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Emotional Health and Well-Being

Thankful for Pleasant Surprises

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Not long ago, I stumbled upon a photographer named David Guerrero whose social media presence I find immensely heartwarming and uplifting.

David approaches strangers and offers to take free portraits to be uploaded to his social media pages. I just love witnessing the transformation of people's energy from the initial surprise of having a stranger say hello, to figuring out if the intent is benign, to being delighted by the results. Read more

 

Life Expectancy Calculator

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I've long held the view that it is good to be mindful of the finiteness of our days. In fact, I find value in having in mind the year that I will pass on according to life expectancy calculators - by having an exact year in mind, I'm naturally inclined to make the most of my days. Read more

 

A Memorable Soul

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One snowy day in early 1993, I made my way to a subway station near the University of Toronto, ready to go home after a long day of classes.  My heart sank when I opened my wallet to find that I had run out of subway tokens. With no credit card or cash to my name, I thought over my options and decided that the best action was to ask for help. Read more

 

5 Thoughts

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With our young teenage boys thinking more about what lies ahead for them, I jotted down the following thoughts which I shared with them earlier today: Read more

 

A Real Friend? Or A Deal Friend?

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One day after getting off the phone, Dr. Arthur Brooks's 11-year old son asked who he had been talking to.

"Just doing a business deal with a friend, son," Dr. Brooks responded. Read more

 

Dr. Arthur Brooks On Success, Happiness & Deep Purpose | Rich Roll Podcast

Harvard Professor Dr. Arthur Brooks often shares his experience of being on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, when in the darkness, he overheard an elderly man sitting behind him quietly tell his wife that he might as well be dead, that nobody respects or thinks about him. For the remainder of the flight, the man's wife did all she could to console him, insisting that none of his contentions were true.

Dr. Brooks assumed that the gentleman was nearing the end of his life and was feeling down over not having met his own expectations. When the plane landed and the lights flicked on, being the curious-minded social scientist that he is, Dr. Brooks inconspicuously turned to look and was stunned to realize that the elderly man was one of the most famous people in the world, someone whose early accomplishments in life made him rich, famous, and even widely viewed as a hero, and not at all a controversial figure. Read more

 

Kai-Fu Lee's Letter to his Eldest Daughter as She Began University

Dear Daughter:

As we drove off from Columbia, I wanted to write a letter to you to tell you all that is on my mind. Read more

 

Reaching Out

Last week, a longtime reader of our newsletter asked for a referral to a doctor I trust in the Chicagoland area. The first person who came to mind was a fellow named Dr. Michael Krys, a highly decent person who I remember from my days as an intern as being supremely honest, caring, and skilled as a health care provider. Read more

 

Preserving Our Energy For People And Causes We Love

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A few days ago, I heard from a friend who shared that her young teenage child was on the receiving end of some less-than-thoughtful commentary on a well-intentioned community project she was a part of.  It seems that these days, no cause or age group is exempt from being targeted by keyboard warriors who are eager to politicize everything.

Having had an online presence for close to 20 years now, I am thankful that I learned long ago that as soon as I get even the faintest whiff of toxic behaviour, the best move is to press delete and carry on. Read more

 

Resentment and Reconciliation

Oscar Wilde wrote: "Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them."

As adult children of aging parents, it seems that in some cases, built-up resentment for various wrongdoings can last until their parents' final days. Often, the heartfelt apology that adult children yearn to receive never comes, adding to their bewilderment and hurt. Read more

 

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