Independence.

Independence.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Independence.

Inspiration.      Post by David Joel Miller.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

― Coco Chanel

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Normally I share these quotes on Sunday, but since this weekend is 4 July, America’s Independence Day, I thought it might be useful to share some additional quotes about the meanings people attach to independence.

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Memorial Day.

Post by David Joel Miller.

Veterans.

Memorial Day.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Memorial Day.

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

― Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”

― Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works – Volume XII

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Abraham Lincoln

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

― Abraham Lincoln

Today on Presidents’ Day seems like a good time to look at the things Abraham Lincoln had to say.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Inspirational    Post  From David Joel Miller.

MLJ Day 2015

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you. Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

At least I didn’t die.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

The hospital thought I had Covid.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably noticed that there weren’t very many posts in November. Part of that was by design. I was doing the NaNoWriMo writing contest during November. And despite some challenges, I did finish a first draft of that book. 2020 makes the fifth time I have completed the first draft of a book during November. More on that in an upcoming post.

Five days in the hospital, mostly in the ICU, changed my plans.

This illness came on very suddenly. Tuesday evening, I thought it was a little cold in the house. My toes and my fingers both felt chilly. So, I turned up the heater and wore socks to bed. Wednesday morning, I felt normal. By noon I was so cold I was shaking. When I tried to type on the computer, I couldn’t hit the keys. Dialing 911 turned out to be a significant challenge.

My feeling cold turned out to be fever and chills.

Since I felt so incredibly cold, it never occurred to me that I was running a fever. I tried to take my temperature, but my hand shook so much I couldn’t get an accurate reading. By the time I got to the hospital, I was shaking so severely the EMT thought I was having a seizure. I’ll leave it to the medical professionals to debate that one.

If it looks like Covid, you must treat it like Covid.

So many of my symptoms implied an infection with the Covid virus that once they got me admitted, I was sent to the Covid ICU unit. In addition to fever and chills, my blood pressure dropped severely. I’ve never been one to have to worry about high blood pressure, but in retrospect, the numbers they were getting for my blood pressure should’ve made me question whether I was still alive. I had to be given an intravenous medication just to get my blood pressure back within the wishing distance of normal.

Life on the Covid ICU unit.

Being on the Covid ICU unit for four days was a scary experience. My heart goes out to the people who must work in that unit. And remember, I’ve worked on locked psychiatric units, but this one scared me. I feel that I got excellent care. I won’t mention the name of the specific facility. Everyone has their preferences, and some people have had bad experiences, even with an excellent provider. Let me say that I’m delighted to continue to be a member of this medical system.

Watching the staff enter and exit my room was a little like what you might see in a science fiction movie when someone has taken aboard the alien ship. Everyone wore a facemask and a shield. To come into the room, workers had put on an additional transparent plastic garment that totally covered them. When they left the room, that entire outer garment was disposed of. This virus is a nasty enemy, and we can’t be too cautious.

My Covid tests came back negative.

I was told at one point that I had received two separate Covid tests. Eventually, I was given the results, which was that I was negative for Covid. Of course, that didn’t explain blood pressure readings that sounded more like the score of a professional football game, as well as my extreme weakness and inability to eat.

What I had was diverticulitis.

The short version of this is that diverticulitis is an inflammation of the intestine. Some of that nasty junk that should’ve stayed in my intestine had seeped through into surrounding tissue and caused a systemic infection throughout my body. Apparently, I wasn’t far from taking that last elevator ride, which takes you either all the way up or all the way down.

It’s been a slow recovery.

Even once I was able to get discharged from the hospital, I still wasn’t back to normal. Being that sick left me extremely exhausted, and I took the following week off. I am slowly getting back to doing the things I like to do, which for me is working, teaching, and of course, my writing. I have several ideas for topics I want to write about, but that will take me some time.

My online teaching.

To date, I have taught four classes online. I’ve also been taking classes and how to do a better job of teaching online. While online education is a vital necessity in this age of the coronavirus, I believe it’s another one of those long term changes whose time has come. Remember that first portable phone, the giant brick that required hours to recharge? Just as our mobile communication devices have evolved, I fully expect online education to continue to evolve. As the year 2020 comes to an end, and I look forward to 2021, I expect the pace of change to accelerate.

I’m just extremely glad to be alive to be both a witness and a participant in all this change. Please continue to read the counselorssoapbox.com blog, where I will continue to talk about how I see things in the fields of recovery from substance use disorders, mental health, and having a happy life.

P. S. What do you think of the new featured image at the top of this blog? Is it an improvement? Or do you miss the old header?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seemed like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Why didn’t they ask me that?

Why didn’t they ask me that?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Most people don’t ask enough questions.

A typical comment after many social interactions is, they didn’t ask me any questions. Whether it’s a job interview or first date, many people don’t ask enough questions. They leave that social interaction without the information they needed. Not asking questions can also make the person you talk to think you are uninterested in them or the topic of your meeting. So, if you want to make a better first impression, or second, or even third, learn to ask more questions. Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to ask those questions. Here are some of the reasons people don’t ask enough questions.

People who are busy thinking about themselves don’t ask about others.

People who want to impress you, or sell you something, often talk about themselves rather than asking you questions. If you leave the interaction thinking all that person did was talk about themselves, you’re probably right. If you want better relationships with others, learn to balance your talking with your listening. Create space for the other person to talk and encourage them by asking questions about them.

Apathetic people don’t ask questions.

If someone you’re talking to doesn’t ask about you and your day, they probably don’t care. When you have a conversation, if you don’t ask the other person questions, you’re likely to convey the impression that you don’t care about them, even if that’s not the way you feel. To strengthen relationships, take an interest in the other person. Ask questions that invite them to share more about themselves and their interests

People are afraid of asking the wrong question.

Many people don’t ask enough questions because they are afraid of sounding ignorant, incompetent, or rude. Don’t let your fear of asking the wrong question keep you from using questions to gather information and strengthen a relationship.

Some people underestimate the value of a good question.

People who ask more questions are generally perceived as being more likable. A good question can be an opportunity to learn from someone more knowledgeable. Asking the right question can also be your chance to show a genuine interest in someone else. People who asked more questions were more likely to know about others interests and habits. If you ask questions, the other person is more likely to want to continue the conversation.

Overconfident people talk instead of asking questions.

If you spend the majority of your time and interactions talking, you conveyed the impression that you think you have all the answers and that the other person’s information or ideas are unimportant. If you ask more questions, you may be surprised at the things you learn. You can discover the person you’re talking to doesn’t agree with you, and they may have some valuable ideas you haven’t heard yet.

Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question.

People who are high in anxiety or are insecure may avoid asking questions for fear of appearing stupid. The dumbest questions and the ones you don’t ask. Most people are delighted to talk about themselves, their latest project, or their lives. Asking them questions shows that you’re interested. No one ever knows all the answers.

How can you learn to use questions to improve your relationships?

Asking good questions, the kind that improves relationships, and gathers information is a skill that can be learned. Here are some tips on becoming better at using questions in your conversation.

Most people like to be asked questions about themselves.

The proper way to use questions to improve relationships is to ask people questions they will enjoy answering. This type of question demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in the other person. Avoid questions that put people on the spot or ask for overly personal Information.

Plan ahead, create several questions you plan to ask.

Notice that journalists who interview prominent people almost always have a list of questions they have prepared ahead of time. Sometimes they even submit these questions to the person they’ll be interviewing in advance. Knowing what you want to ask, maybe also doing some research ahead of time, helps you to ask intelligent, informed questions. Better questioning creates a better relationship.

It’s okay to ask questions about multiple topics.

Limiting your questioning of someone else to questions on only one topic can convey the wrong impression. Repeated questions on one subject can feel like the person is being interrogated. It can also suggest that you are only looking for answers to your questions and not genuinely interested in the other person.

Asking follow-up questions gets the answers you need.

If you discover something new about the person, you’re talking can go deeper into that subject by asking additional questions. Learn to be curious and asked for more information about the things you discover.

Don’t abuse questions.

Many people become anxious when they are asked a question. It’s common for people to use questions as weapons rather than as requests for information. Do you remember as a child when a parent or other adult asking you, “why did you do that?” Things like “how could you be that stupid?” isn’t someone looking for information, it’s someone looking to hurt you.

When asking other people questions, be especially alert for times when a question may trigger an emotional response. Be careful about asking questions that may be too personal or uncomfortable.

The Harvard business review in its article The Surprising Power of Questions found that learning to ask good questions is an important business skill people need to develop.

How comfortable are you asking and answering questions?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Millerhttps://www.amazon.com/David-Joel-Miller/e/B076P1JPYF

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Mental health counseling for Medi-Cal clients in the Fresno California area.

Mental health counseling for Medi-Cal clients in the Fresno California area.

Wanted to share this information with all of you.

How to get people to believe a big lie.

 

Telling the big lie.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

You can use conspiracy theories to get people to believe almost anything.

If you can convince people that others are out to get them and that you are telling them the truth, you can get them to sign on to believe almost any lie. Trying to get people to accept things that aren’t true isn’t a new idea. Propaganda has been used to push political and religious beliefs as far back as we have recorded history. Marketers and advertising specialists try to convince you to buy their product or give them your money.

But the use of conspiracy theories, the blaming of other people for all your ills, is a recurring phenomenon. Dictators and totalitarian regimes have always used the big lie. The battle between truth and the big lie isn’t a new one. But in the age of social media, the big lie can be spread rapidly. Groups of people using multiple social media accounts and encouraging everyone to share their posts, whether they read them or not, can spread untruths so far and wide the people begin to believe them. Here are some of the ways manipulators convince people to think something bogus.

If you tell your lie loudly and often enough, it gets believed.

Keep putting that lie out there, even if you must keep changing your story. Spread it on social media any way you can. Encourage everyone who reads it to share it with everyone they know. Keep that bizarre idea live by how often you tell the story and how fiercely you defend it.

When challenged, keep changing your story.

Use contradictory beliefs. Offer lots of arguments in favor of the lie you’re telling, even if they contradict each other. Don’t worry about contradicting yourself, simply present lots of reasons people should believe you. Your goal here isn’t to prove you’re telling the truth. What you want to do is create so many doubts about the reality that the lie seems plausible.

If you get pinned down, tell them that it might be true.

You can avoid responsibilities for your lie if you quote others and say you don’t know, but it might be true. Saying that someone else believes something can be mistaken for evidence that your lie is the truth. You can get away with spreading lies if you don’t take responsibility for what you’re saying.

Tell people to be suspicious of anyone who disagrees with you.

Try to convince people that authority figures always lie to them. Tell them that scientists fake their data. The medical profession is out to cheat them out of their money. Any news media or authority who agrees with the established opinion must be in on the conspiracy. Anyone quoted as an authority it must be part of the secret plot. Keep changing who you blame. The more possible suspects, the more people will believe someone has perpetrated a crime.

Tell them all authority figures are evil.

If you attribute evil motives to everyone else, it’s easier to get people to believe you. You would never lie to them, would you? Accuse anyone who disagrees with you of intentionally harming others to get what they want.

Keep saying the official version is fishy.

Keep telling people something must be wrong. Keep them looking for reasons to believe your lie and disbelieve the facts. Sowing doubt about the facts opens lots of possibilities. You don’t have to prove your big lie; you just have to get people to doubt the truth.

Tell people they are victims.

Keep insisting that someone or something is out to get us. No matter how gigantic the conspiracy would need to be, insist that someone is trying to take advantage of all of us. Blame the rich. Blame the corporations or the government. Blame some hidden secret society.

Tell people not to believe any evidence that disagrees with you.

If you want to sell your lie, well keep telling your victim that everyone else is lying to them. Tell them not to believe anything they read in the news. Insist that all evidence that disagrees with you is just further proof of how vast the conspiracy is.

Keep trying to find patterns even when they don’t exist.

People who promote conspiracy theories, those who try to get us to believe fantastic things, love to look for meaning in seemingly random events. If you watch any compulsive gambler, you’ll see them looking for patterns in the cards or dice. If the number seven hasn’t come up for a while, bet on it, it’s due any minute. Probability theory tells us every number is equally likely. People who are trying to get you to believe a fantastic tale will take evidence from various countries, various points in history, and try to connect them into a pattern and then tell you that some secret power is controlling you.

How do you avoid being the victim of conspiracy theories?

Remember that a secret only stays a secret until one person tells a second person. The idea that massive numbers of people could’ve come together to perpetuate a lie for any reason and then keep a secret from the rest of the world is highly unlikely. People want to manipulate you by lying to you will keep pointing to some unknown force, which is the cause of things. Learn to do critical thinking. What are the chances that all the authorities are wrong, and the person who wants you to believe something else has somehow discovered the secret?

Most of the ideas for this blog post were originally published on:

The Conversation

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel