Quotes for the Week: June 21, 2015

“I must do something” always solves more problems than “something must be done.” (Author Unknown)

 

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses. (George Washington Carver)

 

Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility. (Albert Einstein)

Multitasking: Bad for the Brain and More

Who doesn’t multitask nowadays? At work, we’re often forced to do so, because of company cutbacks that leaves increased workloads for fewer employees. In our “leisure” time, we’re on our laptops or Smartphones, simultaneously checking emails, our friends’ Facebook statuses, and tweeting our latest whereabouts. In the car, we do a variety of things along with driving: talking on the phone or texting, eating, putting on make-up, checking ourselves out in the rear view mirror or taking a selfie. We do everything in the car, it seems, except actually paying attention to the road.

 

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So what’s the problem with multitasking?

  • It’s not productive. Seriously. It’s not.
  • It creates a lack of focus, which may interfere with problem solving and creativity (Skerrett) Experts point out that people are not meant to be so scattered – we become less efficient at what we’re trying to accomplish. (Rosen)
  • It’s bad for our brains. In fact, Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, author of Make Your Brain Smarter, goes as far as to say it’s toxic for our brains. Multitasking drains our brain’s energy and “dumbs it down.” Chapman has done the studies: they’ve shown that multitaskers make more errors and suffer from higher stress levels. Another researcher, psychologist David Meyer from the University of Michigan says that it contributes to short-term memory loss.

 

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  • It’s stressful. Long-term stress can cause health issues.
  • It lowers our IQ. Read more about the study that led to that conclusion here: Infomania Worse than Marijuana
  • Multitasking is bad for our social wellness. We have less empathy and compassion for others when we’re multitasking. Is there research to prove that statement? Nope. Just my opinion. Because when we’re talking on the phone while we’re with our kids on the playground, we’re ignoring them. When we’re on a date and both of us are talking or texting on our personal cell phones, we’re not connecting. When we’re walking through a store checking our Facebook wall, taking a selfie, or tweeting, we may not see someone who needs our help.

Many of us multitask to keep up with the new technologies that pop up every second nowadays. We want to stay on top of everything. But in reality, we’re missing what really counts. Giving our undivided attention to a task, thereby accomplishing it well. Giving our undivided attention to a friend or loved one, thereby letting them know we value them.

Sources

Chapman, Sandra, PhD. Make Your Brain Smarter, PhD Free Press New York: NY 2013. Print.

Rosen, Christine. The Myth of Multitasking. The New Atlantis. Number 20. Spring 2008. pp. 105-110.

Skerrett, Patrick, Executive Editor. Harvard Health Blog. Multitasking – a Medical and Mental Hazard. January 7, 2012.

 

 

 

 

What Pessimism Can Teach Us About Life

We always hear about the two kinds of people in the world:  Optimists and pessimists.  Someone will ask you: “Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person?”  And given your philosophy about life, you choose an answer.

Well, there’s a third answer:  “Neither, I’m a reality-based person.”  Believe it or not, this isn’t a bad way to live.

There are pessimists I know at work who walk the fine line between pessimism and “victomology:”

“Life is terrible, woe is me . . .” “Why is life treating me so bad?”

They’re the ones who say, “Gosh, I can’t figure out why my pants are so tight,” while they’re eating a super-sized burger (or two).

Then there are those annoying, ever-sunny optimists: “Oh, I’m so chipper,  “The sun will come up tomorrooowww.” “Life is perfect!”

Then there’s the:  Active pessimist.  This kind of pessmist knows that yes, life can suck sometimes.  Lousy things happen that can drag you down so far, you think you’ll never be able to get back up.

So you got a problem with a pothole?  Your taxes are going up a few bucks?  Your water bill is too high and it’s not your fault because you NEVER use water?  Your mailman walked across your lawn?  You’re fat and it’s the fast food industry’s fault?

Cry me a river, will ya? 

Here are some active pessimism options to your “dilemmas:”

Call the city or county before you hit the stupid pothole and let them know it’s there. Don’t like what politicians are doing? Become an activist.  Write a letter to your governor, your senator, your congressman.

Give some thought to those people who have no money to pay taxes with. Give a donation to the local food pantry, while you’re at it.

Realize that your household water consumption and plumbing is up to you, the homeowner.

Ask the mailman, nicely, not to walk across your lawn – or better yet, give him a break – he’s been doing a lot of walking that day!

Get off your butt and exercise.

Life isn’t fair.

Just suck it up, get over it, and move on!

Like the Paralympians do.

Like war veterans with disabilities do.

Like people who’ve survived cancer do.

Like parents whose kids are murdered needlessly do.

Like the kids who survive abusive childhoods and grow up to be successful adults do.

Do you think the people who suffered with those tragedies and setbacks didn’t want to just give up?  Do you think they wake up in the morning, singing with joy?  No, damnit:  For them it’s a struggle, every day, to choose to not only survive, but to thrive.  Despite the odds that they face, every single day, they go for it!  To put it more nicely:  You can’t choose the consquences life throws at you, but you can choose how to face those consequences.

Yes, passive pessimists can teach us a lot about life – they teach us how NOT to live.  Those sunny optimists teach us that too much happy, happy thinking is overrated

And the active pessimists, well, they’re the ones doing the living.  Taking action to make things better, for themselves and others.  Others are in awe of them, for their strength.  Well guess what, you have the strength also; you just have to reach inside yourself and find it.

Each of us has only one life, baby.  Make the best of it.

 What do you think?  Am I off my rocker or right on? 

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Help Kids Today!

Yikes! Back-to-school time is just around the corner! Want to help out the kids at your local school? Check out Create the Good “Equipped to learn” program.

Want to help out a needy family feed their kids so they’re ready to face those daily school tasks and challenges? You can Help Feed America!

Do you know a family who needs the help of a local food bank? Help them find one here.

Want to help a kid reach their potential in life?

Become a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Our country is still facing a crisis – poor and middle class families are suffering on a daily basis.  We can let this recession overwhelm us.  Or we can each take a small step to making a difference.  All it takes is that first step.  Kids need a future. Our country needs a future. Let’s help them get it. 

Do you have any other ideas about how to help kids and families? I’d love to hear about them.

The Academy of Achievement – Get Inspired!

Mount Everest from Kalapatthar.Image via Wikipedia

Do you want to be inspired to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others?  Do you want your children or grandchildren to find a mentor?

The Academy of Achievement is an amazing site for lifelong learners of all ages. Here, you can learn about people who took those steps needed to change the world in some awesome ways.

Many of these people beat great odds in their lives to become successful political leaders, business people, writers, athletes, entertainers, songwriters, movie directors, scientists, religious leaders . . .

Some grew up in poverty; others fought against racism and discrimination. Still others faced religious persecution, illnesses, disabilities.

This site includes profiles, biographies, and interviews of achievers and visionaries such as:

The Keys to Success section links to famous people who talk about the 7 factors leading to success in life.

The people inducted into the Academy of Achievement reached great heights. They changed their own lives, and the lives of others on our planet, for the better. Many of us have it in ourselves to do the same. We can reach for the stars by taking that first step, thinking outside the box, and breaking away from our fears to accomplish great things.

After all, if not in this lifetime, when?

Quote for the Day:

There is one elementary truth –

The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that never otherwise would have occurred.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. (Goethe)

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Take Responsibility and Change Your Life!

Bea’s Pet Peeve:

Is it just me, or have we become a nation of whiners? Am I crazy, or is the U.S.A. filled with people who feel “entitled” to special treatment? People who don’t want to do the right thing, and always have an excuse for not doing the right thing?

Kwame Kilpatrick, thief extraordinaire (er, former Mayor) of the Motor City, won’t accept responsibility for paying back the Detroit taxpayers for his antics. (“I don’t have any money . . . my wife controls everything and won’t give me a dime!” *sob*. Gee, I wonder why?)

John Edwards lied during his PRESIDENTIAL campaign and wouldn’t ‘fess up to his  “love child”  until just before his former aide’s “tell all” memoir hit the bookstores (Well, gosh, I wonder why he finally admitted the truth?)

Spill drive-thru coffee on yourself?  Just sue McDonald’s; they should have warned you that the coffee was HOT.

Well, yes, your Honor, he did beat his child – but he was abused as a child, that’s his defense.
(Ever heard of therapy, idiot??)

Well, it’s not my fault that I quit school and never went back; my dad always told me how stupid I was.

He cut me off; I had to shoot him.  I guess I forgot my kids were in the car, watching me kill the guy.

Need I go on?

Bea wants people to quit whining and take responsibility for their lives.

So many of us hold onto past resentments, hurt, and anger, and then use that past as an excuse to avoid personal responsibility.

We cry about how bad our childhoods were, and that gives us a reason not to be successful as adults.

We cheat our children by not stepping up to the plate and teaching them how to be responsible people.

All U.S. citizens (and that includes our elected officials) should be required to take a “Take Responsibility for your own Actions” course before we turn 18 years old.
7 Ways to Lose the Victim Role:

  • If you do something wrong, at work or at home:  Apologize! Make things right.
  • Don’t blame someone or something else for a mistake you made.
  • Free yourself of the resentment and anger you hold toward your parents, your siblings, your teachers, your employer.
  • Don’t pass your issues onto your own kids. Learn from the past, let it go, and break the cycle so your kids don’t grow up to be whiners.
  • Remember: you always have a choice. Quit complaining and do something about a situation that makes you unhappy, angry, resentful, guilty, or sad.
  • Do the right thing. Choose to be ethical. Take the high road.
  • Be grateful. Take a minute to compare your life to someone else’s – you may be surprised by how great your life is!

Grow up.

Empower yourself.

Take charge of your life.

It’s the only one you’ve got. It’s up to you to make the most of it.

These people are entitled.

Henrik Edberg talks about the “benefits of a victim mentality,” and how to break out of the victim role here.

Got anything to add to my list? Heard about any goofy lawsuits lately? Agree with me? Disagree?

I welcome comments.

Doing Good Deeds – Good for your Wellness!

Bea Boomer has declared February 14 – 20 as (drum roll, please) Doing Good Deeds Week. Why? Because it’s fun to do good things. It makes old Bea happy, and we all want Bea to be happy, don’t we?? (Yea, I should have posted this on Valentine’s Day – better late than never, I always say)

How to change the world, one click at a time:
 

  • At the Good Search site, you search the web, and the site donates a penny for each search to a non-profit organization of your choice. (For example, I did a search for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, one of my favorite charities, because it helps people in my own backyard)
  • This is a cool one, if you want to improve your vocabulary. Every time you choose the correct definition of a word, this website donates 10 grains of rice to countries where people are suffering from hunger, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Cambodia, just to name a few.
  • Love dogs? If you answer a daily trivia question, the site will donate food to dogs in shelters. (You don’t even have to answer the question correctly!)
  • Love cats? Same as above; cats in shelters will be fed!
  • Just click to give free mammograms at the Breast Cancer site (save the Ta Ta’s for goodness sake!)
  • Very cool site – one stop for a variety of free to donate charities.

Being compassionate and kind to others can increase your own happiness.

Bea Boomer’s Quotes of the Day:

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. (Mother Teresa)

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. (Dalai Lama)

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. (George Washington Carver)

And just because I like the 25-year old version of “We Are The World:” (sing it, people!)