A Delicious Way to Consume Turmeric

Turmeric is a strong tasting spice that is also linked to multiple health benefits. Here’s a smoothie combination that I really have been enjoying lately:

  • a bunch frozen mango chunks
  • a teaspoon or more of turmeric powder
  • a sprinkling of ginger powder
  • some ripe stone fruit (I used two small peaches)
  • start with enough water to allow blending

Put all ingredients into a blender, then run until you get the smoothie consistency you want. Adding more water thins it out, adding more frozen mango chunks thickens it.

No precise measurements given, because I don’t measure myself. Your best bet is to experiment with the ingredient proportions until you find something you like.

Loss of Innocence

Part of growing older is learning that life can be unfair.

As a parent, I want my kids to be able to be kids for a while. I don’t want to explain why they do drills at school where they barricade themselves in a classroom. Or come up with reasons for a teenager wanting to fire a gun into a crowd.

Coping with senseless violence is awful. Dealing with that reality as a child is a tragedy on top of a disaster.

My heart breaks for today’s youth.

Daily Practice

I once read that to get better playing piano, it’s much better to practice 5 minutes a day, every day, rather than a full hour once a week.

I’ve also heard similar statements made about writing, programming, exercising, reading, and learning a foreign language. Why does the daily practice work so well?

I’m pretty sure mindfulness is at least part of the reason. Because you’re coming back to the activity every day, it stays on your radar. You won’t lose progress because you forget what you did before. You’ll also more likely develop ideas to improve.

But perhaps most important of all, consistency and frequency forms a habit. Like brushing your teeth, doing something every day becomes part of your life. The days becomes weeks, the weeks become months, and the months become years.

How could you not become better after that?

Of Course It’s Hard

Many times, we know what we need to do. But we hesitate, or worse, give up, because it’s hard.

But that’s the point. If it wasn’t hard, then the reward we seek wouldn’t be as valuable.

Keep moving forward, eyes on the prize.

My Desk, Your Desk

I’m sitting at my desk. I have one thing to do.

If that thing I have to do is on my desk and nothing else, it’s easier to focus because that’s all there is. Even if the task is difficult or boring, not having distractions increase my chances for success. By a lot.

My mom used to say a messy desk is a messy mind. Keeping the clutter off is a never-ending job, but luckily, almost entirely within anyone’s control.

Learning Through Empowerment

I’m trying to get my six-year-old son to love reading. I tell him it’s a superpower, a way to make all areas of his life better.

He’s not convinced by that argument.

So I try a different approach. When he gets stuck during a trading card or video game, I show him how reading certain words will allow him to play better. I stimulate his curiosity about an exhibit when we’re in a museum, then point to the display’s sign that explains what it is. I allow him to fiddle with a map-based app on a computer, then point to unfamiliar words on the screen that would enhance his usage.

Being pitched a theoretical benefit isn’t the same as removing real-life pain. I’m hoping that solving firsthand problems is a huge learning motivator.

“I Don’t Know”

When someone says “I don’t know,” there can be two completely different meanings.

There’s the “I don’t know” that accompanies the shrug of the shoulders, when faced with a tough question. It’s the phrase used to deflect responsibility or accountability. They’re words used to end the conversation.

Then there’s the “I don’t know” that comes from honesty and humility. Spoken by a person willing to risk embarrassment by admitting a lack of knowledge, while inviting additional discussion to fill those gaps.

The first type of “I don’t know” embodies a lack of courage. The second type demonstrates an abundance.

I admire people willing to be vulnerable by saying “I don’t know.” We need more of them.

Positive Customer Feedback

The other day, I was in a check-out line at Target, something I’ve done many times before.

This day was different, because the employee at the register was nice. I mean, most Target employees I talk to are pleasant enough, but it feels more like an obligation — like it’s part of the job description. The young lady that rung my items up this day chatted like she cared about the conversation. She had enthusiasm. I actually felt happier afterwards.

As customers, we’re often quick to notify management or a business owner when we’re displeased. We should have equal diligence for the areas they do well, to let them know they’re on the right track. That’s valuable feedback too. Sometimes that means a quick word through the company channels.

But expressing appreciation directly to the person that performed the deed works too.

Time of Death

If it were possible to know the exact timing of my death, I think I would. While being diagnosed with terminal cancer would be terrible news, I’d welcome the certainty of having 2 weeks to say my goodbyes and secure closure.

So the idea of setting your own death timetable in advance was interesting to me. I imagine that this clarity allows greater appreciation for the days leading up to the fixed date, and greater peacefulness and acceptance afterwards.

Nevertheless, I don’t see this as a plan for me. I can follow the logic of why the author made the decision for himself — he’s saying living longer isn’t necessarily better, especially if it’s for a life of elevated pain and decline. What I can’t understand is why make a decision of how long he wants to live without knowing the circumstances around the quality of life he’s giving up.

Ideally, I wouldn’t need prompts to live life to its fullest. But I do believe being mindful of my mortality is an effective reminder not to waste my time on this earth. That’s something I do believe in.

Getting Closer to Certainty

Every day, I see the disappointment on my kids’ faces when they don’t get the result they want out of life. The allure of a guarantee is particularly strong for them, especially when it comes from a parent. I get it — being told something will 100% happen is comforting.

As much as I want to ease their pain of doubt, I’m careful to avoid those type of promises.

Instead, I want to them in the habit of gathering options and selecting the one that is likely to lead to the outcome they seek. Analyze, predict, then decide.

I hope my kids someday realize that most guarantees are illusions, and it’s better to focus on increasing the odds in their favor through smart decision-making.