Everything I write about is aimed at helping people understand and love who they are. To not be ashamed or hide behind some false character armour but instead embrace the gifts that God has given them. As part of that aim, I’ve compiled an epic ebook entitled Unlocking Personality. Based on the Big Five Personality model – one of the most widely recognised and respected frameworks in … Continue reading Unlocking Personality: A FREE eBook I Wrote!
Before I get into the body of this piece, I’d like to say that the conflict in Ukraine is especially interesting and tragic because I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Poland during the mid-nineties, not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was sent to Rzeczpospolita Polska—I still remember quite a lot of Polish—to … Continue reading Repost: What Vladimir Putin’s War Has Taught Me
Have you encountered these difficulties in attempting to live Stoically? (Living philosophically?) After a conversation I had, some time ago, about living as a Stoic philosopher, I found myself wondering what pitfalls and stumbling blocks a person is likely to encounter when they try seriously to integrate Stoic teachings and practice into their life. Four things came to mind almost at once. I’m going to … Continue reading Four ways we may stumble in attempting to live Stoically
No one talks about the benefits of depression, do they? No one talks about how depression might happen for a good reason. Most people assume it’s nothing but a bad thing. A product of low courage. A cancer of the mind. And perhaps it is? When you examine depression on paper, it’s difficult to argue otherwise. I mean, I hardly need to outline the costs … Continue reading The Surprising Benefits of Depression
Exactly one week ago, on Saturday morning, my wife and I got into the backseat of my father and stepmother’s car, in Georgetown, Texas, pulled out of their garage, and headed eastward, to make the hour-long trip to the small town of Rockdale, Texas, population 5,323. Our goal was to attend a memorial service to commemorate the life of my uncle, a man I’d always … Continue reading A Sad Day, a Happy Day
I had a friend who claimed she was clairvoyant. Let’s just say for the sake of this post that she was, because I’m on my way to making a point and you don’t have to have an ability to see the future to know that. And I’d say from my experience that my friend had a gift of extraordinary perception. She saw things differently than … Continue reading The Cat Conundrum
Life is like a great meandering stroll through a vast wilderness of ever-changing scenery. Such a long tramp is bound to change us, so it’s highly likely we’ll undergo one transformation after another as we travel. I was an only child during the earliest stages of my “journey.” I spent the first few years of my life living in a quiet, rural setting where neighbors … Continue reading Repost: Others
What On Earth Are You Thinking? What is External Self-Awareness? Most people think about self-awareness the same way they do sex. They believe they’re great at it when, in reality, no-one knows where on God’s green earth the G spot is (or that there even is one). One of the major components for building self-awareness is understanding what other people honestly think about us (including our ability … Continue reading The Three Areas of Self-Awareness: What On Earth Are You Thinking?
Single and ready to mingle An interrupted delay on my journey to the city center has turned it from a simple journey, into an expedition to the center of the Earth. “How about instead using the extra time to write a blog post instead of stressing?” I take out my mobile phone and start typing. I let the words flow, inspired by “Hypnotic Writing” by … Continue reading Single and ready to mingle at 50
I’ve been writing about happiness recently. This is the third (and final) installment in a series of pieces on this subject. The first installment can be found here and second one, here. While prepping myself to write this, I began to think of analogies. Can happiness be cultivated in the same way a farmer prepares for a good harvest? Think about it; a bumper crop doesn’t just happen … Continue reading Repost: Can Happiness Be Cultivated?
Two years ago, I published two short posts about the difference intrinsic or true self-esteem and merely contingent self-esteem; the importance of intrinsic self-esteem; and the problem with only having contingent self-esteem. I think it’s time to revisit this topic. Having reviewed the old posts, they seem good to me. However, some of the comments suggest that this is a matter which is difficult to … Continue reading Intrinsic Self-Esteem: What It Is and Why We Need It
A few days ago, I had a Zoom meeting with Omar, my nephew by marriage. It’s been a while since I last mentioned that I married an Egyptian woman—a truly beautiful person named Azza—a little more than twelve years ago, back when I was living in Cairo, Egypt, and teaching at the American University in Cairo. Omar is Azza’s sister’s son. He’s in his early … Continue reading I Wish You Well, Omar
Dear, Readers, I’m speaking for all Wise & Shine writers when I say that we so appreciate your continued support of this blog. To show how thankful we are, we want to ask you to share a link to your blog or site in the “thoughts” or comments section at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to include a statement about what inspires … Continue reading Sharing is Caring
Today I want to talk about one major cause of depression and the prospect of counteracting or removing that cause. This cause is disconnection from others, or loneliness (more on that shortly). I’m basing this largely on Johann Hari’s investigation and discussion of these matters in his amazing book Lost Connections, which I wrote about in a previous post, explaining what the book is about … Continue reading Disconnection from Others and Loneliness: One Social-Environmental Cause of Depression
Changing a behavior is supposed to favor improvements of people. There are mechanisms that can help the achievement of healthy goals. However, our brain is dominated by unconscious patterns that hinder the integration of new habits. Research from the University of Vermont, for example, highlights an important point. Changing a behavior is a complex and very unstable process, that is, there are relapses, steps backwards … Continue reading Why Changing a Behavior Is a Complex and Very Unstable Process
Procrastination means postponing, setting aside what we should do today to a hypothetical tomorrow. Who hasn’t done that at least once in their life? Studies revealed that procrastination affects one in five people. It could concern only some areas (for example study or work) or all the actions of one person. What is procrastination? Steel’s 2007 studies tell us that procrastination must be considered a … Continue reading Why Procrastination Is One of Our Internal Enemies, and How We Can Fight It
Most of us are familiar with the old saying, “When it rains, it pours.” I’ve been thinking a lot about that adage recently because there’s been quite a lot of pouring rain in my life over the past few months. A few weeks ago, I wrote about needing to take a leave of absence from writing for this blog after being diagnosed with a degenerative … Continue reading It’s Been Pouring
“The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and results come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity.” – Aldous Huxley Drown-Proofing When it comes to our psychology what’s happened is this. Our hands and arms have been bound together, and we’ve been thrown … Continue reading Stalling: Why Letting Go Is the Key to Regaining Lift
Hi, all. Wise & Shine is looking for a few new writers. If you’d like to apply to join the team, send samples of your writing via our “Contact” form. Please familiarize yourself with the sort of things our blog publishes before contacting us. We’ll send a set of writing guidelines to those who send examples of their work. We look forward to reading your … Continue reading Want to Write for Wise & Shine?
At the end of last year, this site started a podcast. We came up with a few topics and scheduled conversations, almost entirely among ourselves (those of us who publish our writings on the site). We then recorded those discussions and posted them. We were going at a great clip in the beginning. We managed to publish a new podcast each week. I took it … Continue reading Whatever Happened to the Wise & Shine Podcast?