Fruitful Discussions

I liked this guidance from Dr. Britt Andreata on addressing conflict through managing difficult conversations

Here’s how the typical bad scenario unfolds:

1. Problems begin with another person (e.g. annoying or unwanted behaviors).  

2. People start building their cases – listing the wrongs done to them, collecting corroborating evidence, and seeking validation from others.

3. There is a tipping point in terms of frequency or intensity of the problems that lead to a confrontation where accusations are made and blame is attributed. 

4. Then the aftermath in terms of a animosity, loss of trust, and a damaged relationship.

Here’s a better way to deal:

1. Problems begin with another person.  

2. People spend some time reflecting on why the behavior is affecting you, getting clear on what you want to correct it, and trying to see from the other person’s perspective. 

3. The tipping point is sooner in terms of the frequency and intensity of the problems–so you nip it in the bud earlier–and you have a conversation with the other person where you have reframed the other person from an adversary to a partner (e.g. you’ve questioned the facts, assumptions, conclusions along with your emotions, beliefs, and actions–and you’ve looked at alternative narratives to these) and you take responsibility for your part, share your experience and goals to improve things, invite their perceptions, and “co-create solutions.”

4. Follow through with the other person to work together, implement the changes, and hold each other accountable to address the issues. 

The amazing thing about this approach to conflict management is that assuming the other person isn’t truly bad, evil, or gunning for you is that we can look at things from constructive perspective where we own our part, and they own theirs, and together we work together to make things better for everyone. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


Fight or Flight

So I learned this interesting thing about the Fight or Flight response.

Fight or flight is not just physically fighting or fleeing, but it has a much more diverse set of responses involved to perceived life-threatening events. 

Fighting (turning towards the threat)

1. Physical fighting (Protect yourself with force)

2. Non-physical aggression

– Criticism (e.g. Attacking personality or character)

– Contempt (e.g. Attacking sense of self-worth with sarcasm, shaming, insults, eye-rolling, and sneering)

Flight (turning away from danger)

1. Physical fleeing (e.g. Run/hide)

2. Non-physical withdrawal

– Defensiveness (e.g. Deflecting the attack with excuses, disagreement, counter-arguments, or blaming)

– Stonewalling (e.g. Conveying disapproval or disconnection, stop participating, change the subject, or giving the cold shoulder or silent treatment)

When you recognize that not all issues are life-threatening, then you can lower the intensity of the “Amygdala Hijack” in terms of fight or flight and instead work towards developing mutual understanding, trust, respect, and shared goals and solutions. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and attribution of content to Dr. Britt Andreatta)

Spiked Battle Hammer

Saw this at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and thought this was a notable weapon/art piece. 

It’s a War (Battle) Hammer with a spike on one side and an animal head for the hammer on the other. 

TV shows like Vikings and Z(i.e. zombie) Nation have made these sort of famous again.

It’s sort of crazy the things people used in the past to fight and kill with. 

Imagine getting clobbered with one of these…ugly!

But before guns, when the battle was up close and personal, what choice did people really have to defend themselves with.

It was life or death…and many in the most gruesome ways ended up the latter. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Makes My Heart Sing

Just thought this was really beautiful. 

The yellow butterflies with the background of the blue from the sky and ocean, and the white of the soft clouds. 

Feeling like this makes my heart sing. 

Sort of like love. 

It’s simple, but so clear. 

We’re free and flying alone, but together.

We’re one with the universe and also with each other.

Butterfly, butterfly into the wild blue yonders. 

No worries, just soaring, at peace, happy, and oh so free. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Growing With The Challenge

Thought this was a good saying, and wanted to share it.

“A man grows with the greatness of his task.”

In Hebrew, there is a similar saying:

“Lefum Tzaara Agra.” (Which translates roughly too: “As the suffering, so to is the reward.”)

Adversity, hardships, challenges, pain, suffering–these all test our mettle.

Obviously, these are not fun, but in the end, we are forced to grow from these experiences. 

– What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 

Sometimes though, they really can kill us. 

So, push yourself as far and as fast as you can, but also you better know your true limits. 

And we all have them, even when we think we’re invincible. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Living Your Values

So I had this great conversation today with someone about values.

Thinking about what I really value and whether I am living consistently with these…

For me, I was able to clarify for myself these critical values:

1) Being a good person and influence in the world (having a positive impact on people and ideas)

2) Being a good family man (a loving husband, father, and previously son)

3) Being spiritual and serving G-d (living selflessly for my Maker and not selfishly for myself)

4) Being a hard worker (living productively and not as a laggard or sloth)

5) Being a balanced person (living along the “golden path” or “middle of the road”–not an extremist)

6) Being a generally healthy person (living a lifestyle that includes activity, exercise, good nutrition, and no smoking, drugs, or excessive drinking)

What I realized is that when I need to let my values guide me every moment of every day. 

This ultimately means my success and happiness! 

Being what I think that I am supposed to be or what others would want me to be, just doesn’t work–it’s a strategy for failure. 

My father used to tell me:

“Let your conscience be your guide”  (that and the Torah, of course)

This is the answer to a lot of questions that I have in my life–about what to do with my life and what decisions to make.

Values–driven by conscience and integrity–that’s where I want to go next and next. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

QC + AI = S

Quantum Computing (QC) + Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Singularity (S)

Quantum Computing – Computers using subatomic particles to superprocess atincredible speeds and with less energy–it’s similar to massive parallel processing, but in the case of Qubits, they can store more than just 1s and 0s (bits–a binary state), but rather can be both o and 1 at the same time (a “superposition”).  So for very large problems (“exponential scaling”), instead of processing (computing one step at a time), you can process all options simultaneously to find the very best (“optimized”) solution by eliminating all options that don’t fit the algorithm.

Artificial Intelligence – Computers simulate intelligence, using language, perceiving their environment, reasoning to draw conclusions, solving problems usually done by humans, being creative, and where they can actually learn and self-improve!

Singularity – A state of runaway hypergrowth from the attainment of computing superintelligence, where computers are able to autonomously build ever smarter and more powerful machines that surpass human understanding and control leading to unfathomable changes to human civilization. 

The Information Age is giving way to the Intelligence Age, and it is all ready to explode. 

We are getting to the point of no return…

(Source Photo: Screenshot from YouTube with attribution to the move, Lucy“)