Being Amazing

Subway Thoughts

Script:

Welcome to the clown world, this isn’t crypto-fascism!

This is the world as it stands, an insane joke that keeps on happening.

Don’t listen to the noise, it is there to get you looking outside of what you already know to be the truth.

Try not to deceive, because that is the name of the shame.

No matter how the world turns continue to play a fair game.

Say what is going on, tell people what is up, banish all the lies that try to fill us up.

Can you believe what you see with your very own eyes?

It is hard to say, but either way, for what it’s worth, this is the way things have come to define our worth.

Outflow the words, inflow the thoughts. But this isn’t about oughts, but thoughts are a type of ought, so we ought to take ourselves serious and tell the world what we know.

But what is it all about, to shout and telling the truth!

Think For Yourself

Script:

Over the last few days, a couple of interesting things have happened. These events have got me thinking that many people don’t think for themselves, rather they think like other people. But it isn’t even thinking. Instead, they are taking other peoples ready-made ideas.

Before telling these stories, I’d like to say I’m not usually this confrontational. No doubt, I am a contrarian, but I’m not a troll or trouble maker.

To start, a couple of friends were talking about Shopify. Shopify is one of the biggest online store website builders. You pay some money, and they help you set up a website where you can sell you stuff.

While on the topic, someone said, “There was this thing about how Breitbart was using Shopify. People wanted the store shut down. But the CEO of Spotify said, ‘freedom of speech’ and did nothing about it.”

I replied, “That’s great, at least someone is standing up to this BS censorship.”

After saying that, they looked at me like I was crazy and some kind of alt-right nut job. Sensing the tension, I asked, “Have you ever read Breitbart?” The response was silence; they hadn’t been to the site before. But they knew it was bad because someone on the internet said so.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Breitbart is a good source of news or anything like that. I’ve looked at it at some point in the past, but its, not something I read or care about.

Some people will disagree and believe we should police the internet and ideas. But instead, I’d suggest that if you don’t like something, you shouldn’t read it, consume it or give it money.

I know this could become a slippery slope, so let me say that there are things that could be censored, but Breitbart isn’t one of them. If anything it’s stupid, but there is plenty of stupid on the internet.

That said, it isn’t up to me to decide what is good for someone else. But surely, conservative opinions or ideas I disagree with shouldn’t be censored just because.

In another conversation with a family member, we were talking about the situation in Hong Kong. He was saying he read something that said the USA was involved.

I asked him if he thought that was true, he said: “I didn’t think so, because it came from an alt-right website.” I asked, “How did you know it was an alt-right website?” He didn’t have an answer.

No doubt, Hong Kong is a complicated situation, so knowing the truth of that matter is difficult. But does information from an alternative source make that opinion wrong?

Let me hypothesize a little. I suspect that he wasn’t on an alt-right website at all. Instead, it was alternative news. I say this because as we talked, he said, “The USA thing couldn’t be true because I couldn’t find it on the mainstream news.”

This statement is controversial, but it does get to the heart of the issue. People are more willing to accept the idea if it comes from sources they think they should trust like The New York Times, CNN, or the BBC.

These are good sources, as they are very popular and well respected. At the same time, they aren’t always at the cutting edge of ideas, and they have their own biases.

I don’t want to dive into the bias thing, as there are lots of topics that the media won’t or can’t touch for whatever reason. So, when we rely on The New York Times or the BBC for our ideas, there is always a limit on what they are willing to cover.

This brings up the Overton window, which is the range of topics that are acceptable to talk about. Things outside the Overton window, tend to make people upset, so we don’t often hear about them.

On the other side of the coin, the alternative media tends to ignore the Overton window. This means that it is not as limited in what it can cover. Some people may say the information covered in the alternative media is extreme, but I don’t think that is completely true.

My point is that the Overton window sets what people can talk about, but it also limits what people can talk about. In a way, it prevents conversations about topics outside of what is normal.
But in some ways, it could be suggested that those are the things that matter.

In our current political climate, it seems that ideas outside the Overton window are often labelled as fake news. The thing is, this isn’t the case, as there are lots of valid opinions, ideas, and observations that you won’t find in the New York Times.

I was talking to another acquaintance, on the topic of Paw Patrol came up. They said, “From what I’ve read, it is sexist.” I asked, “Have you ever watched it before?” The answer was no.

This is interesting because the type of person who would have a problem with Paw Patrol wouldn’t be your average viewer. They’d likely be some kind of critic on social issues.

Admittedly, of the five main pups, only one is a girl, but I’m not sure they are boys or girls, because they are cartoon dogs. To this point, the humans in the show are obvious in their genders, but they are also a diverse group in general.

In the past, I’ve had similar conversations about Jordon Peterson. Most people tell me he is bad and dangerous, while others have more neutral opinions. But almost always, when someone has a strong negative opinion, they have not seen the source.

Instead, they have almost always read someone else’s opinion. My first response is almost always, “You should watch some of his videos and see what you think.”

The people I’ve had these interactions with are all well educated, and generally successful people. Very few of them think for themselves about things they seemingly had strong opinions about.

In all these cases, the people relied on the options of others rather than going to the source themselves.

I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t trust ‘reliable’ sources. Rather, I’m suggesting we should be open to seeing things for ourselves rather than jumping to conclusions.

Surely some ideas are bad, but if you’ve not heard those ideas than you don’t know how bad or good they are. I’m not saying you should seek out bad ideas, rather if you aren’t interested in ideas, then ignore it. But if you are serious about a topic, then you need to look at the good and bad, you can’t just ignore half of the argument.

I realize the ‘alt-right’ is controversial and Jordan Peterson is sometimes labelled a member. But he isn’t alt-right at all, he is just conservative.

That said, Conservatism isn’t necessarily bad, surely a wide range of perspectives is the best approach to any question. That said, we shouldn’t disregarding ideas simply because of the label someone else has put on it. It is our responsibility to decide for ourselves.

There are a lot of opinions these days, and just as many people telling us what to think. On top of this, the Overton window seems to be narrowing.

This means the range of topics we can talk about seems to be getting smaller. That said, we can learn to combat this problem by being careful not to judge too quickly. Instead of jumping to conclusions based on someone else’s label, dig deeper and think for yourself.

The truth is, it is better to decide for ourselves what we like and ignore the rest. From that position, we can let other people do the same thing.

In the long run, it isn’t a good idea to be ok with banning ideas we dislike. Because the tides may turn one day and our opinions may be the ones that people ban.

The best way to protect yourself against narrow minds and the limits on acceptable ideas is to think for ourselves.

You are always the best judge of what is a good idea for you. So you are also the best judge of what you should avoid and seek out.

Think for yourself and fight against the urge to let other people decide what you should think.

Only you know what is best for yourself.

What Would You Do?

Script

The other day I was talking to one of my coworkers about work. In particular, I asked him what he would do if he didn’t have to work.
His first response was to say that he loved his job; he likes doing it and didn’t even think of what he would do otherwise. Then he said, he like worked, because it was challenging and satisfying and a whole pile of other things.

When I pushed him a little more, “what would you do if you didn’t have to work?” He thought a while then said he didn’t know. Then he told me about how his father retired at 50. Now he spent his life in vacation mode and no longer challenging himself.

The next day, we met again and talked about some other things. Later in the conversation, I brought up the question, “what would you do?” This time he was more honest. He said, “You know, I thought about the question last night, and I couldn’t think of anything.” I tried to comfort him by saying, “You only spent a few minutes thinking about it.”

Whenever I talk about this issue with people, they talk about how good their job is or say they like their position. It is almost like talking about ‘work’ somehow always gets confused with ‘this job.’

For context, my current job is the best job I have ever had. It is very understanding of work-life balance, which is excellent when it comes to picking up my daughter. On top of that, they give more vacation time than most jobs, and the salary is ok. You could say that the work is meaningful, as the organization’s role is to educate and inform the public.

But the problem isn’t the job; the challenge is the idea of work indefinitely. Even the best job takes up most of your time and more or less determines what you can think.

But this isn’t new for jobs, most of our lives we’re told what to think and do. From when we start going to school, to the day we retire, most of our choices are confined by our circumstances. If you aren’t independently wealthy or homeless, then you pretty much have to work. We have little choice about work, yet it is a massive part of our lives.

Once again, this isn’t about a specific job; it is more about the obligations of life in general. While going to school, we taught how to think, then we go to work and we again are told how to think.

This is what it is about; it is tough for us to think on our own, or think about what we want. So much of our lives are about being told how to live and what to do. The real challenge these days would be coming up with some ideas of our own.

Even more, we should strive to figure out what we want for ourselves. We don’t have to stick to what we have been told to want.

Yesterday it was pouring, so I had no choice but to walk in the Path. The Path is an underground set of shops and pathways under the downtown of the city.

When I go down there, I feel like I am in a world of false expectations. It is a definition of success and least in the middle glass business suit way.

It feels like an ideal of the ‘right thing’ to do. It isn’t so much my definition of success, but it would be the general societal definition of success.

It is also an artificially manufactured place, rather than the nature of outside. Put another way, being outside walking, in the city along the same route feels open and free.

It is about putting things in life that are choices, rather than only living the requirements of existence. For me, that is about creating videos like this one, writing books and creating other content.

For you, it will be something different, though it could be the same. In general, we need to take the time to think and reflect on what we want in our lives. It is easy to sit on the sidelines of life and say, “I want a good job, and house, a pension… etc.”

But is that what you want? Or is that what you think you are supposed to want. By no means, am I saying those are bad things to want, security and a place to live are of supreme importance?

At the same time, if we focus too narrowly on the things we are supposed to want, we limit ourselves to finding what we want.

In some ways, that is what life is all about. Finding what we want and trying to get it. We should be careful not to get stuck in the traps and expectations set for us. Instead, we should focus on finding what we want.
But first we need to figure out what we want, and if you are anything like my coworker than that is going to take some time. But once you have an idea, the world is your oyster. From there, you can figure out how to get where you want to go.

So before you get worried about the limits of your life or the ways, you have been trained. Remember, you always have a choice.

The is especially true when it comes to thinking for yourself about what you want to do.

But then again, it seems like the real question is, what would you do?
I want to live a life where I create and live a comfortable life with the belief that I have a positive future ahead.

The second part is universal, but the first part isn’t, that part is up to you.
But first, you must realize you have a choice, then come up with an answer. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there.

How To Be Amazing! A Manifesto – The Book


A few years ago, before I wrote this book, some of my friends said I was being too pessimistic. I begged to differ, but rather than being pessimistic, I decided to write a book about all the positive things I could think of. This book is that list, but by no means is it complete, this is only the start.

In many ways, this book is about the search for meaning. It is easy to get caught up in everything that is going on in our lives. But in a way, that takes away our sense of meaning and makes life feel purposeless. It isn’t so much that our lives have changed, but the world around us has. With social media and news, the world moves faster than ever before. There are so many distractions. To combat this existential crisis, I’ve come up with 42 ways to create a more meaningful life.

Some of these ideas are serious, while others like drinking coffee or showering at night are something different. Some are old, like setting a good example and starting a family. There are ideas about good habits, including reading books and keeping a journal. The purpose of this book is to help you fill your life with more meaning. If you are already living a meaningful life, then you are in luck, because this book can help you find meaning in what you are already doing.

The target audience, is young urban-dwelling people, as it contains conversations about getting started on your own. But even if you are older, you will still find insights in this book. In truth, How To Be Amazing! A Manifesto is for anyone who feels like modern life is missing something and wishes to make it better.

From The Back Cover

Daily, we are bombarded with advertisements, news, and social media diatribes. We’re encouraged to consume and pushed to distraction—all at the expense of thinking for ourselves. Our constant need for external validation has led us to compromise our values and allowed us to stagnate as individuals.

But, how much progress could we make if we set goals, stopped procrastinating, and finished what we started? What could we accomplish if we reclaimed the importance of introspection and self-improvement?

In HOW TO BE AMAZING!, author Robert Carr will show you how to discover meaning in a chaotic world. From journaling to midday walks to cooking your own meals, Mr. Carr lays out 42 ideas on how to make your life more amazing.

Review From The Editor

“HOW TO BE AMAZING by Robert Carr is an inspirational guide to harnessing your ambition and revealing your true potential. Filled with candid observances based on Carr’s personal life experiences, HOW TO BE AMAZING is a meaningful look at the importance of introspection and forward motion in a society that is gridlocked by technology and the constant need for external validation.”— Abigail Stefaniak, Editor

10 Benefits of Walking

benefits to walk

We all do some walking every day, and for the most part, it is a normal part of life. But have you considered that walking, outside of being necessary is also fantastic for your health? Let’s talk about some of those benefits. Here are 10 benefits of walking.

1) Great For Your Physical Health

There is little doubt about the physical benefits of walking. Walking gets your body moving and gets your blood flowing. Also, walking is a low-intensity workout that can be done conveniently and without any equipment.

Walking is good for your body as when you walk, you are getting exercise, and so you are burning calories. At the same time, you are strengthening your bones and burning fat. You are also giving your body a chance to move. Moving around gives you a chance to stretch out your muscles and joints. It also helps you feel better about what you have done with your day, as you’ve gotten out a moved around.

On top of this, physical activity and your physical health are related to many conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, getting enough exercise helps prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Walking is a great way to get your body moving, this is especially important when you spend most of your time sitting down. Sitting down, in some ways is comparable to smoking in the adverse effects it has on your body. For this reason, walking is the perfect antidote and will undoubtedly make a difference if you aren’t already doing it.

Regular walking is excellent for your physical health. Not only does it strengthen your body, but it also helps you keep fit. On top of this, it helps prevents some of today’s leading causes of death. These benefits are even better, as walking is low intensity and doesn’t do the same damage to your body that other activities can do.

2) Great For Your Brain

Walking is excellent for your brain, however, this isn’t something you might commonly consider. We tend to see walking as a physical activity that is mostly good for our bodies. But then again, the brain is a part of the body, so this makes perfect sense.

Walking helps get the blood flowing, as mention before, but this is especially good for the brain. Proper blood flow helps improve circulation which brings blood to the brain. Blood flow carries glucose and oxygen to the brain which helps it function better. Bringing nourishment to the brain is good in that it helps create new neurones, which in turn improve memory.

Also, the creation of neurones strengthens white matter. White matter is the stuff that connects different parts of the brain. In a sense, the improvement of white matter and neurones helps you think faster and more clearly.

There is also research from the University of Illinois which suggests that improved blood flow also improves myelin. Walking and enhanced blood flow is essential for healthy myelin. Issues related to poorly functioning myelin include Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

One thing to keep in mind with these conditions is that it is great to stay active when you are younger. Activity has all kinds of benefits for you right now. But remember as you get older, the negative consequences of not taking care of your body get worse.

Walking is excellent for your brain for all the same reasons that it is excellent for your physical health.

3) Helps You Lose Weight or Maintain it

Everyone knows that exercise is good for our health. We also know that exercise helps us lose weight. But we might not put two and two together when it comes to walking, because walking seems so causal and non-intensive. However, that isn’t the case, as walking is a great way to help you manage your weight.

If you aren’t getting any exercise at all, walking is a great and easy way to introduce some activity into your life. Walking although it is low intensity is still exercise, and any exercise is better than none.

Walking is especially helpful when you are overweight, as the heavier you are, the more calories you burn while walking. The intensity of a walk is also important. However, as a general rule of thumb, a 30-minute walk will consume between 90 and 200 calories.

If you aren’t burning any extra calories at all, then walking for 2 hours has the potential to burn 800 calories. Also if you are eating healthy, this will surely help you lose weight. If you are already maintaining a healthy diet, walking will help you manage your weight more easily.

The scale of the benefits to your health of walking is going to depend on other factors as well. These factors include your current weight, diet and the amount of exercise you get. Regardless, a little bit of walking will go a long way in helping you maintain your weight if you are already eating healthy food.

4) Great For Creativity

Walking is excellent for your body and brain, but did you know it was also great for creativity. For regular walkers, this might not be too surprising. While walking it is common to think of different things that you don’t usually consider.

Walking is excellent for many reasons related to creativity. To start, it gets you out of your environment and forces you to see new things. Seeing new things can trigger memories or inspire new thoughts. Getting out also exposes you to things you hadn’t seen before or wouldn’t have seen if you stayed at your desk.

You could also say, that while you are walking, you are improving blood flow. For this reason, your brain is getting more oxygen and glucose which will help it function better. A healthy mind is more likely to have strong connections between neurones. These connections will help you come up with new ideas or connections while you are out in the world.

Researchers at Stanford University did an experiment where they asked participants to come up with a list of uses for an item like a shoe. They did this twice, once while the participant were sitting down and another time while they were walking on a treadmill.

What the researchers found, was that the participants came up with much longer lists if they were walking. An added benefit was that after the walk, the people were still more creative, so the effects of walking seem to last longer than the walk itself.

Overall, walking will help you be more creative, not only while you are walking but even afterwards.

5) Reduces Stress

Walking has many benefits when it comes to reducing stress. Walking will help you handle pressure and will cut down stress when you are stressed out. In many ways, stress is one of the leading causes of death, so a great way to live a better and longer life is to do the best you can to cut down on your stress.

One way that walking helps reduce stress is that it puts you into a sort of meditative state. We may all be aware of the benefits of meditation. However, research suggests that walks can get us into a similar state. For this reason, walking will help you cut down on stress and help you get into a state of flow. A state of flow is a state of focus and calm, which in itself helps drive away stress.

In addition to the meditative state that walking brings, it is also a great time to get out into nature. Studies have found that walking in nature, a park or forest, etc., is even better for reducing stress. Interestingly, this is still the case if you aren’t enjoying the walk or if it is too cold. The underlying idea is that walks help reduce stress, improve focus and memory.

Another reason why walking helps reduce stress is that it boosts your bodies release of endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good and are known to reduce anxiety, mild depression and improve self-esteem. Your body wants you to feel better, so by walking, and exercising you are helping the body do what it is supposed to do and releasing the hormones that make you feel better.

In addition to the benefits of releasing endorphins, walking also helps you feel less tired. Being less tired is excellent as it will help you deal with stress and other negative emotions.

Finally, walking can do an even better job of reducing stress if you walk with friends. Walking with someone else may seem more interesting, yet at the same time, it isn’t something you may usually do. That said, being with friends will help you feel better. It will also give you a chance to talk about the things that are on your mind and potentially causing your stress.

Now that we are halfway through our list of 10 benefits of walking let’s move on to the next five items.

6) Helps Improves Mood

In a lot of ways, walking will improve your mood. You could say, the improved mood is similar to a reduction in stress. In other words, if you are stressed, and you are doing things to get to ‘normal.’ Then doing those same things when you are in a ‘normal’ state will help you feel better.

Assuming there isn’t already too much on your plate, walking is going to help you feel better in general. But even if you are too busy or stressed, taking a break and going for a walk will make you feel better.

Researchers at Saint Xavier University found that doing similar tasks while sitting or walking gave different results. When people are asked to watch a boring video while resting, they will get less enjoyment out of the experience. Whereas, if they are to walk while watching a similar video, they will feel better and are more uplifted afterwards. These studies accounted for many factors by telling the participants that they would need to write a paper later. They also did the research in the same room, so that the exercise equipment was always present.

Walking has been found to give people a sense of engagement. So if you go for a walk before doing something you aren’t very interested in, you will feel more engaged because of the walk. Related to this, walking, in general, will make you feel better. Meaning that walking before doing something will help you feel more involved and confident about the experience. In general, all of these things will put you in a better mood.

7) Helps Increased Productivity

Walking has great benefits when it comes to improving creativity, decreasing stress and improving moods. For many reasons, these improvements will also contribute to better productivity.

That said, increased productivity comes down to the way you feel while you are working. With less stress, you are more focused on what you are doing. The focus will allow you to get more done and help you from drifting off onto other things.

Improved mood will help you work better with others. When you are in a good mood, you are less likely to engage in conflict or give a wrong impression to your co-workers. The idea being, that when you are in a good mood, you can be your best self. Meaning you will work better with your co-workers, and they will be able to work better with you.

As mentioned before, when improving your mood, you will also work better because you will be happier and more satisfied with what you are doing. Often, work can be exhausting and uninteresting, but being in a good mood enables you to be more engaged even if you don’t want to be.

Another benefit and something similar to what we will talk about in the next section has to do with walking meetings. If you walk with your co-workers, you can work out issues or figure things out in a less stressful environment. At times, the workplace can sterilize conversations, so walking is an excellent antidote for that.

8) Great For Your Social Well Being

For me, this is one of the best things about walking. Though at the same time, it isn’t something I do very often. I usually find that I often go for walks alone, but when I do walk with someone else, we often have great conversations.

When you are walking, there is a lot less going on, than if you were sitting in a coffee shop. In a busy place there are lots of people around, so distractions are plentiful. Also, there are phones and other electronic devices that distract us and disengaged us in our conversations. Walking outside is the perfect environment for a discussion because it lacks all those distractions.

On top of this, walking gives you an opportunity to spend time with your friends or family members. Like mention above, walking is an excellent opportunity to focus on the people that you are with at the time. Meaning you can concentrate on the conversation with less of the typical distractions found at home.

Walking in itself is healthy, and spending time with the important people in your life is also healthy. So doing both of these things together is going to have cumulative benefits.

Exercise and positive social experiences will help you release endorphins which will make you feel better. Better still, spending time with friends or family while walking will improve everyone’s experience.

A relationship is nothing without time spent together. Going for a walk is an engaging, cheap and healthy way to spend time with someone. For this reason and those above, walking is a great way to help maintain healthy relationships.

9) Soak Up The Vitamin D, Breathe in the Fresh Air

One of the most obvious benefits of walking is the time you spend outside. There are some factors to consider, but in general being outside means, you are going to be getting fresh air. Also, seeing the sun means you will be getting vitamin D as well.

For obvious reasons, these benefits are going to be more prevalent when you are walking in a forest or park rather than in the city. It is also going to work better if it is the sunny season and a non-cloudy day. But all in all, these are only a small part of the equation.

The benefits of fresh air are enormous as fresh air helps you clear out your lungs and get more oxygen. It also helps you with digestion by increasing the oxygen in your bloodstream. Increased oxygen is also good for your heart and blood pressure. Also, it helps with your immune system and makes you feel happier in general.

Vitamin D has all sorts of benefits as well. According to WebMD, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium which strengthens your bones and body. Vitamin D is also significant because it reduces the risk of various types of cancer and heart disease.

Another thing to consider is that you can take vitamin supplements, but the best sources are always the more natural ones. So in this case, sunshine works best.

Walking outside in the sun is excellent for your health because of all the fresh air and vitamin D you get.

10) Reduces The Risks of Old Age

For all of the reasons listed above, walking is an excellent activity for your body. The more you take care of your body today, the better shape you will be in as you get older. For this reason, walking will do wonders for helping you maintain a healthy body into old age.

Some special considerations for old age are those concerning certain types of cancer and body strength. As people get older, their risk for many different kinds of diseases increases. Bone strength is essential when it comes to osteoporosis and conditions related to ageing. Keeping fit will put your body in a better position to deal with these potential complications as you grow older.

Another thing that happens as we get older is that we tend to become less active. While you are working, you have no choice but to move around to get from place to place. But when you have less to do, you have fewer reasons to move. For this reason, walking is going to give you extra exercise that will potentially make a big difference.

Walking is also good for your social health in old age. I know my mother, who is now retired goes on a walk every day with her friends. Walking together is an excellent way for them to get exercise and spend time with their friends. If they weren’t walking, they might feel more isolated. A common problem for older people is the feeling of isolation, so walking with friends is a great way to combat that.

Overall, the benefits of walking are all the more critical as you get older. So as you walk more, you will live a more healthy life today and in the future.

What do you think of these 10 benefits of walking?

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it undoubtedly covers a lot of things. Do you know of other benefits that I may have missed or overlooked? Are there other reasons why you may walk that don’t have to do with these benefits?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

The Problem With Living A Reasonable Life

being reasonable

From an early age, we are taught to be rational and expected to live reasonable lives. Often, we do things because they seem like the logical thing to do. At the same time, we are sure our lives will fall into chaos if we didn’t follow our rules.

What Being Reasonable Is All About

Being reasonable suggests doing what is right, based on a set of internal rules. These rules are self-justified because they came from regulations we have justified in the past.

Economists believe that humans are rational beings who make reasonable choices. When given a choice of one or two dollars, they figure people will always take more.

But this doesn’t seem right, and people often make decisions for a variety of reasons. At times they don’t even seem to care about the reasons that seem obvious to everyone else.

Reasonability comes from science, or so we think. We figure we understand the rules of science, and that they show us the right way to live. We sometimes even pretend that our scientific reasons are a sort of moral guide.

Science itself shouldn’t be a problem. But the way we work with it prevents us from seeing the world outside our own constructed boxes.

People who think they know science often set limitations on what is possible. These limits become even worse when we deny possibilities in our own lives.

Along with this, people often say that nobody has any common sense, but common sense isn’t so common. What makes sense to me, may not make sense to you. So what is common sense to me is not be common sense to you.

On top of this, our sense of responsibility comes from our knowledge and worldview. If we think we are reasonable, which we usually do, then we will act within our frameworks.

We should be careful about assuming what is reasonable for others. Because at times we can’t be sure about what is going on inside our heads.

Why We Try To Be Reasonable?

Our most strong motivation comes from our understanding of the world. We make choices because we think they will bring us where we want to go. Meaning our knowledge of a situation determines which decisions we can make.

At a deeper level, as children, we discover cause and effect. By seeing things happen, we build an understanding of the reasons why they happen.

Being smart exposes us to more knowledge, which in turn creates more rules. These limits create a stricter sense of what being reasonable means. The more we know, the more our choices are confined to our standards.

People who know less may make stupid choices, but for them, they are the best choices they can make. Not knowing the rules in some cases, may even be an advantage.

Being reasonable makes the most sense and sounds like the right thing to do. It is especially true when we ask for advice. We are often told to be rational, which usually means following the same old rules.

Sometimes We Should Be Less Reasonable

Being reasonable can stand in the way of our hopes and dreams. Doing what sounds right, at times can be the worst thing we can do.

As children, we have grand ambitions and dreams about what we can do with our lives. We also have hope and are sure we can make them real.

But often when we ask our parents or someone we trust for advice, they tell us to be reasonable. In other words, they say you can’t make money doing that. This lack of support in a way forces us to choose something more practical.

As we follow their advice, we make choices that don’t feel right in our hearts. After a while, we believe our choices made the most sense. Then we start to forget about our dreams and the other possibilities in our lives.

We rationalize that we need a house, car and vacation. Then we figure we can’t get those things unless we live a reasonable boring life.

With this in mind, we make choices that go against what feels right, but we tell ourselves, at least we get to eat.

Additionally, for something to seem reasonable, we often need to see it happening. It needs to be proven to us by the world. It is challenging to do something you haven’t seen before, which kind of makes it unreasonable.

At times being reasonable sets limitations and barriers to doing what we want. Those barriers may exist, and we shouldn’t forget that. But we also need to realize that they may only be preventing us from trying to do what we want.

At times being unreasonable is essential. Ask someone famous, and they were likely told the most sensible thing was not to try. But they ignored that advice and did something seemingly impossible.

Happiness And Magic

The real magic happens in the moment, which is to say it unfolds quick and without explanation.

When things happen, we try to explain them away with reason and science. Sadly, this approach takes away the mystery which is often what makes them exciting and fun.

As we get older, we forget how to find happiness in what we can’t explain. A great example of this is how children react to a surprise. They get excited and laugh, and they show emotion, but they don’t try to understand or explain.

Kids haven’t had the magic taken away. They still live in a world of mystery and unexplainable things. As adults, we should follow the lead of children and live happier unexplained lives.

Life can be more exciting when we stop worrying about why. Simple things can bring pleasure when they are not understood. We need to try to be open to the unknown and be ok with surprises.

By letting go of rationality, we can see things for what they are, which is often unknowable.

The Real World Isn’t Reasonable

If we focus too much on science, then we will have an explanation for everything. That seems reasonable enough, but can we be sure it is an accurate description of the world around us?

There are lots of things that we can not explain. Popular science gives us the impression that we know a lot about the world around us. But in fact, we know very little about almost everything.

The problem with sticking too hard to what we think we know is that it makes our world small. When we accept our ignorance, we open ourselves up to an expanding universe where things can’t be identified so easily.

Most of what is possible is outside the range of what we can know at any given moment. We can be open and accepting of this explanation, or we can demand proof before taking action. The second, more popular option will only hold us back from doing great things.

Being reasonable isn’t always consistent. The truth is that we don’t understand enough to be too sure about almost anything. Often what we know, is only reactionary, instead, we should embrace the unknown.

A Less Reasonable Life Can Be A Better Life

I am not suggesting you entirely give up on reason. Many real-world risks can and should be avoided. On top of this, throwing all caution to the wind is foolish. Life can always be improved by living well and making good choices.

But we should be careful not to confuse living right with living the best kind of life. Sometimes we need to make irrational choices if we want to be happy and do more meaningful things.

It’s rarely reasonable to follow your dreams, but your happiness often depends on it. At the same time, know that even when you fail, you get satisfaction out of the process. Plus knowing you tried will let you live without regret.

If you want a meaningful life, you need to be willing to step outside what seems reasonable.

While living a sheltered life may feel safe, it won’t force you to look outside of what you know. In the long run, a safe life will rob you of all the most exciting and significant potential happenings.

The best thing you can do right now is live a little less reasonably. Embrace the unknown, and it will bring you more than you would expect.

Don’t let reason get in the way of living the life you want to live.

The Double-Edged Sword of Agreeability

agreeable people

Agreeableness is a “Big Five” personality trait. It is characterized by kindness, warmth, consideration, and sympathy.

In general, it is a personality trait that helps us work together in a civil society. Agreeableness is essential because it helps us avoid conflict and escalated situations.

People who score high on agreeability tend to be altruistic, trustworthy and empathetic. People who score low, lack empathy, are less reliable and are often thought of as selfish.

It seems to make sense that most people are agreeable because in a social sense it makes everyone safer. But, with any trait, some people score low. With agreeableness, scoring low is often negative, but it isn’t always bad when it comes to success.

Agreeable Children Turn Into Agreeable Adults

It is hard to say where personality traits come from, but it is some combination of genes and environment. That said, children who are agreeable, tend to grow up and become agreeable adults.

Children with high agreeability externalize emotions, meaning they talk about them more often. Expressing feelings leads to better outcomes, by dealing with problems more efficiently.

At least in part because of this, they are also more likely to avoid confrontations and conflict. Avoidance, in turn, creates a more healthy sense of self and self-esteem.

Studies show that people with low agreeability are more likely to experience depression. Later in life, they are more likely to get divorced or have bad personal relationships.

Holding A Grudge or Getting Over It

Agreeable people are less likely to hold a grudge and more likely to avoid conflict. Not tending to engage in dispute, explains why they are more likely to be happy and have healthy relationships.

Holding a grudge is stressful and leads to adverse outcomes in relationships. Imagine being in a relationship with someone who never lets anything go. Resentment between the two of you would keep building over time.

Resentment could explain why divorce is common amongst people with low agreeability. It is hard to keep friends and have positive social interactions if you can’t get over the mistakes of the past.

One unexpected outcome happens during arguments. People who score high for agreeability would rather de-escalate and avoid the conflict. They will see this as a positive outcome because it avoided adverse effects.

But, people who score low, will see this outcome as a win for them. The same result will mean different things based on your score for this trait.

Agreeableness Leads To Longevity

Agreeable people, who are more likely to have healthy relationships also live longer. There is little doubt that healthy relationships are essential. Strong human connections are a basic necessity of life and a feature of blue zone people.

Poor relationships relate to the stress and depression found in people with lower agreeability. If you don’t trust people and they don’t trust you, you are always going to feel left out. As a result, you will dedicate more resources to stress than living well.

Stress has adverse effects on health. So anything that creates tension creates health problems and poor long-term outcomes.

People who experience a lot of stress or depression are more likely to abuse substances. Depression could explain the correlation between low agreeableness and substance abuse. Also, this demonstrates why people are more likely to have health issues.

Where You Live Matters

Studies have found that in the US, people on the coasts tend to score lower on agreeableness. While people in the middle of the country score higher, this is the idea of southern hospitality.

In smaller towns, it is easier to know the people you interact with on a regular basis. Knowing the people around you encourages camaraderie and a willingness to care.

But the cause of a lower score could relate to living in a city. The city is jam-packed, and there are always many people around, but you most likely do not know them.

In the city, it is more difficult as you are less likely to know your neighbours. At the same time, they are less likely to see you or care about your wellbeing. This lack of connection with neighbours leads to lower connectedness in general.

We could make a compelling argument for environmental causes causing agreeableness scores. Though, people low in agreeability may come to cities or places with lots of people. Reason being, the lack of community may be what attracts them.

What Happens At Work

Now, this is where it gets interesting.

People with low agreeability tend not to do well at work. Often because they are not great at relationships, leading to less stability. Part of the reason is that they aren’t seen as trustworthy and don’t trust their coworkers.

Interestingly, people with low agreeability sometimes do better in competitive environments. Notably, they are more successful in management. Success happens because people are unafraid of conflict and are willing to ‘win’ at the expense of being liked.

Put another way, people high in agreeability are liked at the office, but may not be respected. It is easy to approve someone who is kind and friendly. But it is also easy to take advantage of them because they will not do anything about it.

In these cases, disruption isn’t always harmful. If everyone in a meeting is agreeable, the problematic person gets to lead. In a sense, disagreeable people are more likely to make a fuss about problems. So in this regard, they are more likely to precipitate solutions.

Different Views Of Success

Disagreeable people make more money and are better managers if they can stick around. But people who are too agreeable will likely stay at the bottom of a company. At the same time, they are taken advantage of and keep silent about it.

More, being a regular worker may be suited for people with high agreeability. Management may be best suited for those with low agreeability.

In this sense, success can be characterized in two ways. First, the more traditional view where people gain power and pay. Alternatively, people are liked by the people around them.

A mismatch like this is a problem for people who are ambitious but lack the personality. It is difficult for an agreeable person to succeed in competitive environments when they can’t be disagreeable. In part, because they are not willing to cause conflict, they won’t take risks and move forward.

But this problem exists everywhere, and not only at work. Being too agreeable can be detrimental to your relationships. It is especially a problem when you don’t stand up for yourself.

Also, you may always agree with what other people want and forget what you want. With enough of this, your life could become unsatisfying because you don’t ever get what you want.

What Does This Mean

In many ways being agreeable is a great trait. It will help you live longer, have better social interactions and relationships. It will also give you a better chance at avoiding depression and substance abuse.

Being too agreeable means, you are more likely to be taken advantage of and do poorly in management. It also means you may not be considered an earnest person.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of control over our personalities by the time we are adults. But it is essential to understand the consequences of our traits none the less. This awareness is helpful, and we may be able to do things differently if we recognize the problem.

In this sense, it is essential to work on being a more disagreeable if you are too agreeable. You also need to learn to be firm about what you want and believe. The change will be difficult, but also life changing at times.

8 Ways You Become More Amazing After Having Kids

family being amazing

People tend to talk about negative things when talking about their kids. You are more likely to hear that kids keep you up all night than that they make you a better person.

The problem is that it makes some people think having kids is a bad idea. But that isn’t true, children are a challenge, but they change your life for the better. Having kids forces you to be more amazing.

The reason why this is important is that people often hear complaints about kids. We figure as parents this is normal, but it may discourage good people from having children.

Worse so, lousy information affects people who could be better parents. On the surface, people who plan to have children are conscientious. As a result, too many negative stories are more likely to dissuade them.

People who don’t consider consequences will have a child regardless of what they hear.

The following are eight ways in which you become more amazing after having kids.

1) You Get Your Priorities Sorted Out

Having children is a significant life change. Children change your life, and where it is heading. With this change, you reevaluate what you are doing with your time. From there, you figure out what is essential and compatible with your lifestyle.

For me, having a child made it clear that I needed to work on my writing. It also helped me realize I needed to give up on my fruitless side-projects and freelance work.

Children take up a considerable amount of time, especially in the beginning. As long as they are awake, they need supervision. That said, it gets easier after a year, at that point children are a little bit more independent.

The thing is, you no longer have time to waste. If you want to get something done, you need to do it while the baby is asleep. You will also notice that the baby wears you out, so you need more sleep.

Parkinson’s law says “any project will fill the time you give it.” In this sense, when you have less time, you squeeze in more work. Your projects will have stricter timelines, and you will need focused attention.

When you have less time, you use it more wisely. You are forced to consider everything you are working on and focus on fewer things.

2) You Learn To Have More Patience

Before having a kid, I was annoyed by crying babies on airplanes. It is still annoying, but now I understand and don’t hold it against the parents,

Someone could be a bad parent, so that is why the baby is crying. But more likely, they are trying their best, and the baby is crying anyways.

There are three reasons why a baby gets upset, either they are sleepy, hungry or hurt. On a plane, it is loud, and the air pressure can hurt ears. A baby may have trouble sleeping, and this will make them grumpy, and more annoying.

The thing is, you tend to understand why something happens better when it has happened to you. At first, you learn to deal with your crying baby, then other crying babies.

In general, these experiences will help you deal with other annoyances in the future.

In time, you are prepared to deal with other grumpy babies. With practice, this translates into a better understanding of all your annoying situations.

3) You Learn To Sing

One day, long ago while my mother was singing to my younger brother, he stopped her and said, “Mommy, sing your best!” She stopped and told him she already was.

When you have kids, you need to learn how to sing. You discover at times that nothing else will work and you need to sing. Your skill level doesn’t matter, but your willingness to sing does.

You will realize you’re glad that someone sang to you as a child. Reason being, you still remember the words to some of the songs you heard back then.

Kid’s songs get repetitive fast. For this reason, I’ve started making up songs. My daughter hasn’t complained yet.

The songs I sing match the tempo of songs she already knows, so I only need to make up the words. I mix observations and rhyme, and these songs can go on for as long as necessary.

Singing is satisfying to your creativity and gives you a chance to interact with your child. Songs also help you deal with stress and anxiety, so it’s a win-win.

4) You Learn To Function On Less Sleep

Not getting enough sleep sucks, but it is something you get better at with a child. In the first few months, babies don’t sleep well. You never know when they will wake up and need something.

At first, it was tough, the exhaustion got to my wife and me, and it was a pretty stressful time for us.

But after awhile, we got better at dealing with it. Now, seeing how busy I am when my daughter is awake, I’ve made a habit of waking up before her.

Waking up at 6 a.m. has made me a morning person, this is something I’ve never been before. That said, I’ve come to realized I could work much better in the morning then at night (as a former night owl).

No one wants to be tired all the time, but you learn to deal with it. It forces you to go to bed earlier, which compensates for the early wake ups.

You will be sleepy, especially in the beginning. But in time, this should motivate better habits. When you can start with sleep training, life will be better for everyone.

5) You Get Out More

My wife and I are both introverts, so most of the time we would rather stay in than go out. In the past, a typical weekend may have involved going for a walk or going out for dinner. Otherwise, it wasn’t uncommon for us to stay in our apartment.

Now that we have our daughter, we get restless if we stay in too long. We usually make plans and try to figure out where we can go to do something.

We often go to visit my parents. They love our daughter and can’t wait to see her when we arrive. A visit gives us a break, and them a chance to see her.

When we go sightseeing, our daughter likes to see things she hasn’t seen before. But, the travelling at this point is more for us. We all get something out of it.

Getting out is also breaking our routine and doing something different. For my wife, especially during maternity leave, it was the only chance to get out of the house.

We go places more than ever before, but this doesn’t mean spending too much money. It’s about getting out, going places and seeing things. While at other times, it gives us a break from our baby.

6) You Learn To Make Friends Again

When my wife was pregnant, we met a few couples who were having babies around the same time.

Talking to them, we had something in common and would soon share a similar experience. My wife was also able to chat with women in the same situation as her, who could even speak her language.

Once you have kids, you spend more of your time with people who are in a similar situation. You are all dealing with kids and doing kid stuff. You may also share daycare or sporting events. These events will give you a chance to make friends with your child’s friend’s parents.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much time for old friends or friends without kids. To see them, you need to leave your spouse home alone with your child in the evening. That isn’t something you can do all the time.

It will be easier to be friends with people who also have kids. You will have more in common, and the same obligations and responsibilities.

7) You Learn To Be More Responsible

This one is noticeable and quite significant. Without a child, you are in complete control of your life, and you can do what you want when you want. You can make bad choices, without any consequences.

But with a kid, you always need to make better choices. Moreover, you need to be sure you are doing what is best for you and your family.

You also need to plan, because you can’t jump in the car and go for a drive. You always need to know what you are doing, and you must bring things for the baby.

Also, when driving, you need to consider the lives you are responsible for as well. You need to be more careful and respectful of the law. Speeding may have been fun in the past, but now it is a hazard.

Without a child, you can do whatever you want, but with one, you need to think twice. You always have to work at being a good parent and making better choices.

Even with work, you will need to make better choices. Reason being, you may want to build a better life that will allow you to be a better parent.

8) You Learn To Be More Positive

Being positive is something most of us are always trying to do. But with a kid, you have to be positive, even if you pretend at times.

Kids can sense how you feel, and feed off of it. If you are unhappy, your child will know, and it will cause them stress. You do not want to stress out your child any more than they are already stressed.

Luckily spending time with children makes you happy and more positive. Babies always smile and laugh when they are having fun. As a parent you will enjoy seeing this, so you will want to be cheerful around your child.

My daughter’s smile and laugh always makes me feel better. If I’ve had a bad day, getting home and seeing her puts me in a better mood.

One last thing that I’ve mentioned before. Having a baby may inspire you to work on your goals. In turn, the satisfaction of working on them will make you more positive about life in general.

You should be positive around your kids. Luckily kids make you more positive.

Having Children Makes You More Amazing

We’ve talked about some of the positive changes having a child could cause. And to be fair, children are a challenge that will change your life.

Having a child is a significant decision. But rather than focusing on the troublesome things, consider these positive points too.

In the end, having a child will make you a better person in many ways. So remember this, it isn’t as bad as some parents will have you believe.

Trying to Start a New Habit? Consider This.

building habits

Setting healthy habits is the key to an amazing life. But sometimes, you break your habits, and things get out of hand. Such a thing happened to me recently.

It all started Monday. I woke up on time and did two hours of work before getting ready for the office. But something was off, I felt hungry, and did not have enough to eat.

After arriving at work, the hunger hadn’t gone away, and I made an impulsive choice to eat an unhealthy snack. I ate a sugary granola bar and soon afterwards, grabbed another.

Later, someone put out some latte mix. I’d already broken my sugar rule, so I tried it. More still, someone put out chocolate bars. Using the same logic, I decided it was alright to eat a few. By the end of the day, I’d had more junk than the whole week before. Guilt or biological causes had me feeling bad.

When I was getting ready for bed, I had none of my usual self-control. In part because I was tired, but more so because I had broken my routines during the day. I decided not to set my alarm.

I didn’t wake up till much later than usual. After that everything was off. I ate more than usual for breakfast, and then I was late to drop off my daughter at daycare. The subway was delayed, and a bus didn’t show up. Finally, by the time I got to work I was over an hour late.

All this could be traced back to my choice on Monday morning. When I ate an unhealthy snack, I let chaos rule over my day. In turn, causing everything to go bad. My problematic days could have been avoided if I’d stuck with my habits.

Starting A New Habit

Starting a new habit is difficult, and usually takes a while to get going. You must first get into the right mindset. Once you get started, you are often disoriented and distracted.

Most often, when you decide you need a new habit, there is a trigger. You may have a bad week or look in the mirror and realize you are getting overweight and need to do something about it.

Other times, new habits come when you realize you want to do something. Changes occur out of a desire to make improvements more likely to happen. The most obvious example is when you set a goal. Usually, to realize that goal you need to repeat something every day.

When you set a goal, you need to plan it out to make it more likely to succeed. You need to be willing to realize what you are doing now and what you need to do to get where you want to go.

Sometimes you even need to consider what will happen if you don’t follow through with your goal. The motivation here comes from knowing everything you will lose if you do not take the action you need to.

When you start working on new goals, you must make a choice. You must choose to work at getting what it is that you want. Choosing requires letting go of the idea that you are the product of genes and upbringing.

The point is that, when working on a goal, you need to understand it is possible in the first place. To do that, you need to think that change is possible. You also need to believe that you can be and do something different from what you have always done. In essence, this is a choice and affirmation of a commitment to something.

It Is Difficult And You Will Resist

When you first decide to make a change, it will be painful. You may think about it or regret what you’ve chosen. You will see temptation at every step.

The first couple of days are the hardest when you put a new habit into place. If you are giving up sweets, you will see them everywhere. If it is smoking, you will see people smoking anywhere you go. Regardless, the temptations will be fierce.

But this is how you gain strength, and you need to see the temptations as a test that you’re motivated to pass. It is always a matter of changing the way you perceive the situation. At first as a temptation, then later avoidance becomes a reward. The more you resist, the higher the prize, the more likely you will not get pulled into the habit again.

At times, you will resist, you may even think that your bad habit wasn’t so bad. You may also start to feel your new practice is a problem. Why did you give up something you love so much? What about this “new” pattern is so much better? You may even wonder, who decided to take up this practice anyway?

In the beginning, is the most useful part in the development of a habit. The reason being, you will start to see the early benefits of the choices you’ve made. You will see the bad in what you used to do without thinking.

When you stop smoking, in the first few days you breathe easier. Your food will taste better, and your health will show signs of improving. But, you may not notice these things if you don’t try to pay attention, so pay attention.

An example of this is when you start a new job, which is a habit. In the beginning, you’ll notice all the things you did differently in your previous positions. In this sense, in the first couple of months, you get an honest impression of things. After that, your perception gets opaque with experience.

When You Accept Change It Gets Easier

Evolving and becoming a better person can be a long process. It is hardest in the beginning, and you need resilience.

But at some point, something will click, and you become sure that you have changed for the better. At the same time, you will accept your new habits as a representation of who you are. At this point, it becomes more natural. And instead of being a choice, it will become second nature and automatic.

You will also feel confident in what you have chosen. You will start to believe you are becoming the person you envisioned. In a sense this will be true, once you commit and accept a new habit, it becomes part of who you are.

When it gets easy, it is simpler to add more habits to the mix. If you make a significant life-affirming change, you will notice other habits come with it. The benefit here is that it will be easier to add them. Reason being, you are changing, so you are willing to accept the possibility of change. With acceptance, you become what you are.

Once you quit smoking, you may realize you also want to eat better. With this new habit, you may want to exercise. Working out will be more comfortable too because you won’t lose your breath so quickly. After a week of this, you will feel better about your body in many ways, and that will encourage you to do more.

New patterns will develop whether you notice it or not. Which is to say, your mind will pick up on better habits once you’ve committed to making one significant change. Your conviction and commitment will be subconsciously translated into better choices. At some point, this will become obvious to you in the rest of your actions. It will no longer be a choice and will be automatic.

At Last You Self-Enforce

The last step in developing a new habit, and the one that was illustrated in the story at the start. Self-enforcing happens when you’ve got things worked out. Usually, it happens after you’ve been working on your new habit for a while.

During the last phase, you start to feel sorry for breaking your habits. Fortunately, it is also when you don’t have to push as hard. But, now the punishment is more severe. You will feel worse about breaking your streak.

Consider this, after getting enough sleep for a few weeks. When you break the cycle, you realize how bad not getting enough sleep is. In the past 4 hours of sleep would have been ok. It might not have even affected you. But after getting into a better habit of getting enough sleep. Missing a night will make you exhausted and useless the next day.

You notice the adverse effects of your old bad habit right away. You will even see how far they extend, while in the past you didn’t notice anything at all.

If you cut out sweets, having a sweet will feel bad. If you exercise every day, not doing it will feel lazy.

Use This Process To Your Advantage

With any significant change, there are three steps. At first, you resist and fight yourself at every step.

Next, you get into the acceptance phase. You come to realize that it is best for you and can see it as a new and better way. At this point, it gets easier to maintain the habit, and with time it becomes second nature. Again, you may even pick up related habits without intention.

Finally, we self-enforce our new habits. We start to feel sorry for breaking our new way, and our bodies react negatively if we fall back to our old ways.

The key is to realize these steps. If you have a sense of where you are, you know what to expect and how to deal with what comes next. You can also use these steps as a measure of your success. That said, they will also help you understand why you feel the way you do.

The best thing you can do is choose a new habit and commit to it. Then the rest is a process, and that can be easier with faith in the process.

This faith will help you establish your new habits. No longer will give up when things get tough. Once you realize what is happening and why it is happening, it is easier to accept and move forward.

Making a new habit is a significant challenge, but it is worth it. You will be happy with the results and how they make you feel. Sometimes you have a second chance when it comes to breaking your habits. Your self-enforcing self will warn you about the effects of breaking your habits.

But remember, this warning shouldn’t be an excuse to break a habit. Instead, it will give you a chance to re-realize your potential bad choices.

Life is a bunch of habits, use them for good and good things will happen.

Want To Save Time, Money and Be Happier? Do this One Thing

watch less tv

Almost everyone has a favourite show they can’t wait to watch. People say we are in a golden age of television. There are so many series that get people hooked and have them waiting for every episode. Equally popular, with new services people can binge watch a series over a weekend.

The rest of my family are all avid TV watchers, and they always have a few shows on the go. Most nights, they know what they are going to do because they have a show or two to watch. If they get busy, they have them recorded, so they have a backlog waiting for them.

Some of the most popular shows have been on for years. The walking dead is in its 8th season. When you think of it, that is a lot of hours spent in front of a TV.

There are so many 24-hour news channels that you could spend days watching. On top of this, many channels have nightly news. Recently, true crime and other ‘news shows’ have grown in popularity.

That said, TV shows and news are entirely different beasts, but they both depend on the same thing. That is, you sitting on the couch and staring at a screen.

For the following reasons, you should consider watching less TV. If that sounds horrible, remember that your life will be better if you watch less.

You’ll Have More Time

TV is a time killer. It eats up a lot of time, so much so that you don’t even realize that you are missing out.

Consider 25 episodes, 1 hour each for eight seasons. That’s over 200 hours or more than eight full days. If you like a show, you will watch the season. Even still, there are other things to watch on TV, like the news. That takes less commitment, but it is on every day.

For a reference on time, we talked about walking dead. That is eight full days. In that time you could have made a decent dent in writing a book or started a part-time business.

The time dedicated to TV isn’t always wasted, but it could be better spent with someone else. In this sense, you are doing something together, when you get a chunk of time. For my wife and I, we sometimes watch shows in the hour between finishing chores and getting ready for bed.

Unfortunately, time spent on TV is gone forever. After a year, you could have accomplished something significant. Most people do not have any ambitions, so this doesn’t matter. But if you have a dream, you will always have something to work on. Meaning, you could still be doing it instead of looking at the TV.

The most significant problem, with watching too much TV is all the time it takes. There is a commitment that comes along with choosing to watch a show. An episode itself isn’t usually too long, but a series and a season are. All the time spent watching TV, could instead be dedicated to something more fruitful.

You’ll Be Happier With Less Bad News

This one isn’t about TV shows, but it is instead about TV news. The news has a noble goal of informing us about what is happening in the world. For the most part, this isn’t what it does. But the focus of many stories is all off. While watching the news, you will see most of it is sad or unfortunate.

There are a lot of things happening in the world, especially the unpleasant. The problem with the news comes down to focus. You always have the choice to focus on the good or the bad; this option is up to you. But when you watch the news, the decision is made for you.

The news focuses on the bad and extreme. It shares with you, all the bad things happening across the globe. This lack of focus on local means the whole world of 7.6 billion + people is a source. So all that negativity gets dumped on you.

More recently, the local news has started to become a thing of the past. As a result, more and more of the press is regional or national, meaning it draws on an infinite source of bad news.

There are these charts, showing how many people need to die in each region of the world for the news to cover it. The numbers vary, but the message is the same, the press focuses on the sensational and extreme.

The problem with too much bad news is that you start to believe that the world is a dangerous place. You begin to accept the stories and think the world is becoming an ugly hellhole.

The fact remains, the world is the safest it has ever been. There are fewer murders, wars and diseases than ever before. But you wouldn’t know that from watching the news.

Cable Costs A lot Of Money

We haven’t ever had cable, so we’ve saved a lot of money over the years. That’s a massive issue with cable and TV; it costs so much.

Let’s do some quick math, say cable costs $80 a month, and you pay 12 times a year, that is $960. Not a small amount of money, after two years you could use that money to go on a trip.

After 30 years or so of spending that much, you will have paid a year’s worth of salary. You may not have cable for that long, but the amount of money mounts up if you think about it.

There are cheaper alternatives, costing $10 a month, but they pile up at a more reasonable rate. The problem with Netflix is that it doesn’t have anything new. As a result, you still need cable to watch all the latest shows.

Most of the people I know who have Netflix, still have cable, so they aren’t saving any extra expense.

Watching TV is Passive

Another problem with TV is that while you watch it, your brain goes into a sort of sleeping state. Because everything is happening in front of you on the screen, you don’t participate. You could say TV is high bandwidth. As a result, you don’t have the resources to think about everything you see, so it all gets absorbed.

For example, anytime I’m at my mom’s house, and we are watching TV, she gets into this state. If a strange or exciting advertisement comes on, I ask her about it. She usually doesn’t remember or says she was thinking about something else. Even if she doesn’t remember, she is still absorbing and consuming.

In general, when watching TV, your mind goes into this TV watching state. You stop thinking about what you are seeing because there is so much. You don’t question it, and it gets stored without being digested.

This information piles up and fills your mind with ideas about things and what to buy. Even ideas you don’t believe gets stuffed in and become hard to forget.

When you read, everything is slower, and at a lower bandwidth. Giving you more time to be critical of what you are consuming. You may not stop to think about what you are reading, but you can if you want.

With books, you’re focused on something specific, making reading more taxing. However, this keeps you learning and forces you to stay attentive. But, this also means you pay more attention when you read a book. This suggests that it is better for your mind than watching TV.

You Will Have Less To Talk About

It isn’t as bad as it sounds, but it does matter, though not in the way it may seem. When you watch a lot of TV, it becomes one of the things that fill your mind. This means, when you talk about what is going on in your life you will often fall back to TV.

In my family, when there are gatherings, there is usually a lot of talk about TV shows and sports. When this happens, I have nothing to say, so I can’t take part in the conversation.

But in my mind, I’m not missing out, the stuff that I ponder is way more interesting to me. Rather than thinking about TV shows, I focus on things that I have read or the projects I’m doing.

These things aren’t so easy to connect with other people on, at least as much as TV. But they are meaningful to the people in my social circle. You may be annoying to the people who spend all their time watching TV, but you will be attractive to more interesting people.

This point may seem silly, but it is true. If you decide not to watch TV, you will have less to talk about to some people. Many people watch a lot of TV, so keep this in mind as you may have to come up with different topics of conversation.

The News Is Fake

There are so many options when it comes to choosing what to give your attention to. There are so many different places to go for news, while some are better than others, but most are ‘fake.’

By fake, I do not mean that it is not true, though it could be. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know most of the time. When I say its fake, I mean that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to you, and it won’t inform you of anything. In other words, it is not newsworthy. So it has no benefit other than getting you to focus on it and watch ads.

Another thing about ‘fake’ news, is that it focuses on the wrong side of reality. If you watched the news during the election, no one said Trump would win, and they were all oblivious to this ‘reality.’ When the results came in, many people were angry, because they didn’t see it coming. In a big part because the news wasn’t telling the truth or had no idea about the facts.

Anything on the news about celebrities is not news, but gossip. The coverage of these kinds of things is the definition of fake. In this sense, the news is information porn about things that are not newsworthy. For most people, this is useless anti-information, that should instead be called entertainment.

For the most part, the news is junk, and if you watch it, you will get what it has to offer, which is nothing.

The Solution To Your Problems

Cutting TV from your life doesn’t need to be an all or nothing choice. You can cut out a lot, cancel cable and only watch a couple of shows online.

When you cut out TV, you will be happier because you have less unfortunate things to occupy your mind. If you are unhappy, there are things in your life you should focus on instead. If you are always watching TV, you’re distracted and may forget about what is going on in your own world.

When you cut out TV, you have more time for other things, like reading books or working towards your goals. These kinds of things are much more satisfying in the long run. If you work towards a goal, you will always be happier down the line. If you usually watch TV, you may forget your problems, but they will come back to haunt you later.

There is also a risk that you will have less to talk about, especially when it comes to TV. But that can be replaced with more exciting conversations or people.

A quick and easy way to make your life better is to cut back on TV. Your brain will thank you for it.