Chasing Your Dream

If there is something that you really want, what are you willing to do to achieve it?

  • Fail, get up, try again, fail, get up, try again – the math works like this, the more times you keep trying, the closer your dream comes to reality.
  • Be bold, do something you have never done and do it with confidence – that’s the ticket to punch for transcending the norm.
  • Postpone immediate gratification for achieving your actual goal.

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Phone-y Pursuits

All of us are guilty of getting so caught up in our phones that we miss the good that happens.

  • My young NYU students are impressed by the metric that indicates that out of 100 things that will happen to us only 4 could be considered bad.
  • YET our minds treat every concern as bad and we pay an emotional price for thinking that way.
  • We own our phones — they don’t own us – no one every died from missing a message.
  • According to research by nurses, those who have entered hospice in advance of their death had regrets that they didn’t spend more time with the people who mattered most in their lives.

The Reaction to Banning Phones

Students get to grade their teachers for better or worse – here’s a topic that pops up a lot on their report card about me:

  • Thank you for not letting us use our phones during class – it helps us to focus (I get that a lot)
  • Often young people are critical of their parents for using their phones all day long and wishing they would put their phones down and pay more attention to them – it’s not about duration, it’s all focus.
  • It’s only been a little more than a decade since the smartphone and social media apps changed life as we know it – phase two is living a less distracted life with the many benefits of digital life.

No Judging … except

Many of us try hard not to be judgmental of others, but we often bold ourselves to a different standard.

  • The only thing you want to compare yourself to is yourself yesterday.
  • Everything else is meaningless.
  • Avoid the comparison trap because the goal is to feel good about yourself not how you stack up to someone else which is totally irrelevant.
  • Admire the positive and admirable traits of others without feeling envy or low self-confidence in comparison.

Avoid inflating others by putting yourself down.

Christmas Wish

As a radio program director one of my favorite on-air promotions was “Christmas Wish” where listeners told the station what would make their holiday dreams come true and a few were picked at random on-air and offered prize packages.

  • A military wife might have asked for a trip overseas to see her husband and when chosen by the station received a roundtrip ticket, pocket cash and a present to take along. You get the idea.
  • But Christmas Wish can be done without any monetary consideration and without having to be the lucky winner chosen by a radio station.
  • Think about the one thing that someone special in your life wants that is not driven by cash considerations alone and be the one to give that gift.

The best gifts can be the ones when you become Santa Claus by discovering the inner wishes and dreams of those that matter most.

Have a Happy Holiday – we will return to start the new year on a positive note.

Jennifer Garner’s “Benign Neglect”

The actress is no helicopter mom.  She wants her children to suffer a little “benign neglect”:

  • Letting kids be bored and figure out what to do.
  • Trying things without a parent hovering over them.
  • Building resilience by letting them fail but giving them a helping hand to get up and try again.
  • Being 100% present when focused on time together or absent for they can get involved in something else.
  • Be ready to step in immediately on matters of bullying and safety.

Once again, you gain control by letting go in all types of relationships including a little “benign neglect”.

iPad Babies

My NYU students were talking about iPad babies during a discussion on immersive technology and the music business.

  • One said, “they (parents) just hand a 3-year old an iPad and expect them to go play”.
  • Parents set important examples in many ways including negative ones where they choose to be on their digital devices instead of engaging with their children.
  • One of the toughest addictions to break is relying on smartphones for fear of missing out on something – when young people try it (usually against their will), they often discover that they have the power to control their devices not the other way around.

In the digital age, phones are adult pacifiers just like iPads for toddlers – balance comes from taking control of digital usage not waiting until it feels right.

The 47 Second Attention Span

That’s what it is right now – down from 75 seconds in 2012 according to CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

  • Commercials have decreased to match the fading attention span from what was once the common 60 second spot, to 30 seconds, then 15 and now it’ not unusual to see 6-second commercials.
  • “There’s a fine line between attention and distraction” as almost everyone of all ages find themselves challenged to stay focused on what they are doing.
  • The key is to be both engaged and challenged and know when your best time is to focus says Dr. Gupta.

Multitasking is what we all do but it makes matter worse – doing multiple things simultaneously causes more anxiety and less productivity so the answer is prioritize that which is important and try to stay engaged while you make doing the task more challenging.

The Loneliness Epidemic

Isolation can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is a greater risk than being sedentary or obese according to the surgeon general.

  • The pandemic lockdown didn’t make things better, it promoted more loneliness.
  • BUT, there are ways to ease the loneliness – one is to rely less on the bubble we find ourselves in when on digital devices – engage more with those around us.
  • And the number of people we know doesn’t necessarily mean an end to loneliness – we can have many friends and be lonely.
  • It’s who you spend time with, how you engage them in the present and share a part of you.

“If you feel lonely, don’t be just with other lonely people … That’s not going to be productive.” – Ruth Westheimer, New York State Honorary Ambassador to Loneliness.

Dolly Does Dallas

She’s got to be everyone’s favorite Dallas Cowboys cheerleader – with exception of Eagles fans, perhaps.

  • She stole the show when she did the halftime entertainment dressed in a Cowboys cheerleader’s outfit – the only thought most people had was how cool she was.
  • Former player and football analyst Tony Romo couldn’t stop talking about her.
  • So how did she bridge the generation gap and carry it off?
  • Dolly Parton carries so much goodwill, kindness and authenticity that there is little that she cannot do which underscores the importance to making a lifetime of good deeds to win the long-term goodwill of others.
  • Here is her performance in case you missed it.