Sure Things

One billion dollars was the estimated total of betting in states that allow it for this year’s Super Bowl.

State and local lotteries attract almost $30 billion on the chance each year.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are slightly worse than Powerball at 1 in 302.6 million.

This is not about betting – it’s about how quickly most folks are to defy the odds for a chance to be a winner.

Yet on a personal level, many have a hard time betting on their own chances to succeed in various areas of their lives.

Accentuate the Positive

My longtime friend John Parikhal inspired this morning’s thought that I’d like to share.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi went against the grain of coaching of his time.

Most coaches showed players the things they had done wrong in game films – and even today most still do.

Vince Lombardi only showed them what they had done right.

He knew that they would focus on replicating the right moves rather than trying to avoid the wrong ones.

The more we emphasize what’s wrong, the harder it is to get to what’s right.

To Change a Habit

For decades it was widely thought that it took at least 30 days to create a new habit.

There’s more recent research from a 2009 study that indicates it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days which is either less time than previously thought or almost the better part of a year.

Here’s a better metric.

If you don’t start now, the time to effect a change will be infinite because change is not possible until a commitment is made to look at things differently, come up with a workable plan and persevere until a new habit is achieved.

In other words, it’s not how long it takes but how much longing you have to change things.

Super Bowl Psychology

With less than a week until the next Super Bowl between the Eagles and Chiefs, there’s another playbook that fans could consult.

In sports, two teams show up with the intention of winning but people often show up to work or whatever else matters with some question as to whether they will succeed.

That’s never a question in sports.

When one team wins, they enjoy their victories endlessly — for the rest of us, when we have a success, we often move on too quickly shortcutting the “celebration”.

The loser in sports licks their wounds, learns from their mistakes but can hardly wait to play another day for a chance to win the next time – but we often get stuck in disappointment, overlook the lessons adversity can teach us and fail to have that eager anticipation to try again in the future.

The Super Bowl of psychology is always bet on yourself.

Best Way to Cure Anxiety Today

Showing kindness towards others actually works wonders on anxiety and depression according to a new study.

Did you really need a study to know that?  Probably not.

We get caught in our own problems AND the issues, fears and worries of others that bring us down.

How does doing acts of kindness for others help us?

It gets our mind off of our problems, furthers connections with others which has been proven to relieve depression.

Big or small acts that benefit others or make others happy.

No iPad, No Problem

Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella ordered the removal of iPads on the bench typical used by players to view their shift on the ice.


He wants the players to focus more on what they will do the next time they jump on the ice, not looking at the last one.

It seems to have worked as the team which has struggled all season is winning more than losing at midpoint with the removal of iPads.

I emphasize to my NYU students, our digital devices exist to serve us and there are times when we do better focusing our attention on the next task up rather than getting caught up in the past.


In Philly, there was a man named Les Waas who formed the Procrastinators Club just for fun and celebrated all the holiday months after they occurred much to the delight of members of the local media – me included.

Waas wouldn’t like the study I saw the other day that says there is a way to fix procrastination, the delay or postponement of action either because the task is too big or we’re not ready to do it.

The answer:  short-term rewards

Research shows lesser but more frequently rewards for working on our tasks gets better results than waiting until it is finished even if the final reward is bigger and more attractive.


It doesn’t work – studies show those who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced an IQ decline similar to being up all night without sleep.

And The Cleveland Clinic says multitasking doesn’t work because when our brain bounces from task to task we become less efficient.

Only 2.5% of us can effectively multitask.

We already know what it’s like to feel slammed all the time.

Now we know that taking on more than we can handle only makes it worse.

But wait, there’s hope.

Multitasking by doing a cognitive task while also enjoying a passive experience such as simultaneously listening to music is fine.

Yes, Apologies

“I’m sorry IF I” is not an apology.

A real apology is to own up to what you’ve done and be ready for the consequences.

Shifting the blame is useless.

When the other person has been hurt, it is not about us, it’s about them and how we can make things right.


People don’t like you for who you are, they like you for how they feel about themselves in your presence.

If you help people love themselves in your presence, that is the key to relationships and that is the key to reputation.

Wisdom from Dr. Amit Sood, who emphasizes resiliency as a path toward happiness.