31 July 2014

bye bye, mommy guilt

Today, I had a beautiful day with my friend who is a full-time stay-at-home mom.  She constantly researches and creates amazing activities for her two daughters, and when she invited my daughter and me to go for a hike today, I bolted out the door with daughter in hand.  My daughter is two years old and has never been on a hike, and it's about time I shared this experience with her.  
I run a business and have more or less neglected my daughter for the last two years.  I'm just starting to catch my breath with my business and spend more quality time with my daughter, and this mom is an inspiration to me.
So, it was a big surprise when she said she felt less-than for not having a job and guilty for not showing her daughters that a woman can be a capable professional outside of the home.  The exact opposite of my feeling guilty that I am always working and never plan anything more than an hour at the playground with my girl while my friend is planning Science Thursdays and trips to waterparks with hers.  
So, my mental traffic says I'm a bad mom, hers says she's one for the opposite reasons, and I realized it is all a load of you-know-what.
If we love our kids and do the best we can, then they'll see that is what life is-- balancing mountains of competing choices and trying to make it work.  Isn't that enough?

29 July 2014

first-world problems

This is a little heavier than my usual posts, but it's such a compelling and concrete example of our first-world problems and a good reminder to keep things in perspective.


26 July 2014

life hacks from quora

I love quora.  Life hacks, interesting and thoughtful questions and answers, and a great way to procrastinate learn about a variety of topics.

For example, my drawers are never going to look the same again after seeing this (and I have a pair of jeans I could resurrect with the second lifehack, too):
Tips and Hacks for Everyday Life: What can I learn right now in just 10 minutes that could be useful for the rest of my life?Tricia HoseinTricia HoseinSerendipity3.7k upvotes by Garrick SaitoPat BurnsGautam Ganesh(more)
Place T-shirts in drawer vertically instead of laying them flat. Easier to find and so much more added room!
This works perfectly and came in handy this weekend when I wore my favorite jeans that has a zipper that refuses to stay up.
Or if you like useless information random trivia:
Why do people drive above the speed limit?Matt WassermanMatt WassermanI'm a doctor, I'm a lawyer, I'... (more) 170 upvotes by Garrick SaitoWing ChauRobert Frost(more)Because speed limits are no longer set the way they should be.  

22 July 2014

how a password can revolutionize your life

This article may make you erase all of your saved passwords as a password-as-mantra becomes a life-changing new tool.
Can password therapy really improve your life? Mauricio Estrella, an associate creative director in Shanghai, developed a unique way to create and remember passwords. He used a personal goal to create an affirmation and it became a password infused with the power of positive thinking. Here’s his story…
“How could she do something like this to me?” said the voice in my head, over and over.
It was 2011 and I was stuck in middle of a pretty bad depression due to my divorce.
Thankfully, I think I was smart enough (and had great people around me) so I managed my way out.
One day I walk into the office, and my computer screen showed me the following message:
“Your password has expired. Click ‘Change password’ to change your password.”
I read this dumb message in my mind with angry grandpa voice: The darn password has expired.
old-screen-Password-Authenticity-Required-CC-flickr-Dev_ArkaAt my workplace, the Microsoft Exchange server is configured to ask thousands of employees around the planet to change their passwords. Every 30 days.
Here what’s annoying: The server forces us to use at least one UPPERCASE character, at least one lowercase alphabetic character, at least one symbol and at least one number. Oh, and the whole thing can’t be less than 8 characters. And I can’t use any of the same passwords I’ve used in the last 3 months.
I was furious that morning. A sizzling hot Tuesday, it was 9:40 a.m and I was late to work. I was still wearing my bike helmet and had forgotten to eat breakfast. I needed to get things done before a 10 a.m. meeting and changing passwords was going to be a huge waste of time.
As the input field with the pulsating cursor was waiting for me to type a password — something I’d use many times during every day — I remembered a tip I heard from my former boss.
And I decided: I’m gonna use a password to change my life.
It was obvious that I couldn’t focus on getting things done with my current lifestyle and mood. Of course, there were clear indicators of what I needed to do — or what I had to achieve — in order to regain control of my life, but we often don’t pay attention to these clues.
My password became the indicator. My password reminded me that I shouldn’t let myself be victim of my recent break up, and that I’m strong enough to do something about it.
My password became: “Forgive@h3r”

14 July 2014

how to turn pessimism into optimism

Here are some excerpts from bakadesuyo.com (a research-based blog that shows you "how to be awesome at life") on how to convert pessimism to optimism.

Here's why it's worth trying:

Scientific research has come up with a long list of benefits to being optimistic. Here are just a few:
  1. Optimism is associated with better health and a longer life.
  2. Research has shown that practicing optimism and gratitude causes (not just correlates with) an increase in happiness.
  3. The army teaches soldiers to be optimistic because it makes them tougher and more persistent.
  4. Being socially optimistic — expecting people to like you — makes people like you more.
  5. Expecting a positive outcome from negotiations made groups more likely to come to a deal and to be happy with it.
  6. Optimists are luckier. Research shows by thinking positive they persevere and create more opportunities for themselves.
  7. Optimistic salespeople are more successful.
The list goes on and on. Being optimistic is one of the ten things I recommend you do every day and something associated with great lives.
And here's how you actually do it:

The 3 P’s

It all comes down to what researchers call “explanatory style.” When bad things happen, what kind of story do you tell yourself?
There are three important elements here. Let’s call them the 3 P’s: permanence, pervasiveness and whether it’s personal.