Most of the thousands of non-creative non-fiction works I have written or edited are,… well,… boring. Who wants to read about Automatically Programmed Tool, vehicle management and allocation, federal acquisition regulations, management decision support, accounting and the like?

A few examples of the hundred-or-so articles and blogs I’ve written since retiring from full-time drudgery may be more interesting.

Why Doesn’t Winning the Lottery Make a Person Happy?

Good luck can bring some brief happiness, but to have a lasting sense of well-being, you must have goals and you must work to achieve those goals.

In the last 20 years, most positive psychologists have come to the conclusion that winning the lottery does not necessarily make someone happy, at least after the initial euphoria wears off. Most of us ordinary folks find this conclusion a little hard to swallow. We imagine getting all that money along with lasting happiness, not to mention success, good relationships, long life and all the pie in the sky one could eat. Surely a stroke of luck of such magnitude should bring a little happiness! read more

Does my Dog Really Love Me?

Do dogs feel love for the people who feed and care for them, or do they just engage in behavior that gets them fed and cared for?

Buddy’s owner arrives home from work and Buddy races to greet him. Is Buddy glad to see his master because he loves him or because his master dispenses the dog food? Missy wriggles and thumps her tail when she sees her mistress getting the leash. Is Missy happy to be with her mistress or would she be just as happy going for a walk with anybody who would take her? read more

How to Start a Conversation with Someone Who Will Not Listen

The most important part of any conversation may be what happens before the first word gets said.

With someone who is easy to talk with, it’s usually OK to say whatever is on your mind whenever it occurs to you. Talking with a person who listens to you and responds thoughtfully and kindly seems to take no effort. Practicing good communication skills and having meaningful conversations with a person who won’t listen to you, however, can be a challenge. read more

Why Does Time Speed Up as One Gets Older?

Why do the years pass so quickly in old age?  (Hint: It may not be all attributable to experiencing time in relationship to the length of your life.) Can anything be done to slow down the passage of time and get more out of life at the end of life?

Objective time—real time—passes at an even rate, never speeding up or slowing down. However, subjective time—time in the mind—seems to pass more quickly for the aged. The older one gets, the worse the problem becomes until at some point the oldster laments, “Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday….” read more

From Shy to Sociable

Shyness is a real and often painful problem, but there are some things you can do to feel more comfortable and confident around other people.

Almost half of all the people in the United States are awkward and unsure in social situations. More than 10 percent suffer from painful shyness along with loneliness, anxiety and depression. In fact, shyness is so widespread that only about five percent of all people are not now and never have been shy. read more

Don’t Remember Much?

Memories can be brought to life again through the sense of smell.

“I remember holding my first baby in my arms. This was back in 1943, November. The nurse had just settled my child, my baby, into my arms, and I was inspecting all those fingers and toes I had been making for nine months. My husband arrived—he’d been stationed overseas and had missed the birth. He burst into the room, still in uniform, to make my day absolutely perfect. He had brought a dozen yellow roses. You know, I haven’t thought of that in years.” read more

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