Svalbard by night: an Arctic odyssey

As my “life odometer” ticks over more and more years, I’ve begun checking items off my “bucket list.” Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve been fascinated by what lies over the horizon, and having degrees in geography has only encouraged the wanderlust I’ve felt all my life. One of the items on my…

By Rick November 26, 2023 2

Whatever happened to the citizen-soldier?

The generally accepted academic definition of “citizen soldier” includes four traits: Military service must be obligatory (compulsory service fulfilling part of one’s duties as a citizen), universal (reflective of the nation as a whole, not just one segment of the population), have legitimacy by democratic standards (or strong popular support), and personnel identify themselves as civilians first, rather than as soldiers. The…

By Rick November 11, 2023 0

Are the “End Times” approaching?

I’m a “spiritual free-lancer,” i.e., I don’t subscribe to any formal religion. I’ve explored many different religions taken a pinch of this and a dash of that to concoct my own belief. Still, lately, I’ve read articles from scholars of the three Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) faiths discussing the end of the world and…

By Rick November 5, 2023 0

What turns a man into a battlefield monster?

The world has watched in horror as Russian soldiers and Gaza terrorists have committed horrible, unthinkable atrocities. So, what turns a man into a monster? The short answer: Drugs. The long answer: drugs, indoctrination and prejudice against other groups or ethnicities. Over the past three months, European authorities have seized numerous Captagon pills, an amphetamine-based…

By Rick October 29, 2023 0

Oh where, oh where has the truth gone?

Modern tales, much like the old ones, revolve around humans and trolls. In the deep caves of a cyber mountain somewhere, sinister individuals sit, enticing unsuspecting travelers with their alluring calls, turning them into their victims – not devoured this time like in the old tales, but rather brainwashed and transformed into troll offspring by…

By Rick October 21, 2023 2

The state of America: are we circling the drain?

Are we circling the drain? Are we entering a wilderness? Bitching about politics is a time-honored American pastime. Still, lately, the country’s political mood has plunged to a seemingly all-time low. And if you’re anything like me, you’re experiencing recurring bouts of disaster fatigue and information overwhelm in today’s polarized political atmosphere. Conspiracy theories flourish,…

By Rick October 14, 2023 0

Understanding the world of cyber-attacks and hackers

In the age of digital dominance, a new frontier has emerged – the enigmatic realm of cyber warfare. But what exactly constitutes cyber warfare on the modern digital battlefield? It’s a question that sparks debate among cybersecurity experts, and its implications are profound. The line between attacker and defender blurs in this digital arena, and…

By Rick October 1, 2023 0

Burnout or boreout?

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard about burnout – right? I recently ran across a new term describing a condition similar to burnout called boreout. I was surprised to discover that this under-recognized condition is caused by a lack of challenging work. My initial thought was to laugh until I realized that being bored out…

By Rick September 24, 2023 0

Understanding social hierarchies

Have you ever wondered why some animals seem to be in charge while others are at the bottom of the pecking order? Have you ever wondered who’s the boss? Social hierarchies, or how animals organize themselves into social groups with different levels of status, are often determined by who’s the most dominant. Humans, on the…

By Rick September 17, 2023 0

Can you age without growing old?

“No matter how active we are, our muscle mass and strength decline as we age. In fact, muscle mass and strength peak at 30 to 35 years old. After that, they slowly but steadily decline. At age 65 for women and 70 for men, the pace of these declines increases,” according to the National Institutes of…

By Rick September 9, 2023 0

Can altered states lead to peak performance?

My fascination with altered states of consciousness began at university, where I was studying cultural anthropology. I became captivated by the practices of Native Americans in Arizona and New Mexico, who utilized various natural substances to induce trances, experience visions and interpret them for others. Recently, my curiosity has been piqued by the relentless pursuit…

By Rick September 3, 2023 0

Seniors are lighting up

Weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, ganja, Mary Jane. “A rose by any other name…” Anyway, you get the picture. And I’m not talking about CBD oil, either, although it certainly relieves the pain in my joints! Marijuana’s historical association with the youth counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s has given way to a new reality.…

By Rick August 27, 2023 0

A journey of reflection: examining body, psyche and the state of disunion

My blog is a 360-degree blog that covers everything from mindset, mental toughness, motivation, grit and resilience to lifestyle, human performance, peak-performance aging, social, philosophical and geopolitical issues. And pretty much whatever else comes into my insatiably curious mind: life, death, family and health, but not necessarily in that order. As an amateur opinion-slinger (as hard as…

By Rick August 19, 2023 0

Are you stressed about being stressed?

What’s your go-to when you feel stressed out? Do you like a few glasses of wine, an hours-long vent session or a creative excuse to get out of a social engagement? These are all examples of experiential avoidance—an unwillingness to experience uncomfortable internal emotions or sensations and active efforts to change, reduce, or eliminate them…

By Rick August 13, 2023 0

Re-write your story

This post is about how you can stop the limiting beliefs you picked up somewhere on your journey through life. We’ve all had things happen to us that make us believe certain stories about ourselves. They might be things in your subconscious memory from your very early years or things you were told as a…

By Rick August 6, 2023 0

Choice – Chance – Change

Life, according to French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, is the realm of Choices, denoted as “C,” situated between Birth (“B”) and Death (“D”). These choices form a crucial aspect of our self-development, shaping our experiences and determining our life’s trajectory. The remarkable aspect of this power lies in the fact that if you’re dissatisfied with your…

By Rick July 30, 2023 2

From longship raiders to cyber warriors

Once upon a time, in a world teetering on the edge of secrecy and surveillance, a clandestine gathering took place at the heart of the National Security Agency (NSA). It was a crisp April day in 2013 when the head of the NSA welcomed a group of Swedish intelligence officials to the hallowed grounds of…

By Rick July 22, 2023 0

Fourth of July reflections in a time of transition

I wrote this post on the 4th of July, America’s Independence Day. It’s a day that always reminds me of patriotism, sacrifice, accountability and unity. Sadly, “the times they are a changing,” as Bob Dylan once sang. American identity is in a time of transition. As America celebrated its independence while divided on the true nature of…

By Rick July 8, 2023 2

The shadowy world of spies and spy agencies

Everything you thought you knew to be true is a lie. Welcome to the world of espionage. Spy agencies, though shrouded in secrecy, play a vital role in maintaining global stability, safeguarding national security and protecting the interests of their respective nations. Their abilities to gather intelligence, conduct covert operations and analyze threats are essential…

By Rick June 25, 2023 2

The power of your age beliefs

Here’s a fun fact that people hate to admit… we get older. Yet some people age better and live longer than others. Have you ever wondered why? Dr. Becca Levy, author of “Breaking the Age Code,” believes she’s discovered why. Do you want to age better? If so, start by asking yourself the following questions.…

By Rick June 17, 2023 0

The new battle for undersea infrastructure

Imagine waking up one fine morning, ready to tackle the day ahead, only to discover that the world as you know it has been plunged into a communication abyss. Overnight, a catastrophic event has unfolded, resulting in the cutting of undersea communication cables and oil and gas pipelines beneath the vast oceans. As you groggily…

By Rick June 11, 2023 0

Decision-making styles and models

Are you tired of the same old decision-making information remodeled and re-packaged again and again? If so, read on because we’re about to examine different decision-making models and uncover the secrets of making good choices. Special Operations units employ a variety of models outlined in Mark Divine’s insightful book “The Way of the SEAL” and…

By Rick June 4, 2023 0

A Boomer’s misadventures in today’s social wilderness

In this fast-paced digital age, where technological advancements are reshaping the world at an unprecedented pace, one demographic is left feeling both intrigued and bewildered. Enter the Baby Boomers, who find themselves trying to navigate the diverse cultures and values of the Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z in the stormy seas of today’s “rageisphere.”…

By Rick May 27, 2023 0

Confessions of a Permanent Mission Control Officer

On the evening of my departure from my second tour at the Civilian Observers Unit (COU), which is part of the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO), I gave a satirical farewell speech (after numerous adult beverages) to my COU colleagues. It was a tongue-in-cheek account of my time as a Permanent Mission Control Officer (PMCO)…

By Rick May 6, 2023 2

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies!”

Let’s get something straight right up front. We’re all getting older. And if you don’t believe that, you’re definitely in denial. And “denial” ain’t a river in Egypt. The years keep flowing by like water over a broken dam. And I’m glad they do because aging sure beats the alternative. Old age is often called…

By Rick April 30, 2023 0

Make your anxiety work for you

In today’s world, anxiety is an epidemic. The mere mention of the word is enough to send many people spiraling into a panic. But what if we told you that anxiety isn’t always the enemy? What if we told you that anxiety can be a powerful tool for growth and transformation? That’s the message of…

By Rick April 23, 2023 0

Thoughts from the front lines of life

Welcome to a journey through the mind of this seasoned observer of life’s front lines. As I sit here sipping on my prune juice and reminiscing about the days of rotary phones, 8-track tapes, VCRs, muscle cars, cassette tapes and black-and-white television, I can’t help but chuckle at the state of our society today. It’s…

By Rick April 15, 2023 0

The spy in your smartphone

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Do you spend hours every day talking, scrolling through social media, checking your email and playing games, not to mention swiping left or right on Tinder? If so, you might want to think twice about what’s really going on inside that little device. Because while you’re busy swiping and…

By Rick April 8, 2023 0

Spy games: covert capers around the world

“They” do it, and “we” do it. Just about everyone does it. When I was posted to Embassy Stockholm, I was told the Swedish security services would likely “monitor” my actions until they were convinced I was doing only the work my position entailed. But wait! Aren’t Sweden and the US allies? Correct, but today’s…

By Rick April 1, 2023 0

Want to be more productive?

Do you feel like the world is demanding more and more from you? Is it becoming increasingly more challenging to meet expectations and goals without burning out? Are you working harder and longer, but your productivity is dropping? Are you struggling more and enjoying life less? If you answered yes to any (or all) of…

By Rick March 19, 2023 0

“You may delay, but time will not”

There’s an old song from 1963 called “Time Is on My Side,” which ironically was the name of the Survivor episode where I won immunity by remaining inside a circle on the beach without any way to tell time for 20 minutes. The competitor who was closest to 20 minutes won. My time was 20…

By Rick March 12, 2023 0

Chatting with ChatGPT

“In the wake of the viral success of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can generate shockingly convincing essays and responses to user prompts, a growing number of tech companies are racing to deploy similar technology in their products. But it comes with risks, especially for search engines, which are intended to surface accurate results,” experts say. Like…

By Rick March 4, 2023 0

Live younger, longer

We live in a fast-paced, modern world, so maintaining a balanced life is becoming increasingly more important for your health and wellbeing. If you go out on the Net, especially social media, you’re bombarded by ads and advice on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. It’s a jungle of conflicting information. Have you heard something like this…

By Rick February 26, 2023 0

“It pays to be a winner”

We’ve all heard it before, and OMG if I had a dollar for every time an instructor shouted that in BUD/S (Basic Underwater/ SEAL training), I would have never had to work again. Of course, it always paid to be a winner in BUD/S because it meant you got to rest while others pressed on.…

By Rick February 18, 2023 0

“Balloongate”

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a balloon. I hate to tell you this, folks, but spy balloons are some really old technology. Balloons have been used to spy since the late 18th century. Napoleon used them for reconnaissance in 1794, and in the US Civil War, Union forces used balloons to track Confederate troop movements.…

By Rick February 11, 2023 0

A tale of mishandled documents

Secrets, secrets everywhere – except where they’re supposed to be. Nobody knows anything anymore until after it already occurs. At least, that’s the way it currently appears to be. First, former Secretary of State Clinton (classified emails), then former President Trump, then current President Biden and now former Vice President Pence. What are we supposed to…

By Rick February 4, 2023 0

Why do we love conspiracy theories?

The internet is filled with a dizzying range of conspiracy theories, ranging from the idea that the moon landings were faked to the belief that the earth is flat. True believers quickly dismiss any evidence that contradicts their beliefs and often claim that witnesses or experts who oppose the ideas are part of the conspiracy. So, why do…

By Rick January 29, 2023 0

A satirical look at the Department of Defense

This is the second in my two-post “roasts” of the Department of State and Department of Defense. This is another long post written by a “rad grandad” who’s too old to die young. As I wrote in my first post, I’ve been both a State and a Defense person (former Navy SEAL, retired Foreign Service…

By Rick January 21, 2023 0

A satirical look at the Department of State

Just when you thought my posts couldn’t get any weirder, weirder they done gotten (at least this one). And yes, for all the anal grammar nerds out there,I intentionally wrote the first sentence that way. One of the great things about being my own editor and only contributor is that I can write whatever I…

By Rick January 13, 2023 0

Adventures in paradise

The Conch Republic, a.k.a. Key West is a small slice of paradise (a four-mile long, two-mile wide island) located at the westernmost tip of the Florida Keys, a pearl band of islands that stretch some 90 miles from the Florida mainland and only 95 miles from Cuba. It’s a haven for poets, aging hippies, musicians,…

By Rick January 8, 2023 0

Hit the ground running in 2023

2022 was the year of new dumbness, and normalcy is a state of existence that I barely remember. Holiday office parties, or as they’re more likely to be thought of now – future HR complaints/civil suits where ever-vigilant “wokesters” prowled looking to be offended – are nearly behind us. As 2022 disappears in the rearview…

By Rick December 29, 2022 0

“Master Chief” Santa heads down range

It’s that time of the year again, and you know the drill. United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has issued orders today to SEAL (Santa Eagerly Awaits Launch) Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) Santa Claus to report for active duty again no later than 24 Dec 2022. The boys are back in town, and they’re…

By Rick December 18, 2022 0

Cyber seniors are getting their “game” on

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “gamer?” Is it a socially awkward young person hunkered down in their room, isolated and cut off from the real world? Well, think again. The “times, they are a changing,” as Bob Dylan once sang. More and more older people are plunging into the wide…

By Rick December 11, 2022 0

The “imperfect” geopolitical storm

“We stand at the beginning of history. For every person alive today, ten have lived and died in the past. But if human beings survive as long as the average mammal species, then for every person alive today, a thousand people will live in the future. We are the ancients. On the scale of a…

By Rick December 4, 2022 0

Unleash the power of not giving a fuck

I was inspired to write this post after reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck,” by Sarah Knight. The vast majority of us today are stressed out, worried and overworked from “giving too many fucks about too many things for too long,” says Sarah Knight. I couldn’t agree more. But it doesn’t have…

By Rick November 26, 2022 0

Navigating political conversations in today’s polarized world

Unless you’ve been living under a stone or in a remote cave somewhere for the last 8-10 years, you’re undoubtedly aware that we’re living in an increasingly polarized political world. Covid-believers argue with Covid-disbelievers. Climate activists battle climate bluffers. Woke warriors attack everybody. Urban dwellers duel with rural dwellers. Revisionists disagree with those who believe…

By Rick November 19, 2022 0

Dear dad,

Sunday is Father’s Day in Sweden. How are you? I hope things are well wherever you are. I was watching a movie last night and once again thought of you. In the movie, a kind and loving father discretely gives some money to his daughter so that her husband won’t see. The couple is struggling…

By Rick November 12, 2022 0

Why do we belong to tribes?

Whether or not we know it, we all belong to a tribe. It may not be obvious initially, but if you dig deep, you’ll find your clan. Why you might be thinking? Well, belonging to a tribe or a clan is critical if we’re to become well-rounded, empathetic humans. We join tribes, leave tribes and…

By Rick November 6, 2022 0

Lifespan or healthspan?

As long as I can remember, we’ve talked about lifespan. But now that we’re living longer than ever before, another term is popping up more and more – healthspan! And while it’s good news that we’re living longer, what about the quality of those years, especially the last few decades? “Lifespan refers to the total number…

By Rick October 30, 2022 0

Why do we quit?

Some people find it too easy to quit. People who have difficulty tolerating frustration or handling occasional boredom are ready to move on when the excitement and novelty wear off, as they eventually do with most things. But those aren’t the only reasons we quit too soon. If we’re engaged in a task or a challenge that…

By Rick October 23, 2022 0

Dopamine “uncovered”

Thanks to an instinct that’s millions of years old, human beings are programmed to approach pleasure and avoid pain. This instinct dates to a time when people needed to actively seek food, clothing and shelter every day or die. Dopamine, the chief celebrity among brain chemicals, plays a role in these activities. Dopamine is one…

By Rick October 16, 2022 0

Reflections from a gnarly septuagenarian

I’ve found that life is like riding a speeding train. Everything you experience and see on your journey gets put in the caboose, which was traditionally the bright red last car on a train (for those of you too young to remember). When you’re on the train moving forward, you don’t think about it stopping…

By Rick October 8, 2022 0

Geography and geopolitics

When you think of geography, what comes to mind? I can almost hear you now. “Seriously? Geography is just about memorizing a bunch of boring names, places and things worldwide. Get real!” But geography is much, much more. And what in the world (pun intended) can you do with a degree in geography – even…

By Rick October 2, 2022 0

Defragging our brains

Have you ever felt so “overloaded” that you wanted just to plug your brain into your computer and download all the stuff that’s churning around in your brain? Have you felt scattered throughout the day? Have you experienced a “WTSHF” (when the shit hits the fan) moment? I’m guessing you have. But there are steps…

By Rick September 25, 2022 0

TALES FROM THE PHILIPPINES

“Discretion is the better part of valor.” In the mid-1990s, I unexpectedly found myself without a place to live. The apartment I had been renting was suddenly no longer available, as the owner needed to return to Sweden due to an illness in her family. Winter was approaching, and I wasn’t ready to abandon the…

By Rick September 18, 2022 0

On becoming a man

There comes a time in every male’s life, when the boy has the chance to become a man. This is when he steps up to the plate, does what needs to be done and is at peace with who he is. Just how and when this happens varies considerably. Let me start with where I’m…

By Rick September 10, 2022 0

When you eat is key to longevity

According to a new landmark study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center recently published in the journal Science, it’s important not only what you eat but also when you eat. Researchers believe that eating mainly during the day instead of at night might be the key to a longer life. The combination of eating…

By Rick September 4, 2022 0

Who is Alexander Dugin?

Recent headlines about the death of his daughter, Dugina, editor of United World International (UWI) and part of Russia’s vast disinformation machine, in a car-bomb attack most likely intended for Alexander Dugin himself have propelled this ultranationalist ideologue into the limelight. But who is this man some call “Putin’s brain, Putin’s Rasputin, the architect of Russia’s…

By Rick August 28, 2022 0

Neurochemical hedonism and engineering

I must admit, neurochemical hedonism was a new concept for me. But before we dive into this exciting new area, let’s take a look at hedonism itself. “The term ‘hedonism,’ from the Greek word ἡδονή (hēdonē) for pleasure, refers to several related theories about what is good for us, how we should behave and what motivates…

By Rick August 21, 2022 0

Bean-counters, bureaucrats and diplomats – part one

What comes to mind when you think about State Department types (aka diplomats), assuming you give them any thought at all? More than likely, you’ll think they’re nerdy, mild-mannered types in suits with glasses and pretty dull. Maybe even soul-crushingly “meh.” Let’s face it. Hollywood doesn’t make many cool, exciting movies about diplomats like they…

By Rick August 7, 2022 0

Are you metabolically flexible?

You know that there’re are many types of flexibility that can help you in life, but here’s one you may not know about – metabolic flexibility. We all know someone who can eat and eat and never seems to gain weight. It seems unfair, doesn’t it? It’s like this person has retained the ability to…

By Rick July 31, 2022 0

Choose to be optimistic and live longer

Studies have shown that optimists tend to outperform pessimists in all respects. You can choose to be optimistic. That’s right! Songs such as “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” have reminded us for years that it’s better to be optimistic than pessimistic. And now, a new study says…

By Rick July 24, 2022 0

“Out of one, many” – a nation divided

I’ve just returned from an extended vacation in the US – my first visit to the country of my birth in three years. I’d been warned by good friends from across the political spectrum that I wouldn’t recognize my homeland. I thought they were exaggerating, but they weren’t. Despite having been in warring countries and…

By Rick July 16, 2022 0

Are you bored at work?

Do you find it hard to be engaged in your work? If so, you’re not alone; I’ve been there myself. In fact, you’re far from it! Studies in the U.S. have shown that around 70% of people are not engaged in their work, and another 18% hate what they’re doing. And it’s not just because…

By Rick July 11, 2022 0

ONCE UPON A TIME IN GOA

“Adventure and the unknown are my obsessive-compulsive disorder with no known cure.” Back in my hippie days when I was chasing life and backpacking across the globe without a care or a responsibility in the world, my traveling companion and I first heard of Goa while hanging out with some fellow travelers in Spain. We…

By Rick July 8, 2022 0

The “Swipe” culture

When I was growing up, the verb “swipe” meant to steal something. And maybe it still does in some remote way. Potentially, you can steal a heart or even some’s self-confidence, depending on the direction you swipe. It seems that we can get just about anything we want nowadays by clicking on an app. It’s…

By Rick July 1, 2022 0

Reflections on turning 75

The former American statesman Bernard Baruch once said, “To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.” With that in mind, I refuse to be pessimistic or depressed about aging. I’m going to continue to soldier on with my life and adventures and not call it a day until the fat lady…

By Rick June 24, 2022 0

Your dash

I recently re-read one of my favorite poems about life. Despite having read it many times, I confess that I didn’t give it much deep thought. It was a lovely poem, and that was that. But with my 75th birthday just two weeks away, re-reading it prompted me to reflect on my life (so far). “The…

By Rick June 11, 2022 0

Once upon a time in China – part two

After a reasonably short flight from Kunming, we arrived in the fantastic city of Guilin, which is situated on the beautiful Li River. Once we found a hotel, we set off for a day cruise down this spectacular river that winds its way through tens of thousands of karst mountains created by millions of years…

By Rick June 5, 2022 0

Harnessing the power of your mind

If you know me, have attended my talks, read my books or followed my blog, you’re familiar with my favorite quote: “You are what you believe you are!” I recently listened to the Huberman Lab Podcast featuring Dr. Alia Crum, a tenured professor of psychology at Stanford University and Founder and Director of the Stanford…

By Rick May 22, 2022 0

Super pill for soldiers

Real-life super soldiers might be coming faster than you think. Our on-screen superheroes might soon have competition from various militaries around the world. If you follow my blog, you know that I’m fascinated by human performance and anything that can enhance it. It seems there’s a powerful pill – one that can help our troops…

By Rick May 15, 2022 0

Hypocrisy, kleptocracy and energy

The hypocrisy of the kleptocracy that is Russia is mind-boggling. They are not alone, however (more on that toward the end of this post). But let’s examine Russia first. The children of the hypocrites that steer the Russian kleptocracy (Putin, his homies and oligarchs) range far and wide, enjoying all the luxury and glamor that…

By Rick May 1, 2022 0

Covid, Neanderthals and me

I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck Neanderthals and Covid-19 have to do with each other. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, I want to point out that I usually avoid writing about Covid-19 like the plague (pun intended). No matter what you write, you’re bound to piss off at least half…

By Rick April 27, 2022 0

Democracies, autocracies and leaders

I used the term “pagan politics” in a recent post entitled Man, War and Savagery. I’ve received a few requests to expand on what I meant by that. I wrote that I feared we might be entering a period of pagan politics when describing the atrocities that have taken place in various wars, including and…

By Rick April 21, 2022 0

Setting boundaries

Do you find it difficult to set boundaries? Quite a few people understand the everyday meaning of boundaries but fail to see them as personal limits that are important for healthy relationships. They’re essential because boundaries help us protect and take care of ourselves. If we fail to set boundaries, especially in our personal relationships,…

By Rick April 14, 2022 0

Mankind, war and savagery

Mankind never ceases to surprise me with its propensity to wage war, brutalize and act savagely, although I shouldn’t be surprised if we look at history (more on that later in the post). When it comes to war, Chinese General, military strategist, writer and philosopher Sun-Tzu offers valuable insights. “It’s better to be a warrior…

By Rick April 8, 2022 0

Just how resilient are you?

I’ve written quite a bit about resilience in the past, as it’s one of my favorite subjects. And I’m pretty sure you have an idea of what resilience is after enduring a couple of years of the pandemic, political and social upheaval, economic and financial uncertainty and now war. Still, we may not be sure…

By Rick April 2, 2022 0

CHASING LIFE – INTRODUCTION

“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.” Life is awesome and full of experiences with many lessons to be learned (see the end of each chapter)! Everyone has a story to tell, and this book is about mine. As a “boomer,” I came of age in the turbulent 60s,…

By Rick March 29, 2022 0

Do mindsets matter?

We’re at a turning point in medical history where research is uncovering the mysteries of our mind-body connection. So, do mindsets matter? Can our thoughts and beliefs trigger physiological responses in our bodies? Are there such things as belief benefits? Although multiple interacting factors affect health and disease (genetics, trauma, socioeconomic environment, etc.), your beliefs matter, too. If you know me, have attended…

By Rick March 23, 2022 0

“You can’t always get what you want”

I thought I was finished blogging about the war in Ukraine, but here I am again. And when writing this post, the lyrics of an old Rolling Stones song came to mind, “You can’t always get what you want” (in this case, Ukraine). These are followed by, “but if you try sometimes, you get what…

By Rick March 19, 2022 0

Confirmation bias

The last week has been tough. We’ve been subjected to propaganda, lies, false-flag operations, disinformation, bots, trolls and God knows what else. That’s why I’m writing about confirmation bias. So, what is confirmation bias. We’ve all been guilty of this at some point or another. It’s human nature, I’m afraid. And in these chaotic times…

By Rick March 16, 2022 0

A peak behind the intelligence-gathering curtain

Here we are, weeks later in the Russian invasion of Ukraine that Putin expected to take only a couple of days, and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov continues to spew forth lies and spread disinformation. It’s only taken 14 days for a conspiracy theory about US-funded Ukrainian biolabs to become a major rallying cry for Russian…

By Rick March 12, 2022 0

The importance of accurate intelligence

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has highlighted the critical role accurate intelligence plays in preparing for a battle. The Russian invasion has also showcased what happens when inaccurate intelligence is provided, or no intelligence is available at all. This brings two quotes to mind. “Knowledge is only of value if you share it…

By Rick March 9, 2022 0

A clash of values

This is not a clash of civilizations. It’s a clash of politics and politicians, and it’s a clash of values. The West has decided that the best way to force Putin to back down is to grab him by his “oligarchs” and squeeze them until he and they cry out in pain and beg us…

By Rick March 5, 2022 0

Has Putin “gone round the bend”

It’s day seven and Ukraine is still standing. Before attempting to tackle issue of Putin’s sanity or lack thereof, I’d like to explain why I’ve been using the “Kiev” spelling. Is it Kiev or Kyiv? As Russian forces stand poised on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital and thousands flee, the least we outsiders can…

By Rick March 2, 2022 0

Where does Putin go from here?

Morning has broken on day six of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and he still hasn’t reached his ultimate goal – crushing Ukraine militarily. The question on everyone’s lips is, where does Putin go from here? My alter-ego “rogue diplomat” believes Putin no longer cares about security guarantees or NATO and EU encroachment. It’s been a…

By Rick March 1, 2022 0

Putin ups the ante

As day five of the invasion dawns, Putin is playing the “nuke card.” I’ve been afraid this might happen based on his increasingly unhinged and almost paranoid behavior. This is my “rogue diplomat” view of what he’s up to. Putin, the bully, appears to be going all in and pushing all his chips onto the…

By Rick February 28, 2022 0

Putin’s gamble

Once again, I find myself diving into the deep and murky waters of geopolitical issues. Having retired from the US Department of State nearly a decade ago and no longer with any “skin in the game,” I can write freely like the “rogue diplomat” I always was and still am. As we enter the fourth…

By Rick February 27, 2022 0

The Russian-Ukrainian crisis (24/2/2022)

I don’t usually write about geopolitical issues, as I’m no longer in that business and no longer have access to the variety of reports I had in the past. I wrote a post on Afghanistan, but now with tens of thousands of Russian troops pouring into Ukraine from the east, north and south in a…

By Rick February 24, 2022 0

What is the “sweet spot” for learning?

Are you failing too little? Are you failing too much? And how are you supposed to know what the right amount of failure is? How much can you fail before it becomes counter-productive? According to a recent study, if you’re having one of those days where it feels like everything’s going wrong, don’t worry about…

By Rick February 20, 2022 0

Black coffee and dark chocolate

Do you like your coffee black and your chocolate dark? According to new research by caffeine researcher Marilyn Cornelis, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, it might be more than just a whim. It might be in your genes. That’s right, you might have a genetic preference for your taste. And if you do, you’ve…

By Rick February 13, 2022 0

Magnificent Magnesium

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t given much thought to just how important magnesium is to us. The fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, magnesium plays a role in more than 300 enzyme reactions in our bodies, supports the immune system, helps muscle and nerve functions and regulates blood pressure. That’s a…

By Rick February 6, 2022 0

MY INDONESIAN CONNECTION

This is an excerpt from my latest book “Tales from Chasing Life. A Journey of Journeys.” It deals with my travels to Indonesia over the years from backpacker to diplomat. “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” Indonesia is a beautiful country consisting of some 17,000 islands. And for…

By Rick January 29, 2022 0

2022 – smooth sailing or more of the same?

Well, the first month of 2022 is nearly over, and uncertainty abounds. We may be “done” with the pandemic, but the pandemic isn’t done with us yet. What’s the next Greek letter lurking over the horizon? The world looks as confusing and chaotic – perhaps more so – than in the previous two years. Vaxxers…

By Rick January 23, 2022 0

“Turbocharging” the brain

By now, most people are familiar with the concept of blood doping, which is the misuse of specific techniques and/or substances to increase one’s red blood cell mass. This, in turn, allows the body to transport more oxygen to muscles, thus improving stamina and performance. Blood doping can also involve training at high altitudes and…

By Rick January 16, 2022 0

Functional medicine – getting to the root of the cause

We are experiencing a frightening rise in the number of people who suffer from such chronic diseases as cancer, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, diabetes and mental illness. Even more alarming is that mainstream medicine treats patients instead of healing them. Is there a way to reverse this dramatic trend? The answer is a resounding “yes.” This…

By Rick January 8, 2022 0

Embrace your learning opportunities

I want to start 2022 differently. Everybody boasts about their accomplishments, but few are as vocal about their efforts where they didn’t succeed. That’s kind of strange since we know that this is where we grow and learn. Google, Apple and other companies appreciate failures. And I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “fail fast forward.…

By Rick January 2, 2022 0

THE NOMAD PERIOD – PART TWO

After a week or so in Iceland (the days all blurred into one), we met some girls who told us to cash in our airline ticket and take the “party boat” to Copenhagen. It seems most young Icelanders work in Copenhagen during the summer and getting there is one long party. That sounded great to…

By Rick December 25, 2021 0

THE NOMAD PERIOD – PART ONE

“Many a false step is made by standing still” When I left the Navy, I was bound and determined to catch up on the traveling and fun life that I had missed while serving (not that we didn’t travel in “The Teams,” of course) and to complete my university education, however long it took. This…

By Rick December 19, 2021 0

It ain’t bad. It just “is”

This post is about playing the hand you’ve been dealt. It’s about mindset. It’s about controlling what you can control. And what can you control? What you can control is how you show up each day and how you perceive the world and events. But most of all, you can control how you respond to…

By Rick December 12, 2021 0

Brains just want to survive

I was listening to a very interesting podcast called “Pushing The Limits” by Lisa Tamiti, an ultra-athlete from New Zealand. She was hosting Dr. Don Wood, Inspired Performance Institute, a trauma expert and neuroscientist who specializes in dealing with trauma, anxiety and stress to help you get your mind back on track. If you’ve grown…

By Rick December 5, 2021 0

Cryotherapy is cool

Freezing your ass off in a cold chamber might seem like an odd way to get healthy, but if you like the cold, you’ll love cryotherapy. Even this Florida guy has gotten used to it. It’s cool and a great way to chill – pun intended. But what is cryotherapy, and what can it do…

By Rick November 28, 2021 0

What is Kaatsu?

Kaatsu (additional pressure in English), also known as Blood Flow Restriction (BFR), traces its origins back to a Japanese temple ceremony in 1966. This fitness trend is gaining in popularity with Olympians, everyday athletes and people undergoing physical therapy, who use Kaatsu to strengthen their muscles and speed up recovery. and rehabilitation centers around the…

By Rick November 14, 2021 0

New study links diet and mood

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “you are what you eat,” but a new study indicates it might be more accurate to say, “your mood is determined by what you eat,” according to a team of researchers from Binghamton University. We now know that the connection between the brain and the gut is extremely…

By Rick November 7, 2021 0

The hedonic treadmill and happiness

Have you ever dreamed of buying a new car, winning a lot of money, being promoted at work, being able to travel to exotic destinations or finding a partner to share life with? Do you remember fantasizing about how happy you would be if you won a million dollars? Some might call these chasing rainbows.…

By Rick October 24, 2021 0

Can your mindset keep you young at heart?

Staying young at heart is not as complicated as many people think. The first step involves your mindset. The person who coined the old expression, “You’re only as old as you feel” may have been onto something really big. Despite my nearly 75 years roaming this planet, I don’t think of myself as being old.…

By Rick October 17, 2021 0

Consciousness-changing plants

I just finished reading a mind-blowing book about our reliance on plants for several things besides food. It’s called “THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS: OPIUM – CAFFEINE – MESCALINE,” by Michael Pollan. I was a bit surprised that he included caffeine with the other plants that induce some degree of altered states, but the more I…

By Rick October 10, 2021 0

Are bullshitters more intelligent?

Bullshit is all around us. You don’t have to look hard to find it. Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt published his bestselling book, On Bullshit, some 15 years ago. Frankfurt said bullshitting is different from lying: “A lie is deliberate and focused; to lie one must first know what is true. The bullshitter, in contrast, may have no…

By Rick October 3, 2021 0

Staying on the green side of the grass

How do you go about living a long life? What’s the secret to aging successfully? What is successful aging? How do you keep staying on the green side of the grass? Let’s define successful aging first. The phrase “successful aging” has become a buzzword over the past few decades. At some point in life, we…

By Rick September 26, 2021 0

Just be you

Stop trying to be someone else. Just be you. If you do an excellent job of being you, you’re well on your way to completing a Ph.D. (Personal Happiness Development). Of course, you’ve got to find out who you are first! Then, you’ve got to get to know yourself. Many people don’t know who they…

By Rick September 20, 2021 0

Can you spot a psychopath?

I find that to be a fascinating question, as many of my friends have “hinted” that I might be one – a good one, I hope. Let’s take a look at this. Do psychopaths have cold-blooded, killer-like eyes and a stare that sends chills through your spine? Or are they smooth-talking, high-powered movers and shakers?…

By Rick September 12, 2021 0

The rise of the social-media vigilantes

Let me begin by defining vigilante. A vigilante is an individual (or group) who investigates and punishes perceived offenses without legal authority. It’s a self-appointed doer of justice. Most of us like to think that we live in modern countries where people respect the rule of law and due process. Things are organized and everyone…

By Rick September 4, 2021 0

Choose your apocalypse

I call myself a “spiritual free-lancer,” i.e., I don’t subscribe to any formal religion. I’ve explored many different religions, taken a pinch of this and a dash of that to concoct my own belief. I don’t usually get into the field of politics or religion. Still, lately, I’ve read articles from scholars of the three…

By Rick August 28, 2021 0

The four “Ds”

You can’t be successful without discipline, determination, dedication and drive. There will be long stretches of life you’ll need to navigate that will require all of these. It’s just that simple. If you want to overcome obstacles, be the best you can be and reach your goals, you must have the “four Ds.” And guess…

By Rick August 15, 2021 0

Pump up your breathing muscles

Maybe you should fasten your seatbelt, especially if you’re older, because this might take your breath away. University of Colorado researchers say that a five-minute groundbreaking breathing exercise will lower blood pressure “as well as or even better than traditional exercise and prescription drugs.” This high-intensity burst of breathing can also improve cardiovascular health in…

By Rick August 7, 2021 0

Coping tools and techniques for we “mere mortals”

I’ve received many questions about my recent post, “Facing Your Demons and Conquering Your Fears,” where I wrote about retired Navy SEAL David Groggins and the techniques he uses to defeat his demons and fears, negative self-talk, as well as develop resilience and mental toughness. Many asked if I knew other tools for accomplishing this,…

By Rick August 1, 2021 0

Facing your demons and conquering your fears

Do you fear risk, failure, judgment, discomfort or obstacles? If so, much of that may be related to childhood trauma, such as feelings of abandonment, insecurity, irrelevance or unworthiness that continues to haunt you today. These are shadow issues – our demons and fears – and we must work to conquer them. They differ from…

By Rick July 24, 2021 0

The magic of psilocybin

Let’s face it. Migraines are a pain in the neck and at least one other place I can think of. Psychedelics are back in vogue, and research in the field is mushrooming (pun intended). Researchers claim a single dose of psilocybin may be useful in treating migraines. New studies of such hallucinogenic drugs as psilocybin,…

By Rick July 18, 2021 0

It’s all about the nitrates

Remember the old cartoon character Popeye? Remember how he used to squeeze a can of spinach until it burst, and all the spinach flew into his mouth? Remember how big his muscles got after that? I certainly do because he was one of my favorite characters. As a kid, I didn’t really believe that could…

By Rick July 11, 2021 0

Happy Birthday, America!

“Good morning America, how are ‘ya?’ Don’t ‘ya’ know me, I’m your native son?” I’ve borrowed the lines from an old Arlo Guthrie song called “The Train They Call the City of New Orleans.” It sums up how I feel about you, America. You and I are in a relationship that’s been going on for 74 years.…

By Rick July 4, 2021 0

Do we get grittier with age?

I recently finished re-reading “Grit: Why Passion and Resilience Are the Secrets to Success,” Angela Duckworth’s classic book dealing with the long-standing debate about talent versus persistence and hard work. I discover something new each time I read it. This time around, I became fascinated with Chapter 5: Grit Grows. It got me thinking about life’s “school…

By Rick June 27, 2021 0

Use it or lose it!

Everyone knows how hard it is to get in shape and stay in shape. It requires a committed effort to get fit. But it doesn’t take much at all to get “unfit.” In fact, it can happen in as little as a few weeks. So, why is that? That’s a great question, and I’ll get…

By Rick June 20, 2021 0

Stress and the immune system

Stress is all around us. For some people, it’s a stimulant, but for others, it’s a heavy burden. We’ve all heard the warnings before. Watch out for stress! It’s bad for you. But that’s chronic stress, which can last days, weeks or even months. That type of stress hits you hard in numerous ways, including…

By Rick June 12, 2021 0

Can you run after total knee-replacement surgery?

The short answer to this question is Yes. Should you run after knee-replacement surgery is another question. But this is a question only you can answer. Why? Because it’s a jungle out there when it comes to medical advice. Some surgeons and physiotherapists say you shouldn’t, while others say you should. Part of the problem…

By Rick June 5, 2021 0

Are you an ambivert?

Carl Jung came up with the concept of introverts and extroverts. According to Jung, an introvert is “someone who draws energy from quiet reflection.” They like to spend time alone or with one or two people they feel close to. They often need to be alone to recharge after being in a group social setting.…

By Rick May 31, 2021 0

You are what you believe you are

Those of you who have attended my lectures, read my book, listened to podcasts where I’ve been a guest and followed my blog will recognize the title of this post. It’s something I talk and write about every opportunity I get. So, I probably know what you’re thinking now. Here comes Rick sailing on the…

By Rick May 23, 2021 0

Step outside your comfort zone

We’ve all heard about comfort zones and the need to step outside them if we wish to grow. There are many ways that we can step outside our comfort zones. They don’t have involve extreme sports or adrenaline adventures. Asking your boss for a raise, for example, is usually uncomfortable. Attending a job interview or…

By Rick May 16, 2021 0

The importance of rituals

Are you superstitious? Do you practice rituals? Are you afraid not to practice rituals? No matter how you answered those questions, you’re far from being alone. I have a specific ritual I do every time I’m about to take off or land. Why do we do it? It’s not always easy to explain, but I’m…

By Rick May 9, 2021 0

What’s your “world’s toughest race?”

That might sound like a strange title for a blog post. And maybe it is. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time. I recently watched the 2020 edition of Eco-Challenge Fiji, billed as the world’s toughest race. And believe me, it is! “The race was contested by 66 teams of…

By Rick May 1, 2021 0

Crazy world history according to university students

I had the pleasure of teaching for many years after getting my MA and before joining the Foreign Service. At the Army/Navy Academy (a military boarding school) in Carlsbad, California, I taught grades 7-12. At the University of South Florida and the Florida Keys Community College, I taught mainly freshmen and sophomores. Later At the Stockholm School of Economics, I taught a full ranges of…

By Rick April 25, 2021 0

A warrior spirit in an aging body

Time marches on, and nothing can stop it. We can slow it down a bit, but we can’t stop it – at least not yet. As I pass the 74th “notch” in my slide down the razorblade of life, I look back at where I’ve been and think about where I’m heading. I’m slowly moving…

By Rick April 17, 2021 0

Talk to yourself in the third person

You may be able to calm your anxiety — and actually do better — simply by talking to yourself in the third person, a new study suggests. Researchers found that people create distance between themselves and whatever is causing negative emotions, like fear or anxiety, when they self-talk in the third person. While it might…

By Rick April 11, 2021 0

Attributes, skills and optimal performance

Do you ever wonder why some individuals, companies and organizations can power through to success, while others fall by the wayside and quit no matter how much talent they possess? How about why some people can’t seem to focus and prioritize? How about why some people can’t seem to get started on their goal or,…

By Rick April 4, 2021 0

Happy ‘Nowruz’

Although you have probably never heard of it, for an estimated 300 million people worldwide, Nowruz, the Persian New Year, has begun. Nowruz, which traces its origins to the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism, is a huge celebration in which fire plays a significant role. Just how big is it? Well, to give you some sort…

By Rick March 28, 2021 0

Five-a-day keeps the doctor away

It seems we get new information every day about how to stay healthy. And frankly, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with it or to know what to believe. Research has confirmed what our parents and grandparents have been telling us for decades: there’s a connection between good nutrition and good health. Remember the old saying…

By Rick March 21, 2021 0

A seeker’s tale

I’m feeling very philosophical about life today, so I thought I’d use a small excerpt from my soon-to-be-published second book “Chasing Life” as my post today – a seeker’s tale. The military talks about over-the-horizon capabilities, which usually means an operational initiative launched from beyond visual and radar range of the shoreline or a ship. This phrase…

By Rick March 14, 2021 0

“Surthriving” in a VUCA world

“Surthriving” is a combination of surviving and thriving, which is kind of what we’re doing today. All times are challenging – to some degree or another, but hey folks, what we’re experiencing now is something else! The past 12 months or so have been incredibly challenging for almost everyone. Let’s face it, it’s not all…

By Rick March 7, 2021 0

Dealing with the “can’ts” and naysayers

You can’t have this. You can’t eat that. You can’t do this. You can’t, you can’t you can’t – get the picture? The Urban Dictionary defines a naysayer as: “One who frequently engages in excessive complaining, negative banter and/or a genuinely poor and downbeat attitude. Naysayers are distinguished by their tendency to consistently view the…

By Rick February 28, 2021 0

How long can we live?

I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time thinking about the aging process. Healthy aging. Successful aging. Aging in general. It appears that I’m not alone. Researchers around the world are spending billions of dollars annually on trying to eradicate cancer, dementia, diabetes and other deadly diseases. But guess what? Even…

By Rick February 20, 2021 0

Are you a workaholic?

I confess right up front to having been one at times. There, I’ve said it. Work addiction, also called workaholism, is the inability to curb a compulsive need to achieve status and success or to escape emotional stress. As with all addictions, a work addiction provides a “high” from working, which leads people to keep…

By Rick February 14, 2021 0

Get grounded

What comes to mind when you hear the term grounded? If you’re like me, you recall the many days spent cut off from your friends as a means of punishment (pre-cell/smartphone, laptop, Ipad, etc. days). In electrical terms, grounded means an electrical connection to an object or to the earth that can absorb an unlimited…

By Rick February 7, 2021 0

Loneliness, social isolation and inflammation

Times are trying today. Many people are lonely, but perhaps many more are socially isolated. It should come as no surprise that loneliness and social isolation can negatively impact our wellbeing, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia and other illnesses. Recent research suggests the combination of loneliness and social isolation do this because…

By Rick January 31, 2021 0

Bad habits and the pandemic

Are you binging on junk food, booze, weed, TV series, porn or chocolate now even though you know they are bad for you? Why do bad habits continue to attract us even though we know they harm us – especially now during the pandemic? Boredom could be one of the reasons, of course. My vices…

By Rick January 24, 2021 0

GOAL-SETTING

“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable” – Seneca 2020 is gone – good riddance. It’s a new year, and we can make 2021 whatever we want. It’s a blank canvas that you get to paint. And this is where goal-setting comes into play. I’ve written about goal-setting…

By Rick January 17, 2021 0

Where do we go from here?

I do my best to refrain from making public statements about US politics, as the country has become highly polarized. I love my country (actually, both my countries) and therefore cannot remain silent. Some weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “Where are we heading?” Have the almost-unfathomable events that took place in Washington DC…

By Rick January 9, 2021 0

Morning or evening workouts?

It’s a brand-new year, and if it weren’t for the Covid, most of us would be rushing off to fulfill the most common New Year’s resolution – to get more exercise! But have you ever asked yourself when is the best time of day to work out – in the morning or late in the…

By Rick January 3, 2021 0

Insomnia or anxiety – which comes first?

Does this seem familiar? You’re in bed at your normal time, the lights are off, you’re ready to relax and fall asleep, and then all your worries come bubbling to the surface. It’s a never-ending stream of concerns about Covid-19, family, finances, work, relationships or the world in chaos. And you can’t seem to get…

By Rick December 27, 2020 0

When heroes die

Have you watched your heroes die? And I’m not talking about the death of heroes who died way too young. There comes a time in everyone’s life when our “heroes” grow old and start dying one by one. It hurts us, of course, but why? I never knew any of my heroes personally, yet I…

By Rick December 20, 2020 0

The razor blade of life

One of the more colorful expressions I’ve heard is “passing yet another notch in your slide down the razor blade of life.” Just the image of this makes me cringe. I’m often reminded that part of the razor slide involves age discrimination. Age discrimination is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time. Young people…

By Rick December 13, 2020 0

Are you confident?

Merriam-Webster defines confidence as follows: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or reliance on one’s circumstances; faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. When researching her book, The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman first needed to establish what confidence isn’t. It’s not a “passive self-evaluation, aka self-esteem,” according to…

By Rick December 6, 2020 0

Chronobiology and your circadian rhythm

Chronobiology was a new term for me until I read “The Power of When,” by Dr. Michael Breus. I’m sure you’ve heard the expressions night owl and early bird. Well, Dr. Breus expands this concept into four different “chronotypes”: Dolphins, Lions, Bears and Wolves (more about these later). Are you more productive in the morning…

By Rick November 29, 2020 0

Eating to heal after surgery

What should you eat after you’ve been “sliced and diced” by a friendly surgeon? All types of surgery, even elective and planned surgeries, cause trauma to your body and may cause weight loss or gain, loss of motivation and energy, light depression, infection or decreased mobility. Consequently, it’s imperative to focus on nutrition. With my second…

By Rick November 23, 2020 0

Good-bye to a knee

I’m at the age where body parts start to wear out and break. After 18 knee surgeries over some 30-odd years – each successive one more of a patch job that barely allowed me to keep running, biking, practicing martial arts and playing rugby, it was time for my first total knee replacement. That brought…

By Rick November 15, 2020 0

Does intermittent fasting affect your brain?

Intermittent fasting (IF) – not to be confused with caloric restriction, which extends longevity in animals and might do the same in humans – is only one of the many ways of “lifestyle-eating” popular right now. But did you know that it’s not new? Many religions incorporate some form of intermittent fasting, though often for…

By Rick November 9, 2020 0

Carbon dioxide bathing

A very good friend of mine has been praising the results she has experienced from dry “bathing” (no water involved) her body in carbon dioxide. Working closely with the inventor of the Body Stream suit, she has been testing this on herself and others for a few weeks now. I followed her posts on social…

By Rick November 1, 2020 0

Where are we headed?

I want to provide a disclaimer from the get-go. Writing about the accelerating culture war we’re experiencing is extremely tricky for a “Boomer.” Still, I’m going to give it my best shot. I know that values continuously evolve. My generation’s values will undoubtedly be different from the ones my grandchildren will be raised with. Values…

By Rick October 25, 2020 0

Why do some people crave adventure?

Google defines adventure as: “Engaging in an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” This could include trekking through the wilds of Indonesia, bungee-jumping in New Zealand, hiking the Grand Canyon or swimming with sharks in tropical waters. Not everyone wants to do this, of course. The majority of people lie somewhere between total adrenalin…

By Rick October 18, 2020 0

The importance of small talk

Now that working from home appears to be part of the “new norm” in our business lives, it might be valuable to look at some of the things we miss out on by remote working. Of course, there are some clear benefits that we’re all familiar with, such as less or no commuting hassles, relaxed…

By Rick October 12, 2020 0

This thing called sleep

This thing called sleep What if I told you that science has developed a new treatment that will extend your life, improve your memory, enhance your creativity, make you look more attractive and help keep you slim? What if in addition, I said it will protect you from dementia, cancer, help keep colds and the…

By Rick October 4, 2020 0

Perfectionism takes no prisoners

Is perfectionism taking its toll on us today? Are we becoming slaves to achieving ever-increasing, unrealistic goals? Are we setting the bar so high that we’re setting ourselves up for failure? And if this is the case – why? Research is revealing more and more evidence that this is the case! Recent studies show that…

By Rick September 27, 2020 0

Who dares wins

The title of this post is the motto of the famous British SAS (Special Air Services) special warfare unit. The idea behind the motto is that if one has the courage and audacity to take risks, that person will succeed in life. It can also be interpreted that courage itself is its own reward. I…

By Rick September 20, 2020 0

The infamous free lunch

I’m writing this on Friday, September 11, 2020 19 years after the terrorist attacks on the US. I’ll tie this into the rest of this piece later on in the story. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while chasing life, it’s that you’re not going to get a free lunch. Somebody, somewhere, some time has…

By Rick September 13, 2020 0

Touch, epigenetics and the Covid-19

This post isn’t about the pros and cons of lockdowns, facemasks and social distancing. It’s not intended to be a criticism or defense of any of the measures various countries have taken. Instead, I want to examine some of the perhaps overlooked and hidden consequences of this pandemic that can impact us through epigenetics for…

By Rick September 6, 2020 0

Values and character

Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions. Character, on the other hand, is one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. I think character is a product of your values. Character is a word people used to mention frequently but not so much anymore.…

By Rick August 30, 2020 0

The importance of asking questions

“He who asks a question is ignorant for a few minutes. He who remains silent is ignorant for a lifetime.” – Old Chinese sayingNow that school is back in session, we should be reminding our children (and ourselves) about the importance of asking questions. This post is an updated extract from my first book “Forty…

By Rick August 23, 2020 0

Emotional concussions

When you hear the word concussion, you probably think of blows to the head, getting your “bell rung” and periods of unconsciousness. I’ve been aware of physical concussions and how they can affect you for a long, long time. I got my first concussion at the age of 10 and collected another 6-8 during my…

By Rick August 16, 2020 0

When lifequakes strike

I recently ran across a word I hadn’t seen before: lifequake. So, I looked up the definition to see what it meant and found this: “an event that suddenly changes your life – a car accident, being laid off, terrible illness or getting divorced – in the same dramatic way that an earthquake might destroy a…

By Rick August 9, 2020 0

Procrastination

Let’s talk about procrastination. Well, maybe later – just joking, of course. If you’re like me, you feel guilty about putting things off until later, but that’s just normal. Let’s face it, we all procrastinate at some point. It can be small, unimportant things like going through old papers or reorganizing your closet. But it’s…

By Rick August 2, 2020 0

Confidence and perfectionism

Confidence is something we all want, but often find difficult to define. It’s difficult to pin down for sure. Merriam-Webster defines confidence as follows: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances; faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. When researching her book, The…

By Rick July 26, 2020 0

You are born ‘enough’

Have you got an irritating little shit of an inner critic that constantly tells you aren’t good enough? Do you find it difficult to shut the little bastard/bitch up? And worst of all, do you believe what that voice tells you when it says you’re too lazy, too fat, too old, a poor partner, parent…

By Rick July 19, 2020 0

Warrior women past and present

My readers know that I write about a variety of subjects, but this time I’m venturing into a really different area – the realm of strong and powerful women. Throughout history, we’ve heard tales of warrior women, sometimes called “Amazons.” Their exploits have captured our imagination and filled us with awe and wonder. They were…

By Rick July 12, 2020 0

Play it again

I’ve written about the importance of keeping your inner child alive before, but now I want to focus on how essential it is for adults to learn to play again. That’s right. You read it correctly – play again. New findings have shown that adults who take time out to play are more creative, productive,…

By Rick July 5, 2020 0

Can power posing help us?

Madonna urged us to “strike a pose” in her popular song “Vogue” from 1990, and Wonder Woman stood before us looking invincible. “Body language is not just about expressing feelings, it can also shape how a person feels,” according to Robert Körner from the Institute of Psychology at MLU. “Power posing is the nonverbal expression…

By Rick June 28, 2020 0

Do you know your circadian rhythm?

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Are you more productive in the morning or much later in the day? Hopefully, by now, you have identified your type. But have you ever wondered how this can affect you aside from going to bed at night and getting up in the morning? You might…

By Rick June 21, 2020 0

What’s happening to our memories?

How’s your memory doing? Are you finding it increasingly difficult to remember things? How about spelling words, your family’s cellphone numbers or anniversaries and birthdays? After all, why would you bother to remember all these things when the whole world is at your fingertips? I think we all know who to blame – the internet,…

By Rick June 14, 2020 0

Can forest bathing help us?

Mental ill-health is a common cause of disease around the world – and it’s rising rapidly. Consequently, identifying ways to treat depression and anxiety is essential. Enter “forest bathing,” also called green care, ecotherapy and green exercising. It’s all about getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors, which is expected to be one of the…

By Rick May 31, 2020 0

Reflections from a “crazy boomer”

This crazy boomer sometimes wonders if we’re living in a society where mediocrity is being rewarded – a society that is getting softer and weaker. I use the term “Crazy Boomer” on Instagram and Facebook because I think it’s spot-on; I’m crazy, and I’m a Boomer. But also because younger generations use the expression to…

By Rick May 24, 2020 0

What is Niksen?

Many of us are working from home or simply staying home self-isolating. And many of us find ourselves with time on our hands and nothing to do. Well, if you are already bored from doing nothing, maybe you’re not doing it right. Have you heard of Niksen? No, not the former president of the United…

By Rick May 10, 2020 0

It’s time to love yourself

Warning: this post has a great deal of “hands on advice” and is not for the prudish or squeamish. Have I got your attention? Great! Then read on. Have you got time on your hands nowadays? Are you wringing your hands and twiddling your thumbs? Why not put them to better use? Forget the old…

By Rick April 26, 2020 0

Boredom can lead to brilliance

In these days of lockdowns, self-isolation and social distancing, the “new norm” means most of us are staying home. Now that a few weeks have passed, many are complaining about being bored. My initial thought was, how could this be possible given the vast array of high-tech toys we have today? Before this crisis, everywhere…

By Rick April 19, 2020 0

How old do you think you are?

I saw a very entertaining and exciting movie a while back called The Mule (a true story about a 90-year-old drug smuggler), with Clint Eastwood. He never slows down and seems to have unlimited energy even though he’s closing in on 90. He explains how he does this in a brilliant quote: “I just get…

By Rick April 12, 2020 0

Black swans and wicked problems

What is a black swan? We’ve been living in a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world for many years now. The pandemic the world is currently experiencing has brought this close to home. During this time, new terms have popped up right and left. Two of the terms that seem to appear most often are…

By Rick April 5, 2020 0

Growing through adversity

Grit and resilience are two of my favorite concepts and topics. Given what the world is facing today – panic, chaos, lockdown and quarantine, I thought it might be useful to review these concepts again. But let’s define them first so we can all be on the same page. Grit is the combination of passion…

By Rick March 29, 2020 0

Pandemic stress and social distancing

I’m starting and closing this post with a great quote from Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand: “Thank you for all that you’re about to do. Please, be strong, be kind and unite against COVID-19.” Great advice for all of us! We are facing a monumental challenge. There’s no doubt about it. A pandemic,…

By Rick March 22, 2020 0

This your brain on fear

People appear to be more afraid of the world than ever, especially with the spread of the Corona virus and the accompanying mind-boggling run on toilet paper. I’ve been through lots of survival training and TP has never been mentioned as an essential item for surviving. But I digress. Neuroscientists assert that fear is “killing…

By Rick March 15, 2020 0

Tame your monkey mind

Monkey mind, circus mind and wheels in your head are just a few of the expressions used to describe the fifty thousand separate thoughts we have each day, many of them on the same topic. I’m talking about the worries and fears that we all face in life. But these are irrational fears perhaps that…

By Rick March 1, 2020 0

The importance of friendship

Buddies, pals, mates – there are many names for friends. I wonder if we sometimes underestimate the importance of friendship to our happiness, emotional well-being and physical health. Yes, you read the last two words correctly – physical health, something we usually associate with exercise! New research shows that neglecting to spend time with friends…

By Rick February 16, 2020 0

Age in the workplace

Imagine this, you have more than 30 years of experience in your field, but you’ve been advised NOT to state so in your CV when applying for a job. Instead, you’re told to say you only have 20 years of experience, so potential employers won’t think you’re out of touch with the latest developments. This…

By Rick February 9, 2020 0

Grandmas are badasses

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you think back to your own grandmothers. Yes, grandmas are badasses and so are great-grandmothers (mine sure were) but we’ll get to them later. Recent research on the evolutionary power of menopause in Orcas (aka killer whales) suggests that post-menopausal grandmothers improve the survival and reproduction…

By Rick February 2, 2020 0

Have you found your element?

“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius. What a beautiful thought. Sir Ken Robinson, the author of the excellent book Finding Your Element, believes that to find your element (talents, passion and purpose), you must go on a quest, an old term for a journey…

By Rick January 26, 2020 0

Time-restricted feeding

I’m always looking for ways to eat healthily and increase my chances of living longer. I’d heard of intermittent fasting, 5:2 and Ketogenic diets, but I’d never given my feeding window much thought. After reading about a University of Virginia Brain Institute study linking the brain’s pleasure center with our biological clock, I started to…

By Rick January 19, 2020 0

Digital narcissism and extimacy

Narcissus was the mythological character who fell into the water because he was contemplating his reflection. If he were alive today, he would flaunt his perfect life and body on social media. His accounts would feature a tsunami of selfies. Does this sound familiar? Narcissism seems to be everywhere today. I’m not talking about influencers,…

By Rick January 12, 2020 0

Passion and purpose

Passion and purpose are two terms that we frequently encounter today, and many people use them interchangeably. But is there a difference between them? Most definitely! To me, passion deals with emotions, motivation and doing what we genuinely enjoy and love. Passions can come and go or be modified. You can leave them at some…

By Rick January 5, 2020 0

Can you choose to be happy?

Now that’s an interesting question.I’ve written quite extensively about happiness in one form or another over the years.And now it looks as if research is confirming what I’ve been saying in my talks and blog posts: yes, you can choose to be happy. I think we can all agree that happiness is an extremely complicated thing…

By Rick December 29, 2019 0

Lateral thinking

We’ve all heard the expression “think outside the box,” but have you given much thought to lateral thinking, also called elastic thinking? It’s becoming increasingly common in job interviews to get the question, “give us an example of how you solved a problem using lateral thinking (more on that later). Most of society focuses on…

By Rick December 22, 2019 0

Generalist or specialist?

When it comes to education, the debate about generalist versus specialist has gone on for ages – go deep versus go wide! The pendulum swings in favor of one only to shift to the other and then back again. I will declare my bias from the get-go; I’m a generalist and proud of it. There,…

By Rick December 15, 2019 0

Grieving is part of healing

Sooner or later, you will suffer the loss of a close relative or friend and you will grieve. It happens to all of us. It’s also hard to console a friend or relative who is grieving. Although you can’t take the pain away, being there for this person is crucial. You won’t be able to…

By Rick December 9, 2019 0

Psilocybin medical use expected to “mushroom”

Pardon the pun, but I just couldn’t resist it. OK, before you panic, allow me to modify the phrase “psilocybin use expected to mushroom.” It’s not only the recreational use of magic mushrooms I’m talking about, it’s the therapeutic use I’m referring to. Countless studies support the case for therapeutic usage of psilocybin (the psychedelic…

By Rick December 2, 2019 0

Cortisol or dopamine?

Do you freak out over scary things or do you dive right into them headfirst? You know what I’m talking about – scary movies, bungee jumping, skydiving or haunted houses. What is it about these things fire some people up but scare others, well “excrementless?” Ken Carter, who teaches psychology at Oxford College of Emory University…

By Rick November 25, 2019 0

The imposter syndrome

Are you afraid people will think you’re a fraud? Are you scared that people will think you’re incompetent? Are you worried you will be “found out?” That’s the scary side of success. We work like hell to get where we are and then feel that we don’t deserve to be there. If this rings a…

By Rick November 17, 2019 0

Reflections from a spiritual warrior

It might surprise many of the people who know me to hear that I have a deep, spiritual side. I say that because the side of me that most people see – adventurer, thrill-seeker, adrenalin-freak, rugby player and former Navy SEAL – is the side that has come to represent me, although I’m not sure…

By Rick November 10, 2019 0

ASMR – WTF?

It’s the buzz word of the day, week, month and year. But what the heck is this experience that everyone from teens to pensioners is talking about? ASMR stands for Audio Sensory Meridian Response, and it’s a relatively new phenomenon. ASMR describes a feeling of pleasant tingling and relaxation that can sweep over an individual…

By Rick November 3, 2019 0

Goalsetting

Have you considered what you would like to be doing a year from now? How about five years from now? What’s your main objective at work? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of the day? Goals are important. One of the most important and often overlooked benefits of setting goals is…

By Rick October 27, 2019 0

The accidental diplomat

How in the world did I become a US diplomat? That question has confounded me for many years. Now that my career is over, I’ve had time to reflect on this crazy story. I was living just north of San Diego in Carlsbad, California and teaching at the Army/Navy Academy but beginning to feel restless…

By Rick October 20, 2019 0

Mirror neurons and smiles

When you see someone experiencing something painful, do you flinch a bit without thinking? Or when you see someone make a horrible face at the thought of eating what appears to be a really “yucky,” dish, do you start to feel a little queasy, too? What you’re experiencing has baffled neuroscientists for quite some time.…

By Rick October 13, 2019 0

The “good” psychopath

What do you think of when you hear the word “psychopath?” A cold-blooded killer who could befriend you one moment and slit your throat the next? What if there were more to this? Are there different “degrees” of psychopaths that range from the previous example to the CEO in your company, the successful stockbroker, entrepreneur…

By Rick October 6, 2019 0

Be your best when you’re at your worst

When I started writing this, I wasn’t sure what to call it. After considering several titles, I decided on “Be your best when you’re at your worst” because that’s what this post really boils down to in the end. At any rate, I’m going to attempt to tie together many of the various subjects I’ve…

By Rick September 29, 2019 0

Consciousness-Hacking

Here’s a thought for you. What if we aimed our efforts toward researching and catalyzing peace, compassion and unconditional love on a global scale? We’re currently living at the junction of many different fields, from ancient wisdom traditions to biofeedback and wearable technology. It’s a totally new field and it’s growing fast. So fast that…

By Rick September 23, 2019 0

Advice to a young me

Have you ever wished you could give a younger version of yourself some good advice? When you reach my age (72), you begin to reflect more deeply about where you came from, how you got here and how you want to spend your remaining years. They say that hindsight is 20/20. So, what advice would…

By Rick September 15, 2019 0

The quest for altered states

A great deal of experimentation is happening right under our very noses, some of which could even be considered revolutionary. And it’s happening in areas where we might least expect it. Areas of cognitive experimentation previously associated with “hippies,” counter-cultural bohemians and other “subcultures” are becoming mainstream now, with CEOs, top-performing organizations and the special…

By Rick September 8, 2019 0

How can our schools do better?

Now that the new school year has started, I’m reminded of how I felt about school and education. I pretty much thought it sucked to be honest. I understood that I needed the math, the reading and the writing. As for the rest of the “stuff,” well I couldn’t really figure how I would ever…

By Rick September 1, 2019 0

Keep your inner child alive

All of us have an inner child alive and well within us. And most of the time, we seem to work hard to keep it from emerging by bribing it with candy or something else to keep it satisfied. But why do we do that? What’s wrong with unleashing our inner child? Why do we…

By Rick August 25, 2019 0

Do addictive personalities exist?

Addictions and addictive personalities. We’ve heard the hype, the discussions and maybe even conjured up the images of people with what we think are addictive personalities. Addictions are real, but addictive personalities – well that’s another thing. When we think of an “addictive personality,” often it’s someone who we believe is “destined” to end up…

By Rick August 11, 2019 0

Are you practicing situational awareness?

The world is a dangerous place today, but violence and terror have always been with us. The Chinese built the Great Wall for a reason (and there’s no hidden political statement here about “walls” so don’t take it that way). Although today’s “terrorists” are far less dangerous to society as a whole than the barbarians…

By Rick August 4, 2019 0

Let’s get physical

I’ve written about this before (see my post Pump Your Gray Matter). I’m writing about it again because recent research suggests more and more that exercise is equally useful for treating some mental health conditions as drugs. Physical activity is not just for our bodies- it’s for our brains. We’re all aware of the physical…

By Rick July 22, 2019 0

Are we as compassionate as we think we are?

Being constantly bombarded by news 24/7 has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s great to know what’s happening in the world, of course, but we’re also subjected to disasters, tragedies, wars and other types of “unpleasant” news. And that got me to thinking about how we feel compassion. The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science defines the…

By Rick July 14, 2019 0

Heuristics – mental shortcuts and why we use them

Heuristics? I had no idea what this was, but it turns out I’ve used this process most of my life without knowing what it is. Merriam Webster defines heuristics as: “involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods heuristic techniques, a heuristic assumption also: of or…

By Rick June 23, 2019 0

Defeat negative self-talk

Are you the type of person who focuses on the negative and assumes the worst? Are you the type of person who constantly tears himself/herself down? Are you the type of person who only thinks in terms of “always or never?” If so, you’re not alone. The good news is, you can do something about…

By Rick June 15, 2019 0

Have you found your Ikigai?

Does the idea of living longer by merely doing what you love to do most sound attractive to you? It sure does to me. Well, read on to find out more about the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai, which means roughly “that which makes life worth living” or the reason somebody gets up in the morning,…

By Rick June 2, 2019 0

Inflammation – what’s it all about?

Inflammation seems to be a “buzzword” today, so I thought it would be good to take a closer look at this critical process. The word “inflammation” has its roots in Latin and means “set afire.” With some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, you can actually feel heat and pain and see redness and swelling. But…

By Rick May 12, 2019 0

Making stress work for you

We’ve all experienced stress, and for the most part, we don’t view it positively. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension that can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry or nervous. It’s your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling…

By Rick April 28, 2019 0

Filter bubbles and parachutes

What the heck is a “filter bubble,” and what’s it got to do with parachutes? Originally coined by Internet activist Eli Pariser, a filter bubble is “your own personal universe of information that’s been generated by algorithms that are trying to guess what you’re interested in.” And because we’re increasingly online visiting more and more…

By Rick April 21, 2019 0

Power, narcissism and character

The old saying “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” coined by the 19th-century British politician Lord Acton means that as a person’s power increases, their moral sense diminishes. In fact, power seems to induce us to lose the valuable skills that helped people gain power to begin with. But why is that? Dacher Keltner writes…

By Rick April 14, 2019 0

Synchronicity – what is it and is it real?

Synchronicity (syn = with, Chronos = time) is often defined as the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. It was coined by psychologist Carl Jung to describe what he saw as a perceived meaningful coincidence – an “acausal connecting principle” whereby events in the external world might…

By Rick April 7, 2019 0

The beauty of aging

I’ve written about aging before, but I continue to hear people moaning about growing old. Aside from death and maybe taxes, this seems to be the thing that troubles people most. Does it have to be like this? Do people think life is basically over after they hit a certain age? And if so, what’s…

By Rick March 13, 2019 0

Epigenetics and the mind-body connection

The happier you are, the healthier you’ll be. Sound too good to be true? Not according to science. How we feel and what we think can directly affect our bodies by changing the structure of our brains and the functioning of our immune systems.  OK. I get it. You’ve heard this before from lots of…

By Rick February 27, 2019 1

“Pump” your gray matter

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Get out and move! Get your body in shape. We’re constantly reminded about the physical benefits of exercising. There’re a lot of good reasons to be physically active. Some of the “biggies” include lowering your odds of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Of course, exercise can help you lose weight and…

By Rick February 13, 2019 0

The importance of storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, but not everyone can tell a good story. Storytelling is one of the oldest known aspects of human culture. From the very first Aboriginal songs and cave paintings, stories have built bridges across different cultures, areas of the world and time. Storytelling in all its forms has been an essential…

By Rick February 6, 2019 3

Vulnerability and our beautiful flaws

What do you think of when you hear the term vulnerability? Is it weakness, fear, hurt or betrayal? Many people are afraid to express certain thoughts publicly for fear of rejection and shame. This shouldn’t be the case, however. Psychological research suggests that we may be exaggerating this fear. The way we view our vulnerabilities…

By Rick January 31, 2019 0

Six days of doing the “extreme” – how I got through Hell Week

All special forces around the world have incredibly difficult selection processes. That’s why they’re called “special forces.” I’ve had the privilege of getting to know operators from some of the finest of them: American “Green Berets,” Delta Force, Rangers, Force Recon, “PJs” and Combat Controllers, SAS and SBS (British, Australian and New Zealand), Israeli Shayetet…

By Rick January 23, 2019 0

Endocannabinoids and runner’s high

I’ve written about endocannabinoids in earlier posts, but new studies involving endocannabinoids and exercise recently caught my attention. And boy, was I surprised. I’m sure most of us have exclaimed at the end of a good run, “My endorphins are kicking in!” Endorphins are our body’s naturally produced opioids. Endorphin” comes from combining “endo” (within)…

By Rick January 7, 2019 0

Is it your genes or your habits?

Living to a ripe old age, especially hitting the centennial mark, is a remarkable feat that captivates the imagination of many. Examining the secret to longevity inevitably brings up a timeless debate: Is it the hand we’re dealt in our genetic makeup or the cards we choose to play with our daily habits that truly…

By Rick November 19, 2023 0