Revenge After Getting Fired

Bruce Cassidy, a successful NHL hockey coach won the Stanley Cup one year to the day when he was fired by his former team, The Boston Bruins — his bosses were dissatisfied  with his coaching even though he had a winning record.

I believe they said his coaching approach had a negative impact on certain players, especially the younger ones.


John Stevens had his playing career come to an end when he suffered an eye injury so he coached and won at the minor league level, made the playoffs at the pro level and has three rings as assistant coach of championship teams – most recent with Bruce Cassidy mentioned above.

The toughest thing to do is keep believing in yourself when adversity strikes but if you don’t believe in you, how can you ask anyone else to?

Believe and achieve in addition to what has to be overcome.

Expressing Appreciation

For those who care to make life, products, services and art for people they will never meet – yes, radio broadcasters, too – Steve Jobs had a pertinent thought about that in 2007 four years before he died.

“There’s lots of ways to be, as a person. And some people express their deep appreciation in different ways. But one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there.

“And you never meet the people. You never shake their hands. You never hear their story or tell yours. But somehow, in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love, something’s transmitted there. And it’s a way of expressing to the rest of our species our deep appreciation. So we need to be true to who we are and remember what’s really important to us.”

Forgive But Don’t Forget

One of the “stretching” exercises we do in my NYU music business stress class is to forgive others.

If you’re tempted to say a person who hurt you doesn’t deserve forgiveness, remember you are doing this for yourself and your good mental health

Researchers found that regardless of age, those who could forgive reduced their own stress.

And it helps you ruminate less which helps reduce psychological disorders.

Some people do it in anger, others ruminate to the point of depression – some anxiously.

So as difficult as it sounds, forgiving someone who hurt you is one of the more effective responses for improving mental health.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting but learning to let go of anger and pain is a gift to you and it ensures that you will never be like the person you are forgiving.

So, who are you going to forgive this week?

Summer Pep Talk

Here are my final words to young people before summer vacation.

I would give anything to be you at this point in time.

Yes, with all the challenges and problems but also the endless opportunities.

You see times of great disruption spawn great options for the future.

The sure thing is uncertain.

What is sure is that confronting chaos and making sense of it is the ultimate challenge of a lifetime.

Never listen to the naysayers.

Depressions, recessions, political turmoil, social upheaval – move on.

The more things change, the better your chance to succeed.

I’d give any money I’ve made, possessions I’ve gained and whatever notoriety I have accrued to date to be at the starting line with you today at this time of great opportunity.

Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from living your life and career to the fullest because now is that moment.

A Digital Happy Meal

Emily McDonald who is a neuroscientist got 4 million TikTok views with this advice.

When we wake up first thing our brains are in a most vulnerable programable state and what many people do is reach for their phone or digital device – the worst time of day to mess with your brain’s dopamine.

So, she says don’t go near a phone for 20 minutes to a half hour after you’re awake.

Same thing at night, decompress for an hour before turning in.

Being around people under 22 years old, you can see how their phones and social media have weaponized their attention, stolen self-esteem and seriously impacted on their relationships with others.

You are what you allow Google, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, your email, texts and online reading to feed you before your brain is ready.

Angry Drivers

What is it with the highways since the lockdown ended – Reckless driving, knowingly running red lights that have long turned from amber, darting in and out with or without signaling.

In New Jersey you can hit #77 on your phone to report aggressive drivers – hey, that’s 80% of all drivers in New Jersey!

I once called #77 to report an 18-wheeler on the Turnpike whose driver threw a tire iron (that’s right) out of his cab at the vehicle in back of him – it must of really made him lose it and it could have ended in disaster.

Nothing was done even after the call.

How to exist in a world of anger when you’re not angry – after first taking care to be safe and defensive, a mindset of understanding that we can only control ourselves and no one else which is impossible.

The breakdown of manners, consideration and empathy shows up everywhere but it doesn’t have to stop us from living the way we want one person at a time.

We always have control, but we don’t always exercise it.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – John Bradshaw.

Finding Time

American users of TikTok spend an average of 93 minutes a day on the social media app – double their time on Facebook and Instagram.

And a hell of a lot more time than they spend on school work – and that’s a fact confirmed by Sensor Tower analytics.

Even if you don’t use TikTok, never heard of it or think you don’t spend that long on it – digital distractions are everywhere in our lives.

Whether it’s TikTok or something else, how can we say all we need is another hour a day, more time to get things done when we already have enough.

This is another wakeup call that we can gain control of our time.

The power within all of us is there to be exercised by being mindful all day of how we choose to use our time.

Watch TV?  That’s 141 hours per month, 1,692 hours per year or 15 years of your life if you live to the average U.S. expectancy of 78.

How would you use 93 minutes a day?

I can’t wait to ask a classroom full of students this fall how they would use 93 minutes of found time – and, I’ll probably claim some of it for their homework assignments.


As the school year ends, let me just mention that one of the most popular aspects of our new NYU stress in the music business class is journaling.

Without exception students looking to reduce anxiety, avoid depression and insulate themselves from unnecessary stress have joyfully embraced this technique.

They say it helps them focus on problems, be more objective about possible solutions and actually take pleasure in seeing progress.

It requires regularly talking to your digital device and inputting thoughts – there are no rules.

My students share their journals with me privately over 14 weeks and I can attest to the fact that they are open, honest and authentic in describing their life’s challenges.

At the conclusion of the semester many said they plan to continue journaling – imagine, something therapeutic that feels rewarding.

The world is complicated; we are bombarded with challenges; sometime it feels like we lose our grip on them.

If you’ve ever considered journaling, it provides valuable insight into how you view your daily challenges and how you’re making more progress than you might think.

Body Double

Nearly 70% of Americans wish they could replace one of their body parts with one that works better.

And you thought the Kardashians were the only ones all over this long ago.

Millennials are more likely to complain about pain during their daily activities than the older baby boom generation (76% to 50%).

Don’t shoot me for asking whether working remotely during covid helped stem this surprising revelation.

The Joint Chiropractic did the poll so one way or the other, it looks like business will be good for them based on the findings.

One in five say their pain peaks between noon and 3 pm; 51% are always or often uncomfortable while sleeping.

Here’s the thing:  With few major health exceptions, the body parts most people have (and certainly millennials born roughly between 1981 and 1996 have) are working well enough.

We just need to give them a little love and attention – people are bad at taking care of themselves; bad at routine maintenance.

Mental positivity applies to how we think and how we use our physical assets (arms, legs, etc).

There’s little need for a re-do, but some regular maintenance will reap tons of benefits.

Snatching Victory from Defeat

It doesn’t get worse than this – The Eagles returned to the Super Bowl last year and lost after an impressive season.

Ok, yes it does.

Pete Carroll was a yard away from a second Super Bowl in 2015 and it was on him – the wrong call, a resulting interception allowing the Patriots to pull out the game — he took the blame and it hurt.

How do winners handle heartbreaking defeat.

Eagles coach Nick Siriani:

“We’ll overcome this too … we’ll use it to motivate us.  We’ll use this pain, we’ll use this failure to motivate us so we can make it a strength.”

Ours would truly be a storybook world if everything worked out the way we wanted it to.

Winners take adversity and use it as a building block for success.