Category Archives: positive psychology

Beyond Coronavirus

It goes without saying that these are difficult times, and a lot of people are suffering.  It’s important to keep that in mind, and for each of us to do our best to help in whatever ways we can.  It’s … Continue reading

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The Optimism of Uncertainty

Every January for the past several years I’ve joined activists in front of the White House to protest the indefinite detention of 40 Muslim men at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.  This year, January 11 marked the 18th anniversary of … Continue reading

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Self-Compassion It

I was in a meeting at the Pentagon recently, seated at a table surrounded by uniformed military officers and dark-suited government officials. The meeting was tense, with the officials all insisting the Defense Department was doing the right thing and … Continue reading

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Time Out

I’ve written almost nothing on this blog since the inauguration of Donald Trump. Partly I think it’s because I’ve been so outwardly focused – fixated on the daily, minute-by-minute news of the disturbing, twisted, often absurd machinations of this new … Continue reading

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No Expectations

There’s a classic zen story that goes like this: A young man approached a great master and asked to become his student. The student asked the master: “How long will it take me to become a master?” “15 years,” replied … Continue reading

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Love and Activism

A few years ago I was on a nonprofit leadership training retreat, when everyone had to go around the circle and declare their “purpose.” This was the sort of exercise I dreaded, so I scrambled to come up with something … Continue reading

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The Demoralizing Science of Success

One of the most interesting subjects in the field of Positive Psychology is the science of human motivation and success. Why are some people so motivated and so successful? Why do some people not even bother to try? And how … Continue reading

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Some Simple Career Advice

I sometimes hear from recent college graduates struggling to start their careers. They want to know how they can get into human rights work, or journalism, or some combination of the two, and they think that because I’ve done both … Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders, the Optimist

One of the most common criticisms I hear of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is that he’s too angry. Americans are famous for being upbeat and optimistic. We’re raised to believe in “the American Dream” in which anyone can rise up … Continue reading

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The Happy Lawyer?

The other night I attended a training session at the New York City Bar Association called “Happiness for Lawyers: Mindfulness and Emotional Skills to Improve Our Professional Life (and Make us Happier).” As I was leaving, the security guard remarked that … Continue reading

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