Because it's our world too

Posts by Daniel Millsap

Embrace Life. Face Fear. Court Uncomfortable Situations.

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Health | 0 comments

Embrace life. Face Fear. Court Uncomfortable Situations

Pain and Pleasure

I must admit that I prefer pleasure to pain, fun times to boring ones, and friends to foes. In my constant attempt to control my emotional state based on these preferences I found myself grasping for and trying my best to hold on to those “good” feelings and when situations in my life arose which I interpreted as not feeling “good” I grew frustrated and withdrawn.

Attempt to Control

It was a scary feeling to experience a perceived lack of control over my internal state, or mood. This created many problems in my life. I became hypersensitive to stimuli that I perceived as contributing to or taking away from my happy place. In allowing myself to go down this path I was giving up control in my life to the external environment. If I could not control the world then at least I could control my immediate environment. I could choose to stay inside my house rather than venture outside into the unknown. I was hiding, and it felt shitty. I longed for human contact and reminisced about times past and old friends. Why couldn’t the world be like that again?

Death Therapy

Then I realized that I would be dead someday. I saw myself laying in a coffin, a peaceful look on my face, and it came to me that with all the perceived uncertainty that I was hiding from there remained and will always remain that one certain event. There will come a time when I will no longer have a choice of whether or not to venture out into the big unknown world and try this or try that. And this feeling is liberating. Things, which once seemed very scary, now appear funny and inconsequential. The knowledge of impermanence in this life is comforting.

Success!

I admire successful people because they are tenacious. They are uninhibited by failure because they know that immediate consequences are not necessarily correlated with future consequences. I may be turned down today. I might be rejected, I might be ridiculed and laughed at, but so were many others who were on to something special.

Resolution

I hereby declare that I am not afraid of the world. I am not afraid of the unknown, because I know that I will and must die, and this realization has set me free from the fear of pain. I would rather try and fail a million times than approach my dying breath lamenting time lost and chances wasted.

Embrace life. Face fear. Court uncomfortable situations.

Daniel Millsap

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The Art Of Living

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Spirit | 0 comments

The Art Of Living

“The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one’s aim is to die a dog’s death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one’s aim.

We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one’s aim is a dog’s death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.”

-Hagakure

As you sit in your deathbed and gaze softly upwards, what thoughts will comfort you? Will you sigh a happy sigh as you dissolve into nothingness or will a longing sense of chances lost steal into your last moment, as you try to put your foot into the door that is closing before you.

Live your days with consciousness and purpose. Embrace death. Let it comfort you with its certainty. Allow it to counsel you in your daily decisions.

How trivial the risk seems when the end remains the same!

As I wake I should ask myself what choices shall I make today so that someday I can smile as I close my eyes and sigh the happy sigh of a life well-lived.

Daniel Millsap

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Frame It For Yourself

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 in Social Intelligence | 0 comments

Frame It For Yourself

The way a question is posed can affect the answer given in response.

We recently replaced our broken printer, and I was in charge of getting the thing to work. I noticed a funny thing in the process, and would like to share with you my encounter with the Framing Effect.

Change The Frame, Change The Response

If you have ever installed a new device or new software for your computer, then you are probably familiar with the screen asking you to register your device, but who wants to go out of their way to find a company’s website and enter in all their personal information along with the device serial number when the expectation is that the information will just be used to send another 20 pounds of junk in the mail?

HP had a different solution. Instead of framing the question like this: “Would you like to take the time to visit our website, enter in your name and address along with the serial number of the printer you just purchased?” They framed it like this instead: “Click here to see what free rewards you may qualify for. *Device serial number will be automatically sent.”

You see, the question is the same in substance but when registration is no longer a chore but rather a chance to win something for free, people are more likely to not only go and register their device, but to do it in a damn hurry.

Can You See The Frame?

The next time you are asked a question, think about whether the question was worded the way it was for a specific reason. Have you ever seen a poll done on a major television channel with only two answer choices, neither of which you agree with? Do you think that, by giving such polls and reporting results, popular opinion can be misrepresented or even influenced?

Don’t Like The Frame? Then Change It

When you are asked a question, think about WHY the question was asked in the first place, and think about HOW the question was asked. Were you only given two choices, neither of which you agree with? If the question was fill-in-the blank, what answer would you give?

Assume that the person asking the question has very specific reasons for choosing the words to the question. Can you think of a reason WHY it was worded that way? What does the question-poser stand to gain? Better ratings? Support for legislation? Getting you to do something that you normally would not have done otherwise?

Act Now

It’s time to think for ourselves. The time is now. No one is going to take care of us. No one is going to do the thinking for us in a way that is in our best interest and not theirs. Are you ready to change?

Start Here

Daniel Millsap

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The Value of Trying

Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 in Health, Spirit | 0 comments

The Value of Trying

If you try, you may fail, but at least you give yourself a chance to succeed.

How often to we talk ourselves out of pursuing our goals before we even try to take the first step towards fulfilling those goals? What purpose does it serve to convince ourselves that it is better to not try at all and be sure of our chance of success when, by trying, the chance of success is unknown but the outcome is at least potentially positive?

Is it a Brain Thing?

What part of the brain assesses and values risk and reward, pain and pleasure, and what would cause someone to always overestimate the probability of failure and to undervalue the reward of success?
All I had to do was pick up the phone, dial a number, and ask a simple question. Sure, I could have dialed the wrong number or I could have received “no” for an answer but why should these mere possibilities have stopped me from at least trying? Was a 100% chance of not being told “no” more valuable than a 30% chance of getting to ride along in a Life Flight helicopter?

The importance of trying

I could have easily have put down the phone and picked up some magazine to read while I waited, but something in the back of my head called out and reminded me that I had always wanted to ride along with Life Flight. Rather than dismiss the thought as being boy’s dream, I picked up the phone and did what any successful person must do. I just did it.

and so should you.

Daniel Millsap | Life Flight Ride Along Houston Texas 2010

Watch on Youtube

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Daniel Millsap

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Gamifying The Classroom – Using Gamification to improve learning

Posted by on Dec 9, 2011 in Education | 0 comments

Daniel Millsap | Gamification in the Classroom

Don't let the monster eat you!

Gamifying the classroom – using gamification to improve learning in the classroom

In 2004, I went to Beijing China to teach 1st grade English at YuYing Primary School. As a new teacher, I was thankful for my ability to adapt because nothing stayed the same for very long. Depending on the time of day or any one of a number of other variables, ensuring a smooth-running lesson required constant tweaking of the lesson plan in motion. Besides, I loved my kids and wanted them to have fun while learning.

One day, I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I could use a little friendly competition to get things going and so, using materials already found in the classroom, I devised a method of teaching so that students disciplined themselves while maintaining a high level of motivation to learn. Using a combination of story telling and classroom props, here is what I did.

Download the PDF

For those of you unable to see the PDF on screen, download it directly from Scribd.com

Gamifying The Classroom – Using Gamification to improve learning by Daniel Millsap

Results

After a year of hard work by my students and myself, I am happy to say that the results were spectacular. Watch Yuanna and Peter have a dialogue using the material they learned throughout the school year.

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Daniel Millsap

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