Navigate the Chaos
Leverage Your Mind, Body, and Spirit to Transform Your Life
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- How often do you realize you are both artist and picture?
Today is May 28 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you realize you are both artist and picture?” Leveraging your mind, body, and spirit to navigate the chaos of life and translate one dream after another into reality often requires you to realize you are both the artist and picture simultaneously. This may seem difficult to grasp at first since the artist paints or draws the picture but those who navigate the chaos reflect upon this duality and come to the realization that they do indeed possess the ability to be both artist and picture. Today’s reflection includes the work of Austrian medical doctor Alfred Adler who established the school of individual psychology. Often viewed by many as the first community psychologist, Adler emphasized the role community played in human development. He preferred the use of two chairs in talk therapy, as opposed to the reliance on a couch, and educated people on his developmental theory involving the intermingling of three life tasks – occupation, society, and love. For Adler, navigating the chaos of life involved one successfully recognizing, balancing, and leveraging, each of the three life tasks. According to Adler “We are not determined by our experiences but are self-determined by the meaning we give to them; and when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life, we are almost certain to be misguided to some degree. Meanings are not determined by situations. We determine ourselves by the meanings we ascribe to situations.” This meaning, however, involves what Dr. Shahram Heshmat labeled as psychological distance - mentally separating oneself from the immediate situation and taking a broader perspective or seeing the big picture. In a Psychology Today article Heshmat explains how “Psychological distancing allows greater flexibility and control in our thinking and behavior and is central to self-control. Self-control requires people to make decisions consistent with distal goals when tempted by more immediate rewards. Exercising self-control requires ignoring the attraction of short-term temptations in order to pursue other long-term goals. Resolving goal conflicts through self-control is an important component in achieving and maintaining a healthy life.” This observation is most certainly helpful as you look to navigate the chaos and practice the art of living well. While you may think the experience impacts you, and it very well may, but what meaning did you affix to the life situation? Did you create any psychological distancing? Perhaps you gave an event too much meaning and another too little? Only you have the power to prescribe a level of meaning to a situation. This is critical when it comes to one of the three life tasks of occupation, society, and love. What one person may interpret as a significant experience you might view as a minor one. Adler continued and noted: “Every individual represents a unity of personality and the individual then fashions that unity. The individual is thus both the picture and the artist. Therefore, if one can change one’s concept of self, they can change the picture being painted. He is the artist of his own personality, but as an artist he is neither an infallible worker nor a person with a complete understanding of mind and body; he is rather a weak, extremely fallible, and imperfect human being.” As you put in the daily grind today, remember your imperfection is a human characteristic. So, be imperfect and be both artist and picture as you leverage your mind, body, and spirit to navigate the chaos and translate one dream after another into reality. As with all artists and their work, it is important to recall the words of Salvador Dali who observed "no masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist." You can be a masterpiece. You can navigate the chaos. You can translate one dream after another into reality. To do all of that and more, you will have to make a commitment to leverage your mind, body, and soul each day of the year. You cannot be lazy. You are both the artist and the picture. Just how much of a masterpiece you want to create is up to you. How often do you allow your experiences to determine who you are? How often do you remind yourself that your self-determination is what gives experiences meaning? What role does self-awareness play as you determine the meaning found in life situations, experiences, and moments? How often are you exercising psychological distancing in order to give yourself a moment to leverage your self-control? Are you so caught up in a certain type of life moment that you simply fail to create the much-needed psychological distancing? Do you remind yourself the critical role self-control plays as you navigate the chaos of life? How much time each day do you spend resolving goal conflicts through self-control? Another way of asking this question is – how often do you allow the life situations of the day to side track you from making forward progress on your goal? How often do you remind yourself you are both the artist and the picture? When is the last time you changed your concept of your self? Does your current life situation require you to change your concept of your self? Who or what is holding you back from allowing yourself to be both artist and picture?
- How often is your thinking intuitive compared to rational?
Today is May 27 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often is your thinking intuitive compared to rational?” Thinking about thinking is hard work. Getting through the day can be challenging enough for most people. Yet successful people who navigate the chaos and practice the art of living well spend time thinking about their cognitive process. In addition to assessing what they think, they also evaluate how they think. In a Psychology Today article Dr. David Ludden explained economists have traditionally assumed that humans are rational decision makers. In recent decades, however, psychologists working in the field of behavioral economics have come to recognize that people are limited in their ability to make rational decisions. “In some cases, such as when we have the time and the cognitive resources to think things through, we can be quite rational in our decision making. But when we’re constrained by time we tend to make quick, gut-feeling decisions.” In his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains the so-called dual-process theory of decision making for lay audiences. According to dual-process theory, intuitive thinking is fast, while rational thinking is slow. And so, psychologists often use reaction time to determine whether a participant in their experiment is using an intuitive or rational approach to solving the problem at hand. Going with your gut isn’t necessarily bad. We humans have evolved some effective intuitions that usually lead us to very quick—and reasonably accurate—judgments, at least in the social realm. Likewise, taking the time to make a rational decision can lead us to what psychologists call “paralysis by analysis.” That is, we’re unable to decide in real time because we’re bogged down by slow reasoning processes. For example, there’s no rational process for deciding what to order for lunch, and so we just have to go with whatever feels right. Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper noted “Serious rational criticism is so rare that it should be encouraged. Being too ready to defend oneself is more dangerous that being too ready to admit a mistake.” Over the years researchers have created a variety of tests to help people better understand the level of their intuitive thinking compared to rational decision making. Back in 1998, researchers Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee, and Jordan Schwartz introduced something called the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT measures the milliseconds that it takes to connect pairs of ideas. The test is based on the concept that you will be faster putting together ideas you already associate with one another. For example, if you automatically associate female with family and male with career, then you will be fast placing nouns that relate to female/family or male/career in the columns. But if the columns are titled male/family and female/career and those are not the associations of your unconscious mind, it will take an extra millisecond or two to sort the nouns properly. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about IAT in his book Blink. He took one on race and was mortified to find out that his unconscious association with Caucasian-European was “good” and his association with African American was “bad”—even though Gladwell himself half-black! In an interview later he said experience taught him to disregard his first impressions of people and to take time to know them before passing any judgement. In other words, to improve his ability to think Gladwell started to emphasize rational over intuitive. But those associations Gladwell had, many of them were unconscious and we all have them to some degree. Navigating the chaos with a deep understanding of your intuitive decision-making process compared to your rational thinking can be a useful strategy. For example, you can work with the unconscious to unearth these associations and align them more closely to your values and goals. When you do, you start to tap into the power of your unconscious and increase your self-awareness. But even before you engage the unconscious as a productive partner, you can start living a life that is more responsive and less reactive simply by paying attention and noticing when what you do or say feels off-center. Take whatever additional time you need to think in a rational format instead of an intuitive one. American philosopher and psychologist William James noted “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” While intuitive and rational modes of thinking are both useful, be sure to understand when to leverage each one appropriately. Otherwise, you may wind up rearranging your prejudices. Doing so would be a disservice to yourself as you navigate the chaos. How often is your thinking intuitive compared to rational? How often do you reflect upon how you think? Are you defending your thinking more so than admitting you made a mistake? Has your inability to decide hindered your success in navigating the chaos and translating one dream after another into reality? Have you witnessed the decision-making process of others in your life? If so, what are your thoughts on their ability to decide? Why do you think it is difficult for so many people to understand how they think? How often do you count to 10 in order to give yourself time to think through a decision? Are you thinking or merely rearranging your prejudices?
- How often do you idolize others?
Today is May 26 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you idolize others?” It would be difficult to find anyone who translated their dreams into reality who idolized someone. While navigating the chaos it may indeed be helpful to have a role model, someone to inspire you, and a mentor. Spending your days, time, and money idolizing someone? That is a likely path to nowhere. The great irony is when you idolize someone you are in fact helping them translate their dreams into reality. Do you realize that? All the athletes, musicians, actors, or social media influencers wants is to translate their dreams into reality. And you are helping them! But at what cost? One common trait among almost everyone who has every translated a dream into action is they never idolized anyone. They had no time! They were too busy working on their own dreams. If you are fully committed to navigating the chaos, you simply do everything you can to prevent yourself from falling prey to idolizing someone, also known as survivorship bias. Survivorship bias is the logical error consisting of two elements: first, concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and, second, overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This type of thinking can often lead to false conclusions in several different ways. Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored, such as when companies that no longer exist are excluded from analyses of financial performance or follow up analyses are never conducted to provide much needed additional perspective. Evidence of this decline of relevant organizations once considered great was presented by Chris Bradley in his analysis of organizations listed in Tom Peters’ 1982 book In Search of Excellence, and Jim Collins’ 1994 Built to Last and 2001 Good to Great. Bradley disproved the ‘greatness’ label Peters and Collins affixed to companies and discovered: Two well-performing companies were acquired (Amoco and Gillette, bought by BP and P&G). Four low performers were swallowed up (Amdahl, Data General, DEC, and Raychem), Three went bust (Kmart, Wang, and Circuit City). Another five fell off the list including Kodak’s bankruptcy in 2013. The survivor bias and idolizing of others is often found within the field of entrepreneurs. Businesses built upon the brilliant minds of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs are constantly idolized by many. Emulate what these two did and your business will have a market value of a billion over night. According to the survivor bias you do not even need a college degree to be a billionaire; the statistics would seem to suggest this is true since nearly a third (30%) of today’s billionaires do not have a bachelor’s degree. If Gate, Jobs, and a few others dropped out of college, why not you? But herein lies the question to ask yourself: how many people dropped out of college, started a company in their garage or home, and then never made a dime? The best estimate, according to David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners is venture capitalists hear 200 pitches for every one they fund, so perhaps 1 in 13 start-ups get VC, and still, they face long odds from there. According to the National Venture Capital Association approximately 1,300 start-ups get funded each year but only 13% as many achieved an initial public offering (81) or an acquisition large enough to warrant a public disclosure of the price (95). So, for every wealthy start-up founder, there are 100 other entrepreneurs who end up with only a cluttered garage. Does this mean you should not find inspiration from others? Absolutely not. In fact, this entire Navigate the Chaos series involves a variety of backstories of people who navigated the chaos. But falling prey to survivorship bias and finding inspiration from others are two completely different strategies. Former professional basketball player Kobe Bryant provides a good example here. When he was 12 years old, Bryant joined a summer basketball camp and never scored one point. On the verge of quitting the sport, Bryant came across Michael Jordan’s story and how he was cut from his high school basketball team. Bryant learned how Jordan used that as fuel to motivate him to outwork everyone around him and prove them wrong. This inspired Bryant to follow in Jordan’s footsteps. From that moment forward Bryant dedicated himself to hours of practice each day. He would put himself through 4 hours of intense workouts even on game days. He would practice without anyone else - or even a ball - to perfect his footwork. All of this because he had a hero who did the same. Do you have heroes inspiring you or are you idolizing others? How much time are you spending with a mental model that falls prey to the survivorship bias? Are you obsessing over an athlete, musician, actor, or social media influencer to the detriment of your dreams? Are you so focused on the business survivors, the Steve Jobs of the world that you lose sight of who you are and who you want to be? Do you realize that the time you idolize others could be better spent in the pursuit of your own dreams? Why do you think you are so obsessed with following others at the expense of your own dreams?
- How often do you recognize the light in others?
Today is May 25 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you recognize the light in others?” "Everybody counts or nobody counts" is the personal credo of the fictitious character of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Harry Bosch created by author Michael Connelly. After his return from Vietnam and an honorable discharge from the Army, Bosch joined the LAPD and rose to the rank of Detective III, a position which entails both investigative and supervisory duties, and is the LAPD equivalent of Detective Sergeant. Bosch picked up the philosophy in the early-1980s from one of his first partners, detective Ray Vaughn, who told Bosch, “Every investigation counted." When asked to explain his personal mission in April of 1994, Bosch told psychologist Carmen Hinojos: "Everybody counts, or nobody counts. That's it. It means I bust my ass to make a case whether it's a prostitute or the mayor's wife. That's my rule." Today’s reflection involves two words often misunderstood but valuable to anyone using the strategy of recognizing the light in others to navigate the chaos: Namaste and Unbuntu. Namaste stems from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit that was used to write the ancient collections of hymns, literature, philosophy, and texts known as the Vedas, which much of the modern yoga practice originates. For a word with such ancient heritage, namaste came to English recently. Many Americans first encountered the word namaste when reading about the newly independent India during the mid-20th century. It had been transliterated as na-mas-tay, namasthe, and namaste until the latter became standard in the mid-20th century. Its initial use for a broad American readership, unsurprisingly, was associated with stories about the newly independent India and its leader. As reported in TIME Magazine August 16, 1948 “In response Nehru closed his palms in front of his chest. This traditional Hindu namasthe (greeting) is as much a part of his public manner as was the V sign for Churchill.” Like with so many Sanskrit words, namaste is a phrase having multiple meanings, interpretations, and explanations. Namaste is formed from namaḥ, meaning “bow, obeisance, adoration,” and the enclitic pronoun te, meaning “to you.” The noun namaḥ, in turn, is a derivative of the verb namati, which means “(she or he) bends, bows.” Thus, a one frequent meaning of namaste is “bowing to you” or “I bow to you,” and is used as a greeting. Moreover, namaste is commonly translated as “the light in me bows to the same light within you.” Often, you will hear this in a yoga class. Namaste is typically used at the end of class to seal the practice. Some teachers will also open their class with it. Still another explanation is namaste refers to the divine teacher within ourselves. This is often referred to as the “Guru” within or “the teacher in me honors the teacher in you.” This Sanskrit word has the root Gu means “darkness,” while ru means “light.” Hence, we are bowing to and embracing the light and the darkness that exists within us all. In addition to Namaste, today’s reflection also involves another word with a complicated past, Unbuntu. The philosophy of ubuntu is derived from a Nguni word, meaning “humanity,” or “the quality of being human.” Ubuntu has its roots in humanist African philosophy, where the idea of community is one of the building blocks of society. Ubuntu is that nebulous concept of common humanity, oneness: humanity, you, and me both. For some who navigate the chaos, ubuntu has been a powerful tool to use as they translated their dreams into reality. This African proverb reveals a world view that we owe our selfhood to others, that we are first and foremost social beings, that, if you will, no man/woman is an island, or as the African would have it, “One finger cannot pick up a grain.” Ubuntu is, at the same time, a deeply personal philosophy that calls on us to mirror our humanity for each other. Since the transition to democracy in South Africa with the Nelson Mandela presidency in 1994, the term has become more widely known outside of Southern Africa. At Nelson Mandela's memorial in December 2013, United States President Barack Obama spoke about Ubuntu, saying: “There is a word in South Africa – Ubuntu – a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us. We can never know how much of this sense was innate in him, or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary cell. But we remember the gestures, large and small – introducing his jailers as honored guests at his inauguration; taking a pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS – that revealed the depth of his empathy and his understanding. He not only embodied Ubuntu, but he also taught millions to find that truth within themselves.” How often do you recognize the light in others? Do you believe ‘everyone counts or no one counts?’ Have you had anyone help you see the light in yourself? How often do you stop to remind yourself that ‘we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye?’ What is preventing you from seeing the light in others or viewing the connectedness among humans? How do you think recognizing the light in others can help you translate one dream after another into reality?
- How often do you use fear to take you to the edge?
Today is May 24 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “do you use fear to take you to the edge?” Science fiction writer Frank Herbert, author of Dune, the best-selling science fiction novel of all time, wrote “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Those who navigate the chaos come to understand how to use fear to take them to the edge, to push them to the edge, and to challenge themselves beyond what they thought possible. Translating dreams into reality will no doubt expose you to fear; but will you give in? Will you let fear scare you away? The 2001 novel Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, tells the story of protagonist Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian Tamil boy from Pondicherry who explores issues of spirituality and metaphysics from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger which raises questions about the nature of reality and how it is perceived and told. On confronting fear Martel wrote: “I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.” Author Judy Blume learned a few things about confronting fear while writing young adult novels about topics some consider taboo such as masturbation, menstruation, birth control, and death. She has had to deal with criticism from individuals and groups that wanted her books banned. The American Library Association (ALA) has named Blume as one of the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century. Despite her critics, Blume's books have sold over 82 million copies and they have been translated into 32 languages. On a personal level Blume has also confronted fear. On August 15, 1959, in the summer of her freshman year of college, she married John M. Blume, who she had met while a student at New York University. He became a lawyer, while she was a homemaker before supporting her family by teaching and writing. They had two children, but the couple divorced in 1976 with Blume later describing the marriage as "suffocating." Shortly after her separation, she met Thomas A. Kitchens, a physicist. The couple married and moved to New Mexico for Kitchens' work. They divorced in 1978. She later spoke about their split: "It was a disaster, a total disaster. After a couple years, I got out. I cried every day. Anyone who thinks my life is cupcakes is all wrong." As Blume wrote “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” Steven Spielberg understood all too well what Blume meant. The 1975 American thriller film Jaws directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel offers just one example of how Spielberg used fear to push him. Despite the movie’s tremendous success, Jaws had to overcome a variety of obstacles that included: a)the original stuntman the studio hired was not suited for the job b)the young director demanded perfection and refused to shoot in a tank c)the movie’s budget more than doubled and went from $3.5 million to $9 million d)the shooting schedule tripled from an original 55 days to 159 e)the mechanical sharks began to deteriorate in salt water and f)the ships started to sink. Jaws producer David Brown said, "There were times early in the picture when we felt we had made a mistake hiring Steven who was maddeningly perfectionistic…and I have to hand it to him for sticking to his guns." In a New York Times interview Spielberg said: “Every movie I make, there’s a hurdle to it. I look for things that will scare me. Fear is my fuel. I get to the brink of not really knowing what to do and that’s when I get my best ideas. Confidence is my enemy, and it always has been…There is a fear of getting lost and then staying lost in a quagmire of having made a bad choice that I am stuck with for the next 60 days of shooting. I felt that way on Jaws only because it was so hard to make, not because I did not know how to make it. I was lost. For a movie that became awesomely successful and gave me complete personal creative freedom, I still look back at it and even now say it was my most unhappy time in my life as a filmmaker because whole days would go by and we wouldn’t get a shot.” How often do you use fear as fuel to take you to the brink of not knowing what to do? How often do you realize fear ‘is the mind killer?’ How often do you remind yourself that ‘only fear can defeat life?’ How often do you allow fear to limit your life adventures?
- How often do you consider your disadvantage an advantage?
Today is May 23 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you consider your disadvantage an advantage?” W. Clement Stone noted “to every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage.” Dutch football (soccer) player Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, arguably one of the best to ever play the sport, echoed similar sentiment and said, “Every disadvantage has its advantage.” His 'cup half full' perspective regarding every negative situation reminds us that every disadvantage has an advantage. The key for today’s strategy to navigate the chaos is to focus on the possibilities within the disadvantage and not on the impossibilities. Stone personified this strategy of turning one’s disadvantage into an advantage to navigate the chaos. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 4, 1902, and three years later his father died leaving his family in debt. In 1908, at six years of age, he hawked newspapers on the South Side of Chicago while his mother worked as a dressmaker. Much of what is known about Stone comes from his autobiography The Success System That Never Fails. In that book, he tells of his early business life, which started with selling newspapers in restaurants. At the time, this was a novel thing to do, a departure from the typical practice of boys hawking newspapers on street corners. At first, restaurant managers tried to discourage him, but he gradually won them over by his politeness, charm, persistence, and the fact most customers had no objection to selling newspapers. Stone would eventually drop out of high school to build the Combined Insurance Company of America, which provided both accident and health insurance coverage; by 1930, he had over 1000 agents selling insurance for him across the United States. Stone had three disadvantages: his father died leaving the family in debt, he had to convince restaurant owners to let him do something they never did before; and he lacked a high school diploma. He turned his disadvantages of no money, lack of experience, and no formal education into an advantage and navigated the chaos to become a ‘rags to riches’ story. But he is far from the only one. Academic research supports this strategy of turning a disadvantage into an advantage to navigate the chaos. For example, Ivan Arreguin-Toft, an assistant professor of International Relations at Boston University, analyzed every instance of asymmetric conflict between strong actors — the Goliaths — and weak actors — the Davids — within the past two centuries. The Goliaths, he discovered, were the victors in 71.5 percent of conflicts. When the Davids recognized their disadvantages and amended their strategies, however, the percentage of conflicts in which they were victors increased from 28.5 to 63.6 percent. Thus, “weak actors are much more likely to win,” Arreguin-Toft determined, “even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.” In David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell examines what happens when ordinary people confront giants. Gladwell defines giants as "powerful opponents of all kinds—from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression." Through each story Gladwell explores two ideas. "The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable." To illustrate his point, Gladwell begins his book with the story of David—the shepherd boy who was summoned by his people to defend King Saul’s kingdom against the Philistines. According to Gladwell, David was not the underdog in his historic battle against the six-foot–nine-inch giant, Goliath. Essentially, Goliath was equipped for direct combat, in which he might have deflected strikes with his shield and delivered a stab with his spear, not an opponent whose chief weaponry consisted of a slingshot and stones. David’s decision to fight with less armor and weaponry, as opposed to Goliath, granted him insurmountable speed and mobility. David had brought a gun to a sword fight. He had recognized his disadvantage of size as an advantage of speed, mobility, and ability. Goliath, as Gladwell summarized, “was blind to his approach—and then he was down, too big, and slow and blurry-eyed to comprehend the way the tables had been turned.” The president of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, understands the value of turning a disadvantage into an advantage. Having been held back in elementary school due to his reading impairment, Cohn became accustomed to failure. He struggled throughout high school but managed to graduate from American University and launch a career on Wall Street because of his ability to persevere. “The one trait in a lot of dyslexic people I know is that by the time we got out of college, our ability to deal with failure was very highly developed,” says Cohn. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dyslexia.” Like David, Cohn recognized his disadvantage as an advantage. Such recognition allowed Cohn to practice the critical trait of perseverance and rebounding from failure. Like David, Cohn fared well in his battle against the Goliath that had for years told him he would never succeed. How often do you turn your disadvantage into an advantage? Who or what is holding you back from doing so? How often do you tell yourself you can’t do something because of your disadvantage? Do you have any role models in your life that have a disadvantage but learned to turn it around to their advantage? How often do you rely on your perseverance to find a way to move forward? When working through your disadvantage, how often do you remind yourself to persevere through the process? How often do you get frustrated because of your disadvantage? How often do you remind yourself that others have persevered through their disadvantage and that you can as well?
- How often do allow yourself to feel pain and let the storm change you?
Today is May 22 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do allow yourself to feel pain and let the storm change you?” This reflection post may be difficult for those who have experienced traumatic events, relationships, or life situations as it involves a series of questions around your relationship with emotional pain. Today's question refers to a strategy some have used to navigate the chaos; no different from the other 364 blog posts in this series. Unlike so many other posts, however, today's strategy involves one to allow the storm of pain to wash over them as they navigate the chaos. American singer, songwriter, and poet Jim Morrison believed experiencing pain is a necessary to feel alive and wrote “People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” To unpack Morrison’s quote here are some additional questions to consider: How often are you afraid of your own feelings? How often has love hurt you? Have you allowed pain to wake you up? When do you try to hide your pain? Have you garnered strength from your pain? Have you recognized how your pain is part of your reality? Do you hide your feelings to distort your sense of reality? How do you carry your pain? The storms of pain people encounter as they navigate the chaos have been studied closely. One such researcher is Geoff MacDonald, who observed: "We do ourselves a disservice when we try to ignore the pain and our emotions, or make them go away, rather than sitting and listening to them. These negative emotions are part of an adaptive response and healing process. If you love someone so much it hurts, take time to sit with that. Try to understand why the need is so great. There's something going on here that's bigger than this particular relationship." Just as you can’t run between the raindrops in a downpour, you cannot avoid the storm of pain life places in your path. In her November 14, 2015, Psychology Today article Amy Morin echoed MacDonald’s research and remarked: “the biggest misconception about happiness is the path to achieving it involves avoiding pain. But pain is a necessary part of happiness.” This necessary pain is synonymous with what best-selling Japanese author Haruki Murakami labeled ‘the storm.” Murakami wrote “The storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So. all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm and once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Kio Briggs wrote about storms in Meditations on Freedom and noted “I believe it is supposed to get difficult - your belief in your dream life is supposed to be tested. Remember, just beyond the storm is the island; if you really want to get there then fight for it and stay the course.” But few people fight to stay the course. As Briggs wrote: “We sometimes see the storm in the distance and believe that the difficulty of going through it is not worth it; we believe that our canoe cannot make it through the storm, so we never even try to. Some begin the journey then turn around when the canoe starts swaying a bit. Oftentimes we get into a storm and begin to question if the journey is even worth it; we stop believing the island on the other side exists. Some even get as far as the midst of the storm and turn around they have almost passed it - along the way it is easy to stop believing that the island truly exists. Only a few people fight for it and truly believe that it exists, as such, they never stop moving towards it until they eventually make it.” Do you see the storm in the distance and believe it is too difficult to even start? Do you begin the journey to the storm but turn around when it gets too challenging? Do you travel into the storm only to turn around just before the calm was to appear? Are you one of the few who fight through the storm and navigate the chaos to the other side? How often do you ignore your pain? How often do you find yourself trying to avoid the rain instead of allowing yourself to feel it? How often do you embrace the storms of life and use them as points of reflection to learn, to grow, and to increase your self-awareness? How often do allow yourself to feel pain and let the storm change you?
- How often do you adapt to succeed?
Today is May 21 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you adapt to stay relevant and succeed?” History is littered with quotes about the need to adapt to succeed from those who navigated the chaos. Some examples are: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” by Albert Einstein “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” by George Bernard Shaw "All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation” by British consultant Max McKeown “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” By Eric Shinseki Best-selling author and Dilbert creator Scott Adams understood the value of adapting to succeed. Adams believes that you are what you learn. “If all you know is how to be a gang member, that’s what you’ll be, at least until you learn something else. If you become a marine, you’ll learn to control fear. If you go to law school, you’ll see the world as a competition. If you study engineering, you’ll start to see the world as a complicated machine that needs tweaking.” Adams wrote “It’s easy to feel trapped in your own life. Circumstances can sometimes feel as if they form a jail around you. But there’s almost nothing you can’t learn your way out of. If you don’t like who you are, you have the option of learning until you become someone else. Life is like a jail with an unlocked, heavy door. You’re free the minute you realize the door will open if you simply lean into it.” Adams should know as he himself learned how to be a cartoonist; something he wanted to do since his childhood. For six years, Adams learned how to balance his day job with the publication of his Dilbert cartoon. From 1989 until 1995, he created Dilbert during mornings, evenings, and weekends while maintaining his full-time job. Much like Adams, Olympian James Francis Thorpe learned to adapt to succeed. Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation and became the first Native American to medal for the United States. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon. Since the pentathlon had five events and the decathlon ten, Thorpe would compete in a remarkable 15 different Olympic events. Thorpe began the Olympics by crushing the field in the now-defunct pentathlon, which consisted of five events in a single day. He placed first in four of them, dusting his competition in the 1,500-meter run by almost five seconds. As Sally Jenkins wrote in the Smithsonian Magazine “A week later the three-day decathlon competition began in pouring rain. Thorpe opened the event by splashing down the track in the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds—a time not equaled at the Olympics until 1948. On the second day, Thorpe’s shoes were missing. His coach Pop Warner hastily put together a mismatched pair in time for the high jump, which Thorpe won. Later that afternoon came one of his favorite events, the 110-meter hurdles. Thorpe blistered the track in 15.6 seconds, again quicker than Bob Mathias would run it in 1948.” On the final day of competition, Thorpe placed third and fourth in the events in which he was most inexperienced, the pole vault and javelin. Then came the very last event, the 1,500-meter run. The metric mile was a leg-burning monster that came after nine other events over two days. And he was still in mismatched shoes.Thorpe left cinders in the faces of his competitors. He ran it in 4 minutes 40.1 seconds. Thorpe would rely upon his drive, dedication, and hustle to carve out a variety of career paths following the Olympics. He would go on and become a major-league baseball player, co-founder of the National Football League and even pro basketball player—before winding up a stunt performer and Hollywood character actor. He died there of heart failure in 1953 at age 64. An unfortunate footnote in Thorpe’s incredible life story is the fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped him of his medals after it was found he had been paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules that were then in place. While some researchers might note that in 1983 the IOC restored his Olympic medals. But that is not the complete story. As Jenkins wrote “It’s commonly believed that Thorpe at last received Olympic justice in October of 1982 when the IOC bowed to years of public pressure and delivered two replica medals to his family, announcing, ‘The name of James Thorpe will be added to the list of athletes who were crowned Olympic champions at the 1912 Games.’ What’s less commonly known is that the IOC appended this small, mean sentence: ‘However, the official report for these Games will not be modified.’” The prolific English author Agatha Christie wrote “There is no telling what a human character is. Until the test comes. A man is confronted quite soon with the necessity to stand on his own feet, to face dangers and difficulties and to take his own line of dealing with them.” Thorpe was tested time and again during the 1912 Olympics. In 15 different events at the highest level of competition he proved that he was the greatest athlete of his time. Not bad for an athlete who needed to compete with mismatched shoes. Thorpe navigated the chaos by exemplifying McKeown’s axiom that all ‘success is successful adaptation.’ Netflix is another example of a company that adapted to stay relevant. In 2000, it was an unprofitable startup offering DVD rentals via postal mail, challenging Blockbuster, whose ubiquitous stores were then a fixture of American life. In an April 2023 interview Marc Randolph, who cofounded Netflix with Reed Hastings in 1997, recalled a key moment when the company launched its website. In 2000, the two tried to sell their startup to Blockbuster for $50 million. Blockbuster executives “laughed us out of the room,” Randolph recalled. But now, “the company that once had 9,000 stores, is down to a single one,” he noted. Looking back more than two decades later, Randolph writes: “I think the more important lesson—a lesson that Blockbuster learned too late—is simply this: ‘If you are unwilling to disrupt yourself, there will always be someone willing to disrupt your business for you.’” How often do you adapt to stay relevant and succeed? How often do you measure your ability to change? How often do you change your mind? How often do you consider that all success is successful adaptation? How often do you disrupt yourself?
- How often do you dare to fail greatly?
Today is May 20 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you dare to fail greatly?” Translating dreams into action is synonymous with daring to fail greatly. It would be difficult to find someone who navigated the chaos and leveraged their mind, body, and spirit who never dared to fail greatly. For many people daring to fail greatly became a lifetime pursuit. Doing so allowed them to build up a character able to withstand even the strongest of storms. Have you dared to fail greatly in love? Have you dared to fail greatly in your education? Have you dared to fail greatly in your physical pursuits? Have you dared to fail greatly in publishing that book you wanted to write? Have you dared to fail greatly in writing poetry? Have you dared at all? Abraham Lincoln is one such example of someone who dared to fail greatly. Below is a summary of his failures: 1832 lost job 1832 defeated for legislature 1833 failed in business 1834 elected to legislature 1835 sweetheart (Ann Rutledge) died 1836 had nervous breakdown 1838 defeated for speaker 1843 defeated for nomination for Congress 1846 elected to congress 1848 lost re-nomination 1849 rejected for land officer 1854 defeated for senate 1856 defeated for nomination for vice-president 1858 again defeated for senate 1860 elected President Twenty-eight years. That’s how long Lincoln dared to fail greatly. And here you are worried about dealing with 28 hours, days, or months. Try daring to fail greatly for 28 years; and doing so without any guarantee of success. Much like Lincoln a century before, Italian-born American molecular geneticist Mario Renato Capecchi dared to fail greatly and in doing so achieved greatness. Capecchi was the only child of an abusive father and a caring mother. When Capecchi was around three years of age, German officers arrested his mother and sent her to a concentration camp, leaving Capecchi to fend for himself. For a time, he lived with a family friend but when money ran out to support him, young Capecchi wandered around the streets of wartime Italy for several years. He “survived on scraps, joined gangs and drifted in and out of orphanages, and eventually had to be hospitalized for a year probably due to typhoid.” After five six years of being apart, Capecchi was reunited with his mother. With the help of relatives, they moved to the United States where Capecchi enrolled a Quaker boarding school. He would eventually graduate from Antioch College and then enroll in MIT’s graduate program to study physics and mathematics. While at MIT he became interested in molecular biology and transferred to Harvard to join the lab of James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Capecchi received his PhD in biophysics in 1967 and until 1973 held various faculty positions at Harvard but grew increasingly alarmed at its results-driven environment. Despite objections from Watson, who once quipped, “Capecchi accomplished more as a graduate student than most scientists accomplish in a life time and that he would be fucking crazy to pursue his studies anywhere other than in the cutting-edge intellectual atmosphere of Harvard.” Capecchi left Harvard to join a new department at the University of Utah in 1973. He believed that the short-term gratification environment at Harvard limited his ability to breathe if he was to do great work. Robert Kennedy noted “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Capecchi dared greatly and would go on to win the Nobel Prize and become a distinguished professor of human genetics and biology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Both Lincoln and Capeechi learned to navigate the chaos of life and practice the art of living well by daring to fail greatly. As American spiritual teacher Ram Dass noted “Without remaining open to change, we cannot remain open to life.” Lincoln and Capeechi dared to fail, remained open to change, and remained open to life. How often do you dare to fail greatly? What, or who, is holding you back from daring to fail greatly? What are you afraid of if you fail? How often do you remain open to change? Do you realize that by not being open to change you are limiting your ability to develop your future self?
- How often are you open to change?
Today is May 19 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often are you open to change?” The word change comes up often in the research, backstories, and historical events involved with the study of how people navigate the chaos. Change has an interesting etymology and offers a different application of the word. Middle English: from Old French change (noun), changer (verb), from late Latin cambiare, from Latin cambire ‘barter.’ Barter. Now that is a word not often associated with change. Referring to the origin of the word allows change to be defined more closely to barter – ‘trading one thing for another.’ The typical definition of change is ‘make or become different.’ Cheryl Strayed, John Grisham and Gal Gadot were all open to change. In 1986, at the age of 17, Strayed graduated from McGregor High School in McGregor, Minnesota, where she was a track and cross-country runner, cheerleader, and homecoming queen. She married Marco Littig in August of 1988, a month before her 20th birthday. In March 1991, when Strayed was a senior in college, her mother died suddenly of lung cancer at the age of 45. Strayed graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a double major in English and Women's Studies. Over time Strayed started using heroin, and eventually she and her husband divorced in 1995. Seeking self-discovery and resolution of her enduring grief and personal challenges, at age 26 Strayed hiked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail in 1995. She wrote about her adventure and published Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012. Wild intertwines the stories of Strayed's life before and during the journey, describing her physical challenges and spiritual realizations while on the trail. One of the realizations that Strayed made is that "your life will be a great and continuous unfolding.” The book reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list, and the film adaptation was released in December 2014. After graduating from law school and then practicing for a few years, Grisham was hanging around the courthouse one day in 1984 and overheard a 12-year-old girl tell the jury what had happened to her. Her story intrigued Grisham, and he began watching the trial. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. It was then, Grisham decided to write. It took him three years to complete his first book, A Time to Kill. Finding a publisher was not easy. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000-copy printing. It was published in June 1989. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, The Firm that would go on to be a best-seller. When viewing your life, do you consider it a choice or a combination? As Grisham said “I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.” According to Gadot, “If things had gone according to my plans, I'd be a lawyer. I never dreamt of being an actress. My mother was a teacher; my dad is an engineer. But at 18 I was approached to compete in Miss Israel. I thought it would be a nice experience. I never thought I would win! I was shocked when they crowned me. I made friends with women from all over the world. I started modeling and traveling. It opened my mind to different possibilities.” Following her participation in the competitions, she joined the Israeli Army where, as a citizen of Israel, she completed her two years of mandatory military service. After leaving the army, Gadot studied law. It was when she had completed her first year of school that a casting director called her to audition for the part of Bond girl Camille Montes in the film Quantum of Solace. Although she lost the part to Olga Kurylenko, the same casting director hired Gadot for the role of Gisele in Fast & Furious. In 2010, she had a small role in the action-adventure Knight and Day. Earlier that year, she appeared in the film Date Night as Natanya, the girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg's character. In 2013, Gadot played Gisele again in Fast & Furious 6. Gadot played Wonder Woman in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and starred in the 2017 movie Wonder Woman. Gadot remained open to changing her career path and doing so altered the course of her life. In 1997 British author Stephen Batchelor, published Buddhism Without Beliefs and wrote about adapting to change and life’s unfolding: “Did I live? The human world is like a vast musical instrument on which we play our individual part while simultaneously listening to the compositions of others to contribute to the whole. We don't choose whether to engage, only how to; we either harmonize or create dissonance. Our words, our deeds, our very presence create and leave impressions in the minds of others just as a writer makes impressions with their words. Who you are is an unfolding narrative. You came from nothing and will return there eventually. Instead of taking ourselves so seriously all the time, we can discover the playful irony of a story that has never been told in quite this way before.” How often are you open to change? How often do you trade one version of your life for a new one? Have you asked yourself how open you are? Do you allow yourself to understand that who you are is an unfolding narrative? How often do you ‘discover the playful irony of a story that has never been told in quite this way before?’
- How often do you want to win compared to winning the argument?
Today is May 18 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you want to win compared to winning the argument?” While navigating the chaos you will come across one argument after another. Topics that generally start arguments center around jobs, money, pursuits, and other personal interests. Some examples include “why would you declare history as a college major?” “Why would you quit a job you hated but made lots of money for one that you loved but made less money?” “Why do you want to push yourself and get a graduate degree; that seems like so much work?” Those who are absolute in their knowledge of all things related to you often lack any substantial evidence of navigating their own chaos. They have the answers but none of the evidence to support what they are saying. They have nothing on the horizon or even in the conceivable future; but they will certainly argue with you. Why on earth would you engage with such people when you are trying to translate a dream into reality? Every moment counts. And the more you allow the absolutists to rent space in your head, the less room you have for your own thoughts and for the lessons learned from those who successfully navigated the chaos. If you study how people navigate the chaos you will find most of them, if not all, never cared about winning the argument. They simply do not have any time for such trivial matters. In fact, most will not even engage in the argument. They simply let the other person talk. As Jeremy E. Sherman wrote in Psychology Today "If you’re dealing with someone who will say anything to win an argument, you shouldn’t keep arguing with them." Now the other person could be a spouse, a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or a co-worker. Someone in your life is going to argue with you as you navigate the chaos. That much is guaranteed. So what? Let them argue. Do you care? Are you going to engage in the argument? Do you want to win the argument or win? Those who navigate the chaos want to win. Let me repeat that. Those who navigate the chaos want to win. Winning an argument? No thank you. Winning a debate? Not interested. Being right all the time and proving to others who smart you are? Those who navigate the chaos have little time for such nonsense. Do you? For those in higher education, winning the argument is sometimes the only thing that matters. In his book Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, Nassim Nicholas Taleb examines higher education as it applies to this question. Taleb defines the doers of society as the source of all great invention and creativity, while academia remains anchored in a protectionist fashion of their own intelligence. Taleb argues that academics focus their attention on winning an argument rather than winning. Such an observation on higher education, however, has been around for over 70 years and is often known as Sayre’s law named after Wallace Stanley Sayre (1905–1972), U.S. political scientist and professor at Columbia University who noted "Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low." Sayre’s observation echoes a formulation noted by Charles Philip Issawi "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.” Political philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote about arguments in his 1833 essay “Every circumstance which gives a character to the life of a human being, carries with it its peculiar biases; its peculiar facilities for perceiving some things, and for missing or forgetting others. But, from points of view different from his, different things are perceptible; and none are more likely to have seen what he does not see, than those who do not see what he sees. The general opinion of mankind is the average of the conclusions of all minds, stripped indeed of their choicest and most recondite thoughts, but freed from their twists and partialities: a net result, in which everybody's point of view is represented, nobody's predominant. The collective mind does not penetrate below the surface, but it sees all the surface; which profound thinkers, even by reason of their profundity, often fail to do: their intenser view of a thing in some of its aspects diverting their attention from others.” In other words, you will most likely never win an argument so spend your limited time, energy, and resources on translating your dream into reality instead of engaging with someone who only wants to win an argument. How often do you find yourself arguing with others? Why is that? Do you feel a need to win every argument? If so, why is that? Can you let others win an argument and go about your current life situation? Do you realize that the energy you spend on arguing with someone will only detract from your ability to translate one dream after another into reality? Now that you are aware that some people just want to win arguments and never really pursue their dreams, how does that change your relationship with those in your life who merely want to argue? Are you so busy arguing that you are blinded to navigating the chaos and translating your dreams into reality? Are there people in your life who argue with you just to distract you from trying to translate your dreams into reality?
- How often do you change your perspective to get over yourself?
Today is May 17 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you change your perspective to get over yourself?” For today’s reflection let’s start off with a quick question: is Earth the largest planet in terms of size? Some people may say yes; but they would be wildly incorrect. The order of the planets in terms of size from smallest to largest is Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter. Earth is the fourth smallest. They are four planets much bigger than our own. Sad to say, not only are you not the center of the universe, neither is the planet on which you live. Earth is the fourth smallest planet so it is not even the largest. If you think you are the center of the universe, or anyone’s universe for that matter, you may want to reconsider and change your perspective to get over yourself. Navigate the chaos is a platform promoting self-awareness to encourage self-care and nurture self-love. Changing your perspective is often a healthy, productive, and effective way to leverage your mind, body, and spirit as you navigate the chaos. The etymology of the word perspective stems from medieval Latin perspectiva (science of optics), and from perspect (looked at closely). In short, perspective’s original meaning refers back to looking. Those that navigate the chaos and practice the art of living well look around at a problem, issue, or situation. They assess the landscape, ask as many questions as possible, identify various solutions, and then select one to move forward. Navigating the chaos requires one to have as many perspectives as possible. Such an approach allows one to look at a situation from different optical views. Would you really want to approach a situation merely from your limited perspective? And rest assured, your perspective, no matter how important, smart, or successful you are, is indeed limited. But one’s perspective on a topic is incredibly difficult to change because inertia is the path of least resistance. Inertia, or thinking the same way as one always does, require no effort, and people, sadly, are lazy. Changing perspectives, looking at a situation from multiple views, considering the thoughts of others, all requires one to think hard. As discussed in other Navigate the Chaos posts, thinking hard is hard work and that is why so few people engage in the thinking required to translate one dream after another into reality. On the difficulty associated with people changing their perspective, neuroscience researcher Joe Esperanza stated, “We’ve in fact conditioned ourselves to believe all sorts of things that aren’t necessarily true - and many of these things are having a negative impact on our health and happiness.” As Lynn Taylor wrote in a February 6, 2020, Psychology Today article Esperanza suggests people are addicted to their beliefs and emotions of their past. This addiction creates the perspective that “people see their beliefs as truths, not as ideas they can change.” People can, however, change their perspective. In fact, it is strongly encouraged to do so if one wants to practice the art of living well. To that end, researchers Aneta Przepiorka and Malgorzata Sobol-Kwapinska published a 2021 paper entitled “People with Positive Time Perspective are More Grateful and Happier” and found that gratitude mediated the association between time perspective and life satisfaction. The authors found that people have one of three different time orientations: past, present, or future. People with a past time orientation exist in a world of memories and experiences, whether pleasant or traumatic. Those living in the present are consumed by current events, without considering past experiences or future consequences. Meanwhile, future-oriented people often fail to notice present-time pleasures. Przepiorka and Sobol-Kwapinska concluded that a future time perspective, mediated by gratitude, is related to life satisfaction, and being able to set goals, anticipate, and plan ahead is important to achieving a sense of well-being. They point out that a future time perspective has been linked with life satisfaction and subjective health, as well as individual motivation in areas including education, work, and environment. They recognize that a future orientation has the potential to yield many types of beneficial outcomes and also increases happiness through promoting gratefulness for what we expect in the future. How often do you change your perspective? How often does someone encourage you to change your perspective? How often do you recognize the need to change your perspective? How often does someone ask you to help them develop a new perspective? Are you so addicted to your beliefs that you are unable to change them? Are you past, preset, or future oriented? What one thing can you do today to help yourself develop a future orientation so that you can increase your life satisfaction?