Get out of the doorway

Please get out of the doorway…

Time for an admission…. I hate it when people stop in doorways. Everything is moving along nicely and then someone stops dead at a doorway… looks puzzled, checks their pockets, scratches their head, turns to say something to someone else..or does one of a thousand other things that could be done before or after getting to the door. It frustrates the hell out me of me. There, I admitted it!

A surprising admission

This might come as a surprising admission.. particularly given that I have previously written about how a doorknob can keep you sane. But these two posts really do belong together.

That piece challenged you stop and think every time you put your hand on a doorknob. However the circumstances  causing me the most frustration are not the doorways with doorknobs, but the automatic doorways in public places… so no chance to put in action the specific little zen challenge contained in that doorknob post!

Turning gut reaction into science!!

Then I find that Professor Gabriel Radvansky of the University of Notre Dame (published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology) may have provided an answer as to why this phenomenon occurs.

He found that  “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away. Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.” His study included a series of virtual and real world scenarios testing memory recall differences between crossing a room and exiting a doorway and in every set of scenarios the act of walking through a doorway resulted in the decline in memory performance associated with the task in that scenario.

I wondered…. is this act of stopping at the doorways triggered by a human gut reaction? Do we instinctively know that after crossing a threshold like a doorway that we will forget something. After all there are many examples of things that people do that have subsequently become the focus of psychological experiments… is this just another one?

What is your experience?

Have you experienced that sudden doorway stop… if so in what circumstances? Are you frustrated when other people do it? Does the Professors research ring true in your experience.. do you experience that memory loss of what you did in one room after you pass through a doorway?

If you are like most of the people I’ve already discussed this with then your answers are all likely YES!

Most people have mentioned the experience of having you gotten up to do something, walked into another room and then stared blankly thinking what did I come in here for? What was it that I was going to do?

Then I thought….

You know what… even if it is an instinctive gut reaction that doorknob post is still relevant….and a bit of a tweak might help to counteract this “forgetfulness” associated with moving through doorways.

So it’s time to update the challenge but instead of focusing on every time you put your hand on a doorknob… the challenge is for every time you approach an open doorway between doing tasks! I encourage you to ask yourself the questions like those contained in the doorknob challenge…..questions such as:

What am I feeling now?

Why am I feeling like this?

What am I about to do?

What is my intention on going through this door?

What is the task that I am going to perform on the other side of this doorway?

Who am I going to meet on the other side of the door?

Am I ready to really “meet” with them, and give them my FULL attention?

Are you up to the new doorway Challenge!

Choose a time-frame, whether it is a particular day or a week and every time you approach a doorway do one of these mini meditations….you never know you might find that your forgetfulness begins to disappear, and you begin to enjoy those mini zen like moments of clarity!

I’d be interested to hear what you think, or how you go at trying the doorknob challenge or this doorway challenge.. you can share your thoughts or experiences below.

Guaranteed way to fail at your new years resolution

The end of the year is almost upon you…. and your thoughts are turning to what your new years resolution will/should/could be…chances are your New Years Resolution is likely to be one of the classic ones.. you know the list

  • lose weight
  • stop smoking
  • drink less
  • get organised
  • exercise daily
  • to be happy
  • to spend more time with family
  • etc etc etc

Yes I know this year will be different to every other time you made a new years resolution….you are full of determination to succeed… … so I am going to do something completely different and give you the 100% guaranteed method of continuing to fail at your new years resolution…..

Firstly the good news!

100% of New Years Resolutions fail… what 100% of new years resolutions fail..garbage I hear you shout! What evidence do I  have for that and why is that good news?

If you want the evidence just read any newspaper in the lead up to the new year, they will trot out all of the latest research and statistics for you. So lets just summarize it…..There are lots of studies that show that over half of all new years resolutions are done and dusted by the end of the first week of January, that more than eighty percent are done with by the end of January and that as few as eight percent of people make it to the end of the year.

AAAAHHAAA you shout… Eight percent of people make it !

I know, I know you’re committed and determined to be one of those eight percent….. But didn’t I just say 100% of new years resolutions fail, and I was going to give you the one hundred percent guaranteed way for you to be one of them…

Well yes I did…….

Heres the reason why…. change is a complex thing

When do you  think of your new years resolution… some time between Christmas and news year day  (or on new years day… regardless it is often after you have indulged in a great deal more of many of the things that you are vowing to quit)

Those decisions are really a spur of the moment, whimsical verbalization of your fantasy state…these resolutions have been made without any significant thought about what the  desired state REALLY  means to you, and what you actually have to make happen to make the desired state a reality.

There is a well-recognized process for making significant changes in a person’s life. (In fact I think we will explore this model over the next few posts…) The model looks like this.

It is almost guaranteed that the measly eight percent who succeeded didn’t think of their new years resolution in that Christmas/new year time period. I can almost guarantee you that they had been thinking about their desired change for a lot longer than the few days between Christmas and New Year, and that they had made both psychological and physical preparations for the change, in fact they had probably had a few false starts toward their goal in the lead up to the new year….. the only thing that their  resolution has in common with yours is the January 1 start date.

and that is good news because…?

That is  good news  in my books because those eight percent aren’t really making a new years resolution…. they are just acting on a resolution made in the weeks or months leading up to new year, not a decision made on the spur of the moment because they needed a new years resolution to conform with tradition. They just happen to get bundled into the data because of the date they chose as a start date for their actions.

You are free..

The other good news is that because 100% of New Years Resolutions fail..this year YOU ARE FREE.… you don’t need to feel the pressure to make a new years resolution and suffer the inevitable sense of failure when you don’t make it past the first week or month of the new year with your resolution intact.

But I promised you a guaranteed method of continuing to fail at your new years resolution, and I like to keep my promises, so here it is…

Your guaranteed method to New Years Resolution Failure

Your guaranteed method to New Years Resolution Failure is to continue doing what you have done every other new year…. turn you mind to a resolution in these days between Christmas and New Year, tell yourself this year is the year that I will….(insert your resolution here)…, make zero preparations and then beat yourself up for a week, or a month or however long you usually last and the revert to your habit………

But…. if  you are really serious about achieving a life change.. stick around and we will talk about the stages in the Change Model above….

The Most Irking Fact about the Wikileaks saga

The most irking fact about the Wikileaks saga - Julian Assange  image by Abode of Chaos @flickr

Big interests trampling on the "little guy"?

What is the most irking fact about the Wikileaks saga……..

The Wikileaks Players

Wikileaks has been very clear about the fact that it has partnered with a number of the worlds leading media organisations (NY Times etc) and that these organisations are directly  involved in vetting the material specifically to avoid some of the charges (endangerment of individuals etc)  levelled against Wikileaks…

Profiting without sacrifice

These media organisations are using the material to further their business interests and increase/maintain their readership and their positions as leading media outlets.

Extra-judicial attacks

Yet it is only Wikileaks and Julian Assange that have been subject to the ire of politicians and business interests and calls to shut them down, calls for them to be harrassed, intimidated, assassinated and subject to direct action to cut off access to funds etc…

Can you imagine the outrage if…

Why is it that politicians of various colours,  “powerful” interests (particularly right wing interests) in the US and elsewhere  are not calling on the Owners,  board chairman  or  CEO’s / Chief Editors of these large mainstream media organisations to face the same sanctions as those that they advocate for Wikileaks and Julian Assange? Can you imagine the uproar if an elected politician said in public that the Editor of the New York Times should be assassinated?

Ignoring the big collaborators, Why?

Why is it that organisations like Paypal, VISA, Mastercard, Amazon etc have acted directly at the behest of politicians to impose these sanctions against Wikileaks but don’t undertake the same actions against the large media organisations working in partnership/collaboration with Wikileaks?

Guilty of what exactly?

To date despite a lot of bluster Wikileaks has not been charged or found guilty of ANY offences in the US or elsewhere. It has acted as a media organisation and is simply exposing material leaked to it….

What if it had started with the big guys…

The reality is that the cache of diplomatic cables could have been delivered directly to the large mainstream media organisations  and those organisations could and would have used them. These media organisations often rely on leaks and whistleblowers to provide them with the material for their “scoops”…. would the same hysteria have occurred if this material was being released solely and exclusively by a large mainstream media outlet?

What are the big guys afraid of?

Would the same calls for extra-judicial sanctions be occurring? Would paypal/visa/mastercard/amazon etc come out and freeze accounts and deny access to these large mainstream media organisations just because a few senators urged them to because they were unhappy with something published in the NY Times etc…. unlikely

The most irking factor about this saga

The mosting irking factor about this saga is that it just stinks of attempts to trample on the little guy…. and the big mainstream media are complicit in this because they are benefitting immensely from the risk taking of the little guy and not highlighting the discrepancy in treatment of themselves as major players in the dissemination of the material…..

Is it just that big media interests and political interests and big business interests are TOO closely engaged to upset the apple cart, or is there some other underlying threat that the big business interests are afraid of? If it is because they are afraid of some action or potential action from Government then they should speak up about it…in the words of Thomas Jefferson..

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

Are even the extra-judicial sanctions too late?

Is the community outrage at the attacks on Wikileaks a signal that the world has/is shifting. Are Government and business responses  now a matter of trying to close the gate after the horse has bolted??

UPDATE AS AT 13 DECEMBER 2010:

I am pleased to report that the Australian media has taken some action in regards the issue above….. with a letter being sent to the Australian Prime Minister by TV and Radio News Editors and the editors of almost every major Australian metropolitan newspaper.

The letter can be found in full here

In part the letter reads

The volume of the leaks is unprecedented, yet the leaking and publication of diplomatic correspondence is not new. We, as editors and news directors of major media organisations, believe the reaction of the US and Australian governments to date has been deeply troubling. We will strongly resist any attempts to make the publication of these or similar documents illegal. Any
such action would impact not only on WikiLeaks, but every media organisation in the world that aims to inform the public about decisions made on their behalf. WikiLeaks, just four years old, is part of the media and deserves our support.

and also reads:

It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession. To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.

Blog, Mind and Body bootcamp

Bootcamp..... (photo by ggvic @ flickr)

Bootcamp

BOOTCAMP… it’s a word that does not have good connotations for me…

It takes me back to 1986, to a cold, wet, muddy place where they force marched me 10 km’s just for fun, where they sent me on cross country runs through the swamp, made me do sea survival skills in water that felt like it was only just above freezing point. Where they dragged me out of bed at any time of the night to make me stand in the freezing cold for an inspection.. a place where I don’t think they knew or cared what my name was.

So For me bootcamp for me has connotations of someone screaming at me and demanding that I push myself beyond any sane and reasonable limits, or just screaming at me to make themselves feel better…

You would think that signing up for a bootcamp would therefore be the last thing I would be likely to do…

If you have been here a while and read “so how did I get here” or watched the intro video you will know that there is a bit going on in my personal life. One of the downsides of this is that I have let myself go. I stopped participating in the sports I once did and if I wasn’t running around at work, for the Foundation or for one of my children then I was in front of a computer…the consequence… 20 Kilograms heavier than I should be….and time for action!

You can call me a sucker for punishment if you like but I have decided to do two bootcamps at once, but bootcamps with a difference…..

Bootcamp for the mind (and this blog)

A little while ago through reading a few blogs like Zen Habits and Goodlife Zen I found about the A List Blogging Bootcamps website, stuck my nose in over there, poked around a bit, decided it looked interesting, signed up as member… and then did what a lot of people do… mostly NOTHING.

I still kept reading the blogs by people associated with the site, still remained impressed by what they where doing and how well they could tell a story, checked in at the site occasionally.. but primarily NOTHING.

While I continued to do primarily nothing, nothing much changed in how I went about blogging either….

Well nothing until this week that is!

This week saw the launch of the latests A List Blogger Bootcamp…. and I’ve jumped in

This bootcamp is NOT like the ones I have described above… It is filled with a lot of information, it is filled with a lot of supportive people and NOONE is doing any shouting, just supporting.

You could join this BOOTCAMP yourself.. in fact I encourage you to come on over and join the BOOTCAMP. The good news is that the first week of the BOOTCAMP is 100% FREE.. so you can see for yourself the quality of the content and the nature of the people involved in the project. I would also encourage you to stay beyond the first week, sign up (yes I do earn an affiliate fee if you do) and set out on your own mind and blog bootcamp.

Bootcamp for the body (and the mind, because they are linked!)…

NO I have not signed up for bootcamp like the ones in the intro. This body bootcamp is different because I”M THE ONE DOING THE YELLING!

Yelling at myself that is… and let’s face it there is not better person to be yelled at than yourself..

So I am leading the Mick Morris Bootcamp, I have signed up at the gym, had my fitness assessment done and my program worked out…

The rest is up to me… it is up to me to schedule the workouts into my day, it is up to me to challenge myself at the gym…

The Goals…

1) To fully participate in the A List Blogging Bootcamp to improve the experience for anyone who reads this blog

2) To lose that extra 20 Kg…. alright if the truth be told I am less interested in the number of Kilograms that I lose, than the number of centimetres I lose from around my waist.. so the real goal is to lose 20 cms from my waist measurement in the next 12 months..

3) to report back on progress through this blog so that I hold myself accountable for achieving the goals (so go ahead and subscribe by one of the links in the top right hand corner and hold me accountable!) so if you don’t see a progress update send me a message asking why?

Running on empty

Running on Empty - Jackson Browne - photo by Hectorir @flickr

Running on empty?

Running on empty – Jackson Brownes lyrics said it all…

I had been running around shuttling the family from one place to another and  finally got around to heading home to pack the car and take the family away for the weekend to unwind.

Running on Empty

All was going great until I got about 5 km’s away from home and then the car STOPPED…………The fuel gauge in this picture is what I was confronted by……EMPTY!

After a long walk to and from the service station to get more fuel, and then taking quite a while for the fuel pump to decide that it wanted to actually re-prime and pump enough fuel to start the car we finally headed off for our weekend….. a couple of hours later than we should have. Needless to say we got to our destination VERY late and the first night was a write off.

The fuel gauge as a metaphor

That day was not an atypical day for my family… running around from appointment to appointment, trying to maintain being on time and looking forward to the next thing on the agenda wondering how/when we are going to get there.

On the way home I looked at the fuel gauge and thought… yep that will be enough to get us home and around to purchase some fuel… WRONG!

Over the days following my embarrassing episode of running out of fuel I really started to think about that fuel gauge as a metaphor for life.

Watching your fuel gauge

Cars are built with fuel gauges so we can see how much is left in the tank, in fact most even modernish cars have a warning light and/or buzzer that tells you that you are getting low on fuel.

You and I on the other hand are not built with a gauge… and we have to try and look at our physical, mental, emotional and social fuel tanks and try and monitor them all at once.

How often have you been running around, getting from appointment to appointment, looking at yourself and thinking, “yeah, I’ll just keep going at this pace until…..”  What is that until?

Until the weekend, until your next holidays are due, until… until… until…

Until your physical, mental, emotional and social fuel tanks fuel tanks are empty and you breakdown on the side of your desk, you are worn out and you haven’t seen your family or friends in how long?

Warning signs?

Even though we aren’t built with gauges to flash or buzz at us when our tanks are getting low there are often warnings signs that your levels are being depleted…..

Some of us are better at seeing and paying attention to those warning signs than others….. let’s help out a few others by listing what your warning signs are in the comments….