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Posts from the ‘Mental’ Category

A Big ‘Ol Pile of Horse Manure

No, I’m not going to talk about the current political campaigns… EVER! Rather I’d like to comment on positive versus negative thinking.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  —Winston Churchill

This quote was taken from a book Linda’s reading on her Kindle,  Brett Blumenthal’s 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You. I immediately loved this quote, as opposed to the age old, half empty versus half full cup. But to beat all, (even Churchill?) I would like to share a scientific study with you:

Behavioral scientists studied two eight year old boys, one was reported by his parents, peers and teachers, as being extremely pessimistic, the second was said to be an incurable optimist.

The pessimistic boy was placed in a room full of toys, the optimist in a room full of horse manure. That’s right, manure, muck, dung, compost, fertilizer, droppings, stinky, smelly Horse s@#t! Or for scientific journals “Equine Defecation.”

Four hours later, the learned scientists looked in on the pessimist and found him sitting, head bowed and held in his hands with a sour look on his face among the toys. His inactivity and sour demeanor prompted the following exchange:

Scientist: What are you doing?

Pessimist: Nothing.

Scientist: But why? Why not throw the football or baseball?

Pessimist: I’ll break something!

Scientist: oh, uh, well why not ride the bike?

Pessimist: I’ll fall and hurt myself!

Scientist: Well you could read a book, watch the TV, or play one of the Video games!

Pessimist: Books are boring, TV will hurt my eyes and video games will turn my brain to mush.

After taking a few notes, the scientist went to the room with the optimistic boy and horse manure. They found him covered in manure, running up and down the mountain of muck, gathering it in his hands and throwing it up in the air while  dancing and singing! The Q and A period was much shorter in this room;

Scientist: What are you doing!

The optimistic boy answered without taking a second to stop what he was doing: Are you kidding? With all this horse poop there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!!

Okay, maybe not better than Churchill, but hopefully made you smile! Have a dung filled day!  And don’t forget; “there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere!” Joe H

Please check back tomorrow, I hope to tell a little more about the Casa Hogar (Orphanage) experience in Mexico (see yesterdays video, under Computers Sex and Nuclear Energy) and share some pictures. Thanks, Joe H

P.S.! Did you know that the spelling for the words defecation, and deification are only off by two letters! I’m serious! Check the links on each word and think of that next time someone places some Hollywood God/Goddess, Singer, Sports Star, Blogger etc. on a pedestal! Hey, I’m just say’en!

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Computers, Sex and Nuclear Energy

What do these seemingly disparate subjects have in common?

Computers, Sex, and Nuclear Energy, each has the power to create, each has the power to destroy. Joe Hamilton –Peakaboomer, January 2012

Wow! Pretty heavy no? Fear not, I won’t bore you with a verbose philosophical, moral, spiritual, political rant. If you’re asking why in the name of peak performance I would come to make such a statement, the answer is simple. At least in my wandering, ADD riddled brain. My intention this morning (Tuesday, January 10, 2012) was to CREATE an informative and motivating post with a video about a recent service project my family and I went on in Mexico. Alas my computer had a different plan! It (my computer) hasn’t necessarily DESTROYED  my plans but you may see this post and video later today… or maybe even Wednesday the 11th, as I sit here writing this I’m honestly not sure yet!

On a serious note, I’m curious what your thoughts are on my quote, please do comment! When I said this I was thinking in serious terms:

COMPUTERS can create a myriad of opportunities in education, employment and more, or it can destroy via gambling, pornography and other all too popular websites.

SEX can create a temple (body) for a new spirit sent to a family from Heaven itself, or it can destroy the same family if conducted outside of marital bonds.

NUCLEAR ENERGY can create power for the use of entire cities, or it can destroy the same cities if applied in the form of a weapon of mass destruction.

Well there you are. Hopefully we’ll go out and create all things positive, with the many tools God has given us in these modern times. If I’ve met my goal for today’s “creation” you should be able to watch a video (above) showing the boys and girls of Casa Hogar (literally; House Home) Buena Vida (Good Life) In La Mision, Baja California, Mexico. Linda (see about page under peakaboomer tittle) created this video from pictures she shot while we (Linda and I, Cameron, Cody, and A.J.) served there. The music is a great track, I won’t let go, from Rascal Flatts’ album, Nothing Like This. If the video is not here when you visit, don’t worry I won’t let the computer demons win! I WILL PERSIST, I WILL SUCCEED  Have a great day, night, week… (I still don’t know when my computer will let me post this!) Joe H

P.S. A special thanks to my friend Pete Greene for motivating me to volunteer and serve! And to Linda for finding A Child’s Hope Foundation, a great organization with whom to volunteer and serve.

Putting Resolve in Resolution

Three Solid Suggestions for Success in Your New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Choose Excellence. Whatever you’ve chosen as your New Year’s resolution(s), choose first to excel at every little thing that will get you closer to that goal(s).

2. Focus: Be in the moment, every moment, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Start today. Challenge yourself to listen intently to every conversation, comprehend fully what you read, watch and hear.

3. Repeat: Excellence will NEVER be a destination. Every day we seek perfection. Every day we fall short. That’s earth life, welcome aboard! The trick is to “meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same,”only to greet the next day with the same hunger for excellence you had on the first day of your journey.

Repeat: Focus is much harder (at least for me) than it may sound. When you find yourself truly “in the moment” physically, mentally, emotionally; ask yourself  “does this conversation, book, article, video, music, popular media, propel me closer to my chosen resolution? Yes? Consider being in that moment spiritually as well, dig in, and find ways to immediately apply whatever that moment may have offered! No? Run like Joseph from Potiphar’s wife! Whether by accident or design, your being distracted from your chosen resolution! Refuse to be distracted!

MEANS AND METHODS:

In Pursuit of Excellence: How to Win in Sport and Life Through Mental Training, by Terry Orlick, PhD. An outstanding text divided into four parts: Envisioning, Preparing the Mind for, Building Toward, and Realizing Excellence. I’m currently reading this and it was the inspiration for this morning’s post.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield. Mr. Pressfield also has an outstanding e-book, titled: Do The Work, I’ve read both and can highly recommend them! These are some of the best writings I’ve ever read on defeating distraction, and improving focus! You can find other tips and techniques on his interesting website here. 

Have a great day, choose excellence, stay focused and repeat! Joe H

Looking Stupid and Losing for Peak Progress!

It’s common for us to play over our heads against superior opposition, because this foreknowledge that winning is not an essential part of the experience is what brings out our best performances… If you are not intimidated by the idea of losing… or “looking bad,” you can simply concentrate on playing and sometimes go beyond yourself. —Thomas Tutko and Umberto Tosi, Sports Psyching

Most of my coaching/teaching experience has been in the martial arts (Judo and Tae Kwon Do) and strength and conditioning. I noticed early on that kids between the ages of 4 to about 14, at the eldest, will generally learn physical skills, and athletic movement exponential faster than young men and women from 15 on into even older adulthood. The older adults will blame their slow progress on the young persons “youth” and the teens will just get pissed off, pout, or verbalize their frustration with a snappy comeback like, “whatever!”

The fact is that these kids learn, progress and enjoy the process because they don’t mind “looking stupid,” while they’re training! Not only is this thinking not part of their psyche, but they often enjoy “looking stupid.”

I had a Grand Mother-In-Law, Carmen Beltran, who I loved dearly. Carmen was from Chihuahua Mexico originally, and she lived in Glendale Arizona. She taught me that the “looking stupid” lesson applies to language as well. I was told Carmen didn’t speak English well. The truth was she didn’t speak English at all, if she could avoid it, around English speakers! She was afraid of “sounding stupid” yet when she tried, she spoke English well by any standard! At the time I was trying desperately to learn the Spanish language. I had the whole City of Los Angeles to teach me. I had opportunities to learn every night as I policed, talking to victims, witnesses and suspects who spoke Spanish. Thanks to Abuelita Carmen, I stopped worrying about “sounding stupid,” and began to enjoy the laughter when my grammar was less than perfect. I went from proficient to fluent in months and had fun doing it!

Bottom line: go out there, look stupid, sound stupid, lose a game, match, competition or two, have fun doing it and expect to get better! The alternative is a much slower, agonizing journey toward mastery in your chosen endeavor, or worse being discouraged and not trying at all! To lead by example, I’ve included a photo of myself doing what I do best: NO not just looking stupid, I’m getting better! Joe H

The Five People You Hang Out With

Someone once told me “you are the five people you hang out with.” This was probably a parent and as a parent today I certainly think this is a valuable statement to make to the young men and young women we are raising. Looking back on the varied (I’ve been blessed/cursed with a great deal of variety in my life) “seasons” of my life I can testify with confidence that this is a true statement. The things I listened to, the books I read, the conversations I had, the thoughts, and ultimately the actions I took were all influenced tremendously by those individuals with whom I spent the most of my time. Fortunately I feel that I owe most of them a debt of gratitude.

As I get older (everyone wants to get older, but no one wants to age) I’ve taken this five person idea a step further and realized what I really want as a father is for my sons to be the kind of young men OTHER parents want their kids to hang out with. Of course this is a bit tougher than trying to manage the kids’ core group of friends, but in the end probably more worthwhile. My hope and prayer is that somewhere some parent is encouraging their child to “hang out with that Hamilton kid.”

As for myself my goal is to live up to Emersons’ quote on influence:

The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence.

In other words, it’s my constant hope and prayer that I might be the best I can be by leaving an effect that motivates in a positive direction, long after I’m gone. For one final thought, fitting since this Sunday will mark 11 years since my Dad’s passing, my dad used to repeat the first stanza of  this little poem to me, also concerning influence and parenting sons:

A careful man I want to be;
A little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he’ll go the self same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate’er he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be;
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I’m so very fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see;
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go
Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow,
I’m building for the years to be;
The little chap who follows me.

Please comment with any poems, quotes, books etc. you can recommend on parenting, influence, peers, peer pressure, etc.

Have a great day! Joe H

Information Overload!

I know, I know I got off to a flying start and then… nothing! I apologize for the long delay in posting here. I’m committed to at least putting something up each day, with breaks on the weekend! Hmmm, does that sound like a new year’s resolution!? At any rate HAPPY NEW YEAR! May the Lord bless each and every one of you with everything you may stand in need of!

While considering,researching and ultimately writing for this venue, my mind has frequently wandered. I’ve spent hours pondering a myriad of ideas. One that keeps popping up, is the idea that there are so many great things to write about! Yet, I find this to be the proverbial “double edged sword.” Although we are in the midst of a wondrous information age, a time to love life, seak learning, and soak up as much good information as you possibly can, I often wonder; “how can I best spend my time reading, researching and learning? What is the cost of consuming all this information?”  So I want to share a quote with you that I found in Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week

What Information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. 

Tim Ferriss attributes this outstanding  quote to Herbert Simon and opens the book’s sixth chapter, The Low-Information Diet: Cultivating Selective Ignorance, with it. This one chapter is worth the cost of the entire book by the way! I think I’ll re-read it myself. After all, if what Mr. Simon says is correct and “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention,” what will that do to a neophyte blogger with Attention DEFICIT Disorder!? The answer? Well… stay tuned! Oh, and again Happy New Year!