Friday, October 31, 2014

Big Time Savers: 10 ways to save big chunks of time.

We all know time savers, for example: clump your errands, use a to-do list, and touch a piece of paper only once.

In my article today, we're big-game hunting: How can you save elephantine time?  I offer 10 ways to save big chunks of time.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Realistic Ideas for Making a Bigger Difference

These days, everyone seems to want to “make a difference.” Of course, that’s a good thing but many people define it too narrowly.

My article today may help you feel better about what you’re already doing and perhaps give you some new ideas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Higher Education Needs Not Reform but Reinvention

My article today proposes a reinvention of  undergraduate education: No PhD-toting professors, essentially no campus, no university awarding degrees. The article proposes what should replace them.

Six Steps to Becoming Eminent

Many people would love to be an expert, even preeminent in their field. No easy answers but having been career coach to a number of luminaries, my article today lists six steps to becoming eminent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Making Trick-or-Treating a Psychological Treat

How to make this year’s trick-or-treating more rewarding for your kids…and you. That's my article today. HERE is the link.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Dejobbing of America: How to create jobs and what job seekers can do in the meantime.

My latest article offers fresh ideas both on what society can do to create jobs and what individuals can do in the meantime.

The Most Important Mental Ability...and how to improve yours

We may think we're a rational species but we're far from it. In my article, I make that case and then offer a simple way that people and governments--could become better thinkers. HERE is the link.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'd Love it If You'd Come See "Retard!"

For the past three years, I've been revising and polishing the one-woman show I've co-written, direct, and piano-accompany. It's called "Retard!" because that's what the woman, Jeffrie Givens, was called by students and teachers alike.
I must admit to being proud of it. Earlier versions have gotten a standing ovation and the current version is significantly improved.
We're doing a performance of it this Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8 PM at Wisteria Ways, a lovely brown shingle home in the Rockridge area of Oakland. There is a suggested donation of $15 to $20, all of which will go to Jeffrie. For info, reservations, and a one-minute video clip from the show, go to

Dangerous Personalities

We all deal with people who make us uncomfortable, perhaps exhaust us, even scare us. The just published book, Dangerous Personalities, based on two decades of an FBI profiler talking to and studying victims and perpetrators, alerts us to four categories of such people and how to respond. 

I interview him for my article today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

So You Want a More Solitary Existence: Making a reclusive life work.

In yesterday’s article, I made the case that our perhaps most underconsidered lifestyle is reclusiveness, the largely solitary existence. In response, I received comments and private emails requesting another article about it. 

So in today's article, I offer some thoughts on how one might make a reclusive life work.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Recluse Option: Why the solitary lifestyle merits more consideration.

Most people wouldn’t dream of becoming a recluse. After all, we’re said to be social animals, not to mention sexual ones. 

Yet the freedoms afforded by the solitary lifestyle are many—and underconsidered, hence it's the topic of my article today. 

I'm considering writing a book on people who choose to spend most of their time by themselves. If you might like to be profiled in the book, would you email me at Thanks. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The First Date: Thoughts on how to do a first date well.

In the first installment in this is series, I described how I helped my client develop her plan for meeting Mr. Right. In the second installment, I offered advice on how you might handle a first meeting—I used the example of  a chance encounter in a bookstore.
HERE is the link.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

So You Met Someone You Might Want to Date. Now What?

In a recent article, I described how I helped a client develop a plan for meeting Mr. Right.

A reader asked, “So you’ve met him. Now what?”

My article today offers some ideas on what to do when you've met someone you might want to date.
HERE is the link. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beyond SSRIs and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: What are other approaches to mild to moderate depression?

Recently on I interviewed Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).on how to treat depression.

That interview as been gnawing at me ever since. You see, the advice he gave is pretty much what has been recommended for a decade or more, that most people with mild to moderate depression are best treated with an SSRI (like Prozac and Zoloft) and/or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT.)

In my admittedly anecdotal experience, having been career and personal coach to many people with depression, their most common experience is that the drug yields some benefit, typically taking the edge off their depression but often, the effect wears off. And the side-effects are often problematic, for example, sexual dysfunction, flattened affect, nausea, and drowsiness. People often go off the medication feeling unsure that the benefits outweigh the side effects

And my clients’ typical experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy is that it helps but, pardon the pun, it’s no magic pill.

Without turning to the treatments usually reserved for severe depression such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) or vagus nerve stimulation, what else seems worthy of trial? I address that question in my article today. HERE is the link

Monday, October 20, 2014

When Online Dating Isn’t Right for You

Most people first come to see me for career coaching but occasionally our work also involves my helping the client find a mate. 

My article today describes how I helped one woman develop her plan. HERE is the link.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Voting Smart

Political candidates spend a fortune to manipulate us into voting for them. My article identifies some tricks to watch out for and offers a simple way to vote smart.
HERE  is the link.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Your Hair: Should you give it more or less attention?

We spend $80 billion a year on our hair. My article tries to help readers decide whether to spend more or less money and time on it. HERE is the link.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Economic Misfits: When You Don’t Fit In Our Economic World

Some people don't find desirable paid work throughout their lifetime. What might they do? What might society do? I tackle those questions in my article today. HERE is the link.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Terminating a Counseling Relationship

Whether you’re a client or a counselor, terminating the relationship is difficult. My article today offers some thoughts on how to handle it. HERE is the link.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reducing Anxiety: The standard of care and what's on the horizon

My article today: How best to treat anxiety? And is there new hope on the horizon? 

To address those questions, I turned to Dr. Daniel Pine. He has written over 200 papers on anxiety, mood, and behavior disorders and is Chief of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) section of development and affective neuroscience.  HERE is the link.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sad Lyrics: A source of insight and odd sort of pleasure

Most people prefer laughing and so they like happy songs but a too-ignored group especially enjoys sad ones. 

Sad lyrics often provide insight and an odd sort of pleasure. 

It is for them that, for my article today, I’ve assembled a collection of sad and often profound lyrics. 

HERE is the link. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Case Against Following Your Passion: My first weekly contribution to

I'm now writing one or two articles a week for's Ideas section.

Here is my first contribution. The title is more unequivocal than I believe appropriate but Time's editor chooses the titles and I didn't want to start off my relationship with her by complaining about it. Sorry if its hyperbole offends: Why Following Your Passion Is the Worst Kind of Career Advice.

15 Psychologically Rich Pieces of Famous Artwork

For my article today, I reviewed 3,000 famous artworks to select 14 paintings and one sculpture that, for me at least, feel the most psychologically moving. HERE is the link.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Should You Break More Rules?

I bristle at rules. I usually see them as advisory. If they make sense, I follow them. If not, I tend to break them. No wonder I have a bachelor's degree in traffic school.  

In my article today, I make the case that most of us should break more rules. HERE is the link.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Taking Offense is Epidemic

It seems that people are getting offended more easily. In my article, I make that case and that it's seriously detrimental to us as individuals and as a society. HERE is the link.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Go Postal?: Why a job as a letter carrier may be the best you'll ever get.

When people, especially educated people, think of crappy jobs, postal worker often makes the list. 

And yet when you stop to think about what really makes people happy in their career, letter carrier offers major advantages compared with jobs that most people fight to land. I make that case in my article today.  

HERE is the link.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lessons From My 13 Careers

I like to think I’m a better career counselor from having had so many careers. In my article today, I share a lesson I learned from each. HERE is the link

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Diary of a Job Seeker

A caller to my radio show yesterday called for help: He has a degree from Berkeley and the best job he’s been able to get is pizza deliverer.

In my article today, I create a fictitious diary that embeds some career lessons. HERE is the link. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Which College? A Consumer Advocate’s Approach

It seems almost absurd to argue that even good students should consider a community college rather than a fairly prestigious university. But a good case can be made. I try to do that in my article today. HERE is the link.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oft-Misused Psychological Terms

In my article today, I offer a 16-item true/false quiz that your knowledge of an important word that is often misused and misunderstood. While these words are often used in psychology, most of them are of value in general discourse. HERE is the link.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

An Easier Approach to Giving a Great Talk

Most people find it much easier to talk to a single person than to a group. Indeed, public speaking is one of humankind’s greatest fears. 

Bring that one-on-one spontaneity to your group talk, and it will not only be easier, but better.

My article today offers the steps to creating a such a talk. HERE is the link.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Finding a Good Work-from-Home Opportunity

Amid the work-from-home scams, there are legitimate opportunities.

In my article today, I try to separate the wheat from the chaff. And to accomplish that, I interviewed Michael Haaren today. 

A long-time activist for work-at-homers, he presented to the United Nations on virtual work, provides work-at-home career training to the U.S .State Dept and Armed Forces, co-wrote the a nationally syndicated column Rat Race Rebellion, run, and is co-author of the Amazon-top-rated book on the subject: Work at Home Now.

HERE is the link. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Should You Marry This Person? Break Up?

Today, there’s less rational reason to marry than in decades past. Even if you’re thinking of having kids, today, there’s little or no shame associated with being from a single parent. And if you’re one of the half of married couples who divorce, the law’s complicated system can make dissolution more devastating, if only financially.

Yet, even today, millions of couples contemplate marrying. Of course, in the end, it’s partly an emotional decision but the report card I've created and posted on today may help you bring additional rationality to it. The same questions apply to deciding whether you should break up with your significant other. 

HERE is the link.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Boring Are You? A 16-item self-assessment

Bella DePaulo’s article, What Makes People Boring? describes factors that make a person boring.

In my article today, I adapt those into a 16-item self-assessment. HERE is the link.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Provocative Excerpt from De Maupassant on Women, Procreation

I found provocative this excerpt from Guy de Maupassant's short story, Useless Beauty. So I thought I'd share it with you. Of course, comments welcome.

"Poor women!"
"Why do you pity them?"
"Why? Ah! my dear fellow, just consider! Eleven years in a condition of motherhood for such a woman! What a hell! All her youth, all her beauty, every hope of success, every poetical ideal of a brilliant life sacrificed to that abominable law of reproduction which turns the normal woman into a mere machine for bringing children into the world."
"What would you have? It is only Nature!"
"Yes, but I say that Nature is our enemy, that we must always fight against Nature, for she is continually bringing us back to an animal state. You may be sure that God has not put anything on this earth that is clean, pretty, elegant or accessory to our ideal; the human brain has done it. It is man who has introduced a little grace, beauty, unknown charm and mystery into creation by singing about it, interpreting it, by admiring it as a poet, idealizing it as an artist and by explaining it through science, doubtless making mistakes, but finding ingenious reasons, hidden grace and beauty, unknown charm and mystery in the various phenomena of Nature. God created only coarse beings, full of the germs of disease, who, after a few years of bestial enjoyment, grow old and infirm, with all the ugliness and all the want of power of human decrepitude. He seems to have made them only in order that they may reproduce their species in an ignoble manner and then die like ephemeral insects. I said reproduce their species in an ignoble manner and I adhere to that expression. What is there as a matter of fact more ignoble and more repugnant than that act of reproduction of living beings, against which all delicate minds always have revolted and always will revolt? Since all the organs which have been invented by this economical and malicious Creator serve two purposes, why did He not choose another method of performing that sacred mission, which is the noblest and the most exalted of all human functions? The mouth, which nourishes the body by means of material food, also diffuses abroad speech and thought. Our flesh renews itself of its own accord, while we are thinking about it. The olfactory organs, through which the vital air reaches the lungs, communicate all the perfumes of the world to the brain: the smell of flowers, of woods, of trees, of the sea. The ear, which enables us to communicate with our fellow men, has also allowed us to invent music, to create dreams, happiness, infinite and even physical pleasure by means of sound! But one might say that the cynical and cunning Creator wished to prohibit man from ever ennobling and idealizing his intercourse with women. Nevertheless man has found love, which is not a bad reply to that sly Deity, and he has adorned it with so much poetry that woman often forgets the sensual part of it. Those among us who are unable to deceive themselves have invented vice and refined debauchery, which is another way of laughing at God and paying homage, immodest homage, to beauty.
"But the normal man begets children just like an animal coupled with another by law."

Your First Step Toward Getting Unstuck: A List of Common First Baby Steps

Some people say they’d take action if only they knew what their first step was.  

Well, my article today offers a list of  common first baby steps. 

HERE is the link.