A Value Orientation
What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

Do you find the term "anxiety" a bit puzzling? It's always been described to me as a non-specific fear. My fears are always specific, so I never knew quite how to differentiate fear from anxiety until I read an article about anxiety by Brooke Castillo that clarified...

Happiness is the Fuel of Achievement

Happiness is the Fuel of Achievement

Happiness is not a prize you get sometime in the future, after you achieve a goal, or pass a test, or become worthy. If you believe that it is a prize you have to wait for, I guarantee that you are struggling to achieve your goals. You are sabotaging your own...

You Can Break the Vicious Cycle of Unproductive Emotions

You Can Break the Vicious Cycle of Unproductive Emotions

I've become a fan of Brooke Castillo's "Self-Coaching Scholars" program. I find her methods to be a valuable complement to the ones I have already developed. She's helped me speed up how I deal with distracting, unproductive emotions, while still maintaining the...

The Completions List

The Completions List

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...

How to Remember Your Commitment

How to Remember Your Commitment

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...

Inoculating Yourself Against Depression

Inoculating Yourself Against Depression

I am more upbeat than many of the people I’ve spoken with recently. This is true, even though in many cases, my expectations for the post-coronavirus future are more pessimistic than theirs. I’ve seriously entertained some pretty dire outcomes, but instead of letting...

Understanding the Desire for Destruction

Understanding the Desire for Destruction

Last winter I got a surprise. I saw for myself that some people are deeply motivated by a desire for destruction, as opposed to a desire to gain values. Perhaps I have led a sheltered life, or maybe I accept the people I meet at face value. But I took for granted that...

How Identifying Three Good Things Each Day Makes Your Life Better

How Identifying Three Good Things Each Day Makes Your Life Better

Here's a daily practice I learned from Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness. Once each day, write down three good things that happened in the last 24 hours. You can write them before going to bed or first thing in the morning. You can...

Wishing for Motivation

Wishing for Motivation

Wishful thinking doesn't solve problems. But it can transform your motivation when you are not "in the mood" to do the next task on your agenda. I stumbled upon this fact while on a long trip. At a certain point, I thought I should dig into four annual reports I had...

Three Ways to Prepare for a Constructive Conversation

Three Ways to Prepare for a Constructive Conversation

If you've been following my work, you know that I'm interested in making conversations on controversial topics more constructive and less contentious. I think I'm making progress, but, yesterday I had a contentious conversation with someone who I am in basic agreement...

Three Steps to Following Through on Your Priority

Three Steps to Following Through on Your Priority

Your top priority is not necessarily the most important task on your list, nor is it necessarily the most urgent one. It is the one you decide you should do first--prior to the others. Often, as soon as you identify your top priority by naming the reason it's #1, you...

Thinking About Affirmations

Thinking About Affirmations

I'm reading my friend Alan Zimmerman's book, The Payoff Principle, which explains the process he teaches for achieving "what you really, Really, REALLY want." He is inspiring me on many levels, including convincing me to take a second look at some practices that have...

Burnout

Burnout

Burnout is a common problem. When you "burn out," you lose the motivation to do productive work that you have done in the past — and used to enjoy doing. There are three common sources of motivation: a personally meaningful (selfish) purpose, an inspiring person, or...

Eyes-Wide-Open Decision Making:  An Overview

Eyes-Wide-Open Decision Making: An Overview

I’ve been asked to explain the difference between my Eyes-Wide-Open Decision Making Process1 and a typical decision process. The short answer is — my method offers a way to validate difficult decisions, when you can’t reach certainty. Many decision methods can speed...

Getting More Emotional Impact from Good Things that Happen in Life

Getting More Emotional Impact from Good Things that Happen in Life

Some years ago I recommended the daily practice of identifying three good things that happen each day. This idea, which I got from Martin Seligman, helps you develop a more optimistic mindset. The original tip is also on the blog. In addition to making you more...

The Alternative to a “No Choice” Rule

The Alternative to a “No Choice” Rule

I am halfway through The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person. Judith Beck's exercises, combined with MyFitnessPal, are helping me adhere to a lose-a-pound-a-week diet. I don't agree with everything in the book, but I give it a qualified...

You always have a choice

You always have a choice

Whenever I hear myself or someone else saying, "I have no choice," I challenge that idea. You always have a choice -- and owning your power of choice has huge benefits. When you think you have no choice, that just means you've ruled out the other options that you see....

A Value-Based Approach to Interrupting Others

A Value-Based Approach to Interrupting Others

A friend once told me about a man he knew who never interrupted. Call him the super listener. You could go to this super listener for business advice, and he would sit and listen to you as you talked and talked, never interrupting. Then when you were finished...

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