As most of you know, a reoccurring question here on SMART Living 365 is, “how can we live a happy, healthy and meaningful life?” Another way of saying that is, “What makes a life go well?” I recently came across the work of a man named Dr. Nick Baylis who has spent his career in pursuit of that question. Baylis, a “wellbeing” consultant and psychologist, teaches at Cambridge University in the UK where he helped to co-found The Well-Being Institute. He is also the author of several books and is known as Dr. Feel Good in his column written for The Times (London). One of the first to lecture on the field of positive psychology in the UK, Baylis is convinced that the “science” of wellbeing is a practice of identifying and then utilizing the skills that lead to a life well-lived. [Read more…]
Ever heard of the parable of the hedgehog and the fox? These terms gained notice after a philosopher named Isaiah Berlin used them in a popular essay back in the mid-1900s. Berlin used the parable to analyze the worldviews and history of Tolstoy in his classic manuscript, War & Peace. And while I haven’t read War & Peace in many years, or the essay by Berlin, I did read a more recent book entitled, Good To Great by Jim Collins. Collins uses the allegory as a way to define how to be a leader and run a successful business. Even more recently, I came across the two terms in the book Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman uses them to define differing ways to think and predict coming events. But what exactly is a hedgehog, and how does it differ from the fox? Even more importantly, what does it have to do with your life and can it help you live SMART 365? [Read more…]
by Kathy Gottberg
The current box-office movie The Avengers features a scene where the evil bad guy Loki confronts the massive and up-until-then unpredictable Green Hulk. During the entire first half of the movie Loki repeatedly hurts, maims and condemns both the people of Earth and the avenging superheroes at every twist of the plot. At one point Loki even stabs his own brother Thor in the gut when offered a chance at peace. Finally, during an intense confrontation where Loki insults the Hulk and demands subjugation, the Hulk merely looks at Loki calmly before reaching out and gabbing his ankles. Then with a firm grasp, The Hulk beats Loki senselessly against the ground over and over again like a rag doll. The action feels so justified and well deserved that just about every single person in the theater laughed and applauded in agreement. If only every encounter with a difficult person were as clear-cut and simple to resolve. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
This last weekend Thom and I spent time with good friends that are looking to buy a new home. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, both Thom and I have been real estate brokers for over 25 years (yikes! Where does the time go?) While Thom works exclusively with commercial properties, I mainly keep my license active in order to use that knowledge for my writing career. Plus, it comes in handy for personal use and sometimes to help friends or family. After showing our friends about ten homes in different areas, it occurred to me that based upon my experience, I could offer some tips to anyone who wishes to buy a home in a SMART (sustainable, meaningful, artful, responsible and thankful) way. So here are my seven tips to do just that! [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I like choices. Nearly every one of my decisions is carefully researched to maximize the greatest number of benefits. When I buy something, I like to know I purchased the best product at the best price. When I travel somewhere, I am fairly certain I’ll enjoy the most outstanding experience available. When working I am reasonably convinced that I have covered as many bases as possible and creatively contributed to my field. And while most of the time I enjoy the process—I have to admit there are times when I take the whole thing to extreme. (I’m sure Thom, my husband, would agree!) That’s when I know I am caught in the loop of over-thinking and that’s when it’s time to seek recovery. [Read more…]
This year, for the first time ever, I planted a garden. At the beginning, it was fun, rewarding and easy. I began harvesting lettuce within two weeks and peppers barely 30 days later. Every day was a miracle as I watched green tomatoes forming on my wandering vines. Then, just as I anticipated ripe tomatoes, I noticed something awful. Huge juicy caterpillars were munching my vines and my baby tomatoes. Not only were they devastating my plants, their overwhelming presence shattered my idyllic garden image. Almost overnight, my garden became both a challenging endeavor and a reality check. Much as I’d like to believe that disappointment or challenges don’t happen to all of us on a regular basis—the truth is they do. And because it is SMART to stay focused on solutions rather than the problem, here are 8 suggestions anyone of us can use to overcome the hornworms (or any other challenge!) you face in your life.
A big part of Living SMART 365 is staying conscious, awake and aware. In fact, most of us like to believe that’s what we do most of the time. But after reading the book, “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, I’ve discovered that I am seldom as awake and aware as I think I am. In fact, far too often I frame most of my decisions like a lot of you—in the easiest and most comfortable ways possible. Fortunately, now that I have a better understanding of how human thinking and decision-making works, I can be more awake and conscious about some of the most routine illusions that befall us all. [Read more…]
Most of us are familiar with the pain of heartburn. And if you check you’ll find that news sources say close to 40% of all Americans suffer from it at least once a month. But what about cash-burn? Chances are the same numbers of Americans suffer from this common affliction as well. But what is cash-burn and how does it happen? Even more important—what’s the cure? [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Several years ago a book entitled, “A Complaint Free World” became an overnight sensation. To date, nearly ten million people have read the book and obtained purple rubber bracelets to help them recognize how much they complain on a regular basis. The practice was designed so that once people recognized their complaints they could put an end to them and gradually transform their world. This last week I came across my little purple bracelet and immediately realized that the bad habit of complaining was worming its way back into my life. Right then I admitted I could use another dose of “complaint-free living” in my life and in my world. [Read more…]
Back in the early 1980s, there was a New Thought minister in San Diego, CA named Terry Cole-Whittaker. She was and still is a very vivacious speaker who was so popular that she even had her own Sunday morning TV program. During that time, she authored a book called, “What You Think of Me Is None Of My Business.” Although Terry’s path changed rather dramatically in the years that followed, one of her legacies is the ideas behind the title. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve read the book or not—the title alone is something that I refer to on many occasions. It would certainly be SMART for each one of us to regularly remind ourselves “What others think of us is none of our business.” [Read more…]