Tag Archives: Good Advice

Can You Hear Me?

Seriously, dudes. Just shut the mouths for a second. Stop talking and listen.

I know, I know. I understand the irony. Here I am, talking every day and never shutting up and I’m telling you dudes and dudettes to knock off the noise. I get it. Still, I think it’s pretty good advice.

See, I was reading an article on LinkedIn the other day. It was about a dudette who contracted laryngitis. She couldn’t talk at all. And this was a dudette who was never not talking.

In the article, she talked about how not being able to talk, once she got over the frustration, really enabled her to actually listen to the people with whom she worked. It was an (you should pardon the second sensory analogy dragged in here) eye-opening experience.

She found that, once she began to really listen, she began to make better decisions because she actually understood what people were telling her. The time spent listening to other people was useful, instead of a pause for you to breathe and to marshall your next seven points to talk over the other person.

It got me to thinking.

It seems like that, as parents, we do a lot of talking. I’m saying a lot of talking and mostly to our sons and daughters. There are all sorts of good reasons for that. Mostly because as young dudes and dudettes, they don’t have enough experience to say anything that will contribute in a good way to a serious discussion. Then, when they become teenagers, they’re just so obnoxious, no one wants to listen to them on general principles.

Still.

We need to close out yappers some time. Take the opportunity to really listen to what your son or daughter is telling you. Listen to her vocal mood. Is there something in the way he’s talking that says, “Good” wasn’t anything like that?

Listen to them talk and try to remember their friends’ names and relationships. This lets you be able to act specific questions about the correct kids. It lets them know we’re taking their lives seriously. Even if we’re not. Learn to echo back what they’re saying so they know you’re actually listening to them and paying attention.

Do what you tell them to do: Look at their face when you’re listening or talking, be seen to pay attention. Be courteous and wait your turn to talk. The important thing is that by listening to our little dudes and dudettes, we’re showing them the correct way to behave with other people. We’re modeling the behavior we want to see. Or, rather, to hear.

That’s all for me for today. I’m going to shut up now.

See? I’m doing it. I’m not talking. At all. Right after this.

Told you I–

Rats.

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Keep Your Eye On The Ball

It’s the oldest piece of advice in the history of sports that use balls in the playing thereof.

Seriously, dudes, what did your dads tell you when you were learning how to hit a baseball that actually moved off the tee and was headed right for you?

Yeah.

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

It’s a piece of advice and, also, a metaphor. It means for you to literally keep your gaze on the ball you’re about to either hit with a stick or kick or whatever. Watch the ball until your planned maneuver is finished. This allows you to concentrate more fully on what you want to do, rather than have just any old thing happen.

It’s also a metaphor for making sure you keep your objective in mind as you pursue it. Keep your eye on the ball and don’t get sidetracked watching Youtube videos when you’ve got a history paper. That sort of thing.

Very good advice in either case. We all know it. We all do it.

As it turns out, we don’t. And we know this because there are very many people who want to become much better golfers. No, really.

Recently, researchers in England set out to determine whether weekend golfers could improve their game through one of two approaches. Some were coached on individual swing technique, while others were instructed to gaze fixedly at the ball before putting. The researchers hoped to learn not only whether looking at the ball affects performance, but also whether where we look changes how we think and feel while in action.

 Although we’re taught this sort of thing in elementary school or earlier, there’s a growing body of research that says people are looking away when they thought they weren’t or looking for far shorter times than they had thought they were. It’s almost like we can’t believe our own eyes.
So these researchers divided the subjects up into one group that got putting practice and one group that was trained in “Quiet Eye” looking.

Quiet Eye training, as the name suggests, is an attempt to get people to stop flicking their focus around so much. But “Quiet Eye training is not just about looking at the ball,” says Mark Wilson, who led the study, published in Psychophysiology, and is a senior lecturer in human movement science at the University of Exeter in England. “It is about looking at the ball for long enough to process aiming information.” It involves reminding players to first briefly sight toward the exact spot where they wish to send the ball, and then settle their eyes onto the ball and hold them there.

 A quiet, focused eye, in other words, seems to encourage a quiet, focused mind, which then makes for more accurate putting.

So, after all that training, what was the result? Well, it turns out that the people who refined their putting technique didn’t do as well as those who only trained their eyes and learned to look with a quieter, more firm focus.

The thing I find most interesting about all this, is the idea that — because we all were taught this at a young age — we assume we’re already doing it; already keeping our eyes on the ball. And we’re not. Simply refocusing ourselves on some of the most elementary parts of a complex process can generate greatly improved results.

Something to think about, yeah?


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Halloween Eye Safety

by Richard

Halloween is just around the corner and I know all you dudes are getting ready for the whole costuming thing. Personally, I love getting in costume.

It really lets me release some of the strangeness inside without exacting any social cost. I mean, when else can you run around in a gorilla costume and ook and eek all over the place without anyone complaining? Well, other than January 31, which is National Gorilla Suit Day, but that doesn’t come around all that often.

This year, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Shuffling With Vigor, and I are going to give in to the latest horror craze and head out to party as zombies. I wanted to get sausage links and staple them to my stomach, but she decided to go for make up instead.

Strangely, I’ve recently found out that Halloween costumes aren’t just for adults. It turns out that kids also like to dress up and pretend to be somebody or something they’re not. And a lot of these costumes involve masks.

The fine medical professionals down at Thomas House Associates here in Charlotte, helpfully sent along some good information about making sure your eyes stay safe no matter what costume you decide to wear.

  • Avoid masks or costumes that obscure vision 
  • When using makeup, remember to: Wear reflective clothing or attach reflective tape to costumes and Trick or Treat Bags
    • Use only products approved for use on the skin
    • Keep products away from the eyes
    • Use care in removing the product to avoid getting any in the eyes
  • Carry a flashlight. Note: The ‘glow sticks’ that are sold at Halloween are filled with a chemical that can cause eye irritation and they really don’t illuminate that well.
  • Tie hats and scarves on securely to make certain they don’t slip over the eyes and obstruct vision.

That’s some pretty good advice.

They also recommend that folks don’t purchase any of those decorative contact lenses. You know the ones.

No, not a G.I. Joe character

The good doctors want us to know that contact lenses are not simply something you should just decide to throw onto your eye.

There are decorative contact lenses that feature wild designs and so-called ‘Circle Lenses’ that make the eye appear larger. While generally safe if prescribed by and worn under the supervision of an eye doctor, these decorative lenses can cause serious eye problems if worn improperly. Remember: Contact lenses – whether decorative or not – are medical devices that must be prescribed by an eye doctor. Do not buy lenses from Flea Markets, Beauty Shops or online. Do not share lenses with anyone. Wear the lenses only for the time prescribed by your eye doctor.

Sounds like good advice to me.

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