Cultivating a Meaningful and Fulfilling Life

Selves, Relationships and Communities

Happiness comes not from seeking pleasure, status, fame or fulfillment.  Instead, it comes about by living a life of purpose and value.  It comes from cultivating and appreciating some good in your world — even if that world is messy and imperfect.  The key to a happy life is to:

  1. Continuously identify what is important in your life,
  2. Work toward those goals slowly — step by step, while you
  3. Intentionally appreciate what is good in who you are right now and what you have right now.

It can be done.  And you can start right now.

You who are on the road
Must have a code
That you can live by

And so become your self
Because the past
Is just a goodbye

— Teach Your Children
    Graham Nash

How to Foster Development in Selves, Children and Relationships


To Find Happiness in Life, Find the Good in Each Moment

By | About Self Cultivation | No Comments

findthegood1Happiness comes from finding the good in life.  If this is so, how can it be done?  What if things aren’t so good right now?   Does that mean I must resign myself to unhappiness?   How do I know what is good?   Does this mean that I always have to be trying to “do good”?  Does it meant that I can’t seek pleasure, and that I have to sacrifice myself for others?  Not in the least.

Here are three basic ways to cultivate the good in life. Read More


Why We Need to Transform our Approach to Parenting

By | Child Centered Parenting, Parenting | No Comments

whos-in-charge1We are often told that it is good for parents to be “child-centered”.  This parenting style emerged as an alternative to what was called “adult-centered parenting”, where parents set the rules and children were simply expected to follow them.  In contrast, child-centered parenting is parenting organized around the needs and interests of the child, rather than those of the parent. While this sounds nice, child-centered parenting tends to produce entitled, narcissistic children who lack the capacity Read More


What Really Motivates Children (And Adults) in Life?

By | About Education, Education | No Comments

childworkinghardNot rewards or punishments…or even intrinsic motivation.  In fact, the entire distinction between “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” motivation is a flawed one.

What motivates Molly to do her math homework?  Her inherent love of mathematics?   Probably not.  In general, we don’t first love mathematics and therefore do mathematics.  It’s just the opposite:  We come to love mathematics when we get good at it. Read More


Managing Conflict: Separate the Solution from the Problem

By | About Conflict Resolution, Conflict Resolution | No Comments

happy coupleThe other day, Cindy called Duncan at work.   Cindy asked Duncan to review a letter that she had just written to one of her clients.  Duncan was busy, however, with his own crisis.  He had two deadlines to make in less than an hour.  He didn’t have the time to help Cindy.  What’s more, Duncan feels that Cindy has a tendency to call him in the middle of the day to make requests like this.  “Cindy”, he said, “Please stop calling me at work!”

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