(The following excerpt from Be Open To Everything And Attached To Nothing by Robbie Vorhaus, author, recently appeared on psychologytoday.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
As a renowned crisis expert and communications strategist, Robbie Vorhaus teaches others to lead positive by following their hearts and writing their own stories. In his recently published book, One Less. One More. – Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly, he explains what happens when you choose to follow your heart, do what you love, and pursue your deepest dreams and desires.
What does it mean to be open to everything and attached to nothing?
This is the One Less, One More philosophy. Number one, you make the decision that you are going to follow a path of authenticity. You are going to be brave enough to discover or to challenge yourself enough to go beyond the known and the obvious. It’s permission to go on an exploration.
The second thing is that you start today. You can’t say, “I’m going to do this tomorrow,” or, “All right, let’s pick this up in a week.” You can’t. It is a moment-to-moment, day-to-day process of discovery.
You have to be willing to look at your life or your company or your leadership or whatever it is that you are addressing at the moment.
My friends in show business have all said, “All you’re doing is you’re challenging people to edit out what’s not working (one less) and to add in what’s true or in more compelling to the story (one more). So, the one less comes from being attached to nothing. You have to be willing to look and say, “This is superfluous. This isn’t working. This doesn’t feel good.”
The second part is being open to everything. What’s the one more? What is it in this moment that I can add in, that I can consider, that I can dream about? What is it that makes me curious? What is it that makes my boat float? It could be in a sexual relationship. It could be in a partnership. It could be with childrearing.
And, then the next part of this is that you have to stop and allow yourself the luxury to experience, to see what just happened when you eliminated something and added something in.
You need to celebrate that you’re on the path, and then you need to let it go.
And you have to be willing to change. Follow your heart, be happy because you’re pursuing the path wherever it leads you and allow yourself to change slowly enough so that you actually can, experience the change.
What great leader dead or alive would you like to have dinner with?
What I love when I travel is having breakfasts or dinners or meeting with people who are enthusiastic. These are the people who I cannot get enough of. These are the clergymen, the garbage men, the mothers. The teachers, the principals, the superintendents. The people who manage other people’s money. The gardeners. These are the people who are just living their life and saying, “I am so happy and grateful to be here. I am so enthusiastic.”
But if you’re asking me what great leader dead or alive would I really like to have dinner with I’d have to say Rosa Parks.
I would love to be able to just hug Rosa Parks and to thank her for her courage.
We’re here in the 21st century but can you imagine what it must have been like to be in 1955 and to be a woman and to refuse to give up your seat, because you knew in your heart of hearts that you were as much of a human being, that you were as important a part of humanity as any other soul? I would love to be able to have dinner with Rosa Parks.
Think of Rosa Parks saying, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m not giving up my seat, because that’s not who I am to my core,” and what happened from that and where it has led us.
It started not because she wanted to change the world but because she didn’t want someone telling a story that wasn’t hers.
NOV 18 2014, 11:42 AM ET
It is also, according to a new calculation published in the journal Surgical Technology International, the amount of force exerted on the head of an adult human who is looking down at her phone.
Kenneth Hansraj, a New York back surgeon, found this figure using a computer model of a human spine. An average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and tilting it down to check Facebook, send a text, or to Google the weight of an a human head increases the gravitational pull on said cranium.
“As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees,” Hansraj writes in the paper.
According to Nielsen, Americans spend about an hour on their smartphones each day. Unless you train yourself to stare straight ahead into your iPhone screen, you could be continually stressing your spine. “These stresses,” Hansraj writes, “may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries.”
Of course, physical therapists have been howling about the scourge of “Text Neck” for years. But it’s certainly eyebrow-raising to learn that looking at Twitter in the supermarket checkout line is the equivalent of giving an aardvark a piggy-back ride.
Time to get Google Glass? Until, that is, scientists find that the device is crushing the nose-bridges of America.
(The following excerpt from Why #BuiltByGirls Is The Next Big Thing recently appeared on aol.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
What do 3D makeup printer Mink, online fashion community Polyvore and the new Cambio Celebspiration meme generator have in common? They’re all for girls, built by girls – and they’re all part of the growing #BUILTBYGIRLS movement.
What is #BUILTBYGIRLS? At AOL our aim is to inspire women and girls to claim their place in the tech-enabled economy by imagining and building the great products of the future or by tapping technology to power their work, play and passions.
With that in mind, earlier this year AOL’s premiere entertainment destination for millennials, Cambio, reached out to Girls Who Code, a vital organization founded by Reshma Saujani with an audacious goal of its own – exposing 1 million young women to computer science by 2020. We asked GWC to help us re-imagine and rebuild Cambio as a site for girls, built by girls. Could they take over Cambio as a lab for real girls to create a site they’d want to visit every day, one that truly reflects their varied interests and passions?
In June, 17-year-old interns Michelle Polton-Simon, Roxy Banik, Natasha Driver, Lily Yuan and Nikki Allen, all grads of GWC, moved into AOL’s offices to take up the challenge. They redefined Cambio’s editorial vision (adding new topics like tech, beauty, fashion, DIY, inspiration, advice and more), wrote articles and built two unique new products for the site – Celebspiration, which allows users to create and share inspirational celebrity memes, and the Col[lab], a blogger network that enables girls everywhere to develop their voice on Cambio.
“We wanted to find a balance between a website that is fun, that talks to young women, not down to them,” Natasha says. “We wanted to build something where girls can empower one another – we should be lifting one another up and motivating each other.”
“Ultimately, we wanted to create a place where girls can find anything about every topic they care about – because you may like video games and coding, but also fashion and celebrities – you don’t have to be defined by one thing,” says Michelle, 17. “To us #BUILTBYGIRLS means inspiring girls to see themselves as creators – to believe they can build a bigger and better world. Whether their interests are coding and science, or fashion and beauty we want to encourage other young women to take advantage of technology to fuel their passions and drive their success.”
The five interns built a hub on Cambio to aggregate the stories of every young woman builder, under the hashtag #BUILTBYGIRLS, and to empower other young women to believe they can be builders. Lily Yuan, one of the interns, says, “I was afraid to join AOL and Cambio and was going to turn it down, thinking I was not good enough for this – and then I did the program, and I realized that I can do anything if I try. I learned to be fearless.”
Cambio found the perfect launch partner in Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a partner that prizes innovation. Samsung also supports the movement to encourage women and girls to be proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects through its various corporate citizenship programs. As part of the relaunch, Samsung presented a native editorial series on Cambio, Girls Who Code Run the World, which highlights the unique stories of the five interns and how they were motivated, inspired and mentored to learn how to code. Cambio is also featuring a five-episode video series powered by Samsung chronicling the girls’ journey as they rebuilt the site.
The new Cambio not only entertains but empowers young women to build anything they want to build and be anything they want to build. It’s a site for girls, #BUILTBYGIRLS. We want you to help fuel the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement and inspire the young women around you to to build a bigger and better world. Tweet or insta something you or the special girl in your life has built and tag it #BUILTBYGIRLS. Cambio will proudly display it on the new #BUILTYBYGIRLS social hub.
(The following excerpt from Six Parenting Tips To Promote Heroism In Your Child Today by Kate Roberts, Ph.D., recently appeared on psychologytoday.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
Last year in Atlanta, Ms. Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, talked down a 20 year old male who walked in brandishing an AK-47 rifle with the intent of taking his own life and the lives of others at the school.
Ms. Tuff treated this potential killer with kindness and respect and was able to help him walk away from his death wish. As a result of Ms. Tuff’s wisdom and actions, the man left with police and no one was harmed.
What allowed this seemingly very typical woman to act so bravely that she successfully talked a man with a rifle out of killing people?
Most parents would like to instill heroic-like qualities in their children. Do parents know how to do this? Can these qualities even be taught? The social psychology research indicates that character traits that bring heroism to the forefront in people are formed by factors beyond temperament. People are not born heroes, they are made that way. Early in life is a good time to begin shaping a child’s behaviors to instill character traits associated with heroism.
Here are some of the well researched characteristics of heroes and some tips to help parents instill these qualities in their own children:
Heroes think positive thoughts when they take risks. “I will be successful” is their thought process is at the moment of action. Parents can instill positive thinking by training children to think positively when doubts emerge. For example, a child may say “I’ll never make the team; it’s just too big of a leap”. The parent response is “I know it feels that way and let’s restate your concern by saying this instead- ‘Making the team may be difficult and I am going for it anyway and giving it my all”. Going through this process repeatedly trains a child’s brain to think positively, rather than succumb to doubt when challenged.
Persistence despite challenge
Heroes do not view adversity in their lives as a negative event. Heroes create a silver lining and reframe the event to be something they can benefit from such as “I lost my job, and now I have more time with my family to rethink my priorities”. When a child says “I’m giving up, this is too hard” parent antidotes are: “Look how far you’ve come or see all you’ve accomplished”, with specific achievements named. Other examples of parent support include briefly engaging in a difficult task with the child to get him over the hurdle. Daily and highly specific affirmations (not “you did a great a job”, instead, “the way you washed each dish thoroughly reminded me of how difficult it is to clean the plates”) highlight a child’s successes and are building blocks for a strong foundation for lifelong persistence.
Heroes have an ability to take another’s viewpoint and to use it to guide their own actions. For example, heroes alter their behavior to make someone else feel more comfortable. Parents can promote this by praising these behaviors using very specific language. For example, “Your thoughtful comments like and give an example, made her feel better. I’m not sure I could have been as sensitive to her feelings”.
Heroes have an inner sense of right and wrong. They make personal sacrifices to protect their moral value system. When a child sacrifices because it’s the right thing to do, ask them to articulate their thought process; “I noticed you helped your little brother put his coat on, rather than run ahead with your friend, what were you thinking?” or “I saw that you didn’t contribute when your friends were giving that kid a hard time, tell me why?” When kids state how and why they live “right”, they begin to see the power of their thoughts and behavior.
Heroes not only take another’s perspective, they also act on it. People who rush in to help others in need do so because they genuinely care about the safety and well-being of others and they are not thinking of themselves at that moment. Set a standard of kindness and reinforce it with “random acts of kindness” in your home. Monitor and reward these acts with a weekend prize for the whole family.
Heroes believe they have something to offer when they act. For example, when speaking up for a bullied peer or stopping a child from running out into traffic, heroes are able to manage stress and keep focused while acting. The best way to instill confidence is to give your child opportunities to genuinely shine. Not the kind that are handed out at the end of a soccer season where every team member gets medal, rather, acts like completing a challenging chore, solving a difficult math problem, or additional responsibility like caring for a younger sibling.
Parenting Tip: Parents that role model heroic qualities give a child a wonderful gift; the ability to watch and learn heroic behavior from his ultimate heroes, his parents.
Dr. Kate Roberts is a psychologist and parent coach in the Boston Area.Questions can be directed to http://www.drkateroberts.com http://www.twitter.com/DrKateParenting, http://www.facebook.com/Dr.KateRoberts or http://www.pinterest.com/DrKateParenting