Second Hand Stories

Second-Hand Stories
What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?

It’s quite simple. If we listen to a Powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, certain parts in the brain get activated. Scientists call these Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.

If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were, our sensory cortex lights up. If it’s about motion, our motor cortex gets active:

“Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex.Then, the brains of participants were scanned as they read sentences like “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.” The scans revealed activity in the motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements.”

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Secret Santa

Secret Santa
You get to choose one gift — no price restrictions — for any person you want. The caveat? You have to give it anonymously. What gift would you give, and to whom?

The point of “Secret Santa” is to make Christmas shopping easier and to spread around the spirit of giving to those who you might not normally have on your Christmas list. It involves a group of people exchanging names for a secret gift exchange. Consider playing ‘secret santa’ at your next holiday get together, or learn the instructions for a round of the game you’ve already been invited toCharitable giving has always been part of my lifestyle, especially around the holidays. I own my business, and the hard work I’ve put into it has paid off. My company is thriving, and I’m fortunate enough to enjoy a comfortable salary. But there are a lot of people out there who are nowhere near as lucky. So the way I look at it is that if I’m in a position to help others, then that’s exactly what I should do. But after becoming disillusioned with big corporate charities, I had to rethink my approach to charitable giving.That’s why, every holiday season, I anonymously give away thousands in pre-loaded debit cards to needy people in my community.

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getting seasonal

Do you miss the holiday season when it’s months away? When you’re in the midst of holiday madness, do you enjoy it, or can’t wait for it to be over?

Christmas, they tell us, is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. What they don’t tell us is what we’re supposed to do when it isn’t. As the cards and carols like to remind us, Christmas is a time for families and togetherness, peace and well being for all. If only the problems in life paid more attention to the songs on the radio.

If you find yourself facing Christmas alone, December can be the longest month of all. If someone is missing from the celebrations this year, if a family member has been sick, or money worries are keeping you up at night it’s easy to want to echo the Grinch’s sentiment  “I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!” There are some years when Christmas is more than we can do.Give yourself some quiet time. Sometimes the reason we’re alone at Christmas is a sad one. If this is you this season, give yourself the time and the permission to feel sad. Scale back on your activities. If there are some traditions you cannot face this year, remember that you can politely excuse yourself. Christmas has a way of turning the world into fantasy where everyone is supposed to be happy and everything is wonderful. Resist the urge to fake a smile all through the month of December.

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Cliche’

Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

A bird which one has got in the hand is always more valuable that two or three birds which await one in the bush. That is so because, the birds in the bush can always fly away and leave the person with nothing while the one in his hand cannot escape. So if the person lets the bird in his hand go free and tries to catch those in the bush, they may also fly away leaving him a complete loser. It is always wise to utilize whatever opportunity is at hand than look forward to some other opportunity that may come in future with more advantages. It is better to be satisfied with whatever change is there and make the most out of it than wait for a better one which may never come. This applies to people also. Those who are near to us and willing to help are more valuable friends that those who are away. Those who are away might not be willing to help at all. So it is foolish to reject whatever help is at hand. The wise man always relies on the present instead of laying his hopes on future gains.bird

The Spice of Success

The Spice of Success
If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing. The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on. We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow. When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not. Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love. I think Success means realizing what you have is enough cause we will never got over wanting new things in life so be happy for what we have is a success.

Never Too late

Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.

I’ve always so thankful for people who came into my life and has shaped me into a woman I become today. I thank you for all the negative and positive influences. People who always be there and support in everything I do have helped me through the struggles and darkness in life. It’s like they bring me lights to guide me the way so that i could walk and see the future clearer and people who gives me the hard time, I let them be the lessons in my life.

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s ok. We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

All or Nothing

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

I can never read all the books I want, I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.

God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of “parties” with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship – but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.

There is something about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It’s like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction every second the city gets smaller and smaller only you feel it’s really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.”