Thursday, July 06, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - July 6 Edition

Habits, Self-Improvement

“Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, explains the three key stages of habit-formation:
The cue: This is the trigger that initiates the behavior, which becomes the habit. It could be a time of day when you drive past the donut shop or a social-media notification that leads you to procrastination. It is the spark that leads to the routine.

The routine: The routine is the actual behavior. Duhigg gives a personal example -- at 3:30 pm each day, he'd look at the clock and get a craving for a cookie. He'd then go to the cafeteria, buy a cookie, and eat it while chatting with co-workers. That was his habitual routine.

The reward: The reward is the release of brain chemicals following your specific routine. This is what reinforces your "bad" behavior. Your brain is experiencing "happy chemicals" even though you're doing something you want to stop doing.”

Now that we have deconstructed the habit, here are two steps to break them (Click on the title above to learn how):

Free Speech, Religion

“The winning idea in Jakarta was an original YouTube series moderated by a Christian Indonesian comedian that seeks to debunk false news and online myths. Over in Manila, the winning team came up with a brilliant Facebook app that audits your posts and checks whether or not any words or phrases can be seen as bullying or inflammatory. In Bangladesh, the winning team was a group of young artists and writers who created their own digital comic book series. They love American pop culture and comics but realize they need authentic Bangladeshi heroes who are the protagonists of their own narratives. The second place team, which also received funding, is creating an online community and app to discuss mental health issues, an often taboo subject in that country.

Over in the Bay Area, the winning team came up with a platform called ACTIVATE YOUR SQUAD, which allows you to call on your social media community to drown out trolls, haters and bullies.

Another recent initiative is Minbar, a digital platform we created in house that allows up-and-coming entrepreneurs from marginalized communities to pitch their ideas and receive feedback and funding from an online community. Our first run was in Tunisia where we offered a $25,000 prize to the best idea. We used social media marketing to reach young entrepreneurs who are talented but often never given a chance or an outlet. These individuals are not the top 5 percent, don’t go to English-only schools and are often, sadly, neglected but have immense talent. We also put on a entrepreneurial boot camp, choosing 40 applicants, for a hands-on, 3-day workshop on best strategies and practices.

It was a huge hit.”

Elections, Voting

What binds us together more than our history of striving for freedom, our bond of exercising our free will for a better life, or our rights guaranteed by our constitution?

What tool do we have to protect and maintain our freedom to live as we choose? Our vote!

Medicaid, Healthcare


“Half of all births. The vast majority of nursing home care. Even some school health centers. All of these services have one thing in common: Medicaid provides for them. WNYC wanted to figure out how people in New York and New Jersey might be impacted by Medicaid cuts being proposed in Washington. So we dug into the data to produce this shareable, tweetable, embeddable graphic. We think it will surprise you.” (Click on the title to see the graphics and the data.)

Profile, Role Model

“I read Mike Massimino’s book, ‘Spaceman,’ and he talks about looking back on Earth, and you see it without any boundaries. That’s really cool,” she told me. “When you are in the States, and you maybe didn’t grow up with that perspective, and maybe your family has gone back several generations here, you maybe lost sight of what it was that made America America in the first place. Maybe I have a fresher perspective on it because my family did come over here.” Since we spoke last week, however, Moghbeli’s Facebook comment appears to have been removed.

Moghbeli wore her nasa uniform for the first time on June 7th, for the announcement of nasa’s new class. As the July 4th weekend approached, she was reflective about her adopted country. “I have family across the world,” she told me. “That just helps me remember how grateful we should be to live in this country. Yeah, it’s got flaws, just like any other country. And there are things we can improve on, that we should absolutely work on improving. But, at the end of the day, we have amazing opportunities here. And the fact that I can be a female, Iranian, in the Marine Corps, and now becoming an astronaut—it’s incredible.”

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