what if - image for article by Greg Alder

What if?

What if you were 75 and had embroidered all your life. Worsening arthritis eventually makes embroidery too painful. You put down your needle, but your creative passion continues to burn fervently. You look for another creative field that will be…

A table for twelve - image for article by Greg Alder

A table for twelve

The doorbell rings. Right on time. I make my way to the door with excitement. I have been looking forward to this night for a long time. I have invited twelve guests. All strangers. Now, the first of them has…

When the well runs dry - image for article by Greg Alder

When the well runs dry

Have you ever run out of ideas? I have. For someone who makes a living from coming up with ideas, coming up with no ideas is a big deal. If you’ve ever been stuck for ideas, what did you do?…

A mirror for larks

A mirror for larks

How often do we walk into the trap? How often do we get lured into fighting the wrong fight? I thought about this when I came across an old Italian phrase, “specchietto per le allodole” – a mirror for larks….

The light in front - image for article by Greg Alder

The light in front

What’s the one thing you’d most like to achieve in life? I don’t know how you have answered this question, but I’ll tell you something. It’s a question most of us never ask ourselves. Of those who do, most get…

Is this how it ends - image for article by Greg Alder

Is this how it ends?

Imagine you’re a woman. (If you’re a woman, please disregard this preliminary step.) We’ll call you Rachel. (If Rachel’s your real name, then here’s something else you needn’t imagine.) Five years ago, you married your high school sweetheart. Last year…

Comfortably numb - image for article by Greg Alder

Comfortably Numb

What is it about comfort that has most of us addicted? We want a comfortable bed to sleep in and a comfortable chair to sit on. We want to wear comfortable shoes. Some of us want a comfortable bra. In…

Your chaotic brain - image for article by Greg Alder

Your chaotic brain

Have you heard the phrase, “She has a mind like a steel trap”? If not, it’s a compliment. It describes someone with the ability to grasp complex ideas quickly. There are two ways to grasp complex and unfamiliar ideas quickly….

Thank you for thinking

Thank you for thinking

In most jobs, you’re not paid to think. Yours might be an exception. It’s not just jobs. Throughout our lives, thinking has rarely been encouraged or rewarded. From a young age, what was rewarded was obedience. Eat your food. Stop…

Bend me, shape me - image for article by Greg Alder

Bend me, shape me

I want to take you back to 1951. I want you to imagine you’re a student at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. You have been invited to participate in a study about perception. You and 7 other students are shown 2 cards….