How To Achieve Balance, Redux

Every once in a while (or perhaps more frequently than I’d like to admit) I find myself overwhelmed by my own life. Taking care of patients, blogging, writing, maintaining relationships (with my wife, son, family, friends, and co-workers), exercising, practicing Buddhism, marketing my writing, answering pages, answering emails, handling unforeseen crises, cleaning out our cats’ […]

The Importance Of Good Influences, Redux

Photo: Brian Snelson

While I was growing up, my brothers (I’m the eldest of four boys) often chided me for being so much like my father. I suppose it was inevitable that I would be; firstborn children tend to be rule followers (if you believe in the significance of birth order) and I fit […]

The Obstacle Is The Way

 

Photo: the_tahoe_guy

What’s the worst problem you have right now? Have you lost your home? Your job? Are you worried you might? Or are you facing a terrible illness?

Long-time readers of this blog know much of my philosophy has been shaped by my study and practice of Buddhism. One of the most […]

Why Be Honest?

Photo: Kenny Louie

We all lie. Admittedly, most of do so only occasionally. But we still all do. Yet most of us also consider ourselves honest. In his book, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty, Dan Ariely offers evidence that we’re able to believe we’re honest even though we lie or cheat by doing so […]

Breaking Free Of The Past, Redux

Photo: Leonidas Tsementzis

As I wrote in an earlier post, The True Cause Of Cruelty, for me seventh grade was a disaster. I was persecuted by anti-Semites and so traumatized that my parents endured owning two houses at once for six months in order to get me into a new school. I left seventh […]

Boundary Setting For Parents

Photo: Mindaugas Danys

A few months ago my son asked if he could have a candy bar after dinner for dessert. My wife and I reminded him that he’d already had candy two days before and that we have a “one candy per week rule” in our house, so we said no. So he […]

Letting Go, Redux

Four years ago my son, then 18 months old, started Montessori preschool. The first three days my wife and I dropped him off he cried so hard he could hardly catch his breath, his chest heaving in great racking sobs. By the fourth day, however, we were listening to him repeat his teacher’s name every […]

Which Kind Of Feedback Is Best?

Photo: eagle102.net

Whether delivered by a boss regarding a work goal, by a coach regarding an athletic performance, or by a trusted reader regarding the quality of a rough draft, the feedback we get often powerfully influences our ability to succeed. Yet significant controversy exists in the scientific literature about which type of feedback, […]

The Effective Use Of Silence, Redux

Photo: Jule_Berlin

When I was a resident I was given the opportunity to participate in a series of seminars designed to improve my teaching skills. In one discussion group the discussion leader asked us a question to which no one had an immediate answer. So he waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, one of […]

How Optimism Can Be Learned

Optimism, it turns out, isn’t just defined as the tendency to expect things to turn out better than probability predicts, nor is pessimism defined only as the tendency to expect things to turn out more poorly. Both terms are also used to describe the way we think about the causes of adversity, pessimism in particular […]