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A Better Start to the New Year

As you initiate three positive acts daily, you start feeling better about yourself

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How would you like to increase the positive vibes in your life for 2023? Here’s a simple way: perform three acts of goodness a day. They don’t have to be the traditional help-the-old-lady across-the-street kind of activities. You could pick up a piece of litter. You could return change to the clerk who overpaid you. You could compliment someone who appears to be in need of a compliment.

Three is a decent target, it’s attainable: not over doing it, and not under doing it. In choosing to do three, however, often you’ll find yourself doing more.

Rewire Your Brain

Studies suggest that your brain is wired to focus on negative input, i.e. a “negativity bias.” It’s your built-in survival mechanism to notice danger so that you can protect yourself. This hypersensitivity to what’s wrong in your environment, however, can wreak havoc on your state of mind, your motivation, your energy.

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Deliberately choosing to focus on positive action can literally shift how you relate to the world in ways that are more uplifting, more inspiring, more positive. For example, focusing on world hunger can often leave you feeling helpless, overwhelmed and constricted. Alternately, focusing on the noble efforts being made to alleviate hunger can leave you inspired, open-hearted, and motivated to action. In short, you are reprogramming negativity bias, and it works!

As you initiate three acts, you start feeling better about yourself, and perhaps surprisingly, better about the world in general. You know the old axiom, if you smile at somebody they tend to smile back at you. If you perform three good acts daily, you tend to be immersed in a world of people who perform good acts. You begin to notice them more often.

A Distinct, Current Benefit

I’m not saying to do this because it’s some kind of pay-it-forward scheme where, hopefully, one day everyone is engaged in wonderful acts for one another. That seems too idealistic to consider.

In your own life, right now, however, right here, three acts a day does wonderful things for your psyche. It confirms the goodness that is inherent within you. It prompts you to look forward to performing the next act and the next and the next.

What you focus on expands. You’ve probably heard this before and research backs this up. Where you place your attention is a conscious choice and intentionally focusing on positivity helps you cultivate a mindset that supports taking positive action. Think about it… once you start thinking about that new car you want, you’ll often start seeing that car everywhere! In the same way, when focusing on goodness, you begin to see goodness everywhere.

Everything to Gain

You primarily experience the world emotionally. You see, taste, touch or hear something and your emotions are triggered, whether positive, negative or neutral.

“Positive emotions broaden [our] scope of attention, cognition and action, and build physical, intellectual and social resources,” says Barbara Fredrickson, a leading happiness researcher at the University of North Carolina

By focusing on goodness, thereby generating good-feeling emotions, we are intentionally creating a positive emotional environment. Cultivating this positive emotional state has ripple effects in every area of our lives. Buying coffee for the stranger behind you makes you feel good; then you take this positive emotional state into your next activity.

Repetitive positivity filters into your being, down to the cellular level and helps to cultivate a positive emotional state. I wouldn’t be surprised if your step becomes a little lighter, your smile a little brighter, and your disposition more engaging.

Building a Skill

Learning to focus your attention on where it serves you best requires intentional practice. You are building the skill of deliberately creating the mindset required for a joyful life. It’s training your attention on goodness so that positivity becomes your default setting.

Sustaining that intention to focus on goodness in action is key. If you want to live a happier life, I invite you to practice this kind of consistent mental and emotional discipline to continually overcome your brain’s negative bias.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Antisemitic college demonstrators should be expelled

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Jewish students are being assaulted on American and European campuses with a viciousness that is reminiscent of 1938 Nazi Germany. The demonstrators, many of whom are professional agitators in their 40s who have been trained to cause mayhem, scream “kill the Jews” as they physically prevent Jewish students from attending classes. Jewish students were told to “go back to Poland.” In New York City, Jewish students at Cooper Union sheltered in a library while pro-Palestinian demonstrators banged on its glass windows and doors. Protesters at Tulane University assaulted a Jewish student, breaking his nose.

“This truly has been the worst antisemitism crisis on campus that we have seen for a generation,” said Edward Isaacs, president of the Union of Jewish Students in the UK, “and its impacts run deep throughout the Jewish student population.”

With few notable exceptions, college administrators have coddled the demonstrators instead of expelling them for committing assault, destroying university property and creating an unsafe environment. Local police have been told to stand down instead of enforcing the law.

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When it comes to choosing sides between violent antisemitic demonstrators and Jewish students who simply want an education, I am clearly coming to the defense of the innocent students. Instead of hearing angry responses from people who object to the flagrant contempt by the demonstrators for law and order, we have witnessed members of Congress, led by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Cori Bush (D-Minn.), express their demands that police should protect the violent demonstrators.

Omar and Bush have compared police responses after pro-Hamas protests on campus to the so-called Kent State massacre of May 4, 1970, where four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard. The students in that case were protesting against American military involvement in Vietnam. “On the 54th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, students across our country are being brutalized for standing up to endless war,” Bush tweeted on X. “Our country must learn to actually uphold the rights of free speech & assembly upon which it was founded. Solidarity with our students.”

Are we denying the free speech and assembly rights of the demonstrators? The real question is, should we protect speech when it becomes violent? The answer is straightforward. When violence occurs, it is no longer about protecting free speech—the rule of law must be upheld. “Violence, vandalism, and antisemitic harassment and intimidation are not free speech and those engaging in this behavior should be held accountable,” read a statement from Congressman Adam Schiff’s office.

When it comes to free speech, the pro-Hamas protestors are intolerant of opposing points-of-view. One student at Columbia University made that clear when she expressed sympathy with pro-Palestinian protesters and not with students of opposing views. “At the end of the day,” she said, “I don’t want a relationship with students who don’t support the cause.” Free speech for me but not for thee.

Many of the current crop of demonstrators who are physically assaulting Jewish students, shouting “death to the Jews,” believe they have the right to exercise violence in support of their views and think they should bear no consequences for their violent actions. They are upset at the prospect of being suspended or expelled. Most of them wear keffiyeh and Covid masks, presumably to protect their future Goldman Sachs job prospects.

“I think that the university needs to start with dismissing all their charges against the students if they want to rebuild trust,” said a deluded student at Columbia. Alex Morey, director of campus rights advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, disagreed. “That doesn’t mean that students are immune from the consequences of their actions,” Morey said. “You don’t want to see cops in riot gear descend on peaceful student protests. But if they’re breaking the rules and engaging in civil disobedience … sometimes that’s what has to happen,” she says.

Beating up Jewish students and destroying campus property do not come under the heading of civil disobedience. They constitute a flagrant contempt for law and order. Such activities must be stopped right at the outset. Jewish students across America are terrified, as they should be. They will not feel safe on their college campuses as long as hateful, antisemitic rhetoric, violence or intimidation go unaddressed.

Violent, antisemitic demonstrators deserve to be arrested, put in jail, and then expelled from the university. Campus administrators like Minouche Shafik at Columbia who attempt to negotiate with the neo-Nazis are doing a disservice to our republic. University leaders should take “personal responsibility” for protecting Jewish students on campus, said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This is not 1938 and we must not give an inch to the haters.

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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Biden: Admit Hamas Terrorists

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Joe Biden’s policies reflect the contempt he and his handlers have for our country. The latest example is Joe’s announcement that he wants to bring thousands of Palestinian “refugees” into the US with a pathway to citizenship. This will certainly include members of the terrorist organization known as Hamas. In what conceivable way does this benefit America? “Whatever hurts America the most,” said author Sean Parnell, “is often where the Biden Administration lands on any given issue.”

According to CBS News, “The Biden administration is considering bringing certain Palestinians to the US as refugees, a move that would offer a permanent safe haven to some of those fleeing war-torn Gaza, according to internal federal government documents.” Which Palestinians? Those “who have immediate family members who are American citizens or permanent residents. Those who pass a series of eligibility, medical and security screenings would qualify to fly to the US with refugee status, which offers beneficiaries permanent residency, resettlement benefits like housing assistance and a path to American citizenship.”

Requiring a connection to “American citizens or permanent residents” is a subterfuge when you consider that activists in Dearborn, Michigan were heard chanting “death to America.” These people, who support Hamas and its terrorist activities, make it likely that we would be admitting Hamas terrorists. It is important to recognize, as pointed out by journalist Katie Pavlich, that the Palestinian Center for Policy Survey and Research found that 72 percent of Palestinian respondents believe that Hamas’ attack on October 7 was “correct.”

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As reported in Townhall, “A ‘path to American citizenship’ would also mean that these people would get to vote, likely one more tactic of how Biden is looking to gain support from the far-left, anti-Israel part of the Democratic Party. The Biden administration would thus not just be bringing over future potential Democratic voters, but be bringing over ones who are among a population that we know supports Hamas and their attack against our ally in the Middle East.”

A wave of commentators condemned Biden’s plans. “We are ruled by malicious traitors,” said Blaze commentator Auron MacIntyre. “Horrifying,” said NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck. “We are a nation committing suicide.”

“Anyone seeing the protests on college campuses right now should not need to be told why ideology matters when conferring the privilege of access to the United States to outsiders,” said Daily Wire reporter Megan Basham. “We do not need more people here whose worldview so clearly clashes with that of the American founding. We should not accept immigrants from among people known to harbor terrorists.”

More than two dozen Republican senators are calling Biden’s policy a national security risk. As reported in The Hill, “The GOP senators doubt that the Biden administration could prevent Hamas-members or other members of a terrorist group from entering the US. ‘We are not confident that your administration can adequately vet this high-risk population for terrorist ties and sympathies before admitting them into the United States,’ they wrote.”

“The open border isn’t enough,” Senate Republicans added. “Now Biden wants to import people who supported the murder and rape of Israelis. Unfortunately, the risk of terrorists entering our homeland is no hypothetical matter,” the senators wrote, citing that in 2023 border officials arrested 169 people on the FBI terror watchlist.

“President Biden consistently undermines our national security with reckless decisions like this,” said Sen. Tim Scott. “We have no clue who is coming into our country, whether on our southern border or from war-torn regions run by terrorists. Not a single Hamas sympathizer should be let into this country.”

The administration kept its intentions secret until this week. No one knew about it. Commentator Mark Levin is angry that Congress did not seem to know about it, or if they did, nothing was done to stop it.

Biden’s anti-American actions prove that he is an infiltrator. Does he do the bidding of Iran or China? The Squad also are infiltrators—they have infiltrated our Congress. They hate America. What sort of country allows this? If he gets another four years, Joe and his Obama/Soros puppet masters will complete the destruction of our country.

“Other insanities aside,” someone tweeted, “this is politically insane. Biden is forcing people to consider voting for Trump. I have every intention of leaving President blank in Nov, but not if Biden insists on opening the doors to a terrorist state.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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