Category: Personal Development

Avoid Success At All Costs

“Be anything you like,” Thomas Merton once said, “be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success.” I love this quote. It’s a reminder to slow down and reexamine what we’re doing. The fierce drive to accomplish something and make a name for ourselves too often […]

Honoring the Late James Hillman

The current issue of The Sun magazine includes an interview I did with the late psychologist James Hillman. Hillman passed away last October at the age of 85 and to honor him and his contribution to the world of ideas, the magazine is reprinting portions of several interviews originally published in the 1990s and early […]

Becoming an Adult in Relationships

“New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything,” wrote Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient. It’s a bittersweet fact of life — and a recurring theme in literature, film and the arts — that we start out reckless and clumsy in matters of the heart. Learning how to love and be loved takes time […]

Finding Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has spent the better part of forty years studying the phenomenology of happiness. What makes life genuinely satisfying, he says, is the experience of “flow” — that state of optimal awareness in which our concentration is intently focused and we’re fully absorbed in what we’re doing.  During flow experiences, our body, mind, and consciousness […]

Spiritual Practice

I believe the single most important step we can take toward leading happier and more fulfilling lives is to develop a spiritual practice. By that I mean some regular activity or set of rituals that quiet the mind and bring us into harmony with ourselves. Spiritual practices take many forms, from meditation and prayer to […]

Fulfilling Your Highest Potential

Today it’s widely recognized that we use only a fraction of our human capacities even though we carry within us an almost unlimited power to learn, develop, expand and evolve. Michael Murphy has devoted the better part of five decades charting our human potentialities. He co-founded the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, in the […]

‘Life is Good’ is a Radical Statement

A Harris poll found that a full 90 percent of Americans would change their lives dramatically if they could. The survey showed that most people don’t like the way they live now, but they simply don’t know how to change. The statistic goes a long way toward explaining why advertising has become so heavily dominated […]