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Listen to an audio talk about depression - and some useful tips

Tips for Those Looking for Jobs

  1. Regulate your breathing before you enter the interview.
  2. Make direct eye contact whenever possible.
  3. If you are nervous talk about it as it shows anyway.
  4. Be as honest as possible, lies show and most see or feel it.
  5. Watch your breathing as it helps you to be more relaxed and more here and now.
  6. Keep your shoulders up.
  7. Use a little humor about yourself, laughter reduces tension.
  8. Be comfortable in your seat.
  9. Do not close your body up.
  10. Remember an interview is a two way street not a dentist appointment.


Tips on How to Reconnect with Your Spouse and Children
After a Long, Busy, Stressful and Tiring Day

The key to reconnecting is to not lose the connection in the first place.
In these stressful days we all torn in many different directions. To combat this we must work to be here and now in what you do and with whom you do things.  Work to not be controlled by the events of the past – like the workday – or suffer the consequences.

Here are a few tips to “stay connected:”

  1. Say what you feel when you feel it. Make the decision not to be one of those people who “kicks the dog and bites at the spouse and kids” because you were fearful to tell those who needed to hear it what you really felt when you felt it.
  2. Rank who and what is important in your life and why.  This will make it easier to “drop” a tough day when you enter your home.
  3. If you feel the need, then talk about your day when you get home.  Make sure to highlight the good as well as the bad aspects of what transpired.  It helps if you can add a little humor as you fill in those at home.
  4. Remember that those on the other side of your home’s door had a day full of experiences too.  Opening your mind to their day can help to gain a perspective on the day you had, reminding you that you “are on the same team.”
  5. Take time for yourself. Perhaps one of the most important things a person can do is remember yourself. You are more than a provider, parent, spouse.  Long before those roles ever dominated your life you where you.  Take the time to “find” the core of who you are again. This may mean time alone before coming home, coming in the house and taking a half a hour before you “officially” arrive home, etc.
  6. When you return home from work make an appointment in your mind to talk to those with whom you need to at work.  This will make it easer to be in the elusive “here and now.”
  7. Remember your family is your family and your job is your job: it is a source of providing for your beloved family: don’t put the cart before of the horse.


A Thought About Thinking

It's a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg.

Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life.

Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in prehistoric times, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg.

Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, says according to CNN.

The question on most people’s mind today, however is who caused economy to get scrambled up in such unpalatable omelet?

I am a psychologist so I know about people. I am not an economist and my loving wife Dori would heartily agree money is not my area of expertise. So I will look at the mess we in the world find ourselves in from the perspective of a behavioral scientist.

It seems to me that there are five principles involved in the mess we find ourselves in today. The root cause started years before and I do not care or even know whose presidential administration in which the financial fiasco began.

Here’s how it boils down to me. Most of us where taught the following values as we grew up as kids by mom and dad. Back to the chicken issue again.

1. Chickens come home to roost.

Saying that chickens are coming home to roost, we where being told that bad or silly things done in the past are beginning to cause problems in the here and now.

When we consider this thought in relationship to the financial situation the concept of bird flying behavior has merit to today’s situation. If a person believes that he/she can get bye by slipping by or slipping things over on other people, once again we see that it will not work in the long run.  This concept is especially true today with our 24/7 instant news cycle and the Piranhas who feed from it.

What I understand from the “talking heads” on radio and television is, that some of us have been tricked into believing that we can have what we cannot afford. We can have a swell house with no money down and we can even get a loan even though we don’t qualify like we had in the past. We simply denied or never learned the truism that said, “If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.”

In this rich economy all people, regardless of their economic situation, should have good housing and yes, even a home of their own. Fannie Mae and the other lenders drop their credit requirements, with ruinous results. They where ready to seize the moment and the potential money in that moment. They deregulate and employ physics’ and academic economist to write unreadable indecipherable twisted thoughts that nobody will ever read or understand. So we can explain how “logically” a square block can fit into a round hole. At one inevitable point so much “bad paper” was written it became undeniable. The people who bought homes they could not really afford could not keep up the payments and the banks simply had to foreclose on the bad loans.  What is the lesion we can learn or remember from our parents? “If you cannot afford it don’t buy it.”

On an unconscious level, this behavior finds its roots in feelings of powerlessness. The attempt to overcome this is by denying the existing reality of our own personal circumstances. In fact we know this on a deep level it to be true but we find that truth unacceptable. We are susceptible to anybody who tells us our own personal chickens will not come home to roost. Hence we are vulnerable to coning ourselves and being coned by others.

2. Honesty is the best policy.

W.C. Fields, a comic in a 1941 film, with the whimsical title of “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break”.  He was telling another truism that harkens back to the parental remark that honesty is the best policy.

W.C. Fields used the remark which come from a line in an earlier film, in which he says that his grandfather's last words, "just before they sprung the trap", were: "You can't cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump."

How does this common thought relate to the fiasco in the financial
markets? If we define the word “Larceny” it can be defined as: “the unlawful taking removal of another’s property”. On an unconscious level we can find the notion or “injustice” as a partial explanation of how basically honest people can rationalize doing what on some level they know to be heaping another “injustice” upon on another
human being.

Some people twisted the property law doctrine that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing. Those Latin words are “caveat emptor” or buyer bewares. The thought of quick money is usually associated with fast talk that skips over values we learned to reach a dubious result.

When a person says: “That it’s just not fair.” It can become the beginning of a step down a path where “ends end up justify the means.” A “quick buck” usually cannot stand up to long-term logical thinking. The fact is in most cases we know this to be so but we often rationalize our questionable actions by noting: “Everybody is doing this.” (Going for the fast buck.) Or by saying “If I don’t do it someone else will so why shouldn’t it be me?”

What is the lesion we can learn or remember from our parents? Simple, indeed honesty is in fact the best policy. To me I can still hear my dad saying: “Barry a man is as good as their word. Period.”

3. Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.

The “Golden Rule” is still worth a lot even in today’s market place. Reciprocity is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights. How does this common thought relate to the fiasco in the financial markets? There was a fictional character in a movie called “Wall Street.” (1987). The character was named Gordon Gecko, he said:

” The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much. Greed is good.”

Of course, most of us do not consciously believe this thought. We do however, harbor unconscious feelings or fantasies regarding injustice, powerlessness and lose.

The psychopaths of this world feed upon the human vulnerabilities of those of us who are vulnerable to manipulation, and that is most of us on some level. What’s interesting since the “melt down” good old Gordon’s words seem to be on the minds of many and on the lips of more than a few.

Isn’t greed a sense of entitlement rapped in a perverted wish and a pathological plan to win at the expense of others?

What is the lesion we can learn or remember from our parents? Simple, greed isn’t good or good for you. Good will towards others pays off in the long run with much less negative consequences and is a good remedy for sleepless nights. 

4. There is no free lunch. (Acronym) "TANSTAAFL"

 "To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions require trading off one goal against another."

When reciprocity relates to giving up your integrity specifically honesty in your dealings with others it more than a “free lunch” than you don’t get. You don’t get the true look at yourself because you have expectations that exceed realistic possibilities and that is a denial of self.

Look, this behavior doesn’t begin with a devilish figure propositioning you to sell out your values for short-term gain. It starts with little increments of rationalization, leading to flimsy explanations and ending up with justification of a stupid strategy.

What is the lesion we can learn or remember from our parents? Simple, “if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.” It’s not about free lunches it’s about common sense stupid! 

5. Believe in yourself regardless of what goes on around you.

One of my favorite practical philosophers, Wile E. Coyote, is very instructive with his famous gravity trick.

Nose to nose the roadrunner is perched at the end of a high cliff. He looks straight into the eyes of Wile E. Coyote.  He defies the pull of gravity which would have him fall to the canyon floor far below.       The road runner goes “beep beep” causing Wile E. Coyote to drop like a rock when he looks down.

What is the lesion we can learn or remember from our parents? Simple, when times are tough trust your self. Don’t look down. Keep on keeping on! Trust your process and the process of life. It will work.

Concluding thoughts:

My dad used to say people spend much of their life worrying about things that never happen. What’s the message?
Let us take this trying time and turn it into a reflective moment to reevaluate what we have been taught oh so many years ago.

Honesty, honor, integrity, all of which are covered under the umbrella of the “golden rule”. It was seen and treated as a cheep naive commode and not as a precious value reflecting our history, tradition and way of life. There becomes a time in life when each of us is given an opportunity to stand up for what we believe and what we feel is worth fighting for.

This is your time if you say to yourself that this is your time. If our belief system reflecting the values by which we where raised, it will be necessary to fight for what we believe. And that fight begins within ourselves.

There are those who would pervert our values to steal a fast buck. Or conversely pass the buck to avoid the responsibility that goes with being responsible citizen.

With regard to those who live here and have corrupted theses values, let us commit ourselves to educate, legislate and eradicate those thoughts that have threatened the life our parents and forefathers have fought and died for.

We may take this monetary calamity and use it as a personal, national and international “wake up” call, to turn crisis into creativity by embracing old fashion ideas and ideals. From them we can forge new tools and seek out new opportunities to embrace old values we know in our heart today to be right and relevant.


We Need Tools Not Crutches


The statement of the problem has the answer in it like many questions do. The first assumption is an incorrect assumption. Namely that, I can get you to believing in yourself by giving you money. This is like giving somebody who has been involved in a major automobile accident keys to a new car, before you have dealt with his fear of getting behind the wheel again. And trusting himself to navigate the streets safely.

You FIRST must get someone to believe in himself to the point he realized that he is the answer to his own problem. The lack of money in the economy reflects the symptom, namely his anxiety to believe in his own possibility to control or at least believe he can influence his life.

We must not hand out fish but teach people that they already know how to fish and point them to the water or market place. It will not take money it will take belief in one's self as a result recognized necessity. When people see money as a tool and not a crutch our crippled economy will arise and walk towards prosperity once again.

As Winston Churchill once said, "We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools and we will finish the job." BBC radio broadcast, Feb 9, 1941.

He wisely asked for tools and not money as he well knew that the British people already believed in themselves and only needed a hand and not a hand out.

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