I hate cooking. I really do (and I rarely use the word hate). But it really fits here. For me, cooking represents the idea that women are expected to work constantly and are expected to give more than we receive. It's the unstated but quite engrained cultural expectation that we should love serving others, even if it's not reciprocated that drives me nuts. It's the fact that ever since I can remember, the kitchen is mostly devoid of men.
Growing up, during Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was the women who rushed around and cooked all day, the women who prepped the table, and even the women who cleaned up the mess.
And yet, I've found myself perpetuating these behaviors as well. It's true that we love our families so much that it brings joy to see our loved ones together enjoying delicious food, even if the women of the family exhaust themselves in the process. As a mother, I've often had to check myself of these self-sacrificing and martyr-like ways. There were a few years that I unconsciously overloaded myself overzealously preparing food for a large gathering without asking my husband for help--he would have been equally thrilled if we did take out. To his credit, there were a few years when he did all of the overzealous prep without asking me for help too. And my father-in-law must have some inkling of our strivings as this Thanksgiving he surprised us by pre-ordering the entire Thanksgiving feast as take out.
But here's the thing: it's not just on holidays and special events where we work so much harder than the men--we do it everyday. In fact, about 41 percent of mothers earn the majority of their family's income while another 23 percent of mothers are co–breadwinners, contributing at leased a quarter of the family's earnings.1 These numbers are dramatically higher in Hispanic and African-American families where 27% of Latino children and 51% of African-American children are being raised by a single mother.2
Despite the fact that we are working outside the home, we are also working much more in the home as well--and doing so alone. In heterosexual homes, women do approximately 80% more housework and cooking than the men. I met a mother recently who wakes at 5:00am everyday to make her children's lunches, clean the house, and prepare dinner for later that evening. Her husband sleeps until 7:00am. I asked her why her husband gets to sleep in until 7:00am while she has to wake up in the dark, "I have to make the lunches and dinner," she repeated as if I didn't hear her the first time. “Yes, but, can't he help you?” I insisted. "Oh, that's just the way it is. I'm not sure he would even know how to make the lunches and it's not worth the stress." This is not an unusual scenario.
It’s not that men are a**holes, it's that they grew up with their mothers doing all of the housework and it's all they know. Then they grow up and their wives continue to do the housework. And it's not that the women want to be martyrs either, it's that it's what they have been programed to do since they ate their first meal (that their mother made--by herself). We are all doing our best to figure out gender roles and marriage. Who does what and how? It can be confusing for sure. But over time, repeating traditional gender roles in the home with non-traditional gender roles at work sends a message: that women's time is worth less, that men have more of a right to relax and take a break, and that women's needs come last.
My husband and I have been together for 23 years and we are still deeply in love. When people ask how we manage to keep the spark alive, we often admit to hiring a housekeeper. Instead of squabbling over whose turn it is to clean the toilet, in college, we paid $30 a week to have someone come in and do it for us. Not that we were rich…we made this happen when I was paying $350/month for a basement apartment where water seeped in through the walls when it rained. For those who would prefer to spend their money on upgrading their rental instead of a housekeeper, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of sharing housework. It's the least sexy job. And believe me, contrary to popular myth, women are not inherently cleaner or more organized, it's simply due to constant societal pressure. Plus, there are immense benefits to sharing housework. When husbands do more housework, couples are happier, wives are less depressed, and marital conflicts decrease.
So, I ask you to make the unconscious conscious: what message are you sending to your children by segregating the cooking and housework according to gender? More importantly: what message are you sending to yourself? I say it’s time we liberate ourselves of expectations and dive into a life of true equality, even if it does mean take-out on Thanksgiving and a toilet no one cleans—we’ll find our way.
1 Sarah Jane Glynn, Breadwinning Mothers: Then and Now, Center for American Progress (June 2014), 6. In 2012, 40.9 percent of mothers were sole primary breadwinners for their families and another 22.4 percent were co-breadwinners."
2 Child Trends Data Bank, Family Structure: Indicators on Children and Youth, (March 2015),4,http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/59_Family_Structure.pdf.
3 Sharon Meers and Joanna Streber, Getting to 50/50: How working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All (New York: Bantam Books, 2009).
Have you ever done a strategic plan of your life? Businesses and non-profits use strategic planning to plan for their future based on their mission and vision; so that any energy put out leads to their ultimate vision and plan.
Now, as an Entrepreneurial Psychologist whose sole job is to help people fast-forward their dreams into reality, I've helped corporations as well as non-profits strategic plan and I also use strategic planning for individuals. I call it Life Mapping. To adequately turn an intangible dream to tangible reality requires a very specific kind of thinking, language, mindset, and focus.
The pyramid image above is a visual representation of how strategic planning can be helpful.
An example of an important change that is required to fast-forward your dreams to reality is to eliminate negative words such as "no," "don't," "stop" and "can't" from your vocabulary as the subconscious and unconscious mind don't understand negative language. Many people want to "stop" doing something so they say it to themselves over and over "stop (eating sugar, staying up late, procrastinating, etc.) but they are actually programming themselves to do more of this! "Stop eating sugar" gets translated by our unconscious mind as "eat sugar!" So many people self-sabotage without even knowing they are doing so.
When I work with people in session, I encourage them to think big; to go after their ultimate vision, their mission--their dream. Then we chunk that into medium goals, then small goals, then bite-sized manageable steps so the path to getting the life they dream of becomes a simple case of following steps.
This is easy when you know your mission and vision, but what if you don't really know what your mission and vision are? Let alone your purpose in life? Generally, this requires strategic life mapping. We start with a brainstorm of sorts and begin with the idea of what makes you feel good and go from there. Once you know what you want and strategize your energy around it, it will almost effortlessly fall into place!
I want to share with you some of the brainstorming documents I use when I work with people to help them begin to identify their mission and vision. Because I can only work with a small amount of people one-to-one, I share this information as much as possible in my speaking at Universities and Conferences and via my newsletter with you now!
So, if you're just beginning to understand the awesome truth that you can create anything you dream of or if you've lost your way a bit, please enjoy these Life Mapping PDF downloads (at top of blog article) and let's get you on your way to the life of your dreams!
Dr. Jennifer Jones
What are your thoughts about eating butter to lose weight? What do you think of Life Hacking? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Want more like this? Sign up for Dr. Jones' free newsletter
I started having seizures at around the age of 5. The kind of seizures you see in the movies: fall-flat-on-the-ground-shaking-like-you're-electrocuted-eyes-rolling-to-the-top-of-your-head-seizures. These kind of seizures are now called tonic-clonic seizures but when I was a little girl, they were called "grand mal" seizures, which means "the big bad." Perhaps they changed the name because calling something "the big bad" isn't very hopeful for patients. No one is really sure why I started to have these, but it made me curious at an early age to figure out how this mushy mass inside our skull works.
I started to study neuroscience after I had an EEG (electroencephalogram) at around the age of 11. They stuck hundreds of little wires with glue-like substance onto my scalp. I looked like an alien child from the sci-fi novel Dune--but it led me to wonder: What are they measuring? Why? and How can I control these things called brain waves and electrical pulses? As you can imagine, it's scary to have one of those death-like seizures and thinking you have no control over them. That's when science became my savior. I later discovered that these seizures could possibly be controlled without mind-numbing-zombie-behavior-inducing-medication. At age 15, without my Doctor's or parent's knowledge, I stopped taking that medication and haven't been on it since.
Along the way to earming my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, participating in neuroscientific studies, and working at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, I learned how we can all expand the capacity of our brain not only to self-heal, but also to grow in ways we never imagined were possible.
So, for you, I've gathered my 5 top habits for neurological growth. These habits have eliminated these kind of seizures for me. I still need to be careful. Good habits, if broken, will indeed have consequences, but in the last 25 years, I've only had 2 tonic-clonic seizures. For you, these habits will reduce your stress significantly, increase your brain's grey matter, tap into your unconscious mind for problem solving, and produce incredible potential.
Here are 5 Daily Habits that you can incorporate starting today:
1. Sleep to Reduce Stress. Ever wonder what happens to all of the stress we accumulate during the day? That car that almost hit you and your heart flew into your chest? Your child screaming at you? Even the unconscious stress of self-judsement? Where does it go? Our beautiful brains collect it and save it for when you dream to process away. Let me repeat: when you sleep, you process stress and trauma. So, one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to get your full 7-9 hours of shut eye each and every day.
2. Rise With the Sun. Your brain uses a cluster of nerve cells called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in your hypothalamus to regulate something called “circadian rhythm.” Circadian rhythm is the “master clock” in your brain which syncs all your body’s clocks. Abnormal circadian rhythm is associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, sleep disorders, hormone disregulation, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder. In other words, wake up when the sun does--no more sleeping in! If you are a parent this habit will come naturally as most kids naturally wake with the sun and are happy to be your alarm clock.
3. Take Fish Oil. Nothing beats this. My kids go for the hard-core fermented cod liver stuff and somehow we've apparently cemented this into them so well over the years that they ask for it daily although it tastes awful! They take it by the spoonful but you can also get it in capsule form, which has a pleasant lemon aftertaste.
4. Meditate AND MindFocus. Meditation taps into your subconscious mind (just below consciousness) and has innumerable neurological benefits. Want an easy way to meditate? www.headspace.com. MindFocus goes deeper into the unconscious mind to help you achieve goals subconsciously. Easy way to tap into your unconscious? www.myMindFocus.com.
5. Make Yourself Uncomfortable. Your brain needs novelty to grow. How do you know when you're doing something that's "new enough"? It feels uncomfortable, awkward, weird, strange, or it scares you. By doing things daily that are out of our comfort zone, we allow our brain to develop new branches on it's neuron tree (also called denrtidic pathways) instead of shriveling up into a sad dried out tree stump.
Truth be told, I could write a book on this and I live my entire life around this premise. There are many more habits I'd like to see you develop. After all, can you imagine how incredible it would be if we all lived to our potential? For more tips, register with me: http://bit.ly/1wSNIGf
by Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D. (http://www.drjenniferjones.com)
We all might have our own definition of charisma but I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that it is the primary quality that opens the doors to getting what you want. It’s the ultimate influencer, persuader and game-changer. Some people just ooze charisma, charm in action that makes heads turn. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that according to a plethora of studies, charismatic people seem to find more success than people who, well, you might call, less charismatic.
It’s not surprising that research shows that people who are considered charismatic receive higher performance reviews, are viewed as more effective, and are seen as more attractive. But did you know, that despite popular belief, charisma is not a gift that some are born with, and that others must woefully live without? Charimsa, is in fact, something that can be developed and you can learn. So, let’s learn these important lessons all based in research in psychology that will help you become incredibly charismatic:
Lesson 1: Learn to Make Others Trust and Connect to You
When people connect to you they are loyal. When people trust you they are open to persuasion. So you can see the importance of creating trust and connection. As humans, we are engineered to assess safety. Charismatic people make us feel safe and we can let down our guard with them.
To create more trust and connection with others is easy. A simple shift in perspective can make them go from feeling neutrally toward you to adoring you. All you need to do when you are with someone is to look into who they really are; don't see them as they are on the surface. Instead, imagine their background, their upbringing, imagine what they fear, what worries them, what makes them me cry…. Look into their eyes and see the feelings behind their words. Psychologists are taught this technique in graduate school. It’s called the “therapeutic hook” and helps people feel “seen.” When they feel seen, they trust you and feel connected to you.
There is no need to share yourself or your stories to create connection. This is a common myth. In fact, people often overshare. When someone is telling an important story, the listener will show they relate by sharing that something similar hapened to them. However, the most effective way to connect is via the 80/20 rule: make it 80% about them and 20% about you.
Lesson 2: Learn Charismatic Speech and Non-Verbal Cues
The power of the word is priceless. Charismatic people speak differently than non-charasmatic ones. Not only do they listen more and talk less, as mentioned above, but when responding to someone, they do so mindfully. They first respond with their facial expression, then pause, then speak. Charismatic people know that the fewer words they use, the better. They also have downward intonations. For example, instead of ending a sentence as if they had a question (with an upward intonation), they make their opinion sound like a fact with a downward intonation. Charismatic people also use the power of voice fluctuation. They go from from loud to quiet and use deeper intonations to higher ones. Like birds, we love to hear each others' music! Finally, and most importantly, charasmatic people keep it positive and don’t interrupt.
Even more influential than speech are the non-verbal cues that research has shown lead people to trust, like, and respect others (read: charismatic behaviors). Because so much of how we evaluate another occurs unconsciously, certain beahviors automatically help people be charismatic. First, smile. Smile a lot. We have been conditioned to look out for safety and smiling is one of the ways humans communicate safety. However, make sure that smile is authentic as humans can read micro-expressions and can unconsciously tell the difference between a genuine smile and a fake smile. Second, your posture is important. Stand with a wide stance, hands out of your pockets and in front of your body. Third, make direct eye contact. This is essential as research shows that looking into someone's eyes for only a few seconds will mutually increase affection and rapport immediately. Finally, you can mirror the person you are with. Imitate their posture, speech, and expressions. Think of the person you are with as an old friend, this will lessen the role differential you have between you whether you are talking to someone you believe has more or less stature than you as the key to charismatic expression is to level the playing field.
Lesson 3: Identify your power personality
Let’s talk about Authentic Power or what I like to call your power personality. What do I really mean by Authentic power? (You might be thinking, is there inauthentic power?) Most people don’t realize that there are actually MANY types of power. Once you know what kind of power personality you have, you can be aware of it and use it specifically to influence others instead of being unaware of how you express power and using it ineffectively.
First there’s traditional power which is status and fear based. You see this in the boss/employee relationship, sometimes in parent to child. Then there’s inspirational power; this is the power to attract and bring along followers to co-create change. You see this power illustrated in the Obama campaign. Another type of power is relational power (based on mutual love). This kind of power is based on relationships and is the greatest unconscious influencer.
Which kind of power feels right to you? Which do you find yourself drawn to? I so believe in the importance of knowing your power personality type that if you are unsure, I offer a free psychological assessment to help you figure it out (just click here: http://www.drjenniferjones.com/strength.html)
Doesn't it make it easier to be more charismatic when you know exactly how to do it? I'm excited for you, thrilled to see your results. When will you start? I want to see you implement these steps today. From this day forward you can use this information to make your life easier, from work to home life...it even works with children! You will be amazed at the results it has! After all, the more charismatic you are, the more influence you have. You will start enjoying the perks of people liking you more and will find that your behaviors will create habits of deeper relationships as well. Onward!
I'm Dr. Jennifer Jones, the Entrepreneur's Shrink. I've been working with entrepreneurs for over a decade and would like to teach you some lessons and research I've uncovered along the way. First, I want to introduce you to two former patients of mine, Alexandra and Erica (their names have been changed to protect their confidentiality).
First, there’s Alexandra. Alexandra is busy; busy checking off “to do” lists, wearing many hats, taking care of everyone and generally “getting by.” She dreams of starting her own online business and earning enough money to be her own boss. But somehow, her family's needs always seem to proceed her own and this dream now seems impossible. She’s almost given up.
Then there’s Erica. She earned an MBA from an ivy league school, recently sold her innovative tech-company and became ridiculously wealthy. She lives in a fancy house with her husband and two kids but never sees them! She is afraid he will lose everything she has worked so hard for if she steps away from her non-stop-work addiction.
With some guidance, Alexandra and Erica made some bold moves and now have plenty of money and spend time with their families. They laugh easily, and make their own rules! We call this Authentic Success; (financial freedom paired with purpose, joy and meaning). It’s an expansion from the idea of traditional success which is solely focused on wealth. What did they learn?
1. Successful Entrepreneurs Break The Rules! They have learned to question the meaning of "success" and in doing so, tend to break many rules and do things unconventionally. They understand that to be innovative, they can’t always “fit in.” If this is something you are working on, do things that make you feel like an outcast and get out of your comfort zone! A patient of mine was so nice to everyone that I had to work with her to be disagreeable which helped her take more risks and subsequently launch her business.
2. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Feeling-Driven Goals. When setting goals, Successful Entrepreneurs envision how they want to FEEL, not what they want to HAVE. They've learned that money doesn't buy happiness and therefore work toward things that make them feel good. Instead of "I want to be a millionaire," they think "I want to feel free to choose what I want to do in my life." Having feeling-oriented goals is a process of introspection. One exercise you can do is to take your current list of goals and translate that into feelings you want to have, then brainstorm other ways you can experience that feeling.
3. Successful Entrepreneurs Take Action. Because they know risk leads to reward, Successful Entrepreneurs often leap before they look. How to take more risks: practice doing 3 things per week that scare you, put yourself in intentionally awkward situations, and let go of your ego.
4. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask for Help. This is hard for many, especially women, but know that without asking, you will not succeed to your potential. How to ask for help: break the habit of doing things alone, know that it makes people feel important to help you, and remember that no one who is successful has done it alone.
5. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Authentic. Authenticity creates trust. Your customers and investors are reassured by stark honesty and no-frills communication. Gone are the days of exaggerated marketing; people need you to be real. Being more authentic is accomplished by being more vulnerable. To be more vulnerable, practice sharing things that make you feel ashamed and embarrassed. Not only will this make you more likable but will make people trust you more!
6. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Passionate and therefore, their passion is contagious which makes their business successful. If you ever wonder if what you are doing is the right kind of work, ask yourself if you would do what you do without making money--if the answer is yes, you are truly passionate. If not, move on quickly and don't waste your time.
7. Successful Entrepreneurs Use Mental Tools to Reach their Goals They understand the power of the unconscious mind and use mental tools such as MindFocus, meditation and realistic visualization to help them achieve what they most yearn for. From Albert Einstein to Elon Musk, the most successful people do this regularly.