Monday, July 31, 2017

Thoughts on Endurance

In Endurance, one month after the men abandoned the ship and were living on the ice, Alfred Lansing described many of them as being enriched by the work they had to perform daily in order to survive. I found his descriptions really interesting, and in particular, the description of Lionel Greenstreet’s experience with a task really hit home with me. According to Lansing, one week Greenstreet had “devoted several days to scraping and curing a piece of sealskin to resole his boots. He paused in the midst of his task to write in his diary: ‘One of the finest days we have ever had…a pleasure to be alive’” (109).  Although I initially thought how insane it was that a man could describe a day that he was trapped on a drifting price of ice in the Weddell Sea, in the Antarctic, as one of the finest he ever had, I also thought about how I know that the accomplishment of a simple task can be so fulfilling. Something as simple as resoling boots, or knitting a hat, or writing and refining a poem, completing a hike on a trail, or a workout, etc., these are all simple tasks that can create a Zen-like feeling while working to accomplish them. Is it because they are so simple that they are so pleasurable? Is it because the time needed to accomplish them is within a small time frame (so there are never any feelings of wanting to procrastinate?)? Or is it both of the former combined, along with the reality (the reality that we often forget) that “now is all we really have”? If we’re completely caught up in the task of the moment, there’s never a need to worry and fret about anything else. Isn’t that when we’re the happiest, and the probably the most motivated? I’m beginning to think so. See Piers Steel below for a little more on how I came to my thinking on this:

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A great example of the happiness and motivation found within simple tasks is the life of Dick Proenneke, who spent many years living in the wilderness of Alaska. Below is a YouTube clip from the documentary about his life in Alaska, Alone in the Wilderness. Watch him build his house. He was motivated by living in the moment every day. It’s hard not to get a Zen-like feeling just watching him:
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Another example can be found in watching someone like the painter Bob Ross create a painting:
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My sister and me last summer finishing up one of my favorite tasks, a hiking trail in the Pacific Northwest:

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Book Report: The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct

Book Overview: This book combines scientific research with insights of the students in the class.The book is based on a Stanford class who say their lack of willpower is the number one thing that holds them back. The best way to improve self control and to succeed is learning how to fail and understanding it. Being overly optimistic is negative because you can not see your own flaws and true and honest self knowledge is the foundation of good self control. Overall it is about how to not only get more self control to have more willpower, but how to be effective at managing it. 

Related:This book relates to the powerpoint slides Impulsivity and Self-Control. It talks about how self control is not an issue of willpower but is in an issue of conflicting outcomes. Procrastination is often a huge problem in the willpower of people. It halts many things from getting done and it really affects willpower in a negative way. The slides talk about Ulysses and The Sirens, he is warned about The Sirens who are monsters that act like two beautiful women who trick sailors and want to kill them. He wants to get home to Penelope so he covers his mens ears with bee's wax and ties themselves down so that they will not be tempted. They acted earlier when they had self control in order to prevent their death, and because of this they lived. This means that there is nothing to really help a person have perfect self control or willpower, but how to manage what they do have in a timely matter, and this book explains that.

Favorite Part: I really liked this book mostly for the fact that I feel as if I have no self control and willpower or just really poorly managed self control and willpower. It is extremely hard for me to get my school work done when I have a lot going on in my life. But thins book taught me that I do have self control and willpower, I just need to learn how to manage it in an efficient way for myself. This book really gave me some good ideas on how to manage my willpower in order for me to be completely focused on school and giving it my all in order to get the good grades I want. 

Applications in my own life: This book talks about learning how to fail before being able to succeed. I think this is my biggest flaw and problem. I get extremely upset and down when I fail and I think that I will never be able to succeed at the same thing in the future or the next time I try. This really affects me in school, if I do bad on a test I get really hard on myself and I make myself believe that it is the only thing I can do, and that I can never get better. With managing my willpower and accepting that sometimes failing first makes the second time ten times better, is a technique that I am going to use next time I fail at something because of this book.

You have the power to choose your own path through success and failure in order to gain self control and willpower. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu** by Mark Manson : A Counterintuitive Approach to living a good life

The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck was a great book. Written by Mark Manson, the crux of the book is to stop trying. It doesn't mean to simply be indecisive and not take action, but means to hone your skills and talent on ideas you know you can carry through with and discard time and energy on activities that may be meaningless. As simple as the book was, the beauty lies in its' simplicity. 

A Quote that Deeply resonates with me:

One quote on page 95 resonates with me. It states the following: "It comes back to how, in reality, therein no such thing as not giving a single f*ck. It's impossible. We must all give a f*ck about something. The real question is, What are we choosing to give a f*ck about? What values are we choosing to base out actions on? What metrics are we choosing to use to measure our life? And are those good choices- good values and good metrics? 

I apologize for the profanity but this New York Time Bestseller has a lot of that. It is so simple and it is brutally honest and I recommend it to people and all the students in the class. As Mark Manson states, I do agree with, see the following:

From psychology to taking action and pursuing your dreams, this book covers everything. Whether the story of leaving your 9 to 5 job and embracing the writer inside you to just simply seizing the moment and ensuing "Carpe Diem," I believe this is an inspirational book. 

How does this relate to real life as opposed to reel life? Well it does. For one, if you dispute with your boss, friend, or colleague, there is always that messed up thinking pattern that may lead you to guilt, frustration, or even self-doubt. But, according to this book, putting your mind and energy to things that will advocate your determinant nature and abilities is a productive time attribute and helps you grow as a person. If you keep thinking about that, you will drive yourself mad. However, it is that ability to distract yourself and do something that can make you a greater individual is what life is all about and you can only devote your time to a certain amount of integral things in life. Hence, know where to spend them. That is absolutely key. 

How does this relate to the class or something I have learned through the class? Well, it does in a number of different ways. For one, the class title itself "Motivation" is a mindset greatly talked of in the book. When you feel the most down, it means that you have been devoting your time, attention, and a whole lot of attitude towards unnecessary things. If you channel those very creative juices and ideas to your passion, such as poetry, dance, or music, then that is a greater asset to your time and it can make you well-versed. I think it relates to endurance because life is challenging and you need a lot of grit. 

It is simply not about survival. It is about making your life the best possible life. I think this is what I essentially take from this creative book. My favorite part of the book would have to be when the author states that nothing is constant. He makes it solely clear that we are never going to get what we think we deserve. However, the best thing to do is give it your best and just wait for the rest to happen.

The Willpower Instinct

Book Overview: The book I chose for the report is called The Willpower Instinct written by Kelly McGonigal. The book primarily focuses on the science behind human willpower and techniques that have been shown effective in enabling people to not only get more of it, but also how to manage it as well. The book does well to deconstruct many counterproductive things almost all of us do achieve our goals and uses scientific findings to show what works and what doesn't. Throughout the book McGonigal uses students who have taken her class with success as examples of how these techniques really do work and how we can apply them in our own lives. The book's primary focus is to help people better conceptualize their goals and to provide the most up to date and scientifically proven techniques that give people more willpower to achieve them.

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Favorite Part: I am not sure that I have a favorite part, the book is very useful in almost all regards, but the part that stood out me the most regarded social contagion. Almost all of chapter 8 was extremely mind-opening as it related to how much our social interactions effect our ability to control ourselves. We all know that our social groups effect us, but what struck me most was the degree to which this effect takes place. At the beginning of the chapter she mentions a study that showed in the Air Force a new cadet's performance was better predicted by the least fit cadet than by their own pre-academy fitness level. This means that you could've been the best athlete in high school, if somebody in your squadron was performing poorly their performance significantly effected yours. Even watching television can invoke this contagion. The chapter talks about a study that used brain scans on smokers. When smokers simply watched another person on a screen light a cigarette the areas of the brain associated with hand movement became activated. This made me consider more closely the people I choose to associate with and luckily I do not watch television so I won't have to worry about picking up on the Kardashian's behavior.

Related: The book relates most to the first set of PowerPoint slides Impulsivity and Self-Control. These slides touch on the difficulties of controlling ourselves due to the conflicting drives that take place in us. The slide that talks about Ulysses and the Sirens is a great one in relation to the book as it shows a technique for enabling us to have more control over our actions. Ulysses and his men knew they would not always be in control as the Sirens singing was too tempting so they prepared for such circumstances when they did have control by tying themselves down. This is, put simply, what this book is all about. Not necessarily increasing willpower, though you can, but more about managing willpower and harnessing our potential through appropriate techniques such as preparing for when our willpower diminishes.

Applications in my own life: This book offers so many techniques to enable us to better control our behavior and achieve the goals we set for ourselves that applying them all would be difficult, though I am certainly trying. One thing that I have found particularly useful in the book was in regards to troubling thoughts that continue to push their way into our minds. This relates to a study by Daniel Wegner where he told subjects to not think about a white bear and sure enough that was all they could think of. Thought suppression is shown to have the opposite effect and I have always been a person to try and force thoughts out of my head. As it turns out, it is better to let these thoughts simply run their course and they will dissipate on their own. Forcing the thoughts out of ones head actually activates our brain to find more associations relating to them making it almost impossible to get rid of them. I have had amazing success with this and I surely wish I had known this sooner rather than later, but I am thankful nonetheless to know it now.

The book also motivated me to take up meditation again. Having meditated for almost a year I stopped two years ago due to falling back into poor habits such as smoking and drinking. The book motivated me to start again as the research surrounding the effects it has was extremely inspiring. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in finding more will to do the things they truly wish to achieve in life.

Here is a picture of me in a meditative position:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Report- The Power of Habit

General Overview: 
The Power of Habit was a great book by Charles Duhigg that was able to keep my attention throughout the whole time I was reading it. The book is broken into three categories that go over various reasons behind our habits and how we can properly replace habits with more positive ones. The author gives easy instruction and reasons why we have habits that we just cannot figure out on our own.

After purchasing this book, I thought I would just leave it somewhere on a shelf in my apartment but I have actually loaned it out to a friend with the hopes that they gain something useful aid and knowledge from the messages inside the book.
Favorite part of the book

    My favorite part of the book came from the second lesson. The author tells us that we can change our habits by substituting just one part of the routine. The trick is to switch the routine but keep everything else intact.  It seems simple, but in our hectic lives we often try to change everything at once but in reality, we only need to make minor changes that will snowball into bigger changes if we feel the need to continue to change our habits. A perfect example that was given in the book was “trying to get off caffeine? Just switch to Decaf”. It can be that easy, but when we are trying to change our behavior we often think too broad and try changing too much too quickly.
In our food slide, we learn people tend to crave fat food and have a preference to food that is not always healthy for us. Charles Duhigg explains that with willpower you can change any habit even the ones that seem impossible. To change our preference will take time but Charles explains there are three ways to strengthen our willpower.

 Step one: Do something that requires a lot of discipline. If you always have a soda with your meals a good first step is to cut back and only have a water with your meals.
Step two: Plan ahead for worst case scenarios. If you know you are stressed out from work and often go home to binge eat unhealthy snacks try stopping somewhere to pick up fruits as an alternative.
Step three: Preserve your autonomy. If you take away your autonomy, your willpower will suffer as a result.

Overall this book helped me understand why we have habits and ways we can stop the negative ones.  I look forward to applying some of the knowledge I have gained in my every day life. Hopefully after this I can start to kick my chips and dip every night habit!

Friday, July 28, 2017

America's caffeine intake, why it is the most abused drug known to man

The average amount of coffee the American consumes a day is 3 cups. This equals to roughly $1000 a year on coffee, or a weekly habit of $20. That is around the equivalent to 469 gallons of gas at $2.13 a piece, 164 lbs of bacon, 775 Snickers bars, and not to mention a few shopping sprees. So what makes caffeine such an addictive drug?

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If this is you when you do not get your daily dosage of caffeine, maybe we should take a look at what is occurring when you consume a Cup O'Joe. Caffeine is in everything from sodas, to energy drinks, to coffee, tea, and even food. When your body registers the caffeine that you just consumed, you will feel alert and energize, and more like this...

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When the body absorbs the caffeine, it is sent to the brain to shut of the Adenosine receptors(Medical News Today). Adenosine is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that allows oxygen to the brain and dilates the blood vessels located here.It also helps with aiding in sleep. Since caffeine binds to the Adenosine receptors, that means no more slowing down the nervous system to allow sleep. Caffeine will keep us going until it wears off, or until we crash. And thus comes a vicious and ugly cycle of coffee after coffee. And that is where our society has become the caffeinated one that it is today.


Motvational Frameworks

All of us know the conflicts that take place inside our heads. One part of us may desperately want to lose weight while another desperately wants to eat ice cream. This can lead to stressful circumstances where our we are constantly inhibiting ourselves from achieving our goals. How we consider our goals and the way we consciously consider motivation plays a large role in our ability to achieve what we want in life. This can be seen with the popular idea of the law of attraction. The law of attraction, put simply, embodies this idea that if we just think hard enough and visualize ourselves as what we want to be our consciousness will bend our reality to achieve those goals. This idea is certainly attractive, no pun intended, and I would not deny this entirely though I think that there are serious caveats to this that many people who accept this idea do not realize. The reality is that visualizing our goals is only part of achieving them and no matter how long one picture themselves to be a billionaire this cannot guarantee it will be so.

Motivation lays the groundwork for the steps we need to take to achieve our goals. How we motivate ourselves is largely induced by the emotions we feel when taking the steps necessary to achieve what we want in life. Visualizing who we want to be affects the emotions we attribute to our goals. This is an important part of actualizing what we want but we can't neglect how we frame our motivations as this is perhaps the most important part of success. Conscious awareness of the conceptual frameworks we use to achieve what we want is the foundation of all goals. Having a thorough understanding of the psychology underlying all of this will significantly help us become who we want to be without fixating on simple visual exercises, but instead embody a wide variety of techniques that can help in the pursuit of our stated goals. Using these ideas we create a more unified picture of who we are and less conflict takes place in our minds. An example, it is better to believe that you are a person who is health driven than to say "I won't eat ice cream" and visualizing yourself not eating ice cream will probably have the opposite effect. Telling yourself you won't do something creates the idea of a sort of punishment in order to achieve a goal, while telling yourself you are health driven paints a picture of yourself more in terms of reward. When considering many of your goals, like say dieting, it is better to frame it in terms of "I will" instead of "I won't." Next time you see yourself saying "I won't eat unhealthy" instead try and frame it in terms of "I will eat healthy." This leads to an association of positive emotions with healthy eating instead of the more negative emotions affiliated with not eating delicious, though unhealthy foods.

Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist from Canada offers some amazing insights into how motivation takes place in our minds that can be useful when trying to consider our goals and how to achieve them:

Finding Meaning in Life

Often times people find themselves in poor circumstances. At this point many people ask themselves "what's the point?" "why am I here?" and this line of reasoning can lead to poor motivational capacity and a defeatist psychology. Overcoming these questions is very difficult and they are questions many philosophers have grappled with since the Greeks and it safe to assume that men before then were asking such questions as well. Life often seems absurd and this absurdity often gets in the way of our ability to motivate ourselves to move on. Consider, humans are tiny specks on a rock, that is a tiny speck in a galaxy, and that galaxy is microscopic compared to the vastness that is the universe. The strange circumstances of our existence and the thought processes that can potentially follow from realizing these circumstances can be debilitating. People think that life is all in vain and that there attempts to achieve anything will simply disappear in the end. To many this may seems rash or, dare I say, absurd, but this line of reasoning is not wholly illogical.

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I believe our modern culture shows that many of us do in fact feel this way, though perhaps not explicitly. We hide ourselves in our phones posting on social media, browsing mindless posts, watching reality TV in order to avoid the anxieties of life. By doing this we deny life, or what it has historically meant to live, in many ways. If life is to be valued by a culture then those very anxieties we all seem desperate to avoid should be valued as well, they are part of being human. These anxieties and fears are what drive us to pursue higher ideals, strive to answer difficult questions, and face down our inner fears. By continually gluing ourselves to distractions we are avoiding the existential crisis of realizing that we have no idea why we are here and what we are doing. I believe that entering the labyrinth regarding the questions posited in the first paragraph enables us to find a deeper meaning of who we are. We become consciously aware of all the realities we avoid through unnecessary distractions and we come face to face with both the good and the bad of our inner being. This gives us the motivation to truly define who we are and what we want in life.

I think that while considering the vastness of the universe and our relative microcosmic existence when compared to it, there is something deeply ingrained in us, biologically, that tells us life does have value. We react to certain things instinctually and feel a rush of emotions that are difficult to describe, whether they stem from the view at the top of a high mountain looking down at the woods below, the birth of a child, or simply the sound of the ocean. Our instincts tells us that these things are valuable and I believe that is because these things are what fuel life. This way of thinking has made me put down my phone, delete all social media, exercise daily, and just take a walk in the woods once or twice a week. All these things have helped me to do more with my day and inch closer to the person I know I want to be and I hope that these words motivate others to do the same.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017


Our notes state:

Extrinsic motivation: behavior is coerced by external sources

Intrinsic motivation: behavior is not coerced by external sources

As a young child I struggled with reading. Instead of trying to learn and get help, I would get frustrated  and avoid reading as much as possible. Book reports were the worst possible assignment in my eyes. I kept this attitude until I reached high school. It wasn’t until a typical assignment my freshman year in high school of reading a book and presenting the summarized version to the class, that changed my view. It was the first time a book caught my attention to the point where I did not want to stop reading. From the moment I finished that book I found others like it and started to read them for fun. Many years later, I still read books for enjoyment and love learning new things each book has to offer.

Functional Autonomy: outcome of a process that involved the transition from extrinsically motivated behavior to intrinsically motivated behavior.

                                             10 Reasons Children Don't Read — And How to Change Their Minds😎

Endurance of The Human Body

The BBC Earth documentary in the performance power point was by far the most interesting video (to me) in this course. The Americanized way of hunting which entails using a weapon to kill or at least greatly injury prey has been burned in my mind of the only way of hunting. For the sand people to simply chase after prey, is something I could never fathom. They truly showed motivation in ways beyond my understanding.They have adapted duration, frequency, persistence, and intensity, which are all the key components that show strength in their motivation.

I suppose being part of a society where it is not necessary to test the physical limits of the human body also shortens the imagination of the human body. Too often I have seen and also been a victim to failing some sort of physical fitness test that was designed to rate one’s abilities and compare them to the “average” American’s. When you witness a person who fails to complete a certain amount of sit-ups or run a certain distance in a given time, it's difficult to watch a video like this and believe it.


Of course I have to understand that the motivation for someone completing a physical fitness test wouldn't be the same as someone catching food to survive. The risks and failures of both are not equal to each other.

Book Report - Why We Do What We Do - Understanding Self-Motivation

Book Report:  Why We Do What We Do – Understanding Self-Motivation

General overview:

This book was better than I expected.  It wasn’t too long to read and it kept you interested throughout.  This book is about human motivation.  It distinguishes the differences between the type of motivations (autonomous (uncontrolled) or guided (controlled)).  It really opens your thoughts on how simple life can be if you learn to adjust your ways of thinking. 

After reading this book I decided to actually keep it for future reading.  I think this book is a definite keeper.  Below I attached YouTube video that is a summary that I thought was right on point.

Favorite part of book/why you like it/how it relates to the class:
Chapter 13/The Meaning of Human Freedom (page 206)

In the paragraph that reads “Human freedom leads to authenticity” is the most powerful paragraph to me because it hits home with me.  After many years I have finally come to terms with not pleasing everyone before myself.  I have realized through my years of disappointments, divorces, lost friendships, etc. that if I am not totally happy with myself then I can’t be who I truly am.  I no longer try to conform to people.  I don’t sugar how I feel and I firmly believe that if you don’t want the truth from me then don’t ask. 

The paragraph then states “it is about being who we truly are”.  I am almost 48 years old and I can honestly say that I am finally who I am.  I am centered and so motivated on success for myself.  I have no problem saying I don’t have many friends since I have re-invented myself but I’m ok with it.  I like my circle small.

This part of the book relates to the class because if one doesn’t motivate oneself to be happy then how can that someone have true freedom. 

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Procrastination is easy...

Nike tells us, "Just do it!" This is SO much easier said than done. I struggle with this in school. Sometimes it amazes me that my GPA is so high because I have a high level of procrastination and a LOW level of motivation up until the day before (or sometimes the day OF) a due date. I think my lack of motivation results from the fact that I still get very good grades when I am giving the least amount of energy to a task. I think things would be different for me if I was failing exams due to not studying instead of being pleasantly surprised with my high Bs and Low As. Sometimes, I wonder would I be a 4.0 student instead of a 3.7 if I just applied myself. Then as soon as that thought crosses my mind, it immediately exits and I go back to snapchat. Because in reality....

....and this folks, is exactly how I tend to think. I found a good youtube video that actually did evoke some sort of inspiration deep within me. So I figured I would share with you guys. I think I may add it to my daily routine. Watch it anytime I feel myself slacking. Grad school starts next semester and I don't think that my way of doing things is going to work out so well.


My Drug of Choice

I know I have an addictive nature so I tend to stay away from anything that may get me hooked. This habit started when I was younger after watching my family go down a slippery slope with sex, drugs, alcohol etc. Unfortunately, I found my own slope one day and went skiing. Have you ever heard of the saying, "Too much of a good thing..." Well yeah, that was me and my love of reading. Life sucks sometimes and I found myself addicted to being lost in other people's worlds. It would only take me a day or so to devour a 400 page book. So I was constantly laying around the house, ignoring responsibilities, blowing off work just to find out what happens next in the series. I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping, and I definitely wasn't bathing because it took up too much time.

Vividly, I remember that my daughter was in preschool at the time and she would always call my name for something. My response would be give me a second. Let me finish this chapter. It wasn't until I had some grand epiphany one day that I have idolized these books. I put them before everything that was meant to be a priority in my life. That epiphany came about 18 months ago. I put myself on what I coined as a "reading punishment". There was no books allowed for a period of 12 months unless for school or work. No leisure reading at all. It SUCKED! But I made it through. Now, I'm back on my kindle, but in moderation. I set a day aside where I have nothing to do and no kids around to take care of and I just get lost in somebody else's world for the day. I guess the first step to recovery is recognizing. ;)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Endurance was an awesome textbook for a class about motivational psychology, as I found myself enthralled by the plight of these brave explorers and captivated throughout the reading of their tumultuous journey. A couple of things that especially struck me about this improbable journey of survival was the men's perseverance and sense of determination to escape their desperate set of circumstances, as well as reverence for their fearless leader, Shackleton. These elements of the story struck a chord with me because I am not so sure that I could've stayed in the same jovial sprits (predicament accounted for) as the crew of the Endurance, especially with the immense pressure of my life being on the line if we were to falter in any type of way during this failed expedition turned trial for survival. I am also unsure if I could have handled a McNeish refusing to continue pushing forward as we were moving camps, being that we were all in this situation together and quitting on the boys in their time of need is something that would not have sat well with me. The reverence the crew had for Shackleton was also of note, as they never questioned one of his decisions despite his apparent fault for landing them in such a predicament.

To surmise, the circumstances these men overcame during this expedition has allowed me to draw many parallels to put the ease of my life in perspective. For example, having to ride my bike six miles to work for a couple weeks while I was getting work done to my car doesn't seem to be such a mission anymore, especially since I am traveling to a safe, secure shelter with food not consisting of pemmican and seal blubber. Another aspect of the book that amazed me was Worsley's navigational skills, as I would place my faith in his directions at sea over any GPS system that could be conceived. In all, Endurance was a testament to the unbreakable human spirit and the exemplification of our innate ability to survive any hardship that could be thrown our way.

P.S. Life Below Zero is a show I found on Netflix that sheds a possible glimpse of the crew's plight of being stranded in arctic temperatures. However, I don't think what the people on this show go through can be compared in any way to the circumstances of the men aboard the Endurance.

Cusp Catastrophe Model (Performance)

The Cusp Catastrophe Model is a construct that we have looked at over the course of this semester, and has subsequently become an element of the course that I have been especially intrigued by. This construct attempts to explain the crux of performance and level of performance, defining the process as the interaction between cognitive and physiological arousal to suddenly change performance. An example of this process can be seen in almost any practice of cognitive and/or physical skill. For instance, taking a test and feeling that you are doing well can serve to enhance your performance on the medium, much like the process of taking a test and feeling like you are bombing can serve to continue your perceived floundering performance. One thing that I have taken from learning about this construct is to essentially tap into whatever feelings you are having and manipulate them to your advantage, as the increases in physiological arousal combined with heightened cognitive arousal can enhance your performance on a task (cusp). Whereas, feelings of mounting pressure and heightened arousal (anxiety) can shatter your performance (catastrophe) while you are attempting execute a task.

Furthermore, the construct of tonic immobility was another concept in this section that drew my attention, being that I am sure we have all had that dreaded dream of being in a helpless situation paralyzed by fear. Whether it be a kidnapping, robbing, or some other dire situation, my body always locks up and paralyzes me until the final second of doom and I wake up in a cold sweat. I feel like I have had that dream one too many times in my sleeping career, which has hopefully prepared my body to reverse the effects of tonic immobility if I were to ever find myself in such a situation in real life. In all, this module in the course has helped shed some light on performance, anxiety, and how to understand/override the pangs of performance anxiety if the behavior/symptoms were to ever occur within your psyche.

Behavioral Addictions: Exercise

There is only one period in my life that I can say I was an addict. My choice of drug was : exercise. Until this class I never thought that working out would be considered an addictive behavior. I suppose I classified “addiction” as being negative, but after researching further into it, I knew I was a victim.
I played sports from first grade all the way until my senior year in high school. Once I enrolled in college I substituted my lack of teams sports with the gym. Soon after I joined the military where physical performance is a key component in fulfillment of one’s duties. After returning home to an environment where physical fitness isn't forced upon everyone, I felt as if I was going through withdraw. I would wake up and within minutes became very anxious to go on a run. Throughout the day I would randomly hit the floor to do sets of push-ups. I was in great need to feel my heart rate increase, my breathing to become deeper, and to feel the blood rushing to my head. I didn't feel complete if I wasn't dripping in sweat.
After a few years I was a recruit in an law enforcement academy. Again I was in an environment that required a certain level of physical fitness. Even though it was a familiar environment it wasn't until the academy was close to ending that I felt my first runners high. We were told in advance that it was going to be a 6 mile run and we started out in a fast pace from the first step. My shins were aching, I was crouched over because of the cramps in my abdomen, and we did not slow our pace once enough for me to catch my breath. It was by far the hardest run we did up until that point. It wasn't until mile 3 ½ where an instructor yelled out we are halfway to being finished that I realized by posture was straight. My arms and legs were moving effortlessly in sync with one another. My pains have completely vanished and my breathing was calm and controlled. I felt great! It was like I just started a brisk jog and not have been running 3 ½ miles. My mind was focused and I didn't care about anything but running. I didn’t even want to run to finish, I just wanted to run until I couldn't move anymore.

It took me a long time after that to realize I reached what was called a  runner’s high. I can't say that I ever reached that level of euphoria again afterwards, but every time I go for a run I try to chase after it.



Per the slides:  Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive stimulant in the world. 

Coffee to me is a drug I use to stimulate me throughout the day. I prepare my coffee every night before I go to bed.  As soon as I get up I sleepwalk over to the coffee maker and poor me a cup.  I actually take my cup with me to the shower.  I drink coffee all day and I try to stop drinking it by 7:00pm.  I know caffeine has side effects like headaches, anxiety, dizziness, and heart problems but I already quit smoking 15+ years ago. 

The Mad TV Coffee Maniac video was funny.  I can see me acting like that sometimes if I drink too much coffee.

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Per the slide jealousy is:  A negative emotion triggered by possible loss of one’s mate. 

  • Men report greater distress from sexual infidelity than do women
  • Women report greater distress from emotional infidelity then men
My take:  I don’t believe in men “distress” more from sexual infidelity more than woman.  I believe both men and women get jealous the same no matter if its “sexual” or “emotional”.  Jealousy arises when there is an issue in the relationship that needs to be addressed.  I know that jealousy makes me feel angry and I need to pinpoint why I’m jealous.  If jealousy isn’t addressed in a relationship then the relationship is due to fail.

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Self Control


Justin vs NFL Star

I watched the Justin vs NFL Star video on the self-control slides and couldn’t help agree with the NFL Star’s actions.  This pop-star seems to have an impulsive need for speed which could lead to someone getting hurt or killed.  I also feel that this pop-star seems to think he is above the law and needs to have his attitude adjusted.  If the pop-star’s impulsiveness isn’t addressed he could end up ruining his career. 

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Marshmallow Test

I watched the Marshmallow Test with my 5 year old son.  He kept asking questions and I couldn’t help but wonder how he would do.  I didn’t have any marshmallows but I had Oreo cookies.  I gave him the “Oreo Test”.  I told him that he could have another Oreo once I got back if he didn’t eat the one in front of him.  I didn’t know how long to wait so I gave him 5 minutes as a test.  I went to do laundry as he waited.  Let’s just say the Oreo was still there but there was obvious signs of Oreo tampering.  I gave him another Oreo.  I honestly thought he wouldn’t have made it. 

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The term reinforce means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to anything stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response. For example, if you want your dog to sit on command, you may give him a treat every time he sits for you. The dog will eventually come to understand that sitting when told to will result in a treat. This treat is reinforcing because he likes it and will result in him sitting when instructed to do so.
There are four types of reinforcement: positive, negative, punishment, and extinction. The most common types of positive reinforcement or praise and rewards, and most of us have experienced this as both the giver and receiver. Negative reinforcement is taking something negative away in order to increase a response. Punishment refers to adding something aversive in order to decrease a behavior.When you remove something in order to decrease a behavior, this is called extinction. You are taking something away so that a response is decreased


Procrastination is inevitable, it is something everyone does. But it is something everyone does to their own extent, some let it get out of hand and some do not. Everyone puts things off until the last minute sometimes, but procrastinators chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we'll feel tomorrow, or the next day. "I don't feel like it" takes precedence over goals; however, it then begets a downward spiral of negative emotions that deter future effort. Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that's their way of justifying putting things off. On the bright side, it's possible to overcome procrastination, with effort. 

 When you set goals for yourself you are actually making plans for your Future Self. The Future Self values long-term rewards. However, while the Future Self can set goals, only the Present Self can actually take action. When the time comes to make a decision, you are no longer making a choice for your Future Self. Now you are in the present moment, and your brain is thinking about the Present Self. So, the Present Self and the Future Self are often at odds with one another.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Food Neophobia

Food neophobia is the tendency to avoid novel foods and prefer familiar foods. I feel as if almost everyone experiences a type of this within their lifetime. I remember as a child I would not eat anything that my mother would not eat because it was a different type of food or it was an unfamiliar type of food. But as I got older, I steered away from that type of behavior and I explored different types of food. People are afraid to go out of the box because they feel safe and protected with the ways that they currently practice.
Two factors have been shown to contribute to rejection or acceptance of fruits and vegetables: food neophobia and picky eating, especially in children. Due to the relationship between picky eating and food neophobia, some factors, such as pressure to eat, personality factors, parental practices or feeding styles and social influences, will have similar effects on both magnitude and duration of expression of these behaviors. On the other hand, these constructs may be differentially affected by factors such as age, tactile defensiveness, environment and culture. Many different factors come into play when we talk about neophobia and picky eating when it comes to children.

Monday, July 24, 2017



Addiction is an intense craving, seeking out, and use of a particular drug. There are a lot of reasons why people use drugs but to me the most harmless way is when you get surgery and the doctors prescribe you with pills which cause your body to crave for more which causes you to become addicted which turns into popping perks or crushing them up or snorting them. Some people are peer pressured into doing drugs while others think doing drugs will take their stress away. This video was a great detailed example on addiction to me. If you have a friend or a love one and they are on drugs please get them help as soon as possible because our young people are killing themselves, everyone is doing everything looking like zombies or ten times their age. What's worst is the amount of money people spend just to get high then wonder why they're broke. More importantly is the stress and pain they put on their love through. People who are on drugs attitudes and behaviors change and they start lacking on their hygiene, their role as a parent and their professionalism at work. Take care of your body its more to life than being on drugs.



The first thing to come out of Eric Thomas mentions is that he does not believe in Procrastination. He stated to a young woman that if he would give her three million dollars for meeting him at five in the morning where would she be? She said I would be here thirty minutes before five in the morning. I know a lot of us that would say i will be there and even earlier for that kind of money. It's funny because we procrastinate all the time because things may not be important in our eyes. Procrastination refers to a delay in goal-directed behavior despite knowing that one will be worse off as a result. I procrastinate everyday when I tell myself I will go to the gym before I go to work and after work. I mean I set my alarm and press the snooze button telling myself that I will go the next day. I've been saying that since January. Procrastination will get you nowhere its just a lowsey excuse. Hopefully we all will stop procrastinating sooner than later. Procrastination leads to failure just like if your paper for a class was due at a specific time and date and you hand it in late. Well now your grade was lowered the the grade you earned. Just like if you did not pay a traffic ticket on time then they will suspend your license. Stop Procrastinating I promise your life will be much greater.

Food Neophbia

Food Neophobia

Mr. Berg said stated from our Lecture Slides that Food Neophobia is the tendency to avoid novel foods and to prefer familiar foods. To me this video displayed my way of eating of my 28 years of living. I am a very very picky eater just like the little firl in this video. I pick at chicken when im eating because I do not like dark meat or seeing the veins. The only green vegetable that I will eat are peas but it has to be  saturated in butter and the only way that i will eat spinach is if it was cooked with cheese. I do not like to try new foods but I make my children eat everything. I wish I was more like them but my parents never forced me to eat what I did not like. I swear if I was in the endurance I would of starved to death because I could never eat Seals and Penguins. I will never be a Omnivorous I am extremely too Picky.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Getting Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial in order to stay motivated, procrastinate less, and to improve our quality of life. Many things in our life hinder our quality of sleep. Let's examine what they are and how we can achieve better sleep.

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1) Our cell phones: We use our phones for everything: social media, texting, talking, gathering information, facetiming, and when we are bored. But our phones can delay our sleep because we don't turn them off when it is bedtime and from the blue light they emit. Turning your phone off 1 hour before bed is a good way to start.

2) Diet: Eating spicy or rich meals and drinking alcohol or caffeine everyday can ruin our sleep. Caffeine makes us stay awake by affecting our nervous system, alcohol causes poor sleep as it disrupts the body, and spicy and rich foods take longer to digest causing poor sleep. Don't drink caffeine after 3 pm, drink alcohol less or only during weekends, and eat spicy or rich foods 4 to 5 hours before bedtime for optimal digestion.

3) Light: It is important to sleep in a darkened room and leaving the curtains open or lights on or tv on can interfere with our natural melatonin function.

4) Worry: Worrying and pondering over the events of the day and what tomorrow holds can hinder our sleep by making us anxious. Try to do deep breathing or turn your mind towards more positive thoughts and affirmation in order to have a peaceful state of mind before you sleep.

Perhaps you can now understand why your sleep isn't as optimal as you'd like it to be. Try practicing the tips listed above and see if your sleep improves. Sleep is an important function of our lives, so it is imperative we get enough sleep and quality sleep. As college students we don't always get enough sleep or the best sleep, but it is important to create a healthy sleep schedule so we can function at our best.

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How does everyone reward themselves after completing a task?  For me, if I feel that I have done enough to reward myself, I usually treat myself to some Taco Bell. It may not sound like much but to me I absolutely love it and since I space it out so much it's a nice treat when I have had a solid few weeks of working out and eating clean.
Taco Bell is not the only thing I will treat myself to. When I have a hard assignment for school that is taking up all my time. I will sit down and try to get it all done and once I finish it I will go hiking that following weekend to reward myself for completing the task.

I plan on doing a lot of hiking at the end of this semester!!

I think it is important to reward yourself for everything you have done. If it's small tasks or big tasks as long as you have given it your all a reward is important to keep you motivated to complete future tasks.