Responding in Everyday Life

If you bought a house or a car or made another major purchase, you would likely put a lot of thought into it. You wouldn’t just jump in. You would pause, digest all the available information, and respond to the situation in a way that makes sense to you, and…

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Awareness is a Key Element for New Habits

My earliest, clear memory of the then-imminent pandemic was almost exactly a year ago, during an early-morning visit to a hotel gym. I was attending a business conference in Austin, Texas. As I peddled away on a stationary bike on February 27, I read the news on my phone. In…

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Small Habits for More Awareness

A few years ago, as we were about to try an Italian wine during a guided tour in Italy, the tour guide taught us how to clink glasses over drinks. Most of us, when we tap the other person's glass, look at the glass to make sure we are tapping…

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Love Beats Contempt

At least once a year, an event in the speaker series at 92Y in Manhattan catches my eye. I’ve seen several of my favorite writers, including Malcom Gladwell (three times) and Michael Lewis. This year, I saw Arthur Brooks in conversation with Simon Sinek. I have become a fan of…

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Multitasking & Making Habits

As any regular reader here knows, I’ve written a lot about how to make changes stick – break down your goals into small pieces and work on one at a time for the 21 days it takes to create a habit. As I have explained, we have a limited amount…

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More Kindness

After I republished my post Kindness & the Common Good in my monthly newsletter, a reader sent me this note I want to share with you: Thank you for this email (newsletter)! I have a constant, inner conversation with myself where I try to be mindful of the point of…

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Being Present in a World of Screens

This is a guest post by Ryan Snow. Screens are everywhere. You can’t make a call or even make your coffee without looking at a screen. After reading Kevin Kelly’s book, The Inevitable, where he writes about the future of screening, I decided to examine my own use of screens.…

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Smartphone Distraction & Etiquette

In the past, I wrote about Being Present in a Smartphone World. On a related note, I read a piece in the New York Times where they reported on these survey results, which might not be very shocking: We check our phone an average of 47 times a day. Eighty-two…

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Kindness & the Common Good

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, David Brooks wrote about Pope Francis’ New Year’s Eve commentary that the people who have the most influence on society are “normal folks,” and their everyday gestures of kindness make them “artisans of the common good”. The pope used driving, of…

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Being Present in a Smartphone World

I bought my first iPhone in 2011. I never had a Blackberry, a Palm Pilot, or anything similar—so that iPhone 3G was my first foray into the world of smartphones.  I've upgraded it twice since, and now use an iPhone 6. I love my iPhone—just as so many people do.…

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Book Review: Waking Up

I have been a long-time student of the power of our thoughts. That's part of why I enjoyed Waking Up by Sam Harris, a book that focuses a great deal on the power of our thoughts. Before cell phones, when we saw someone walking down the street talking to himself,…

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More on Proactive Positivity

I’ve written many times about what I call Proactive Positivity, actions you can take to help yourself to be happier, such as: expressing gratitude, smiling, helping others, exercising, spending time with people you like, looking for silver linings, being present, seeing the glass as half full, celebrating your progress, laughing,…

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