An Effective Way to Make Big Decisions

Big decisions can be made quickly and easily if you simply compare the best-case scenarios — and commit to doing the work to achieve the best outcome. This is a brilliant idea of Brooke Castillo's that cuts through fear, doubt, and uncertainty and propels you into...

A Big Goals List

Everyone can benefit from making a list of 25 amazingly big goals they wish they could accomplish in their lives. What counts as an "amazingly big goal"? By an "amazingly big goal," I mean something that seems audacious to you to set as a goal. It is something you...

Accuracy and Precision in Value-Judgments

In helping some Thinking Labbers make accurate, precise value-judgments, I was reminded of a song I learned as a child. The lyrics as I remember:     Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I'm going out and eat worms!   The first one was easy. The second...

Virtues: The How, not the What

Moral self-criticism doesn't need to be deeply painful, not if you interpret virtues as telling you how to be happy, not what kind of person you are. What??? I'm not saying moral self-criticism is going to be pleasant. A moral person is always going to feel some guilt...

A Constructive Attitude Toward Failure

We had an interesting conversation about "failure" on a Launch call recently. One of the coaches for the program asked if we shouldn't call a "failure" a "setback" instead. Calling the result a "failure" brought up a lot of old baggage and feelings of discouragement...

Clearing Emotional Baggage About Flip-Flopping on a Decision

        I recently answered a query on LinkedIn: New LinkedIn data shows that the number of “boomerangs,” or employees who left a company for a certain amount of time and then returned, is rising — and it’s even higher at top employers.   We’d...

The First Choice of the Day

As part of improving my sleep, I'm on a campaign to jump out of bed at a standard wakeup time each morning. Although I'm pretty consistent at getting up, sometimes I resist getting out of bed. I have applied everything I know about motivation to creating a process for...

Activating a Context Versus Triggering a Habit

    Based on some comments I made in a coaching call, a Thinking Labber wrote to me as follows:   I'm fascinated by the idea that self-sacrifice is an easily activated context and not a habit. I'd love to learn more about that, but I'm not sure of the...

Raising Baseline Happiness

In preparation for a new series of classes on "The Work of Happiness" in the Thinking Lab, I have been doing some high-level thinking about how you raise your baseline happiness. As I wrote in How Do You Measure Happiness?, your "baseline happiness" is the overall...

The Active Mind

There are three kinds of actions that mark a person as having an active mind. 1. You look beyond the obvious options and the obvious explanations to make sure you've got the full picture. 2. You do the introspective work to make your own values explicit, especially...

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