Monthly Archives: December 2010


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um-122810-emailIt seems that everywhere we look at this time of the year, we see lists of what was great, funny, surprising or disastrous about 2010. At the end of the year we often look back and reflect on what worked and what we learned.

What if you also used this time of the year to declare what you want for 2011?

Last year at this time, I wrote in a special journal. My husband calls it the “green book”, because it’s … green! The book has been my partner through the year, chronicling goals, ideas, and insights. Each morning we would pick up the book, and read our goals until they weren’t on the outside looking in, but became integrated in our thoughts, words, and actions.


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um-122110-emailIf you had to guess which is more powerful in the pursuit of happiness, memories or experience, what would you say?

According to Pulitzer Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, an influential and inspiring psychologist, memories are more powerful than experience.

It’s easy to recognize. Memories are the basis of our story telling, and get repeated over and over. They can easily get distorted over time to create comparisons that are hard to live up to if the memory was great, or hard to live down if the memory was painful.

In the stoking of memories, endings are important. You may not remember the whole of an experience with its ups and downs, pleasant moments and painful moments; most likely you’ll remember the ending as a significant event. If it was a divorce you may easily forget any good or loving times. You forget the whole of the experience, and only remember the content of a heartbreaking ending. If you stayed together, and worked through the experience, then you’ll remember the breakthrough, because whatever happened is in the context of staying together.


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This is a time when life seems to speed up with office parties, gatherings of friends, family dinners, and sending out holiday greetings. It’s easy to lose the spirit of the Holiday when you’re in a rush to get things done. So how do you slow down enough to actually enjoy this time of year?

Here’s a guide to staying happy, healthy, and holy through the holidays.

1. Laugh a lot. I love watching people do what they love to do, even when I don’t know why they love it! We may be different in our interests, but you can understand and appreciate the enthusiasm someone has for what ignites their passion.

2. Go for a walk on the beach, in the mountains, or down a city street that turns you on. Breathe in the experience. For that moment in time, be where you are.


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um-120710-emailAnyone ever ask you, perhaps somewhat off handedly, what’s new? Do you find that your usual response is “not much” or “same old same old”? What if you took the case that it’s all new? Every moment is new. Then what would you say in response to that question? You might at least pause, and allow the question to initiate a neural pathway to creatively respond.

However, there is something that might get in the way. How about 60,000 thoughts a day! How many do you think are new thoughts?

Out of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day, the National Science Foundation reports that 95% of them are recycled. So it’s no wonder that we often respond to the question, “what’s new?”, with an old thought pattern.