Purpose

Getting on Track: Setting Goals for the Year that Aren't Totally Self-Centered

Most of us would like to finish the year with some sense, in concrete terms, that we're further along the "road to a meaningful life" than we were last January. But what does that road look like and where is it headed? If we don't give some thought to that question at the beginning of the trip, we're likely to end up at some random destination (including one which is not very far from where we started) and then, after the fact, we find ourselves dissatisfied with the direction we've taken. Though we're already checking days off our... calendar, it's not too late to step back and reflect on where you've been and where you're headed.
Continue reading "Getting on Track: Setting Goals for the Year that Aren't Totally Self-Centered"

In Giving I Connect with Others - Isabel Allende

Ms. Allende talks about how the death of her daughter was a defining moment in her life, causing her to look closely at her values and beliefs and coming to an important realization about the purpose of her own life....
Continue reading "In Giving I Connect with Others - Isabel Allende"

Make Effort, Not Outcomes, Your Focus

by Gregg Krech Whenever we’re facing a challenging situation, one of the wisest things we can do is take a few minutes to distinguish between what’s controllable and what isn’t controllable. This is one of the key elements of psychiatrist...
Continue reading "Make Effort, Not Outcomes, Your Focus"

Moving Bodies: How to Use Your Body to Help Your Mind

by Gregg Krech Generally when we think of exercise we think of getting our body in shape. But personal experience and research in the field of exercise and mental health demonstrate that an active body is a key element of...
Continue reading "Moving Bodies: How to Use Your Body to Help Your Mind"

Violinist in the Subway

by John Kain The Washington Post decided to do an experiment. Put Joshua Bell, one of the world’s best violinists (literally a child prodigy and a modern virtuoso) underground at a DC Metro station dressed as a street musician and...
Continue reading "Violinist in the Subway"

Reality Comes In Moments

As we begin to understand the transient nature of feelings we can see that labels such as neurotic, depressed, or shy cannot accurately describe a human being but only a moment of experience. Now I'm having a depressed moment, now a neurotic moment. To be told that I am a depressed person seems like an unbearable weight to carry through life. But having moments of depressed feelings is, and must be, bearable. Like a grey, dreary sky, this moment of loneliness will pass. Like a foggy morning, this moment of confusion will dissolve. Like a torrential thunderstorm, this anger approaches and departs. And it is the acceptance of my feelings and shift of attention and effort which allows these internal weather patterns to flow naturally, and at their own pace.
Continue reading "Reality Comes In Moments"

To Merely Want To Do Something is Not Enough

by Shinichi Suzuki Shinichi Suzuki is the founder of the Suzuki Method of Music Education. This method is now popular throughout the world as an approach to the musical training of children studying violin, piano, cello, flute and other instruments....
Continue reading "To Merely Want To Do Something is Not Enough"

Finding Your Purpose

Purpose gives meaning to our lives. Consider the people you know -- friends, family, acquaintances, and even people you've met only briefly. Who seems truly alive to you? Who inspires you? To whom do you go when your batteries need recharging? Are the people you admire, people whose lives are guided by purpose?
Continue reading "Finding Your Purpose"

Where East Meets West: Morita Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

by Dr. Richard Blonna Introduction Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is a “third-generation” form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that became prominent in the Western psychotherapeutic community in the early 2000’s in America (Hayes, 2004, 2005). In many ways, ACT...
Continue reading "Where East Meets West: Morita Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)"

Emerging from the Sand: How to Stay on Track with What Really Matters

by Gregg Krech During our Living on Purpose course we surveyed the participants and found that nearly 80% struggled with distraction. Early in the course we talk about the metaphor of a vase with sand and big rocks (Covey, 1994)....
Continue reading "Emerging from the Sand: How to Stay on Track with What Really Matters"

Ten Changes that will start you off on the right track for the New Year

Statistically, most people won't keep their New Year's resolutions, at least for very long. It's difficult to break free from the momentum of the past, which tugs us repeatedly into maintaining the same habits and lifestyle. So you need to create new momentum that will work in your favor. Perseverance is the key. Each time you get off track, just get back on track one more time. Don't strive to make it a happy year. Strive to live a good life according to your own ideals. We only have about thirty thousand days to take advantage of this life and this body. You've used up quite a few of those days already. Treat them as if they were precious. Once they're gone, there's nothing you can do to get them back.
Continue reading "Ten Changes that will start you off on the right track for the New Year"

Rethinking Goalsand Resolutions for the New Year

And so I think there is something valuable for all of us in a list of New Year's resolutions that includes more than our traditional goals for the year. It may be worth considering our relationship with others, both how we want to treat others, and how we measure our efforts. Taking quiet time to regularly reflect on our lives may be the most important resolution of all.
Continue reading "Rethinking Goalsand Resolutions for the New Year"

Seven Strategies for Taking Action When You Don't Feel Like It

Usually getting stuck involves a set of feelings which acts like mud locked around our [automobiles'] wheels. Such feelings include confusion, boredom, fear, anxiety, depression, dislike of the task, or laziness. When we find that we're stuck, we're faced with the challenge of getting unstuck and taking action. Morita Therapy and Naikan are two methods of Japanese psychology which offer specific methods and strategies for getting out of the mud.... Here are seven strategies that might help you take action the next time you find yourself stuck....
Continue reading "Seven Strategies for Taking Action When You Don't Feel Like It"

How We Change - Part II

Audio Broadcast 12 mintes Part II in the series by Gregg Krech on How We Change In this series, Gregg Krech offers some insight and practical strategies in how we can make changes in our habits and move our lives...
Continue reading "How We Change - Part II"

Where is the Joy in Alzheimer's Caregiving?

By Beverly Bigtree Murphy, MS, CRC, Caregiver I took care of my husband, Tom, at home through the duration of his years with Alzheimer’s. I did it with private home health care, respite breaks for short vacations, and what amounted...
Continue reading "Where is the Joy in Alzheimer's Caregiving?"

What to Give Up?

by Trudy Boyle A year or so ago I was visiting friends with two young children and was struck by their clarity of purpose around parenting. They had made conscious decisions on what would need to change in their daily...
Continue reading "What to Give Up?"

Living On Purpose

Following the exercise, I suddenly realized (as ToDo's work so often reminds us) that life is a matter of attention. What will we pay attention to? That morning's exercise allowed me to reach beyond trauma and distress, to acknowledge, realistically, the action I had taken over the past year in support of my passions regardless of how I felt. Above all, the exercise pointed me back to purpose and prepared me to feel lousy and great, to hear good and bad voices, and to do what I've got to do anyway.
Continue reading "Living On Purpose"

Coexisting with an Emotional Charge

A brief discussion by Linda Anderson Krech on how we can continue to handle the requirements of daily life while we are also dealing with an issue that carries a strong emotional charge. (3 min)...
Continue reading "Coexisting with an Emotional Charge"

Purpose and Meaning

By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system.... What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
Continue reading "Purpose and Meaning"

Life Purpose Questions

What are you good at? What are your skills, gifts and abilities? If you could do anything, regardless of the need for income or other limitations, what would you do? If you could make a particular contribution to the world, what would it be? Consider your family, community, society, planet. What is it that needs doing? Consider how you actually spend your time. What would you like to do more of? What would you like to do less of? What would you like to leave behind as your legacy when you die? If you could take some risk that might change your life, what would it be? "For years I questioned what the meaning for my life was... why was I here? I could think of a number of reasons to live, and could imagine more that one purpose to devote my life to, but ultimately I never felt that I was clear about the meaning of my life...."
Continue reading "Life Purpose Questions"

Learning for Life

by Trudy Boyle Not long ago an acquaintance and I were discussing the art of aging gracefully or living well at any age. She told me that her biggest fear was that she might become like her mother. Although I...
Continue reading "Learning for Life"

When Plans and Reality Collide: The Tale of Victoria's Garden

Although the garden that Victoria tends today holds great meaning for her and others, the process of creating it was far different from what she had envisioned. At a critical point, despite her transcendent vision and with the aid of a highly synchronistic and rather humorous outer event (the hummingbird!), she stopped long enough to see clearly what could be accomplished with the reality directly in front of her: to surrender the details of her vision, to acknowledge her gratitude for what others were trying to do for her, and to allow a bridge to form from her original idea to a more relevant one. For those to whom images speak louder than words, her garden is a treasure for Naikan reflection and Morita-style goal tending.
Continue reading "When Plans and Reality Collide: The Tale of Victoria's Garden"

Purpose is Responding to What Needs to Be Done

As I continued to apply what I learned, I gained a new perspective on the meaning of purpose. It was no longer confined to "what I would really LIKE to do with my life," or "what SHOULD I be doing with my life" but rather it became much broader, more inclusive, and more immediate like "what needs doing now?" This new meaning demanded that I pay attention to my surroundings and notice the ripple effects of my actions.
Continue reading "Purpose is Responding to What Needs to Be Done"

Kicking the Habit

I asked some of my friends about their television habits, and I concluded that I did not just watch a little too much television, I watched way too much.
Continue reading "Kicking the Habit"

Dealing with the Downs and Outs of Depression

These are seven strategies that can help you respond more effectively to depression. They're not easy and developing skill will take some time and effort. But you'll find that most of these strategies will benefit you in other areas of your life: a healthier body, more intimate relationships, and a closer connection between your spiritual beliefs and your daily life.
Continue reading "Dealing with the Downs and Outs of Depression"

Finding Meaning in an Age of Distraction

The things that stick in one's mind as the deep and wonderful expressions of one's life, are counterintuitively usually those things that go against this notion of convenience, of comfort, of this centrality of our own importance.
Continue reading "Finding Meaning in an Age of Distraction"