The Benefits of Setting and Pursuing Goals

Article Summary: This article defines goals and gives examples of different types of goals, followed by the benefits of setting and pursuing goals. It’s the first article in a four-part series on goals. +++ Goals are the desired results we hope to achieve. They’re the object of our ambition and effort. There are many different types of goals, including the following: We can also have goals in different areas, such as career, health, finances, and education.   The Benefits of Setting and Pursuing Goals When done well, setting and pursuing goals can help motivate individuals, workers, athletes, teams, and organizations

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20 Benefits of Gratitude

It’s easy to take things for granted. We may appreciate things for a while but, sure enough, we eventually start discounting them. The unhappy result is that we can go through long stretches of our lives without noticing the good things. The benefits of gratitude show up not only in hordes of modern scientific studies but also in centuries of shared wisdom. All the major religions encourage and celebrate gratitude. And many great spiritual teachers have been powerful exemplars of living with a grateful heart attuned to the wonders of creation.   20 Benefits of Gratitude in Our Lives Feeling

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How to Craft a Vision of the Good Life

Article Summary:  What is a vision of the good life? Why is it hard to create one? What are the benefits of having a vision of the good life? How to craft a vision of the good life? +++ Working hard but lacking energy and motivation? Busy but feeling depleted? Not sure what you want anymore—or what direction to take? Feeling overcommitted, juggling too many things? These are common feelings these days, even among high achievers and committed parents and citizens. The problem is that, if we let them go for too long, things can start unraveling. We begin to

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The Power of Integrating Our Passions into Our Life and Work

In the world of personal development, passion is one of the things that’s most misunderstood. “Follow your passion” is common advice. But is it right? The answer may surprise you.   What Is a Passion? Our passions are the things that consume us with palpable emotion over time. They’re the things we love so much that we’re willing to suffer for them. Researchers have defined passions as strong inclinations toward activities we value and like or love, and in which we invest our time and energy. (1) Author and coach Curt Rosengren calls passion “the energy that comes from bringing

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The Power of Knowing and Using Our Strengths

Many people are disengaged at work and not energized and thriving in their lives. One major reason is that they’re not using their strengths—the things they’re good at—regularly. According to data from Gallup’s global client database, most people aren’t using their strengths every day at work. See the chart below. Many of us are either working in areas of our weaknesses or focused on fixing our weaknesses instead of leveraging our strengths more in what we do. For example: We’re doing things we’d rather avoid—perhaps things that bore us or make us feel weak or incompetent. We keep trying things

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On Spirituality and the Good Life

Article Summary:  How spirituality and the good life are related, including the benefits of having a spiritual practice and examples of it. +++ We all want to live a good life, but are we living in such a way as to make it likely? In many cases, the cultural influences around us aren’t helping. Think about it. How many of us feel anxious and stressed much of the time? To what degree are we influenced by cultural messages and forces related to consumerism and materialism, status and ego, fear and greed, manipulation and division? How many of us feel time-starved and struggle

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The Importance of Service in Living a Good Life

These days, it’s easy to become self-involved. So much is coming at us so quickly. We live in a world of speed and busyness in an age of social media, celebrities, and influencers. These cultural influences are strong, pulling our egos toward a certain way of living that can become superficial and materialistic. We can be obsessed with climbing professionally, with chasing success. And we can take all that we have for granted, as we’re so focused on chasing more. This may keep us occupied (if not overloaded), but it’s not a recipe for good living. In all the chase,

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Journaling: Benefits and Best Practices

We humans have been journaling, writing diaries, or otherwise writing down our thoughts, feelings, and experiences for centuries. It’s a practice that dates back to the ancients. And it’s a tool that’s been used by pilgrims, explorers, soldiers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and artists. People journal for different reasons. Some people journal to engage in deeper reflection, while others do it to help manage stress or process difficult experiences. Some journal as a way to reinforce their strengths or accomplishments; others focus on gratitude. Many therapists, counselors, and coaches recommend journaling, and many teachers assign it in schools. Those who journal are

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meditation illustration

Why We Need Meditation and Mindfulness Now More than Ever

With the way we’re living in the world today, many of us struggle with stress, anxiety, and other harmful mental states. Many people struggle with worrying, overthinking, or ruminating. Some struggle with “monkey mind,” with thoughts swinging wildly in different directions. In some cases, we’re too frazzled to have a rich inner life, and our hearts are heavy with the burdens of the day and concerns of the world. Enter meditation. With meditation, we can train our minds to become more present, focused, and still. We can train our attention and awareness, helping us feel calm and clear. Meditation is

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What Reflecting on Death Can Teach Us about Living

Death. We have a tendency to avoid thinking about it, talking about it, and planning for it. For many, death is their greatest fear. So much left behind. So many mysteries. It doesn’t help that so many of us are cut off from nature in the modern developed world. We have so many amenities and conveniences and so much sheltering that we rarely encounter the natural phenomenon of death all around us, from the animal and plant kingdoms to the birth and death of galaxies and stars. Because of our anxieties and fears, we revert to avoidance and denial. It

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Why Self-Awareness Is So Important–And How to Develop It

Article Summary:  Self-awareness is critical in our life, work, and relationships, but many of us struggle with it. How to develop self-awareness. +++ To be self-aware is to have a good understanding of ourselves, including conscious knowledge of our feelings, motives, and desires. Self-awareness (also known as self-knowledge) involves having a clear, accurate, and deep understanding of our emotions, values, strengths, and weaknesses. It also involves having a realistic view of ourselves, including a good and true sense of how we’re coming across to others. In her book, Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See

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The Power of Reframing to Change Our Outlook

Article Summary: Many of us suffer with a large volume of negative thoughts. Reframing is a powerful practice that can change the way we see the world and ensure that we’re responding intentionally and not reacting automatically (and negatively) to things. On the power of reframing. +++ Many of us are walking around much of the time in a mild state of anxiety, frustration, or negativity, and it colors almost everything we think and do. Our thought-streams are heavy with negative self-talk, worrying, rumination, and harsh self-judgment from our unhealthy propensity to engage in flawed and superficial comparisons. According to

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Nature – path by water trees and mountains

The Benefits of Nature and Getting Outside

How much time do you spend inside? How about staring at a screen? These days, we’re spending more and more of our time indoors and online. Many people don’t get outside enough. Too many of us are nature-deprived. It’s part of a larger historical trend from the Industrial Revolution. With bigger cities and factories and more office work and indoor living, more and more of us have started feeling separate from nature—or even alienated from it. This has real implications. Richard Louv, an author and co-founder of the Child & Nature Network who coined the term “nature deficit disorder,” noted:

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Great Sleep for Health, Wellness, and Great Work

Good nutrition, exercise, and sleep are three key drivers of our health and wellness. No surprise there, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got them covered. In this article, we focus on great sleep for health, wellness, and great work. (We covered nutrition and exercise in previous articles.) Sleep is the “sleeper” of the three—often overlooked but hugely important. I used to focus mostly on exercise and nutrition but have recently come to see how sleep really is the linchpin. “Sleep is the most underrated health habit.” -Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer, Wellness Institute, Cleveland Clinic   Many People Struggle

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Exercise and Movement for Health, Wellness, and Great Work

There are three key drivers of our health and wellness: good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. They may seem simple and obvious, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got them covered. In this article, we focus on exercise for health and wellness. (We cover nutrition and sleep in separate articles.)   The Problem of Not Enough Exercise Many people struggle with not getting enough exercise—and with too much sitting and sedentary behavior. Adults between age 20 and 75 (from a sample of more than 2,600) reported spending an average of 9.5 hours of sedentary time each day, not including sleep. It’s been

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