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H. Les Brown 
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H. Les Brown's Self Improvement Articles

Turning Obligation Into Celebration

(November 22, 2008)  Remember Charles Dickens’ opening lines to A Tale of Two Cities? “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. " These words apply to more than just Paris before the French Revolution. Welcome to the holidays! If you're older than 5, these are the days that we genuinely love to ..

Living a Life of Regret

(October 23, 2008)  Emily Dickinson wrote, “Remorse is cureless, the disease not even God can heal. " ‘Remorse’ arises as a sorrow for past decisions that you've made, while ‘regret’ serves as a broader, more useful term, describing a wish that you'd made other choices in the past: ..

Sorry, Guys - Time's Up!

(October 20, 2008)  You know what they say: “Time and tide wait for no man. " And, you know, they're right. Time's up, guys! Tide's gone out, and there's not enough water left to float your boat. For the past four months, I've been focusing my energies on addressing the single most critical time in a person's ..

Sounding the Emotional Depths

(October 19, 2008)  We know one thing for certain regarding midlife: it's an emotional maelstrom. The principal difference between your reactions to the emotions that you experience during the midlife transition and the ones you endured during puberty lies in the fact that you're so much more adept at finding creative .

Detecting the Deadly Detour

(October 18, 2008)  Just a couple of days ago, our family interred my uncle at Arlington National Cemetery will full military honors. He was an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who once served in the Pentagon under Robert McNamara during the Kennedy-Johnson administrations. He was quite a brilliant and accomplished man. ..

Why Men Get Lost in the Clouds

(October 15, 2008)  Just before we moved from Connecticut to Delaware (where we now live), I was only about a month away from earning my instrument rating on my private pilot's license. From everything I've heard, the instrument rating is the most difficult rating for a private pilot to achieve. If I were to ..

Life is Change (Stagnation Equals Death)

(October 14, 2008)  We humans have a morbid fascination with security. What's this all about? As you look more closely at how we define ‘security’ for ourselves, you can begin to learn what it is you really mean when you say that you're working to provide a secure future for your family. Doesn't it mean ..

When Your Clock Strikes Midnight

(October 13, 2008)  What happens when your clock strikes twelve? There's no fairy godmother, no pumpkin coach or coachmen, no ball gown or glass slippers, no Prince Charming. Nothing left but some very hard work. Everybody's clock hits midnight once in a while. When it does, especially when you're in the midst of the ..

Your Life in the Balance

(October 09, 2008)  Did you ever see the movie Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep? The movie begins with hapless Daniel (Brooks) meeting an untimely end and appearing at the judgment with other recently deceased, among whom is young Julia (Streep). They fall in love. Daniel has to defend himself ..

Looking Into the Heart of the Beast

(October 08, 2008)  You know, there's one thing I can say for being an expert in midlife: when an emotional crisis sneaks up from behind you and pounces on your back, you know the material well enough that you can identify the beast before it takes too bad of a bite out of you. Even if you can't figure out in the heat .

Coping With Financial Catastrophe

(September 17, 2008)  In case you're among the .001% of the population who might not have noticed (who knows? perhaps you've been in a coma for the past six months), the world's financial institutions are in meltdown. Commentators the world over are using the term ‘unprecedented’ to describe what's ..

I'll Take the High Road - Will You?

(September 08, 2008)  If I were to have to choose the single most disruptive element of the midlife transition, it would have to be an irreversible transformation in core values. There's a certain inevitability about that seismic shift, since the essence of the midlife transition centers around the breakdown of ..

Are You Part of the Problem?

(September 07, 2008)  If you're in business or running a business, you're probably familiar with the classical SWOT analysis: a survey of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that should be used in the evaluation of any proposal for a new process or approach. If you're at all successful, you'll realize that ..

I'm Sure I'm Terminally Unique

(September 01, 2008)  "I just know I'm the only one in the world who feels this way!" Somehow, the feelings of guilt over your (real or imagined) failures, the confusion and fears that haunt you over decisions (big or small), the barely-controllable urges to run away or get drunk or high or just go wild, all conspire ..

Can You Win the Uphill Midlife Battle?

(August 28, 2008)  'The more things change, the more they stay the same. ’ Have you ever had that thought? Have you also noticed that, the harder you push to change the way things are, the less progress you seem to make? Although this experience isn't confined to guys passing through midlife (it's a common ..

Loving the Man in the Mirror

(August 21, 2008)  Every day you live, you collect stuff. Just imagine the sheer volume of information that passes into your psyche every day, from what you see, what you read, what you experience, what you think, what you do (consciously or unconsciously), and the decisions you make. Every second - awake or asleep - .

Success is a Dead End

(August 20, 2008)  'Be careful what you pray for, ‘cause you just might get it. ’ Have you ever heard that saying? In my opinion, it so perfectly describes the pitfalls of adulthood. Keep in mind that I have what I think is quite a unique definition for ‘adulthood': childhood without the parental ..

What If I Get Sick?

(August 13, 2008)  This is my first day back in my home office since I left on my Vancouver trip last week. In the meantime, something unpleasant happened to me: some kind of nasty, lingering stomach virus that has left me wanting to do nothing more than just sleep. Getting sick is one of life's most unpleasant ..

Climbing Out of the Fog

(August 09, 2008)  It's impossible to plan for or even prepare for the midlife transition without doing some serious self-work. You can't very well establish a path and direction for yourself without having at least a vague idea of where you are and where you want to go. You'll find it even more challenging to ..

Midlife and Catastrophe Consciousness

(August 03, 2008)  In case you're wondering, ‘catastrophe’ (as a mathematical model) doesn't mean quite what you think it does. According to it's originator, French mathematician Rene Thom, “It studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behavior arising from small changes in ..

Midlife Dispels the Security Mirage

(August 03, 2008)  I'm very fond of the concept of ‘social security', regardless of whether or not any social insurance program (either for retirement or medical necessities) could provide ‘security’. At some point in our personal evolution, I hope that we'd reach the point where we'd realize the ..

Disillusionment and the Second Stage of Life

(July 30, 2008)  In today's “Style" section, Washington Post writer Henry Allen treats his readers to a virtual journey into those not-so-halcyon early days of television that we of a ‘certain’ generation remember so fondly. . . . Well some of us remember it fondly . . . even if, in fact, I was ..

Obligations and Expectations

(July 23, 2008)  Almost everything in life these days comes with training wheels. Remember them? They kept you from falling over and hurting yourself before you really learned how to ride a bicycle. Once upon a time, only a few things (like our proverbial bicycle) came with training wheels, now, some people are ..

What Do You Need? What Do You Demand?

(July 14, 2008)  I was talking with a psychotherapist earlier today, and he made what I considered to be a very interesting distinction: between needs and demands. For a long time, I've been interested in the interplay between ‘needs’ (as Abraham Maslow and others have dealt with them) and ..

Confronting Your Worst Enemy

(July 07, 2008)  When I was growing up, all of us - at least the boys - were indoctrinated into the ‘cowboy culture’. Nobody didn't know about Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Buffalo Bob, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto. We all had something ‘cowboy’ (usually a pair of toy six-shooters). All of ..


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