The Role of Chance and Luck in Life

Although we work harder in life when we believe we’re the master of our fate, if we don’t acknowledge the role of luck, we’re bound to be either heartbroken over our perceived failures, or insensitive to the misfortune of others. While raising two sons alone as a divorced mother, I attended a couple of high school reunions and wondered what I’d done wrong. My former classmates … Continue reading The Role of Chance and Luck in Life

The Myth of Control in Parenting

Raising children is the most harrowing, as well as life-affirming, experience there is. We live our lives under the illusion of control because to do otherwise would make us feel helpless and crazy. When we’re faced with things we can’t control, we can feel overwhelmed by worry. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I tried to eat right. But all day, every day, … Continue reading The Myth of Control in Parenting

Promises

If our personalities are always changing throughout life, then how can we ever make decisions for our future? How can we possibly choose a career that’s right for us many years from now? How can we promise to love someone always? How long should we wait around for someone to change, when they promise us they will? When I was divorced many years ago I … Continue reading Promises

Adult Peer Pressure

We all like to think we’re immune to it, but advertising and market research says we’re not. In the Hidden Brain radio podcast, We’re More alike than Different, Thanks to Peer Pressure’s Relentless Influence, I was reminded of how clueless we are to our own susceptibilities. We’re all familiar with famous athletes being paid to wear certain brands. The basketball player LeBron James made $54 … Continue reading Adult Peer Pressure

Telling Yourself Superstitious Tales

I used to belong to a ski club that traveled often to the breathtaking mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I was friends with a group of New York City firefighters who also belonged to the club. Once, instead of taking a bus, I decided to take my car and split the driving with a couple of these men. I’m scrupulous about wearing seat belts and … Continue reading Telling Yourself Superstitious Tales

Tricking Myself out of Fear

I was feeling as if life had passed me by and it was too late to do anything truly great. I tuned into an interview of the filmmaker Richard Linklater on NPR, and felt even more of a failure. He’d accomplished so much and I hadn’t. (It’s a great habit comparing yourself to successful people if you want to create paralysis.)

In thinking about my past life, I decided I fell far short of my dreams. I was clueless about what I wanted for my future life. That’s not exactly true. I knew exactly what I wanted but I was terrified I would fail. Continue reading Tricking Myself out of Fear