Grappling with mortality and meaning

I’m not certain what precisely led to my contemplating my death. Several of my good friends recently lost their fathers. I was also on an airplane flight, which, all statistics on safety aside, always makes me think of the Grim Reaper. Whatever the reason, I found myself at 35,000 feet, my eyes closed during the … Continue reading Grappling with mortality and meaning

Ambition vs. Meaningful Goals

Leo Widrich at Buffer recently wrote about how he has been reflecting on the dangers of ambition: “[Ambition] gets in the way of doing the great work of our lives, of living out what we’re already naturally gravitating towards. It also blinds my awareness especially of accepting things how they truly are—instead of making them … Continue reading Ambition vs. Meaningful Goals

Economic Growth and the Rise of Religion

An intriguing thought, trigger by this Atlantic article, “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Being Jewish“: What is religion is now a luxury good? Consider the following: Marx called religion the opiate of the masses.  During an era in which life was brutish, nasty, and short, focusing one’s attention on a glorious afterlife made a lot of … Continue reading Economic Growth and the Rise of Religion

To Savor Time, Be Aware Of It

I’ve written before about how I use the Pomodoro Technique for my work.  What may be less obvious is how I use the Pomodoro Technique for savoring life as well.  Splitting my life into 20-minute increments is as useful at home as it is at the office. For example, it’s very easy for me to … Continue reading To Savor Time, Be Aware Of It

You Don’t Have To Choose Between Meaning And Happiness

My good friend and fellow writer Ben Casnocha asked the question recently, “Do You Want a Happy Career or a Meaningful One?” http://linkd.in/1kPS9RQ To Ben, there is a fundamental conflict between the two: “The things that make you happy (low stress, good health, sex) are not the same things that make your life seem meaningful … Continue reading You Don’t Have To Choose Between Meaning And Happiness

Lives Well Lived

This afternoon, I left the office early to attend the memorial service for my old professor, Ron Rebholz. When I was at Stanford in the early 1990s, Ron was already a legendary teacher, with his Shakespeare course considered one of the top “bucket list” courses at Stanford (along with other legendary classes like ME101 and … Continue reading Lives Well Lived