Goals & Practices

Thinking Ahead

By: Jim Bruce
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Requires that you continue learning

Last spring I spoke at my undergraduate college, Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, at their 2017 Undergraduate Research EXPO.  As I reflected on the Tuesday Reading to begin the 2017-2018 Academic Year, it occurred to me that a version of my remarks there, which ultimately focused on continuing to learn, was an appropriate way to begin the year.

Set Your Mood for the Day

By: Jim Bruce
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A different kind of morning ritual

Google “morning ritual” and you’ll find hundreds of suggested rituals.  Some are focused on the time before you begin your workday, others have elements for how you structure your day, still others for dealing with particular types of events in your day, etc.  One I found that particularly caught my attention was “3 Secrets to Having a Better Morning,” from Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree.”

Our Busy, Busy, Busy Brains!

By: Jim Bruce
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My two grandfathers lived in a very small East Texas town, perhaps several hundred houses in town and the neighboring countryside.  One grandfather was a railroad section foreman, the other a subsistence farmer.  Both worked hard with their hands.  While they certainly used their brains in their work, the demand they placed on their brains was certainly different from what we do today in our “always-on” lifestyle.  While they had the daily newspaper and radio, we have at our fingertips essentially instant access to each other as well as to the world’s knowledge and activities through our ha

I Resolve to …… YES, Again

By: Jim Bruce
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Six months ago, at the beginning of the New Year, the first Tuesday Reading, I Resolve To …, focused on New Year’s Resolutions.  This has been my custom.  In that essay, I referenced research reporting that though 57% of the individuals surveyed were confident that they would be successful in achieving their goals, only 12% actually were successful.  This, our July 4th holiday last week, as well as an essay 

Problem Solving

By: Jim Bruce
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We are born problem solvers!  From the moment you wake in the morning until you are fast asleep at night, you are at the ready, just waiting for the next problem to arise.

Now, some of the problems are simple and repetitive, like, for example, what do I do when the alarm goes off signaling that it’s time to get up?  Or, what route do I take to go to work today? In such simple instances, our brain is ready to serve up a solution: “Let’s do what we did the last time this situation arose.”  Sounds a lot like a habit, doesn’t it?

The 5 Whys

By: Jim Bruce
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A few years ago, Charles Duhigg, who you likely know through his earlier book The Power of Habit, was interviewing people at exceptionally productive companies for his 2016 book Smarter Faster Better:  The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.”  As he did this, he often asked for help in solving a family problem:  How could he and his wife (who also has a demanding job) and their two sons, now ages five and eight, regularly eat dinner together?

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