Think Small


I read an article this weekend in the New York Times called End of a Very Long Life. This article was written about the death of Ruth Willig at 98. Ruth was part of a Times series chronicled over seven years in 21 articles that follows older people and offers their lessons on living with loss.

As we get older our goals get smaller. And that is a good thing. They also become easier to achieve and realize.

Yet all of the individuals in the series had something that they wanted. In place of the long-range aspirations of younger times, they looked forward to smaller pleasures within Reach

We can find meaning in the smallest of moments if we look for it and make a point of creating it.

In my book Finding Meaning, I speak about Florida State University, who wrote about this in a journal article, “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,” which appeared in The Review of General Psychology.

Rick Hanson teaches a technique that has been widely used, called “Installing the good” or sometimes “Taking in the good.” It helps us to find ways to give more attention to the good. I use the following technique:

The Three Steps of Taking in the Good

  1.  Identify a positive experience or memory. Or meaningful
  2.  Enrich it. Savor it. Think about it. Repeat it over and over in your mind.
  3.  Absorb the experience. Sink into it and let it sink into you. Soak it in. Feel it in your body, visualize it in your mind, let it become part of you.

In my life, I will be focusing more on thinking small. I invite you to do the same.


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How can you think small to find more hope?


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