I read a lot of books...averaging at least one per week. I always learn something from each book; the authors make some good points, maybe in a way I hadn't heard before.

Notwithstanding all the books I've read, I've always found that the author's paradigm includes some sort of "enemy," something to be tolerated or fought against, someone or something to be overcome, whether in our own nature or the nature of others.

A book I just finished paraded the enemy right in the title, "Ego is the Enemy" (by Ryan Holiday).

As long as there's an enemy, we will have a hard life and will lack full integrity. Our very philosophies have pitted us against ourselves.

Somehow I was blessed. My mother taught me something that was more fundamentally important than anything else she ever taught me. It's also something that most parents would be "too frightened" to teach their children.

She taught me to think for myself, to make my own decisions, to question others, to question authority, and even to question her.

Her legacy is alive in me today through this most fundamental of all teachings of how to live a great life.

As a parent, are you willing to choose courage to teach your children to think for themselves and, when they do (even when disagreeing with you), show respect to them for that?

We might recognize wisdom from its many different expressions.But there is one expression that might surprise a lot of people.

An essential part of deep wisdom is an eagerness and a delight in acting silly, just like children are able to be giddy with their silliness and the silliness of others. A willingness and even eagerness to be silly is a full expression of playing with lightness of life.

You spend more time with yourself than you spend with anyone else. Having yourself as a best friend is, therefore, of paramount importance?
How often do you acknowledge yourself?
Do you consistently show respect and consideration for yourself (putting yourself in your own shoes)?
Do you consistently show respect and consideration for your I-Now (the part of you that just wants to feel good now)?
Do you consistently express love and compassion for yourself?
Do you apologize to yourself if you notice self-criticism?

All of us either get enough calories or we get too many calories. It is not a problem to get calories in our modern world. But the calories we are eating come along with too few micronutrients. For example, (refined) oil is 100% calories and virtually no micronutrients. Most breads are high in calories and quite low in micronutrients. The same for pastas and pizzas. In contrast, kale is very few calories and loaded with micronutrients. And, although nuts are higher in calories (along with their Omega-3 oils), they are also high in micronutrients. So the trick, the rule of thumb for making your eating choices is to ask yourself the question, "How can I maximize the micronutrients per calorie in my food choices?"

Most Chinese adults (but certainly not all) seem to lack a certain "maturity." I have wondered why they appear this way to me. They are smart. They are hard working. They are responsible. Yet many still seem "immature" to me. My guess is this: They are often shy and lack self-confidence. And they have lived and are living their life according the the "straight line" rules of their society, especially regarding following the dictates of their elders and what others expect of them. They continue to "obey" others without question, as children often do.

Perfectionism is the enemy of fun and easy improvement.

Many people are able to work hard and be "successful." But the the most powerful people are able to work fun and easy and be much more broadly successful. In fact, if you can find a way to work fun and easy, you're more likely to be successful.

If your life is not fun and easy yet, you're still fighting with reality. Are you still using the words "should" or "shouldn't"?...Both of those are fighting with reality. Are you making friends with your fear and tapping into its energy? If not, you're fighting with reality.

World War II ended on September 2nd, 1945. For over 73 years we've had a much smaller percentage of people killed in war for a much longer time than any period in history.

Many factors have been put forward to suggest the reasons for this. I want to suggest a reason that I have not heard put forward before.

Women. Starting near the beginning of the 1900s, women in most countries gained the right to vote. In the United States the women's equal rights movement, both socially and politically began to accelerate in the 1960s. Today women have unprecedented power and influence in world affairs...and the increase shows no signs of slowing down.

For every woman in jail for a violent crime, there are ten men imprisoned. Men are genetically prone to violence much more than are women. In general, men are much more likely to initiate (or defend reactively) to violence than are women.

Therefore, it seems that the unprecedented power and influence that women hold in the world today may (at least partially) account for the phenomenal level of world peace we've enjoyed for the past 73 years.