- July 9, 2014
My book, The Art of Taking Action, will be released on Amazon as an e-book (initially) by August 12, 2014. Many of us associate Eastern philosophy and religion with contemplative practices, such as meditation (zazen) or self-reflection (Naikan). We’ve borrowed from the contemplative Eastern tradition in order to integrate practices such as yoga, mindfulness or calligraphy into our lives. But there is also a foundation of Eastern wisdom directed towards ACTION. We tend to overlook these ideas because ... Read More
Clarity: It’s best to get clarity before you begin, but it is also best to begin before you have clarityMay 27, 2014
In the Taking Action course that I teach online, the first step is to select something you want to work on. Something that requires “Action.” I recently posted some themes for people to consider. Questions like “Why is this important?” and “What am I willing to give up?” When I began work on my book, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, I had a meeting with my assistant editor and my wife (also my editor) ... Read More
- May 16, 2014
Sometimes Homer Simpson, in spite of himself, would have a flash of insight. When Marge warned him that someday he’d regret not spending time with the children, Homer replied that “his future self would”, adding, “I don’t envy that guy.”
Dr. Timothy A. Pychyl, a specialist in procrastination and Director for the Centre for Initiatives in Education in Ottawa, might agree that Homer was on to something. Dr. Pychyl advises procrastinators to practice “time travel – projecting themselves ... Read More
- March 28, 2014
One of the most common questions I ask my family is,
“What was the highlight of your day?”
When I ask my oldest daughter (age 16) this question on our drive home from school there’s often a long pause as she replays the day’s film on the screen of her mind. And then she tells me a story. It usually has some humor in it. Sometimes there are boys involved. And generally the timeframe for the story (not ... Read More
- March 21, 2014
Imagine passing Helen Keller as you were walking in the woods:
“One July afternoon at our ranch in the Canadian Rockies I rode toward Helen Keller’s cabin. Along the wagon trail that ran through a lovely wood we had stretched a wire, to guide Helen when she walked there alone, and as I turned down the trail I saw her coming.
I sat motionless while this woman, who was doomed to live forever in a black and silent ... Read More
- February 13, 2014
Okay, it happens to us all. We screw up and cause trouble. Not on purpose, hopefully, but the harm is real, nevertheless. Whether our offense was due to impulsivity, neglect, or anything in between, the end result is that someone else was troubled or disappointed because of what we did, or didn’t do.
Without the magic of a delete button, we are forced to deal with ambiguous and messy situations, trying to weigh them and sort them out, ... Read More
- January 9, 2014
We’re doing a lot of slipping these days in Vermont. Our driveway, backyard, the parking area, the trails that go into the surrounding woods – they all have a surface like an air hockey game. And anyone who tries to walk is like a puck. You just can’t get a grip . . . literally.
The other kind of slipping that some of you may be experiencing is less related to slippery sidewalks and more related to resolutions. ... Read More
- December 29, 2013
There’s only a few days left in the year. There’s a tradition in Japan that involves using these last few days to get your home cleaned up and your life organized for the beginning of the New Year. So I’d suggest you try to find some time between now and January 1st and consider doing the following
1. Spruce up your home. Pick an area of your house and give it a thorough cleaning. The Japanese do this ... Read More