Get motivated

Life doesn’t live itself well. Like a ball rolling downhill, the default life takes the natural, easy, safe path. At the bottom of the hill lies mediocrity. Living well requires effort: to push past fear and engage with the world, to invest ten thousand hours in mastering a skill, to overcome inertia and become the person you want to be…. Expand this article »

Don’t Pursue Situational Happiness

We’ve inherited a desire to strive, to pursue success, to improve our external conditions, because this striving helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. Find food, guard against threats, impress potential mates. Contentment doesn’t motivate, doesn’t compel action; anxiety does. Vigilant ancestors had more offspring than blissful ones, and so we are the children of restlessness. Our emotional circuitry was designed… Expand this article »

Live Authentically

Authenticity is the development and expression of your essential self, uncensored, undiluted, unimpeded by external forces. The real you, not a circumstantial, conditional, contingent version of you. Step one is inner authenticity: Being true to yourself, having what you think and feel follow from your beliefs, values, and purposes. Step two is outer authenticity: being true to others, having what… Expand this article »

Wanting isn’t liking

We are creatures of desire. Wanting sets the world in motion. This doesn’t trouble us, because we assume what we want is what we like, and indeed that we want it because we’ll like it – it’ll provide happiness, pleasure, meaning or other benefits. The words wanting and liking are often used interchangeably. That liking creates wanting is so obvious… Expand this article »

Flow

When was the last time you flowed? When you were immersed in the present, guiding each moment to the next through the unimpeded action of mind and body at the outer edge of your abilities? How beautiful, how exhilarating, how vibrantly alive was the moment? Flow is a tremendously beneficial state of being. It contributes to the best kind of… Expand this article »

Avoid perfectionism

In theory, striving for perfection should foster success and happiness. In reality, it rarely does. Perfectionism takes many forms: Needing to be perfect. Needing to become perfect. Needing to appear perfect. Perfect career, perfect relationship, perfect life. For some, perfectionism arises from a mistaken belief that achievement is the best or only route to a good life, that happiness is… Expand this article »

Find your why

The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born. Let today be your discovery day. Purpose pervades life, gives breath to life, like air. Every action is in service of some goal. But not all purposes are meaningful; simply working toward a goal doesn’t endow the… Expand this article »

Focus on process, not outcome

It seems like the best way to reach a desired result would be to focus on that result, try to move toward it, and judge each attempt by how closely you approximate it. But actually that approach is far from optimal. If you focus your attention and effort less on the results you’re hoping for and more on the processes… Expand this article »

Savor

Did you savor today? Did you breathe it in, taste it, let it flow through you? Did you run your fingers over it, feel its shape, its contours, its texture? Or did it hurry by unexperienced? Most days for most people are savorless. We don’t cultivate moments worth savoring. And when such moments do arrive, we’re too distracted by the… Expand this article »

Be grateful

What are you grateful for? Gratitude is a feeling of ongoing thankfulness for what you have and an expression of your dependence upon the contributions and conditions that make those blessings possible. We have so much to be thankful for, but often take it all for granted. In many ways, we’re hardwired for thanklessness. We focus our mental energy on… Expand this article »