At my first Beyond IQ, one of the other adults commented to me, that when you put a group of socially-awkward gifted kids in a room together, they will socialize and play, with few signs of awkwardness. That struck a cord with me, because I remember my own difficulties integrating into my school playground. It seemed like most of the other kids formed social groups and played well together effortlessly. Not without friction or conflict, but the basic process seemed organic. For me it wasn’t — I felt like socially, I had two left feet. Some kids played soccer… I didn’t know the rules, and I didn’t like to run, but I knew that the game was missing one thing that I always saw in adult sporting events: a commentator! You can imagine how things went, when I tried to join the game in that capacity. Not well. I remember pacing the perimeter of the playground, hoping to be “beamed up” to a starship, or someplace that made more sense. While other kids played, I had to learn how to play… [Read more…] about Learning to Play at Nerd Camp
This article is intended to be the core of Procrastination 2.0 presentation on hacking productivity shortcuts for your brain. It largely consists of what we learned or (re-learned) in the first year of running solo-practices.
Our brains are capable of burning tremendous amounts of energy to force through things that are difficult, but once we learn how to do something a particular way, it becomes much easier and faster for the brain to follow that path again. This is true for physical skills like riding a bicycle, but also for the mental discipline needed to focus and be productive.
What follows are a few structures that are conceptually relatively easy to set up in your life to help get things done (but take time and practice to get used to). The point is not to put out a Herculean effort, but to adjust your environment in a way that makes it easier for your brain to learn when it needs to be in productivity or creativity mode.
In a few years as a criminal defense attorney, I’ve represented hundreds of people in various stages of crisis and recovery. Over that time, I’ve worked with dozens of families to help them figure out the boundaries between being supportive and enabling. While some of this is specific to people recovering from addictions, much of it applies to anybody who is having a difficult time, whether they are working through post traumatic stress, depression, addiction, or any other mental illness. What all of these things have in common is that a person develops behaviors to cope with a bad situation that become problematic when the person returns to a healthy environment (or gets into a healthy environment for the first time.)
Guest post by Caroline Trellis. See About the Author below.
What Situational Depression Is
My teenage nephew told me that situational depression is when there’s a situation, and you’re depressed about it. That pretty much sums it up.
There’s a situation. Some examples:
- You are having problems in school.
- You’re being bullied or teased.
- You have a teacher who seems to be out to get you.
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you.
- Or the only person you are interested in doesn’t even know you exist.
- Your parents are fighting a lot. Or they are breaking up.
- A close family member is dying.
- You are gay and you can’t tell anyone.
- You think you might be gay, and you don’t have anyone to talk to about it.
- You moved to a new place and don’t know anyone.
- You lost your job and can’t find another one.
And you’re depressed about it. Some things you might feel:
- Hopeless and helpless
- Like nothing is enjoyable
You might be anxious – a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness. The feelings may be generalized and unfocused. You may feel apprehension, or agony, dread, even terror. Also angry, filled with rage. You may be angry with others or with yourself.
You may have these or other physical feelings:
- Muscular tension
- Tense or jumpy
- Trouble sleeping
Your fatigue and restlessness may be mental. You may have trouble concentrating.
You may do these things, or act in these ways:
- You may avoid your family or friends.
- You may do destructive or self-destructive things, such as cutting.
- You may fight with others.
- You may ignore important tasks like work or homework, or skip school or work.
- You may start using drugs or alcohol or tobacco, or increase the amount.
- You may pace.
- You may ruminate, that is, go over the same things in your mind, over and over again.
Some things to know:
- Your feelings and behaviors are all normal for someone like you, in your situation. You are not strange or weird or sick.
- That doesn’t mean that it is okay to act in these ways, because they are harmful to you and possibly to others.
- It doesn’t mean that it is okay to feel this way. These feelings are unpleasant and uncomfortable, to say the least, and you don’t want to keep feeling them.
- You don’t have to add to your distress by believing negative things about yourself. You are a normal person in a difficult situation. [Read more…] about Identifying & Managing Situational Depression
Or: You’re not “bad at math.”
There’s a dirty little secret about learning math that most of us never heard in school: it’s supposed to be hard. And that’s okay. And you can still learn math, even though it’s hard.
I didn’t always know this. In fact, I only learned it recently. When I was in school, I decided early on that I was bad at math. All of my other grades were good, and my classes were easy. Except math. Math just didn’t stick. It was embarrassing. I was sure that I was bad at math, and that if anybody found out, they would stop thinking I was smart. [Read more…] about Math is Supposed to be Hard