Wellness Pearls

20 June 2024

The Cul-de-Sac Mindset

To travel means, ultimately, nothing more than coming back home a different person from the one who left.            Pico Iyer

I grew up on a cul-de-sac (see above), defined as a blind alley closed at one end.  As a street design when I was a kid, it was glorious.  As an adult, I’ve come to realize that the cul-de-sac serves as a powerful metaphor in my life.

Recently, I encountered my own miniature cul-de-sacs. I purchased a Spanish learning app that didn’t suit my needs – I swiftly deleted it. During a conversation, I noticed rising defensiveness in the other person – I stopped and initiated a fresh dialogue. These small examples illustrate the art of the fast pivot, a skill crucial for avoiding life’s dead ends.

Whether facing an unfulfilling relationship, a stagnant career, or self-destructive thought patterns, the beauty of the cul-de-sac lies in rapid course correction. At these metaphorical dead ends, we face a choice: stubbornly persist down a road leading nowhere (or worse), or summon the courage and wisdom to swiftly turn around and seek a new direction.

The cul-de-sac reminds us that we always possess the power to pivot, adapt, and embrace change. Just as we remain attentive to a cul-de-sac’s physical boundaries, we can be aware of our own limitations and blind spots. By recognizing patterns that lead us towards unfulfilling or destructive paths, we can readily identify our personal cul-de-sacs and take decisive, corrective action.

While dead ends and wrong turns are inevitable, they need not become permanent roadblocks. With courage, self-reflection, and agility, we can swiftly turn around and forge new paths towards our better selves.

Wellbeing Resources

Kobe Bryant on his Cul-de Sac Mindset

A heartbreak he is no longer with us.

Alfred Hitchcock Defines Happiness

…that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile.


10 Stoic tips for Handling Rude People

There were really rude people in 300 BCE.  Ancient wisdom on how to protect your peace.


36 Great Questions

From the New York Times, these are great questions to ask anybody you love/care about. My favorite?  # 19.


A series on careless health reporting.  It describes how to read health “news” and be very wary of headlines.  Excellent series on how to study a study.

Stay Well,   Eileen

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