finding fulfillment

finding fulfillment


My Motto: Don’t Be a Loser

don't be a loser October 15th, 2019

I was watching the fabulous sequel to the enthralling series “Breaking Bad”, the movie El Camino today. A wonderful script, unparalleled performances. It, plus a few other factors, have me thinking that perhaps my best bet is simply to play defense; keep the status quo; satisfice instead of constantly striving to win; put simply: “Don’t Be a Loser”.

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Memories of My Father Evoke Mixed Feelings

memories of my father August 13th, 2018

In this blog, I share a few recollections, memories, conclusions, and facts about my father, Morton Merchey, who died about a year ago. I have been thinking about my dad while reading a biography by David Richman, in which his father’s death is recounted in evocative ways. I tend to go through life only occasionally reflecting on all that my father purposefully and unwittingly taught me, but today I will dig in and see what personal growth might come of doing so.

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Two Types of Values and Their Relevance

values April 23rd, 2018

British moral philosopher Bernard Williams (1929-2003) believed that categorical desires are those desires and aspirations that buoy us, give our lives deeper meaning, and really matter. The rest are mere ancillary and contingent desires. In Williams’ words, he believes we must have “systematic desires around which one organizes life activities which make life worthwhile.” Desires can give life meaning if wisely-placed. At least for a while. This blog will briefly summarize and reflect on the kinds of values human beings hold, and how positioning certain values front-and-center can be inspirational and motivational.

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6th/Final Ch. Summary: In Defense of A Liberal Education

liberal education January 15th, 2018

Finally, after taking 10,000 words + to summarize and review author and historian Fareed Zakaria’s book, In Defense of A Liberal Education, this is the summary of the final chapter (6). It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. Much of this impressive book is about critical thinking, the history of liberal education, knowledge (and its benefits). In general, like many before him, Zakaria posits there is a fundamental difference between the teaching and learning of facts such as names, dates, formulae, and vocabulary on the one hand, and the more basic, utilitarian, secular-humanistic, classic, fundamental approach of critical thinking. Indeed, learning to think is a profoundly valuable asset we would do well to inculcate in our children. This last chapter primarily concentrates on how liberal education fits in with the advances and challenges that this new millennium entails specifically, “youth today”. Ipads, “the Me Generation,” and “the rat race” are explored.

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The Power of Positivity, Optimism & Enthusiasm

positivity October 21st, 2017

Hara Marano, in a Psychology Today article, notes that psychological researchers seem to feel that human beings have a pull toward the dark, upsetting, and disturbing: a “negativity bias.” Perhaps indeed our brains are wired to focus on, feel, and resonate with negative events such as slights, insults, and crises. It is probable that positivity feels good, but negativity really engages the brain to mount coping mechanisms. Well, so be it. The fact is that overcoming that negativity bias and engaging in optimistic thinking, glass-half-full mindsets, and hopeful action are better for us. Gratitude and mindfulness are better ways of being. Just as eating too much food or prejudice are remnants of our evolutionary past, but are not typically helpful in our modern age, having a negative attitude and “sweating the small stuff” probably isn’t as adaptive or functional as “the power of positivity.” Herein you will find many inspirational quotes about optimism, sanguineness, and positivity.

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How to Be Successful: It’s Not All About Money

how to be successful: follow your heart August 4th, 2017

There are many different views and opinions about what it means to succeed, what fulfillment is really about, and how to achieve this sought-after status of “a successful person.” When you hear someone from the upper echelon describing a person’s work life, they often say, rather euphemistically: “He has done very well for himself.” It’s usually code to mean: “That guy is rich; he makes a lot of money every year.” So that is the default description of someone who is a success. However, the ability to command a large paycheck or have a thriving and profitable business is just one of a few different approaches to the age-old quest of how to be successful. There are other tried-and-true takes on this important goal, including being of service, having fun and making the most of leisure, overcoming limitations and obstacles, and being a good person. Indeed, “How to be successful?” is the perennial, deep question asked by every parent and virtually every thinking person. Here are views and opinions from wise persons throughout the ages…

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A Life of Value: 101 Good Ideas

Living a Life of Value June 18th, 2017

A life of value is a way of looking at oneself and the world that strikes a balance between doing what feels right/what fulfills you and what will benefit others in the world (and the world itself). A life of value is not about being a monk or miser or saint. It is fairer to say that a life of value is what one lives when one feels good, and also does good. It can indeed be a bit unclear just what this concept is, so here is a list of 101 things you can do, starting now, to improve your life. Ideally these simple ideas inspire and challenge. I have divided them up into two categories: more “self-oriented” things (e.g., listening to music or traveling) and more “helpful” things (e.g., write your Congressperson or vote with your dollars).

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“My Golden Trophies Are More Like Yellow”

golden trophies June 15th, 2017

My search for romantic love has seen some frustrating years, when fulfillment and joy seemed out of reach. Here is a stanza that characterizes this poem about belonging and meaning:

I will, at the current rate,
Die a lonely and heartbroken fellow.
Though I have won accolades, 
My golden trophies are more like yellow.

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Happiness

April 5th, 2017

Happiness is perhaps one of America’s foremost goals – probably more so than other countries. And yet we are oriented toward money to a large degree. So does money and busyness and forward progress bring about fulfillment, meaning, and flourishing? What other factors are there? And what is the degree to which it can be

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Finding Fulfillment and Purpose

April 5th, 2017

A few shows ago Jason explored fulfillment and meaning, values and ethics, and it was really just the tip of the iceberg. He is pleased to welcome Laurent Grenier, author of A Reason for Living, and Eric Kaufman, President of InSight Consulting to offer their wisdom. Laurent was injured in an accident as a teen,

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