April 24, 2014 | Leave a Comment
Written by Jonathan Peck

We have been building an informal network for the past two years called the Creating Wellbeing Leadership Group that draws in leaders from the public and private sector.  We seek to support community leaders around the country while also enabling government, business and philanthropic efforts.  The Institute for Alternative Futures and the Samueli Institute have brought in a diverse group of leaders including multiple non-profit organizations with national reach, federal leaders from health and human services, defense and veterans, business leaders from different industries, including food and urban design.  These leaders meet every two weeks, often with invited guests who have presented on key topics for wellbeing such as: wellbeing metrics and models; the Healthy Communities Movement and the Community Commons; communications strategy; urban designs …

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March 25, 2014 | 2 Comments
Written by Harold Gallagher

It’s six am, much too early for the employees. I’m sitting at my desk musing on the last day of my turnaround assignment as CEO in a Midwestern middle-market manufacturing company. A tough project to be sure but it turned out most profitably for the stockholders and the employees. I’m ready to leave.

There’s a knock at the door.

“Come in”.

Mike Allen walks in more confidently than when I first met him. He’s a changed employee. In his own words:

“Harold, I just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for me in the past two years. You forced me to perform in ways I never thought I was capable of handling. At first you scared me and I thought I was a

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January 21, 2014 | 4 Comments
Written by John de Graaf

Washington State may make a little history this year, and I am honored to be part of it.

My State Representative, Gael Tarleton, has introduced a bill into our state legislature that would make Washington the first state in the United States to require paid vacation time for workers. The bill is modest in scope, providing from one to three weeks’ vacation time to workers in firms of 25 employees or more. Employees would earn three weeks off after five years of employment, as is the case in Canada. I will be testifying on behalf of this bill at a committee hearing on January 24th. Here is the case I will make:

As the director of The Great Vacation Squeeze, a new film about the …

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December 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Written by Stewart Levine
How can we possibly have a sense of well being when the people we entrust to take care of the concerns that are too big for any one of us to take care of are not doing a good job of stewarding our resources. I do a lot of work with organizations of all kinds. One of the questions I always ask audiences is weather they think “Politics” is a dirty word when it comes to how their organization is governed. Usually more than half of the people in the audience say yes. I offer a simple reframe:
“Politics” is nothing more than a series of conversations and the decisions that flow from them that determine how organizational resources are used. That serves to bring …

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November 26, 2013 | 1 Comment
Written by Sonia Keffer

What is doing nothing, anyway? How does one do it? It seems impossible. Yet, I would posit to you that doing nothing is doing something; something very vital to our personal Wellbeing. Probably even for our career, physical, financial, social, and community Wellbeing.

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July 29, 2013 | 2 Comments
Written by George Beelen

Life renews itself continuously and the human condition both remains the same and changes. We witness, if we are lucky, such phenomena by our interacting with our children and grandchildren. The Beelens have been blessed to have three children and each of them has three children. All of them have provided my wife and me with joy and challenge.

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July 14, 2013 | 2 Comments
Written by Stewart Levine

A key element for having a sense of well-being is making sure any areas of conflict in your life are resolved to your satisfaction. My shorthand to describe this phenomenon is that you do not have the “chatter” of conflict dancing in your head. Unfortunately this can be difficult to achieve in the world we live in without a sense of mindfulness. I hope this post serves to motivate inquiry on your part and then action to personally address the situation.

For many of us, some of the operating principles, paradigms, and systems of our culture dilute one of the unique experiences of being human—the privilege of self-consciousness. We have sanitized, professionalized, and diluted some of the interactions that can provide greater self-awareness. Some of …

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June 17, 2013 | 1 Comment
Written by Marv Fremerman

Sports is often a reflection of life itself.

By Marv Fremerman

The recent US Open golf tournament demonstrated two important points that we all should consider.  First, for those of you who follow my column know that I believe there’s a relationship between an athlete’s feelings of self-worth (self-esteem) and performance. This also applies to life itself.  The better you feel about yourself the more successful you’ll be – not only in your line of work, but also in your relationships.  Regarding the US Open, it’s my opinion that Phil Mickelson’s trip to attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation enhanced his own feelings of self-worth and his game. Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony perform close to their skill levels on a …

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May 12, 2013 | 2 Comments
Written by Raymond Yeh

This write up is inspired by the posts of Pepin and Matt to reflect on my life. Thanks Pepin and Matt.

Visiting Otaru, Japan again earlier this year was a memorable event. My last visit was 56 years ago when I boarded a cargo ship to America from there. Reflecting now on how I tumbled through life, the beautiful words of Lauri Harper comes to mind:

“Each of us experiences life in our own context,

but for all of us, there is a struggle to balance

the reality of the life with our needs and our dreams.

Perhaps the most difficult thing of all

is to value our life and who we are and to direct our life

in a manner that honors it…”

(A …

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May 5, 2013 | 5 Comments
Written by Harold Gallagher


All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men couldn’t deliver as much wellbeing as one little itty bitty 17-month old, 30 inch tall, girlie.

Rath and Harter, in their book, “Wellbeing”, examine the Gallup results regarding our daily wellbeing. “While the five essential elements of wellbeing represent a comprehensive evaluation of our lives as a whole, our daily experience is another important piece of the puzzle. Momentary experiences accumulate and shape our lives. And it’s within these daily experiences that we begin to create real behavioral change.” (p.125). Discussing the activities we enjoy most the Gallup results categorize six elements of Overall Enjoyment. The most enjoyable is called, “Engaging Leisure and Spiritual Activities”. The poll went further, identifying the 10 most enjoyable activities, …

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