Friday, September 13, 2019

How Reading is Sexy.

The cheapest, easiest, and most time-tested way to sharpen your brain is right in front of your face. It’s called reading. And sharp brains are sexy.

Reading makes you smarter. And people find intelligence smokin’ hot. At least cool people do. Those who read tend to be more open-minded and empathetic, well versed in a variety of topics, more articulate, and perform better on standardized tests.
Reading signals to others that you are curious, inquisitive, interested in growth and further knowledge. This indicates a person who is more likely to be interesting and engaging.
Reading helps make you a better communicator. This lends to your being more appealing (and, more likely to be likable) to others, whether as a friend, prospective romantic partner, potential employee, or other.
Reading can assist in building your self-esteem. People with solid confidence and a stable sense of self-worth are far more appealing and attractive to others, as well as tend to attract and choose healthier relationships throughout their lives.
Reading improves your sense of focus and concentration, a skill necessary to further life skills and learning, as well as for the forming of deep connections and relationships with others.
An easy way to judge how open a person’s mind is, as well as in what they are interested, is to look at their book collection and see what they are putting in that brain of theirs.
In a study published in Science, David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano revealed the benefits of reading literary fiction. They found that reading literary fiction can help with deciphering emotions. This is important because “understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships which characterize human societies,” they said. People who have these skills are far more attractive than those who do not.
If a date or prospective friend unabashedly admitted that they don’t read much because fiction or that reading “bores” them, I would be dumbfounded. How could using your imagination be such a bore, such a chore? How can diving headfirst into another world of your choosing be a drag? How could learning something new which interests you not be a fulfilling activity and pursuit?
People’s attitudes toward reading say something of their character, values, sense of curiosity and focus, their interest in learning and the greater world around them, and the workings of their inner mind.
Sex appeal is relative, but most people agree that less is moreThe forbidden is enticingThat which is hidden, we long to see revealed and know. Half dressed is sexier than undressed (want more psychological proof of this statement? Take a look at the widely read and clapped for article, “The Shocking Secret to Being Sexier”).
All of which connects to why reading is sexy.
Movies and television, they tend to show it all. We watch and see all of the details.
But books, they entice and reveal things slowly.
When you read, you must use your imagination, and you don’t get the whole story at once. You must puzzle, wonder, and piece it together yourself. You turn the pages and gradually the narrative is revealed, climbing slowly and building toward a climax.
People who read understand this and it becomes a part of them too. Thus, those who read tend to exhibit some of this same sense of mystery and of more tentative, slower revelation of themselves to others as individuals too.
They often live in such a way that is more romantic than others, observant, focused, insightful and thoughtful, and reveled in with greater intent.
Reading is way sexy. It also enriches and adds to your life in innumerable ways. Reading is the cheapest, most accessible, easiest way to add to your life (entertainment, further knowledge, additional life skills, experiencing the perception of another or an entirely different culture or world altogether- books teach us how to be human and how to live).

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Our Current Day Resumes Tell Us Next To Nothing About A Person.

Our routine, standardized template of a resume nowadays tell us next to nill about someone’s depth of character (or lack thereof), nor much at all with regards to who a person is on the inside.
On scanning the length of a resume, sure, you can discover where someone worked. The “impressive” titles they may have garnered while at that particular workplace. Some of the general items they might have completed, achieved or routinely been working on.
That is about it though.
We have become a society in which we look at titles, outward indicators of status, and items achieved as evidence for as someone deserving of a position (or, of being “good enough” for the role) as opposed to at their depth of character and potential, which is far more telling.
This is why, frequently, we are overseen by mediocre or even miserably awful managers.
It is why, often enough, someone is hired who seems “perfect” for the job, only to result in later down the road, our discovering they are a flop. (Because really, how much can the information we uncover within our limited methods of interviewing really tell us about someone?)
Resumes do not tell us much of anything in terms of true relevance about a person.
Instead, they offer a limited laundry list of some things that person has done.
To truly gain an impression of someone, as well as, how well (or not) they might function and flourish in a particular role, one needs to know more depth to that person’s soul and being.
The questions we tend to ask in an interview, as well as what we list on our resumes, does not give us much with regards to that information.
A person has been a manager or CEO of such and such company. So what? Does this tell us if they are honest? Fair-minded and kind-hearted? Will they treat their colleagues with flexibility, openness, and as equal teammates? Or, will they treat their colleagues as less than? Will they be tyrannical? Unreasonable? A micro-manager and dictator type?
Someone who has only ever worked at “lowlier” type jobs, such as data entry, administrative assistant, and the like. We assume they are unlikely up to the task of anything more challenging. Yet, shocking as it may be for many to consider, it is not infrequent that the people who have occupied these roles may be far more intelligent, with more grit, heart, and talent, and with more top-notch character, than many of those who have been dubbed their superiors.
Instead, they, more often than not, haven’t been given the opportunities yet to prove this, because their “resume deems them unqualified.” So they remain relegated to and stuck within roles which keep them boxed in and functioning at far below their potential.
Hierarchies, promotions, and the like, are largely a result of politics, “playing the game”, and who you know. They are far less about true talent, personal potential, and strength of character than we like to hope.
A resume does not tell you whether someone is reliable. Nor does it tell you if they are brave.
A resume tells us nothing about if a person is emotionally mature. Nor does it tell us whether someone has spunk and innovative ideas.
A resume does not tell us someone’s inner values, nor of their innate talents, passions, and personal projects.
All of which are incredibly relevant to the character of a person, and all of which are quite informative as to both the type of worker someone will be, as well as, in what ways they might grow.
We hire people after looking at the statuses they have garnered, the “impressive” names of where they have worked, and the attention-grabbing titles they have attained. These reasons ignore and dismiss whole sweeps of significant information about a person, ones which can hint to us far more of their potential than the narrow, basic trajectory and information of a resume.
A resume is black and white, as well as largely one dimensional.
Personal character is a kaleidoscope of nuances, temperaments, behaviors, and relevant information.
Resumes reveal little to none of this.
We might better ask potential job applicants questions such as, of what are you most proud in your life to date?
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
When was a time in which you stood for something you believed in when it was quite difficult emotionally to do so?
What lights your soul on fire?
What areas of personal growth and development most interest you?
Why does this particular position draw you?
In what ways do you feel you would both be challenged, as well as flourish and grow within this position?
What motivates and excites you?
What is an innovative idea you’ve had? (Whether it actualized or not is beside the point).
What is a project you worked on or an idea you brought to actualization within a previous role for which you feel accomplished and satisfied?
What is one of the kindest things you’ve ever done?
What do you believe makes up the facets of a great colleague?
What was a time when it was difficult for you to push forward or muster motivation at work on a particular project or within a certain aspect of your job? How did you get through it?
The list of potential questions can go on. However, we tend to ask narrow, limiting questions during interviews which do not tell us nearly enough relevant information about someone, as other questions might.
Want to avoid hiring that seemingly awesome person, who ends up being a dud behind closed doors down the road? Want to keep from working with people who are pot-stirrers, emotional vampires, drama or gossip queens, those who are unreliable and limp of heart, or who might be dishonest, manipulative, even cruel?
We should start better tailoring and guiding both the information offered on our resumes, as well as the questions we ask during interviews, in such a way that we learn more relevant and telling information about someone’s character, as opposed to their mundane and not very indicative laundry list of job titles.
Our current-day resume format tells us next to nothing of true relevance about a person. In shifting this template and in what ways we consider someone for a position, we would be far more likely to build more productive, emotionally happy, contented, and better functioning workplaces, thus increasing our likelihood toward choosing, more mindfully, the right people for the position the first time around.

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Best of Bar Harbor, Maine

Labor Day weekend was an adventure to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine!! 

This included a plethora of delicious food, decadent desserts, hiking through moss-laden woods, and much gazing into the forest of stars in the night sky above.

First stop though: Portland!

Maxx, Ida and I walked the red-brick lain, quaint streets of the city, stopping for cupcakes, Whoopie pie, and tea in between.

Loved this.  Portland was charming, quiet, trendy, and laid back.  The colorful storefronts and awnings, standing out with a splash against the otherwise mostly uniform red brick backdrop.

Then, it was onward to Bar Harbor.  We had dinner at Cafe This Way, sitting outside on the back porch so Ida could join us too, in the slightly chilly air.  Enjoying edamame falafel in a tahini yogurt sauce, smothered baked potato chips in duck meat, cheese, lime crema and corn salsa, pan-fried fishcakes, skillet bibimbap, and for dessert, chocolate truffle cake with raspberry and homemade blueberry pie.  SO good.

The next day, we woke up bright and early for some hiking.  Venturing down the Carriage Roads, though narrow, shrouded woods, alongside sun-dappled streams, pausing for pictures, and for Ida to play in the water.

Then, we paused for lunch with the below as our background.  There was a little cafe on the lawn in front of us, the Jordan Pond Carriage Road House.  We dined on a lobster roll, chicken salad, and their famous popovers with butter and jam.  Delectable.  With, of course, phenomenal views at the forefront.

That afternoon, we embarked on a boat ride amidst the islands of Bar Harbor.  See the first photo below.  The huge white ship, partially covered by the green one in front, that was our boat. 

This was leisurely, scenic, and great fun.  I volunteered to assist with hoisting the sails- hilarious, laughter-inducing, and physically challenging.  Throughout the boat ride, the breeze was strong, rushing across our faces, whipping our hair.  Luckily, the sun was warm. 

It was a gorgeous and laid back afternoon activity.

We finished the night, after a scrumptious dinner at Havana of fish and appetizers of deviled eggs and Papas Bravas, all of which, we agreed, was excellent.  Then, headed to the park pictured below, which offers gorgeous, sweeping views of the harbor and nearby islands.  We hung out and relaxed here for a bit, people watching and chatting.  Ida took a nap <3.  Then, we headed back to our little cabin in the woods.

The next day, Maxx picked the hike, and it was a steep one.  Luckily, it wasn't too long, as I might have keeled over and died if it were both steep and for a significant length of time ;-). 

The view at the peak though?  Totally worth it.

We found a tiny toad along the way!

At the mountain peak, Ida was freaked out by the steep incline of the rocks on which Maxx and I were sitting, so she went and hid in the woods haha.

Later on that day, we headed to The Burning Tree for dinner.  Man, oh, man, was this yummy.  We had a salad of spiced greens (dandelion greens and arugula) topped with a gorgonzola cream dressing, so good.  As well as, an Asian inspired breaded and fried dish.  As an entree, Maxx had monkfish and I tried the baked Sol fish.  For dessert, walnut cake, lemon mousse, and earl gray ice cream were enjoyed (aka, devoured).

Then, back to our little cabin and stargazing was in order.  The night sky, looking like a forest of stars, something like the photo just below.

I Googled "Maine Night Sky."  This is the one that appeared most like what we saw.

Then, below, another awesome hike we did the following day, through a flatter, though rather magical, moss-laden, winding and hilly wood.  Loved this.

Following the hike, we went on a kayaking expedition through the waters surrounding Bar Harbor.  Aside from being a bit nervous, for me, in the imagining of sharks, this was incredible.  Serene.  Wildly scenic.  Quiet.  We saw several bald eagles (most of which, Maxx spotted!), as well as, a group of porpoise which swam within roughly 7-8 feet of Maxx and me!  SO cool.  This was a thrilling and awesome moment. 

Then, we had a phenomenal dinner at Sweet Pea cafe of meatballs and marinara (with housemade ricotta), spicy green beans, and a cucumber and seaweed salad (for appetizers).  Maxx ate the chorizo, pepper, and onion pizza for his entree, while I had the salmon with polenta, both were great.  And for dessert, with slight hesitation, we sampled the chocolate beer cake, which was one of the better chocolate cakes I've ever had.  Moist, light, super chocolatey, it was superb.  I'm still dreaming about it, much to my surprise.

The below pictures were taken on our last morning, at Thunder Hole.  Gorgeous.

Can you spot the seal's head!?  It's a harbor seal.

Can you spot the TWO harbor seals?