Self Mastery

Create the best self imaginable
All great change begins with you. In this section, we discuss the thoughts, principles and behaviors that make up your life—from the habits that form your routine to the beliefs that shape your decisions. Here we explore the deeper foundations of productivity, empowerment and identity.

The Four Steps to Overcome Approach Anxiety


Here’s an experience I recently had with approach anxiety: July 28th, I walk into Chipotle, and there she is. Blonde, tall, with a ponytail extending from her baseball cap, and in full runner’s gear. I just came here to get a burrito, and instead, I’m awestruck by this beautiful woman. And she’s not alone. It appears she’s with a homeless man, and as I secretly observe their interaction, it becomes clear that she’s buying him lunch. She didn’t even order anything for herself. The man is overly grateful, and after thanking her, she leaves the venue. I HAVE to talk … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Empowerment, Self Mastery

How to Make the Most of Feedback


How to Make the Most of Feedback

Criticism is an unavoidable part of life. Whether we want it or not, feedback will find us — at work, at home, and in our closest relationships. Some people avoid it at all costs, and wrestle with how to make sense of other people’s opinions about their work. Others embrace criticism, and use it to develop the insights they need to take their work to the next level. In my recent piece on the art of giving feedback, I mentioned that I wasn’t exactly a natural when it comes to criticism. It was only when I began receiving emails from … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

Want to Overcome Your Social Status, IQ, and Genes? Make Friends.


Want to Overcome Your Social Status, IQ, and Genes? Make Friends.

Making friends isn’t just a smart networking approach or strategy for status. It’s intimately connected to our physical and mental well-being. If you needed more proof that our relationships literally make or break us, then check out the latest findings of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has found once again that social capital — the stuff of great relationships — really is our lifeblood. “The surprising finding,” explains Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “is that our relationships and how happy we are … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

Rather Spew Than Schmooze? Three Tips for Beating Social Anxiety


Social anxiety: we’ve all suffered from it. In fact, for most members of the Art of Charm community, this is the single most common challenges that dogged them long and hard enough to make them go looking for a solution. Here are three tips for beating social anxiety that you should keep under your hat for a rainy day. The Shocking Truth About Social Anxiety and How to Beat It There you are. You’re in a social setting — maybe halfway against your will. You’re nervous. You’re in your head. You’re thinking (okay, overthinking) about how you’re doing, how you … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

Confidence: What Does It Take to Become Truly Confident?


Confidence: What Does It Take to Become Truly Confident?

Everyone wants more of it. Some seem to be born with it. Others had it and lost it. Some never seem to get it, no matter how hard they try. Whatever your story is, if you want more confidence, you’re going to have to go build it yourself. Here’s how. Confidence isn’t actually required to do anything. We can get the job offer, land the new big client, ask that person out, or make a speech all without confidence. Even though technically we don’t need it to accomplish our goals, we still want it — and struggle to get more … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

10 Counterintuitive Approaches to Self-Improvement with Mark Manson


10 Counterintuitive Approaches to Self-Improvement with Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life author Mark Manson shares these ten counterintuitive approaches to self-improvement. [Image by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums] According to Mark Manson, caring too much can be bad for your health. That’s probably why he wrote a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. After hearing him on The Art of Charm, I can tell you that he’s definitely counterintuitive. Here’s what we can learn from the interview, and from Mark: 1. For every … Read More


in Self Mastery

Fear Is Not the Problem — a Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing With Social Anxiety


Fear Is Not the Problem -- a Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing With Social Anxiety

Struggling with social anxiety is painful. For this reason, most people try to get rid of their anxiety at all costs. Here, you’ll learn why trying to get rid of social anxiety can do more harm than good — and what to do instead. [Image by Dryhead] January, 2011 I entered the party with a sigh. My friends dragged me here. And they quickly mingled with the crowd, leaving me alone by the wall, clinging to my beer and the one friend who hadn’t yet left my side.   Although I knew a couple people inside, I’ve never felt comfortable with … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

The Secret to Success? Be a Contradiction


The Secret to Success? Be a Contradiction

Talent stacking, as impressed upon us most recently by Dilbert‘s Scott Adams, is the symbiosis of disparate skills — even if it seems a contradiction at first glance. [Photo by Marcin Cajzer] Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) – Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass If you’ve been listening to S-TOWN, the new podcast from Serial and This American Life, then you know John B. Macklemore, the bizarre and captivating savant who invited a reporter down to Alabama to investigate a murder in his small hometown. (If you … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery

10 Things I Learned from James Altucher about Minimalism, Failure, and Not Giving Advice


10 Things I Learned from James Altucher about Minimalism, Failure, and Not Giving Advice

James Altucher is an extraordinary man with extraordinary perspectives on everything from smart business to living a satisfying life — and how they intertwine. Here are 10 things he taught us on episode 540 of The Art of Charm. James Altucher’s appearance on episode 540 of The Art of Charm was so chock full of wisdom that I felt compelled to share the top 10 things I took away from it. Still, this is really just the tip of the iceberg; I encourage anyone who benefits from this list to give the entire episode a listen here: Here are the … Read More


in Art of Business, Art of Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Self Mastery

A Skeptical Look at Confirmation Bias


A Skeptical Look at Confirmation Bias

How powerful is confirmation bias? As skeptic Michael Shermer says: “It’s the mother of all biases.” In truth, we all believe in things we can’t prove. If you’re intelligent, well-educated, and good at pulling facts, you’re going to be even better at confirming your own beliefs than someone who’s less intelligent or well-educated. [Photo by Colonel Robert Wilson] Our brains are wired so that we make better lawyers than we do scientists, in that a lawyer will look for and use evidence to support their client, while ignoring and definitely not using evidence that does the opposite. I know — … Read More


in Art of Personal Development, Self Mastery