Saturday, April 30, 2016

Do You Know How to be Married?: A self-assessment inventory

Yes, sometimes I think the institution of marriage is obsolete. Social and economic changes have reduced the need. 

And I can't even say that if I were starting over, I'd marry. But I did and while the marriage has never been made in heaven, it's worked pretty well here on earth. And we've been together for 43 years now, three years "living in sin" and 40 official years.

In today's article, using the format I've used in some recent articles---the self-assessment inventory--I offer my thoughts on how to make marriage work.

Lessons for All of Us from a Sports Psychologist

After conducting today’s The Eminents interview with sports psychologist John F. Murray, I’ve come away feeling that his advice applies not just to athletes but to most people who want to improve their mental performance.  

Here's the link to the interview on

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Follow Your Dream?

I write my article today as an antidote to the incessant polllyanism I see and read in the media.

These anecdotes about people who followed their dream are true. I've just  changed irrelevant details to protect my clients' anonymity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Getting Teachers to Pay Attention to Your Bright or Gifted Child

All kids deserve appropriate schooling. Too often, bright kids don't get it. 
My recent interview with Edward Amend on helping unhappy intellectually gifted kids received many page views and Facebook Likes, so for my article today, I decided to create the following post.

It adapts the text of a whiteboard video I created for teachers: "Six Ways to Meet Bright and Gifted Kids' Needs Without Much Extra Work."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Organizing and Time Management from the Inside Out: An interview with Julie Morgenstern

Most of us wish we were better organized and could manage our time better. To help, in today’s Psychology Today The Eminents interview,  I talked with Julie Morgenstern.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Do You Know How to Be Motivated? A Self-Assessment

This is the third in my three-part series of self-assessment inventories, "Do You Know How to Be..." 

Part I is  Do You Know How to be Resilient?

Part 2 is: Do You Know How to Be Practical?

Here is Part 3: Do You Know How to be Motivated?


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Do You Know How to Be Practical? A Self-Assessment Tool

 In my article today, I offer a self-assessment tool to help you decide if you want to be more practical and, if so, how.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

How to be Resilient

We all know that even successful people fail but that they're more likely to rebound quickly.

How do they get unstuck? And more important, how can you do it?  It may help you answer the eight-question self-assessment that is my post today.

Hinda the Hypocrite: A short-short story

In an attempt to avoid the pontification and aridity of the how-to article, in my articles, I've recently been embedding psychological and other how-to-do-life issues in short-short stories.

Two of those have been about evil characters: one about a thief, another about a manipulator. 

Today's offering is about a hypocrite. They're all written in hopes that reading about their tactics will make you less likely to be taken advantage of..

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Multiple Intelligence, Higher Education Reform, and Ethics

It’s comforting to think that our intelligence isn’t reducible to a single number. Indeed, especially in education circles, the theory of multiple intelligences is widely embraced. 

In today’s The Eminents interview, I spoke with that theory’s creator, Howard Gardner. We spoke not only about that but about his current work examining U.S. higher education and ethical issues in the professions, including psychology.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Manipulator: A Short-Short Story with Embedded Life Lessons

In an attempt to avoid the pontification and aridity of the how-to article, On, I've recently been embedding psychological and other how-to-do-life issues in short-short stories.

Today's offering is about a life-long manipulator. Perhaps reading about his tactics will make you less likely to be taken advantage of.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why We're Throwing a Birthday Party for Our Dog: Life Lessons

I try to ignore my birthdays but my wife and I will be throwing a part for our doggie Einstein's 10th birthday. The reasons embed life lessons that may be relevant to all of us. I explain in my article today.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Think You're a Free Thinker? Think Again

I worry that society's mind molders--the schools, colleges, and media--are speaking mainly with one voice. For example, there is little expressed opposition to the idea that we need to be more redistributionist and less meritocratic. 

In my article today, I explain why I'm worried that it is an irreversible trend but that as individuals we can, with effort, still access the full marketplace of benevolently developed ideas, and that it's worth the effort.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Your Most Painful Memories and Learning From Them

Of course, staying mired in your past pains can inhibit you from moving forward. But inventorying them and identifying lessons learned can be well worth it. I offer a way to do that in my article today.

Straight Talk About Relationships: An Interview with Psychology Today Editor-at-Large, Hara Marano

Hara Marano has covered psychological issues for decades, including 25 years as Editor and now Editor-at-Large at Psychology Today.

So she has read and carefully thought about thousands of expert articles on psychology, especially about romantic and familial relationships.

I interviewed her today. She spoke candidly and instructively both about her own relationships and what she’s learned as an editor and writer. I post that interview as my article today.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Gaining Gumption

When I was a cab driver, a passenger told me he was a professor at the Rockefeller University, which has the world’s highest percentage of science Nobel Prize winners. I jokingly said, “I’m not letting you out this cab until you give me a job.” A week later, I went from lowly cab driver to Rockefeller research assistant, working on the first research to prove that biofeedback worked.

As I look back on my life and think about my successful clients and friends, gumption is an underdiscussed key to success.

My article today is Gaining Gumption.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Strategy for Changing Careers

A 56-year-old caller to my KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco) radio program wants to change careers. Our exchange may offer clues to help you in finding work that’s right for you. 

As my article today, I provide the transcript of our exchange.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Two-Minute Meal: Yes, it's tasty, healthy, and inexpensive.

Many commercials are designed by, alas, psychologists and other experts on influence, to manipulate people into believing they’ll be more worthy homemakers if only they spend big on meal-related items:

The kitchen industry wants to you to forget the $400 Whirlpool range and buy the $4,000 Wolf or Viking. They want you to forget the $9.99 Farberware pot and buy the $99 LeCreuset "cookware."

The food industry wants you to forget the one-pound, $2 head of lettuce and buy a bag of “spring mix” that costs twice as much for 1/3 the amount. They want you to forget the $1 box of pasta that’s delicious with just some parmesan and garlic and to spend $4 on 10 ounces of prepared frozen pasta, filled with sodium, fat, and calories.

But you are not inadequate if you choose to be a wise food shopper and cook. You are not inadequate if you rarely create elaborate meals. Indeed, in our busy lives, many of us have better things to do for ourselves and our family than to spend lots of time chopping ingredients around a hot stove.

People don’t believe me when I say I cook many of my meals in under three minutes, often well under, let alone that they’re tasty, healthy and inexpensive. But I do and they are. And they don't require any fancy kitchen tools or equipment.

In my article today, I offer instant recipes for some things I often make. I really like their taste, ease, and healthiness. But of course, everyone’s taste is different. I offer these recipes merely as evidence that it’s possible to create good meals incredibly quickly. Perhaps reading them will trigger ideas that will work better for you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Story: Life lessons I hope are of value to my readers

Today, a client asked me to tell him my story. After, he said it taught him valuable lessons. His praise tempted me to share my story with you but I felt that was a bit egotistical.
Then I noticed that just today, I passed a nice milestone: Two million people have read my articles, so perhaps that gives me a bit more license. 

So as my article today, I offer my story. 

Thank you dear readers, you've now viewed my Psychology Today articles 2 million times.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Four Psychological "Games" That May be Helpful

We're more likely to grow when actively engaged. 

In my article today, I describe four "games" that ensure engagement. The first helps decision-making, the others focus on emotional exploration.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ethical Issues in Health Care: An interview with Dr. Mildred Solomon, President of The Hastings Center

Every time we get health care, ethical issues are embedded.

To explore this under-discussed issue, as my article today, I interviewed Dr. Mildred Solomon, President of The Hastings Center.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Unhappy Intellectually Gifted Child

Being intellectually gifted isn't necessarily all roses. 

In my article today, I interview Edward Amend, an eminent expert in intellectually gifted kids who are unhappy. That of course can be caused by a misfitting educational experience but also can come from ADHD, depression, or autism level 1 (Asperger's Syndrome.)  In the jargon, such kids are called "twice exceptional."

I asked him about what parents and teachers can do with various flavors of unhappy gifted kids.

An Atheist's Passover Seder: An attempt at a not-religious but meaningful interactive celebration.

As my article today, I describe a brief, not-religious Passover Seder I've developed.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Do We Give Too Much Weight to Biological Parenthood?

As my article today, I offer a short-short story about a person's attempt to find her biological father. After, I ask whether we give too much or too little weight to biological parenthood?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Getting a Referral That Lands You a Good Job

Employers' #1 source of employees? A referral from a trusted colleague.

If you're a job seeker, how do you maximize your chances of getting such a referral? I describe an approach in my article today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Top Pleasures

In our overpacked days, it may be hard to find time to even think about what gives us pleasure.

In my article today, I offer descriptions of the 12 pleasures that appeared most often in the 20+ lists of favorite pleasures I reviewed. After that, I offer 14 of my own.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Life is Beautiful vs Life is Hard and Then You Die: An Internal Debate

As my article today, I offer an internal debate on whether life is beautiful or is hard and then you die.
Hopefully, it will trigger your thoughts on where on that continuum you believe your life is and then perhaps motivate you to change something.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Danger of Relying on Your Looks

In our lookist society, many people get away with relying on their looks. But, per this short-short story that is my article today, it's risky.

On Human Genetic Augmentation

New gene editing technologies such as Crispr have moved genetic enhancement from science fiction to reality. 

In my article today, I interviewed a preeminent expert in the field, Harvard's George Church, on the promise and perils.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

How I Coach Actors

I use a number of techniques in coaching actors that may be useful in many forms of coaching, counseling, and management. I describe them in my article today.