"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Staying Constructively Scared

fear as motivation

Fear is a powerful motivator. Fear of poverty, fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of failure. Strange as it may seem, some folks even fear success (Primarily for the new challenges, tasks, and changes it brings plus the opportunity to fail/fall from an even greater height).

While positive things (happiness, pleasure, success) certainly do motivate as well, study after scientific study shows that “Loss Aversion” trumps positive motivators time after time. Perhaps because to our primitive forefathers being hunted by beast on the plains of Africa and stalked by famine and drought, staying alive was more important than anything else.

Whatever the reason, my goal as a modern man is to use whatever tool I can to make the most of myself, protect and nourish my loved ones, help others and leave the world a better place. So if fear can serve to motivate me to a better place, I’ll use it in moderate doses. Indeed, complacency is the biggest enemy of champions. It takes a different, more evolved skill set to STAY on top of the mountain once you’ve climbed to the peak. 

A moderate amount of fear (too much stress = deer in the headlights; too little stress = low energy/motivation) can serve to keep you on your toes. Indeed, one of the most dangerous moments in a racquetball game is when I’ve got a big lead, just a few points to go and I mentally award myself the game without getting buy in from my opponent. I relax, lose my fear of losing, and I become vulnerable to a loss of momentum.

Over-confidence is a fool’s way to lose. Stay alert, stay constructively scared. 


As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. - Nathan S. Collier

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How Healthy is Your Thought Life?

positive thinking

Thoughts are but the seeds of future emotions from which in turn flow actions and thus destiny its eventual fruit. If you wish a happy, fulfilled life, then think constructive, solutions-oriented, positive thoughts. If you want to sabotage yourself and drain your energy then focus on the gloom and doom, see the worst, and dwell on the negative at great length. For thoughts held in mind attract in kind and what you focus on expands.

Let me be crystal clear: When I urge you to adopt a positive attitude, I’m NOT talking about living in denial. One must acknowledge reality, accept and embrace your emotions, and fully process things for feelings buried alive never die. THEN look around, find the sunny side of the street and go hang out there! And remember: you may not be able to fully control the thoughts that come to mind but you can certainly control the thoughts that stay in your mind.

A healthy inner thought life will pay dividends beyond measure: “In your hands will be placed the exact results of your thoughts; Whatever your present environment may be, you will fail, remain, or rise with your thoughts…for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – James Allen, 1864-1912.

The power of thought is an ancient truth; one quote below is from 19 centuries ago but it is not a passive power. A healthy thought life must be cultivated, the mind must be trained, focused, yes, disciplined with continual effort to fully harness the thought power. The secrets of success lie in plain sight, they just require dedication, intelligent effort, and persistence to come to full fruition.


Closing Quotes

“The pleasantest things in the world are pleasant thoughts: and the great art of life is to have as many of them as possible.” - Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592, French philosopher

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius, 121-180, Roman Emperor

“It is the nature of thought to find its way into action”. - Christian Nevell Bovee, 1820-1904

“It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now.” - Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, ‘Love is Letting Go of Fear’


As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. - Nathan S. Collier

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Goodhart’s Law


Any incentive target is an attempt to model a more complex system and pick out a key variable designed to move the entire complex system forward BUT people are human and they will try to reach a target in the shortest, quickest, easiest way possible, often obeying the letter of the law while doing great damage to its spirit. 


Goodhart’s Law: 

“A Performance Metric is only useful as a Performance Metric only as long as it is not used as a Performance Metric.”


Even in good faith there is the risk that too much weight will be put on it to the determent of other areas of importance

 i.e. it becomes an end in itself, 

attracting resources all out of proportion to its true value.

There is also the danger that the metric gets gamed

 i.e. narrow “teaching to the test” 

v. promoting a generalized love of learning, 

encouraging wide ranging curiosity or

developing a board based knowledge base



Campbell’s Law: “The more any quantitative indicator is used for decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the processes it is intended to monitor.”


As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. - Nathan S. Collier

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