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Archive for January, 2017

Survival of the fittest.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Self-preservation is one of our most basic animalistic instincts. When we get scared, we automatically raise our shoulders and cross our arms to cover the most vulnerable parts of our bodies. We have a ‘fight or flight’ system pre-wired into our brain that subconsciously takes control when we’re in danger. Almost all of our normal daily functions, such as work, food, sleep, etc., are centered on self-preservation. However, despite our bodies’ best attempts to keep us alive, many people still knowingly engage in harmful, often life-threatening, practices on a regular basis.

Tanning beds are still a thriving business, with more than 100,000 tanning salons in the US. According to almost every credible health organization, including the World Health Organization, American Academy of Dermatology, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tanning beds cause cancer. They’re an obvious threat to our health and our lives. Not to mention, the long-term effects on skin are the opposite of attractive.

Smoking is another practice that is known to be cancer-causing and life-threatening. It’s understandable that some older generations became addicted to smoking before it was deemed deadly, but why do younger people today find the habit so appealing ?

Today, there are people who are refusing vaccines or refusing to vaccinate their children, known as anti-vaxxers. Because of a small and often discredited study published by the journal The Lancet in the late 1990s, people are choosing to take their chances with deadly diseases, even though researchers have since repeatedly shown no connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and any developmental disabilities. Now, after being eradicated in the US for more than a decade, completely preventable diseases like the measles have made a comeback. As late-night comedian and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel said, “Parents or more scared of gluten than small pox.” In his hilarious yet informative bit on anti-vaxxers he notes that almost every credible doctor in the world endorses vaccines, and they didn’t get their medical knowledge from their friend’s Facebook page or a Google search. The bit also interviews numerous doctors who state the importance of vaccines and give their unfiltered opinions – “Hey, remember that time you got polio? No! You don’t! Because your parents got you f***ing vaccinated!”

With our entire body hard-wired to survive, it’s hard to understand how these things, and many other knowingly harmful practices, still exist – and in such large numbers. Perhaps instead of traveling all the way to the Galapagos Islands to observe the process of natural selection, we’re getting an up-close and personal view of it in our daily lives.

Dot crazy.

Friday, January 20th, 2017

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Fascinatingly obsessed.  The beauty of repetition. 

The curious pajamas in public sighting.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

At one time or another, we’ve all likely encountered the curious pajamas in public phenomenon. We’re not talking about the awkward ten-second encounter with a neighbor as they scramble down the driveway for their morning paper; or the teenage girls who are seemingly rebellious in their early-morning school attire. It’s the adult woman at Starbucks wearing her colorful, floral flannel pajama pants combined with an overall disheveled appearance. It’s the forty-something adult at the grocery store in slippers and obvious bedhead. Why do people think that it’s ok to wear pajamas outside of their house?

Didn’t our parents raise us to know better? Parents of children today don’t let them go to school in their pajamas, so why would they let their children see them doing it? A complete lack of care for ones personal appearance does not set a good example for children, and it certainly doesn’t leave a good impression on the rest of the world.

Getting up, dressed, and ready for the world everyday is an essential part of being an adult. Whether you go to a job or you are a stay at home parent. It sends a message about the type of person you are. People who wear their pajamas in public are sending a broadcast signal that either says, ‘I’m too lazy to get dressed’ or ‘I’m too flighty, erratic and burned-out to even get myself dressed’ – not exactly a positive message to project.

Everyone has had a bad day where they’re not exactly projecting their best self-image for one reason or another. We’ve all run out in a hurry without fixing our hair or make-up. But, if you have to get up and go somewhere shouldn’t you take the time to at least dress in CLOTHES?

If your day is really going so bad that you can’t possibly get dressed, it’s probably best to stick to drive-thru coffee joints and online grocery shopping options. Because honestly, no one wants to see you in your pajamas, and why would you want them to?

Cool cat.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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The chemistry of water turning into ice is miraculous;  something we don’t really think about. 

A ‘right to disconnect’ will not lead to a right to succeed.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

French workers now have a “right to disconnect” with their employers outside of business hours. Under a new law, French companies are obligated to create new policies stipulating times when employees are not required to read or answer work-related emails. According to The Guardian, the law addresses “compulsive out-of-hours e-mail checking” and is designed to reduce stress and burnout. According to the Raconteur, some companies have banned internal emails in the evening or on weekends, shutting down company email servers after hours, and automatically deleting emails when employees are on vacation. French newspaper Libération said the law was needed because “employees are often judged on their commitment to their companies and their availability.”

While there’s no doubt that the expectation of being connected after hours has increased with the rise of technology, is it really up to the government to regulate?

Playing in the big leagues requires big time commitments. If a professional is serious about business, they do whatever it takes to get the job done. Significant projects often require late-night works hours. Consequential crises and opportunities don’t wait for business hours – so companies and employees need to be available. Turning off business at 5 p.m. sharp everyday is simply an unrealistic expectation for anyone who wants to succeed in business.

Employers and governments should not push against this new era of the connected worker, but embrace it. The ability to be connected anywhere goes beyond work-life balance to create work-life integration, a concept widely desired by the next generation of employees. It’s the idea that one loves their job and finds purpose in it, so they don’t work to separate it from their life; it’s part of their life. Work-life integration requires an understanding that an employee is eager to work late hours, incorporate the goal of company growth into their daily interactions, and connect from home when needed; and an employer is happy to maintain a similar eagerness to provide flexible hours or life-work integration.

Instead of seeking government regulation with unrealistic expectations, communication about expectations, availability, and limitations is key. No one can be connected at all times no matter how much their job is integrated into their life, and a good client or manager will understand that. However, employees who want to do their best will make themselves available whenever possible. During busy seasons or substantial projects, salaried employees should expect to work late hours and stay connected as needed. During vacations or unavoidable times of disconnect, employees should communicate their boundaries and limited availability and take necessary steps to prepare for their time away.

At the end of the day, employees are either in or out. They can choose work-life integration and success, or they can set unrealistic expectations for work-life separation that will likely lead to mediocrity.