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What to #STOP! doing to reduce stress, enhance joy and live a life on purpose

October 27, 2016

Jim Collins, author of the business classic Good to Great, talks about the 20-10 assignment: “Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than [ten] years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?”[i] Collins goes on to describe how that assignment became a turning point in his life. Asking himself those two questions caused a shift in how he allocates his most precious resource: time. I encourage you to think about this 20-10 exercise as you read this book. Life is short, time is precious, and I have never heard of anyone making this deathbed...

October 20, 2016

Higher personal performance means that we perform our chosen endeavors with a greater degree of skill, talent, knowledge, or acumen. For an Olympic sprinter or swimmer, that means faster times. For a schoolteacher high performance may mean the ability to help students master the subject matter at hand. The word telos (from the Greek τέλος for “end,” “purpose,” or “goal”) means an end or purpose, used by philosophers such as Aristotle. It is the root of the term “teleology,” roughly the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions.[i] Today, we define teleology as the study of personal performance.

In contrast to telos, techne is a term etymologically derived from the Greek word τέχνη (Ancient Greek: [tékʰnɛː]), that is translated as “craftsmanship,” “c...

October 6, 2016

"Control of consciousness determines the quality of life." 

―Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Close your eyes . . .

Breathe deeply . . .

Focus on your body as you breathe . . .

Think about a calm, relaxing ocean wave coming over your body as you breathe in . . .

Think about the wave receding down your body as you breathe out . . .

Repeat . . .

Does this sound familiar? Does it remind you of a meditation class? Mindfulness has recently become the buzzword from experts in both mental and physical health. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgment, as if our life depends on it, says expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and S...

October 1, 2016

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

—Henry David Thoreau

Are you so busy that you don’t know if you’re coming or going? If I did not actively and consciously manage my schedule, it would fill up to the point that it would manage me. I came to the realization about a year ago that one of the largest sources of stress in my life was lack of control over my time, particularly my work time. The solution for me was to STOP overloading my calendar.  Because my calendar was too full, I did not have enough time for what Cal Newport calls  "Deep Work" in his book of the same name.

Richard Swenson, MD, coined the term "Margin" in his book of the same title to describe the need we all have for space in our lives. Look at the page you a...

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#STOP! Thinking fast to do a behavior tune-up

August 18, 2016

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© 2016 by Eric Parmenter