We each live two lives. The first is the life we live before we realize that we only get to live one life. Then there is living that life.
We know we only have one life….and yet most of us still act as if we’ll get a chance for a do-over. We let ourselves get bogged down by minutia or trapped in routines, and don’t consider what we might be doing instead and how we want to be remembered.
In Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln invited and accepted three Cabinet members who had previously run against him in the 1860 Republican nomination: Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Lincoln’s gesture was both noble and […]
In the U.S., we tend to focus heavily on one or the other: deficits or strengths. A child art prodigy may spend her days in the learning center to become an average speller. A standout soccer player may spend so much time playing that sport and traveling to games that he loses his passion for the game and sports in general. We are a culture of excess, and sometimes that excess can take the joy out of a strength or make a weakness feel overwhelming.
Diane Rowling (a very kind and talented business executive) was sadly killed a number of weeks ago. At the memorial service, I was struck by one of the solutions she and her husband employed when they got angry with one another. When one of them was on the verge of walking out of the room, the other would say, “I love you, and you can’t do anything about it.”
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate and founder of behavioral economics, says that we have two selves: our experiencing self and our memory self. Our experiencing self likes to be happy in the moment—with people we like, in a comfortable environment, and engaging in fun activities. Our memory self is more interested in goal attainment than comfort and familiarity; it seeks out experiences that make for good, memorable stories.
As a teenager, I found myself with 16 others on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine in a 30-foot pulling boat with 12-foot swells and no tiller or rudder. The seas were getting rougher and the sky was crackling with lightning and thunder. We were scared, wet, and tired. We were unprotected from […]