Photo by Hassan Ouajbir

In my last article, What We’ve Got Wrong About Self-Compassion, I wrote about how self-compassion can help us survive and thrive during difficult times and how our misunderstanding of self-compassion often prevents us from practicing it.

How do we cultivate self-compassion? It is more than going to the spa or having retail therapy when we are down. In this three-part series on how to cultivate self-compassion, I introduce a systematic and sustainable approach that can alter your relationship with yourself for the better:

  1. Part 1: Shift the story you’ve been telling yourself that stands in the way of full self-acceptance.


Photo by Marco Montalti

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum¹.

Rather than disguising an object’s brokenness and the repair process, kintsugi embraces the beauty of its imperfection by highlighting its fault lines with beautiful veins of gold, as seen in the photo above.

Kintsugi also embodies a philosophy that sees the brokenness and the repair process of an object to be part of its history, both literally and metaphorically.

Life can be full of difficult events that either challenge us and reveal our flaws. It is when times are hard that we most…


Photo by Darren DeLoach

Celine is one of my best friends from college and probably one of the happiest, most contented people I know. She finds tremendous joy in spending time with her husband, cooking tasty meals for her loved ones, maintaining her exercise routine, and is perfectly happy with staying where she is in her career. Celine told me that she would give her life a 12 out of 10 if she could. If I have to come up with a purpose for Celine, I’d say it would be bringing people joy through her jokes and dinner parties. The thing is, Celine never…


Photo by Joshua Woroniecki

Your best friend is going to grad school, and you feel that you should too, but you don’t know what to study. You don’t feel fulfilled in your job, but don’t know where to go next for a change. You’ve considered taking a few years off to stay home with your children, but you’re not sure if this is the right choice. Your boyfriend asked you to move away with him to another country, but you’re not sure if you should uproot yourself from where you’ve grown up…

The need to make important life decisions effectively exposes the need for…


Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

Career reinvention can be hard if you are a curious person with many interests. It can be worse if you have a diverse background and can likely excel in quite a few of the paths that interest you as long as you put in the hard work, deliberate practice and are a good relationship builder. But how do you prioritize your efforts in this journey, especially when you already have a day job that consumes you? …


Mind mapping is an effective way to facilitate ideation, note taking and project planning. It generally starts with a simple idea or topic in the centre and the user would put ideas related, or inspired by the central idea around it, and connect all the ideas with lines. The user would then repeat the process for each idea generated to produce more ideas, just like a tree growing many new branches.

Here is a mind map illustrating various benefits of mind mapping from an article from MindMeister.

5 Things to Remember When Mind Mapping

  1. Put down only keywords, short phases or images, not sentences! This simplicity allows…


Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves — their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.

— Managing Oneself (1999) by Peter F. Drucker, American management consultant, educator, author, founder of modern management

In our everyday lives, we have to make lots of big or small decisions that can change the paths of our lives. Why do I not like this job? What industry do I want to move into next? What is my personal brand? How do I choose between two similar job offers? Who do I volunteer for?

What are the common mistakes…

Iris Cai

Changemaker, storyteller, & positive psychology nerd, I write about innovative and research-backed ways to help people live more fulfilling and balanced lives.

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