Monday, August 31, 2009

After all these years

There's nothing wrong with enjoying your rich personal history, but most of us also have some unhealthy ties to the past — things that we won't let go of and that limit us in our lives today. It's good to become aware of these things and do whatever it takes to release them. When you aren't dragging your past with you, you have much more freedom to choose your direction.

What disappointments from long ago do you still carry with you? What old grudges do you carry?

This week's theme is incompleteness.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Top Ten: lucky breaks

What are ten lucky breaks that affected the course of your life? Think of things that were unlikely to happen, things that no one in their right mind would have gambled on — events that defied the odds and happened anyway. What are these lucky occurrences that helped make it possible for you to be where you are today?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

If you could break the rules

Thinking about where you are in your life right now, what are the rules that keep you stuck? And what would become possible if you were willing to break the rules?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Team spirit

What hobbies and activities do you two enjoy doing together? What values do you share? What goals do you have in common?

This week's theme is your partner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The way we were

What are some dramatic changes or unexpected events — happy or unhappy — that loom large in the history of your relationship? What are some things that used to play a big role in the relationship, but now are largely forgotten?

This week's theme is your partner.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Love story

What obstacles or difficulties complicated the earliest period of your relationship? How did you overcome them?

This week's theme is your partner.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The story of us

Think about the history of your relationship. How long have you two been together? What was your first impression of him/her? Did someone play an important role in bringing you two together?

This week's theme is your partner.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your partner

Most of us are either in a relationship, or between relationships. Few of us have given up on partnership entirely! Because of the amount of time and space you share with a beloved — whether husband, girlfriend, lover, significant other, friend-with-benefit, spouse, partner — they are bound to be a immense presence in your life. This week, we'll look at a few questions dealing with your partner and your relationship.

Are you in a relationship right now? What word do you use most often when introducing your partner to someone?

This week's theme is your partner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Top Ten: taken for granted

What are ten things that you take for granted, and rarely think about — things that enrich your life or make your life easier for you? We recommend taking a full day to answer this question. Look around for the things you might otherwise overlook.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oh, yeah? Well...shut up!

What is your favorite fallback tactic when you realize that you can't win the argument on logic alone?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Your exclusive club

What is one great thing you already have in your life that everyone else (or almost everyone) is missing out on? Do you count this as a success?

This week's theme is success.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Try, try again

Does each failure move you closer to success, or does it make you want to give up? What can you do to reduce the cost of each failure, so that it's easier to keep trying?

This week's theme is success.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good job

How does your employer measure your success at your job? How do you measure your success at your job? How do your family and friends measure your success?

This week's theme is success.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Your reputation precedes you

What person (real or fictional) comes to mind, for you, as the ultimate picture of success? What are some of the costs of that person's success? What are some of the things, positive and negative, that people say about that person?

This week's theme is success.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Same life, more success

When you think of great success, you might picture a life very different from the one you're leading now. But what if you could just turn up an imaginary "success" dial without making any overt changes in your life? What would it look like if you were extremely successful within the life and circumstances that you have now?

This week's theme is success.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top Ten: toxic waste cleanup

Think of the people, possessions, attitudes, emotions, habits, vices, etc., that drag down your life or are harmful to you in some way. What are ten things that, if you got rid of them, would improve your life?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

You can't eat just one

What product or activity or experience in your life seems to be temporarily habit-forming — it tends to come not one at a time but in clumps or series?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Grand unifying theory

The reporter is winding up now, and asks you a concluding question to end the interview:

What is the unifying theme of your life story?

This week's theme is telling your life story.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A continuing series

Now the reporter is so fascinated by you, she's suggested turning the article into a series!

How might you outline your life into sections or chapters? Which chapters would be easiest for you to write, and which would be difficult?

This week's theme is telling your life story.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Details to gloss over

That pesky reporter is still there, interviewing you!

What are some things that are an important part of your life, but are just not very interesting from a storytelling perspective?

This week's theme is telling your life story.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The small editor within

You're still being interviewed about your life story.

When telling your story, what events in your life would you be tempted to revise because they reflect badly on you?

This week's theme is telling your life story.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Telling your life story

Imagine that a reporter is coming to interview you for a story summing up your life. You'll need to make an inventory of the aspects of your life that you'll want to focus on, and be ready to talk about yourself in a positive light. You'll also need to be prepared for probing questions that might not be easy to answer. The reporter arrives, you sit down, take a deep breath, and the first question comes:

What admirable human qualities does your life exemplify?

This week's theme is telling your life story.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top Ten: gainful employment

What are ten things you have done to earn money?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Goodbye, old friend

What is one friendship that you have outgrown? What bonds or interests held that friendship together? What changed to make that friendship no longer work for you?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The family home

What are some common things in your home that would also have been seen in the home of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents?

What are some things in your home that tie you to your specific past? Do you have a religious emblem — like a doorway mezuzah — that someone handed down to you? A pineapple door-knocker, which is an old symbol of welcome? Perhaps a decorative milk-pail that a great-grandparent actually used for milking cows?

This week's theme is the state of your home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home improvement

What would you change about your home if it weren't too difficult or expensive? What would you change about your home if money was no object?

This week's theme is the state of your home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A room with a view

In what room do you spend most of your time? What rooms in your home do you avoid, or simply don't visit very much? What would make those spaces more inviting to you?

This week's theme is the state of your home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thanks for stopping by!

What do other people see when they first enter your home? Does it accurately reflect the kind of place with which you want to be associated? Or is it out of line with your personal style and philosophy?

This week's theme is the state of your home.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The state of your home

Where we live — and how we live — is very important, because it affects our state of mind. Often, it reflects our state of mind. This week we're going to examine how you deal with your stuff and your surroundings.

When you come to the entrance of your home, what kind of a feeling do you get? Do you think about the mess waiting behind the door and feel helpless about cleaning it up? Are you delighted to be about to enter your own perfect, private sanctuary from the world? Do you look forward to being there, or dread walking through the door? How do you feel about how the entryway actually looks from the outside?

This week's theme is the state of your home.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Top Ten: moonlight memories

Normally we sleep every night, on a more-or-less regular timetable. But sometimes circumstances, obligations, or opportunities interrupt our routines, and we find ourselves awake in the middle of the night, doing something unexpected or unusual: perhaps giving birth, flying across the ocean, escaping a fire, or reading a novel that's too gripping to put down.

What are ten of the most memorable or unusual places you've been or things you've done late at night, at hours when you would normally be asleep?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


How do you handle frustration? Do you let it wash over you and carry you away, making everyone else's day miserable? Or do you bottle it up and wait to express it at the gym, or by pounding some bread dough, or writing an energetically angry poem?

If someone specific is the cause of your frustration, do you tell them what they did to frustrate you? Or let it fester unhealthily until it comes out in a big blast of an argument with them some weeks later?