Monthly Archives: February 2011

Doing A “Relationship Inventory” Helps Build Sustainable Romantic and Sexual Intimacy

The overall theme of my blog posts is about revising what we think a psychologically healthy life is, in todayís 21st Century interconnected culture.† That is, what psychological health and resiliency look like in careers and organizations, and in intimate relationships.† Some of my earlier posts have described features of healthy relationships in this new era, based on new thinking and research studies.† And, that our culture undermines the emotional attitudes and behavior that support connected, energized intimate relationships Ė oneís that donít go south after that early rush of excitement and passion fades.

In this and future posts Iíll describe more about what supports a positive relationship, emotionally, sexually and spiritually.† What wonít are the fantasized portrayals and simplistic formulas promoted by the advice and technique books and magazine articles.† ††Most of them donít work anyway, and can do more harm than good because they can make couples feel inadequate if, for example, they canít find the right words to reflect back to their partner; or they discover that the new sexual technique or tantric exercise just doesnít arouse them.

This post is about a frequently overlooked first step towards a sustainable relationship with your current or future partner.† Couples Iíve worked with find it helpful because it builds the self-reflection and self-awareness you need for growing and evolving yourself in your relationship capacities.† I call this first step doing a ďRelationship Inventory.Ē† With it, you can review, understand, and learn from your past relationships; and then face forward with greater clarity and capacity for creating and sustaining emotional and sexual intimacy in the present and future.

Begin by making a list of all your significant romantic relationships.† For each, Continue reading


Obama’s Call to “Win the Future” Requires a New Definition of “Success”

When President Obama urged Americans to “win the future” in his recent SOTU address, he called upon the innovative, communal spirit that’s enabled us to “do great things.” Ironically, that part of his message exposes a glaring contradiction: How we’ve defined achieving “success” in our lives has become outmoded and maladaptive in our 21st Century world. To meet the challenges of our “Sputnik moment,” we need to revamp our thinking about what success is, as well as what psychological orientation is necessary to achieve it.

Consider this: The old, conventional view of a successful life is mostly defined by financial and self-interested criteria — getting, consuming and possessing for oneself. As Ronald Reagan once said about pursuing the “American dream” everyone “...wants to see an America in which people can get rich.”

But as President Obama pointed out in his address, “That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful.” The reality of today’s interconnected, highly interdependent world, greed is not good. It’s psychologically unhealthy; it undermines the values, mindset and actions people need to strengthen in order to meet the challenges we face as individuals and as a nation.

That is, our security, success and well-being now require strengthening communal values and behavior; working towards common goals, the common good. Acting on self-interest alone, especially in the pursuit of personal power, steady career advancement and money Continue reading