365 days of gratitude

October 2, 2018

Gratitude isn’t just the warm, fuzzy teddy bear of emotions. It’s also a self-control and perseverance-amplifying badass.

Now it’s no surprise that feeling grateful can make you go out of your way for other people, exerting effort you otherwise wouldn’t. But numerous studies also show that feeling it can increase discipline when it comes to taking good care of that often neglected person: “future you.”Barking Up the Wrong Tree

This means gratitude is good for us, a form of self-care even, and I’m grateful for that.

Puckering up is life preserving

May 15, 2017

From Barking Up the Wrong Tree:

. . . A ten-year psychology study undertaken in Germany during the 1980s found that men who kissed their wives before leaving for work lived, on average, five years longer, earning 20 to 30 percent more than peers who left without a peck good-bye. The researchers also reported that not kissing one’s wife before leaving in the morning increased the possibility of a car accident by 50 percent. Psychologists do not believe it’s the kiss itself that accounts for the difference but rather that kissers were likely to begin the day with a positive attitude, leading to a healthier lifestyle. . . 

There you have it: permission granted to pucker up each morning, it might extend or even save your life.

Happy’s in your head

January 1, 2013

Quote of the day:

It’s not where you’re at, it’s where your head is at.

Your happiness is determined by your thoughts, and if you’re not focused on your surroundings and what you’re doing, they don’t matter.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree who goes on to quote Matthew Killingsworth and Dan Gilbert:

“…how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”

And Buddha:

We are what we think.  All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.

Breaking bad habits & replacing them with good ones

September 11, 2012

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

How to break habits – advice from Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.

And related to that:

5 tips for changing bad habits into good ones at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

50 things to know and beating procrastination

July 17, 2012

Websites discussed on Critical Mass with Jim Mora today:

50 things everybody should know how to do


Kick procrastination’s ass: run a dash which I found via Barking Up the Wrong Tree where there’s a far-too-familiar procrastination loop.

Does this mean farmers have better lives?

June 19, 2012

Barking Up the Wrong Tree has found research which points to the beneficial affects of nature.

Does this mean farmers, gardeners, fishermen/women and others whose work takes them face to face with nature, have better lives than those who spend most of their time indoors?

When feeding out on a cold winter morning in the teeth of a howling southerly it’s difficult to appreciate nature, but most who do it would still prefer that to an inside job.


May 15, 2012

Barking Up the Wrong Tree reckons good romantic and working relationships require 5 positive interactions to every negative one.

He’s come across with a refinement on that in Ed Diener’s book  Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth:

chart that breaks down the optimal ratios for other relationships:


Those who can do . . .

November 11, 2011

Quote of the day:

…a 2006 study showed there’s only one group of people who say meetings enhance their wellbeing – those who score low on “accomplishment striving”. In other words: people who enjoy meetings are those who don’t like getting things done.Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Those who can do, those who can’t meet.

Unreliable memories and thinking

August 30, 2011

Unreliable memory opened discussion with Finlay MacDonald  on Critical Mass this afternoon.

Eric Barker asked Should You Trust Your Memory? and found the answer was no.

This blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, is a recent find which has brief posts on research that make fascinating reading.

Be warned before venturing there that it will provide all sorts of opportunities for work avoidance.

Recent posts include: do letters of recommendation actually hurt women when it comes to getting hired or promoted? and does the internet make people happier?

We moved from memory to critical thinking with Louis Menand who writes in the New Yorker on the value of a university education.


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