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Archive for September, 2012

Leave Your Lover To Re-energize Your Relationship

September 26th, 2012
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Paul Simon’s song, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” may come to mind here, but I’m referring to a different kind of “leaving:” departing from how couples typically relate to each other in day-to-day life — struggling over power and control while also longing for greater mutuality and equality.

Power struggles and lack of equality are visible in what couples actually do with each other in their interactions, their decisions; in how they behave towards each other around differences of needs, desires, and personalities. In my recent post about “radical transparency I explained that two-way exposure of your inner life generates emotional and sexual vitality. Not your personal fantasies or crazy thoughts, which we all have from time to time, but rather, your intimate feelings, fears, hopes, and vulnerabilities. Another source is building “whole person sex,” which I’ll discuss in a future post.

 But here, I explain why learning to relate more as equals, as collaborative partners, is also crucial. It’s similar to what many people have had to learn in today’s rapidly changing workplace, by necessity. “Leaving” your lover in the ways I describe builds greater equality because it’s more than just learning new communication skills or new sexual techniques. They won’t create mutuality or equality by themselves. What it does is shifting away from how you’ve learned to envision a relationship to begin with. And then, shifting to serve the relationship itself; not just whatever serves your own desires.
To explain, power-struggles are features of Read more…
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Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Modern Love, Sex & Relationships, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , , , , ,

New Study Finds Executives Experience Worsening Work-Life Balance

September 18th, 2012
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This should be no surprise, really: A new study by Harvard Business School, and reported by Reuters, found that executives across several countries report deteriorating work-life balance. I see this encroaching downside of 24/7 availability and data bombardment – for all of its advantages – in many of the execs I work with in particular; and in people’s lives, in general.

The study found that “…modern communications may allow less time in the office, but compel them to work around the clock” One executive envisioned a scenario “…where people who have every five minutes of their lives planned out and technology on the fly and data coming to them left and right, and…most people would look at that and say ‘Oh my God, that’s awful.”

Here’s the report, by Adam Tanner:

“I feel compelled to be constantly in touch with my work, including weekends and holidays, but you learn to live with this situation,” said Barbero, the chief technology officer at Spanish and Portuguese-language media group Prisa.

“When you are part of the most important decision-making bodies of a company, there are no limits on dedication. I have little time for family or social activities.”

In recent years, many companies on Wall Street and beyond have embraced the mantra of flexible hours and work-life balance. Read any image-building column written by a top executive, and he or she is likely to stress the importance of getting to a child’s soccer game or concert. Read more…

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Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Psychological health in a post-globalized world, Work & Career "4.0"

The 2012 Campaign Reveals Two Contrasting Views of Personal Success

September 15th, 2012
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The 2012 presidential campaign exposes a clash between an older, narrowly focused — and declining — view of success, and one that’s both broader and steadily rising. It has both social and political implications worth our attention.

The view that Mitt Romney conveys is the older one. It’s essentially that success means achieving power, money and career position for oneself and family. Period. It’s a traditional, self-focused vision of a successful life. It’s also embodied in Paul Ryan’s positions about the “makers” and the “takers.”

The other view, conveyed by President Obama, is closer to what I call “whole life” success. That’s a growing shift towards viewing a successful life as one that includes personal achievement, but extends beyond it to supporting and helping others elevate their own lives. It’s based on awareness that we’re all interdependent and interconnected in today’s world. And, that your own life course – including your financial and career success — is highly interwoven with everyone else’s.

The latter perspective is not new, of course. But it’s been steadily rising in our culture; increasingly visible in the values and actions of younger generations, in particular. Let’s look at some statements that contrast the older, traditional view of success with the broader, whole life view. Then, let’s look at where the latter is taking root, and why President Obama retains one foot in the older view when he describes the path to success, today.

First, Romney emphasizes that Americans should be Read more…

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Politics, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , , , ,

Wealthy People Less Likely To Help Others In Times Of Trouble

September 1st, 2012
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Some new research finds that less well-off people tend to reach out to each other in times of trouble, but the more affluent opt for comfort in their material wealth and possessions. In a study conducted at UC Berkeley, and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that the rich are ” more focused on holding onto and attaining wealth and the poor spending more time with friends and loved ones,” according to the lead author, Paul Piff. One interpretation is that the more wealthy take comfort in material possessions when threatened by feelings of chaos, crisis or disruption in their environment. The study was described in this Science Daily summary:

Crises are said to bring people closer together. But a new study from UC Berkeley suggests that while the have-nots reach out to one another in times of trouble, the wealthy are more apt to find comfort in material possessions. “In times of uncertainty, we see a dramatic polarization, with the rich more focused on holding onto and attaining wealth and the poor spending more time with friends and loved ones,” said Paul Piff, a post-doctoral scholar in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper published online this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. These new findings add to a growing body of scholarship at UC Berkeley on socio-economic class — defined by both household income and education — and social behavior. Results from five separate experiments shed new light on how humans from varying socio-economic backgrounds may respond to both natural and human-made disasters, including economic recessions, political instability, earthquakes and hurricanes. Read more…

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Politics, Psychological health in a post-globalized world , , ,