John “SwiftBoat” Kerry “seriously considering running for president in 2020”
This is not meant to be a political comment, but just seemed to be apropos to the reports of the president’s recent comments about Haiti and immigrants from the Caribbean region. You can look those up for yourself if you have not become numb to the over-reporting of his potty-mouth. (Image from Gary Markstein)
But this article from just a week earlier seemed timely. So what exactly can one glean from the less-than-polished statements (totally ad libbed and off-script, as if he -ever- uses a script) from 45?
“People who swear may be more trustworthy, according to researchers.”
The study concludes:
We set out to provide an empirical answer to competing views regarding the relationship between profanity and honesty.
We found that a higher rate of profanity use was associated with more honesty.
[Drinking] right after you [learn] something [doesn’t] impair memory. But drinking right before bed [does]. “You can drink alcohol, just be sure it has time to metabolize and get out of your system before you go to sleep.”
Might explain a few things from Ye Olde College Daze.
Not you and I, sorry if that got your hopes up.
No. Alexander Graham Bell.
I was reading a fascinating article about his secret to greater productivity, figuring (of course) that I could benefit by availing myself of that secret. (I’m told that a lot.)
Here’s an excerpt from that article, bolded highlights are where I think we have kinship:
When … on to some new idea and feeling a surge of inspiration, he could work with obsessive focus… he had “periods of restlessness when my brain is crowded with ideas tingling to my fingertips when I am excited and cannot stop for anybody.” During such times… [he] asked that no one…disturb him, lest such interruptions burst the gossamer threads of his emerging ideas. “Thoughts are like the precious moments that fly past; once gone they can never be caught again.”
However, while [his] focus could be laser-like when he was chasing down a eureka moment, much of the time his mind was in fact quite scattered and distracted. While he liked to tinker and dream, he hated getting down to … brass tacks…; he detested dealing with details, the painstaking effort required to verify … He enjoyed intellectual exploration more for its own sake, than any concrete results.
Part of [his] difficulty buckling down also simply had to do with his resplendent imagination and wide-ranging curiosity. He was interested in so many different things that he had trouble thinking about a single idea for any span of time. His mind wished to jump from subject to subject and from observation to observation; he enjoyed reading through encyclopedia entries before going to bed [note: these days that could be replaced by incessant internet surfing], and carried around a pocket notebook to jot down his frequent and varied insights (he had a knack for finding inspiration in any setting).
“[You] like to fly around like a butterfly sipping honey, more or less from a flower here or another flower there.”
[His] “flightiness” was actually a big part of his genius, which largely rested on his ability to find novel connections between disparate ideas. But his desire to work on many things at once also greatly hindered his progress in moving forward on any one project.
[Note: I make no claim or implication regarding genius, it’s just that we have so-much-in-common.]
To bring a little organization to his often fragmented thoughts, Bell came up with a method of using what we’ve chosen to dub “location-based prompts.” “Convinced that his physical surroundings induced specific trains of thoughts,” his biographer explains, “he established particular workspaces for particular purposes.”
And that’s what I’m going to try next. Location-based prompts. As soon as I get more of my flood-lost home office furniture replaced. There’s just so much you can get done on an old door resting atop sawhorses.
I could have written the last lines of this myself. Not that I’m that good of a writer, but I just really agree with everything she wrote about Life. No excerpts, no paraphrasing, just the whole lovely thing. Thank you, Anne Marie.
Having too much to do is a national epidemic and, in many ways, a status symbol. Americans work more hours than citizens of any other developed nation in the world, according to the International Labor Organization. On average, we annually work 137 hours more than the Japanese, 260 hours more than the Brits, and 499 hours more than the French. We’re so busy that many of us don’t even take time for vacation. According to a study by the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off, 54 percent of Americans didn’t use all of their vacation time last year, resulting in 662 million unused vacation days. “We are working more and more,” says Katie Denis, Vice President of Project Time Off. “Being the last car in the parking lot is no longer the metric. Now it’s who answers email fastest and latest.”
While it might seem comforting to know that everyone struggles with the constant tug of activity—misery loves company, after all—[some] actually find it depressing. If the collective sense is that we need to work more, do more, go more, that just makes it harder to stop.
In these days of constant work and connection, taking time to do nothing is maybe one of the most difficult agenda items. But we’re continuing to discover that’s it’s more important than ever. Not only does down time bolster mental health by giving our brains time to unwind, it replenishes drive and creativity. Which is to say, working less and doing nothing can actually make work time more productive.
[Once you rediscover] a slower rhythm, [you may] also [remember] the second part of Newton’s Law—that an object at rest stays at rest.