Saturday, July 24, 2021

Health & Weight


My old body and weight are gone. I am now a new person who is grand as I am and in need of change. I need to lose more weight to be in the best health, prevent future disease, improve and eliminate my sleep apnea, and get my liver healthy by removing fatty liver cells. 

I am beautiful no matter what weight and body shape I am. 

I have to improve from where I am now due to future health concerns. I will further my health to live my best independent, happy, sick-free, & best feeling life until very old age. 

I must do the hard work now while it's easier as it will get harder to do so as I age. I am at my peak age to do the most good to prevent anything I can from intruding on my life in the future. 

Weight is not a judgment or something to feel bad about. It is an indicator I need to still do more work to be healthy long term. While I may be healthy now by common blood test measurements of health, the additional weight could lead to problems down the road. It is THIS reason I must take action NOW. It is not time to procrastinate and think I'll do it if a problem comes or in 10 or 20 years. NOW is the time as I am a younger age. Better to prevent now by becoming a healthy weight than to suffer once a disease may hit down the road. I must think LONG TERM. 

I am not only myself as I am now, but also what I do NOW is my future. I have much to look forward to and I must do my best to make my future be the best it can be. What I do is in my control, what happens is not. However, what I do NOW may prevent a negative outcome. 

My future is bright. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

What I’ve learned about Creativity and Entrepreneurship thus Far…

  • Ideas are the seeds of entrepreneurship, but they need to be properly nurtured to grow into anything.
  • Creativity comes easiest when I’m having an in-the-moment great experience, doing fun things, and I’m in a go-with-the-flow mindset.
  • Creativity DOES NOT flourish when I try to force it and plan it. It’s by chance and from the heart. The key to creativity is to begin to realize when I’m in the right space to be creative and own the moments.
  • How I create a creative space if I’m at home….
      • I clean my apartment. 
      • I listen to uplifting music and I sometimes dance or move to the music to get a full-body feeling of positive emotion. (I like the 10+ minute versions of positive music most… these are very helpful for getting into a state. I’ve linked an example at the bottom of this article). 
      • Watch a movie or youtube that evokes emotions (informational-based watches don’t seem to work for me to get into a space of creativity though). 
      • Bake or cook something I love. 
      • Look around my apartment and cherish and awe the space I’ve made for myself.
      • Think of anything positive. 
      • Look for beauty. 
      • THEN, I sit in a positive space. Hold onto it, and I begin from this state.
  • Focusing too much on building a following or being liked will destroy my creativity and motivation faster than a cheetah looking for its next meal! So, if I get into this space mentally…. I have to change it the soonest as possible.
I’ve started to structure my marketing and space to analyze this into a designated time-frame to this and only this. Then, I try to be really objective and goal-driven afterward. I try NOT to let myself overthink and worry afterward. It’s really hard for me to do because I’m overly critical of myself and just want so badly for things to progress.

Being go-with-the-flow, learning to toot your own horn, NOT care what others may or may not be thinking about what you do (hint: they probably don’t even care…. because people are usually focused on themselves and their goals), and learning how to evoke and work from emotional spaces is important for entrepreneurship and creativity.

Note: I’ll be continuing to update this article with more lessons as they come. This is a nice start for this morning. :-)

Example of a 10+ minute version of positive music that is very helpful for getting into a positive, creative state: 

By the way… if you’re creative — Fractured Atlas provides fiscal sponsorships for creative projects that could help you to get started with funding your creativity for a good cause.
Check out the link below for more info:

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

My Summary & Thoughts of Angela Duckworth’s Harvard Business Review Talk on Finding Your Grit during a Crisis

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash 
You can find the full 35-minute talk by Angela Duckworth on YouTube now at the following link (also in the references below):

I recently watched the Harvard Business Review talk by Angela Duckworth about finding your grit during a crisis. I feel that this most correlates with our module in the class so far about handling stress at work. It’s all about being resilient during a time of high stress like the pandemic.

Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at The University of Pennslyvania, and she studies grit. She also published an extremely popular book called, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”, and she has been popularized as well by her TED talk. Grit is the perseverance and passion over a long term time frame for a goal. Duckworth believes this is the number one thing that separates people who achieve success and those who don’t. Grit is most associated with resilience in positive psychology.

Duckworth talks about the emotions during a crisis, and how it’s normal to experience stress and emotions in a variety right now. She says to allow yourself to experience them and to know this is ok. This is neat to learn and it goes back to understanding our natural reactions to stress. This is all human nature. This ties directly with the “Coping Strategies for Success” article we read when it said, “Give yourself permission to fall apart, feel rotten, and cry” as well as “Don’t berate yourself for having these reactions. After all, they are signs of your humanity.” All of what she says in the talk is actually giving people permission to feel bad and icky about what is going on and normalizing that this is totally acceptable, normal, and okay. She says also that what can help during the crisis is we can choose to focus on our positive response to stress and the crisis vs. choosing to be focused on what happened and the negative aspects of the crisis. We need to focus on what we’ve learned from the crisis and continue to use these our lessons to improve our life and our stress response.

Another thing she discussed is goal setting, and how those goals tend to be hierarchical… so, when we quit goals, it may not be that we’re falling off course but rather helping our higher-level purpose and goal in life. She says we need a higher-level purpose to help with grit. With so much uncertainty with the pandemic, it is really hard to have grit and be resilient about hierarchical goals, however. So, we need to pivot…. Try to do something different than normal, but that will still lead to your higher-level goal. I would say this is comparable to thinking outside of the box because of the new situations the crisis has provided us. It’s an opportunity to try different things, but still, work towards are higher-level goals. All of these things she said directly relate to what the “Coping Strategies for Success” article said, “Commit to something personally meaningful and important every day” as well as “Take initiative for action when it is appropriate”. This is an appropriate time TO take action is what her point is. You just need to figure out how maybe do that a little differently than normal, but you’ll still be moving towards your higher-level goals.

In the workplace, she says company’s that want a culture of drive and perseverance should also have a hierarchical set of goals. Organizations need to have clarity about their mission statements as well as their goals and objectives to achieve their mission. The same is true for individuals. This helps with resiliency and grit. Every day, management needs to keep driving about what the mission, goals, and objectives are and how their part fits into the greater whole. It’s not fine enough to have an annual meeting and talk about the organization’s mission statement and expect everyone to remember everything from the meeting.

Lastly, another thing she said which correlates to our readings about coping with stress is she said balance is key to a happy and wholesome life. Grit isn’t grinding all the time. She says even the most successful people, they find the time to turn off and have balance. This is what our module about coping with stress talks about. We all need ways to relax and have recreation.

Overall, what I learned most from the talk by Duckworth about finding grit during a crisis is to understand it’s okay to feel bad right now, but you can and should still continue on your path towards your higher-level goals by using the crisis to do things you wouldn’t normally do in order to keep moving forward. Also, I learned that companies who want to encourage grit and be gritty as a company culture should reinforce their mission and the goal and objectives of achieving the mission just as anyone should do individually. Management needs to reinforce and ensure its employees grasp and are passionate about how they fit into the large picture and higher-level goals in the organization. This is fundamental to building a culture of grit, resiliency, and perseverance. We should be, as well, focusing on how we reacted positively from the crisis vs. remaining stuck on the negative part that this happened and the awful pieces of everything. It’s good to keep a positive outlook and keep an eye out for learning opportunities EVEN during a crisis. This will help all of us and society to grow and continue to achieve our dreams and desired outcomes.

We’re all in this together, and there are clearly ways we can use the crisis to be a positive tool for us and find our grit in the process. Thanks, Angela Duckworth for your wisdom during these trying times.


Full Talk: 

Angela Duckworth

Grit (personality trait)

And… “Coping Strategies for Stress” article from our Module 10 homework

What can Managers do to help ease the psychological work-performance effects due to our growing autonomous, social media-driven society?

Is the increasingly popular contemporary management style effective given our changing society?

The contemporary management style has been increasingly growing more popular over the traditional management style.
At the same time, we have been experiencing a growing autonomous and social-media plugged-in society.

The vast benefits of contemporary management styles can clearly be seen. However, when you look at the concerns and potential negatives associated with our growing automation and social media use, we begin to see problems in contemporary management theory.

The movement to a contemporary management style that calls for employees to make decisions for themselves and be more innovative while working in cross-functional teams is arguably a good thing. Employees can now have a work-life balance and be free of the bureaucracy that comes with a hierarchy of management. Information is free-flowing and available readily at our fingertips. (The differences between traditional and contemporary management styles can be found below in Table 1 if you need a refresher.)
However, how do we expect employees to have a larger focus on self-direction and making their own work-life balance while still getting things done… when there are so many negatives on their mental health in these growing autonomous and social media focused times?

Growing anxiety about automation such as a loss of place in society and loss of control, fear of change, job insecurity, and a loss of joy in craftmanship from non-autonomous work among many are at play in our society now and ever-growing. At the same time, we have social media usage that affects us negatively by causing us to compare, have less well-being, and more triggers on our emotional health. (The negatives and positives of automation and social media can be found in Tables 2 & 3 below respectively.)

Just how much do all of these negatives affect our employee’s ability to perform without the traditional management structure of an 8–5 mandated work schedule, hierarchical management as a sense of control to rely on for direction and order leaving us less mentally flexed, and a reliance on being told what to do vs. having to think for ourselves about WHAT we should do?

Is vast information available in a contemporary management style challenging for employees to know what to do with?

For some, management outlining what they need to be doing and by when, etc could be the reprieve they need mentally during times like this.
I believe the negatives of our growing autonomous and social media hyper-driven society could create issues for employees to perform well in a self-directed and innovative way.
From this point of view…
Some of the structure, orderliness, and hierarchy of traditional management styles might be more beneficial to combat the negatives of our changing society.
So, what can managers do?
Ensure there is still available an 8–5 structure if the employee so chooses.
Create templates of work-life balance best approaches and structure that could be used if the employee so chooses.
Be in touch with what the employee is going through at the time with their mental health at this time as they may need a more traditional management approach at times. It may not always be feasible and best to leave your employees with so much room for self-management and cross-functionality that they are at a loss on how to get things done effectively and efficiently.
Ensure your employees understand their role and importance to you and your organization while giving them the right space they need for their emotional well-being.

The links from the sources above are below.

Mental health strain from automation research:

The links from the sources above are below.

Forbes article on social media negative effects on health:

Benefits of social media: