I’m super focused on…hey, look at that!

I wonder if cavemen ever had to sit and pay attention to cave-teachers. I suppose if they did, a number of them would be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or whatever the cave equivalent of ADD was in those days.

If you read the criteria for attention deficit disorder I’m pretty sure you’d swear you had it. The fact is, except for the occasional freak, we all struggle with it. This is because our world has changed but our biology hasn’t.

Eat or be eaten
Human beings evolved in a world where survival meant having to find something to eat on a daily basis. Hunter-gatherers spent...

Read more →
Leave a comment
3

Poisonous mushrooms, anyone?

Coconut. I suppose it is a legitimate thing to eat for some of you but I’d rather eat a handful of crickets.

When I was a teenager and feeling like I could eat something (i.e. always) I looked in my cupboard and saw a bag of coconut macaroon mix. I decided to bake a batch. Soon enough I put the first warm and chewy treat in my mouth. It was delicious so I had another…and another…and another. Within minutes I put the last of the macaroons in my mouth. I enjoyed every one of them. MMM!!

That was the last time I ever ate coconut! I didn’t get sick from my spree but those coconut macaroons...

Read more →
Leave a comment
4

Spiders, snakes and cakes

Have you ever noticed how common certain fears are while others are surprisingly rare? People can develop fears of just about anything but for the most part this doesn’t happen very often. Common fears seem to cluster around a few scary things and can include snakes, spiders, heights, and enclosed spaces. The interesting thing is that very few of us have had any bad experiences with them.

What role does experience play? Many people fear bees even if they’ve never been stung. But we’ve all been cut with kitchen knives, burnt on stoves, shocked by an electric socket (well, us...

Read more →
Leave a comment
9

Playoff beards

I had a woman come in to see me recently who was all flustered because she felt she was losing control of her life. She said that she wore her Montreal Canadiens jersey and sat in the lucky spot and still they lost. Now she was worried that her mother would get bad news from her last MRI because on her way to see me she was late and had to take a direct route along the ‘wrong’ street. This was the street she walked on the last time her mother’s medical condition took a turn for the worse. This got me thinking about superstitious behaviour in general and sports rituals in particular.

I...

Read more →
Leave a comment
7

200 and counting. I’m still big in Bulgaria!

In today’s Journal Métro is my 200th column. I started in September 2005 and this blog started a couple of years after that. My blog posts are mostly elaborated versions of what I put in my column with a few assorted random postings thrown in.

Every other week I scratch my head wondering what I’m going to write about, certain that I’m out of ideas. Yet somehow, while riding my bike, or when talking to someone, or during one of the never-ending conversations I have in my head, something pops in. I have no explanation for it. It just happens.

I once worked with a woman who kept a fashion...

Read more →
1 comment
10

The self-confidence two-step

Every once in a while, as a client gets up to leave, I get asked a ‘simple’ question, “How does one develop self-confidence?”
Well, let me just ask the next client to wait ten hours while I attempt an answer.”

The truth is that almost everything I work on with clients is designed to boost self-esteem. Very few people consult when they are feeling too good about themselves (although everyone around them might want them to!).

Self-confidence is a process and it depends a lot on how we attribute success and failure. Those with poor self-esteem tend to blame themselves for everything that goes...

Read more →
1 comment
7

Betting on happiness

This is mental health awareness week. It is a week when we focus on general well-being in all of us as opposed to discussing illnesses as we do during mental illness week in October. In that spirit I wrote the following article for today’s edition of Métro.

Betting on happiness
(Source: Le bonheur à tout prix. Journal Métro, May 06-2014)
SVP voir plus bas pour la version Française.

I was talking to an employee of Lotto Quebec the other day and we speculated about what a lottery win does for happiness. Let’s face it; although we all say money doesn’t buy happiness, most of us would be...

Read more →
1 comment
8

Why is everyone smarter than me?

Here’s another one from the vault published in 2005. It is about the impostor syndrome and why it tends to happen. For some bizarre reason, I seemed to like the use of CAPS back then. Go figure

Speaking of feeling stupid, a kind reader pointed out that the title should actually read, “Why is everyone smarter than I?” True. But who am I to stop the constant evolution of linguistic usage and grammatical rules? That’s just how we talk. And besides, I just ain’t that smart ; )

Why is everyone smarter than me?
(Originally published in French in Journal Métro, November 15, 2005)
SVP voir plus...

Read more →
Leave a comment
9

I plan on winning the lottery


Just you wait and see. It's only a question of time!

I plan on winning the lottery (Published today in Journal Métro. Je prévois gagner à la lotterie. April 22, 2014.)  Voir plus bas pour la version Française.

How’s this for a retirement plan? Spend all your money on whatever you want, but take about ten dollars every week to buy lottery tickets. As soon as you win, you can take your retirement.

Would you plan your future around the possibility of winning a lottery? Not many of us would. We can’t live our lives as if we will win, even if it is theoretically possible. Why then do some...

Read more →
Leave a comment
11

Do-overs and Mulligans

Erase! Erase! Oh, if only…

Do-overs

(French version published today in Métro: Recommencer, April 8, 2014)
Voir plus bas pour la version Française.

What if you had the power of a do-over? Or something equivalent like erasing a day from your life? When would you use it?

There is no shortage of bonehead things we all do – buying up Nortel stock when it was in its heyday, proposing to a future ex-spouse…and courtroom adversary, getting a Pokémon tattoo – everyone has a list.

I don’t think it would be so hard to look back on our lives and see where and when we would use our do-overs, but...

Read more →
Leave a comment
12