The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day

“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” ~Jack Kornfield When I was seven years old, I almost died. My family and I were at Central Station in Sydney, Australia to celebrate the last steam train...

20 Life-Changing Tools, 95% Off—One Week, Starting Today

First things first, happy 2020! It’s a new year, filled with promise and possibility. If last year was tough for you, it’s now in the rearview mirror. If it was full of blessings and opportunities, you’re likely excited to see what the new year might bring. And regardless of how 2019 panned out for you, odds are you have a goal or two (or more!) you’re hoping to achieve this year. Whatever you’re looking to accomplish, Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle can help, and I’m excited to share that it’s now available for purchase! For one week only, you can get 20 life-changing eCourses and online tools—including my course, Recreate Your Life Story—for 95% off. The bundle’s offerings (valued at close to $1,900) cover a wide range of topics, including how to: Let go of the past and change the trajectory of your life Create purpose and passion Let go of unhealthy habits that are holding you back and create healthier ones Set better boundaries and find time to self-care Cope with stressful situations with more grace and ease Stop obsessing over problems Heal from grief after loss Find the love you want Broaden your social circle And it’s all bundled together in one powerful package, priced at $97 (which is the usual cost of my course, Recreate Your Life Story, on its own—which means for one week only, you can get 20 tools for the price one). Whatever your goals for 2020, you’re sure to find something that will help in Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle. And once you claim your package, you’ll have a wide assortment of life-changing tools to access over the coming years, as you face new challenges and set new goals. Get 95% off all 20 life-changing tools here: Tiny Buddha’s Best You, Best Life Bundle Since this package includes eCourses and online offerings for 20 different teachers—many of them top site contributors—at such a massively discounted rate, I’m only able to offer it from now till January 9th. But once you claim your bundle, you’ll have lifetime access to all 20 tools. I hope these powerful resources help you make 2020 your best year yet! See a typo or inaccuracy? Please contact us so we can fix it!

12 Habits to Adopt to Make This Your Best Year Yet

Many of us head into the New Year with big goals and ambitions. We think about everything that seems to be lacking in our lives and imagine ourselves far happier and more fulfilled on the other side of massive change. There’s no denying that certain...

4 Sensitive Superpowers That Can Change Your Life (and the World)

“You were born to be among the advisors and thinkers, the spiritual and moral leaders for your society. There is every reason for pride.” ~Elaine N. Aron Stop being so sensitive. Lighten up. You’re oversensitive. Stop overthinking. You’re weird. If you’re anything like me, you’ve had those words slung at you like rocks from a slingshot for as long as you can remember. The underlying message is clear: You’re too much. There’s something wrong with you. Your heart strings have always been like finely tuned antennae, picking up on even the most subtle signals of other people’s heartache and embarrassment. Witnessing someone in intense pain can cause you inner turmoil for weeks on end. And when you feel pain, it’s always intense. I get it. I can still remember clearly the first time I had my heart broken. We’d moved across the country, and my best friend mailed me a letter to formally let me know that, with me having moved away, we were no longer best friends. She had a new best friend and they had special nicknames for each other. It’s the kind of playground politics that have been going on since time immemorial, but I didn’t know this. It probably wouldn’t have helped if I did. It was my first time being rejected, and it hurt like hell. When I went back to that same school a few years later, no one would play with me. My friend was right: She’d moved on. So had everyone else in my class. At recess, I sat alone, eating my tomato sandwiches. One of the new boys started picking on me, calling me horrible names, while my former friends simply stood by and watched. My teacher picked up that something was wrong. She called us in and asked what was going on. When we’d shared our stories with her, I was stunned by her reaction. Instead of using it as an opportunity for learning and healing, she brushed the whole thing off. In that one seemingly insignificant action, she was upholding the message society gives us from the minute we’re born: Being sensitive is wrong. Being vulnerable is even worse. Just harden up already and get on with things. At the end of that year, when we went off to high school, the other kids voted for me to get the ‘loyalty’ award at prize giving. I wasn’t too young to get the irony. By high school, I was ready. I’d learned my lesson. Like many people who’d been told all their life they were too sensitive, I’d developed impressive armor. I would go into my teenage years knowing how to keep people out. By my twenties I’d perfected the art of keeping people at a distance. Then, in my thirties, I dared to ask myself: What if sensitivity is a good thing? The mere idea felt transgressive. But then again… what if it was? What if, in fact, sensitivity was a gift? I decided to do an experiment. At that point, I’d been to trillions of job interviews in two years, with no luck. Every time I’d got to one, I’d dress up in the stiff, corporate way I thought told interviewers you were capable. I was putting on my armor. Not this time. If sensitivity was a good thing, how would showing people that side of me be? I decided to embrace who I was. I dressed in a way that felt authentic to me. Something more artistic, flowy that to me, clearly signalled: Here is a sensitive, creative person. These are the qualities you’ll get when you hire this person. It worked! It was the best interview ever. We had an actual, meaningful conversation instead of the stilted kind of thing that usually goes on in interviews. They hired me. Today I’m utterly convinced there are many, many advantages to being sensitive, and I keep finding more. Here are some of the more unexpected gems that I just adore and that make me excited about being a sensitive person. I hope you’ll be just as enthralled. We’re super observant. Sensitive people are keenly aware of what’s going on around us at all times. In fact, highly sensitive people should actually be called highly observant people, says psychologist Elaine Aron, who created the scientific model for what it is to be a person with the trait of high sensitivity. We’re always scanning the environment and people around us in order to understand what’s going on and to make an emotional connection, usually at a speed that would send someone else reeling. How to use your gift of being observant: It’s no wonder employers report being more satisfied with sensitive workers. Being aware of every single detail—the ones to expect and the ones to eliminate—is a big plus in just about any job, from surgeon to event planner to researcher. It also makes us great with people. Highly sensitive athletes even report it being a plus on the sports field, where they don’t even have to see everything going on around them—it’s as if they can feel where the other players are, anticipating their next moves. Whether it’s building a rapport with your neighbors, knowing what your clients need, or noticing the tiny detail that makes all the difference in the product you’re creating, your gift of being observant is a massive plus for your personal life and career success. We’re deeply joyful people. When you’re told all your life that you’re “too sensitive” and “too emotional,” it can feel like you’re some sort of mopey Eeyore-type character. I remember being told my personality type was “melancholic,” which even as a child I knew was an old-fashioned word for depressed. Way to make someone feel good about themselves! Thing is, like me, you’ve probably always suspected that’s not the whole truth. Like me, you’re likely to be the person who laughs loudest in the cinema. The one whose friends are able to locate them by following their laugh in a theatre. The ones who, when they return after being away for a while, overhear their friends saying, “Aaah—that laugh. I’ve missed that laugh.’ Truth is, sensitive people feel everything deeply—that includes happiness, joy, and exhilaration. We’re the kids who check out the environment thoroughly before using the flying fox or the water slide, and also the ones who feel the most exhilarated after finally taking that plunge. How to use your gift of joy: Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word these days and for good reason—in these busy times, it’s a great way to lower stress and increase your engagement with the physical world. When you’re already someone who notices the tiny detail on a leaf or the vivid turquoise of the kingfisher flying over the lagoon, it’s much easier to tap into mindfulness—and joyfulness. While I don’t like the term “overthinking,” as it feels very negative—seeing all the possible outcomes is a plus in many ways—we can sometimes get stuck in a rumination loop, feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed when faced with making a decision. This is when our ability to appreciate beauty, art, and joy becomes such a wonderful gift. Take time to notice the beauty around you and to just be, and feel your mood lift. Enjoying that walk in nature often brings clarity, allowing the solution to appear as if out of nowhere. We make superb leaders. If you’ve felt beaten down for a long time, it can feel like you’re just not cut out for a leadership role. Truth is, you’re uniquely equipped for this role. Not only do employers report more satisfaction with their sensitive employees, but studies show we make incredible leaders. It makes sense really—people want to follow someone they can trust. “Highly sensitive people miss nothing, while falling back to let team members shine and have the innate ability to say the right thing at just the right time,” says John Hughes, who trains corporate clients on how best to support their highly sensitive employees. Now that sounds like someone I’d want to follow! How to use your gift of leadership: We don’t often associate gentleness with leadership, so seeing yourself as a born leader might be hard right now. In reality, anyone who inspires people by their actions to live a better life is a leader. Right now, you might be an inspiring leader to your friends or your children. So ask yourself: Is this my season to take on a leadership role? Maybe you want to lead your volunteer group or apply for that management position at work. Maybe you’re in that stage of life when your career is drawing to a close and you want to pass on invaluable knowledge by mentoring younger people. Don’t be afraid—step up to that leadership position. No one can do this better than you. We’re innovators. When you look inside a sensitive person’s brain, you’ll notice that areas for understanding subtle cues are more activated. So are the ones for depth of processing. Noticing and thinking deeply about things allow us to combine ideas in novel ways. We’re born innovators. How to use your gift of creativity: The world is absolutely crying out for creative thinkers right now. Everyone from established corporate firms to small start-ups is actively seeking out innovative minds. The information era is most probably the very best time for a sensitive person to be alive. So, whether you use your creativity to contribute to a supportive workplace, to create your own business, or to raise one lucky family, you have it in you. If you believe in yourself and work hard, always following your principles and looking after yourself, the sky’s the limit! You Can Change the World As a sensitive person, you have unique talents and insights to offer the world. You’ve come a long way, learning more about yourself and slowly accepting the fact that being a sensitive person is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, you’re starting to see it as a gift—and you’re excited about the possibilities. You’re a keen observer, a fantastic leader, a natural-born innovator, a deeply joyful person and someone who benefits enormously from having—and creating—a supportive environment for yourself and others. With gifts like these, there’s no one better equipped to change the world. All you have to do is step out. The world needs you right now. See a typo or inaccuracy? Please contact us so we can fix it!

What to Do If You Want More Purpose, Passion, and Meaning

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell Do you ever feel like there’s got to be more to life? More purpose, passion, meaning—whatever your word of choice is? It’s happened to me twice. The first time was during the early years of my legal career, and the second time was just a few years ago (after battling an aggressive breast cancer). Each time I craved more meaning, yet these two experiences couldn’t have been more different. When it happened to me as a young lawyer, I didn’t know what to do. I’d wanted to be a lawyer since I was ten years old, and there was purpose behind the choices I’d made up to that point. Decisions that had gotten me where I was, such as: Majoring in economics (with a business minor) in college because I wanted to be a business lawyer, and Choosing corporate finance law because my ability to quickly see patterns and solutions was beneficial to structuring deals. In the early days of my career, I had a deep sense of fulfillment. But over a period of four years, that gradually changed. I didn’t realize how bad it was until the morning I stepped off the office elevator and suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was having a panic attack. I walked to my office, shut the door, and cried. That’s when I admitted to myself that I felt trapped in a purpose-less life that I’d worked hard to create. And that brought questions such as: How could I have once felt passionate about this life? Had I been wrong? If not, what had changed? After allowing my self-doubt to paralyze me from doing anything for a few months, I finally decided to do something about it. I wrote down a laundry list of things that I didn’t like about my life, which included: Regularly working eighty+ hours per week (for over a year) Averaging only five hours of sleep per night Feeling like I was easily replaceable and wasn’t making enough of an impact in the work I did Not having spent meaningful time with friends in over a year A wandering mind that was almost never present Snapping at my husband (a lot!) for no real reason and being sour with peers who interrupted my work My list of woes was embarrassing, and I didn’t like who I was becoming. But it provided me with a roadmap for how to fix my problems. Moreover, it helped me recognize what purpose really is. Up until that point, I’d been looking externally for solutions and thought that I needed to find my true calling. The idea that purpose comes from one thing is a myth. And so is the idea that you find your purpose. You don’t find it; you create purpose in life by: using your strengths to make in impact (in an enjoyable way), aligning your life around your core values, and having a sense of belonging. Let’s talk about what these mean and how I course corrected in each area. 1. Utilizing your strengths to make an impact (in a way that’s enjoyable) Most people understand that purpose comes (at least partially) from making an impact. But there’s more to it than that. If you want to make an impact that’s meaningful, then you need to utilize your skills to the best of your ability (and that requires that you enjoy what you’re doing). That’s how you get and stay motivated. My problem was that I felt like my strengths weren’t being fully utilized in the work I was doing—and that I was stuck in the same role, stagnating. So, I asked to do more and sought out work from new people. Eventually, I changed firms to work in a different area of corporate finance that was better suited to my abilities. 2. Aligning your life around your core values Core values are principles that make you uniquely you. They affect how you see the world around you and how you make decisions (even if you’re not consciously aware of it). When your life doesn’t align with your values, you’ll feel like something’s missing. One of the biggest reasons I was so unhappy was because I wasn’t living according to several of my core values. One of my values is family—not only was I not spending much time with them, but I wasn’t exactly present when I did. Another one of my values is to connect (which, for me, means connecting deeply with those around me and to stay connected with myself). My quest to do more and work harder make that almost impossible. I felt disconnected from family, friends, and peers alike. And my lack of sleep and high stress made it difficult to understand my own thoughts and emotions. To fix this, I first set work boundaries and reduced my workload.  Then, I prioritized self-care and time with family and friends. 3. Feeling that you belong Having a sense of belonging is key to happiness. It brings meaning to your life. Belonging includes feeling needed, accepted, and loved. To have a sense of belonging requires active effort on your part. It requires that you seek to connect with other people that give you a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, the way in which we live often disconnects us from one another. We choose technology over in-person contact and hurry through life to get to the next thing. That’s what I had been doing. I was disconnected from those who had always understood me, and even worried that they wouldn’t understand what I was going through. But how could they when I rarely saw or talked to them? Luckily, this was fixable—the things I was already doing to better connect with family and friends helped to increase my sense of belonging. Plus, I rejoined organizations that I’d previously been too busy for (and missed). This experience gave me a blueprint to follow for life. One that helped me figure out why I craved more meaning in life after battling breast cancer (turns out that how I defined one of my core values—service—had changed). But the second time was different because I was confident that I could figure it out. It’s easy to get caught up in society’s expectations while climbing the ladder of success that’s set before you. Don’t let that happen, as you’ll likely lose yourself. Instead, use the blueprint above to help you create a life that’s meaningful to you. About Heather Moulder Heather Moulder is an attorney and executive coach who helps successful, yet unfulfilled, professionals create success from the inside-out for a fulfilling career that’s balanced with a real life. Connect with Heather for weekly tips and resources on how to retrain your mind for resilience, overcome overwhelm and self-doubt, and confidently create a more fulfilling, balanced lifestyle that’s fun. See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!

How to Reap the Benefits of Post-Traumatic Growth

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” ~Hemingway We all know of post-traumatic stress (PTS) but how many of us know of post-traumatic growth (PTG), a very hopeful and attainable way of life beyond the loss, adversity, and trauma...

Finding the Courage to Go After What You Want Out of Life

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition....

How Letting Go of the Need to be Special Changed My Life

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition....

Everything Seems to Be Falling Apart… Because It Is

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition....

What Helped Me Reclaim the Creativity I Loved as a Kid

DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition....