Sometimes You Can Find Happiness Right Behind You

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.

Whenever I hear a flight attendant say, “Remember, your nearest exit may be behind you,” I think, “As above, in air travel, so below in ordinary life.”

Most of the time we focus only on what we already believe. Fixated on these ideas, we don’t notice anything that could spark new ways of thinking. Since we evolved to be highly alert to danger and difficulty, we can get stuck staring at them, seeing only what we believe rather than believing what we actually see. This is a recipe [...]

Why ‘History’ Should Be ‘Ourstory’

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.

Everything we remember is story. “History” is the memory of certain special things, which we all implicitly agree are more important than others. But our culture’s history—even in this, women’s history month—is a story that’s been badly, crudely, massively abridged.

Most of our historical focus is reserved for famous men, and the growing but still disproportionately small number of women who have managed to successfully compete against men in fields we see as significant.

We’ve left out most of the story.

We’ve omitted crucial factors in the equation of feelings, interactions [...]

Why Winning Doesn’t Always Bring Happiness

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.

 

This year, as I mash up some fresh guacamole and settle in to watch Super Bowl LIII, I’ll remember (as I do every year) how my oldest daughter reacted to her very first sight of American football. Two-year-old Katie peered at the TV screen and proclaimed, “That not football. That head ball.” She’d been taught that balls are round, and the roundest things on that field were the players’ helmets. Once I’d explained about the pointy pigskin, Katie came back with a question. “But mommy,” she said, “why [...]

The Wilderness Is Not Frightening to the Wild

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You may have noticed that it’s getting wilder and wilder around these parts (and by “these parts” I mean planet Earth). Familiar industries are toppling, traditional family models are no longer dominant, and every social structure is being transformed. This is flat-out terrifying for most people.

 

But I suspect you aren’t most people.

 

There’s a certain type of human being who never really thrived in the old structures to begin with. I’m one of them. I’m guessing you are too. Unorthodox and almost unable to conform, we’ve always wanted to color outside the lines. After years of studying the people in [...]

When You Trust Yourself, You Live Your Best Life

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper

 

I’ll tell you this for free: Not all resolutions are created equal. As a new year begins, many of us write lists of noble promises—and break them before the ink dries. Why do most resolutions have so little sticking power? Because they’re what I call “outside-in” goals. They aren’t based on our real, intrinsic desires. We set them because we’ve learned from the culture around us—family culture, religious culture, media culture—that they are Good Things To Do.

By contrast, the kind of new year’s resolution that genuinely improve our [...]

Adventures in Boundaryland!

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You know how sometimes you look around your house and realize that your house is full of homeless orphaned drug addicts and you’ve gone broke paying for your brother-in-law’s best friend’s new car and you’re still feeling sore from donating your kidney to someone you saw on the news? Don’t you hate it when that happens?

DON’T WORRY, I’M JOKING!!! The paragraph above is a huge exaggeration of something that really does happen to compassionate people. Sometimes, we want so much to help everyone that we drop our personal boundaries very low—so low that our efforts to care for others [...]

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