Daily Nugget of Gold 1574

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” – Earl Nightingale

Daily Nugget of Gold 1574

Better Sleep Tips

Here are some tips on getting a better night’s sleep, if you’ve ever found yourself laying awake. We’d add “at night” but we ourselves are a day sleeper, so these tips will include some unique to folks who sleep during the day.

Use some sort of noise generation. We like a fan, but that’s also because a fan cools as well as makes some noise which drowns out other, unwanted noises. Speaking of having a fan for cooling, try not to overdue it with blankets. The body likes to cool down for sleep, one study suggested having your feet out was effective in helping to do that. Some sort of soft earplugs (often sold in the dollar store in the medication section) will help filter out noise. They take a little while to get used to them, but they do work.

Make sure your room is dark when you sleep. Whether you sleep in the day or at night, having light in your sleeping area may be holding you back from quality sleep. This is especially true of cell phones or other devices emitting blue light. Speaking of cell phones, if people are texting or calling you when you sleep, figure out some sort of strategy to eliminate that distraction. Even if the phone doesn’t wake you up, it can interfere with the quality of sleep you’re getting.

If you work at night, and can control the lighting where you work- work under bright lights. This helps “reset” your rhythm so that you sleep better during the day when you need to.

Never do something fun when you aren’t sleeping and you want to. If you get up after trying to sleep, do tasks you least like to do. Avoid video games at all costs, too. The games keep your mind engaged and active and the adrenaline flowing.

Never utter the words, “I can’t sleep”, your mind takes this as a command rather than a statement of fact. You can say, “I haven’t slept yet, but I will soon” instead.

Before you attempt to sleep, forgive- truly forgive, anyone and everyone who ever hurt you intentionally or not. Also forgive your own shortcomings. To forgive is to totally, freely, and unconditionally “let go of” any animosity you have towards others or guilt you feel. Our failure to “settle our differences” this way is one of the major roadblocks to sleep.

Find out more about using binaural beats to condition the mind to being on the correct wavelength for sleep. It takes 15 or 20 minutes to do this before laying down and you can find free help online as well as free generators of these frequencies.

Eat a sweet snack 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed. The blood sugar rises, but the insulin surge afterward can put you into a groggy funk, perfect for sleep. Don’t forget to brush your teeth, though.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

How can I improve the quality of the sleep I get?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1573

I’m always without sleep. I’ve got two kids. I understand sleep deprivation on a profound level.” – Cate Blanchett

Daily Nugget of Gold 1573

Sleep Deprivation

It’s been with us since we’ve been around. Each of us experiences it as part of our daily routine. It is essential to good health, yet it remains a mystery in many ways. Of course, if you read the title, you know we are talking about sleep. We reset and refresh through it, we benefit greatly from its power, but the main way we know about how wonderful and essential it is in our lives is through trying to do without it. In no time at all does it become obvious that we need it when we skip it.

There’s been a couple of studies done on the effects of lack of sleep lately. One was concerned about what happens when someone works into the night past their normal bedtime. The outcome was that people often suffered impairment on the same level as if they drank vodka while working. Simple sleep deprivation can cause us to lose such things as hand-eye coordination and cognitive abilities.

Another study found that going without sleep even for a day can greatly decrease our ability to remember important details of the tasks we’ve been called to do. Things that normally are no big deal to us when we are well rested become difficult to accomplish when we’ lost the required amount of sleep.

Sleep is a mystery, for sure- and just why the body craves it so when we go without it isn’t fully understood. It’s our nature to sleep daily, preferentially at night- but for some of us, sleeping at night isn’t an option. Society needs police, doctors, nurses, and many other professions around the clock. Night workers of any sort face an unusual array of obstacles along the path of getting enough sleep. Some of these things a person can control, but not everything. The rest of the world is open for business while night workers sleep.

What are the various impediments to a good sleep experience of a night worker? Outside noise, people making routine deliveries, telephone calls or texts, bright sunlight, and even family members who might not always understand that Mom or Dad need to sleep in order to go to work at night.

Your author is a night worker and we’re going to share our own tips on sleeping well, whether that’s at night or in the day. Join us again for that, especially if getting enough restful sleep is an issue.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What can I do to insure I get enough sleep for myself daily?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1572

To construct is the essence of vision. Dispense with construction and you dispense with vision. Everything you experience by sight is your construction.” – Donald D. Hoffman

Daily Nugget of Gold 1572

Representative Brain

As physicists have come to understand that matter actually comes into existence when consciousness acts upon it, that seems weird and scary enough. Imagine if the desk we sit at, the chair we sit in, and the computer we’re using are all just figments of the imagination- that mind actually creates everything we see in our world. Now bring that even closer to home, that if matter is a useful fiction, then what of our physical bodies? If we really take the discoveries of physics seriously, then at once we can no longer insist that material objects are real, and further, that our body including the brain is real!

But wait, but wait- we can measure activity in the brain, right? The activity in the brain correlates to the thoughts taking place, or lack of them as in monitoring someone who’s “brain dead”, right? Well, in the “physical” world we live in, it sure seems that way. Let’s dig into this further.

Snap a selfie. Now load it onto your computer and use a photo altering program to change the photo in some way. Have you altered the reality of you? No, of course not. It’s just an image. Logically, we know this. We know that your Spirit doesn’t inhabit the image. There’s nothing to the picture other than a simple representation of what you looked like at that moment.

Suppose we made a virtual reality device that fooled all of our senses? Is it possible to make something like that? We know now that it is. Now, imagine that you strapped on a device that not only treated you to a 3D image of a freshly baked apple pie, you could smell it, feel it, and taste it after you heard a slice of it plop onto your plate- if all of the sensory outputs fooled your senses, would that make it real?

We’ve explored that just to get to this one point- if material objects aren’t actually made of genuinely physical material, if that’s true, how did all this come into existence, then? What would be the reason or reasons we are living in such a finely detailed representation of what seems like reality? What shall we strive to do while we’re here in this realm?

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What does this all really mean?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1570

Physiology seeks to derive the processes in our own nervous system from general physical forces, without considering whether these processes are or are not accompanied by processes of consciousness.” – Wilhelm Wundt

Daily Nugget of Gold 1570

The United Cells of You

Physicists and Biologists have a problem with each other. Oh, they’re both scientists, that’s true- but when you get to studying what stuff is made of, and particularly, what we are made of, there’s trouble brewing. Biologists and in particular- physicians (doctors) have a perception of us that life is to a greater extent, composed of microbiological structures and functions. There’s a lot of evidence for that, too. Often, cause and effect are demonstrated at this level.

We’re not saying that all the causes and effects are completely understood- nope! What we are saying is that sometimes doctors or biologist can show that generally speaking, “This is bad for you” or “This helps you stay healthy” or what have you. It gets even clearer with things like massive doses of poison, “This will kill you” might be said and probably, they’re going to be right.

So what’s this rift, this great divide in opinions between physicists and physicians? (Before we get to that, notice the similarity of those two titles) For physicians, it’s about how the physical system, intelligently directed by the brain, operates right down to the cellular level. With around a hundred trillion cells, that’s amazing and complicated stuff, for sure. The study of how all this functions and functions so well, normally- is nowhere near being fully understood, but the more we understand about the miracle of life, and just how it all comes together to happen, the more we stand in wondrous amazement.

The physicists have an entirely different problem. Their journey of the last hundred years took them from having great confidence in “objective reality”- meaning that physical things definitely exist as objects, to the rather shocking research revealing that physical items don’t actually come into definite form without being observed by conscious entities. In other words, while- yes, there are physical objects out there that we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell- but the objects only appear because we perceive them. Wrap you mind around that one! So what of the differences between the two scientific fields? The ideas that physicists came up with have been called “crazy” or “insane”. Worse yet, it’s not only the physicians and biologists making those characterizations- the physicists themselves are saying that!

We’re going to explore that craziness next time, join us- it’ll be fun!

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

If physical objects aren’t really physical, what are they?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1569

Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.” – Phylicia Rashad

Daily Nugget of Gold 1569

Microbiology and You

Whether or not you care to take a closer look at yourself, microbiology has everything to do the person you see in the mirror. We can be totally ignorant of that fact, and many of us are- or we can be cognoscente of it and have a deeper understanding of just who and what we are. What we’re made of is a vast collection of individual cells, all working in concert. What’s interesting about this is that when we talk about society, we are individuals who come together and achieve common goals as our quote in our header indicates. That the microbiology is mimicked in social circles is probably less of an coincidence, but instead- a predetermined arrangement.

The trillions and trillions of cells that make up our body have an awareness of their own. These cells make decisions based on that awareness which are intelligently guided. They decide when to take in nourishment, what substances actually are food, they decide to eliminate waste, they perform functions that are needed by the body, and they receive direction in the form of chemical signals from the brain which can alter their behavior. The cells in our body reproduce and are replaced regularly, and for most of us- they do this without incident. While most of us wouldn’t characterize cells as possessing wisdom themselves, the collective organiztion of what makes us up is truly amazing.

Several times in the recent past we’ve talked about Donald Hoffman’s research on consciousness and his theory describing “conscious agents”. A conscious agent in his theory is one who has experience, can make decisions based on that experience, takes action based on that decision, and receives feedback from the world which it perceives and uses to repeat the cycle. Hoffman also pointed out that 2 or more agents can act as one, and in fact- the amount of agents that can act together this way is unlimited. In describing this in the simplest of terms, we get a glimpse of what goes on at our cellular level. Multiply that by approximately 100 trillion and you have that person you call you.

As we think of ourselves as individuals, it probably would also be wise to give a nod to the collective consciousness which comes together on our behalf and makes us who we are.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

Where does the intelligence come from which is embedded in each of my cells?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1568

If we didn’t have genetic mutations, we wouldn’t have us. You need error to open the door to the adjacent possible.” – Steven Johnson

 

Daily Nugget of Gold 1568

Mental Awareness

We’re on the subject of sanity, and moreover, normality, and we’re going to open up for discussion an area we’ve covered before- the senses. Notice we said “the” senses and not “our” senses. For us- and every other living creature out there, the senses we use define how we see and interact with our world. It’s easy for us to forget that we sense a world in a much different way than some other animal. We could be laying on the couch, for instance, and our dog comes along and takes a whiff just to make sure the person there matches what they have “on file”. Seldom do you see people do that just to be sure of who’s there.

As a common house fly buzzes about the room and lands on the desk in front of us, it is treated to a view of us which makes it very difficult to just slap it with a hand if we wanted to get rid of it. It has compound eyes- like peering through a massive kaleidoscope, which give it a quick and unmistakable message to take off if a hand should approach it. Can you imagine what it would be like to live and exist in our world with compound eyes?

A bat uses echo location to “see” the world, to locate food and to find its way around. It’s not that they don’t have sight, but they rely on sight far less than other species. So what’s up with all of this? Here’s the thing, all these creatures have evolved a way of interacting with the world which give them certain advantages. Mutation and adaptation are ways that nature does a “trial run”, to see if maybe a different way of doing something might be better for a group than another. Lots of things don’t work out- and sometimes an entire species goes extinct because of that. Before we blame mankind for this, understand that tons of species went extinct before we even got here.

So what does this have to do with mental awareness and sanity? A different way of looking at someone we might think of insane is that they have adapted or mutated in a slightly different direction than we have. This might be no more different than the fact we have people of different heights or shapes. Sure, it’s easy for “normal” people to call out “abnormal” people, but perhaps a better way of thinking about this would be to call those observations “usual” and “unusual”. We’ll take a closer look next time, literally. See you then!

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

How do I define “normal”?

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1567

Two quick notes- for those people paying attention, we took most of last week off.  The second thing was that we messed up the numbering of our issues- and we skipped a number- 1565.  Since 1566 wrapped up a topic, we’ll just forget we missed that number, LOL!  Once again, we have demonstrated that we are clearly human!

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” – Nikola Tesla

Daily Nugget of Gold 1567

Our Sanity

Are you insane? That depends. Some of us will sometimes admit to being insane once in a while, at least when we’re mad or just in jest, but we came here to talk about this thing called “sanity”. Before we get into it, there seems to be general consensus that some people are clearly insane- that they, for lack of a better description, “live in a different reality”. We find that non-judgmental phrase to be interesting. Surely, for those with mental issues, this is no laughing matter. What’s interesting to us though is that sometimes insanity to some extent is accepted as an advantage.

What do we mean by it being an advantage? We know that often a person called a genius might be “one small step away from insanity”. We are also aware that the criminally insane may be the most difficult to catch because, in part, of their intelligence.

What separates the sane from the insane? Whoa, is that a good question! It seems there is this societal consensus that certain experiences when had are a sign of insanity. Hearing voices in our head commanding us to do something is one such example. Seeing something where there is nothing might be another. Interpreting things differently than everyone else seems to is yet another example. To be sure, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung had differing views on this and both filled book after book about what comprises sanity and insanity and all the various “shades of gray” in between. This series we write isn’t ever going to go in as much depth as they did.

We would like to imagine a circle in front of us, drawn in the air. Inside that circle are things most people accept as “normal” and “sane” and as we get to the outer fringes of the circle, the experiences and/or observations made about them become more bizarre and unusual. Beyond the imaginary boundary of that circle are things we clearly regard as impossible, or as pointing to mental incapacity, unfortunate, and perhaps even evil.

We want to remind our readers at this point that even something as benign as political affiliations divide the populace into factions of disagreement on who is right and who might be wrong, and often folks accuse the differing viewpoint of another as a hallmark of insanity.

We’re not going to get where we want to go in just one sitting with this, so let’s take up the topic again and see where it leads. As always, it should be fun!

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

Am I completely sane?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1566

The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress.” – Ramana Maharshi

Daily Nugget of Gold 1566

Disciplined Thought

Actually, our title here is a little deceptive. What we mean by that is that the greater amount of discipline involved here isn’t so much in thinking- it’s in non-thinking. Yes, we speak of meditation yet again- but don’t think that it will always be necessary to use prolonged meditation for this, no- we’re going to discuss a shorter and easier way to accomplish the goal of disciplined thought on something.

First, let’s talk about regular meditation and the advantage it gives us. A person who meditates daily is building the ability to focus on a single thought by clearing the mind of all others. The longer a person practices meditation, the higher the skill level in doing this- which just makes sense, doesn’t it? If we can quiet down all the usual chatter in our brains and focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, you can see where this would give us a huge advantage in holding one thought in the frontal lobe- the area of our brain designed to turn thoughts into reality.

Okay, enough on that for the moment, we teased you by saying there is another way and it was easier. This method involves relaxing our muscles, taking a moment to be calm and quiet, then drawing in a deep breath and just as we do that, we focus our mind on our desire. In that moment we wish to see ourselves as already in possession of the thing we want and to feel the feeling of pleasure we’d have by having it or experiencing it. We release our breath after a few seconds. That’s it. Yes, we need to repeat it- but that’s the whole procedure.

How often should we do this? Maybe a few times in one sitting, certainly a few times a day as well. We may want to use a trigger to remind ourselves of it throughout the day, but this isn’t complicated, is it? The mind isn’t bound by continuous time in what it can produce, it’s more attuned to importance, and importance is measured by the amount of emotion we feel. If something is extremely emotional to us, it has the best chance of shaping our behavior. Things with little or no emotion? They’re just “background” and cannot have a meaningful chance of creating the conditions were we get what we seek.

Discipline isn’t a dirty word when we employ it ourselves- on ourselves in order to see the results we’d like. Self discipline is a wonderful thing.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What can I do to remember to practice disciplined thought daily?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1564

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

Daily Nugget of Gold 1564

Coloring Our Thought

For our next method, let’s remember what Napoleon Hill said about desire. He claimed that we need to work ourselves “into a white-heat of burning desire” in order to get what we want. Specifically, he was referring to acquiring money- but his process of doing this works for any desirable goal. How did he suggest we do this? First, we need to commit the desire to paper, we need to write down what it is we want and when we intend to acquire it along with a general description of what we intend to give of ourselves in order to obtain it. Hill said to be extremely specific in all regards as to what we wanted and when we wanted to achieve it. He also asked us to sign our name to it.

He then asked us to read our statement first thing as we arise for the day and each night before we retire. In addition to that, he suggested we refer to it often throughout the day. Each time we read it we are to already see ourselves in possession of it in our mind’s eye. We would add to this that we want to color those thoughts with emotion. Just reading the statement daily as Hill suggested isn’t enough (and he said it isn’t enough) We must “work ourselves into a white heat of burning desire” he said. Desire enrobed and saturated with emotion, in other words.

Some of us may write down a goal, and a few of us might even read it as Hill prescribed, but only a tiny minority are going to take the time and expend the effort to clearly see the thing desired in our mind’s eye- to hold the thought of us achieving what it is we want and to do so while mustering up all the emotional energy needed to make it ours. Thus, this is why “the one percent” of us is just about 1% of the population, and never more.

Notice the common element of what Hill said to do with what we suggested last time, that we dwell upon one objective. In our case- a mere thirty days- in Hill’s- until the thing- whatever it is, is acquired. It’s the concentration of thought upon a single desired object or ideal which allows the frontal lobe to turn the thought into the thing. Next up, disciplined thought.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What do I really and truly desire and when do I want it accomplished?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1563

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

Daily Nugget of Gold 1563

A Simple Trick

Before we begin, let’s understand something: “Simple” and “Easy” are not the same thing. If we want to weigh less than we do now, we can do so quite simply. Just eat much less. If we want to quit smoking- the answer is just as simple, don’t smoke. Neither of these things would be easy, however- no matter how simply we can put them. What we’re going to outline here is a way to get thinking into our daily routine, that is- focusing our thoughts on a specific desire. This is a method by which we can achieve that and it’s extremely simple. The reality is, however, that as George Bernard Shaw surmised, ninety-five percent of us won’t do it.

The encouraging thing here is this: Whether you fall into the 95% of the people Shaw said “would rather die than think” and those who will at least attempt it- that’s entirely up to you and no one else. Without further ado, here’s one method to accomplish this. Take a quiet time of the day, write down on the top of a piece of paper some desire you have. Now sit quietly and think of any possible solutions there are of how to get it.

As you do this, write down every idea that comes to mind no matter how strange, crazy, or unlikely they are. Sit there until you come up with a thousand. Too difficult? Yes, it would be. That’s not what we’re going to ask you to do. We’re only going to ask you to think of three ideas, and since we’ve specified that the ideas don’t need to be coherent or sane, you can move through this task fairly easily. Oh- there’s that word again- easy. As the radio commercials often ask, “so what’s the catch?” Okay, now for the simple but not entirely easy part of this- do this daily for 30 days in a row.

Why? You might ask. Because, as we discussed last time, the idea here is to quiet the mind and dwell on one particular thought. By doing so we are engaging the frontal lobe- even if for only a few minutes at a time- something arguably more palatable than to hold a thought for a very long period of time. Even though we are doing this in segments, we still enjoy the benefits that this particular part of our anatomy afford us. Still, while this is a simple plan and easier to implement, the reality remains that about 95% of us won’t even try it, let alone- do it as stated. How unfortunate. Most of us would rather memorize mountains of text than practice thinking. What about you?

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

How important to me is it that I get what I desire in life?”

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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