How Much Does Labeling Hurt?

How much does it hurt when parents or others unfairly label us? An acquaintance recently told about how, after her 13-year-old daughter broke her wrist playing sports, her Dad, who had taken her to the hospital, responded to her expressions of pain by telling her, “Don’t be a wimp.” Later, when Mom showed up, the daughter’s first words were not about her painful injury, but an outraged and accusatory: “He called me a wimp!”

The Perils of Overgiving

There are plenty of selfish, exploitative people in the world – no doubt. But most of the people I encounter in my workshops and coaching have the opposite problem – they’re overgivers, perennially sacrificing their needs and missions to others’. That’s a much nobler problem, but still a problem.

Emo About the Commute

this guy sounds pretty emo about his commute, but I actually agree with him 100%. commuting is dreadful and cars are the most overrated appliance. The less I drive, the less I want to drive.

Stephen Hawking on Leveraging Your Strengths

In this interview, Hawking gives the same basic advice I hear from successful people in every field: don’t worry about your weaknesses or “deficits,” focus on leveraging your strengths: “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. […]

Greetings Greenhorn Connecters!

Happy to see you here – feel free to browse, kick the tires, etc. If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments box or feel free to email me. Thanks! Hillary

How to Overcome Procrastination by Lowering Your Energy of Activation

I’ve been obsessed lately with the concept of energy of activation (Ea) – the energy you put into a system to get it to change. If there’s a task you procrastinate on, try reducing its “Ea” by, (1) optimizing your environment, and (2) getting some of the preconditions out of the way earlier.

Shakespeare on Ambition

Hamlet: To me [Denmark] is a prison. Rosencrantz: Why then your ambition makes it one. ‘Tis too narrow for your mind. Hamlet: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams. Guildenstern: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very […]

Perfectionism Quotes

Here’s a fantastic page of them: Some good ones: A child becomes an adult when he realises that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.–Thomas Szasz Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be […]

Vegan Integrity and the Fate of a Vegan Whistleblower

The truly valuable thing Quarrygirl did was prove that the vegan community has integrity, and that we are not so weak or authoritarian or cultlike that we cannot challenge the lies of our leaders. She also exposed lies that were not just wrong on their own merits (a violation of journalistic ethic as well as veganism), but that would have been exposed eventually, and probably in ways that would have done infinitely more harm.

Arrows all the Time

In his essay On the Sublime Greek philosopher Longinus said that creators must be ready when the “arrow of inspiration” strikes. What the prolific know is that there aren’t just a few arrows out there: it’s arrows all the time. Just work to eliminate your obstacles to receiving and working with them.

How To Get Inspired

I attended a writer’s group, the other day, where everyone told what they did to “become inspired.” Two basic techniques were discussed: 1. Rituals, i.e., – “I try to write first thing in the morning when I’m fresh,” or “When I’m stuck, I go for a walk/do a load of laundry/play with the dog.” And, […]

"Everything Gains in Grandeur Every Day"

I absolutely adore this quote by Giacometti, so republish it every year: “The more I work, the more I see things differently, that is, everything gains in grandeur every day, becomes more and more unknown, more and more beautiful. The closer I come, the grander it is, the more remote it is.”

Recommended (for Grad Students): Getting What You Came For by Robert Peters

A terrific book that really captures the essence of the challenge and struggle of graduate school. Filled with my favorite kinds of tips – pragmatic ones! Excerpt: As an undergraduate you were treated more or less as a child. You could do anything short of burning down the administration building and still graduate if your […]

How to Heal

One of the supposed drawbacks of being an activist, or striving to live with compassion and integrity (which is also activism, even if you’re not a storm-the-barracades type), is that you take on the world’s problems along with your own. And that can be tough. But one of the huge benefits of activism is that […]

My Big Fat Vegan Kidney Donation

What’s the awesomest gift you can give someone? Their life back, right? That’s what I had been thinking for a while. And so, I had been looking into donating a kidney. From my research I knew that the surgery was really safe (only 2/10,000 fatality rate, lower than for appendectomies), and that you can survive perfectly well with just one kidney. Really what you’re looking at is a bit of inconvenience in exchange for…saving someone’s life.