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The World Is A Masquerade!

What is the biggest problem with the world today?  There are endless problems in the world. Too many to list, but I was thinking that it would be an intellectually challenging exercise to try to put my finger on it. A foolish endeavor you may think. Maybe. Only a fool or a Wise Man could seriously pretend to know the answer to this question.  I happen to know a wise and eccentric philosopher (Bertrand Russell) who pondered over this question and who came up with an answer that is quite remarkable. The world is a masquerade. We are run by fools and fanatics.

“The Problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are always full of doubts.”

Bertrand Russell

The world is a masquerade. We are run by fools and fanatics

We are run by fools. The fool is grandiose (borderline annoying), confident (borderline arrogant), flamboyant (borderline tacky) and walks through life feeling absolutely certain about everything. And then you have the fool-clown who is not grandiose, not confident and not flamboyant; he is just a clown. A fool is set in his opinions and feels that he has a duty to share his way of thinking about this and that and everything important. There are 2 types of fools. The first type is the one that does not care to take counsel from others nor listen to their opinions. The second one is the one who takes counsel and opinions only from people he knows will echo his own way of thinking, shielding himself (in the process) from any kind of responsibility if things gets wary.

The fool has no fluidity of mind and is set in his ways. New opinions are rejected and opposed just because they don’t fit the accepted idea and concepts that the fool has adopted as hard truth. The fool’s arrogant certainty about everything is set in stone and even King Arthur would not be able to dislodge him from that position. The problem with the fool is that he doesn’t know enough to know that he doesn’t know about the things he thinks he knows. He hasn’t got enough self-awareness to realize that what he knows is only half the story.

“In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. ”

Erasmus.

The fanatic is not a fool because he is a true believer in his cause but just like the fool, he feels absolute and resolute certainty in his belief. The fanatic refuses to hear and contemplate opposing views. You can find fanatics in all areas of life religion politics, media, and the entertainment industry. Fanatics can be leaders or followers, they are people who indulge in a toxic concoction of self-affirming, know-it-all attitude backed up by half-knowledge; they believe they have access to absolute truth, truth so perfect that they have to impose them on everyone.

It is not what they believe that makes them fanatics, it is how they believe it – no need to provide further evidence, no need to question or doubt. They operate in an irrational and emotional manner hiding their irrationality by rehearsed arguments that have been repeated and learned over time, not refreshed updated, or put to test. The truth does not matter anymore, repetition does.

“Some things are believed because they are demonstrably true. But many other things are believed simply because they have been asserted repeatedly.”

Thomas Sowell

Hence the critical role of the media who are guilty of spreading a certain type of sensational narrative that makes people either afraid or angry. Hence the need to look for a boogeyman to vent their anger on. Fanatics are highly emotional and rigid in their thinking. The problem with this is that nothing is really certain what is true today may not be true tomorrow.

“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position, but certainty is an absurd one.”

Voltaire.

The world is a masquerade. We are swimming in an ocean of stupidity.

According to Robert Greene what really causes human stupidity is not ignorance but half knowledge. When you are ignorant you are humble, you don’t put yourself out or volunteer to do something that you have no knowledge of. I know nothing about plumbing. Knowing that, I am not going to suddenly try to fix the plumbing in my house when the tap leaks because that would be an act of rampant stupidity. Stupidity is actions that lead to unintended consequences, stupidity can lead to economic disasters, wars, and all kind of unpleasant things.

Take the case of someone who thinks that they are pretty smart because they have read a few books and have done a few searches on the internet and on Wikipedia. Based on that initial research, that person goes into full action mode and makes important decisions having only seen half of the picture.  People who are doing this, are generally falling into confirmation bias, they are looking for the kind of information that confirms their set-in-stone-belief. Low and beholds things don’t turn out the way they expected, chaos ensues, and bad things start happening. The problem is that that person became too certain. The little bit of knowledge that they’ve done makes them think they know the answer. They get filled with excitement, certainty, and conviction and they go charging into action and the opposite of what they expected happens. They react and make things worse and more unintended consequences occur with a kind of cascading effect. And now, they find themselves swimming in tumultuous waters.

People who know enough about a subject don’t actually feel so certain about it, because they realize that the situation is more complex and therefore, they kind of tamp down the emotional surge, and enthusiasm. People who act outrageous based on their convictions are usually trying to convince themselves more than anything else. And if they can drag some unsuspected souls with them into that sea of ‘certainty’ all the better because it feels ‘safer’ to be wrong amongs the crowd than be right outside of it.

“Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded-I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.”

Jordan Peterson.

Jordan Peterson has an interesting solution to help people avoid unintended consequences following stupid acts. He calls it the the death of stupid. Let’s say you are an animal, and you act stupid in the middle of the jungle. The result of your stupid act is that you die. Imagine that there is a box with a snake in it and your coffee cup is inside the box with the snake in it. Imagine you are picking up the coffee cup. Then the snake bites you and you die. Based on this, you decide that picking up the coffee cup with the snake in the box is probably not a good idea, so that stupid idea has to die instead of you. The idea is that human beings should develop several versions of themselves, several avatars. Then they should put those avatars in various simulations/scenarios to see which one of those scenarios/projections should die and which one should be given the time of day. If you are smart enough and you live your life like the Wise Man of Greece does, you should be humble enough to let your stupidity die before it kills you.

The world is a masquerade. The Wise Man is the only one that can save the day

“The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing.”

Socrates.

According to the Wise Man of Ancient Greece, you may find the path to wisdom, if you start from a position of humility and if you accept the extent of your ignorance. A lot of us like to think of ourselves as pretty smart, rational individuals and funny too. But what if we’re wrong? What if we are just fools and fanatics completely blind to our own failings?

We should try to act more like the Wise Man of Ancient Greece. The Wise Man is humble in his knowledge, and because he knows that there are so many things that he doesn’t know he has doubts. The Wise Man understands that someone else may have knowledge that he doesn’t have, he is also able to think critically about things and will take time to look into things more deeply; and this could lead him to change his opinion on this and that. Nothing is set in stone. The Wise Man has a fluidity of mind; he is not rigid in his view and his pursuit of the truth will lead him to question everything. Be open to learn, unlearn and relearn.

And this my dear friend is your Quest.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Go Figure!

We are living in a weird kind of world. Our physical needs are well catered for in a modern and comfortable environment, but our mental state is in turmoil, we often feel disenchanted and disempowered. The world does not make sense anymore and everything seems to be upside down. Go Figure!

This article is my attempt to shed some light on this current state of affairs.  Let’s pause for a minute or two and think about some essential life lessons. Before you assume, learn the fact. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak think.

Thinking is part of what makes us human. What differentiates humans from animals is our cognitive abilities such as fully developed language, reasoning capabilities, and the ability to make plans for the future. We are all born with the capacity to think, but not everyone is capable of critical thinking, and it is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced with discipline.

The problem is that most people don’t know what thinking is, they confuse it with feeling. Go figure!

“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is, he confuses it with feeling.”

Thomas Sowell

We all like to think of ourselves as rational, strategic creatures, but in reality, humans are deeply irrational and are often governed by emotion rather than logic. Moreover, we tend to operate within our own echo chamber, where the only information that goes through our brain is information that validates our prior knowledge, vindicates our prior decision, or sustains our existing beliefs.

Critical thinking means many things, but at heart, it is a search for the truth. Critical thinking helps us determine what is real and what it is not. But before we can exercise our cognitive ability to think critically, we need to have a certain knowledge base as a starting point. We can only think critically about things we have knowledge of. We don’t have the structure to think deeply if we haven’t spent time mastering a body of knowledge related to that thinking.

The way to arrive at the truth is through discussion because the truth is never absolute it is always complex and dynamic. You can’t have a deep discussion about some important issues without having freedom of expression. You know that you live in a free society if you can speak your mind without fear of being harassed, bullied, censored, canceled, or dismissed from your job because of something you said. You know that you live in a tyranny if you are censored, bullied, harassed, and the “Thought Police /The Ministry of Truth” are after you because of something you said that goes against the official narrative.

“History books are full of stories of people being violently silenced because of their opinion. The people doing the silencing are never the good guys.”

Politicians want to establish themselves as morally and intellectually superior to the population, [warning: you may lose some brain cells watching them speak.] People in positions of power tend to think that Common people are incapable of thinking for themselves so they step in, and talk to the citizenry with a condescending tone to make them understand that the government can think for them instead and dictate to them how they should live their life.

Freedom of expression is the lifeblood and cornerstone of a free society, without the freedom to think and express ourselves freely, there is no free society. So, we’d better start thinking for ourselves freely before it becomes illegal. Don’t get all romantic about your ideas and the ideas that the group promotes. You are not married to those ideas. Some ideas are good and others not so good. Stay free to adhere to the ideas that are congruent with your outlook in life and toss aside anything that makes you uncomfortable.

People should be able to stand for what they think is right. They should be able to fight for what is honorable and they should have the freedom to reject what is slimy and unacceptable. The problem these days is that people are becoming more and more unhinged about all kinds of issues, and they do this with a kind of totalitarian certainty about their beliefs that is concerning.  You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to tell me what mine should be and don’t try to shove your ideas down my throat because I am perfectly capable of forming my own ideas about this and that.

“Just because I disagree with you, does not mean that I hate you. We need to relearn that in our society”

Morgan Freeman

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. Go figure!

 Thomas Jefferson is believed to be the true author of this quote; he explained his thinking further by adding that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; in as much as he who knows nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

 We are living in a world of information overload, data about almost everything is available to all who wish to access it at the click of a button. We are constantly bombarded by a steady stream of information (sometimes misinformation, and disinformation) about a whole range of subject matters, making it very difficult to know what and who to believe. 

Misinformation is false information that is being spread, regardless of intent to mislead. Disinformation on the other hand is false information that is deliberately misleading, manipulated narrative or facts or propaganda that is being spread with the intent to hurt or damage a person or organization. Did you know that the world media is owned by only 9 corporations who have a near-monopoly on the type of information that people receive? Those 9 corporations are exercising an enormous amount of influence on how people perceive the world they live in.

“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”

Malcolm X

We are living in the age of deception. The truth is not the truth anymore.  Facts don’t matter anymore, what matters is how you feel about this and that. People get triggered and enraged by inconvenient facts that they are not ready to receive. Those who are in control need the masses to constantly live in a state of fear and anger. Fear drive people to turn to the government to protect and save them. Anger is always useful because governments like to have the masses turn their anger and frustration onto the  boogeyman who can be blamed for everything. Go figure!

The most disturbing aspect of what is going on in the world today is that it is tearing apart our society and family. Take a family of 4 individuals, each member of this family has their personalized information funnel that they come to rely upon, and trust and it is typically different for all 4 members of this family, tearing them apart. Those narratives purposefully polarize our families and society.

The net effect is that people are exhausted from the conflicting narratives, people are getting sick and tired of trying to figure out who and what to believe. More and more people are suffering from media fatigue they are becoming so disillusioned by all the lies and nonsense that they reject all kind of information that is coming through. Go figure!

But there is a silver lining, this media fatigue is driving people to learn to trust a deeper source of truth i.e., their truth. People are saying: to themselves “I don’t know what’s true and what’s not true out there, but I know what is true for me.” For some people is just a gut feeling for others is a deeper form of personal truth.  When things get really crazy, they stop for a minute or two and say to themselves. “That doesn’t sound right at all. Am I being played? Well, there is no way for me to be sure of anything, but I am not playing this game.” This way of thinking opens a path for us to become less vulnerable and less susceptible to all those manipulation media tactics because we empower ourselves and become no longer the victims of misinformation and disinformation. 

We need people who are so strong they can be gentle. So educated, they can be humble. So fierce, they can be compassioante. So passionate, they can be rational and so disciplined, they can be free.”

Unknown author

And this, my dear friend is Your Quest. Go figure how the world works and find your own silver lining.

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends and followers.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Histographics 2.0 – Is There Life After Death? Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Death is a difficult topic of conversation. People would rather not think about or talk about death. While we all know that we will die, this is a fact upon which few wish to dwell. Even though, each day countless individuals reach an untimely demise in the prime of their life, rarely do we contemplate that this risk hangs over our heads as well. Despite its inevitability, death is one of the least discussed events in our lives. Nobody wants to talk about death, but everybody wants to know if there is life after death.

Histographics 2.0- Is There Life After Death? Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Video Transcript

In this video we will try our best to shed some light on this obscure subject and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, like, share, and leave us a comment, we’d love to hear what you think.

What is death? Death occurs when the heart stops beating. We call this death by cardiopulmonary criteria, and it is how death is defined for more than 95 percent of people. A person stops breathing and their brain shuts down, causing all life processes to cease.

Let’s investigate this further by zooming down to the level of our cells to understand the process of life and death. Chemical reactions are constantly occurring inside our bodies, those reactions are powered by the glucose and oxygen that our body converts into the energy-carrying molecule Adrenosine 5’-Triphosphate known as ATP. ATP captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

ATP is the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in the cells. It is often referred to as the energy currency of the cell and can be compared to storing money in a bank. ATP can be used to store energy for future reactions or be withdrawn to pay for reactions when energy is required by the cell.

Cells use this energy for everything from repair to growth and reproduction. Not only does it take a lot of energy to make all the necessary molecules, but it takes even more energy to get them where they need to be.

Eventually, the entire cell succumbs to entropy, and this will eventually result in death. In biology, the term entropy refers to the unavailable energy in a closed system, simply put entropy means disorder in any system.

In biology, death is the point of no return, the point where there is no coming back. Tremendous progress in medicine and technology have been achieved, but still doctors can only delay the inevitable but cannot reverse the finality of death.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

Some animals are known to extend their life span and survive extreme conditions by slowing down their biological processes to the point where they are virtually paused.  Humans are hoping to achieve the same through cryonics procedures. Cryonics is the low-temperature freezing and storage of human remains, with the speculative hope that resurrection may be possible in the future.

This idea may sound completely baloney to a lot of you out there, but scientists seem to back up (in theory) the feasibility of such a crazy idea. If the cells are frozen, they are very little molecular movement and diffusion practically stops even if all a person’s cellular process had already broken down. This could still conceivably be reversed by a swamp of nanobots moving all the molecules back into their proper positions and injecting all the cells with ATP at the same time, causing the body to pick up where it left off.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

Presumably, a large amount of money is necessary to cover the cost of having your decrepit body frozen until such time that some tech persons can build some clever nanobots with the power to bring people back from the dead.

For the rest of us, normal people with no such financial power, we just have to face the reality of our own mortality with courage and grace. There are countless reports and testimonies of people who encountered near-death experiences. It is quite eerie to realize that those reports relate very similar experiences.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

People with near-death experiences describe floating above their bodies, traveling through a dark tunnel, and encountering a beam of light that enveloped their whole being with a feeling of pure love and acceptance. Some recall being accompanied by deceased loved ones.

During this journey towards the light, people take stock of their entire lives before death. They don’t review their lives on what people usually strive for, like a career, promotions, or amazing vacation. Their perspective is focused on their humanity. They notice incidents where they lacked dignity, acted inappropriately towards others, or conversely, acted with humanity and kindness.

They re-experience and relive these moments. If they caused pain, they experience the same pain that other people felt, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. They judge themselves. They suddenly realize why their actions were good or bad, and many claim to see the downstream consequences of their actions.

What about reincarnation? Where does it fit in the existential question as to whether there is life after death? Reincarnation simply means that we leave one life and go into another. The purpose of reincarnation is for the soul to get purified and gain wisdom so that it comes out of the cycle of life and death. The soul may take the form of a human, animal, or plant depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

If you practice Hinduism, you believe in reincarnation; the soul or spirit begins a new life in a new body after the biological death. One is reborn through desire. A person desires to be born because he or she wants to enjoy a body, to try to find lasting happiness and peace. The Hindu belief in reincarnation is connected to their belief in karma, which is the belief that our soul bears the impression of every good and bad deed we perform while we’re alive. Evil is punished by being low born and goodness is rewarded by being high born.

After many births, and through the process of self-awareness and self-development, people will come to realize that the true “self” is the immortal soul rather than the body or the ego; all desires for the pleasures of the world will vanish since they will seem insipid compared to spiritual peace. When all desire has vanished, the person will not be born again. When the cycle of rebirth comes to an end, a person is said to have attained liberation.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

The Buddhist concept of reincarnation differs from others in that there is no eternal “soul”, “spirit” or “Self” but only a “stream of consciousness” that links life with life. At the death of one personality, a new one comes into being, much as the flame of a dying candle can serve to light the flame of another. Buddhists also believe in karma or intentional action. Through good actions, such as ethical conduct, and by developing concentration and wisdom, Buddhists hope to either gain enlightenment or ensure a better future for themselves.

The concept of reincarnation is refuted by Islam. The reason for this is that it is against their basic teachings of a finite life for the human upon which he/she is judged and rewarded accordingly. The principal belief in Islam is that there is only one birth on this earth. Doomsday comes after death and people will be judged as to whether they will go to hell or be unified with God.

The major Christian denominations reject the concept of reincarnation. Christians believe that when a person dies their soul would sleep in the grave along with their corpse until the “final judgment.” Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead. This is the belief that our dead bodies will someday, like Jesus, be revived and brought back to life. They reject the concept of an immaterial soul being inserted into a new human life through reincarnation, but they believe that the dead would be brought back to full and pulsing life through resurrection. This said, there is evidence in the bible of Jesus himself teaching reincarnation to his discipline when he was talking about the concept of everlasting life.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

Whether you believe that there is life after death or not is up to you and nobody can claim to know for sure that there is life after death. What is clear however is all the people who had near death-experiences came back to the world of the living with a completely new mindset and a will to live their life more intentionally and more intensely.

Although those out-of-the-ordinary experiences are interesting, it is not surprising to think that if you were at death’s door, went on the other side, then came back into the world of the living, for sure you will feel ecstatic and motivated to live your life differently. More difficult to tackle is trying to ascertain how contemplating death could teach us how to live without having to travel to the other side.

Philosophers spent their days thinking about the meaning of life and you can’t talk about life without having to talk about death. Countless philosophers, theologians, and psychologists did not hesitate to tackle this tricky subject and spend countless hours dwelling on it. Their conclusion: death is inextricably part of life and lifelong consideration of death enriches rather than impoverishes life. These individuals recognized that far from a morbid practice, periodically thinking about death can be life-enhancing.

Infrographics 2.0 – Is there life after death – Scritpwriter: Joanne Reed

The truth of the matter is that we mortals should be reminded from time to time of our own limitations. To live fully we must be cognizant of our limitations, the most significant of which is the scarcity and uncertain duration of time we are each granted. Failure to recognize this limitation and to live accordingly is one of the most tragic tendencies of mankind. We tend to sacrifice and devalue the present in the false hope that there will always be a future in which to make amends. But the future does not belong to us. Contemplating death forces us to reorient ourselves toward the present moment, and to live life with a renewed sense of urgency.

When de Dalai Lama was asked in an interview, what surprises him the most; he offered an insightful response:

Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as he is never going to die, and then dies never really lived.”

Thanks for watching, we hope that this brought you some clarity on this obscure subject, and don’t forget to subscribe, like, share and comment!

Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine work in a Human Body- Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Why do we feel good when we kiss someone, eat sugary treats or achieve career success? Because of dopamine. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter chemical that travels through the nervous system to bring a message to our brain. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells.  Hormones are also neurotransmitters, but they travel through the blood.

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Work in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Video Transcript

How dopamine work in a human body?” I am so glad you asked the question because this video will bring you all the answers that you seek.  And don’t’ forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.

Dopamine as a neurotransmitter has the effect of giving you pleasure, a sense of reward, and therefore motivation to do something. Dopamine is the molecule that is behind our most sinful impulses and also our cravings such as lust and addiction (whether to chocolate, cocaine, sex, or gambling) and is often referred to as the feel-good hormone.

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Works in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

When you eat junk food, you feel good afterward. Why is this? There is a system in your brain called the Reward System. This system is designed to reward you when you’re doing things that advance your chance of survival. In the olden days, people had to hunt for food; if you didn’t have a good hunting day, you will be left with an empty stomach and your chance of survival will decrease by the day until you cross paths with a bison.

Nowadays, the only thing you have to do to get food is open your fridge or cupboard or drag yourself to the next grocery store, takeaway, or restaurant.  Our problem these days is that we are eating too much food. Eating constantly highly increases our chance of being overweight. Eating is becoming addictive because it makes us feel good… until the day when we can’t fit in our favorite pair of jeans and our reflection in the mirror makes all our previous feel-good factor disappears.

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Work in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Drugs like cocaine for example make people feel good not because of the drug itself but because it stimulates dopamine That is why cocaine and sugar are so addictive, they satisfy your natural reward system in a big way. But repeated drug use also raises the threshold for this kind of pleasure. This means you need to take more to get the same high.

In addition to the risk of making yourself a target for the police, using drugs such as cocaine makes your body less able to produce dopamine naturally. This leads to emotional low when you are sober turning you into somebody people don’t want to be around anymore.

Talking about cocaine and sugar. Did you know that sugar is more addictive than cocaine?

 A study published on 28 July 2010 in the Public Library of Science describes a strange rate experiment involving sugar and cocaine. The rats were given cocaine until they became dependent on it. Then researchers provided them with a choice – the rats could choose to switch to sugar. 94% of the rats chose to switch to sugar, even when they had to work hard to access it. The study concluded that sugar was more addictive than cocaine!

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Work in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

If you are dopamine deficient you lack motivation and drive, you become fatigued, you can become moody and depressed. So, make sure to monitor your dopamine level. What kind of things will deplete your dopamine level? Excessive caffeine, alcohol, the use of chemical drugs, too much sugar, stress, and cortisol.

The good news is that this wonderful “machine” called our body is able to produce dopamine naturally. How? I am so glad you ask this question because there are ways to increase the production of dopamine naturally.

Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Works in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed
  • Exercise is a dopamine booster. Keep moving.
  • Eat healthy preferably a keto (low carb high protein) diet, which will help you lower your insulin level and insulin has a huge role in regulating dopamine. Don’t drink too much coffee. Reduce your sugar intake. Reduce your alcohol intake.
  • Laugh as often as can. Laughter releases feel-good chemicals.
  • Connect with others. Find a sense of purpose. Go dancing.
  • Learn something new. Challenge yourself regularly.
  • Spend time in nature and in the sun. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a well-known condition in which people feel sad or depressed during the winter when they are not exposed to enough sunlight. While sun exposure may boot dopamine levels and improve mood, it is important to adhere to safety guidelines because getting too much sun can be harmful.
  • Get a massage.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Get enough sleep.
Histographics 2.0 – How Dopamine Work in a human body. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

The bottom line is that dopamine is an important brain chemical that influences your mood, feelings of reward, and motivation.  Levels of dopamine are generally well regulated by the body, but you can boost your level naturally by making a few diet and lifestyle changes. Drop the cocaine, but please do not switch to sugar, go outside for a run or a walk on a sunny day, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel because it will give you such a feel-good factor that your dopamine level will for sure increase a notch or two.

Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Histographics 2.0 – Can Superhumans Actually Exist?

Video transcript

We are all fascinated by superheroes movies where the main character (such as Captain America or The Incredible Hulk) has all kinds of superpowers abilities. Hollywood has a new hero, the main character of the new Dune movie Paul Atreides has superman powers (such as precognition and omniscience), a result of genetic engineering across many generations.

Histographics 2.0 – Can Superhumans Actually Exist? Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

The question is: how do you fancy having superhuman abilities like those portrayed in the movies? Would you like to be a real-life avenger and use your superpowers to save the world for the most ambitious or just to save yourself and a few souls for the less ambitious?

You will find out if you watch this video till the end that it is actually possible for humans to have superpowers, and don’t forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.

Enhancing human capabilities has been on the mind of people for ages; science has made tremendous progress in that area making this prospect of us becoming superhumans a not-so-far-away-reality.

Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist . Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Governments, including the United States, China, and Russia, have been particularly interested in gene mutation technology to enhance human abilities to create super-soldiers. These soldiers would have to be immune to pain, need no sleep, have super-intellect, strength, stamina, and exhibit superpowers like extra-fast reflexes.

But before we get too excited about the prospect of having a go at being a superhero or a super-soldier we should pause for a minute or two and reflect on the possible consequences of going down that road. Enhancing our abilities, be it permanently or temporarily is a tempting but risky business.

First, we need to ask ourselves what ‘enhancement’ exactly is.  Biological enhancement started as a restoration of a certain human function, such as eyesight, hearing, or the replacement of a missing limb. Technologies like CRISPR (gene editing), nanotechnology, and even the revolution of wearables and sensors brought new possibilities to human enhancement.

On a vertical level starting with the least controversial to the most controversial, this process of restoration of certain human functions can go in 3 possible directions:

Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist . Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed
  1. Removable cyborg extensions – whereby the tools enhancing the individual can easily be put away at the end of use.
  2. Cyborg-humans – technologies causing lasting, but not irreversible transformation like prosthetic limbs, digital tattoos, and biopic implants.
  3. Technologies changing humans forever – genetic editing (such as CRISPR). This is the one that raises the most ethical and moral questions.

On a horizontal level, we can categorize the possibilities of enhancements for a human being in 5 fields:

  1. Brainpower. Our cognitive functions can be enhanced by inserting a microchip into our brain. The concept was first raised in 1968 by architect Nicholas Negroponte at MIT. The idea is to have a chip implanted in one’s brain; that neural implant will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go, allowing you to control an app directly with your thoughts. Elon Musk’s company Neuralink aims to do just that.  I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally having a neural implant in my brain somehow gives me the creeps – even if it could give me superpowers and allow me to ace all my exams!
  • Brain-computer interfaces or BCI are tools that provide constant monitoring of the brain’s electrical activity; this could support a wide range of applications from monitoring epilepsy or ADHD to pain management and sleep assessment. The concept was also thought to be a solution for paralyzed people to move and control things around them with only thoughts. It could also be used to reduce the cognitive effects of aging. I don’t know how you feel about this, but the prospect of giving paralyzed people the ability to move and control things around them with only thoughts gives me hope.
Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist . Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed
  • Muscle strength and robotic exoskeletons allow paralyzed people or those who lost a limb to move again. The next step will be A.I. powered prosthesisand the step after that will be to go full Robocop-mode where body, senses, and machine will be mixed together into some kind of AI-Fleshy-Frankenstein. I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally turning into an AI-Fleshy-Frankenstein gives me the creeps – even if it gives me superpowers. And what if the machines take over your body and your senses completely and make you lose all your humanness?
  • Enhancing the senses. Joint replacements routinely restore mobility, but what if they could provide superhuman speed? Laser eye surgery returns peoples’ vision to 20/20, but what if it could let them see for miles? What if technology could aid humans to have better hearing than bats? Or what if implants could let us see microscopic objects? These temporary or long-term sensory enhancement proposals are not limited to people with certain disabilities, the technology can go beyond that, leading us to take you straight into the futuristic world of augmented reality.   I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally having a neural implant in my brain to augment my reality somehow gives me the creeps – even if it could give me ‘bats-power!’
Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist
  • Genetic Engineering – a brave new world? CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaces Short Palindromic Repeats, otherwise known as gene therapy. It is a genome editing technology that allows scientists to cut DNA with incredible precision and insert or delete DNA to correct unwanted mutations. This method was discovered by two women biologists: Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A Doudna. They received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2012 for this gene-editing tool. Scientists discovered that this CRISPR pattern coded for a defense mechanism in the bacteria’s cells. When it is attacked, by a virus, for example, the bacteria are able to copy and paste a section of the virus’ DNA into its own genome. Then the bacteria could develop a pair of genetic scissors – an enzyme names Cas_ specific to that virus so that any further attacks could be defended by a single snip.

This concept of human enhancement is also known as ‘transhumanism’; a movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies able to greatly modify or enhance human intellect and physiology. The concept states that humankind will evolve into a new intelligent species.

So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of us mortals becoming superhumans in the not-to-distant future?  Well, someone took it upon himself to ask that question to a whole bunch of people and wrote the results in a study. It transpires from that study that there is a huge cultural acceptance with technological solutions for restoration vs. tech for boosting performance.

Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist . Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

According to this study, the public almost unanimously agrees with technological enhancement if it is used for restorative purposes: 95% support physical restorative applications, and 88% support cognitive restorative applications. But when it comes to the enhancement of human capabilities for the reason of boosting performance – well that’s a big no-no. Only 35% agree with the concept.

Transhumanism is a scary concept. It is critical for people to really understand who we are as human beings before we think about giving away our humanity.  Those new technologies are being developed to replace our natural biological functions but the danger of these wires, chips and devices that are implanted in our body is that they can comprise the unique qualities that make us humans. The unintended consequence of biological enhancement is that our natural biology begins to atrophy.

We are still discovering what we are and what it means to be human.  Researchers recently discovered a neuron that surprised the medical world. A new scan of the human brain revealed a new kind of neurons that are unique to humans that regulate our consciousness and the state of our awareness. This new discovery was announced in the prestigious publication ’Nature’ in 2018.

Some scientists believe that we need to re-think this idea that human biology is limited, with us being powerless victims of our circumstances. The better we know ourselves the less we need external technology because we are the technology.  The human body is a technically advanced, highly sophisticated, soft technology. And we have the ability to self-regulate all the energy that runs through this soft biology in our affirmations, thoughts and belief.

Histographics 2.0 – Can superhumans actually exist . Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

The human body contains 50 trillion cells; every cell has about 0.7 volts of electrical potential. We are the only form of life that can harness on demand that electrical potential in our body and we can harness it towards our own healing and in order to create resilience. Tesla famously said: “If you want to find out the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

The problem we have these days is that technology is pushing morality out of the equation; just because we have the technology doesn’t mean that we have to use it. We are at a critical crossroad, we must determine where we want to go with that technology because once we go down the path of replacing human biology with artificial chips, wires and devices we can’t go back. So, we need to make that choice right now.

May the road you choose be the right road.

Thanks for watching and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel because this is where you will get to enhance your human potential by one or two notches!

Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Histographics 2.0 – Why Sleep Is So Important for Fat Loss?

Video transcript

There is no way to sugarcoat this, trying to get rid of the extra fat around your hips, legs and tummy is not a piece of cake! Everyone knowns that diet and exercise will help you shed a few pounds here and there, but did you know that a good night’s sleep is a critical factor in your quest for a leaner and fitter body?

If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But life is not that simple; between living your life, working, socializing, and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. Or maybe, more importantly, you don’t realize that sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts. Not sleeping enough – less than seven hours of sleep per night – can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting and exercising.

Why the heck nobody before you told me that the secret to weight loss is to sleep longer?! Thank goodness I bumped into this video – sleeping longer to lose weight?! Hhm sounds like a piece of cake to me?!

So, if you want to find out why sleep is so important to fat loss, drop everything you are doing right now to watch this video. And don’t forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.

A lot of us have been on a never-ending journey of trying to lose weight. They are countless diets and exercises out there, and plenty of health gurus to preach to you the virtue of their methods compared to others.

When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are usually thought of as being the two key factors that will achieve results. But nobody is talking about how important sleep is to your weight loss journey. The recommended sleep duration for adults is seven to nine hours a night, but many people often sleep for less than this.

Why sleep is so important for fat loss – Histographics 2.0. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Typically, the goal for weight loss is to decrease body fat while retaining as much muscle mass as possible.  Not obtaining the correct amount of sleep can determine how much fat is lost. Various studies show that shorter sleep patterns may be associated with higher body weight and affect weight loss.  For those of you who have been on that journey you will be familiar with talks such as this:

The secret formula to reducing your BMI is a high metabolism + high RMR and low glucose intake. And don’t forget to increase your leptin level whilst keeping your ghrelin level low.  Oh, one more thing, make sure that your cortisol level stays low too. That’s it, really!

 Did you get that? The only thing to remember is: low BMI, high RMR, Low glucose, high leptin, and low ghrelin & watch your cortisol?!

I can hear most of you say: Of course, I didn’t get that?! I am not a biologist!

All right, let me unpack this for you.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The BMI calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.  For adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. If your BMI is below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range. Between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range. Between 25 and 29.9 – you are in the overweight range. Between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range.

While we often think of appetite as simply a matter of stomach grumbling, it’s controlled by neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that allow neurons (nerve cells) to communicate with one another.

The neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin are thought to be central to appetite. Ghrelin promotes hunger, and leptin contributes to feeling full. The body naturally increases and decreases the levels of these neurotransmitters throughout the day signaling the need to consume calories. So, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible. Studies have found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.

Why sleep is so important for fat loss – Histographics 2.0. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

There are several reasons why shorter sleep may be associated with higher body weight and affect weight loss. These include changes in metabolism, appetite, and food selection. This means, that in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite. So, getting a good night’s sleep should be prioritized.

Reduced sleep has also been shown to have an impact on food selection and the way the brain perceives food. Researchers have found that the areas of the brain responsible for reward are more active in response to food after sleep loss when compared to people who had good sleep.  This could explain why sleep-deprived people snack more often and tend to choose carbohydrate-rich foods and sweet-tasting snacks, compared to those who get enough sleep.

If that’s not enough, scientists discovered that when you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. A combination of high ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning that you feel hungry all the time; and that is where you enter the danger zone called “comfort eating.”

Metabolism is a chemical process in which the body converts what we eat and drink into energy needed to survive. All our collective activities from breathing to exercising and everything in between are part of metabolism.  Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation (whether due to self-induction, insomnia, untreated sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders) commonly leads to metabolic dysregulation. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose (blood sugar) intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), and insulin resistance.

Why sleep is so important for fat loss – Histographics 2.0. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns when at rest. It’s affected by many factors, such as age, weight, height, sex, and muscle mass. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces your RMR. Poor quality sleep may also decrease muscle synthesis, which may lower RMR.

Sleep duration also influences metabolism, particularly glucose (sugar) metabolism. When food is eaten, our bodies release insulin, a hormone that helps to process the glucose in our blood. However, sleep loss can impair our bodies’ response to insulin, reducing its ability to uptake glucose. We may be able to recover from the occasional night of sleep loss, but in the long term, this could lead to health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

An excess of glucose (both from increased intake and a reduced ability to uptake into the tissues) could be converted to fatty acids and stored as fat. Collectively, this can accumulate over the long term, leading to weight gain.

Why sleep is so important for fat loss – Histographics 2.0. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

The good news is that you can fix this with exercise.

Did you really think that it was going to be that easy?! That you could just sleep through your weight-loss journey without breaking a sweat?! NO WAY. It is time to wake up, put your sports gear on, and off you go.

No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat – it helps burn fat and stay young. Research has shown that exercise training may protect against the metabolic impairments that result from a lack of sleep, by improving the body’s level of insulin, leading to improved glucose control.

The connection between sleep and weight gain is hard to ignore. Good quality sleep has a vital impact on health and well-being. A lack of sleep can increase appetite by changing hormones, makes us more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and influences how body fat is lost while we are counting our calories.

Why sleep is so important for fat loss – Histographics 2.0. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

The moral of the story is that getting adequate, quality sleep is an important part of a healthy weight loss plan. Not getting enough sleep can sabotage your fitness efforts. If your weight loss efforts are not producing results, it may be time to examine your sleep habits.

Thanks for watching and remember the secret formula: low BMI, high RMR, Low glucose, high leptin, and low ghrelin & watch your cortisol?! No need to translate you are not a biologist, but you know the drill by now and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel.

Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Histographics 2.0 – Japanese Do This To Stay Young

In 2018, Japan had the second-highest life expectancy in the world. The population aged 90 and over had reached two million in 2017. Japan also has a record number of centenarians: over 80 000. This figure is expected to rise to 400 000 by 2050. Most of Japan’s centenarians (approximately 88 %) are women. In November 2019, Japan was home to 150 supercentenarians (people aged 110 or over).

Now that you are aware of these amazing statistics, the obvious question you should ask yourself is: ‘Have the Japanese found the fountain of youth?’ If you hang around and watch this video, you will find out what the Japanese do to stay young, and don’t’ forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.

The human body seems programmed to shut itself down somewhere around the 80th birthday for most people and around the century mark for the more resistant ones, the majority of which seem to be located in Japan.

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0- Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

There are no verified cases of a person living older than 122.  According to researchers the absolute limit of the human lifespan is between 100 and 150.  Will improvements in medicine, environment, and technology drastically lengthen the average lifespan and make 150 a reality?

Several factors have combined to improve health among the Japanese population: traditionally healthy dietary habits, access to clean water, a hygiene-conscious culture, and old people’s active lifestyles. Other possible explanations include genetics, a low level of income inequality, and a high level of social cohesion.

Reaching a hundred years old is a privilege not granted to everyone. Centenarians are regularly celebrated in the media. In England, upon reaching your 100th birthday you will receive a letter from the Queen. Japanese centenarians receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister, honoring them for their longevity.

Japan’s most celebrated centenarians are from Okinawa and the Island’s legendary longevity is attributed to the local diet and their attitude towards life. The elders seem to have no signs of worry on their faces; stress seems to be a foreign concept to them.

An 88-year-old Japanese farmer (who still works all day in the fields) was asked what the secret was for a long life responded, “I hardly get angry. I enjoy life because I am happy at work, and I think that that is the medicine for a long life.”

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0 – Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Locals eat a daily average of 97 grams of seafood. Fish, especially deep-sea fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a strong anti-inflammatory and protect against heart disease. They may also reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, some cancers and mental decline.

Other key ingredients in the local diet are vegetables, such as peppers, broccoli, sweet potato and goya (a distant relative of the watermelon) which has been credited for reducing blood sugar levels and is also full of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are known to help slow down the aging process and research suggests that certain antioxidants may help prevent, Alzheimer’s disease and complications of diabetes. The islanders also eat a lot of seaweed and unrefined brown sugar, both of which are rich in minerals, accompanied by green tea. Then there is the water, which reportedly has a very high mineral content compared to the rest of Japan.

Finally, inhabitants of Okinawa consume a diet that is 20 percent lower in calories than those in the rest of Japan, most practice a dietary philosophy known as “hara hachi bu” which means to eat until you are 80 percent full.

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0- Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

What about exercise? A lot of the residents in Okinawa practice “teodori” a type of traditional slow dance that uses hand movements. They also practice “rajio taiso” which is a set of dynamic aerobic exercises that are easy to perform and won’t take too much of your time.  It is customary in Japanese culture for employees who work in offices to start the day with this rajio taiso routine.

The statistics seem to confirm that the Japanese have found the fountain of youth.  For centuries the quest for eternal youth, immortality, or just a prolonged life has been a topic of various myths and legends. The fountain of youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. In Japan stories of hot springs that could heal wounds and restore youth are common. 

Alexander the Great searched for the Fountain in the 5th century AD and was said to have found a healing “River of Paradise.”  Similar stories were prominent among Caribbean people during the early 16th century, they spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.

Explorers and adventurers have long looked for the elusive fountain of youth or at least some remedy to aging. Has science found the map? It seems that this dream could be at least partly obtainable!

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0 – Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Even after you are fully grown, your body is constantly working to replace or repair itself. The body replaces itself on average every 7 years or so but not every cell’s lifespan is the same. For example, the cells that line your stomach can renew as fast as every two days, since they’re often in contact with digestive acid.

Cells that make up your skin are replaced every two to three weeks, your fat cells live a fairly long time — an average age of 10 years roughly the same as your bones which also regenerate about every 10 years. Brain cells don’t regenerate as you age, tooth enamel is never replaced, and the lenses of your eyes are also with you for life.

Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in cells. Enzymes play a huge part in the day-to-day running of the human body and are vital for the proper functioning of all human systems e.g., the digestive system, the nervous system, etc.

Some enzymes help break large molecules such as glucose so that the body can use them as fuel. Other enzymes help bind two molecules together to produce a new molecule. Enzymes are a highly selective catalysts, meaning that each enzyme only speeds up a specific reaction.

Every cell in our body contains DNA. DNA is the genetic material that makes each of us who we are. Each time a cell divides – for growth or repair, its DNA needs to be copied. Enzymes help in this process by unwinding the DNA coils and copying the information.

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0 – Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Telomeres help in this process by unwinding the DNA coils and copying the information. Telomeres, from the Greek “telos” (end) and “meros” (part), are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protects our chromosomes.

Telomeres, like the aglet at the end of the shoelaces, can become frayed until they can no longer do their job. Telomeres are shortened as we age, but can also be shortened by stress, anxiety, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, and lack of purpose. When telomeres get too short, our cells can no longer reproduce, which causes our tissues to degenerate and eventually die.

Breaking news! Each of us has a fountain of youth within us! There have been many experiments that have shown to increase the maximum life span of laboratory animals. Science has found that it is possible to extend telomeres to help you live a longer and healthier life and discovered that there are 6 key triggers that can positively influence the length of your telomeres.

These triggers are:

  1. Good nutrition.
  2. Exercise
  3. Happiness and gratitude.
  4. Positive outlook.
  5. Self-love and love.
  6. Being in service.

We all know that good nutrition and exercise are vitally important. Hippocrates also known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” is credited with being the first person to believe that disease was not a punishment from the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

He noticed that bodies grow relaxed and sluggish through sedentary lives which led to various illnesses. Those who walked more stayed well longer, so he often prescribed exercise. Hippocrates’ medicine was humble and passive; his therapeutic approach was based on the “healing power of nature”. According to Hippocrates’ doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself.

Hippocrates is known for saying: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

Being grateful and having a positive outlook on life will also help you live longer. Be grateful and wake up happy every day, happy to be given another day to be, to strive, to create. Be grateful for your family, your loved ones, and the people around you. Be grateful for who you are and what you can do. Keep a positive outlook on life. Change the things you can change and stop worrying about things you can’t.

Philautia”, the Greek word for self-love. Self-love is in its healthiest form (not focused on personal fame, gain, and fortune as is the case with narcissism.) It shares the Buddhist philosophy of self-compassion, which is s deep understanding of one’s own self, such that you feel comfortable in your own skin.  Self-love is important, as Aristotle described: “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”  You cannot share what you do not have, if you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to be truly happy is to first find unconditional love for yourself.

Being of service is critically important for our well-being. Not having a purpose, waking up each morning with nothing to do or nowhere to go creates stress and shortens our lifespan. Conversely, studies have shown people who report a greater sense of purpose and direction in life are more likely to outlive their peers.

The Japanese do this to stay young – Infographics 2.0.criptwriter: Joanne Reed

Older age or retirement is a time when we start aging very quickly and when disease and depression are more likely to set in. Having a purpose gives meaning to life, it doesn’t have to be saving the world or anything extraordinary or amazing, every person great or small has important work to do. It can be something very small indeed. Each one of us has our own path to walk and our own mission in life.

The “secret” path that will lead you to your own fountain of youth can be found within you. The “magic triggers” that will show you the way is to eat well, exercise regularly, express gratitude, love yourself, love others and be of service. So, how do the Japanese live so long? They activate their own fountain of youth!

Thanks for watching and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel because this is where you will find out some secrets such as where to find your own fountain of youth!

Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed

I wrote a whole chapter about this in Chapter 22 of my book “This Is Your Quest”. You can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Histographics 2.0. The Adventure Continues – Crazy Survival Tips that Actually Work

Video Transcript

Being in a life-or-death kind-of-situation is a very uncomfortable place to be. Nobody would willingly put themselves in that kind of situation.  Disaster movies are fun to watch from the comfort of our own home but being the main actor in a real-life situation where your very existence is at stake is much less comfortable. 

Of course, we would rather not be the person who has to face insurmontable odds to survive very unfortunate sets of circumstances, except that sudden disaster can strike you at any time and the decisions you are going to make at this very moment will determine whether you live or die and watching this video could potentially save your life.

Video by Histograhics 2.0. Scritwriter: Joanne Reed

This is why you need to watch this video because having some basic survival knowledge will definitely increase your chance of not dying.  Better safe than sorry.  But before getting into full disaster mode don’t forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.

The first thing you need to do if you are facing a life-or-death kind of situation is: DO NOT PANIC!  I can hear you saying, “Easier said than done”. Sure, thing but losing your grip is not going to help the situation, on the contrary it may accelerate your demise.   

S.T.O.P for a minute or two. Sit. Think. Observe. Plan. Inventory the resources you have. Identify the critica tasks required for survival (water, shelter, warmth), make a plan to stay alive. Mental toughness is key. It is often grit that separates a survivor from a non-survivor. 

Bad situations can turn dramatic for many reasons but the 3 potentially deadly events that can precipitate your exit from this earth are: 

  1. Exposure to the elements: extreme cold or extreme heat on land or at sea. 
  2. Lack of water and food. 
  3. Injuries. 

Let’s get into the disaster scenarios very gently by looking at bad situations that can be dealt with quite easily and where your chance of survival is pretty high. Before you go out anywhere, please check the weather forecast. The Brits have a saying: There is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing. Staying alive in extreme weather conditions is a real art that requires skills, knowledge, some preparation and good packing skills. When you are out in the open clothing is your first line of shelter and your first protection. Have the right clothes for the right environment. Pack an extra layer of clothing just in case and don’t forget to pack a hat.  

Sudden disaster can strike you at any time one minute you are doing your duty on an aircraft carrier and the next you found yourself in the middle of the ocean. This is exactly what happened to Marine Lance-Corporal Zachary Mayo in 1995. He was wandering around his aircraft carrier when a metal door swung open and whacked him into the ocean 100 miles from shore.   He survived his ordeal thanks to some crazy navy training that he remembered and was found two days later by a fishermen’s boat.

If you ever find yourself adrift at sea (God forbid), do not try to swim to some faraway land the location of which you have no idea.  You have to figure out a way to stay afloat and alive as long as possible until someone comes to rescue you. Marine Lance-Corporal Zachary survived his ordeal and was able to share with the world one crazy survival tip that actually works. He turned his pants into a life preserver.

First, take off your pants and tie the ankles together into a tight knot. Then lift the waistband high, hold it open and swoosh your pants through the air in order to fill them with air. Slip the legs over your head, make yourself comfortable and buoyant then pray that the sharks don’t take an interest in your exposed genitals and that some fishermen’s boat will come fishing in the vicinity, like right now.

You will probably need to re-inflate your pants pretty often because the pants’ main function is not to be an airtight life preserver, but whatever, you are in the middle of the ocean, and you’ve got nothing better to do.

Being adrift in the middle of the ocean is bad, but being on land, freezing cold, and lost in the wilderness is not good either. We heard countless stories of people getting lost in the wild or surviving a plane crash only to find themselves at death door again trying to survive cold, heat, thirst, and hunger.

Crazy Survival Tips that Actually Works. Video by Histographics. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Once again, if you find yourself in this dire situation, the first thing you have to do is S.T.O.P for a minute or two. Sit. Think. Observe. Plan. Inventory the resources you have. Identify the critical tasks required for survival (water, shelter, warmth). Make a plan to stay alive and make a fire.

Fire is the king of survival techniques. Fire can keep you warm, purify water, cook food, signal rescuers, give you light and comfort. It can also keep unfriendly predators at a distance.  

The easiest way to make a fire is by using a lighter or some matches. Duh! 

But chances are you are not going to have these two items handy just when you need them the most and you can also forget the idea of rubbing two sticks together to make a fire like our homo sapiens cousins used to do in the olden days. Mind you, Tom Hanks managed to pull it off in Castaway but that was just for the cameras. 

So, what’s the next best thing? Use the very thing that people carry with them everywhere, every day, night and day, their mobile phone. If you are carrying steel wool or wrapper foil of chewing-gum good for you because it can save your life.  Twist the foil up into a loop and touch it to both the positive and negative terminals of your phone battery in order to generate enough heat to set fire to something dry and easily flammable.

If this doesn’t work, you can use the lithium in your battery, which is made up of a dangerous concoction of chemicals carefully segregated so that they don’t go off. Burst open the battery case, take a sharp stick, then stab the phone as your life depends on it because it does. This beating up triggers a process called “thermal runaway” which is a rather undesirable thing to happen in 99% of cases, you don’t want your phone to explode except if it is going to save your life.

The next thing you need to do is to collect water and find food. If you cannot locate any water source, the next best thing would be to harvest fresh water from plants with a plastic bag and a rock. Just as you release water vapor into the air when you breathe, so too do plants. Tie the plastic bag around some leaves, put something heavy like a rock, to create a reservoir at the bottom, and wait for the magic to happen. It is going to take a while so feel free in the meantime to go hunting for food; but after 24 hours or so, you should have a cup and a quarter of freshwater. Don’t worry it tastes much better than you own sweat.

Crazy Survival Tips that Actually Works. Video by Histographics. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

So, your extended stay in the goddamn wilderness has turned out not too deadly so far. You managed to save yourselves from hyperthermia by starting a fire that keeps you warm, whilst keeping unfriendly predators at a distance. You successfully alleviated your thirst by drinking sweat I mean freshwater from plants.  Now, you are starving and becoming weaker and weaker by the hour from lack of nutrition.

Time to become a hunter-gatherer and venture around to look for food. There is no obvious way to tell if a thing is edible simply by looking at it. You could put it in your mouth, sure, but many poisonous wild-growing plants look an awful lot like the kind of thing you’d put on the dinner table.

For example, regular carrots and parsnips look almost identical to hemlock, a plant that will kill you so dead that they used it to execute people in the olden days. Fortunately, there is a way to figure out whether or not something is okay to eat. It is called the universal edibility test or UET. It is not flawless, but it is better than saying prayer.

When you find something that looks like it might be edible smell it first. Plants that don’t want to be eaten have evolved for millions of years to communicate that fact to us, and many of them smell bad. If it smells okay, rub it on the inside of your elbow or wrist and wait to see if you develop a rash or hives or anything.

Ideally, you have enough time before you starve to death to give this test the scientific rigorousness it warrants, but if time is short you want to give each step between 15 minutes and an hour before you move to the next step. If the plant passes the elbow test, the next thing is to rub it on your lips, then wait again. If you are still feeling okay put some of it in your mouth and swish, it around but don’t swallow. After that eat a very small amount of it and wait overnight. If you are not dead by the morning, then whatever you’re thinking of eating might be safe.

Crazy Survival Tips that Actually Works . Video by Histographics. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Of course, this test comes with some disclaimers. For example, it apparently doesn’t work very well with mushrooms; experienced survivalists will tell you that you should never eat a wild mushroom no matter what it looks like.

Whilst you are out and about looking for food, make sure you don’t twist your ankle or cut yourself badly. Did you know that the most common injuries happening in the wild are sprained ankles, broken limbs, and cuts?

To treat a twisted ankle, remember R.I.C.E: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. First, rest the ankle by getting off it immediately. Second, reduce swelling by icing it. Since you are in the wilderness and ice packs are in short supply there, soak a t-shirt in cold water and wrap it around the injured ankle. Compress the joint by whatever means you find. Finally, elevate the ankle above the level of the heart.

Crazy Survival Tips that Actually Works. Video by Histographics. Scriptwriter: Joanne Reed

Try not to cut yourself, but if you do, treating a cut in the outdoor is not that different from treating a cut at home. Your first job is to stop the bleeding, clean the wound, then bandage the wound.

Remember that disaster can strike any time without warning, so better be safe than sorry. Whenever you are out and about on land or at sea, best to wear a pair of trousers rather than a dress. Trousers work better as a life preserver. Always carry your mobile phone, chewing-gum can become handy, always carry a plastic bag for water collection and some extra layer clothing with you such as an extra-T-shirt in case you need to use it as a bandage. Having the right type of gear with you and the right kind of knowledge acquired by watching videos such as this one will make you a survivor.

Thank you for watching and/or reading and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel because it can literally save your life and stay tuned in because I have a whole bunch of videos in the pipeline!

Yours Truly Script Writer, Joanne Reed

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Histographics 2.0 – The Beginning of a New Adventure As a Script Writer – The World’s Deadliest Earthquakes

I have a new gig! I am a script writer! I have been approached by an Animation Studio and Histographics 2.0 to join their team as a script writer. No need to say that I jumped at the opportunity to stretch myself and venture into this fascinating and fun new territory. I love it and I am really happy to present to you the first of many videos from Histographics where the storyline and text have been written by me! Those videos are fun to watch, educational, and full of interesting and out-of-the ordinary information.

I invite you to watch the video, subscribe to the channel, and comment! Your support will be much appreciated.

The World Deadliest Earthquakes You Wouldn’t Survive – Video Transcript – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

Did you know that 62% of the world’s population lives in countries with a significant seismic hazard, or risk of earthquakes? Earthquakes are sneaky, deadly,and often hang out with Tsunamis. For sure living through an earthquake must be an earth-shattering and groundbreaking experience, but would you live to tell the tale?

How about going on a globe-trotting adventure to have a sneak peek at the world’s deadliest earthquakes? At the end of the trip, you will know an awful lot about earthquakes, and you will learn some tips as to how to survive them. Before we get on, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel.

We all know that earthquakes are scary, deadly, and cause an awful lot of damage, but why are earthquakes more common in some parts of the world than others?

Because some places like Tokyo, in Japan, sit on top of the meeting point, or fault of two tectonic plates. When those plates scrape against each other they cause an earthquake.

Before we start our expedition around the world for a sneak peek at the world’s deadliest earthquakes, we should take a moment or two to understand how earthquakes’ magnitudes are measured, so that we know in advance what we are dealing with.

A magnitude earthquake 1.00 -1.9 is described as a microearthquake.  It is not felt.  No impact.

A magnitude 2.0-3.9 earthquake is described as minor. It is often felt by people, but very rarely caused damage.

A magnitude 4.0-4.9 earthquake is described as light. There is noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. It is felt by most people in the affected area. It is slightly felt outside. Generally, causes zero to minimal damage.

A magnitude 5.00-5.9 earthquake is described as moderate. It can cause damage of varying severity to poorly constructed buildings. Zero to light damage to all other buildings. It is felt by everyone.

Histographics 2.0 – The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

A magnitude 6.00 – 6.9 earthquake is described as strong. It causes damage to a moderate number of well-built structures in populated areas. Earthquake-resistant structures survive with slight to moderate damage. It is felt up to 100 km from the epicenter. Strong to violent shaking in the epicentral area.

A magnitude 7.00-7.9 earthquake is described as major. It causes damage to most buildings. Well-designed structures are likely to suffer damage.

A magnitude 8.00 to 9.00 + is described as great. It causes near or total destruction – severe damage or collapses to all buildings and it causes permanent changes in ground topography.

To summarize, anything between 1.00 to 6.00 on the Richter scale is no big deal. Anything between 6.00 to 7.9 is a big deal. Anything between 8.00 to 9.00 + is a very big deal.

It is now time for you to fasten your seat belt and get ready to go on a tour of the most dangerous places on earth. Our itinerary will take us to 10 different locations where you will be met by devastating scenes of destruction, desolation, and death.

Our 1st stopover is in the province of Shaanxi, China in the year 1556. This region suffered an earthquake the like of which has not been seen before. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8 on the Richter scale. The estimated death toll was 830,000. A 520-mile-wide area was destroyed. In some counties, it is estimated that up to 60% of the population died.

Histographics 2.0 – The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

Our 2nd stop-over is in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in the year 2010. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8 on the Richter scale, killing 326,000 people. The population suffered greatly from this event. It is also worth noting that Haiti also happens to be on the pathway of typhoons that hit the island on a regular basis.

Our 3rd and 4th stop-over are Antakya, Turkey. This country suffered from two devastating earthquakes. The first one happened in the year 115 killing 260,000 people. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.5 on the Richter scale. The second one happened in 525 killing 250,000 people. The earthquakes caused severe damage to a large section of the Byzantine empire, numerous buildings were destroyed, and a local tsunami was triggered.

For our 5th stop-over, we go back to China, but this time (1976) it was the Tangshan region that was hit hard by an earthquake. 242,769 people lost their lives. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.5 on the Richter scale. It was reported that the earthquake risk had been greatly underestimated, almost all buildings and structures were designed and built without seismic considerations; 85% of buildings collapsed, which explained the large death toll.

We are halfway through our journey. I just want to check on you guys to make sure you are still with me. Take a breather but stay alert till the end because you’ll find out at the end of the tour some tips that can literally save your life if you just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Histographics – The World Deadliest Earthquakes.

Our next stop is in Gyzndzha, Azerbaidjan (1139), where 230,000 people died due to what is known as the Ganja earthquake. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.00 on the Richter scale and triggered massive landslides off the side of the mountains and canyons in the Caucasus Mountains.

Let’s go to Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake happened in 2004 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra, and it resulted in a series of large tsunamis (ranging from 15 to 30 meters in height). 227,898 people died. The magnitude of the earthquake was 9.1 on the Richter scale. The victims were from 14 countries across the region with Indonesia being the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. There was no tsunami warning system in place.

Our next stop-over will take us to Iran and China.  A deadly earthquake happened in Damghan, Iran in the year 856, killing 200,000 people. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.9 on the Richter scale. The Gansu earthquake in China in 1920 spread across 7 provinces and regions with a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale killing 200,000 people. In some cities, almost all buildings collapsed or were buried by landslides. It was reported that additional deaths from aftershocks meant survivors tried to rely only on temporary shelters which were unsuitable for the harsh winter.

Histographics 2.0 – The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

Let’s hop over to Dvin, Armenia, where a brutal earthquake killed 150,000 people in the year 893. The city of Dvin was destroyed, and most of the buildings’ defensive walls and palaces collapsed. With the city defenses ruined, Dvin was taken over by Muhammad Abi’I-Saj, the emir of Adharbayjan.

Our final stopover is Tokyo, Japan, where a devastating earthquake occurred in  1923 killing 142,807 people. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.9 on the Richter scale. More than half of brick buildings, and 10% of reinforced structures collapsed. The earthquake caused a tsunami with waves as high as 12 meters in height. Large fires also broke out.

We cannot talk about earthquakes in Japan without mentioning the massive undersea megathrust earthquake that happened off the coast of Japan in 2011. The whole world witnessed with horror this event and its aftermath on their TV screen. The disaster began when a magnitude -9 earthquake shook the region in the early afternoon, unleashing a savage tsunami.

Histographics 2.0 – The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

The earthquake triggered a massive tsunami with waves up to 40.5 meters. The waves traveled inland as far as 10 km and caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan. Airports, roads, railroads, and a dam collapsed. The tsunami also caused nuclear accidents at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex. The death toll was estimated at 19,747, which was surprisingly low considering the quick succession of events earthquake +tsunami +nuclear power plant meltdown.

When big earthquakes happen the data show that it is the tsunami that causes the most destruction, but it is good to know that the death toll can be minimized if a nation is prepared, and proper warning systems are in place.

Histographics 2.0 – The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed

Many lessons have been learned from those events. Warning systems have been put on the seafloor all around the world to detect seismic activities and give proper warning to the population to evacuate coastal areas and seek refuge on high ground. Engineers are learning from those disasters and are looking for ways to design and build buildings more resistant to quakes and tsunamis.

Earthquakes and tsunamis tend to destroy everything that is in their path; what are the chances of you surviving an earthquake if you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? It depends where you are and what you do when the earthquake hits.  Here are some life-saving tips just in case.

Histographics 2.0- The World Deadliest Earthquakes – Script Writer: Joanne Reed
  1. If you are outdoor, stay outside and away from buildings.
  2. If you are inside, stay where you are, do not run outside, and avoid doorways.
  3. If you are in a car, pull over, stop and set your parking brake.
  4. If you are at sea, stay there.
  5. Wherever you are, Drop, Cover and Hold.  Drop to your hands and knees.  Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to something sturdy. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. Hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves.
  6. If you are in a damaged building, go outside as soon as you can and quickly move away from the building.
  7. If you are trapped, send a text or bang on a pipe or wall. Cover your mouth with your shirt for protection, concentrate on staying alive and wait for the rescue team.
  8. If you are in an area that may experience tsunamis, go inland or go to higher ground immediately after the shaking stops.
  9. If you cannot evacuate to higher ground, evacuate vertically to higher floors, onto a roof, up a tree, or grab a floating object and hold on for dear life because your life is depending on it.

Earthquakes are sneaky, deadly, and usually hang out with tsunamis. If you get caught in one remember to Drop, Cover and Hold on for dear life.

Thank you for watching and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel and stay tuned in because I have a whole bunch of videos in the pipeline! I have been really busy writing scripts and the design team has been really busy putting the graphics and video together.

Yours Truly Script Writer, Joanne Reed

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, we celebrate women. Happy International Women’s Day to all the women out there! Remember to be your own fabulous self today and every day! Dream what you want to dream. Go where you want to go. Be what you want to be. Ride your own wave. March to your own beat, sing your own songs, write your own book and wildly dance to your own rhythm like nobody is watching. Don’t be afraid to shine your light as far and as wide as you can and remember that

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there shining”

Anne Lamott.

Today’s blog article is dedicated to women from every corner of the world; it is a snapshot of my thoughts, vision and aspirationS for women, but most of all it is a celebration.

Let’s celebrate international women’s day by being ourselves

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Be yourself. Photo by Alize Reed featuring Joanne Reed

Your Quest my dear, is not to find yourself but to create yourself. Make your life a work of art, because that is the only place where you can do whatever you like and tremember that to give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.

“Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of. Make your life a work of art!”

Richard Taylor.

Don’t let people put you in a box and stick a label on it before they even get the chance to know you. You are the sum total of your genetics, your upbringing, but also the books you read, the countries you travel to, the ups and downs that can be on your path. Respect people but do not worship them. Be a giver, but give yourself enough time and space to advance your interests too. Today you can decide to be as exuberant and as colorful as you want and tomorrow, you can decide to be as dull as the grey sky if you feel like it.

In order to create yourself, you need to be courageous. Being courageous doesn’t mean that you have to do bold spectacular acts of bravery and become a hero. You don’t have to be a hero, just have the courage to be yourself. Courage can show up in a very quiet manner and in thousands of unexpected ways. Deciding not to fight can sometimes be as courageous as charging into battle. Forgiveness requires a lot of courage. Learning a new skill, starting a new business venture, stepping outside your comfort zone requires a lot of courage. Standing up to bullies and speaking your mind requires a fair dose of courage. Falling in love, letting your guards down can be an act of courage. Staying positive and upbeat when facing setbacks, ill-health, old age or even death requires a lot of courage.

Let’s celebrate international women’s day by looking after our body and our mind

We live every day with the knowledge of our staggering fragility, and we know how physiologically vulnerable our body and mind can be. We are aware that terrible outcomes are always possible and often probable. Your Quest as a human being is to protect yourself against the danger of losing your life but also against the danger of losing your mind. Have a fighting spirit but choose your battles carefully. Some fights are worth fighting and others aren’t.

When the going gets tough, be tougher. Sure thing, but how?! You can become tougher by removal. The solution to many problems in life is solved by removal, not by addition. Living a healthy life is more about removing sugar, processed food, and unhealthy snacks from our diet. Similarly, people become wealthy by reducing their exposure to going bust. Professional athletes win games by removing mistakes.

“Above all do not lose your desire to walk everyday. I walked myself into a state of well-being and walked away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thoughts so burdensome that one cannot walk away from”

Soren KierKegaard

You can become tougher by optionality. The more options you have, the more freedom you have to respond to unforeseen circumstances, thus reducing your fragility to unexpected events. If you have optionality you don’t need to be right that often. All you need is the wisdom not to do things that will hurt yourself and to be able to recognize favorable outcomes when they arise. You can become tougher through trials and errors. Try new things and find out through a process of trials and errors what works and what doesn’t. If an idea doesn’t work, make it fail quickly then move on to the next one. Play safe in some areas of your life and take some risks in others.

Looking after your mind means setting aside some quiet time to learn the art of being still. Practicing stillness is an essential life lesson that is being taught by wise men. Let’s be guided by the words of two wise men, Socrates, and Blaise Pascal.

Learn the art of being still. Photo by Alize Reed – La Savanne – Ile de la Reunion

According to Socrates: “The source of all wisdom and clarity is to know thyself.” And according to Blaise Pascal “, All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”.

Too often our minds are caught in a cycle of stimulus and mindless distractions, practicing the art of being still will definitely help you unclutter your mind and help you get accustomed to being in your own company, free to let your mind wander wherever it wants to go.

Being still is not an easy state of being, humans are social creatures by nature, we dread boredom, and we are unfit to endure extreme cases of isolation. If we are alone for too long our mental faculties can degrade leading to a state of insanity and deep despair. The use of solitary confinement and exile are effective tools of punishment.

But our modern-day fears are not restricted to extreme cases of isolation, rather many of us fear being alone for any period of time, and being alone is something to be avoided at all costs. Not only are we afraid of being alone individually, but we are also afraid of those around us who seem to be very happy in their own company. We see them as dangerous, unsocial, or maybe even unwanted.

The paradox these days is that we have never been so connected to each other and feel so alone at the same time. Information technology is everywhere, the invention of the radio, the telephone, television, mobile phone, and the internet has brought us closer together allowing anyone in the world instant access to another person via video conference call. These days, you just have to press a button and instantaneously you are transported to the other side of the world. The problem is, we now live in a world where we are connected to everyone except ourselves.

A paradox of stillness is that it requires you to think very deeply, but also clear your mind. In fact, this is not a paradox as once our mind is cleared and emptied insights and breakthroughs can occur. Muddy waters clear themselves through stillness; if we let them settle the truth will be revealed to us. Another paradox is that stillness does not require that you stop moving or even to be somewhere quiet, stillness can be cultivated while chaos swirls around you. Those moments, in a busy shopping mall or airport, when somehow all the external noise is filtered out and you feel a sense of calm and can focus on what is in your control, that is stillness.

Stillness is an important tool on your journey to find clarity. The ability to see clearly not only when you are meditating, but in the midst of conflict when you are frustrated, angry, or scared, will help you find a more logical, less emotional response, and give you choices to do things differently, or do nothing at all.

Let’s celebrate international Women’s Day by Being like water

Be like water. Photo featuring Alize Reed by Thierry Nikolaeff @terydiving. Dress by Nathalie Pezzotta-Davranche @lartisanecouture.

Rivers represent the source of life and the forward motion of time. Rivers also symbolize the power of nature and impermanence and change that are inherent in our existence. Cities and towns often spring up on riverbanks, seemingly brought to life by the water source and the fertility of the surrounding soil. Rivers capture our imagination, not just as a physical body of water, but more like a symbol of life, strength, freedom, and much more; something that we should emulate

You cannot touch the same water twice because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life. The beauty is in the journey.  We are always doing things for the first time, and the landscape will always be new as we move along our life journey. Let’s try to face any novelties with joy and not with fear because it is pointless to fear what cannot be avoided.

Rivers move continuously as if nothing can stop them, they are always in a forward motion, just like our lives which we cannot rewind except in our imagination.  We should not wallow in our past suffering or unpleasant memories. Instead of becoming stuck in the past or worrying about what could or could not have been, we should move on with our lives focusing on the present moment and what we can do at this very moment to improve our lives.  

Through twists and turns and numerous obstacles, rivers negotiate their way until they reach their destination. They flow fast when the terrain is favorable and when they encounter difficult obstacles, they negotiate their way around them. Stones should be avoided as much as possible. Trying to break a stone is a waste of your time and energy. Go around them.

The same applies to our life. We should apply ourselves to take advantage of favorable circumstances and negotiate our way through problems and difficulties. We should be flexible in our approach and avoid acting with the rigidity of a rock. We should practice the art of humility, surrender to the circumstances, and go with the flow when the circumstances recommend us to be flexible. But being flexible doesn’t mean that we should bend backward to everything and everyone. It means that we should choose our battles carefully. Some fights are worth fighting and others aren’t so. When comes a time for us to be strong and bold we should emulate the strength of water rapids coming down the valley with purpose and intent.

River flow is not constant, sometimes it runs fast when the terrain is favorable, other times it stops flowing joyfully when it enters a hole or encounters dry season. The only way to get out of this dry hole is to call on time as your ally. Call for patience and perseverance, the dry season will not last forever. When the right moment comes the hollow fills up and the water can flow again.

Rivers represent the forward motion of time. Rivers symbolize the impermanence and change that are inherent in our existence. Time is of the essence; it is the most valuable asset each person has. Every day when we wake-up, each one of us has the same amount of time to live a meaningful life, to learn, to give, to share, to experience, to make a difference, to be who you really want to be.

“Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But with time water will wear away rock which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox. What is soft is strong.”

Lao Tzu

And this my dear friend is Your Quest. Happy International Women’s day and remember to be your own fabulous self today and everyday.

Personal Note

I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

How To Win Everyday Battles

Life is a battlefield. Nothing is easy, we have to fight our way through everything, and with this in mind, it would be a good idea for us to know how to win every day battles and to familiarize ourselves with combat strategy and learn the best tricks in the book from trained warriors.

War is part of life, it is in the nature of most living organisms to engage in battle, defeat their opponents, assert power and dominate. With humans, we see this happens in wars, in business, on a soccer field, in video games, and the chances are even when we are not waging war against our environment, we are waging war against ourselves.

Sun Tzu (544–496 BC) was a Chinese military commander strategist and philosopher who wrote the most influential treatise on war ever written. The Art of War consists of 13 chapters each of which is devoted to the strategic and tactical aspects of warfare; it explains in detail how to behave in battle but more importantly how to win.

You can win everyday battles by being smart — use intelligence over brute force.

How to win everyday battles – You can win everyday battles by being smart. Use intelligence over brute force. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

Sun Tzu emphasizes the use of intelligence over brute force and teaches us how to win battles the smart way. He believes that winning the war with as little unnecessary combat as possible is the key to true victory. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting and the key to doing so is to know your enemy. If your opponent is arrogant, pretend to be weak, so he will underestimate your capability. If he was relaxing, attack and give him no rest. If his forces are united separate them. Sun Tzu is essentially saying if you know your opponent’s weaknesses and know how to exploit them you will never lose a battle.

“If you know the enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. But if you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle”

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu claimed that the highest victory is defeating the enemy without fighting. Unfortunately, this ideal isn’t always an option. That’s why in life we ought to pick our battles carefully, we have to decide which battles are worth fighting and which are a waste of energy and resources.

“It is more important to outthink your enemy than to outfight them. All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when we are far away we must make him believe we are near.”

Sun Tzu

Aside from specific tips on combat, the Art of War has a profound philosophical side to it. Sun Tzu argues that war shouldn’t be taken lightly, and that the highest warfare is defeating the enemy without fighting and that being still and inscrutable is the business of a general. The beauty of the Art of War is that its wisdom can be applied to our modern lives as well. The book emphasizes the importance of good preparation. The underlying philosophy is that victory and defeat are already decided before the battle is fought. It is important to find balance and inner peace when going to war, we shouldn’t be too reckless but not act too cowardly either.

You can win everyday battles by not waiting for the calvary to save you because you are the cavalry

How to win everyday battles – You can win everyday battles by not waiting for the calvary to come and save you, you are the cavalry. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

But sometimes being smart is not enough, especially if you have brute force all around you. The cavalry ain’t coming. You are the calvary. When push comes to shove and you have no choice but fight, get into the arena and fight like your life depends on it, because it does.

No one battlefield look alike, they come in all shapes and form. We have a tendency to portray battlefields with imagery of soldiers being stuck in trenches firing at each other or imagery of civilians having to hunker down the basement whilst bombs are being dropped from the sky; some battlefields are not so obvious to spot but they are there, nonetheless. Whether you realize it or not you are living in a world where psychological warfare, information warfare, financial warfare, spiritual warfare is a common occurrence. There is a battle that is happening right now that is unfolding in front of our eyes, it is the battle for our thoughts, our sovereignty, our humanity.

In military strategy, before combat units are sent to combat zones, they have first to learn the art of mobility, protection, and precision firepower. In the military world, the ability to maneuver cross-country and in the most restrictive terrain is essential. During World War II tanks brought tactical mobility to the battlefield, they helped reduce the number of casualties, and disrupted the enemy through decisive action.

In life, if you are stuck in your own self-righteous and rigid way of doing things then you will lack the mobility to advance. Stiffness of thoughts originates from an inability to think critically preferring instead to submit yourself to groupthink and an ideology without questioning it.

The world is not black and white, there are several shades of grey in between. Things change all the time. What is true today may not be true tomorrow. You don’t need a group, a leader, or some media platform to tell you how to think and how to act. You can think for yourself. Don’t let people put you into a box and stick a label on it, because that makes you predictable, vulnerable, and controllable. Be your own person, be curious about what’s going on, ask questions, think for yourself. If you know how to observe, listen, think, and act accordingly, you become a dangerous person.

How to win everyday battles – If you know how to listen, think, and act accordingly you become a dangerous person. Photo by Warmtall via freepik.com

In the military world, when you have a good protection system in place you maximize the mission performance with minimum casualties. Psychological operations (PSYOP) are a vital part of military strategy. PSYOP enhances combat power and offers some level of protection from the enemy, through the use of information, and disinformation.

Once you are positioned strategically, you can use your firepower against the enemy. Overwhelming precision direct firepower will have the effect of intimidating, demoralizing your adversaries, and imposing unacceptable costs on the aggressor, leading to victory. In life, you need to have courage in order to fight those battles. Courage is the mental preparedness and ability to deal with difficult challenges, and sometimes seemingly impossible circumstances. It is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, intimidation, and other threats.

In life, some battles are worth fighting for and others aren’t. Some situations may require an immediate response, others may not. Sometimes patience is required. Do not come rushing and roaring at your targets because this could be the easiest way you can lose them from your grasps. Take a step back and think of the best approach. Sometimes to be successful, you have to forgo speed and aggression; slow down, listen closely, and wait for the perfect timing. Focus on your goals, quietly and silently. And then when the time is right, trust your instincts, take action with swiftness and confidence. Balance all the possibilities before you make a huge decision and act swiftly when required.

And this my dear friend is how you can win everyday battles.

Personal Note

I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

Slippery Slopes Ahead

“There is no slippery slope towards the loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the people and their leaders” Alan K Simpson.

We are all on some slipery slopes to some unpleasant place called tyranny. A lot of people say I don’t want tyranny, I want to be free. But what is freedom? People need to be able to define it. To believe in it. To defend it. To implement it. The problem these days is that society seems to have fallen into some kind of torpor led by unquestioning obedience towards the establishment and the mainstream narrative. We all know that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. History is littered with examples of the “savior” becoming the oppressor.

When Ernest Hemingway was asked how he became bankrupt he answered, Gradually, then suddenly. Similarly, governments become tyrannical gradually, and then suddenly. Living in a democratic society gives you a false sense of security because it makes you believe that all is rosy and the system is here to protect you and your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Except that, for those who have eyes to see and ears to listen, we can see that some democratic governments are eating away people’s freedom inch by inch in a sneaky kind of way, all for your own good, of course. Beware of the wolf wearing sheep clothing.

The question, is are we all on a slippery slope towards a very unpleasant place? I think so, but the good news is that more and more people are waking up from a long period of torpor and are responding with admirable courage and fortitude to the continuous assault on their liberty.

Slippery slope ahead: man was born free but everywhere you look he is in chains

Slippery slopes ahead- Photo by Claudiodly via freepick.com

Man was born free, but everywhere you look he is in chains. If you live in a tyrannical society, would you know it?

“When you see that in order to produce you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing. When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favor. When you see that men get richer more easily by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them but protect them against you. When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice. You may know that your society is doomed. Such is the nature of a sick society; lies are truth, violence is love, sociopathic behavior is leadership, and most important of all, slavery is freedom.” Ayn Rand

The ideas expressed below are coming straight from Chapter 7 of my book “This Is Your Quest”. According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau “Man was born free, and everywhere you look he is in chains”, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to find freedom in an unfree world. It is not a given to think that everyone wants to be free. Most people are willing to sacrifice freedom for security. In a free society, the primary role of the government is to protect individuals and their property from aggression by others.

Rulers have always needed some kind of excuse to justify their authority and the fact that they alone have the power to dictate to the masses how they should lead their lives. Originally Kings defended their right to rule by citing the Divine Rights of Kings. No one would dare to question the authority of the King because his power was given directly to him by God. But with kingdoms falling, a new justification for rulership was required. Thomas Hobbes came to the rescue and provided the justification that the elite needed.

Hobbes’ book Leviathan” established the foundation for modern political philosophy. Hobbes said that life without government would inevitably lead to conflict, to a war of all against all, life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. To escape this sorry state of affairs, Hobbes argues that all individuals must yield their rights to a sovereign authority for the sake of their protection. And if the Sovereign was to act badly, men must accept it as the price for peace. Hobbes, however, was manifestly wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum, we find Etienne de la Boetie who was a French Judge, writer, and founder of the modern political philosophy that emerged in France during the Renaissance era. He is best known for his essay “Discours de la Servitude Volontaire” — “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” attacking absolute monarchy and tyranny. The essay asserts that tyrants have power because people give it to them.

“Once liberty has been abandoned by society, it stays corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtesan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey.” Etienne de la Boetie

La Boetie linked obedience with domination; by advocating a solution of simply refusing to support the tyrant, he became one of the earliest advocates of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance. To him, the great mystery of politics is obedience to the rulers. Why in the world do people agree to be looted and otherwise oppressed by government overlords? It is not just fear, La Boetie explains, for our consent is required. And that consent can be non-violently withdrawn. If you give your power away, it will be recycled against you in the form of tranny; if you don’t give it away the tyrants have no power.

Slippery slope ahead: the ignorance of the power inherent to all of us by Natural Law

Slippery slopes ahead. Photo by Wirestock via freepik.com

Natural law is the idea that there are rational objective limits to the power of legislative rulers. Aristotle is often said to be the father of natural law. Aristotle defined human beings as rational animals. He believed that the highest human happiness or well-being is found in living a life that is consistently, excellently, and completely in accordance with reason. The natural law thesis holds that if a human law fails to be backed up by decisive reason, then it is not a proper law at all. The most important aspect of natural law is that a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or take away the means of preserving the same.

We should remind ourselves that the government is working for us and not the other way round; the government derives its power from the consent of the governed. This implies that we the people have the power but we have consented to the surrender of some of our rights in order to elect a government whose role is to represent and protect their people. Government should not encroach upon our natural rights, which are sacred to us as human beings, and those rights cannot be taken away by legislation. The presumption of liberty declares that the rights that we did not surrender to the government we retain ourselves and they can never be taken away from us by the government, by legislation, by decree. In an ideal world, governments should only limit themselves to the protection of our natural rights. But this is not what is happening today.

Today, what we live in is a world where the thought police are out there waiting to cancel us, censor us, demonize us and lock us up just because we dare to think for ourselves and step away from the official narrative. What is right for you may not be right for me. What is right for me may not be right for you. But what is not right for either of us is being stripped of the freedom to choose what is right for ourselves. There is nothing extreme about wanting the freedom to make our own decision. Freedom of expression is the lifeblood and cornerstone of a free society, without the freedom of expression to think and express ourselves freely, there is no free society. So, we’d better start thinking for ourselves quickly before it becomes illegal.

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it all .” Noam Chomsky

“Freedom ultimately means the right of other people to do things that you do not approve of.” Thomas Sowell.

We are currently living in a society where the government can restrict your freedom of movement to the limit of your own house, where hugging and kissing are forbidden, where adults are being infantilized and children are made to grow up with a victimhood mentality and a guilty conscience for who they are. Freedom should never be a reward for good behavior, that is how prison works!

Who would have thought a couple of years ago that we would be living in a society that denies your children the right to an education? A society where parents and normal hard-working citizens would be labeled domestic terrorists just because they dare to ask questions? Who would have thought that we would be living in a society where the government would prevent you from earning a living, deny you access to food supply chains and medical facilities; a society where the government would be able to confiscate and/or freeze all your assets including your bank accounts, all without due process for your own good, of course. All of those are big slippery slopes.

“If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished, and criminalized; if all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance, you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest.” Ian Watson.

“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed, they must rely exclusively on force.” George Orwell.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues

Slippery slopes ahead. Photo by Ski Anatolly via freepik.com

“Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently” Maya Angelou

We are not born courageous, we learn to be. Courage is a skill that needs to be practiced. Courage is contagious.

At the end of the day, we should always remember that grapes must be crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Olives are pressed to release oil. Seeds grow in darkness. So, whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed or in darkness, you are in a powerful place of transformation. Good things are coming down the road, just keep walking but make sure to avoid all the slippery slopes along the way. May the road you choose be the right road.

And this my dear friend is your Quest.

This article is dedicated to the Canadian truckers who demonstrated to the whole world what heroes are made of. Heroes don’t always wear a cape, some of them drive trucks.

Personal Note

I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com