Why Laughter is Good for Your Health

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When I’m feeling blue, I will often self-medicate… by watching reruns of America’s Funniest Home Videos or two full hours of SpongeBob SquarePants. A good belly laugh will often take me right out of that rut. But did you know that laughter also has anti-aging benefits? According to this infographic, laughter helps tone facial muscles and increase blood supply to the face, giving it a healthy glow. Laughter also burns calories, lower blood sugar levels, strengthens the immune system, reduces food cravings and boosts energy.

To quote Nicolas Chamfort, “The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed.” Laughter truly is the best medicine. Here’s wishing you a day of love, laughter and light.

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First Things First

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Lovers Desire | TheSociaholicOver the years, very few things have affected or upset me. And when they do, I comfort myself with endless episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants and America’s Funniest Home Videos.

At the beginning of our relationship, my swift emotional recoveries confounded my husband. He couldn’t understand how I could get over things so quickly. Is it that I’m hard-headed or just plain heartless? At first, I told him about the concept of Human Dynamics developed by Sandra Seagal (which explains how people process information and experiences) and that I am “physically-centered” – very systematic and practical, primarily concerned with progress and results rather than logic and structure.

Then, I had an “A-ha!” moment – perhaps it had nothing to do with my “information processing center” nor my heart of stone. I was just an Über-Optimist. A textbook Pollyanna (minus the denial and passiveness). How could one remain upset when one truly believed that there is always a positive spin to unfortunate events?

In Stephen Covey’s book, First Things First, he talks about living life guided by a “compass” of purpose and values rather than a “clock” of schedules and due dates, and where the long run is where we go for life balance. By focusing on the big picture, our ultimate legacy, we can identify what roles and activities need our attention right now, helping us determine what battles to face and decisions to make at each moment.

For example, on your way to visiting with family, are you really going to waste your time chasing after that rude driver that cut you off on the freeway, just to shake your fist impotently at him, or focus on driving safely so you can spend quality time with your loved ones?

Often, we’re distracted by what’s most urgent that we forget about what’s most important. This leads to frustration, dissatisfaction, and disappointment. By valuing and living in a “state of abundance”, we’re able to appreciate the little victories in life and find meaning in everyday occurrences.

We could all learn from Viktor Frankl, Holocuast survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, who says that “Life has [a purpose and] meaning under all circumstances, even in the most miserable ones.” He also said that “Everything can be taken from a man, but the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

So today, and everyday, I choose to be grateful. Hopeful. Happy.

Here’s to a wonderful 2013!

The Zig Ziglar Way

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On November 28, Zig Ziglar — the “master of motivation” — passed away at the age of 86.

Zig Ziglar speaks at the Get Motivated Seminar...

Zig Ziglar at the Get Motivated Seminar at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Born Hilary Hinton Ziglar in 1926 in Alabama, Zig has authored more than 29 sales and motivational books, including Selling 101, Over the Top, and Born To Win: Find Your Success Code.

I’ve always admired Zig and refer to many of his quotes during my own sales training sessions for Dale Carnegie. A fellow graduate, he began his career in public speaking and training as an instructor for the Dale Carnegie office in New York City in the early ’70s. I’d like to think that we are kindred spirits.

My favorite quote is his response to the buying objection “The price is high.”

I don’t think there’s any question about the price being high.
When you add the benefits of quality
Subtract the disappointments of cheapness
Multiply the pleasures of buying something good
And divide the cost over time
The arithmetic comes out in your favor.
If it costs you a hundred dollars but does you a thousand dollars’ worth of good, then by any yardstick you’ve bought a bargain, haven’t you?

Here are a few other gems that have served me well over the years. We’ll miss you, Zig.

You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.

Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.

Stop selling. Start helping.

The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.

It’s easier to explain price one time than apologize for quality forever.

Objections thrive on opposition, but die with agreement.

If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

A goal properly set is halfway reached.

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude

Do you have your own favorite Zig Ziglar quotes? Would love to hear about them!

A Social History of the Internet

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Human beings are social creatures. Whether we’re hand writing love letters or expressing our sentiments in 140 characters or less, we love to share our stories, listen in on gossip, and as this article states, “long for social connections.” So, how old is social media? Check out this infographic, courtesy of CopyBlogger.

A History of Social Media [Infographic] - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Oh, The Places I’ve Been

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(by Christina & Jack Dunham)

Burning_Man_aerial

Oh, the places I’ve been
Oh, the things that I’ve seen
If I told you, you’d never believe me
But at least let me try
Or perhaps tell you why
I keep going to Black Rock City

Two Gentlemen So Debonnaire | TheSociaholic

I met an old lady with flair
A maiden with purple blue hair
A pink girl on stilts
Young men in white kilts
Two gentlemen so debonnaire

Men with Flashing Suits | The Sociaholic

I also met devilish horns
Albinos and white unicorns
A man who’s suit flashes
Girls with two-inch lashes
Anubis with towering thorns

Anubis with Towering Thorns | TheSociaholic

And on this same trip I did meet
Some characters most indiscrete
A half-man, half-goat
An 8-inch deep throat
And a gypsy with jingling feet

Silver Green Firefly Art Car | TheSociaholic

On one day we road as a pack
On a silver green firefly’s back

Orange Pink Maze | TheSociaholic

We biked through a maze
Of Orange Pink haze

And ran on a hamster wheel track

Hamster Wheel Track | TheSociaholic

And on the deep playa we tried
A bicycle slingshot we spied

Bike Slingshot | TheSociaholic

The bike in its socket
Took off like a rocket
And thankfully, nobody died

Sunken Ship docked at the pier | TheSociaholic

A sunken ship docked at the pier
From there, pounding waves you could hear

Land Boats Glided Through - Burning Man 2012 | TheSociaholic

Land boats glided through
A pirate ship, too
That was manned by a strange buccaneer

Hand-crafted Vietnamese Iced Coffee | TheSociaholic

We indulged in some sugary eats
Like hand-crafted coffee and sweets

Watermelon Shaved Ice at Burning Man 2012 | TheSociaholic

Watermel’n shaved ice
And gluten-free, nice!
Soft porn and hot donuts were treats

Road on for miles upon miles | TheSociaholic

We road on for miles upon miles
To gaze upon beautiful smiles

Playa Art Car | TheSociaholic
Blew kisses and cheered
At all that was weird
As we ambled along silly aisles

The Man | The Sociaholic

And toward the big man we did walk
Where thousands of others had flocked
To see the man burnin’
Was what we were yearnin’
We should have invested in clocks

The Man Burns | The Sociaholic

The night sky was lit up with fire
As effigy burning transpired
Big ego was burned
And then Wall Street’s turn
As lovers were kindling desire

Big Ego | TheSociaholic

We witnessed brave warriors in flight
As they fought under ThunderDomes light
They leapt from the ground and
Their heads took a poundin’
I sure hope those guys are alright

Thunder Dome  Fight Night | TheSociaholic

In the midst of a freezing cold white out
With our very survival in slight doubt
We were saved by a craft
And sat in the aft
And so to TravNasti, a Shout Out

TravNasti of Danstronauts | TheSociaholic

From OT, Osiris, Disorient
To Distrikt and Robot Heart we went
We danced til we dropped
We rocked it non-stop
Until the sun rose in the orient

Opulent Temple | TheSociaholic

And so to our burn family
Rod, Shaun, Mark, Tim, Pang, Tom, Michi
To the veterans and freshman
Like Shauna and Stefan
Hope this trip has fulfilled fantasies

DeMentha Family | TheSociaholic

Of course to our friends at DeMentha
From Germany, France, Barcelona
To the SF Bay crew
To old friends and new
We had such a blast burnin’ with ya!

Burn Family | TheSociaholic

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Seven Days in the Dust

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By far, the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met reside in Black Rock City, NV.

Biking Around the PlayaIt’s a city that moves at a small town’s pace during the day, where neighborhood cafes serve up piping hot cappuccinos and pastries, and local pubs pour generous pints of pilsners and porters; where adults and children alike pedal bikes around dusty roads, and colorful, fanciful four-wheeled vehicles crawl along at a max speed of 5 mph.

At dusk, the city transforms into a bustling metropolis with hip clubs hosting world-class DJs and live bands, and even livelier revelers. No cover, no VIP lines, no pretense.

Bliss Dance - Burning Man 2010 | TheSociaholicResidents let loose in true bacchanalian fashion, with herds hopping from one party to the next, or racing to the horizon to greet the dawn. 30-foot structures explode with dancing fire and the Esplanade glows Vegas-like with its line-up of neon lit car and characters. Lovers wander hand-in-hand through a circus of light and spectacle.

In this city, art is king. From mobile museums and makeshift galleries featuring paintings and photography; to interactive art that pulsate with light or breath fire with a touch of a button; to massive installations – three-story balsa wood temples, large-scale serpentine sculptures, and computer-controlled propane cannons that explode in rhythm.

Love Art in GoldArt is for more than just admiring. It is for touching, exploring, contemplating, climbing, participating and playing.

Black Rock City is located about 100 miles northwest of Reno near the southern end of the Black Rock Desert, past the towns of Empire and Gerlach. It is the site of Burning Man: an experiment in temporary community, a practice in radical self reliance, an opportunity for self-expression for a society of artists and activists, a collective effort with its own culture and traditions, where “transactions of value take place without money, advertising, or hype.”

Burning Man aerial, 2011 | TheSociaholic

The city is laid out like a giant wheel where the “spokes” are numbered radial streets which cross concentric lettered streets. And smack-dab in the middle is an 80-foot high anthropomorphic wooden structure that symbolizes different things to different people. It is neither deity nor demon, a towering effigy affectionately known as “the Man,” the spiritual center for the city’s inhabitants who abide by Ten Principles that include Radical Inclusion, Self-Reliance, and Self-Expression.

Arctica Ice VendingWith the exception of ice offered for sale, no vending is allowed. Gifts, talent, and companionship become currency. Bartering, while frowned upon, occurs by mutual consent. No trash cans are provided, and yet there is no trash to be found. Everyone takes care of their own, and each other. Despite the dust and dirt of the desert, it is one of the most pristine places I have ever seen. The mind-altering experience feels like visiting another planet.

The Playa

Unfortunately, it’s an evanescent city that only exists for one week out of the year, in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend. Covering less than five square miles, it is a fully functioning city of 50,000 locals, with a central post office, airport, mobile clinics, media mecca, law enforcement headquarters, volunteer medics and rangers, a department of public works, and even its own DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles).

At the end of the week, the entire city is completely disassembled, many of its sculptures and structures burned, leaving no trace of the thriving city or its inhabitants. All that is left is a wide expanse of deserted flatlands, bookended by mountain ranges in the distance, sporadically attacked by hurricane-force winds and dust storms, and pierced by triple digit heat. 400 square miles of stark desert lake bed, the largest alkali/mud flats on Earth, simply known as “The Playa.” No running water, no electricity. Nothing.

Seven Days in the Dust By far, the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met reside in Black Rock City, NV. It’s a city that moves at a small town’s pace during the day, where neighborhood cafes serve up piping hot cappuccinos and pastries, and local pubs pour generous pints of pilsners and porters; where adults and children alike pedal bikes around dusty roads, and colorful, fanciful four-wheeled vehicles crawl along at a max speed of 5 mph. At dusk, the city transforms into a bustling metropolis with hip clubs hosting world-class DJs and live bands, and even livelier revelers. No cover, no VIP lines, no pretense. Residents let loose in true bacchanalian fashion, with herds hopping from one party to the next, or racing to the horizon to greet the dawn. 30-foot structures explode with dancing fire and the Esplanade glows Vegas-like with its line-up of neon lit car and characters. Lovers wander hand-in-hand through a circus of light and spectacle. In this city, art is king. From mobile museums and makeshift galleries featuring paintings and photography; to interactive art that pulsate with light or breath fire with a touch of a button; to massive installations – three-story balsa wood temples, large-scale serpentine sculptures, and computer-controlled propane cannons that explode in rhythm. Art is for more than just admiring. It is for touching, exploring, contemplating, climbing, participating and playing. Black Rock City is located about 100 miles northwest of Reno near the southern end of the Black Rock Desert, past the towns of Empire and Gerlach. It is the site of Burning Man: an experiment in temporary community, a practice in radical self reliance, an opportunity for self-expression for a society of artists and activists, a collective effort with its own culture and traditions, where “transactions of value take place without money, advertising, or hype.” The city is laid out like a giant wheel where the "spokes" are numbered radial streets which cross concentric lettered streets. And smack-dab in the middle is an 80-foot high anthropomorphic wooden structure that symbolizes different things to different people. It is neither deity nor demon, a towering effigy affectionately known as “the Man,” the spiritual center for the city’s inhabitants who abide by Ten Principles that include Radical Inclusion, Self-Reliance, and Self-Expression. With the exception of ice offered for sale, no vending is allowed. Gifts, talent, and companionship become currency. Bartering, while frowned upon, occurs by mutual consent. No trash cans are provided, and yet there is no trash to be found. Everyone takes care of their own, and each other. Despite the dust and dirt of the desert, it is one of the most pristine places I have ever seen. The mind-altering experience feels like visiting another planet. Unfortunately, it’s an evanescent city that only exists for one week out of the year, in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend. Covering less than five square miles, it is a fully functioning city of 50,000 locals, with a central post office, airport, mobile clinics, media mecca, law enforcement headquarters, volunteer medics and rangers, a department of public works, and even its own DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles). At the end of the week, the entire city is completely disassembled, many of its sculptures and structures burned, leaving no trace of the thriving city or its inhabitants. All that is left is a wide expanse of deserted flatlands, bookended by mountain ranges in the distance, sporadically attacked by hurricane-force winds and dust storms, and pierced by triple digit heat. 400 square miles of stark desert lake bed, the largest alkali/mud flats on Earth, simply known as “The Playa.” No running water, no electricity. Nothing. In just a couple of days, my husband and I will be making our fourth annual pilgrimage to Black Rock City, joining a group of 43 other individuals from across the globe. Organized into a theme camp called DeMentha, our little footprint at 3:00 and D will be serving up “minty goodness” with afternoon Mojitos and music to chill by, all under a large shade structure equipped with a cooling mister. I look forward to days spent riding bikes around with friends, and checking out music and art at every stop. Family-style dinners in our communal dining tent at sunset. Free shows, snow cones, movies, popcorn, popsicles. Freedom. Participation in Burning Man continues to test our ability for self-sufficiency and allows us to explore our own eccentricities. Being forced to go without so many creature comforts, one becomes more appreciative of the simple things in life. Giving thanks takes on new meaning. I look forward to my seven days in the dust.In just a couple of days, my husband and I will be making our fourth annual pilgrimage to Black Rock City, joining a group of 43 other individuals from across the globe. Organized into a theme camp called DeMentha, our little footprint at 3:00 and D will be serving up “minty goodness” with afternoon Mojitos and music to chill by, all under a large shade structure equipped with a cooling mister.

I look forward to days spent riding bikes around with friends, and checking out music and art at every stop. Family-style dinners in our communal dining tent at sunset. Free shows, snow cones, movies, popcorn, popsicles. Freedom.

Participation in Burning Man continues to test our ability for self-sufficiency and allows us to explore our own eccentricities. Being forced to go without so many creature comforts, one becomes more appreciative of the simple things in life. Giving thanks takes on new meaning.

I look forward to my seven days in the dust.

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How To Give Life 100%

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Came across “life equations” while searching for inspirational business quotes. Don’t know who originally wrote it (there was no attribution) , but would like to thank them for coming up with something so clever. If you know the original author, please let me know 🙂

How to give life 100 percent | TheSociaholic.com