What is happiness, and how can we all get some?

Photo by Gilles Rolland-Monnet on Unsplash

There’s good and bad news when it comes to happiness. Photographer and author Matthieu Ricard, who left a career as a molecular biologist to become a Buddhist monk, has devoted his life to the question of how we can train our minds. …


Only about 15% of people actually are self-aware.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

If you’ve only just begun the self-knowledge journey, you may be surprised to learn that it is incredibly difficult to know yourself. Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who lived in the 6th century BCE, wrote: “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” …


And why you still need to make your own luck.

Photo by Tyler Farmer on Unsplash

A funny thing happened on the way to the Enlightenment. More access to published material led, over a few brief centuries, to a revolution of social and cultural forces. …


Learn to Follow Your Desire All the Way to Fulfillment

Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

We have things we love to do. Are they the things we’ll love to do once we start doing them every day? We want to attract good things into our life, but we work within the limits of our finances, opportunities, and the prescribed roles others often put on us.


And why you should start right now.

Photo by Fabien Wl on Unsplash

For years now the media has thoroughly covered how Millennials are driven more by purpose than money. Ninety-four percent want to use their skills to benefit a cause. Half value a career aligned with their values enough to take a pay cut.

But many of us — regardless of our…


Evan Wildstein on servant-leadership, hard experiences, and getting unstuck

Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

We often talk about how the school of hard knocks can be a great teacher. Maybe the greatest teacher, if we really take good notes through the challenging experiences — especially when we need to own up what we can and cannot control.

Our nonprofiteer, Evan Wildstein has seen a…


Alexander M. Combstrong on suffering, resilience, and choosing growth

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Our Big Self writers have realized the shallow limits of self-help from the beginning. Columnist Alexander M. Combstrong is certainly no exception. His balance between making real-life mistakes and the paradox between happiness and suffering are themes he continues returning to.

Here’s to the kind of growth that rises up…


Maria Milojković, and your big, imperiled, truest self

Photo by Milan Popovic

Have you ever heard the neverending car horn from somewhere vague out your door? The way it just goes on and on and invites you to jump up and ask the nearest human who is going to shut it off?

Me neither. Just totally making that up.

But if you…


What you can learn from some all-time powerhouses about the prolific generating of ideas

You consulting your handwriting. Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I recently wrote about why handwriting lights up your brain more than composing on a keyboard. Now there is even more research to show that handwriting improves thinking. Brain scans show that forming words by hand as opposed to on a keyboard leads to increased cognitive activity.

But so what…


And how to let go of the idea of the one perfect call you’re missing.

Photo by Jamie Hagan on Unsplash

For decades we heard about how critical it was to “find your passion” and “follow your bliss” if you were to hope for anything like a fulfilled life. …

Chad Prevost

Big Self Podcast host. Creative Writing Ph.D. I write on Self-Improvement, Mental Health, and Psychology. Join us at bigselfschool.com. @bigselfschool

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