It Ain’t No Sin To Be Glad You’re Alive: How To Find Happiness In Your Life Purpose

“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive”.  (Bruce Springsteen, “Badlands”)

“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive” is one of my favorite lines from any song I know. I often quote it to people I see in my psychotherapy practice because it so accurately captures their struggle to find happiness and their life purpose.

For many people, one of the biggest obstacles to finding their life purpose is that they become uncomfortable when they feel happy. I know this sounds strange. Isn’t happiness what we all want? It is. But for many people, feeling the…Read More

No Direction Home: How Do I Find My Purpose In Life?

In my post , “Don’t Write A Resume”, I talked about the five ways you can know that you’re doing something that matters to you. Those five ways are:

1) You’re willing to put in a lot more work than is actually required;

2) You’re willing to give up other things that are important to you—time with my friends, going out, free time—in order to do what matters to you;

3) You’re motivated…Read More

Crossroads: A Self Esteem Test

“Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down/ And they all led me straight back home to you.” Gram Parsons, Return of the Grievous Angel

No matter how many roads you’ve gone down in search of your life path, I believe you can find the one that’s right for you. But, when you’re feeling stuck, it can be very hard to have the faith that any of the roads you’ve taken is ever going to lead anywhere.

In earlier blogs, I alluded to some ways that you might get stuck when you’re trying…Read More

Lost Highway Blues Rules Of The Road: BE A MISFIT (NOT A FAILURE)

I experienced writer’s block for the first time when I finished graduate school and started teaching at Indiana University. When I got to Indiana, I was expected to revise my dissertation for publication. After a year and a half of work, I had revised less than half of it. By the middle of my second year at IU, my senior colleagues were expressing concern that I was falling so far behind schedule that my chances of being recommended for tenure were in jeopardy. I began to feel like a failure.

Read More

Lost Highway Blues Rules of the Road: DON’T WRITE A RESUME

In my first blog post, I talked about how I don’t like to write and how I discovered this when I took a creative writing class my freshman year in college. As is usually the case, the story is actually a little bit more complicated.

I very much enjoyed writing some of my college papers. In my junior year, for example, I took a class on the psychology of the unconscious. I didn’t particularly like the class but I loved writing the final paper. I was interested in how contemporary psychological theories understood an old religious question: Do we come…Read More