Habits
What You Can Learn From Tracking Your Own Buffering

What You Can Learn From Tracking Your Own Buffering

“Buffering” means doing a pleasurable activity to avoid feeling negative feelings about something else. A “buffering” activity offers instant gratification plus instant relief from unpleasantness. That can be an addictive combination, hence binge watching, binge...

The Pierced-Ears Principle

The Pierced-Ears Principle

Years ago I discovered what I have jokingly decided to call the “Pierced-Ears Principle.” The name comes from the story of what happened after I pierced my ears. First, the background. As I was beginning to do more public speaking, I started working to improve my...

“Should” and Self-Improvement

“Should” and Self-Improvement

In a recent article, I wrote: "Should" is a moral concept. When you say you "should" do something, you are saying it is the moral thing to do. If you, as I, ascribe to the moral code of rational egoism, "I should" means: Based on everything I know, including all of...

FAQ: How do you remember to notice something you can’t predict?

FAQ: How do you remember to notice something you can’t predict?

People often ask me how to remember to do something in the future. The answer usually is, make a plan. Then remember to check the plan. But some kinds of actions cannot be planned.  For example, I started a humor notebook at the recommendation of comedian Judy Carter....

The Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique

By far, the primary influence on my work is Ayn Rand. Her philosophy infuses my entire approach and underlies all my conclusions. One important secondary influence is F.M. Alexander, the inventor of the Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique is training in...

Adopting the Priorities Mindset

Adopting the Priorities Mindset

One of my top life lessons learned is: if you want to create your dream life, you must stay ruthlessly committed to identifying and pursuing your top priority at each choice-point during the day. I call this "The Priorities Mindset." It took me years to truly learn...

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...

Strengthening Self-Control

Strengthening Self-Control

The WSJ had an article once on "How to Keep a Resolution." One of the suggestions was to strengthen your self-control. Here's the relevant section: "It may be possible to strengthen your self-control before starting your resolution by exercising it on small tasks.......

Measure What’s Important

Measure What’s Important

You have probably heard, "If you don't measure it, you can't improve it." True. You can't make something better unless you can get objective feedback on how you're doing. By choosing a metric, and periodically measuring it, you can see whether the changes you are...

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