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Jun 30, 2023

Driven by both evolutionary instincts and societal hierarchies, we all have a natural inclination to position ourselves as “special” or somehow superior to others. While receiving praise or other confirmation of our positive attributes can quickly boost our happiness and self-esteem, it can also become addictive – and when we then receive criticism or feel that we didn’t succeed at something, it can be tempting to simply seek another self-esteem boost in order to feel better. However, this cycle is not sustainable and can lead to the perpetual feeling that we’re not enough.

To break free from the endless cycle of self-evaluation and social comparison, Dr. Ron Siegel – our guest in Episode 153 of The MINDSet Game® podcast – suggests embracing the beauty of being ordinary. Dr. Siegel is an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 35 years, and a long-time student of mindfulness meditation who serves on the board of directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He is also the author of several books, including “The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are.” In this week’s episode, Dr. Siegel discusses:

  • Steps to take when trying to shift away from constant self-evaluation as a path to happiness and find joy in being ordinary – and why it’s important to do so
  • The value of creating genuine connections with others rather than focusing on the impression you are making, as well as strategies that can help you be more present with your friends and loved ones
  • Techniques for cultivating self-compassion (which differs from self-esteem), including those that engage your head, heart, and habits

To learn more about Dr. Ron Siegel, visit, or look for his new book, “The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary.” 

To subscribe to The MINDset Game, visit