Everybody wants to be a success. Or a hero. Or famous…or something. Some of our dreams are juvenile while others propel us toward a life of value and meaning.

When I was six, I wanted to be Daniel Boone. Biology, among other considerations, prevented me from being a tall man in the wilderness who was strong enough to defend the weak during the onset of the American Revolution.

My dream changed and matured over the years and I decided the best way for me to defend the weak and victimized in my world was to become an FBI agent. For…


Show me someone who has never made a mistake and I will show you someone who has never accomplished anything meaningful in their life. They are losers, people who are generally timid and lazy — and usually selfish because it’s all about their precious feelings.

They prefer to stay in a safe, albeit boring, comfort zone and rely on others to create the circumstances around which they live their life. And then bitch about it when their needs aren’t met or they feel slighted in some way. …


Image by Getty

There’s something positive and uplifting about our circumstances now that the COVID pandemic promises to be a distant, albeit bad, memory. It’s especially poignant because those same memories resemble a scaled-down version of the apocalypse. New beginnings are an opportunity to revisit our cherished notions of how things “ought” to be in the future.

But when I took a closer look at the word apocalyptic, I found that it’s a Greek word meaning “unveiling.” …


I’m a firm believer that jerks are not born; they are made the old-fashioned way — from the ground up, by adults who never outgrew their selfish behavior. Jerks are groomed by people who live by crappy values and tend to be awful human beings.

You know the ones I mean; people who tether their goals in life to money, greed, and power. They’re the ones who die bitter and pissed off that they can’t take their possessions with them.

If you’ve been a jerk in life, believe me, someone’s therapist knows all about you. While your words and actions…


When people meet me, they expect me to have the kind of bravado that is portrayed by FBI agents on TV and in movies-confident with no signs of weakness or vulnerability. Nothing could be further from the truth!

It’s true that the most successful agents I worked alongside were brave, but it wasn’t the bluster that shoves people out of their way or abuses power. Nor was it the detachment that keeps emotions on a tight leash.

The best leaders are those who have the courage to be themselves. They have the courage to be transparent and vulnerable. To many…


2020 was about staying alive. Everything else was fluff.

This summed up an email I received from one of my readers. She still has her job but it feels like hell because so many of her friends lost their job. She’s healthy but that feels like crap, too, because she’s lost two family members to COVID.

On the plus side, no one has broken her heart because she’s no longer looking for love. She’s saving money because there’s no reason to buy anything except food and other essentials. …


One of the first things my firearms instructor at the FBI Academy told me that the best shooters are those who can stomp out the noise-both external and internal distractions-so they can focus on the scene in front of them. All I needed to do was relax, breathe, and focus.

I thought that was a rather milquetoast response. I wanted specific, detailed instructions on how to get a perfect score!

I immediately engaged in a continuous internal dialogue about the instructor’s wimpy advice as I felt the stress to qualify in firearms. From the 60 yard line, I shot 12…


My grandmother was a tough old bird. She lived in a time and place where she needed to be resilient if she expected to survive tough winters on a Wyoming cattle ranch. If I moped around while doing chores she would yell, “Get the lead out of your ass and start moving!”

She learned at an early age to value her skills and talents because she knew she’d need them again. Most likely in the near future. Taking personal responsibility for her contributions was not boasting. Instead, it was learning how to survive and be resilient.

Resilience is a component…


image by Istock

There’s a lot of crap going on in the world and it’s tempting to throw tantrums and dissolve into a puddle of self-pity. It feels like the right thing to do because other people need to know how unfair life is, right? Like when we were in second grade and cried until we were red in the face because it got people’s attention, right?

Only you’re not in second grade anymore and it’s highly debatable whether your tantrums ever worked on anyone except your parents, and they’re the ones who trained you to use tantrums to get their attention in…


IStock photo

It’s hard to make sense of the world right now; we’re in the middle of a pandemic, racial strife, and a political divide in America that looks more like Dante’s version of hell every day.

We’re bombarded with social media, camera phones, and a 24/7 news cycle. We’ve relied on our “feel-good at all cost” philosophy for so long that we no longer even know how to process the negative events that we’ve experienced in a helpful way.

Current events have left us humbled and uprooted from our routine. Nothing seems certain anymore. As the great philosopher Socrates would say…

LaRae Quy

Former counterintelligence FBI agent | Mental Toughness Center | Consultant | Speaker | Author: Secrets of A Strong Mind, & Mental Toughness for Women Leaders

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