I like to work on having an ongoing sense of perspective--that ability to see the big picture, to view the way things connect, to not get wrapped up in minutia.

I believe that happiness is not a result of one's environment; rather, happiness is a choice, something that we have to deliberately pursue. I also believe that having perspective is a big part of acquiring and maintaining happiness.

Several times a day, I find a place where I can quietly assess how things are going. The location for these "time-outs" is critical. I could stare out my office window, or go for a walk to Starbucks, or simply stroll around campus: the key to the location is that it not involve interaction with others, since the point of this reflective activity is to assess the moment as it relates to the events of the day, the week, the year.

I'm in the habit of stopping at an overlook when I bike into work. It's on the edge of Lake Michigan, not far from our campus. I stop long enough to catch my breath and prepare for the day--to get that "perspective" I need before coming to work in the morning. I took a video of my morning overlook so I could share it with you.