Code Cracking, Hand Fishing and Going with the Flow

Early yesterday afternoon, I dragged myself away from my laptop long enough to slice some cheese and an apple and take it back to my desk so I could nibble while I worked. Six hours after I sat down, intending to spend thirty minutes tweaking a client’s web site, I finally ate lunch. I might still be there, if I hadn’t been starving at sunset. I wasn’t facing a deadline. The client’s on vacation, with no sense of urgency for me to finish. I was simply caught up in what I was doing, my intention fully aligned with my attention. Intention Meets Attention I was focused, completely involved in what I was doing. I had a sense of being outside my usual routine. I knew what needed to be done and how well I was doing. I knew that my skills were adequate to the task. I felt a sense. . . .

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child reading in hammock

Ten Flavors of Positivity: Define Your Happy, and More

Positive psychology makes people happier. Martin Seligman He should know. He wrote the book on it. For well over a decade, Seligman has overseen and synthesized hundreds of academic studies about positive psychology, all while teaching dozens of researchers and practitioners in the academic discipline he essentially founded. He wanted to call his first book on the topic – wait for it – Positive Psychology, but his publisher insisted upon Authentic Happiness, insisting that people would be more likely to buy a book with the word happiness in the title. I suspect the publisher was onto something, even as the author disagreed. The primary problem with that title [Authentic Happiness] and with “happiness” is not only that it under explains what we choose, but that the modern ear immediately hears “happy” to mean buoyant mood, merriment, good cheer, and smiling. Just as annoying, the title saddles me with that awful. . . .

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Lessons of a Long-Eared Life Coach

To celebrate the first anniversary of sharing my home – and a big piece of my heart – with Elphaba, the abandoned rabbit who all but knocked on my front door demanding baby carrots, here are a few of the lessons I continue to learn from my long-eared life coach. Choose Your Tribe Well According to the one-woman, self-appointed neighborhood watch, Elphaba hung out in our courtyard for almost a month before I saw her. Two little girls played with her near a clump of bushes behind my building. She left tracks in the snow the length of sidewalk from the parking lot to the playground during the one snowstorm last winter. She hung around neighborhood-watch-woman’s front door so frequently, her grandson is still mad at me for “taking away my rabbit.” But when it got really cold, and presumably, she got really hungry, she moved her home base to. . . .

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Ask the Hard Questions

Yes! That is sooooooo me! I felt the shift in her energy before I heard the next sentence. I could practically see her pursing her lips and rolling her eyes, even though we were on the phone. But I don’t see how that’s going to help my career. I mean, I love that it’s my first Signature Strength and all, but how am I supposed to, you know, use it in my job? Mini happy dance at my desk. I get crazy excited when clients ask questions like that. It wasn’t always that way. When I first started teaching, it annoyed me no end when kids questioned what I told them. I was the grown up, the wise teacher for heavens’ sake, with my newly minted graduate degree from a Really Great Program and all those years of experience. Who were they, with their wild little 11-year-old minds, to question. . . .

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The Franklin Effect: Ask for Help, Build a Relationship

He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged. The story behind that line from his autobiography rekindled my lifelong fascination with Benjamin Franklin. Like so many who grew up in the Philadelphia area, the big field trip during elementary school was to The Franklin Institute, a museum named to honor Franklin’s love of science. I don’t remember much about the science part, except for walking through the giant heart and getting to tour the cabin of a real jet plane that was permanently parked outside of the museum. (Yes, I’m that old.) I do remember, vividly, the sense of awe I felt when I first saw the enormous marble statue of Ben Franklin in the museum lobby. That sense of awe paled in comparison to what I felt when I learned of Franklin’s nearly countless. . . .

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