Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How would you know?

What if you are a middle aged person and have functioned well enough throughout life, however for much of your life you have continued to stumble in certain ways? Things that seem normal since they are seen in others and discussed at length in regards to everyone. For example, things like procrastination, focus, and effort. These are three common troublesome areas for dealing with business, work, school, and most everything.
Then you discover its ADHD? Fortunately, this has been diagnosed and recognized in the last 50 years, so treatment options are available.
Then one day, just by chance, that person happens upon information that seems to fill in all the blanks, everything fits, and it honestly feels like the puzzle has been solved. How does that person deal with that? Especially if more than half their life expectancy is over?
I guess go to a professional and see if the new found information fits and if so, rejoice?
If not, nothing lost?
Well I have always known I have had ADD, ADHD and found out later in life I had Dyslexia too. It explained many things and I found that embracing it helped me to use it to my advantage whenever possible. I hope I can do the same with what I believe is the final piece of the puzzle.
It sure would explain many things. Many things that I struggle with and really get down on myself for. Its called Executive Function or EF. EF has these issues but can be curtailed and treated. That would be awesome, I hope its true.
Just in case anyone else is out there that has or suspects they have ADHD, this is a subcategory of that condition. One of the main identifiers is an unusually high IQ. Mine was 161 when tested and I believe was my epiphany.
Here are a couple excerpts;

ADHD as Impairment of Executive Functions

In the context of ADHD, the term executive functions

refers to a wide range of central cognitive functions that

play a critical role for all individuals as they manage

multiple tasks of daily life. One model of EF includes the

following six clusters of cognitive functions that tend to

be impaired in individuals with ADHD.

1. Activation: organizing tasks and materials,

estimating time, prioritizing tasks, and getting

started on work tasks.

2. Focus: focusing, sustaining focus, and shifting

focus to tasks. They say they are distracted easily not only by

things that are going on around them but also by

their own thoughts.

The following link;
or you can cut and paste this address to the article; http://www.drthomasebrown.com/pdfs/cmgarticle.pdf

Monday, March 29, 2010

Better self awareness may improve your confidence.

I wondered which would come first; self awareness or confidence?

I believe its a difficult question and (honestly) particular to each individual. However, if I was forced to choose, I would say confidence is an extension of awareness. That only by being self aware, can we be self confident.

Of course, simply being self aware doesn't create confidence it simply enables or makes self confidence possible. I believe that confident people are more self aware and have realized through that introspection to be and/or act confident.
Being "over confident" to me is the proof in my hypothesis, since if you are over confident you tend to NOT be self aware.
In my opinion being "overly confident" is foolish, dangerous or pompous.

Anyway, I saw these two pictures that I felt they really emphasized this and made me laugh at the same time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Monday, March 8, 2010

You have said NOTHING? Do Elephants have more self awareness than you do?

Recently the amazing intelligence of Elephants was realized when they were deemed to have "Self Awareness".

I think that is amazing !

I have always enjoyed and even fantasized about the intelligence of some of our closes animal friends; primates, dolphins, and now elephants.

So my challenge to you is;
Why are elephants more self aware and intersted in self perception than you are?

Or you would have at least told me I am nuts, my blog is a bunch of crap, or "hey, why don't you and your elephant examine and discuss your self awareness together. lol !

Here is and excerpt and the address to the article if you would like to read more.

Now, we can add elephants to the very short list of animals besides humans with self-awareness.

Researchers (Plotnik, et al, reporting in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science ) working with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Bronx zoo, conducted an MSR test. They applied “real” and “sham” marks to the rights sides of the pachyderms’ heads and waited to see how the elephants would respond to these when a large mirror was placed in their presence. Sure enough, the elephants demonstrated that they understood they were looking at themselves (and not another elephant) and begin touching the marks with their trunks. In all, their behavior during the MSR tests matched those of apes and dolphins. According to the paper’s authors: “These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation. ”

The intelligence of elephants has long been known (though tribal lore, and from field observations) and established. They have complex social lives and relations and do indeed have excellent memories. Also, a full grown male’s brain may weigh 14 pounds (the actual measure of “intelligence” is brains size to body mass ratio). It is believed that the size (relative to body size) and structure of our larger, more recently evolved brains enables higher states of conscious perception (such as self awareness). The animals tested here all possess large brains–some, like the dolphin and elephant, larger than our human ones. Each has a cerebral cortex (the outer-most layer of brain matter, known as the neomammalian brain), although this is quite small in the gorilla as compared to humans.

But we humans are not just self aware, we are aware that we are aware. We express this “higher” form of awareness primarily through speaking (e.g., Isn’t this a strange conversation that we’re having?) or through symbolic manipulation and recursion (e.g., “This statement is false.”) This is called meta-awareness*, and so far, it has not been found outside of our species.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When I fail my own expectations, I attempt to examine why !

This last week and Monday of this week I missed my classes. This is unusual for me and I do not like missing class or falling behind. Even though I injured myself, I know it was accidental and I will struggle and fight back to "be caught up" with my Spring 2010 schedule.

I found myself becoming disappointed and "down" on myself until I realized" " this too is part of who I am, my Self"! The fact that I don't like missing class and feel I am not able to do my very best is a critical reflection on what I expect of myself.

I think I have always known that I am happiest when I am achieving, doing my best, and excelling as I believe I have the ability to do. When I do not fulfil my own expectations I find my happiness slips. I know I must be the one to evaluate myself fairly, then do what I need to do or the best I can in differing situations. By recognizing my critical nature I can assess whether I am putting forth my best efforts, sabotaging myself, or not presenting my best efforts. If I look at it from all these perspectives I find I have the best chance at being fair with myself and not overly critical.

Oh well that is my post this week, as I continue to strive to not fall too far behind and get my butt back to class as soon as is physically and psychologically possible.

Do others struggle and feel the need to have these self talks, or is this my coping mechanism? Anyway thought I would share this part of my "self"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Faulkner, Lao Tzu, Richard Bach & Tao Te Ching also contemplated "Self"

Others far beyond my considerations concerning "self awareness" have some very interesting reflections on "Knowing Ones Self" . I hope they will inspire you!

Lao Tzu - He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

William Faulkner - Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

Tao Te Ching - Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

Richard Bach - We wait all these years to find someone who understands us, I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, someone with a wizard's power to melt stone to sunlight, who can bring us happiness in spite of trials, who can face our dragons in the night, who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical Someone is the face we see in the mirror: It's us and our homemade masks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How is our online self different from our face to face self

Have you noticed personally or in the media that individuals who are on the internet or represent themselves on the internet are often quite different in person or reality from what they represent on the internet?
I often asked myself if this is because we tend to want to remove the rough edges, present our best "profile" or maybe even lie or "stretch the truth" about ourselves, even if only a little.

Specifically I am thinking of the blatant falsehoods depicted on dating sites. I must laugh because of many friends with stories of meeting someone in person only to question why they don't look like their picture online. And they state some lame excuse like; "Oh that was my high school picture" (and they are 42) or "that was a few years ago", when it is a clear misrepresentation of what they look like now.
So it makes me wonder what else in their profile, web site, face book, blog or whatever is inaccurate, false or simply "not true"?

I did read in psychology that people when remembering their past often tend to remember it "not how it actually was" but more often "how they wanted it to be" which can sometimes be dramatic or completely different. They say it is to assist the individual in dealing with the way life is, the choices they have made and "live with themselves and their choices".

At times reliving events from my past with family and friends it is amazing how individuals can have such "contrasting" memories of the same event.

I am wondering if "reinventing" ourselves online is healthy, unhealthy or both?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you see me when I pass you?

I decided to conduct an experiment. I randomly chose 10 people who walked passed me within 10 feet and whether or not they made eye contact. Once they walked passed, I requested to poll them on why they saw me or not. Specifically I recorded their gender, age and why they did or did not make eye contact (or see me).

My poll included 4 females and 6 males who agreed to be polled. The males polled were age 20-42. The females polled were age 19-40.

Here are my following conclusions from this poll:

  • 4 out of the 6 Males made eye contact.
  • 1 out of the 4 Females made eye contact.
Males more often made eye contact based on the following reasons:
  1. It’s friendly and should be done.
  2. Cultural reasons such as awareness/safety.
Males that did NOT make eye contact gave the single following reason:
  1. They were simply preoccupied.

Females more often did NOT make eye contact based on the following reasons:

  1. Cultural issues regarding safety and previous familiarity with someone.
  2. Preoccupied with their own thoughts and technological distractions such as I-pod, phone, etc.

Females that DID make eye contact gave the single following reason:

  1. Simply awareness regarding safety.

My conclusion from this limited poll is that males are driven by a male hierarchy and a need for self preservation. Technology and preoccupation are components but do not over-ride the more primal behaviors.

At least in these situations the females feel relatively safe, so are preoccupied with their own thoughts and comforts. They do have a limited awareness of surroundings due to safety but are more likely to see you if they know you and ignore you if they don't.