Category Archives: Life Affirming

New Year’s Resolution 2016

My New Year’s Resolution is to be more life affirming. To me that means to listen to other people more carefully to respond constructively every time to take nothing and no one for granted to do more and talk less … Continue reading

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Listen to Communicate

There are a lot of ways to communicate. The best way is to listen. At least half the time I explain something, the response shows that the other person was not really focused on the explanation, their mind was wandering, … Continue reading

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Desire versus Fantasy

Lots of people talk about their ambitions. Not many fulfill them. Grand ambitions often disappoint, while modest ambitions inspire hope and motivation. Modest ambitions are exceeded much more often than grand ambitions are even come close to. There seems to … Continue reading

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Happy Minded

One thing I’ve noticed about people over many years, is that the ones who seem happiest, seem happiest no matter what happens to them, good or bad. I’ve seen severe injury and devastating failure happen to them, and terrible tragedy … Continue reading

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Poe 206

Edgar Allan Poe is not considered a top literary figure by many critics. He was considered even less during his lifetime. He was a critic himself, and his creative works did not earn him much of a living.

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Resolutions and Exclusions

As part of the New Year tradition, I am posting my Resolution. I am also posting my Exclusions—some popular resolutions that I am not pursuing. Resolution: My New Year’s Resolution is basically the same every year, and has two parts: … Continue reading

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Decision Criteria

When you need to make a decision, it is often hard to filter the information overload, negative influences, and other distractions. To cut to the chase in a decision, eliminate what you don’t need from your attention. What’s left crystallizes … Continue reading

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Don’t Let Facebook Get You Down

Now that almost everyone uses Facebook, it’s good to know more people are also studying it. Social media is great for reaching faraway people and staying connected. But it’s not so great as a substitute for in-person relationships.

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My 4th-of-July Thank You

Like every year around the 4th of July I hear a lot about the Fathers of America, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams. They were men of character, courage, and intelligence. We do well to learn from their … Continue reading

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Shakespeare 450

William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday is today, born 23 April 1564. Or at least it is traditionally celebrated on 4/23. He was baptized 4/26 so his birth date would be a few days earlier. Being born 450 years ago today adds … Continue reading

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The Albert Effect

People have all kinds of mentors and role models. Here is a good one from the nineteenth century.

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Celebrating Mistakes

Paraphrasing the film director Akira Kurosawa, a typical day in the life of a Samurai might be, carve a perfect wooden spoon, make a perfect cup of tea, fight a perfect battle, build a perfect fire, make a slight mistake … Continue reading

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Root Cause of Thankfulness

Why did almost everyone almost always “give thanks” at every meal, and why did it change so that now very few people “give thanks” at meals?

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Builders vs. Bellyachers

There are lots of kinds of people in the world. This entry divides them into two kinds: builders and bellyachers.

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Thoughtfulness

Thoughtful can mean both “kind” and “thinking.” Historically the two were closely related. It was the sign of a thinking person to act in kindness, to have good manners, to show sincere courtesy towards others. Courtesy evolved as a vital … Continue reading

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Work for It

You will never feel the fulfillment from achievement until you work for it. You will never appear to others as anything special until you have exerted many years of special effort in a special talent persistently in a meaningful direction.

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Active Minds and Adaptability

Often in the face of the unexpected, the first response is disbelief or denial. You hear reactions like “wait, wait, wait, what did you say? That can’t be right!” etc. The unexpected evokes befuddlement, denial, irritation. Negative reactions to the … Continue reading

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Old Faces

Getting older and having known so many people, I can look at a crowd and usually spot faces that “look just like someone I once knew.” It usually triggers a memory or two. It’s a comforting feeling, because there is … Continue reading

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Word for the Occasion

Most everyone knows a malapropism when they see it, even if they don’t know it’s called a malapropism. Here are some malapropisms (followed by the correct form):

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Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese word that evokes a minimalist beauty that is imperfect, unique, understated, authentic, and deeply felt. Hyphenating wabi and sabi merges two slightly different ideas of beauty.

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