August is Happiness Month!

August is HAPPINESS MONTH, so my friends at HR C-Suite asked me to submit a couple of thoughts for their publication. Many people fail to understand that happiness, like misery, is a choice. There is no “happiness gene” or “happiness diet” or “happiness secret sauce.” Positive psychology research, though, has uncovered some tips that we can apply to tap into and create our own happiness.

How to Change the World, One Person at a Time

Imagine what this world would look like if each day you took a few minutes to thank one person for how they’ve made a difference in your life. I don’t have scientific evidence that this would, indeed, change the world. But I can promise you that if you pick up this challenge it will change your world.

My Dog, “Zipper:” Thriving with Impermanence

I have this little yellow dog I got by accident back in the year 2000. I wasn’t shopping for a dog, but apparently she was shopping for me. She arrived on my doorstep–bedraggled and belittled. Her hip had been crushed in a previous accident but re-healed to the point that surgery was useless (causing me…

Finding the Common Denominator

You can always find differences between two groups of people. And if your goal is to sow seeds of discontent, you can use differences to exploit ill-will. But strong leaders find the common denominator and build on areas of commonality.

The Delay-Dread-Repeat Cycle of Procrastination…

Ever feel dismay around starting a new task, assignment or goal? If you have, remember these truisms: 1. A task avoided grows, if not in size, in its ability to make us anxious. There’s nothing quite like a little trepidation mixed in with a dose of procrastination to cause paralysis. And that fuels a cycle…

About Suffering…

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddhist monk, teacher, author and poet now based in France. A buddy of mine (thanks, Don) posted this quotation as his status on Facebook yesterday, and I have…

Transformations…

Renee owns an photography studio and gallery in central Illinois. She has quite a bit of talent which keeps her in demand year round. This week, a couple came in asking Renee for her services to do a photo shoot of their renewing of their wedding vows. “Very cool,” I said. “How long have they…

Before & After Shots…

My teenage daughter just reached a new milestone of happiness that had previously approached such heights only when her Language Arts teacher got sick on test day. Of course the circumstance that brought her such joy can be understood by anyone who’s had his or her mouth in a cast for an extended period of…

Making Peace With Your “Cats”

A couple of weeks ago, I detailed the trials of a friend who wanted a dog…but got a cat. If you missed it, catch up here. This challenge happens in many of the relationships in our lives. At work, we hire someone to do A, B, and C, but after a short time we determine…

The Psychology of “Settling”

I’ve had the privilege of counseling countless clients, employees and friends over the years. A recurring theme of remorse I hear: “I settled.” Why is it when someone is ready to make a serious personal commitment to another person, he or she says something like “It’s time for me to settle down”? But when that…

If You Could Hit Rewind…?

Tony Campolo is an American pastor, author and sociologist. A few years ago, he surveyed 5o individuals who had reached 95 years of age, and he asked this simple question: “If you could go back and live your life differently, what would you change?“ Let’s be honest: the only 95 most of us will reach…