An 808 way of life

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Spheres of control and persuasion

kingPersuasion is a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue – or a carefully crafted argument whose internal previews coerce belief. Persuasion is the next best thing when fulminated mercury can’t get the job done. For Walter White, his primary tools of persuasion were blackmail, lying and the astute ability to call someone’s bluff by utilizing game theory to configure, and thus understand, their options. He’s brilliant when he utters a momentous line: “If you could kill me, you would have already.”

The blissfully ignorant are simply unaware of the “bad sides” of the narcissist. They look the other way, or pretend that the narcissist’s behavior is normative, or turn a blind eye to his egregious misbehavior. They are classic deniers of reality. In a feat of cognitive dissonance, they deny any connection between the acts of the narcissist and their consequences. Are there consequences? Certainly. Is it profound? Yes, in many ways. Regrettably, the narcissist rarely pays the price for his offenses. His victims pick up the tab.


Spheres of control — only one has proprietary knowledge

egoThe narcissist may study a given subject diligently and in great depth in order to impress people later with this newly acquired erudition. But, having served its purpose, the narcissist lets the knowledge thus acquired evaporate. The narcissist maintains a sort of a “short-term” cell or warehouse where he stores whatever may come handy in the pursuit of narcissistic supply, i.e., attention. But he is almost never really interested in what he does, studies, and experiences. Please re-read that last sentence and repeat after me – Wilco tango foxtrot! What does this suggest?

Walter White was able to leverage his power because he kept his information proprietary. It’s the reason he killed Gale Boetticher, and the very reason he hung Jesse out to dry when he was sent down to Mexico to cook for the cartel.

“What? You didn’t read your email?!”


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Spheres of control – the power of discipline

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The normal person is likely to welcome a moderate amount of attention – verbal and non-verbal – in the form of affirmation, approval, or admiration. Too much attention, though, is perceived as onerous and is avoided. Destructive and negative criticism is avoided altogether.

The narcissist, in contrast, is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable. He directs his whole behavior, in fact his life, to obtain these pleasurable titbits of attention. He embeds them in a coherent, completely biased, picture of himself. He uses them to regulate his labile sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

To elicit constant interest, he projects to others a confabulated, fictitious version of himself, known as the false self. The false self is everything the narcissist is not: omniscient, omnipotent, charming, intelligent, rich, or well-connected. Does this require discipline? You betcha. A blue-million pounds of discipline.


Spheres of control – and the power to drive it

Power_scrubResearchers found that people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups. The definition of group could be one, 110 or eight. Again, the construct is complex. However, the overt and distasteful trait most visible is an exaggerated sense of self-worth. Possessing ample talents and abilities, the Achilles heel is a lack empathy for others.

Power and narcissism is a melding of overconfidence guided by a self-centered GPS. “Have you forgotten, no one else can do it!”

And while narcissists are more likely to become leaders, results of a Harvard medical study suggests that, once in power, narcissists don’t perform any better than others in that leadership role. Rather than leading, the narcissist becomes a boss whose envy for others is subtle. Underpinnings associated with envy rap hard at the door of those who have what they don’t, who are skilled at what they are not, who can feel what they don’t, and who are happy just being themselves.

Does change ever occur? No, not really. They love the image of themselves.


Spheres of control – pride and proud of it

narcissitic HeisenbergAs the world turns, so does the way in which a person projects his or her image. Proud when it’s the image wanted and ashamed when the person is no longer able to deliver.

The common thread is an over-inflated sense of self-worth, and a belief that he or she is better than almost anyone.

Did Walter White see that reflection in the mirror – or the blood dripping from his chin? Hidden behind dark glasses and big-screen fantasies, he became whomever he needed to be in order to achieve his objective.

Seen, felt and heard were the rant towards others – treating them terribly or rudely. Interaction became incredibly demanding and lacked empathy.

Giving up control truly means control. It, however, is foreign to the narcissist.


Spheres of control – wealth paves the way to grandiosity

HeisenbergMillions (hundreds of millions) of people connect wealth with the belief that it provides security and protection. Factually stated, wealth and the pursuit of money is for many people, proof of security. And for many more millions of people, wealth buys happiness (or at least it opens up a world of potential happiness).

The sphere of control as it extends from a monetary front creates a multi-faceted and complex construct. It bolsters the sense of entitlement. Meaning, as a person’s level of privilege rises, that person becomes increasingly self-focused – in a sense, becoming the center of their own world and worldview.

The outcropping most associated with this construct is an arrogantly superior and disdainful disposition. One that is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, and brilliance. Underscoring any one word only means that all words are underscored.

Walter White would be proud.


Spheres of control – and the evolution of life – existence

green_vortexThe meek shall inherit the earth but the wise man knows he does not get to decide how long he lives. Certainly we can control when we pass, but no one can control how long we walk this planet. The right to life is a temporary hall pass and we all return to dust in the wind. So why do we operate as though we can control life itself or the people around us? Is control a method by which we gain comfort over the stresses of life? Does it produce a smooth path on which we can tread?

Psychologists who study human behavior will often make the statement that domination is an illusion and fleeting at best. Anthropologists believe, generally speaking, that domination is the faulty backbone of a self-righteousness man (or woman). In essence, the type of person who displays moral superiority intertwined with narcissistic behaviors. It’s complicated, detached, and is derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Unlike clothing, this isn’t something you outgrow. It’s connected like an appendage. For anyone with an objective lens, it’s nothing more than a Walter White fantasy being played out down the hallway in some planetary sphere we call the corner.


Gift giving and the care meter. Gifts and caring need revisiting.

Care_meterDoes the notion of gift-giving conjure up smiles, positive interaction and appreciation? Leave off the appreciation – and the notion still evokes smiles and positive thoughts for most of us. Right? Anticipating a gift – somewhat delayed by say … the United States Postal Service or even FedEx …. is enough to warm the heart of even the Wicked Witch of the West! At least that’s what I saw when I watched the Wizard of Oz the last time (37 and counting BTW).

Some people equate ‘love’ and ‘gifts’ as one in the same, and without a present they don’t feel loved. Have you ever heard the words, “I didn’t get nothing!” …? I have, and it feels – well – strange. Ever heard the words, “got your card – what was the amount?” I have, and it was the last time I’ll hear those words.

Just to reiterate my commitment related to gifts, let’s revisit the Surf808 gift giving policy: For special occasions (birthdays, invented retail holidays such as mothers/fathers days, Christmas, etc.), the gift will be a symbol of the relationship. Should there be a relationship, the gift will reflect the essence of the relationship in at least two ways. First, it will be meaningful to the giver and receiver. Second (and this is important), it will not a financial contribution. Unlike Obama’s health care plan, the Surf808 gift giving policy includes a recommendation for the receiver … just in case!

The policy states: it’s best to pre-purchase a ‘from-me-to-me” gift to ensure you receive what you want when you want it. Gosh that was simple!

When in doubt, check the Care Meter and you’ll know what it reads.


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After a few days, I look like I’m a resident of Maui.

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Remember the stacks?


Talk to the shoe.


Enter the bunny.


Bacon is a food group for millions of people worldwide.


Top 10 Reasons to Stop Smoking in 2012.


Top 10 Reasons to NOT drink soda: it has a real impact on your system.


New Years Resolutions: Ten things to consider.

 

1. Get Started: Create a calendar and commit to what you can do.

2. Think Positive: The glass can be half-empty or half-full. Either way you’re right. Focus on growth and the process of filling the glass.

3. Take Action: Small steps are better than NO steps. Simply, take action.

4. Be Focused: The world keeps turning, there will be distractions. Stay focused on your plan.

5. Be Determined: See the vision and the goal and stay on your path. If you get side tracked, come back to your path.

6. Attract It: Thoughts of success help attract what you need. What we think we become.

7. Track It: When positive gains are made, make note of it. It’s easier to be thankful for positive gains when you can literally see them on paper.

8. Make it Happen: Where there is a will there is a way and you’ve got to want to bring about change – partly by possessing an attitude that you can make it happen.

9. Share It: When you speak about it with others you affirm what you are creating, attracting and bringing into reality. It encourages the universe to cooperate.

10. Believe: The best advice is this — You gotta’ believe to receive. Believe that it’s a reality and it is a reality.

 


Pearl Harbor ignited a fire. America made sure it was extinguished. God bless America.


December and Holiday parties; please be careful with consumption. Drive sober or get pulled over.


Word to the wise.


The Whole Foods Shift – Four Weeks Later.

If you asked me what ‘whole foods’ meant – roughly five weeks ago – I would have said, “a supermarket with some nifty prepared foods that cost more but are real tasty.” Today, I have an entirely different definition. Radically different. We’ve watched: Food Matters (2x), The Beautiful Truth (2x), Food, Inc, Forks over Knives (3x), and read a BUNCH of articles online – along with 12 or so books (cookbooks, etc.).

To save some time, here is my CliffsNotes version of what I learned: Everything we eat has an effect on our health. Our food determines the quality of our blood, which affects our cells, tissues, organs, and even our minds. When we eat healthy foods, we strengthen our bodies. When we eat foods without nutritional value, we weaken our bodies. Choosing foods that supply us with adequate vitamins and minerals is essential to our well-being. Whole foods are foods in their most complete state; they are unrefined and do not contain harmful chemicals and additives which damage our bodies. Incorporating whole foods into our daily diets enables our bodies to become strong and healthy. Once we are physically healthier, we can begin to live a more vibrant, full life.

Eating whole foods is challenging. I don’t mean in the physical eating sense, I mean in the gathering, preparing sense. Earth Fare, our current local version of Whole Foods, Inc., serves us well. It accelerated the process of finding organics and packaged products with fewer than five ingredients.

The other piece to the challenge … getting rid of the crap hiding in the pantry! You’ll find a photo below where some food items are spread out over a small table. Those items represented roughly 60% of what was in our pantry. Many of the items in the photo might seem healthy – but the labels tells a different story. If you laugh you’ve probably got the same issue in your pantry – or worse – you’ve talked yourself into believing your eating habits are nutritional.

I interact with more than 100 people per week and only one or two of them eat whole foods. I’ve not taken a poll, but I believe we’re probably the only ones eating a whole foods diet three meals per day. Every day.

The mental highway we’ve traveled over the past five week landed us in a good space. Again, it’s not vegan, vegetarian, Gerson, or raw foodism. It’s a blend that works for us. Dairy is now limited to organic cheese. Milk was replaced with almond milk. Beef with ahi. Chicken is organic – so is the turkey. Vegetables abound and are organic. Processed foods are avoided. Cereals are organically sprouted and oatmeal is steel cut. Sweeteners are now honey or nothing. It’s a change – for sure. Food tastes different – and the texture is different. Much like anything in life, the first encounters may not be 100% what you’d expect – but knowing it’s good for you enlivens the flavor and the experience.

I’m really proud of my wife. She’s gone the extra mile to learn and to help both of us adapt to this major life change. She’s also the chef who configures new dishes in hopes they “stick.” HA! Make no mistake, it’s a significant life change – and it will require attention, care and feeding (no pun intended). You could liken it to a relationship. Thankfully I’m sharing the journey with my sweetie — a whole foods chick. Bak-bak.



Portion control and food control – if you only knew what’s going on behind the scenes.

Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner.The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

This film caused me to re-think most every meal I consumed from 1980 to present. Beef and poultry as we know it (today) are NOT healthy. Period. Food, Inc. tells the true story behind poultry and beef production. Chickens raised in a grow-out houses (injected with ?, and fed questionable grain) are not a healthy food choice. Beef production is horrifically bad and processed beef scares me. Shock and awe worked. Food, Inc. arrested our attention and we heard the message. Yes, we heard the message, and we decided to take action.

Twenty minutes ago my wife cleared the pantry of processed foods, and cleared out almost half of what was stored in the refrigerator. The remaining items contain 5 ingredients or less. 

Ok then. We’re not vegan but we’re eating vegan dishes. We’re not vegetarians but we’re eating vegetarian dishes. We’re not whole food Nazis either but we’re eating whole foods as if we live on a farm (from the early 1900’s before chemical companies took over the food industry). We switched to organic poultry, seiten, and ahi (wild caught), and organic turkey breast.

In summary, sourcing truly healthy foods is challenging. This type of transformation means we are reading labels, and taking time to research questionable ingredients. It also means we’ll review scientific data behind food claims, all of which are interesting. We believe we’re on a better path forward. Let’s hope so. More so than ever, we believe you are what you eat.


Think about your body – and what you consume. Really.


Peace comes in waves. Just make sure to look forward, not behind you.

The phrase, “don’t look back” gives the brain a tangled command — a command the brain ignores. The brain hears “look back” because the word “don’t” is an unclear directive. The brain hears, “look back” in an effort to gain clarity. When waves roll, a forward-facing view generates an opportunity for much better outcomes. The simple truth of being positive, even in moments of stress or confusion, helps create a brighter lens. Even when you’re held under water for a two wave set, give your mind the freedom it needs to bring about a favorable outcome. Relax. It does a body good.


Waste not – for we have not – a ‘plan b.’