Flow: Optimal Experience for Optimal Growth

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 27 2021

Dedicated to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934-2021) Photo courtesy of Ehirsh and Wikimedia (Public Domain). When I first heard of the idea of positive psychology, i.e., the study of living a healthy, happy life, the first names that came up were Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Considered to be the pioneers and leaders in the field, these...

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The Purpose of The Meaning of Life Blog

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 20 2021

The Meaning of Life Blog has a clear mission: To help individuals understand the primary drivers of humans' sense of meaning in life so that they can foster a greater sense of purpose in their own lives. Why is this so important, and what is different about how I help people with meaning and purpose compared to people who have been writing or speak...

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Be Like an Ant

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 13 2021

Setbacks can hit your psyche pretty hard.  Major losses involve mourning and recovery processes.  New roadblocks require resilience and new strategies.  When success requires desire and belief, evidence to the contrary of your progress toward your goals can be difficult to look past so that you can retain your will to carry on.

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Freedom vs. Safety: The Ultimate Trade-off

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 6 2021

Would you rather be safe or free?  Obviously, people want to say both, as many people use “free” and “safe” interchangeably when, for example, they claim that they want to be “free to go outside” during a pandemic or when a criminal is on the loose when they really want to be safe when they go outside.  But freedom and safety are opposing goals mos...

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Meaning Requires Rights and Responsibilities

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 29 2021

To live your life in the most meaningful, flourishing way possible, you have to have freedom.  In a modern, organized society, there is always an authority of some sort, almost always the government, that is meant to balance the freedoms and liberties of the individual with the safety and well-being of the group.  The main means through which socie...

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Seek Meaning, not a Cause or Crusade

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 22 2021

It is, generally speaking, a great time to be alive.  There is less hunger and poverty around the world than in any other time in human history.  Yes, it will continue to get better thanks to people who care enough to dedicate their time and effort to helping people and solving real-world problems.  But there is also a rise in “manufactured problem...

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Setting Success Measures in Your Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 15 2021

Success.  It is what everyone talks about striving for.  But what is success?  Is it earning a lot of money or having a family?  The American Dream, for example, was the secure job, the house with the white picket fence, the spouse, ~2 kids, and a dog.  Is that success for you, though?  And even if you could define what success was, how would you k...

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Just a Reminder to Take Care of Yourself

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 9 2021

During COVID, I did not leave the house for six months out of pressure from my significant other.  I ended up getting a severe Vitamin D deficiency, and my entire body started aching, I was tired all the time, and I didn’t feel like doing anything—not even getting out of bed.  I would spend hours in pain wondering what was wrong with me, and it tur...

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When to Think, and When to Act

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 1 2021

Figuring out what you want in life is difficult.  You can spend hours agonizing over decisions.  There’s a reason why ice cream shops offer free samples and many products and services offer trials: experience can be the best teacher regarding what you want or don’t want.  So, how do you know when additional thought and discussion versus when more e...

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The (Seeming) Paradox of Impermanence

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 25 2021

“The only constant is change.”  You’ve heard the saying before, usually when something great is coming to an end.  It’s often a harsh reminder that no matter what you do, there will always be more to do and always be entropy slowly eroding the progress you make in this world.  At the same time, many people today can’t even handle 5 minutes without...

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