Be brave enough to fulfil your potential

If we have an awareness of our inherent greatness, we really don’t mind looking foolish. From there, all it takes is time and hard work

Be brave enough to fulfil your potentialThis phrase has become popular in the last several months: “Be brave enough to be bad at something new.” As a teacher, it would be easy for me to impose this philosophy on my students. We’re always telling our young people to try new things, be it a sport, school subject or art form. By…

Is happiness the point of human life?

Rather than asking if you are a happy, ask whether you are good

Is happiness the point of human life?It was 2,400 years ago that Aristotle identified happiness as the goal all people seek – the end of all “why” questions. But is happiness really the point of human life? I ask this question because when we look at history (or even the news today), it is apparent that there are a lot of…

Octopus escape a reflection of the human spirit

Inky's escape is allegorical of the restlessness of the human spirit. Like Inky, we are not satisfied with the place we inhabit

Octopus escape a reflection of the human spiritThere are some amazing stories of pets finding their way home after long absences. But an octopus? Octopi are intelligent, curious creatures. They are so intelligent that aquarium keepers use an enrichment manual to help ward off boredom for octopi in captivity. Aquarium octopi have toys like Mr. Potato Head and Lego, and some can…

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star Wars

Trying implies eventually giving up but doing implies putting in the effort until the goal is achieved

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star WarsStar Wars is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. References to it are deeply embedded into our culture and the positive truths they bring to life can't be denied. This is most clearly expressed in the teachings of the Jedi, the mystical knights who bring peace and justice to the universe.…

Turning challenges into opportunities for success

But to successfully face those challenges, you need to know yourself and the opposition you face, and be prepared to grow and adapt

Turning challenges into opportunities for successIn the classic book The Art of War, Sun Tzu teaches about far more than war. He also teaches some of the key elements of a joyful and meaningful life. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the…

The pursuit of happiness

The truth is, you can't find happiness – it finds you, based on your pursuit of things that bring fulfilment and peace

The pursuit of happinessA student recently passed by my classroom and asked, “Mr. Chidiac, why are you always so happy?” I replied, “I love what I do. I love being a teacher.” She seemed satisfied and went on her way. I thought further about what she asked and my response. I really am extremely happy and I suppose…

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?

It’s difficult to know for sure since academics and economists want to hide behind jargon rather than offering concrete analysis

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?As the Buffalo Springfield sang in 1966, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. …” They were referring to civil unrest but could have been predicting the current debate about neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the ill-defined trend to less government, rolling back social programs, downward pressure on wages, fewer union jobs and careers…

How a journey through hardship can inspire your life

The key is not to run away from life but to embrace every challenge, to find its meaning and the lesson it offers

How a journey through hardship can inspire your lifeThere’s a medieval legend about an alchemist who discovers how to turn common materials into gold. Of course, we know that adding a piece of the philosopher’s stone to molten lead will not turn it into gold, yet the story provides a beautiful metaphor for life. If we look at the life of any great…

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflict

If we want to move past unrealized expectations in our lives, we have to forget the old script and craft a new one

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflictThe conflicts that rear up in our lives most often stem from unrealized expectations. Each of us has a script we follow, an expectation of how things are supposed to go. When our expectations aren’t met, we can be delighted by the change, significantly disappointed or even angered. When we head to a nice restaurant,…

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

Each of us needs to be true to our mission if we’re to be effective agents of universal change

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical traditionReligion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…