My Failure of Mindset

by Paul Sherman

I aspire to consistently practice the What Matters?! mindsets of curiosity, humor, self-honesty, gratitude, and kindness. Not because I want to be perceived as up there with Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama (though that would be nice), but because I just plain feel a greater sense of well-being when I do. What’s more, the research of Dr. Martin Seligman, Dr. David R. Hamilton, Dr. Robert Emmons and a host of other behavioral scientists reports a similar set of positive effects for anyone who adopts these ways of being in the world. So, in a perverse way, it’s actually selfish to express gratitude, kindness and the other What Matters?! mindsets. Selfish because we feel better when we do. And, oh, by the way, a fortunate byproduct of acting in these ways brings a littl  Read More→


The Courage to Choose

by Paul Sherman

This morning in my daily “reach in” (a practice in the What Matters?! Framework (, I came across the following quotation from author, John Irving: “If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” Having been fortunate enough in the past year to find a way of life that I truly love, I felt compelled to share Irving's wisdom in hopes of encouraging people who may not be loving their lives to open themselves up to all possible lifestyle choices. If your life isn't working for you, you owe it to yourself to explore alternative ways of living. Only by taking action to try something new will you create the conditions to even have the possibility of being “lucky enough to   Read More→


Much has been written in recent years about the link between gratitude and its effects on physical and mental health. Paul and I were discussing this the other day and I remembered that I had written a piece after a business trip to New York City about seven or eight years ago which I had written for no reason other than being grateful. So I trudged through the basement to look for my old computer to locate the piece and am posting it here for the first time: Lessons From a Delayed Train My train was delayed six hours due to a winter storm yesterday departing from NYC to Boston. Most of that time I spent in Penn Station. The initial few hours of frustration transitioned to something very surprising- as I stood there I developed an incredible sense o  Read More→


Robin Williams' Death

by Paul Sherman

When David and I developed the What Matters?! model (, we did so with the intention of eradicating needless suffering in the world. As I contemplate Robin Williams' death, I feel called upon to scream to the world the What Matters?! practice that we call “Reach Out." ( It could literally save your life. Perhaps Mr. Williams would still be with us today had he been able to force himself to verbalize to another the dark place in which he found himself. For many of us, it is at our most stressed, lonely and desperate times that we tend to pull inward. We become turtles hiding from the world. We pull the covers over our head and hit the snooze button another time. We ignore the ringing phone even tho  Read More→


This past Christmas my 85 year old dad suffered a bout of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. After a weeklong hospital stay we moved him to a recuperative facility to try to get him back on his feet. After multiple attempts at physical therapy, ten days later he requested that additional treatment be withheld. His body, having been ravaged with Parkinson’s disease, could no longer fight. Without further intervention we knew that it would only be a matter of time before the pneumonia and congestive heart failure would return and ultimately cause his death. Despite these consequences that was the choice he made. The doctors initially told us that it would only be a matter of days, certainly no more than a week or two before he would pass. While I was extremely sad that he   Read More→