A Conversation about Travel, Aging, and Happiness

Last night, we had our neighbors over for drinks. For three hours, we sat around sipping wine while chatting about life with Jan and Sheila. (Jan is pronounced “yawn”.) Jan and Sheila are both in their early seventies, about thirty years older than Kim and I are. But whereas some folks their age seem to… Continue reading A Conversation about Travel, Aging, and Happiness

Ecuador 2014: Thoughts on Happiness and Well-Being

Kim and I have just returned from two weeks in Ecuador. For a second year, I participated as a presenter for one of Cheryl Reed’s “Above the Clouds” retreats. Once again, the experience was awesome. We spent the week of the retreat at the El Encanto Resort outside Los Bancos. (“Resort” is a strong word,… Continue reading Ecuador 2014: Thoughts on Happiness and Well-Being

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Importance of Focus and Attention

The objects and events around us exist in an objective world. They are what they are. Yet each of us experiences these objects and events in a different way. What happens outside must pass through the filter of your subjective mind before it enters your consciousness. You control what enters your consciousness (and, thus, what… Continue reading Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Importance of Focus and Attention

One Peak Experience

I like to travel. When I leave home, it’s as if I’m an entirely different person with an entirely different life. My thoughts are clearer. My experiences seem purer, unclouded by the things I own and do at home. When I’m in another country, everything I have fits into a 46-liter backpack. I’m not burdened… Continue reading One Peak Experience

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

For fifty years, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced “me-high cheek-sent-me-high-ee”) has studied human happiness and creativity. Much of his work has focused on flow, which is his term for “optimal experience”. Here’s how he describes it: We have all experienced times when instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we [feel] in control of our actions, masters… Continue reading Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

If It Bleeds, It Leads

If our lives are filled with fear, that may be due in part to the prevalence of internet, television, and radio. Our fears are fueled by the modern mass media, which makes money by highlighting extreme and unusual events. Here, for instance, is the front page from Saturday’s on-line edition of USA Today: Headlines from… Continue reading If It Bleeds, It Leads