Coping tools and techniques for we “mere mortals”

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

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

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 4

It’s all about the nitrates

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!

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?

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!

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 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?

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?

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

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

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

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?”

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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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” 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

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 2

How long can we live?

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 2

Are you a workaholic?

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

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

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

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

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?

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 2

Morning or evening workouts?

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?

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

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 2

The razor blade of life

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?

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 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

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

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?

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

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 2

Where are we headed?

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?

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 2

The importance of small talk

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

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

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

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 4

The infamous free lunch

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 2

Touch, epigenetics and the Covid-19

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 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

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

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

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

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 2

Confidence and perfectionism

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’

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

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 4

Play it again

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?

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?

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?

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?

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”

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 4

What is Niksen?

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

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 2

Boredom can lead to brilliance

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?

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

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 2

Growing through adversity

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 2

Pandemic stress and social distancing

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

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 4

Psilocybin medical use expected to “mushroom”

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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 2

Mirror neurons and smiles

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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 4

Do addictive personalities exist?

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?

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

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?

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 – 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

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?

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 – 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

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

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 2

Power, narcissism and character

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 – 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

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

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 2

“Pump” your gray matter

“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

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 4

Vulnerability and our beautiful flaws

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

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 2

Endocannabinoids and runner’s high

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