Way back in 1998, when I wrote my first article on what to do when you get stuck on a difficult thinking problem, I offered one general piece of advice: Identify the problem. As Louis Sullivan said, “the problem contains and suggests its own solution.” Although I now offer a lot of more specific advice, […]

Sometimes when you feel blocked, the situation has a deep, painful, familiar feel to it. You say to yourself with a sinking feeling, “I’ve been here before.” When you recognize that old bad feeling, try this somewhat bizarre procedure from P. J. Eby to release its hold on you. I’ll explain the procedure, then give […]

Sometimes when you “think on paper,” you don’t get paragraphs of clarity, but paragraphs of questions. The questions proliferate in all directions as you see more and more things you don’t know and feel you need to know to make any progress. Questions proliferating in all directions are the hallmark of confusion. When you’re confused, […]

In order to live a happy life, you need to see yourself achieving your values on a daily, weekly, and annual basis. For this purpose, I recommend that you adopt some regular practices. The daily practice is the “3 good things” process. The annual process is an annual review, in which you write down all […]

Forgetting is real. It takes special work to remember an idea or an intention, particularly to remember it at the time you need it. The default is that you don’t. This issue is much wider and more important than remembering names of people you meet or items on a shopping list. It applies also to […]

Introspection is your tool for understanding and shaping your own psychology. Often, your first identification of a feeling is the tip of an iceberg. There is much more work to do before you know what caused the feeling, and can disintegrate any self-defeating beliefs that might be at work. One feeling that is always worth […]

The #1 general-purpose problem-solving tactic I teach is “Thinking on Paper.” If you are not familiar with it, get my freebie, “Multiply the Power of Thought.” If you are confused, overloaded, uncertain, blank, conflicted, or stuck in any way, I recommend you turn to “Thinking on Paper” about your problem. It is a powerful tactic […]

An important way you grow in the middle of challenges is to choose the person you want to be. This is not as easy as it might seem. I find it’s always helpful to put the vision into writing, spelling out what I want, in entirely positive terms. I recently did this for my personal […]

As I write this, we are shifting to a new phase in coping with the coronavirus pandemic. We are not in total shutdown. Businesses are opening up cautiously. People are interacting more, albeit six feet apart. Just as shutting down posed internal challenges, so will opening up. Some people uncovered or rediscovered values during the […]

If you want to stay on a schedule, you need to be able to take breaks that last a certain amount of time, and no longer. But that can be difficult. By definition, you are taking a mental rest from concentrated effort. How do you take that rest, without slipping into unawareness that your 3-minute […]

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