The Luck of the Nobel Laureates

While on holiday in Stockholm, we visited the Nobel Museum just off the main street in the Old District of town. It is a small museum filled with stories and artifacts from the greatest minds of the past 111 years. In one room ran a constant stream of videos from different Nobel winners describing their work and their award. While there were many similarities to what many of them said such as having a visionary ideal, or being dedicated and focused, there was one that particular quality that stood out for me. James Watson and Francis Crick, who discovered the arrangement of DNA, our basic biological structure, described the certainty they felt about how luck played a critical role in Read More

The Art of Relaxation

We’re on our summer holiday that includes a weeklong cruise along the Norwegian Fjords. Our first day, which was a “sea day” meant that we would be going from port to port without any stops and the only activities to engage in were those on the ship. For me, that meant a day of ease. I knew I was in the right place when the notice to hang on the door didn’t say “Do Not Disturb” but instead stated “Still Relaxing.” For almost all of us, relaxation is a lost art. Our busy lives consume every waking hour which often means collapsing into bed, which is our body’s primary rest and recuperation period and a key to our resilience.. It Read More

The Ritual of Refirement

I like to say that when we are resilient, we move through life with more grace and ease. One of the tools that help us achieve that quality is ritual and we use them to help us with everything from our morning habits to our mourning customs. My friend Lynn retired from the University and is moving into a new work setting for herself. She asked for help in creating a ritual to solidify that transition and my wife and ritual expert, Sheila Collins prepared a ceremony that we would celebrate over the 4th of July weekend. Lynn invited friends and family, academic colleagues, and other members of her community over for a big barbeque. In addition to great food Read More

Challenge Vs. Hindrance Stressors: One is Good, One is Bad

A friend of mine recently left her sales position with a Fortune 500 company after spending 15 years with them. When I asked her why she left, she told me it was all the stress she was under. I inquired further whether it was the challenge of dealing with customers, the difficulties of closing deals, or having to constantly learn about new products. None of that, she told me. In fact, she loved that part of her work. The real problems were the shifting priorities, bureaucratic hassles, and her manager who wanted to micromanage her every step. Those issues just sucked all the energy out of her. New research points out that there is a difference between how different kinds Read More