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I Don’t Watch The News And I Don’t Think You Should Either

If you’re stressed about the results of the election this article may be your best shot at enjoying the next four years far more than you currently believe you will be able to enjoy them.

I turned off my television in 1995 and increased my family and reading time. The shows back then were bringing people into my home that, if they’d been there in person, I would have asked them to leave.

I don’t watch the news because it’s all biased and designed to increase ratings rather than inform the audience.[i]

Although I don’t choose to watch TV or the news, it is difficult to avoid it entirely. Snippets I viewed while in restaurants with televisions blaring and assorted headlines had led me to believe that Trump was a war mongering racist who didn’t respect women. This was something I absolutely did not want. I won’t go into Hillary because anything I would say is moot at this point.

Then I began noticing that Twitter seemed to represent parallel universes. One universe reflected the same Trump as mainstream media and the other universe reflected him in a very different light. I am an analytical researcher. I like to understand things at a deep level so this situation not only offered a possible solution to my frustration about the election, it also intrigued me. I also understand that humans thrive when they are happy and don’t thrive when they are unhappy so I am always looking for the best possible perspective I can have about any situation I have to deal with.

The first time I watched a video of a full Trump rally I recognized snippets the mainstream media had played and they were portrayed so far out of context as to be unrecognizable. When the entire video was watched his statements took on a completely different meaning. I began being optimistically hopeful that things were not nearly as bad as I had been led to believe.

If you are part of my inner circle, or even just someone who has been in one of my longer training programs, you know the following about me:

  1. Not being racist is so important to me that (when I was single) any man I dated who showed the slightest indication of being racist was dumped immediately regardless of any good qualities he might have possessed. I do not want someone like that in my life.
  2. If a man was not nice to everyone (especially the waitress and strangers who arrived at the door at the same time he did) he never made it past a first date with me.
  3. There are people in my life I love who happen to be gay and I support them without reservation. I am also an ordained minister and happily marry gay couples.
  4. I am obviously female and while I’ve never considered myself a feminist I have never held back my desires, goals, or ambitions as the result of my gender. I have always viewed my gender as irrelevant to my professional life. In my last C-suite role before starting Happiness 1st Institute I joked with my all-male peers who all had stay-at-home wives that I also wanted a wife to fix dinner, clean house, shop, and provide taxi service to the children. As a single parent I wanted help but I managed to make it through without it.

Since starting Happiness 1st Institute in 2011 I have written numerous books and a theme that runs through most of them is that of helping the underserved using evidence-based knowledge. In other words, applying science to problems we know it solves because the research proves it works.

I spent considerable time finding links to full videos of Trump rallies and also old video’s from long before he ran for office in order to analyze for myself who the man is. What I saw shocked and angered me. It shocked me because mainstream media was doing a disservice to America by portraying an individual with a long history of not only helping Black Americans, but of being honored for his good works by people like Jesse Jackson as a racist. It angered me that the mainstream media acted with total disregard to the health and welfare of Americans when they increase stress and anxiety with their deliberate twisting of the truth.

Surviving a Trump Presidency

I have seen repeated articles asking “What do we tell our children about President Trump” from parents who are truly alarmed.

Continued on Next Page

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Jeanine Joy, Ph.D.
Jeanine Joy, Ph.D.http://www.happiness1st.com/
WORLD CHANGER, International Speaker, and Trainer – Dr. Joy stepped up to do everything she could to help humanity thrive more after she discovered that she could help to improve societal problems by empowering people to manage their mindset, develop psychological flexibility, and use their innate emotional guidance. She began studying the genesis of human thriving in 1995 and as her knowledge grew she became a thought leader and educator. The evidence-based techniques she teaches and writes about create improvements in physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Her approach has a direct, positive effect on crime, violence, relationships, racism, educational outcomes, suicide prevention, employee engagement, happiness, career success, and more. She focuses on solutions that are both affordable and scalable because she wants to help everyone have a greater opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals. As the owner of Happiness 1st Institute, a Thrive More Now Company, Jeanine speaks internationally and provides training to organizations through her empowering, practical, and usable techniques that target the root causes of human thriving. She is recognized as a bridge builder who creates bridges by translating jargon-laden research into usable information with practical examples that help individuals fulfill more of their potential.

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2 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Jeanine, I was discussing your article with a friend who questioned your academic credibility and therefore the validity of your article. My friend is and was a Clinton supporter and does have several post graduate degrees from major universities to her credit. Would you care to comment?

    • I’ve given your question a great deal of thought over the past few days, contemplating everything from flippant answers to treatises on my education and accomplishments.

      But I don’t just teach, I apply what I teach and none of the answers felt right so I waited and trusted that the right answer would come because how something feels is important.

      I’ve never asked to be judged based on my education and I’ve never indicated that my education is the result of attending an elite school. In fact, I frequently speak about being a life-long auto-didactic learner with some pride and a lot of encouragement that others do the same. I’ve written about how the view of a completed education is an oxymoron. There is literally more information produced today than one individual can learn in a lifetime and tomorrow there will be more.

      What I don’t believe is that having someone else sift through those mountains of data and telling you what you should learn and what you should ignore is the best path forward. By not doing that I’ve found information that would help a great many people that has been ignored, often for decades. Ignored not because it does not have great value to humanity, but because it isn’t a quick path to riches or renown. Or because dissemination of the cutting edge information carried professional risks related to perception.

      Following your passion and your intuition as you learn is, in my opinion, the best way to discover answers to your burning questions. Although there are people are on both sides of this argument I would encourage each individual to do what feels right to them. Have people with advanced degrees and good funding achieved some success? Yes, of course. Have people with passion and purpose achieved equal or greater successes? In many instances, yes.

      There were many highly educated people who ridiculed Ignaz Semmelweis when he suggested physicians wash their hands between patients and between handing cadavers and patients. It took an extra fifty years for hand-washing to become common practice because people ridiculed a message they didn’t understand. How many lives were lost as the result of that delay? How many children were made orphans by childbed fever because Semmelweis was ignored?

      Samuel Pierpont Langley was charged with developing the first aircraft capable of manned flight. Unlike the Wright brothers, Langley was well-funded with support from both the Smithsonian and the War Department with the equivalent of $2,579,682.59 in 2016 dollars. Langley was also highly educated while neither Orville nor Wilbur graduated from high school. History tells the rest of the story.

      I have also written about how important the support of mentors and peers are to younger generations of scientists, to the point that the phrase “science moves forward one funeral at a time” is well known and reflects a sad reality. When the mentee finds information that overturns his or her mentors published research that path forward is not encouraged because in a world where always having been right in the past is valued more than being right today, having one’s prior work overturned can kill a career. If your mentors career is dealt a death blow your own work and credentials become suspect in this world that is designed to support the system instead of doing its best for humanity.

      This morning a new realization came to me as I recalled my undergrad days at California State University, Sacramento. The first day of class was always interesting and the outcome depended on whether the professor in my classes was willing to meet the demands of the class and exclude my grades from the curve. Many professors did agree to exclude my grades from the curve when several classmates said they would drop the class if the professor did not agree to do so. In one situation when the professor refused to exclude my grades from the curve classmates attempted to bully me into dropping the class.

      How did I interpret professors being willing to exclude my grades from the curve? What I saw was that those students would receive the same diploma I would receive and maybe even the same GPA but without applying themselves to the same degree or mastering the material as well as I did. It bred in me a distrust of formal education. They didn’t want their GPA taken down because my test scores would be between 98-100. In a typical class where the high end of the curve was 93-95 that made a difference. They weren’t willing to up their game to get a high score.

      Add to that my observation of full-time students who would have roommates in the same class in an earlier time slot and simply memorize the order of the answers for the Scantron instead of bothering to learn the material. In my Business Finance class, one student explained to me that each of his roommates took one class earliest in the day and was responsible for learning the order of the answers for the others. By doing that, each of the four only had to study for one test. They weren’t interested in learning. They would also graduate with a GPA like mine and poison the well for other graduates from my University when they didn’t know what they should know once they were on the job.

      The purpose of this article is to help people feel better because we are better people when we feel better and our health is better when we feel better. Someone who is determined not to feel good cannot benefit from anything designed to make them feel better unless and until that person decides it is okay to feel better. People can’t even make their spouse or children feel better unless and until the spouse or child decides they want to feel better. I certainly can’t help anyone who is not willing to be helped. If someone is determined to be miserable there is not much anyone else can do about it. Your friend seems to be in that category and I wish her well.

      If she wants to be sure it is okay to read what I write or to use the information and requires an Ivy league degree to do that I would say her advanced degrees have not prepared her well for life because individual judgment is lacking. I could point her to the hand written note I received from Dr. Carol Quillen (President of Davidson College) which is ranked #9 in 2017’s Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges where she wrote that the world needs more people like me after she read my “Our Children” book. A book with 760 citations supporting my assertions.

      I could also point to what Dr. Stephen Aragon with a B.S. from the University of Tampa, an M.H.A. from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. from University of North Carolina, Greensboro said when I described how I arrived at many of my conclusions which I’ll paraphrase here.

      “You’ve done the Primary Research which is the hardest to get funded.” I didn’t even know the terminology but when he explained to me what it was and I later looked it up to gain more clarity it reflects exactly what I did for more than a decade after a psychiatrist (another highly-educated person) asked me the question that began my journey when he said to me, “People like you don’t put themselves through college and graduate with honors. People like you don’t have successful careers and people like you aren’t good Mothers.” Immediately before he asked me, “How’d you do it?”

      If highly educated people are the source of all answers, why did he ask me how I managed to be resilient and successful when all the experts would have bet against it? Back then I didn’t know why he didn’t know. He was the doctor. Like your friend today, I thought someone with a lot of education should have the answers. But he clearly didn’t. I didn’t know the answer when he asked me the question. Heck, I didn’t even know I was more resilient than most people but he assured me I was.

      So, while I didn’t know how or why I was resilient, I was. I decided that if I could figure out why I was resilient I could help other people. Today I know the answer and more importantly, I know how to help other people become more resilient and achieve better results in their own lives.

      The funny thing about that is that for about five years, after I understood the answers from all angles, highly-educated experts kept telling me that what I knew wouldn’t benefit homeless people, people fighting addiction, or people who were poor because they had more important things to worry about than whether they were happy. I didn’t allow their expert opinions to sway my certainty that given the opportunity to teach such a group what I know the information would be useful to them. Last year, I was given that opportunity. Once again, the experts were been wrong. What I taught them helped them. Do not take my word for it. Listen to them.

      Finally, I do recognize the value of validated research. I’ve read over 5,000 published research articles and continue reading more every week. Because I recognize the value of research, I have been looking for individuals to collaborate with me on studies of the results I am achieving. The only thing I am still lacking is funding. I have met with and found people who are at prestigious colleges and universities who are interested in studying the results of my work. I want that not because I need it to prove it to myself but because I recognize that we live in a world where it is easier to benefit a lot of people if you have research to support your work that checks certain boxes.

      I would encourage your friend to open her mind instead of rejecting things out of hand because the source is not what she expected. Or not. She is a free person, free to do what she prefers, what makes her the most comfortable. She is free to wait until my work is validated by researchers at prestigious universities or she can feel better now. The choice is hers alone.

      There are plenty of people with advanced degrees, even some employed by the Universities she puts such stock in who make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are very obvious to people who haven’t been taught to think in the box, so obvious one wonders how they could have made them.

      I put far more stock in whether something fits neatly with other available data than I do its source. The Parsimony Principle is very useful. If exceptions are required, I ask why. When no exceptions are required for the data to work with other known data my confidence that I’m on the right track increases.

      Science does not equal fact. Some of the most well-known science has been disproven. For example, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been disproven in many ways yet it is still being taught, especially in business schools. More recently, research from 1939 that was widely disseminated and incorporated into the fabric of society was disproved.

      It is the folly of most generations that they think they are too worldly, too wise, or not as backwards as the generations before that rejected advances before finally accepting them. Modern generations do the same thing. In addition to the Wright Brothers and Semmelweis, it has happened to Ho, Lister, Crick & Watson, Pasteur, and Tesla, just to name a few.

      My work is better because most of what I know is the result of continuous auto-didactic learning. Even when I was in college I learned more on my own than I did from the required coursework. My desire to understand things that interest me is insatiable and although my interests are broad, curiosity has taken my exploration deep into the subjects that I am most passionate about.

      If anyone wants to debate specifics about my work, I’m happy to engage with them but someone who wants to say “You don’t meet my narrow standards for sources of reliable information” can go back in their safe little box and remain miserable longer than is necessary. It’s their loss, not mine. I can bring a horse to water but I cannot make a horse admit it is thirsty or make a horse drink. The horse gets to decide. I can’t be happy and focus on horses that decide to cut off their nose to spite their face. I’d like to help everyone but I long ago accepted that I can only help those who are ready to be helped. I focus my time and energy where I can do the most good. I choose to be happy.

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