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Gone fishing

August 11, 2017

This is such a cop out. Yet today, it is all I can manage. 

Changing your thinking for worse

August 10, 2017

Seth Godin blogged today that seeing is believing. It’s about the negative impact of having our brain influenced by what we see on TV and what we are accessing on the internet. Its the reason many of suffer from information fatigue, but it’s not just tiresome. It changes the way we think.

It’s the reason that I choose to let my son watch videos – cartoons, yes, but I aim for ones with some level of educational value. And why on the rare occasions we do watch TV (I mean we could not miss the Golden State Warriors in the finals again), we aim to stay away from the commercials, or at least talk about them as we watch them.

Discourse, discussion, talking about things helps the mind transition to new information. I believe this is true for all of us, but especially for young, more impressionable minds that are taking things in  for the first time. It’s the reason I agree with Seth, who writes that: “Every time I see a toddler in a stroller with an internet device in hand, I shudder.”

These things may not affect our personalities, but they affect our behavior. From an article in Psychology Today:

But what was more interesting was the effect that watching negative news had on peoples’ worries. We asked each participant to tell us what their main worry was at the time, and we then asked them to think about this worry during a structured interview. We found that those people who had watched the negative news bulletin spent more time thinking and talking about their worry and were more likely to catastrophise their worry than people in the other two groups. Catastrophizing is when you think about a worry so persistently that you begin to make it seem much worse than it was at the outset and much worse than it is in reality – a tendency to make ‘mountains out of molehills’!

I’m not writing this as an attempt to convince people to change their actions. It’s worthwhile to be aware of and to consider, every time you turn on the TV or open the internet to read news. It’s the reason I won’t read news first thing in the morning and limit my news intake. I believe it’s important to understand and know about what’s going on in the world, but doomsday news and non-stop coverage are too much for any brain to consume.

Unconditional trust

August 9, 2017

Unconditional trust is a sacred thing. If you hold it dear, you will be rewarded. Trust is the reward itself. 

I see unconditional trust as that of a child for her parents. An old parent for his child caregiver. It’s cyclical. 

My son, not quite 6, has unconditional trust for me. It’s waning in some areas. Like with food. When he simply doesn’t want to eat something, nothing I say can convince him. 

But him losing parts of this trust is good. He is gaining more for himself. As his confidence as an individual grows, he won’t need to hang on to his stronghold in me. Although I hope he never forgets that it’s there. 


August 8, 2017

Some people have a way of making things they do important to other people. Or is it the audience who makes it important?

My aim is true

August 7, 2017

Not everyone else’s is. Everyone has their own self motivation. That’s not something about which we can worry. 

My aim remains true. Does yours?

Information fatigue

August 5, 2017

There’s this news article and that blog post. There’s this top list you just have to read and that video you better not miss. Everyone is talking about this and that. 

And yet. There’s another this and that every second. I am guilty of it sometimes, too. I’m blogging just like everyone else. 

You can’t read, hear, watch, survey, process it all. There is JUST TOO MUCH. It’s fast and it’s furious. It’s relentless and never ending. 

And there’s pressure to keep up. Yet most people I know are suffering from information fatigue. We are mindful with our heads on the screen and our fingers on the keyboard. There’s fear of missing out (FOMO) and keeping up on instagram. 

You have to pick and choose. There’s JUST TOO MUCH. How do YOU choose?

Lost dog

August 5, 2017

Bim. Bom. Bim. The tones sound, and there’s a pause before the monotone woman starts chattering away in a language foreign to me. Her voice echoed around the town. I mean it really does. Her words are emanating from Communist-era megaphones around town. 

I wait, asking my husband to run outside to listen to what the important message might be. He understands the language. It’s his mother tongue. And the message is sure to be important. Why else would they broadcast it throughout town at 11:07 am on a summer Friday?

He walks back inside, giggling. 

A lost dog. 

I look at him questioningly. Are you telling me a joke? Did you see a lost dog outside? Don’t you know I’m anxious to hear what the announcement was?

A lost dog. 

The announcement was that a lost dog was found. It’s a nice dog. It’s brown with white spots and it was found in front of Telco, or something like that. If it’s yours, come and get it. 


August 3, 2017

We can sit around and congratulate ourselves on how right we were. We can write and read articles about how he’s made another mistake, like we knew he would. Oh, we knew he would. 

What do we gain from reminding ourselves how right we are? Who wins when we pat ourselves on the backs because we knew all along? What dialogue are we creating by digging further the trench between those who knew and others who disagreed?

Do they still disagree? How can we bridge the divide? 

First you say please

August 3, 2017

First you say please. And then you say thank you. 

Pretty basic concept, right? It’s the title of a book I’ve been reading my son since he was about 3. Simple. 

Then why is it seemingly so hard? It often feels like a disappearing nicety. I feel like an old geezer. Ah, kids today, they don’t even say please and thank you anymore! Ai, what is happening to our society?

But what really is happening? In our self- centered world, are we forgetting the value of a little please and thank you? Am I out of touch? Do niceties matter? To me, they do. 

Interests are not triggered by introspection 

August 2, 2017

“…interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world. The process of interest discovery can be messy, serendipitous, and inefficient. This is because you can’t really predict with certainty what will capture your attention and what won’t…Without experimenting, you can’t figure out which interests will stick, and which won’t.”

These are wise words from Angela Duckworth, author of Grit. If you haven’t seen her Ted Talk, it’s worth a listen. 

I’ve written previously about her book. In addition to grit, she digs around the topic because you need to start with interests and areas of focus in order to stick with it. Interests are developed by following curiosity. By experimenting, trying things and seeing what strikes a cord. 

You’ve got to get out there and get a little dirty in order to get gritty. What are you digging around in?

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