Monday, 21 September 2020

Hidden Within You Is a Gift Too Big to See

A more practical approach is to find innovative ways to move toward Quadrant Two within the jobs that we already have. What can you do to bring your dharma where you are? When I first left the ashram, I took a consulting job at Accenture, a global management consulting firm. Over the next three years, as he underwent treatment, he ended up in the hospital for days, weeks, and even more than a month after he underwent a stem cell transplant. Greeting cards, small toys, DVDs, and handheld game systems were invaluable to making the hospital bearable, for him and also for his mother, who slept on a couch in his room. Ask your local children's hospital how you can help cheer up a child's stay. In the patient's best interest, they have rules and regulations as to what they can accept, but even a cheery greeting card can go a long way in brightening a child's day. This group collects cards for hospitalized children: http://www. Send gift cards to the parents of hospitalized children. When you send greeting cards to children in the hospital, you might want to think about their parents too. While my grandson had meals served to him, my daughter had to eat food she brought, utilize the vending machines in the hospital, or go to a nearby cafe. The cost of gas to get back and forth to his many appointments and treatment was exorbitant too. Generous donations of gift cards for local coffee shops, fast food places, and gas stations were invaluable. Self-reporting them normally involves answering survey questions to form an aggregate measure of, say, `agreeableness'. Do you `cheat to get ahead, use others for your own ends, believe that you are better than others and have good intentions? But our answers may vary from one day to the next according to our mood, and, in some instances, will be influenced by who we compare ourselves with to reach a judgement. I also wonder how truthful our responses will be: not everybody who is disagreeable will want to admit this after all! Many researchers have tried to circumvent these issues by using third parties to assess the personality traits of others. In practice, though, nobody could know a sufficiently large number of individuals - in a statistical sense - well enough to accurately assess their level of `agreeableness'. Some people will be agreeable when meeting face-to-face, but disagreeable in other situations which the researcher doesn't experience.

Alternatively, if a large number of third parties are involved, each with the task of judging a few people, they'll almost certainly have different standards by which they assess them. With this in mind, it's perhaps no coincidence that the area where the strongest consensus regarding birth order effects exits, is the only area where a truly objective measure is available to test for it - intelligence, as measured by IQ. Both of the recent research papers I referred to found a relationship between intelligence and birth order, with IQ test scores falling slightly from first to later borns on average. There is also a very extreme, off the charts version of narcissistic mothers. These are the ones who commit the heinous crimes against children we sometimes hear about. They are known as malignant maternal narcissists. These women are deranged and inhumane to the core. They either do cruel and torturous things to their children or have others facilitate the abuse and then enjoy watching it. Casey Anthony, the woman who murdered her child Caylee so she could enjoy the single life, exemplifies the malignant maternal narcissist. Malignant maternal narcissists are the ones who emotionally torture their children by hurting or threatening to hurt their beloved pets. They are the mothers who beat their children to death or within one inch of their life. Some sexually exploit their children. You can well imagine the other horrific things they do without me having to be graphic. We were constantly dealing with numbers, data, and financial statements, and it quickly became clear that a talent for Excel was essential in order to excel in my position. But Excel was not my thing. In spite of my efforts, I couldn't force myself to get better at it. I just wasn't interested. As far as I was concerned, it was worse than mucking out the cow stalls. So, while I continued to do my best, I thought about how I could demonstrate what I was good at. My passion was wisdom and tools for life like meditation and mindfulness, so I offered to teach a mindfulness class to my working group.

The lead managing director loved the idea, and the class I gave was popular enough that she asked me to speak about mindfulness and meditation at a company-wide summer event for analysts and consultants. I would speak in front of a thousand people at Twickenham Stadium, the home stadium of England's national rugby team. When I got to the stadium, I found out that my turn at the podium was sandwiched between words from the CEO and Will Greenwood, a rugby legend. Write to your children or grandchildren. When I left home for college, I'd always check the mailbox at the dorm. My parents and a couple sisters did not disappoint; I still have those letters, some forty years later. Even when I lived a block away from my grandchildren, I'd surprise them with a card in the mailbox occasionally, or splurge and have a cookie bouquet delivered, always with a coupon code that made them affordable. Now that I live an hour away, it's even more important to keep in touch. I'm not one for FaceTiming, but I will make sure there's something in their mailbox from Grandma Mary. Mail a postcard to Postcrossing. Like postcards? If you'd like to get postcards in your mailbox, you can register with Postcrossing (http://www. This is thought to reflect the impact of the eldest child (generally) receiving more parental attention than their later born siblings during the first couple of years of life - a crucial period in the development of intelligence. As a younger sibling myself, I hasten to add that the eldest child only has about a 52% chance of having a higher IQ than his/her brother or sister in a two child family! By implication, children with no siblings should presumably also do relatively well in IQ tests once other potential factors, such as genetic influences, are accounted for. Toni Falbo, an expert in the field, looked into this, concluding that only children outperform later borns from larger families (those with at least three children), although they typically underperform first borns in smaller families and those with just one sibling. While it's hard to pin IQ differences on comparison effects, it's interesting that the large study of US, UK and German individuals I mentioned earlier, found that respondents' perception of their intellect also fell in tandem with their birth order position: later borns often believe they're not as clever as their older siblings. As we've just discovered, there may be an element of truth in this, but crucially the effect persisted even when taking account of `actual' intelligence. It seems highly likely that the typical direction of the comparisons made between siblings (upward by the youngest and downward by the eldest) accounts for the result.

The same factor probably explains why studies designed to explore the impact of birth order on self-esteem have usually unearthed a link as well. The results of another Toni Falbo investigation involving 1,785 university undergraduates, for instance, demonstrated that first borns typically have slightly higher self-esteem than last borns. The effects may have been even stronger if it wasn't for those instances where younger siblings consistently outperformed their older brother(s) or sister(s), reversing the normal direction of the comparisons and hence the likely effects on self-esteem. The majority of narcissistic mothers are not that extreme, but they are all a danger to their child's emotional well-being. After a lifetime of seeing your mother as the all-powerful Oz, it may be hard to accept that she is nothing more than a weak little lady hiding behind a curtain. No matter how old and big you get or how old and small she gets, it is hard to shake that frightening image. This is a trick your mind plays on you. The only power your mother has over you now is the power you give her. It is time to put her in her place. It is only natural for mothers, good or bad, to eventually get blamed for something they did, whether responsible or not. If your mother is a narcissist do not feel guilty about placing that responsibility upon her. Take comfort in knowing that it is not you who has the problem, it's her. Narcissistic Mothers and Daughters I sat in the audience listening to the lineup, thinking Crap, everyone's going to laugh at me. Why did I agree to this? All the other speakers were at the top of their fields and so articulate. I started to have second thoughts about what I had planned to say and how to deliver it. Then I went through my breathing exercises, calmed myself down, and two seconds before I went on stage, I thought, Just be yourself. I would do my own dharma perfectly instead of trying to do anyone else's. I went up, did my thing, and afterward the response couldn't have been better.

The director who had organized it said, I've never heard an audience of consultants and analysts stay so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Later, she invited me to teach mindfulness all across the company in the UK. This was a tipping point for me. When you send a postcard, you'll receive a postcard back from another participant somewhere in the world. With nearly 800,000 members in 210 countries, approximately 350,000 postcards are traveling to mailboxes right now in this manner. Have a secret? Share it with PostSecret. Whether it is a secret regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession, or childhood humiliation, you can reveal anything, anonymously, on a postcard, briefly but creatively. This is a group art project, and shared postcard secrets can be viewed at www. Get creative with envelopes and stamps. You can find envelope templates online, or take apart an envelope and lay it on an old map, decorated scraparticle paper, or even a article from your favorite magazine to cut out your own envelope pattern. Fold, and glue the edges shut. Use blank white address labels or a black marker to write the recipient's address. Also, as with personality traits, it's not necessarily straightforward to accurately quantify people's self-esteem. A more helpful framework than Adler's, designed to explicitly assess the impact of comparisons on siblings' psychological well-being, was devised by Abraham Tesser in the late-1980s. His `Self Evaluation Maintenance Model'6 suggests that siblings' reactions to comparisons depend largely on three factors: How they perform relative to their brother or sister in a particular task - do they win or lose? How (psychologically) close they are to their sibling - is he or she somebody they frequently compare themselves with? The relevance of the task to their `self-concept' - does the task matter to them? Tesser proposed that a child who underperforms a sibling they're close to - particularly a younger one - on an activity that's important to them will experience the most negative effects, feeling worse about themselves as a result of the comparisons they've made.

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