June 2021


“A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”

Author Melody Beattie has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. In Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, Melody writes about codependent relationships. She shares life stories, personal reflections, exercises, self-tests, and strategies for dealing with codependency.

 The surest way to make ourselves crazy is to get involved in other people’s business, and the quickest way to become sane and happy is to tend to our own affairs.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.- C.G. Jung

Most of our suffering/stress in life is usually a result of the tension between what we believe should be (our expectations) and what is (reality). The key to everlasting happiness is to radically accept whatever happens to you in life, control what you can, and not worry excessively about what you cannot control. A lot of our shoulds and musts are tools that served us growing up, and it was handed to us as scripts by our parents, society, religion, caregivers, peers, etc., as rules and regulations, dos and don’t. Cultural norms, religious dictums, etc.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs

“If you want people to move away from their prior convictions, and to correct a false rumor, it is best to present them not with the opinions of their usual adversaries, whom they can dismiss, but instead with the views of people with whom they closely identify.”

In “On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done,” American legal scholar Cass Sunstein writes about the ever-pervasive problem – rumors.

 Rumors often arise and gain traction because they fit with, and support, the prior convictions of those who accept them. Some people and some groups are predisposed to accept certain rumors because those rumors are compatible with their self-interest, or with what they think they know to be true. Some people are strongly motivated to accept certain rumors because it pleases them to do so.

The Problem

Rumors are nearly as old as human history, but with the rise of the Internet, they have become ubiquitous. In fact we are now awash in them. False rumors are especially troublesome; they impose real damage on individuals and institutions, and they often resist correction. They can threaten careers, relationships, policies, public officials, democracy, and sometimes even peace itself.

 Former American Scholar editor and author, Joseph Epstein writes about gossip, that much-excoriated yet apparently unstoppable human activity that knows neither historical nor cultural bounds. Educated fleas may not do it, but all human beings seem to enjoy that conspiratorial atmosphere of intimacy in which two or three people talk about another person who isn’t in the room. Usually, they say things about this person that he would prefer not to have said. They might talk about his misbehavior in any number of realms (sexual, financial, domestic, hygienic, or any other that allows for moral disapprobation) or about his frailties (his hypocrisy, tastelessness, immodesty, neuroses, etc.). Or they might just wish to analyze his character, attempting to get at why has been a life of such extraordinary undeserved success or such unequivocally merited failure.

“gossip, make no mistake, always implies a judgment.”

Gossip may well have spread in the way it has because so few among us are any longer trained in the skill of ascertaining truthful statements. Or have most of us lost our belief in truth itself; found that truth is simply unavailable in contemporary journalism, print or electronic; think truth no longer a precise but a proximate, relative thing, and so, as in the game of horseshoes, close to the truth is good enough?

Like astrology, psychoanalysis, and other pseudoscientific endeavors, gossip promises to provide significant secrets. Sometimes it does, but often it comes up empty.

Top-rated television show host and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres was the keynote speaker at Tulane University’s 2009 Commencement. This was the graduation of the “Katrina Class” that entered in Fall 2005.

As you grow, you’ll realize the definition of success changes. For many of you, today, success is being able to hold down 20 shots of tequila. For me, the most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not to give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not, to live your life as an honest and compassionate person, to contribute in some way. So to conclude my conclusion, follow your passion, stay true to yourself. Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path and by all means you should follow that.

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Prior to becoming president, Eisenhower was a  five-star General of the United States Army. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War II and he was also responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch) and Germany (Battle of Normandy).

As president, Eisenhower launched programs and initiatives that led to the development and execution of projects such as the Interstate Highway System in the United States, NASA’s exploration of space, the Atomic Energy Act, DARPA which led to the launch of the Internet. Eisenhower was a productive man who served as the Army Chief of Staff (1945–1948), as president of Columbia University (1948–1953), and as the first Supreme Commander of NATO (1951–1952) before becoming the president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. He also had time for golfing, oil painting, poker, and reading.

In a 1954 speech addressed to the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, at the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Einsenhower said:

Now, my friends of this convocation, there is another thing we can hope to learn from your being with us. I illustrate it by quoting the statement of a former college president, and I can understand the reason for his speaking as he did. I am sure President Miller can.

This President said, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

Now this, I think, represents a dilemma of modern man. Your being here can help place the important before us, and perhaps even give the important the touch of urgency. And you can strengthen our faith that men of goodwill, working together, can solve the problems confronting them.

The Eisenhower Matrix was popularized by Author Stephen R.Covey in his book, First Things First and Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his books, Covey describes a time management framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. In First Things First, Covey argues that they are three generations of time-management: first-generation task lists, second-generation personal organizers with deadlines, and third-generation values clarification as incorporated in the Franklin Planner.

By using the Eisenhower Decision Principle, every task is evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and then placed in according quadrants in an Eisenhower Matrix. The 2×2 matrix classifies tasks as urgent and non-urgent on one axis, and important or non-important on the other axis.

The tasks in the quadrants are then handled as follows.

  1. Important/Urgent quadrant tasks are done immediately and personally e.g. finishing a client project, Picking up your sick kid from school, crises, deadlines.
  2. Important/Not Urgent quadrant tasks are activities that get you closer to your goals but without a set deadline e.g. personal development, relationships, exercising, planning, recreation
  3. Unimportant/Urgent quadrant tasks are delegated, e.g. interruptions, responding to some emails meetings, activities.
  4. Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant tasks are eliminated e.g. time wasters, watching TV, eating junk food pleasant activities, trivia.

Using the Eisenhower Matrix

“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” —Lin Yutang.

As Henry David Thoreau once quipped, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”. Thoreau was right; most of us stay on our social media timelines endlessly scrolling and marinating ourselves with other people’s carefully curated capsules of their lives. We equate motion for movement, activity for accomplishment, busyness for progress; hence we do not know the difference between urgent and important tasks.

Knowing how to distinguish what is important from the urgent is not the easiest for many of us because we do not have our priorities right. We pick up every phone call, check our emails every 15 minutes, pick up our phones continuously for the dopamine rush derived from the notifications on our phone; we get busy instead of getting important things done. The key to using the Eisenhower Matrix effectively is to know and re-order your priorities.

The Eisenhower Matrix in Action

Important/Urgent – Do
Important/Not Urgent – Schedule
Unimportant/Urgent – Delegate
Unimportant/Not Urgent – Eliminate

Your time here on earth is minimal; using your time effectively is what makes the difference between the successful and unsuccessful, the rich and the poor, the intelligent and the ignorant, etc. The key is to know what is really important at every moment, whether to do, schedule, delegate, or eliminate a task from your itinerary.

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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