Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reframing Money

Sometimes in life things just don't work the way we expect them to, and we don't understand why.  We either don't get the results we want or think we should get better results.  Maybe we feel we should be making more money, or getting better results in the gym, or any of a myriad of situations we might be unsatisfied with.  Of course, we believe our knowledge and actions are right, but confirmation bias, the tendency to find evidence that supports our beliefs and ignore evidence to the contrary, throws a wrench in any method of proof that we are doing the right thing.  We need to find a way to take a different look at things; we need to reframe our thoughts on the situation to come at the problem from a different direction.  After all, Albert Einstein is credited with the saying, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

Money problems are one of the more common situations people are facing in this economy.  If you're having trouble making more money, paying off bills, or meeting your budget, maybe you need to reframe your thoughts about money.  Recently I read an interesting posting on Ramit Sethi's Brain Trust about reframing our thoughts about money, and I wanted to share the implications of that way of thinking.  I found the new way of thinking about money very enlightening.  

For many people, their income is simply a set of numbers direct deposited to their checking accounts by the company they work for.  Buying stuff is just a way of adding and subtracting numbers in a ledger.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Dose of Reality for Both Genders

In an earlier article, I compared a view of gender issues, as written by a woman, with gender issues if that same article had been written by a man.

Let’s face reality now.  No men's movement is actually concerned about women's issues, nor are any women's movements addressing men's concerns.  The claim that either addresses the needs of the other is disingenuous.  The reason is quite simple.  Both men and women have tried to define masculinity and femininity as a dualism, as if the universe of human genders consists of two indivisible opposites, and all humanity can be constructed from the two. Some believe there is masculinity, and there is femininity, and you're either masculine or feminine. Period.  Masculinity and femininity are treated as if they are the matter and antimatter of human relations, absolute opposites, always at odds, and always negating each other. Neither feminism nor masculism can ever address anything other than their own goals while the concept of dualism between the genders exists.   You see, the concept of dualism in genders is utterly wrong. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bruno Mars is Really From Venus

If I were asked to think of names that sound truly manly, the list might include names like Silas, Burke, Leroy, Zachary, Isaac, among others.  A rugged name like Bruno might even be near the top of the list.  Bruno might be a good name for a bouncer at the local bar.  "Look out guys, settle down, here comes Bruno."  Couple a manly first name with a last name shared with the God of war, Mars, and you would think you've got a manly man.  For instance, maybe Bruno Mars.  Jim Croce could write a song about "Bad, bad, Bruno Mars, baddest man with the fastest car" or something like that.  Alas, Jim would probably roll over in his grave to hear Bruno Mars associated with Leroy Brown.  Instead of living up to his name and being a bad ass like Leroy, Bruno Mars instead writes sissified songs.  I'm sure he makes a lot of money doing it, (kudos on that, Bruno!) but I don't like the idea of romance being depicted in the media the way Bruno seems to think it works.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Feminism vs. masculism - are they the same?

A while ago, a feminist web site,, posted an article in defense of feminism by Lindy West. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t think feminism needs any particular defense.  The article prompted some discussion on a men’s site when one poster said he thought he understood feminism better now.  (Really? On a men’s forum?)

It occurred to me that if the article supposedly explained feminism so well, it should be able to do the same for masculism also, just by flipping the gender references.  So I rewrote it to defend masculism.  My changes are in color.  Is it really a cogent argument for either side?  You be the judge.

If I Admit Your Argument for Feminism is Cogent, Will You Admit the Same Argument Works for Masculism?

Okay, so maybe you are a woman. Maybe you haven't had the easiest ride in life—maybe you grew up in poverty; you've experienced death, neglect, and despair; you hate your job, your car, your body. Maybe somebody (or multiple somebodies) pulverized your heart, or maybe you've never even been loved enough to know what a broken heart feels like. Maybe shit started out unfair and became irreparable and you never deserved any of this. Maybe everything looks fine on paper, but you're just unhappy and you don't know why. These are human problems and other human beings feel for you very deeply. It is hard to be a human. I am so sorry.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Speech: Dancing Your Way to Success

I've spent a couple weeks doing the Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest circuit.  First the club level, then the area level and finally the division level, where I placed third with this speech.  Admittedly, that's not much of a circuit, especially when you consider there is only one higher level anyway.

The purpose of speech was not to win a contest, although it did win at the club level.  It was second at the area level, but the 1st place winner was unable to compete at the division.  No, the real purpose of the speech was to break through my personal boundaries and be more expressive and less introverted.  I think I accomplished that goal.  I still need to practice my speech technique though.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thoughts: Dedication and Purpose

The other day I was discussing with friends the topic of purpose.  "How do I find my life's purpose?" was posed as the question that day.  One person responded, "What would you sacrifice your life for?  That's your purpose."  I thought about that, and it didn't seem quite right for me.  Sacrificing your life is a one time event, and can be done with little thought or preparation.  Stepping in front of gun for your child or wife is relatively easy to do on impulse, and it doesn't really solve the problem that your family is in danger (unless the criminal in the scenario is using a muzzle loader and has only one ball.) I said. "Perhaps a better criteria would be this: What would you crawl your way out of the grave for?  That's your life's purpose." 

What in life would you refuse to go to your grave over; that you would fight to stay alive for?  I think that's a purpose.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thoughts: A Card Stock Lightning Rod

I was thinking about a scratch off lottery ticket that I recently bought.  On the surface it seems to fulfill a simple desire, that is, a date with that fickle mistress, Easy Money.  Some people say that Easy Money is bad for you, that money can't buy happiness.  I disagree.  I think you just need to take Easy Money to the right store.

I think there's more to the lottery ticket than just money.  I think many of us feel impotent, or powerless, in our lives.  We feel that we're not part of the machinations of the universe.  Our presence in the world is unnoticed.  Winning something from an anonymous lottery ticket gives us a little dopamine rush of importance.