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Will This Knowledge Give You Power…or Anxiety?


To know…Not to know…To know…Not to know…

That’s the question.

Fascinating new research now gives us at least some ability to discover our risks for certain diseases, conditions, tendencies…but do we really want to know.

Well, that depends…on your philosophy, your desire and willingness to be proactive (even if it means significant lifestyle changes,) and your tendency toward worry and anxiety.

The company 23andMe has been working on personal DNA testing for years, but now thanks to some funding and advancements information about current and future health concerns is affordable and accessible to all of us. (Currently $99)

Want to know if you’re at higher risk for Parkinson’s or Breast cancer? How gluten affects your body? Which medications you’re likely to have a bad reaction too?

What about your children? Do you want to know what their risks are or if you’re a carrier and what you’ve possibly passed down to your children?

23andMe also gives you recommendations and keeps you updated on new advancements. There’s also a really neat ancestry component that lets you find relatives you may not have known existed through DNA matching…Fascinating.

Also a bit scary and Orwellian to some.

It’s not perfect science and it’s definitely not comprehensive. It’s certainly no guarantee either. For many conditions, lifestyle plays a far greater role than does genetics, but…

Since I firmly fall into the “Knowledge is power” camp, I want to know as much as I possibly can about my health risks so that I can address them, monitor them and prepare for them as much as possible. Since I’m also a card-carrying member of the “Plagued by anxiety and worry” camp, I’ll have to deal with that part too.

Yes, genetic advancements may open the door for some disturbing and possibly dangerous possibilities. But the reality is genetic research and personal DNA is the future of medicine, so we might as well use it to our advantage to whatever extent we can.

My birthday is right around the corner…and you can bet that this is at the top of my list of gifts that I’m giving myself.

What about you? Do you want to know?



(Watch how Dr. Nancy Snyderman looks at her breast cancer risk on the Today show)


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What Would You Do if You Had One Month to Live?

What would you do differently if you only had one month to live? Would you change jobs or leave relationship? Would you apologize or be more caring to others? Would you take a risk you’ve always wanted to take? Everyone’s answer will be different. The book One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by Kerry & Chris Shook can help you answer those questions and guide you along that journey of changing the way you live your life.

From the book:

“Be brutally honest with yourself. Your time on earth is limited. Shouldn’t you start making the most of it? If you knew you had one month to live, you would look at everything from a different perspective. Many of the things you do now that seem so important would immediately become meaningless. You would have total clarity about what matters most, and you wouldn’t hesitate to be spontaneous and risk your heart. You wouldn’t wait until tomorrow to do what you need to do today. The way you lived that month would be the way you wished you had lived your whole life.

If you knew you had one month to live, your life would be radically transformed. But why do we wait until we’re diagnosed with cancer or we lose a loved one to accept this knowledge and allow it to free us? Don’t we want all that life has to offer? Don’t we want to fulfill the purpose for which we were created? Wouldn’t life be a lot more satisfying if we lived this way?

I’m challenging you to start living your life as though you have one month to live, and I’ve designed this book to help you. There are four universal principles in the one-month-to-live lifestyle: to live passionately, to love completely, to learn humbly, and to leave boldly. I’ve divided this book into four sections or “weeks” accordingly, and I encourage you to live these next thirty days as if they were your last.”

I find this book to be fascinating, thought-provoking and inspiring. Happy reading! What will you do with your one month?

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Simple Method to Overcome Any Obstacle

Obstacles. Everybody has them, even the most flourishing among us. What makes the difference between success and failure, fulfillment and frustration, is our ability to overcome them. Personal obstacles, professional obstacles, team obstacles or company obstacles. It makes no difference. They can all be overcome by using the same method.

Simple (though not always easy) strategy to overcome any obstacle

Assess – Examine the situation objectively. Gather and analyze your information.

  • Identify the obstacle – be specific, dig down to the real obstacle
  • What do you really know?
  • What don’t you know or what information do you need?

Get support – Ask for the help you need

  • Determine what you need – brainstorm, list, research
  • Ask the right people – know who can best help you
  • Be specific about what support you need

Stay positive – Not “positive thinking” per se, but take a constructive approach

  • View from a positive perspective – look for constructive solutions
  • Keep a positive outlook – focus on progress, not conflict
  • Determine what a positive outcome would be – what you want, not what you don’t

Take action

  • Take the very best action you can every day.
  • Take action based on what you do know right now
  • Seek more information if you need it – make that your action

The good news is that most any obstacle can be overcome, as long as it’s within your power to overcome it. Things that we cannot control or affect are not obstacles, they’re just immovable facts.

What obstacles do you want to overcome…and what are you going to do about it?

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Knowledge for Knowledge’s Sake Is a Waste of Time

Are you an information junkie like me?

I confess, I’m a knowledge addict. I read books, magazine articles, numerous blogs, listen to podcasts and watch videos like a sponge hoping to soak up every pearl of wisdom that might make me happier, more successful, smarter, healthier, and calmer. OK, full-disclosure, wealthier too.

We can’t help it. I think we’re programmed that way, to be constantly seeking to improve ourselves. That isn’t a bad thing, unless we become obsessed with it.

The problem

The problem as my wise husband pointed out to me in a recent conversation, is that we keep seeking and acquiring the knowledge, but rarely do we actually apply it. Instead, we keep seeking more and more, until we have a wealth of knowledge, but nothing to show for it, other than a stack of books and some conversation starters.

Better solution

Better to acquire a bit of knowledge, a few tools, and one blinding flash of insight and put our effort into applying this new understanding to improve our lives right now. There will always be time to go back to knowledge seeking later.

As my husband so eloquently put it, “Stop preparing and practicing for the game, GET IN THE GAME.” Did I mention my husband is military? He would have made a great drill sergeant, don’t you think?

Since I am the writer in the family, I’ll put it this way:

The value of knowledge is not simply in the acquiring of it, but in the application of it and the effect it has on our lives and the lives of others.

Though I suspect my husband’s version may have more impact.

Your turn

What are your thoughts on this?

Are you a knowledge junkie too? Or maybe you’re on the other end, a forge ahead type who doesn’t bother looking for new knowledge? Maybe you’re one of the elite few, who’s more evolved than the rest of us and has already perfected this system?

Care to share?

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7 Types Of Effective Communication And Why You Need To Know Them

It’s not enough to know  whom you are talking to, communicate, influence, and in the case of our children perhaps teach. If you want to be effective in your communication, you need to understand the best way to reach them. This has been proven time and time again.

This is the key to success, better relationships, and higher productivity at work. In fact, this strategy has been shown to lower stress by minimizing conflict and encourage camaraderie and teamwork, whether personal or professional.

Roosevelt and Churchill in conversation (Zorba the Geek) / CC BY-SA 2.0

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a customer, client, child, spouse, co-worker, or members of a board or committee. You must connect in the manner that resonates with them. It sounds difficult, but it really isn’t once you start practicing it.

Types of communication:

Informing – Some people just want the facts laid out for them. They pay attention to facts and figures, studies and other concrete data.

Analyzing – These people don’t want specific facts, but rather a summary. You need to offer an analysis and boil down the information or request in a meaningful matter.

Persuasive – This type of person wants to know what’s in it for them. Why should they agree to act in a certain way or perform a specific action? They must be convinced. Present your argument.

Mediating – Compromise, compromise. With these people, you have to be willing to give a little. They need to feel heard and respected. Find the common ground and find the solution that satisfies you both.

Emotional – This kind of communication is all about feelings. Knowing what is important and what touches these people is the key. Appeal to their emotions and connect on a compassionate and understanding level.

Entertaining – Wit, humor and levity influences these people. Serious facts are useless, be interesting and lighthearted when possible.

Inspiring – Offer motivation, inspiration, and big picture results. These people need to feel as though they are making a difference, some kind of impact.

The way to practice communication that is more effective requires that you improve your observation and listening skills. Pay attention to the people around you and be more interested in general. We could all use a little more of that.

What type of communicator are you? It helps to understand that too.

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