Friday, December 30, 2016

The Most Emotional Events of 2016

Cancer Research UK., CC 4.0Life brings enough emotional challenges. But in 2016, society added mightily to our emotional burdens.
In my article today, I remind us of 2016's most emotional events and offer a suggestion for coping with 2017's.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Counseling Ethically

A fellow career coach hired me to pick my brain about how I run my practice. We ended up talking a lot about ethics and he suggested I write an article on the topic. So I did so as my article today. 

Core Ideas from 50 Self-Help Classics

In some fields, it's worth focusing on the new. For example, we buy a smartphone rather than a flip phone.

But in self-help, things don't change as rapidly. People are people. And so today's latest and greatest is often tomorrow's abandoned fad.

So it makes sense to note self-help ideas have stood the test of time. To that end, has selected "50 Self-Help Classics." There, they are unannotated. In my article today, for each, I very briefly state on or two of its recommendations.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

An Atheist in Praise of Bible Stories

As my article today, I offer my reaction to this edited excerpt from a Christmas Day editorial in the Berkeley Daily Planet:

Wouldn't it be great if we all loved our neighbor because of the metaphor of Jesus rather than because we believed Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, could walk on water, and was resurrected after he died?

After all, once we're educated, we realize that no one comes back from the dead except in horror films; no one rises into the sky except in sci-fi. We wouldn’t have to be good for fear of not getting a reward and for fear that Santa  (shorthand for a Big Brother God,) is monitoring us when we are sleeping and when we are awake. We could be good for goodness' sake.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

YOUR Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Howard Lake, CC 2.0
Why is A Christmas Carol a foolproof Holiday favorite? Because we all can relate to seeing the light, redemption for past errors, and the promise of a better tomorrow that can start right now.

But as with all lessons, A Christmas Carol’s too quickly fades from our memories. In an attempt to increase its longevity, My article today offers a few questions that may help.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Inventorying Your 2017 to Help Ensure a Good 2017

Kai Stachowiak, Public Domain
Some people and organizations spend large amounts of time analyzing and planning. 

That’s often ill-advised---too many things can change.  But a brief annual personal self-inventory is probably worth the time. 

In my article today, I ask you questions about your 2016 and the implications for what you want to do in 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Reactions to Some Not-Sappy Christmas Quotations

This Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, I reviewed a few hundred quotations about Christmas to identify some non-sappy ones with psychological relevance. After each, I comment. That's my article today.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Making the Most of GoogleSearch

In my article today, I offer tips on how to make the most of GoogleSearch.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Managers' Real-World Problems

I'll soon be speaking at the Silicon Valley Engineering Leadership Community--a group of managers and executives.

They've asked me to address four questions. The answers are broadly applicable so I thought I’d share my planned answers as my article today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dating Smart

JD Hancock, Flickr, CC 2.0
My article today offers my best advice on how to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas for Atheists and Agnostics (updated )

American Humanist Association ad

Between now and Dec. 25, life seems to center around Christmas. An agnostic, let alone an atheist can feel like an outsider.

Some atheists don’t mind that, even welcome it. They prefer to be far from the madding crowd.

But for the atheist and agnostic who want to feel included and to experience Christmas’s benefits (described in the article I reference below) without having to feign allegiance to some omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent deity and his purported son, my article today offers some thoughts.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Putting Philosophy to Work: An Interview with Susan Haack

These days, much philosophy is esoteric, with limited practical applicability. 

We could use philosophers willing to apply their expertise to real-world matters and be willing to speak candidly on sensitive issues.

My The Eminents interview in PsychologyToday today is with such a person Susan Haack, who is among tiny number of living philosophers included in Peter J. King’s book, 100 Philosophers: The Life and Times of the World’s Greatest Thinkers

23 Gift Ideas for the Psychologically Attuned

In previous years, I have posted 40 gift ideas for  psychologically attuned. My article today offers the best of those plus new ones.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Hollowing-Out Middle Class...and How to Avoid Being a Victim of It

The middle class is hollowing out. 

Real median household income is lower today than in 1999. Today, in our supposed recovery, more than 44 million Americans are on food stamps.

Another measure of how bad the job situation really is is the Labor Participation Rate—the percentage of Americans 18-64 who are working—62.7%, is the lowest since 1978. 

The government trumpets and the media parrots the so-called “unemployment rate” of 4.6%.That statistic doesn’t include the short- and long-term discouraged workers, which when added equals, according to, 22%

Alas, the decline in the number of good jobs, those paying a stable, middle-class income plus benefits is worsening.

I document that in my article today and propose ways to maximize your chances of thriving despite it.

When You Don't Want to Go to That Party But Should

You've probably gotten an invitation or five to holiday parties. Let's say there's at least one you'd rather not go to. 

My article today offers tips for making the most of a party you'd rather not attend but should.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Creating Connection in Conversation

A career counseling client of mine lamented that he never seems to make that seemingly magical connection that gets him the job. 

He mentioned that his wife does make such connection and got a job she thought she wouldn't get.
I explained that many factors could be at play and that some are out of his control but there are three things that may help. 

He found my describing them of value and so I wrote about them in my article today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Best Christmas Music on YouTube

In preparing my article today, I reviewed over 100 YouTube videos of the most popular Christmas music performed by beloved artists, and selected eight that I think are just wonderful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Buying a Car: Lessons in being a savvy consumer in all large purchases.

In my article today, I describe how I just bought a new car. It offers lessons not just on buying a car but on making any large purchase.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Christmas Story With a Message for Parents

As my article today, I offer a short-short story that while Christmas-themed has implications for parents and their children's education. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Good and Bad Sounds

We honor thinking more than sensing. And to the extent we value sensing, we mainly think of seeing. 
But sounds also can affect us, for good and for bad.

In my article today, I offer sampling of sounds that may help you savor the good and be alert to the bad so you can more easily escape or distract yourself from it.

For each of the good sounds, I include a link to that sound.

The Dog Sweater

Crafty Uploader, CC 2.0I had an interesting encounter about a dog sweater. Appropriate as you decide how much to spend on Christmas gifts. I tell the tale in my article today.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Shutting the Shades: A reclusive person tells his story.

I've been publishing a series of articles on people who prefer to mainly be alone, for example, The Recluse Option and Alone Malone.

Today, here is how Dennis Goodrum described himself.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Parent’s Guide to Educationese

Education is jargon-larded and parents need to know a fair amount of it. In my article today, I offer definitions of 35 common pieces of educationese.

To mitigate some of the boredom of learning jargon, I embed critiques of today's education enterprise. Those critiques are more justified than ever in light of the just-released PISA results. They are U.S. education’s latest embarrassment in its unbroken string of poor performance compared with other countries even though the U.S. spends #1 per capita in the world on education.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How Gender-Fair Are You, Really?

A panoply of laws, policies, and targets are aimed at making us gender-fair. But government’s long arm can extend only so far. How gender-fair are we when there’s no law to strike fear into our hearts?

In my article today, I put you in scenarios to help you self-appraise.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Recluse's Tale: Jamie Baier's candid story

On, I've been publishing a series of articles on people who prefer to mainly be alone, for example, The Recluse Option and Alone Malone.

Today, I present Jamie Baier's candid description of himself and his reclusive life. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

So You’d Like to Make Big Money in Sales

As my article today, I offer an edited exchange with a caller to my radio program who wanted advice about how to make big money in sales.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Alone Malone:" Story of a reclusive person

On, I've written a number of pieces on reclusivity as a lifestyle choice, not a pathology, For example, there's The Recluse Option. Today, I offer an interview with Douglas Malone. 

A Voice of Moderation in the Time of Trump

Courtesy, Washington Post
We live in polarized times. Perhaps more than ever, we could benefit--psychologically as well as practically--from the perspective of an eminent moderate.

So my The Eminents interview today is with a self-described “messy moderate." Robert Samuelson has won numerous national awards including, four times, The National Headliner Award “for consistently outstanding columns.” For 27 years, he was Contributing Editor at Newsweek and now writes a weekly, nationally syndicated column in the Washington Post. He is the author of The Good Life and Its Discontents and The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Better Informational Interviewing

Career seekers are advised to use informational interviews to help pick a career. Alas, they rarely work as well as is touted.

In my article today, I offer an improved approach to learning about a career, including a better approach to informational interviewing. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Favorite Recent Tweets

The longer I’ve tried to be a change agent, the more I’ve become convinced that brevity yields readers the most benefit per minute.

Hence I tweet a lot. I’ve posted about 250 tweets in the past six months. As my article today, I post my favorite 39.