“15 Traits Of An Emotionally Mature Person”: Are You?

September 17th, 2017

Maturity, what is it? How defined? You’ve heard the expressions, “He’s so immature” or “he’s so mature for his age”. This writing seeks to characterize the emotionally mature person. I am guided by the fifteen traits listed by a blog entitled “Conscious Rethink”. I will embellish these descriptions with my own thoughts.

  1. SELF-AWARENESS: Essentially self awareness is about building up an understanding of your personality, its strengths and weakness, its potential and limitations, and every little nuance. This means you take the time and develop the means to raise your consciousness to a level to be able to do that. Another trusted person’s description of you may assist in developing this capacity.
  2. SELF CONTROL: Building on self awareness you are better positioned to exert more self control. You can better understand urges that build up in you and develop the restraint to behaviors that are self destructive or damaging to others.
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY: You take a proactive stance in your life. You develop goals and progress toward them, willing to be accountable for your commitment and actions.
  4. HUMILITY: You don’t have the need to put yourself above others. You are not arrogant or boastful. You respect others and treat everyone fairly.
  5. SELF ACCEPTANCE: You own who you are, with your strengths and weaknesses. You do not live in the past or blame the past for your shortcomings. You move forward challenging yourself to be the best person that you can be.
  6. GRATITUDE: You appreciate the good things that exist in your life. You are grateful to be in a position in your life that you can read this and, hopefully, appreciate the blessings in your life and the capacity to continue to create a wonderful life.
  7. COMPASSION: When you are grateful you usually also develop the capacity to empathize, have concern for others, and do what you can to help others.
  8. BEING OTHER-CENTERED: You recognize your inter-connectedness with others. You celebrate their successes and assist where possible with their failings.
  9. OPEN-MINDEDNESS: You no longer see things black or white, right or wrong. You are open to endless possibilities, ideas, beliefs, etc… beyond your own enculturation.
  10. A SENSE OF WONDER: You view the universe as an incredible thing as it evolves and see more and more of its wondrous complexity. As a devotee of Einstein, I offer this quote of his: “The most beautiful emotion we can express is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is inpenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.”
  11. OPTIMISM TINGED WITH REALISM: You understand good things don’t always happen but you maintain a positive mindset because you know that the alternative is defeatism and despair.
  12. FLEXIBILITY: You adapt to situations. You are not stubborn or rigid. You are capable of change when the situation or knowledge calls for such. You do not have “hardening of the categories”.
  13. RESILIENCE: Even when things are going badly, you do not give up. You are not overwhelmed. You persevere continuing to seek solutions for moving forward.
  14. PATIENCE: You do not over react to situations. You do not try to do things before the time is right.
  15. HONESTY: You are a person of integrity. You have no need to deceive. You seek and speak truth to the best of your ability. You can be trusted.

Personally, I am impressed with this list of fifteen and will review them periodically to assess to what degree I am an emotionally mature person. I invite you to do the same. Only good things can come out of such an effort!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

“10 Habits Of People In The Happiest Relationships” Are These Yours?

September 8th, 2017

Do you happen to remember the song “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life”?  It says to marry a wife (I won’t say what kind the lyrics suggest). People that are the happiest, and live the longest, are married people. A caveat to that would suggest those in a good marriage. Thus, they are “happy”. So if you want to be happy in your marriage you need to do certain things. You create consistent habits that make each other feel loved, trusted, and respected. Author, Kelsey Borresen, surveyed relationship experts asking them what such habits are that lead to “happy relationships”. I share them, along with my own embellishment, for your edification.

  1. THEY ALWAYS KISS THEIR SPOUSE HELLO AND GOODBYE: Yes, that is right. Consistent pecking, smooching, lustful kissing (depending on timing, intent, etc… ) allow for a connection each day – even if briefly. (Try to kiss your spouse when you are angry and disconnected. Good luck with that!
  2. THEY ARE GENEROUS WITH COMPLIMENTS: Everyone needs compliments, especially from their partner. Pay attention and notice something superficial or profound on a consistent basis and offer the positive compliment.
  3. THEY DISAGREE AT TIME, BUT THEY FIGHT FAIR: It is normal to disagree but how you do it is the key. You need to respect the difference of opinion and work to find common ground using good communication and conflict resolution skills. Do not talk over each other, swear, call names, etc… .
  4. THEY FOCUS ON THE THINGS THEY LIKE ABOUT THEIR PARTNER, RATHER THAN THE THINGS THEY DON’T: Nobody is perfect. You aren’t. Your spouse isn’t. If you have bought into a relationship help make it grow by focusing on the good qualities of your partner. By doing this positive thing you will create a deeper bond and, perhaps help the other shed some of the things that you struggle to accept in the other. Good helps cancel out bad.
  5. THEY ENGAGE IN A LITTLE PDA: Overt affection, within the boundaries of good taste, especially in public, is endearing and connecting. Loving touch is a basic human need. Timing and style are important here.
  6. THEY DON’T EXPECT THEIR PARTNER TO READ THEIR MIND; THEY ASK FOR WHAT THEY NEED: Partners are encouraged to know their needs and express them. Also, a loving partner asks the other what his or her needs are – listens well, and does his or her best to see that such a reasonable need is met.
  7. THEY SET ASIDE TIME TO RECONNECT AND MAKE IT A PRIORITY: Happy couples are able to make the relationship a priority. Good time management of this priority is important because there usually are other important, or perhaps unimportant, factors calling for attention.
  8. THEY LAUGH TOGETHER – OFTEN: Laughter is a very important component of couple connection. Find a way to have it infiltrate your relationship.
  9. THEY DISCUSS THEIR FINANCES: Touchy subject often. Spending and saving styles don’t always match up with couples. It is one of the top three factors causing divorces. Regular discussion about income, expenditures, saving for retirement, etc… carried out by respectful communication leads to a financial team going forward united.
  10. THEY GIVE EACH OTHER THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT: This is a biggee. Try to assume that your partner is doing the best s/he can day by day. Some days are better than others. Focus on the positive. If you reach a frustration point about something communicate it in a non critical non accusatory manner.

Well, are you, Respected Reader, a partner in a “happy couple” relationship? Rate each of the above within a range of 1-10, with ten being the highest. Need improvement? Share this with your partner and get his or her perspective. No, you won’t?  Why not? Is that saying something?

“If you want to be happy for the rest of your life”!!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

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

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”!

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!

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.