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Everyday Bright

by Jen Gresham

“Jen is the most curious person I’ve ever met.” —My (favorite) former boss Scientist, coach, and catalyst for change. My bi-weekly newsletter helps lifelong learners and leaders unlock human potential, in themselves and others, so they can do the best work of their lives (and enjoy it).

Featured Post

Priorities isn't a word

If you read personal development stuff at all, you’ve almost certainly heard about how Warren Buffett tried to help his private pilot, Mike Flint, get some focus in life. He instructed Flint to make a list of his top twenty-five goals, then circle the top five. As the story goes, his pilot assumed the top five were meant to be his areas of primary focus. But no no! Buffett told Flint that he now had only five priorities. The bottom twenty were distractions he should avoid at all costs. When...

19 days ago • 2 min read

There are two occasions that seem to stimulate our fear of missing out (FOMO): events that are rare and events that everyone we know will be attending. The first is about feeling special while the other is about feeling included. In my mind, what made the recent display of the northern lights so cool was that it produced both FOMO conditions simultaneously. The large explosions of electromagnetic radiation were considered rare, but they were also widely accessible (at least in some parts of...

about 1 month ago • 2 min read

There’s an adage in the writing world that I love: all it takes to call yourself a writer is to write. You don’t have to publish, you don’t need to make a living from your writing. You don’t even need to be very good! Now that I’ve actually started writing my first novel, it’s a reminder I need almost hourly. You are who you say you are. But there’s a danger too, one we don’t talk about much in encouraging, self-help circles. You are who you say you are, and you alone get to decide who you...

about 2 months ago • 2 min read

I like to imagine Earth Day is like an anniversary where I just so happened to marry a planet. Which makes it a good time to think about how I might be a better partner. Because I feel like the Earth has been trying to tell me something, tell us something, and none of us have been listening very well. (I realize this might be awkward if you’re just learning now that the Earth has been in a polyamorous relationship with every living creature since the beginning of life itself, but you were...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read

When my high school kid started a unit on poetry in her American Lit class, I was both surprised and delighted she asked for my help. As someone who reads and has published poetry, it’s not hyperbole to say I’ve been preparing for this moment my whole life. My goal wasn’t just to help her with her homework, but to help her see that the interpretation of art is an act of creation in its own right. My father, another lover and reciter of poetry, used to tell me that words have flavors. Which...

2 months ago • 3 min read

I found myself staring down a familiar conundrum this morning. The soap dispenser was getting low (we use the foaming kind), and even after several vigorous pumps, the result was only a few small puffs with hardly any lather. It’s a pedestrian problem, I know, but I hate to waste. Usually I just keep the ineffective pumping going until I can’t stand it anymore, then throw it away. Or my husband will add some water, which never works, and we end up dumping it anyway. But this morning I had an...

3 months ago • 4 min read

The moment I knew I wanted to marry my husband, we were mid-argument. I know it sounds strange, but I didn’t exactly have good role models for conflict growing up. My family operated like we were stars of a reality TV show, just without the cameras. My father and I once went three days without speaking a word to each other. Somehow, coldly passing each other in the hallway and eating meals in silence felt like an effective way to convey our feelings. I took those defective ways of relating to...

4 months ago • 3 min read

It’s been almost a year since I transitioned from an unexpectedly empty to-do list to an intentional sabbatical. And since I’m literally procrastinating on my business accounting right now, I thought I’d do a personal account of what this experience has been like. It started with one of our cats dying. Starbuck was named after the cocky and slightly crazy fighter pilot in Battlestar Galactica. She was famous for taking a swipe at your leg as you walked past, then rolling over for belly rubs....

4 months ago • 3 min read

Several years ago, I went to Norway to visit the farm that has been in my husband’s family for fourteen generations. I fell in love with pretty much everything, including his relatives who still live and work on farm and only speak Norwegian. If I’m being honest, the waffles with jam were also very nice. I quickly signed up on Duolingo to learn Norwegian and vowed to return one day and speak with my husband’s family. Paddling a fjord in Norway with my husband For a variety of reasons,...

5 months ago • 3 min read

Every now and then, in a conversation about health, I run across someone who will offer up, “My granny smoked a pack of cigarettes a day her whole life and she lived to be 90!” I’m not sure if it it’s meant as an endorsement of smoking or a smackdown of the conventional wisdom on healthy living, but it’s always a line delivered with passion. Admittedly, conventional wisdom, even in the medical establishment, has gotten a lot wrong. Many of us living today remember the low fat diet craze,...

5 months ago • 4 min read
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