Is Your Crap Detector Working?

Are you being hypnotized and intellectually anesthetized by the constant flood of entertainment imagery in the popular culture? As writer Ernest Hemingway advised, maybe it's time to tune up your "crap detector."

Can Changing a Symbol Change People's Attitudes?

Maybe the attachment that some Southern people feel toward the Confederate flag is less an expression of overt racism (which it certainly seems to be, in part), and more an expression of a lingering cultural/historical sense of loss and defeat they feel for the disastrous outcome of the Civil War. Could abolishing the flag lead to a new sense of Southern identity?

Could This Be the One Real Secret to Self Motivation?

Maybe the perpetually cynical, pessimistic individual is simply accessing older evolutionary brain patterns. And maybe the optimistic, “can-do” person has learned to access a newer, more versatile set of brain resources.

The Digital Trance: Down the Electronic Rabbit Hole

Could the "social escape-hatch" function of the smartphone be preventing young people from learning to deal with social anxiety, even at mild levels? Could it lead to a pattern of avoiding new or unfamiliar social experiences? Could heavy immersion in social media, via mobile devices, computers, or video games, retard their social development and emotional intelligence?

The Paradoxical Power of Humility

Humility is about emotional neutrality. It involves an experience of growth in which you no longer need to put yourself above others, but you don’t put yourself below them, either. Everyone is your peer – from the most “important” person to the least. You’re just as valuable as every other human being on the planet, no more and no less.

Why Patients Are Impatient

The logistical convenience of the “one size fits all” approach to patient care comes at a cost, and not just in malpractice settlements and premiums. The decision to sue often hinges on a sense of outrage or injustice about the way the patients feel they were treated. And angry people tend to bad-mouth service businesses far more often than the happy ones praise them.

Change Your Words and Change Your World

Listen carefully to the statements of people who've disempowered themselves and you'll hear certain language patterns that set them up for feeling powerless.

Trying to Lose Weight? You're Probably Doing It Backwards

The increasingly popular concept of mindfulness may become one of the most important features of our understanding of human effectiveness, in all its dimensions. It’s popping up all over the culture, including in the business world. And it's an important key in changing your relationship to food.

What the Amish Can Teach Us About Technology

Some reasons why the Amish might be better qualified than most “experts” to advise the members of the majority culture on the impact of technology and the need to manage and control it.

The Real Reason We Believe What We Believe

We All Like to Tell Ourselves that We're "Rational"

Are You a "Mental Redneck"? Take This Quiz and Find Out

Mental rednecks usually don’t think of themselves as rednecks, of course. They typically like to think of themselves as having a firm grip on the problems and challenges of life, but paradoxically it’s their fear of the loss of a sense of control, structure, and order – not having simple answers and simple solutions – that leads them to act in ambiguity-avoiding patterns.

Freeing Yourself From Toxic Loops

Toxic loops are remarkably common in everyday human interaction. But we can free ourselves from them through mindful attention and a more peaceful attitude about how we deal with others.

How to Talk to a "Lousy Listener"

There are some simple tricks you can use to - sometimes - get through to a "lousy listener."

(Only) 72 Hours to Freedom

We have to get to a place where we want the change more than we fear it.

"Star Trek" Characters as Cognitive Archetypes?

All true Trekkies will instantly recognize these four primary patterns of thinking.

The (Only) Seven Spiritual Principles We Need to Succeed

Mindful attention to a few key principles can free our creative energy for personal growth.

How to Get Straight A's in Life

Let's teach our kids that the key attitudes for success in life start with "A."

Brains in the White House

Americans are about to choose the brain that will run their country—and much of their lives—for the next four years.

The (Only) Seven Ways to Be in Love

Many people get themselves into unhappy romantic situations in life because they try to force-fit their relationships into ready-made templates they’re carrying around in their heads – often stored away at an unconscious level.

Is Your "Bucket" Leaking?

By keeping your emotional "bucket" topped up, you have plenty of positive energy to draw on, which helps you treat others in ways that attract them to you.

The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share

There are only five basic fears, out of which almost all of our other so-called fears are manufactured.

A Third Kind of "Vert"

Some introverts can masquerade as extraverts.

What's In a Name?

Partly baked ideas are the non-Zen equivalent of Zen koans. They make you think about things you wouldn't think of thinking about...

Did Sherlock Holmes Have Asperger Syndrome?

Sigmund Freud and Arthur Conan Doyle did their best work at about the same time. Which of those thinkers, and their intellectual descendents, have taught us more about people?

Weird Thoughts Late at Night - Partly Baked Ideas

These are the kinds of questions that got me put into the "special class" in school...

A Credo for Living Sanely (What's True for Me)

After 6+ decades on the planet, I decided it would be a good idea to state, succinctly, what I believe I know. These 15 principles for living sanely are true for me.

Tweets, Twits, and Twats: Is Your Diet Making You Stupid?

Is a steady diet of pop culture making people dumber?

The "Popeye Point"

Everyone has had a "Popeye Experience" at some time in their life - a sudden decision to break out of a troublesome life situation and start doing what's best for you

Cleaning Out the Attic (the One in Your Head)

That old cliché "Growth is painful" is wrong. As I see it, not growing is what's painful; growth is pain-relieving. It's liberating.

No Sex Tonight: the Neurology of Love and Marriage

Years ago I watched a marriage breaking up between two friends of mine. Both Ron and Anna (not their real names) were very intelligent and well educated: indeed both were members of Mensa - the high-IQ society - as was I. But somehow all that mental horsepower didn't seem to help them get past some very basic differences in their ideas about life.