Motivation and Inspiration Articles

Dealing with Insults: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

P3270051My friend is waiting for a table at a local restaurant. She is one of those table stalkers, who intuitively knows who is getting up when. She’s been hovering over a certain table for a good half hour. She is most certain the table is hers until some guy comes out of left field and starts talking to the couple who is leaving. Then he sits down with his girlfriend.

This does not deter my friend from her mission. With the confidence of Marilyn Monroe, she plops down at the table with the guy and his girlfriend and unfolds a napkin over her lap.

3 Ways to Cultivate Hope

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

P2200022I’m not a mental health professional. I’m a hope builder. I feel like that, more than anything else I do on this earth, is my purpose. Because hope, when you really think about it, is the only thing you need to get better (besides lots of drugs, exercise, fish oil, probiotics, friends, self-help books, doctors, sleep, therapists, nutritionists, support groups, meditation, yoga, divine intervention, etc.). Once you stop believing in a better tomorrow, you’re in trouble.

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

Secret of Adulthood: Someplace, Keep an Empty Shelf

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

SomeplaceKeepAnEmptyShelf_1248581-235x300Now, what’s so great about an empty shelf? An empty shelf shows that I have room to expand …

“Life Is What Our Character Makes It. We Fashion It, as a Snail Does Its Shell.”

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Jules-Renard-243x300“Life is what our character makes it. We fashion it, as a snail does its shell.”

–Jules Renard, …

7 Ways to Be Kind to Ourselves Every Day

Friday, August 15th, 2014

7 Ways to Be Kind to Ourselves Every DaySome people believe that if we push through the pain or are critical or even cruel with ourselves, we’ll be more successful and get things done.

But being hard on ourselves only leads to depression and anxiety, said Jennifer Kogan, LICSW, a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples and families in Washington, D.C.

When we’re kind to ourselves, we’re able to see ourselves more clearly and act in healthier ways, she said.

Before & After: ‘I Get My Coffee in My Bedroom and I Don’t Go Downstairs Until I Am Done.’

Friday, August 15th, 2014

HabitsRepeatFour (1)I’m writing my next book, about how we make and break habits — an issue very relevant to happiness. Each week, I’ll post a before-and-after story submitted by a reader, about how he or she successfully changed a habit. We can all learn from each other.

If you’d like to share your story, contact me here. (To hear when the book goes on sale, sign up here.)

This week’s story comes from Paige NeJame.

How the Strategy of Scheduling Helped Me Make a Habit.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In my study of habits, I’ve identified many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits.

The Strategy of Scheduling, of setting …

On Losing Self-Blame and the Pressure to Feel Joy

Monday, August 11th, 2014

HP Love 2Imagine you had to take a 5-year-old with ADHD with you everywhere you went: to work, in the shower, to the grocery, on your run, out with friends. He was always eager to leave and get back to his Xbox at home.

On the way to the store, he’d ask, “How long is this going to take?” As soon as you put one bag of produce into your cart, he’d say, “Can we go home now?”

It’s like that with my death thoughts.

They aren’t necessarily suicidal ideations. There is no plan of action. Just an urgency to be relieved of the chronic pain I feel, a rush to get somewhere that doesn’t require so much effort to get through a day or an hour.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Make Good Decisions

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

difficluty-making-decisionsWe make countless minute and monumental decisions on a daily basis.

What time will I wake up? What will I eat for breakfast? What tasks will I tackle at work? Should I say yes or no to this commitment? Do I want the promotion? Do I want this person for my partner? What doctor should I see? Where should my kids go to school?

Psychotherapist Alison Thayer, LCPC, helps her clients navigate all sorts of decisions — “from how to handle a difficult situation at work or a disagreement with a loved one, to life-changing [decisions], such as quitting a job, ending a relationship or even doing both and relocating to another state.”

Is There a Cure for Bitterness?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

newvoices.orgThe classic poem “Desiderata” says that if you compare yourself to others you will either become vain or bitter.

I don’t worry about becoming vain, as my self-esteem is still beneath sea level. But bitterness? That one had a hold of me last weekend.

How to Use Self-Talk to Improve Performance

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

How to Use Self-Talk to Improve PerformanceDo you ever talk to yourself? Although it’s not always a conscious habit, most of us practice self-talk on a daily basis, as a way of guiding, motivating or supporting ourselves.

Maybe you’re heading to the store and start running through a list of all the items you need to buy. Or perhaps you’re trying to get through a particularly challenging task at work and find yourself whispering something like “Come on, focus, you can do this.”

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