Archive for December, 2011

Picking a topic for my blog

December 31, 2011

I read on this blog  a convincing case for picking a topic for my blog  I was worried that I’d lose flexibility and creativity, but that simply isn’t the case unless I am in reality inflexible and lack creativity.  So I will announce this in my next post. It should improve the blog for my current readers, who are very patient with my randomness already. And I am sure my wife will remind me that she told me so a few months ago when she told me my  blog was boring.

See honey, I heard you!

This is not a New Year’s resolution – total coincidence.


Best Bet for New Year’s Resolutions: you make it up as you go along

December 28, 2011

I pulled this excerpt about New Year’s Resolutions from a great blog I just found

Goal: Change careers
You’re going to need to show you’ve done the new job before you can get the new job. It’s not fair, I know. But it’s how the world works. So just make up a job, do it, and then put it on your resume. You don’t need pay or permission to do the job you want. Just start doing it. And if you already have the job you want on your resume, you’re much more likely to get hired for the job you want.

Are you worried about being exposed as a fake in an interview? First of all, there’s not a law that says you can’t have unpaid jobs on your resume. And you can have freelance jobs. So that’s what a made-up job is: freelance, for free. And then keep at it so that when an interviewer wants to talk about this job and what you gained from doing it, you will look great. Because you’ll say you made the job up, to get yourself experience, and here’s what you did, and here’s what you learned, and you’ll look like a self-starter and a results-oriented super-performer. Because only that sort of someone would make up a job and then do it to gain experience.

If you are unemployed or underpaid or miserable, what do you really have to lose?

Why science is failing us?

December 28, 2011

While correlations help us track the relationship between independent measurements, such as the link between smoking and cancer, they are much less effective at making sense of systems in which the variables cannot be isolated. Such situations require that we understand every interaction before we can reliably understand any of them.


Great article. Learn why we actually should ignore ‘facts’ much of the time. Application to medicine and therapy and many other areas of life.

Gives this proverb some useful context:

Whoever is to be wise despises himself. Only the ignorant trust their own judgement.

Awkward race conversation

December 27, 2011

My daughter Gabrielle is a sophomore in high school and had an interesting conversation with a boy in her gym class. They were walking around the track  and talking about how certain sports tend to have higher representation of certain races – Hispanics in baseball, African-Americans in basketball, etc.

So this boy then said to my daughter that he actually didn’t really like Hispanics, or Blacks, or Asians.

So when my daughter told me this, I was expecting her to describe how she blew up and told him off.

But this is what she said,” I am half Hispanic and my two little sisters are Chinese, so this is awkward.”

And he got quiet. And it was awkward for a little while. And then they changed the subject.

I have to wonder how this boy got to the point where he felt comfortable saying these things. People must be listening and at best acting like they agree with him.

I also have to wonder where my daughter developed that poise, because I was chomping at the bit listening to her tell the story.  She didn’t get it from me.

Tiger Proverbs

December 27, 2011

Be a tiger- if you are ready for a tiger’s problems.

The cat can do what the tiger can not.

Since when did a tiger go a-mousing?



The challenge of recognizing a real live human

December 24, 2011

This quote from Mirza Ahsan of Tabriz might be instructive for those of us in the mental health field.

Show a man too many camels’ bones , or show them to him too often, and he will not be able to recognize a camel when he comes across a live one.

So what are the equivalent of ‘bones’ for therapists and other people in the mental health or medical field?  I’d say it is our  theories about what holds people together, whether it is the DSM4 or some more chic theory. In our pop psychology culture, this tendency has also infected the larger population.

It is a very seductive albeit useless way to conduct yourself.

Proverb I found at hints at why it is seductive:

No problem is too difficult to be solved by a theoretician.  

The rubber needs to meet the road.  By the time you start theorizing about that, your human will have left you in their dust.

They might still be sitting in front of you, even showing up to appointments, but they will be gone.

A Christmas Kiss

December 23, 2011

Like most parents I kiss my kids when I say goodnight to them. My  5 year old  daughter Josie likes two kisses. That’s her thing.

Recently she asked for one more kiss, ” One more kiss for Christmas, Daddy.”

So that is a very sweet thing, but it was even sweeter when I was dropping her off at school, and I gave her her two kisses, and she was all set, it seemed. I said, “One more for Christmas.”

She kissed me and said very quietly, “Oh dad, thanks for remembering.”

Honesty is a tricky endeavor

December 23, 2011

My almost 4 year-old, Clara Rose, had been naughty while her mother was out. She got into something she had been told not to by her mother and me. When her mother came home, she proudly told her that she had been a good girl and had done what she was told.

This was untrue, and I pointed that out. She insisted it was true, she had been good, and kept insisting. I told her that was lying and that it would make me very happy and Mommy very happy if she were honest. She said,

“No it won’t. ”

Well, she had me there. I would be happy in theory, but I’d likely still be petty and have a bit of a ‘gotcha ‘ attitude if she fessed up.  

So, technically, I’ll be happier if she tells the truth, but not ‘very happy’. That’s just bullshit.

I am not quite the expert on honesty that I thought I was.

Increased confidence in your decisions is easier than you think

December 23, 2011

I heard this at a seminar , a passing comment made by the presenter, Dr. Bill Matulich. He got it from one of Dr. Ben Carson’s books. Dr. Carson uses these questions all the time. If you check out his resume, you will discover that he may be onto something.


Four Questions to Ask Before Making a Decision:

What is the Worst that Can Happen if I DO this?

What is the Worst that can happen if I Don’t do this?

 What is the  Best that can happen if I DO this?

What is the Best that can Happen if I Don’t Do this?

Better to quarrel with a friend than to support enemies.

December 22, 2011



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