First things first: The winner of this week’s Amazon gift card is announced at the end of today’s post!
It’s Christmastime, which means lots of family gatherings, seeing relatives whom you haven’t contacted all year, and meeting up with friends, and seeing coworkers out of context. The entire month of December is an emotional powder keg.
It’s the season of high emotions and alcohol.
Secrets are revealed by uninhibited revelers. Events happen that we want to keep secret.
What makes a secret a secret? Why does it feel so good to know a secret? And why is it so hard to keep secrets?
Check out this week’s post for answers and, of course, more questions!
Last week I wrote about how to give gifts. (By the way, I had a giveaway planned but the instructions were buried at the end of last week’s post. Let’s try again – be sure to scroll all the way to the end for the instructions so you don’t miss out!)
This week, the topic is how to receive gifts. There is a saying that “it is more important to give than to receive.” If this is true, then naturally we should all want to give. (Indeed, there is a special feeling that comes from giving.) But where would that leave us – who would there be to receive the gifts, favors, and assistance that we are happy to give?
In light of that observation, we must all become both givers and recipients. This means we must be not only skilled at giving gifts, but also prepared to receive what others offer, too. This allows others to practice giving. Let’s talk about the ethics (norms, rules) that tell us how to receive.
Christmas is coming, and I’ve realized that I’m pretty terrible at choosing gifts. My family was not big on celebrations or frivolous gifts. The gifts I received were always practical, bought on a deal, and/or rarely made me feel special. On the bright side, I got a lot of use out of practical gifts, and I’m not complaining.
However, in the last couple of years I’ve received some gifts that were either totally impractical or expensive. They were also well chosen and made me feel special! This got me thinking: what is the difference between the gifts of my past and these gifts? Of course I did some research, and this post is what I came up with.
Thinking about gifts has certainly made gift shopping more fun – I no longer agonize over it and hopefully I won’t give more crappy gifts. I hope this week’s topic helps you as you do your holiday shopping this year!
“Elitism” is a term that gets used a lot in news media as an accusation towards academics, politicians, and wealthy entrepreneurs. It is also sometimes used by social activists who believe that a privileged group is out of touch with the lifestyles, desires, values, and struggles of a disadvantaged group.
There are various genres of elitism, but they all have on thing in common. Elitism is the view that a select group of people have the authority to dictate what is valuable, important, or worthwhile. This select group is known as the “elite”. They hold authority because they have a special quality: class, intelligence, skills, wealth, or experience. Other people don’t have this special quality, and therefore are deemed unworthy to dictate what is valuable, important, and worthwhile.
But wait – isn’t everyone equal? Doesn’t equality mean that everyone’s opinions count equally? On the other hand, aren’t some people actually more qualified than others? Is elitism a good or bad thing? This week’s topic is Pleasure Elitism.
It’s safe to say that money can’t buy happiness. Everyone can think of someone rich & miserable. Fame, too, doesn’t guarantee a high quality life – just consider the list of famous people who committed suicide or became addicts. Feeling lost and disconnected with your life & experiences is a terrible way to live.
Winning the game of life means figuring out your purpose and passion. Wouldn’t that be great? But where do you start? If you want traction on the journey to find yourself, you’ll need to start on solid ground. Only then can you pull yourself forwards. But so far, nothing has excited you. There’s no grip and you’ve got no grit. How can you figure out who you are when you’re clueless? This week’s post introduces a clever method of self-discovery!
Do you know the difference between good habits, bad habits, and addictions? It’s easy to tell the difference between good habits and addictions, but not so easy to distinguish between good habits and bad habits. Nor is it easy to draw the line between bad habits and addictions. Also, why is it that one person’s good habit is another person’s bad habit? How is it that some people become addicted to anything (the so-called “addictive personality”), while other people could drop a sugar habit, or even a cocaine habit, almost one day to the next?
We can’t sort out all these questions in one blog post, but we can learn enough to start to evaluate our own habits. By doing so, we make a conscious effort to improve our unconscious behaviors!
It’s nearly November. The fall gusts carry brilliant fluttering leaves and the sun barely peeks over the horizon at five o’clock. We mentally prepare ourselves for the fast-approaching winter by vocalizing our bewilderment at the cool temperatures – “Can you believe how cold it is?” and “Wasn’t it summer just last week?” The feigned surprise makes it seem as if we expected summer to last into December.
Whether you’re looking forward to cooler temperatures or not, the change in seasons is an opportunity to think deeply about life. Are all seasons of life equally enjoyable?
Have you ever felt guilty for vegging out in front of a screen, even when you legitimately needed some time for rest and relaxation? Feeling guilty sucks the joy out of watching movies.
How can we as intellectuals and type-A’s bring the joy back into watching movies? It’s an activity we will inevitably find ourselves doing as a part of social relationships with friends, family and coworkers. Can we even make intellectual sense of the time we spend watching schlock, or slapstick, or even superhero movies? Read on!
The word crisis brings to mind a dramatic, life-destroying situation. Yet hindsight reveals that the situations we fear most are precisely the situations that bring out the best in our minds and/or bodies. For example, an injured athlete outperforms his own expectations. Or surprisingly, the much-feared divorce that forces two people to come to terms with the past allows them to move forward into happiness with new dreams and lovers.
Is there a positive perspective from which we can choose to view dangerous and critical situations we encounter? Let’s rethink crisis.
How do you decide? Do you understand your mental process of weighing options? What makes you choose option A over option B? There are benefits to understanding your own decision-making process. Making conscious decisions is important to avoiding regret. Understanding how you make decisions can streamline future decision-making.
Making decisions becomes less difficult when you understand how. This week’s journal topic is all about decisions.