“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Henry David Thoreau
Jeff Conte, a psychology professor at San Diego State University ran a study in which he separated participants into Type A people (ambitious, competitive) and Type B (creative, reflective, explorative). He asked them to judge, without clocks, how long it took for one minute to elapse.
Reference: Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again.
*Dr Linda Sapadin, a psychologist and author of How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age
***Tim Urban, self-proclaimed late person and 2015 TED speaker.
Richard Boyatzis, PhD, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, does research how people and organizations (from teams to communities) can make the changes they want and how they can sustain those changes. He says:
“There is strong neurological evidence supporting the theory that engaging our parasympathetic systems — through regular physical or leisure activities — stokes compassion and creativity.”
The latest neuroscience shows students who took part in spaced learning, where lessons are broken up by activities such as juggling, improved their attainment.
“A study involving 2,000 pupils revealed that information is more easily learnt if it is delivered in intense 12-minute bursts and broken up by 10 minute periods of an unrelated activity. The project, called SMART Spaces, is based on the latest neuroscience, which shows that information is better absorbed and more easily recalled when it is repeated a number of times, but spaced out with distractions.”
Whoops . . . wrong “space”
“In Sheffield England technique as part of their revision lessons ahead of students’ GCSEs. Pupils had an intense 12 minute Power Point lesson in chemistry, then juggled for 10 minutes. After that they had 12 minutes of physics before another 10 minutes of juggling. The lesson was then finished with 12 minutes of biology. This was then repeated over two more days. Other schools broke up their lessons with plasticine model making and games of Simon Says. Mr Gittner said the study led to some significant gains in learning, and there are plans to implement a full-scale randomised controlled trial involving up to 50 schools.”
“The idea for the project came after Monkseaton High School in Newcastle made headlines in 2009 for teaching its pupils to pass a GCSE after just three days of learning. They were able to pass a sixth of a GCSE in just 60 minutes. Distractions boost results Mr Gittner said such approaches were not to counteract shrinking attention spans, adding that the techniques were backed up by the latest developments in neuroscience.”
“The study, by a team at University College London, comes after decades of research showing that both loneliness and infrequent contact with friends and family can, independently, shorten a person’s life. The scientists expected to find that the combination of these two risk factors would be especially dangerous.”
“We were thinking that people who were socially isolated but also felt lonely might be at particularly high risk,” says Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology at University College London.”
“To find out, the team studied 6,500 men and women ages 52 and older. All of them had answered a questionnaire back in 2004 or 2005 that assessed both their sense of loneliness and how much contact they had with friends and family. The researchers looked to see what happened to those people over the next seven or eight years.”
“And Steptoe says he was surprised by the result. “Both social isolation and loneliness appeared initially to be associated with a greater risk of dying,” he says. “But it was really the isolation which was more important.”‘
‘”At first, it looked like people who reported greater levels of loneliness were more likely to die, Steptoe says. But closer analysis showed that these people were also more likely to have other risk factors, like being poor and having existing health problems. Once those factors were taken into account, the extra risk associated with loneliness pretty much disappeared, Steptoe says.”‘
“It’s not clear why social isolation is linked to mortality. But one possibility is that having other people around has practical benefits as you get older, Steptoe says. For example, they may push you to go see a doctor if you are having symptoms like chest pain, he says. And if you were to lose consciousness, they would call for help.”
“Other researchers say they are surprised and not necessarily convinced by the new study, even though they say it’s large and well-done.”
*https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/01.cir.0000151424.02045.f7 (There are multiple explanations for this association, including the possibility that holiday-induced delays in seeking treatment play a role in producing the twin holiday spikes.)
Live for now. Think about it. Now is all that exists. If all the stuffing comes out of your plaything, find another one. When someone won’t scratch behind your ears offer them your back.
I never procrastinate or make excuses why it’s too late to go for a walk or put off dinner until my favorite program is over.
If you had to cram seven years into one year you wouldn’t procrastinate either. When you tell yourself “I want to go fetch BUT I have to check text messages text first” . remember to go at life head-first, not “BUT . . . first”.
There are so many smells and so many blessings outside the window . . . take it all in wherever you’re headed (pun intended). You humans focus too much on the destination and forget to enjoy the journey.
BEFORE MAKING JUDGMENTS based on what others look like take a few sniffs and watch their behavior.
I can tell after 5 sniffs whether someone is trustworthy. You might need more than 5 since you aren’t as perceptive as I am.
I don’t speak a human language (I write it but don’t speak it) I can’t give you a thumbs up but I can give you a paw. Only if I can’t get your attention with a nudge I use my bark. My tail never lies . . . and you shouldn’t either.
*If you’re a constant worrier, you’re not alone. 40 million American adults live with anxiety disorders.
“As life evolved, new abilities and new forms of life were not started anew, but grew out of what was there already. What existed just changed a bit, and those changes gave a new ability, a new advantage. Since new life was built on what already existed, the perfect solution to a new environment wasn’t always available, only what could easily develop from what already existed.”
“The research gives an insight into the “flaws that make us all different, sometimes with different expertise and different abilities, but also different predispositions in diseases,” said Prof David Cooper of Cardiff University, the other lead researcher of the study.”
“Not all human genomes have perfect sequences,” he added. “The human genome is packed with pervasive, architectural flaws.”
*The evidence comes from the 1,000 Genomes project, which is mapping normal human genetic differences, from tiny changes in DNA to major mutations.
Cheshire dog up a tree by Judy
Daniel Pink* (born in 1964 and he’s NOT a seenager) says our ability to think changes throughout the day, consequently we function better, smarter and even more creative at various times. Research suggests these effects can be as large as 20%.
Generally, we have a peak, a slowdown and a rebound during the day.
One in 5 people is a night owl, then the order is reversed–rebound, slowdown, peak.
When is best time to exercise? Depends on your goals-here is Pink’s guide:
Take short breaks-this helps keep you able to focus, especially when you move during the breaks. Taking a 5 minute walk every hour will increase your energy, focus and mood, lessening afternoon fatigue. It’s better than one 30 min. walk. Researchers at Stanford found motivation, concentration and creativity went up with short walking breaks.
(Frankly, I’m not sure about any of this. Peggy told me this is how we evolved – pick some food from a plant, walk a bit, pick more food . . . I tried this and gained 10 pounds which depressed me and now I’m going to bed to sleep at 3 pm when my slowdown starts.)
Pink says social breaks are the best as they increase mood and decrease stress. The best breaks may be ones in nature, people feel happier and more rested.
Wall Street Journal article Feb. 16, 2018,
*“How to be Healthier, Happier and More Productive: It’s All in the Timing” by Daniel H. Pink
I’m sure Peggy & Judy are introverts. (When I take them on walks they want to just walk and not stop and sniff anyone).
Did you know that having an introverted personality was once considered part of a mental disorder? (I think Peggy & Judy might be disordered, but not mentally.)
1. Introverts enjoy having time to themselves. P & J would rather spend time reading, gardening and blogging. They even like to go shopping alone. I give them as much quiet, alone time as possible because it’s important to their sense of well-being. (They recharge their batteries by being alone which is puzzling and, might I say, rather boring. I’m planning on taking them on walks more often so they learn to socialize.)
2. Introverts best thinking occurs when they’re alone. I’ve noticed they come up with creative solutions on their own and then they tell each other what they think. (Sometimes the solutions are weird . . . I think they think too much. I’m planning on taking them on more walks so they learn not to be so weird)
3. Introverts lead best when others are self-starters. They can be the best leaders of all if the group is ready to lead itself, then the introverted leader will draw the most potential out of them. (I’m planning on taking them on more walks to practice leading me so I can draw the most potential out of them.)
4. Introverts are content to let others take center stage. Extraverts, like me, are ready and eager to stand out in any social situation. It’s not that introverts know less than others; they just don’t feel a particular need to be in that limelight. (I’m not planning on doing anything about this since they tend to hog all the credit for my blogs)
5. Other people ask introverts their opinion. They are less likely to volunteer opinions or advice in less public settings. People high in introversion will keep their views to themselves and let the noisy extraverts take control. (I’m not planning on doing anything about this since they are already EXTREMELY opinionated. You’re welcome.)
6. Introverts do not engage with people who seem angry or upset. This is true. P & J will drag me on the other side of the street if they see a big dog coming. People high in introversion don’t want to look at someone who seems mad. this is because they are more sensitive to potentially negative evaluations. (I’m not planning on doing anything about this since I also enjoy peace, quiet and lots of loving attention)
7. Introverts receive more calls, texts, and emails than they make, unless there’s no choice. All other things being equal, people high in introversion don’t reach out voluntarily to their social circles. If they have a few minutes to spare, they won’t initiate a call just to pass the time by socializing. They don’t generate emails and other written correspondence but instead react to the communications they receive from others. If you have no choice but to initiate communications, such as when they invite people to a social event, they will be less likely to pick up the phone and make a call and more likely to send the request through cyberspace or the post office. (THIS IS REALLY TRUE about Judy. She hates to talk on the phone. When the phone rings she starts twitching. Peggy talks on the phone A LOT. I’m not planning on doing anything about this since I don’t care)
8. Being an introvert definitely has its advantages. You’re less likely to make a social gaffe, such as by inadvertently insulting someone whose opinion you don’t agree with. They enjoy reflecting on their own thoughts and are rarely likely to get bored when they’re alone than someone who needs constant social stimulation. (I’m planning on helping them learn how to pet and scratch me more. Stimulation is a good thing.)
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDE
Canine Dog Extrovert
We can’t control if we are loved. We can’t control what others think. What we all can control is the love we send out through our thoughts and actions. Metta is a name for using the energy you sent out, and it can change how you feel.
“Loving-kindness, or metta, as it in called in the Pali language, is unconditional, inclusive love, a love with wisdom. It has no conditions; it does not depend on whether one “deserves” it or not; it is not restricted to friends and family; it extends out from personal categories to include all living beings.”
Metta bhavana, or loving-kindness meditation, is a method of developing compassion. It comes from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practiced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. It is believed that besides our thoughts and behaviors our energy impacts everything – ourselves and others.
Here is how it works:
There are many ways besides words:
The energy you send is in your control and can help you to feel good about yourself and how you are in the world. Send good wishes to all.
As an adult I’ve had a few times when I felt in the flow. Looking back, each time met the 5 criteria described by Hans Hagemann and Friederike Fabricius in their book “The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance”
Hagemann emphasizes that the most important thing that underlies peak performance is psychological safety. If you are working in a climate of respect and appreciation, you can do your best.
In situations where you feel threatened, your stress response increases, which makes you physically stronger, but reduces your ability to think well.
When you try to inhibit negative emotions — anger, frustration, disappointment — your rational and emotional systems compete with each other.
In a “threat” state, “you get a rush of cortisol in your bloodstream – it’s that stress response making your muscles stronger, but and cutting off your cognitive thinking.
Hagemann refers to a “performance profile” as the amount of intellectual arousal needed to help an individual achieve peak performance. The amount of arousal needed to be at your peak are different for different people, and maybe for the same person at different ages. The amount of intellectual arousal makes a difference between men and women, old and young. Some people are “sensation seekers,” and need a lot of arousal to hit their peak. That means they are often running on testosterone (he calls it “a very male thing”) while others can hit their peak with fewer stresses placed on them.
“The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance” by Hans Hagemann and Friederike Fabricius
Most people don’t realize I’m an outdoor person at heart. I bike, hike, kayak and fish. I just returned from fly fishing with my cousin Kate in the Catskill Mountains in southeast New York. We had perfect weather and I was in my element with the tall green, green trees, flowers in bloom, blue, blue lakes and country roads winding through low hills and picturesque towns.
Judy asked me what life lessons I learned form fly fishing. I thought and thought but NOT while I was fly fishing. NO, never when, you are fly fishing which is the first lesson.
Fly Fishing: To catch fish, I must pay close attention to what I’m doing: Watch where to throw my line, watch if I’m getting a nibble. Fly fishing requires lots of concentrated attention, similar to meditation . . . and life.
Lesson #2. Be prepared. Have a plan for unwanted but foreseeable events. If you fall in the water make sure it’s shallow but learn how to swim before you take the plunge.
Fly Fishing: When wading in a moving river, it’s possible I could fall in. My wading stick helps me avoid that, but I still keep a whistle to call for help,and have learned what to do (like positioning my feet downstream).
If there’s room, I add things that are not essential but handy – extra flies, line, goo that help a fly float, gadgets to help flies sink, and indicators that help me know when a fish has taken my fly.
Fly Fishing: Most of the time I catch small fish but I’m ready for the biggest fish. I carry a BIG net because I can put a small fish in a big net, but can’t put a big fish in a small net. When I “land” my catch I look to make sure it’s a fish before cradling it back into the water to join his other fishy friends.
Fly Fishing: I dress for success. That means waterproof clothing and boots, so I can stand in a stream trying not to fall in. But nice accessories are important, such as a cute vest with all the flys, and my wading stick (form and fashion all in one).
Fly Fshing I practiced casting first and a lot (because I couldn’t practice landing a fish until I caught one). Practice means noticing where my fly lands (in the water is definitely desirable), and learning were it is likely there’s a fish waiting. Practice means reading the currents and . . . improving my aim
Fly Fishing: I keep what I value close by and tied down. Standing in a moving stream and dropping something I need (like my fishing rod) means it’s GONE. Finding a way to attach important stuff -like my “nippers” that are on a “zinger” (a retractible string with a pin on the end) is what makes a good fly fisher person . . . which brings me back to Lesson #6.
2. In another experiment, participants who were directed to spend a small amount of money on others (either $5 or $20) reported greater feelings of happiness than those who were directed to spend the same amounts on themselves. The dollar amount didn’t matter. (Doggie treats cost $5 or $20)
Even human beings around the world get emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others. Data from 136 countries found that prosocial spending was consistently associated with greater happiness. (Lara Aknin and colleagues, 2010).
“Humans are social creatures, who depend on the ability to foster teamwork with others to survive. To this end, the human brain has a built-in reward system that manages how we interact with others: the neurotransmitter oxytocin.”
In appreciation for your generosity,
Freddie Parker Westerfield, DCD
Deserving Canine Dog
A young woman went to her mother and complained about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first pot she placed a potato, in the second she placed an egg, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil. She didn’t say one word.
In twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished out the potato and placed it in a bowl. She pulled the egg out and placed it in a bowl. She ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked “Tell me what you see?” “A potato, an egg, and coffee,” the daughter answered.
Her mother asked her to feel the potato. She did and noted that it was soft. Her mother said to break the egg. She did and peeled off the shell and observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked her daughter to sip the coffee. She did and smiled as she tasted its rich aroma and flavor. The daughter asked “what does all this mean, Mom?”
Her mother explained that each object had faced the same adversity, boiling water. Each reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. After being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile with a thin outer shell that protected its liquid interior. After sitting in boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were different, they changed the water. “Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
When experiencing ‘adversity’:
Famous illusion done by Meowie
1. Perceptual reality is entirely generated by our brain. “We hear voices and meaning from air pressure waves. We see colors and objects, yet our brain only receives signals about reflected photons. The objects we perceive are a construct of the brain, which is why optical illusions can fool the brain.”
2. We see the world in narrow disjointed fragments. “We think we see the whole world, but we are looking through a narrow visual portal onto a small region of space. You have to move your eyes when you read because most of the page is blurry. We don’t see this, because as soon as we become curious about part of the world, our eyes move there to fill in the detail before we see it was missing. While our eyes are in motion, we should see a blank blur, but our brain edits this out.”
3. Body image is dynamic and flexible. “Our brain can be fooled into thinking a rubber arm or a virtual reality hand is actually a part of our body. In one syndrome, people believe one of their limbs does not belong to them. One man thought a cadaver limb had been sewn onto his body as a practical joke by doctors.”
4. “Our behavior is mostly automatic, even though we think we are controlling it. The fact that we can operate a vehicle at 60 mph on the highway while lost in thought shows just how much behavior the brain can take care of on its own. Addiction is possible because so much of what we do is already automatic, including directing our goals and desires. In utilization behavior, people might grab and start using a comb presented to them without having any idea why they are doing it. In impulsivity, people act even though they know they shouldn’t.”
5. Our brain can fool itself in really strange ways. “In Capgras syndrome, familiar people seem foreign (the opposite of deja vu). One elderly woman who lived alone befriended a woman who appeared to her whenever she looked in a mirror. She thought this other woman looked nothing like herself, except that they seemed to have similar style and tended to wear identical outfits. Another woman was being followed by a tormenter who appeared to her in mirrors but looked nothing like herself. She was fine otherwise.”
6. Neurons are really slow. “Our thinking feels fast and we are more intelligent than computers, and yet neurons signal only a few times per second and the brain’s beta wave cycles at 14-30 times per second. In comparison, computers cycle at 1 billion operations per second, and transistors switch over 10 billion times per second. How can neurons be so slow and yet we are so smart?”
7. Consciousness can be subdivided. “In split-brain patients, each side of the brain is individually conscious but mostly separate from the other. In post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), memories of a traumatic event can become a compartmentalized inaccessible island. In schizophrenia, patients hear voices that can seem separate from themselves and which criticize them or issue commands. In hypnosis, post-hypnotic suggestions can direct behavior without the individual’s conscious awareness“.
Areas of your brain don’t “light up” or suddenly become active in response to events in the world. “This is an incorrect view of brain activity that dates back to a 1952 study of a piece of a brain cell from a dead giant squid!”
“No human brain cell is ever dormant or switched off. Your whole brain is active all the time. Particular neurons may fire at faster and slower rates, but they’re always in a flurry of activity, dashing off thousands of predictions of what you might encounter next and preparing your body to deal with it. This constant storm of predictions, which scientists call intrinsic brain activity, ultimately produces everything you think, feel, or perceive.”
Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Psychiatry and Radiology. She received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for her research on emotion in the brain, and most recently the 2018 APS Mentor Award For Lifetime Achievement. “How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain” is her first book.
1) “Brain imaging research techniques such as PET scans (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie fallow. Indeed, although certain minor functions may use only a small part of the brain at one time, any sufficiently complex set of activities or thought patterns will indeed use many parts of the brain. Just as people don’t use all of their muscle groups at one time, they also don’t use all of their brain at once.”
2) “The myth presupposes an extreme localization of functions in the brain. If the “used” or “necessary” parts of the brain were scattered all around the organ, that would imply that much of the brain is in fact necessary. But the myth implies that the “used” part of the brain is a discrete area, and the “unused” part is like an appendix or tonsil, taking up space but essentially unnecessary. But if all those parts of the brain are unused, removal or damage to the “unused” part of the brain should be minor or unnoticed. Yet people who have suffered head trauma, a stroke, or other brain injury are frequently severely impaired. Have you ever heard a doctor say, “. . . But luckily when that bullet entered his skull, it only damaged the 90 percent of his brain he didn’t use”?”
“There’s a long history of likening the brain to whatever technology is the most advanced, impressive and vaguely mysterious. Descartes compared the brain to a hydraulic machine. Freud likened emotions to pressure building up in a steam engine. The brain later resembled a telephone switchboard and then an electrical circuit before evolving into a computer; lately it’s turning into a Web browser or the Internet. These metaphors linger in clichés: emotions put the brain “under pressure” and some behaviors are thought to be “hard-wired.”
March 12-18, 2018 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a nationwide effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research.
6 Tiny Habits That Will Make You Smarter, Confident, and More Productive
Attaining and keeping a level of high performance requires a commitment to these 6 tiny habits.