High Return Habits

In the past, I've written about James Clear. I’ve been reading articles by him for a bunch of years. He shares all kinds of useful life hacks. Over the last few years, he has written quite a bit about making and keeping good habits, a subject near and dear to…

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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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Pausing and Seeking to Understand

I have extremely strong feelings regarding customer service responsiveness. Whether I am providing service or receiving it, whether in my personal life or my professional life, my standards are very high. Last fall, a client complained about one of my colleagues not responding to an email. When I spoke with…

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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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An Extra Moment to Say “Hello”

During the summer of 2019, my cousin married a Parisian woman. The wedding was in Paris and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. We arrived several days early to be able to spend some time exploring and experiencing Paris. It was a phenomenal week. On the first…

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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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Fun, Learning, and Gratitude in 2020

Happy New Year! This has been a horrible year for all the reasons I don't need to list here. Nonetheless, as I have done for quite a few years, here are some of the experiences I enjoyed this past year: what I listened to, what I read, what I watched,…

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Silver Linings in the Pandemic

With so much suffering this year, it can feel awkward to talk (or write) about silver linings from the pandemic. Nonetheless, it can be helpful to think about them as part of a practice of gratitude. Last week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Morning Brew newsletter solicited from their…

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Practice Good Habits Forever

Last year I wrote about my primary takeaways from listening to Arthur Brooks in conversation with Simon Sinek at an event I attended. The conversation, as I outlined in a prior post, was about the way we can heal our divided world by practicing an approach of loving your enemies…

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Being Kind Also Helps You

The Wall Street Journal published a really good piece explaining why being kind helps you, too. As the piece explains, “research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits – and it’s an excellent coping skill for the COVID-19 era.” You may not be able to read the…

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More Gratitude during this Crisis

This past Friday, I “attended” a funeral. My dear friend’s mom passed away from COVID a couple of weeks ago. From many miles away, my friend coordinated the funeral her mother would have wanted, with a full Catholic Mass. Observing safe social distancing practices, a very small number of people…

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Inspiration & Gratitude during this Crisis

Among the many e-mails, articles, blog posts, and other attempts at inspiration I have received during the COVID-19 crisis, two have stood out. One came to me from the Lodge at Woodloch, an outrageously wonderful, high-end spa resort where I’ve had the good fortune of being the guest speaker a…

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