Ever notice how ads target our emotions? I mean, they never just give us the facts. Instead they play on our hopes or fears or greed. Take SUVs, for example. They show people driving through forests and across streams, pulling up to the beach at sunrise with a surfboard on top. Yes, that’s exactly what…

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My doctor told me I needed to get more exercise and she recommended I do some activity I enjoy so that I’d be more likely to stay with it. If you don’t like running, for example, you shouldn’t run as a form of exercise or you’ll soon quit. If you find some activity you like,…

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As I age, I find myself becoming increasingly indecisive – two minds trapped in the same head. I still feel strongly about a great many things, but I no longer possess the certitude that my position on any given issue is correct. There are those who talk about old people being set in their ways,…

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I’ve been writing for a long, long time – many years. And there have been times when I’ve experienced writer’s block – many times. But lately I’m undergoing a new kind of obstruction, a kind of ennui born of futility. The more I study the world, the more I examine people, the more convinced I…

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I used to think that optimists were overly positive, putting a spin on reality to make it conform to their sunny dispositions. That used to frustrate me. At times, it still does. For example, when the boss tells you to improve your attitude and be a positive person at meetings rather than pointing out the…

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Many of the things we do, in the hopes of achieving a particular result, come back to surprise us with unintended consequences. Sometimes those consequences are negative, sometimes positive, and sometimes so strange we find it difficult to believe there’s even a connection. It’s great when those unexpected consequences are positive – like with the…

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People have been telling stories for almost as long as there have been people. Sometimes those stories have been told through art, as in the cave paintings found in Asia and Europe. Sometimes music has served as the medium and, before written language appeared, music assisted in transferring knowledge from one generation to the next.…

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The world is complicated – that’s hardly news. But it’s important to recognize that fact because our brains don’t like a complicated world. They want a world that makes sense, a world that follows patterns we’re capable of understanding. This is why we discriminate and stereotype and generalize all the time. We witness a new…

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We all know that desire is the longing for a person, thing or state of mind – and most of us call it an emotion, although psychologists tend to differentiate it from emotion, asserting that it arises from bodily structures or functions. However, we don’t need to get into technicalities in definitional terms to understand…

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Being out of work for a couple months (or possibly longer – not sure when I’ll be going back) is a strange experience for me. I always knew my job as a writer wasn’t essential, however valuable it is. Sure, I can entertain and enlighten readers, but I’m not putting bread on their tables. I’m…

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