Friday, August 31, 2012

Things that can't be seen (5)

"Seeing is believing," the saying goes, but we also believe in many things that we've never seen, and  things that can be seen only indirectly.  What are a few of the things that play an important role in your life, even though you've never seen them? 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things that can't be seen (4)

"Out of sight, out of mind" is a folk saying that tells us we rely on our eyes to keep track of things. It's easy to forget about something invisible, no matter how important it is. What are some everyday examples of visible reminders that help you remember the things you have to do? What do you do to make your important priorities more visible? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things that can't be seen (3)

If a friend loses weight, that's a healthy change that is easy to see.  If they stop smoking, that might be just as significant an improvement, but it doesn't show up in photographs.  What's an example of the latter kind of change, either in yourself or someone else — an improvement that makes a real difference, but can't necessarily be seen at a glance?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Things that can't be seen (2)

Sometimes don't need anyone to say "thank you"; you just want to make sure things work out well. What are some things that you do, quietly or even secretly, to help out your community, your employer, or the people around you?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things that can't be seen (1)

Do you feel that your life has an underlying purpose?  If so, was your life's purpose already in place when you were born, or did it develop or evolve over a period of time? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tell us a story: change of plans

Tell us about a time when you set out shopping with a clear idea of what you wanted to buy, but ended up with something quite different. What did you originally have in mind? What did you end up buying? And what happened that made you change your plans?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Good advice

This week, who gave you the most helpful and useful advice?  Were you intentionally looking for advice, or did they just happen to offer it?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Improving your skills (5)

Suppose a genie let you wish for just one skill that you don't have.  What is the one skill that would help the most in moving you towards your dreams? 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Improving your skills (4)

What are a few skills that, if you worked on them a bit, would help you in a very practical way in your everyday life?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Improving your skills (3)

Sometimes the key to developing a skill is knowing someone who has already mastered that skill—whether or not they take the role of teacher.  What is one of your skills that you can definitely link to a specific person in your life?  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Improving your skills (2)

What are some skills you've developed purely for the fun of it? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Improving your skills (1)

The demands of our daily lives prompt us to continually improve one skill or another, and at the same time our personal interests and ambitions also push in that direction.  What are some of the skills that you've improved in the last year or two?  

In most of those cases, did you consciously plan and practice to improve your skills (for example, signing up for a class) or did it happen naturally in the course of events (for example, handling a new responsibility at your job)?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tell us a story: away from home

What is the most unusual place where you've slept on a summer vacation? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Written in pencil

What is something that you still think of as tentative and temporary, even though it's been around for a few years already and you have no realistic plans for changing or replacing it? 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Food (5)

What is one food that you steer clear of, not because it's unhealthy or bad-tasting, but because you associate it with unpleasant memories from your past?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Food (4)

When you have a little extra time and you're not in a hurry, does that change your eating habits?  Do you eat different things, or eat at different places, when time pressure isn't a factor? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Food (3)

How much control do you have over what you eat?  Do you sometimes end up eating things that you don't particularly like, or that you know are unhealthy, because you have to work with a limited range of choices? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Food (2)

If a camera recorded your most recent meals, what would the scene look like?  Do you typically eat by yourself, or with other people?  Are meals a time of conversation?  Do you combine eating with watching TV, checking e-mail, reading, or any other activity? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food (1)

When you look back at your childhood, which of your family's mealtime patterns or specific foods stands out as unusual, unhealthy, or dysfunctional, even if it didn't seem that way at the time?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tell us a story: road trip

What was one amazing place or memorable event that you visited as part of a group trip or outing?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pain in the neck

What specific health problem interferes most directly with your daily routine or interrupts your life most frequently?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeling stuck (5)

On the Happiness Project blog, Gretchen Rubin details a phenomenon called drift, which might be described as a slippery way of being stuck.  How many of these warning signs of drift apply to you?

Do you complain about a situation without taking action to change things?
Do you feel passively carried along by circumstances that are being guided by other people or processes?
Do you say to yourself "This can't go on" -- but it does go on anyway?
Do you secretly hope that some external force will come along to "blow up" a situation and stop the course of events?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Feeling stuck (4)

Think of a few different times in your life when you had felt stuck and then managed to get unstuck.  In each of those cases, what ingredient made the critical difference that got you moving again?  Did you follow the same pattern every time you got yourself unstuck, or was it different every time? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Feeling stuck (3)

What is one activity in your life that you feel kind of stuck participating in, even though you don't really enjoy it?  What keeps you from simply quitting?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeling stuck (2)

What is your typical response to being stuck?  Do you wait and hope for things to change?  Do you try harder and harder, hoping to break free?  Do you try lots of different things, hoping that you will chance upon something that works? 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Feeling stuck (1)

What part of your life seems to be stuck, unable to move forward?  Do you have a clear idea of what's holding you back, or is it hard to tell what has stopped your momentum?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tell us a story: dream guidance

Has a dream ever warned you to steer clear of possible danger?  Have you ever had a dream that showed you the solution to a problem?  Tell us about a time when you changed your plans or did something different based on what a dream seemed to be telling you.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


In your childhood, what was mealtime like?  Did family members sit down to eat together?  Was there enough time, or were hurried meals squeezed in between other activities? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Open doors and iron bars

In your teenage years, which was a bigger part of your landscape: the opportunities and potential of your future, or the constraints and limitations of your circumstances?  Which occupied your thoughts more: figuring out your life direction, or getting past your immediate difficulties and obstacles? 

This week's theme is adolescence.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pivotal event

For some people, high school graduation is the biggest event to anchor memories of their teen years. Other people might pick a time when they moved from one city to another, started their first job, or began an important relationship.  What was the single most pivotal event in your adolescence?

This week's theme is adolescence.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Overtones and undertones

When you think about your adolescent years, what is the emotional tone of your memories?  For example, are they happy, nostalgic memories, or is painful or stressful for you today to think about that time in your life?

This week's theme is adolescence.