Are you one of those people that gets out of bed and hits the Facebook app on your phone to see who is posting pictures of the sunset or their breakfast tacos? I will admit; I have been victim of the glorious sunset, that greats us only once every day, picture Instagramming. But, I will be even more honest and say that the picture is only a representation of that gloriousness that I experienced in person, not near as amazing. What this does is begs us to reevaluate where we value our attention, especially online.
When you look, there is literally millions of websites, ebooks, videos and online workshops that we can take that will “better our lives” or influence us in some way. As this is an amazing feat that we have achieved as a species, we have not yet developed a method, or criterion, by which we gauge where we devote our time to amongst all these vast resources. That is a necessity in order to get the most out of the internet and, more importantly, out of our day.
The websites we need to look at fall within three main categories only. They are: 1. Major local, national and worldwide news stories from independent sources. 2. Success/Growth oriented material from top experts. 3. Current information released by top experts in your field.
Regarding websites, this is actually the NEEDS versus the WANTS when it comes to online browsing.
2. SOCIAL NETWORKS
Social networking can work to your advantage if you keep in mind that social networking is very different than physical networking. You should take time to not brows the feeds and instead invest in reaching out to business partners, friends and family members. Take the time that you would normally spend investing your time in the agendas of others and invest in writing some thoughtful notes to people you want to stay in touch with.
This is the best part — at least for me. You can quite literally learn just about anything you want to learn, either for free or for a reasonable fee. This is where I might get a little distracted, as I love to learn about everything and understand how it’s all connected. But these educational resources should only fall under one category; does what I’m learning help me in a way that I can make life better for myself and others? This is the purpose of education, no? For instance, most people would not need to buy a course on fundamental astrophysics just out of pure interest. Other things that fall under less complicated categories can catch our attention in which we want to be careful up. Ask the above question before you dive into any new course undertaking.
Videos are another source of education, or at least should be. This is where the time goes when it comes to internet use. We get caught in the black hole that is the Youtube recommend section. Youtube has this amazing feature that consistently feeds you videos that directly relates to what you’ve watched in the past, enabling you to slip into this multi-10minute cycle spiraling vortex of lost time. Let’s become aware of this. The above question regarding education should apply here as well. Ask whether what you are watching is contributing a positive influence on your life. *Note: Our subconscious mind reacts and is influenced most by images. This makes videos, by far, one of the most important recourses to both take in and be careful of when navigating the inter web.
“Live your inspiration, deliberately!”
“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
In a recent FloraTV pannel discussion, Esther Sternberg, M.D. disscussed the connection bewteen mind and body and emotional health. During her talk, Sternberg mentions directly that stress does not “create” sickness but enhances it, asserting that the flue bug is not created when we are in a stressful state. However, when we are stressed the reprocussions and developments of the illness are enhanced. Sternberg went on to state that stress has been link to pre-mature ageing(cell breakdown), perpatuation of cancerous cells and an array of other postcursurs once an illness has started in the human organism.
A, free, solution we should consider is music. In a study conducted by the Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan randomly assigned 116 pregnant women to a music group and 120 to a control group.
“The music group showed significant reductions in stress, anxiety and depression after just two weeks, using three established measurement scales” says Professor Chung-Hey Chen, who is now based at the National Cheng Kung University.
“In comparison, the control group showed a much smaller reduction in stress, while their anxiety and depression scores showed little or no improvement.
“Women in the music group also expressed preferences for the type of music they listened to, with lullabies, nature and crystal sounds proving more popular than classical music.”
The results showed that:
Although the results of this study were conducted on woman that were pregnant, the results still hold merit as to the power of music to soothe and calm during stress. This actually solidifies the argument – pregnancy is perhaps one of the most stressful events the human body can encounter. Physical, psychological, hormonal and biochemical changes occur during pregnancy at a rapid rate. This causes a whirlwind of swift changes that result in stress in the aforementioned areas. Music can offer us a way to escape our current situation, allowing for there to be break in the stress and an easing of reality.
Shout if from the rooftops; MUSIC ENHANCES LIFE… Wait, is this something new? It seems that there a constant struggle for music validation amongst the mainstream lifestyle. Interestingly, there is a current societal stigma that seems to suggest that music is something that should be learned “if you have time”. Three decades ago we resolved to incorporate music as part of family, community and neighborly involvement. At the early part of the 1990’s, with the technology boom, our focus seemed to shift to playing with the technology. Conclusively, it seems that are focus has completely enlisted in the perceived of other endeavors, leaving music to be an “extracurricular” activity.
In a comparative survey of nearly one thousand pupils across ten schools in Finland, Päivi-Sisko Eerola and Tuomas Eerola, doctoral students at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, measured and compared the quality of school life for students with and without extended music classes at Year 3 and Year 6 (ages 9 and 12 years old).
Their research uncovered significant differences between the two groups, with those who experienced longer music lessons rating the quality of school life higher in a majority of factors, particularly in areas related to general satisfaction about the school and a sense of achievement and opportunity for students.
There is a common misconception that there are “hidden” steps that top corporations know that grow a business to it’s full potential. This misconception is rooted in the individual’s misguided focus on outside resource for the eventuality of business growth. Growth of a business comes from growth of a person. This is the real secret to business growth. The personal growth stimulates new neural pathways that allows you to access fresh avenues of idea making. This is a semeiotic-depended relationship in where when one side grows the other side is required to grow as well. We need to stretch in order for our businesses to stretch. Even better, there are always opportunities to grow each side of the equation.
Self Check-Up: If you are finding a plateau on either side, work on growing the opposite side from the side that seems to be stagnant. Amazing results await.
Children are subject to an increasing amount of stress due to rising academic demands, household issues and participation in multiple after school activities. Therefore, children tend to relieve the stress by divulging in video games and television programs that suspend their thinking, offering an escape from their current reality. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with the easing of stressors to aid in the restoration of mental faculties. However, this has been taken to an entirely new level with the installation of massive video game systems in the rooms of children as young as 5 years old. Due to the exclusion, children are beginning to develop disorders that are causing physical, psychological and emotional distress – often long term. In one story reported early last year, a child(age 7)urinated himself after playing twelve straight hours of video games, later being diagnosed with dehydration and malnutrition due to the extended period of time spent in front of the television without moving. A question here to pose is how this human behavior is affecting the world that is supplying the energy to keep those television images animated? Here are the findings by Richard Louv:
Nature deficit disorder refers to a hypothesis by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors  resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. This disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders, such as the ICD-10 or the DSM-IV, neither is it part of the DSM-5. Evidence was compiled and reviewed in 2009. 
Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon include parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of the screen. Recent research has drawn a further contrast between the declining number of National Park visits in the United States and increasing consumption of electronic media by children.
Richard Louv spent ten years traveling around the USA reporting and speaking to parents and children, in both rural and urban areas, about their experiences in nature. He argues that sensationalist media coverage and paranoid parents have literally “scared children straight out of the woods and fields”, while promoting a litigious culture of fear that favors “safe” regimented sports over imaginative play.
In recognising these trends, some people argue that humans have an instinctive liking for nature—the biophilia hypothesis—and take steps to spend more time outdoors, for example in outdoor education, or by sending young children to forest kindergartens or forest schools. It is perhaps a coincidence that slow parenting advocates sending children into natural environments rather than keeping them indoors, as part of a hands-off approach.
Nature is not only to be found in National Parks. The chapter “Eden in a Vacant Lot” by Robert M. Pyle (page 305) emphasises the opportunity for exploration and fascination in small untended wildernesses, and rejoices in the 30,000 vacant lots in Detroit, arising due to downtown decay.
The diagnosis has been criticized as a misdiagnosis that obscures and mistreats the problem of how and why children do not spend enough time outdoors and in nature.
The New York Times reported that the average young American now spends practically every minute — except for the time in school – using a smartphone, computer, television or electronic device,” Tamar Lewin reported in 2010, from a Kaiser Family Foundation study. This means that the time not spent outside is not just damaging the children, but also the environment. Without adequate understanding and respect for their natural environment, all components of the natural environment suffer. Due to the large amounts of time spend inside visually “hooked-up” to technology, there is a lack for understanding to what extent their actions have on the environment.
Take action today. Take a child outside to enjoy what nature freely offers to us in the form of organic entertainment. Nature isn’t as flashy as the the modern entertainment of today. However, if you close you will witness something spectacular. You will afford them health, wealth and long-lasting happiness. Arguably, something far more spectacular.
The importance of working out, even in a formal gym, is celebrated as an amazing investment one can participate in in order to condition the body and the mind. The mind is really what I’m concerned about in this particular post. Through physically challenging activities we experience many changes, bodily alterations is what we typically look for. However, as we progress we find that the real changes and challenges stem from our internal thoughts – our mind.
We deeply associate with our body, on every level. When the body becomes injured we say, “I am hurt”. Because we associate so deeply, sometimes it takes great pain or discomfort to have a shift in mental capacity. Even though this is completely possible, and inevitable, there is one final step in order to have a shift in mind set through physical excursion, that is; acceptance. We must accept the pain and therefore become fluid in the face of massive discomfort. This allows for massive alteration in the way we think. We are empowered with a release thereafter this pain is accepted and surpassed. Our mind toughens, focuses and clears. These are the rewards we receive for acknowledging one of the most basic components of human existence – pain. To think, we get rewarded for a simple recognition. Just think.
We are lucky. As humans of this marvelous universe, we are endowed with the pleasures and pains that come coupled with the changing seasons. In every season there is both struggle and growth, depending on our approach to the situations presented to us during that particular season. With each season comes an element of change. Change, something that we resist on a constant basis, is something that is inevitable due to the law of impermanence. This law simply states that everything is impermanent and is subject to denigration and alteration. Because we are constantly resisting change, when change inevitably happens, we are subject to direct pain as a result. This is what creates struggle; psychological, physical and emotional. This impacts every area of our lives. Our relationships are strained, we tend to only focus on the negative and we act irrationally.
In this same we react to economic change. This is because we tend to not know what season we are in to begin with. This single identifying factor can completely change the game for us. As business owners and thinkers, we want to think that we are where we need to be because our ideas are amazing. The truth is, we don’t know where we are unless we honesty look. Then, we can make sound decisions based on what we find. What we find may not be what we want to see, that is why we don’t look in the first place. If we are in an economic drought, then we need to look at ways to pump water back into our lakes and ponds. This will require us to grow and learn, applying new skills that we may have not needed before this recognition of season. That value in the evaluation is immense. By embracing the change, you open yourself to an array of opportunities that you wouldn’t have seen before your acknowledgement of what season you are in.
“Flashbacks” seem to be something floating around the social media sites recently. Well, this week we were excited to find out about a very unique flashback happing with something that everyone uses on a, sometimes, daily basis. The top search engine in the world, Google, celebrates it’s 15th birthday. And as one might expect at 15 years old, Google has gone through many physical changes.
As a gift to it’s users, Google has given us the ability to see it as it was at it’s conception in 1998. You’ll see more than physical changes, though. You’ll also see the actual search results for the term “Google” as they would have appeared in 1998. You see, 15 years ago that word would have only yielded 234,000 results; today, “Googling Google” will return over 9,450,000,000 results.
Click on this screen-shot of the infant Google to use it as it was in 1998.
Google is a great tool with the best technological algorithms at it’s disposal. Therefore, it is not surprise that the changes that have been made over the last 15 years have been drastic, both physically and internally.
There are many fun, hidden, components available to users that aren’t regularly publicized that enable the user to have some fun with the search engine. Have fun with these links and enjoy the now 15 year old Google!
(This fun Google trick simply displays a mirror image of everything you might see when doing a search on Google.)
We are all concerned of the state of music education in the United States, regardless of the countless studies supporting the benefits of music instruction for children. It seems, though, that in the last few years there has been in upward trend of new music programs silently popping up all over North America. This is great news – especially for the children affected. In light of this, a wonderful story out of Snohomish, WA surfaced today regarding music lessons resuming for children there.
Gale Fiege of HeraldNET of Everrett, Wa reported that violin lessons are now part of Snohomish First Presbyterian’s Kaleidoscope Academy. The church has five instructors who offer 102 different class times in 19 different musical instruments and voice lessons for children and adults, Lewis said. Church doctrine is not part of the instruction.
Ann Lewis, Paster at First Presbyterian said, “We have a love of the arts,” “We have had a dream to use our resources to offer community classes, which may later include courses such as personal finance, cooking and parenting. We decided to start with music.”
Lewis went on to say that they have had an enthusiastic response, stating “we even have students on waiting lists for violin classes.” Continuing,”It seems as though this is God’s timing. We are thankful that the church is reflecting God’s love and that we have been able to organize this.”
The time is now to take action in your local community to impact the children that live in it. They will cherish the memories that are made through music instruction, and the interaction they receive by participating in music with their peers. As we can see in this story it takes very little to get something special up and running. In Snohomish they understood the immense value music lessons brought to the children of their community – they acted. We must all have this same strife, that we may too positively impact a the lives of children in our community.
Rosalie Plante, 7, a second-grader at Little Cedars Elementary School, wore a big grin as she left school following her first violin lesson Wednesday.
“It was really fun and exciting,” Rosalie said. “The teacher is nice and I like my new violin.”
Did you know that according to the Nielsen report the average American watches 34 hours of television a week? When divided out, thats 4.8 hours of television per day. Now, take into consideration kids over the summer — you guessed it, the numbers escalate quiet a substantially.
When you take a look at how society has changed over the past decade, you might contribute those changes to the people that change within it. However, these changes are largely due to the change in the media’s influence. Things have escalated to an unhealthy degree. We are over stimulated, over used, and thrown out at the end of the day just to sit down to watch something that separates the family and promotes the diminishing of values. We are human, and there are values that come with being human. One, very important value is to be kind to one another, something that seems to be made into a joke in the mainstream media. We are seeing the rate of bullying increasing, along with the divorce rate above 30%(CDC). When individuals are spending almost 5 hours of their valuable time in front of a very influential television set – daily, you may not be a sceptic as to if we are being influenced, sometimes hypnotized, by the media.
According to Prof. Mary Lopez(Occidental College, California) reality television is thought to be responsible for the increase in crime rates for those who participate in the reality programming via television viewing. Laguna Beach has seen a significant increase in the number of sexual predators in addition to changes in illegal behavior from local teens since the debut of the MTV reality show, Laguna Beach. Furthermore, many reality television stars have experienced robberies since allowing the public to enter their homes through reality shows via television and only subscription services like Netflixs and Hulu.
Everyone says how video games are violent and that they make those who choose to play them more likely to be violent in their everyday lives and in their adults lives consequently. Now, the research has shown that the same outcomes are prevalent after watching reality television. Researchers argue that watching violent acts that are unscripted can cause viewers to imitate the acts in their every day lives. ”Aggression portrayed realistically is more likely to be imitated than non-realistic aggression” (Nelson). There are three types of aggression- physical, verbal and relational- and this article touches on all of them and their role in reality television programs explored in a study in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.
We live in fast times where there are so many sources available to choose from in where our psychology has a hard time differentiating from what is healthy and what is detrimental. The chief matter is our mental and emotional wellbeing. When these two things are in order the rest of our life may seem to be more organized and we are more rational, logical and productive. Things of this nature need to be protected and cultivated — mass media is not doing this, it’s become a hindrance.
When a mind can be made to believe anything or persuaded to act via media influence, the people within the society need to take charge and speak their voice for they know is right and wholesome. Unfortunately, it seems that many want things to change but few seem to act in accordance to those wishes. Ultimately the importance of having a critical mind cannot be emphasized enough here. Implying the question: How many people must be hurt before change is demanded?