Lean into relationships for lifelong rewards


This 75 year long Harvard study shares life lessons on happiness . . . the video is well-worth 12 minutes of your time. Enjoy it this weekend. If you are pressed for time, the results of the study are revealed 6 minutes in. Find out what at age 50 predicts how happy we will be at 80!


Then check out these other posts for tips on creating and maintaining great relationships.


Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Money can buy happiness!

american-963191_960_720.jpgIn his upbeat TEDx talk Dr. Michael Norton, a professor of business administration in the marketing unit at the Harvard Business School, reveals that spending money on others makes you happier than spending it on yourself! He and his staff conducted studies worldwide, and no matter the culture or economic bracket the results were the same . . .

. . . the amount of money doesn’t matter that much. So people thought that 20 dollars would be way better than five dollars. In fact, it doesn’t matter how much money you spent. What really matters is that you spent it on somebody else rather than on yourself. . . . 

. . . What we see again though is that the specific way that you spend on other people isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you spend on other people in order to make yourself happy, which is really quite important. So you don’t have to do amazing things with your money to make yourself happy. You can do small, trivial things and yet still get these benefits from doing this.

Good news? You bet. You have the power to make your life richer and happier by sharing  a little bit of what you have. Share and see what happens. Try not to worry about receiving a thank you, just share – with folks you know and folks you don’t.

To watch Norton’s TEDx Talk, click away!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

The upside of vulnerabilty . . .

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”  (Dr. Brené Brown, TED.com)

This past Saturday I was talking to a group of Wishful Thinking Women about the topic of vulnerability, and today I was planning to post about Dr. Brené Brown’s interesting work on the topic, when I realized she will be talking about her work on Oprah’s Lifeclass this evening.

201206-orig-brene-brown-190x130“Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage,  authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her  decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that  work to explore a concept that she calls “wholeheartedness”. She poses the  questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so  that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and  worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection  that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of  love, belonging, and joy?” (TED.com)

Vulnerability is about being open and honest. “When we numb [hard feelings], we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness.” (Dr. Brené Brown, TED.com)  It’s a key factor to living a wholehearted life, which can lead to lifelong happiness. (That’s the upside!)

Problem is, being vulnerable can be scary and may lead us to put on a thick layer of emotional armor and to limit the risks we take in life. Taking risks in the direction of our dreams is a good thing, and putting on our emotional armor might protect us in the short term – but in the long run, it can prevent us from being open to love and life, which can block us from truly connecting to others and opportunities.

So what do we do?

We can begin by hearing what Dr. Brown has to say on Oprah’s Lifeclass tonight, or by checking out some of the great links on the site, or by listening to Brené’s humorous and insightful TED talk, or by living our lives according to the 10 guideposts her research revealed. (Being vulnerable gives us lots of choices!)

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, from Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self‐Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self‐Worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self‐Doubt and “Supposed To”
10.Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

Let me know which ones work for you!

Next week we will be talking about Brown’ take on authenticity, which is another wonderful way to live!

Until then, remember . . .


“Ideas Worth Spreading”

I am on the road, enjoying the first leg of a three-week trip “up-north”.  My friend and I are calling it the “Reunion Tour”, since we are having so much fun connecting with family and friends. 

Along the way, discussions with family and friends have led me to mention TED.com, and I realized that even though I have included the link on the right, I might not have mentioned TED to you.

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”  (Their words.)

TED has a wonderful web site with lots of great videos and info.  (My words.)

At TED.com you can listen to:

  • world-famous neurologists explain how our brains work – in simple language;
  • scientists describe just about anything, and often with artistic and/or humorous insight; 
  • economists discuss alleviating poverty in an engaging manner; 
  • artists share their motivation with scientific precision,  
  • and best selling-authors and filmmakers talk about their work with joy and gratitude.

And, all of them really do have ideas worth spreading.

I love the variety, and the way so much information is shared in so little time – no talk is longer than 20 minutes! 

Please, leave my blog, and go to TED.com.  Click on a picture then listen.  Fun, interesting stuff awaits you.  It’s like a road trip for your mind.

If the first talk you listen to doesn’t do it for you, pick another, or another.  TED, like life, is your choice.  And, it’s free – no registration required.

I stumbled on TED about 4 years ago, by becoming involved in Pangea Day. I listen to it weekly, daily even, and then I forget about it for a while, and when I return, I fall in love all over again.

I hope you find something you enjoy, and you find a way to use it to create the life you want.  I have.

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