Habitats & Habits

I feel sorry for my sixth graders.

When I was in sixth grade, the only technologies to distract me were the TV and radio. I received my beloved yellow Sony Walkman years later. But even then, in order to make a mix tape, I had to listen to the radio on my boombox and catch my favorite song, hit “record” and “stop” at just the right time.

IMG-1080

Now, the barrage of sounds and images are relentless. You can hear the voices of your peers night and day from your phone. You can catch your favorite TV or film or YouTuber or musician 24/7. Filters and editing programs make everyone look slim, smooth and shiny. 

And if you’re one of the very few who does not own a phone, you might be ostracized. You are deemed too poor or your parents are too strict. You’re square (do they say that anymore)! Regardless, laptops are ubiquitous. The temptation to enter fantasy land is everywhere

I just completed reading Eric Barker’s “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.” The book is a compelling read, replete with interesting anecdotes and scientific data to back up his various assertions regarding personal success. One of the most important tips he offers is the adage “control your environment.” A closely linked axiom: know thyself

The most successful and productive people practice this. A few examples:

  • disconnect from the internet while working;
  • place cell phone in the other room;
  • never keep junk food in the house;
  • never hit snooze – get right up (!);
  • work before pleasure;

and so on.

I remind my students that “success” – whatever they define it to be – is within their reach. But they must make a commitment to it and do the necessary work.

Now, more than ever, knowing oneself and taking actions to ensure meeting one’s potential might be the most challenging – yet important – task at hand.

 

Selfie

jcx_abvzdzu-toni-hukkanen-1

Ah, the selfie.

Nothing wrong with taking pictures of yourself once in awhile.

And scientific data linking selfies to narcissim are in their budding stages. But emerging data show a link between frequency of changing profile pictures and use of editing software (to enhance the photos). It seems if you’re editing your photos to look better than you really do signals possible narcissim. (Psychology Today)

Identifying narcissism and and other psychological disorders accurately require a substantial analysis that usually includes multiple traits. No one is saying that just because you’re taking selfies, you’re narcissistic. BUT…

Have you ever noticed how happy dogs are?

q2i85b-7vly-andrew-branch (1).jpg

It’s because they do not possess a sense of self-concept. They don’t think about themselves and worry about their “image.” They embrace life – everything and everyone around them. They are fully present. We can learn so much from them.

Of course, we’re human and we have higher brain functioning. We have the ability to have self-concepts. But we DO have control over whether we decide to pursue such materialistic fancies.

 

Why not choose to be happy and disregard the self-concept, the self-image? Just enjoy your life. Don’t be concerned about what other think of you. Remember, “No one cares as much as you think they do.”