Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation

Join an internationally bestselling children's book author and her down-home husband and their dogs as they try to live a happy, better life by being happier, better people . You can use those skills in ...more

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July 05, 2022 00:26:15
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Marital Hate and Have Trevor Noah and Terry Real Figured Some S- Out?

Sometimes I think one of the toughest choices you can make publicly is to call out false binaries. That’s what comedian Trevor Noah recently did on his show where he was specifically talking about abortion saying that just going down to catchphrases like pro choice or pro life was reductive and took away conversation and nuance to views. And people got enraged on Twitter (both Republicans and Democrats). To be fair, people get enraged about a lot on Twitter and off Twitter now. But rage by itself? It’s just rage. If you want change, you have to go after action. Carrie had a post about this on her own Facebook where apparently her call to action over a political issue wasn’t what one of her local acquaintances wanted from me. So he turned his rage about politics into rage at me for not being rage-y enough. Yes, Carrie is still processing this, while Shaun just called him a f-stick and got over with it. This weekend, one of the many things that were trending in the world of Twitter conversation was the new book of an American family therapist, Terry Real, entitled, “Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship,” where he argues it is because we’ve created “a toxic culture of individualism.”  We have not read the book and honestly, the fact that he’s a celebrity therapist who counsels people like Bruce Springsteen, makes me want to not want to read it. Springsteen wrote the introduction. But all the book reviewers at all the big papers are. He has two big terms in the book THAT WE WANTED ...

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June 28, 2022 00:18:25
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Huck the Roof Dog and Defining Happiness Doggy Style

Every once in awhile, a dog climbs on the roof of a house and chills out, but if you're Huck the dog, you do this all the time. How often? So often that your owner has to put a sign on the door. Join us as we talk about Huck and also about defining happiness, doggy style. Have you ever come home and been like, “Dang, why is my dog so happy?” In general dogs are really pretty cool happy animals. And they are amazing because unlike some of us (cough) they don’t hide how they feel. It’s all just out there. According to Global Dog Breeds, the reasons dogs are so happy are these: They forgiveThey live in the presentThey are happy with what they have right there, right now.They embrace life.They know how to get cozy and comfy.They trust their owners.  Carrie’s taking a pretty cool course for free on EdX (sadly, this is not an ad) all about happiness and it’s taught by Arthur Brooks, a professor at Harvard. And all these things about why dogs are happy made her think about that class and some of the teachings from it. Brooks says, “It turns out that the way we think about happiness is informed by where we live. For example, in some cultures, happiness is defined by social harmony. In others, it's defined by personal achievement. So the way we answer the question are you happy depends, to an extent, on where we're from.” Brooks interviewed the Dalai Lama and his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso shared the following (the quote is taken directly), “I think very purpose of our daily life. For happy life, firstly, we need some sense of oneness ...

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June 21, 2022 00:13:07
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Topless Mom Saving Her Pet Goose and Smile Like You're Happy, Damn It

It actually works. Back in 1862 Duchenne De Boulogne noticed that certain muscles in our face engaged whenever we were joyous. It was an involuntary reaction of our cheek muscles, the zygomatic major, and the orbicularis oculi. That’s a muscle right in front of our temples and below our eye. And when those cheek muscles and that special little muscle engage? That’s when we smile. The weird thing is this is a human universal. It happens all over the world despite gender, sex, culture, race, etc. The weird thing is that if we make ourselves smile like this, with those muscles engaged, we actually usually start to feel happier. The process reverses. There’s a guy who teaches the Introduction the Art of Happiness at a Harvard X class, Arthur Brooks, who has an experiment where you take a pencil and hold it between your teeth and you keep it there for 45 seconds. Do it. Seriously. When you do this you flex those muscles in your cheeks and your heart rate starts to decrease and your stress in your body? It starts to release. What does that mean? It means that happiness is a shared condition of humans around the world. It means we can see happiness expressed in people’s bodies. And finally, most importantly, we can actually make ourselves feel happier just by doing that easy dorky experiment where we hold chopsticks or a pen between our teeth. How cool is that? Brooks believes that “happiness is something that grows in us when we give it away,” and also that “happiness doesn’t just happen to you, you can manage it.”   DOG TIP FOR LIFE Manage your happiness! Work for it! Wag your tail. Grab a stick. It's awesome. LINKS https://learning.edx.org/course/course-v1:HarvardX+happy+2T2021/block-v1:[email protected][email protected]/block-v1:[email protected][email protected] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2319446/ https://nypost.com/2022/05/19/topless-mom-in-her-undies-rescues-pet-goose-from-bald-eagle/ SHOUT ...

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June 15, 2022 00:16:55
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You are so biased so how do you stop it

There’s this guy named Sid who wrote about cognitive biases over on Medium. Sid got me thinking about all the ways we make decisions based on wrong assumptions or biases. He lays out ten, right? And I just wanted to talk about the first two this week and maybe make this a series. Why? Well, because as Sid says, “Being aware of our cognitive biases helps to recognize their power in shaping our thoughts, opinions, attitudes and the decisions we make. Let’s check out these effects by analyzing ten cognitive biases that shape our world today.” So, those first two are: The Availability Heuristic The Affect Heuristic. Let's start with the first one. The availability heuristic  According to the Decision Lab, the availability heuristic is a bias that “describes our tendency to use information that comes to mind quickly and easily when making decisions about the future.” It’s basically memorable moments that are made influence our decisions in ways that they shouldn’t. The decision lab has a great example. “Imagine you are considering either John or Jane, two employees at your company, for a promotion. Both have a steady employment record, though Jane has been the highest performer in her department during her tenure. However, in Jane’s first year, she unwittingly deleted a company project when her computer crashed. The vivid memory of having lost that project likely weighs more heavily on the decision to promote Jane than it should. This is due to the availability heuristic, which suggests that singular memorable moments have an outsized influence on decisions.” And this sucks because bad memories are easier to remember than good ones. And that means we aren’t making our decisions logically. This happens because our brains need shortcuts. ...

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May 24, 2022 00:14:09
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Take a Nap Like Alexander the Great and Fight Burnout

So, sometimes we burnout. We work and work and strive and strive and juggle multiple obligations and opportunities and we just stop being fully there because we’re so tired. Before I go on, let’s define burnout. I’m going to go with this definition because it's not a Medium or blogger guru, but from the National Institute of Health. “The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. Doctors and nurses, for example, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. Nowadays, the term is not only used for these helping professions, or for the dark side of self-sacrifice. It can affect anyone, from stressed-out career-driven people and celebrities to overworked employees and homemakers.” That NIH article also has some nice rundown of symptoms: "Exhaustion: People affected feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and don't have enough energy. Physical symptoms include things like pain and gastrointestinal (stomach or bowel) problems."Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work."Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and lack creativity." It’s a lot like depression, right? But it’s not the same. Typically, people with burnout don’t’ feel hopeless, suicidal or have low ...

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May 18, 2022 00:14:09
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Flirts, Take Charge of Your Biological Clock.

There’s this thing called a biological clock and it’s basically the timer of a bunch of things that your body does. It controls when you go to sleep, when you shoot out an egg, when your energy is high and when it crashes. People who work third shift or whose shifts change have biological clocks that get all scattered. This happens to people who travel big distances too, right? We call it jet lag. But even in a normal day we sometimes are more energetic and sometimes we are dragging and just want to find a couch and flop on it. That clock though? It controls a lot. It also controls how alert you are, when you’re hungry or more easily stressed. It can even impact your immunity and hormones and temperature. When you understand how it works? That’s when you can figure out how to optimize your life. According to JE Driskell and B Mullen who co-authored “The efficacy of naps as a fatigue countermeasure: a meta-analytic integration” for Hum Factors, our energy levels decrease a bit when early afternoon hits. So, if you want a nap? And you can take one? That’s the time to do it. Or, it’s an okay time to text your crush or sigfig if you know they aren’t super busy. Never text when you know someone is super busy. And if you can’t take a real nap, if you can change up your work for a bit or take a break? It can really help your energy levels and focus and mood for the rest of the day. Cool, right? That is the same time of day (noon to four) when concentration becomes a long ...

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