Who You Spend Time With Matters

Did you know…Audri and Jim Lanford newsletter I like and subscribe.

Did you know…

… that today is Million Dollar Quartet Day? In 1956, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash had an impromptu jam session together. The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 as The Million Dollar Quartet with 17 tracks. A few years later more tracks were discovered and released as The Complete Million Dollar Session. In 1990, the recordings were released in the United States as Elvis Presley: The Million Dollar Quartet.


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Live to create love, art, music, peace and poetry. Bring to the world what no one else has and find passion in it.”

— Robert Tew


“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Aeon Magazine Newsletter

 Thursday 3 December 2020 
BiologyEssayIs the Earth an organism?The Gaia hypothesis states that our biosphere is evolving. Once sceptical, some prominent biologists are beginning to agreeby W Ford Doolittle
Hallucinations/delusionsIdeaIt’s not necessarily deluded to feel in control when you’re notby Daniel Yon
PhysicsVideoHow science finally caught up with Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves13 minutes

How ancient remedies are changing modern medicine


Why Mount Rainier May Be the Most Dangerous U.S. Volcano


Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Illinois Day? Illinois became the 21st state in the United States on this day in 1818. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub. Happy birthday, Illinois!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Confidence is not ‘They will like me.’ Confidence is ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t.'”

— Author Unknown

Multiple lines of mysterious Denisovans interbred with us



AgletnounPart of speech: nounOrigin: French, late 15th century
1A metal or plastic tube fixed tightly round each end of a shoelace.
Examples of Aglet in a sentence “The company recreated historical shoes to the most minute of details, right down to the color of the aglet.” “Dash was delighted to discover a colorful array of aglets he could use to switch up the shoelaces.”

Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Generalizations work (until they don’t)

Unlike natural phenomena like orbiting planets or geologic formations, there are no consistent and perfect laws of human behavior.

If we’re talking about groups of people, if we’re teaching, leading or trying to predict future behavior (all three are related) then we’re making a generalization.

And perhaps we don’t realize it, or aren’t clear that we are.

“In general, in many settings, most kindergarten kids have trouble getting through a long day without a nap.”

That’s not quite the same as, “all kids need a nap.”

Useful generalizations are essential to productive interventions and generous leadership.

Without generalizations, it’s almost impossible to begin to serve people.

And there lies the trap. If we stick with them too long, or insist that they are absolute, or fail to seek out the exceptions that all generalizations have, then we end up excluding or ignoring people who need to be seen. Which betrays all the work we set out to do.

We begin with a market or an audience, but we ultimately serve the individual.

International Day of Banks – 4 December

International Day of Banks – 4 December

Bank Day Content Marketing Ideas

This day is celebrated to recognize the role of multilateral development banks and the role of banking systems in contributing to the improvement of the standard of living.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: What are the safest banks to keep your savings in?
  • Infographic idea: X Things you need to keep in mind when applying for a loan
  • Video idea: How do banks make money?
  • Podcast idea: What should you look for when opening a bank account?

Brand campaign that worked

This ad by The Royal bank of Scotland shows the journey of £10 and the joy it brings to a variety of people.

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is EPA Day? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established on this day in 1970. Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, its federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities are designed to ensure environmental protection. Since its inception, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“I’m not waiting for a hero. I saved myself long ago. I don’t need someone to complete me. I am whole alone. I just want a weirdo to go on adventures with. Someone who will dance with me, kiss me when I least expect it, and make me laugh. That’s it.”

— Brooke Hampton

Gita Adhyay 2 Shloka 46


O ARJUNA, to an enlightened soul, the Vedas are only as useful as a tank of water during a flood.

सब ओर से परिपूर्ण जलाशय के प्राप्त हो जाने पर छोटे जलाशय में मनुष्य का जितना प्रयोजन रहता है, ब्रह्म को तत्व से जानने वाले ब्राह्मण का समस्त वेदों में उतना ही प्रयोजन रह जाता है ।। ४६ ।।


“It’s very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It’s easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.”
– Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December

Day of people with disability

This day is observed to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities from all spheres of life.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: What are ‘invisible disabilities’?
  • Infographic idea: What are the most common causes of mental disabilities?
  • Video idea: Real stories of people who overcame their disabilities
  • Podcast idea: Why are mental disabilities overlooked?

Brand campaign that worked

This heartwarming video by Apple shows how technology makes aspects of everyday life accessible to people with disabilities.

up coming… International Day of Banks – 4 December

Via Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Understanding the automatic self

How do you act when you’re not thinking about how you act? When no one is looking and when you’re just doing what you’re doing…

That’s the automatic self. No narrative, no second-guessing.

Now, here’s the real question:

Has your automatic self changed since you were a kid?

If it has (and I hope it has) then that’s all the proof we need that the automatic self isn’t a given, it’s not hard-wired and it’s not permanent.

In fact, it changes from practice. It’s a skill.

We can learn to be the ‘authentic’ version of ourselves that we’d like to live with.

It takes habits, learning and feedback. And the commitment to become a better version of ourselves.

Motivational Story

The Little Boy

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?guci=×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fmoral-tale-the-little-boy%2F&flash=0&fwr=0&fwrattr=true&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&tt_state=W3siaXNzdWVyT3JpZ2luIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly9hZHNlcnZpY2UuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbSIsInN0YXRlIjowfSx7Imlzc3Vlck9yaWdpbiI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXR0ZXN0YXRpb24uYW5kcm9pZC5jb20iLCJzdGF0ZSI6MH1d&dt=1606834688404&bpp=25&bdt=626&idt=64&shv=r20201112&cbv=r20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D7ee153c415eb0526-223cd6e3f5c40038%3AT%3D1606785028%3ART%3D1606785028%3AS%3DALNI_MYhOAOanvbnlP53g9W1Lu2wbY8MVQ&correlator=2905673637986&frm=20&pv=2&ga_vid=2132434154.1606785028&ga_sid=1606834688&ga_hid=273336411&ga_fc=0&iag=0&icsg=2112227&dssz=21&mdo=0&mso=0&u_tz=330&u_his=2&u_java=0&u_h=900&u_w=1440&u_ah=900&u_aw=1440&u_cd=30&u_nplug=1&u_nmime=2&adx=205&ady=478&biw=1309&bih=695&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=182982000%2C182982200%2C21068084&oid=3&pvsid=762155611203537&pem=403&ref=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fcomment-page-2%2F&rx=0&eae=0&fc=896&brdim=0%2C23%2C0%2C23%2C1440%2C0%2C1440%2C875%2C1309%2C695&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=8320&bc=31&ifi=1&uci=a!1&fsb=1&xpc=dJzdNm6G0A&p=https%3A//academictips.org&dtd=78

The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. “I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.” She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

“Dear Mom,

I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ “God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m, sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Look for the Smooth Handle

Look for the Smooth Handle In 1811, a 68-year-old Thomas Jefferson sat down to try to put down some advice that he could pass along to his 12-year-old granddaughter Cornelia. His advice survives to us as “Canons of Conduct,” 12 rules for living.  Did Jefferson always live up to these rules? No, certainly not. For instance, he often spent money before he had it. He was prideful. And of course, as a slave owner, he quite hypocritically violated his rule to “never trouble another with what you can do yourself.” But still, the rules are all easy to understand and hard to disagree with… except one.  Rule #10 is “Take things always by their smooth handle.” What does that even mean?  It’s actually a sly reference to a passage from Epictetus, one that we have talked about many times here before. “Every event has two handles,” Epictetus said, “one by which it can be carried, and one by which it can’t. If your brother does you wrong, don’t grab it by his wronging, because this is the handle incapable of lifting it. Instead, use the other—that he is your brother, that you were raised together, and then you will have hold of the handle that carries.” That’s what Jefferson was getting at when he made it one of his rules of life. It’s worth thinking about today. Don’t grab things by the rough or the weak handle. Don’t grab them by the easy one. Grab them by the smooth and study one, the one that will bear weight.  Think of the good in people. Think about where you are to blame. Think about when you have committed a similar wrong yourself. Think of it as a challenge. Think of it as an opportunity to help someone. Think about how connected we all are to each other. That is the smoothest and sturdiest handle of them all. And it is the better one to grab, now and always. P.S. This was originally sent on November 30, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

Look for the Smooth Handle

Chimpanzees correct cultural biases about how good mothers behave | Psyche Ideas

Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place | Aeon Videos

‘What does sex mean to you?’ A fly-on-the-wall view of relationship counselling | Aeon Videos

How Emil Utitz salvaged his humanity in a non-human world | Psyche Ideas

The rise and fall of the Oxford School of fantasy literature | Aeon Essays

The months after I gave birth were the most creative of my life | Psyche Ideas

Stunning century-old footage of the Nile valley carries echoes from the ancient past | Aeon Videos

Why we love to play pretend in front of scenic backdrops | Psyche Ideas

‘I’m just measuring myself with myself’ – ping pong as a route to Sufi spiritual practice | Aeon Videos

The public knew he was crooked in 2009. Big banks helped him stash millions until 2017. – ICIJ

All the bankers at the Top know – all the Criminals. Especially financial criminals, syndicators.

They also blatantly misuse the PEP – Politically Exposed People and enhance their own Deposits.

Banks pay Bribes and commissions and Concierge services to customers like these for keeping their laundered money in their banks.

Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Shopping is not the same as buying

Just about everyone over the age of fifteen, anywhere in the world, engages in the market in some way. We need things and we buy them.

That’s not what shopping is.

Shopping is the act of imagining what you might want. It’s the thrilling but risky exchange of money for something that you’ve never purchased before. Something that might be better than you hope, but it might not.

In some communities, shopping is so foreign and risky that it simply doesn’t happen.

Shopping is a cultural activity, with styles and approaches varying depending on who you are and where you live.

Shopping releases chemicals in our brain. In many cases, particularly with luxury goods, it’s this emotional shift that we’re actually paying for, not the thing we’re buying.

The trillion-dollar industries that are based on shopping as a sport (as distinguished from buying what we need) are relatively new, but have been around long enough that many of us take them for granted–normal activities that appear to have always been around.

Money is a story. Your story is probably different from everyone else’s. Our relationship with debt, savings and earning money is extraordinarily complex. Consumer credit has turned from a convenience and useful bridge into, for many people, a trap.

Gift cards, garage sales and self-storage units start to reveal just how many layers we’ve built up around our commitment to shopping.

In small doses, for many people, shopping can produce happiness. But it doesn’t usually scale.

More stuff might not be the substitute for the things that we truly want.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

Abolition of Slavery

This day is observed to raise awareness of ‘modern slavery’, which includes forced labor, forced marriage, and human trafficking, and aims to highlight issues of exploitation.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: How are governments coming together to create laws to end modern slavery?
  • Infographic idea: Signs of modern slavery you can’t ignore
  • Video idea: What is the history of the first transatlantic slave trade?
  • Podcast idea: How many countries did slaves come from?

Brand campaign that worked

This video by Kent Police encourages everyone to be vigilant and look out for signs of human trafficking in our own communities.

Coming up …International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December

Wisdom Quotes

Judge your day by the seeds you plant for tomorrow, not by the harvest you received from the seeds of yesterday.
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson)
It takes courage to speak up when needed, but it also takes courage to listen.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. (Winston Churchill)

MOtivational True Story

The last cab ride

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?guci=×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fthe-last-cab-ride%2F&flash=0&fwr=0&fwrattr=true&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&tt_state=W3siaXNzdWVyT3JpZ2luIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly9hZHNlcnZpY2UuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbSIsInN0YXRlIjowfSx7Imlzc3Vlck9yaWdpbiI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXR0ZXN0YXRpb24uYW5kcm9pZC5jb20iLCJzdGF0ZSI6MH1d&dt=1606834596307&bpp=11&bdt=548&idt=238&shv=r20201112&cbv=r20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D7ee153c415eb0526-223cd6e3f5c40038%3AT%3D1606785028%3ART%3D1606785028%3AS%3DALNI_MYhOAOanvbnlP53g9W1Lu2wbY8MVQ&correlator=8182454264565&frm=20&pv=2&ga_vid=2132434154.1606785028&ga_sid=1606834597&ga_hid=48848165&ga_fc=0&iag=0&icsg=2112227&dssz=21&mdo=0&mso=0&u_tz=330&u_his=2&u_java=0&u_h=900&u_w=1440&u_ah=900&u_aw=1440&u_cd=30&u_nplug=1&u_nmime=2&adx=205&ady=552&biw=1309&bih=695&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=182982000%2C182982200&oid=3&pvsid=2890730117579752&pem=403&ref=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fcomment-page-2%2F&rx=0&eae=0&fc=896&brdim=0%2C23%2C0%2C23%2C1440%2C0%2C1440%2C875%2C1309%2C695&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=8320&bc=31&ifi=1&uci=a!1&fsb=1&xpc=VEThS2lqAd&p=https%3A//academictips.org&dtd=272

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

A true story by Kent Nerburn

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Assembly Line Day? On this day in 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to two hours and 30 minutes!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel.”

— Author Unknown

Did you know…

Did you know…

… that today is Godzilla Gets a Star Day? Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today in 2004. Overall, it was a good week for Godzilla. Besides being given a star, Hollywood’s honorary mayor proclaimed November 29 “Godzilla Day.” He appeared on a float in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and walked the red carpet at his final Japanese film’s premiere. Congratulations to a long overdue acknowledgement of your achievements, Mr. Godzilla! 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“The people who help me find my courage are not the ones who swoop in to save the day. They’re the ones who sit with me in the fear puddle and hold my hand while my knees shake. Here’s to the hand-holders.”

— Nanea Hoffman

How empathy and creativity can re-humanise videoconferencing | Aeon Essays

Who Will You Look For?

Who Will You Look For? If you look out at the world right now, what you’ll see at first glance is a pretty terrible picture of desperation. Steep market declines. Fear. Panic. Unemployment. People in hospitals. Leaders who have fallen down on the job at every level of government, who actually feel no shame, saying things like, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” But if you choose to be a bit more deliberate about how you look, you might see something else—a pretty amazing picture of dedication. You’ll see front-line responders working such long shifts that their faces are creased with indentations from their masks and shields. You’ll see doctors staying away from their own families, exposing themselves to the virus as they treat countless patients, just trying to make a difference. You’ll see members of the armed forces, stationed all over the world, helping people of all nationalities. You’ll see people putting out supply depots in their front yards. You’ll see ordinary folks checking on neighbors, supporting local businesses from afar, staying home to help flatten the curve. There is a lot to be scared and disappointed about right now. There is a lot to be angry about—particularly at leaders who have betrayed our trust and neglected their duties. But there is also a lot to be encouraged about. The good thing about crises is that they are opportunities for heroes. They show the worst… and the best that is in us.  So how will you choose to see the world today? Who will you look for and to? Which handle—to borrow Epictetus’ phrase—will you choose to grab as your grapple with the reality of what is happening? Because one handle will make you despair, the other will give you hope. One inspires you to be better, the other only makes you angry.  “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Mr Rogers famously said, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” The Stoics remind us that we can only choose what we focus on. We can choose what we see. And most important, we can choose whose example we are going to follow in—what picture we are going to help paint.  If you’re looking to dive deeper into your study of Stoicism, join Daily Stoic Life—our global community of Stoic thinkers and practitioners dedicated to becoming the best versions of themselves. Check it out here. P.S. This was originally sent on December 1, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

Who Will You Look For?

I am not “On the Mute”

I am actually GOD !

True. I prefer to be “incommunicado” and that simply means – I am invisible, I speak with none, making people wonder whether I listened ? Why do they call me On Mute? Doesn’t this define God? Omnipresent, Omniscient,Invisible (to naked eye – even electronic eye) but we pray, Loudly, publicly – forever wanting him to listen to us.


The persistence of hierarchy and status roles

REM was one of the most respected indy rock bands. You’d think that a group that somehow managed to thread the needle between whatever authentic means to them and huge popular success could walk away from traditional measures of who’s up and who’s not…

In a long-ago Rolling Stone article, lead singer Michael Stipe said that he had never heard a song from Mariah Carey and in fact had just learned how to say her name. There’s a difference between focusing on your lane and denigrating the others in your field.

In the same article, bandmate Michael Mills expresses disappointment that even though they recorded at Prince’s studio in Minneapolis, he never stopped by to say hello or even invite them to the party on Friday.

Turtles all the way down, turtles all the way up.

High school persists.

It’s possible to use the status hierarchy as a sort of fuel, a way to motivate yourself to push a little harder. But it is also possible, and far more resilient, to use connection and possibility as fuel as well.

The best lesson of high school might be that everyone has a noise in their heads, everyone feels uncomfortable and everyone would appreciate a little kindness and respect.

Nik’s free ebook Summaries

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1-Sentence-Summary: Leadership And Self Deception is the ultimate guide to becoming self-aware by learning to see your faults more accurately, understanding other’s strengths and needs in a more generous light, and responding positively to the instinct within you to help other people as much as possible.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

Leadership And Self Deception Summary

2020 has been awful. To top it all off it just had to be an election year in the US! I hate elections and politics. They bring out the worst in people. But they also reveal some of the darkest problems with society.

One of the biggest that I noticed this past election was the issue America has with self-awareness. People on both sides of the political fence fail to recognize those on the other side as regular human beings with emotions and needs. 

Then, people justify their hatred and awfulness by deceiving themselves into thinking that everybody else is just an object without feelings. What’s worse, this problem isn’t just limited to politics. We can see it in the workplace, in families, and all throughout society.

Interestingly, there’s a book that can teach us how to solve this problem and it’s been around for over 20 years! It’s called Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box and will show you why you’re wrong about others and how to become your best self by improving the way you see them and yourself.

Here are the 3 of the most helpful lessons this book taught me:

  1. You see your needs as more important and other’s needs as less, which makes you forget that they are people too.
  2. You try to justify your view of the world by inflating your virtues and overemphasizing other’s weaknesses.
  3. If you want to beat self-deception you must always act on that instinct you have to help others in need.

Are you excited to reach your full potential by uncovering and destroying an aspect of your thinking that’s holding you back? Let’s go!If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Download PDF

Lesson 1: Self-deception makes you think that the needs of other people aren’t very important, which makes you treat them like objects.

Imagine you’re sitting on a bus with an empty seat next to you. Are you carefully watching others around you, hoping that nobody takes the seat?

This is a form of self-deception in which you value your own comfort above that of others. And you do it all the time without realizing it. 

Everybody wants and even deserves respect. Our entire society, including laws and constitutions, builds on this fact. But when it comes to everyday interactions with others, this principle is easy to forget. 

When you’re caught up in deception you can’t see clearly. You’re “in the box” as the authors put it. You see others as mere objects instead of the living breathing beings they are. Which often means they don’t get the respect they deserve from you. 

This is self-deception at its core. It’s the idea that you don’t see others as they really are but instead how you think they are. And most often what you think of them is based on false assumptions that your needs are more important. 

In other words, you frequently deceive yourself into thinking that others don’t even really have needs at all. This is a severe limitation of your worldview. Not only does it limit the care that others get from you, but it also hinders your progression.

Lesson 2: You deceive yourself by focusing too much on other’s weaknesses while at the same time only thinking about your own virtues.

Once you fall into the vicious cycle of self-deception it can be hard to get out. Part of the reason for this is because you tend to think of it as being harmless to others. But it does hurt people, and it keeps you from reaching your full potential. 

When you overlook other’s desires and virtues and overemphasize your own you prevent yourself from meeting their needs. That makes them suffer and makes you selfish.

Think about what would happen if you were talking with your spouse about where to go on vacation. If you were self-deceived, you’d think that what you want is more important than what your spouse wants. 

You’d then consider your actions as justifiable and reasonable, and theirs as being unrealistic and flawed. This makes you blame your spouse, fail to meet their needs, and hurts your relationship. 

But the reality is, your thinking patterns are just as flawed, if not more so. And your spouse’s desires are just as valid as yours. 

It’s not easy to beat this because you actively look for reasons to justify your reasoning to protect your desires. Which, in addition to your ego, also get inflated in the process. 

So how do you stop it? You’ll find out next!

Lesson 3: Commit to always act on the instinct to help other people if you want to annihilate self-deception and reach your full potential.

Self-deception means betraying yourself, so if you can stop that, then you can get out of the box. But you can’t just change your behavior, especially by trying to cope or avoid others.

Instead, you must focus on changing your mind. Remember that self-deception doesn’t come from what you do but rather what you think and feel about others. So that’s what you have to target to beat it. 

To change your mindset, always ask yourself if you’re actually better than the people you’re around. Do this everywhere you go, from your car to the office and beyond. Commit to always give in to the instinct you have to be nice to others.

When you succeed and get out of the box, the benefits will start pouring in immediately. If you’re a leader, you’ll create an atmosphere of responsibility where people focus more on getting work done instead of blaming others.

Life in your family and in all other areas will also get easier as interacting with people becomes painless. You’ll feel happier and more positive after talking with others. You’ll soon forget about the energy-drain that harboring bad feelings toward others brings.

As you follow these steps you’ll quickly reach your full potential and soon be inspiring others to follow your lead.

Leadership And Self Deception Review

I almost feel like Leadership And Self-Deception should be called just “Self-Deception” because it’s got so much useful stuff on the topic for everyone. It would be even better if it was just called “Self-Awareness” because I feel like that’s what it really teaches! Either way, this book is a classic and a must-read for anyone that wants to become their best self!

Read full summary on Blinkist >>

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Who would I recommend the Leadership And Self Deception summary to?

The 62-year-old that wonders why people don’t like him, the 35-year-old who wants to improve their relationship with others at work, and anyone who wants to unlock their full potential by becoming more aware of how they treat others.

The post Leadership And Self Deception Summary appeared first on Four Minute Books.Keep learning,

Birthdays December 2020


Birthdays Content Marketing Ideas

Pablo Escobar –1 December

Britney Spears – 2 December

Shiva Ayyadurai – 2 December

Walt Disney – 5 December

Noam Chomsky – 7 December

Emily Dickinson – 10 December

Viswanathan Anand – 11 December

Dilip Kumar – 11 December

Rajinikanth – 12 December

Yuvraj Singh – 12 December

Taylor Swift – 13 December

Vijay Amritraj – 14 December

BKS Iyengar –14 December

Bhaichung Bhutia – 15 December

John Abraham – 17 December

Pope Francis – 17 December

Billie Eilish – 18 December

Brad Pitt – 18 December

Jake Gyllenhaal – 19 December

Govinda – 21 December

Srinivasa Ramanujan – 22 December

Anil Kapoor – 24 December

Mohammed Rafi – 24 December

Kit Harington – 26 December

Salman Khan – 27 December

Stan Lee – 28 December

Dhirubai Ambani – 28 December

Ratan Tata – 28 December

Twinkle Khanna – 29 December

LeBron James – 30 December

Rudyard Kipling – 30 December

Ben Kingsley – 31 December

Alex Ferguson – 31 December

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: What is the process to elect a new pope?
  • Infographic idea: Britney Spears’ greatest music video looks
  • Video idea: Easy yoga poses you can do every morning
  • Podcast idea: How can we encourage children to enjoy mathematics?

Festivals December 2020


Hornbill Festival Content Marketing Ideas

Kumbhalgarh Festival – 1-3 December

Chennai Music Festival – December 2020- Jan 2021

Hornbill Festival – 1-10 December

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: What are the best months to travel around India for local festivals?
  • Infographic idea: X Folk art that’s famous in Rajasthan
  • Video idea: The evolution of Indian classical music
  • Podcast idea: How diverse are music festivals in India?

Fun Days in December 2020

Fun Days

Fun Days Content Marketing Ideas

International Ninja Day – 5 December

Worldwide Candle Lighting Day – 12 December

Monkey Day – 14 December

Games Day – 20 December

Crossword Puzzle Day – 21 December

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: Try these new games with your friends over the holidays
  • Infographic idea: Types of candles and the atmosphere they promote
  • Video idea: Do the way monkeys communicate differ from humans?
  • Podcast idea: Can solving crossword puzzles sharpen your brain?

Scatter Newsletter I like

A lot of heart goes into the creation of this monthly newsletter.
We sincerely hope it helps you. In case this mail was forwarded to you,
do consider subscribing to our newsletter. Thank you for being here.  

December : a month of peace, love and cheerIt’s December, and winter is at its peak. Its chill may chatter your teeth and even make your bones creak. But there’s a growing buzz of excitement in the air; another year is coming to a close, and all eyes are on the future.  Foggy mornings give city streets and mountain tops a dreamy appearance. Steaming cups of chai help to warm cold hands. Shoppers, bundled in coats and scarfs, make a mad dash to finish their end of the year shopping.  Friends and families gather – physically and virtually – grateful to have each other. The sight of Christmas trees decked with bells and holly, of lights and stars in windows, and the sound of carols in the air, kindle a joy that warms your soul.  But December isn’t only about celebrations. With days like Human Rights Day, International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, many will not only spare a thought, but good deeds as well to make this season of giving more meaningful.  Not everyone will be lucky enough to ring in the new year with loved ones. But a new year there will be. And with it, will come new resolutions and new dreams. That’s the beautiful thing about December; it brings the promise and hope of wonderful things. All this and more makes it a perfect time to spark engaging and heart-warming conversations with your audience.   

Read our December blog to see what Scatter RecommendsScatter – #EngageUnfoolishlyScatter drives results. Brands that have worked with us have seen a drastic increase in content stickiness, reduced bounce rates, better email open rates and better CTR’s. We plan, produce, promote and progress a brand’s content standing.

World AIDS day 1st December 2020

World AIDS Day – 1 December

World Aids Day

This day is celebrated to recognize the role that communities play in response to AIDS at the local, national, and international levels.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea:  How does AIDS affect pregnant women and their children?
  • Infographic idea: Who is at the greatest risk of contracting HIV?
  • Video idea: A history of the AIDS epidemic, starting from the 80s
  • Podcast idea: How far has treatment of AIDS come in the last two decades?


“Great Leaders Create More Leaders

Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders create more leaders, not followers. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own.”
– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Urban ethnographers do harm in speaking for Black communities | Aeon Essays

The Doctor and the Doctor

The Doctor and the Doctor

Rhyming Couplet Ideas by jay

See the waddling of the doctor,
I think he’s angry at the prockter.

He finds it hard to see the beach,
Overshadowed by the ornamental breach.

Who is that slithering near the lorry?
I think she’d like to eat the laboratory.

She is but a grumpy doctor,
Admired as she sits upon a prockter.

Her pleasurable car is just an eagle,
It needs no gas, it runs on siegal.

She’s not alone she brings a girlfriend,
a pet zebra, and lots of downtrend.

The zebra likes to chase a lion,
Especially one that’s in the fionn.

The doctor shudders at the live cube
He want to leave but she wants the rectifying tube.

17. Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare – 30 November

17. Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare – 30 November

Chemical Warfare

This day pays homage to victims of chemical warfare and aims to eliminate the threat of chemicals on the unsuspecting populace.

Content marketing ideas:

  • Listicle idea: Chemical vs nuclear vs biological warfare: Which is the most dangerous?
  • Infographic idea: What are the leading causes of chemical disasters?
  • Video idea: How was chemical warfare used in the two World Wars?
  • Podcast idea: Here’s what you should do if you’ve been exposed to a chemical weapon

30.11.2020 My weblog

Weather is cool, Just 2° C higher than the threshold limit I am told of the ChineseCoronaVirus i.e. 14°C and lower and now the 2nd wave of the scary period starts as the Vaccine approvals are still awaited.

A man and woman came from BBMP few days ago, asked my and family details like age, whether I recovered from COVID etc. Said it is for the Vaccine list. The RWA said their purpose of coming was something “different” and they did not go from flat to flat.

Anyways, we are better prepared than we were in March when the country’s PM told us to Bajao Thali Ghanta = as there was only Babaji ka Thullu as answer for Chinese Virus. Have we become wiser, better after over 1 Lakh deaths? I wonder.

Adhyay – 2 – Shloka -42,43,44


O ARJUNA, unwise people who think of nothing but material desires and pleasures, and who believe in the Vedas as well, think that heaven means the absolute end of oneself.

हे अर्जुन ! जो भोगों में तन्मय हो रहे हैं, जो कर्मफल के प्रशंसक वेदवाक्यों में ही प्रीति रखते हैं, जिनकी बुद्भि में स्वर्ग ही परम प्राप्य वस्तु है और जो स्वर्ग से बढ़कर दूसरी कोई वस्तु ही नहीं है —– ऐसा कहने वाले हैं, वे अविवेकजन इस प्रकार की ।। ४२ ।।

These same people, O ARJUNA, speak beautiful words describing heaven in all its glory and beauty. They speak of heaven as the ultimate goal for one to achieve in life. They speak of all the good actions they have performed in life and that the result of their good deeds will be the gaining of worldly pleasures, and everlasting wealth in their present life as well as ensure favourable and pleasant birth in their next life.

जिस पुष्पित अर्थात् दिखाऊ शोभायुक्त्त वाणी को कहा करते हैं, जो कि जन्मरूप कर्मफल देने वाली एवं भोग तथा ऐश्वर्य की प्राप्ति के लिये नाना प्रकार की बहुत-सी क्रियाओं का वर्णन ।। ४३ ।।

O ARJUNA, these ignorant people who seek pleasure through material possessions and prosperity, are brainwashed and obsessed with the desire for more and mire material pleasure. Because of this brainwashed state of mind and this obsession, they are unable to think logically, and lack the wisdom to make wise decisions for themselves in life.

करने वाली है, उस वाणी द्वारा जिनका चित्त हर लिया गया है, जो भोग और ऐश्वर्य में अत्यन्त आसक्त्त हैं, उन पुरुषों की परमात्मा में निश्चयात्मिका बुद्भि नहीं होती ।। ४४ ।।

Tomorrow on 1st December I have a 3 Shloka Combo to Read, write, understand, share. For some reason these 3 have come together. I am using a new Notebook for a few days now. It lets me write better but inkmarks appear when I try to write on both sides. What a Waste! I recall my poor childhood – I would use every 90% used notebook by others available to me to write and study or to write on all 4 covers of old books about to be thrown in Raddi or my own notebooks from yesteryears. Poverty did not let me reduce the size of my written fonts though. A change, I now see quite interestingly when I type more and write less and less. Wife is amused at my collection of pens, ball and roller pens and felt tipped sign pens and Gel pens. I don’t know when God made me able and I began collecting over 100 pens while I kept gifting them too.

My prayer

God make me able,

Able to Give and Give More

So that I can create empty space

So that you can Give me More.

seemed to have been answered by HIM along the way, without me even noticing. Such are the Showers of Blessings – which like the Chill weather come in our life with such regularity and we keep sending our demands in our prayers UPwards while God does not stop – his blessings keep coming down all the time.

Urban ethnographers do harm in speaking for Black communities | Aeon Essays

Content Marketing Ideas for your December calendar – courtesy: Scatter Newsletter


Content Marketing Ideas for your December calendar

BY SCATTER EDITORIAL DESK7 MIN READDecember Content Marketing Ideas

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a whirlwind year; with many ups and downs. But December brings with it a change in the air. There’s a feeling of renewed hope as everyone looks forward to another year of fresh beginnings and all things wonderful. Use these thought-starters to spark new conversations with your readers, whether it’s the practical International Day of Banks or the joyful event of Christmas.

What’s new in December 2020?

Winter Tax Filing

Tax Filing Content Marketing Ideas

An important financial step that you usually take in July every year has now been moved to December because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, what should your brand be talking about?

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: X Exemptions and deductions that can reduce your taxable income
  • Infographic idea: How to pick the right ITR form to file your taxes
  • Video idea: A quick guide on how to file your taxes online
  • Podcast idea: History of Income Tax worldwide

Virtual Christmas & New Year’s Eve

With plenty of festivities in store, it’s likely that many will let down their guard for parties and gatherings. Encouraging virtual celebrations could be a step in the right direction. And here are some conversations that your brand can initiate.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: X Innovative ideas for a socially distanced New Year’s Eve party at home
  • Infographic idea: The best movies to watch if you’re spending Christmas alone
  • Video idea: Can’t travel home? Here are some easy Christmas dishes you can try
  • Podcast idea: How can you keep yourself safe if you’re at a New Year event?

New wave of COVID-19

After a few months of relative normalcy, a new wave of COVID-19 is hitting different cities across the world. Closer to home, it is possible that certain states and cities could see new restrictions and lockdowns. So, what can your brand talk about during this time?

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: X Apps that can keep you updated with the latest news
  • Infographic idea: Places that are most likely to be COVID-19 hotspots
  • Video idea: Here’s how a second wave of the COVID-19 infection could affect your body
  • Podcast idea: How can we handle the COVID-19 wave this time around?

Socially distanced wedding season

The wedding season is usually when hundreds of friends and relatives gather to celebrate their loved ones’ happy day. But with precautions and restrictions in place, how can you make the big day special?

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: Video platforms that can take your virtual wedding a notch higher
  • Infographic idea: Tips to make an attractive face mask to complement your ethnic outfit
  • Video idea: How to arrange a perfect (and safe) wedding ceremony in your home
  • Podcast idea: Celebration ideas for those who cannot physically attend your wedding

What complexity science says about what makes a winning team | Aeon Essays

What is wrong

General Message-
What is wrong with the world today? Such questions are bound to arise in thinking minds, but often the answers given are not completely honest. Diagnoses given and remedies adopted have all been biased and so the situation remains vague and unresolved.
The crux of the matter lies in the correct reinterpretation of the ancient word “religion”. The West has very little religion, and whenever one hears of it, it is either subservient to politics or at best an adjunct of material life. The East is suffering from an overdose of religion, and consequently it hankers desperately for a material antidote.
Religion in the West is synonymous with scientific progress, which is distinctive in its manifestation. Religion in the East, and in India in particular, has gone underground and been replaced largely by crude ceremonies, vague rituals, and lifeless dogmas.
Instead of nourishing the seeds of peace and plenty, this subterranean religion tries to propagate communism, fanaticism, nationalism, and patriotism, which have now become by words associated with leadership and greatness, suffering and sanctity.
In short, religion as a living force has become obsolete.
The urgent need of today to resuscitate religion is to dig it out of its narrow, dark vault and let the spirit of man shine out once again in its pristine glory.
The most practical thing in the world is to be spiritually minded. It needs no special time, place, or circumstance. It is not necessarily concerned with anything out of the ordinary daily routine.
It is never too early or too late to be spiritual. It is just a simple question of having the proper mental attitude towards lasting value, changing circumstance, and avoidable eventualities, as well as a healthy sense of the inevitable.
Spirituality is not restricted to, nor can it be restricted by, anyone or anything, anywhere, at any time. It covers all life for all time, and it can easily be achieved through selfless service and that pure love which knows no bondage and seeks no boundary. A mighty surge of this spirituality is about to sweep over the world.
My blessings to you all.
[LISTEN, HUMANITY. By Meher Baba. NARRATED AND EDITED By D.E. Stevens. An Avatar Meher Baba Trust eBook June 2011. Copyright © 1957 by Sufism Reoriented, Inc. Copyright © 1982 Avatar Meher Baba Trust]

How ancient poetry can revitalise our erotic imaginations | Aeon Essays