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It means that you regulate your daily routine and make efforts to improve current relationships. Effective management also includes attending to self-care, following a healthy lifestyle and diet, getting physical exercise, and following the treatment plan you developed with your provider. Self-management is best done in collaboration with your health care provider(s), who work with you and guide you along the way. You need to be partners in the process and participate in making decisions about treatment, interpreting and managing changes in your condition, coping with emotional reactions, implementing behavioral changes, and using medical and community resources wisely. Actively managing your illness may enable standard therapies to work better and may decrease the risk of relapse. Why do we hold many pseudoscientific beliefs? Probably the main reason is that we want to believe in them. As the noted astronomer Carl Sagan observed, pseudoscience and other weird beliefs often meet our emotional needs.43 They make us feel good; they're comforting. They may make us feel more in control of our lives. They even may give us hope that our diseases will be cured. We want simplicity in our lives, and belief in superstition, fate, the supernatural, and other pseudoscientific beliefs often provide simple explanations for life's events. Pseudoscience also has many of the trappings of science, and so we have a hard time distinguishing pseudoscience from real science. For example, Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment, where ESP research is conducted, occupies a big, modern building, with professionally appointed offices and a research library. It appears official and authoritative, and so we're more likely to accept what the organization says, even though it may say some pretty weird stuff.44 Many of us also find the topics of pseudoscience interesting and intriguing, and we all want to be entertained. It's fascinating to think that ancient astronauts created the pyramids or that someone has the power to read other people's minds. Finally, pseudoscience is everywhere in our popular culture, while skeptical treatments are harder to find. There are hundreds of books and countless TV shows on the Lost Continent of Atlantis, but it's typically not reported that plate tectonics indicates there couldn't have been a continent between Europe and America ten thousand years ago.45 Atlantis remains lost while belief in pseudoscience abounds. With such powerful desires at work, we have to be careful in how we form our beliefs. How do pseudoscientists arrive at their erroneous beliefs? Table 2 lists some of the more common faults of pseudoscientific thinking.

In general, pseudoscientists have a preconceived notion of what they want to believe. This creates a strong motivation to search for evidence that supports the belief, and to ignore evidence that falsifies the claim. Pseudoscientists typically focus on only one explanation for a phenomenon, quickly brushing aside alternative explanations. And, in their desire to support their belief, they are willing to accept flimsy, oftentimes anecdotal, evidence. Before you start thinking that these pseudoscientists are a pretty lame lot, you should realize that many of these same characteristics are evident in our everyday thinking. Like pseudoscientists, we also make these errors when shaping our beliefs. Why? We're all human, and our general cognitive characteristics follow very similar patterns. So this type of thinking isn't limited to just bizarre topics--it affects how we form beliefs and make decisions in every aspect of our lives. You'll want to figure out how they've come together to define who you have become and whether or not each one contributes to or detracts from your being who you authentically are. It is extremely important that you learn which ones are consistent with your authentic self and which ones are not. Your emotional responses to those scripts will give you some vital clues in this regard. The point is that the emotions associated with the roles we play are powerful. That will be true whether they are positive, as with my friend, or negative, such as when the role is one that has generated pain. It is important that you identify which roles create which emotions in your life. Here's how: Understand that I'm not saying that this first script you're examining, or any other script, is inherently bad or good. But every script has feelings attached and I want you to pay attention to how you feel when you are in that role. So talk long enough that you can identify those feelings and emotions that come to you. The feelings may be positive and calming or they may be anxiety- and anger-provoking. That is what I want you to note.

Whichever is your experience, the feelings are likely to be significant and I want you to identify them. Lastly, write in as much detail as possible that life script which you would write for yourself, given an unfettered choice. Do not try to please anyone or even to think about whether it is appropriate or not. Let yourself dream a bit here. What script would you choose if you could do anything you wanted? What emotion would you feel and with whom would you share it? This is, again, work that deserves your undivided attention and a willing spirit. Give this "dream script" enough of your time and energy and creativity for it to have some real meaning. (By the way: If this exercise isn't fun to write, you're doing it wrong. Start over.) By now I hope that you are exploring, in earnest, what story you want to write for yourself and what role you want to play in it. I also hope that you know how it feels inside when you have the right script in your heart. It may not be a popular script, since it may be at odds with the expectations of those around you. But it will be yours, no one else's. What you will do with this script you have written is up to you. When you look at what Hitler did to the Jews, it was done through collective diminished expectations. He set up a culture where the Jews were seen as both inferior and a threat. Collective diminished expectations were also used to enslave black people, and religions have used them to control people. In fact, they are used today in the religious world in many ways, and it's done in a way that is subtle, incremental, and largely beneath the radar. Ultimately, collective diminished expectations change the pattern of how people think and what they expect. This process unfolds gradually over a period of time so that individuals fail to realize what is happening.

Undoubtedly, some governments (such as tyrannies) deliberately exploit collective diminished expectations to expand control over their citizens. In other cases, this process may play out unconsciously. In any event, the outcome is similar: government control of the citizenry. Social roles start from infancy and do not stop until you pass away. You have social roles at school; I call them educational social roles. You have relationship roles---for example, the roles you take on with your spouse or partner. For any social relationship, there's a role. What's important about the social roles are the collective expectations that drive the results an employer wants to reach, the school wants to reach, and so on. As I've mentioned, there's nothing that counts more than what you set up in your own mind for expectations, and how you go about changing your involvement with those roles throughout the history of your life. It sets the stage everywhere you go because it affects your family, the church you attend, your employer---everything. The role of social expectations is huge because it does so much to determine how you interact with others in any situation. It goes back to the old saying "What you expect from yourself is what counts the most," because it affects others in many different ways. That's one of the basic rules of quantum expectations: there's a ripple effect of actions in relation to the universe (the butterfly effect). That's my take on social expectations and how they affect everything. In the end, take to heart the fact that what you do affects you and the universe for eons. That's the strength of expectations. Remember that, as the Fogg Behavior Model describes, any behavior requires three things: motivation, ability, and a trigger. The good news is that removing unhelpful external triggers is a simple step toward controlling unwanted distractions. When I challenged Wendy, the marketing consultant struggling to stay focused, to ask herself the critical question, it empowered her to start putting unhelpful external triggers in their place. She could begin to decide for herself which triggers led to traction instead of allowing her attention to be controlled by other people.

Viewed through the lens of this critical question, triggers can now be identified for what they rightly are: tools. If we use them properly, they can help us stay on track. If the trigger helps us do the thing we planned to do in our schedule, it's helping us gain traction. If it leads to distraction, then it isn't serving us. Hospitals are supposed to help heal the sick. How, then, do we explain the four hundred thousand Americans harmed in hospitals every year when patients are given the wrong medication? In addition to the devastating human toll, these preventable errors cost an estimated $3.5 billion in extra medical expenses. According to surgeon Martin Makary and research fellow Michael Daniel of Johns Hopkins University, "If medical error was a disease, it would rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S." While the impact of distraction is rarely as lethal as it is for those in the medical profession, interruptions clearly have an impact on our work performance for any job requiring focus. Unfortunately, interruptions are pervasive in today's workplace. The misuse of space is often a significant contributing factor. Seventy percent of American offices are arranged as open floor plans. Instead of individual workspaces separated by walls, workers today likely have a clear line of sight to their colleagues, the break room, reception, and, well, virtually everything else. Open-office floor plans were supposed to foster idea sharing and collaboration. Unfortunately, according to a 2016 metastudy of over three hundred papers, the trend has led to more distraction. Not surprisingly, these interruptions have also been shown to decrease overall employee satisfaction. Given the toll distractions can take on our cognitive capabilities, it's time we took action, just as Becky Richards did. While I'm not advocating the wearing of bright orange Do Not Interrupt vests at the office--nor am I insisting on a floor-plan overhaul--I am suggesting a solution that is explicit and effective at deterring interruptions from coworkers. Just as bright vests reduce prescription errors, a screen sign sends a signal to coworkers that you're indistractable. While the screen sign can be understood by just about anyone, I recommend discussing the purpose with your coworkers. This conversation could inspire them to do the same and can serve as an entry point to a discussion about the importance of working without distraction.