What Does it Mean to Be “In Flow”?

What Does it Mean to “Glow”?

Ten ways to make a better world

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One of the greatest minds of the 20th century never earned her Ph.D. But as stated in her New York Times obituary, she said, ‘’It’s what saved me. If I had taken a doctoral degree, it would have stifled any writing capacity.’’

Barbara Tuchman lived from 1912–1989 and won two Pulitzer Prizes. She wrote books about history, but these weren’t dull recountings of past events like college textbooks. She told stories with elegant and biting prose, transforming dreary historical facts into classic page-turners.

A handful of other historians rivaled her knack for making history engaging, but she had one additional…

The nostalgic phrase that softens frayed emotions

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If you’re over the age of 30, you probably remember those clunky flip phones from the late 1990s and early 2000s. When I bought my first one, I burst into my apartment and waved it in front of my roommate — I had reached the upper-echelon of coolness.

These days, we think of those phones as quaint relics of a simpler time. Still, if you owned one of those clunkers, the mention of the words flip phone probably triggered a smile and unlocked a fond memory from your past.

That’s what nostalgia does for us. It triggers pleasant thoughts of…

It’s easy to defeat, once you’re aware of its presence

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Two years ago, I sent my manuscript to an editor, convinced I had crafted a masterpiece. But instead of praising my work, the editor handed me humiliation.

His comments left no room for interpretation. He did not consider my manuscript a masterpiece, but rather a masterpiece of shit. The criticism humbled me in a way I had never experienced.

And then he shamed me

I could deal with a bit of harsh feedback, but that stinging conclusion in his summary almost drove me to tears. …

The instant motivation equation

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They taught me how to swindle money from rich people by wielding “ fear of missing out” as a weapon. It was my first real job out of college and not my finest moment as a human being.

I was a stockbroker trainee at a small brokerage firm. It was the kind of place that hired twenty male twenty-somethings a month, hoping two or three would survive the jungle. If you could sell cheap stocks to unsuspecting rich people, you’d make a lot of money.

I only lasted a few months, but I left with an education on motivation that…

How to shed a pessimistic attitude

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By my early 40s, I had become a middle-aged curmudgeon. Everyone knew it but me. I was the thief of joy, and I was good at it.

Show me a beautiful rose, and I would scrutinize it to find the one hairline flaw in a petal. Share an idea or suggestion with me, and I’d swat it away like an annoying gnat.

One lousy break might have sent me bending the knee to a cult-like political figure who promised to blame my troubles on someone else.

But I was lucky.

One weekend, my wife and I were planning an activity…

The eight-word phrase that changed my life

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Four years ago, I restarted my writing practice after a twenty-year hiatus. I had built a solid habit of writing every day. But when month two rolled around, I realized it was a colossal waste of time.

I had kept my writing a secret, burying my work under a labyrinth of folders on my hard drive, unwilling to let anyone lay eyes on my words. The quality wasn’t there yet, I told myself.

I had suffered from the same fear that held back hordes of other wannabe writers. I questioned whether I had the right to publish my opinions. The…

What’s your coachability quotient?

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Nobody teaches this skill, but everyone expects you to excel at it. That may not seem fair, but that’s life. You won’t learn this skill from a textbook or a teacher. And it doesn’t require any significant intelligence. All it takes is the right attitude.

Think of it as a meta-skill — one that accelerates your growth in any profession or area of focus.

One of my first jobs out of college was a sales job in finance. The manager gave us a pep talk on the first day of work. …

No sci-fi skills required

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When Captain Kirk barked the words, red alert, my sweat glands always pumped into overdrive. A battle was about to take place, or some other galactic conundrum would ensnare the starship, Enterprise.

Not so sweat-inducing were the yellow alerts. Those were the signs of caution, a possible danger ahead. In Star Trek, the crew would always end their playful banter and focus on the threat with the hope of preventing a red-alert.

In real life, yellow alerts signal the beginnings of a problem that might trouble us in the future. …

The trouble with predicting alternate histories

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It was the summer of 1998, and I was smitten. We met on the beach and became friends. It was one of those friendships that teetered on romance. We flirted like one of those obnoxious touchy-feely couples, oblivious to others around them. We never crossed the line from friends to lovers that summer, but we kept in touch afterward.

A few months later, we met up at a bar. We cozied up by ourselves for much of the night. It seemed like we might act on our mutual feelings. But then her friends abruptly gathered her to leave.

I said…

Life skills

Real world skills for adults

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