Tag Archives for " Friendship "

Read (Focus On) The Right Stuff And You Will Understand The World More Clearly

Everyone on earth has the same amount of time in a day – 24 hours.

We differ in what we focus on.

Garbage in, garbage out, GIGOYears ago – 1981 – to be precise, while studying computer programming, I learnt about a computer science principle called GIGO – this stood for Garbage In, Garbage Out. If we wrote crappy computer code the result would be poor output if any.

I realised then that GIGO applies to any field of life. It’s just that today I have a greater understanding of this. Knowing something important is one thing, however having an in-depth grasp and lived assimilation of the issue is far better.

One way that we can significantly improve the ‘quality of our output’ (thinking and understanding) is to improve the quality of our reading.

Improving the quality of our reading includes:

  • Identifying resources which produce consistently high quality information in an easy to understand writing style. It’s no good if we get bogged down in the verbal equivalents of constipation or diarrhea – our understanding will be limited or lost and we will soon get bored.
  • Identifying ways to ‘get the information coming to us’ – one aspect of this is not having to hunt and peck for the information we need.
  • Dropping time-wasting activities and people. You know you need to.
  • Realising that listening to information – while useful at times (including when unable to read); such as listening to podcasts or the right sort of radio broadcasts/visual media – is a slower way of absorbing information. This is primarily because the human voice (and the associated audio processing by the brain) is a slow information delivery system. The voice does of course convey tone, energy and atmosphere.
  • ‘Delegating’ research and thinking. When you read a good piece of material you can benefit from the smarts of the writer/s and in some cases, team, behind it. You are increasing your smarts faster with leverage.
  • Using technology to increase reading pleasure and functionality. Examples include apps for smart phones, tablets and computers. I like to read in bed at times and never liked the physical struggle with books – today I use the Amazon Kindle app on my smart phone which is so easy to manipulate and to get the lighting just right. If we remove physical barriers/difficulties to beneficial things in life then we will be more likely to take part in them – flowing with ‘natural law‘.

There are other ways we can improve the quality of our reading – perhaps you can let us know how you have done it in the comments below.

Here are some of my favorite reading resources:

  • The Economist – authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
  • Daily Mail Online – a mixed bag, including the frivolous, however I ‘mine’ it for the key valuable nuggets, of which there are many. I have to be careful about not being seduced by some of the eye candy though! Over the years I have uncovered lots of fantastic information about health, business, psychology, nutrition, relationships and much more.
  • New Scientist – high quality information on a surprising range of subjects, including technology, space, physics, health, earth, humans, life.
  • Scientific American – award-winning authoritative source for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter.
  • Mind – Scientific American – behavior & society, cognition, mental health, neurological health, neuroscience

Here is an example of what I mean by: “Read (Focus On) The Right Stuff And You Will Understand The World More Clearly”

Evolution of the internet | Growing up | How the internet lost its free spirit – an article in The Economist.

The Internet is not what many people think. A somewhat disturbing read which includes: “When people know they are being watched, they are likely to self-censor and to change their behaviour in response.”

Spend a few minutes reading and absorbing the above article and you will have a better idea of what is really going on.

Much better than reading about the latest Kardashian Krap – don’t you think?

Well…I hope so anyway.

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Can You Pass The Friendship Test?

The question What's In It For You typed on a piece of graph paper and pinned to a cork notice board

Do you have many, or any, friends?

What kind of a ‘friend’ are you?

Take this friendship test and find out…

  1. Read the quote below.
  2. Think carefully about the quote, and how it applies to the way you handle friendship.
  3. Be honest – come on….there is no point in self-deception. Deceiving yourself is a ‘lonely prison’.
  4. Decide how you can improve.
  5. Take action. Today.
  6. Bear in mind that genuine success in life includes ‘being the right person’. Life is not all about you. In any case, most people you meet think life is about them.
  7. Being a good friend will help you feel better, make your life easier and improve your mental health, among other things.

“There are persons who cannot make friends. Who are they? Those who cannot be friends. It is not the want of understanding or good nature, of entertaining or useful qualities, that you complain of: on the contrary, they have probably many points of attraction; but they have one that neutralizes all these –they care nothing about you, and are neither the better nor worse for what you think of them. They manifest no joy at your approach; and when you leave them, it is with a feeling that they can do just as well without you. This is not sullenness, nor indifference, nor absence of mind; but they are intent solely on their own thoughts, and you are merely one of the subjects they exercise them upon. They live in society as in a solitude.”

William Hazlitt

Get to it!


Why do millions of men have no close friends?

If men were better at being friends, would they be better men?


Are Cyber Friends Real?

Social Circle Online Friend Network

Today, in our local online news source we have an article which claims that our new cyber technology is adversely affecting our friendships and which concludes that today, some people have fewer friends.

Human contact is a cyber failing

The article claims that the real culprit is technology.

I disagree. Whilst in some respects, I do think that technology misused can cause friendship problems for people, I think that the real reasons for the increased isolation of some people are very different.

I have been an avid user of new technology for many years and have carefully studied its impact both on myself and others, from a human relationship perspective.

There are many ways in which modern technology is being used to enhance relationships and examples include:

1) Keeping in touch more regularly and more often – these days it is so much easier to keep in contact with others. Regular communication is one of the factors which can enhance relationships greatly.

2) The types/methods of contact are more varied today, and these can enrich relationships. One less obvious example is where a young person on a world trip can regularly create a photo blog documenting their experiences and travels. Parents, family members and others can therefore feel much more involved in the young person’s life.

3) Opportunities to meet other people – the Internet has many good examples of different ways we can network and interact with others for a variety of reasons. It is very easy to seek people of like mind, with whom we are likely to have a rapport. Rapport is one of the key relationship drivers.

4) Self acceptance – as a counselor I have at times used the Internet to prove to people that others are just like them. This can be particularly liberating to some people. I have also noticed that the Internet has fostered a gradual coming out of different types of personality/preference groups.

5) As a former Private Investigator, modern technology, and in particular the Internet, has helped me to locate missing family members or friends, leading to many happy reunions.

6) I met some lovely ladies online via Internet dating – this was back in the days when there was still a stigma about Internet dating and a fair bit of “media hysteria” about the subject. Fortunately for me, none turned out to be an axe murderer.

7) Recently I read an interesting article, which detailed how a young woman somewhere in Asia was saved by people online – most of them strangers – when she attempted to commit suicide. Her attempt was genuine, so the actions of these people were extremely important – she would have died without their intervention.

There are many other ways in which modern technology enhances and improves relationships & intimacy, however I want to end by making the simple point that like anything, technology can be misused, and we all have both an opportunity, and a responsibility, to use it correctly. With a positive mind set, we will find many ways in which technology can improve our relationships.

Media, or other hysteria is unhelpful and counter productive, and among other things, encourages the blame mentality. 2008 has arrived, the technology is here, the technology is changing the world dramatically – let’s focus on using it positively and for good.

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