Increasing Happiness is a Matter of Intention

For many years, the prevailing theory was that individuals have a genetically determined happiness set point.

In other words, scientists believed that each person could temporarily experience more happiness (depending on circumstances, relationships, and life events), but would then slide back to his or her “pre-programmed” set point.  In fact, less than two decades ago, one researcher was quoted as saying, “It may be that trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.” (more…)

Making Peace with Your Teen’s “Impractical” Major

Graduation time is nearly here, which means that many high school seniors will hear two questions again and again: “Where are you going to college?” and “What are you going to study?”

Some students may say that they’re thinking about becoming a petroleum engineer, a software developer or a computer programmer. All those careers fall under the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) umbrella. When those students earn their degrees, they’ll have little trouble finding well-paying work with long-term career potential.

A 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report predicts that STEM jobs will grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, a pace exceeding the 11 percent growth rate of other occupations. If your teen has her sights set on becoming an information security analyst, recruiters will be lining up: Demand for workers who can fill that role is projected to grow by 37 percent by 2022. (more…)

Saying Yes to Your Priorities!

Bringing balance to a busy personal and professional life is challenging. In order to accomplish all that seems necessary, most people resolve to work harder and faster.

Therefore, individuals and families are increasingly experiencing a time crunch. The result is mounting stress and compromised health and vitality. And yet, despite their best efforts, many express frustration about not being able to bring tasks to completion, and having enough time to focus on what or who is most important to them. (more…)

Extra Years – Managing Our Windfall

Since the turn of the last century, improved nutrition and advances in medicine and healthcare have added 30 years to our average life expectancy.  Without question, this is a remarkable achievement, but one that also requires each of us to think differently about “old age” and how we choose to live our lives.

For example, in Working Through Demographic Change, authors Elliott Jaques and William Zinke wrote, “People are living longer and in better health, and the meaning of adult life itself has changed: a whole new stage of mature adulthood has come onto the scene, and old age has been pushed back by many years.” (more…)

Albert Bandura & Self-Efficacy

Albert Bandura, Ph.D. is regarded as one of the most eminent psychologists of our time.  Bandura started his career in 1953 and still maintains an active schedule of teaching and research at Stanford University.  On the occasion of his 80th birthday, he wrote:

“As I reflect on my journey to this octogenarian milepost, I am reminded of the saying that it is not the miles traveled but the amount of tread remaining that is important.  When I last checked, I still have too much tread left to gear down or to conclude this engaging Odyssey.” (more…)

A Shift in Priorities

A shift in prioritiesThe inaugural American Dream Study, conducted in 2007, revealed an insatiable hunger for more and better material possessions.  In addition, the bar was continually rising for what was considered “basic necessities.”  However, across all social strata, the economic crisis has been a loud wake up call.

Respondents to the 2009 version of the study reported that they are eating at home more often, shopping more at big box discount stores, spending less on movies, and moving away from brand-name products to generics (www.metlife.com).  And, unlike previous downturns, no one seems to be immune. (more…)