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“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks. The key to developing compassion in your life...

by School Of Life on 18 June 2016

It’s fair to say that if you don’t know your purpose in life, you won’t be spending much time working on it. So what will you end up doing with your working time instead? Three things: 1) Working on your needs, 2) Working on other people needs, 3) Working on other people’s purposes. If you don’t know your purpose, the limit of the work you do for yourself will be stuck at the level of need, which at best has the potential to grow into greed. Not particularly fulfilling spending your whole...

by School Of Life on 18 June 2016

One value that seems to hold a lot of people back from setting and achieving big goals is the need for security. Security is a feeling of certainty that everything is OK and that all your basic needs will be provided for. On the surface there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great to feel secure. Abraham Maslow lists it as one of the basic human needs. If we don’t feel secure, we can’t move onto higher levels like love and self-actualization. If we have doubts about paying the rent at the...

by School Of Life on 17 June 2016

Let’s explore the role of the people in your life. Are they elevating you to be the best person you can be, or are they holding you back? When going through major life shifts, like changing careers, I would shift the people with whom I spent the most time. We’ve all gone through periods where the people in our lives have changed — graduation, moving to a new city, getting a new job, joining a new club, etc. I don’t think I need to convince you just how much influence other people can have...

by School Of Life on 14 June 2016

When was the last time you told your family and close personal friends that you loved them? Don’t let that day come for your loved ones without telling them what they mean to you. I know that for many of us, expressing those kinds of feelings isn’t easy. That’s true for me, but I’ve been trying to overcome those barriers. But even if that’s too difficult for you, I recommend that you just hang out with your family or treasured friends. Talk to them. Listen to them. Understand them. Just...

by School Of Life on 14 June 2016

What is your career? Forget about how you define this to others for now, and just think for a bit about how you define your career to yourself. What does it mean to you to have a career? Is it just your job? Is it something you do to make a living? Is it what you do for money? Is it your work? Most people would define a career as more than a job. Above and beyond a job, a career is a long-term pattern of work, usually across multiple jobs. A career implies professional development to build skill...

by School Of Life on 14 June 2016

Are there secrets to happiness? We all want happiness, but we are conditioned to want to be rich (when we know the rich aren’t happy either); we are trained to want the latest gadget or style that television tells us to want; we want to earn more money because then we’ll have the good life. But none of that will bring us happiness. No matter how much we earn, no matter how much we have in the bank, no matter how nice our clothing or cars or toys, none of it will make us happier. And the sad...

by School Of Life on 11 June 2016

How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life? I’ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes people diagnosed with alexithemia, the condition whereby people either don’t feel emotions or are completely out of touch with...

by School Of Life on 11 June 2016

It’s been said that when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Having been studying personal development for most of my adult life, one thing that I didn’t expect when I started on this path was just how many “tools” there are for solving the human problems we encounter such as procrastination, laziness, fuzzy goals, difficult relationships, etc. When you know 100 different methods for overcoming procrastination, I think you have a far greater chance of conquering...

by School Of Life on 11 June 2016

In our day-to-day lives, the virtue of courage doesn’t receive much attention. Courage is a quality reserved for soldiers, firefighters, and activists. Security is what matters most today. Perhaps you were taught to avoid being too bold or too brave. It’s too dangerous. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t draw attention to yourself in public. Follow family traditions. Don’t talk to strangers. Keep an eye out for suspicious people. Stay safe. But a side effect of overemphasizing the importance...

by School Of Life on 10 June 2016