Pain + Reflection = Progress

Author and investment guru, Ray Dalio, strongly believes that we should not fear mistakes and instead use them as opportunities to learn and grow. He offers the following formula as one of his many life/work principles: Pain + Reflection = Progress. He says that our pain/discomfort are just signals that we are working through something that is important to us. If we can embrace our mistakes and reflect on what went wrong, then we can arrive to the pleasure (learning) that is waiting on the other side. Ray also talks about the two main reasons why he thinks we make poor decisions: our ego and blind spots. In regard to our ego, he says that we may fail to seek out or accept the guidance of oth

How do I know which way to go?

I always love to be inspired by people who have lessons to share with us about how to create more happiness in our lives. For my current book, I reached beyond the spiritual books I'm typically drawn to, to a book titled Principles by Ray Dalio, an American billionaire investor and philanthropist. What I love about Ray is how clearly he's defined what's important to him in his life and the systematic way he has set out to achieve those things. Ray decided early on what was important to him, which was to have meaningful work and meaningful relationships, and put all his focus and energy into pursuing those two things. He enjoys doing the work he does with the people he loves (his journey) and

Making Self-Care an Act of Love

In his book, The Mastery of Self, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr points out that every time we tie our self-worth and acceptance to a specific goal (i.e., looking/feeling a certain way), we attach our happiness to its achievement. When we reach the goal, our self esteem rises temporarily, but we are never satisfied for too long because we'll always raise the bar, once again pushing off our happiness to some far off destination. (Do you remember when your last hobby lost its fun?) And if we don't achieve our goal, we think less of our selves. "I am only worthy of my own acceptance and self-love if I am the best." Don suggests that we instead set goals from a place of self-love (instead of fear, shame, do

A Little + Often = A Lot

The Dalai Lama says it. Byron Katie says it as well. And the latest author I am reading, Jillian Pransky, proclaims the same in her book Deep Listening. Change does not come through thinking about something, but by taking action. Did you ever get excited about a new project, but overwhelmed by all the steps needed to accomplish that project? You start, think you have to do everything right away, procrastinate and then stop. Jillian says there is a better way and offers the formula: a little + often = a lot. One of the practices she suggests we do a little bit each morning is to spend a few seconds/minutes noticing our breath. In this moment of pause, we are drawn out of our thoughts and int

"I Can't" = "Not Yet"

When I first heard this from author and marketing expert, Seth Godin, I thought, "brilliant and so inspiring!" There is no such thing as "I can't." "I can't" merely translates into "I can, but I'm not willing to put in the hard work at this time." The important point is that you can do whatever you want…if you are willing. And it's perfectly valid to not want it! I used to get frustrated with myself for not wanting to put in the work to accomplish something, but now I recognize that my time is limited and valuable. I choose to commit my attention and energy to the things that bring the most joy to this world and to myself; and weed out all the rest of the distractions.

Who Would You Be Without That Thought?

One of my favorite authors is Byron Katie and I have recently been reading her newest book, A Mind at Home with Itself. Just as the Dalai Lama suggests that we take a "larger perspective" in moments of sadness, frustration and anger (see my previous post), Byron gives us a practical approach for doing so by having us work through a series of questions she calls "The Work" ( 1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.) 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.) 3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 4. Who would you be without the thought? Byron encourages us to use our emotions as an alarm clock to check-in to our thoughts to see how they

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