1. Silence! I Need to Hear my Inner Self

    June 6, 2014

    Silence! I Need to Hear my Inner Self by Daniela Aneis

    Not all people can enjoy the silence, or even a little bit of solitude. But how can you hear your inner voice with all the noise that is coming from the outside world? Doesn’t it seem like sometimes we get caught up listening to others when we should be looking for the answers within ourselves?

    And why is it that enjoying some time alone has become a synonymous for being lonely? Loneliness is not the same as solitude.

    Truth be told: We already have most of the answers we look for

    This may seem like a quote taken from a karate movie but isn’t it true? When has following what other people have told you to do, has come with positive outcomes for you? And how many times have you thought “I should have done what I was planning in the first place”?

    In order to avoid feelings of frustration for not being able to make the necessary silence to hear your inner voice, you might just want to follow some of the advices on this particular article.

    There are two important things to take into account when listening to your inner voice and making decisions you can live with:

    • Listen to what you’re body in telling you: trust your gut!
    • Take some time on your own to listen to yourself

    Some people have strong emotional responses at a physical level: they usually call it their gut feeling. And the truth is sometimes we can’t quite interpret cognitively what we are experiencing and make sense of it, but it feels plain wrong on your insides. Listen to it and take time off to think things through. When you do make a decision, try to feel as confident as you can about it.

    If something feels wrong or off, just step aside. Retreat yourself from the situation. It’s always best to make a well thought through decision than to go by your impulses. Impulses are often misleading.

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  2. The Ideal Self vs. the Possible Self

    June 5, 2014

    The Ideal Self vs. the Possible Self

    Many of us are no strangers to frustration. We can’t always have what we want and the world is not always fair. But there are some of us who lead a life of frustration and dissatisfaction, that look back and all we see is what we couldn’t achieve. This is obviously neither the good life nor the happy and meaningful life we wish to achieve that Positive Psychology talks about.

    What is it about the way we perceive and attribute meaning to our lives that determines a life of frustration versus a fulfilling one?

    I came across at a conference on aging and learning throughout the later life, an interesting idea one of the speakers pointed out: the ideal self vs the possible self as a source of frustration in later life. As an example, the speaker talked about the plans we all make for our retirement: that we are going to start a new project, do things we’ve never done before, travel places and we postpone everything until we get to the stage when we’re finally retired and do nothing. And all those plans just seem washed away and life pointless or a waste of time. Why didn’t I do things sooner, why didn’t I take that chance?

    That idea keep me wondering. Why are we sometimes so frustrated with our lives? Why can’t we feel happy with what we have or make the necessary changes to achieve a possible goal? And maybe, it’s this idea of an ideal self that is keeping us away from achieving a possible one.

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  3. The Emotional Rainbow

    June 5, 2014

    The Emotional Rainbow

    by Daniela Aneis

    One of the most common critiques and one of the most wrong ones is that the Positive Psychology movement ignores negative emotions to simply focus on positive emotions. This is quite untrue. What Positive Psychology wishes to do is take the focus out of negative emotions to take a better look at what positive emotions have to offer in terms of human development.

    But what we really do need is to learn how to cope with the emotional rainbow that our nature has to offers us. The negative and the positive emotions. They are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary.

    Good or bad emotions?

    Actually there is no such thing as good or bad emotions, only the necessary ones. Or at least that’s what I tell my patients. Emotions are centered in the most primitive part of our brains (yes, reasoning came after in evolutionary terms) and yet it is one of the most crucial parts of our brain. Can you imagine calling yourself human and not being able to feel anything?

    Remember the “fight-or-flight” mechanism, so necessary to our survival as a species? We don’t need to assess in a jungle if that big animal is to eat or is planning on eating you, but our emotions still serve their purpose in our “social survival”. It’s still a jungle out there, only the rules are not as simple as they used to be.

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  4. Putting a Positive Spin on Views about Man and Nature

    June 2, 2014

    Putting a Positive Spin on Views about Man and Nature

     

    by Sue Chehrenegar

    In an earlier article about beauty and the meaning of life, I wrote about those people who work to protect the earth’s natural beauty. Some segments of the population applaud such efforts; others tend to laugh at talk about saving the earth.  This week, I spoke with a woman who had become discouraged by the stark division between environmentalists and those who show no interest in preserving the earth’s natural beauty, along with its resources.

    She believed that there ought to be a way of bringing those two groups together. Thus, she thought-up a way for introducing a sense of unity into what has become a very divisive issue. She has put a positive spin on that controversial topic by focusing on the fact that the typical person respects the God-given order of things. Hence, she has chosen to reach-out to the members of various faith groups.

    I liked her idea, as so I decided to read more about order in the environment. As I was reading, I discovered that her concept helped to highlight the reason that an environmentalist finds it relatively easy to introduce plenty of meaning into his or her life. The book which I have been reading was published way back in 1974, but it tackles a subject that is the focus of online discussions now, forty years later.

    I discovered that I had read and studied this particular book before. In fact, I had underlined the author’s definition of order. He had defined order as a condition in which things have been arranged with respect to their purpose. In other words, a consideration of purpose aids someone who must carry-out the act of putting a group of things in order Only by considering each object’s purpose can someone identify some sort of integrating principal, an element that shows how those various things are related.

    Now, according to the author, there are certain qualities that are related to order. The author mentions both clarity and beauty. A person with a strong religious faith has clarity regarding what is considered right and wrong. Hence, a religious person can appreciate the need for clarity, and, therefore, such a person ought to be able to understand why some people advocate for preservation of the environment.

    Once the author of this one book has presented his concept of clarity, he has turned to the concept of beauty. According to him, beauty can be categorized as the highest expression of order. The author speculates on why humans have such a love for beauty. He states that because life depends on order, those who become aware of its presence experience of sense of grandeur and majesty.

    Grandeur and majesty are words that are often used to describe our Creator. Hence, this one author’s observations on order and beauty have managed to shine a limelight on how religion might be used to put an end to the divisive nature of discussions about the environment. In other words, his words have helped to put a positive spin on any such discussion.

    As someone who writes an occasional piece for dreampositive.info, I admire any attempt to change a negative into a positive. I would also like to mention one particular website: www.edenkeeper.org. The woman who I talked with this past week added meaning to her life by creating that specific website. Now she invites others to contribute articles that focus on religious news, and how that news relates to preservation of the environment.

    I hope that those who read all the posted articles on that particular website will begin to understand the message that I have been re-reading this past week. Meanwhile, I am pleased to share the thoughts of some people I once knew, people who appreciate why a person would strive to have a meaningful life. I once enjoyed an evening in the home of the book’s author (Daniel Jordan), a man whose life ended much too soon. Dr. Daniel Jordan was one of the leaders of Bahai religion and was killed by an extremist in 1982 while he was visiting New York City.

    Dr. Jordan’s book dealt with so many significant subjects, that he asked a colleague to index all the information for him. The man who took-on that task (Geoffrey Marks) happens to be married by college roommate. Thanks to my roommate, I had a chance to meet Mr. Marks and lots of other people who have worked to make their lives more meaningful.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/3704377275/

     


  5. How to Maintain Positive Thinking Even When Being Criticized

    May 10, 2014

    How to Maintain Positive Thinking Even When Being Criticized

     

    Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen have written a book that offers a sensible approach to anyone who wants to enjoy a more meaningful life. Their book examines the ideal response to give to any type of constructive criticism.  The book’s primary message concerns the recommended thinking for the recipient of such criticism. According to Stone and Heen, that recipient ought to focus on thinking positively.

    The opening phrase in that book’s two-part title highlights the nature of the recommended response. Here is that phrase: Thanks for the Feedback. In other words, the two authors have put-forward a most unusual suggestion. The two of them have suggested that the target of any constructive criticism ought to be thankful for those decidedly pointed remarks.

    To the average person, that simple suggestion can seem like a huge challenge, especially if the received feedback has been given following performance of an action that was meant to be helpful.  Typically, the act of helping others is viewed as one that can inject more meaning into the life of the person who has chosen to be helpful. Yet, if that offered action has not been appreciated, then it fails to accomplish that goal. It is for that reason, that it becomes difficult to say these two words to the giver of constructive criticism: Thank you.

    The readers of the text by Stone and Heen should learn that remarks that relate to performance of an act do not have to be viewed as demeaning. In fact, such comments ought to be seen as a statement that serves to underline the value of the person who was the target of the constructive criticism. Development of the skill that is known as positive thinking stands as a meaningful accomplishment, one that allows a person to ascertain the sometimes hidden value in clearly-stated criticism.

    The person who has learned how to think positively does not take-on blame for the mistakes made by an entire team. By the same token, the person who has become skilled at thinking positively does not refuse to acknowledge a mistake, choosing instead to shift the blame to others. In both instances, the target of the constructive criticism has failed to examine each aspect of the offered feedback. Usually, the failure to take that approach invites the type of thinking that allows the offered remarks to accumulate unwanted nuances and interpretations, the way a snowball gathers snow, as it travels down a slope.

    That is not a healthy situation, and is one that ought to be avoided. It encourages the belief that a given mistake has managed to bring-on a catastrophe. The person who has formed such a belief has been turned-away from the path that leads to discovery of a more meaningful life.

    Now, while the second half of this text (The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well) does not make mention of advice for the critique-maker, such advice can be found between the books’ two covers. In fact, one piece of advice really resonated with this writer, a grandmother who was once a parent. That one piece of information concerned the ideal means for linking praise and criticism.

    Such a linkage can prove quite useful, when a parent wants a son or daughter to work-on developing certain virtues. Literature that is meant to guide such a parent recommends the praising of a virtuous act, followed by the word “but,” and then a reference to a virtue that must be developed further. According to Stone and Heen, that suggestion was insightful, and it also needs to be altered a bit, in order to get the targeted child thinking in a more positive fashion.

    Notice that in the above statement the praise was followed by the word “and,” rather than the word “but.” The use of “and” aids the formation of a more positive-sounding comment. It helps to open the door to realization of the fact that the person targeted by that particular comment remains valued. Such a realization then aids formation of the type of thinking that allows a person to continue to make progress on the road that leads to enjoyment of a more meaningful life.

     

     Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sahdblunders/7566255092

     


  6. I am Thankful for Being Fired

    May 8, 2014

    I am Thankful for Being Fired

    by Sue Chehrenegar

    I believe that just about anyone who is working for someone else would say that a firing represents one of the harshest forms of criticism. I have faced that type of criticism; in fact, I was once given a two week notice on my birthday. For a few days, I felt that I had failed to be a useful worker. Then, someone made a request, and got put me in a more positive frame of mind.

    The place where I was working housed a series of laboratories. The laboratory technicians often had to experiment with mice and rats. One day, one of the male workers had trouble removing a mouse from its cage, once the experiment had been completed. His hand was too large, and it would not fit into the animal’s tiny cage.

    Now, I happen to have unusually small hands. In fact, I can recall a time when a friend of my college roommate was fascinated by a pair of gloves that she found on my bed in our dorm room. She could not believe how small it was.

    Well, my tiny hand proved to be just what that one technician needed on that particular day. I was the only person in our lab who could reach in there at remove that mouse. That incident helped to make me more aware of the ways that I can be useful, and can be certain of having a meaningful life.

    In that situation, I had failed to meet the goals established by my superiors. Those goals had required excellent performance of required experiments. I had been expected to act assertively, as I sought to carry-out such experiments. Unfortunately, the level of assertiveness that I had been able to muster-up was equal in size to my tiny hands. That is why I had failed to hold-down that particular job.

    Fortunately, I had learned something much earlier that would help me to think more positively about my ability to have a useful and a meaningful life. A biochemist at the company that was unhappy with my performance had spoken with me about the nature of his investigations. He had told me that he wanted to find a way for isolating a certain type of lung cell. Naturally, he had approached that task by trying all the techniques that are familiar to the typical biochemist.

    At that point, I had struggled with a graduate biochemistry course, and I found that I enjoyed growing cells much more than doing any sort of biochemical experiment. In fact, before I was fired,  I did obtain some cells  from a laboratory at the local University, and I had tried working with those, rather than using live animals.  Later, when I had to find a new job, a friend suggested that I visit the Human Relations Department at that same University.

    During that visit, I made a discovery that helped to put me in an even more positive frame of mind. I found that the head of one of the University’s research departments had the same goal as the biochemist that I had talked to earlier. He wanted to isolate the same type of lung cell. However, he also wanted to keep the isolated cells growing and making more cells.

    With that goal in mind, he had ordered a special machine, one called an elutriator. Now, I had once worked with an elutriator. While in graduate school, I had taken a three month course that focused on that instrument. After heeding the urging of a friend, I scheduled a visit with the man who had once agreed to give me some cells, and I explained to him the nature of my experience with the machine that he had ordered.

    Not long after that meeting, a friend (another person who loved biology) and I were given permission to see what we could do, working on the mice that were made available to us. We also learned as much as we could about the elutriator, which had yet to be fully assembled. Eventually, I was present when a man came and assembled it for us.

    I found that my ability to grow cells was quite valuable. Even the short experience that I had once had while in graduate school had allowed me to stand-out as a job candidate. Ultimately, I got the job that I had hoped to get, the one that allowed me to work in that University laboratory. I saw my life taking-on far more meaning.

    Now, my life could not be described as smooth-sailing from that point in time. I encountered plenty of other obstacles. Yet, my skills and readiness to work hard on those skills helped me to overcome each obstacle that I encountered. By managing to think positively, I kept myself from feeling that I would be unable to have a meaningful life.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12004898@N06/4642070007


  7. The Interplay of Intention and Meaningfulness

    April 30, 2014

    The Interplay of Intention and Meaningfulness

    by Sue Chehrenegar

     

    As a rule, someone who hopes to inject more meaning into an otherwise ordinary life does not aim to become self-involved. Yet one author, Barbara Ehrenreich, had to put-aside that avoidance of seeming self-involvement, because she decided to use the contents of an old journal as the basis for a book. When speaking with David Ulin, a book critic for the Los Angeles Times, she explained that journal was proof that by the age of 17, she had formed a sense that there was some sort of intention behind what was taking-place within the world.

     

    In most of her earlier works, Ehrenreich has dealt with issues that concern the here and now, the material world. However, when she wrote about the contents of her old journal, she had to seek answers to an anomaly. As Ehrenreich re-read the entries in her journal, she recalled feeling filled with something that she could not explain. She remembered having the sense that she was confronting something that was unseen, yet alive. At that point, she wanted to view that certain something more closely, but she did not know how to accomplish that feat.

     

    That feeling did not persist, and eventually that young journal-writer tried to resume her former life, as though nothing had happened. Still, she could not shake the perception that she had experienced earlier. She found herself questioning the meaningfulness of day-to-day chores. She had become more aware of their lack of meaning, if such jobs are not done by someone with the best intentions.

     

    Indeed, even the smallest job can be used to perfect a virtue. That observation has not been stated in one of Ehrenreich’s books; rather it was noted by the leader of a religion, a man who once visited the United States. One day, when he was sweeping the entrance to a shrine, someone asked him what he was doing. This was his answer: I am practicing patience.

     

    The man who made that statement had grown-up surrounded by adults who held a strong and undying belief in a Creator. That same environment did not exist in Barbara Ehrenreich’s home, when she was a teenager. Both of her parents were atheists. Hence, when she got to the stage in life where she felt compelled to ask questions, she had trouble finding anyone who could help her to find some answers.

     

    Fortunately, she chose to become a reporter, someone who has been trained to ask questions. In that way, she managed to uncover the sort of guidance that she had been seeking. In fact, her choice of career may now help others who are trying to lead a more meaningful life.

     

    The thoughts presented in Ehrenreich’s journal could not have been analyzed and summarized in the format of a book, if that young journal-writer had not elected to become a reporter. As a reporter, she saw each of the journal’s pages as being something that must be shared with others. Her commitment to reporting on the journal’s contents freed her from any guilt that she might feel, because she had become so self-involved. She viewed her personal musings as a source of questions, rather than as the disclosure of a mystical experience.

     

    That approach allowed her to overcome a major hurdle, one that slowed her initial progress on her planned book/memoir. At first, she struggled to put-into-words an experience that looked very much like one that would be of interest to mystics, the experience that she had been forced to deal with , while just a teenager. Eventually, though, she managed to formulate questions from the notes that she herself had written years earlier.

     

    By using those questions, she could put-together a book, one that other young people might use as a guide, while trying to inject more meaning into their lives. She encouraged them to have a very practical approach to discovery of something that seemed to have come from a mystical realm. She encouraged them to seek-out the identity of the thing/spirit that had come into their lives, and then to report back to others on those findings.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/elainegreycats/48057915/


  8. The Magic of Acceptance Nod

    April 28, 2014

    The Magic of Acceptance Nod

    by Audrey  Hollingshead

    Monday. You and your spouse have just had a quick bite and are now off on your way to the bank to talk about a loan. Not just any loan, a mortgage. You can almost hear the background music of cheery sitcoms play as you gleefully enter the bank. Grinning, you think of all the little paintings you’ll put on your walls, all the little knickknacks you’ll lay about the living room, and all the little noises that your future children will make as they run down the hall.

    “Why hello Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Please take a seat!” the bank associate says, his smile as big as your dreams.  The meeting carries on in the same pleasant manner and you cannot help but get excited! Our OWN home, you think, our own kitchen, our own bedroom our washer and dryer our own-

    “I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but I’m afraid we cannot help you at this time. Why not meet with us again in a year when you’ve built up some savings.” What? No house? No washer and dryer…no game room with a bar and pool table? This can’t be! You stand up and walk out, both of you feeling lower then low.

    “Well…guess we’d better get back to work,” your husband sighs.

    “Yea…” you sigh back, “My boss HATES it when I take long lunches.” You give him a small kiss and drive back to the office, your dreams fading faster than the elegant bank behind you.

    Now comes the real problem. How do you deal with this unsettling news? You could use Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous Serenity Prayer, or… you could simply nod yes. According to one study mentioned in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, nodding and shaking heads have been shown to be powerfully persuasive. How, you ask?

    It worked like this:

    The runners of the mentioned study asked university students to test out new high-tech headphones to see how well they worked with movement. While either shaking their head “no”, nodding their heads “yes,” or being completely still, students listened to two rock songs and then an editorial on why college tuition should be raised. Afterwards each student filled out a questionnaire that asked his or her opinion of the editorial. Those that nodded “yes” felt that prices should be raised while those who shook “no” felt that prices should be lowered. What’s most amazing was that the students couldn’t say WHY they wanted tuition raised or lowered, only that their opinions were strong.

    So how does this apply to the loan hypothetical? Instead of using the prayer you could nod “yes” while you think about how good it would be to wait another year. With another year you can save more, make a financial plan, and take the time to decide on the types of houses you want. Pretty soon waiting a year won’t seem so bad, won’t it?
    And the best part about this acceptance nod is that you can tailor it to any situation you have to accept. So the next time you have to face the unfaceable, simply nod your head yes.

    And remember,

    Dream Well! Dream Postive!!!

     

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveyp/167906632/

     


  9. Never Stop to do Acts of Kindness

    April 25, 2014

    Never Stop to do Acts of Kindness

    by Sue Chehrenegar

    This past week, I gained a greater insight into the meaning of life by helping a writer with a limited command of the English language. He had contacted me through my husband. Like that struggling writer, my husband had grown up speaking Persian, long before he had begun to converse in English.

    The man who sought my help with writing a short essay first asked for a better way of referring to the act that he called “making good.” I suggested that he use “doing a favor.” Then my husband indicated that the essay writer wanted to say something like this: Never stop to do a favor. At that point, I recommended that he re-phrase the sentence, changing it to this: Never stop to do an act of kindness.

    The essay writer liked that suggested sentence, but he wanted to learn if the same thought could be expressed in a few other ways. I was asked to send him an e-mail, and to include in that e-mail two or three ways for urging someone to be kind/make good. While I was writing that e-mail, my husband offered some suggestions, and that was when I gained a greater insight into the meaning of life.

    First my husband explained to me that the essay writer wanted to make sure that someone who had chosen to perform an act of kindness did not get discouraged easily. He realized that someone who has been rebuffed after trying to be kind might get discouraged. With that thought in mind, I added to the sentence I had suggested earlier.

    This was my first entry in the e-mail that I had been asked to write: Never stop to do acts of kindness, even if you should get hurt. If that happens, pray or meditate about what happened, and they try a different way of showing your kindness. That was helpful, but my husband indicated that it was a bit too long. He asked me to try condensing my suggested words of guidance.

    At that point, I added a second sentence to my e-mail. I wrote this: Never stop to behave in a way that shows how much you want to be kind to another person, even if you get hurt. As I sought to come-up with yet a third means for conveying the same thought, I heard my husband say something like this: Never stop to enjoy the beauty of life.

    That was when I realized that a readiness to be kind to others adds meaning to life and makes it more beautiful. That realization helped me to add two more sentences to the group that I was planning to send to the struggling writer. The first sentence that I added was this one: Never stop to behave in a way that shows how much you want to be kind to another person, even if you get hurt. Then I added this sentence to my e-mail: Keep meaning in your life, and never hold-back from performing an act of kindness.

    By helping that one gentleman, I had gained a keener sense of the significance of a quest for meaning. It represents an attempt to enhance the beauty of existence on this earth. For some people efforts that are aimed at protection of the earth’s natural beauty have made their lives more meaningful. I will write more about protection of the environment in another article.

    For others, the beauty enjoyed by the humans who live on this earth is only possible when men agree to cooperate with one another. Those are the people who seek to contribute to the development of a great civilization/society. Their ability to make such a contribution has made their life more meaningful.

    Of course, there are many ways to contribute to the development of a society. That can be accomplished by creating works of art, by voicing an opinion on an important issue, by teaching young people, by healing those who are sick, by aiding the sharing of information or by helping to build various structures, just to name a few.

    Perhaps you have a skill or ability that you can use to make the earth even more beautiful. Maybe you are ready to start working on learning a new skill. Take whatever skill or knowledge you have learned and use it in a kindly fashion, but recall this one last sentence that I sent to the essay-writer: Do not be disturbed by what has resulted from an act of kindness that you have shown to another. If you do that, you are sure to feel that you have a meaningful life.

     

     Image Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/7824209576

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  10. An Author’s Experiences Give Her Life Greater Meaning

    April 24, 2014

    An Author’s Experiences Give Her Life Greater Meaning

    by Sue Chehrenegar

     

    As a children’s writer, Emily Lockhart can relate to the thinking of children. When interviewed by a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, she shared memories of her own childhood, of a time when she did not feel pushed to take life seriously. Later, like so many of the youth that pass-through the age of adolescence, Lockhart experienced an awareness of increased freedoms. For a time, she relished those new-found freedoms. Then, as she grew older, she began to take view life more seriously.

    Lockhart’s altered pattern of thinking copied that of many younger adults. It provoked thoughts that focused on the meaning of life. Her mind had become attuned to such thoughts by the age of 17, when she realized that people did not see her as someone who was capable of challenging their own thoughts and actions. Consequently, she felt decidedly underrated and wanted to add some meaningfulness to her existence.

    At that point, Lockhart began to lose interest in those things that had been providing her with intermittent periods of joy. Such actions included the application of make-up, while staring into a mirror, the refusal to abide by specific codes of conduct and the willingness to give-in to less-than-virtuous behavior. Lockhart realized that by choosing to pursue such actions, she allowed adults to view her as someone who is a tad silly, maybe even close to incompetent. Hence, she wanted to fill her life with greater substance/more meaning.

    At that point, the acquisition of added substance became her goal, one that she went-after while in college and graduate school. Eventually, she did get people to give serious consideration to what she had to say. Moreover, as that change took-place, she found that she was treated with a greater amount of respect. Still, she did not appreciate the degree to which she had to deal with on-going competition from others in academia, in order to retain the level of respect that she then enjoyed.

    Lockhart’s observations pushed re-think the wisdom of copying the pattern that had been adopted by her associates. She decided to have-a-try at the craft of writing for children. She even managed to get some of her writing published. However, it was not long before she discovered that within academia, a writer of children’s literature did not enjoy an appreciable amount of status.

    She found that within the highest echelons of academia, people tend to be serious on an almost continual basis. Their attention seldom turns to subjects that do not fall-in-line with the stated ideals of the most respected members of academia. Yet Lockhart did not view that approach to life as one that she could use, in order to make her existence more meaningful. That was why she chose to follow her own path, as opposed to the one that had been presented to her those with whom she had been interacting.

    She chose to retain what she viewed as the most meaningful aspect of her life, and she did that by seeking to excel in a discipline that gave her great pleasure. That was the craft that required development of writing skills, particularly the skills of a children’s author. Contrary to any advice she may have received from others, Lockhart’s choice did not deprive her life of meaning. She has authored books that young people read and loved.

    As a loved children’s writer, Lockhart did not allow herself to compose material that sounded a bit like a sermon. Still, she realized that she could get young minds thinking. Hence, she managed to write books that helped younger readers to begin to think more seriously about their own pathway into the future.

    Lockhart does not recommend that every child follow the pathway that she has chosen. Still, she realizes that, at some point, every child becomes a teenager and then a mature and thinking adult. She hopes to get younger readers thinking seriously about how each of them can go-about living a more meaningful life.

     

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/floringorgan/4694122800