I spent the morning going through my file of links that people have sent to me over the week that looked good to read. I have seen enough productivity advice to know that I should not leave links in my inbox. David Allen says everything needs to be dealt with now or filed for later. Leo Babauta says you should clear out your reading folder each week so it doesn’t hang over you. And I want to be productive, so I’m following all the rules.

But something happened on the way to the bottom of the reading folder and I ate a box of cookies after I read Mike Maddock’s list of Resolutions Successful People Make and Keep. I am upset about the list because I assumed I’d click on the list and be like, “Oh yeah, I’m great. I do all those things.” But the list is killing me. Read more

This webinar is to show you how to leverage your strengths with Myers Briggs. It includes four days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

Get access now.

I have too much to say about Myers Briggs to be contained in just my blog posts. So I’m doing a webinar. Also, Melissa and I have so much fun with you guys in these webinars, and we want to do another. During the last two, people kept saying we should do a Myers Briggs one.

So here it is, with a special guest: the guy who taught me about Myers Briggs, Rob Toomey. It started out that I interviewed him, in the olden days, when I was a columnist at the Boston Globe and actually did interviews. Then I would call him just to ask him things:

Q: Why do I hate my INTJ co-worker?
A: Everyone hates INTJs but INTJs don’t care. They just want the work done.

Okay. To be fair, Rob doesn’t talk like that. He’s very diplomatic. I am summarizing his wisdom. But in the webinar, it will be a lot of Rob talking. (And he will be fun, because he’s an ENTP, and ENTPs are fun.)

The biggest reason to understand Myers Briggs is that just about every company in the Fortune 500 uses it as part of training for senior management. If you understand the meaning of your own score you will immediately become more effective at meeting your goals, and if you understand other people’s scores you’ll be way better at communicating with them.

Naturally, when I heard that top leaders in the Fortune 500 get this training, I had to have it too. And my path to expertise was the typical journalist path: I bugged my source incessantly til Rob was not a source but a friend.

Then when I was running Brazen Careerist, I would not shut up about Myers Briggs. I told everyone in the company that they had to take the test, and when they refused, I said, “Forget it, I’m so good at it I know your score anyway.”

Just to prove me wrong, they took the test.

And I was right. Which I tell you only to show how smart you can be about everyone if you understand Myers Briggs.

So this is the last thing I’m gonna tell you about the webinar. Everyone should sign up. I’m not kidding. Having a solid understanding of Myers Briggs has changed every aspect of my life. And it’s going to be really fun because I love Rob and I love Melissa, and this is my dream-come-true Myers Briggs party.

Here’s the official announcement of what we’ll do: Read more

Let go of your dreams. They are stupid. I’m going to show you why. But first, let me say that I’m a big fan of deciding what you want for your life. It’s just that I’m a practical person. If you say you want stuff you can’t have [insert here, for example, a list of 20 things you have to have in a new job] you’ll never get it. So the first step to getting what you want is dumping all your dreams. Here’s why:

1. Dreams are distractions from what you are good at. 
I have dreams. That’s why I know they are stupid. I have the dream that I look like a model with perfectly pulled together outfits and three-inch heels to match. But I keep shopping at sneaker stores. So my dream just distracts from my efforts at being my best self.

Read more

Generation X is the first generation in American history that earned less than their parents. Generation Y is the most in-debt generation in American history (and the early American colonies were built on indentured servitude, so that’s saying a lot.) We are in an era of financial ruin. Generation Z will face this with a sense of inevitability. They will feel it is their job to stabilize the failing economy and acclimate to a much lower standard of living.

In the meantime, you are not Generation Z. And you are probably wondering how to adjust to the idea that you do not have the level of financial security you had imagined you would at this time in your life. I have done my own adjusting to this harsh reality, and here are some ways that I’ve shifted my thinking. Read more

You cannot pick a husband to have kids with until you know if you want to work full-time while you are raising them. Some women will say they know for sure that they do want to work full-time. Most women will say that they don’t know for sure. But there are actually only two choices: be a breadwinner or marry a breadwinner. Then, within those two choices, there are a few strategies you can use.

Scenario 1: Be a Breadwinner

If you want to work full-time when you have kids then you had better plan on having a huge job that you love. Because nothing else will seem worth it to put yourself and your family through what they will have to go through.

If you are on the fence about this, here’s a good way to get off the fence: if you’re not an INTJ or an ENTJ you probably won’t be able to compartmentalize enough at work to choose this scenario. You will feel bad about not being with your kids. You cannot control this. It’s how women are wired. I’m sorry. INTJ is the most uncommon score for a woman. ENTJ is the second most uncommon. You can look around at all the big job, high-powered women and see that almost all of them have one of these scores. Sometimes an ENFJ slips in, but they are tortured and don’t last. The F kills them. They feel bad that they are not fulfilling their duty as parents. It’s not peer pressure, it’s internal pressure. It’s how an ENFJ is wired. Read more

It’s another post about Melissa. But before I get any more emails asking if Melissa is single, let me just say that the single life of Melissa lasted exactly three days.

I could see it coming, really. She said, as she was trying to figure out if she should break off her engagement, “I always think I should just go move in with his best friend.”

Okay. So fine. It is not normal to have these thoughts so close to the wedding. So she moved out. And then, just as she was gearing up to tell the best friend that she wants to be more than friends, he volunteered to help her move her stuff into a new apartment.

I’m skipping the part of the story where they make out on the sofa and I’m going to straight to the official blog photo of him.

You will notice that he has set boundaries with me via Melissa, so I am not putting his picture on the blog. It’s probably better. Because the last two guys Melissa dated had their pictures on the blog, and then look what happened. Badness. For both. Read more

I’m great at remaking myself. I’ve been a pro-volleyball player, a serial entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom. I’ve modeled nude and I’ve stood as a spokesperson for education reform.

The hardest part about being able to remake myself so often is that I’m never sure who I am.

The other day my son said, “Mom, what’s your name right now?”

I said “Penelope”. I knew that was the right answer, because everyone in my life calls me Penelope. But it’s not my legal name. Adrienne is still my legal name. So sometimes, I get into trouble, and he sees it. Like the time we checked into a hotel and I had no ID for the name Penelope so I told the hotel clerk to look me up on Wikipedia. My son stood next to me the whole time, ostensibly eating free snacks in the lobby, but clearly the scene made an impression. (At airport  check-in he said, “Mom! Let’s use your Wikipedia page to go to the front of the line!”) Read more