Supplementing My Public School Education

Becoming frustrated with life will cause you to do a total evaluation of your life. I found out several things very early in life about myself:

  1. I am horrible with money;
  2. I am controlled by my emotions meaning that I am very impulsive and reactive; and,
  3. I found it difficult to really know what I want and to make a decision.

Reflecting upon my life I noticed that I was not taught several fundamental principles in life about time, money, and self-control. For most middle class or families that fall into any class below the middle, most children spent the majority of their time and attention in a public school classroom for hours at a time. Learning. It is safe to assume that school curriculums expect parents to teach their children those precious fundamentals about time, money, and emotions. I get it. School is not meant to be all-inclusive. But what if your parents do not know themselves or what if they do not have the time to teach you those principles?

You would end up like me in life: debt-laden, impulsive, and depressed.

If you are here where I am, you will most likely need a supplement to your public school education. You will need to learn the fundamentals to go along with your academic degree elsewise your degree will be pretty much worthless. Real power is knowing how to use the knowledge you have, much less about how many degrees you have or languages you speak.

Having the fundamentals of life will prepare you to use the knowledge you gain in life to your advantage and the greater good of the world. If you are eager to begin, please start by reading one of the books from my recommended book list. I know, these books cost money but I can guarantee you that reading is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. The ROI (return on investment) will reveal itself. Besides, sometimes all it takes a show of faith in yourself, an investment. So let yourself know that you are worth the investment and get ready to take charge and change your life!



Online Therapy Sessions for Social Media Addiction

Have you ever wanted to decrease the amount of time you spend on social media and being distracted by the internet? Was the task much more difficult than you imagined it would be? You are not alone.

I have been free of my social media addiction for several years now. I quit in 2013 and life has transformed in so many ways:

  • I have increased productivity and creativity;
  • I have more time for friends and family;
  • My mental health has improved greatly;
  • I am more aware and compassionate.

If you would like to live a more fulfilling life, you can start today. I offer therapy sessions via Skype, weChat, and Google Hangouts in several different timezones. No matter where you are connected in the world, help is here.

Please contact me today via email to set up your first session and build a happier life.

Peer-to-Peer Therapy: India’s Approach to the Mental Health Crisis

If you haven’t heard or read, India is suffering greatly with providing mental health care to the millions who need it. To help us understand how much of a crisis they are in, remember that India has a population of 1.2 billion people with only 43 mental health hospitals.

In order to combat the crisis, communities started introducing peer-to-peer therapy. Peer-to-peer therapy is talk therapy provided by a neighbor. In order to qualify as a counselor, you do not need a college degree or certificate. Those wishing to be community therapists take a class that instructs them on how to perform talk therapy. After the session, community counselors then go on to provide talk therapy for their neighbors.

This seems like a remarkable idea. Neighbors helping neighbors  during a crisis. What do you think about peer-to-peer therapy? Would you be willing to give or receive help for depression or a mental illness from your neighbor ?


To listen to the NPR radio show about peer-to-peer therapy in India, click here.

Productivity and Multi-Tasking: The Benefits of Reducing Distractions

As an avid self-help book reader, I have read a lot about productivity and time management. Most self-help books read the same on how to increase productivity by making the most of your time. This concept has proven to work time and time again as business continues to boom and more employees enter the workforce requesting full-time employment, which in America means 40 hours per week. Employees are pushed to produce more in less time.

Lately, I have noticed a new  trend in the genre of self-help. Once upon a time, self-help books insisted that those seeking to increase productivity master the art of multi-tasking and tedios scheduling. In recent times, self-help books have begun to realize that multi-tasking and over scheduling actually decreases productivity after a certain point. Why is this? I have a few theories on my own based on personal experience.

What is Multi-Tasking and Why Did We Once Prize Mastery of it?

Multi-tasking is the act of doing several tasks at one time. Simple enough, right? Some examples of multi-tasking:

  • Talking on the phone as you check your email;
  • Scrolling through your social media feed as you do homework;
  • Eating dinner while watching TV.

Trust me, the list can go on. I am sure you can list other examples of multi-tasking that you never really considered as multi-tasking. We will discuss one of those instances later. We understand what multi-tasking is so why would one prize mastery of it? To get more done in less time. Why? Because productivity and profits go hand-in-hand.

What’s Changed in Recent Years Regarding Multi-tasking and Productivity?

Firstly, multi-tasking is more recently being defined as distracting. How so? Multi-tasking lacks the focus required for efficient productivity. This comes from the idea that when you are doing more than one thing at one time, you are not focused on any one thing. Your attention and focus become diluted, increasing the risk of error. I am pretty sure that I also read some scientific reports that monitored our brains when we multi-tasked and compared it to our brains when we focus on a singular project and studies revealed that certain areas of the brain involved in decision making and focus showed more brain activity when working on a single task than when the subject worked on several tasks at one time.

What Does This Mean For You?

This new way of looking at multi-tasking makes me call into question all of the other distractions that affect my productivity. I have since begun to reduce the number of distractions in my daily living. Living a life with minimal distractions and more focus gives me more peace, calm, and tranquility. With the reduction of distraction life seems more rich as you see more and hear more of the world around. You will begin to live life by the moment as you learn to savor instead of rushing and multi-tasking.

Ways to Reduce Distractions

  • Commit to focusing on one task at a time;
  • Become aware of when you are multi-tasking by taking small pauses throughout your day to notice what you are doing at that moment. If you find that you are doing more than one thing, simply pause one task and work on the other if possible.
  • Be more present.

Benefits of Reducing Distractions

  • Increased productivity with less risk for error;
  • Less stress;
  • More mindfulness;
  • Greater satisfaction completing tasks.

These are just some of the benefits and ways to reduce distractions.

Peace and Love.

Unplugged: What it Means to Be Bored

Now that I have been without social media for a few years and as of recently, I have also gone without a mobile phone, people are always asking me questions. I find it a telling sign of addiction when people cannot imagine a life without social media or a mobile phone. For this article, let’s tackle boredom when you have unplugged.

I think it may be safe to assume that many of us do not fancy being bored.

In this digital age, boredom is a rare occasion when your boredom can instantly be quenched by social media.

A ready-made, cooked-to-order boredom killer is at your fingertips. What is my issue with such a fierce and effective boredom killer? I believe boredom can be beneficial to our mental well-being. It is the way we first learn to meditate or create as it enhances the use of our imagination and feeds into our thirst for curiosity.

Since not having a ready-made boredom killer, I find that my boredom turns into productivity and creativity.

I have taken up different hobbies and meet people the old-fashioned way by walking up to them and holding a conversation. When I am bored, I use it as a time to meditate or read. Most often, I simply use boredom to fuel my curiosity. Recently, I began birdwatching because I was really bored one day at home and I heard a very long and seemingly intricate birdsong. Boredom caused me to be really curious as to where the birdsong was coming from. Since that fateful bored day, I have invested in a thrifted bird book, binoculars, and walking trails. Not advertising boredom as a weigh loss supplement here, but I also lost weight from all the walking around.

If you do not want to fully disconnect but would like to be more creative or productive, give boredom a try. Schedule a day or a chunk of time where you will not be connected to social media or your phone. When boredom arises, take the challenge to not engage in social media, instead, remain in your boredom and see where it takes you.

Peace and Love.

The Power of the Individual

As news reels roll tape after tape and radios play session after session of all the chaos that’s going on in the world, it’s no wonder that some of us are starting to feel a bit insane. Or if you are like me, you may be feeling completely insane. For those of you who are also like me and are not currently connected as the rest of the world, you still get your dose of updates from friends, family, and co-workers.

The swirl of chaos I hear makes me question where I stand in all of this. I am a human being. I am part of a collective whether I chose to be affiliated or not, whether I voted for a particular party or not, I am still part of society. I am part of the collective. We reflect society. Individuals reflect the collective. Amidst all of the chaos, I can only think more deeply about the truth behind such a statement. I can think about this in two ways.

#1: If individuals reflect society then our individual change and progress will make a great impact on society. The power lies in our hands. We can make an individual change that will be reflected by society.

#2: If individuals reflect society then society would therefore reflect the individual. If that is true then what we see in society is the truest reflection of ourselves.

Upon accessing all of the uproar and protests on the news today, I am not upset at any one candidate or any particular party affiliation. I look at this new world we live in with eyes of curiosity with the above statements in mind. What must be going on in the state of the individual for us, the collective or society, to be in the state of chaos that we are in? Are individuals more fearful, mistrustful, and depressed than before? Individually, are we in more of a chaotic state than before?

The most important fact is that real change and growth for the collective or society rests in the hands of the individual. The individuals make up the collective. There is no one else to blame as life is not a game of blame. This is not about where to assign responsibility. This is about accepting your power as an individual.

Going Without a Mobile Phone in 2017

A few days into the New Year of 2017, I decided it was time to ditch my mobile phone device, my smartphone. This was not my first time thinking about the idea of being phoneless. For a while in 2015 and 2016, I played with the idea of going backwards in time and getting a flip-phone.
At any rate, I decided that today was good as good as any. I guess I did have some middle ground I could rest upon, Google Voice. Before totally giving up my mobile phone, I set up a google voice number for instances where it seemed almost dire. (Use your own discretion as to what is deemed dire. Dire in my case was needing a number for potential clients could call and leave messages for me. )
How to Go Without a Mobile Phone?
Step #1: Open up and Tell People
This step, especially as Step 1 may seem a bit weird. Let me assure you that you will want to be as prepared as possible when doing this. Doing this step first also strengthens your resolve for the time after you have stopped using your mobile phone. You will appreciate knowing possible objections to your decisions and criticisms from others as knowing them will help you come up with creative alternatives.
Step #2: Plan Your First 30 days
Having a plan for your first 30 days will help ease the transition for yourself. For just 30 days, try to calendar out for usual interactions you would have by phone. For example, make a plan weekly to communicate with your friends and family. Going mobile less, time can be your friend or your enemy. Trust me, you want time to be your friend. Having time as your friend means that you stay committed to time contraints as much as possible and you want others aware of your commitment. When events or such circumstances require that you be at a place at a certain time, being mobile less, you do not have the option to text or call to let someone know you will be late. Planning ahead is how you make time your friend.
Step #3: Know Your Limits
Knowing yourself and your limits is crucial. Know that sometimes, you will need to communicate with others that are not immediate to you. Let’s face it, in this day and age, you are probably never less than 10 feet away from a person with a mobile device or access to a telephone. Use your resources wisely. I do not advocate using unsafe measures but I have been know to walk up to a stranger or a store to ask someone to use their phone if I get lost. Know that there are limits. Know when you need to reach out for help or when you need access to a phone while you are out. Lastly, have confidence that you will be okay. Even in emergency situations, think clearly and act fast.
What have I learned since going mobile less?
I learned that there are not nearly as many emergencies that pop up that require me to have access to a phone. I also learned that I have to rely on my instinct and myself when faced with a problem or issue instead of relying on instant communication. I have learned a lot of random things going mobile less:
  • I learned how to navigate my surroundings better;
  • I learned that not everything is an emergency and that eventually everything works itself;
  • I learned that life is more interesting when you are looking up and not down at a phone;
  • I learned that I am much more resourceful than I ever could have imagined.
If you think going mobile less is for you, give it a try. Even if you don’t think it’s best for you, it won’t hurt to give it a try and see what you learn. Let me know if you have tried to go mobile less before or if you are going mobile less now.
Good luck!