Let a Breeze Blow Through Your House

Do you take your emotions seriously? Do they grab you and toss you around? Do you sometimes feel like you are being manipulated by a great emotion-puppeteer who pulls your strings? Strong emotions have an immediacy and power that are hard to ignore. And compounding their power is the related (and peculiar) memory impairment they cause. Emotions are like the wind When you’re feeling bereft, it’s almost impossible to remember that the hour or the day or the week … [Read more...]

The Simple Secret to Easily Connect with Anyone

The most effective way to make a strong connection with someone else is simple. There are two key steps: Really notice who they are. Accept them as they are. Really Noticing Who People Are You may find it easier to judge people or to give them advice or argue with them. But you'll find that when you carefully observe someone close enough to notice who they really are, you'll be more likely to develop a real rapport. "Seeing" is the basis for love My friends … [Read more...]

Do You Think Before You Talk? Or Talk Before You Think?

Some people think before they talk. Others talk before they think. In my experience, only some people have brains and tongues that function at exactly the same speed. Perhaps the idea that thinking and talking don't always happen together seems odd or silly. But let me assure you that knowing the relationship between someone's speech and someone's thinking is critically important. Observing the Timing Patterns of Thought and Speech Once you understand how the speed of … [Read more...]

Track Random Acts of Kindness: You’ll Do Them More Often

82517. That's the number of steps I walked last week. Those steps amounted to 38.05 miles and burned 14,422 calories. That's the report I woke up to this morning when I booted up my computer. It comes from my new toy — a little black plastic gizmo I carry with me that tracks my activity, records it and gives me progress reports. Tracking the Steps You Take Changes the Decisions You Make Now, knowing that my FitBit is watching, I walk up stairs instead of taking … [Read more...]

Look for Something and You’re Likely to See It

Have you ever noticed that once you make up your mind about something, you start seeing lots of evidence that supports your decision? Your “sightings” aren't the result of Divine intervention. They happen because your brain, like mine and everyone else's, selects from among the gigabytes of available information and presents you with just the right things to match your conclusions. According to Chris Chabris and Dan Simons, co-authors of The Invisible Gorilla, our … [Read more...]

See Your Inner Beauty: Sage Advice from Grandma

I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law who called every Sunday, without fail. One Sunday, when we spoke, I invited her to visit us in Pennsylvania. Her response? “Andrea, do you know what I look like? Yes? Well, I know what you look like too!” And that was the end of discussion about a visit. Mind you, our relationship was excellent and she said this with great affection. I understood that she had no need to visit, not because she didn’t love us, but … [Read more...]

The Perfect Gift

Yesterday was my birthday and gift-giving is on my mind. Are you sometimes stymied when you select a gift for someone because you don’t know what’s right? Have you ever gotten a gift that while it’s well-intended but has nothing to do with your interests or tastes? Do you know that hollow sensation of pretending to love a gift you can't stand? Are You a Great Gift Giver? I’ve always envied people who seem to be able to pick just the right gift. And I think I’ve … [Read more...]

TRY THIS… a Blog of Ideas and Mind-Play for a Fascinating Life

My heart is racing. My chest tight. It's all I can do to write this inaugural post. In fact, I’ve spent days....even weeks...avoiding this moment because my anxiety is so high. Do you know that feeling? I recently left my business, Asking Matters, because I wanted to broaden my exploration of human behavior beyond fundraising, the business that has occupied me for nearly 30 years. But now, as I face the blank page of this new blog that willy-nilly launches tomorrow, … [Read more...]