Posted in Self- improvement

You Are As Cold As Ice Willing to Sacrifice

We do many stupid things under the influence of emotions, even good emotions like love. We praise cold intelligence in songs. We despise stupidity, uncontrollable emotions. And just when you think we got it right, we invent a new term – emotional intelligence (EI), capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.

Can we be emotional and intelligent at the same time? Intelligence is the ability to think, find the solutions to real life problems, the ability to predict the consequences of our actions and act on that knowledge.

To think is to understand and analyze the events as they unfold, take the appropriate decisions, learn, plan and solve any problem independently.

But, we are lazy. We know exercise is good for us; we never do it. Most of us prefer not to think; it is hard work. We act on autopilot. We listen to our gut feelings when making decisions. We let emotions run our lives. As a result, we never achieve much; our relationships are in ruins; we are miserable. To complete the vicious circle we indulge further into the realm of feelings by drinking or using addictive substances rendering our brain completely fogged and useless, to the point that we cannot function even on autopilot.

Being emotional ruins our health. Studies have shown that intense emotions like anger can actually lead to heart attacks and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. A sudden burst of anger can cause an over-the-top surge of adrenaline and noradrenaline throughout the body. During a bout of anger, the brain’s amygdala overreacts; blood rushes to the frontal lobe, the area in charge of reasoning. This is why anger can often be “blinding”.

Feelings are inescapable part of life, just like being sick. But we can be smart, we can think, we can learn to manage emotions, take a deep breath, walk away.

Posted in humor

Do We Judge Too Quickly?

We are hard-wired for survival. To judge the situation quickly and correctly, to identify the enemy or friend was crucial for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They had to pay attention, or they were dead in a heartbeat. As we became agricultural society and began to rely on domesticated animals our lives became safer, however it is still important to judge people and situations correctly. We may not die if we misjudge the situation today, but we can become a victim of a crime or… wild animal attack.

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I never understood the zookeepers who befriend tigers and lions. Our society makes us soft in the head with all that “do not judge” nonsense.

Here is the situation. You work at the zoo. Your job is to feed the tiger (you can also picture your “crazy ex” instead of tiger).

Oh, he is so cute, just like a pussycat!

The tiger is excited to see you – that makes you feel good. One day you come to the cage and the tiger roars and tries to claw your eyes out. He must be having a bad day!

The non – judgement expert’s advice: Be mindful. Although judgment is a natural instinct, try to catch yourself before you react, speak, or send that nasty email and do any potential harm. You can’t get your words back. Pause. See if you can understand where the person may be coming from. Try to rephrase your critical internal thought into a positive one, or at least a neutral one. After all, we really don’t know the reasons for someone’s behavior.

My advice: use your eyes- you are dealing with a tiger. It is not a dog, cat or any other domesticated animal. It will never be your friend. If you are actually in the cage with the tiger – get out at once!

The non – judgement expert’s advice: Look for basic goodness. This takes practice, as our minds naturally scan for the negative, but if we try, we can almost always find something good about another person.

My advice: Don’t make a victim out of yourself. Realize it is probably a good tiger, therefore you should not be anywhere near it.

The non – judgement expert’s advice: Repeat the mantra, “Just like me.” Remember, we are more alike than different. When I feel critical of someone, I try to remind myself that the other person loves their family just like I do, and wants to be happy and free of suffering, just like I do. Most important, that person makes mistakes, just like I do.

My advice: The tiger loves its family, just like you do. The tiger wants to be happy and free – you should definitely stay out of its way.

The non – judgement expert’s advice: Look at your own behavior. Sometimes, we may be judging someone for something that we do ourselves, or have done.

My advice: The tiger will be a tiger. Analyzing your own behavior in the cage with it, is not a smart thing to do.

The non – judgement expert’s advice: Give the person the benefit of the doubt. Someone once told me, no one wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I’m going to be a jerk today.” Most of us do the best we can with the resources we have at the moment.

My advice: If you used your eyes, saw you were dealing with a tiger, made numerous excuses for him, and still decided to be friends… well, let’s just say – you deserve each other!

Posted in Community

Interview with Naples Mayor Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett, the mayor of City of Naples, FL was very kind to meet with me and answer few questions, below is a brief recap of our conversation. BillBarnett

But first, a lesson in politics. The City of Naples occupies about 16.4 sq. mi and has population of 20,000 full time residents. The larger Naples Metro Area is managed by county commissioners.

The City of Naples was incorporated in 1925.  An incorporated town in the United States is a municipality and has elected officials, as differentiated from an unincorporated community, which is governed by the county or state.

In the council-manager form of government, the city council is the governing body elected by the citizens.

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The council hires a city manager to serve as the chief executive of the city government. With some exceptions that vary from city to city, the city manager oversees all city staff. The city manager advises the council on their decisions but has no formal authority to vote on laws enacted by the council.

Now back to my conversation with Bill Barnett.

Question: Naples is a great place to live. It is clean, safe and we have good schools. How do we make sure our quality of life does not deteriorate?

I lived in Naples for 44 years. I have been in politics for 25 years, and I can tell you we have a system in place to insure our city is exactly what we, the residents, want it to be: no bill boards, no big advertisements. We want to have a lot of green space and good zoning. The mayor and 6 council members work hard to protect our quality of life.

Question: Is it important to attract big businesses and more people to Naples, or do we want to remain a small town?

We can attract corporate headquarters to Greater Naples Metro Area, and it would be a good thing for the community. It will not happen in the city of Naples, we just don’t have the space anymore.

Question: Bill, you were elected mayor of Naples in 1996 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2012, and again in 2016. What are the challenges facing Naples today and how are they different from challenges we faced in 1996, 2004, 2008, 2016?

The biggest challenge we face today is our tremendous growth. Collier county is being built too fast. The growth is the challenge, we don’t build the beaches, we build housing, yet people want to come here to enjoy the beach and the nature. Another problem we face – how can we efficiently manage the increasing traffic?

Question: What is your vision for Naples, what do you want Naples to be, let’s say, in 10 years from now?

In 10 years, I want to see Naples very much like it is today. In the future, with advanced technology we will be able to manage traffic better. Our residents will reuse water, so we will conserve drinking water. The old houses eventually will be replaced with new energy efficient homes. We are moving in that direction.

Question: Have you ever considered running for a Governor of Florida post?

No. I never considered it. Why should I? I like to be a local politician. I know people in Naples and people know me. I like what I am doing. I like where I am and most importantly I like our people.

Posted in humor

Puss in Boots, or How Not to be Outsmarted

Bible is not the only book filled with wise advice. One of my favorite children’s story- “Puss in Boots” is a treasure trove of useful information. If you are unfamiliar with the story plot, don’t worry, you will find all you need to know here. Do you have a weakness? You have a problem.

The rich father, the mill owner and a businessman, dies and leaves his three children the inheritance: the eldest brother gets the business, the middle brother gets the transportation/the horsepower, the youngest son, I will call him Steve, gets only a cat. Let me pause here. Just imagine how pissed Steve must feel at this point! He loved his father, he worked hard and he got nothing.

Steve is a decent guy, he did not sue his brothers for his fair share of inheritance, he took the cat and made the best he could with what he had. The cat was a good friend; the only request the cat made (the cat was very interested in the latest fashion) was to have a brand new pair of fancy high heel boots. Steve did not have much money, but he bought the boots she wanted. Steve passed the cat’s test. If, as an employer/friend, Steve did not treat her right, if he was greedy or selfish, she would be out of the door in a flash. There had to be respect and mutual benefit – teamwork.

The cat in boots decided no horse was good enough for Steve, no business was good enough. Steve should be a king, marry a princess, and ride only in a royal carriage. As a royal cat, she could have more wonderful boots, plus royal delicatessens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cat began to plot and plan.

There was a king with a young beautiful daughter in the neighboring lands. Kings have a weakness-love for money and power. Give the king what he loves and you will open the door to his mind, soul and resources. Unfortunately, the cat did not have the money, but she hunted everyday and sent the king gifts of game each day under the name of Marquise of Carabas. The king became intrigued. This Marquise of Carabas must be rich and powerful! The king decided to meet the Marquise.

How could Marquise of Carabas receive king if he had no castle? Fortunately, there was an evil wizard in the village who lived in a magnificent castle. The wizard terrorized the poor folks, many heroes tried, but nobody could defeat the wizard.

The wizards have a weakness- they take themselves too seriously and think they are very important. The wizard thought he was the most knowledgeable wizard in the world. He became too cocky to the point of recklessness. The cat apparently admired the wizard a great deal. The cat wanted to acquire such knowledge and understanding, but first wanted a demonstration of wizard’s talent. Could the wizard transform himself in the smallest creature- a mouse? To prove his superiority the wizard turned into a mouse only to be swallowed by the clever cat.

Steve became the master of the castle. The cat explained she got lucky and won the castle in the lottery. The king with the daughter came to visit at once. The king was impressed by the richness of the castle. The princess was impressed by Steve’s good character. Soon they were married and lived happily after.

Of course it would be harder for the cat to figure out how to play the king or wizard if they decided to hide their weaknesses. But then again, nobody is clever enough to hide anything for long, sooner or later we open our mouths and drip the truth out.

Posted in Self- improvement

Embracing Minimalism

When we are happy, we make people around us happy as well. We have one life and we should live it to the fullest. Why shouldn’t we take the most expansive vacation, why shouldn’t we have the most expensive “toys”? 20170603_210406

The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. Americans are the most depressed people in the world, according to the World Health Organization. About one in five adults in the U.S. experiences some form of mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

If piles of money could buy happiness, Tiger Woods would be the happiest man alive. We constantly buy stuff, if we don’t buy stuff we buy “experiences”. We work hard; we never have time for ourselves, our families and friends. If we don’t have the money, we borrow, and spend the money we don’t have on the things we don’t need.

When you look around the poker table and you can’t tell who is the sucker – it is you. As soon as you open the magazine, or start watching a blockbuster movie you see the product marketing at its best. Corporations are making record profits, but the salaries of the workers remained stagnant since 2000 and many well-paying jobs are disappearing.

The most expensive vacation will not make you happy if you are stressed about other things, if you are angry or dissatisfied. Spend the money you have wisely. Be free. Get out of the consumerist lifestyle. Fill your life with what really matters: peace of mind, good relationships, the work you love, exercise…

What about the peer pressure? We admire rich, we follow famous. We deserve what we get. We have the power to change our lives: find better peers, better friends, better work. It is not easy, but we can do it! The problem is sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to see where the problem is coming from, we don’t trust our friends and family with a good advice they give. We think they don’t understand, we get upset.

My advice- give a benefit of a doubt to your friends and family- cut the problem thing or person out of your life for 4-6 months and see what happens. Pay attention. Are you a better, more fulfilled person without it? See if the quality of your life improves, then make a decision if you want that “trouble” thing back in your life.

Posted in Health

Caffeine Can Help You Fight Cold

Let’s prevent diseases before they strike hard. I am for healthy eating (food is our medicine), active life style and simple home remedies. When it comes to fighting cold, I have one effective recipe – rinse your mouth and throat with salty water as soon as you begin to have headache or sore throat, and eat some fresh garlic.

Few days ago, I added a new remedy to combat cold – coffee. I am not a big coffee drinker. Usually I drink one cup of coffee a day (no sugar), 3-4 times a week. Two days ago, when I felt I was coming down with a cold I did not rely on my usual method of fighting cold, instead I drank extra cup of coffee. To my amazement, the cold was gone the next morning.

The common cold cause symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and sore throat, for up to two weeks. To prevent colds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends good hand hygiene and keeping a distance from people with upper-respiratory infections. Once you have a cold, rest, hydration and over-the-counter medications may help reduce symptoms and expedite your recovery. If your symptoms are severe, seek medical guidance.

According to Dr. Keri Peterson, drinking coffee when you have cold is good for you. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and helps to boost immune system. Caveat, if you regularly consume more than two cups of coffee a day this remedy may not work for you. In addition, sugar may exacerbate the cold. Consuming more than two cups of coffee a day will have diuretic effect and you will get dehydrated.

Posted in Politics

Is Adam Putnam Governor Material?

In May 2017, Putnam announced he was running for Florida governor in the 2018 election. Does Adam Putnam share your values and views?Putnam

Republican Adam Putnam served in the U.S. House of Representatives for ten years, representing the Central Florida-based 12th congressional district from 2001 to 2011. He has been Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture since 2011. Putnam’s family is in citrus business.

On October 10, 2002, Putnam voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq. Adam is full of contradictions- he is pro-war and pro-life. Let’s take a look at Adam’s voting history.

Adam Putnam on Jobs:

Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (Oct 2008)

Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill. (Jun 2008)

Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)

Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)

Voted YES on end offshore tax havens and promote small business. (Oct 2004)

Voted YES on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)

Adam Putnam on Budget & Economy:

Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)

Voted NO on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (Mar 2009)

Voted NO on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (Jan 2009)

Voted NO on monitoring TARP funds to ensure more mortgage relief. (Jan 2009)

Voted NO on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)

Voted NO on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (Sep 2008)

Voted NO on revitalizing severely distressed public housing. (Jan 2008)

Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)

Voted YES on restricting bankruptcy rules. (Jan 2004)

Adam Putnam on Crime:

Voted NO on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society. (Nov 2007)

Adam Putnam on Education:

Voted NO on $40B for green public schools. (May 2009)

Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007)

Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on “God” in Pledge of Allegiance. (Jul 2006)

Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)

Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror. (Nov 2001)

Voted YES on requiring states to test students. (May 2001)

Adam Putnam on Energy & Oil:

Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)

Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)

Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)

Adam Putnam on Tax Reform:

Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007)

Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)

Voted YES on providing tax relief and simplification. (Sep 2004)

Voted YES on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)

Voted YES on permanently eliminating the marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)

Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)

Voted YES on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)

Voted YES on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)

Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)