When we investigate and anticipate the exciting and enjoyable aspects of the future, we enhance our happiness

When we investigate and anticipate the exciting and enjoyable aspects of the future, we enhance our happiness

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Rachael Gorjestani

How do you usually feel on Friday compared to Monday? If you have engaging plans for the weekend or have a career you enjoy, your answer is usually very positive for both scenarios.

What happens to many working folks on Sunday evenings if their jobs don’t exactly light them up?

The situations above are examples of positive and negative “Creative Tension,”  where the nature of the future has a significant effect on our moods and overall satisfaction with life.


In what ways can you be more intentional with your life to use the power of “creative tension” to envision and realize more of your hopes and dreams?

Friday Review: Happiness

Friday Review: Happiness

What people, things, and places define your level of happiness? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“As we grow older, real beauty travels from the face to the heart, appeal turns to charm, hurt to wisdom, and great moments to shared memories. The true beauty of life is not how happy you are now, but how happy others are because of you.”





“Be who you are, say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”



“So many conditions of happiness are available. You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.”






“Power is influence over external events. Peace is influence over internal events.”

“Power is influence over external events. Peace is influence over internal events.”

James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits

Image from Unsplash by Belinda Fewings

When was the last time you felt powerless?

Take a close look at times in your personal and professional worlds when your progress was stalled or stopped. Examine both big and small situations to see how you responded.

When external events don’t go your way it’s often helpful to go within to grant yourself a sense of peace.

Your inner world can provide smoother sailing and open roads even when obstacles block your external paths.


Mindfully explore your ability to experience peace and power. When you find the external doors of life closed, notice how your inner world can help you find more peaceful paths forward.

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

Cal Newport, Professor at Georgetown University

Image from Unsplash by Claire Mueller

Someone once said that life is like a toilet paper roll — the more sheets you use the faster it spins.

Let’s say you begin life with 1,000 sheets. That’s 12 sheets per year, one for each month. How many of your sheets are left given your current age?

When you take a look back over your life, how much of it is a blur — or worse yet — was wasted on people and things that did not really matter?

With this hindsight, what intentional adjustments do you intend to make moving forward?


Create two list for yourself:

  1. What truly matters
  2. What doesn’t

With this clarity, sort your items into the categories of More, Less, Start, and Stop, to guide your future efforts.

Consider sharing your intentions with a family member, friend, colleague, or coach to support you now and in the future.

“The more neatly you fit in society, the less free you actually are.”

“The more neatly you fit in society, the less free you actually are.”

Naval Ravikant, American Entrepreneur and Investor

Image from Unsplash by Noah Näff

For as long as I can remember, fitting in was one of my top priorities.

Looking back at my school years, friendships, and careers, doing what was expected always seemed like the best way to go. Standing out seemed dangerous, and would almost certainly incur considerable judgement from others.

Where in your personal and professional world is fitting in a high priority?

How much freedom and wiggle room do you experience when you simply go along to get along?  What aspects of yourself must you suppress in these situations, and what has it cost you over the years?


Much like in the game of Monopoly, give yourself a “Get Out of Jail” card to use whenever you feel imprisoned by society.

What new possibilities and freedoms could you realize by stepping out instead of fitting in?

Notice the pressure of perfect

Notice the pressure of perfect.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Christian Erfurt

Today’s quote is for you, even if you are not a perfectionist.

Although many of us like order in our lives, most of us realize that life is messy and perfection isn’t possible.

For those of us who know or perhaps live with a perfectionist, we can see the pressure this trait puts on them — and us — through our proximity.

Far too often we fall short of our expectations and the angst of not being good enough sends many of us to dark places.

Getting 1600 on your SATs and having the stress of living a 4.0 life isn’t likely to produce a happy, meaningful life.


Where in your world is the pressure to be perfect not working for you or others?

In what current situations is good enough good enough?

Friday Review: Growth

Friday Review: Growth

How much did you grow in 2023? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.”



“Everything you go through grows you.”




“I once was better at this than I am.”






“Forgiveness is the ultimate weight loss.”

“Forgiveness is the ultimate weight loss.”

Jon Gordon, bestselling author and keynote speaker

Image from Unsplash by Diana Polekhina

Each year approximately 45 million Americans are on a diet.

Losing those extra pounds and keeping them off produces untold suffering and angst among so many.

Beyond the physical weight so many of us carry, psychological burdens not related to calorie count and physical activity are also prevalent.

Anger and resentment in our relationships can build up year after year, weighing us down emotionally.

Lightening this load takes a different kind of effort with forgiveness being a key to unlocking many of the chains that hold us down.


In what areas of life would an extra helping of forgiveness aid you in losing much of the emotional weight you carry?

What are some of the first steps you can and will take to lighten your load?

“I love you a bushel and a peck…”

“I love you a bushel and a peck…”

 Image from Amazon

Today’s quote is the beginning of a song written by Frank Loesser in 1950 and recorded by Doris Day. My mom sang it to me as a child.

Pecks and bushels are standard forms of dry measurement. A peck is about two gallons. A bushel is four pecks.

This expression was used to emphasize large amounts, as in the love of a mother for her child.

With today being Valentine’s Day, it seems appropriate to let those you love very much know how you feel in some measurable and meaningful way.


Please read or reread one of my favorite books, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to help spread bushels and pecks of love to the special people in your life.


“Good habits exist despite circumstances.”

“Good habits exist despite circumstances.”

Rohan Rajiv, a Product Manager at LinkedIn

Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes

How true is today’s quote for you?

What habits do you stick with regardless of the circumstances?

Consider the areas of family, health, faith and your vocation. What tried-and-true behaviors occur like clockwork even when facing the winds of change?

Just as a sturdy tree can yield and bend with the breeze, our good habits act as roots that keep us upright and grounded regardless of the weather.


Where in your life do external circumstances make keeping your good habits difficult?

How can you shore up these best practices with greater discipline and grit to keep up your forward momentum whatever comes your way?