WORDS FROM THE WISE
Apart from their published works designed to entertain and/or enlighten us, writers can sometimes offer advice worth incorporating into our daily lives. I offer some examples below.
"Never think that you're not good enough yourself, a man [or woman] should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning." - Isaac Asimov
"Never regret. If it's good it's wonderful. If it's bad it's experience." - Victoria Holt (Eleanor Hibbert)
""Always forgive your enemies -- Nothing annoys them so much." - Oscar Wilde
""The first rule of holes: When you're in one stop digging." -- Molly Ivins
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Ian Maclaren
"If you can't be kind, at least be vague." - Miss Manners (Judith Martin)"
"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." - Ernestlinle Ulmer
"Never tell people how you are. They don't want to know." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Be yourself; everyone else is taken." -- Oscar Wilde
TALKING TO YOURSELF
Do you talk to yourself? Neuroscientist Ethan Kross says Yes! "We spend between a third and a half of our waking hours not focused on the present and engaging in non-verbal reasoning or talking to ourselves silently is a significant portion of that."
Inner speech can take a compressed form, which allows our words to flow at a rapid pace. One study estimated that people can think to themselves at a rate that is equivalent to speaking 4000 words per minute out loud. Kross suggests that broadening our perspective helps. "Think about other people who have experienced something similar and have endured it." Reframe your experience as a challenge and insist that you can meet it. Use or create rituals that give you a sense of order, such as remembering valuable advice you've been given and "take three deep breaths and clench and unclench your fists twice." For order and control in your environment try "clearing the kitchen.Tidying up the bedroom. Going for a walk in nature can help clear your head."
When you talk to others you may sometimes wonder if they are listening. When you talk to yourself you know someone is.
Note: The above information was relayed by Elizabeth Bernstein in an article for The Wall Street Journal titled "Too Much Negative Chatter in Your Head? Here's How to Stop It,"January 6, 2021, page A9. The information is contained in a new book by Professor Ethan Kross, University of Michigan, director of the Emotion & Self Control Laboratory, where he studies the science of introspection, or the silent conversations people have with themselves. His new book is "Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters, and How to Harness it."
Elizabeth Bernstein writes a column," Bonds: On Relationships, " for the Wall Street Journal. Here are excerpts from her article on HOPE.
"Most psychologists define hope as a yearning for something possible but not certain - such as a better future - and a belief that you have some power to make it happen. And they believe that it has two crucial components: Agency, or the motivation to achieve the the desired goal. And a strategy, or pathway, to do that.'
She recalls that she once interviewed Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate, author and Holocaust survivor, who "told me something I have never forgotten. 'Every word we speak or write matters.' "
"Heed Mr. Wiesel's advice. Think carefully about your words. Use hopeful language: 'I can.' 'We will.' 'It's possible.' "
"Spread hope. Emotions are contagious. And everyone is searching for hope right now. So model it for others. Explain what makes you hopeful."
"Share your goals. And describe how you plan to reach them. You may garner support. You'll inspire others, showing what is possible. Remember: Hope begets hope."
" 'When people around you are energized, that can energize you as well,' says Dr. Milona.' "
NOTE: The above is from Elizabeth Bernstein's article "Finding Hope When Everything Feels Hopeless," The Wall Street Journal, p. A12, October 28, 2020. Professor Michael Milona has just published a paper on hope and optimism commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic institution;n that funds scientific research.
The wise and witty author and syndicated cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant has written many books of illustrated epigrams that are a tonic for the mind. Here are some from I WANT TO REACH YOUR MIND...WHERE IS IT CURRENTLY LOCATED? published by Woodbridge Press, Santa Barbara, California .
UNFORTUNATELY, MY ABILITY TO STAY UNHAPPY FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME has very little practical value.
I SPEND ALL MY TIME TRYING TO IMPROVE MYSELF and then people complain that I'm self-centered.
YOU'LL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE YOU, BECAUSE I'LL PROBABLY NEVER TELL YOU.
LET ME KNOW IF THERE'S ANY WAY I CAN RELIEVE YOUR PAIN without increasing my own.
YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, perhaps as a punishment.
OH HOW I REGRET THAT I CAN'T DEVOTE MY ENTIRE LIFE TO YOU AND YOUR PROBLEMS.
SOMEHOW ALL THE MAGIC HAS GONE OUT OF OUR SEPARATION.
TO ME YOU ARE HEAVEN, But you're not exactly what I thought heaven would be.
EVERY FAMILY SHOULD HAVE A HISTORIAN, TO MAKE SURE THE RECORD GETS PROPERLY FALSIFIED
I'M TORN BETWEEN ALL THE THINGS I DON'T WANT TO DO.
DON'T LISTEN TO THEIR FOOLISHNESS - LISTEN TO MINE.
WE MUSTN'T ACT HASTILY! LET'S WAIT UNTIL OUR ENTHUSIASM EVAPORATES.
Nothing we do can change the Past, but everything we do changes the Future.
THINKING LIKE SHERLOCK HOLMES
"I have a turn both for observation and deduction."
"You know my method . It is founded upon the observation of trifles."
"To a great mind nothing is little."
"Now for the facts."
"If I take it up I must understand every detail. Take time to consider. The smallest point may be essential."
"We shall put the case aside until more accurate data are available."
"You have furnished me with seven clues, but, of course, I must test them before I can pronounce upon their value."
"The principal difficulty in your case lay in the fact of their being too much evidence. What was vital was overlaid and hidden by what was irrelevant. Of all the facts which were presented to us we had to pick just those we deemed essential, and then piece them together in their order so as to reconstruct this very remarkable chain of events."
"No, no; I never guess. It is a shocking habit destructive to the logical faculty."
"One should always look for a possible alternative and and provide against it. It is the first rule of criminal investigation.."
"There is a strong family resemblance about misdeeds, and if you have all the details of a thousand at your finger ends, it is odd if you can't unravel the thousand and first."
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."
"When a man embarks upon a crime he is morally guilty of any other crime which may spring from it."
"My dear Watson [reader], try a little analysis yourself . You know my methods. Apply them,"
NOTE: These excerpts from the great detective's stories come from THE WIT & WISDOM OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, a Prion book, an imprint of the Carlton Publishing Group, London, 2017.
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
The mind tells the brain what to do. Make the mind's messages constructive. Below are quotes from Dr. Caroline Leaf's book SWITCH ON YOUR BRAIN.
* When we think on something we build it into the structure of our brains.
* We are designed to do our own brain surgery and revive our brains by thinking and by choosing to renew our minds.
* The choices you make impact your health mentally and physically and the world around you - for generations.
* When you smile with your eyes and mouth [deeply], the part of your mind involved in decision-making, intelllectual pursuit & shifting between thoughts and thinking things through rationally becomes stronger and more effective [and it's contagious].
* Thoughts create your mood....Toxic thinking and stress have been shown to reduce the size of certain structures in the brain. [Negative thinking makes] your body vulnerable to other diseases and illnesses.
* 75 - 90% of the illnesses that plague us today are the direct result of our thought life.
Dolores Cannon tells of a man with a serious problem. Every time cancer in one part of his body was healed it popped up in another part. She asked him if he was angry about anything. He replied, "Yes! I hate my ex-wife! She has the children and she won't let me see them." Cannon told him that his anger was affecting his health, and to let it go, to forgive his ex-wife. He said, "I can't forgive her! If I forgive her she wins." Cannon replied, "If she kills you she wins."
What are you thinking?
NOTE: Dr Carolline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist who has been researching the mind-brain connection for decades. Her latest book is THINK, LEARN, SUCCEED. Dolores Cannon was a past-life regression therapist who periodically encountered historical characters and situations when working with her clients.
SUMMER FANS: A MESSAGE CODE
One hundred years ago there was a language of hand-held fans that men understood. Here are the messages they communicated.
WITH HANDLE TO LIPS - Kiss me
PLACING IT ON LEFT EAR - You have changed
FANNING SLOWLY - I am married
FANNING FAST - I am engaged
OPEN WIDE - Wait for me
DROPPING - We are friends
DRAWING ACROSS FOREHEAD - We are watched
CARRYING IN RIGHT HAND - You are too willing
DRAWING ACROSS CHEEK - I love you
CARRYING IN LEFT HAND - Desirous of acquaintance
IN RIGHT HAND IN FRONT OF FACE = Follow me
DRAWING THROUGH HAND - I hate you
TWIRLING IN LEFT HAND - I wish to get rid of you
TWIRLING IN RIGHT HAND - I love another
CLOSING IT - I wish to speak to you
DRAWING ACROSS EYES - I'm sorry
LETTING IT REST ON RIGHT CHEEK - YES
LETTING IT REST ON LEFT CHEEK - No
OPEN & SHUT - You are cruel
NOTE: My thanks to the Victorian Trading Company (800-800-6647) for the above message code. It came along with my purchase of fans.
HOW TO BECOME CHARISMATIC IF YOU'RE NOT
We think of charisma as a magical attraction that cannot be duplicated, but psychologists say it can be learned. In a questionnaire given to 996 people, with accompanying traits like attractiveness and extroversion excluded, two characteristics of charismatic individuals were revealed: Influence and Affability.
In addition 122 students read two arguments on wind energy. Students who read the stronger argument were judged on the strength of the argument. Their charismatic rating had no effect on their ability to persuade their listeners, but students who rated high on charisma and had the weaker argument were more persuasive than students who rated low on charisma and read the same weak argument. Charisma has nothing to do with intelligence.
If you take the Influence/Affability test you can judge how charismatic you are and learn what areas to work on to up your charisma score. Here's the test:
ON EACH ITEM ASSIGN YOURSELF A RATING OF 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strong agree).
INFUENCE - I AM SOMEONE WHO
----- has a presence in a room
-----has the ability to influence people
------knows how to lead a group
Average Score --------
AFFABILITY - I AM SOMEONE WHO
-----makes people feel comfortable
-----smiles at people often
-----can get along with anyone
Average Score --------
An average score above 3.5 on INFLUENCE and above 3.9 on AFFABILITY indicates that people find you more charismatic than most. The accuracy of this test has been statistically proven.
NOTE: The above information comes from Diana Wechsler Linden's article "Charisma Quantified," in The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2017. The test is from "Charisma in Everyday Life," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, by Konstantin Tskhay, et. al.
YOUR FACE TALKS TO YOUR BODY
Your facial beauty rituals not only can improve your appearance, but your health as well. Massaging your face is the key. Whether you're massaging in cream, oil, cleanser, whatever, your body benefits.
" 'Massaging generates blood flow, and simply releasing your tension gives you tighter, brighter, healthier skin,' says LA facialist Joomee Song."
"'Being busy, being stressed, being overworked, being too sensitive, being overreactive, being rundown, being overfatigued, all of these things show up on our complexion,' says Anastasia Achilleos, the London- based facialist....'Physical touch stimulates, enhances and promotes wellness, affecting the muscular, sensory, nervous, lymphatic and circulatory systems. Regular message ... feels relaxing because it is on a physiological level, lowering blood pressure and heart rate..' "
If your face talks to your body, maybe you should talk to your face ! Keep up the beauty rituals!
NOTE: The information and quotes above come from the article "The Beauty of Everyday Rituals," by Fiorela Valdesolo, p.22. The Wall Street Journal Magazine, June/July, 2020.
FRIENDS CAN AFFECT A MARRIAGE
"Researchers from seven U.S. universities evaluated sixteen years of data from 355 couples who participated in the Early Years of Marriage Study, a survey conducted at the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research, that followed couples for several decades." These are the results: Overall divorce rates were double in marriages where the husband perceived interference from the wife's friends. "White couples where husbands reported disliking the wife's friends had higher divorce rates, even when the friends didn't interfere. Black couples had higher rates only when the friends interfered. More negative effects can occur when the husband is the one who is dissatisfied with the spouse's friends. Psychologists say - "A husband often relies on his wife for emotional support, so he may be jealous of the intimacy she shares with her friends. Women are also more likely to discuss marital problems with friends than the husbands are, and a husband may see this as meddling."
What can be done? Talk specifically to your spouse about the issues related to the problem, including the state of intimacy in the marriage. Let your spouse know that he/she comes first. Try to accept your spouse's friendships. You needn't participate in them yourself. Friends can play a beneficial role in a marriage. Communication with your spouse can keep it from becoming a destructive one.
NOTE: The quotes and information above came from "Bonds on Relationships -When Friends Hurt a Marriage," by Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2018, Page A 10.
ADVICE FROM NICOLE KIDMAN
Here are a few of the actress/producer's responses to questions in the May,2020 issue of The Wall Street Journal Magazine:
What's the one trait you consider essential to your success?
What's the one thing that keeps you motivated?
The desire that my fire still burns within. So that motivates me - thinking I haven't done the work I want to do yet creatively.
What is the one piece of advice that most changed your life?
"When you get to the top, just remember there's nothing there. The only thing that really matters is love." No matter what your accomplishments are, it's incredibly lonely if you're not surrounded by some form of love.