I have been riding motorcycles for many years now. And in addition to it being an amazing activity (I understand I am biased), riding motorcycles has been very informative in terms of how to approach fear in my general life. But before I get into that, I have to give a little informational background on how motorcycles work.
As you know, motorcycles are two-wheeled motorized vehicles, which means that they are influenced by gyroscopic forces that help the motorcycle stay upright when it is traveling forward (above 5 miles an hour). Now the forward momentum (and gyroscopic forces) of the motorcycle maintains its balance and direction. In order to change directions while moving (steering), the motorcycle has to be tipped over in a controlled fashion. The way you tip over a motorcycle in motion is to turn the front wheel in the opposite direction that you want to go. Turning the front wheel to the left will start to tip the motorcycle over to the right, and hence change directions to the right. Continue reading »
A major factor in the way we feel about (and get along with) other people we encounter is how we explain their behavior. The way in which we explain a particular behavior (our own or someone else’s) is called an attribution. We constantly try to explain why things happen around us. We are hardwired to fill in the blanks in the world so that things make sense to us. We observe what someone does, but we don’t know why he/she did it. This bothers our brains. Our brains want explanations, they want the blanks filled in, they want to be able to feel comfortable explaining why things happen so that they can identify patterns and predict things in the future. Feeling like we can predict things makes us feel better (even if we are completely wrong). We do this all day long, every day. And since we do this so much, in order to do this as quickly as possible, our brains take shortcuts. Given the complexity of trying to explain behavior, shortcuts are not the most accurate way to go about it. But unfortunately, we want it done quickly more than we want it done correctly. So often times these shortcuts become erroneous habits, or biases (aka an attribution bias). Continue reading »
This is my third blog post on the subject of alcohol/drug rehabs. I pointed out in the first that with few exceptions insurance no longer covers rehab (meaning the month-long version that most people think of), though they may cover detox (a few days) followed by a day program (sometimes with optional self-pay lodging). Rehabs (like some of the best known and most reliable ones, such as Hazelden and Caron) cost well over $30,000 or $40,000. I have also cautioned about sorting out fact from hype when reading impressive claims about success rates when you attempt to choose among the many, many rehabs with glossy brochures and web sites (most of them outside Massachusetts). Continue reading »