Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lessons from kids: learning, helping, awareness and change

This is a personal story from Martin Seligman as told in the 2000 article ,"Positive Psychology: An Introduction".


The moment took place in my garden while I was weeding with my five-year old daughter, Nikki. I have to confess that even though I write books about children, I'm really not all that good with children. I am goal-oriented and time-urgent and when I'm weeding in the garden, I'm actually trying to get the weeding done. Nikki, however, was throwing weeds into the air, singing, and dancing around. I yelled at her. She walked away came back and said,

"Daddy, I want to talk to you."

"Yes, Nikki?"

"Daddy, do you remember before my fifth birthday? From the time I was three to the time I was five, I was a whiner. I whined every day. When I turned five, I decided not to whine anymore. That was the hardest thing I've ever done. And if I can stop whining, you can stop being such a grouch."

This was for me an epiphany, nothing less. I learned something about Nikki, about raising kids, about myself, and a great deal about my profession. First, I realized that raising Nikki was not about correcting whining. Nikki did that herself. Rather, I realized that raising Nikki is about taking this marvelous strength -- I call it "seeing into the soul," -- amplifying it, nurturing it, helping her to lead her life around it to buffer against her weaknesses and the storms of life. Raising children, I realized, is vastly more than fixing what is wrong with them. It is about identifying and nurturing their strongest qualities, what they own and are best at, and helping them find niches in which they can best live out these strengths.

As for my own life, Nikki hit the nail right on the head. I was a grouch. I had spent fifty years mostly enduring wet weather in my soul, and the last ten years being a nimbus cloud in a household full of sunshine. Any good fortune I had was probably not due to my grumpiness, but in spite of it. In that moment, I resolved to change.


Seligman, Martin E.P.; Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2000). "Positive Psychology: An Introduction". American Psychologist 55 (1): 5–14.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The next survivor series (Happy Mother's Day!)


Six married men
will be dropped on an island
with one car
and 3 kids each
for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports
and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must
take care of his 3 kids;
keep his assigned house clean,
correct all homework,
complete science projects,
take care of pets,
do laundry,
and pay a list of 'pretend' bills
with not enough money.

In addition,
each man
will have to budget enough money
for groceries each week.

Each man
must remember the birthdays
of all their friends and relatives,
and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child
to a doctor's appointment,
a dentist appointment
and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and
inconvenient visit per child to the emergency Room.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes
for a school function.

Each man will be responsible for
decorating his own assigned house,
planting flowers outside, and keeping it
presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television
when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs,

wear makeup daily,

adorn themselves with jewelry,

wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes,

keep fingernails polished,

don't gain weight,

keep a nice haircut

and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks,
the men will have to endure severe
abdominal cramps, backaches, headaches,
have extreme, unexplained mood swings
but never once complain or slow down
from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings
and church,
and find time at least once to spend
the afternoon at the park or a similar

They will need to read a book to the kids each night
and in the morning,
feed them,
dress them,
brush their teeth and
comb their hair
by 7:30 am.

A test will be given
at the end of the six weeks,
and each father will be required to know
all of the following information:
each child's
height, weight,
shoe size, clothes size,
doctor's name,
the child's weight at birth,
length, time of birth,
and length of labor,
each child's favorite color,
middle name,
favorite snack,
favorite song,
favorite drink,
favorite toy,
biggest fear,
and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if...
he still
has enough energy
to be intimate with his spouse
at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win,
he can play the game over and over and over
again for the next 18-25 years,
eventually earning the right
to be called Mother!

After you get done laughing,
send this to as many females as
you think will get a kick out of it and
as many men as you think can handle it.
Just don't send it back to me....

I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inspiring Women Summit

7,200 mujeres en 18 países participaron en esta conferencia.

Estoy participando en esta increíble reunión online que durará hasta el 8 de mayo, gracias a la amable invitación de Juanita Brown. Mi reunión fue: Intergenerational Wisdom Café.

La primera pregunta fue: ¿qué don de sabiduría o aprendizaje recibiste de alguna mujer de otra generación o cultura y que significó ese don para ti?

La segunda pregunta fue: ¿que vocación llama a tu corazón a hacer una diferencia y cómo impactan personas de diferentes generaciones pueden ayudarte?

Y finalmente, cerramos con las diferentes revelaciones que obtuvimos durante esta sesión de Café.

Me parecieron muy interesantes los comentarios de Juanita and Gail acerca de sus experiencias. Una frase de Juanita que me pareció maravillosa fue (palabras mas o menos): "I want to die loving, not fighting!"

Me parece increíble que el amor sea una fuerza tan poderosa, tan arrolladora, que sea capaz de unir a gente de diferentes generaciones por un bien común.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


No estas deprimido, de Facundo Cabral Meditaciones