Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mid-year status report

Most of us are perennially overoptimistic when making plans. Which of your plans and goals for 2011 have fallen way behind schedule?

On the other hand, what are some of your biggest actual accomplishments for the first half of the year? Were those things in your plans, or were they the result of unexpected opportunities?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The year's best

Sure, 2011 is only half over. But if you were asked to make a tentative nomination for the year's best book, best song, or best movie (pick one category), what would you choose? What work of entertainment blew your mind this year?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Out of left field

There were plenty of predictions and forecasts for 2011, but some of the year's huge news stories came as total surprises. How about in your personal life? What big changes in the past six months caught you by surprise?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Halfway through the year

Can you believe it? 2011 is already at the halfway mark! How are things going for you? Is 2011 working out to be a better year for you than 2010?

What is your highlight of the year so far — your single brightest moment for 2011?

This week's theme is halfway through the year.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tell us a story: so you think you can dance

Tell us about a time when you went ahead and tried something you weren't sure you could do, even at the risk of making a fool of yourself. Where were you? What did you attempt? Who or what convinced you to give it a try? How did it work out?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Change is good

Some music fans are converting their long-playing records into MP3s. Some bakers are adapting their cake recipes so they can get in on the craze for cupcakes. What is one thing of your own that you recently transformed into a new format?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Karaoke night

If your friends dragged you to the microphone at a karaoke party, what song might you pick to sing? Or are you someone who doesn't sing under any circumstances?

This week's theme is your voice.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finding the right words

Do you tend to be eloquent or tongue-tied? Is it easy for you to find the right words to say what you want to say, or do you sometimes struggle with how to express your thoughts? When you speak to a group of people, do you prefer to have a script in front of you, or do you do better speaking off the cuff, without prepared notes?

This week's theme is your voice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At your podium

Do you use your voice professionally, as an actor, singer, DJ, teacher, or public speaker? If not, what are the times and places when your voice makes the biggest difference — the times when it's important for you to speak clearly and powerfully so that you are heard and understood?

This week's theme is your voice.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Listen to yourself

We see ourselves in the mirror every day, but most of us don't have many opportunities to hear ourselves speak. When you hear your recorded voice, do you tend to wince, or do you think you sound pretty good?

What is one thing that you would like to change about the tone of your voice or the way you speak?

This week's theme is your voice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The sound of your voice

Do you feel that your speaking voice matches your personality? What are some things that people can tell about you just by hearing you speak? What are some things they might incorrectly assume or guess about you, based solely on your speaking voice?

This week's theme is your voice.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tell us a story: disaster prevention

Did you once intervene just in time to stop someone from accidentally setting themselves on fire? Did you happen to catch someone's antique vase before it hit the floor? Did you stop someone from stepping out on stage with a wardrobe malfunction?

When did your alertness and quick action prevent a big mess, an expensive accident, or a major embarrassment?

Disasters and accidents stick in our memories, but it's easy to forget the just-as-important moments when you prevented an accident. These are valuable accomplishments; make sure you give yourself credit!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Salt water

Despite having vast continents to spread out on, most people on earth still live close to the ocean. How far are you from the ocean (or a salt-water bay or inlet)?

What is your favorite thing to do at the beach or out on the open water?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you dream in color?

Musicians' dreams have great musical soundtracks. Graphic designers' dreams offer interesting colors, shapes, and lines. What is one dayworld fascination of yours that influences the content and style of your dreams?

This week's theme is your dreamworld.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This must be a dream!

According to one theory, dreams are vivid experiences constructed by your imagination in its best attempt to forge a cohesive narrative from current patterns of neural stimulation. The funny thing is, that same description applies equally well to waking life!

What are some actual differences between your dream experience and your waking life? Do your dreams have more monsters? More final exams? What are some things that happen repeatedly in your dreams, but almost never in waking life — things that should be a clear tipoff that you're having a dream?

This week's theme is your dreamworld.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dream police

In your dreams, what kinds of rules do you break? And what kinds of interactions do you have with enforcers and authority figures?

Are there parallels with the way authority figures show up in your waking life?

This week's theme is your dreamworld.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dream adventures

Does your dreamlife sometimes seem better, more meaningful, or more exciting than your waking life? What are some things in your dreams that outdo your waking life? In your dreams, are you more wealthy or more successful than in waking life? Do you get to go to grander and more interesting places? Do your dream challenges seem more important and more satisfying than your dayworld chores?

In what particular ways would you like your life to be more like your dreamlife?

This week's theme is your dreamworld.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Your dreamworld

All of us have dreams that defy ordinary logic, where places, people, and things have fluid identities, and cause and effect can be hard to untangle. But we don't all have the same dreams; each dreamworld has its unique personality.

What is one unusual situation, place, or thing that has appeared in your dreams more than once, but that — as far as you know — hasn't occurred in anyone else's dreams? What is one thing you've dreamed up that just might be unique to your dreamworld?

This week's theme is your dreamworld.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tell us a story: culture, natural and adopted

Was there one time where you were at a traditional ethnic event and felt a great deal of warmth and acceptance? Was the event part of your own cultural heritage? Or were you playing tourist at someone else's cultural event?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In or out

Do you consider yourself an 'outdoorsy' person? Do you eagerly get outside into the sunshine at every opportunity? Or do you hate the bugs/heat/humidity/wind/etc., and only go outside in order to get somewhere else that's inside?

Friday, June 10, 2011

"I'm going out for a while"

When you were old enough to walk or bicycle away from home by yourself, what was one place that you liked to go?

This week's theme is childhood memories.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pipe dreams

Did someone ever thwart your dreams? What did you want to do, and who thought that you couldn't do it?

This week's theme is childhood memories.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Something special for you

What is one gift, large or small, that especially delighted you as a child?

This week's theme is childhood memories.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book of the year

What is one book that fascinated you as a child, a book that you remember reading again and again?

This week's theme is childhood memories.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Childhood memories

Some memories from your childhood might seem vague and distant, while other might seem clear and immediate. What's one place, activity, person, or pet that provided some of your most vivid childhood memories?

This week's theme is childhood memories.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tell us a story: a funny thing happened at the wedding

Once, while hurrying to a friend's wedding, we suddenly had to turn back. The road ahead — the main road to the wedding location — was swallowed up by floodwaters. What's your own story about something unplanned and unexpected that made a wedding day — your own or someone else's — even more memorable?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I planted a seed

Did you plant a sapling several years ago that has grown into a full-size tree? Did you form a club or start a tradition that still carries on today without any effort from you? What is something you helped set in motion a long time ago that, years later, still has a visible impact?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Your global web

Think of your connections to faraway places: your ancestors' homelands, the birthplaces of friends and colleagues, and your friends who have moved to distant lands. How far and wide do your connections reach? Can you find links to all six inhabited continents?

This week's theme is connections.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A friend on the inside

Who provides your most direct connection to the glamorous inside world of Hollywood, or pop music, or professional sports, or whatever it is that you count as glamorous? Are you well-connected enough to sometimes get leftover swag, or free tickets, or gossip from behind the scenes?

This week's theme is connections.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Returning the favor

Yesterday we asked about times when connections paid off for you in a big way. What about the reverse? When were you in the right place to help out someone you were connected to, in a way that made a big difference for them?

This week's theme is connections.