I Believe the World Needs More Happiness. I’m Trying to Do My Small Part to Make This Happen Every Day

 

This conversation started on February 6th, 2018 and was first published on Over50Badasses.com. Amen.

Tom what is your age sir?

55

***

What does being (that number) mean to you?

Nothing. I don’t think in terms of numbers. I think about the day. What am I going to do today. Right now.

***

When you are asked Tom, what do you do? What is your answer?

I make things.

How do you stay present and not let the past or the future drag you away from the right now?

This is a work in progress, and greatly enhanced through years of meditation. When I am with someone, I focus on engaging with them. I listen intently at what they are saying, responding to their words with integrity and honesty. When I am engaged in a task, I am fully committed to working on that task.

Do you wake up and form a plan for the day or does the day just happen?

My day is a combination of structure and spontaneity. I wake early. Meditate. Creative write. Work. (Only with those I enjoy working with.) Walk. (A walking meditation where I take photographs.) I engage in quality time with my wife, daughter and friends.

The rest of day is left to wander and wonder.

***

You make things. What kind of things do you make?

I strive to make joy through my photography. I walk through nature with wide eyes and my head on swivel. I hope to share with others what I see: a planet that is filled with infinite beauty.

***

What time do you wake up? What does your morning meditation consist of and is it the same everyday?

I awake at 4:45 AM. I find my quiet place, focus on my breath and try to empty my mind. The routine is the same every day.

Walking meditation. How long have you been practicing that?

For the last two years.

***


When did you introduce the photography aspect to your walking meditation?

It was not a conscious decision. The more I walked, the more my senses sharpened. I wanted to document what I began to see, which was this incredible beauty in the seemingly ordinary.

You strive to make joy through your photography. You didn’t say money, or career, or art, you said joy. Why is that important to you?

Quite simply, I believe the world needs more happiness. I am trying to do my small part to make this happen. There is no price for admission.

It is free for anyone who wants to look at my photos.

***


You want to share a planet that is filled with infinite beauty. Do you think most people don’t see that?

There are people who see this beauty. I’m certain many who see more than me. But I think there also many who walk around with blinders on. They look. They don’t see.

***

What does nature mean to you when you are in it? How does it make you feel?

I feel at home in nature. I feel like I belong. I am one more branch in a line of trees. I am a snowflake on a snow-filled hill.

Your senses sharpened. Can you explain that to someone who doesn’t understand what that means?

Colors seem brighter. Sounds are more detailed. My sense of smell is more acute.

***

The world needs more happiness. What compels you to do your small part?

The cliché is true: Life is hard. If I’m being honest, I’m terribly selfish.

I love the feeling of bringing a smile to someone’s face.

***


You mentioned walking around with blinders on. What is the difference between the previous blinded Tom Rosen and the unblinded who can see?

Perhaps giving an example is the best way to explain. In the past, when I would see a tree, I would appreciate it for being a tree. Nothing more. When I see a tree now, I see it for its beauty. The sturdy shape of its trunk. The graceful sway of its branches. And often, I see more. The shadow it casts may create an intricate pattern on grass. The wind may rustle the tree’s leaves into a lovely tune.

***

Have you always been connected to nature or is this a new connection?

Eight years ago I moved near Cedar Lake, perhaps the most rustic of the Twin City lakes. But it was only after I got a dog, and we started taking walks around the lake, that I truly connected with nature.

***

Your photographic series is called Seen on a Walk? Can you tell us what your plan was when you conceived it and where it is going?

Initially, the “Seen on a Walk” series was intended to help my Facebook friends during what I perceived as a difficult period — the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Many of these friends are creative people, and I began to notice that their once inventive posts had shifted to anger-filled rants. My thought was to post a photo a day on Facebook. The goal was to get my friends to stop, even for a second or two, and drink in the beauty of nature, and hopefully leave their anger behind.

Several months later, I received a message from my friend Scott O’Leary. He had noticed the “Seen on a Walk” posts on Facebook and commented that he saw something “more” within my images — a spiritual connection. I was intrigued by what he said and we agreed to talk more. What came out of that talk was incredibly inspiring — to bring “Seen on a Walk” to people who can no longer take walks.

Things fell into place quickly after that. I got a call from another friend who wanted to help me create a book of my photos. I bumped into a friend who had a connection to the Allina Hospice. Long story short. The twelve rooms at the JA Wedum Hospice in Brooklyn Park each have a “Seen on a Walk” book in them for the patients to look through.

***

How many images do you think you have captured?

Close to 700.

***

How do you capture the images. What is your process or lack of one?

Typically I am drawn to an image, much like the pull of a magnet. Once I arrive, I am happily naive.

I simply point my iPhone and click.

What has been the response to your images from the Hospice and from the people who are transitioning from this life to another?

The hospice volunteers I’ve spoken with have told me they are often not in the rooms when the patients look through the “Seen on a Walk” books. Feedback has been minimal. This does not concern me in the least. I take pride in knowing that every day, even on the smallest level, people are benefiting from seeing the images.

***

Do you think about the people who are leaving this place when you are out capturing images?

I don’t. I am focused solely on capturing the best image. I do think about the people who are leaving this place often. Perhaps most profoundly when I am sorting through images, creating books hospice patients will see, hoping the content will help provide peace in their transition.

***

Have you met or had any contact with the people who have seen your books?

I have not had contact with patients. I have had contact with volunteers and board members. They are very kind, and very complimentary with regard to their take on the book.

They’ve told me they can see the spiritual aspect to the photos, and they can understand how the images are beneficial to hospice patients.

***

What are your long-term plans for Seen on a Walk?

My goal is to slowly grow “Seen on a Walk.” My second book will be more of a coffee table book. It is intended to be used as a fund-raising piece for the hospice. It will also be made available for patients, family and friends to view in reception areas of various hospices.

Once the second book is complete, I plan on sending it to BJ Miller, who heads up the Zen Hospice project in San Francisco. Their mission is to change the experience of dying and caregiving. I am hoping the “Seen on a Walk” books will find a place into their mission.

***

How did such a talented writer find his way into a photographic journey? Have you always had a longing to take pictures?

Thank you for such a nice complement. I love writing, especially the craft of writing. I find this joy on a daily basis as I work on my first novel. When I look back upon my advertising career, I have noticed many of my most impactful ads were visually driven. So I am not surprised that I have “graduated” to embarking on a photographic journey.

***

What are your thoughts on impermanence?

To grow also means to let go.

***

Why do you think life is hard?

I believe the struggle to overcome hardship is what makes us better, stronger people.

***

With over 700 images are you considering a gallery showing?

Currently, I have 18 of my images hanging on the walls at the Sebastian Joe’s on Franklin Ave.

***

Has “Seen on a Walk” made you a better writer?

I believe the answer to that is yes. I believe really good creative people are extremely observational. So if I’ve improved my observational skills through photography. It stands to reason that my writing has improved as well.

***

How has “Seen on a Walk” changed you?

I have come to love bringing joy to others.

***

You mentioned you only work with those you enjoy working with. What is your criteria?

Kindness. Patience. Understanding.

You have been a long time writer in the advertising business. A very good one. Are you doing any other kind of writing beyond the advertising world?

I am writing my first novel. This exercise is an exercise of joy. I find myself traveling beyond the cultivated routes of advertising.

***

You are writing a novel. Can you tell us how you arrived at that starting line?

That is a great question, Scott. It gets back to the purpose of your site and, possibly, the reason for this interview. It turned out that turning 50 was a very impactful thing for me. I began to think about my mortality with increasing frequency. This lead to bigger questions, the biggest of which was: What would I leave behind? I felt like I had a story to tell. A timeless story about a father and son, and the intricacy of their relationship. As a son, I am writing this book for my parents. As a husband, I am writing it for my wife. As a father, I am writing it for my daughter. As a human being, I am writing it for my fellow human beings. I hope there is learning that can be taken from its contents.

If I am truly lucky, the book will prove to be my gift to the universe.

***

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to actually put down that first word?

Fear. I stared at a blank page for months before I wrote my first word. Clichés get a bad wrap, but the thing is, they stay around because they are often filled with truth. In my case, the line: “Every journey begins with a single step” is very appropriate.

***

Do you work on it everyday?

I do. I look at writing a book as a job. A very challenging, yet ultimately, pleasurable job.

***

Can you speak to your process. Do you write at a certain time? Do you have any rituals around the writing process?

I meditate when I wake, which is at 4:45 A.M. By 5:15 I am at my computer. The house is quiet. The coffee is hot. The internet is not turned on.

***

I have heard writing a book is like running a marathon. Maybe more like an ultra marathon. How do you get through the tough days when doubt and fear creep into the process?

I have never run a marathon or climbed a tall mountain. But I can understand why those kind of comparisons exist. I have learned to take what I can get from a day. Sometimes it may be as small as finding just the right word to fill in a sentence. A small victory, but a necessary victory.

I have also come to find that a bad writing day is often followed by a good writing day.

***

Do you ever hear a voice that says you can’t do this and how do you answer that voice?

There is a voice that says no, and it can be a very loud voice. Much like a marathon runner has people to cheer him or her on during difficult times, I turn to my writing friends when I am struggling. Their words often bring comfort and understanding. Invariably, I wake early the next day, eager to get back at it.

***

Will the novel contain any of your photographs?

That’s a good idea, Scott. I will include the right image(s) in my book if it matches up with the story.

***

What is your relationship with your mortality?

At some point Tom Rosen will no longer exist. This does not concern me. Tom Rosen’s soul will live on, to continue on it’s path of growing and learning.

***

Is the process of writing this novel a gift to you? Is it giving back?

Yes. I am climbing my Everest. I am taking great learning along the journey: patience, persistence, and gratitude to name a few.

***

How do you deal with fear? What is your process to get through, around or over fear?

Fear is driven by the unknown. I ground myself in what I know. I also seek knowledge from others, and from my reading. Knowledge in tow, fear likes to surrender without giving up a good fight.

***

Why is the father/son relationship a story that you want to tell?

Many of us are parents. We are all children. I hope to pass along whatever learning I have gained in both of these roles. For example, how as my learning as a child impacted my ability to be a better parent.

***

What gifts have the universe given you?

My life. The lives of my family and friends. The lives of people I dislike or don’t understand.

***

What would 55-year young Thomas say to 25-year old Tom?

I’ve had a birthday, so I guess the question would now be: What would 56 year young Thomas say to 26 year old Tom.

He’d say to him: Look fear in the face and tell it to fuck off.

Happy Birthday Thomas from myself and the universe.

***

If you would be so kind, would you share a paragraph from your novel with us?

I like this sequence at the end of the first chapter.

Despite feeling miserable, my stomach rumbled with hunger, somehow immune to the day’s disappointment. I wiped my eyes, pried myself off my bed, walked out of the room, and down tan carpeted stairs toward the kitchen.

Suddenly, my father’s voice pierced the air. My feet froze. My heart leapt from my chest and straight to the back of my throat, leaving me breathless. I strained to hear what he was saying.

“Irv, I’ve got to tell you… I couldn’t believe it myself.”

Was he talking to my Uncle Irv? Why? I strained harder to hear what he was saying.

My father continued, “He broke his leg.”

There was something in his voice. Was it pride… could it be… pride?

***


If you could change one thing in the entire universe what would it be?

Who am I to tinker with perfection? I wouldn’t change a thing.

This post was previously published on http://www.over50badasses.com and is republished here with permission.

Photo courtesy of author / over50badasses.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2V2SQ2G

After 31yrs of marriage, how do we stay connected, not complacent?

Question: My husband and I are celebrating our 31st anniversary. We have been through so much together and I have seen how much he has grown as a compassionate person. My question to you is, after being together for so long – should I worry about us becoming complacent? How can I ensure we stay connected and strong for years to come?
Answer: I am so completely inspired by your question. 31 years together is a long time and I acknowledge that you celebrate the growth of compassion in your husband.
Given you are asking for my support I’m confident that you too are committed to growth and evolution as well. I truly think this is a foundational pillar in a marriage keeping things ever unfolding into greater and greater connection, intimacy and Glory.
Anytime someone begins a question with, should I worry… I let them know that worry is a low vibration, a contracted state of awareness, fear-based and bound to attract our worst case scenario. Words are very powerful thus I invite you to only ask instead, What would it take to ensure we stay connected and strong for years to come… As you did in your second question. Brilliant!
While many people think connection comes from being approved of, appreciated, agreed with and thought to be good, true and right… I believe true connection comes from being deeply seen and understood in a safe sanctuary of non-judgment.
Of course it’s always awesome to be approved of an appreciated! However deep intimacy and a profound connection that goes beyond words… lives in the realm of energy that is created through being deeply heard in a space of total allowance.
So how do we create that?
There is a form of communication that is explained in my fourth book, 7 steps to manifest your beloved while staying true to yourself … and although you’ve already definitely found your beloved for 31 years xox the TRUE beloved I refer to in my book is our SELF.
When we can make contact with our self in a state of uncertainty or frustration or fear of rejection… and still have our own back, still open our heart, still communicate in a straight kind way with our partner… we create a safe secure place for them to tell the truth.
So in Chapter 5 of this book, Rituals of Intimacy, I go through a form of communication called a ‘Dyad’… And it’s something you could begin to do now once a week on date night to deepen your connection for decades to come.
Another place to learn about this form of communication and also to heal any lingering frustration or anger about the past and also heal any wounds in the heart so as to be able to be present and connected with yourself so that you can be present and connected with another… Is in my home study program called Hearts played wide open, another phenomenal resource to go deeper with these dyads.
What you’ll find is that you think you know who you are and your husband thinks he knows who he is… Yet in these magical communication tools called dyads, you will literally discover parts of yourself hidden underneath the everyday content of your mind. It will feel fresh and new invulnerable and delicious to reveal new parts of yourself to your partner. This aliveness will nourish your marriage and keep it strong over the long-term.
Again thank you ever so much for being so proactive and a lifelong learner and so committed to your marriage… You are my inspiration 🙂 humongous love, Allana
Ready to Manifest your Beloved While Staying True to Yourself?
Download Chapter 1 of my 4th Book here:
Gentlemen…End The Fear Of Rejection 
For instant access to your “How To Be A Noble Badass” 
Complimentary Training, please visit www.GetHerToSayYes.com
Ladies…Be irresistible. Feel sacred. Attract him now.
For instant access to your “Vulnerability is the New Sexy” 
Complimentary Training, please visit www.AllanaPratt.com
You can also find many of my Q&A videos on YouTube. 
 And please be sure to subscribe to my channel! Thanks!
Also, if you have a burning question about love, dating
or life in general for me, you can ask me on Twitter
@AllanaPratt and just use #AllanaQandA. 
There are hundreds of inspiring Intimate Conversation Podcast
Interviews from Season 1-8 found at www.AllanaPratt.com/podcast
If you’re ready to clear away blocks to having a thriving
intimate conscious partnership,  I invite you to apply 
for a discounted session now at www.AllanaPratt.com/connect
In service to your intimate relationships thriving,
Deliciously yours, Allana xoxo

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Jane and Pinstripe get to Work Together in ‘Plus it Up’

plus it up, the bold type, tv show, comedy, drama, season 3, review, freeform

Jane and Pinstripe work on a piece together in ‘Plus it Up’

Last time on The Bold Type, Jane got a new boss and made a pretty bad first impression. When asked to write an article about them she hoped it would help find dirt on them. In the end though it made her respect them more. Meanwhile Sutton had a decision to make and Kat was having a hard time dealing with a recent break up. Now Jane and Pinstripe get to work on an article together in ‘Plus it Up’. I was able to watch a screener of this episode and here is what I thought of it.

plus it up, the bold type, tv show, comedy, drama, season 3, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

You can read the premise for ‘Plus it Up’ here:

Jane begins her fertility treatments in preparation for freezing her eggs and is assigned an article to write about her experience, but with a very personal twist. Kat learns that a prominent lesbian bar is being closed down and replaced with condos and decides to throw a Queer Prom to fund-raise its rescue. Sutton moves in with Richard but struggles to accept his help when Oliver’s mysterious absences force her to put in more hours at work.

plus it up, the bold type, tv show, comedy, drama, season 3, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

Jane gets assigned to work on an article with Pinstripe on ‘Plus it Up’. She fears it may be crossing a line in their relationship, and isn’t looking forward to writing it with him. Meanwhile Sutton is adjusting to living with Richard and all the changes it brings. Kat finds a cause to fight for when she finds out her favorite bar is closing down, and tries to find a way to save it. As this episode comes to a close some progress is made on Kat’s quest, but there is still a long way to go. If you want to learn more about The Bold Type click on this website.

plus it up, the bold type, tv show, comedy, drama, season 3, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

The Bold Type ‘Plus it Up’ airs tomorrow night at 8pm on Freeform. You can follow this show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2GkvXOz

Might Makes White

In Octavia Butler’s “Kindred,” the protagonist Dana is fretting about how the other slaves see her as being “white” because of her relationship with the masters. Carrie, a mute slave, rubs Dana’s face to show that the blackness doesn’t rub off. Dana is black no matter what.

I have always identified as a white person. My ancestors include Miles Standish and John Alden of the Mayflower.

Of late, though, I have been reflecting deeply on what it means to be “white.” For most of my life, I’ve had the passive thought that being white merely means having white skin. This despite my awareness that there were plenty of people who had white skin that who were still “not quite white.”

I’ve also been aware that “black power” and “white power” are distinctly different things. Black power is rooted in retrieving pride after centuries of systemic oppression. It is about overcoming and reclaiming.

White power, in contrast, is about perpetuating that systemic oppression. Whites are generally of European descent, and most of us can trace at least part of our family trees back to specific nationalities. Many, if not most, black Americans are descended from slaves which were stripped of their heritage.

◊♦◊

paul-hartzer-blue-boxI teach in a high school where most of the students are first or second generation immigrants. About a quarter of them are from Eastern Europe, and have skin about as white as mine. But it’s clear talking to them that they generally don’t consider themselves “white” in the same way that they consider me “white.”

They’re Bosnian, they’re Polish, they’re Albanian or Serbian or Croatian: They’re not “white.”

Stephen Miller, who is Jewish, has been called a White Supremacist. This led to a question about whether he (or Zina Bash, who is also Jewish) could be Jewish and White Supremacist. Miller and Bash both have white skin, but does that make them “white”? And what of Gal Gadot, the Israeli actor who plays “Wonder Woman”?

George Zimmerman’s status as a white man or as a Hispanic man seems to move fluidly based on the agenda of who’s writing about him. Zina Bash, like George Zimmerman, is a Latinx person with white skin.

Historically, Irish, Italian, and Polish people have also been excluded from the category “white” in America. The Ku Klux Klan identifies as a Christian organization, and has targeted Jews. In BlacKkKlansman, when Ron Stallworth first talks to the KKK, he mentions Jews, Italians, and the Irish among the groups that he hates.

And while the US Census has long considered Middle Easterners to be white for statistical purposes, that may change soon (although not next year, as originally planned).

Meanwhile, though Jim Crow laws, redlining, and other forms of legal segregation were struck down in the middle of the last century, the one-drop rule persists today. The rule says that anyone with traceable African ancestry is black: This is how exclusive “whiteness” is.

So what does it mean to be “white” in America?

◊♦◊

For my students, it seems that full “whiteness” includes a cultural inheritance that they don’t feel they have. There’s having white skin, and then there’s having whiteness, and though having white skin comes with certain privileges attached to whiteness, there are also further privileges and social debts attached to whiteness that not all people with white skin have.

I am descended from pilgrims and, almost certainly, from slave owners. I speak English without any foreign accent. I am part German, part British, part other stuff. Any black blood I have is likely the result of masters raping slaves, something which was far more common than we white folks would like to discuss.

These realities and possibilities are in my DNA. This is part of my whiteness.

I do not say this with shame or self-hatred. Once upon a time, I did: I resented what my ancestors did, and disliked what that said about me. And make no mistake, I’m disgusted by the behaviors of my white European-descendent forebears. But these are not things I did.

When I speak of “social debt,” this is a big part of it. I have a responsibility to acknowledge what my ancestors have done, and to address what I can. I don’t think it is moral for me to try to deny, or soft-pedal, history. I can rub my skin all I want, but the white isn’t going anywhere.

◊♦◊

White is not a color so much as it is the absence of it.

White is not a culture so much as it is the absence of it: To be white in America, you have to have your origins steeped out of you. Not torn away, as we did with the Africans we brought here by force, but rinsed away through the generations.

Whiteness struggles to exist alongside more specific cultures, and the cultural privileges of whiteness overpower our urge to maintain connections to our specific cultures.

Having white skin is a fact of low melanin. American whiteness is a cultural construct rooted in entitlement and superiority. Identifying as a white person is an act somewhere on the spectrum that joins those two points.

I cannot turn back the clock or change my identity. But I can acknowledge the privileges that are my birthright, through no doing of my own, and find ways to mitigate them. I can pay attention to the ways in which my privileges from whiteness translate to limitations for people who aren’t “white like me.” I can use my privilege to stand against bigotry committed by my fellow whites. I can listen quietly and supportively to voices of color.

If you’re white, I encourage you to do the same.

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5 Key Investment Principles from Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is a mentor for a lot of traders. Why shouldn’t he be? After all, his investing principles have earned him the title of the world’s greatest investor. His way of working is a little contradictory to many others in the arena of online trading. He doesn’t invest the way it’s depicted in the popular media. He is the kind of investor who likes buying and holding.

Buffett has taught us that once you buy a stock, hold it no matter what. Forget that there is a recession in the economy or it is at its boom. Whether it’s good times or bad, you’re supposed to hold onto the stock.

Buffett doesn’t just buy stocks for the sake of holding them. He buys them for a specific reason. When those reasons no longer exist, he sells the stocks. He not only looks for good prices but sound management and a competitive advantage. He shared his opinion that companies such as IBM, Sears, and GM are great but they cannot stay competitive for long. Therefore, these companies shouldn’t be a part of your portfolio.

Why not learn from the pro himself and invest the right way? Here are 5 key principles to begin with:

1. Invest In What You Know

Before investing in a stock, it is very important to understand what a company does and how it makes its money. Ever wondered why Buffett has always avoided investing in tech stocks? It’s because he does not completely understand their business model. He sticks to what he knows.

This also explains why he prefers investing in Berkshire’s stocks. It represents a diverse mix of stocks such as utilities, banking, and insurance and consumer products. All of these are businesses that Buffett understands very well. No wonder he has invested a significant amount of money here.

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.”  – Warren Buffett

2. Before Buying a Stock, List the Criteria

It makes sense to buy stocks on the basis of criteria, right? After all, you’re ensuring that you don’t end up investing in something unfavorable. You could be searching for stocks in a certain industry with a set price to earnings ratio.

Buffett never makes the price of the stock the sole criteria of his buying decision. Sometimes, great companies end up taking a price dip because of the market situation. However, holding onto these stocks could still turn out to be favorable.

3. Be Aggressive During Tough Times

Generally, it’s not recommended to time the market. But if you’re a long-term investor, you’ll be fine no matter when you buy. This means that even during the tough economic times, you shouldn’t settle down. Keep on looking for opportunities. This is what Warren Buffett does because he knows that things will eventually turn around.

Buffett is known for capitalizing on opportunities during and after the great recession. Bank of America investment is one of the best examples of this. In his latest annual letter, Buffett said that “dark clouds will fill the sky almost after every decade. But it certainly will rain gold.” So don’t despair, keep on investing.

4. Don’t Worry About the Day to Day Market Movements

Along with other tips, Buffett also said that you must only buy a stock if you are comfortable holding on to it in case the stock market shuts down for a decade. Since you are holding onto the stocks for 10 or more years, there is no point in losing sleep over the minor swings.

Ignore the headlines about the trade wars, the government shutdown, and other chaotic news. Instead, you focus on learning the potential growth of your company over the course of time. The fact is, stock prices keep on changing, but it’s not significant if the company’s business still has a bright future.

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” – Warren Buffett

5. Buy Buffett’s Stocks

Buffett keeps everything simple when it comes to investing. If you don’t want to do the guesswork and research to figure out which stocks to buy, simply invest in the stocks Buffett already owns. But, make sure you understand the business. Buffett discloses his holdings publically each quarter. He has capital in companies such as Wells Fargo, Apple, and Bank of America. To keep things simple, you can buy the shares of Berkshire Hathaway itself.

Warren Buffett hasn’t been successful all by himself. He has a team of investors who help him do legal work and give him investment tips. He’s also a part of an advisor network because he understands that an investor needs all the help he can get. It’s amazing that a billionaire like him still listens to others.

Now that you know how to invest like Buffett, it’s time you prepare your investment strategy. These principles are not hard and fast criteria, they are simply a discipline strategy all investors should stick to. Along with these, you can use math, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and even stock charts to make a decision. You may not end up a billionaire, but you will avoid losses and make more profits than your fellows.

Which one of the 5 key investment principles from above resonated with you most? Let us know below!

source https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/5-key-investment-principles-from-warren-buffett/

Should You Try the Mediterranean Diet? We Examine the Evidence

Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.

The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as one of the best.

In fact, U.S. News and World Report named it the best diet overall compared to 41 different diets.

The Mediterranean diet was also named the best plant-based diet, best diet for healthy eating, best diet for diabetes, and easiest diet to follow.

Some studies even suggest it can help you live longer (12).

But is this diet really the best diet for you?

Here, we take a closer look at the origins of the diet and the current scientific evidence to see if the Mediterranean diet is all it’s cracked up to be.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a largely plant-based diet that draws from food traditions from countries along the Mediterranean coast.

Origins of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been studied for decades, but it’s only became popular in non-Mediterranean countries since the 1990s.

It was first introduced with the Seven Countries Study, an international epidemiological study that began in 1958 and is still active today.

The study, led by Dr. Ancel Keys, linked traditional Mediterranean diets (and specifically diets that include large amounts of olive oil) with reduced risk for coronary heart disease (34).

Keys and his wife published their findings on traditional Mediterranean diets and heart health in 1975. Dr. Keys remained a Mediterranean diet advocate and an active researcher for much of his life. He died just before his 101st birthday.

The Mediterranean diet as we know it today isn’t necessarily the same as the traditional diet described by Dr. Keys. This is because there are many cultural traditions that influence the cuisine in each of the 18 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

As such, the newer, more popular version of the Mediterranean diet—published by Walter Willett of Harvard University and Greg Drescher of the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust—may not include ingredients that are staples in certain Mediterranean cultures.

Today’s version also includes ingredients that wouldn’t technically be part of a traditional Mediterranean diet. Examples include avocados and quinoa, both of which are thought to have originated in South America (5).

That’s not to say that the modern version is bad, but these subtle differences may result in different health outcomes than what has been found in the Seven Countries Study.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Today’s Mediterranean diet still encourages heavy consumption of plant foods.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices are eaten at most meals.

The primary animal proteins come from fish and seafood, which should be eaten at least twice per week. One serving of poultry, cheese, eggs, or yogurt is permitted per day, while meats and sweets are to be eaten only occasionally.

Red wine is the preferred alcoholic drink on the Mediterranean diet. Men are allowed up to 10 oz of alcohol per day, while women are allowed up to 5 oz (150 ml) per day. Any alcoholic drinks should be enjoyed with meals (6).

Fried foods, processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, refined grains and other foods typical of a Western-style diet should be avoided.

You may notice an extra level on the bottom of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid. This is dedicated to physical activity and companionship, important parts of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was created by a nonprofit organization called Oldways Cultural Food Traditions, in partnership with the World Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Daily exercise is encouraged, and meals should be shared with others as often as possible.

Summary: The Mediterranean diet that’s popular today was adapted from the work of Dr. Ancel Keys, who linked diets high in fat, specifically olive oil, with lower risk for coronary heart disease. Today’s Mediterranean diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains, as well as unsaturated fats and fish. Alcohol, poultry, eggs and fermented dairy are permitted in moderation. Daily exercise and enjoying meals with others is also strongly encouraged.

Key Nutrients on the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is abundant in vitamins and minerals.

However, a few key nutrients—including antioxidants, polyphenols, and unsaturated fats—are thought to play special roles in the diet’s success. These nutrients appear to be more powerful when paired together, rather than in isolation (7).

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are natural chemicals found in foods that help prevent cell damage, and can be credited with many of the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

Antioxidant foods (but not necessarily supplements) have a well-established role in preventing and reversing chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Plant foods like fruits and vegetables contain significantly more antioxidants than animal foods. Because it includes a variety of plant foods, the Mediterranean diet is naturally high in antioxidants (89).

Researchers for one large study looked at the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and antioxidants, using a small subgroup of volunteers. In this analysis, volunteers following a Mediterranean diet had higher antioxidant activity than those on a low-fat control diet (10).

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are antioxidant-rich chemicals that are found in plants.

They’re thought to protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, among other health conditions. The mechanisms for this aren’t fully understood yet.

However, animal and test tube studies suggest that polyphenols may inhibit the production and release of inflammatory chemicals like cytokines (11).

Examples of polyphenols include phenolic acids, flavonoids, resveratrol, and anthocyanins. In the Mediterranean diet, these are found in olive oil, red wine, fruit, and vegetables (12).

Unsaturated Fats

The Mediterranean diet is rich in unsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish.

Studies suggest that unsaturated fats are healthier for the heart than saturated fats, like those found in meat and dairy.

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be especially beneficial in reducing inflammation and lowering heart risk.

Some studies have linked moderate consumption of fish, a key source of omega-3 fatty acids, with lower blood pressure and healthier blood lipid profiles, regardless of the overall dietary pattern.

However, at least two large observational studies found no strong links between eating fish and better heart health. Clinical trials would help clarify the relationship between fish and cardiovascular health (13).

Summary: The Mediterranean diet is abundant in vitamins and minerals due to its focus on plant foods. Antioxidants, polyphenols and unsaturated fats are thought to be the key nutrients responsible for disease prevention, especially when consumed together.

How Does the Mediterranean Diet Differ from Other Diets?

There are many popular diets that claim to boost health and promote weight loss, so what makes the Mediterranean diet different?

Let’s take a look at how it stacks up nutritionally when compared to keto and low-fat diets.

The Mediterranean Diet vs. the Keto Diet

The ketogenic (“keto”) diet has become especially trendy in recent years.

It typically includes around 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates. This macronutrient ratio can put the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body burns stored fats for energy instead of carbs.

Fans of the keto diet believe that it promotes weight loss and heart and brain health, among other benefits. However, the diet remains somewhat controversial.

First, there aren’t enough strong human studies to support these health claims. It’s also not clear whether some of the health benefits experienced are because of the keto diet itself or from weight loss in general (1415).

There are also versions of the keto diet that are very high in saturated fats and very low in fiber, both of which could compromise heart health.

The Mediterranean diet, by contrast, is moderate in fat and higher in carbohydrates. Most meals include whole grains, vegetables and/or fruit.

Fat isn’t exactly restricted on the Mediterranean diet, but typically accounts for 30-45% of calories—much lower than the keto diet (6).

The Mediterranean Diet vs. Low-Fat Diets

Low-fat diets have been popular for decades, for both weight loss and disease prevention.

The general consensus is that a low-fat diet contains less than 30% of calories from fat.

They’ve long been considered the gold standard for prevention and treatment of heart disease. However, newer studies suggest that diets rich in unsaturated fats can be heart-healthy, even when more than 30% of calories come from fat (16).

The Mediterranean diet falls into this category. It isn’t naturally low-fat since it promotes liberal use of extra virgin olive oil, which contains 14 grams of unsaturated fat per tablespoon (15 ml).

Since the Mediterranean diet is less restrictive than both keto and low-fat diets, it’s a good alternative for those who enjoy flexibility and variety in their diet.

Summary: Ketogenic (“keto”) diets contain about 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Diets with less than 30% fat are generally considered to be low-fat. The Mediterranean diet has no prescribed ratio of macronutrients, though it typically falls somewhere between keto and low-fat with an intake of around 30-45% of calories mostly in the form of unsaturated fats.

About That PREDIMED Study…

In 2018, there was a major study retraction related to the Mediterranean diet.

PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) was a multicenter trial that included more than 7,400 Spanish volunteers considered to be at high risk for heart disease.

The researchers wanted to know if the Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack or heart-related death more effectively than a low-fat diet.

The study findings were impressive. Most notably, the study found that the Mediterranean diet could cut heart disease risk by a third among those with risk factors for it.

Researchers also analyzed smaller groups of the PREDIMED sample to see if the Mediterranean diet helped prevent cancer, cognitive decline and other health problems.

Some of these smaller studies also had remarkable findings. For example, one found that the diet was significantly better than a low-fat diet at preserving cognitive function (1718).

That said, PREDIMED was retracted in 2018 after a physician and statistician raised concerns that the study wasn’t properly randomized. All told, more than 20% of the study volunteers may not have been randomized using research best practices (19).

Researchers from PREDIMED revised the study in 2018, noting similar findings even after excluding 1,588 volunteers from analysis. However, questions remain about the validity of the new study (20).

We’ve excluded PREDIMED from our analysis of the Mediterranean diet as much as possible, though some of the studies cited in this article may include references to PREDIMED.

Still, it’s difficult to dispute that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet due to its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Studies before and since PREDIMED support its value for weight loss and overall health.

Summary: PREDIMED was a large, 4+-year study that found that the Mediterranean diet could cut heart disease risk by a third. The study was retracted in 2018 after it was discovered that more than 20% of its participants hadn’t been properly randomized. This may subtract from the body of research supporting the diet, but it doesn’t change the fact that the diet is still a healthy one.

The Mediterranean Diet and Weight Loss

The Mediterranean Diet isn’t specifically known as a weight loss diet.

However, certain features of the diet make it useful for people trying to shed a few pounds:

  • The diet’s emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables make it naturally high in fiber, which may improve satiety. Studies have linked adequate dietary fiber intake with lower body weight (21).
  • The diet is fairly high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown in small studies to promote weight loss in obese women (22).
  • The variety of foods in the diet may make it easier for people to adhere to for the long-term. Dietary adherence is a key predictor of weight loss success (523).

 

Studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can help with weight loss, or at least prevent weight gain. However, the rate of loss may not be as rapid on the Mediterranean diet as with other diet plans.

Weight loss of 4 to 10 kgs (about 9 to 22 lbs) over 12 months is fairly typical, with the greatest losses seen in those who are the most adherent and have the most weight to lose (24252627).

Keep in mind that the Mediterranean diet has no specific recommendation for the percentage of carbs. Those who are looking for more weight loss may find it useful to follow a slightly lower carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

In one study of 259 overweight adults with diabetes, those who followed a low-carb Mediterranean diet consisting of 35% carbs and 45% fat lost an average of 2.7 kgs more in 12 months than those assigned to a traditional version of the diet (25).

Also, remember that you’ll gain weight on any diet if you eat more calories than you burn. You may find it helpful to track your calories for a few days if you start gaining weight on a Mediterranean diet. This can help give you a sense of where you can trim “hidden” calories from the diet.

Summary: The Mediterranean diet can help promote weight loss, partly because of its emphasis on fiber-rich foods and unsaturated fats. Those struggling to lose weight on it may benefit from a slight reduction in carbs or tracking calories for a few days.

The Mediterranean Diet and Heart Health

An estimated 22.2 million people per year will die from heart disease by 2030 (28).

About 1/3 of adults with heart disease will first have a condition called metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and death from any cause. Symptoms include:

 

In one review that included 50 studies and nearly 535,000 participants, people who followed a Mediterranean diet were 50% less likely to have metabolic syndrome (29).

What’s more, the Mediterranean diet is thought to be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome.

One study of 180 participants with metabolic syndrome compared the Mediterranean diet with a calorie-restricted diet that included exercise. Both groups had similar ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the diet.

After 2 years, 89% of participants in the diet and exercise group still had metabolic syndrome, compared to just 51% of participants in the Mediterranean diet group.

The Mediterranean diet group also saw significant reductions in body mass index, waist circumference, body weight, blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood markers of inflammation, with significant boosts in HDL cholesterol (30).

In short, a Mediterranean diet can help prevent those with metabolic syndrome from developing heart disease.

But does it work in people who already have heart disease? The first randomized control trial on the Mediterranean Diet and heart health looked at this very question.

A total of 423 heart attack survivors completed the Lyon Diet Heart Study, which explored whether a Mediterranean diet could help prevent:

  • subsequent heart attacks
  • angina
  • stroke
  • heart failure
  • embolism
  • heart-related hospitalizations.

 

One group of 219 volunteers received a one-hour counseling session with instruction on the Mediterranean diet. A second group of 204 volunteers received no special diet instruction beyond routine interactions with physicians and hospital dietitians.

After 46 months, the Mediterranean diet group had a 50-70% lower risk of recurrent heart disease than the control group.

However, critics of the study caution that not all participants submitted diet records. This calls into question the degree to which diet affected the outcomes in some of the volunteers (31).

Overall, most studies have found that the Mediterranean diet shows promise in warding off metabolic syndrome and managing existing cardiovascular disease. However, more studies are needed to clarify its role—especially since the PREDIMED controversy (323334).

Summary: A large review of studies linked the Mediterranean diet with a 50% lower risk for metabolic syndrome, a precursor to heart disease. Another large study found that the diet can lower risk for recurrent heart disease by up to 70% in adults with a history of heart attack. However, other studies suggest that the diet has little to no benefit in terms of preventing heart disease, so more research is needed.

The Mediterranean Diet and Cancer

Certain risk factors for cancer, like genetics, can’t be changed.

However, in recent years, more and more cancers are being linked to modifiable risk factors. Unhealthy diets increase the odds of developing certain types of cancer, while healthy diets like the Mediterranean diet may reduce risk.

There are several reasons why the Mediterranean diet may help protect against cancer. The diet is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. It also promotes modest, but not excessive, alcohol intake (35).

In one large review with more than 570,000 participants, 24 out of 28 clinical trials linked the Mediterranean diet with a lower risk of cancer.

The effect was especially pronounced in cancers of the digestive tract. In fact, the Mediterranean Diet significantly reduced risk for all digestive cancers, except pancreatic cancer (36).

A handful of studies have also linked Mediterranean diet adherence to lower risk for bladder and breast cancers. However, these findings have been inconsistent with breast cancer (3738).

Summary: Clinical trials have shown that the Mediterranean diet can lower risk for most digestive cancers, as well as bladder cancer. However, findings are inconsistent regarding its protection against breast cancer.

The Mediterranean Diet and Diabetes

A recent report suggests that 642 million adults (ages 20-79) worldwide will have diabetes by the year 2030 (39).

In some cases, diabetes can’t be prevented. However, diabetes risk is most often influenced by diet and other lifestyle factors. As such, a healthy diet is important for prevention and treatment of the disease.

The Mediterranean diet is one of several diets that can help with that. One large study found an 83% lower risk of diabetes among adults who followed a Mediterranean diet.

In one review of clinical trials, the diet was more effective than others in lowering fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1C in volunteers with type 2 diabetes (4041).

Researchers have proposed several mechanisms by which the Mediterranean diet may lower diabetes risk. Studies suggest that high intake of dietary polyphenols and replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help your body use insulin more effectively (42, 43).

The Mediterranean diet certainly isn’t the only one that helps prevent or treat diabetes. Most diets that result in weight loss will help lower blood sugar.

However, the Mediterranean diet may be a good option for people at risk for diabetes who’ve tried other diets without success.

Summary: Studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with lower risk of type 2 diabetes. They’ve also found that a Mediterranean diet can lower blood sugar in people with existing diabetes.

The Mediterranean Diet and Brain Health

Alzheimer’s disease is a common condition in older adults that affects memory and other thinking skills.

Other adults may have some minor memory loss, which is often called mild cognitive impairment. There’s been growing interest in the relationship between diet and cognitive function, with some focus on the Mediterranean diet.

Studies have linked higher adherence with a Mediterranean diet to lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In one study of more than 2,200 adults, those who followed the diet most closely had a 40% lower risk for the disease than those with the lowest adherence (44).

Moreover, the diet may offer protection against mild cognitive impairment.

One study followed nearly 1,400 adults with normal cognition for 4.5 years. Those with low adherence to the Mediterranean diet had 28% greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment compared to those who followed the diet closely.

In the same study, higher adherence to the diet also appeared to lower the risk of mild cognitive impairment progressing into Alzheimer’s disease (45).

Other studies support these findings, but most have established correlation rather than causation. Clinical trials are needed to better understand the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and cognitive function (46).

Summary: The Mediterranean diet has shown promise in lowering risk for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. However, most studies on the topic have been observational and can’t prove causation. More research is needed.

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List & Meal Plan

The Mediterranean diet shopping list includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and more.

Feel free to select ones that you love and also experiment with new ones. However, be sure to choose produce in a variety of colors. Here are some foods to include:

  • Greens
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado
  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Farro
  • Oats
  • Olive Oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, whitefish, shellfish, etc.)
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Feta Cheese
  • Kefir
  • Red Wine
  • Herbs
  • Spices

7-Day Sample Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Ready to give the diet a try?

Here are some ideas for meals that you may enjoy on the updated version of the Mediterranean diet.

Whenever possible, meals should be enjoyed with family, friends or colleagues. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding wine, if you’re not currently a drinker.

Monday

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and almonds; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Steamed lentils over quinoa with diced tomatoes and cucumbers and 1 ounce of feta cheese; water
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with asparagus, brown rice, and broccoli roasted in olive oil; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: One apple with 2 tablespoons unsweetened nut butter

 

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado spread and bean sprouts; banana; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Kale salad with beets, sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, parmesan cheese, grilled chicken, olive oil and balsamic vinegar; whole grain baguette dipped in olive oil;  water
  • Dinner: Lentil soup; one serving of whole grain crackers; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: 2 small squares of dark chocolate with a small handful of cashews

 

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and berries; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Whole grain pita pizza (pita brushed with olive oil, topped with red pasta sauce, basil, feta cheese, and olives, then baked); small green salad; water
  • Dinner: Chickpea stir fry sauteed in olive oil; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: Canned tuna fish in water over whole grain crackers

 

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Diced sweet potatoes sauteed in olive oil with spinach and mushrooms; 1 egg; 1 slice whole grain toast; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Salad with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with grilled chicken breast; water
  • Dinner: Pasta primavera topped with grilled shrimp; whole grain bread dipped in olive oil; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: Small handful of olives

 

Friday

  • Breakfast: Smoothie made with plain Greek yogurt or kefir, almond butter, blueberries, spinach, and water or ice to achieve desired thickness; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Salmon pita sandwich; raspberries; water
  • Dinner: Grilled lamb chops with mint; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: Carrots dipped in hummus

 

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Mediterranean egg cups; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Almond butter sandwich on whole grain bread with smashed strawberries and chia seeds; carrot sticks; water
  • Dinner: Tuna Nicoise salad (greens with seared tuna steak, green beans, boiled potatoes, olives, tomatoes, and an olive oil/mustard dressing); water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: 1/2 medium avocado

 

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Crepes with honey, orange and ricotta; black coffee, green tea or water
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken breast over brown rice with sauteed peppers and onions; water
  • Dinner: Feta and quinoa stuffed peppers; water or one 5 oz (150 ml) glass of red wine
  • Snack: 1 handful of cherry tomatoes and a small handful of olives

Should You Try the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a proven healthy way of eating.

It promotes liberal consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish.

Poultry, eggs and fermented dairy can be enjoyed moderately. One or two glasses of red wine is permitted daily with meals.

This combination of foods makes the diet naturally rich in antioxidants, polyphenol, and unsaturated fats.

Studies have found the combination of these nutrients to be especially powerful. This is partly why the diet may offer so many positive health outcomes.

Specifically, the diet has been linked with lower risk of cognitive decline, digestive and bladder cancers, and metabolic syndrome.

Studies also suggest that it may lower risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease; however, stronger evidence is needed.

The diet may also promote modest and gradual weight loss in a sustainable fashion, but it may need to be modified to ensure success in some people.

Despite controversies surrounding some of the research, the Mediterranean diet is worth trying.

Fill your grocery cart with a colorful variety of fresh foods, and be sure to enjoy as many meals as you can with friends and loved ones to get the most out of the diet.

Previously published on dietvsdisease.org

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Sports Detox: Episode 103

Michael Kasdan and Wai Sallas talk sports. This week, they touch on the NBA Playoffs, Magic’s surprise resignation as well as Michigan State’s continuing issues with covering up sexual assaults and other potential crimes perpetrated by members of its athletic program. In Sports Goodness they feature Taylor Duncan, a man who has started his own baseball league to make sure sports stays inclusive.

“Sports Detox” is an at times serious and at times humorous weekly podcast that looks at the latest stories from the world of sports—both positive and negative—that are tied into cultural and societal issues. Hosts Wai Sallas and Mike Kasdan are equal parts rabid sports fan and serious social commentator. The Detox is a back-and-forth pop-culture-infused peeling of the onion of sports that gets at its many layers and reverberations.

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Is Dating in the Workplace a Taboo?

As a dating coach, people come to my blog every day and ask me this question: “David, there’s this great woman that I want to date who works with me at the same company. How do I get her to date me and still keep my job?”

Dating in the workplace is something that is very tricky because you don’t want to jeopardize your status in the company or her status in the company. You also don’t want to create any bad blood between you and a fellow co-worker if it doesn’t work out.

Now I’m not saying that this is something that can’t work. There are a lot of people who have fallen in love with co-workers . . . you just need to know how to approach it the right way, and how to “feel out” things as you do that, so you don’t put either of you in a precarious situation.

Approaching a woman who is a co-worker must be done somewhat differently (and more carefully) than approaching women with whom you don’t work. With that in mind, here are my five steps to determine whether to (and, if so, how to) ask out your fellow co-worker:

1. Start off by having lunch with her and a group of other people in the company cafeteria or the company lunch room. Get to know her in a group setting with no pressure at all. This way she gets to know you and what you’re all about in a very casual way.

2. Get a group of co-workers together and go out for happy hour one day after work. Now that you’ve already had some time in the cafeteria to get to know this group of co-workers better (including the woman in whom you’re interested), going to a happy hour with this group is a great way to get to know each other outside of the work environment. Being outside the work environment will also give you the opportunity to do a bit of flirting with her. This will be a good way to see if she’s also flirting with you.

So the key to liking someone at work is not to let them know it. You want to be able to casually get to know each other so there’s no pressure. During the happy hour, notice with which people she’s hanging out more. Is she paying extra attention to you? Is she flirting with you? If so, then proceed to Number 3.

3. IM her one day and ask her what she’s doing for lunch. Be playful and tell her that you really need to get out of the office and that you couldn’t think of anyone more fun with whom to have a lunch escape. Make it casual. You’ve already hung out with her in a group setting at lunch and at happy hour.

This is your chance to be alone with her, and to find out more about her. This is also her chance to get to know you better. Keep in mind, though, that this is not a date. It’s just two co-workers having lunch. If this lunch is successful, then proceed to Number 4.

4. Start sending some emails to her during the day – just funny and light stuff. For instance, you could tell her about an office rumor you heard and say that you wanted to tell her about it first. You could also pass along a funny email that your friend forwarded to you. Tell her that you’re forwarding it to her because you know she’d appreciate it.

Once again, keep it light and friendly. If she responds positively, you’ll probably end up IM’ing with each other periodically during the day when you are both bored. If this stage is successful, then move on to Number 5 . . . the close!

5. “The close.” On a Wednesday or Thursday when you’re speaking with her, casually find out what she’s doing that Friday night. Tell her you are going out with a bunch of your guy friends, and that it would be great if she came with some of her girlfriends so you could all hang out together. Once again, this is very casual . . . but it is also the final tell-tale sign you need to learn so that you can decide whether or not to ask her out on a date.

When you meet her group, start talking to her friends and watch what she does. If she keeps coming over, “claiming you,” and trying to pull you away from her friends, then she is interested in dating you. If she ends up making out with one of your friends in the corner, then she’ll never know about your secret crush and you will never have to worry about work-related issues or tension. If she’s hanging out primarily with you (or even better hanging all over you and no one else), then it’s time to confront her and ask her out on a real date.

We’re adults. You never know where you are going to find someone you like. There are no impossible situations. So the next time you find a woman in your office to whom you’re attracted, follow these 5 easy steps so that you can see if she is also interested in you without worrying about what life at work will be like if she isn’t. Explore the possibilities . . . you never know what may end up developing.

Today’s video is all about approaching with no chance of rejection!!! A must for anyone who suffers from approach anxiety.

Originally published on David Wygant

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The post Is Dating in the Workplace a Taboo? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2UDfBLg

The Redemption of Tiger Woods

November 27th, 2009

I was getting ready to watch the 2009 version of the Iron Bowl – the annual college football clash between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. For my mind (and because I’m right), this is the single best college football rivalry.

As I remember it, before the game, CBS came on with a special news report. Tim Brando – formerly of CBS Sports – broke the news that Tiger Woods had been involved in a serious automobile accident and was hospitalized. Tim’s tone was serious and somber.

I remember thinking – is Tiger Woods going to die from this accident?

Woods’ ex-wife Elin was reported to have taken a club to the back window of Tiger’s Escalade. She claimed that she was trying to rescue Tiger who was unconscious at the time.

A short time later, news surfaced that Woods had been carrying on an affair with a cocktail waitress for well over two years. And reports were that Elin was angry about the affair which is why she took the club to his car.

This set off a series of events that painted Tiger in an awful light. He lost endorsements. He quit golf for a while. And he became a laughingstock.

Ten years ago, Tiger Woods was the talk of the sports world. He was well on his way to crushing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship wins.

But controversy, injury, inconsistent play, and…well…being a peasant…derailed that train in a pretty major way.

For many years, Tiger Woods was the definition of toxic masculinity. The womanizing, the wild partying – he was the definition of toxic masculinity.

As a life coach for men, I work with men who are looking to rise above these stereotypes. I’m committed to seeing men being the heart-centered leaders the world needs. I’m committed to seeing more men be Kings.

And Tiger Woods – honestly – for a long time was everything I rail against. He was a rich, good looking, powerful and famous guy who used people for his own pleasure.

At least that’s the perception from this guy watching SportsCenter.

One of the first “holy s***” sports moments I remember as a child was in 1986. That April, Jack Nicklaus won his 18th and final major championship as he won the 1986 Masters. That was his sixth Master’s championship. And he had to fight from behind to capture the win.

During the final round, as many as six different players had at least a share of the lead. But on the 17th hole, magic happened.

I will never forget the simple but masterful call from legendary CBS sportscaster Verne Lundquist as Jack hit an 18-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take sole possession of the lead for the first time.

“Maybe…yes SIR!”

Full disclosure, during my all too short time as a professional sportscaster, my signature call on big moments was a big “Yes sir!” I wonder if that’s where I got it?

Jack Nicklaus was 46 years old on that Sunday in April 1986. He won his first Green Jacket in 1962 – some 24 years before.

Let’s flash forward to the 2019 Masters.

Tiger came into the final round tied for second – two strokes behind the leader Francesco Molinari of Italy. Tiger’s last Major was the 2008 US Open, which he won on a knee that needed ACL surgery.

His daughter Sam was just a baby at the time, and his son Charlie hadn’t even been born.

After Tiger hit the bogey putt that clinched the win, he takes the ball out of the cup, throws his hands in the air, and screams a jubilant scream.

He didn’t win this tournament as the Tiger of old. The Tiger of old being the guy who could crush 300+ yard drives and take it from there. 2019 Tiger is a far more intellectual player than he used to be. He is 43 years old after all, and his body is held together with duct tape and baling wire.

For perspective, he’s only three years younger than Jack was when he won his 6th.

Okay, I’m taking off my sports reporter hat and putting on my crown. I want to look at what I saw next as the life coach for Kings.

Keep in mind, the last decade in Tiger Woods’ professional and personal life has been a…well, it’s been a show. A s*** show, if you will.

In the aftermath of his victory in 2019, I saw a far humbler man than I’ve seen in years past. A man humbled by life and far more grateful than the Tiger of old.

In a photograph that is soon to become iconic if it hasn’t already, one of the first people to reach Tiger was his 10-year-old son Charlie. And as Charlie leapt into his Dad’s arms, the look on Tiger’s face was something difficult to describe. It was emotional, tearful, and insanely grateful.

But I think it was more than that. I think it was seeing the last decade of mistakes, missteps, and injuries melting away.

The spot where Tiger and Charlie embraced was perhaps the exact same spot where Tiger and his late father Earl hugged after Tiger’s first Master’s win in 1997.

But most of all, in that picture, I saw a man finally able to forgive himself for being human.

Tiger Woods, thank you for showing the world what redemption looks like.

Thank you for finding your crown again – King Tiger.

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2IuIl1r