Make the most of today - the portmanteau approach!

Make the most of today – the portmanteau approach!

On my sixteenth birthday, my dad gave me a book called: 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary. He was either fed up with my adolescent grunts or keen to help my personal development. I like to think it was the latter!

But it worked because I am still happy to expand my vocabulary whenever I can.

Last night I came across a fascinating blog post on Lifehack, written by U.S. psychotherapist Bobbi Emel. She talks about the portmanteau – “a combination of two words into one new word”.

The German language is way ahead of us on that one, but Emel’s attempt to catch up is impressive. She’s certainly added some interesting new words to my vocab. Made more interesting by my realisation that we’ve been writing about them on the Happy Manager for years, without even knowing it!

Here are Emel’s new portmanteaus with some extracts from her explanation:


Do you spend time in extended denial – extendenial? Does it stop you from appreciating …

…the life that we have, not the life that we think we should have. It’s this latter idea that forms our veil of extendenial. We don’t embrace the reality of what is in front of us because we hold an illusion that “someday” life will be ____________. (Fill in the blank with whatever you don’t have right now.) … There is certainly nothing wrong with having goals. But how much of life are you missing by thinking, “I’ll be happy when . . .”?


This is when we have a “symbiotic relationship with being busy”. How many of us use work as an excuse to extendenial? Or allow ourselves to confuse business with busyness?

…we think we need busyness in order to do well in the world and be happy. But busyness is just another way to engage in seeking the “someday” life and disengage from the life that you have right now, both the glory and the gloom.


One solution to each of the above is to “interact with your actual life – interactuality”. Having worthwhile goals and working hard to achieve them is a good thing. But it’s important to ensure you make the most of today, as you try to reach your goals.

… interact with your days now as you are working toward those goals. Enjoy friendships. Learn something new. Find something that you like about work and emphasize that in your mind. Life is good and bad, joy and misery, contentment and discontent, and many shades of gray in between those things. But it’s your actual life. Interact with it. Love your life now.


Perhaps the key to making the most of today is to use remindfulness – “reminding yourself to be mindful”. Mindfulness is a very effective approach to living a healthy, happy life. It encourages us to be more aware of the present (both what we are experiencing and what we are thinking), without judging or evaluating.

… maybe part of what inhibits you from exploring reality is that reality isn’t such a great place for you so it’s easier to be in extendenial. But is life really that bad or are you making it worse with judgmental thinking? The thing about mindfulness is that it allows you to be engaged in your current life experience without all of the drama that you add to it in your head.

So there you have it. It’s not exactly 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary but I’m sure even my dad would have been impressed with these! Some new words which are well worth thinking about. You can read Bobbi Emel’s full post here.

Do you have your own favourite portmanteau? Share it with us by adding to the conversation. And the vocabulary!

Book Summaries by getAbstract