Prescription for Happiness? Reading Dr. Seuss Out Loud

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Today is the 105th birth anniversary of the beloved storyteller Dr. Seuss, aka Theodore Seuss Geisel, who passed away on Sep 24th, 1991. If you visit the Google Search home page today, you'll probably see some familiar Seuss characters forming today's temporary Google logo. Seuss' stories are of course fun for "children" of all ages. So if you're depressed or simply feeling down, reading pretty much any Dr. Seuss book - preferably out loud - can uplift your spirits. Reading the same book to happy, squealing kids can infect you with the same happiness. In fact, I read his alphabet book to a couple of squealingly happy five-year old twins a few days ago and I'm still smiling.
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When Affirmations Go Wrong

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You've likely heard of "affirmations". They're a set of nice things you tell yourself will happen/ are happening to you. You write them down to make them concrete, and then you repeat them each morning and each night, so that they become embedded in your pscyhe, setting the state of mind required to accomplish these mini-goals or and situtations. This is a powerful way to accomplish goals. I know, because I used to use them for many years. But for long, complex reasons I won't get into here (yet), I haven't done affirmations for many years - since shortly after my last offline contract ended, or about five years. Yet just over a week ago, mid-week, being excited at some of my future prospects, I fired up a fresh mindmap…
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How to be Happy: 7 Lessons from Deconstructing Nirvana

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Sometimes, the answer is sitting right there under your nose but you don't see it: don't deny yourself something you're craving. If it's bad for you, do it in small degrees. That's far better than regret. If it's good for you, then why deny it? I'm one of those people who have been denying themselves, but in my defense, I didn't realize it. Let me paint a quick picture, but I'll warn you now that I'm not holding much back below, as it's important to understand how we get into downward spirals in our lives. Though there is a happy ending - or will be. The lesson comes after the list of misery. The timeline is approximate, with a bit of jumping around. The Spiralling Descent into Anti-NirvanaIf you're not…
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Sleep. Eat. Breathe.

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Our body doesn't ask too much of us to provide us with the brilliance that is life. Despite that, however, we chow down on fast food, breathe polluted air, and maybe worst of all get a few hours less sleep per week than our body needs. I say that sleep deficiency may be the worst offense we commit against our bodies, because it makes the least sense. [caption id="attachment_283" align="alignnone" width="640"] source: unsplash[/caption] In theory we sleep less because we don't have enough time, we've got too many things to get done. Yet the truth is, we'd get far more done each day (and consume less too) if we got enough rest. But I'm a practical person, I know that just because I say that we should sleep more doesn't…
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Productivity and Massively Multi-Tasking

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Want to be highly productive? Aside from any issues that you'll have to learn to deal with, high productivity comes from the ability to multi-task massively. This a key skill, as there are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, etc., and I already spend quite a bit of time learning new topics as part of my contract writing work. As a former computer programmer/ analyst, my entire mode of thinking is geared towards multi-tasking. As a former search engine webmaster and regular webmaster, there have been times where I've had to program on up to five computers simultaneously while also monitoring a half dozen websites or more and interacting with several people. It was part of the job. As I've mentioned previously, multi-tasking isn't about…
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Depression Affects Productivity: 10 Tips For Fighting It

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Overview [Feel free to skip down to the 10-point list if you like.] Depression destroys lives, robs strength and spirit. It's considered to be the fourth most important cause of disability worldwide, and expected to grow to second place by 2020. That's very frightening. In the past, it was "wrong" to talk about it and an admission of weakness. But with numbers like this, talking about it is important in coping. For those of us who try to keep depression under control and manage to live functional lives, it still sometimes sneaks up and destroys the hard-fought productivity we've gained. I make no bones about it; this is a very frank and open weblog. I suffer from the screaming blue meanies (seasonal affected disorder aka SAD aka seasonal depression) from…
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How To Learn A Subject Fast: 6 Steps

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One of the fundamental tasks of my freelance blogging is having to learn a topic very quickly, sometimes in just a few days. Some of my writing is for the clients of my clients. The end clients come from a variety of industries and that means learning what they're about - at least enough to write about their subjects authoritatively. It's not always an easy task, and I'm still learning how to learn. Here's what I have learned so far, that might help you learn a subject fast. Learn what you know. What do you really know about the topic? You might know more than you think. Writing down your knowledge in point form (or in a brainstormed mind map) helps you to learn what you already know. This makes…
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Blogging + Biorhythms: Harnessing Creative Cycles

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This post is about personal productivity and harnessing the creative, physical, and emotional cycles we all supposedly have called biorhythms. While my example is for blogging, the tips here apply to pretty much any endeavour. [This post was orignally written in early Dec/06 but not posted until Jan/07.] I've been running a cool little WordPress plugin, SparkStats, on my private article bank website. The blog is on a subdomain that's running WordPress 2.0x and is a password-protected storehouse for all articles that I've written for clients. It originally included some of my own blogs' articles, but hasn't for a few months. The reason I'm running SparkStats is to show myself my writing productivity. The plugin displays a little bar graph showing relative number of posts per day for the past…
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Wax On, Wax Off: The Truth About Multi-Tasking In Research + Learning

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There are so many theories and claims out there about the human ability to multi-task or not, and I thought I'd put my thoughts out there. I've been a multi-tasker for at least 20 years, if not longer. Though there's a right way to go about it, and it requires both organization and discipline. I have loads of the former but I struggle with the latter. Instead of babbling theoretically, let me give you a concrete example. (My posts tend to be long and detailed, but I'll try to be brief this time.) As of this month, if I can manage the workload, I know have enough writing/ blogging contracts to consider myself a full-time professional freelance writer and blogger. My own sites' revenue is tiny, but that's another story.…
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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This is a meme that's going around started by Jeff Pulver. As far as I understand, if you don't get tagged, you can still hop on board the meme train. I'm starting a new branch here, and I'll tag five bloggers below. You don't have to tag anyone else, but you should at least publish a similar post. So here are 5 things you probably don't know about me. Then again, I'm a digital chatterbox, and I've probably written about most of these tidbits somewhere. And it's the reason I've probably managed to stuff about 15 things about me into 5. You'll see how much of an ultrageek I am. Computers. I started computer programming in Grade 10, in El Cerrito, California, working on bubble cards. We had to fill…
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