“I learned a long time ago that the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side.” — Maya Angelou
I’ve been a freelance writer of many hats for nearly five years now.
I remember the first very rough draft of a “goals” or business plan I ever wrote. Seated in the back corner of a coffee shop, fidgeting with my caramel latte. I outlined my loftiest dreams, the actions I’d need to take to get there, and the very modest sum of money I could imagine making at the time.
I didn’t see it then, but I…
You have to go back and retrieve the lost parts of yourself
“The heart, like the mind, has a memory. And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It was a long flight back home. I was thirteen at the time and heading back to Georgia after several weeks of visiting my grandmother’s cabin in Maine. I had memories of lobster rolls, learning how to quilt, and a large emerald lake surrounded by trees.
It had been a memorable trip, not the typical fun-filled adventurous one that most kids my age would have loved, but…
It won’t take up more than a few minutes of your day, but it offers an enduring way to let others feel seen.
It’s easy to underestimate the effect your gratitude can have on those you work with. As a leader, you’re likely letting people know how they can improve. But there’s one thing you may have overlooked that can have a powerful effect on workplace happiness: a simple “thank you” message.
Now, this isn’t the same as shooting off a last-minute “Thanks, good work!” email (which, let’s face it, will end up lost in some endless thread). …
Remember: the way you respond to these slights is what defines you
Imagine your confidence is flying high at work except for one minor detail: one of your colleagues keeps repeatedly ignoring your ideas during meetings. You figure it’s fine, no big deal. Until they start excluding you from other projects as well.
Suddenly, no matter how hard you work on making a positive impact, you find yourself rehashing each day’s new rebuff — wondering what you’re doing wrong or how to make it better.
Feeling slighted is a normal emotional reaction, but lingering on the day’s events can easily…
Why embracing the smaller, ordinary moments in your day can make you happier in work and life
One of my favorite childhood memories involved sneaking cheap snacks into the dollar cinema with my older brother. We had a whole routine down: this included one oversized coat filled to the brim with candy and store-bought cheese popcorn.
What made it so memorable? We weren’t doing anything remarkable like visiting a theme park or going on some other exciting adventure. It was just an ordinary moment between two kids bonding over Twizzlers (remember these?).
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that appreciating…
If you want to get unstuck, you need to turn frustration into growth
Say you’ve been putting in extra hours for the past two years trying to meet a career benchmark — then, suddenly, a personal emergency puts a halt to your plans (and a significant dent in your confidence). It’s easy to fall into a spiral of despair when you’ve made significant strides toward pursuing a dream only to watch it fall apart.
The incident that ruined my day happened early in the morning: I was in my car and inadvertently cut off another driver, who then zoomed up next to me and yelled, “Idiot!” outside my window before hastily driving off. Frustrated, I yelled something nasty back, even though I knew he couldn’t hear me — which frustrated me, too.
Even minor annoyances like these can create a domino effect. The first annoyance magnifies each one that follows, all of them building on each other until you’ve worked yourself into a full-on bad mood.
Here’s a sad fact: Even if you get a new job after you’ve been laid off or let go from a previous job, your life satisfaction will permanently remain at a lower level than it was prior to the job loss.
And here’s an even sadder one: This job loss will leave even more of a permanent mark than divorce or the death of a spouse, says Maike Luhmann, a professor of psychology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum who’s written extensively on the subject.