can possibly do.

So if you find yourself struggling to balance competing priorities the answer may not be to just work harder and longer, but to stop, take a breath, and clarify what really matters.

How to Battle the feeling of being Overwhelmed


Today I am tired.

I feel defeated.

I’m overwhelmed by the incessant and never ending stream of emails.

I feel beaten down by the daunting list of tasks and projects that come in faster than I can keep up with them.

How is it that no matter how hard I work or how long I work I can never seem to be caught up?

I never seem to make a dent.

And even though I work and strive relentlessly, somehow I feel as if I’m a failure.

How is that possible?

And then I remember it’s only possible when I lose perspective.

It’s only possible when I forget what I’m really doing.

It only occurs when I lose sight of what success really is.

Success isn’t a zero inbox.

Success isn’t being all caught up.

Success isn’t feeling like everything is under control.


Success is knowing I am doing my best.

Success is being confident that I’m giving all I have.

Success is believing that I’m laying it all on the line in pursuit of worthy causes that support me and other people I care about.

Because if I’m doing my best, if I’m doing everything I know how to do, and if I’m trying to balance a lot of competing interests then I have nothing to worry about.

All anyone can ask me to do is the best I know how to do.

So I will keep perspective.

I will remain peaceful.

And I will work steadily as fast as I can and as slow as I have to.

But I will not trade my happiness and stress level for the impossible task of keeping up with all there is to do.

Instead I will do my best.

And rest easy knowing that is the one and only real thing I have to do.

Matthew Mayberry: Winning Plays and Game-Changing Goals – Episode 155 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Matthew Mayberry

Matt Mayberry, a former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, is currently one of the most read columnists for Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as an acclaimed keynote speaker and peak performance strategist. He also writes for Fortune Magazine. As the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company, he specializes in maximizing the performance of individuals and organizations all over the world. His book, Winning Plays, comes out September 6, 2016.

Show Highlights:

  • Set one game-changing goal that is going to drastically take your business and life to the next level. @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • What are you most passionate about and what will give significance to your life? @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • Success is fulfillment and significance in doing what we want, when we want, with people we love.  @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • An organization can only become the best version of itself when it’s people become the best version of themselves. @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • Developing the people is the first step to developing the organization. @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • Lack of persistence and focus are the two things keeping people from achieving their goals. @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • Expand your vision for what is possible for your business and your life. @MaTt_MaYbErRy
  • Having a goal is enough to change a person’s life. @rory_vaden
  • The game-changing goal is the one goal that by accomplishing it, you will accomplish your other goals as a byproduct. @rory_vaden
  • Very often it is the decision to do something that is harder than doing the work. @rory_vaden
  • It only takes one moment to decide that who you were yesterday is not the person you’re going to be tomorrow. @rory_vaden
  • The difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don’t. @rory_vaden
  • Improving your situation is much more frequently the byproduct of improving yourself than it is of changing your circumstances. @rory_vaden

To find out more about Matt Mayberry and to pre-order his book, Winning Plays, Visit

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!