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Monday Canyon Ranch Topic

Hello all and happy Monday! It's great to have Mari back this week as she covers a fantastic topic surrounding the meaning of happiness and building a life that you can embrace and find balance within. Today's conversation comes from a great article from

“How to Build a Life”

By: Arthur Brooks

Tackling questions of meaning and happiness. 

Arthur starts with….

A friend of mine once shared what I considered a bit of unadulterated wisdom:

“If I wouldn’t invite someone into my house, I shouldn’t let them into my head.”

But that’s easier said than done. Social media has opened up our heads so that just about any trespasser can wander in. If you tweet whatever crosses your mind about a celebrity, it could quite possibly reach the phone in her hand as she sits on her couch in her house. The real problem isn’t technology—it’s human nature. We are wired to care about what others think of us.

Marcus Aurelius observed almost 2,000 years ago,

“We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own,”

This tendency may be natural, but it can drive us around the bend if we let it. If we were perfectly logical beings, we would understand that our fears about what other people think are overblown and rarely worth fretting over. But many of us have been indulging this bad habit for as long as we can remember, so we need to take deliberate steps to change our minds. Paying attention to the opinions of others is understandable and, to a certain extent, rational.

Other people’s influence on your opinions about the world pales in comparison to their influence on your opinion of yourself. Evolution neatly explains why: For virtually all of human history, humans’ survival depended on membership in close-knit clans and tribes. Before the modern structures of civilization, such as police and supermarkets, being cast out from your group meant certain death from cold, starvation, or predators. Unfortunately, the instinct to want the approval of others is woefully maladapted to modern life.

Where once you would have justifiably felt the terror of being expelled onto the frozen tundra, today you might suffer acute anxiety that strangers online will “cancel” you for an ill-considered remark, or passersby will snap a photo of a poor outfit choice and mock it on Instagram for all to see. Even if it doesn’t become a mental illness, worrying about the opinions of others can lower your basic competence in ordinary tasks, such as making decisions. if you always leave an interaction kicking yourself over what you should have said—but didn’t—it may indicate that you are being unduly influenced by concern over what others think.

One reason we fear others’ opinions is because negative assessments can lead to shame, which is the feeling of being deemed worthless, incompetent, dishonorable, or immoral—and thus, given the weight we place on others’ opinions, feeling this way about ourselves. Fearing shame makes sense, because research clearly shows that feeling it is both a symptom of and a trigger for depression and anxiety. People will go to a lot of effort to avoid shame, which can explain behaviors such as virtue signaling on social media and giving money to strangers.

Just because our over concern for other people’s opinions of us is natural doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable. The right goal for flourishing is not a complete disregard for the opinions of others.

But many of us could become better off if we learned to care a good deal less than we do. I recommend taking three steps.


The ironic thing about feeling bad about ourselves because of what people might think of us is that others actually have much fewer opinions about us—positive or negative—than we imagine. Studies show that we consistently overestimate how much people think about us and our failings, leading us to undue inhibition and worse quality of life. Next time you feel self-conscious, notice that you are thinking about yourself. You can safely assume that everyone around you is doing more or less the same.


Because a fear of shame is frequently what lurks behind an excessive interest in others’ opinions, we should confront our shame directly. Sometimes a bit of shame is healthy and warranted, such as when we say something hurtful to another person out of spite or impatience.


“Judge not, that ye be not judged,” Jesus taught. “Whoever judges others digs a pit for themselves,” the Buddha said. Maybe you think you’ll face God’s punishment or karmic justice for holding harsh opinions of others, but these lessons are just as important while we’re on Earth. To judge others is to acknowledge a belief that people can, in fact, legitimately judge one another; thus, it is an implicit acceptance of others’ judgment of you. The way to free yourself from this belief is to stop judging others, and, when you accidentally do so, to remind yourself that you might well be wrong.

Try this experiment: Set a day in the coming week when you resolve to judge nothing, and instead merely observe.

Instead of “This rain is terrible,” say, “It is raining.”

Instead of “That guy who cut me off in traffic is a jerk,” say, “That guy must be in a hurry.”

It will be difficult, but strangely refreshing. Just with shifting the way you think and say in a more positive manner, you can shift the way you think and create a positive directional force throughout your life. The more you practice to switching such thoughts and sayings, the better you will get with it. This can be very impactful on how you go about your say to day living and situations you come across in life. You will have relieved yourself of the burden of constant judging—and thus be less worried about getting judged.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu wrote,

“Care about people’s approval / and you will be their prisoner.”

He no doubt intended it as a dire warning. But as the years have passed, Arthur came to interpret it as more of a promise and an opportunity. Arthur learned that the prison of others’ approval is actually one built by himself, maintained by himself, and guarded by himself. This has led him to his own complementary verse to Lao Tzu’s original:

“Disregard what others think and the prison door will swing open.”

If you are stuck in the prison of shame and judgment, remember that you hold the key to your own freedom.


With that, I would love to take this moment and segway into an important topic that i think we all could use some good tips on. Yes, Sleep. With life being highlighted by work business and the constant flooding of information, sleep can be pushed to the back burner when in fact it is very important for our health and longevity....


10 Ways Sleep Makes Us Healthier Happier and More Successful

Picture a three-legged stool. Each leg symbolizes one of the most important things your body needs to stay healthy. One leg is good nutrition—eating whole foods, in reasonable portion sizes; the second represents physical activity—getting in some moderate-to-vigorous exercise on most days of the week. The third leg? Quality sleep, and enough of it. When we don’t get good rest, we’re more likely to become ill, gain weight and feel depressed, and our cognitive skills, including memory and reasoning, can suffer.

With that in mind, here are 10 reasons to prioritize shut-eye:

1. You'll Help Your Brain.

We simply don’t have the maximum brainpower we need to function when we’re pooped all the time.

Sleep is the essential downtime that gray matter needs to consolidate memories, process emotions, and simply recharge to focus clearly the next day.

2. You'll Shine at Work.

You might think that burning the midnight oil will help you get ahead, but sleep is essential if you want to bring your A-game to any job. Not only do you need a full night’s sleep to be focused and productive, you also need to be rested and recharged to be creative at work.

3. You'll Keep Your Genes in Good Working Order.

Our genes tell our bodies—our cells, to be precise—exactly what to do, day in and day out. For genes to function properly, you need plenty of sleep.

4. You Can Control Pain Better.

Some 100 million Americans are dealing with chronic pain, from backaches and arthritis to fibromyalgia and neuropathy; nearly half of people who experience insomnia say they have chronic pain as well.In fact, there’s a circular relationship between the two: Poor sleep makes the perception of pain worse, and pain—not surprisingly—often interferes with sleep. That’s why techniques for getting enough sleep should be a key part of any pain-management plan.

5. You'll Bounce Back From Troubles More Easily.

Emotional resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks and keep moving ahead. Doing that doesn’t come easily to everyone, but you can build up your capacity to bounce back by establishing a plan that includes adequate sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’re less on edge, which makes it easier to manage tough feelings like anger and sadness when they arise. Emotional awareness offers a huge opportunity to live your best life, and sleep is a chance to honor conscious and subconscious emotions.

6. You'll Look Younger.

To put it simply, sleep is your skin’s best friend: It boosts the production of collagen; allows for skin repair and cell renewal; lessens breakouts; and helps skin stay hydrated, which contributes to firmness.

7. Your Relationships Could Improve.

Who hasn’t felt snappish when feeling absolutely exhausted?

Tapping into your natural kindness and patience is much harder to do when the energy tank is chronically on “empty.” And, over time, that can take a toll on the people closest to you.

When you’re well-rested, though, it’s easier to take a deep breath and act in a way that shows the caring, loving person you are.

8. Your Sex Life Will Get a Boost.

Sleep gives us more energy and improves our mood and libidos.

Poor sleep can reduce levels of both growth hormone and testosterone two key factors

9. You May Find it Easier to Deal with Winter Blues.

For those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the darker, shorter days of autumn and winter tend not only to bring on depression but also sleeplessness. Misconceptions about how much sleep you’re actually getting can exacerbate depression symptoms, and understanding this may help you prioritize good sleep during the year’s colder months when you need it most. Treatments that work well for insomniacs—like cognitive-behavioral techniques that change defeating patterns of thinking—may also be useful in helping those with SAD to both feel better and sleep more soundly.

10. You May Live Longer.

Sleep is the time your body repairs itself and your immune system gets a chance to recharge, enabling you to better fight off disease and illness. Even 30-minute cat naps can help.

Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found daily snoozes can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent. Nighttime sleep and naps both reduce stress, which may be a reason that sleep appears to boost longevity.

Sleep is important so next time you think on cutting sleep short, keep these ten things in mind as they might just make you week better and help you be able to take on the day better on a full night's rest rather than half awake.

This week find one thing you can do to add to your bedtime routine like a breathing session or a in bed stretch or even dimming your lights in the house earlier to help you unwind and prepare for you nights slumber.

As always...

BE Kind, DO Fearless

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