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March 2010 Archives

Donna_Bennett.JPGWe live in a culture that is focused on getting things done. Busyness is embedded in the routine of our daily lives. Much of what drives our busyness is our shoulds. If our shoulds don't motivate us, we can count on expectations to get us moving, our own and others' as well. The art of wonder, which we had abundantly in childhood, is all but lost as we hurry through our lives.

If we wonder at all in the midst of our busyness, we are likely to wonder: "Did I turn off the...before I left?"; "Would he/she/they wait a few more days for...?"; "How long has it been since I called...?"; "Is it time for mom's/dad's/pet's/child's checkup?", and so on.


Thumbnail image for catherine_watson.jpgOne of the things I love about travel is the way it shrinks your worries down to what fits in a suitcase. Sometimes it shrinks them a lot more, as I recently had to re-learn.

My pre-trip lists of concerns - "pick up last prescription," "buy extra sox,'' "call the cops and let them know,'' "cancel newspapers," "take one more t-shirt?'' - evaporate as soon as I get on the plane.

That first step into the jetway makes them irrelevant: By then, I have either done those tasks, or staunched those worries, or they involve things I can't do anything about now, anyway.

And I am forced to do what mental-health counselors always recommend: Let go. Be in the moment. Open my soul to the good old here and now.


Katherine_and_Elizabeth_Hirsh.jpgIn the spirit of Valentine's Day, let's think about the love in our lives and those who are most important to us. Even though we care deeply, how good are we at showing our affection in a way that is meaningful to those we love? Is our own "baggage" blinding us to how special the person right in front of us truly is?

When we reflect on our love lives (and we mean that in the broadest possible sense - romantic partner, family, close friends), we often focus on how we would like to be loved, what we're missing, what we need. Further, we tend to give love in the way we would like to receive it, rather than seeking to understand our loved ones' wants and desires. With this in mind, use the suggestions below in order to better understand and honor the needs of your significant others as well as decrease the potential for misunderstandings in your relationships.


Headliners Speaker Karen Ho large photo.JPGWhile the average American worker faces frozen wages, furloughs, plundered retirement funds, and double-digit unemployment, top Wall Street producers stand to reap millions.

In the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, how can investment bankers believe they deserve such princely pay packets? How did short-term shareholder value become such a short-sighted corporate goal? Does today's financial crisis differ from past boom and bust cycles? And what would it take to instigate meaningful reform?

At the March 4 Headliners, Professor Karen Ho explored these topics and more in "The Curious Culture of Wall Street." Listen to the audio online or download the mp3 file.

An interview with Todd Kashdan

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but what did in the inquisitive feline just may help you live longer--and have more fun doing it. Or so contends psychologist and George Mason University professor Todd Kashdan, author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life.

"Of course we all want to be happy in life," says Kashdan, who will be the keynote speaker at the LearningLife spring fest in April. "If you ask folks what the goal of life is, most of them will say 'happiness.' But really, that's only part of the equation. What we're searching for is meaning, fulfillment. Curiosity is a key ingredient to finding that fulfillment."