The German intellectual Goethe is quoted as saying “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” How’s that for an interesting paradox?! It’s certainly open to interpretation. I take it to mean that avoiding all risk can be dangerous to one’s enjoyment of life. With resilience, you don’t have to avoid all risk. What you … [Read more...]
What’s the Role of Worry and Anxiety in Your Life?
I Worried By Mary Oliver I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the riversflow in the right direction, will the earth turn as itwas taught, and if not how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrowscan do it and I am, … [Read more...]
How Much Is Enough?
How much is enough to be happy? I recently read an anecdote about authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. They were both at a party hosted by a billionaire on Shelter Island. Vonnegut told Heller that their host made more money in one day than Heller had earned from all sales of his successful and well-loved novel Catch-22 throughout its history. … [Read more...]
Winning Is Everything! Or Is it?
Do you argue a lot? Or correct people in conversations? Do you ever find yourself in a disagreement with your partner or someone else about something completely trivial and you just want to win? It doesn’t even have to be about anything important, and you may even ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing?!” but you’re committed to the fight. You … [Read more...]
HBO’s ”Succession”: What Can We Learn from These Flawed Characters?
One of my favorite series in recent years is HBO’s drama “Succession,” about the Roy family, led by the hugely flawed and highly successful aging patriarch Logan Roy. He is a media and entertainment mogul much like Rupert Murdoch. Logan is emotionally manipulative, pitting his adult children against each other to determine his successor. His moral … [Read more...]
Abracadabra: Poof! It’s Magical Thinking!
I met the 12-year-old son of a friend many years ago. I tried to engage him in conversation and asked him what he liked to do when he wasn’t in school. Hang out with his younger brother. Play with his cat. Cook with his mom. Eventually the conversation drifted to what ideas he had about things to do when he becomes an adult. He said he … [Read more...]
The Value of Friendship
This blog post is the second one inspired by Kerri Grote, a woman who died of brain cancer. (Here’s the first one.) Facing life challenges without a partner or children One of the things she wrote about in the letter she left for her friends was the message we get from society: We need a romantic partner who is the “love of our life.” I’ll quote … [Read more...]
The Importance of Therapy for Therapists
Sigmund Freud once said: “Anyone who wishes to practice analysis should first submit to be analyzed himself by a competent person.” The ideas in this post are important for people choosing a therapist and for therapists themselves. If you’re looking for a therapist, asking whether or not a therapist has been in treatment is an important and … [Read more...]
Are You a Good Listener? 5 Ways to Make Sure
How strong are your listening skills? Better yet, are you sure you know what strong listening skills look and sound like? Intentions matter, of course. But, in everyday life, what matters just as much is execution. You may have the desire to be a respectful, active, and validating listener. However, if that desire is not translated into action, … [Read more...]
Competition? Or Ambition!
What’s the difference between competition and ambition? Let’s look at competition... A competition is between you and others. Someone’s going to win, and it better be you! So you compare yourself to others, looking over your shoulder to see who’s gaining on you, looking ahead to see who’s outpacing you. You find yourself hoping that he … [Read more...]