935. Father's Day brunch with the best Dad ever. My Dad doesn't want pictures of himself on social media.
934. Happy Father's Day to the best Dad ever - mine! My Dad is steady and calm - just what I need. He works really, really hard. And after he retires he'll work even harder. He is an excellent leader and provider. The world will always have a use for him and so will our family. He's built over 400 homes since 1976 at a company he founded. When he was my age he worked 80 hours a week.
He pursued the American dream by working hard and not whining or complaining. But being grateful for his blessings and taking nothing for granted. He says our company never would've survived if he didn't work as hard as possible.
And even now my family works 60 hours a week just to get by. This is the American dream. And working hard is what life is all about. You can have your cake and eat it too if you work your ass off and don't expect the government to support you like whiny Democrats who want a handout.
Here in America you can become anything, or do anything, if you just develop a plan and work hard. A lot of Democrats need to learn that and stop whining and playing victim. Playing a victim doesn't give you a higher social status. It just makes you damn annoying. Suck it up, Buttercup. And start kicking ass today, right now. Do what grateful immigrants do - work your ass off like my immigrant boyfriend. Then you'll see every door open for you!
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's who know how to be men! The ones who work their asses off and never admit defeat. You are the backbone of the free world! Because of you we have a bright future. Because of you we know we can also attain the American Dream! Thank you for your amazing example! Thank you for being who you are!
933. It's a beautiful summer day in the land of the free. I got some cleaning done and drank way too much coffee. I listened to country music and talked with the love of my life...ate some yummy stuffed shells and salad with tomatoes and olive garden salad dressing.
Went for a walk with sweet, little Rover. He came running up to me and put his paws on my arms when I sang because he thinks every time I sing it's for him. LOL And the dog may be the only one besides my boyfriend that worships my voice. LOL Ya gotta love their innocence!!! I'm blessed with Wally and Rover's sweetness!!! It's the innocent that make life worth it!!! Please, God, never let it end!!! They save me from having a nervous break down!!!
“Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.” I found out about this book from the Epoch Times. It’s a book about the importance of thinking like a scientist.
When taking a multiple-choice test, most students think if they change their answers, it will be wrong. “Kaplan, the big test-prep company, once warned students to ‘exercise great caution if you decide to change an answer. Experience indicates that many students who change answers change to the wrong answer.’”
“When a trio of psychologists conducted a comprehensive review of thirty-three studies, they found that in everyone, the majority of answer revisions were from wrong to the right. This phenomenon is known as the first instinct fallacy.”
The psychologists counted eraser marks on exams from 1,500 students in Illinois. “Only a quarter of the changes were from right to wrong, while half were from wrong to right.”
“We favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt, and we let our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We laugh at people who still use Windows 95, yet we cling to opinions that we formed in 1995. We listen to views that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard.”
Adam writes of the story of the Mann Gulch fire and how most of the firefighters lost their lives. One man, though, began to light matches and dropped them between himself and the approaching blaze. The other firefighters thought he was crazy. He saved his life because he burnt up the grass that the blaze would’ve come to. He lay on the ground with a wet cloth over his nose and mouth. He survived. He’d built an escape fire. It was something they’d never been taught to do. It was pure improvisation. The ability to rethink can save your life.
The firefighter also told them to drop their tools. They were carrying 20-pound backpacks and chain saws while trying to run up a slope to get away from the fire. Some of the firefighters were found dead, still clutching their tools. Even though letting go could’ve helped them escape and get away faster. “If you’re a firefighter, dropping your tools doesn’t’ just require you to unlearn habits and disregard instincts. Disregarding your equipment means admitting failure and shedding part of your identity. You have to rethink your goal in your job – and your role in life.” Organizational psychologist Karl Weick explains: “(the tools) are the firefighter's reason for being deployed in the first place…Dropping one’s tools creates an existential crisis. Without my tools, who am I?”
Adam goes on to say that he as well as others started an e-group at Harvard and then later abandoned it. Five years later Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook on the same campus. They have pangs of regret now because they lacked the ability to rethink. They never realized that people from other campuses might like it too. They thought it was just to make friends for themselves. They failed to see it was a huge part of the future of the internet. “Launching a company wasn’t part of my identity anyway: I saw myself as a college freshman, not a budding entrepreneur.”
“A hallmark of wisdom is knowing when it’s time to abandon some of your most treasured tools – and some of the most cherished parts of your identity.”
Knowledge is increasing at an increasing rate. In 1950 it took 50 years for knowledge to double in medicine. By 1980, it was every seven years. And by 2010 it was doubling in half that time. “The accelerating pace of change means that we need to question our beliefs more readily than ever before.”
A quarter of European scientists conducted an experiment in Italy where they taught Entrepreneurship. They had a scientific group where they taught the scientific method of forming hypotheses ad testing or re-testing. There was another group that wasn’t taught that. The scientific group made $12,000 in revenue. And the other group only made $300. The control group “stayed wedded to their original strategies and products. It was too easy to preach the virtues of their past decisions, prosecute the vices of alternative options, and politick by catering to advisers who favored the existing direction. The entrepreneurs who had been taught to think like scientists, in contrast, pivoted more than twice as often. When their hypotheses weren’t supported, they knew it was time to rethink their business models.”
Mike Lazardis, inventor of Blackberry, failed to think like a scientist. And that is why Blackberry went down. One of his employees said they should put an internet browser on it. He told them to just focus on email. Mike was afraid the browser would drain the battery and strain the bandwidth. He never tested alternative hypotheses. Later, one of his employees said they should have instant messaging. He was against it. Whats App seized the opportunity.
No matter how intelligent you are, you need to be able to change your mind. Research tells us the higher your IQ is, the more likely you are to fall for stereotypes. And the smarter you are, “the more you struggle to update your beliefs.
Adam goes on to write about Steve Jobs and Apple how it was doing so badly and then skyrocketed. It was Steve’s employees that helped change his mind about having a computer in your pocket. “Research shows that when people are resistant to change, it helps to reinforce what will stay the same. Visions for change are more compelling when they include visions of continuity. Although our strategy might evolve, our identity will endure.”
There is such a thing as Anton’s Syndrome…when you are blind to your blindness. There are literally blind people out there who insist they can still see. They say things like, “Why don’t they turn the lights on?” “Why is it so dark in here?” And they walk into walls. But they insist they’re not blind.
Adam discusses the Dunning-Kruger effect that won the Ig Nobel prize. It’s about how people overestimate themselves because they’re full of pride. Davio Odsson destroyed Iceland’s economy. He fired the economic experts because he thought he was smarter than them. Halla Tomasdotter went from 1% fame to almost being elected. It was because she had Imposter Syndrome. When you feel like you have no business doing what you’re doing, you try harder. She knew what she didn’t know and had confident humility in her ability to learn. People are attracted to humility. Great leaders are humble. An imposter is more likely to ask for a second opinion instead of thinking they know it all.
“Learning requires the humility to realize one has something to learn.” – Elizabeth Kumer Mancuso, psychologist
Wally’s told me a lot of his professors had the Dunning-Kruger problem. They were full of pride. I think Wally had the Imposer Syndrome. He tried so hard because he felt he wasn’t smart. He says he became successful academically because he worked so hard, and he thinks he isn’t smart. My Dad probably also had the same syndrome. He told my Mom, “Just believe in me.” And she did. And now he’s built over 400 homes since 1976 at a business he founded. My Dad had the humility to learn, rethink, and grow. He had confident humility in his ability to learn. This is what is required of every entrepreneur.
Chapter 3 is entitled, The Joy of Being Wrong…The Thrill of not believing everything you think. There was an experiment with Harvard Law students to be severely attacked about their beliefs for 18 minutes. Some hated it, and some saw it as a growth experience and even considered it fun.
Sociologist Davis Murray says that when beliefs survive, it’s not because they’re true, but because they’re interesting. When a belief doesn’t matter deeply to you, you’ll have the curiosity to question it. First surprise, then curiosity, then thrill. When core beliefs are questioned, we shut down…the way Kim Jong Un controls the press in North Korea – totalitarian ego. The inner dictator comes out when our character or intelligence is attacked and tells us comforting lies. Physicist Richard Feynman said, “you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Finding out you are wrong means you are now less wrong and that you learned something. That is the thrill of intellectual humility. When we are detached from our beliefs, we can have the freedom to realize when we are off the mark and rethink them. This makes me think of how Jesus wanted Blessed Josefa Menendez to be detached from the results of all her sufferings as a victim soul. He told her he wanted her to love without thinking of what she was getting out of it. So she wrote in her book, The Way of Divine Love.
“Who you are should be a question of what you value and not what you believe.” Just like the book, How to Have Impossible Conversations says that liberals and democrats would get along if they realized we all desire the good for ourselves, our loved ones, and our country. We have different ideas about what that is. But we all care deeply. If we looked at other’s hearts and saw this, we would be a lot happier.
Adam goes on to write about healthy conflict. The Wright brothers did everything together and argued a lot. But that is why they made an airplane. Fighting can be constructive as long as it’s respectful. Children with parents who argue respectfully have more emotional stability and confidence at elementary school than others. It was one of Wright Brothers most “passionate and prolonged arguments that led them to rethink a critical assumption that had prevented humans from soaring to the skies.”
Brad Bird sent Pixar soaring to fame with The Incredibles. He recruited the most ornery, disgruntled people at Pixar and told them the management didn’t think they could do it. Four years later, they’d done it. The Incredibles went on to gross upwards of $631 million worldwide. Agreeable people are great for networking and supporting you. But if you want to be challenged and have someone point out your weaknesses so you can improve, it takes a disagreeable person.
Brad came from a family that argued at the dinner table. But it was healthy, enjoyable debating for him. And he loved it. He was surprised at how his friend's parents would ask such polite questions at the dinner table about their kid’s day at school. When you argue with someone, it means you value “their views enough to contest them.”
“A good debate is not a war. It’s not even a tug-of-war, where you drag your opponent to your side if you pull hard enough on the rope. It’s more like a dance that hasn’t been choreographed, negotiated with a partner who has a different set of steps in mind. If you try too hard to lead, your partner will resist. If you can adapt your move to hers and get her to do the same, you’re more likely to end up in rhythm.”
Adam tells the story of Daryl Davis, a black country music star. In 1983 after one of his shows, a KKK member told him he loved his music, and they sat down and talked. When the KKK member told Daryl he was KKK, Daryl laughed and asked, “How can you hate me if you don’t even know me?” They continued talking, and the KKK guy gave him his number. They became friends, and the guy left the KKK. Since that time, Daryl got a lot of KKK to leave. Daryl gets them to rethink. They usually joined the KKK for “reasons that weren’t their own,” like family tradition going back multiple generations. He gets them to rethink stereotypes. Daryl has helped over 200 KKK to leave.
We can get people to change by interviewing them and asking them questions, thereby getting them to find their own motivation. “Motivational interviewing starts with humility and curiosity…the goal is to help them break out of overconfidence cycles and see new possibilities.” Ask open-ended questions, engage in reflective listening, and affirm a person’s desire and ability to change. Motivational interviewing is done all over the world now. Many health-care facilities use it to help with addiction or convince mothers to vaccinate their children. It’s used by coaches and teachers worldwide as well. “Psychologists and physicians using it have a success rate of 4 in 5.” Being a motivational interviewer sounds like fun. It’s “change talk” referencing a desire, ability, need, or commitment to make adjustments…when the interviewee talks like this, as questions about how and why they might change.
Adam tells the story of Betty Bigombe of Uganda who had peace talks with guerilla soldiers. She did motivational interviewing…most of which was listening. She won them over. “Even the devil likes to be listened to.” She said.
The second floor of the Columbia University Campus holds the Difficult Conversations Lab. This is where you talk to someone who strongly disagrees with you on a controversial topic for 20 minutes. If you get the other side to agree, you’re a genius. This is what was wrong with the 2016 election. We all had a binary bias. When you want to convince someone of your side, you should never say this is black and white because that only creates immediate anger. If you want to win someone over, you should show your side through the many different lenses of a prism and show its nuances. This shows that you have thought it through and that you are intelligent. There is so much nuance to everything in life. And we are missing that.
“It takes a multitude of views to help people realize that they too contain multitudes.” When we show the complexity of issues, both sides search for common ground instead of polarizing. We need to ask what additional sides are missing between the extremes.
We should also do as scientists do and show contingencies. Contingencies are the places and populations where an effect may change. Adam wrote a short post online about emotional intelligence stating the nuances, caveats, and contingencies for when it was important or less important. One thousand comments poured in. People like the complexified message. Jordan Peterson is too extreme. He says there is no such thing as EQ. On the other extreme is Daniel Goleman, who says emotional intelligence is more important than cognitive intelligence for holding a job. As for me, I think EQ and IQ go hand in hand, like a ball and glove. You need them both.
Adam writes that his family has myth-busting conversations at the dinner table. His kids informed him that when sloths fart, it comes out their mouth! LOL So glad humans don’t have that problem! I would die if that happened to me! LOL
“Psychologists find that one of the hallmarks of an open mind is responding to confusion with curiosity and interest.” Adam spends a few chapters talking about how to teach rethinking skills in school and college. It’s very interesting. But for the sake of brevity, I won’t cover it in this review as it is already four pages on Microsoft Word. And I’m only 41% of the way through the book on Kindle.
Basically, in schools, you get the kids to rethink their school projects and do several drafts getting input from their classmates. Ron Berger is mentioned. He was an elementary school teacher for decades and now teaches at Harvard. He is all about improving the process of teaching in schools. The ability to rethink is crucial.
Adam says in the workplace, psychological safety is important. We need to be able to correct people, admit faults and learn without fear of reprisal. This is what makes some workplaces thrive and excel and others not. Adam writes a lot about NASA's mistakes that have cost lives because of a lack of psychological safety. People were afraid to question things or look like fools because they pride themselves on their intelligence. He gives specific stories and examples.
Adam was hired to help create psychological safety at the Gates Foundation. He had the top leaders talk to everyone about the times they made mistakes or messed up….the times they felt vulnerable. And by making themselves vulnerable on a regular basis, it made the employees feel free to speak up and not be so intimidated. Adam also had them read mean reviews of themselves publicly in real time on a camera. Melinda was the first to volunteer. The review said she was like “Mary f-cking Poppins” LOL That was the first time anyone ever heard her swear. She shocked Adam by saying there are so many meetings she goes into “where there are things I don’t know.” And she laughed a deep-belly laugh. Melinda’s authenticity won everyone over.
Adam writes about identity foreclosure. It’s when you decide on a career and who you are too early. He says his brother became a neurosurgeon and regrets it. But after he’d put eight years into becoming one he felt like he couldn’t change his mind. Adam says it’s better to lose the last two years of effort than to lose the next twenty for something you didn’t want to do in the first place. Adam says we should ask ourselves important questions about our career choices twice a year.
“When did you form the aspirations you’re currently pursuing, and how have you changed since then? Have you reached a learning plateau in your role or your workplace, and is it time to consider a pivot?” These questions can activate rethinking. It helps you be curious for new possibilities and discarded old ones.
E. L. Doctorow wrote that writing out a plan for your life “is like driving in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
Adam gives thirty practical “take-aways for rethinking”. And then he ends the book. I would give this book 5 stars. It is excellent. Although Grammarly stopped working for me because I need to either reinstall my laptop, or get a new one because it’s five years old! LOL I type the reviews on my laptop, put it on my thumb drive, and then post it online when I can get onto a computer in the office downstairs because my internet doesn’t work at all anymore. And this book review is five pages and over 3,000 words on Microsoft Word. Not nearly as long as some of the other ones. LOL
932. I’ve been thinking a lot about the strength people get from love. My sister, Theresa, has nine children. She says she does everything she does for love when I tell her I don’t know how she can get herself to slave like that. I talk to her on the phone once a week for years now. She tells me about her week and how crazy busy it is. The kids are making a lot of noise in the background, and I am overcome with her level of patience and resilience. I’m so surprised and amazed that she continues to say yes to life every time she gets pregnant. I’m surprised and amazed that she is still, after nine children, brave enough to say no to birth control.
When I tell her that, she tells me beautiful things about Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humane Vitae, about the beauty of giving your full gift of self to your spouse and holding nothing back…The beauty of accepting the gift of children God gives you. I’m amazed at how much people suffer for love. I’m amazed at how attractive stay-at-home moms make Catholicism look.
From the outside, looking in, strangers don’t see what I do as her sibling. Strangers don’t know what’s going on in her heart. When I tell people my sister has nine children, they say, “Doesn’t she know what causes that?” And I tell them she’s always wanted ten, and she’s almost there. I tell them she’s really good at her job and works her butt off, and has a positive attitude. I just told my patient this last night.
Sacrificial love makes you like God. And there’s nothing more attractive than God. Sacrificial love is the purpose of life. We suffer, but the more we suffer, the more peace and happiness we have. Theresa’s kids are growing up to be amazing. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to embarrass them. (They have tremendous amounts of humility that I do not possess.) LOL, And the reason they’re turning out so well is that Theresa is like Mother Teresa. She fills her kids up with all her love. She’s not fake. She’s not bitter. She’s authentically good and authentically Catholic. And it’s that authenticity that touches our hearts. She’s real with us about how hard it is. But she doesn’t ever make you think she regrets her life or choices. She’s got her shit together. LOL
My other sister, Kateri, is the same way. She’s in a high-risk pregnancy. She could die. It’s her 6th child. She has placenta accreta. She could bleed to death when giving birth. Does she regret this pregnancy? No, because something is amazing about bringing new life into the world. Something is amazing about how God puts a soul into that little one hidden in the womb, a soul that will live for eternity, a soul that will never die. And she asked me to be the Godmother!!! She’s having a little Joseph in the year of St. Joseph. And Wally and I have been praying for the intentions of the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph for over a year now. This is a special sign of his love and protection for us.
Kateri has her hands full, but also her heart. She has a son with autism that she loves deeply. And it’s hard. But she knows, as every mother knows, the beauty and happiness doing hard things for others bring. She’s tough but strong. All stay-at-home moms are. I am blessed beyond words to have amazing siblings that set amazing examples and act as my role models. I don’t know how I got this lucky!
To all the stay-at-home moms in my life, know that you are amazing just the way you are. Know that taking one day at a time as a Mother, and surviving it, is why the entire world is surviving.
931. I love Blake Shelton's song, Minimum Wage. It's all about how love can make you feel like a millionaire. Isn't that the love story of everyone on earth since the beginning of time. It's got a catchy melody and the lyrics are awesome:
"You can make a six-pack on a carpet feel like a millionaire dollar bill. You can make a one-bedroom apartment feel like a house upon a hill. You can make my truck out in the driveway feel like a cleaned-up Cadillac. Girl, lookin' at you lookin' at me that way can make a man feel rich on minimum wage. Your love is money. Girl, your love is money. Girl, your love can make a man feel rich on minimum wage."
Just like my Mom and Dad. My Dad told her to just believe in him, and she did. And that was back when our house was insulation with no drywall, and concrete floors and no doors. We just hung blankets for the doors. They were dirt poor, but he had a dream. And his dream and my Mom's love made him feel like a millionaire. And because he didn't give up, and because my Mom believed and loved him, today he has built over 400 homes at a company he created.
Love is the strength we lean on. Love makes you a millionaire on minimum wage. If you have love nothing is impossible for you. And if you lack love, nothing is possible. Love is the greatest and only real power in the world. People live and die for love every day. And no matter who we are, the purpose of life is to love and be loved. The purpose of life is to get to Heaven where we can bask in Love Itself forever. That is our purpose, meaning, and destiny.
Nothing is impossible for you if you give love day in and day out, faithfully, no matter what. Because love makes you like God. Love is your super power.
I didn't use Grammarly to type this, so I'm sure it's full of errors.
930. Today I stuffed my potato with zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic, dill, and cheese. Then I put diced tomatoes on top with Olive Garden salad dressing. Yum! Now I'm ready to go to work and kick ass!
Peter Kreeft says in his book, Jesus Shock, that sin is wrong because it’s boring. And that the true excitement lies in Christianity. Defying our tendencies and being able to control ourselves and overcome temptations can be exciting. Being able to realize we can overcome ourselves is an amazing feeling.
Saying no to yourself can bring a tremendous amount of peace and happiness. It can shock you in a good way. As in, “Oh! I didn’t know I had it in me!” I love it when this happens to me! Sinning is all the same. It’s always, “I want this. I must have this. Me! Me! Me!” Nothing is shocking or exciting about it.
If we want to shock and excite ourselves and the world…if we want peace and happiness and fulfillment – it lies in overcoming sin. It lies in saying no to self and yes to God. It lies in the shocking behavior of the cross. Christ on the cross was the greatest shock of all. The devil had no idea that through killing Christ, the world would be saved. The sacrificial love of Christ is the greatest shock and happiness the world has ever been given.
Lesson to myself – If you don’t want to be bored, shock yourself. Do something hard and loving. This is hard on days like yesterday. I was very productive in the morning, working on my checklist. And then I ate lunch and felt heavy and tired…and depressed. I felt miserable the rest of the day and did just about nothing. With me, I just have to jump right in and do it. The motivation comes later.
Sin is wrong because it’s boring. Instead, dive right into something hard and good. Shake things up. And after you’ve been busy for a while, you’ll realize how fulfilling and happy it is. I’m writing this for myself because I know my FB friends are already insanely productive…a lot of you with one million children you home school! LOL, More power to you! You’ve been doing hard things since you began your family. And you get your strength from love. I’m not preaching to the choir. I’m preaching to myself. LOL I just love to write. I wish I had something to write every day. Love is the greatest shock of all.
928. Adam Grant writes about the joy of being wrong in his book, Rethink. It’s a great book about having the ability to change your mind when presented with new facts and information. Something our society is missing these days. I agree that there can be joy in discovering you are wrong. Because it means you are now less wrong.
It takes a load of bricks off my shoulders when this happens. It happens quite often to me. Sometimes it’s humiliating. But in certain situations, it’s always a joy. Like when I realize I don’t have to bitch about how rude some people are to me. There’s a joy in realizing it would be imprudent to dish it back out to them like I wanted to. There’s a joy in feeling like Cinderella, rather than feeling like Cinderella’s stepsisters.
I love Cinderella. I love that she was kind and nice no matter what and always worked hard with a positive attitude. There’s a joy in being wrong. There’s a joy in realizing it’s possible for me to have humility after all. It takes a load of bricks off my shoulders. I can feel this joy physically in my body. It’s the opposite feeling of having a tight chest. I have a free, guiltless spirit this morning…I have the joy of being wrong. And because of that, I now have the joy of being less wrong.
We can all have this joy. It is a choice. The joy of being wrong is ours for the taking. It is a bit of Heaven on earth. Have a Happy Thursday!