Giving Is Not the Only True Meaning of Christmas

giving-and-receiving

Giving is the true meaning of Christmas, or so we are told.

This is true. It’s just not the entire story.

Christmas has become such a commercialized holiday — so much about lists, and long lines, and sales, and boxes under the tree — that the natural cultural counter has been to say that the spirit of Christmas is not really about the stuff we get, but rather about the stuff we give.

And, again, that’s true. It’s just not the entire story. Continue Reading

Want to Build Stronger Relationships and Be More Consistently Happy? Do This …

empathy

[Editor’s note: Author Andrew Stillman, Wristband #82, is one of the first people who inquired about potential guest posting opportunities at Primility. Today, he joins Sonia Thompson and Peter Morneault in having his work published here at Primility. I think you’ll appreciate his perspective, and his message.]

We live in a self-centered world.

From both traditional and social media, we are told how to think and act, how we should look, and most importantly, how we should feel.

This infliction of other people’s opinions can alter our own self-worth … and when it does, we can get so caught up in our own heads that we forget about the thoughts and opinions of others.

Here at Primility, the focus is blending pride and humility in order to become a better person. In the center of the two is something we often overlook: empathy. Continue Reading

This is My New Here Resolution (What’s Yours?)

new-years-eve-ball

We’re less than a month away from New Year’s Eve, which means many of you have probably started fantasizing about your New Year’s Resolutions.

How do I know this? Because I have. And you and me … we’re a lot alike.

And what we think we love about New Year’s Resolutions, and what we actually love about New Year’s resolutions, are really quite different. Continue Reading

11 Good Thoughts For Your Heart, by Bob Ross [Poster]

bob-ross

In the early days of Primility.com, before I even really knew what the direction of the site would be, I posted this: 11 Good Thoughts For Your Heart (From the Bob Ross ‘Happy Little Clouds’ Remix).

It’s still one of my favorite posts that I’ve ever written, in large part because I’m still in love with the brilliant song it is based on.

Of all the great songify YouTube videos that have been put out there, and there have been a lot of them, this one (produced by PBS) is by far my favorite. The music is a small part of it. The message is the rest.

I was never a painter. I was never any kind of artist in the way Bob Ross was. Blank paper and word processors have always been my canvas, and words have always been my paint.

So I never learned anything from Ross’ specific tips on painting … but I sure have learned a lot from his views on work and on life in general. Those lessons are what the song highlights. And they are Ross’ most enduring legacy (he passed away in 1995).

Rafal Tomal, my incredibly talented colleague at Copyblogger, was also influenced by Bob Ross. On that original post I wrote, Rafal commented: “You just put together my entire life philosophy in this one blog post ;) What do you think if we make a printable poster with these 11 thoughts?”

Of course, I thought it sounded like a great idea. And I’m excited to publish that poster today. Continue Reading

4 Lessons Learned During My Two-Month Adventure in Breathtaking South America (Photos)

Sitting on top of Mt. Pichincha, overlooking the city of Quito, Ecuador.
Sitting on top of Mt. Pichincha, overlooking the city of Quito, Ecuador.

 

[Editor’s note: Sonia Thompson is one of the very first people who signed up for the Primility email list and requested a wristband — she’s #9 right here. Recently, Sonia went on a two-month journey throughout South America. Several weeks ago, I shared an email she sent to me that explained how Primility was influencing her trip. Today, I’m ecstatic to be able to share this post, which Sonia wrote upon her return, telling stories about her trip and sharing the lessons that she learned.]

“Sonia, practica!”

The perky dance instructor showed me the exercise and left me on my own to work on some basic techniques for tango. Instead of welcoming her warm smile and instruction on how to become a better dancer, I was making excuses.

Practice? I don’t want to practice. I look dumb. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right. Isn’t it getting late? I should be home writing. Besides, I can already officially say I danced tango in Argentina. I can safely check this box. It’s not like I’m gonna do this when I get home. So I don’t need to do this.

Those were just some of the thoughts running through my mind once the instructor turned her back. It was my fourth day in Buenos Aires, and my second tango class. My pride was working overtime, speaking to me very loudly in both ears.

Had I listened, I’d have missed out on what became a source of great joy for me. So I told those voices to beat it, humbled myself, and did the exercise.

During my two months traveling through four countries in South America, Primility moments of truth like these were at the forefront of my mind on a daily basis.

Here are a few lessons I picked up along the way as a result. Continue Reading