November 22, 2022

The question at the top of the page comes from Arthur C. Brooks, author of the recent book From Strength to Strength, Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. It’s something Brooks asks his students at the Harvard Business School to get their attention. He goes on to say: When I tell my graduate students, who are mostly in their late 20s, to contemplate the fact that they have 50 or 60 Thanksgivings left, and... Read more

November 16, 2022

Elsa Barker was an accomplished author in the early-1900’s when in 1913, something extraordinary happened. She began hearing the voice of a friend, the Judge David Patterson Hatch in her head. Barker was unaware of it at the time, but Hatch had just passed away—and had begun speaking with her from “heaven.”  The voice startled Barker but she began dutifully jotting down what she heard. It turned out to be a compelling first-hand report of what happened to Judge Hatch... Read more

November 9, 2022

One of the smartest, most insightful writers I know is Maria Popova. For 16 years, she has been writing the thought-provoking and life-affirming blog now called The Marginalian, but for years known as Brain Pickings. Each week, she dissects the work and ideas of a range of creative thinkers, from Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking to obscure illustrators of children’s books to literary figures like Whitman, Steinbeck and Sontag. Popova recently posted a column titled 16 Life-Learnings from 16 Years... Read more

November 2, 2022

In a recent column, I talked about the 4 stages of life that make up the Hindu varnasrama system. As a refresher, during the second stage, we pursue social, professional and financial growth. And while some people get stuck at stage 2, many of us move to a third stage where we begin to focus more on our spirituality and faith. A slightly different system comes from the philosopher Daisaku Ikeda and his book Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth & Death,... Read more

October 27, 2022

We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through all the time…but the problem is, we don’t see it. ~Thomas Merton In The Rebirthing of God, the theologian and spiritual teacher John Phillip Newell tells us how we might go about reconnecting with the Divine. Newell, who identifies as a Celtic and a Christian, believes that “God is the Light that flows through all things,” and “everything originates in the Light of God.” For... Read more

October 20, 2022

In From Strength to Strength, Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in The Second Half of Life, Arthur C. Brooks discusses the Indian concept known as vanaprastha. It comes from the varnasrama system of Hinduism which splits up our lives into four distinct stages, each happening every 20-25 years—with vanaprastha being the all-important third stage. It works like this: After our youthful first stage, in our early-20s we move to a second stage that lasts until we are about 50 years... Read more

October 12, 2022

I was almost in a car accident the other day. In a hurry, I was making a right turn into traffic, not realizing that from the other side of the road another car was trying to turn into the same lane. The blare of the other driver’s car horn stopped me just short of impact—and when I caught my breath and realized what had just happened, I blamed myself. Maybe technically I had the right of way. But I had... Read more

October 6, 2022

What is the secret to a happy and successful life? It’s a question I’ve often pondered. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve come across the musings of several wise men and women, who have chosen to put their “rules of life” down on paper (or these days, a word doc) and many offer keen insights. The latest list I uncovered is courtesy of the author Russ Roberts, whose most recent book is Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions That Define... Read more

September 28, 2022

As a young adult growing up in the Northeast, I used to split the year into two halves. The first glorious half ran from mid-April to mid-October. It was a time of warmish to hot weather, abundant sunshine, swimming in the ocean, drinking cold beers on the beach. The less pleasant other half ran through Fall and Winter and was comprised of shorter, darker days, chilly to numbingly cold weather—and every so often, a case of the blues. I have... Read more

September 22, 2022

Start Chipping Away. That’s both a chapter heading and advice from Arthur C. Brooks recent book From Strength to Strength, Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. “Chipping away” is of many compelling ideas forwarded by Brooks, a way to increase happiness as we grow older. Brooks explains that the way we view the world is often dictated by society or more specifically by the cultural norms we live in and may have unconsciously accepted.... Read more

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