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October 2021

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If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?

We all struggle with making tough and somewhat difficult decisions that can be life changing or altering. Decisions such as leaving a high paying job to start a business, leaving a toxic and abusive marriage for the unknown, setting boundaries with our parents, relocating to a foreign land, reducing time spent with draining and fair weather friends. All of these decisions are tough and that is why most of us never make them, hence we stay stuck in abusive relationships, toxic work environments, get enmeshed in our dysfunctional family units, get entangled with friends that are not adding value to us anymore. As American novelist and playwright James Baldwin once said “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning. – John Henry Newman

Regret is the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past because the consequences of the decision were unfavorable. Regret is a negative emotion predicated on an upward, self-focus, counterfactual inference. (Gilovich and Medec 1995). Regret can also be defined as a negative, cognitively based emotion that we experience when realizing or imagining that our present situation would have been better had we acted differently (Zeelenberg 2010).

Netflix has announced the launch of a book club, a one-of-a-kind book club from the home of the world’s most talked-about book adaptations.  The Netflix Book Club is hosted by Orange is the New Black star and Three-time Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba. As a fan of great books, I can’t for the show to start.

Through Netflix Book Club, readers will hear about their new favorite books, films, and series adaptations first – and get exclusive access to the process behind bringing these books from page to screen.

Your regrets are only part of your story. They don’t have to be the story. Your past should remind you. It doesn’t have to define you.

In Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move, author and pastor Andy Stanley describes five game-changing questions to ask every time you make a decision—questions that will help you in your finances, relationships, career, and more. Stanley argues that well-timed and appropriate thought provoking questions lead to better decisions and fewer regrets.

Developing the discipline to pause and ask these five questions will result in better decisions and fewer regrets.

1. The Integrity Question

Am I being honest with myself, really?

Decision #1: I will not lie to myself even the truth makes me feel bad about myself.

2. The Legacy Question

What story do I want to tell?

Decision #2: I will write a story I’m proud to tell one decision at a time.

3. The Conscience Question

Is there a tension that needs my attention?

Decision #3: I will explore rather than ignore my conscience.

4. The Maturity Question

What is the wise thing to do?

Decision #4: I will take the past, present, and future into consideration

5. The Relationship Question

What does love require of me?

Decision #5: I will decide with the interests of others in mind.

Good questions lead to better decisions. And better decisions lead to fewer regrets.

Your decisions determine the direction and quality of your life. And while nobody plans to complicate their life with bad decisions, far too many people have no plan to make good decisions.

In Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, Artists David Bayles  & Ted Orland explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn’t get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. Art & Fear is a book written by artists, for artists – it’s about what it feels like when artists sit down at their easel or keyboard, in their studio or performance space, trying to do the work they need to do. Their insights and observations, drawn from personal experience, provide an incisive view into the world of art as it is experienced by artmakers themselves.

It was just like any workday, login into your system follow the routine, check e-mail, attend meetings, handle security incidents, triage, and close tickets. But on this particular day, I had issues with my login, I tried everything I could but unfortunately, I had to get my manager involved. I had to go to a bank branch nearby to fix the issue.

 I had a one-on-one scheduled with my manager, we finally had the one-one later in the day but it was not what I expected. In our previous, monthly one-on-ones, it was held on skype, no video call but on this faithful day, my manager had his video on, I did not perceive anything was going to happen but shockingly it did.

“Being an artist is not just about what happens when you are in the studio. The way you live, the people you choose to love and the way you love them, the way you vote, the words that come out of your mouth… will also become the raw material for the art you make.”

 New York-based visual artist and recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 2005 Genius Grant, Teresita Fernandez delivered the commencement address titled: “On Amnesia, Broken Pottery, and the Inside of a Form” to the graduating 2013 class at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. Teresita served as a presidential appointee to Barack Obama’s U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, distinguishing her the first Latina to serve in that role.

Most of us cannot fantom why anyone would be manipulative, deceptive, cunning, rude, or evil. But the reality of life is that there are more evil people in the world than we can imagine. People with personality disorders such as Narcissistic personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder, people living below the veil of consciousness. We have roaming among us on the street, offices, homes, clubs, religious gatherings – sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths, pathological liars, pedophiles, perverts, etc.

As clinical psychologist Martha Stout, Ph.D. noted in her book, The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us:

A shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even your family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

“4 percent of the general population has antisocial personality disorder (ASPD, sociopathy, or psychopathy).”

Most of the challenges we face in life are a result of interpersonal relationship issues. We tend to think that everyone is somewhat rational but unfortunately most of us are not. One of the favorite manipulative tool of evil and devious people is Gaslighting their victims.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

 In Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice, venture capitalist, and writer Patrick J. McGinnis describe one of the greatest scourge of our time: The Fear of Missing Out and how we can become more strategic with our decision making in the age of social media.

“We make more than 35,000 decisions a day. Some impulsive, some logical, and some complex and paralyzing. Compounded with our “always-on” society, the pressures and stresses wrought by endless access to yet another option or possibility can create an endless loop of indecision and unease.”

Tim coined the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), as well as the related term FOBO (Fear of a Better Option) in a 2004 article titled ” Social Theory at HBS: McGinnis’ Two FOs” in The Harbus, the student newspaper of Harvard Business School(HBS). FOMO has since appeared all over pop culture and it’s even been added to a host of authoritative dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster.

Optimism is an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome. Optimism is from French optimisme, from Latin optimum  whuch means ‘best thing’. It is the abilty to see the best in every situation and making the best of the moment. An optimist sees the cup as half full while the pessimist sees the cup as half empty. Life can be tough and challenging, it is easy to stay optimistic when things are going right, the real test of your optimism is to stay strong when things are not going right.

“I’ve decided that enterprise is better than ease. If you rest too long, the weeds take over the garden in the summer. Life doesn’t stand still, and random negativity will start overwhelming the positive arrangements of life if you just let things go. So we’ve all got to have a positive attitude about activity.”

An ancient phrase states, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” That’s a powerful philosophy. Many people are getting by with using half their might.