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Talk to Yourself! (Seriously.)

Talking out loud to yourself may not be as strange as others frequently judge it to be.  In fact, it’s a way of getting some distance from ourselves and reflecting.  Researchers claim that positive, motivational, and instructional self-talk can actually help achieve peak-performance.

Basketball players pass the ball faster when they motivate with spoken self-talk. And evidence shows that when you say “you can do it,” you are more prone to actually “do it.” Even unspoken self-talk can be effective.

While unspoken self-talk is easier to pull off if you’re around others, researchers are beginning to establish the idea that actually hearing words from yourself – out loud – might be more motivating.

But talking out loud at the grocery?  Someone might call the store manager!

So, will you start talking to yourself more often?

Enjoy the day!


SelfTalk picArticle:

The Benefits of Talking to Yourself. Kristin Wong. June 8, 2017. New York Times.

What Matters Most to Employees in 2017?

It’s a generally accepted maxim that, to keep employees, a company must learn what employees want.

A new article in Crain’s takes this a step further, and looks at different wants from employees across the age spectrum. Some “wants” that transcend employee age?

–    Recognition and Contribution

  • Wages that slowly rise
  • Benefits (health insurance, etc.)
  • Occasional meals on the company’s dime
  • A feeling of belonging in the workplace

According to Crain’s, If an employee feels and experiences these things, they tend to stick around. Crain’s adds that an employer should consider opening their door to their employees – literally and metaphorically. By simply walking around the office, engaging in conversation with subordinates, truly listening to employee concerns, and being accountable to their word, Crain’s argues that leaders can improve their overall company performance.

As millennials continue to enter the workforce en masse, we’re also seeing that some young employees don’t quite comprehend that every-day office tasks can occasionally be tedious, boring, or monotonous. Helping a young employee become aware of this universal job pain, ironically, can help them raise their performance.

What else works for you?

Enjoy the Day!


Creating a good workplace is not rocket surgery. Editorial. Crain’s Chicago Business, April 10, 2016

More Good News for Coffee Drinkers!

More Good News for Coffee Drinkers!


Athletes are often counseled to avoid coffee for up to a week before a sporting event to boost effects of a caffeine on the day of performance.


However, research by Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, revealed that effects of coffee ingested an hour before a sporting event are similar whether athletes avoid caffeine for week before the event, or whether they never stop their caffeine intake the prior week.


Coffee drinking athletes can breathe a sigh of relief — it is O.K. to drink your daily cup an hour before your workout or event.

Enjoy your day!


Article:  Boost Your Workouts with Caffeine, Even if You Chug Coffee Daily, by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, June 6, 2017


Chimpanzees in the Wild Identify Medicines for Illness

In the 1980’s human researchers began to notice that chimpanzees in Africa practiced a form of basic empirical research that identified plants with the capability of treating parasitic and bacterial illnesses.

It appears that chimpanzees learn basic medicine from other members of their group and family. They also exhibit an amazing learning capacity to only eat bitter or bad-tasting plants with healing capabilities when there is a need to ingest them for health. Less developed life forms are more instinctual in their knowledge of medical treatment, but still practice some treatments.

What’s amazing is that animals at times appear to be more empirical than humans. Chimpanzees’ beliefs tend to be based on observations of treatment efficacy. They also practice a form of poly-pharmacy, that is ingesting multiple plants that have the same effect, which reduces antibiotic resistance. Humans, on the other hand, use single agents – a practice encouraging resistance. Humans also may embrace useless or even harmful healing practices for centuries at a time, while animals are more likely to reject useless treatments in favor of more effective ones.  Bloodletting and overseas “cures” for cancer, are all examples of past and current human practices that occasionally can harm or kill people, that may later be discovered to have no medicinal benefit.

This article is eye-opening and is quite humbling to realize we are not the only scientists on the planet.

What do you think?

Enjoy your day!


Article: The Self-Medicating Animal by Moises Velasquez-Manoff. New York Times Magazine. May 18, 2017

Efficient Primary Care Optimizes Health Outcomes of Common Chronic Illnesses

Countries that provide quality primary care have better health outcomes.

In Spain, almost 40 years ago, community health centers were built within 15 minutes of every Spaniard. In the US, centers like these with assigned primary care doctors can potentiate wellness and avoid unnecessary hospitalization and illness. This would keep the overall costs of healthcare down.

These are not new concepts in the U.S. for anyone currently with health insurance, but making sure everyone has a primary care physician nearby might be something to consider.

I wonder what the cost-benefit of these local health centers would be when studied. What do you think?

Enjoy your day!


What Spain Gets Right on Healthcare by Carolyn McClanahan. May 11, 2017. The New York Times.

Liberty is the Inalienable Right of Mankind

Senator John McCain from Arizona reminds us of the importance of human rights expectations being a part our global business deals, as well as one of the vital traditions of our country. To break that tradition is both a breach of our nation’s history and “branding,” and may be a massive moral mistake.

The Senator states: “Our values are our strength and greatest treasure. We are distinguished from other countries because we are not made from a land or tribe or particular race or creed, but from an ideal that liberty is the inalienable right of mankind and in accord with nature and nature’s Creator.”

Enjoy the day!


Article: Why We Must Support Human Rights by John McCain. New York Times Op-Ed, May 8 2017.

Oscar Munoz Tries to Do the Right Thing as CEO of United

Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United spoke eighteen days after Dr. David Dao was assaulted on their jet and forcibly removed by law enforcement agents in Chicago. Mr. Munoz tried to repair the self-inflicted wound to the airline’s brand by declaring new policies including the following:

  • Passengers already boarded will not be forced to give up their seats (except for safety or security issues)
  • Law enforcement will no longer forcibly remove people from their seats
  • United increased the range of reimbursement for giving up seats to go as high as 10,000 dollars
  • United will not overbook flights to the extent they were previously
  • For lost bags, United will pay 1,500 dollars

Do you think this is enough of an apology? Can these new policies adequately make amends to the customers of United?

As CEO, Munoz is ultimately responsible for the policy that forcibly removed ticketed passengers from planes instead of simply keeping a few seats empty. It took a PR disaster for him to address this with the above corrective actions.

The business literature discusses a trend of airlines catering to those seated in the more expensive seats and those with more mileage and upgrades. I recently flew economy on a brand new American Airlines plane where the width of individual seating had been so reduced that my 13-inch laptop could not fit into the customary ample space on the back of the seat in front of me.

Therefore, Airline CEOs have their work cut out for them. Let’s see if they can return to the days when all customers mattered.

Enjoy the day!


United Takes Added Steps to Win Back Customers and Avoid More Ugly Events by Christopher Drew, New York Times, April 27, 2017

Leadership Wisdom in Long Term Relationships

The following tips on how to maintain a healthy long-term relationship are presented in this interesting article, and in another relevant TED talk from 2014, include:

  • Expect unpleasant change in the future of your relationship, so you can minimize any disappointment and then stay connected without feeling betrayed.
  • Expect to be pleasantly surprised many times by your partner and by life.
  • Gilbert’s research proves that much more change happens in every decade of life than most people expect.
  • When romantic feelings fade, don’t “follow them out the door.” Hopefully they will walk back in soon.
  • Never be afraid to impress each other.

Enjoy the day!


To Stay Married, Embrace Change by Ada Calhoun. The New York Times. April 21, 2017.

Gilbert, Daniel. TED talk, 2014, The Psychology of Your Future Self.

How to Make Candidate Selection More Effective

The following are the striking problems with standard job interviews:

·      Stakeholder impressions are frequently inaccurate, especially in free-form interviews that are currently the most frequent method of interviewing candidates.

·      Predictions of G.P.A. success are more accurate for candidates who are not met in-person and just examined by criteria.

·      Interviewers usually believe they that have an ability to choose the best candidate. Research actually reveals they are only good at choosing if they never meet the candidate.


·      Only use structured interviews so all candidates receive the same questions, which produces new hires with greater job success.

·      Also, testing job-related skills is valuable compared to random questions or chatting.

It sounds like many of us can follow some of these findings and recommendations, and then see if they turn out to be true.

Enjoy the day,


Article: The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews by Jason Dana. The New York Times, April 8, 2017.

Invigorating Old Muscles

I’m not sure I’m fond of the phrase aging muscles but, I suppose some of us are there already, and others will be there some day!

The main point that I get from this study is that if you do fairly intense exercise (i.e., interval cardio training plus weights or other “robust” exercises) it may actually reverse the aging of older muscles. This study discovers that older muscles respond to intense exercise more effectively than younger muscles!

Our past Link articles have established the health benefits of weight lifting and this study establishes the value of intense exercise, especially interval training. 

So, maybe consider adding intervals into your workouts at least two times a week.

What do you think?


The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, March 23, 2017.

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