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Rich Feller, Ph.D. Our Two Stories of Life: Finding Possibilities with a HEROIC Mindset

The key is to retire to something not from something,” says Dr. Rich Feller, who has helped thousands of people around the world to find purpose and re-invent their careers with his HEROIC mindset. Rich talks about how to navigate a lifetime of transitions in a world that is changing all the time.

rich-feller-1-e1472238364346-250x250In this interview Dr. Rich Feller, a thought leader in the area of career development and a founding expert with AARP’s Life Reimagined, explains his HEROIC model. Rich’s ideas and his model have helped thousands of people around the world create new possibilities  – and create new stories about their lives and career.

The HEROIC Model


Sense of Efficacy (agency)

Resilience – how you define and reframe your situation


Intentional Exploration

Clarity and Curiosity

Here’s the entire interview:


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About My Guest

Rich Feller Ph.D is Professor of Counseling and Career Development and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar Emeritus, Colorado State University. Past President of the National Career Development Association he is Thought Leader for AARP’s, Chief Scientist for, and co-owner of and . Having consulted in all 50 US states and on six continents, Rich’s clients include NASA, NSF, United Nations, the NFL and the Asian Development Bank. Co-author of print and internet versions of the Career Decision Making System used by over 14M, he’s co-author of three books and four film series. He leads coaching training for 

Quote from the interview:

“If you’re giving and growing, purpose finds you.”

From the Show

Why self help may not work – and we need peer to peer support.

The 70 – 20 – 10 rule about learning. 70% of our learning is from doing something new; 20 is learning from role models; 10 is from trainings.

How to listen for clues from life and cues from your own intuition.

If I’m living fully, I’m scanning and watching for clues, watching people, listening for nuance, looking in the shadows, listening to the voices that are not as loud as in the past – and that gives me a sense of clarity about who I am and when I have more clarity and I’m able to move forward I can begin to act in terms of more purpose.

And most of us are looking for purpose even though I would argue that we have multiple purposes.

How hope and optimism show up in hard times. Hope is a sense of having both the will (agency – that I can do something) and the way (the resources). We can teach that to people regardless of how hurt they might feel.

When times are tough, and you might have experienced a loss ask,  “What have you done recently that has felt good?” (even when something tough has happened).  Who do you know and where can you learn something related to a loss (for example) that you have experienced?

Look for one percent gains – to build stamina and motivation. Check out B.J. Fogg (at Stanford).

Let’s create a second story – looking ahead rather than through the rear view mirror.

Optimism is the ability to seek solutions – to see the upside of things that are wrong – to reduce the gap between my present and my future.  (It’s moving away from catastrophe-thinking and opening up our minds to possibility.)

Why “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” may not be the best approach and how it works better when you bring a life of passion to things that you’re good at.

You expand what you can control – one percent.

HEROIC is a mindset that gives power back to people.

The Show Notes

Find out more about Rich at


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