It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

Featured

Danny

It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy

This past week I sat in a sub shop eating my veggie sandwich and watching people.  There was a gentleman sitting in the corner of the restaurant on his mobile device.  Another gentleman sat in the opposite corner on his mobile device.  A couple sat behind me and barely said 2 words to each other as they scanned their mobile devices.  And each of the employees had their mobile devices out on the counter or within reach.

This phenomenon has revealed itself time-and-time again.  Ask someone to do simple math without their device and they are stumped.  Ask someone to spell without spell check and look at their face…”receipt” or “reciept”?   Google tells us when to use “accept” versus “except”.  Google gives us the answer to “Who was that guy that starred in that movie that time when I was eight?”

Are we evolving or are we devolving because of technology?  One of the simple criteria I use in making decisions is “does it make me better?”.  Sometimes I debate in my mind and wonder if technology is making us better.  I’m not sure where I stand on this point, but I definitely think technology is making us lazier.

Kids gaming inside for hours and having to be coerced into playing outside and then having to ask “What do I do now?” is a problem.  Spending countless hours per day staring at a computer screen has been proven to cause irreversible damage.  Mobile device addiction is a real thing.  Social media addiction is causing depression rates to soar to an all-time high in young people.

Are we better?

Then I look at the impact technology has had on the practice of medicine and I can say without hesitation we are better.  Technology has made the automobile more reliable and we are moving to a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.  Air travel is safer than ever.  And in a weird way technology has made war safer.  Technology has connected the world in ways humanity never imagined.

And just when you think things are getting good…

…the smart phone enters the picture and begins to create isolation and separation.  People just love these devices and I’m a huge fan of my iPhone!  I can check the weather, watch YouTube videos, play games, etc.  It is a distraction from standing in line or waiting on a friend to show up to an appointment.

I don’t know if we are better off now than 100 years ago, but I am grateful that the chances of me dying from influenza are slim.  So maybe in some ways we are better off, but in other ways we are worse off?

Danny

It’s Not That I Hate People, I Just Prefer To Be Alone

Featured

Danny

It’s Not That I Hate People, I Just Prefer To Be Alone

I am melancholy by nature.  Lately I have been a bit more melancholy than usual due to some heavy issues going on in my life.  I’ve taken a step back from blogging every day.  I’ve taken a step back from a lot of things.  I’ve spent more time in introspection than usual over the last few weeks.

Websters defines melancholy as “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.”  I think many who know me might be surprised to hear me describe myself as such because typically I have always been the life of the party; I’ve always been “fun Danny”.  The interesting thing is I’ve always felt like I had to be “on” and I really don’t like that feeling.  I’ve always been outgoing, but I’ve always felt like an introvert.  It’s a strange dynamic and a stressful place to live.

As many of you know I live by a rigid set of rules.  For instance, I don’t read fiction, ever, I don’t listen to music with much vocals, I do not own a television, I wake up 3 hours prior to my work day beginning, etc.  My rules serve some important functions, but the problem with my rules is they create a tremendous amount of rigidity in relationships.  This happens because I put my expectations on others who think differently, act differently and see the world from a different perspective.  Others have a different definition of success and they have different goals.

Nonetheless my rules impact my view of people which makes me want to spend a lot of time alone.  Other than Evelina I prefer to be alone, inside and away from the world.  The perfect day for me is to sit at home with a good book or my tablet to watch Youtube videos about ancient Egypt or Bigfoot/cryptozoology.  It’s not that I hate people, but I just prefer to be alone.  People complicate things and get in my way of doing things exactly the way I want them done in the time frame I want them completed.

When you combine my view of people with my melancholy nature it creates the image that I’m negative.  Or at least that’s how I think some people take me or understand my actions.

Maybe I am negative.  Maybe not.  As long as people leave me alone I’ll be just fine.

Danny

There’s 1 Truth In Life…Change Will Absolutely Happen

Featured

Danny

There’s 1 Truth In Life, Change Will Absolutely Happen

Every morning I wake up around 4:00-4:30 am.  I grab a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and I head downstairs to make my morning coffee.  Two creams, two Truvias.  I hit the Power button on my laptop and check emails from 3 separate accounts, delete what is trash and add the rest to my To Do list.

Next I select SportsCenter to play in the background while I begin working my way through my To Do list.  I like sending emails out early because I imagine no other human is up at that hour sending mail and there are many times when I will get a response back quickly.  I usually work until 6:30 am after which I’ll grab a shower, get dressed and head out to begin my day, usually leaving the house by 7:05 am.

The longer I ride this rock around the universe the more I find myself set in my ways.  I don’t have to really look at the clock at this point as I can feel the time and sense when it is time to shower.  We all have routines and to some degree we all get set in our ways.  That is until something happens that rocks us or disturbs our complacency.

We rely on our routines and our minds have to have them to operate.  If the mind had to focus on every single task like driving or brushing our teeth or making coffee, it would become completely overloaded which would result in a meltdown.  So routines are a necessary thing.

Then something happens that isn’t normal; isn’t usual.  Typically change occurs in the form of a death in the family, unexpected pregnancy, getting fired from a job or maybe the shock of an unexpected birthday party.  Regardless, change will happen.  And ironically change might be the only thing that is consistent in life.

Evelina and I are going through some big life changes right now, some really good and some not so good.  I think I told everyone about Evelina’s broken arm and surgery.  Then she had kidney stones and a surgery for that.  Those 2 events disrupted our life for 4 months.  Talk about disrupting routine!

We are now in the beginning stages of building a new house and I’m having to deal with the stress associated with the home buying process.

At my age I don’t like change a lot.  My routines have left ruts deep like a motocross track.  They serve an exact purpose which is to allow me to get from task-to-task without using much thought or energy.

Image result for motocross ruts

And now even bigger changes are on the horizon, news that I’ll probably be sharing in the coming months so be on the lookout for an update!  I’m trying to be more flexible these days and I’ve been working diligently on being more patient.  I’m changing slowly, but surely, but I would hazard a guess that Evelina would say more slowly than anything else.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Danny

8 Simple Tips For Living A Better Life With MS (or any disease really)

Featured

Danny

8 Simple Tips For Living A Better Life With MS

My symptoms began in 2007 while I was on vacation in Florida.  Little did I know at that time that my world would change forever with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  I have experienced an array of symptoms and have found some fairly successful habits I have used to help offset the side effects of MS.  Here are some simple tips for living a better life with MS:

 Walk every day

One of the goals I have for myself is to walk every single day without exception.  Evelina and I have a dog and he requires being walked which guarantees I’ll be outside at some point taking a stroll.  For those who cannot walk I recommend standing up and sitting down or maybe doing leg and arm lifts.  Even if you are confined to a wheelchair, you can do some type of physical activity.

Educate yourself on nutrition

I have found that shedding fat off my body helps with symptom flare-ups and pain.  So I eat a lot of vegetables, very little junk food (if any) and only good types of fat.  I see so many people trying to fight a disease while putting horrible foods in their body.  Why not give your body a fighting chance?   Some of the common sense things to eliminate immediately: processed foods, sugar, all fast foods, fried foods, sodas and sugary drinks. One of the most common mistakes I see being made is people who think they understand nutrition who do possess the knowledge about what is and what isn’t healthy.  For a small fee you can hire a nutritionist to construct an eating regimen right for you and your MS symptoms and I highly recommend you not pretend to know, but rely on an expert so you truly know how to eat; sometimes this is covered by your insurance too!

Stop smoking

Simply put, smoking destroys your body.  Smoking also causes plaque to build up in the blood which sticks to the walls of arteries making them narrower; this reduces blood flow and increases the risk of developing blood clots.  Smoking also narrows the arteries, which restricts blood flow as well as causing blood pressure problems.  Lastly, smoking makes it more difficult to exercise with a body that already makes exercise challenging.

Don’t abuse alcohol

There are a couple primary reasons why I don’t drink much alcohol: 1. it affects the central nervous system which impairs my ability to balance, and 2. alcohol and MS induced depression do not mix well.   Maybe a glass of wine occasionally, but don’t use alcohol regularly.

Build your support team with positive people

When I was first diagnosed I followed the advice of a friend and I visited a support group.  It was awful and I stopped attending.  I know lots of people who join support groups, but I found them to be a “woe is me” group.  People sat around and talked about all of their problems and almost none of the time was used to discuss how to live a better life.  The sessions made more sad then edified.  None of the talking focused on exercise, eating better or developing positive life habits.  Since that time I have realized my success has come largely in part to the fact that I have had positive people around me.  People who really support me by carrying me when I need it, but also push me when I need to be pushed.  Remember, you might be in a true fight for your life so do you want negative or positive people around you in this type of struggle?

Find a great neurologist

This is easier said than done because “great” has many meanings to different people.  For me here are the attributes that make one doctor better than another.  A great neurologist must be a great listener who takes all of your concerns into consideration for the treatment plan.  He or she must also be focused on more than prescribing medications like acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, alternative medicines, spiritual edification and much more.  If your doctor focuses only on medication it might be time to look for a new doctor as there is so much more to treatment than just medicines.  If you need a new neurologist I would start my research by Googling “tips to choose a neurologist” and go from there.

Focus on total-body treatment mind/body/spirit

If you doctor is medicine-focused then you need to take upon yourself to focus on whole-body treatment for yourself.  A few practices that I can recommend are meditation, chiropractic, massage, exercise, Soduko/crossword puzzles, acupuncture and mental therapy.  If you only focus on your body, then you will end up neglecting the other areas of You that are crucial to keep healthy during your fight.

Don’t stop living life

I think this is one of the toughest recommendations for me because I struggle with living life.  I tend to not make plans with friends because I never know how I’m going to feel.  I struggle with social anxiety and get extremely worn-out by interacting with people.  I’m usually asleep by 9 pm so socializing can be a struggle.  With this said I realize it isn’t good for me nor is it fair to my wife to be confined to the house.  With all of this said I think it is important to get out of the house even if only to get to the park and go for a short stroll.  I think it is important to do things and push yourself instead of letting your body dictate to you that you will do nothing.  Take a trip to the movies or go for a walk or stroll at the park.  Visit a friend or go to the mall.  Getting outside is critical.

Living with any disease isn’t easy and a cure for MS might be near, but it doesn’t exist right now.  Because of this I believe it is essential to do everything in one’s power to develop habits that will make life a bit easier when living with Multiple Sclerosis.  Success is the accumulation over time of the effects of small daily habits.  I hope this helps in some small way.

Have a great Saturday!

Danny

Is It Imperative To Live An Inspired Life?

Danny

Is It Imperative To Me To Live An Inspired Life?

In 2014 I began this journey on Dream Big Dream Often.  I didn’t have many goals when I first started, other than taking over the world!  Seriously, all I wanted to do was build a platform that would allow me to purge my soul and mind.  I was curious as to how many people might relate or hold valuable the beliefs that I held as critical for my life.

Along the way this blog has taken a life of its own.  People from all over the world read my scribbles and I am still awestruck by the fact that hundreds of thousands of visitors find my site each year.  Who would have ever thought a guy living in North Carolina could reach so many people!

The main purpose of me running Dream Big has been to inspire others.  To lead by example and try to express to my readers that life might be tough, but humans are tougher.  If we aspire to inspire we can do amazing things.

I believe it is so important to live an intentional life.  At my core I must know that I’m making a difference.  I must know that I am seeking to add value to the world around me.  I must know that there are people out there who read something I’ve written and say “If this idiot can do it, then I can do it!”.

I have my own opinion on living an inspired life.  A few of the things I believe encapsulate this are:

  1. A deliberate focus on helping others.
  2. A willingness to put the needs of the team above the needs of self.
  3. A willingness to step out of the comfort zone and do something meaningful and long-lasting.
  4. The courage to stand on principles and have an opinion.

Of all my thoughts on inspiration these are the ones that I believe help drive me.

I’m curious to know if you think it is important to live an inspired life?  And what other factors might you add to my short list?

Danny

Working Through Cycles of Personal Growth

Like An Anchor

We often think of growth as happening one direction. Growing things expand and get older, they don’t shrink or get younger. If something is not moving forward, then it’s not growing.

But maybe that’s not always the case, especially when we’re talking about personal growth journeys. Growth like this doesn’t happen all at once or in a steady direction. Sometimes, a thing that you thought you dealt with will come back and needs to be worked through again. You often have to keep going back over the same ground in order to make progress.

This isn’t failure to grow. But it might look like it depending on our perspective. If we’re the type of person who wants to get everything right the first time, then it can be discouraging when we find ourselves having to deal with something we thought we’d already worked through. We might even decided that since…

View original post 729 more words