Token 190: Lighten up

So many things in our lives weigh us down. Stress, fear, anxiety, anger—they drag us down mentally, but we can feel it physically. Your shoulders slump, your head drops. It feels more difficult to get out of bed, or to get up from your desk. Notice when these negative emotions begin to weigh you down,…

Token 189: Read and listen well

Note: Monday Intentions are an addendum to our weekly Sunday Meditations, available to email subscribers only. Sign up at jamesryanleonard.com. “I wish I had more time to read” is a common refrain among the busy—which, in truth, is most of us. But think of all the things you spend your time on that do not…

Token 188: Even when it hurts

Ever since Token 1, it has been the assertion of this blog that a life lived with rigorous generosity and unwavering curiosity in every moment will be a good life, and will allow you to create a life that you love. The hardest part of living with generosity and curiosity, of course, is when you…

Token 187: What it means to supervise

If you supervise a team, it’s important to clearly define the primary functions of your job. Work is all the stuff you do to contribute to the team’s goals. The larger the team you supervise, the less of the work you should be doing yourself. Management is how you help your team get its work…

Token 186: What to do with criticism

No matter how good we get at managing our emotions, most of us remain terrible at responding to criticism. Part of the problem is how rare it is to find radically candid, constructive criticism. Giving feedback well is an art that few have mastered. But even when we receive feedback that’s delivered in a reasoned,…

Token 185: Make better decisions

Losing weight does not require any special formula or approach. Simply make better decisions about food, starting today. Becoming a better parent isn’t rocket science. Simply make better decisions about how you talk to your kids, and when. When you make a bad decision, don’t compound it with more bad decisions. Learn from it (a…

Token 184: A new metric for leadership

Leadership of a team is difficult to quantify. When it’s done well, and when it’s done artfully, there is very little that specifically and tangibly connects the actions of a leader to the results her team produces. A leader is responsible for the results, but the results are not the best indicator of effective leadership….

Token 183: Use your talents wisely

Note: This is a new feature called Monday Intentions, an addendum to the weekly Sunday Meditations that are available to email subscribers only. Sign up at jamesryanleonard.com. Epictetus teaches us that talents are as meaningless as good looks and possessions when it comes to living a good life. They only become meaningful when we use…

Token 182: Strength in generosity

Being generous to someone who might not deserve your generosity can be hard. It can feel like weakness—like you’re giving in, or not holding someone accountable, or not standing up for yourself. In truth, it’s the opposite. It takes great strength to bring consistent generosity to the interactions you have with difficult people, but this…

Token 181: Slow down

Before you react … Before you respond … Before you reply … Before you decide … Before you take action … … slow down. Reconsider. Ask a question instead.