Advice From Stephen Hawking

Advice I believe is great for everyone, regardless of circumstances…

As someone who has the honor to work with children and adults with disabilities, I can safely say I have never found a more motivational set of individuals. In spite of sometimes substantial adversity, I watch them not only push their limitations, but sometimes also overcome them entirely. I believe it is absolutely crucial to focus on the positive – the unique talents, interests, and abilities of each individual – and to downplay the weaknesses.

Now, that’s not to say we can’t recognize areas that need improvement – whether for ourselves or another individual, we need to know what in our lives and development needs some TLC (or flat-out hard work!) However, making a point to emphasize our abilities is a surefire way to keep us in the most positive head space possible. When facing some of life’s challenges, a great attitude will make all the difference. 

The other day at a volunteer session, a mother was inquiring about activities for her daughter, including Martial Arts – beyond autism, her child has been through surgeries to correct club foot and other impairments to the feet and lower extremities. The doctor was trying to steer her clear of many activities and yet…here was this young lady actually running around. I spoke to the mother, making clear I have no medical background (but a lifetime’s worth as an athlete), and explained that sports can be modified. So long as we have the proper instructor who is aware of our challenges, there is no reason that many more sports could be available to her than suggested.

For example, this young lady was able to participate in ballet to some degree. I watched her not only walk briskly in our gymnasium, but also run at times, further confirming that she has a great deal more ability that it appears she is (externally) being credit for. I encouraged the mother to look into specific Marital Art programs, and to not be discouraged by the “can’t do”s. As Stephen Hawking alludes to, to handicap ourselves mentally can be incredibly damaging – we needn’t add to our own, or another’s physical difficulties.

The truth of it is, we all have strengths, weaknesses, injuries and physical limitations. In the majority of cases, we all have some mental challenges as well – low self-esteem, insecurity, self-doubt to name a few. To focus on what IS possible, and what we ARE able to do can make a massive difference in the quality of our lives overall, as well as contribute to our success in our activities, careers, and relationships.

I will ever and always be in full support of “focusing on the positive.”  It isn’t about being idealistic, but recognizing that what we focus on can literally alter the course of our lives – what we dwell on becomes our reality and all we see.

Focusing on our strengths not only helps us to weather the working-on-our-weaknesses better, but also the ups and downs of life. It gives us the strength and courage to carry forward, to makes strides in spite of anxiety or fear, and to find happiness, fulfillment and success in spite of tipped scales. The sky is the limit when we have the right attitude. Period.

Martial Arts Tips – The 5 Rules Of Fighting

 This image crossed my path the other day and though there’s never an end to “tips,” especially in this arena, these are five solid goodies to start. They might apply to a professional fighter, but they also make sense in a self-defense scenario.

NEVER MOVE BACK IN A STRAIGHT LINE

When you get “offline” (for example, at a 45% angle), you are forcing your opponent to slow down. As he redirects to refocus his energy on you, his strikes become weaker, and a window of opportunity opens during which you can retreat to a safe direction, strike back if still under threat, etc.

Moving straight back can also have you backed into something (or on the ground!) pretty quick.  A stagger is a stronger base from which to work, keeping you on your feet….where you need to stay.

 

NEVER SET

Keep moving! A stationary target is a lot easier to catch and strike. Movement also makes it easier to catch your opponent by surprise – a strike from a stand-still telegraphs your intentions much faster than if you are dodging about.

 

REDIRECT

Along with number one… When the opponent has to shift his focus, he also has to shift his weight, balance, and strength, giving you the upper hand.

 

FIGHT YOUR OPPONENT AS HE FIGHTS YOU

You never know what a person’s background is, or necessarily their style of fighting. In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to observe, but try to pick up on what he is…and isn’t…doing…as well as what he has in his arsenal. A knife fight when you aren’t armed means you’ve got a bold opponent fighting you (think: lunging slashes and stabs, unafraid of being cut in return.) If you happen to have a knife also, his movements are going to become a lot shorter, hesitant, and self-protective.

Stand your ground as much as you are able, maintaining that you are not a victim or someone to be pushed around.  The more calm a person can be (and it is a challenge, assuredly) the more nerve you will evoke in the other person. Chip away at the opponent’s self-confidence and he’s going to be a lot easier to get away from, or submit (obviously depending on the circumstance.)

 

PLACE YOUR OPPONENT WHERE YOU WANT HIM

If you are fighter by sport or profession, STUDY…and study hard. Observe what you can before hand.  If you have no ability to do so, test him to see which strikes he’s resorting to, or whether he wants to stay standing vs get you to the ground, whether he baits you, prefers kicks to punches, and which kinds…  When you understand what you are working with, you know where the weaknesses are.  

If in a self-defense scenario, you aren’t going to have time on your side. Do your best to note the person’s movement, as it is guaranteed to be either: their natural movement (and going to occur again), or their preferred movement (and going to occur again.) Being aware of the other person’s overall body movement can also keep us focused, giving us less time to panic.

 

Obviously, there are a slew of techniques and tips and methodologies out there…but these are good tidbits to keep in mind.

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Nutrition Humor – Secondhand Carbohydrates

This gave me a giggle – I do try to eat really clean, but I also make a point not to make a fuss over other people’s choices.  It is NONE of my business!

I used to work in an office where people would constantly comment on my healthier choices.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I didn’t see what was so wrong about yogurt, oatmeal, chicken, what the big deal was, or why it was of any interest anyway – I was practically chained to my desk so I was in my own darn space bothering NO one! *insert disgruntled face here*

But…it was as if they couldn’t help themselves.  It truly was almost every day!  I never pointed out the fries or chicken wings, so it felt out of balance to me…and, to be honest, a bit annoying!

In any case, this cartoon is where the tables turn – I’m relatively certain that despite that carbs don’t love me, I wouldn’t say this, but I do have some fitness buds who might!  

(c) Randy Glasbergen

(c) Randy Glasbergen

For more of my Nutritional Jazz

Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid

Correctors are one of THE most amazing products in the world of color cosmetics.  For moons, it was incredibly hard to track this kind of thing down – as a Ballroom dancer, spray tans were a prerequisite and matching one’s skin tone with any manner of product was a (*cough* pain in the rump!) challenge.  

Performance aside, being able to easily conceal things like excessive redness, sallowness, undereye circles from that late night college paper was SO much easier with the proper product...  But having to go to Halloween stores or places like Ricky’s NYC for stage makeup wasn’t always easy to do!  The products were out there, but often relegated to specific industries such as film and theater.

These days, color correcting palettes and concealers are a CINCH to find.  What I love is that companies are adding color correctors to their already existing, successful concealer lineups, as well as offering palettes, the latter of which is a DREAM to own when you are competing (all the colors right there in one, handy case! 🙂 ) 

Reallyree.com

Reallyree.com

Urban Decay is now offering five shades – the five most popular – for covering the most common perfect-complexion-hinderers, with their Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid: 

  1. Green – reduces redness. 
  2. Lavender – balances sallowness (think, too yellow. Very popular in Asian markets.) 
  3. Pink – brightens dark areas.
  4. Yellow – corrects dullness (also helps with redness and darkness.)
  5. Peach – masks circles/spots.
Sephora.com

Sephora.com

The product “features an innovative, lightweight formula that instantly color-corrects and blurs flaws, leaving skin illuminated and bright. Subtle pearlescent pigments diffuse light to perfect skin, while antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E condition and protect.” It is formulated without Paragons, Sulfates, or Phthalates, and is incredibly easy to use and blend.

YSL also has a few versions of its cult Touch éclat out in corrective hues, which you may have seen already…  And they aren’t alone – there are rather a slew of correctors emerging, both at the mass market and high-end levels, some of which I will speak to soon!

Sephora.com

Sephora.com