Inspiration & Hope

Can You Have Too Much Self-Esteem?

The time, place and culture we grow up in affects everything we experience going forward.

For those who came of age when obedience ranked supreme - when “what do you know, you’re just a kid” was a given, when harsh external censors (that subsequently became our own internal censors) destroyed one’s self-confidence -- the self-esteem movement was welcomed as a breath of fresh air.
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Inspiration & Hope

The Most Powerful Question You Will Ever Be Asked

I am a therapist. My job is to talk to people and help them to solve their problems. Throughout the course of therapy I ask clients many, many questions.

Questions are the heart of therapy, as they require an individual to think. That thinking process stimulates the brain and perhaps can provide a new way of seeing an old problem. Some questions are deep, such as “what do you believe is the meaning of life?” and some are not quite as profound, such as, “What is your favorite TV show?”

There is one question though, that I ask clients early and often. It’s a question that is pervasive in my sessions and becomes part of my regular conversations with my clients. I will ask a client within the first twenty minutes of the first session, “What do you want?”
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ADHD and ADD

Have ADHD? Designing an Environment That Ignites Your Attention

When you have ADHD, it can feel like anything and everything hampers your focus. Everything is big and blinding. Everything is distracting. The TV. The slightest sound. The silence. Social media. Your coworkers. Your computer. Your dog.

It can feel like anything and everything is messing with your ability to get stuff done, whether you’re at work, at school or at home. And you need to get this stuff done. Which only adds to your already through-the-roof frustration.
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Motivation and Inspiration

To Live Well, Risk Well

Life is a risky business. To get anywhere, you’ve got to have the guts to take risks. Stretch your boundaries. Evolve from the person you were to the person you are meant to be. You’ve got to believe, no matter what your age, that you are a work in progress. Still growing. Still learning. Still stepping outside your comfort zone.

When life is too safe, too predictable, too cautious, people become bored and irritable. They rebel against facing yet another monotonous, meaningless day. So, they do whatever they need to do to stimulate their senses.
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General

Do Your Best

“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
The recommendation to do your best comes up a lot in general conversation, especially from well-meaning friends and family members, but also from bosses and co-workers. There are countless posts on the topic, each purporting to have a better approach -- or holding out the hope of a brilliant solution.
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Children and Teens

Pain, Creativity, and Secret Notebook Excerpts

If you own (or used to own) a diary, have you ever looked through your past entries in an unsuspectingly good mood and found yourself offended by your own depressive writings? Don’t worry, you may not quite be the Negative Nancy that your diary paints you out to be, or a person who is perpetually bummed out. You don’t necessarily have to look back upon the works of your 15-year old self and cringe at your 67th “I’m am so alone” entry; as silly as you think they may sound now, these feelings were real at the point of time they were written, and every bit valid considering how circumstances were back then.
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Grief and Loss

A Practical Tip for Developing a Stress-Resilient Life

“Your dad’s had a heart attack.”  

My own heart shot into my throat, hearing my mother’s garbled words a thousand miles away.

“He’s going to be okay, but maybe you could fly out?”

It’s been almost two years since my father’s heart attack and he’s made important changes that have improved his life quality considerably. Both my grandfather and grandmother died of heart disease. They experienced immense socio-economic challenges and faced more stressful life situations than I could possibly imagine.

However, this part of my own family history has inspired me to explore ways to reduce stress in my own life and the lives of my clients. Today, I would like to share with you one idea I find incredibly useful in building a stress-resilient life.   
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Books

Warning! Don’t Expect to Be Motivated by Motivation

I really dislike the word “motivation.” I try never to use it.

In writing Better Than Before, my book about habit change, and in talking to people about their desired habits, the term “motivation” came up a lot.

And here’s why I don’t like it: People use the term to describe their desire for a particular outcome (“I’m really motivated to lose weight”) as well as their reasons for actually acting in a certain way (“I go to the gym because I’m motivated to exercise”). Desire and action are mixed up in a very confusing way.
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