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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College

How to Say No When Someone Asks to “Pick Your Brain”


When you’re an expert in any field, people may regularly ask to “pick your brain,” buy you lunch or some other form of asking for advice. For free, of course.

If you feel conflicted at time like these, it makes perfect sense. Your schedule is packed, yet your instinct might still be to jump in and help. In fact, your generosity and desire to make a difference likely played a huge part in you going into business to begin with.
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Self-Esteem

Improvement Means Progress

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain
If you’re waiting for everything to be right, you’ll find that you never get anything done. Of course, you want the result for any undertaking to be the best it can be, but striving for perfection will only delay completion. If you give it everything you’ve got, however, you won’t have anything to feel sorry about.
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General

How to Metabolize a Compliment

When you receive a compliment, do you get squirmy, suspicious, or uncomfortable? Or do words of appreciation bring a gentle smile to your face and a warm feeling in your belly?

When someone thanks you for helping them, or expresses gratitude for your kind words or actions, or praises you for some accomplishment or quality of your being, do you let yourself be affected by their thoughtful words? Or do their compliments fall flat, perhaps because you’ve learned to deflect good things that come your way?
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Children and Teens

This Can Make Working Motherhood Needlessly Harder — But You Can Change It

When you’re traveling for work, do you tell yourself that you’re abandoning your children and dodging your responsibilities as a wife and mom? When you’re working from home, and you let your child play by themselves, do you tell yourself that you’re a neglectful mom? Do you tell yourself that you can’t do any of it right—neither the parenting nor the working?
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Mindfulness

The Active Practice of Unconditional Love

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object.” - Ram Dass
This quote by treasured spiritual teacher Ram Dass (a.k.a. Richard Alpert. Ph.D.), who was a Harvard professor in the 1960’s, echoes with the ideal that people hold when speaking of this concept.

We learn from an early age, that approval and affirmation come with a price tag. We are told to be good, follow the rules, be seen and not heard, do for others, and refrain from selfishness and all will be well in each area of our lives. As we mature, we find that it may not always be so.
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Anxiety and Panic

Perfectionist’s Prey

My late mother and I discussed how to deftly handle the vexing interview question, “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Instead of providing a sincere answer (stubbornness for $100, Alex), we collectively rehearsed the answer. And, yes, my over-practiced answer hinted at those dreaded -- and inescapable -- tendencies.

“Well, I am a perfectionist. I am not satisfied until the project is perfect. And I will strive -- relentlessly -- to meet the project’s objectives,” I dribbled out to the interviewer in chief.
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