Find your strengths Twin

The guys at   Releasing Strengths are aiming to connect you with someone who shares your top 5. The odds are slim:

We are all pretty unique, however some people share the same Top 5 themes. The chances of two people having the same Top 5 themes is 1 in 278,256. Even more incredible, two people having the same Top 5 themes in the same order is 1 in 33 million. (33,390,720).

And yet they have already connected 22 sets of Strengths Twins, 1 set of Triplets and 1 group of Quads in only 660 registrations. It is interesting the frequency of those filling in the form: 

Success comes from habits

There is a short, but excellent article summarizing Tom Corley’s research he published in his best-selling book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life,” on what financially successful people do in comparison to lower earning individuals. I have added my own commentary to several, but do read his article.

  • They get up early
    Well begun, half done, so goes the saying. It is not getting up early that matters as much as what you do when you are up. Getting up early allows for several other habits take hold–exercise, reading, quiet contemplation. One excellent practice is known as morning pages whereby you aim to write 750 words fist thing.
  • They spend 15 to 30 minutes each day on focused thinking
    Perhaps this can be split into two parts: Focused thing vis-a-vis your goals and tasks at hand, and focused attending to yourself such as a mindful practice. Tim Ferris figures 85% of his guests on his excellent podcast have some sort of contemplative practice.
  • They make exercise a priority
    Research shows Cardio exercise is not just good for the heart and waist, but your brain as well from stress and anxiety to depression and many others. Watch John Ratey explain

    • They spend time with people who inspire them
      Role models and mentors are powerful inspiration. Chris Peterson famously summed a life worth living as “Other People Matter:

The Greater Good Society reports that “Results from some studies—as well as end-of-life conversations—indicate that many people count their relationships as the most meaningful part of their lives, even when those relationships are difficult or strained.” There is one special relationship that matters: Mentors:

  • They pursue their own goals
    The Ritz Carelton has curated seven great TED Talks  on goal-setting and how to follow through on your dreams.

    1) Keep your goals to yourself by Derek Sivers

    In this three-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares psychological evidence about the importance of keeping your goals quiet. You’ll have a better chance of following through on your plans if you don’t share them with others.

    2) Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts

    In this three-minute TED Talk, the speaker shows how small steps can lead to big adventures. Inviting activity into your life seems to lead to a richer experience.

    3) 5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams by Bel Pesce

    In this six-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares five lines of thought that will keep you from reaching your goals, and she also emphasizes the significance of the journey.

    4) Four Keys for Setting and Achieving Goals by William Barr

    In this eight-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how he was able to build one of the nation’s largest home improvement companies.

    5) If You Want to Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus on Them by Reggie Rivers

    In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how focusing on the goals can actually prevent you from achieving your goals. By focusing on your behaviors, you will be more driven to follow through.

    6) The Key to Success? Grit by Angela Lee Duckworth

    In this 6-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how grit is a key ingredient for success. She encourages the audience to live life as a marathon and not a sprint.

    7) The Power of Believing That You Can Improve by Carol Dweck

    In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how adopting a growth mindset can open you up to greater success. She encourages the audience to see a challenge as a “yet” opportunity.

  • They get enough sleep
    You need sleep to draw on vitality. Tom Rath explains getting Fully Charged:

  • They have multiple incomes
    Obviously financial wealth requires income. Multiple incomes take precedence especially if they are self-sustaining. Tim Ferris explains in his book the Four Hour Work Week.

  • They avoid times wasters
    Hopefully you do not see this blog as a time waster. Even the pope has spoken out against Digital Media filters: “When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously,” he wrote in the letter.

Seeking meaning through the stories you tell.EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH

I was just listening to Scott Barry Kaufmann’s excellent podcast, when I stumbled on his interview with EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH. Meaning comes from four pillars: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. I found the notion on story telling quite intriguing. “People who believe their lives are meaningful tend to tell stories defined by growth, communion and agency.”

Here is a little preview from a PBS special:

How can you find which pillar of meaning you are living? Try Emily’s quiz:

10 actions of happiness–make every day your international day of hapiness.


Giving icon

Do things for others

Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness. Helping other people is not only good for them and a great thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier too. Giving also creates stronger connections between people and helps to build a happier society for everyone. And it’s not all about money – we can also give our time, ideas and energy. So if you want to feel good, do good! Read more…


Relating icon

Connect with people

Relationships are the most important overall contributor to happiness. People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self worth. Broader networks bring a sense of belonging. So taking action to strengthen our relationships and create new connections is essential for happiness. Read more…


Exercising icon

Take care of your body

Our body and our mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as well as being good for our physical health. It instantly improves our mood and can even lift us out of a depression. We don’t all need to run marathons – there are simple things we can all do to be more active each day. We can also boost our well-being by unplugging from technology, getting outside and making sure we get enough sleep! Read more…


Appreciating icon

Live life mindfully

Ever felt there must be more to life? Well good news, there is! And it’s right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice. Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life – like our walk to work, the way we eat or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – so we get more out of the day-to-day. Read more…


Trying Out icon

Keep learning new things

Learning affects our well-being in lots of positive ways. It exposes us to new ideas and helps us stay curious and engaged. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment and helps boost our self-confidence and resilience. There are many ways to learn new things – not just through formal qualifications. We can share a skill with friends, join a club, learn to sing, play a new sport and so much more. Read more…




Direction icon

Have goals to look forward to

Feeling good about the future is important for our happiness. We all need goals to motivate us and these need to be challenging enough to excite us, but also achievable. If we try to attempt the impossible this brings unnecessary stress. Choosing ambitious but realistic goals gives our lives direction and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we achieve them. Read more…


Resilience icon

Find ways to bounce back

All of us have times of stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives. But how we respond to these has a big impact on our well-being. We often cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose our own attitude to what happens. In practice it’s not always easy, but one of the most exciting findings from recent research is that resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned. Read more…


Emotion icon

Look for what’s good

Positive emotions – like joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration, and pride – are not just great at the time. Recent research shows that regularly experiencing them creates an ‘upward spiral’, helping to build our resources. So although we need to be realistic about life’s ups and downs, it helps to focus on the good aspects of any situation – the glass half full rather than the glass half empty. Read more…


Acceptance icon

Be comfortable with who you are

No-one’s perfect. But so often we compare our insides to other people’s outsides. Dwelling on our flaws – what we’re not rather than what we’ve got – makes it much harder to be happy. Learning to accept ourselves, warts and all, and being kinder to ourselves when things go wrong, increases our enjoyment of life, our resilience and our well-being. It also helps us accept others as they are. Read more…


Meaning icon

Be part of something bigger

People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression. But where do we find ‘meaning and purpose’? It might be our religious faith, being a parent or doing a job that makes a difference. The answers vary for each of us but they all involve being connected to something bigger than ourselves. Read more…

Source: Action for Happiness


The power of purpose

Having a clear sense of purpose gives people a stronger sense of meaning, and improves their satisfaction at work, says Stanford GSB professor Jennifer Aaker.


Unlease your Ātman: Positive Lexiography

Are you suffering from Yūgen (幽玄) after a new year’s festivities? Perhaps have a sense of Wu (無) since you have no Abhisar (अभिमान) to keep. Maybe you can spend your new year’s day with your Ah-un (阿吽) seeking Anand (آنَنْد) which might be found in Asabiyyah (عصبية), through Bricolage or Bayanihan, being in you Cynefin, or living Erlebnis. Did any of this make sense? If not, check out the Positive Lexiography and expand your vcoabularly. This online dictionary gathers unique words from around the world focusing on poistive aspirations and interactions. Unlease your Ātman (आत्मन्) and give up Avos (авось).

As the sihalese say: “Ayubowan (ආයුබෝවන්)”

You can read the story of the project here






Duša (душа) (Russian): one’s inner heart and soul.






(German): living fully, experiencing life deeply and intensely in the here and now.


Eros (ἔρως) (Greek, n.): desire; romantic, erotic, passionate love.


Estağfurullah (Turkish, injunction): lit. ‘may God grant me mercy’; used to express ‘don’t mention it’ (e.g., in response to receiving praise). 


Estrenar (Spanish, v.): to use or wear something for the first time.


Eudaimonia (ευδαιμονία) (Greek, n.): lit. ‘good spirit’; fulfilment, flourishing, being infused with divine grace.


S’entendre (French, v.): to hear each other, to get on, to understand one another.


Exaucer (French, v.): to grant/fulfil a wish.






Famn (Swedish, n.): the area/space within two arms, e.g., ‘in my arms’.


Fanaa (فناء) (Arabic): ‘annihilation’ of the ego, leading to enlightenment and union with God.


Fargin (Yiddish, n.): ungrudging and overt (expressed) pride and happiness at other’s successes.


Farhat (فَرْحَت) (Urdu, n.): joy, delight.


Feestvarken (Dutch, n.): lit. party pig, i.e., someone in whose honour a party is thrown.


Feierabend (German, n.): festive mood at the end of a working day.


Fēng yùn (風韻) (Chinese): personal charm and graceful bearing.


Fernweh (German, n.): the ‘call of faraway places,’ homesickness for the unknown.


Fiambre (Spanish, n.): food prepared for (in recognition of) the dead (e.g., on the Day of the Dead)


Filoxenia (Φιλοξενία) (Greek, n.): love of strangers/guests; a hospitable act of welcome.


Fingerspitzengefühl (German, n.): ‘fingertip feeling,’ the ability to act with tact and sensitivity. 


F/pirgun (פירגון) (Hebrew, n.): ungrudging and overt (expressed) pride and happiness at other’s successes.


Fitra (فطرة) (Arabic): an innate purity and closeness to God.


Fjellvant (Norwegian) (adj.): Being accustomed to walk in the mountains.


Flâner (French, v.): leisurely strolling the streets.


Flâneur (French, n.): someone who wanders the streets to experience the city.


Forelsket (Norwegian, n.): the euphoric act/feeling of falling in love.


Fremdschämen (German, n.): vicarious embarassment/shame; a cringing feeling.


Frimousse (French, n.): a sweet/cute little face.


Frisson (French, n.): a sudden feeling of thrill, combining fear and excitement.


Friluftsliv (Norwegian): living in tune with nature.


Fukinsei (不均整) (Japanese, n.): natural / sponteneous asymmetry or irregularity.






Ganbaru (頑張る) (Japanese, v.): lit. ‘to stand firm’; to do one’s best.


Geborgenheit (German, n.): feeling protected and safe from harm.


Gemilut hasadim (Yiddish, n.): acts of loving-kindness.


Genki (元気) (Japanese): being healthy, energetic, and full of life.


Gezellig (Dutch, adj.): cosy, warm, intimate, enjoyable.  


Gemütlich (German, adj.): cosy, homely, comfortable.


Gemütlichkeit (German, n.): a feeling of comfort, cosiness, homeliness.


Gestalt (German, n.): an overall pattern / configuration, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Gigil (Tagalog, n.): the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished.


Giri (義理) (Japanese, n.): duty, obligation, a debt of honour.


Gjensynsglede (Norwegian, n.) The joy of meeting someone you haven’t seen in a long time.


Glasnost (гла́сность) (Russian, v.): to engage in open discussion, relationships and/or governance.


Goesting (Dutch, n.): desire, passion, craving, also implying togetherness, satisfaction, tenderness, etc.


Gökotta (Swedish, n.): lit. ‘early-morning cuckoo’, waking up early to hear the first birds sing.


Goraikou (御来光) (Japanese, n.): lit. ‘sacred delivery of light; e.g., sunlight seen from top of mt. Fuji.


Gotong royong (Indonesian, n.): mutual aid/endeavour; the collective pursuit of a task.


Grok (English, new coinage, v.): to understand so thoroughly that observer becomes part of the observed.


Guān xì (關係) (Chinese, n.): a build-up of relationships and good social karma.


Gula (Spanish, n.): gluttony, indulgence, the desire to eat simply for the taste.


Gumusservi (Turkish, n.): the glimmering that moonlight makes on water.


Gunnen (Dutch, v.): to think that someone deserves something (good); to feel happy for them getting it.


Guru (গূরূ) (Bengali, n.): brotherly affection, with a sense of admiration.


Guru (गुरु) (Sanskrit, n.): a religious /spiritual teacher, guide, master, and/or person of reverence.






Habseligkeiten (German, n.): blessed, precious belongings (as in one’s most treasured possessions).


Hachnasat orchim (Yiddish/Hebrew, n.): ‘bringing in guests’; offering hospitality and respect to strangers.


Hahn (한) (Korean, n.): sorrow, regret, patiently waiting for amelioration.


Harikoa (Māori, n.): joyful, euphoric, delighted, exuberant, elated, thrilled, ecstatic, jubilant.


Harsha (हर्श) (Sanskrit, n.): joy, delight or excitement associated with some external event.


Hedersmann (Norwegian) (noun): An honest man with great integrity.


Heimat (German, n.): deep-rooted fondness towards a place to which one has a strong feeling of belon


Heimlich (German, adj.): cosy, homely, secure (yet also, paradoxically, can mean sinister and uncanny).


Herrliche Gefühle (German, n.): glorious feelings.


Hiraeth (Welsh, n.): longing for one’s homeland, with nostalgia and wistfulness.


Hugfanginn (Icelandic) (adj.): lit. ‘mind-captured’, to be charmed or fascinated by someone/something.


Hygge (Danish/Norwegian) (n.): a deep sense of place, warmth, friendship, and contentment.


Hyggelig (Danish/Norwegian) (adj.): enjoyable, warm, friendly, pleasant.






Ikigai (生き甲斐) (Ikigai): a ‘reason for being,’ the sense that its worthwhile to continue living.


Iktsuarpok (Inuit, n.): anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, and keeps checking if they’re arriving.


Inuuqatigiittiarniq (Inuit, n.): being respectful of all people.


Ilunga (Tshiluba): being ready to forgive a first time, tolerate a second time, but never a third time.


Imandari (الإستقامة) (Arabic, n.): ‘righteousness,’ cultivating good words and deeds.


Insha-Allah (إِن شَاءَ اَللّٰه) (Arabic, v.): God willing (‘may Allah wish it’), a hopeful wish. 


Ishq (عشق) (Arabic, n.): true, all-consuming love.






Jaksaa (Finnish, v.): to have energy, enthusiasm, and spirit (e.g., for a task).


Janteloven (Norwegian/Danish, n.): a set of rules which discourages individualism in communities.​


Jeong/jung (정) (Korean, n.): deep affection, affinity, connectedness (may or may not be romantic).


Joie de vivre (French): zest for life, the knack of knowing how to live.


Jouissance (French, n.): physical or intellectual pleasure, delight, or ecstasy.


Jugaad (जुगाड) (Hindi, n.): the ability to ‘make do’ or ‘get by’; a ‘hack’ or improvisation.






Kæk (Danish, n.): someone who is bold, cocky (not in a pejorative sense), and with a gung-ho spirit.


Kairos (καιρός) (Greek, n.): the opportune, ideal, ‘supreme’ moment for decision or action.


Kaizen (改善) (Japanese, n.): gradual, incremental (and often continuous) improvement.


Kanso (簡素) (Japanese, n.): elegant simplicity, an attractive absence of clutter.


Kanyirninpa (Pintupi, v.): lit. ‘to hold’, connoting an intimate and active relationship between carer and caree.


Kào pǔ (靠譜) (Chinese): someone who is reliable, responsible, and to do things without causing problems.


Karma (कर्म) (Sanskrit; kamma in Pali, n.): causality with respect to ethical behaviour.


Karuṇā (करुणा) (Sanskrit; Karuṇā in Pali, n.): empathy, compassion, identifying with the other’s suffering.


Kayf (کیف) (Urdu, n.): merriment, revelry.


Kefi (κέφι) (Greek, n.): joy, passion, enthusiasm, high spirits, frenzy.


Kekau (Indonesian, n.): regaining consciousness and returning to reality after a nightmare. 


Kenopsia (English, new coinage, n.): the strange eerieness of empty or abandoned places.


Kenshō (見性) (Japanese): temporary ‘glimpse’ of awakening and enlightenment.


Klexos (English, new coinage, n.): the art of dwelling on the past.


Koev halev (כואב הלב) (Hebrew, n.): empathy, compassion, identifying with the other’s suffering.


Kilig (Tagalog, n.): feeling of butterflies arising from interacting with someone one loves or finds attractive.


Kintsugi (金継ぎ) (Japanese): literally, ‘golden joinery’ (the art of repairing broken pottery using gold), metaphorically meaning to render our flaws and  fault-lines beautiful and strong.


Koi no yokan (恋の予感) (Japanese, n.): the feeling on meeting someone that falling in love will be inevitable.


Koko (枯高) (Japanese, n.): weathered beauty, austere sublimity. 


Kokoro (心) (Japanese): heart and mind (and even spirit) combined.


Kokusaijin (国際人) (Japanese, n.): lit. an ‘international person’; someone who is cosmopolitan, flexible, and open-minded. 


Kombinować (Polish): working out an unusual solution to a problem, acquiring skills in the process.


Koromebi (木漏れ日) (Japanese, n.): dappled sunlight filtering through leaves.


Konfliktfähigkeit (German): the ability to manage interpersonal conflict constructively, without becoming personally involved.


Koselig (Norwegian) (adj.): cosy, snug, warm, intimate, enjoyable. 


Кохаю (кохать) (Ukranian, n.): passionate, intimate, romantic love.


Koyaanisqatsi (Hopi, n.): nature out of balance; a state of affairs (e.g., dysfunctional) that calls for another way of living.


Kreng-jai (Thai, n.): ‘deferential heart,’ the wish to not trouble someone by burdening them.


Kukelure (Norwegian, v.): to sit and ponder, without engaging in activity.


Kvell (Yiddish, v.): to feel strong and overt (expressed) pride and joy in someone’s successes.






La’asot chaim (לעשות חיים) (Hebrew, v.): ‘to do or to make life’; to live fully, to have a good time.


Lagom (Swedish): moderation, of doing anything to just the right degree.


Laissez-faire (French, n.): tendency/willingness to leave things to take their own course, without interfering.


Lakṣaṇas (लक्षण) (Sanskrit): ‘marks of conditioned existence’.


Lehizdangef (להזדנגף) (Hebrew, v.): to stroll along Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff (street), i.e., to have carefree fun.


Lekker (Dutch, adj.): tasty (food), relaxed, comfortable, pleasurable, sexy.


Listopad (листопад) (Russian, n.): falling leaves.


Lutalica (English, new coinage, n.): the part of your identity that doesn’t fit into categories.






Magari (Italian, adv.): maybe, hopeful wish, wistful regret, in my dreams, if only.


Mahalo (Hawaiian, n., v.): thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, respect.


Maitrī (मैत्री) (Sanskrit; mettā in Pali, n.): loving-kindness.


Majime (真面目) (Japanese): someone reliable, responsible, and able to do things without causing problems.


Mana (Hawaiian, n.): spiritual energy / power, a sacred, impersonal force.


Mantra (मन्त्र) (Sanskrit), mind tool, a word, phrase or sound focused on in meditation.


Mamihlapinatapei (Yagán, n.): a look between people that expresses unspoken but mutual desire.


Manaakitanga (Māori, n.): hospitality, kindness, generosity, support, respect, and care for others.


Mangata (Swedish, n.): the glimmering that moonlight makes on water.


Mārga (मार्ग) (Sanskrit): a spiritual path or way.


Masarrat (مَسَرَّت) (Urdu): joy, delight.


Mazal tov (מזל טוב) (Hebrew, salutation): lit. ‘good fortune’; a blessing of health and happiness.


Mbuki-mvuki (Bantu, v.): to shed clothes to dance uninhibited.


Me yia (με γεια) (Greek, salutation): a congratulation / blessing for others.


Melmastia (مېلمستیا) (Arabic, n.): hospitality, moral obligation to offer sanctuary and respect to all visitors.


Menschlichkeit (Yiddish): being a good human being in its fullest sense.


Mерак (Serbian, n.): pleasure derived from simple joys.


Meraki (μεράκι) (Greek): ardour (in relation to one’s own actions and creations).


Milczeć (Polish, v.): to refrain from speaking (without necessarily being silent).


Mitdenken (German): the ability to think for oneself.


Míng mù (瞑目) (Chinese): to ‘die without regret,’ having lived a good life.


Mokita (Kivila, n.): a truth that everone knows but no-one talks about.


Mokusatsu (黙殺) (Japanese, v.): to ignore or keep silent (e.g., when rejecting a bargaining offer).


Mono no aware (物の哀れ) (Japanese, n.): pathos of understanding the transiency of the world and its beauty.


Morgenfrisk (Danish, adj.): feeling rested after a good night’s sleep.


Mu (無) (Japanese, n.): negative, void, nothingness, non-being; used in Buddhism to imply ‘neither yes nor no’.


Muditā (मुदिता) (Sanskrit; Muditā in Pali, n.): sympathetic/vicarious joy.


Muraqaba (مراقبة) (Arabic): Sufi meditation, ‘to watch over’ or ‘to take care of’.


Myötähäpeä (Finnish, n.): vicarious embarassment/shame; a cringing feeling.


Mysa (Swedish, v.): to get cosy, to snuggle up.  






Nachat (נחת) (Hebrew, n.): contentment/satisfaction at someone’s successes (e.g., your progeny or student).


Naches (Yiddish, n.): joyful pride in someone’s successes (e.g., your progeny or student).


Nakakahinayang (Tagalog, n.): a feeling of regret for not having used something or taken advantage of a situation.


Nakama (仲間) (Japanese, n.): best friend, close buddy, one for whom one feels deep platonic love.


Namaste (नमस्ते) (Hindi, interjection.): ‘I bow to the divine in you’.


Nam jai (น้ำใจ) (Thai, n.): lit. ‘water from the heart’, selfless generosity and kindness.


Namus (Turkish): honour, chastity, decency, and virtue.


Natsukashii (懐かしい) (Japanese, adj.): missed, precious, yearned for, ‘dear old …’.


Naz (ناز) (Urdu, n.): assurance/pride in knowing that the other’s love is unconditional and unshakable.


Að nenna (Icelandic, v.): ability or willingness to persevere through tasks that are hard or boring.


Nirvāna (निर्वाण) (Sanskrit, n.): ‘ultimate’ happiness, total liberation from suffering.


Njuta (Swedish, v.): to deeply enjoy, to profoundly appreciate.


Nodus tollens (English, new coinage, n.): when your life doesn’t make sense or fit into a neat story.


Nunchi (눈치) (Korean, n.): ‘eye-measure’; the ability to ‘read’ emotions and situations and to respond skilf.


Nyaka ন্যাকা (Bengali, adj.): coy, coquettish, feigning ignorance (often used pejoratively).






Ojalá (Spanish, v.): derivation of Insha-Allah, God willing (‘may Allah wish it’), a hopeful wish.


Ondinnonk (Iroquoian, n.): the soul’s angelic nature and innermost desires.


Ongubsy (Boro, v.): ‘to love from the heart’.

Onsay (Boro, v.): ‘to pretend to love’.


Onsra (Boro, v.): ‘to love for the last time,’ the feeling that love won’t last.


Oogstrelend (Dutch, n.): caressing the eye, i.e., attractive or appealing.


On (恩) (Japanese, n.): a feeling of moral indebtedness, relating to a favour or blessing given by others.


Opia (English, new coinage, n.): the ambiguous intensity of eye-contact.


Orenda (Huron, n.): the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces.


Orka (Swedish, v.): to have the energy for something; being enthused and spirited.


Osher (אושר) (Hebrew, n.): joy, contented happiness.


Otsukaresama (お疲れ様) (Japanese, injunction): ‘thank you for your hard work’, gratitude and appreciation.






Parea (Παρέα) (Greek, n.): informal party, revelry.


Pena ajena (Spanish, n.): vicarious embarassment/shame; a cringing feeling.


Peiskos (Norwegian, n.): lit. ‘fireplace coziness, sitting in front of a crackling fireplace enjoying the warmth.


Petrichor (English, new coinage, n.): the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.


Þetta reddast (Icelandic, phrase): ‘it will all work out ok’ (used especially when things don’t look optimistic!).


Philia (φιλία) (Greek, n.): friendship, platonic love (e.g., based on familiarity or shared interests).


Philotimo (φιλότιμο) (Greek, n.): ‘love of honour;’ the importance of respecting and honouring friends/family.


Pihentagyú (Hungarian): ‘with a relaxed brain,’ being quick-witted and sharp.


Piliriqatigiinniq (Inuit, n.): togetherness, community spirit, working together for the common good.


Pittiarniq (Inuit, n.): loving-kindness; being kind and good.


Pius (Latin): conscientious, upright, faithful, patriotic/dutiful, respectful, righteous.


Pochemuchka (почемучка) (Russian, n.): someone who is always asking questions (perhaps too many!).


Poldermodel (Dutch, n.): consensus-based decision making.


Pole (Swahili, interjection): ‘I’m sorry for your misfortune’.


Potlatch (Chinook, n.): lit. ‘to give away’; a ceremonial feast in which possessions are given away (e.g., to enhance one’s prestige).


Prajña (प्रज्ञ) (Sanskrit): wisdom and experiential insight.


Pretoogjes (Dutch, n.): lit. ‘fun eyes’; the eyes of a chuckling person engaging in benign mischief.


Prostor (простор) (Russian, n.): spaciousness, freedom, absence of constraint.






Qì zhì (气质) (Chinese, n.): quality of character, disposition, style, charm, attractiveness, magnetism. 


Querencia (Spanish, n.): a place where one feels secure, from which one draws strength.


Queesting (Dutch, v.): to allow a lover access to one’s bed for chitchat.


Te quiero (Spanish, v.): lit. ‘I want you’; perhaps between I like you and I love you, implying tender affection.






Radarpar (Norwegian) (n.): Two people that work very well together.


Ramé (Balinese, n.): something at once chaotic and joyful.


Razljubít (разлюбить) (Russian, n.): the feeling a person has for someone they once loved.


Að redda (Icelandic, v.): to save someone or fix something in a time sensitive manner.


Retrouvailles (French, n.): lit. ‘rediscovery’; a reunion (e.g., with loved ones after a long time apart).






Sabi (寂) (Japanese, n.): lonely, desolate, aged beauty.


Sabsung (Thai, n.): being revitalised through something that livens up one’s life.


Sahar (سهر) (Arabic, n.): informal party, revelry.


Saideira (Portuguese, n.): nightcap; last drink before leaving / of the evening.


Samādhi (समाधि) (Sanskrit, Samādhi in Pali, n.): one-pointedness / unification in meditation.


Samar (سمر) (Arabic, v.): to sit together in conversation at sunset/ in the evening.


Samprajanya (संप्रज़न्ऩा) (Sanskrit; sampajañña in Pali): clear comprehension; mindfulness imbued with a sense of spiritual progress.


Santosha (संतोष) (Sanskrit, n.): contentment arising from personal interaction.


Saper vivere (Italian): the ability to handle people and situations with charm, diplomacy and verve.


Sarang (사랑) (Korean, v.): to love someone strongly.


Sarshaarii (سرشاری) (Urdu, n.): bliss, lasting contentment.


Smṛti (स्मृति) (Sanskrit; sati in Pali): mindfulness of the present moment.


Satori (悟り) (Japanese): enduring awakening and enlightenment.


Saudade (Portuguese, n.): melancholic longing, nostalgia, dreaming wistfulness.


Savoir-être (French, n.): knowing how to be and carry oneself; ‘soft’ or interpersonal skills.


Savoir-faire (French, n.): the ability to behave in a correct and confident way in different situations.


Savoir-vivre (French, n.): knowing how to live (especially elegantly); being familiar with norms and customs.


Sazaadat (سعادت) (Urdu, n.): prosperity, felicity.


Schnapsidee (German, n.): a daft / ridiculous plan thought up while drunk (generally used pejoratively).


Sehnsucht (German, n.): life longings, intense desire for alternative paths and states.

Seijaku (静寂) (Japanese, n.): silence, calm, serenity (especially in the midst of activity or chaos).


Semaphorism (English, new coinage, n.): an enigmatic, conversational hint that you have something personal to say on a subject.


Shaadmaanii (شادْمانی) (Urdu, n.): delight, pleasure.


Shemomechama (შემომეჭამა) (Georgian, v.): eating past the point of satiety due to sheer enjoyment.


Shibumi (渋味) (Japanese, n.): simple, subtle, unobtrusive and effortless beauty. 


Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) (Japanese, n.): ‘bathing’ in the forest (literally and/or metaphorically).


Shizen (自然) (Japanese, n.): naturalness, absence of pretence, contrivance, or premeditation (e.g., in art).


Siga siga (Σιγά σιγά) (Greek, adv.): slowly, slowly (i.e., being unhurried).


Sigurista (Tagalog, n.): one who would not initiate an action unless certain of obtaining the desired result.


Simcha (שמחה) (Hebrew, n.): bliss, contentment.


Simpatía (Spanish, n.): accord and harmony within relationships and/or society.


Sisu (Finnish, n.): extraordinary determination in the face of adversity.


Sitzfleisch (German, n.): ‘sit meat,’ ability or willingness to persevere through tasks that are hard or boring


Sobremesa (Spanish, n.): when the food has finished but the conversation is still flowing.


Socha (English, new coinage, n.): the hidden vulnerability of others.


Sólarfrí (Icelandic) (n.): sun holiday, i.e., when workers are granted unexpected time off to enjoy a particularly sunny/warm day.


Soler (Spanish): to be in the habit of doing something.


Sonder (English, new coinage, n.): the realization that everyone has a life as vivid and complex as your own).


Sprezzatura (Italian): nonchalance, art and effort are concealed beneath a studied carelessness.


Stehaufmännchen (German, n.): lit. a roly-poly toy, used for someone who always bounces back.


Storge (στοργή) (Greek, n.): filial love; care and affection (e.g., between family members).


Suaimhneas croi (Gaelic, n.): happiness / contentment on finishing a task.


Sumud (صمود) (Arabic, n.): steadfastness, a determined struggle to persist.


Sukha (सुख) (Sanskrit, n.): stable and lasting happiness (not dependent upon conditions).


Sunao (素直) (Japanese): meek, docile and submissive (in a positive, deferential way).


Sūnyatā (शून्यता) (Sanskrit): emptiness (phenomena come into being dependent upon conditions).


Sutra (सुट्टा) (Sanskrit, Sutta in Pali, n.): lit. ‘thread’, aphorism, discourse, teaching (in Buddhism or Jainism).


Suwaad (سُواد) (Urdu, n.): pleasure.


Szimpatikus (Hungarian): a decent human being.






Taarradhin (تراض) (Arabic, n.): a positive agreement/solution/compromise where everbody wins.


Ta’ârof (تعارف) (Farsi, n.): politeness, social intelligence (e.g., in relation to receiving/offering hospitality/gifts).


Talanoa (Fijian Hindi, v.): to tell stories / to gossip (in ways that serve as a ‘social adhesive’).


Talko (Swedish, n.): a collectively pursued/undertaken task; voluntary community work.


Talkoot (Finnish, n.): a collectively pursued/undertaken task; voluntary community work.


Tao (道) (Chinese): all-powerful and pervasive power, path or way.


Tarab (طرب) (Arabic, n.): musically-induced ecstasy or enchantment.


Tarbiya (تربية”) (Arabic, n.): on-going moral/ethical and spiritual development.


Tathāgatagarbha (गर्भतथागत) (Sanskrit): Buddha nature.


Tazkiah (تزكية) (Arabic): purification of the self, purity and submission to Allah.


Tertulia (Spanish, n.): a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones.


Thróisma (θρόισμα) (Greek, n.): sound of wind rustling through trees.​


Tîeow (เที่ยว) (Thai, v.): to wander or roam around in a carefree way.


Tilfreds (Danish, n.): contentment, at peace.


Tithadesh (תתחדש) (Hebrew, interjection): lit. ‘get new’; salutation given to someone who has acquired a nice new possession or change in circumstances.


Tjotjog (Javanese, v.): ‘to fit’, accord and harmony within relationships and/or society.


Toska (тоска) (Russian, n.): longing for one’s homeland, with nostalgia and wistfulness.


Tripti (तृप्ति) (Sanskrit, n.): satisfaction of sensual pleasures.


Trygghet (Swedish, n.): security, safety, confidence, certainty, trust.


Tuko pamoja (Swahili, n.): lit. ‘one place’; ‘we are together’, community togetherness.


Tyvsmake (Norwegian, v.): to taste or eat small pieces of the food when you think nobody is watching, especially when cooking. 


Tzedaka (Yiddish, n.): generosity/charity (mandated by justice), required righteous giving.






Ubuntu (Nguni Bantu, n.): being kind to others on account of one’s common humanity.


Uitwaaien (Dutch, v.): lit. ‘to walk in the wind’; to go out into the countryside (e.g., clear one’s head).


Ukiyo (浮世) (Japanese, n.): ‘floating world,’ living within transient moments of fleeting beauty.


Ullassa (उल्लास) (Sanskrit, n.): feelings of pleasantness associated with natural beauty.


Umami (うま味) (Japanese, n.): a rich, pleasant, savoury taste.


Uitbuiken (Dutch, v.): lit. ‘outbellying’; to relax satiated between courses or after a meal.


Utepils (Norwegian, n.): a beer that is enjoyed outside (particularly on the first hot day of the year).






Víðsýni (Icelandic) (adj.): a panoramic view, or, open-mindedness.


Vipāka (विपाक) (Sanskrit, Vipāka in Pali, n.): the result, ripening or maturation of karma.


Vivencias (Spanish, n.): living fully, experiencing life deeply and intensely in the here and now.


Volta (βόλτα) (Greek, n.): a leisurely stroll/turn/walk in the the streets.


Vorfreude (German, n.): intense, joyful anticipation derived from imagining future pleasures.


Voorpret (Dutch, n.): lit. ‘pre-fun’; the sense of pleasurable anticipation before a looked-forward-to event.






Wabi (侘) (Japanese, n.): imperfect, rustic, remote, weathered beauty.


Wabi-sabi (侘寂) (Japanese, n.): imperfect and aged beauty, a ‘dark, desolate sublimity’.


Whakakoakoa (Māori, v.): to cheer up.


Waldeinsamkeit (German, n.): mysterious feeling of solitude when alone in the woods.


Wanderlust (German, n.): desire/prediliction for travel and adventure.


Weltanschauung (German, n.): an overarching/all-encompassing worldview or philosophy of life.


Won (원) (Korean, n.): reluctance to give up an illusion.


Wu (無) 


On gratitude

Gratitude is one of the 24 character strengths. It has its own holida in the US and Canada. It has a host of positive health benefits

Consider Louie Schwartzberg gorgeous 6 minute film on gratitude.

Here are some nice guided meditations and exercises to focus you on gratitude:

Jim Carrey on finding purpose

“Our eyes are not just viewers, they are projectors…” Abolsute Motivation has taken some of his commencement speach and edited with clips from his many great movies. 

Strengths mind:

  • Hope
  • Love
  • Humour
  • Wisdom

On parenting for passion

“The best I can say is that as parents, you can engineer the life you want your kids to have, but it may not be the life they want to have. You have to encourage them to pursue their passions. And you have to spend more time on them than you spend on anything else.”
–Ed Zuckerberg, father of Mark, or as he says, he is literally the “Father of Facebook
I like his sentiment…a lot. I just wish he had not said “Pursue their passions.” The problem with passion is that it rarely leads to productivity. Was Zuck passionate about computers? Yes. He learned programing in middle school. He took a graduate level course while still in high school and had private tutoring. But we was also passionate about Greek mythology and fencing. I wish he had said parents need to encourage their kids to pursue their interests passionately. Slight but important difference. You can be interested in something and have no passion.  “It’s often said the key to finding a great career is “following your passion” or “finding your calling.” says the excellent website 80,000 hours. “Follow your passion. But this isn’t very helpful advice. Most people don’t know what their passion is, and even if they do, following your passion could easily end in failure and little social impact.”
A better way, indicated Cal Newport, is find a way to cultivate a unique and valuable skill and then get really good at it. That takes Passion. Both Zuckberg and Gates clearly pursued their interests in Computers passionately. Will Smith and Kevin Costner did it in acting. Anita Roddick (Body Shop), JK Rowling (Writing), Michael Jordan (Basketball), Kurt Hahn and Maria Montesouri (education), and so many others are stellar examples of people who put in the time to cultivate their interests passionately to emerge top of their respective fields. 

Follow your passion is bad advice

“The path to a passionate life is often way more complex than the simple advice ‘follow your passion’ would suggest.”
You’ve been told you should follow your passion, to do what you love and the money will follow. But how sound is this advice? Cal Newport argues that it’s astonishingly wrong.

But if you do what you do with passion, it make all the difference. 

He actually mentions Strengthsfinder as a tool, but is kind of dimissive of it. The stories he tells of people living their passions, however, he speaks of lifestyle traights they are cultivated through thir job which sounds suspiciously like people using their strengths in their work.