Smartphone Self-Control

Smartphones and social media are making lonely people lonelier.

They are promoting a culture in which people are hooked on their digital devices for fear of missing out on something.

The phone is the new security blanket – college students of mine saying they feel empty without a phone in their hand.

These great tools are turning children into robots even before robots take over the earth – as some predict and making adults numb to living in the now which is where all life takes place.

Phones are tools, not substitutes for things that are missing in life.

Rule 1:  When in the presence of another human being, turn the phone off or don’t take it out until you are alone.  Even when you are alone, return to the real world and remain in it as long as possible interacting, thinking, appreciating.

Rule 2:  The phone and digital devices are not cheap babysitters.  Even Steve Jobs, arguably the one who started this revolution wouldn’t let his kids have unlimited access to their screens – and they were teens!

Rule 3:  When in the company of a smartphone abuser, remain silent until they either give you 100% of their attention in the now or put their phones away.

Rule 4:  The phone and digital devices are tools but they have become an addiction and should be treated the same way any other addiction is treated.  If you are losing moments in life, you may have to quit to recover.

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Confidence

Confidence is among the most fragile things we possess.

When things are going great, confidence comes easy.

When things are going poorly, it is almost impossible to muster.

Confidence is manufactured in the brain even before we need it.

The more we think positively about our abilities, the more our actual pathways in the brain physically change.

Confidence is perishable so use it daily or lose it when you need it most.

Confidence comes from how many times we actually believe in ourselves.

Confidence does not get bigger as challenges get bigger, even small things build big confidence.

When things get rough, waiting for them to get better is not as quick or effective as reviewing in your mind the specific ways you’ve believed in yourself.

If someone sees you’re lacking and tries to diminish your confidence further, cut off that communication immediately and return to seeing yourself in a positive way.

Confidence can even grow when things go sour if we see adversity as a step toward our next success.

Confidence is best controlled by us and not outsourced to others.

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Take It Easy

Sometimes it takes no more than a well-written song to help me start my day such as “Take It Easy” performed by The Eagles and written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey.

“Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”

“Lighten up while you still can

Don’t even try to understand

Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy”

“We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again”

Sometimes our intensity makes us stressed.

Lighten up and let go of the things that are dragging us down.

No matter how good or bad our day, we can never hit restart so make the best of it.

Once a dj, always a dj I guess.  No wonder music makes us happy.

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Neutralizing Stressors

Don’t you just love it when people tell you that they are stressed out and therefore they can’t do this or that?

A big cause of stress is others who constantly say they are stressed.

Welcome to everyone’s world, but when those close to us or those who spend a lot of time with us, say, at work keep playing the stress card, it causes stress for us as well.

There is a certain sense of responsibility some people feel when they are told that the person they are dealing with is stressed out.

Does it mean, back off of the topic or demand?

Is it code for I can’t deal with what you’re saying or asking of me?

Stress is a part of modern life that didn’t exist in exactly the same form decades ago for our parents and grandparents.  Life was slower then but still, there were worries and pressures.

There are two important keys to reducing stress.

One, ease up when you start to feel stressed.

Two, refuse to let other people hand off their stressed feelings to you by playing the “I’m stressed” card.

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Put Down Artists

I’ll bet you think that a put down artist is some arrogant bloviator who rains on your parade as soon as it gets underway.  That, too.

Actually, we all have the potential of being put down artists inadvertently.

When our child comes home from school and says “I got three A’s and one B” and we ask, “What did you get a B in?”  Of course, we should say, “Tell me about your grades” in a less judgmental way.  It’s not like they’re flunking out of school.

But real put down artists can be brutal.

When I was appointed professor of music industry at the University of Southern California, one of my “good friends” took my breath away when he said, “How did YOU get to be a professor?” as if to say being an ex-dj disqualifies me when ironically it was actually the reverse.

I joked, that USC ran out of candidates and chose me but I knew the real reason I was brought in to write and teach courses on music, broadcasting and the mobile future.

Or how about this one:  I’ve been married three times so I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard “which one” when I refer to an ex.  Really?  Which one?  Like you care.

Humor is always a good way to introduce a person to their insensitivity.

It’s bad enough that adults struggle with put down artists but it is monumental when children and teens are confronted with it.

I’m in the advanced group, you’re not (like it matters in the end).

You’re fat (what does my weight have to do with you).

No one likes you (did you hold an election?).

Insert your own indignities here because I’m sure you know what I am talking about.

The most effective way to put down a put down artist is to cut off their oxygen by not responding to their hurtful comments with the full knowledge that there is only one you and you’re pretty darn awesome.

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