Education.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Education.

Education.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Education.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

― Nelson Mandela

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

― Robert Frost

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

― Plato

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

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Will walking make you smarter?

By David Joel Miller.

Does brisk walking help you learn or should you rest up first?

Walk

Walk
Photo courtesy of Flickr (aka Kath)

Worldwide we are seeing the results of increases in body weight. Clearly being obese or overweight can seriously impact your health. We know that more exercise can help lose weight and may improve health but how much exercise is needed and the impact this might have on learning and memory is often overlooked.

The connection between exercise and the ability to learn may be a lot more significant than most people realize

As little as 10 minutes of brisk exercise in the form of walking can improve your ability to learn things. Unfortunately, most people do not recognize this relationship. Most of us rest after exercise and then try to study and learn when well rested.

We may be doing the whole exercise and learning behaviors backward.

One study, (Salas et al, 2011) reports that a brisk 10-minute walk improved college students ability to learn new material.

Unfortunately, the students in this study did not recognize that their learning had improved. Sometimes our own impression of how much we are learning turns out to be incorrect.

As those who practice yoga will tell you, exercise does not need to be painful to be helpful. The key to getting health benefits from this form of exercise is not speed or strength, but to breathe as you do it. Doing a pose or posture slowly and with breathing can result in significant health benefits.

So if you find that your concentration is waning, the answer may be a brisk walk rather than the traditional “break” from the thinking activity.

Turns out that we need a healthy body to help us with the tasks most of us think of as mental.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

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

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Mistakes are Required, Being a Failure is Optional

By David Joel Miller.

You are required to make mistakes.

Success and Failure

Success and Failure.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you one of those people who are mistake aversive? You would do anything to avoid making a mistake?

hen you make a mistake do you feel awful and tell yourself you “shouldn’t” have done that?

When you make a mistake do you feel wrong, awful, even sinful?

Stop abusing yourself!

You need to make mistakes. The requirement to make mistakes is in your DNA. There are at least two reasons why mistakes are a human requirement.

1. You learn better from painful mistakes than from pleasant successes

Frankly, most of us do not learn from our accomplishments. We learn best from our failures. Here is an example.

Let’s say you like ice cream Sundays. Every week this year you stop after dinner at a favorite ice cream place and treat yourself to a Sunday. Then at the end of the year, you tell me about this tradition you have established. Quick, which one was the best? The worst? Was the one on the third week in February better or worse than the one you ate the second week in August?

Most likely you can’t remember. Pleasure and successes that are mostly pleasurable, are not stored in our brains in a whole lot of detail, it takes time for pleasure to “soak into” the brain. One article I read reported that it takes 30 seconds to a minute of concerted effort, thinking about that pleasant event to store the memory away in your brain.

Pain is easily stored in the brain.

Now if you drive a particular stretch of road home every day and one day you are in a terrible car wreck, you see someone killed, will you remember that? Sure you will. That painful event and mistakes are often painful, are stored deeply in our brains. Thoughts, even thoughts about things that have not happened, are events. Even if these thoughts only happen in our heads, those negative thought-events cause a lot of pain.

As a result of this experience, you may change your route, avoid that road altogether or change your driving practices. You will have learned something about the dangers of driving. Remembering this event, dreaming about it and talking about it may increase that storage of memory. You may even over store the event and become afraid to ride in a car.

The principle here is that we learn far more from our mistakes than from our success. If you want to learn, become knowledgeable or even wise, you will have to make mistakes.

2. Mistakes are a source of creativity.

Most creativity comes from people doing things in new ways. They violate tradition. They do something in a manner other than the “correct” way to do things. Let me illustrate.

Say we work in the same place. Every day we pass in the hall. I say good morning, you say good morning and we go on our ways. Life is good, Life is predictable.

One day I say good morning, you say “How are you doing?”

This is terrible, the world is in chaos. You are not supposed to say “How are you doing?” This is a mistake!

Doing something new, that mistake in the pattern of following tradition results in creativity. Now that you have altered the universe by making this mistake, we just may need to stop and have a conversation. Our relationships have been altered.

Getting out of the routine, trying out new ways of doing and behaving is creativity. Sometimes these efforts work and sometimes they do not. It is our willingness to take a chance, risk making a mistake, that results in us trying new things and being creative.

In the title of this post, I used the term “being a failure.” There is a vast difference between failing at something and being a failure. Making a mistake and being a mistake is not the same thing.

Everyone who tries makes mistakes. The only way to avoid mistakes is to never attempt anything and that would be a mistake.

Every player in major league baseball has struck out. Every NBA player has missed a shot. This failure or mistake has not made them any less.

Make all the mistakes you can. Fail early and often. Just please, learn from these experiences, do not keep repeating the same mistakes. Make new ones. That way you will keep trying and some of the things you do will work.

You may make some mistakes, fail sometimes, but if you keep trying you will never be a failure.

Sometimes we become so afraid of failure that our fear prevents us being successful. Coming up soon a post on how that fear of failure may be preventing your successes.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

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

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Warning – 6 reasons what you learned may not be true!

By David Joel Miller.

6 Reasons why some of the things we learned turn out to not be true.

That may not be true

Turns out that a whole lot of what most of us think we know is not accurate. Some of this does not matter. But if you base your life on things that turn out to be wrong, you can be in a lot of hurt. If we got it wrong we may be teaching our children things that could hurt them. It pays to reexamine some of the things we think we know and see if we got it right.

Here are 6 reasons you may have gotten it wrong.

1. Parents are fallible.

Think back to the first lessons you learned in life. Did you learn a lot about life from your parent or caregiver?

Most of us have things tucked away in our brain, emotional learning, moral learning and attitudes about life that we internalized at a very early point in our lives. Your parent may have told you wrong.

Not that they meant to lie. Back then they looked so big and strong and knowledgeable. For most kids, the adult that raised them looks like an all-powerful god. Then we get older and realize that this person does not know everything. We forget that much of our way of seeing the world was learned from that caregiver before we were able to judge if they had it right.

It continues to amaze me that humans have survived and prospered, more or less, on the earth. Consider that child production and rearing is mostly left to the youngest and least mature of our members. Think about those teen parents trying to raise children even before they have learned how to have a healthy relationship, get a job and cope with life.

Is it any wonder that lots of what we learned, we learned from other children, even if they were our parents?

2. The person we learned from may have been wrong.

We all learned lots of lessons from our peers. Did you learn a lesson about how people are, how you should be on the playground, from another child in an early grade?

That first romantic partner, did you learn about life from someone who had little knowledge also? That 14-year-old girl with a 15-year-old boyfriend, did you learn about love and sex from them? How did they know? In those early relationships, that other partner can appear so adult and knowledgeable. Later we find, as we have more life experiences, that they knew no more than we did, they and we may have been making it up as we went along. Who wants to look ignorant with their lover?

3. Brain chemicals may have interfered with storing and retrieving memories.

Drugs and alcohol are significant culprits in this area. People under the influence have distortions in the way their memories are stored and retrieved. Drug and alcohol use has continued to creep down to younger and younger people. Children in elementary school are experimenting and using drugs on a regular basis.

Stress hormones also interfere with learning and memory. Prescription meds may or may not be needed but there is always that risk that prescribed medication will alter the experience. If you do not feel pain you are at increased risk to be injured. This applies to emotional as well as physical pain.

4. We may have been watching the wrong people for danger.

Many a child has been taught to avoid strangers and not talk to strangers. There is some truth to begin cautious around strangers. What we leave out is that the majority of abuse of children is perpetrated by close family members and friends.

Not every teacher or religious leader is a safe person. Every day we hear about children who were abused or molested, frequently by someone in a position of authority and trust.

If you learn an unrealistic view of the safety or danger of the world you future life experiences will be distorted. A child who is injured by someone they should have been able to trust will be affected for the rest of their life.

5. Even the best student does not get everything right.

For example, the top score in one class on a recent test was 80%, this is a passing score, maybe even a B in most classes. Now if that student teaches this material to a younger brother and that brother gets 80% of what he is taught he now has 64% correct

See how a small error gets rapidly compounded as the facts, almost correct, are repeated.

Consider the effect it may have had on you if someone you learned from had it mostly right but not completely. Then you learn most of what they taught you and now you are trying to pass this on.

This is a reason that we need to continue to check and recheck those things we think we know to see if they are really true.

6. The prevailing wisdom may be wrong.

Just because everyone says something is right, you see it on T. V. or in a movie, does not make that right.

Our media has made it look like the good guys go out and fight every day. Often they use guns and kill the bad guys. The result is a general tolerance of the use of violence to solve problems.

Would it surprise you to know that on some police forces the majority of officers go their whole careers, all the way to retirement, without ever having to discharge their gun in the line of duty?

People who get killed in their own home, they are often the victim of a family member or friend. It is not strangers breaking into your home that you should fear. It is your family member who knows where you keep the loaded gun.

Many of the things I learned as a child, that were thought to be absolutely the way things were, have since turned out to be wrong.

Even the flat earth society has suffered a decline in membership.

Consider these six reasons why things you learned may not be so and then continue to learn new lessons. Accurate knowledge helps make the journey along life’s road happier and more enjoyable.

If you have found other reasons that you have learned things that later turned out to not be true please leave a comment and share these with the rest of us.

Are you on the path to the happy life you deserve?

David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

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

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Waiting for the Ah Ha moment

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

By David Joel Miller.

Those sudden moments of insight.

Have you had one of those times when suddenly it occurred to you that the way you had been doing things just wasn’t working? Where do those sudden insightful moments come from and why can’t I seem to get these things until I have done it wrong at least a thousand times?

There was that time when I went to register for classes. The first one on my list was trigonometry. It had come highly recommended by my school counselor. Suddenly it occurred to me that the last three times I had signed up for trig I had ended up dropping it. Then out of nowhere came the thought – maybe trig just wasn’t my thing, maybe I should consider another major?

Have you had those experiences? More than once after making a comment to someone I thought why did you say that?  Why can’t I stop saying stupid things in front of other people?

I believe I have solved that problem. Instead of saying stupid things to people one at a time, I write my thoughts here on the blog, for all to see. That way I can get the embarrassment over with all at once.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all find a way to get those mistakes of life over with and move on to be right more of the time?

In therapy, those Ah-Ha moments are the exact point when we or our clients make the greatest progress.

I am sitting with a teen talking about how unreasonable their parents are. Then I ask them about themselves. Any friends? Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend? Think you will have kids someday? You think you will let your child go to that kind of party?

Out of nowhere that teen who was telling me they are angry their parent does not trust them and won’t ever let them do the things their friends parents allow other kids to do, those kids are telling me they would never let their kids go to that kind of party cause they know what goes on there.

One thing that clients often say to me is “I hadn’t thought of it that way.” I find that one of the healthiest things I can do is reexamine things I thought I knew and see if there is another way to think about things.

That is one of the benefits of having friends, lots of friends. Now some friends are just people we work with or do a specific activity with. But we each have or should have those really close friends that we can talk with about anything. It is in those talks that suddenly we may have that flash of insight and realize that we have just never thought about it that way.

Professional helpers like counselors and therapists are specially trained that if they are going to be able to help someone it is all about the relationship. We, humans, have a hard time listening to people we don’t like or respect. But in that one trusting relationship we can sometimes hear something that results in that Ah Ha moment.
Ever asked yourself “What was I thinking?” Careful here – you may be about to have one of those Ah Ha moments.

We get wrapped up in our own thinking. When it is rattling around in my mind it seems like such a good idea. Let me tell someone else and see their reaction and suddenly that brilliant idea does not sound so brilliant.

Hearing our behavior described by another, some of us are surprised at how others experience them. They describe this experience as being like “hearing about someone else.” That other point of view is so valuable in learning.

Some of you may have noticed that a few of those “What was I thinking” ideas slip by and get into these posts.” That is one of the prices we bloggers pay for trying to write a lot of posts and get them up quickly. Occasionally one of my friends assumes the role of editor and emails me about an error so I can correct it quickly. Other times it just gets by.

Now shouldn’t we all just be more careful and not make mistakes? I don’t think so. The only way you don’t make mistakes is to do nothing and that, come to think of it, would be an even grander error.

So what we all have to do as part of this human existence is try new things and see what works and what doesn’t.  Do more of the good things and less of the things that do not work. Recognize that you, like everyone else, will have some of those Ah Ha moments. Rather than beating yourself up and criticizing you, learn from those mistakes.

Be able to laugh at your mistakes. When you can look at something you did in the past and tell yourself that was “silly” which tells me that your way of looking at things is changing.

We all need more Ah Ha moments in our lives and we need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we are required to make to create those moments.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two 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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

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

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.