Life’s Too Good to Be Bored: How to Cure Boredom for Good

Do you ever feel bored with life? Boredom and work or home isn’t uncommon. But when you forget how truly good life can be, it’s time to learn how to cure boredom for good.

Yes, I know. How can life be good if we’re still wearing masks? When there’s still great racial inequality and discrimination? When we have a climate crisis and a political divide so wide, we can’t even see the other side let alone hear it?

The challenges in the world right now might dissuade you from saying “life is good.”

But I want you to know this: life is good because YOU’RE IN IT, living it, right now. And, it’s impossible to feel your aliveness and be bored at the same time.


No, this is NOT all there is. Were you wondering?

But you’re bored. Bored, bored, bored. Bored at work. Bored at home. Bored in your relationship. Bored with YOU.

Is there a cure for boredom?

As a human being, you’re hardwired toward growth and adaptation. You WANT to learn, explore, and expand. Like your ancestors who forged new frontiers, you want to move forward, achieve, and discover. You’re constantly driven to interact, engage, explore, and transform.

Sometimes this desire for change might be loud and obvious. But sometimes, it manifests itself as a vague sense of dissatisfaction. A subtle nagging that your life as it is not “enough.”

As Psychology Today tells us, this condition is related to the “French ennui, an existential perception of life’s futility—a consequence of unfulfilled aspirations.”*

So perhaps you can thank boredom! You have unfulfilled aspirations that you might not have become aware of otherwise.

Welcome boredom as a warning signal. Recognize it as your mind’s alert system telling you that you’re not finding purpose in what you’re currently doing, so you’d better switch things up. The sooner, the better.

Boredom is like fear: No one likes feeling fear, just as no one likes feeling bored. But both give you crucial information. Fear pushes you away from harm. Boredom pushes you toward meaning.

Maybe it’s time to stop, listen, and learn how to cure boredom for good.

What’s the Point? Purpose

Purpose is the heart of the matter. It’s the “why” behind everything you do, whether you’re conscious of it or not.

Without it, you’ll never find satisfaction, no matter how fun, delicious, or pleasurable what you’re doing is. The moment it’s experienced, watched, ordered, or consumed, you return to the nagging sense of emptiness. Without purpose, you’re stuck in infinite “ennui.”

So then, how do you find it?

“Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.”
– Soren Kierkegaard

To find your purpose, you must understand yourself. And to do that, you must learn and explore your yearnings—your innermost desires and deep emotional longings of your heart. Perhaps you yearn to love and be loved or to touch and be touched. Perhaps you yearn to matter, to make a difference, to fulfill your purpose on this planet. Perhaps you long to create, connect, or serve.

Yearnings are universal, and they are the key to unlocking the mystery of the uniquely amazing being that is YOU. No one like you has ever existed before now, and no one like you will ever exist after.

Once you begin to believe that and act accordingly, you’ll see boredom backing off as aliveness starts filling up your days.

Is this easy? NO. And learning your longings isn’t a quick fix to boredom. But it’s a sustaining one. A transformative one. And the only one that ultimately matters.

Besides, you’re already familiar with the quick fix—soft addictions. Those seemingly harmless habits that distract you from your boredom long enough to make you think your life is thriving.

Twenty-five more episodes to watch? What a full evening of entertainment! Three new outfits on the way? How fun it will be to wake up and wear each of them! A new full bag of cookies? You deserve it after my long week of work. Zoning out on social media? What a great way to keep “in touch” with all your friends.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

But what’s more likely is what all of these have might have in common: pseudo satisfaction. A temporary high/buzz/thrill that comes and then goes, and before you know it, you’re left once again asking yourself, “Is this all there is?”

What’s a completely-bored-of-boredom human like you to do?

Forget Pseudo. Go for Authentic

The dictionary definition of authenticity is “genuineness; undisputed credibility; one who is worthy of belief.”

The existential philosophers defined authenticity as being true to who you could become, instead of being true to who you are—a view that suggests authenticity is being faithful to yourself internally as opposed to conforming to external ideas or norms.

Here’s MY definition of authenticity: forget what everyone else says and wears, reads, eats, and watches (take THAT social media) and find out what makes YOU tick.

How do you find that kind of sense of authenticity? Like Dorothy in Oz, you need to discover the answer has been inside of you all along. As you explore yourself and get to know yourself better, you’ll start to see glimpses and signs of who you really are. You begin “engaging.”

“It is the moment-by-moment practice of engaging that helps you become more spontaneous and more present in each moment. You step outside your comfort zone, try new things, take risks, and turn your life from a routine into an adventure…

…Just as emotions help us sense what we yearn for, they are the litmus test for full engagement. We feel an experience deeply when we’re fully engaged in it. So, when we ask if you’re engaged, we’re asking if you’re involved in a given activity with your heart, mind and soul. We’re asking if you are so intimately connected to a given task that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to get it done right. We’re asking if you’re taking risks and stretching yourself in ways that might feel uncomfortable but also provide you with such a spark that you feel as if you could set the world on fire with a touch of your hand.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Enter whatever you’re doing, intending to be involved heart, mind, and soul. Then you can connect with truly being alive. Once you do that, you may never be bored again.

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.

How to Get the Love You Deserve

We always get the love we deserve. The real question is: Are we doing what we need to do to earn the love we WANT?

Wondering how to get the love you deserve? Sometimes we may feel we’re not getting what we need, but here’s how to bring more love to your life.

We all deserve love. Now, the love we want to have in our lives and the love we actually receive may look a little different. We may want more romantic love from our partner, more supportive love and attention from our friends, or even more expressive love from our kids, parents, or siblings.

So, if you’re wondering how to get the love you deserve, it may be time to reframe the question—are you doing what you need to do to attract and earn the love you WANT?

What Kind of Love Do You Want?

When we ask the question “how do I get the love I deserve?”, it raises a few points. First of all, the word “deserve” is something to examine. We all deserve love simply by being human beings in this world. But the word deserve can indicate feelings of entitlement or inadequacy. Either we feel like we deserve more love than our partner is giving us, or we fear we don’t deserve the love we want in our life. So instead, we want to frame our analysis of the word “deserve” as earning the love we want.

When we talk about partnerships and relationships, we should look at engagement—not the type of engagement that involves a diamond ring. Instead, we’re looking at the kind of engagement that fosters a deep connection. Are we engaging in our relationship, and is our partner engaged with us? Whether we’re talking business, social, or personal lives, we can ask if we’re fully engaged with those around us. Do we use conflict to get the most out of our relationships?

Conflict gets a bad rap. We might think of conflict as a negative state, where we’re bickering and fighting, but really, conflict is a natural component of change and growth. We can’t change or get stronger without resistance. If we’re smoothly sailing along, going through life conflict-free, we’re missing something.

We’re either fooling ourselves, lying to ourselves, or burying our heads in the sand. By the very nature of being human, we will face conflicting wants, desires, and yearnings. Getting to the heart of these yearnings helps us connect while finding ways to fulfill the needs and desires we have.

Following the Rules in Relationships

Behind every ugly fight—the cycle of blaming and defending or moving around the drama triangle—is an underlying truth. Fights indicate that there’s something not being fulfilled. It could be an unanswered yearning or a built-up resentment.

Growing and transforming in a relationship is all about fighting fair. It’s not about avoiding the fight entirely but rather engaging in a productive, respectful discussion, where we express our feelings and issues to open up the heart of the conflict.

Both parties can follow a few rules of engagement to ensure the fights are productive and fair. The rules are rooted in personal responsibility and directed at both sides of the partnership. Even if only one side follows the rules, there will be a significant improvement in communication and engagement throughout the relationship.

The Rules of Engagement for Fair Fights

  1. Minimize the Negative: This means we should avoid passive-aggressive behaviors like disengagement (stonewalling, withholding, and secretive behavior) or the “hidden middle finger (actions to intentionally provoke). But avoid tiptoeing around conflict, focusing on soft addictions, or extreme fighting with blame, shame, whining, and justifying.
  2. Accentuate the Positive: This means sincere engagement, where each party approaches the situation openly, with humor, honesty, and responsiveness. It means staying truthful about yearnings, talking, sharing affection, and being real.
  3. No One Gets or Gives More than 50% of the Blame: Think of it as a no-fault relationship. No matter who instigated the argument or began the discussion, there’s no need to break it down into who did what. Each partner is part of the system. As they say, “It takes two to tango.”
  4. You Must Take 100% Responsibility for Your Own Happiness: When we feel hurt, we are 100% responsible for our own feelings of happiness. It’s not our partners’ job to make us happy. No one can control our emotions but us. Support is one thing, but personal responsibility is the foundation of transformational conflict and engagement.
  5. Express and Agree with the Truth: This means always being truthful in engagement. ALWAYS. Often there’s a lot of truth in an argument, but neither party wants to give in by acknowledging that truth. It’s okay to say, “You’re right, but I don’t like it.” When we acknowledge the truth in an argument, it often turns the tide.
  6. Always Fight FOR, Not Against: We can ask ourselves what we yearn for. For example, rather than arguing how our partner never helps out, consider arguing FOR our partner to help out. When we reframe the conflict, we turn it into a positive, growth-focused interaction that helps meet an underlying yearning. Go into each interaction by asking what are we really fighting FOR?
  7. Assume Goodwill: This is one of the toughest rules of engagement for couples to accept. But when we think about it, we often realize that our partner isn’t out to get us in most cases. In fact, they WANT to work things out. They want to make things better. That doesn’t mean that a cruel comment won’t come out, or we always get along, but for the most part, both parties are trying. Stop looking at each other as the enemy.

The above ground rules set the stage for fair conflict. When we sincerely apply them to our relationship, we can instantly start seeing a shift. Even if our partner isn’t on-board with the rules, the tone and tenor of the argument will often change quickly. Both parties feel more connected and less defensive.

If we’re looking for the love we deserve, the rules of engagement can help us move toward the relationship connection that we’re seeking.

Applying the Rules to Get the Love You Deserve

Each situation is different, and sometimes applying the rules of engagement won’t make someone fall in love with us or give us the emotional connection we’re hungry for. However, if we’re honestly expressing what we need in a relationship, we’ll quickly realize whether or not we’re on the right path.

It’s also important to recognize that we can bring love into our lives in many different ways. It doesn’t just come from a fairytale romance (in fact, the idea of a fairytale romance is a myth—there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship or partner). Instead, we can find love in our life by focusing on the connections and engagement that meet our yearnings.

The rules of engagement apply whether we’re single, married, or applying them at work or with friends. When we follow the rules for fighting fair, we’ll find that our conflicts become more productive, and they move us towards the things we really want.

Within the conflict, we’ll realize our personal responsibility and personal power. We’ll start to approach the situation in a way that will help us meet our yearnings to foster growth and deeper engagement.

Getting the love that we need and want doesn’t mean we have to be in a relationship to enjoy the closeness and a connection. Instead, we can learn to love ourselves and enjoy the love and connection we experience with our friends and family. There is beauty and love throughout the universe, and when we start to recognize it and apply it to our yearnings, we may realize that we can be seen, heard, and valued in many different ways.

If both sides of a couple are learning and growing together, following the rules of engagement, and sharing their yearnings, they’ll both get the love they want (and the love they deserve).

For more ways to enjoy a deeper connection with others, don’t miss the resources available at Wright Now. We have many courses and materials designed to help you get the career, relationship, and life you want—a life of MORE.

Kate Holmquest

Kate Holmquest is a coach, curriculum developer, and campus director for Wright and the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential who believes that dating is one of the best possible playgrounds for discovering and transforming yourself! Potential movie titles that describe her quest for satisfaction in single life are “40 First Dates” (a.k.a. dating with velocity), “Ten Things I Hate About You” (a.k.a. telling the truth on dates), and “The Thing About My Folks” (a.k.a. noticing and breaking the relationship rules I learned at home).

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


Get Out of a Rut and Into the Life You Want: 5 Tips for Overcoming Timewasting Soft Addictions

Are you wondering how to get out of a rut? Do you feel like you’re stuck in life? Eating too much? Watching too much TV? Shopping? Procrastinating?

Many of us fall into these time-wasting habits, or what we like to call soft addictions. These little activities add up to feeling stuck, bored, unfulfilled, or just plain blah. Wondering if you’re addicted to timewasters? Take this soft addictions quiz.

Is it time to break out of your bad habits? Before you doomscroll through your social media feed again or decide what to binge on Netflix next, consider these 5 tips to get out of a rut and overcome soft addictions!

Why We End Up Addicted to Timewasters

We’ve all turned to soft addictions at one point or another. Soft addictions are habits that seem harmless enough at first. Maybe there’s a little puzzle game you like to play on your phone at night. Maybe you enjoy shopping for items online that you never really intend to buy. Or perhaps you find yourself saying yes to dessert every time you hit the lunch cafeteria.

The truth is, there’s nothing really wrong with these little activities now and again. Watching a good movie is one of life’s great pleasures. Social media can be an easy way to stay connected with far-off family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying ice cream or chips.

When soft addictions become a problem is when they start to rob us of time, money, energy, and the happiness we long for. We start to spend so much time “escaping” into these seemingly harmless habits that we don’t have time for the activities that really bring us joy, contentment, and connection.

For example, we might go out with friends but find ourselves scrolling through our phones to read up on Twitter instead of engaging and being present with the people around us. Or we might spend time and money that we don’t have shopping online, only to find that the temporary high wears off quickly and we don’t even like what we bought.

Soft addictions become a way to escape and a way to distance ourselves from real life, where the engagement REALLY happens.

It can feel safe to stay in our shell and follow our routine—come home from work, microwave dinner, prop up our feet, and scroll through TV channels, but after a short time, it starts to feel like we’re stuck. We need to get out of a rut and that means training ourselves to engage in new habits.

When we want more time, more excitement, and more fulfillment, it’s time to take a hard look at the activities that are robbing us of those precious moments. Here are 5 tips to help us get out of a rut and back into life.

5 Tips to Overcoming Your Soft Addictions

In the book The Soft Addiction Solution, we explain that our timewasting habits are normal, human, and might even feel really good in the moment. When we engage in many activities, it can almost mask as self-care. We may think, “I’m finally taking a moment to chill and relax,” or, “I work so hard all day that I deserve to come home and do nothing at night.”

But what is that chill time costing you?

1. Tell yourself the truth about your soft addictions.

One of the hardest steps to get out of a rut is making the first move. We have to be honest with ourselves and that means, realizing that we may not feel like our soft addictions are destructive. We may feel like we deserve to indulge. We may feel a little guilty, but we tell ourselves we’re just too tired to deal with it right now. We’ll change tomorrow, or next week, or after the new year.

While most of us minimize, hide, or deceive ourselves about our bad habits, if we want to get out of a rut and start to make changes, we have to get real. We have to be truthful if we want to set ourselves free. We need to take an honest look at our time-sucking activities. What are our soft addictions? Do we overeat? Oversleep? Do we find that we’re addicted to too much internet? Do we spend too much time gossiping about others or fixating on what our coworkers, neighbors, or classmates are doing? Write down those bad habits and above all, be honest.

2. Get Support.

Almost any behavior change requires support. If we’re engaged in harder addictive habits like drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol, we might recognize that we need help and support to change those behaviors. Soft addictions can feel easier to control. We may find ourselves thinking, “I could quit whenever I want, but I don’t want to right now.”

But if we feel stuck in a rut, then it’s time for a change. No matter what the habit is that we want to break, accountability is one of the most important factors. That means, speaking up and telling others about the change—request allies in your fight!

It’s surprising how much support we can receive when we speak up and ask for what we need. We may discover that we aren’t alone in our soft addiction and many other people are struggling with the same less-than-healthy habits.

3. Examine your feelings.

Once we figure out which soft addiction we want to tackle, we need to address the feelings that are leading us to turn to that timewaster. Sometimes when we feel uncomfortable with an emotion—like anger, sadness, fear, or hurt, we might turn to snacks or distractions to help us zone out and avoid those feelings.

Soft addictions give us a temporary boost, but the problem is that the boost doesn’t last and oftentimes, it can compound feelings like shame or disappointment, because we feel worse after. When we think the only thing that will make us feel better is a chocolate chip cookie, we can stop and think about how we’re feeling. Are we really feeling sad? Angry? Hurt? Before we reach for the soft addiction, we can tell someone how we’re feeling and start to express our emotions in a productive way.

4. Celebrate success.

If we want to get out of a rut, we have to celebrate the little steps along the way. Maybe we ate two donuts this week instead of three. Maybe we exercised for the first time after avoiding the gym for six months. Maybe we went for a walk in the fresh air rather than hitting “play” on the next episode on Netflix. Whatever it was, celebrate it!

One of the most powerful tools for successful change is celebrating success in any fashion. We get a little mood boost (that we would get from indulging in our bad habits). Better still, we start making new, better habits at the same time. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up because our accomplishment seems small or insignificant compared to the goal. Celebrate each success along the way, no matter the size!

5. Learn the skills you need.

If we’re stuck in a rut, we might feel unfulfilled, blue, tired, less healthy, or down about ourselves. There’s no quick fix that will instantly give us a meaningful, fulfilling, healthy life. It takes incremental steps and a sustained effort over time. It’s one of the situations where the joy is truly in the journey.

Each step we start to discover and build skills we will need to propel ourselves forward on the path. Look at each moment as a learning experience—what can we take away from this situation? What can we use from this moment to help us again down the road? What did we discover about ourselves?

If you want to overcome your soft addictions, take the steps to recognize what they are, and start making the change today. Explore the Soft Addiction Solution for more tips on how we can kick time wasters and start to fill our lives with juicy, exciting, joyful experiences that help drive our sense of meaning and purpose.

If you’re looking for more ideas on living a life of MORE, visit Wright Now. We offer many different courses and resources to help you get more from your career, your relationships, and your life. Today is the day to get MORE out of your life! Don’t wait!


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

5 Inspiring Traits of Successful People

There are a few universal traits of successful people — and you may be surprised to learn they aren’t all that mysterious.

What makes a successful person, well, successful? We all know someone magnetic. They’re good at what they do, firing on all cylinders, passionate, and engaged. But what are the traits of successful people (and how can we get some of what they’re having)?

When we meet a successful person, they’ve “got it.” But sometimes, we might also see familiar flickers in these qualities. The truth is, we all have the capacity to become successful and to fully live the life we want to pursue. Yes, there may be logistical hurdles, but everyone has infinite potential.

So, how do we tap into our potential? How do we emulate the traits of successful people so we can enjoy the same high-quality results?

Defining Our Idea of Success

We all know when we meet someone who’s successful. Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on the quality, but when we connect with inspiring, dynamic, successful people, we’ll likely notice that they all share some commonalities.

  • Successful people are magnanimous.
  • Successful people know how to “work the room.”
  • Successful folks know how to draw people in.
  • Successful people own it.
  • Somehow, the most successful people make every person they meet feel essential and vital to their mission, project, or task.

These universal traits of successful people aren’t all that mysterious. The question is how they acquired these qualities, and is it possible for us to tap into the same dynamic?

Before we examine the traits of successful people, it helps first to define what it means to be successful. Does a successful person make a lot of money? Are they at the pinnacle of their career? Are they attractive? Popular? There are a lot of different definitions of success, and most of us can probably agree that the markers of success may vary.

But in the most significant sense, all successful people are fulfilled. The most successful people are vision-driven. They’re leaders. Successful people have a sense of purpose.

Are these bastions of success happy all the time? Of course not! (Who is?) However, they’re generally positive and enjoying their life. They’re engaged and extracting the most out of every moment. Successful people might feel satisfied and confident in what they have and what they’ve achieved, but they also drive themselves forward to keep reaching the next milestone. Successful people don’t rest on their laurels; they strive for the next peak and the chance to tackle their next goal.

What Makes a Person Successful in Life? 5 Traits of Successful People

1. Successful People Know Their “Why”

Successful people understand their raison d’être: their reason for being. They know why they get up every day and why they want more. Successful people have a larger mission. They have a vision of where they want to end up.

One of the universal traits of successful people is that a higher purpose generally drives them both in their professional life and personal goals. Now, “higher-purpose” doesn’t mean they’re always religious or even spiritual. It means that they understand their true calling and impact on the world. They’re heeding the call, and it propels them forward. They’re not focused on the simple, temporal rewards that will only get them ahead in the here and now.

Successful people are mission-driven with their eyes on the prize. They stay laser-focused on their larger mission, even if it’s broad, lofty, or nearly unattainable.

2. They’re Willing to Fight

When we say that successful people are willing to fight, it might seem to contradict what we mentioned above. After all, didn’t we just say that successful people were magnanimous and driven by a higher purpose? That doesn’t sound like a person who’s argumentative or angry.

But there’s a distinction between being willing to fight FOR someone or something we believe in and being a petty, angry, or argumentative contrarian. Fighting for something means that we aren’t afraid of conflict because we recognize that conflict is sometimes a necessary step toward reaching a larger goal.

For example, it’s healthier for both parties when we fight for the betterment of a relationship (rather than zoning out or resorting to passive-aggressiveness). Similarly, it can be healthy and productive when we’re fighting for a cause or idea that we feel passionate about at work. We might even be the one who saves the company from a disaster rather than silently watching the ship sink.

Successful people aren’t doormats. They don’t ignore problems; they stand up and get their point across. They also handle their frustration responsibly—they don’t demean others or engage in collusion, bullying, or gossip. Instead, they rally and inspire others to their cause. They share the vision and engage in conflict because they believe in their cause and are willing to fight for it.

3. They’re Present in the Moment

Our lives are full of distractions, but successful people don’t let their distractions get in the way of fulfilling their yearnings. Successful people are mindful, present, and work to stay in the moment. Mindfulness roots us in the here and now rather than replaying the past or fearing the future. Mindfulness connects us with what we want—our deeper yearnings.

“If you’re not in touch with your yearnings…you may waste time and energy complaining to friends about how your company is being run by shortsighted leaders. Or you might miss that moment to love and to matter in your child’s life when you’re tucking her into bed, and she wants to talk, but your mind is jumping to all the “to do’s” left at work. Or maybe you dash off a hurried peck on the cheek to your mate on your way out the door and miss the opportunity to really see and appreciate each other for a moment while nourishing your yearning to love and be loved. When you are truly in harmony with what you yearn for, you experience every moment in a deeper and more fulfilling way.”
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Successful people don’t allow themselves to veer off course and waste time. They’re productive and focused. They don’t while away the hours with soft addictions like television, social media, and other methods people use to distract and numb themselves from reality. Instead, successful people stay fully engaged. They go for it! They’re in the moment because they know each moment gives them a chance to grow, explore, and get more out of life.

4. Successful People Practice “Know Thyself”

Now, depending on how we define success, we know that not all “successful people” are self-aware or self-actualized. Take a look at the current political climate or the latest corporate scandal! But people who are the most successful and get the most satisfaction out of their lives practice a growth mindset.

A growth mindset means learning from our mistakes and constantly exploring ways to be better. We’re figuring out our drivers, yearnings, and what our heart truly wants and needs to feel a sense of purpose.

Successful people identify ways to get what they want—what will bring them a sense of satisfaction. They aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeve and do the work to get to where they want to be.

When we learn new things, we form new neuropathways. These new experiences reshape and grow our brains. Without learning and growth, we become dull and stagnant. We may show signs of aging and cognitive decline. We start to disengage and checkout. We find ourselves on autopilot. When we stop growing, we experience the antithesis of success.

On the other hand, successful people explore their inner workings because they want to understand themselves. They aren’t afraid to do personal growth work. They work with coaches, mentors, allies, and peers to understand who they really are. Successful people know that unlocking the secrets of our personality, motivations, and yearnings helps us build up our emotional intelligence—our superpower!

5. They Listen and Lead

When we’re around successful people, we often feel more successful ourselves. It’s almost like osmosis. Transformational leaders become powerful because they share their vision of success with others. They don’t dictate their goals and tasks, but they lead people to realize their own visions. Then, they explore how those visions align and overlap to bring success to the entire team.

Successful leaders don’t bark orders at people. They don’t talk over others or treat them down. They’re assertive to be sure—they say what they want, but they also listen. They work to hear and understand their peers. They want to learn what drives others and what makes them tick. Successful people know that they’re only as good as their team, spouse, and social circle. Their bosses love them because they make their boss look great!

Listening is a powerful tool for success. Often, we want to power through our discussions with others and drag them toward our point. Yet, listening, suggesting, and guiding would get us better results and allow others to share in the success. We can learn to listen by practicing with others—stay in the moment, engage, and really hear what they’re trying to express. We can share our vision and figure out a path together to get what we both want.

Success isn’t a trait we’re born with or inherent talent. To become successful, we have to work and focus. We must be willing to grow, change, listen, and lead. The traits of successful people aren’t mysterious or secretive. The path to success is clear and attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

If you’re ready to find success, don’t miss our resources at Wright Now! We have courses and materials to help you bring out your best in your career, relationship, and personal life. Get more of what you want 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.

Myths About Motherhood: Being the Perfect Mom Doesn’t Feel Like Enough

As we explore our past and grow toward our future into the life we want, we may start to realize how many false beliefs we adopted while growing up.

There are a lot of myths about motherhood (like being the “perfect mom”). Here’s how to examine and tackle some of those long-held ideas about what a mother should be.


If you’re a mom or a caretaker, the chances are high that you’ve experienced at least a few feelings of inadequacy, confusion, and frustration. You may wonder how to be the perfect mom when the truth is, the “perfect mom” is just one of those damaging myths about motherhood.

The perfect mom is one of those fairytale ideas like the perfect romance or the perfect career. While the idea of losing the fairytale dream can feel a bit sad for a moment, it’s actually quite comforting to realize that we’re putting unfounded expectations on ourselves and our relationships.

As we explore our past and grow toward our future—the life we want—we may realize how many false beliefs we adopted along the way. Some of those beliefs can drive us forward, but many myths about motherhood can hold us back.

Where Do Our Fairytale Beliefs Come From?

When we talk about fairytale beliefs, we’re often talking about the quest for the perfect fairytale romance. But these ideas aren’t limited to expectations about our romantic relationships. They can also include ideas about leadership, our feelings about roles at work, thoughts on affluence, wealth, and success. For mothers, these beliefs can also include our expectations of motherhood.

Many of us create an idea in our mind’s eye about what success should look like. For example, we might equate success with keeping the peace. We may swoop in to smooth over situations and act as an intermediary. We may take on these roles at home, in our relationships at work, and with our kids.

Many of these roles or boxes that we embrace in our relationships and endeavors are limiting. They keep us tethered to a certain expectation and a specific role. These limiting beliefs can hold us back from getting what we want. Ultimately, they can become barriers to living our ideal life. They keep us from discovering and realizing our deepest yearnings and personal truths.

For many women, nowhere are these false beliefs quite so prevalent as when it comes to motherhood.

How many of us hold an idea of how to be the perfect mom? We might think that the perfect mom looks and acts a certain way. Maybe we picture this superwoman as our own mother, a friend’s mom, or even the mother in a movie or favorite TV show. But the reality is, no one is the perfect mom. There’s not a single perfect mother on the planet, and all of us struggle from time to time.

Motherhood is a state of constant growth and development. It’s a new experience, with our first child, all the way through the last. Each evolution of our family gives us a brand new experience and presents the opportunity to explore, learn about ourselves, and understand our drivers and motivation. Motherhood offers an excellent time to engage with others, explore our beliefs and projects, and develop (or finish our unfinished developmental business) right alongside our kids.

Why Some Myths About Motherhood Stick

As a graduate student of Wright Graduate University, I focused my dissertation on the ideas and myths about motherhood that we set upon ourselves and many times blindly believe. By identifying and exploring the motherhood myths and falsehoods, we can break away from them. We can start to move toward discovering our own sense of purpose and success. We define motherhood rather than letting the state of motherhood define us.

As women, our role as mothers or caretakers is only one layer of many. We aren’t limited to simply being a nurturer, providing for, and raising children. Instead, we can live full and vibrant lives both as mothers and outside of motherhood.

We can appreciate motherhood as a beautiful state, but it’s also another layer or lens to frame our lives and growth. Motherhood isn’t who we are, but rather it’s another sandbox to play in as we adventure through life.

Within my dissertation, I’ve identified 14 commonly held myths about motherhood (although there are certainly others). See if any of these myths resonate with you and sound familiar:

  1. Kids’ needs should come first. The more a mother tends to the needs of her children, the better a mother she is.
  2. A mother’s spouse or partner will understand that the children are a priority and their needs come first.
  3. It is part of a mother’s job to put the needs of her children and her spouse or partner first. Only after their needs are met can she then take care of her own.
  4. Children will be a source of ongoing joy and fulfillment.
  5. Children are the primary way for a mother to feel affirmed.
  6. When you feel insecure and doubt yourself as a mother, you should always follow the guidance of experts in the field, your own mother, or close family members.
  7. Being a mother is an innate skill that all women possess.
  8. A woman will immediately fall in love with her baby when she holds them for the first time.
  9. Motherhood provides a woman with a network of other mothers who will always support her in being the best mother she can be.
  10. If a mother is overwhelmed with intense feelings of anxiety or sadness after the birth of her child, she will likely need medication so she can function properly as a mother.
  11. If a mother expresses hurt or pain around her children may limit or harm their development.
  12. Expressing any fear or anger around children is likely to have a negative effect on them.
  13. Stopping short of hurting her children, it’s best for a mother to stop kids from expressing emotions if they are upsetting to her.
  14. Parents should always avoid any arguing in front of their children.

How many of us believe many of these myths about motherhood? There are likely quite a few others that come to mind when we read this list.

We may feel a flood of emotions and intense feelings rush over us after our child is born. We might believe that when a little human is handed over to us for the first time, we should immediately and instinctively know what to do. We might feel like we’re supposed to feel an instant bond with our child and a strong emotional connection.

We might also believe that any negative emotions we experience towards our kids—irritation, frustration, anger—are wrong. We might feel guilty and alone in these perfectly natural (and totally normal) feelings. We may be afraid to admit them to others and even to ourselves. We might question what’s wrong with us, why we feel this way, or why we’re not enough. We might feel hopeless or sad.

Just like those limiting beliefs about ourselves, our romantic relationships, and our career, these myths about motherhood hold us back. They may fuel feelings of inadequacy. But instead, we can realize that this idea of being the “perfect mother” is a false narrative we’ve created based on ideas we were exposed to very early on in our lives. When we explore the “why” behind our beliefs, it can help us move forward.

Where Do Our Limiting Beliefs Begin?

Our belief system is formed very early in life. So early, in fact, that many of these beliefs are in place before we turn six. We’ve already begun forming a system of ideas about ourselves and our world—what we refer to as our “personality matrix” or simply our “matrix.” To get to the heart of these beliefs and overcome the myths, we must “re-matrix” ourselves based on the truths we’ve now discovered. We can break down those early ideas, reform, and recreate our beliefs based on our additional life experiences and the information we’ve gained.

When we learn how early most of our beliefs are set, we can understand why these aren’t correct. As a child, the world was big, and we were small. The world may have seemed dangerous or much different than it is now. Today we’re capable of much more, and we’ve experienced so much since then.

But like traveling a well-worn path, we may gravitate toward the same ideas and scenarios. We may set ourselves up with the same expectations and receive the same confirmations over and over. When we played house in nursery school, we probably acted a certain way. We might have had ideas about what a “mommy” looked like and acted like. Whether we realize it or not, those same ideas continue to play out today in our daily role as a mother.

To drill down into some of these beliefs, we can explore our relationship with our own parents. Were we able to express our feelings and experience them as accepted and allowed (even negative feelings)? Were we encouraged to calm down? Were we told “stop being so sensitive” or discouraged from expressing emotions? Were we told to be a certain way or adopt a particular role within our family structure? Were we told to set aside our own needs and yearnings?

One way we can identify our emotional triggers or hotspots is to notice when a situation evokes a strong emotional charge or reaction. For example, if a comment from our spouse about a messy countertop or a suggestion from our mother about our child’s hairstyle sets us off, we can explore why we’re feeling such emotion. Why did this particular comment or piece of feedback upset us? Does it reinforce our limiting beliefs or false expectations? Do we feel disempowered?

All of our childhood experiences shape who we become as adults, but we aren’t beholden to that shape or limited by it. Once we pinpoint the triggers and emotional sensitivities, we can understand where our beliefs stem from. Then, we’ll start to let go of the myths and ideas surrounding the “perfect parent.”

Like any other great adventure or experience, motherhood is an opportunity for personal growth and a greater understanding of ourselves.

We can grow and nurture ourselves right alongside our kids. We can play, explore, and discover through trial and error. We can use this time to see what works for us and what doesn’t. But, most importantly—we can have fun!

There’s no perfect way to be a mother. When we let go of our expectations and realize that it’s part of a longer journey, we’ll set ourselves up for greater satisfaction and success along the way—view parenting as a developmental opportunity rather than a test. There are no right or wrong answers—it’s messy, interesting, and emotional. It’s also exciting! There’s no handbook or rules on how to parent, so as we go along in the journey, we can remember to enjoy the view!

For more ways to learn and grow, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now! We have an array of resources and upcoming events to help you learn more about yourself, your relationships, and your career. So start living your best life today!

Gertrude Lyons

Gertrude Lyons is a human emergence coach and adjunct faculty member at Wright Graduate University. Her academic career spans from a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University, and a newly completed doctoral degree from WGU. Gertrude is wife and mother of two and resides in Chicago, IL where she continues to learn, grow, and develop her skills as a human emergence coach with the Wright team.

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.

Portions of this post are taken from Gertrude’s doctoral dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering—A Curriculum Evaluation Study.

Five Steps to Getting What You Really Want

When a friend asks what you want to do, are you able to answer right away, or do you struggle? What if someone asks what you want from your job? Your relationship? Your life?

Struggling to name what you really want out of life? Here's how learning your yearnings will help you find purpose and meaning.

Do you have a list of “wants” that seems endless and unattainable? Or, do you know what you don’t want, but aren’t sure about what you do want? Do you feel like you’re left unsatisfied even when you get what you want?

You’re not alone!

Knowing what you want is a crucial life skill. You can get what you want when you want it. Here’s how to finally figure out what you are truly seeking.

Step One—If You Like It, Say It!

I’ve struggled with knowing or saying what I want my whole life—even the simplest decisions. For example, I’d scan the menu endlessly at a restaurant because I wasn’t sure what I wanted for dinner—let alone what I wanted for my life.

Know what I mean? (Tell me I’m not alone on this!)

The first step to knowing what you want is to be aware of what you like. Start expressing those likes in small ways. If you see something you’re attracted to or that makes you feel good, simply say it out loud:

  • I like what you’re wearing
  • I like what she said
  • I like the color red
  • I like holding a hot mug of tea in my hands
  • I like it when people help strangers

No ‘like’ is too small or unimportant. As you continue to declare your preferences, you’ll start to get a clearer picture of what pleases you. It’s like your “aha’ light goes on, and you’ll suddenly realize what REALLY matters to you.

Keep going—you’re beginning to form opinions that will lead you to your deepest desires.

Step Two—If You Don’t Like It, Say It!

As important as it is to know what you like, it’s equally important to know what you DON’T like.

The second step to getting what you really want is to start expressing your DISLIKES in small ways.

What bugs you, annoys you, or displeases you? Start making a list. Then, when you are with others and you see, feel, or taste something that you don’t like or doesn’t feel right to you, say it aloud. Responsibly, of course. The point is to not to just judge another but to get more comfortable consciously expressing your dislikes clearly and directly.

It takes practice. Start with saying what you don’t like. And then, bring up something small you dislike about someone else’s behavior, and build from there.

  • I don’t like beets
  • I don’t like that music
  • I don’t like rush hour traffic
  • I don’t like it when you use your phone at the dinner table
  • I don’t like it when you leave your wet towel on the bed
  • I don’t like when you leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • I don’t like it when you don’t call me back

Step Three—Focus on the WHY, Not the WHAT

Now you’re ready to start exploring what’s underneath those likes and dislikes—to discover why they matter to you.

It’s easy to feel confused about what it is you really want. You may think you want to lose weight or get a new car. You may think you want a certain item (or items!) on Amazon. You may want to go on more dates or wish you could get promoted at work.

This is often what psychologists call “mis-wanting”—mistakenly thinking some THING will bring you happiness, only to find the moment is fleeting, or you don’t feel all that satisfied when you get it.

What is it about the promotion or the designer dress that leaves you feeling a little empty—even let down—once you get it? Are you doomed to dissatisfaction?

Is it just wrong to want things? Absolutely not! But if you never know WHY you want a certain thing, you will always feel unsatisfied once you get it.

So, how do you get satisfaction from your wants?

Think about this: What do you hope that thing/accomplishment/goal or…will do for you?

Answering this question will help you learn what you truly long for deep inside—at the Wright Foundation we call these yearnings. Underneath every want that we have is a deeper yearning. They are the deep universal wants of your heart that, as humans, we all share—to love and be loved, to connect and create, to matter, to achieve our purpose, to serve, to be seen.

The list goes on, and once you begin to learn yours, everything changes.

Step Four: Satisfaction and the “So That” Test

You want to run a 5k. You train. You work hard. Every morning you get up with the alarm, put on your sneakers, and hit the pavement. Maybe you use one of those training apps. You buy new shoes. You sign up for your race.

Then the day of the race comes. You cross the finish line, and you feel great…for a moment. Then the feeling passes. You look back at your hard work and think, “Is that it?’ or  “I’m still the same as I was before.” Or, you feel empty or dissatisfied –and start looking for another goal or accomplishment to fill the void.

This is because you didn’t know WHY you were doing it in the first place. You didn’t know what you were yearning for beneath your goals.

If you want to get more out of your goals, put them to the “so that” test.

Why do you want to run a 5k?

So that I can say I did it.


So that people will see me as more accomplished.


So that people will respect me.

Respect! You want to run a 5K so that people will respect you, and you yearn to be respected.

Go through that process with any “want,” and you’ll always find the deeper longing beneath. And when you know what you truly yearn for, you don’t have to wait to win a race or buy that designer dress or… You can meet that yearning in a myriad of ways right in the moment.

Step Five: Yearn, Baby, Yearn!

Everyone has yearnings. They drive you. And when they are met, you feel satisfied.

It doesn’t matter if you run a 5k, give a TED talk, or own the biggest house on the block. If getting those things aren’t connected to your yearnings, you’ll go to bed feeling unsatisfied every night.

I read a book where the author was on top of his sport. He was at the pinnacle of performance. He had won the trophy and achieved his goal. The night after he won he was sitting in his bedroom, and he thought, “Is this it? Is that all there is?”

All these empty feelings came up for him. He thought, “Well, if I keep hitting more goals, maybe it will be enough.” He eventually realized that’s not the point, and it sent him on a life journey. Why was he doing sports in the first place? Was he yearning to feel alive? In control of his life? Did he want security? Recognition?

Like him, I was the girl who was good at goals. I had a strong will and worked hard to achieve those goals. Yet, even as I ticked them off, I soon felt empty again.

Only when I figured out WHY I was chasing those goals–what I really yearned for– did I finally feel nourished.

The more I did that, the more I became even more successful than my original goals because now I was focused on getting what I yearned for deep inside. I, like every human on the planet, yearn to love and be loved, to matter, to connect, and to make a difference. I didn’t yearn to get the goal, I yearned for what I thought that goal would do for me. And when I focused on meeting my yearnings directly in the moment, rather than some arbitrary end goal, I actually had better results. But more importantly, I was satisfied, nourished, and fulfilled.

Yearnings are the answer to living a satisfying life, and I am grateful to share them with you. You deserve to live a satisfying life—a life where your deepest longings are met.

As we connect our yearnings to our satisfaction, we not only begin to live our best lives, we contribute to creating a world that works for everyone.

What’s not to like about that? To discover more about living up to your full potential, don’t miss our resources on Wright Now. We have many different courses available to help you discover more about yourself, your relationships, and your career. Also, check out our upcoming events. Get MORE 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.