Do you have big dreams but don't seem to make progress toward them? Do you wonder whether you should even try to chase these dreams? Perhaps you think you are deluding yourself? Vision is the most precious of our senses. You see the splendor of a sunset, you see the smile on the face of someone you love and you see the innocence in the eyes of a child. Mother Nature has made certain that this sense is perfectly developed as we grow up. It may come as a surprise to you to hear that eyesight acuity is actually a skill we learn as we mature, and that the eyes of an infant are not fully developed. A baby begins to recognize colors at the age of about 4 months. Hand and eye co-ordination develop next and then co-ordination between eyes and body. At about 12 months of age babies begin to walk and from then on their vision continues to develop in the way that nature intended. I am writing this article based on my own experience of wearing glasses for more than 25 years. Initially, like most people, I believed there was nothing that could be done about failing eyesight. It seemed that it was just a consequence of growing old - the only thing in question being whether hair or eyes would go first. Your brain provides you with an extraordinary and unrivalled service. The availability of a sensory system for perceiving your environment and a nervous system that controls your motor apparatus, as well as an integrated consciousness that allows you to discern and decide, will sustain you for many years of existence. The world is littered with millions of manuals. There are over 700,000 on the manualsonline. And yet, in this microcosm of informational odds and ends, there is no mention of the most important device each of us possesses. The brain is a machine, in the sense that it performs a complex series of computations at the same time as decrypting in real time information coming from the numerous connected `peripheral' senses, the most complex of which is our vision. The brain's response can be likened to an algorithm, as though the mind were the software that runs on the hardware of the encephalon (the material within your skull).

The brain is not, of course, a machine in the literal sense. It is neither hardware nor software. Some call it wetware, the wetness element highlighting the biological nature of the brain machine. In this day and age, kindness and connection are especially important. An accessible and informative guide, The Kindness Advantage is a must-read for parents of all ages. Building on scientific evidence about developing aspects of kindness, such as empathy, it gives clear, practical advice to parents and suggests engaging activities and stories for children. Nothing could be more important today than increasing compassion and decreasing polarization and acrimony. I am going to give this article to my son who has a young daughter. In times of discord and polarization, kindness is a family value that can often be overlooked and underestimated. But, in truth, few parental responsibilities carry more weight--and bring more joy--than teaching children the power of flexing their own kindness muscles. This is a thoughtful guidearticle for parents, care-givers, and any adults looking to help build happiness, raise good citizens, and create harmonious communities. With empowering examples and science-based truths, Dale and Amanda share what it takes to foster kindness, empathy, compassion, and heart in our families. Parents will learn how to take on social questions and connect in a way that will improve the lives of their children and help create a more nurturing world. If your life has been especially tough, getting through these steps might take longer, and you might even need to revisit a few of them. But if you stick with it, I am completely sure that you're going to discover the best version of yourself, the version you were meant to be. Congratulations on getting to this point. You're going to love being the greatest you. As I tell my followers at the end of every single message, it all starts with you. After my parents moved us to the family farm in a different state when I was eleven, my grandparents built a house next door to our new house, following us in the move a year later to enjoy their retirement years in the countryside.

All through middle school, high school, and some college, I saw her daily after school or on weekends. We enjoyed each other's company and would spend time visiting or going to art and craft shows, museums, shopping, baking, or cooking together. We were close, not only as kin, but as friends. We live in a world where doing certain things will get you positive results, while doing others will not. This is the law of cause and effect. Therefore, one of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to create an accurate model of reality. In other words, you need to develop the ability to understand how reality works to help you act in a way that is more likely to produce the results you want. Unfortunately, this isn't as simple as it may appear. This is especially true in today's world where the influx of information we receive can be overwhelming. But developing an accurate model of reality is vital. People who are serious about achieving their goals continuously seek to develop a better model of reality. These individuals are obsessed with finding out what works while, at the same time, letting go of what doesn't. On the other hand, mediocre or unsuccessful people tend to rely on flawed models of reality. At the time, 1991, my eyesight measured 5. That means it was necessary for me to wear glasses for most things, including reading. In fact I needed two pairs of glasses, one for reading and another for distance. A friend of mine had been working on improving his eyesight, but he had been trying for three years and was still wearing glasses. Long-term projects do not appeal to me. I like to feel that I am making progress in 20 minutes or less, otherwise I am not interested. I don't expect to have 20/20 vision after just one exercise, but I do want to sense that I am progressing and not just imagining that something is happening.

So the approach I teach works fast. In 1990 I became interested in something called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). A seminal article in that field is Trance-formations, by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. It is the most wonderful - and mysterious - fruit of evolution. Wonderful because there is nothing in the entire universe that matches its complexity. It is made up of the very elements of the periodic table that form the stars, patiently arranged in such a way as to produce thought, speech and action, not to mention history, philosophy, music and science. Mysterious precisely because science - an invention of the brain itself - is aware of its woefully inadequate grasp on its inventor. In fact, it is aware that it knows next to nothing. Not only do we not know exactly how the brain works but a consensus hasn't even been reached on what it actually is. The brain's most amazing characteristic, consciousness (on which there is still no consensus, either), is a cerebral property that has sparked off centuries of furious debates - and not just among theologians and philosophers. There is no unanimity among scientists, for example, on the frequent loss of consciousness we call sleep: there are over 20 different theories to date on why the brain needs to fall asleep (while still carrying on working). As a matter of fact, we don't even have a consensus on the nature of sleep disorders or some of their unpleasant consequences, such as depression. We could go on listing our ignorance ad infinitum. Highly recommended! As a physician who uses mindfulness practices extensively in working with patients, health care professionals, and people dealing with all varieties of stress, I love that this article incorporates those practices into a guide for parents who are teaching their children to be kind. The authors wisely lead with the evidence that kindness leads to greater happiness, meaning, and wellbeing, and then provide a myriad of inspirational examples and ideas for children and parents. Grandparents, who are often crucial inspirational figures in children's lives, may particularly benefit from ideas for intergenerational collaborations in kindness. Just like we see in kids who have the empathy advantage, children who are raised with the kindness advantage are happier, connected, compassionate, and will have what they need to become change-makers in their world. The Kindness Advantage offers parents the tools to teach these skills and more to their young children. With the extensive examples of activities provided in the The Kindness Advantage, parents can pick and choose what resonates with them to create a personalized approach to bringing kindness into their everyday lives.

The Kindness Advantage is the ray of hope that we all need in this harsh, heavy, world. It is a blueprint of how to partner with the next generation to live our inherent values, to tap our organic ability to love, and to create a kinder culture. Many thanks to Dale Atkins and Amanda Salzhauer for bringing this much-needed gift to the world! Not to idealize the woman, she was flawed as every one of us is. She was private and scarcely talked about her first marriage, which resulted in a son (and is speculated to have been abusive and forced due to the morals of the time), or her strict religious upbringing, only sharing a few stories about her childhood. None of that mattered, though. Grandma was warm, soft, and kind. She saw me in this life as no one else has. The love was endless. When I was young and stayed over at her house (which I often did), she would pamper me with bubble baths and go as far as to heat the bed and warm the towels. She would wash my long dark hair in the utility room sink, layering a bed of towels on top of the washer/dryer so I could comfortably lie on them. I would shadow her in the kitchen, in the garden, doing yard work, or cleaning the house. Never will scrubbing the sink or washing windows be as fun as it was with her. Because they fail to grasp how reality works, they are unable to create an effective blueprint to achieve their goals. This leads them to try all sorts of things and, when none of the gimmicks or tactics they use work, they end up feeling discouraged. Throughout this article, we will discover that the better you understand reality, the better armed you will be to take the actions needed to achieve the results you want. As you learn to build more effective models of reality, you will be able to skyrocket results in all areas of your life. Letting go of inaccurate thinking, you'll discover the common errors in thinking people make, and learn how to think more accurately. Furthermore, as you develop more accurate thinking, you'll be able to take effective action which, in turn, will help you achieve tangible results. Aligning yourself with reality, we'll discuss the importance of being in alignment with reality and see how you can move toward this position.