General

The Boys in the Boat — a Metaphor for Marriage

When you dream of a great marriage, what do you see? Spouses enjoying being together, basically in harmony for a lifetime?

Or does “happily married” sound to you like an impossible dream?

Cynicism about marriage is common these days. Fairytales that finish with “and they lived happily ever after” don’t mention a key ingredient in marriage. Nor do novels and movies give credence to the importance of this element: Teamwork.
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Anger

3 Ways to Be More Assertive at Work – Without Being a Jerk

Have you ever admired a co-worker who’s able to navigate challenging situations with ease and professionalism, no matter the politics and difficult personalities involved? You know the type: She has a Teflon-like ability to deflect anger and frustration in the problem-solving process and doesn’t settle for an outcome that would sacrifice her self-respect or clout among colleagues.

What she’s exhibiting is a key personality attribute that’s important in both business and life: assertiveness. For those of us who avoid confrontation like the plague -- or, on the flipside, those of us who have hair-trigger tempers -- this calm-yet-effective, agreeable-yet-firm temperament seems superhuman. Assertiveness requires skill and can take time to cultivate, but it’s a quality you can (and should) aspire to master.

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Celebrities

Whom Do You Respect?

Take a minute and consider the question, whom do you respect? Should this be a long list or a very short one? The problem with a long list is the candidates probably can’t be well vetted. A short list may make us out to be too cynical.

Let’s define the size of the list. You can only put five names on this esteemed list. This won’t restrict you, just possibly be a cause for adjustment of the definition.

Maybe you’ve gotten this far and can’t figure out why you should bother to make such a list. It’s because this list is a reflection of who you have become, failed to become, or still desire to become.
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Creativity

6 Easy Ways to Add Excitement to Your Life

If you’re not content to allow life to slip by, you likely already have a good list of things you want to do. Some are for work, others for the family and still more just for you. Many of these items aren’t all that exciting, and they do nothing to jazz up your life. Below are some ways to get excited about life.

Start an experience list.

Instead of a bucket list of things you hope to do before you die, an experience list is uplifting and can be tackled now. This is an actively pursued and ardently desired list of things you want to experience to make your life richer.

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General

7 Simple Ways to Find Happiness at Work

The dreaded Monday blues, hump day, and ”Thank God it’s Friday.” These are all sayings we use to describe our work week. Everyone wants less work week and more weekend. Heck, I’m sure all of us would enjoy a weekend that lasted forever. However, most of us aren't retiring anytime soon. Until then, we have to find ways to make our jobs more enjoyable.

Work can be challenging and stressful. When you are stressed out, chances are that you will not be very happy while you're working.

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Bipolar

A Tribute to Patty Duke

As you probably know, actress Patty Duke died on March 29, 2016. Of course, her talent as an actress can’t be denied, but her mental health advocacy was equally important. This advocacy is what puts her in my personal Hall of Fame.

First diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, Patty Duke was one of the biggest spokespersons for people with the disorder. She made it a lifelong mission to dispel the stigma of the disease. She spoke openly about her illness in two books: Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness. Call Me Anna was published in 1987, almost 30 years ago. Patty Duke was completely out of the closet about her mental illness in the 1980s. That is a big deal.

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Disorders

6 Ways to Start Practicing Self-Compassion — Even If You Believe You’re Undeserving

For many of us being kind to ourselves is hard. It’s hard even when we’re struggling -- and need compassion most. Instead, we get mad. We tell ourselves to buck up. We wonder why we’re so weak. We criticize and hurl insults. We withhold our favorite things -- telling ourselves that we don’t deserve to participate in enjoyable activities, because after all, we screwed up everything.

But the good news is that we can learn to cultivate self-compassion. Which is vital.
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General

How to Stay Motivated When You Get Turned Down for a Raise or Promotion

It’s time for your annual review, and you’re gunning for a raise. You enter the meeting with your boss armed with a list of reasons why you deserve a salary bump, including the extra responsibilities you’ve taken on since a more senior colleague left the company, the major project you spearheaded last month, and the consistent positive feedback you’ve received from your clients, peers, managers, and direct reports over the past year.

With the supporting points you’ve gathered, you’re confident that you’ve got this in the bag.

But after you deliver your points, you’re crushed to hear your supervisor say, “I’m sorry, but we’re not able to adjust your salary at this point in time. Check back in six months, and keep up the good work.”
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Family

What’s Your Name?

What’s your name? My name is Thomas Winterman, and I used to be a fat guy. Whew! It feels good to say that. No really, it’s nice to be able to call a spade a spade. I used to speak in code with words like “husky” or “large,” but I never allowed myself to say what I was.

I used to be fat, and it was not a good look on me. I was 275 pounds at my heaviest, and I was at (or near) my heaviest for a very long time. I loathed exercise and loved Taco Bell, a double chin recipe if I’ve ever heard one. When people said my name, they thought “fat guy.”

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ADHD and ADD

How to Prioritize Your Life When You Have ADHD, Part 2

In an earlier piece, we explored how adults with ADHD can identify their priorities. Because often it can seem like everything is equally important and pressing. Your phone is ringing. Constantly. Your inbox is receiving new emails. Every few minutes. You have a meeting you need to prepare for. And there are 10 other things you need to do.

But sometimes this isn’t the issue at all.

Many of Casey Dixon’s clients tell her that they have a problem with “prioritizing,” but really they have a problem with following through. “They know what they need to do and why it’s important [but] they have a hard time doing it.”
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Children and Teens

Good Deeds and Good Mental Health

I witnessed one of the most wonderful displays of charitable giving when I was 16 years old. You see, I was in love with a boy named Brian, who was a bit of a hippie. He had long, wavy, brown hair, which he tied back with a black cord. He had a very peaceful attitude, and he lived in a pair of beat-up, broken-in, faded overalls, which I coveted because they looked tremendously comfortable. But let’s get real: beyond comfort, they were Brian’s favorite item of clothing, and I wanted to slip into them and never take them off.

They had his smell, which I loved. Brian smelled like Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Soap, fresh air and good genes. Oh, how I loved Brian. But he was in love with someone else, so we remained “just friends.”

One Christmas, his parents decided to give him a brand new pair of (very stiff, very blue) overalls. They were probably sick of him wearing the old ones, which, by the way, did have a few holes. I saw it as my chance to get those pants once and for all. I sweetly asked Brian if I could have his old ones since he just got a new pair of overalls.

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