Archive for August, 2017

“Successful People Give Up These Things!” Do You?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Have you ever met anyone who did not want to be successful? Doubt it. Have you ever met anyone who was not successful and did not know how to achieve it? Probably. Personally I realize that the more I know the more I know how much I don’t know.  Thus, I am continually searching for ways to maximize my potential to be all that I can be. I share a perspective presented by educator Zdravko Cvijetic with my added commentary.

Successful people give up:

  1. UNHEALTHY LIFE STYLE: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live” (Jim Rohn). I would add, take care of your brain. Thus, maintain a healthy diet and get a lot of physical and mental exercise.
  2. SHORT TERM MIND SET: Successful people set long term goals and then develop short term habits to help them reach their goals.
  3. PLAYING SMALL: We are all meant to shine. If you never try and take significant opportunities, or let your dreams become realities, you will never unleash your true potential. Think big and get after it!
  4. YOUR EXCUSES: “It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand”. (Randy Pausch). Successful people know they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weakness, and past failures. Excuses are a cop out and prevent the efforts to succeed.
  5. FIXED MINDSET: Successful people continue to challenge what they know by continuing to acquire new knowledge, learn new skills, and creatively evolve into the fullness of their being. They do not have “hardening of their categories”.
  6. BELIEVING IN THE “MAGIC BULLET”: There is no easy answer, easy way. Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small continual improvements every day will be compounded over time and give the desired results.
  7. PERFECTIONISM: Fear of failure, or perhaps success, often prevents people from taking the risks, making the effort, to reach their goal. They think that they have to get it perfect; thus they don’t get after it. Get started with your plan and keep plugging away at it and it will continue to come into fruition.
  8. MULTI-TASKING: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” (Winston Churchill) Successful people are focused on the goal, minimizing distractions. They are fully present and committed to the primary committed task.
  9. NEED TO CONTROL EVERYTHING: “Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” Epicetus. Detach from the things you cannot control and focus on the ones you can.
  10. GIVE UP ON SAYING YES TO THINGS THAT DON’T SUPPORT YOUR GOALS: Successful people know that to achieve their goal they must be able to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from other people.
  11. TOXIC PEOPLE: This is a big one. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn) People we spend time with, add up to who we become. Move on from those who stifle your growth and connect with those who may well be ahead of you so that you can move forward faster.
  12. NEED TO BE LIKED: “The only way to avoid pissing off people is to do nothing important.” (Oliver Emberton) Remain authentic, committed, improve, and bring value and substance to what you do. “What you think of me in none of my business” is a good motto.
  13. DEPENDENCY ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELEVISION: “The trouble is, you think you have time” (Jack Kornfield). Time management is important in order to be successful. Too much social media and TV time can be distracting and slow your progress toward achievement.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive. It is a snapshot, a perspective to think about if SUCCESS is your goal – what that means to you personally. What areas are there for you to focus on in order to be “successful”?

“The unexamined life is not worth living”  Socrates

Marijuana Use? Think Twice. “Marijuana Drops Blood Flow To The Brain”!

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Marijuana usage is a popular topic in our Country at the present time. Legalization and  medical use are controversial topics with emotional adherents on both sides of these issues. The purpose of this writing is not to support one side or the other but rather to report what I consider to be an important factor in the discussion.

Dr. Daniel Amen, well known and respected psychiatrist and foremost brain imager, has written about a significant factor related to marijuana use – blood flow. Dr. Amen reports on the issue citing a recent publication on the issue in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. This research stated that “there were noticeable deficiencies of blood flow” to the brain. The study “shows a scary and obvious difference in blood flow levels for those that used cannabis. … This lack of blood flow is in the right hippocampus, the area of the brain that helps with memory formation and learning. This part of the brain is severely affected by those that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Our research has proven that marijuana users have lower cerebral blood flow than non-users. … These structural changes to the hippocampus persist, even after six months of abstinence.”

Related, a recent study in JAMA Opthalmology, concluded that “regular cannabis use delays the processing of visual information at the very beginning in the retina.” Why would anyone regularly use a substance that may impair one’s vision?

For those interested in a pictorial representation of how a healthy brain looks versus a marijuana user’s brain, you can google “brain images of marijuana users.” There you will see the striking differences as well as other studies confirming that the use of marijuana affects brain structures.

As people age blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body diminishes. Personally I use various supplements to increase blood flow and energy in my system. I counsel those who desire to function at optimal levels to be wary of taking in any substance that decreases blood supply – especially to the brain!


20 Things Parents Should Never Do!

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Yes, here is more advice for parents. Are you a parent who takes parenting seriously and truly wants to learn as much as possible to be able to parent your child(ren) as positively and as successfully as human possible? If so, read on. There may be some perspectives offered that you had not thought of, or perhaps have slipped your mind.

This offering comes via Dr. Daniel Amen, psychiatrist, noted brain imager, and frequent presenter on PBS. I spent a day with him many years ago and came away impressed. He is all about understanding the brain and finding ways to wire it for maximal performance. His suggestions follow, along with my thoughts. This is the NEVER do list

  1. IGNORE THEIR BRAINS: The brain controls everything your child does. If the brain is troubled, particularly in the early learning years, the child will be troubled in later life.
  2. FORGET WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A CHILD/TEEN: Remember the challenges and struggles you had as a child. You then will have more empathy, understanding, and patience for your child.
  3. RARELY SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM: If you spend quality time with your child you will have a good relationship. Thus, s/he will emulate your behavior and learn the right way to grow up.
  4. BE A POOR LISTENER: Try to focus in and truly hear your child. S/he will feel valued and respected which helps build self esteem.
  5. CALL YOUR CHILDREN NAMES: If you do call your child negative names s/he will internalize them and live out that descriptor.
  6. BE OVERLY PERMISSIVE: Multiple studies have shown that children that did not have appropriate boundaries and guidelines, with consequences, grow up with more psychological problems.
  7. FAIL TO SUPERVISE THEM: You child’s frontal lobes do not develop fully until the early 20’s. Therefore your vigilance in knowing where they are and what they are doing is paramount.
  8. BE A LOUSY MODEL: If your life style motto is “do as I say, not as I do” you are setting yourself up for frustration. You want to model the behavior that you want your child to emulate.
  9. ONLY NOTICE WHAT THEY DO WRONG: Try to catch your child doing the “right” things. Positive reinforcement will continue to motivate them to do more of these behaviors.
  10. TELL YOUR CHILDREN THEY ARE SMART: Dr. Amen stresses to point out how hard they work. I agree with that but I don’t see the harm in telling children they are smart – if they are. If they are not, then don’t tell a lie!
  11. IGNORE THEIR MENTAL HEALTHY ISSUES: Dr. Amen states that it takes an average of 11 years from the time a child exhibits psychological symptoms til s/he gets evaluated. Don’t miss the signs!
  12. IGNORE YOUR OWN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES: Look in the mirror. Do you have psychological issues that should be addressed? You want to be the best parent possible, don’t you?
  13. GIVE INTO TANTRUMS OR OTHER BAD BEHAVIORS: If you do you will teach them what you will tolerate. They then will learn what misbehaving they need to do to get what they want.
  14. DIMINISH THE OTHER PARENT: Whether you live together with the other parent or not, do not trash the other. Your child loves each parent and gets distraught hearing either one being negatively talked about.
  15. NEVER GET TO KNOW THEIR FRIENDS: Especially during adolescence, the most influential people in your child life is not YOU, it is his/her peers. Know these friends and their families if possible because they are significantly forming your child.
  16. BE REACTIVE: Have a plan, goals that you set for parenting. Have expectations and consequences, and be consistent. Don’t just fly by the seat of your pants in reactive mode.
  17. DON’T UNDERSTAND NORMAL BEHAVIOR: By knowing what is normal at a given developmental stage you will better recognize when your child does something out of norm so that you can respond appropriately.
  18. TELL KIDS HOW TO THINK: You want to be a good coach, not a dictator. At the appropriate developmental stages you want your children to be curious as they mature into their unique selves.
  19. KEEP KIDS UP TOO LATE: Children need more sleep than most parents realize for optimal brain development and function. Enough sleep is a priority. The growth hormone actually works more effectively while your child is sleeping. Consist bedtimes help.
  20. FEED YOUR CHILD THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET (SAD): A human’s brain uses 20-30% of the calories that you consume. If you feel your child a fast food diet you will have a child with a fast food mind which is associated with ADHD, depression, and dementia later in life. Feel your child brain healthy food to foster optimal brain development and function.

Well, caring parents, do you have all that?  Parental reminders can help keep us on track to do the most important job in the world – raising healthy, safe, successful kids!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates.

Why Many Stay At Home Moms Get Depressed And Lose Self Esteem

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Being a Mother is challenging.  One of the many challenges is the decision to be a stay home Mom (SAHM) or go back to work, full or part time. Sometimes there is no decision to be made. The only choice is one or the other. This writing focuses on the stay at home Mom and why so often she becomes depressed and loses her self esteem. To be clear here, there are many Moms who thrive being a stay home Mom. They feel very fortunate to be able to stay home with their children and find many ways to remain happy and feel good about themselves. Our daughter, Brittany, is thriving in this SAHM role and is excited to begin home schooling her oldest who is closing in on six years old.

Quality research published by the American Psychological Association, citing various studies, found that working mothers reported better health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay at home moms. There are many variables involved in such studies, i.e. age, economic status, number of children, age of children, husband presence/support, etc… .

A University of Washington study by Katrina Leupp stated that stay at home moms showed signs of depression more than working moms. These stay at home moms shared these symptoms: withdrawal from people, work, pleasures and activities; spurts of restlessness; sighing, crying, moaning; difficultly getting out of bed; lower activity and energy levels; lack of motivation; weight gain or loss. Their thinking patterns were: inability to make decisions; lack of concentration or focus; self criticism, self blame, self-loathing; pessimism; preoccupation with problems and failures; thoughts of self harm and suicide; sleep deprivation.

Leupp further states that  “the root of the problem could be low self esteem … sometimes staying at home with children isn’t valued as much as other professions.”  Rosenquist, another researcher, echoed this belief by saying our “culture doesn’t value that particular activity. … It doesn’t feel important. It’s pretty boring, and it’s pretty demanding and the tasks are pretty repetitive. … The lack of adult interaction and feelings of isolation can lead to feeling unappreciated.” Rosenquist continues by saying that “when someone has a baby in our culture … they can lose status, income, friends, and the life they knew and were used to.”

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist and mother of two, talks about the importance of overcoming the social isolation that can lead to feeling sad and resentful. There is a need for adult interaction as “having conversations with children only over the course of the day can be isolating.”

Various suggestions are offered by the researchers. Some would include talking with your partner about your feelings and hopefully getting back valid appreciation for a job well done; having personal alone time;  join a gym/club/organization; forming friendships with other stay at home moms; play groups with others; finding an interest/hobby that you can enjoy while still taking care of the kids.



May this article help focus on the many challenges of being a mom, whether it be the stay at home or working mother. May she get the recognition and support needed to accomplish the goal that every Mom (and Dad) wants for their children – to be safe, healthy, feel loved, happy, and have the opportunity to grow into their full potential. They deserve that opportunity!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates