Archives for November 2012

Why We Need Us…

It may not be readily apparent, your prosperity is locked inside of me, and my prosperity is locked inside of you.  The better I do at becoming me the more prosperity you will have, and the better you are at being you, the more prosperity I will have.  This is because of the concept of “Comparative Advantage”  its easier to show than to write about it so I have created a video that explains it:

  • “jbetter”: Why we need us: the principle of comparative advantage in 5 minutes (click the link to view the video)

I got this information from watching the following TED presenation which you may also find helpful:

This is in part why this website was created.  A sight to share our journey on becoming better 🙂

I hope this helps


The Cost of Overstimulation…

I attended bible study today where the Pastor referenced the following article:

B Shiv, “Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making”, JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc., Vol. 26, December 1999.

The basic premise to this paper is that when we are over stimulated the higher rational thinking centers in our brain become distracted and unable to protect us from the more primitive irrational behaviors of the of our more primitive minds.  This is born out in grocery stores where we are over stimulated with colors, smells, and sounds, and end up coming out of the store with stuff we never intended.

He went on to mention how life is currently designed to overstimulate.  The downside: our input become distorted as we have trouble absorbing all of the information , we learn how not to focus, and we have trouble operationalizing the truth we do have because the higher centers of our brains are so distracted and over burdened.

It was a fascinating bible study session (and I will edit this post later with more content from the session), and we were left with a  primary and a secondary homework assignment:

  1. Start the day with 5 minutes of quiet stillness.  Even better if you can find similar space in the evening as well. And share your experience with comments below.
  2. If you happen to watch TV count the number of scene changes in a minute.  It may be helpful to note the difference between commercials vs programs.  It may also be helpful to note the difference between new and old programing.

Also feel free to share any other insights from the first in this new bible study series.


Happiness Workout

I was in church yesterday, where the Pastor highlighted a gentleman who regularly ran in marathons.  He reflected that the first time that he tried running, he could only run 3 miles, but through training 3 times per week he increased his distance to 26 miles over a 6 month period.  Then the Pastor posed the question as to whether we could do the same with happiness?  Could we have a “workout” that could significantly increase our happiness over six months? 

The answer to that question is yes.  As it turns out there is research that suggests activities that one can do to increase ones happiness.  And there is good reason to do it; happy people tend to live longer, and more fulfilling lives.  Try the following for 30 days and see if you don’t see a difference.  These task are not difficult but will really increase your mental, physical, and social fitness levels (others have done it and you can to).  Pause for a moment, and imagine what it would feel like to be happier.  Now consider doing the following daily…

1) Keep a gratitude journal writing down three things that went well that day

2) Mindul meditation for 10 minutes per day, you don’t have to clear your mind totally, just don’t hold onto thoughts and increase your awareness of the present moment.   It is good to begin this by focusing on your breathing which should be deep and slow. 

3) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (which can be broken up over the day); as an alternative don’t sit for more than 60 minutes without getting some movement.

4) Perform one act of kindness for yourself, your family, or those around you (smile, write a letter of thanks, express appreciation for another.  consider getting some ideas by reviewing the Citizen Report Card and take steps to get all A’s 🙂

If you would to hear some entertaining presentations on happiness check out the links below.  Each is less than 15 minutes and have been enjoyed by over a million people each:

TED – Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

TED – Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

As an act of kindness, please consider sharing your insights on this web-page, which is a way to be of help to others : )

These acts of kindness speak to the notion of social fitness, which describes what we do that has impact on those around us as well as our planet.  To this end I wanted to leave you with a funny video concerning the group Improve Everywhere, it may give you ideas on how you can spend your time in ways to put a smile on someone elses face, enjoy…

TED – Charlie Todd: The Shared Experience of Absurdity  🙂    Lol