Desperation Loyalty

Desperation(ˌdespəˈrāSH(ə)n) Loyalty(ˈloiəltē)

By Steve Pavlina

Desperation loyalty is remaining loyal(ˈloi(ə)l) to a group or identity based on neediness or clinginess(ˈkliNGē), often in violation(ˌvīəˈlāSH(ə)n) of more important values. It is a place of stuckness that elevates(ˈeləˌvāt) loyalty to others above the commitment to grow.

It’s relatively(ˈrelədivlē) easy to spot this in other people. It’s harder to spot this in ourselves.

If you pursue a strong and centered path of personal growth for many years, you will outgrow many friends and social groups along the way. That’s a normal part of a life of growth and change.

But at some point in your journey, especially early on, you may have doubts about taking the next leap because it may feel like a leap into aloneness.

The truth is that you may sometimes leap into aloneness, but these needn’t be leaps into loneliness.

Accepting an invitation(ˌinvəˈtāSH(ə)n) to grow is an individual decision. That is your challenge to face, and some challenges in life must be faced alone. Now and then it’s important to get away from social influences to dwell in the fire of your own values and let them burn out of you what no longer feels aligned(əˈlīn).

The antidote(ˈan(t)iˌdōt) to desperation loyalty is inspiration loyalty. Feel the call of this fiery(ˈfī(ə)rē) invitation, and give it your full attention when it demands this from you.

The Power of Now™

The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle



I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly(ˈbrēflē) like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual(ˈspiriCH(o͞o)əl) teacher and how this book came into existence(iɡˈzistəns).

Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed(ˌin(t)ərˈspərs) with periods of suicidal(ˌso͞oəˈsīdl) depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.

One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread(dred). I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague(vāɡ) outlines of the furniture(ˈfərniCHər) in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train — everything felt so alien(ˈālēən), so hostile(ˈhästl), and so utterly(ˈədərlē) meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing(ˈlōT͟HiNG) of the world. The most loathsome(ˈlōTHsəm) thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery(ˈmiz(ə)rē)? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation(əˌnīəˈlāSHən), for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive(inˈstiNG(k)tiv) desire to continue to live.

“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar(pəˈkyo͞olyər) thought it was. “Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.”

I was so stunned(stənd) by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts.

Relationship Podcasts Reveal the Truth About Marriage

Relationship Podcasts Reveal(rəˈvēl) the Truth About Marriage(ˈmerij)

Married hosts offer honest conversations about their personal issues and the challenges that can arise(əˈrīz) in any partnership(ˈpärtnərˌSHip).

By Jennifer Altmann

Gambling(ˈɡambəl), infidelity(ˌinfəˈdelədē), moving away from a shared religious(rəˈlijəs) faith(fāTH). These topics, once hidden behind closed doors, are now discussed openly as couples choose to broadcast their relationships on podcasts.

On “Marriage and Martinis(märˈtēnē),” a New Jersey(ˈjərzē) pair describes getting to the brink(briNGk) of divorce(dəˈvôrs), propelled(prəˈpel) by the husband’s trips(trip) to Atlantic City. On “Black Millennial(miˈlenēəl) Marriage,” a couple(ˈkəpəl) share their grief(ɡrēf) over a miscarriage(ˈmisˌkerij) and its lasting repercussions(ˌrēpərˈkəSHən). The couple on the “IMbetween Podcast” talk about troubles with in-laws.

Podcasts have exploded(ikˈsplōdəd) in popularity in recent years, and now dozens of them are hosted by married couples who offer bracingly(ˈbrāsiNGlē) honest conversations about the challenges of long-term partnership.

The hosts say that podcasting serves as a form of couples therapy(ˈTHerəpē), forcing them to pay attention, confront(kənˈfrənt) problems head on and spend quality time together. They also hope to help others feel less alone by bringing up issues that are often couched in silence.

Most of them knew little about creating a podcast before they plunked(pləNGk) down a few hundred dollars for equipment and pressed record. The couples typically don’t rehearse(rəˈhərs) or even edit much, which gives their work an off-the-cuff feel (as does the fact that they often record at home, with dogs barking in the background and children barging(bärj) in).

Every breakthrough comes from someone you know.

Every breakthrough comes from someone you know.

By Derek Sivers

When I was promoting my music, I used to look to the big wide world for opportunities.

Only later, I realized that every great thing that happened in my career came from someone I knew.

When you come to an opportunity through a connection, you have an advantage. You’re not anonymous(əˈnänəməs). You’ve already passed through a filter, and passed a test. You’re treated special because it’s a personal referral(rəˈfərəl).

Does this mean you should stop looking to the world for opportunities? No! Of course not!

Take some of that searching time, and spend it on keeping in touch with your existing contacts.

Then also keep looking to the world. But when you find an opportunity, don’t just toss(tôs) your music in with the rest. Get to know the people behind it. Set yourself apart. Get personal. And now this is someone you know.

Every breakthrough comes from someone you know.

Yes, your kids are spending more time on screens. Stop feeling guilty about it.

Yes, your kids are spending more time on screens. Stop feeling guilty about it.

By Sara DeWitt

My kindergartner’s(ˈkindərˌɡärtnər, ˈkindərˌɡärdənər) class had to go all virtual Friday. My third-grader(ˈɡrādər) had an asynchronous(āˈsiNGkrənəs) day. And I was making a big Zoom presentation(ˌprezənˈtāSH(ə)n). Minutes before I logged on, I handed the boys snacks(snak), water, a TV remote and my iPad. When I reemerged(ˌrēəˈmərj), they reported that they had watched five straight(strāt) episodes(ˈepəˌsōd) of “Arthur,” while simultaneously(ˌsīməlˈtānēəslē) building a giant(ˈjīənt) tower in Minecraft.

This is when I’m supposed to tell you how guilty I feel. But I don’t, and neither should you.

A year into the pandemic, we all know that kids’ screen time has gone up.

But while the circumstances in which children are using screens have changed, media coverage of screen time continues to treat any increase in screen time with alarm(əˈlärm) and anxiety. No one wanted kids to be out of school for a year and barred(bärd) from their neighborhood playgrounds; no one expected to have their children with them while they worked every day for a year. Of course screen time has gone up! Why are we shaming(SHām) parents about it? And why aren’t we curious about whether that screen time itself is different?

The Guilt of Not Working More When We’re Done for the Day

The Guilt(ɡilt) of Not Working More When We’re Done for the Day

By Leo Babauta

At the end of a day of work, there can be a simple practice of wrapping things up and shutting down for the day.

But so many of us feel guilty at simply stopping, and this feeling that we should be doing more … it drives some of us to keep going as long as we can.

This can lead to overwork, burnout, tiredness, and never letting ourselves enjoy a moment of rest.

Do you relate(rəˈlāt) to this guilt of simply stopping and resting?

The thing about this guilt is that it doesn’t have to be rational(ˈraSH(ə)n(ə)l) — it’s simply fear, that we’re not doing enough, that we’re not on top of things, that we’re not going to be OK if we don’t get everything done.

I know this fear well. I still have it, on a daily basis. It’s not rational, but then fear never is.

This fear will control us if we don’t bring a kind awareness to it, and start to work with it. It will own us, and we’ll always be checking our phones, replying(rəˈplī) to messages, stuck in perpetual(pərˈpeCH(o͞o)əl) motion. Rest becomes difficult, joy becomes mostly inaccessible(ˌinakˈsesəb(ə)l).

Here’s how I work with this guilt and fear:

  1. Recognize it when it’s happening.
  2. Breathe, and feel it.
  3. Remind yourself of a bigger truth.
  4. Then take the rest.

How would you like to practice with this for yourself?

Review of “The Wizard of Oz”

Review of “The Wizard(ˈwizərd) of Oz”

By Roger Ebert

As a child I simply did not notice whether a movie was in color or not. The movies themselves were such an overwhelming mystery(ˈmist(ə)rē) that if they wanted to be in black and white, that was their business. It was not until I saw “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time that I consciously(ˈkänSHəslē) noticed B&W versus color, as Dorothy was blown(blōn) out of Kansas(ˈkanzəs) and into Oz. What did I think? It made good sense to me.

We study all of these details, I think, because “The Wizard of Oz” fills such a large space in our imagination. It somehow seems real and important in a way most movies don’t. Is that because we see it first when we’re young? Or simply because it is a wonderful movie? Or because it sounds some buried(ˈberēd) universal note, some archetype(ˈärkəˌtīp) or deeply felt myth(miTH)?

I lean toward the third possibility, that the elements in “The Wizard of Oz” powerfully fill a void that exists inside many children. For kids of a certain age, home is everything, the center of the world. But over the rainbow, dimly(ˈdimlē) guessed at, is the wide earth, fascinating(ˈfasəˌnādiNG) and terrifying(ˈterəfīiNG). There is a deep fundamental fear that events might conspire(kənˈspī(ə)r) to transport the child from the safety of home and strand(strand) him far away in a strange land. And what would he hope to find there? Why, new friends, to advise and protect him. And Toto, of course, because children have such a strong symbiotic(ˌsimbīˈädik) relationship with their pets(pet) that they assume(əˈso͞om) they would get lost together.

Warren Buffett’s “Long Bet”

Warren Buffett’s “Long Bet”

Over a ten-year period commencing(kəˈmens) on January 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2017, the S&P 500 will outperform a portfolio(pôrtˈfōlēˌō) of funds of hedge(hej) funds, when performance is measured(ˈmeZHərd) on a basis(ˈbāsəs) net of fees, costs and expenses.

A lot of very smart people set out to do better than average in securities markets. Call them active investors.

Their opposites, passive investors, will by definition do about average. In aggregate(ˈaɡriɡət) their positions will more or less approximate(əˈpräksəmət) those of an index fund. Therefore, the balance of the universe—the active investors—must do about average as well. However, these investors will incur(inˈkər) far greater costs. So, on balance, their aggregate results after these costs will be worse than those of the passive investors.

Costs skyrocket(ˈskīˌräkət) when large annual(ˈany(o͞o)əl) fees, large performance fees, and active trading(ˈtrādiNG) costs are all added to the active investor’s equation(əˈkwāZHən). Funds of hedge funds accentuate(əkˈsen(t)SHəˌwāt) this cost problem because their fees are superimposed(ˌso͞opərimˈpōzd) on the large fees charged by the hedge funds in which the funds of funds are invested.

A number of smart people are involved in running hedge funds. But to a great extent their efforts are self-neutralizing(ˈn(y)o͞otrəˌlīz), and their IQ will not overcome the costs they impose on investors. Investors, on average and over time, will do better with a low-cost index fund than with a group of funds of funds.

Why procrastination can help fuel creativity

Why procrastination can help fuel(ˈfyo͞o(ə)l) creativity

There’s strong evidence that creative insights need time to percolate(ˈpərkəˌlāt) – and that the right amount of distraction(dəˈstrakSH(ə)n) may be key to innovation(ˌinəˈvāSH(ə)n).

By Loizos Heracleous and David Robson

If the history of creativity teaches us anything, it is that great ideas often come when we’re least(lēst) expecting them. Consider Wolfgang Amadeus(əm) Mozart(ˈmōˌtsärt), who described how new melodies(ˈmelədē) would arrive while he was eating in a restaurant, walking after a meal or getting ready for sleep at night. “Those that please me, I retain(rəˈtān), and even hum(həm); at least, so others have told me,” he wrote. “It seems to me impossible to say whence((h)wens) they come to me and how they arrive; what is certain is that I cannot make them come when I wish.”

It’s not just Mozart who experienced this phenomenon(fəˈnäməˌnän); the French(fren(t)SH) mathematician(ˌmaTH(ə)məˈtiSHən) Poincare described how his breakthroughs(ˈbrākˌTHro͞o) occurred while travelling on the bus or walking by the seaside, while Agatha(egə) Christie(ˈkristē) reported that ideas for her crime(krīm) stories often came while washing up or having a bath. “I don’t think necessity(nəˈsesədē) is the mother of invention,” she wrote in her autobiography(ˌôdəbīˈäɡrəfē). “Invention, in my opinion(əˈpinyən), arises(əˈrīz) directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness(ˈlāzēnəs).”

Career and Commitment

Career(kəˈrir) and Commitment

By Steve Pavlina

How committed are you to having a career you absolutely love?

Your level of commitment plays a key role in the process of creating a fulfilling career. When people are undercommitted to their careers, they tend to get lousy(ˈlouzē) results. When they get clear about what they want and commit themselves to creating it, however long it takes, they usually get there in some fashion.

Action reveals(rəˈvēl) commitment

How do you know how committed you are? You can tell by your actions… by what you consider important enough to carve(kärv) out time for.

For example, if your career seems to be in the dumps right now, but you somehow manage to keep up on all your favorite TV shows, what does that say about your level of commitment? Doesn’t it say you’re more committed to idle(ˈīdl) entertainment(ˌen(t)ərˈtānmənt) than to spending each day doing work you love? Procrastination is a tempting short-term choice, but in the long run, it will only keep you trapped. If a great career really matters to you, your actions will show it.

Incubation(ˌiNGkyəˈbāSH(ə)n) vs. delay(dəˈlā)

What about waiting for inspiration? Incubation time. There’s a big difference between actively seeking inspiration through activities such as introspection(ˌintrəˈspekSH(ə)n), journaling, meditation, and purposeful(ˈpərpəsfəl) reading vs. idle delay. As a rule of thumb(THəm), if you aren’t sure whether you’re incubating your greatness or just delaying, you’re delaying.