Hello! You’ve been reading my blog for a while. Why do you visit this blog? I am going to write down the reasons I think you visit this blog:

* You have a positive, fun outlook on life, and you’re interested in more of the same
* You are interested in Positive Psychology
* You’re a friend of mine from pre-blog times
* You’re into some of the topics I cover: stories? questions? quotes? getting to know yourself? self-help? personal development? intuition? success? improving your life?

I would love to hear more (and I’m NOT looking for “you’re great, Senia”… more about why the blog interests you). I am especially interested in hearing more since I want to implement a bit of structure onto the blog for the next month or two. I want to cover a couple of specific topics in depth – having to do with making choices, the new year, going after your goals.

Thank you very much!

Not-perfect is real.

Imagine two stories:
STORY 1: A girl lives on a farm with her Aunt Em and her Uncle. Everything is pretty outside. She goes to sleep. She wakes up. Her dog jumps into her arms. Everything is fine. Oh, yes, a little boring maybe.
STORY 2: A girl lives on a farm with her Aunt Em and her Uncle. Everything is pretty outside. There is a tornado. She finds herself in another world and her house has killed the wicked witch of the west. She needs to get away, and there are bad guys, and crazy monkeys, and three adventurers who come with her. The man who is supposed to get them out of there is frightening. Everything seems lost, and then she finds the wizard of Oz, clicks her heels and comes home and wakes up.

A little more drama in story 2, eh? I want to make sure I keep drama in my blog posts. I want to make sure I show you in writing what I think the cool parts are and what the issues are. I don’t want to be too didactic. I don’t want to be too simple and obvious. I want to write a mystery, like Haidt in most chapters of The Happiness Hypothesis. I want to write a love story, like The Dot and the Line, and I want to write what’s fun!

But sometimes, I want to write and write and write and do more and more research before presenting it. This is the leftovers of junior high school perfectionism. Actually, everyone who knows me would say that I am not a perfectionist. I’m not. But in some things, I have the leanings of one.

And there are other bloggers out there who say similar things! That’s why I’m writing this down and why I made the repeated goal of writing daily! It’s about a hint of an idea. It’s not about a thesis! (…um, that’s an exclamation sign to me, not to you).

I have such a mini-struggle with blogs sometimes. There are so many fascinating ideas in the positive psychology literature, and I’d like you to see them all! Or, well, the really interesting ones anyway.

Here’s what Charlene Li of Forrester says about losing – and finding – one’s voice:

So I’ve vowed to follow Nike’s mantra and “just do it”, or in this case, to “just blog it”. Damn the idea of quality and depth of analysis — I’m better off getting something out there and getting your reactions to it. So here I am, writing a stream of consciousness and finding my voice again. … So hang on, I’ve got a lot of pent up ideas that I want to explore. I don’t promise well-formed ideas or deep insights in every post, but it’s the best that I’ll be able to do.

Christine Lane writes about the 17 things she knows about creativity. I like number 11 and 17:

  • 11 – Blogging is creative. I think blogs have become so popular because bloggers get to just write. They get to see the big deal of not making it such a big deal. …
  • 17 – Creativity is about showing up, not perfection. If you want to be more creative in your life, if you crave a more artful life, start small. Make cards for people. Make ugly cards. Call them “Ugly Cards, Inc.” Write bad poems. Call them “Bad Poems, Inc.” I bought a thank you gift for a friend of mine recently. And it sat on my desk for weeks because I was waiting to find “the perfect card.” Knowing what I know about Energy Drains and Creativity, I finally got so frustrated with myself and my perfectionist that I just ripped a piece of paper off a Kinko’s notepad. I folded it. On the front of the “card,” I wrote: “Beautifully crafted card with the perfect sentiment expressing exactly how grateful I am for your presence in my life.” And I opened the “card,” and on the inside I wrote: “…with the perfect little punch-line inside to make you laugh and feel good about yourself.” And I sent the card and package. And it brought my friend great joy. She loved the card.

And, of course, I am a fan of the dailyness of Fred at AVC, whom I first read about on Evelyn’s blog.

Cool, see you soon.

Posted on 12-15-06 for Mon, 12-11-06.

Here is the summary of September, 2006.
Hello to the start of autumn.
My favorite entry from September is Today is Everyday.

BTW, my October resolution is to write every weekday (like Fred says) and to have a new post (even if it’s a mini-post every M-F)

Thoughts and Recommendations

Sharpbrains Blog!, When Is Intuition Different From a First Thought? (more on this topic in Oct, Nov!), Missing Mondays, Wednesday, Life Moves Forward

Regularly-Scheduled Fun Stuff :)

See you MUCH MORE in October! Enjoy the outdoors – it’s probably early autumn or early spring wherever you are!

I don’t exactly know why it is that I sometimes miss Mondays in terms of posting. You would think that I’d have plenty of time on the weekend to write up my brilliantness for the coming week. You would think that during the weekend, I’d have at least one hour of quiet driving somewhere during which I would think through one blog post storyline. You would think that I’d write up the details of the ideas from the previous week.

For all you bloggers out there, how many posts do you have in your drafts version? I have about 120 versions in draft form. Yaow! I start one, write a title (sometimes that comes last), type up, “S, find this reference, combine it with this amazing study, and post that.” And then I have new ideas when I come back to the writing screen again and want to write up new things and don’t always go back to those thing.

And for non-bloggers, how many emails do you have in your drafts folder? :)

In any case, I am psyched to combine the two aspects, my draft versions and my Mondays… I like the two goals of shrinking the number of draft versions, and of having something preplanned for Mondays. Ok, see how it goes in a week. :)

Have a great week. Short story coming at you tomorrow. S.

Sometimes you have to be reminded of the things that you believe. I was reading Elona’s teachers-at-risk blog about advice for students on organizing. Elona suggests having students do something for two minutes. Just two minutes.

    And I thought, “Man, sometimes I forget to do things in those two minutes in which they could most easily be done in!”

    About a week ago, there were some cool comments to posts on this blog, and I got too tied up, and I didn’t answer those comments. And now life moves on. Life moves forward. I have gone back today and answered those comments briefly. But it feels like moving backwards to do it a week later: the cool folks who wrote back then don’t even know that I wrote today, saying “thanks for those comments” or “neat idea!”

    Life moves forward. I need to address things at the time that they happen – in those two-minute increments. This is why sometimes when I get email, I will see it in my inbox and not read it. Because once I read it, one of two things happens – either I reply right away, or I put it off. And if I put it off, I might forget (because my brain thinks that I’ve already taken care of it! When I haven’t!) And forgetting replying to an email is terrible for me – terrible. That’s one of the worst things I could ever do.

    So I create a shortcut for myself – no reading new mail unless I can answer it. (And gee-whiz, I’m not perfect at this!… but I aim strongly for this… immediate answers when I read the email.) Because doing can be easier than not doing.

Life moves forward. In 1986, NBC moved its peacock from facing left to facing right. Because the future in a timeline faces right. And NBC wanted to be positioned towards the future.

NBC before NBC now

Just like George Vaillant says in his book Aging Well, “biology flows downhill.” Meaning that life moves forward.

This can be a hard concept. This can be an emptionally hard and painful idea. There is sometimes little joy in this idea. It can be hard because it makes people think about the uphillness.

And yet, there can be a lot of joy in it.
It’s the visual of a smiling baby: that’s the future.

Hi guys! Here’s what you’ve seen on senia.com in August, 2006! Thanks for stopping by this month!!!

The Brain

Expertise is Trainable! – nurture may be winning over nature in the debate of how expertise develops.
First, You Copy – copying can be an excellent way to gain expertise.
Consistency – what do you choose to develop your expertise in? (aiming for a one-shot win or steady-Eddie getting things done).

Doing Can Be Easier Than Not Doing – get something done (like watering your plants) when you think of it rather than wasting brain space by remembering to do it later.
How to Diminish Effects of Stress on the Brain – mainly, the answer is exercise (and sleep, diet, and physical activity).
Change One Habit at a Time – focus on one habit with examples from rock climbing.
Quantum Speech – jardon is key to understanding a field or industry.


It looks like I’m getting more into recommendations:
* On the Web: funny David Cowan post, great brain resource Sharpbrains.com, love-this-one! Dave Shearon blog, super video of Dancing Matt, a few great articles about the new eight planets!, and a small critique of a a NYT article about one-size-fits-all bright-color interior.
* Books: Feynman’s Rainbow and two books I like described by Dave Shearon.
* On TV: Josh Ritter on Conan O’Brien .

Regularly-Scheduled Fun Stuff :)

Tuesday Stories:

Thursday Quotes:

Friday Questions:

See you in September! Rabbit rabbit!

Hello and welcome to a great new site. This is a classmate of mine from last year’s Master of Positive Psychology program, and he is a wonderful person. He has a super blog about positive psychology and applications to law and to education.

Here is Dave Shearon’s blog! I’m a big fan of Dave’s blog. It’s very descriptive and very detailed and very alive! Check it out yourself!

One of Dave’s last posts was a summary of Positive Psychology Books that he recommends. Great, great summary. I especially like Dave’s summaries of these two books, which are absolutely among my favorites:

The Happiness Hypothesis, Haidt (2005) It’s not just intelligences that are multiple! Try multiple brains! Or, at least, multiple relatively independent systems in the brain. Haidt’s metaphor of the rider and the elephant is worth reading the book. Great writer. Sound insights.

The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz. Are you generally a “maximizer” or “satisficer”? Should you care? Good book not only for consumers, but for achievers. Since nothing’s ever “finished”, what does “do your best” mean?

And here is an absolutely delightful little entry called “Poof!” that I find myself recalling with a smile!

Here is a positive psychology study that Dave created for high school students along with two other classmates of ours: high school study.

And here is the positive psychology section of Dave’s blog that I really, really enjoy.

Just because I read him for the positive psychology, don’t think that you shouldn’t tune in for the education, how to run schools, and law discussions! Nice, nice insights. ENJOY!

p.s. I specifically meant to post this on August 30!

I’ve learned two things in the past couple of decades:
1) Memorize important phone numbers.
2) To learn a new field – get the jargon down.

Jargon catapults you from a mailroom clerk to a business equal in any discussion. No wonder Liza Dolittle was hailed as a princess at the ball. She knew the customs and the jargon: “How nice of you to let me come.”

Imagine that you want to switch careers, for example, from Finance to Media. You might switch wht you’re reading: goodbye Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, hello Daily Variety and Cable & Broadcasting. You might start following weekend box office profits rather than the S&P500.

The jargon of a business, an industry, a group of people tells you so much about the people. Jargon crystalizes the concerns, major attitudes, expectations of a whole new world. Jargon is like the Cliffs’ Notes to a business.

On Wall Street, daily jargon includes matching people that bring “value added” to projects, giving the client everything “from soup to nuts”, looking at the big picture “at the end of the day,” and examining worst-case scenarios for “when the shit hits the fan.” The irony is the same phrases that sound cliche also make a lot of sense at the same time! Value added is one of the most important ideas in business. The best possible end-of-year review commends the employee for adding value to the firm.

An idea tediously pervasive in a culture is often surprisingly acute. Cliches often summarize the crux of an issue. The contradictions in “out of sight, out of mind” and “distance makes the heart grow fonder” underscore the conflict of having a close friend move far away.

Similarly, old wives’ tales are effective despite being common knowledge. The best way to cure a cold is still chicken soup, drinking liquids, and staying in bed.

Listening for the jargon in people’s speech is like picking up pieces of quantum speech, useful tidbits. Have you ever noticed that you speak differently to different people or to different groups of people? You just don’t use as many “like”s when making a presentation or speaking in front of a class.

Two people find a common wavelength to speak on. The wavelength may include common jargon, and jargon or mannerisms from each person. Jargon may get transmuted this way, like a telephone game, from person to person to person. Bits of quantum speech traveling the world.

First month of blogging! Thanks, guys! This has been very, very fun! So great to read your thoughts – in the questions section, and all over!!! Merci! The parts of the blog from this month that I’ve liked the most have been the topics about the brain, the answers that you guys put down to the questions, and the stories. Highlights from July:

The Brain
Write Like a Map!super interesting comments to this post!
You Are What You Say
Thinking Styles: “You Talkin’ to Me?!”
This is the section I’m most psyched about this month. I started off writing about Positive Psychology, and went toward the brain and expertise.

Positive Psychology
James and James: SNAP Habit Training (habits)
In a Bad Mood? Pretend You’re Giving Advice to Your Friend
Introducing … ASSESSMENTS!

Intuition & Fun
Three Components of Intuition
Tanabata – Make a Wish Today! see the stupendous streamers Dave made for Tanabata!

Stories (Tuesdays)
Wasn’t Your ‘Maybe’ a ‘Yes’? by Senia
The Girl Who Became a Flower by Senia
Vito’s Treasure by Vito (a guest author for this blog’s stories!)
Warm Fuzzies by Claude Steiner

Quotes (Thursdays)
The past just-over-a-month includes quotes on courage, action, details, self-knowledge, the universe, and freedom.

Questions (Fridays+)
What actions have you spend the most TIME developing?
How do you become an expert?super interesting comments!
Why?beautiful answers
Which is your favorite room in your house?
Who are you happiest around?
What’s the best thing in the world?gorgeous answers

Picture of the Month

growing up

More to come especially about the Brain, Expertise, and Intuition. Mucho thank you!

:) S.