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Don’t Let Control-Freak Politicians Diminish Your Well-being

We can self-diagnose and act upon what ails us more effectively than any generation before us.

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In the last 18 months, we have witnessed how mayors and governors, particularly in Democrat strongholds, seek to control our lives. They take great, well-disguised joy in telling us when to come and go, what to wear, and how to act, while personally flouting their own edicts. Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan; Gavin Newsom, hanging on as governor of California; and Bill deBlasio, mayor of New York, immediately come to mind.

A bit of what they’ve decreed is benevolent and makes sense, but much of it extends beyond their duties and jurisdiction. Even in these challenging times, and despite intentional government interference, ours is the first era where people can effectively take charge of their own health.

Due to an abundance of information resources, available primarily via the Internet, we have the opportunity to diagnose and to act upon what ails us, more often and more effectively than any generation before us.

Unquestionably, doctors play an important role and always will. We never want to substitute legitimate medical observation for what we conclude on our own. Still, what we can research and discover as a result of our comprehensive reading, increasingly, represents reasonably sound information.

Natural Cures Abound

In some instances we can avoid having to pay for expensive visits to doctors, outpatient services, clinics, or labs: Today, for whatever ails you, it’s possible to find potential natural remedies and to avoid ingesting pharmaceuticals. And why not? For tens of thousands of years prior to our recent history, people communed with nature and they gleaned many health-enhancing gifts that nature had to offer.

Untold numbers of herbal remedies, and plant and flower extracts were discovered through the ages, passed on to offspring, and are available to this today. One can search online and find potential natural cures for this affliction or that. Food is a remedy in many cases, as are legitimate supplements.

When else has humankind had the capability to learn so much, so easily, that could be of value to one’s health? Rather than endure a surgical procedure that, say, as recently as one score ago was often regarded as your only option, alternatives might well abound. Undertaking the exploration is worth the pursuit. Thereafter, if surgery is the most prudent path to take, with the advances in surgical procedures, it’s likely to be to your benefit.

The Array of Options

No matter what edicts a Kathy Hochul or a Bill DeBlasio levy in the name of ‘protecting’ us, ostensibly from ourselves, we have an array of options. We can find useful information to help lower blood pressure, stave off headaches, or reduce stress.

Meditation is effective as a stress reducer and immediately comes to mind. If you’ve never tried it, try it. Medical journals now discuss the multitude of benefits that accrue to regular meditators. The physical manifestation of meditation, namely yoga, is also beneficial to your health. Yoga is proving to be a physical “elixir” of sorts that can help you in ways that normally one wouldn’t presume.

Stretching can work wonders. The older you are, the more likely you need to be stretching on a regular basis. You can buy books on stretching, read articles on stretching, and view YouTube videos on the topic. You can gather a variety of key illustrations and carve out for yourself a program that could last for months or years. Even doing simple stretches yields amazing results.

Exercise, of course, is vital to effective mind-body functioning. Exercise offers you greater mobility, enhanced mental sharpness, better sleep, better digestion and elimination, and much more. As with meditation, yoga, and stretching, a host of web resources are available to guide you.

Supplements, Yes; Pharmaceuticals, No

As you assume greater charge of your health, you’ll encounter information about supplements. They will show up in your reading. Many people are confused between vitamins and food supplements, versus pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs.

Vitamins and supplements are the extracts of a larger volume of food. The best have no additives. They offer you the benefits, in part, that the original source would provide. Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs, such as those in a pharmacy, are chemical compounds manufactured in a laboratory, to achieve a specific outcome within your body.

Pharmaceuticals are not natural and generally include a host of additives and preservatives. The list of ‘side’ effects issued at a rapid pace on TV commercials are the direct effects of ingesting artificial substances and abdicating control of your body in the hopes that such ‘magic pills’ will ‘fix’ you.

Work in Tandem

Enlightened doctors recognize the importance today of working with you. So, discover as much as you can about your situation before your appointment. Then, let the doctor know what you have uncovered, suspect, and conclude. It’s all grist for your personal health mill.

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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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Business

Work-life Balance: The Enduring Quest

Organizations today recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity

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Thank goodness that organizations today increasingly recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity. As such, the corporate quest for work-life balance, harmony, and integration has gained great prominence.

Key Aspects

Here are 12 key aspects of this pursuit gleaned from a variety of programs:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, and part-time opportunities allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

2. Have Clear Policies: Establishing clear policies and guidelines regarding work hours, overtime, and expectations helps employees manage their time effectively.

3. Support Mental Health: Providing access to mental health resources, counseling, and stress management programs can address employees’ emotional well-being.

4. Give Leave: Offering generous paid time off, including vacation, sick leave, and parental leave, allows employees to address personal and family needs without fear of repercussions.

5. Prevent Burnout: Encouraging employees to disconnect from work-related technology after hours helps prevent burnout and supports work-life separation.

6. Support Workload Management: Ensuring that employees have manageable workloads and realistic deadlines prevents excessive stress and long working hours.

7. Provide Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness initiatives, such as fitness facilities, nutrition programs, and health screenings, promotes a healthier work-life balance.

8. Enable Employee Assistance Programs: Such programs provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal challenges.

9. Promote a Culture of Balance: Company culture plays a significant role in work-life balance. Leaders should model a balanced lifestyle, and the organization should celebrate accomplishments beyond work.

10. Maintain Continuous Communication: Engaging in open dialogues with employees about their needs and concerns regarding work-life balance fosters a supportive and responsive corporate culture.

11. Empower Workers with Training and Education: Providing training on time management, stress reduction, and resilience equips employees with the skills to better balance their lives.

12. Leverage Remote Work Policies: Crafting clear remote work policies and expectations ensures that remote employees have a structured work-life balance.

Bringing in the Hired Gun

As the world’s only holder of the title, “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” as issued by the USPTO,  I am often summoned by organizations to enhance work-life balance for their troops. In all, I’ve delivered programs and spoken to 960 groups. Below depicts an encounter with a company who shall remain nameless for reasons of confidentiality. See if this squares up with your experience in your organization.

The following responses were derived as a result of my sending a questionnaire to the conference meeting planner where I was to be their keynote speaker. I requested the names of 10 people who would be in the audience. I called each of them to discuss their current challenges. Here are their actual replies to three of my questions:

1) If you could magically resolve a work-life balance issue, what would it be?

* Have more breathing room between high-level projects.
* Accomplish more during the workday and leave mentally free.
* Hire more staff!
* Take vacations and time off with no big pile ups when returning.

* Be allowed to take some Fridays off and catch up on much needed appointments.
* Reduce the number of pop-up requests and questions flying at me all day long so that I could ACTUALLY do what I need to do each day.
* Be approved to work from home or adjust my hours. My personal time isn’t respected.

2) What do you seek to derive from attending a session such as mine?

* Manage my time more effectively.
* Gain tools to embrace life while living it
* Develop stronger skills.
* Make work-life balance a reality in our company’s work-first culture.

* Acquire strategies, tips, or ideas to re-think my approach.
* Learn to change my focus, to be more productive, balanced, and focused.
* Be able to balance the few things that I do control during my day.
* Discover tips for keeping my staff in balance.

* Gain a realistic expectation of what we can achieve or experience.
* Develop a more positive outlook for the group.

3) Are there any observations you could offer?

* Work-life balance is a huge topic organization-wide. We are high performers who want to do a good job. We compromise our personal lives to meet work demands. We have to keep pace with the leaders and teams we support. If we don’t, we’ll be deemed unresponsive.

* A frenetic pace seems to be inherent in this company. Our team does a good job of emphasizing work-life balance; the problem lies with the surrounding divisions that thrive on working all the time, for no good reason. Yes, we are in a global space, working in different time zones, but some of these people are beyond the pale.

* What I love about this organization are the people. They are dedicated to the cause and truly want to deliver reliable, affordable, dynamic, and versatile solutions to our customers. However, our frenetic pace isn’t necessary. Not every project is the most vital. Not every problem is an emergency. Not every request has to be filled now.

* If in charge, I’d implement a more efficient, logical pace organization-wide. If we all took a breath and reevaluated how we work, in a more focused environment, we might find that we could produce better results with less stress.

Resonates Strongly

As you can see, the topic of work-life balance resonates strongly among today’s career professionals. Going forward, may more organization recognize and acknowledge the critical role that employee wellness and work-life balance has on the organization’s overall effectiveness.

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Education

HPU, Harvard Plagiarist University

To be fair, Harvard ought to be inclusive and welcome all plagiarists with open arms

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Peter, from Milton, MA, just outside of Boston and Cambridge, posed the following dilemma:

In keeping Claudine Gay on the faculty at nearly $1m per year, and lauding her, Harvard appears to be announcing to future students and faculty, as well as the world, that every category of plagiarism which she committed is acceptable.

I will defer to others who have so comprehensively catalogued her forms of plagiarism that Harvard deems acceptable.  I am more interested in the application of the Harvard’s plagiarism ideal.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

To be helpful, I would ask these questions in order to better assure that the guidelines are clear: Is plagiarism good for everybody or only good for blacks, or is it female blacks?

What about the other near endless permutations of sex, sexual preference, race, and ethnicity?  Or is it good for everybody but whites? What is white, however? Are Israelis whiter than Arabs or Persians?  Israelis come from all sorts of races while Arabs do not. Elizabeth Warren self-identified as a native American; could she self-identify as a black and attain plagiarism protection?

Non Malevolent Plagiarism

Are certain whites exempt? President Joe Biden says that his plagiarism in college was okay because it wasn’t malevolent. My bad. I did not know there was a “not malevolent exception.” Is that for all whites, or only progressive whites, or only for progressive whites who become president decades later?

How would we know he would become a progressive white president decades later, particularly when he was a notable southern bigot much of his time in the senate?

The High Achieving Minority

What about Asians?  They are a minority in the U.S. As a group, they consistently achieve on merit, undermining the notion of oppressed minorities. Are they allowed to plagiarize but only in lesser forms, or not nearly as much? Or do they get no pass at all because they have the temerity to achieve?

What about the quality of plagiarism? Should some plagiarism be more appreciated than others? To employ the Boston vernacular, my brain is starting to hurt wicked bad.

Oh hell, Harvard simply ought to be inclusive and welcome all plagiarists with open arms regardless of their background or plagiarist skill set, and maybe make a name change. I suggest Harvard Plagiarist University.

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