Monday, April 9, 2018

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

6451.  One might expect single people to be less risk-averse than their married counterparts, but the opposite is true.  Married people, for example, are more willing to make risky financial investments than single people.  The outcomes of success can also be seen in marriage studies with married men earning about twenty percent more than unmarried men;
6452.  4 rules for strategic givers: 1.  Don’t break the bank: The amount of money you spend doesn’t matter.  It’s what you spend it on.  Here are two words to guide your gifting: practical luxuries.  Most of your gift recipients are (more than likely) extremely high-powered.  They don’t need an $80.00 watch because they could afford to purchase an $8000.00 watch.  So if you have $80.00 to spend, gift something useful that the recipient might never buy for themselves.  Make it both practical and top-of-the-line.  Spend the $80.00 on a custom coffee mug.  Or on a pair of zebra wood headphones.  Or on an engraved cheese knife (i.e., American-made, guaranteed forever and sold by college students).  If your recipient says, “I would never buy this for myself, but I absolutely love it!” then you’re on the right track; 2.  Use the crucial ITY’s: A good gift shouldn’t live in isolation.  It can’t live in isolation.  Worthy recipients today are likely to be worthy recipients tomorrow, so set yourself up for success.  Not by putting your logo on everything, but by adhering your gifting to the three crucial ITY’s: A) Visibil-ITY gifts are things that’ll be seen by others.  Conversation starters.  Make your recipient look good and they will love you forever; B) Continu-ITY gifts are those you can buy in a series.  Today you send the leather belt, next month the leather travel bag and so on; and C) Qual-ITY gifts are things that last forever.  Nothing says, “You don’t really matter to me” like mediocre quality; 3.  Don’t be an ABC gifter:  ABC gifters limit their strategic giving to Anniversaries, Birthdays and Christmas.  Your goal is “surprise and delight,” you should know that ABC gifting thoroughly eliminates the “surprise” part of the equation.  Better to change your giving calendar to reflect those months, dates and days when your recipient least expects it.  “I was having the worst Tuesday and then I got your package in the mail!  Thank you!  Where did you find this thing?”  Shock and awe just isn’t the same without the shock; 4.  Follow up without attachment: You should follow-up and ask “How’d you like the gift?”  It doesn’t make you tactless.  The only way to become tactless is to make the follow-up about you.  “How’d you like the gift?  Great!  Hey, I was wondering if you could do me a favor;”
6453.  In 2011, as part of the Science of Generosity Initiative at the University of Notre Dame, W. Bradford Wilcox headed up a survey of 1,630 married couples designed to home in on a single factor in after-the-nuptials happiness: marital generosity.  In a 2013 article for the Journal of Marriage and Family, Wilcox and coauthor Jeffrey Dew define this generosity as “giving good things to [one’s spouse] freely and abundantly,” including “regularly engaging in small acts of kindness, expressing affection, expressing respect and forgiving one’s spouse;”
6454.  One of the worst feelings you can get is that feeling of stagnation.  When your life stagnates, it starts to affect other areas of your life.  You might feel uninspired, unmotivated, like you’re in a rut that you can’t get out of.  You feel bored . . . bored of everything;
6455.  (I can say) I witnessed Alexander Ovechkin’s 602nd (regular-season) NHL goal making him the 19th all-time NHL goal scorer (by surpassing Jari Kurri on the all-time list);
6456.  Morning sex . . . check . . . snow day . . . (double) check;
6457.  (Instant) oatmeal (specifically maple & brown sugar) made with (black) coffee is actually (pretty) good;
6458.  Dining room table . . . check . . . raw dog buggery . . . (double) check;
6459.  Making out in the car . . . check;
6460.  (Getting) a body trimmer is a worthwhile purchase;
6461.  New opportunities, new experiences are always found outside (of) your comfort zone;
6462.  The key to feeling good is to decide to stop feeling bad;
6463.  This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply, in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I love myself;
6464.  Darkness is the absence of light.  Any negative thought is darkness.  How do you remove it?  Do you fight fear or worry?  Do you push or drown away sadness and pain?  Doesn’t work.  Instead, imagine you’re in a dark room and it’s bright outside.  Your job is to go to the window, pull out a rag and start cleaning.  Soon enough, light enters naturally taking the darkness away;
6465.  If you had a thought once, it has no power over you.  Repeat it again and again, especially with emotional intensity, feeling it, and over time, you’re creating the grooves, the mental river.  Then it controls you;
6466.  The chicken tender sub at Publix (Publix.com) is (pretty) tasty;
6467.  Calming meditation: 1.  Put on music . . . something soothing and gentle, preferably instrumental . . . a piece you have positive associations with; 2.  Sit with your back against a wall or window.  Cross your legs or stretch them out, whatever feels natural; 3.  Close your eyes.  Smile slowly.  Imagine a beam of light pouring into your head from above; 4.  Breathe in and say to yourself in your mind, “I love myself.”  Be gentle with yourself; 5.  Breathe out and along with it anything that arises . . . anything thoughts, emotions, feelings, memories, fears, hopes, desires or nothing.  Breathe it out.  There is no judgment or attachment to anything.  Be kind to yourself; 6.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the music ends.  When your attention wanders, notice it and smile.  Smile at it as if it’s a child doing what a child does.  With that smile, return to your breath.  Repeat steps 4 and 5; and 7.  When the music ends, open your eyes slowly.  Smile.  Do it from the inside out.  This is your time.  This is purely yours;
6468.  “I love myself” mediation: 1.  Set a timer for 5 minutes; 2.  Stand in front of a mirror with your nose a few inches away.  Relax.  Breathe; 3.  Look into your eyes.  It helps if you focus on one . . . your left eye.  Relax.  Breathe slowly and naturally until you develop a rhythm; 4.  Looking into your left eye say, “I love myself.”  Whether you believe it that moment or not isn’t important.  What’s important is saying it to yourself and looking into your eyes where there is no escape from the truth.  Ultimately, the truth is loving yourself; and 5.  Repeat, “I love myself,” gently, pausing occasionally to watch your eyes;
6469.  If a painful memory arises, don’t fight it or try to push it away.  Struggle reinforces pain.  Instead, go to love.  Love for yourself.  Feel it.  If you have to fake it, fine.  Feel the love for yourself as the memory ebbs and flows.  That will take the power away;
6470.  Fighting fear doesn’t work.  It just drags us in closer.  One has to focus on what is real . . . on the truth.  When in darkness, don’t fight it.  You can’t win.  Just find the nearest switch and turn on the light;
6471.  James Altucher talks about how he stops negative thoughts in their tracks with a simple mind trick.  “Not useful,” he tells himself.  It’s a switch, a breaker of sorts, it shifts the pattern of the fear;
6472.  When fear arises, remember that it is a hallucinated snake, that it’s not useful or that it’s not real.  There are many more.  As long as it works, it’s valid;
6473.  The key is, when in darkness, have a light switch you’ve chosen standing by;
6474.  It’s easy to wish for health when you’re sick.  When you’re doing well, you need just as much vigilance;
6475.  If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?  The answer is: I’d fly . . . fly as high as I possibly can.  Then, I’d fly higher;
6476.  Often the price for not being present is pain;
6477.  Whenever you notice fear in your mind, instead of pushing it aside or using it as fuel, say to yourself, “It’s okay,” a gentle “yes” to yourself, to the moment and to what the mind is feeling;
6478.  Real growth comes through intense, difficult and challenging situations;
6479.  Fear strengthens the ego.  Love softens it;
6480.  The women you’ll see in the lobby of LIV (Nightclub) (LIVNightclub.com) in Miami is ridiculous;
6481.  What’s a great place to meet women in Miami?  The answer is: The lobby of LIV (Nightclub);
6482.  Apparently, you should put your Molly under your “junk;”
6483.  Putting your Molly in the waistband of your boxers works too;
6484.  Don’t take the 3rd pill . . . just don’t;
6485.  (The feeling of) too much Molly reminds me of lucid dreaming;
6486.  100/150 mg and then 100/50 mg 3-4 hours later is (probably) about right (for most people);
6487.  (I can say) I saw Swedish House Mafia play (at Ultra Music Festival) in Miami;
6488.  Apparently, Floyd Mayweather likes to go to LIV (Nightclub) in Miami;
6489.  Ice cream made with (liquid) nitrogen is very creamy;
6490.  The 10 minute rule: It’s really easy to put off tasks that seem daunting, but there’s something that works.  Promise yourself you’ll put just 10 minutes into the task.  Once you get in the flow, you’ll pick your head up two hours later with a large chunk done.  Getting started is the hardest part so don’t give yourself a choice;
6491.  How do you get 2,000 free (frequent flyer/airline) miles from American Airlines?  The answer is: Have a kid throw up on you on the plane. . . . It’ll also get you a free (alcoholic) drink and your dry cleaning paid for;
6492.  Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore;
6493.  Hospitals are cheap(er) places to park in the Inner Harbor (in Baltimore);
6494.  (I can say) I’ve been to Opening Day at (Oriole Park at) Camden Yards;
6495.  Apparently, I smell “salty;”
6496.  It seems (that) the kid’s dog (i.e., $1.50) is a better value than a regular hot dog (i.e., $5.00) at (Oriole Park at) Camden Yards. . . . You can buy three kid’s dogs for less than the price of one regular hot dog;
6497.  Going to a strip club with a girl you’re seeing . . . check . . . bonus, (in that) it was her idea;
6498.  Something you don’t see every day . . . (a woman with) a dog (i.e., Chihuahua) at a strip club;
6499.  Apparently, Elizabeth is “falling” for me;
6500.  If you don’t want to be mistaken for a(n) Lyft/Uber (driver) in D.C., don’t drive a gray (Toyota) Corolla;

Monday, March 19, 2018

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

6401.  I place no limits and no restrictions on all that I intend to accomplish and become from here on in;
6402.  Whenever you’re experiencing discomfort or sadness, rather than trying to change the thought behind your emotional state, instead just put it back onto the never-ending conveyor belt of thoughts and then select a different thought.  Keep doing this until you’ve selected a thought that allows you to feel good and you’re no longer condemning yourself for creating unhappy thoughts;
6403.  Mood and sleep use the same neurotransmitters.  That makes it very hard to tell if someone has sleep loss or depression.  Other nasty effects of short-term sleep deprivation include memory impairment, mood swings, dullness, fatigue and even hallucinations.  Sleep time is the time when you recover from the stresses of life.  Take that away and the brain and body suffer a little more every day;
6404.  Bigger isn’t always better.  Better is better;
6405.  You can’t have what other people have if you aren’t willing to do what they do;
6406.  You don’t always need to grow your business to get what you really want;
6407.  If you’ve felt the pressure to build something big to do what you really want to do, remember these words: you don’t have to do this.  You can create the life you want without playing somebody else’s game.  So go play your own;
6408.  Purposeful celebration brings an energy to your team and that energy will directly impact the performance they deliver.  It feels good to be acknowledged.  And it doesn’t take much.  Sometimes it’s just a pat on the back or thumbs up from the right person at the right time;
6409.  Because of the way our brains work, goal sharing often gives us the same psychological satisfaction of accomplishing the goal without having to do the hard work.  In other words, talking becomes a substitute for doing;
6410.  Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted her own goal-setting study with 267 participants.  She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down;
6411.  There is a place for sharing our goals after all.  Participants, who sent their commitments to a friend, accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t and those who followed up with weekly progress reports to their friends did even better.  So don’t set goals and tell everyone.  Instead, tell those people who need to know and can provide the support and accountability you need to get results;
6412.  The food at the Silver Diner (SilverDiner.com) is (actually) pretty good . . . and they don’t just serve diner food;
6413.  As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.  We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.  But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know;
6414.  Having a lot of (throw) pillows and blankets (on your couch) can come in handy;
6415.  (Bath)tub . . . check;
6416.  Social media can become like an echo chamber, where we only choose to listen to the views of people who think the same way we do, and unfriend those who don’t.  We can become a slave to that limited way of thinking with our minds slowly narrowing and closing down without us even noticing.  When our thinking becomes narrow, we don’t see as many opportunities.  And that can block our abundance;
6417.  Social media can also become an addiction, where we know that we’re frittering away time that could be spent far more productively, but somehow we can’t help ourselves.  Being unproductive can block our abundance too;
6418.  A comprehensive Harvard study by researchers Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis has shown that increased Facebook usage is associated with lower physical health, mental health and life satisfaction.  “Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being.  These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year.  We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health and life satisfaction;”
6419.  When something bad happens to you, you can’t let your grieving period last too long.  There’s just too much great stuff out there in the world waiting for you;
6420.  You shouldn’t use oil-based lube with (latex) condoms and you shouldn’t use silicone-based lube with silicone toys;
6421.  When thinking about life, remember this: No amount of guilt can solve the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future;
6422.  You’ve got to work on yourself day by day.  You’ve got to remember that your entire life is a work in progress.  That you’re going to have bad days, but also good ones to balance everything out.  You’ve got to know that sometimes you’re going to get your heart broken, while other times, you’re the one who’s going to be breaking someone else’s.  You’ve got to accept that nothing ever goes as planned and that nothing is perfect.  You’ve got to realize that what you feel is never wrong and that you must always trust your intuition, but also accept the consequences of things.  You’ve got to know that it’s never too late to be where you want to be, to become who you want to become, to feel what you want to feel and to love the way you want to be loved: both freely and without discrimination.  You’ve got to believe in this, live by this and listen to your voice when you have to, in all shapes and forms.  You’ve got to empower every human you love and empower yourself to do good.  Be good and let everything that brings the light closer to you and everything that brings you peace in;
6423.  Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience.  Anyone who abandons you is teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet.  Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion.  Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back.  Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love.  Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome your fear.  Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go;
6424.  5 things not to do in the morning: 1.  Think negative thoughts; 2.  Immediately think about what could go wrong with the things you have to do for the day; 3.  Start your morning without a purpose; 4.  Forget to be grateful; and 5.  Ignore your inspired actions;
6425.  5 things to do in the morning: 1.  Always look for a better feeling thought.  Become a vibrational match to the things you want to attract into your life; 2.  Close your eyes for a few minutes every morning and visualize your day going exactly the way you want it to go; 3.  After visualizing your day, visualize your bigger, long-term goals coming true and take a few moments to say your affirmations that describe your goals in their already completed state (e.g., “I am celebrating feeling light and alive in my perfect body weighing 135.”); 4.  Remember to be grateful.  Take a few moments to write down what you’re grateful for; and 5.  If you get an inspiration to do something, act on it immediately;
6426.  Here is a list of 18 of the most commonly used excuses and an affirmation for each.  The affirmations will assist you in making a conscious effort to encourage yourself to elevate your beliefs: 1.  It will be difficult: I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort; 2.  It’s going to be risky: Being myself involves no risks.  It is my ultimate truth and I live it fearlessly; 3.  It will take a long time: I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny; 4.  There will be family drama: I would rather be loathed for who I am than loved for who I am not; 5.  I don’t deserve it: I am a Divine creation, a piece of God.  Therefore, I cannot be undeserving; 6.  It’s not my nature: My essential nature is perfect and faultless.  It is to this nature that I return; 7.  I can’t afford it: I am connected to an unlimited source of abundance; 8.  No one will help me: The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time; 9.  It has never happened before: I am willing to attract all that I desire beginning here and now; 10.  I’m not strong enough: I have access to unlimited assistance.  My strength comes from my connection to my Source of being; 11.  I’m not smart enough: I am a creation of the Divine mind; all is perfect and I am a genius in my own right; 12.  I’m too old (or not old enough): I am an infinite being.  The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am; 13.  The rules won’t let me: I live my life according to Divine rules; 14.  It’s too big: I think only about what I can do now.  By thinking small, I accomplish great things; 15.  I don’t have the energy: I feel passionately about my life and this passion fills me with excitement and energy; 16.  It’s my personal family history: I live in the present moment by being grateful for all of my life experiences as a child; 17.  I’m too busy: As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul; and 18.  I’m too scared: I can accomplish anything I put my mind to because I know that I am never alone;
6427.  Clean up your messes.  When you live in a state of mental and physical clutter, it’s likely that you won’t be very productive.  Incomplete projects, unfinished business and piles of cluttered messes can weigh you down and take away from the energy you have to move forward toward your goals.  When you don’t complete tasks, you can’t be fully prepared to move into the present let alone into your new future.  What this means is that in order to be productive, you must complete any unfinished business or tasks that have been holding you back;
6428.  Focus!  The most successful people create entire days dedicated to focusing.  A “focus day” is a day in which you spend at least 80% of your time operating in your core genius or primary area of expertise, interacting with people or processes that give you the highest payoffs for the time you invest.  To be successful, you must schedule more “focus days” and hold yourself accountable for producing the results.  The more you focus on your highest payoff activities, the more productive you’ll be;
6429.  Learn how to say “no.”  If you are going to increase your results and your income as well as increase the amount of free time in your life, you are going to have to eliminate those activities, requests and other time-stealers that don’t have a high payoff.  You will have to structure your work so that you are focusing your time, effort, energies and resources only on projects, opportunities and people that give you a huge reward for your efforts.  You are going to have to create strong boundaries about what you will and won’t do;
6430.  Practice the “rule of 5.”  The “rule of 5” simply means that every day, you must do five specific things to move your most important goal toward completion.  By committing to take meaningful daily actions to achieve your goals, you will accomplish more than you thought possible in a surprisingly short amount of time;
6431.  Meditation is very important when it comes to productivity.  Through meditation, you can do many things better.  When your mind is clear, you make better decisions, you’ll be able to focus on your most pressing issues, you’re more creative, you have much greater awareness of the world around you and you ultimately get more done;
6432.  If there is something to gain by asking and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask;
6433.  “No’s” are just part of the journey on your way to finally getting a “yes.”  It only takes one “yes” to radically change your life forever;
6434.  Don’t get discouraged when you get a “no.”  Just keep asking.  You have to accept that you may get a lot of “no’s” on the way to a “yes;”
6435.  Ask as though you expect to get it.  Make your request with confidence and a full expectation that your wish will be granted;
6436.  Assume you can.  Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get what you want.  Adopt the attitude that all you need to get what you want is to speak up and say that you want it;
6437.  Ask someone who can give it to you.  If you want a “yes,” there’s no sense asking a person who is incapable of fulfilling your request.  Qualify the person you are talking to before asking;
6438.  Be specific.  Vague requests produce vague results.  Be clear about exactly what you want to ensure you get it.  Don’t ask for a raise.  Ask for $5,000.00 more a year;
6439.  Ask repeatedly.  Persistence is a key principle of success.  Some people will say “no” to your requests.  Your job is to keep asking until you get a “yes;”
6440.  (Ricard) Wagner (the German composer) was anti-Semitic;
6441.  My (paternal) grandfather was born in 1918;
6442.  The (Peking) duck at Peking Gourmet Inn (PekingGourmet.com) in Falls Church, Virginia, is (very) lean and (almost fall off the bone) tender;
6443.  Apparently, multiple erections during (one) sex (session) isn’t very common;
6444.  Apparently, size doesn’t factor into the number of erections;
6445.  I don’t get/understand toe sucking;
6446.  I like getting my inner thigh kissed;
6447.  (I can say) I’ve been slapped . . . by a guy . . . (just) weird;
6448.  “Pollo a la brasa” (in Spanish) means “grilled chicken;
6449.  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
6450.  Success requires the drive and support to face challenges, learn from our mistakes and continue to face challenges of increasing difficulty.  As recently highlighted in How Our Partners Empower Our Personal Growth, people with supportive partners are substantially more likely to take on challenges;

Monday, March 5, 2018

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

6351.  There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy;
6352.  Apparently, Christmas lied about coming 4 times. . . . Christmas is a liar. . . . Christmas is a faker;
6353.  Raw dog . . . check;
6354.  Apparently, I have a nice butt;
6355.  Apparently, you can’t come on Molly . . . good to know;
6356.  A woman’s favorite spot to be kissed, other than the mouth, is the neck;
6357.  Ninety-six percent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do;
6358.  Normally two people in conversation give each other eye contact anywhere from 30-60% of the time, but couples, who are in love, look at each other 75% of the time during conversation and are slower to break their look away from each other when interrupted;
6359.  6 ways to make someone fall in love with you: 1.  Dim the lights; 2.  Wear red; 3.  Share secrets; 4.  Girls, chin down.  Guys, chin up; 5.  Lots of eye contact; and 6.  Exciting beats pleasant;
6360.  Describing his findings in an article entitled “Deviance in the Dark,” Ken and Mary Gergen noted that when the lights were on, none of the participants purposefully touched or hugged one another and that 30 percent of them felt sexually aroused.  When the group was plunged into darkness, the situation was very different.  Now, almost 90 percent of them touched one another on purpose, 50 percent hugged and 80 percent were sexually aroused.  In addition, the people, who were in the dark room, were far more likely to start talking about important events in their lives and find one another attractive.  Gergen’s footage revealed that a few of the participants even started stroking one another’s faces and kissing.  Simply by finding themselves in the sort of situation that lovers enjoy, people quickly started to behave as if they had been struck by Cupid’s arrow and so found one another more attractive;
6361.  Women perceive men to be more attractive and sexually desirable, when seen on a red background and in red clothing and that status perceptions are responsible for this effect;
6362.  Tilting female faces upwards decreased their perceived femininity and attractiveness, whereas tilting them downwards increased their perceived femininity and attractiveness.  Male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine and tilted down judged to be less masculine;
6363.  In two studies, subjects induced to exchange a mutual unbroken gaze for 2 minutes with a stranger of the opposite sex reported increased feelings of passionate love for each other;
6364.  Couples, who spend time engaging in exciting activities (such as skiing, hiking, dancing or going to concerts), were significantly happier with their relationships than those, who had been encouraged to carry out pleasant activities (such as going to the movies, eating out or visiting friends).  The key to long-term love involves people avoiding the lure of the familiar and instead inviting excitement into their lives.  By acting as if they are out on an exhilarating date, couples can turn back the hands of time and easily recreate that loving feeling;
6365.  All work is not created equal.  Shallow work is little stuff like e-mail, meetings, moving information around, etc.  Things that are not really using your talents.  Deep work pushes your current abilities to their limits.  It produces high value results and improves your skills;
6366.  People, who are the busiest, often are getting a lot less done of significance than the people who are able to stop by 5:00 PM every day.  The whole reason they need to work at night and on the weekends is because their work life has become full of just shallows.  They’re responding to messages, moving information around and being a human network router.  These things are very time consuming and very low value;
6367.  Nobody in the history of the universe ever became CEO because they responded to more e-mail or went to more meetings;
6368.  Shallow work stops you from getting fired, but deep work is what gets you promoted;
6369.  Whenever possible, do not check e-mail for the first hour or two of the day.  You might need to get into your e-mail to finish 100% of your most important to-dos.  But can you get 80 or 90% done before you go into Gmail and have your rat brain explode with freak-out, dopamine excitement and cortisol panic;
6370.  There’s a whole new meaning to getting a foot massage.  Just ask Elizabeth;
6371.  Elizabeth likes her steaks medium-rare;
6372.  Elizabeth really likes wasabi;
6373.  “Soixante-neuf” . . . check;
6374.  Apparently, some women like to taste themselves after coming;
6375.  Super Bowl . . . check . . . internal . . . (double) check;
6376.  The most important thing to do with anyone you meet is to seek their thoughts and opinions without judging them.  Ask questions.  Listen.  But don’t judge.  Nobody (including yourself) likes to feel judged;
6377.  Studies show people get more pleasure from talking about themselves than they do from food or money;
6378.  Suspend your ego to get people to like you.  Most of us are just dying to point out how other people are wrong.  It kills rapport.  If you want to correct someone?  If you want to one-up them.  Don’t do it;
6379.  Ego suspension is putting your own needs, wants and opinions aside.  Consciously ignore your desire to be correct and to correct someone else.  It’s not allowing yourself to get emotionally hijacked by a situation where you might not agree with someone’s thoughts, opinions or actions;
6380.  When people hear things that contradict their beliefs, the logical part of their mind shuts down and their brain prepares to fight;
6381.  Be a good listener.  Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying right now.  Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you;
6382.  Research shows just asking people to tell you more makes you more likeable and gets them to want to help you;
6383.  The basics of active listening are: 1.  Listen to what they say.  Don’t interrupt, disagree or evaluate; 2.  Nod your head and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh;” 3.  Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said from their frame of reference; and 4.  Inquire.  Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward;
6384.  Research shows just asking people “If now is a good time?” makes them more likely to comply with requests;
6385.  “Netflix and chill” . . . check . . . sofa bed . . . (double) check;
6386.  Elizabeth likes chocolate cake;
6387.  Handcuffs . . . check . . . butt plug . . . (double) check . . . Valentine’s Day . . . (triple) check;
6388.  Apparently, Elizabeth’s sister is married to the drummer of (the band,) “Beirut;”
6389.  Elizabeth's favorite cookie is chocolate chip;
6390.  There are people (who are) allergic to onions . . . which is awful/horrible for them because it’s used in (almost) everything for flavor;
6391.  I like having my back kissed;
6392.  “Millennial pink” is a thing;
6393.  There is a lot of emotion around the area of our lives that we call relationships and the reason for all that emotion is because we tend to make relationships life and death.  We do that because whenever we enter into a relationship we come face-to-face with our deepest fears;
6394.  Our partners, intimate and familial, our dearest friends, our kids and our parents, those for whom we care most deeply, are the most vivid mirrors life has to offer.  Relationships reflect back to us our conditioning, driving needs and our belief systems;
6395.  You can solve anything with the ones you love if you drop the charge of blame.  Every relationship offers us the opportunity to learn something, including the things that make us angry, frustrated or afraid.  Those upsets aren’t coming from our partners, they’re coming from our conditioning, past impressions and our models of the world, including the models we don’t even like;
6396.  From those models of the world come all of the expectations we hold of ourselves and our partners.  The upsets come from our own rules and expectations and the stories of blame we tell;
6397.  If you knew today was your last day on earth, what would you communicate to your beloved ones?  How would you love?  What stories would you let go of?  If you had the luxury of knowing it was the very last time you would see them, what wouldn’t be worth the upset anymore?
6398.  Wouldn’t all the upsets you have with the ones you love disappear if you knew this was the last moment you’d ever have with them?  The hurt comes from the love we force our heart to withhold.  The pain comes from punishing our partners.  That’s not love.  A relationship is a place we go to give something, not a place we go to get our needs met;
6399.  Decide how you will show up.  Who are you willing to become for the ones you love.  What state would you be in if this was the last moment you had together?
6400.  I have a burning desire, an inner flame that will not be extinguished by outer forces, to know and live from higher regions, to be transformed so that my new concept of myself will no longer include any limitations.  I am willing to challenge and change any thoughts that impede my having a higher vision of myself;

Monday, February 19, 2018

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

6301.  Perspective and choice are something every human can change;
6302.  Apparently, you can pay ½ has many (frequent flyer) miles for a flight 2 weeks before your departure;
6303.  As soon as your application is approved, the clock starts ticking for credit card sign-up bonuses (. . . not when you activate the card);
6304.  Converting hotel points to airline miles is (generally) not a good value;
6305.  $.02 for every (frequent flyer) mile/point is a good value;
6306.  Only 52% of all flights are shown on the internet;
6307.  To get the best hotel (room) prices, you should call the (actual) hotel and talk to the manager on duty;
6308.  Your travel and accommodations should be based on value and not (necessarily on) cost;
6309.  Resort fees can be waived by the hotel (manager);
6310.  You should write (and mail) a “thank you” letter to the (hotel) manager, who gave you a special deal and/or rate;
6311.  State department travel advisories are selective.  They never had any travel advisories when Ireland had frequent car bombings;
6312.  You should only worry about traveling to places where the government doesn’t have control;
6313.  Apparently, more Americans die in bathtub accidents in a week than they do traveling overseas in a(n entire) year;
6314.  Don’t book cruises on a ship’s inaugural season.  They’re usually booked solid so there won’t be any deals/discounts.  Book cruises with ships that are 3-5 years-old;
6315.  Cruise ships go to over 1,100 ports in the world;
6316.  Apparently, Amtrak has over 500 stops;
6317.  Apparently, a direct flight from Las Vegas to Hawaii or Phoenix to Hawaii can be a lot cheaper than a (direct) flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii;
6318.  Apparently, Lisbon(, Portugal,) is becoming known for its food. . . . Seven new Michelin starred restaurants have opened in the last year (i.e., 2017);
6319.  If you have a medium or long-haul flight (either roundtrip or one-way) or if your final destination is the Azores, Madeira or Algarve, you can stop off for 1-5 nights in Lisbon or Porto(, Portugal,) for free, if you fly TAP Air Portugal (PortugalStopover.flytap.com/USA/enus/stopover);
6320.  According to (the “Travel Detective,”) Peter Greenberg, the Faroe Islands is the best place to see the “Northern Lights” (i.e., Aurora Borealis);
6321.  Apparently, Baja California makes some great wines.  They export 75% of their production to France;
6322.  Rwanda is the only country where you can see mountain gorillas and the big five game/safari animals (i.e., lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and the African/Cape buffalo);
6323.  Apparently, AsunciĆ³n (the capital and largest city) is a good place to visit if you’ve never been to Paraguay.  It’s a nice introduction to the country and (the) culture;
6324.  Never buy travel insurance from the travel provider;
6325.  A good place to compare and buy travel insurance is InsureMyTrip (InsureMyTrip.com);
6326.  Two good providers of repatriation/evacuation insurance are MedjetAssist (MedjetAssist.com) and AIG Travel Guard (TravelGuard.com);
6327.  Aer Lingus has an auction for business class (airline) tickets;
6328.  You can call airlines and ask if they have any business class tickets on sale;
6329.  Check the price you listed an item for before negotiating a price;
6330.  Almost everybody wants to haggle (for a lower price) when you sell something on Craigslist;
6331.  The ego insists on pursuing more: more stuff, accomplishments, status, triumphs and money.  More is the mantra of the ego, fueling endless striving with a false promise of eventually arriving.  However, every assured arrival point is seductively transformed to a desire to strive for even more, unless we choose to make a shift in the direction our life is taking;
6332.  The shift begins in the process of halting the momentum and self-importance of the ego, but then we must proceed with the work of derailing and rerouting it in the opposite direction.  This doesn’t mean we lose our drive; rather, it signifies that our drive is realigned with a life based on experiencing meaning and feeling purposeful;
6333.  Our ego self has always focused on external power.  As we move towards spirit, we replace ego’s need to influence external situations or other people with a preference for personal empowerment.  We stop fighting ego’s endless battles and instead shift to meaning.  We do this through conscious compassionate curiosity and caring first and foremost for our inner self.  Noninterference becomes a higher priority than being right or dominating others;
6334.  Ego feels separate and distinct from others, a being unto itself.  As we move back to spirit, we recognize our connectedness.  Seeing ourselves as a part of everyone eliminates the need to compete with anyone;
6335.  Ego is motivated by external achievement, performance and acquisitions.  As we move back to spirit, we shift our focus to internal pursuits.  Our preparation for living a life of purpose involves a major shift in attitude in the direction of feeling peaceful, being honest and assisting others;
6336.  Ego is adamant about the importance of seeking revenge.  Pursuing and achieving vengeance, retaliation and reprisal prevent us from feeling purposeful and living a life of meaning;
6337.  Forgiving yourself for everything you’ve felt shame about is highly important.  Whatever happened was necessary, so let go of regret and replace your negative feelings with gratitude for what you’ve learned.  If your objective is to be inspired, then you must eradicate your resistance to that state of being.  After you’ve forgiven yourself, extend the same courtesy to everyone who you feel mistreated you.  Practice forgiveness every day.  The most difficult or impossible situations are the most essential;
6338.  Keep a list of everything that interests and excites you, no matter how insignificant.  Remind yourself that these are indicators or clues that within and around you lie both the talent and the necessary spirit to bring them into your reality;
6339.  You’ll never find light by analyzing the darkness, you’ll never find your magnificence by analyzing what you believe to be undistinguished about yourself.  Look for opportunities to verify your greatness and expand your view of yourself as a splendid creation.  Whenever a thought of ordinariness pops into your mind, put the brakes on immediately and affirm something like: “I’m a divine being, a distinct portion of the essence of God.”  This silent reminder will do more for your inspiration than a thousand books and a hundred seminars;
6340.  10 questions to get a conversation going around the holidays: 1.  How do you define a great holiday experience?  What’s the best one you can remember?; 2.  What are you the most grateful for this past year?; 3.  What are you the most proud of this past year?; 4.  If you had one million dollars to give to charity, how would you spend it?; 5.  What are your top three strengths and how have they benefitted others recently?; 6.  What is your favorite trait in other people?; 7.  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how does that relate to what you do now?; 8.  When you think about the coming year, what are you most excited to accomplish?; 9.  What new capability do you want to develop in the next year?; and 10.  What are the two biggest lessons you learned this last year?
6341.  A 2008 study published in Emotion found that success rates of “Big Sister Week,” designed to solidify relationships between sorority members, succeeded based on gratitude.  “Big sisters” spent the period giving surprise gifts to assigned new recruits.  At the end of the period of giving, matches were revealed.  “Little sister” gratitude ratings, which corresponded more closely to how thoughtful they considered the gifts than how much they liked them, predicted the strength of their connection to their “big sister” and their feelings of integration in the sorority a month later;
6342.  A 2009 study found that gratitude improves sleep duration and quality even when controlling for personality traits that might influence sleep;
6343.  A 2016 study found that gratitude was correlated with better sleep and decreased blood pressure;
6344.  Scientists have identified the parts of the cortex that are activated by thankfulness.  They are involved in emotional processing.  They also set off like firecrackers when activated by gratitude;
6345.  Elizabeth likes soy sauce (a lot) . . . and hot sauce;
6346.  Knee grinding/humping . . . check;
6347.  Elizabeth will laugh if you lick her nose;
6348.  Elizabeth likes (it) that I’m willing to try new things;
6349.  Elizabeth likes being blindfolded;
6350.  The days are long, but the years are short;