Category Archives: Happiness

The productivity myth

I love sleep. If I am allowed to sleep undisturbed, I’ll snooze for at least 10 hours straight. I’m a night owl and have been since I was a little kid. Sleep experts have been telling us for years that to be more productive, we should be sleeping no more than 8 hours and getting up early. Livestock early. Others swear by polyphasic sleep (think of the Seinfeld episode when Kramer tried a series of short naps instead of sleeping through the night). Rather than try to sort out conflicting data on sleep research or the opinions of productivity experts, I’ve come to this conclusion: the best measure of success is not productivity, it is happiness. Continue reading

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Life is beautiful

Physics dictates that we do not feel speed. It is only our perception of acceleration and deceleration that give us any indication of our relative velocity. Here we all are, hurtling through the universe but we feel as if we’re standing still. So it’s not at all strange that as our lives gain a certain momentum, we become increasingly complacent. In our rush of daily activity, it’s easy to forget that this momentum is our own creation. When we allow ourselves to slow, things come into focus. At a dead stop, we realize just how beautiful each moment truly is. Continue reading

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Metaphysical gravity

I recently wrapped up a personal leadership seminar with an American corporate client in Beijing, and during a conversation about values, one of my students asked me, what did I value the most? Before I could think about it, I said, “Mobility.” Like the old SAT strategy, your first answer is usually your best answer, so then I thought, how was it that mobility had beat out core values contenders like family, health, love, compassion and spirituality. Here’s what I came up with… Continue reading

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What I’ve got coming to me

What are you worth? This isn’t a question about the material assets you’ve accumulated, or your earning potential. I’m asking about self-worth; your belief in your value as a human being and your worthiness to be happy. Because in this life, you only get what you think you deserve. Continue reading

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I’m just back from another week in China where I faced many temptations. These confronted me like ghosts from my past, taunting and double-dog daring me to submit. There was bread – the temptation to spend it as if I were still a single guy. The temptation to jump – back into businesses that I had long ago left for others to run, and the temptation to try and control everything. Better the devil we know than the devil we don’t know. Continue reading

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Point of no return

This week I sometimes felt frustrated when trying to soothe our three week-old baby girl. She’s not particularly fussy, but requires a lot of attention. When my wife sent me some tips on how calm the baby, courtesy of Ask Dr. Sears, it got me thinking about how as adults, we devote a majority of our adult lives to the same self-comforting activities, and through them, learn to tranquilize the anxiety that comes from dealing with the choices and responsibilities of our freedom. Continue reading

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A near-life experience

It’s said that when we’re asleep we’re half-awake, and when we’re awake we’re half-asleep. As creatures of habit, we often fail to notice that we fail to notice how our unconscious desires produce consistent results. This is what we learn to call, “just the way things are.” Continue reading

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