Why can’t everybody just be more like me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16H64-l_7Lw I recently just finally got to watching the Galaxy of the Guardian series with my daughters. And one of them asks why the character Ego wants to destroy everything and make plans after himself.  As parents, we often have to answer difficult questions on the spot.  I said, “Haven’t we all gone through moments where we think–if everyone in the world were more like me, life would be so much easier?” In psychological terms,  this is called the theory of mind and refers to the ability to acknowledge different perspectives and know that your mindset might not be shared by those around you—and doesn’t need to be.  Theory of mind is an innate potential ability people may reach, to different effectiveness, over time by observing others and testing out their social assumptions.  This is a situation where variety IS really the spice of life, and exposure to different perspectives... Read more

Fail First To Win

In school, when teachers ask questions, many kids might know the answer, but are too shy or nervous or unsure of themselves to raise their hands, get the correct answer and begin the positive feedback loop for confidence by receiving affirmation from themselves and their community. On curaJOY's website, we discuss how children develop confidence. You can find the article here. Fear of failure is the enemy of confidence building because it stops children from overcoming obstacles and aiming for the edge of their comfort zone to grow. When I recorded a voice memo to remind myself of this blog topic in the car, my daughters in the backseat overheard, and asked "are you telling people to try to fail?" The answer, of course, is no. We want to allow for failure when it does happen so that we have what it takes to always try our best. In karate,... Read more

Are Doors Opening For You?

Most people get the idea that your body is what you put into it--diet, exercise. Thus the endless waves of vegan, organic, keto, gluten-free… But you also get what you put into your work, your relationship, and your life!  It starts with your mindset.  When I first started out as a marketing manager, I yearned to get into sales and be where the money and action were! Unfortunately, at that time, the workplace was very gender-biased.  it was a gender-biased workplace where girls were the support, creating, back office, and men were the sales, tech, and engineers.  No opportunities were given to a rookie with no background in sales or accounting.  The opportunity came for me in the form of a craphole bad collectibles.  Every sales and accountant had tried to collect 385-days overdue account receivables amounting to $1.2 million USD.  I VOLUNTEERED to sort out the mess.  It was... Read more

Write The Soundtrack of Your Life

When you’re sad, mad, frustrated…, it can be hard to tell what will make you feel better. Maybe you want someone who will just listen without being too nosy, or you might tell yourself distractions like ice cream or TV will soothe, but sometimes, what we really need is time alone to write. This article gives you some tips on how to use writing as a self-care tool. Throughout my life, I have often used writing as a tool to work through difficulties, make better decisions, and express myself more fully and honestly than I could talking in person. Shrek was right! People are like onions, covered under layers of expectations, fears, past traumas, pretenses… The act of writing thoughts down is beneficial for a few reasons beyond just getting our thoughts out. When we write our thoughts and feelings down on paper, it gives us a chance to pause... Read more

Thinking Outside of the Box Yourself for a Happier Life

Much of our own unhappiness and the world’s problems disappears when we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Everyone has a different story, and understanding their perspectives not only make you feel better about any situations (even upsetting ones) but improve your overall happiness. Babies start out in life completely egocentric, only aware of and concerned with their own needs, and slowly realize that the world does not only revolve around themselves. Children need empathy to cooperate, lead, communicate and make friends well.  The Oxford dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person's situation.”  In other words, empathy starts with perspective-taking.  How do you teach perspective-taking? For a skill to truly become an inner strength, it needs to be frequently reinforced, and what better way than planning skill practice into the fun... Read more

Feel. Think. Reflect. Don’t “Seal” Your Fate

I took my daughters along the Southern California coastline over the weekend and had the good fortune of observing newborn seals and two mother seals in labor up close. In one beach alcove, around 50 seals swam, lounged about, and nursed their young comfortably in the safety of numbers and natural environmental barriers.  Every year, that portion of the beach was blocked off from the public for baby season.  Even though we wanted to get much closer to the baby seals, we understood why they needed their space. “It is vitally important that we do not interrupt the bond being formed between a mother seal and her pup. The mother often leaves her pup on the shore while she goes off to feed and if she senses danger there is a strong chance that she will not return,” said Ashley Stokes, manager of Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue.  But... Read more

Who are you, really? Discovering Your Authentic Self-Image

Your self-image is the way you view yourself, and by which you interact with the world.  You might view yourself as a parent, student, friend, high-achiever, slow learner. But you’re more than your grades, weight, gender, and age. You’re more than your parents’ opinion. You’re a unique person with nuances that are unique to you! When who you are aligns with what you do, you feel free and able to become the best version of you. But many of us view ourselves as one way and live another, and it’s understandable.  Human being are social creatures.  We want to wear the “cool” sneakers, have the latest hot gadgets. We want the acceptance and recognition of others.  Tweens and teens, especially, are more prone to peer pressure and herd mentality. This Wall Street Journal article exams the reasons.   Act like you matter because you do.    Authentic people act honestly and congruently... Read more

Who doesn’t procrastinate?

I am too busy.I am too tired.I don't have the energy.I am too scared.I don't know where to start. These are the most common excuses people use when they procrastinate—delay doing what they need to do. How many of these have you personally used? According to the American Psychological Association, almost 80% of the people surveyed admit to lying to themselves about the reasons they put off doing things. So, who doesn’t procrastinate?    The short answer is--nobody.  You’re human, and nobody is productive 100% of the time. But some people have allowed procrastination to thoroughly pervade their lives so much that they don’t realize how much of this non-renewable resource they’re losing.  Whatever kind of future, lifestyle, quest you seek, you need time to achieve mastery and time to make it stick.    Procrastination is often confused with laziness or plain lack of self-discipline. The truth is that people who... Read more

Junk Food for Your Soul

My daughter painted this the summer she finished fourth grade. While she is a very gifted artist, she didn't paint this on her own--she had way too much help with this piece at a department store art studio in Taiwan where art teachers help children replicate master pieces. Our social media post this week talked about affording kids the opportunity to fail, and how making everything convenient and easy for our kids is fast (junk) food for their character development. Perhaps you're thinking, "Why be such a killjoy? You should just let your daughter enjoy the satisfaction of having painted such a beautiful piece of work." And I do. We hang this piece up in a non-prominent spot in our home. More front and center on our walls are her imperfect artwork--pieces she created entirely on her own, pieces that look like they were painted by a kid. It doesn't... Read more

Don’t go for quick fixes

True progress is hard and it takes time. In our society, it' much easier and profitable to sell a false promise and easy way out. Lose 30 pounds in 30 days anyone? It certainly sounds more appealing than eat healthy, move your body, build muscles, etc. I'm going to put my daughter on the spot (again) because her story is so relatable. She got into playing an online horse game a couple years ago, so naturally, I decided to help realize her dream. Yes, she did ask for a pony, and no, I didn't get her a pony. I started taking her horseback riding and grooming. After our first full-fledge ride, I expected overwhelming excitement and gratitude from my little horse lover, but instead she told me "real horses stink and I can jump and gallop so much faster in my game." She was disappointed, and as was I. Her... Read more

Behavior change hack– Change and control your environment

There’s just one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment. —Dr. B.J. Fogg, Director of Stanford Persuasive Lab Most of us would like to think that our habits follow our intentions. The truth is that one of the mind’s chief functions is to spot and utilize patterns as shortcuts, in order to process the multitude of information we observe each day. We are more reliant on environmental triggers than we’d like to think. In one study conducted on “habits vs. intentions,” researchers found that students who transferred to another university were the most likely to change their daily habits. They also found those habits easier to change than the control group because they weren’t exposed to familiar external cues. This mirrors research on the stimulus control theory, or the effect of a stimulus on behavior. Techniques involving stimulus control have even been successfully used to help people with insomnia. In short, those who had trouble... Read more

The Constant of Change

"The grass is not greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it." I really like this quote.  It’s human nature to complain, and not appreciate things until we lose them.  When we complain, we are not living in the moment.  Whatever situation you’re in, know what you have and make the most out of it. (Because you never know, things could get worse 😉No.  Seriously, complaining just ends up dooming yourself and making you feel bad.  Why would you to suffer even more?) When I was in the corporate world, I complained frequently about inefficiencies, ineptitudes, and bureaucracy.  I intentionally founded curaJOY to be a mostly self-funded venture so that I can easily shape our reality, to change the male dominated workplace, prove that women can be mothers can successful professionals, fair and merit based incentive system rather than seniority and connections.  It didn’t take months before... Read more

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