Stumbling Over Ourselves

A Great Idea …

“The consequence of preoccupation with our own successes and failures and lack of serious commitment to the common [good] is increased depression, poor health, and lives without meaning.” (Psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Learned Optimism, p. 288)

In Other Words …

We humans quite naturally get so caught up in what’s going on in our own lives that we fail to tune in to the people around us. We may not be aware of ways we can improve the lives of others. Yet serving others will often cause us to forget ourselves and our troubles while providing a greater sense of joy and meaning in our lives.

How this Applies to You …

Find ways to get out of yourself and serve those around you. As you do, you will enjoy your life more. What opportunities do you see right now to help someone in your life?

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas), check out our Navigating Life’s Journey blog

For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at

For more information, we recommend Authentic Happiness or Learned Optimism, both by Martin E. P. Seligman.

2 replies on “Stumbling Over Ourselves”

So busy with my own life as a single struggling parent, my neighbor, a single mom of two girls, started chemo therapy and I didn’t even know it until I saw her with a wig on. I was so disappointed in myself. Took me a week to call her. I apologized and organized a couple of neighbors to help her with her yard and take over meals every week. What I had truly forgotten was the blessings that I had missed out on by not serving somone in need. We just had her daughters over tonight and made homemade pizza. Her daughters asked me why their Mom’s hair had to fall out. Sigh… So I explained it.

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