This past Friday while I playing in goal for the first time for my men’s O40 soccer team I realized how profound and long lasting muscle memory is. Early in the game when it came time for me to make my first drop kick, I did a high arching, and not very long kick that reminded me very much of the “up and under” hospital kicks that I used to do as a full back for my Jr. High rugby team. When I tried to lower the elevation of my next drop kick, my timing was off and did a relatively short line drive to a member of the opposing team (one of the worst things a goalie can do when drop kicking the ball). I went back and for the rest of the evening executing beautiful up and under rugby kick, and failing miserably when trying to get more distance out of my kicks. Looks like I need to spend some time on the field with one or more of my kids practicing my “long” drop kicks.
The other aspect of goal keeping that felt very familiar to me was the diving after shots on net. I didn’t expect that to be something that would come easily to me, but once I was between the posts, and people started shooting at me, It reminded me an awful lot like defending against someone spiking a ball at you in a volleyball game. There are obvious differences, by much of the basic technique is similar. fortunately grabbing the ball or pushing it clear of the net is easier than trying to pop the ball up in the air for a volleyball setter.
In any case I’ll be happy to play in net as long as our regular goalie is out recuperating from an injury. Playing is net is less scary and a lot more fun than I thought it would be!
The short answer is no… unless you earn less than $50,000 per year, a pay raise won’t make you happier. Once your basic needs are met, earning more money will not make you any happier.
Will becoming more attractive make you happier? Nope… plastic surgery or weight loss will give you an initial boost, but you get used to your new looks pretty quickly, and in the long run you won’t be any happier.
Will better health make you happier? Counter intuitively, no. Unless you’re at death’s door, you get used to your state of health, and being less or more healthy doen’t change your happiness level in the long run.
Will moving to a sunny warm city make you happer? Again, no. After the new car smell wears off, your level of happiness will move back to where it was when you were living in a cold northern city.
So, what are some things that make us happier?
- Connect… with family, friend and neighbours is the most important thing you can do to contribute to your overall happiness. The good news is that this will cost you little or no money to do!
- Be Active. Walk, run, bike, play games, play sports, dance yoga… these are all things that will improve your mood, especially if you’re in a bad one.
- Take Notice of the beauty in nature and in life.
- Keep Learning. Whether it’s new hobbies or a new skill at work. Be challenged and remember that most happiness comes in striving for goals, not in reaching them.
- Give. Do something nice. Join a community. Be selfless.
If you’d like to read more on this topic, I highly recommend reading Jonathan Haidt book, The Happiness Hypothesis, or if you’d like to read great eight page summary, you can read my brother Bob McCue’s book review and auto insurance guide,
Finally, here is Dan Gilbert’s entertaining TED Talk with his take on happiness. Enjoy!
I’ve been hearing lots about Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat” book. In it he argues that the calories-in/calories-out model is wrong, and that a low carb, moderate fat diet is good. Here’s an insightful critique of the main assertions of Mr. Taubes’ book at Science Based Medicine:
The bottom line from Science Based Medicine:
“Rather than jumping on the low-carb bandwagon before his ideas are properly tested, the precautionary principle suggests that it might be more reasonable to follow a moderate diet like the Mediterranean diet (or to follow Michael Pollan‘s stunningly simple advice to ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’), to limit ‘empty calories’from simple carbohydrates like sugar, to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, to choose low calorie density foods that are more filling, to limit meat intake, to limit salt, and to keep looking for behavioral and environmental ways to change our calories-in/calories-out balance.”
Good advice that I’m going to try to follow… although some of those empty calories (especially in chocolate form) are so difficult not to give into every now and again!
William Li reviews promising research and studies that show Anti-Angiogenesis drugs and foods reducing cancer tumor size by cutting off their blood supply. Eating the right foods can be helpful in reducing the probability of large tumor formation in people as they age.
Very, very interesting! Here are some good foods to start with:
Here is the 20 Minute TED Talk where Dr. Li talks about his findings: