I’ve noticed something really interesting over the last several months. It has to do with the energy, time and motivation I have for people who are appreciative. Now, while this may sound like an extremely obvious idea, which perhaps has taken me forty years too long to grasp, I’ve also noticed that many of us have a tendency to place far too much attention on people and activities that just don’t appreciate.
Note the duel meaning here; by appreciation, I’m talking about both an expression of recognition and gratitude, as well as an increase in value. As founder of the Happiness Studies Academy, former Harvard Professor in Positive Psychology and author of the book Happier, Tal Ben Shahar states, “when you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”
So, what does it mean to “appreciate the good”? Is it as simple as passively taking note of the things that make us grateful, and perhaps even stating them out loud, and writing them down for ourselves? Or, could more be done in the form of appreciation? Is it possible that more of the finer things in life could appreciate, like love, deep friendships, rich conversation, success, wealth and overall life satisfaction, if we took more time to actively express our appreciation of others? Read More
Fake it ‘til you make it: an old adage, which, in my opinion, is incredibly overused and all too often misunderstood.
While the saying is described by Wikipedia as, “an aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life,” it seems as though the concept fails to fully consider one critical precursor, namely, the very question it begs: How is one supposed to genuinely acquire confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset in the first place?
I’m talking about authentic confidence -- competence and optimism that drives purposeful actions and meaning. This sort of authenticity is not easily replaced with disingenuous behavior. After all, what is so terrible about transparently accepting where we are with full ownership while working toward becoming something better? The more honest we are about ourselves and where we are developmentally, the more we stand to receive opportunities that will help us progress further from where we are.
So, fake it until you make it? Who needs it when we can, instead, work towards a mindset of just "make it, so you never have to fake it?" Here are a few pointers to help us do just that: Read More
I don’t think there’s a person reading this who couldn’t benefit from adding this goal to the very top of her/his 2018 Goals List: GOAL # 1: Double down on gratitude.
Think of how often we tend to set goals on the basis of escaping our current reality. We naturally deduce that “if x happens, then we will surely achieve happiness.” Yet, much like a large bonfire cannot burn without a spark, we cannot achieve happiness without first acknowledging its existence within the present moment.
In other words, energy attracts like energy, so in order to find momentum and motivation to take action towards the things we want, we will want to figure-out how to experience the feelings we want, right now, without allowing another minute to slip away from us. Here’s where gratitude offers the best starting point. Read More
Ego. The three-letter word that just about every spiritual practice or personal development system tells us to try and let-go of and transcend.
Often associated with traits like arrogance, conceit, competitiveness, condescension, and judgment, these attributes typically mask a person’s low self-esteem or the smallest version of themselves.
Let’s face it, few people would describe someone with a big ego as pleasant, and few people who exhibit these traits seem happy, so it’s a wonder why so many big egos exist at all. Yet, they do – all around us.
So, how on earth are we supposed to transcend our own egos, when big egos surround us everywhere? They prance around us at work, within our communities, all over social media, and even within our own governments and families.
How are we supposed to ‘keep up’ without building a big ego of our own? Read More
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to discern what we would do in another person’s shoes, yet at the very same time, struggle with a decision of our own? Why is it so easy to see things with complete clarity when it comes to a situation outside of ourselves, and in the same moment, feel foggy about a situation presented within our own lives?
Whether dealing with a big decision related to a career, or contemplating what to do within a particular relationship, knowing what’s best can get tough when personal feelings cloud our perspectives.
Let’s face it, we simply don’t have the same emotional attachment to other peoples’ choices or dilemmas as we do to our own. So, the easiest way to get past the haze of our own emotions, especially when it comes to major decisions, is to tap into the wisest part of ourselves -- our intuition.
So, how do we establish a strong connection with our intuition? Here are some helpful tips for accessing it: Read More