I am a recovering pessimist. For over thirty years, I have been practicing the skills of optimism. It began with a traumatic divorce, which was wearing me to the ground. In addition, I was very concerned about my ten-year son, who was depressed by the multiple tensions floating in the house. Emotions were at an [...]
How should educators respond to tragic events that enter our classrooms and schools? I was reading a blog post this morning that made me think about this question. The author, a 7th grade teacher in Boston, received emails from her students asking if they could change their ” current events research topic” assignment of the week [...]
A very dear friend of mine has been battling cancer for a year now; it’s been both painful and beautiful. The beauty comes from the elegance of how he handles adversity and chooses to continue living life to its fullest with empathy and emotional intelligence. What are the “weapons” he’s choosing for this battle? What do we each wish to choose?
Both winners and losers have dreams. The difference that drives their opposing outcomes is that losers fantasize while winners are more pragmatic. Winners begin, do, finish. They are not defeated by adversity. Steve Jobs, at 30, was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started. Michael Jordan, after [...]
It was third of July – my mother’s birthday. I was three and a half years old and I’d pleaded with my mother to let me stay all night with Grandma. It was the enticement of playing with all my aunts, uncles and cousins that had encouraged me to ask mom for this opportunity. And [...]
Sometimes people talk about luck as a kind of “magical wish” that’s outside us. I don’t know if such a thing exists, but I certainly know that “feeling lucky” is a powerful force. Life happens, then we can choose how we feel about that. If we choose to feel lucky, we create a sense of abundance and gratitude – which reduce stress, increase optimism, and strengthen our ability to solve problems. Maybe that’s a really lucky way to live?
It was two days after Christmas 1998, and my son, Caleb, and I were sitting in front of a roaring fire with cups of hot chocolate and we were reminiscing about previous Christmas days – those memories that made us laugh or cry. And I said to Caleb, “And what during all these years (Caleb [...]
This time last year, I had just endured my first surgery. You may be wondering how I managed to live so long avoiding such a feat but I can assure you, no matter how old you are, the first time is always significant and humbling. Back then I was thankful for decades of previous great [...]
When I was very small – probably about seven – I read a fairy tale about a princess who was born with a glass heart. In the story, this princess grew into a lovely young woman. Early one day, feeling joy at the sight of the first crocuses or daffodils or tulips in the palace [...]
Last night on my way out the door for my ritual run (a euphemism for a walk/jog,) I stuck a $10 bill in my jacket pocket because, who knows: 1) I might want a lemonade from the two young female entrepreneurs, who live just over two streets or 2) a frozen yogurt (currently my favorite [...]