In 1960, a renowned plastic surgeon named Dr. Maxwell Maltz published a groundbreaking work about cognitive bias called Psyco-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living out of Life. In the book, he described patients who literally were given new faces through his work, and yet afterwards still reported experiencing the old feelings of inadequacy that plagued them pre-surgery. …


To anyone who grew up in the ’70s, ’80s, and even ’90s, it was pretty much impossible to miss the phenomenon that was Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone’s iconic underdog southpaw from Philadelphia who battled his way to the heavyweight title through pure grit and determination. In movie sequel after sequel the formula was the same: beaten down, washed out, ready to give up, Rocky somehow kept going. The anthem began, and Rocky trained. He trained harder and longer than anyone had trained before. The music swelled to a crescendo. The champ raised his hands in the air, and our hearts…


Previously, we pondered the story of Julia Albu, the retired widow who traveled from South Africa to London to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II. Julia traveled for months, over 8,000 miles in her 20-year old car, only to have her request for an audience rejected. Mostly traveling alone, she slept in a tent, night after night, spent a significant amount of money and put herself in dangerous situations to achieve her goal. However, ultimately she didn’t reach it.

“The English are a strange breed,” Albu told the BBC. …


Last year, Julia Albu found herself on a remarkable adventure — all because she said “yes” when so many of us would have said, “no, that’s crazy!”

Julia is a senior citizen living in Cape Town, South Africa. Two years ago, she found herself calling into a radio program discussing then-President Jacob Zuma’s taste in extravagant cars.

“I was incensed,” Albu told the BBC. “I phoned to say I was going to be 80, and my car, Tracy, was a 20-year-old Toyota and she ran beautifully. …


Sometimes he photobombs a couple’s engagement portrait. There are countless stories of the college house parties he has crashed, doing dishes in the kitchen as a gift to the host, or convincing a pair of police officers to join the party rather than cut off live band who recruited him to play the tambourine. Then there’s the famous SXSW moment, where he was the guest bartender and no matter what people ordered, he handed out shots of tequila and people were thrilled. People don’t mind this man inserting himself into their lives, because they love him. He’s an icon. He’s…


How practicing of curiosity can lead to a richer life

Recently at a holiday party, I found myself hanging out in the rec room, watching two boys play a video game that provided them with an open world to explore at their leisure.

I noticed that each approached the game very differently. Player One focused on achieving the milestones the game proposed in this open world. He was racking up the points and leveling up. Player Two, meanwhile, ignored the path the game outlined for him, opting instead to wander the map.

As time passed, this difference in play style…


When I was in college, I knew this guy named Thaddeus, and many people thought he was very strange. It was the late 80’s, and Thaddeus was big on the 70’s disco era.

Frequently, walking home from a night class or study group, I would find him dancing on his roller skates on the tennis courts, usually wearing tight shorts, a scarf, rainbow leg warmers and huge 70’s headphones pumping music from the Walkman on his hip.

Thaddeus would skate-dance for hours by himself. You might imagine people made fun of him, but in reality, he was just such a…


In life, one of the most devastating experiences is to feel like someone close to you has betrayed you. You may think that you can’t trust them anymore and have to cut them out of your life completely. But do you?

Edward, a seasoned Senior Vice President in Silicon Valley, was recruited from a small startup by a multinational corporation looking to build a new competing division. Edward had built out his team in just a few months, including Samuel, a promising young man whom Edward had groomed from his old company. …


Recently, a young friend of mine was promoted from a mid-level engineering position to first-tier management. Alex was excited at first about the promotion, but after a few months became frustrated. The problem, he shared, was that he was no good at meetings, and he had to participate in a lot of them.

Alex often found himself disagreeing with points other managers and directors were making, or directions people wanted to take the company. But, being new to management, he was afraid to voice his disagreement and potentially make enemies. …


What the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain can teach us about our emotions

In the entrepreneurial community, we lost two greats recently, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade. Both changed the faces of their respective industries, and for many of us, both choose to leave this existence sooner than we would have liked.

Kate Spade was one of the most successful designers of all time. An icon of New York style in the 90’s, she amassed a personal net worth of over $150 million. She also suffered from depression, anxiety and likely undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

Julien Adler

Executive Business Coach & Leadership Trainer www.julienadler.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store