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WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPINESS & ACHIEVEMENT ISLANDS?

WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPINESS & ACHIEVEMENT ISLANDS?

One of my good Twitter friends, Shola Abidoye, has asked me to write a post on these islands.  The idea is simple but surprisingly powerful.  Happiness islands are the times when we are happiest, cut off by warm, gently lapping seas, from the worries and woes of the rest of our lives.  They can happen in life now, or for sustained periods in different parts of our life – maybe you were...

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WHAT IS YOUR THEORY OF WHY YOU WILL SUCCEED?

WHAT IS YOUR THEORY OF WHY YOU WILL SUCCEED?

“Unlike phenomena in physics,” writes Professor Leonard Mlodinow, “events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe.”  This profound observation is my theme today. Mlodinow is a physicist turned student of the human mind, and in particular the unconscious mind – the mind that we are not aware of, but which...

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ON THE FOLLY OF EVER FEELING BLUE

ON THE FOLLY OF EVER FEELING BLUE

This week a close friend called me to ask for counsel because he was feeling seriously down.  We all feel blue at some times, and it’s good to be clear that it is never helpful to let such feelings persist.  I was able to say three things that helped my friend – things that I have said to myself at similar times: The Psychological Immune System Psychologist and neurologist Timothy Wilson...

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REWRITING THE NARRATIVE OF YOUR LIFE

REWRITING THE NARRATIVE OF YOUR LIFE

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live … We live entirely by the imposition of a narrative upon disparate images, by the “ideas” which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.” I was struck this week by this quote from Joan Didion’s book The White Album.  Whether we realize it or not, we all impose a narrative on our lives.  But I...

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WHO ARE YOU?

WHO ARE YOU?

“Do I contradict myself?  Very well, I contradict myself.  (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”  You probably recognize those three lines from the Song of Myself by Walt Whitman.  The last line, that I contain multitudes, is my text for this post.  I have a simple proposition to make: We all contain multitudes.  We behave very differently at different times.  Sometimes we behave well,...

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WHEN TO TRUST A HUNCH, AND WHEN NOT

WHEN TO TRUST A HUNCH, AND WHEN NOT

Observation of happy and successful people leads me to think they have a knack of making the right intuitive decisions.  But when should you trust your intuition to the extent of making a big bet on it?  And when should you not? The Story of Mary from Maine Max Gunther, author of that great little book The Zurich Axioms, tells the story of a woman from Maine – I’ll call her Mary.  She...

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