Hard work is not holy. Without a doubt, being able to work hard when you need to is a virtue. It definitely comes in handy in a variety of life situations. But working hard just because you can, or just because you feel the need to do something, isn’t necessarily a great thing. In fact,… CONTINUE
Mindfulness, Wine and Sweaty Socks
Back when I drank, I enjoyed learning about wine. One of the keys to appreciating wine is learning to recognize and describe its various aromas. Some wines have “notes” you would expect. Vanilla, almonds, black cherries. And some wines have notes you would not expect. Sweaty socks, tar, wet Pomeranian. Believe it or not, some… CONTINUE
Mindful Eating, Mindful Living
Mindful eating isn’t so much about what you’re eating. It’s how you go about eating it. When my wife and I lived in the Netherlands, going out to eat was initially a little uncomfortable. Amsterdam is a small city, so space is tight. Many restaurants seated us practically should-to-shoulder with complete strangers. Coming form the… CONTINUE
Is Being “Special” the Key to Self-Worth?
When I was in my twenties, I did my best to dress like a rock star. I thought of myself as a true original, and I wore clothes I imagined clearly announced my “specialness” to the world around me. I felt superior to people who wore a suit and tie to work. They were just… CONTINUE
Mindfulness: Stepping Off the Roller Coaster
Everything is medicine. Food, sex, exercise, texting, drugs and alcohol. Meditation, prayer, volunteering, sleeping and shopping. We do these things because they change our brain chemicals. This is what it means to feel “good.” It means your brain chemicals are balanced just so. So you relentlessly chase this thing or that thing, trying to feel… CONTINUE
Is Your Phone a Symptom?
I don’t have a cell phone. Once in a blue moon, like when I lock myself out of my car or home, I rethink this decision. For the past decade or so, I’ve considered getting a phone to leave in my car for emergency purposes. Yet somehow, I never quite get around to it. I’m… CONTINUE
Predicting Your Next A-Ha Moment
From time to time you have a-ha moments. You can’t exactly make them happen. You can’t necessarily avoid them. There’s an element of surprise, of sudden understanding–hence a-ha! Suppose you’re confused about how modern lighting works. You think that a magic spell makes your light bulb turn on when you flip the switch. Then someone… CONTINUE
What is Mindfulness?
You have three types of voices in your head: observing, craving, judging. You eat some cake and you notice, this cake is moist. This is your observing voice. Then you think, where can I get more of this delicious cake? This is your craving voice. Three slices of cake later, you conclude I ate too much cake, which means… CONTINUE
The Wisdom of Uncertainty
“I don’t know.” There is incredible power and creative potential in these three little words. Yet it’s in human nature to avoid them like the bubonic plague. By the age of 25, I felt I’d looked into most of life’s Big Questions and come away with some definite answers. By the age of 35, I’d… CONTINUE
Growing Beyond the Gold Star Mentality
When you’re in kindergarten and you behave well or you accomplish some task you get a gold star. In and of themselves, these gold stars are worthless. But they’re shiny, they represent your teacher’s approval and — perhaps most importantly — you stick them to a prominently displayed chart for your fellow students to see…. CONTINUE