Mitigate “Stressful” Events

Life events that cause "stress" include both marriage and divorce, both losing a job and getting promoted, both the birth of a child and the death of a loved one. What is in common among these? All such “stressful” events cause a sudden shift in your priorities. That...

Concentrate with Love

I recently re-read The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, a classic book on mind management from 1974. I was struck by this passage:   As silly as it may sound, one of the most practical ways to increase concentration on the ball is to learn to love it! Get...

Recovering a Benevolent Universe Perspective

Emotional resilience is your ability to recover a benevolent universe perspective after experiencing distressing emotions. After an incident that draws your attention to threats, problems, and difficulties, can you get back to seeing the world as filled with your...

Taking Facts About Your Mind Seriously

Consciousness has identity. It is what it is. It can do some things and not others. Some aspects of it are directly introspectible, others can only be inferred. This is a fact that one learns in philosophy class. Knowing it helps you solve real-world problems whenever...

What Goes in Your “6-Pack” Each Day?

Do you make a list of six tasks each day, rank them by priority, and then work through them, in order? Alan Zimmerman, author of The Payoff Principle, reminded me of this classic advice. He calls the list your "6-Pack." Many successful people say that this practice —...

Concretizing Values 1: Values in the Objects Around You

Many of the motivational tools I recommend involve clarifying your values. When you are fully clear on a value, you not only see logically that the value contributes to your success and well-being, but you also feel some pleasure as you contemplate it. That pleasure...

The Value of Role Models

A role model is someone who exemplifies your ideal in some area. Though you can learn concrete skills from role models, there is something more important you get from them: an integrated sense of the kind of person you want to be. That is what is irreplaceable. When...

On Choosing Expert Help

Doctors disagree on when to prescribe medication. Sleep experts disagree on whether you should take naps. Time-management experts disagree on whether you should schedule all of your time. Therapists disagree on whether you should trace issues back to childhood...

View Your Critic as the Canary in the Coal Mine

Noticing and learning from negative feedback is crucial to self-improvement. Unfortunately, negative feedback can come in an unpleasant and even an unjust form. People who give unsolicited criticism are not always the most supportive of creatures. There are...

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