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How many peak experiences have you had today? Let me rephrase this question: how many instances have you had today where you were fully immersed in what you were doing to the point that nothing else mattered? If you do not know the answer, you are not alone. Most of us go about our day without consciously attempting to experience moments that require our undivided attention. I am certain that you have had peak experiences as you skied down a slope, competed in a race, played the violin in a recital, gave your best presentation, read the most...
I'm glad the holiday season is over. Don't get me wrong. I'm no grinch. I love watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, trimming the Christmas tree, opening presents, and embracing the optimism that the dawn of each new year brings. But there's a dark side to the holidays that I don't like. It's the side that makes a person feel depressed and unfulfilled. It's the side that makes a person turn inward and engage in an ongoing question-and-answer session that tends to disempower and victimize the self. It's the...
Photo of Barbara Brueggemann courtesy of GWUOHS.com
I recently met Barbara Brueggemann and was overtaken with delight. Barbara is the Head of School at George Washington University's Online High School (or GWUOHS), an online, private high school that focuses on delivering an individualized college preparatory program for high school students. An educator with systems thinking strengths and humanistic inspiration, Barbara explained to me and a colleague how the GWUOHS Journey Symposium was a synchronized class that assisted students in the reflective exercises around understanding the...
In 2008, I flew to Beijing, China, at the invitation of a friend who had arranged my hotel accomodations. This particular trip—my first in a series of several business trips to China to work on consulting projects in the year that followed—coincided with China’s National Day, which is celebrated on October 1st. When I arrived in Beijing after the long flight from San Francisco, the hotel refused to honor my reservation. I was told that I was a foreigner and the police had forbidden the hotel to host foreigners during weekend...
I had a sense of déjà vu when I heard that the “protester” was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I remembered images of the Chicago protesters who arguably denied us the experience of President Hubert Humphrey and my personal memory of the huge protest of the arrest of Black Panthers in New Haven. My role was to pick up Abbie Hoffman in New York and drive him up there for the rally. We had a wonderful talk about the role of symbolic actions and their impact on society (he was a Brandeis University social...

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