The Truth About How to Get More Love in Your Life

Do you ever feel like you’re unlovable or as though no one cares? How can you get more love in your life?

Wondering what prevents you from finding love? Learn the truth about how to get more love in your life.

 


When we hear “love,” most of us think “romantic love,” but that’s certainly not the only love we have in our lives. Similarly, when we wonder how to get more love in our life, we might be thinking, “more dates,” but that’s not the only way to feel loved.

At some point, we’ve all felt like we were unlovable or that no one cares. We’ve wondered how to get more love, whether from friends, our boss, family, partner, or spouse. Even if we’re surrounded by others and enjoying a great relationship, we probably have moments where we don’t feel particularly loved (or frankly, even “liked”) by others.

So, where is the love? Why do we feel like we don’t have enough love in our lives? How do we attract more of that admiration, connection, and positivity to our lives? How do we get more love?

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Here’s the universal truth: each of us is worthy of love.

Better still, each day, the universe sends love our way, regardless of the number of friends we have, our relationship status, or our own perception. Every day we receive evidence that we have value, we are loveable, deserve love and adoration, simply by the miracle of being alive. For affirmation, we need to open our eyes to the beauty of the universe.

Now we might think, “but I don’t feel very loved, right now.” Maybe we feel lonely, down, or disconnected from others. Perhaps we’ve been through the ending of a relationship, loss, or another challenge disrupting the norms in our lives.

Which leads to the question, what is love anyway? What does it mean to feel loved? If I’ve lost love, how do I get that feeling back into my life?

When we think of love, most of us turn to thoughts of romance. We envision the love scenes in our favorite movie. We hear love songs and think of our favorite romance novels. Love has become a fairytale idea—a magical feeling that sweeps us off our feet, changes who we are, and transforms how we feel about ourselves.

Even look at the songs:

  • All You Need is Love
  • Love Conquers All
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Because You Loved Me
  • The Glory of Love

It’s no wonder we have a romanticized notion of what love is and what it means to be loved by someone!

Letting Go of Fairytales and Getting into Real Love

As we go through challenging times, we may become a little put off by the very notion of romantic love. We may feel like the love we have doesn’t measure up, so why try for more?

Most of us realize fairytale romance is a myth, but there may be a side of us that still longs for those relationships we see in the movies. When this happens, we’re striving for an ideal that doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, and if we’re concerned that our relationships don’t measure up, it could be that we’re holding them to an impossible standard.


Real relationships take time, energy, and, yes, work. It requires being honest, growing together, and not being afraid to roll up our sleeves and battle sometimes. A romantic relationship won’t save us from ourselves, fix us, or “make us happy” if we aren’t.


But of course, romantic relationships are nourishing. Romantic love is a beautiful gift, and a relationship can serve as both a womb to nurture and a crucible to forge us into our best selves. Romantic love is important, but it’s also not the be-all, end-all we hear about in love songs. In truth, a solid romantic love requires us to know and love ourselves, both in and outside of the relationship.

More importantly, romantic love isn’t the only way we can get more love in our life. In fact, we don’t need a romantic connection to feel fulfilled, cared for, or satisfied.

All of us can access the love the universe provides us. Some of us think of this love as spiritual—the love we feel from God, the Buddha, a Great Spirit—and some see it as the abundance and beauty of the world around us.

The world is sending us love through beauty, connection, acts of kindness, and all the wonderful encounters we experience. When we open our eyes to it, we will start to notice how much love surrounds us.

The Loving Truth: You Are Loved

The idea we’re loved changes our perspective on the world. Years back, when I was visiting spiritual sites in France, I stopped to meditate and write out my thoughts. There is a Parisian café, I came to a profound yet simple realization: You are loved.

I wrote this loving truth out in my book, The Soft Addiction Solution. I realized that this simple truth could completely transform our perspective on ourselves and others. This truth helps us live a richer life, experience deeper connections, and embrace the belief that not only are we loved, but we’re worthy of love.


The First Loving Truth: You Are Loved: You are loved beyond your own imagining. You may not feel it, know it, or even believe it, but the truth remains that you are loved. You are a beloved child of a loving universe. Nothing you can do will make the love go away, for it is your birthright. Is there anything we want more than to be loved? Is there anything that we fear more than the possibility that we are not loved? Our fears are groundless. What we most wish for, we already have. Love is abundant. It is we who block the reception of love, who believe we are not loved, or lovable, or who feel as if we can never get enough.

The Soft Addiction Solution


When we realize this truth, it instantly opens up a transformative path for us. When we feel more loved, we’re no longer seeking to numb ourselves by engaging in soft addictions. We stop shopping to feel fulfilled. We stop scrolling through social media, comparing our lives to those of our friends. We stop trying to measure up.

When we’re wondering how to get more love, we’re operating under the mistaken belief we’re not loved or not loved enough. We’re in a place of scarcity. We may constantly attempt to fill ourselves up to no avail. We may overeat, we may overspend, try to please others, and become who we think they want us to be. We believe we aren’t loveable the way we are, or there’s not enough love to go around.

The belief love is a scarce resource may drive us our entire lives, starting in childhood. Perhaps you were told as a child you weren’t enough…or you were too much. Maybe you believed you weren’t worthy of attention, protection, or care.

Fortunately, when we realize there is plenty of love in the universe, we start to change our mistaken beliefs. We don’t need to resign ourselves to living under this pretense—that love is a commodity that can be given and taken away. We’re each worthy of love. Better yet, we’re each loved, and love is abundantly surrounding us. There is proof everywhere.

Deciding to Be Loved

The remarkable aspect of the truth is that it’s true, whether or not everyone (or anyone) believes it. It’s not necessary to know you are loved to benefit from this truth. You simply need to operate AS IF it’s true. Open yourself up to the possibility of having more than enough love in your life.

Being loved is a decision. We often think of it as a feeling, but it’s a choice. Being loved by another person doesn’t solve our pain. It doesn’t resolve the feelings we may grapple with. We may know we are loved, but we may not feel loved all the time.

Having someone love you is not a panacea for feelings of lack, unworthiness, and pain. For example, I know that I am loved, but I do not feel loved all the time. My husband loves me deeply and tells me daily. He believes in me and does whatever he can to help me achieve my dreams. He compliments me (he calls me gorgeous every day), lauds my successes, appreciates my way of being, gives me truthful feedback to keep me moving toward my vision, and shows his love for me in many ways. It saddens me that I don’t always let his caring in or sometimes miss the depth of his feelings for me.


It is a form of stinking thinking to identify a feeling and ascribe meaning to it. It is called emotional reasoning. I don’t feel loved; therefore, I am not loved is a stinking thought. A corrected thought is I am loved. I’m simply not feeling it right now


When we decide we are loved, we begin to look for evidence of it. Because of the power of self-fulfilling prophecies, we tend to act in ways that confirm our current beliefs. If we change either our beliefs or our actions, we can shift the cycle. As you make these changes, you will feel more acceptance, more love, and more hope. Even if you can’t feel it at the moment, you will still see the evidence. You’ll probably even attract more respect and positive attention because of the shift in your belief system because you hold yourself as loved and deserving.

By redefining love, you will see that love isn’t just romance. Love has to do with caring and holding each other close in your hearts. Evidence of being loved can range from a spouse’s loving look to a parent’s stern admonition to a chore done for you when you didn’t ask.

When we open our eyes to the love around us, we will start to notice the ways the universe shows us love and caring—a beautiful sunset, a soft snowfall, and kindness from strangers. When a coworker holds the door for us, when we enjoy a good meal or admire a beautiful work of art, these are examples and evidence of love. Simple pleasures that reassure us, yes, we are worthy of love, and we are loved. We can love ourselves, care for, and nurture ourselves.

As we choose to accept this belief—that we’re loved and loveable–our worthiness is reinforced and continues to build on itself and compound. When we seek evidence of being loved, we will begin to notice it all around us. Because of the power of self-fulfilling prophecies, we act in ways that affirm our beliefs. The more loved we believe we are, the more evidence we’ll discover to strengthen that belief. If we want to get more love, we should open up to the truth:

We are loved!

Go forth with belief in this truth, and you will find greater happiness, strength, and fulfillment.

For more ways to build your self-care muscles, explore our course on Wright Now. We offer many personal development courses and materials to help you find satisfaction in your career, your relationships, and with yourself. Get more out of life today!


 

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Is Your Organization Alive? How to Create a Vision for Your Organization

Do members of your organization see the big picture?

Is your organization alive? How to create a vision for your organization


Is everyone on the same page (and invested) in moving your organization toward success? Is your organization alive—do all the pieces contribute to a vibrant, thriving institution?

Many times, companies and organizations suffer because everyone is working toward different goals or various ideal outcomes. Everyone may have a concept of what success looks like, but getting that vision aligned is challenging.

As a leader, your vision is what moves your company forward. Sharing that vision with your employees and team is a crucial component of strong leadership.

Don’t Get Caught in the Weeds

Too often, as leaders, we get bogged down by living “in the weeds.” We end up dealing with day-to-day problems and issues. Creating a vision for the organization becomes the furthest thing out on our plate. But creating and maintaining a vision of what’s possible and desirable for the organization is vital. It helps us continue to move in the direction that leads to individual and organizational fulfillment.

An idealized vision for an organization is one of a dynamic, vital, nourishing place to work, where people set and achieve challenging goals. In these visionary organizations, everyone takes responsibility for their own success, but they’re also bought into and committed to making the entire company successful.


In a visionary organization, employees go out of their way to satisfy internal and external customers. They’re constantly taking action to improve the quality of their work. They learn and grow together, working to become more satisfied and effective team members and employees.


When conflict arises, the employees engage constructively. We know that conflict isn’t something we should avoid—productive conflict can make us stronger with better communication—constructive conflict results in sound decisions. The employees learn to communicate openly and directly through organization and express truths that help make the company better.

In a visionary organization, employees take the initiative and seize opportunities for themselves and the company. They’re empowered and confident to act on their own to solve problems. They pride themselves on innovation and their creative approaches to product and business development. Team members pride themselves on their innovation and creative approaches to product and business development. They anticipate the consequences of different options and alternatives and use their analysis to make decisions.

In a visionary organization, employees are encouraged and supported by leadership. As leaders, we help them work to their highest potential and to succeed at doing so. Everyone in the organization works to bring their personal and company vision to fruition.

Leading in a Visionary Organization

What does a visionary organization leadership look like? How does leadership behave in this idealized setting, and how do team members thrive?

Managers in a visionary organization lead by example. Each leader displays all the above characteristics to an even greater degree than other employees. They set the bar and hold the standard that everyone aspires to.

Visionary leaders are excellent motivators and developers of people. These leaders offer their subordinates clear, constructive feedback and coaching to help them improve their performance. Because they have high emotional intelligence, they’re empathetic to the needs of their team. They understand how to up-regulate and down-regulate during communication, and they help bring out the best in others.


Strong, visionary organizational leaders help employees align themselves with the company initiatives and objectives.


They encourage a sense of buy-in because employees are heard, and their contributions are valued. They build organizational commitment through creative, evolving, and changing methods to ensure the entire team is learning and growing together.

In a visionary organization, senior executives are strategic thinkers and visionary leaders who understand industry trends and develop long-term strategic plans based on the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and competitive position. But rather than focusing on the competition, they build their own skills and abilities to enhance and support their positive assets.

Strong leaders are also realistic about where they stand. They don’t turn away from criticism or feedback. They learn from their mistakes and missteps and use these opportunities to redirect and explore creative solutions.

They communicate a vision for the organization and the individuals in it that inspires employees to stretch themselves and work together to achieve the vision. In this organization, the leadership views the internal development of leaders as one of their most important job functions, and they’re constantly seeking opportunities to expand managers’ responsibilities and opportunities.

Finally, all employees, from the CEO down to the most unskilled workers, are committed to continual learning and improvement. Everyone in the organization is known for their honesty, integrity, and personal credibility. People can be counted on to do what they say they will do. They admit and take responsibility for their mistakes and put themselves at personal risk to take stands based on their deeply held values.

What Happens When an Organization Holds to a Vision?

When an organization is helmed by visionary leadership, the results are quickly evident.

Because of the commitment, behaviors, and traits manifested by all its employees, a visionary organization becomes the industry leader and is universally respected for its integrity, values, and business success. Its retention rate is the highest in its industry, and it attracts quality candidates more easily than any of its competitors. It is known as a place where people work hard, and morale is high.


In a visionary organization, employee turnover isn’t an issue. Hanging on to top talent is easy; people are drawn to the company, thanks to an excellent reputation. The company is successful, and it continues to build on that success as it compounds and grows.


Although the leadership sets the vision and sets the tone of an organization, success radiates throughout the entire organization. Because everyone is valued, the company’s success feels personal. Everyone in the organization wins every time the company has a victory.

Your Vision and Your Current State

Does any organization live up to this vision of the “perfect visionary organization” described above? Well, the truth is, it’s unlikely. Most organizations have some (or a lot) of room to grow and develop a more visionary approach to leadership.

However, by analyzing the gaps between this vision and your reality, you can identify the key campaigns and initiatives you need to strategize and execute to reduce the leadership gap and improve the overall effectiveness of your organization.

Visionary leaders need to do the internal exploration and personal growth work to create clarity in their intention. If you want to lead your company successfully, you should look at your own engagement style and emotional intelligence. How do you motivate others? What is your leadership style? Are you someone who leads by energizing others but then pulls back on the execution? Are you someone who regulates those around you, wanting every idea to be carried out just so?


As you learn about your own state, strengths, and areas for improvement, you will find yourself a stronger leader as well. The internal work can be challenging, but it’s well worth it to boost your leadership abilities and improve your organization.


It takes courage to create and hold a powerful vision, especially in light of the struggles organizations face in today’s world. Yet the bigger the vision you hold, the more powerful a leader you can become. Of course, vision alone isn’t enough. Many people have grand visions and can even get others’ support but lack the follow-through. To truly lead your organization to the greatest success, you also need strategy and tactics. You need to set your intention and have the ability to execute your plan.

Your company’s culture and your people largely determine both your organization’s current state and what it will take to achieve your vision of the ideal future. As a leader, your intention is the primary driver to help your organization become what it can be. To figure that out, you need to be honest with yourself and allow yourself to “go there.” Look at the areas of your personal vision that you need to address, improve, and grow. Are there areas you’re ignoring or putting on the back burner?

Getting clarity on your vision is worth the effort. By creating an inspiring vision and engaging your organization in the journey to achieve the vision, the whole organization will benefit, as well as every stakeholder. Creating a vision for your organization is a critical part of your company’s current and future success. When you have a clear vision in place, it will act as your road map through every challenge.

For more ways you can achieve success in your career, please explore our career development courses at Wright Now. We have an array of webinars, seminars, and networking opportunities to help you realize the fullest potential of your personal leadership.


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

9 Tips for Fun, Romantic Relationships After 50

Do you wonder if you can still have new romantic relationships over 50? What about building better relationships over 50?

 


The truth is, there’s no age that’s a “cut-off” for dating, relationship building, or romance. Whether you’re starting to get back on the dating scene after a divorce or the death of a spouse, are in a committed relationship, or have been married for 30 years, everyone wants a fun, romantic relationship.

Yet often, as our relationships go on, we might worry that we’re losing the spark or that we’re starting to feel less excited by our partner (or by the prospect of romance in general). Here’s how to keep the thrill going for fun, romantic relationships even after 50.

Why We Get Bored in Relationships

As human beings, we’re hardwired to seek novelty. When we’re young children, every experience is new, fresh, and exciting. We’re constantly making memories, processing new information, and learning about the world around us.

As we get older, that novelty and accompanying curiosity slow down—sometimes to what feels like a crawl. We might feel like life has become largely routine. We get home from work; we eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. It’s hard to feel like our relationships (or anything in our lives) bring us excitement or thrills when we’re stuck in a rut.


If we suddenly find ourselves in a relationship that feels “blah” or boring, it may be a sign that we’re causing the damage ourselves.


In the book The Heart of the Fight, we explore the Rules of Engagement—or the tips for having more productive fights that move us toward closer relationships (rather than tearing us apart). One of the essential rules of engagement is that we are each 100% responsible for our own happiness. Similarly, no one gets more than 50% of the blame in any situation.

When we think of those two points, we may realize that some of the issues we see in our relationship may be coming from within ourselves rather than from the partner. When we withdraw, disengage, or choose passive-aggressive behaviors, we can become distant from our partners, friends, and other loved ones.

So how do we get back that spark? How do we combat feelings of boredom, blah, or distance?

Tips for Keeping Up the Spark in Relationships Over 50

One caveat to remember is that “over 50” really has nothing to do with our feelings about our relationships. We can become bored, disengaged, and distant in relationships in our 20s, 30s, or 40s. Similarly, we can enjoy stimulating, romantic, fun relationships into our 80s or 90s (or beyond).

But in our 50s, many of us have fallen into a pretty set pattern. Our careers might be humming along; children might be heading out of the house and off to college. We may even have a grandchild or two. At the same time, many of us reach middle age and think, “Is this it?”

By almost any standard these days, 50 is still very young and vibrant. Most of us are full of energy and in no way feel “our age.” Often when we hit this point in our lives, we start to seek novelty. It can be the classic “midlife crisis” situation, or we may feel a sense of urgency to do more.

Our 50s are a great time to work on strengthening our romantic relationships. It’s a great time to connect with a partner and to start creating the life we want. Here’s how to keep that spark in relationships over 50.

1. Reengage with Your Relationship

When we get a bad signal on our phone, we might restart it, check the bars, move around to see why we’re having connectivity problems. We try to do something about it. We don’t just yell at our phone or ignore it and wish it would “fix itself.”

If we’re experiencing a disconnect with our relationship, we need to start figuring out the cause. Commit to reengage and work FOR the relationship rather than working against it.

2. Don’t She Away from Conflict

We might think the secret to a long and happy relationship is to avoid conflict. In reality, this is another way we disengage and settle for less. Conflict helps us grow. Any relationship that’s evolving and growing is going to face conflict.

Rather than looking at conflict as a negative sign for our relationships, we can realize that conflict is how we get what we want. We often use conflict as an opportunity to express our needs—our yearnings. Getting these essential longings of the heart met helps us move ahead in a fulfilling relationship.

3. Get Over Perfection

The perfect relationship doesn’t exist. Fairy tale romances aren’t real, and Prince or Princess Charming isn’t going to ride in on a horse and sweep us off our feet. We might feel like our relationship doesn’t measure up to some ideal we’ve seen in movies or on TV, but these relationships aren’t a reflection of what a real connection should be.

It isn’t that romance doesn’t exist or that we can’t find a great partner, but we must shift our thinking to reflect on a relationship as a partnership—working together towards the goal of a fulfilling connection. When we expect our partner to “make” us happy, we’re setting ourselves up for sure disappointment. Remember, each person is 100% responsible for their own happiness.

4. Don’t Get Stuck in a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

How many times do we think, “I don’t deserve a happy relationship,” or, “It’s too late to really get what I want out of my marriage?” These limiting beliefs may arise consciously or unconsciously. They cause us to engage in unnecessary drama.

We get stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy—believing we aren’t getting what we need from our partner. We act out to get their attention, and they react negatively. This pattern only reinforces the idea that our relationship isn’t working or isn’t giving us what we deserve. So we sulk, we give them the cold shoulder, with pull away….and the pattern continues.

5. Explore Your Baggage

We all bring different things with us into a relationship. This “stuff” is often referred to as our emotional baggage. It may include our relationships with parents, different experiences, friendships, and other early factors contributing to forming our belief system.

Many of us may shrug this off as “It’s just how I am,” but if we really want to work on our relationship, we need to start working on ourselves. What are we avoiding? Why do we hold onto certain beliefs and expectations about relationships? Where do our feelings originate? Some of us may believe our parents were perfect (and no one else can live up to that), others may have grown up thinking they were unworthy of love. These feelings stay with us and affect our future relationships (yes, even our relationships over 50).

6. Share Your Wants

If we want to get what we want out of our relationship, we need to speak up! That means asking our partner for what we want and what we need. If we need extra affection today, say so! If we don’t like something that our partner does, let them know!

When we hold back our wants, we may start to resent others for not “reading our mind.” Guess what—they aren’t psychic! Holding back from expressing desires can lead to disappointment and resentment that our partner didn’t get the message. It can feel a little strange at first, but with practice, it quickly because easier for us to request what we desire.

7. Embrace Your Responsibility in the Relationship

We can only control our own actions. As much as many of us would like to “get” our partner to do what we want, part of their draw is who they are as an individual. We wouldn’t want someone who did exactly what we wanted, when we wanted it, every time.

Similarly, we shouldn’t hold our partners responsible for mistakes they don’t even realize because we have the responsibility of ourselves. We can only control our own actions and reactions. We can express our feelings clearly and honestly. We can work on ourselves, and the relationship will be stronger for it.

8. Accentuate the Positive

Instead of feeling our partner is out to get us, what if we believed our partner wanted the relationship to work as much as we did? In most cases, this is true, yet, many couples distrust their partner or play out their response before they even have a chance to succeed.

When we find ourselves using phrases like, “You never,” or “You always,” we might be focusing on the negative rather than accentuating the positive. Instead, what if we noticed the positive things our partner does and complimented them on that instead? What if we reinforced the good actions with positive reinforcement?

9. PLAY!

When we get “bogged down” with the idea of learning and growing, we forget that the most significant growth comes from novelty and play! Yes, as adults, we can still have fun and enjoy new, exciting experiences. What if we really try to mindfully be in the moment and enjoy new experiences with our partner?

Instead of zoning out on a Netflix binge, what if we choose an activity that we enjoy together? What if we get out in nature, take a walk together, listen to a lecture or take a class together, or attend an art experience that speaks to our soul? There are plenty of ways to connect to others, and one of them is to have fun! Do activities that both parties enjoy and be in the moment together.


Can we have fulfilling, engaging, and even romantic relationships after 50? YES!


Intimacy comes from building an honest, authentic connection. The more open, engaged, and self-aware we become, the more our relationship will benefit too. We’ll become more intimately connected to our partners because we’re our true selves. We know that they love us for who we are, and we love them for exactly who they are too. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable, messy, real, and human. When we let down our guard, we can start to really connect with someone else.

For more ways to build loving, lasting relationships, visit our courses on Wright Now. We offer resources for personal growth, career building, and to help you strengthen your relationships!  Get the connections you want today.

 

Want More Out of Life? There’s a Simple Cure for Boredom

Do you ever feel like life has become routine? Wondering what to do when you’re bored with life? Are you seeking a cure for boredom?

Get more out of life and end boredom by continuing to learn and grow.

 


“Feeling bored” can strike when we’re seemingly the most “satisfied” with our lives—we’re going along in our career, relationship, and social life, and things are…fine. But we’re treading water. We’re not maximizing our potential or really getting satisfaction out of life. Maybe we drive to work on the same route. Our days are similar; we work on similar projects. We come home, we eat dinner with our partner, watch TV, scroll through our phones. We might feel like we’re leading a boring life.

This state of feeling bored with life or feeling stagnation can happen slowly without us even realizing it. Unfortunately, when it happens, we start to feel unsettled, restless, and unfulfilled. We may feel guilty—like we don’t appreciate life enough. We need a cure for boredom.

The Opposite of Growth: Stagnation

As humans, we’re continually growing and learning. Each new experience is processed by our brain, forming new neural pathways and connections. But sometimes, when life becomes mostly routine, we may feel like we’ve stopped growing, thriving, and evolving. We become stagnant. Without new experiences and opportunities to start learning, our senses dull. We begin to lead a boring life. Our brains become less sharp. Our work and social lives suffer.


Often to counteract our unfulfillment and find a cure for boredom, we often turn to what we refer to as soft addictions.


What are soft addictions? These time wasters aren’t as obviously harmful as cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs…but over time, they can end up becoming just as deadly and certainly as deadening.

For example, when we feel bored, most of us do what? Most of us pick up our phones and start scrolling. We visit social media; we may catch up on the latest news. We think that it’s making us feel good, and temporarily it might be. Our phones can be powerful, helpful tools. They connect us with others and give us all sorts of information.

But our phones can also rob us of our time and focus. A recent study showed people spend a staggering 5.4 hours per day staring at their phones! We can download apps to tell us how often and how long we spend looking at the little handheld devices. The results are often surprising!

Our addiction to time wasters isn’t simply stemming from our smartphone use, either. Soft addictions encompass many different behaviors we use to zone out: television, shopping, eating, and so on. Even healthy behaviors such as exercise and work can become soft addictions if we use them to escape from engagement. We think that we’re using them as a way to cure boredom, but they’re actually fueling our sense of dissatisfaction.

We All Have Soft Addictions—What Are Yours?

The pattern of seeking soft addictions as a cure for feeling bored likely sounds familiar. It’s a common approach for many of us. If we want to learn more, there’s a Soft Addictions quiz here. This quiz can help us figure out if we’re really turning to soft addictions as a placebo cure for boredom.

Soft addictions aren’t necessarily “bad” behaviors. Many of them are quite nourishing and healthy when we take a moderate approach. Take watching a movie, for example. Appreciating a great film is one of life’s pleasures. Most of us love an opportunity to watch a movie and really delve into the deeper meaning and analysis.

But when we’re delving into a stimulating conversation about a film, we’re engaged and turned on. We’re aware of what’s happening, and we’re using it as a platform for further learning and personal development. That’s a far cry from binge-watching Netflix for hours while you scroll through Facebook on your phone.

When it comes down to it, each novel experience helps us form new neural pathways. In a study of bus drivers vs. cab drivers, the cabbies showed greater cognitive response and capacity. Why? Because their brains were stimulated. They were experiencing new routes and routines each day. They had to adapt, react and evolve to each unique situation. The bus drivers, on the other hand, were going over the same routes time after time. They weren’t learning from new situations.

The Best Cure for Boredom

Now, when most people get bored, what do they do? They start planning an activity or even a vacation. They look at travel as an opportunity to find fulfillment. People talk about wanderlust. There are magazines, blogs, and websites devoted to the travel experience.

While there’s nothing wrong with travel, it isn’t a cure for boredom. In fact, if we aren’t getting to the heart of why we’re bored, we’ll return to the same state we were in before we went on the trip. Travel is excellent for learning and seeking new experiences. It’s a fantastic opportunity to recharge our batteries and reset. But without a greater purpose and a set intention, our travel becomes empty—another soft addiction and method of escape.


Instead of trying to “get away,” it’s far better to work on getting inside. When we start to really study ourselves, we experience more discovery and fulfillment. Learning is an essential part of the pathway to transformation.


The good news is, learning is a lifelong process. We don’t stop learning simply because we graduate a college class or finish taking a professional or personal development course.  Learning can and should go on throughout our entire lives. It’s a vital part of living a long and happy life and transforming into our best selves.

When you understand how the brain works and what it takes to build new, lasting neural pathways, you realize that there is no such thing as a quick fix—and anything that offers one is misguided at best and fraudulent at worst. The odds are you’ve taken a class, been to a workshop, or experienced some other type of learning situation that provided useful ideas about how to transform your life or some aspect of it. You’ve spent a few hours or perhaps a few days absorbing theories and exercises that struck you as valuable or maybe even epiphany-producing. You’ve learned a lot about yourself and what you need to change, and you’re excited about putting this learning to work. Unfortunately, it’s one thing to learn a valuable lesson; it’s something else to put it into practice.

…Understand, too, that as a human being, you have an innate drive to learn, to grow, and to transform. We define learning as coming to know something new and growing as doing something you’ve never done before. We all want to explore our capabilities, to keep improving our relationships, to achieve more in our careers, to find more meaning in our daily lives. Dr. Diana Fosha, a leader in the new field of interpersonal neurobiology, writes that “People have a fundamental need for transformation. We are wired for growth and healing…we have a need for the expansion and liberation of the self, the letting down of defensive barriers, and the dismantling of the false self… In the process of radical change, we become more ourselves than ever before, and recognize ourselves to be so. [This] overarching motivational force strives toward maximal vitality, authenticity, and genuine contact. Residing deeply in our brains are wired in dispositions for [transformation].

Most often the proof of this need manifests itself not in a deep desire but in its opposite. When we’re not on a transformational path, we are nagged by the feeling that we should be doing something more, that we’re missing out on things. We have a vague sense of lost opportunities. This is what the existential philosophers call “ontological guilt,” and we try to drive it out of our conscious mind through soft addictions: watching television, gossiping, texting, shopping, and a hundred other things that distract us from the nagging voice in our head telling us we should be doing more.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Break The Pattern of Boredom

The first step toward breaking out of this routine pattern and finding the cure for boredom is to start examining ourselves. What do we really want out of life? What can we learn about who we are, our deepest desires, and greatest yearnings?

We must seek challenges and opportunities that push us out of our comfort zone—not chances to escape or “get away” (like a luxury vacation) but chances to get back into our life. What if we took on the bigger project at work—one that would push our boundaries and make us really reach? What if we found ways to be more intimate and connected to our partner? What if we became a more engaged friend? What if we challenged ourselves with a life assignment—to make a change within ourselves?

As we unlock the mysteries within and explore what yearnings are driving us, we discover more ways to get those yearnings met by connecting with others. Each of us yearns for certain things: to be respected, to be loved, to be secure. We may yearn to be seen, to be heard. We may yearn to connect or to belong. Our yearnings run deeper than wants. Yearnings can be fulfilled by a new car, or losing ten pounds, or getting a bigger house.

Our yearnings are vital to helping us find more fulfillment. When we’re pushing our brain with new experiences and breaking out of our ruts, we’ll find that more opportunities arise to get these essential yearnings met. If we’re feeling bored, it’s a strong indication that we’re not getting those vital yearnings fulfilled. We’re not going for it.

As we start to engage and break out of the state of stagnation, our experiences become richer, and our lives become more connected with those around us. Instead of feeling as though we’re going through the motions, we start to feel wonder, curiosity, and joy. We become more mindful and aware of the moments around us. We begin to live a life of more.

When we’re ready to break out of our rut and find a cure for boredom, we should look at the places in life where we’re zoning out. Are we engaged with those casual contacts? Are we really listening to others at work? Are we seeking new opportunities to learn and make discoveries about ourselves and the world around us? Are we taking on new challenges? Do we see mistakes as opportunities—chances to learn and grow?

Learning is a life-long activity but one that enriches our lives and leads us toward greater fulfillment. If we find ourselves tuning out, it’s time to start tuning in!

For more ways to learn about yourself, please explore our array of personal growth and development courses on Wright Now. We have many different courses to help you strengthen your relationships, boost your career, and discover more about who you are as you unlock your fullest potential.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Spring Clean Your Life, Not Just Your Home, with the Math of MORE

Spring is here! The windows are open, and the air is fresh. We start to clear out the cobwebs and toss out the clutter.

Ready to spring clean your life? There’s no better time of year to clean out the clutter and cobwebs that are weighing you down.

 


With the daffodils in bloom, our souls spring to new possibilities, and our thoughts naturally turn to spring cleaning. But can you spring clean your life as well as your home?

Decluttering falls woefully short if we only focus on our house rather than cleaning out the other areas of our lives that could use some sprucing up. When we get rid of the less important stuff, we have more room for the things that really matter.

So this year, spring clean your life, not just your home! Clean up your life of those bad habits, time wasters, self-defeating thoughts, and draining relationships. Take back your time and reclaim your sense of purpose. What’s the best way to do that? Learn the math of MORE, where adding subtracts.

What Exactly is the “Math of MORE”?

We all wonder if too much social media clutters up our lives and robs us of our time. What if we add more face-to-face time with friends and loved ones instead? Chances are, with a fuller social schedule, we’ll naturally lessen social media time.

How many of us indulge in a few too many sweet treats at night? What if we try adding more real sweetness in our lives–hugs, comfort, sweet times with friends, time for self-care, or even time with our pets? We may find that gallon of ice cream isn’t quite so attractive.


When we add things that really satisfy us, we naturally subtract the things that don’t.


This is a simple way to spring clean our lives. Discover what we really yearn for underneath those bad habits and life clutter. Then we can fill our lives with the right stuff and squeeze out the things that no longer serve us.

With the math of more, we subtract by adding. We add in visions and plans rather than just avoiding what we don’t want. We add in great interactions and relationships rather than lamenting what we don’t like. We build and add a healthy habit of loving ourselves and our body rather than focusing on getting rid of unwanted weight.

Let’s go ahead and roll up our sleeves, spiff up our houses, and clear out those dust bunnies, but let’s not stop there. Let’s spring clean our lives with the math of MORE.

Identify the Clutter in Your Life

Some of us may feel our lives are more cluttered than our closets. We can figure out how to clean up our life, by looking at the areas of overcrowding—the things that take up our valuable time and drain us of energy.

To do this, we must examine our lives: what people, activities, and thoughts are taking up too much space in our lives? What activities do we take on that drain us of time, money, or energy? Are we spending too much time with people who drag us down and leave us feeling exhausted? What about negative self-talk? Could we find room for mental touch-ups too?

There are several clutter areas we can look at as we start to clean out our lives. Just like rooms in a home, here are the areas of life to address:

Bad Habits

These don’t just include smoking or drinking too much. We should look at other areas where we’re forming less healthy habits like over-eating, too much social media, screen time, shopping, gossip, and procrastination. We call these areas “soft addictions.” These habits can steal our time and leave us feeling down.

Digital Clutter

We can also check out our calendar/inbox/social media/RSS feed for clutter. Is our smartphone cluttered with apps we don’t use? Do we pay for subscriptions we don’t read? Are evenings filled with too much social media, unending streaming, or binge-watching?

Time Clutter

Next, we should take a look at our agendas. Is our calendar overfilled and our valuable hours lost to meaningless activity? We may dread obligations, especially those we don’t care about (“why did I say yes?”). When we look at our calendar, we should ask if we’re penciling in too much time for people and activities that don’t nourish us.

Thought Clutter

Many of us fill our minds with negative thoughts and stinking thinking. We might beat ourselves up, obsess over situations and interactions, or fill our minds with imagined scenarios. What if, instead, we focused on moving toward empowering, inspiring, and compassionate thoughts?

Space Clutter

Yes, it’s essential to get some traditional spring cleaning in too! We can assess our cupboards filled with junk food. Check out those unfinished projects taking up space and haunting our minds. Is it time to let go of those books, magazines, and projects we never get to? How could we make our spaces more nourishing and motivating?

People clutter

Another critical area to examine is our relationships. Are we guilty of spending time and energy with people that drain us and don’t nourish our well-being? We may find ourselves engaged in conversations that bring us down rather than lift us up. Or we may find that we’re settling rather than working for satisfaction and intimacy in our relationships. Others may find we’re taking care of people but neglecting ourselves.

Emotional Clutter and Drama

What about our cluttered emotions? Many of us have unexpressed feelings that we bottle up. We may be holding onto old grudges, boiling resentments, hurt feelings, and drama, drama, drama. Spring cleaning our lives means it’s time to get it OUT!

At first glance, this list may seem a little overwhelming, but we can tackle these items one at a time.


Spring cleaning our lives means starting the ongoing process of awareness and examination. It’s not something we do once and move on—it’s a lifelong journey.


Spring gives us an excellent time to start (similar to making a New Year’s resolution). The small steps to make room for more of what really matters to us might be designating a screen-free night (or even an hour) each week. We may want to set up a spending limit, toss out our “secret stash” of goodies, or decline an invitation. These little subtractions add up to potent change!

Add to Subtract: Learn the Math of MORE.

Spring cleaning our lives isn’t only about subtracting those items that don’t serve us—it’s about adding in more essential activities, thoughts, and interactions that enhance our lives too.

Too often in life, we look at everything we need to stop doing. Stop overeating. Stop procrastinating. Stop _____ (fill in the blank). We think we have to go cold turkey, use our willpower, grit our teeth, and bear it. And the thought of bearing it is well…often unbearable. We’re already feeling deprived, which is why we are doing all these other things in a mistaken attempt to take care of ourselves.

The real way to declutter and create the lifestyle we want is by putting more attention on what we do want–and adding things that directly meet our needs rather than just trying to willpower our way out of things that don’t work. Instead, we can look at our calendar and proactively add in the activities, habits, and people that enhance our lives. What makes us really feel good? Add more of that, and soon we’ll realize we’re too busy to waste time on what doesn’t work.

When we add things we care about, like activities that nourish us and meet our deeper needs, we naturally start to subtract the unnecessary clutter in our lives. Those bad habits begin to lose their grip naturally. They can’t compete with the joy and satisfaction of really fulfilling habits.

How do we find those nourishing activities? When we look at what we want to let go of, we can ask ourselves what’s underneath? If we’ve been overindulging in late-night snacks, we might think, “I’ve got to lose weight!” But what if we instead looked at what the ice cream and Doritos are filling up in our lives? Do we find ourselves lonely and tired in the evening? How could we get that comfort in a healthier manner?

There are clues underneath every soft addiction and bad habit. What we think we want, maybe hiding what we’re yearning for. We’re settling for counterfeit nourishment when we could have more of the real thing.

How to Spring Clean Your Life For Good

So if we’re ready to spring clean our lives, how do we make the math of MORE stick? How do we turn those not-so-great habits into better, more fulfilling activities?

How to break bad habits with good ones:

  1. Identify the REAL Desires

We all have yearnings—powerful longings for our deepest desires. The cravings are more potent than ordinary “wants,” like a nice car. Yearnings speak to our heart—to be loved, to be respected, to be seen and heard for who we really are. When we focus on ways to get these yearnings met, our desire for less-nourishing wants subside.

  1. Put it on the Calendar

If we want to build better habits, we should map out our precious time on our calendars. We can look at our upcoming days and consider how we will fill them with activities or ways of being that directly meet our identified needs.

We may find ourselves binging our favorite show on Netflix because we feel connected to the characters and find comfort and familiarity in them. While it’s fine to enjoy a show, if we find we’re tired at work the next day, then that show isn’t really giving us what we need. It’s a substitute. Instead, we can plan our evening to include an episode of our show and build in more conversations with real people, so we don’t have to watch “just one more” episode to get that sense of connectedness.

  1. Choose Easy Subtractions First

We should pick a few easy items to declutter first. For example, what about a digital detox for an hour (or better yet, for a whole night)? We can get rid of apps we no longer use, unsubscribe from subscriptions like emails and magazines, and clean up our notifications (and turn them off) to reduce stress and distraction.

Similarly, we can focus on non-digital areas too. We can clear cupboards of junk food, so it’s easier to resist the temptation. We can throw out our “secret stash.” We can opt-out of that get-together with someone draining. Or we can toss out an unfinished project we haven’t touched in years. It feels cleansing to get rid of the items we’re holding out of a sense of guilt or obligation.

  1. Add to Subtract

Once we know the need or yearning at the core of our bad habits, we can start to make a plan. What are other ways to meet that need directly? We can fill up our calendars with time and activities that meet our needs. It’s much easier to release what we don’t want when we add in what we need.

And there are plenty of things to add! Add in nourishment, self-care, professional or personal development, and more. We can add in a chance to be with our feelings, assert our will, develop and share gifts, expression, humor, deeper truth, intimacy, connection, beauty, and inspiration—the list of possible adds are endless.

As we engage in the math of more, it’s comforting to remember that each little step adds up. If we walk around the block consistently, it’s going to be better for us than an expensive gym membership that we never use. Small steps add up over time, build habits, and turn into lifestyle changes.

When we look around our house and think of spring cleaning, let’s also find ways to spring clean our lives and make room for what matters. What can we add with the math of more to create nourishment, satisfaction, and greater fulfillment?

If you’re looking for ways to spring clean your life through personal growth, visit WrightNow, and explore the wide range of courses we offer. There are resources to help you in your career, relationship, and personal connections for a life of MORE.


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.