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Work-Life Balance

What I’ve Learned from 43 Days of Practicing Happiness

kids playing with a ball

First published in The Ascent
Feb 15, 2018 · 5 min read

I made myself just one resolution for 2018, to be happier. I chose this goal because research by Shawn Achor (author of The Happiness Advantage) has found that happy people experience:

  • 23% reduction in stress
  • 31% increase in productivity
  • 39% better health
  • 34% more positive social interaction

Little did I realise that setting a goal of ‘being happier’ is far more challenging than I’d anticipated. Since January 1st, I’ve had more happy days than not but I’ve also been far more aware of my cranky or ‘off’ days. It’s been a challenge to sustain happiness but I’m plowing through, determined to grow happier by the day.

Here’s what I’ve learned from 43 days of practicing happiness:

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How I Created More Time in My Day

The amount of time we have doesn’t change. What we do with it does.

First published in The Ascent
Nov 14, 2017 · 4 min read

I’m busy these days. Stupid busy. You know the kind of busy I’m talking about, probably because you have your own version of it. My busy looks like two kids ages 4 and 6, working as a consultant, teaching part-time, taking an online course, a husband who travels way too much for work, and somehow trying to squeeze in time to write, time to sleep and most importantly, time to relax and connect with the people I love. Over the past year, I’ve found a way to do all those things but it took a wake-up call to get me on track.

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How to Live a Meaningful Life in Spite of Your To-Do List

woman jumping

First published on Medium
Nov 6, 2017 · 4 min read

If you are anything like me, your to-do list is probably three pages long and it is like a many-headed monster that keeps growing new heads every time you slay one. So, what do you do about it? How does one live a life with meaning when the to-do list is full of banal things like: buy socks for kids, send out birthday party invitations, make dentist appointments for all of us, register kids for soccer, book client lunches, edit powerpoint, follow up on conference presentation. How do you make sure you’re spending your time on what really matters? How do you make sure you’re living your life on purpose?

Read moreHow to Live a Meaningful Life in Spite of Your To-Do List

Seven Powerful Practices That Will Make You Happier Every Day

First published on Medium
Oct 23, 2017 · 6 min read

What makes you happy? Chocolate? Your dog? Your best friend? A great trip to a tropical country? Everyone has a different answer to these questions but if you use these seven powerful practices, you’ll feel happier every day. I’ve lived an amazing life, I’ve won big and I’ve lost big (check out ‘How to Live with Grief’ and ‘How to Live in a Heartbreaking World’ if you want to read more). I’ve found that these seven practices have helped me find happiness and meaning, no matter what my circumstances have been. Want a happier and more meaningful life? Put your focus on these practices and watch your life flourish.

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How to Get Way Better at Anything in Three Days

learning

First published on Medium
Sep 25, 2017 · 4 min read

Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s research, many of us believe that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. Who has that kind of time? Sometimes we give up because 10,000 hours feels too daunting. What if I told you that you could get pretty damn good at anything in just three days?

My five-year-old son became really interested in baseball this summer. As a kid, I played baseball for three summers on a very serious team called ‘The Cathedral Cuties’ so I know how to hit and catch and run hard. I loved playing and teaching my son what I knew about baseball.

Like many things, I realized so much of the game is about our mindset. In just three days, he and I were both so much better at baseball, I was a bit astounded. I realized these principles can be applied to improving any skill in our lives. Here’s what we did:

Read moreHow to Get Way Better at Anything in Three Days