Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

Psychological stress activates the fear center in the brain, setting into motion a cascade of reactions that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

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Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

You’re probably familiar with these major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity. And chances are your doctor has checked you more than once for these risks and, I would hope, offered advice or treatment to help ward off a heart attack or stroke.

But has your doctor also asked about the level of stress in your life? Chronic psychological stress, recent studies indicate, may be as important — and possibly more important — to the health of your heart than the traditional cardiac risk factors. In fact, in people with less-than-healthy hearts, mental stress trumps physical stress as a potential precipitant of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, according to the latest report.

The new study, published in November in JAMA, assessed the fates of 918 patients known to have underlying, but stable, heart disease to see how their bodies reacted to physical and mental stress. The participants underwent standardized physical and mental stress tests to see if their hearts developed myocardial ischemia — a significantly reduced blood flow to the muscles of the heart, which can be a trigger for cardiovascular events — during either or both forms of stress. Then the researchers followed them for four to nine years.

Among the study participants who experienced ischemia during one or both tests, this adverse reaction to mental stress took a significantly greater toll on the hearts and lives of the patients than did physical stress. They were more likely to suffer a nonfatal heart attack or die of cardiovascular disease in the years that followed.

I wish I had known that in 1982, when my father had a heart attack that nearly killed him. Upon leaving the hospital, he was warned about overdoing physical stresses, like not lifting anything heavier than 30 pounds. But he was never cautioned about undue emotional stress or the risks of overreacting to frustrating circumstances, like when the driver ahead of him drove too slowly in a no-passing zone.

The new findings underscore the results of an earlier study that evaluated the relationship between risk factors and heart disease in 24,767 patients from 52 countries. It found that patients who experienced a high level of psychological stress during the year before they entered the study were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack during an average follow-up of five years, even when traditional risk factors were taken into account.

The study, known as Interheart, showed that psychological stress is an independent risk factor for heart attacks, similar in heart-damaging effects to the more commonly measured cardiovascular risks, explained Dr. Michael T. Osborne, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But what about the effects of stress on people whose hearts are still healthy? Psychological stress comes in many forms. It can occur acutely, caused by incidents like the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the destruction of one’s home in a natural disaster. A recent study in Scandinavia found that in the week following a child’s death, the parents’ risk of a heart attack was more than three times the expected rate. Emotional stress can also be chronic, resulting, for example, from ongoing economic insecurity, living in a high-crime area or experiencing unrelenting depression or anxiety. Bereaved parents in the Scandinavian study continued to experience an elevated cardiac risk years later.

How stress damages the heart

Dr. Osborne participated with a team of experts led by Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, also at Massachusetts General, in an analysis of how the body reacts to psychological stress. He said the accumulated evidence of how the brain and body respond to chronic psychological stress strongly suggested that modern medicine has been neglecting a critically important hazard to heart health.

It all starts in the brain’s fear center, the amygdala, which reacts to stress by activating the so-called fight-or-flight response, triggering the release of hormones that over time can increase levels of body fat, blood pressure and insulin resistance. Furthermore, as the team explained, the cascade of reactions to stress causes inflammation in the arteries, fosters blood clotting and impairs the function of blood vessels, all of which promote atherosclerosis, the arterial disease that underlies most heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Tawakol’s team explained that advanced neuroimaging made it possible to directly measure the impact of stress on various body tissues, including the brain. A prior study of 293 people initially free of cardiovascular disease who underwent full-body scans that included brain activity had a telling result. Five years later, individuals found to have high activity in the amygdala were shown to have higher levels of inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Translation: Those with an elevated level of emotional stress developed biological evidence of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, Dr. Osborne said, “people who are not tightly wired” are less likely to experience the ill heart effects of stress.

The researchers are now investigating the impact of a stress-reducing program called SMART-3RP (it stands for Stress Management and Resiliency Training-Relaxation Response Resiliency Program) on the brain as well as biological factors that promote atherosclerosis. The program is designed to help people reduce stress and build resilience through mind-body techniques like mindfulness-based meditation, yoga and tai chi. Such measures activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the brain and body.

Defusing stress and its effects

Even without a formal program, Dr. Osborne said individuals could minimize their body’s heart-damaging reactions to stress. One of the best ways is through habitual physical exercise, which can help to tamp down stress and the body-wide inflammation it can cause.

Given that poor sleep increases stress and promotes arterial inflammation, developing good sleep habits can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular damage. Adopt a consistent pattern of bedtime and awakening, and avoid exposure at bedtime to screens that emit blue light, like smartphones and computers, or use blue-light filters for such devices.

Practice relaxing measures like mindfulness meditation, calming techniques that slow breathing, yoga and tai chi.

Several common medications can also help, Dr. Osborne said. Statins not only reduce cholesterol, they also counter arterial inflammation, resulting in a greater cardiovascular benefit than from their cholesterol-lowering effects alone. Antidepressants, including the anesthetic ketamine, may also help to minimize excessive amygdalar activity and ease stress in people with depression.

Most of us eat more when we exercise, and though it may be just a few extra bites a day, the result is weight gain.

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Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

People hoping to lose weight with exercise often wind up being their own worst enemies, according to the latest, large-scale study of workouts, weight loss and their frustrating interaction. The study, which carefully tracked how much people ate and moved after starting to exercise, found that many of them failed to lose or even gained weight while exercising, because they also reflexively changed their lives in other, subtle ways. But a few people in the study did drop pounds, and their success could have lessons for the rest of us.

In a just and cogent universe, of course, exercise would make us thin. Physical activity consumes calories, and if we burn calories without replacing them or reducing our overall energy expenditure, we enter negative energy balance. In that condition, we utilize our internal energy stores, which most of us would call our flab, and shed weight.

But human metabolisms are not always just and cogent, and multiple past studies have shown that most men and women who begin new exercise routines drop only about 30 percent or 40 percent as much weight as would be expected, given how many additional calories they are expending with exercise.

Why exercise underwhelms for weight reduction remains an open question, though. Scientists studying the issue agree that most of us compensate for the calories lost to exercise by eating more, moving less, or both. Our resting metabolic rates may also decline if we start to lose pounds. All of this shifts us back toward positive energy balance, otherwise known as weight gain.

It has not been clear, however, whether we tend primarily to overeat or under-move as compensation, and the issue matters. To avoid compensating, we need to know how we are doing it.

So, for the new study, which was published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and other institutions decided to exhort a large group of inactive people into exercising and closely track how their waistlines and daily habits changed.

They began by recruiting 171 sedentary, overweight men and women ages 18 to 65, measured their weight, resting metabolic rates, typical levels of hunger, aerobic fitness and, using complex, liquid energy tracers, daily food intake and energy expenditure. With standardized psychological questionnaires, they also explored whether the volunteers felt that virtuous, healthy actions now justified less-desirable ones later.

They then randomly assigned some to continue their normal lives as a control, while others began supervised exercise programs. In one, people exercised three times a week on treadmills or exercise bikes until they had burned eight calories for every kilogram of their body weight, or about 700 calories a week for most of them. The other program upped the exercise to 20 calories for every kilogram of body weight, or about 1,760 calories a week.

Both routines lasted for six months. Throughout, the volunteers wore activity monitors, and the researchers periodically checked their metabolic rates, energy intake and fitness. The volunteers could eat as they chose.

Afterward, everyone returned to the lab for comprehensive remeasurements. As expected, the control group’s numbers, including their weights and resting metabolic rates, had not budged. But neither had those of most of the exercisers. A few had dropped pounds, but about two-thirds of those in the shorter-workout group and 90 percent of those in the longer-workout group had lost less weight than would have been expected.

They had compensated for their extra calorie burn.

But not by moving less, the scientists found. Almost everyone’s activity-monitor readouts had remained steady. Instead, the exercisers were eating more, other measurements and calculations showed. The extra calories were slight — about 90 additional calories each day for the some-exercise group, and 125 a day for the most-exercise set. But this noshing was sufficient to undercut weight loss.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that those exercisers who had compensated the most and lost the least weight tended to be those who had reported at the start that they thought some good health habits gave people license for other, insalubrious ones.

“In effect, they felt that it’s O.K. to trade behaviors,” says Timothy Church, an adjunct professor at Pennington who led the new study. “It’s the ‘if I jog now, I deserve that doughnut’ idea.”

In consequence, they lost little if any weight with exercise.

But the study produced other, more encouraging data, he says. For one thing, almost everyone’s resting metabolic rates remained unchanged; slowed metabolisms would encourage pounds to creep back. And those few exercisers who avoided an extra cookie or handful of crackers did lose weight.

“There was only a small difference, over all,” between those who compensated and those who did not, Dr. Church says. “We’re talking about barely 100 calories. That’s about four bites of most food.”

So, people hoping to lose weight with exercise should pay close attention to what they eat, he says, and skip those last four bites, no matter how tempting.

Sure, cigarettes can harm anybody, men and women alike.But some of smoking’s ill effects, from ectopic pregnancy to premature menopause, are reserved for women only. This November 19 is the American Cancer Society’s 22nd Great American Smokeout. If you haven’t decided togive up smoking yet, here are some compelling reasons to quit now.

Smoking Increases Your Risk of Cervical and Rectal Cancer

Not only can smoking cause a variety of cancers in both men and women,it puts women at higher risk of cervical cancer, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). A Danish study publishedin the April 21, 1999 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer finds that premenopausal women who smoke are six times more likely to developrectal cancer than those who don’t.

Smoking Worsens Your Period

According to the ACOG, women who smoke experience more severe premenstrual symptoms and have a 50 percent increase in cramps lasting two or more days.

Smoking Damages Your Fertility

Smoking affects practically every phase of conception, according to VickiSeltzer, M.D., vice president for women’s health services at North Shore-LongIsland Jewish Health System in New York. “Smokers have a greater risk ofnot ovulating, and it is also less likely that a fertilized egg will implantin the uterus. Smokers who receive in vitro fertilization are less likelyto be successful.” Seltzer also notes that nicotine interferes with thefunction of the fallopian tube and can hinder an egg from traveling normallyto the uterus, which can lead to an ectopic or tubal pregnancy — potentiallylife-threatening conditions.

Smoking Hurts Your Unborn Baby

“When you smoke during pregnancy, you poison the fetus,” says Benjamin Sachs, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School. “Carbon monoxide has a greater affinity for fetal tissue than for adult tissue, and when nicotine crosses the placenta it speeds up the [baby’s] heart rate.”

According to the ACOG, smoking increases a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarrying by 39 percent and heightens the chances of other serious complications, including placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterine wall), placenta previa (when the placenta covers the opening of the uterus) and stillbirth.

Many studies have pointed to maternal smoking as the most preventable cause of low birth weight. The breast milk of smokers can carry nicotine to a suckling baby. And a 1995 report in the Journal of Pediatrics found that infants exposed to tobacco smoke are nearly three times more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking Ages You

You’ve probably noticed that smokers develop wrinkles earlier than nonsmokers. What often goes unnoticed is that smoking hastens menopause by one to two years. “Nicotine interferes with the blood supply to the ovary, and if you decrease blood supply to any organ, you decrease its function,” says Sandra Carson, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, which “could explain why smoking brings on earlier menopause,” Carson says. Cigarettes can lead to early osteoporosis, too, adds Carson: many studies have shown smoking significantly reduces bone mineral density.

Cigarettes Go to Your Heart

A woman who smokes is two to six times more likely to have a heart attack than one who doesn’t, according to the National Institutes of Health. One to four cigarettes a day is enough to double your risk of heart disease, says the ACOG. And a Finnish study published in the July 1998 British Medical Journal found that female smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack after age 65 as male smokers. Researchers believe estrogen — which smoking apparently inhibits — helps protect women against heart disease.

And remember that your behavior sets an example for your daughter or any girl in your life. “The rate of high school girls who are smoking is now on par with that of boys,” says Wanda Jones, a spokeswoman for the National Women’s Health Information Center. “This is not the kind of equality for women our mothers and grandmothers envisioned.”

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Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

intelligence, in military science, information concerning an enemy or an area. The term is also used for an agency that gathers such information.

Military intelligence is as old as warfare itself. Even in biblical times, Moses sent spies to live with the Canaanites in order to learn about their ways and about their strengths and weaknesses. In the American Revolution George Washington relied heavily on information that was provided by an intelligence net based in New York City, and in World War II the results of a lack of good intelligence were realized in the destruction of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Today, nations have at their disposal information collection and processing systems that permit gathering and producing intelligence more rapidly and more accurately than ever before. Satellites, ultramodern aircraft, electronic systems, human sources, cameras, imaging and electronic devices, and a host of other systems permit the amassing of information on a scale that was unheard of in the past.

Levels of intelligence

Intelligence is conducted at two levels, strategic and tactical. Strategic intelligence is information that is needed to formulate policy and military plans at the international and national policy levels. Tactical intelligence is intended primarily to respond to the needs of military field commanders so they can plan for and, if necessary, conduct combat operations. Essentially, tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence differ only in scope, point of view, and level of employment.

Whether tactical or strategic, military intelligence attempts to respond to or satisfy the needs of the operational leader, the person who has to act or react to a given set of circumstances. The process begins when the commander determines what information is needed to act responsibly. Several terms are used when discussing these requirements. On the national level they are usually called the essential elements of information and are defined as those items of intelligence information about a foreign power, armed force, target, or physical environment that are absolutely vital for timely and accurate decision making. On the tactical level intelligence needs are defined in a similar manner; often called information requirements, they are those items of information concerning the enemy and his environment that must be collected and processed in order to meet the intelligence needs of the military commander.

Sources of intelligence

It is critical for the intelligence analyst to know the source of information. Depending on the nature of a problem, certain sources are of great value and are therefore considered of high quality, while other sources, although contributing to the production of intelligence, are supportive rather than critical in nature.

Following are the major sources of intelligence.


This is information derived from analyzing acoustic waves that are radiated either intentionally or unintentionally. In naval intelligence, underwater acoustic waves from surface ships and submarines are detected by sonar arrays. These sensors are extremely accurate and are a major source of information on submarines in the world’s oceans.


This is information gleaned from analyzing all types of imagery, including photography as well as infrared and ultraviolet imagery. The examination of imagery, called imagery interpretation, is the process of locating, recognizing, identifying, and describing objects, activities, and terrain that appear on imagery.

Imagery collected by satellites and high-altitude aircraft is one of the most important sources of intelligence. It not only provides information for a huge number of intelligence categories (such as order of battle, military operations, scientific and technical developments, and economics), but it is indispensable for successfully monitoring compliance with arms-limitation treaties. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 allowed the United States to periodically request that the Soviet Union open certain intercontinental ballistic missile sites so that U.S. satellites (referred to as “national technical means”) could verify that the sites did not house intermediate-range missiles banned by the treaty.

Tactical infrared imaging devices can often identify camouflaged tanks and armour because the materials used to cover them—trees, branches, and leaves—often register different infrared signatures than does the surrounding foliage. Infrared satellites can register heat through clouds, producing imagery on enemy forces, equipment, and movements.


Gained from intercepting, processing, and analyzing foreign electrical communications and other signals, signals intelligence (often called SIGINT) comprises three elements: communications, electronics, and telemetry.

Communications intelligence is gleaned from foreign communications that are intercepted by other than the intended recipients. Such intelligence can be of the greatest value to a nation’s fighting forces because it allows them to be privy to the strategies, weaknesses, and attitudes of the enemy. For example, before and during World War II, the U.S. Navy’s breaking of the Japanese PURPLE code allowed the United States to know of Japanese moves in advance. It even provided warning of the attack on Pearl Harbor, although this intelligence was not sent to Hawaii quickly enough to prevent the debacle.

Electronics intelligence (also called ELINT) is technical and intelligence information obtained from foreign electromagnetic emissions that are not radiated by communications equipment or by nuclear detonations and radioactive sources. By analyzing the electronic emissions from a given weapon or electronic system, an intelligence analyst can very often determine the purpose of the device.

Telemetry intelligence is technical information that is derived from intercepting, processing, and analyzing foreign telemetry data. For example, by intercepting the telemetry signals emitted during foreign ballistic missile tests, an intelligence agency can calculate the range, accuracy, and number of warheads of the weapon.


This source of intelligence does not include energy emanating from nuclear detonations or radioactive sources. Rather, it concerns unintentional emissions of energy from electronic systems (while ELINT is based on intentional radiations from the same systems). Inadequate shielding of electronic systems, or the following of incorrect procedures, may result in inadvertent energy emissions, which, when analyzed, may reveal a great deal about a system’s purpose or capabilities.

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War on Poverty, expansive social welfare legislation introduced in the 1960s by the administration of U.S. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson and intended to help end poverty in the United States. It was part of a larger legislative reform program, known as the Great Society, that Johnson hoped would make the United States a more equitable and just country. The War on Poverty and its associated reforms became a lightning rod for conservative criticism as well as an idealistic touchstone for liberals for generations.

Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty” in his first State of the Union address, in January 1964. He considered the depth and extent of poverty in the country (nearly 20 percent of Americans at the time were poor) to be a national disgrace that merited a national response. Furthermore, he identified the cause of poverty not as the personal moral failings of the poor but as a societal failure: “The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.” The speech was historic in its idealistic call for the creation of a more-just society. Johnson concluded it by saying:

On similar occasions in the past we have often been called upon to wage war against foreign enemies which threatened our freedom. Today we are asked to declare war on a domestic enemy which threatens the strength of our nation and the welfare of our people. If we now move forward against this enemy—if we can bring to the challenges of peace the same determination and strength which has brought us victory in war—then this day and this Congress will have won a secure and honorable place in the history of the nation and the enduring gratitude of generations of Americans yet to come.

The rhetoric of the War on Poverty quickly found its way into law and the creation of new federal programs and agencies. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and became law in August 1964. The act created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which provided funds for vocational training, created Job Corps to train youths in conservation camps and urban centres, and established VISTA ( Volunteers in Service to America), a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps, and Head Start, an early-education program for children of poor families, among other programs.

From the outset, Johnson encountered resistance to the War on Poverty from almost all quarters: from the South on issues of race, from conservatives who thought that federal money should not be used to help the poor, and from liberals who thought that the reforms did not go far enough. The War on Poverty was ultimately limited in its effectiveness by the economic resources consumed by the country’s increasing involvement in the Vietnam War. As opposition to the war mounted and American society became more polarized over issues of national policy, Johnson’s administration was greatly weakened, and he declined to seek reelection in 1968.

Although many of the central programs of the War on Poverty continued well after the 1960s, its legacy remains controversial. Some economists maintain that Johnson’s efforts did not achieve a substantial reduction in the rate of poverty; other critics have gone so far as to claim that his programs locked poor people into lives of government dependency. Such criticisms have been vigorously disputed by other scholars, however. In the end, the War on Poverty marked a turning point in American political discourse, and it was later recognized as the high-water mark of American liberalism.

Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican-born Black nationalist and leader of the Pan-Africanism movement, which sought to unify and connect people of African descent worldwide. In the United States, he was a noted civil rights activist who founded the Negro World newspaper, a shipping company called Black Star Line and the Universal Negro Improvement Association, or UNIA, a fraternal organization of black nationalists. As a group, they advocated for “separate but equal” status for persons of African ancestry, and as such they sought to establish independent Black states around the world, notably in Liberia on the west coast of Africa.

Marcus Garvey’s Early Years

Marcus Moziah Garvey was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica to Marcus Garvey Sr. and Sarah Jane Richards. His father was a stonemason and his mother was a household servant. Though the couple had 11 children, only Marcus and one other sibling survived into adulthood.

Garvey attended school in Jamaica until he was 14, when he left St. Ann’s Bay for Kingston, the island nation’s capital, where he worked as an apprentice in a print shop. He later said he first experienced racism in grade school in Jamaica, primarily from white teachers.

While working in the print shop, Garvey became involved in the labor union for print tradesmen in Kingston. This work would set the stage for his activism later in life.

Garvey spent time in Central America, where he had relatives, before moving to London in 1912. While in Britain, he attended the University of London’s Birkbeck College, where he studied law and philosophy.

He also worked for a Pan-Africanism newspaper and led debates at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, a famous spot in the city for public discourse, even today.

Universal Negro Improvement Association

After two years in London—where he received an education that would likely have been unavailable to him in the Americas because of the color of his skin—Garvey returned to Jamaica. It was during this time that he started the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

Garvey also began corresponding with Booker T. Washington, the African American leader, author and activist who had been born into slavery. In 1916, Garvey boarded a ship bound for the United States, where—as a dramatic and invigorating public speaker—he intended to go on a lecture tour.

He ended up settling in New York City, where he first spoke at the famous St. Mark’s Church before embarking on a 38-city speaking tour. He also took on work in a print shop to make ends meet.

While in New York, he authored the “Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World,” which was ratified at the convention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association at Madison Square Garden in 1920. It was during this meeting that Garvey was also elected “Provisional President” of Africa.

Marcus Garvey Quotes and Black Nationalism

In many of his lectures, Garvey summarized his views on the rights of African Americans by noting, “The first dying that is to be done by the Black man in the future will be done to make himself free. And then when we are finished, if we have any charity to bestow, we may die for the white man. But as for me, I think I have stopped dying for him.”

He also told members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1921, “If you want liberty you yourselves must strike the blow. If you must be free, you must become so through your own effort … Until you produce what the white man has produced you will not be his equal.”

Black Star Line

Garvey established the first U.S. chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1917 in Harlem, and began publishing the Negro World newspaper. Soon, his speaking engagements took on an angry tone, in which he questioned how the United States could call itself a democracy when across the country people of color were still oppressed.

By 1919, he and his associates set up the shipping company Black Star Line under the auspices of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which by then had grown to include more than four million members.

Not long after the Black Star Line had purchased its first ship, the S.S. Yarmouth, and rechristened it the S.S. Frederick Douglass, the company began its “African Redemption” Liberia program, with the idea of establishing a nation on the west coast of Africa for African Americans, or those who were born into slavery or were the descendants of enslaved people.

Garvey was married twice: His first marriage to Amy Ashwood, who was a fellow activist in the Universal Negro Improvement Association, ended in divorce in 1922.

Later that year, Garvey married Amy Jacques, who was also active in social causes. The couple had two sons together, Marcus Mosiah Garvey III and Julius Winston Garvey.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

Every process in business either adds value or creates waste when goods or services are being produced.

The main idea of “lean production” is about highlighting the things that add value by reducing everything else (waste).

As a proven consequence, when you eliminate waste, the quality of products improves, while production time and costs are reduced.

In lean production or, more specifically, the Toyota Production System (TPS), there’s a whole body of knowledge and research on how to reduce waste in business.

TPS offers many different tools for waste reduction, such as Value Stream Mapping, Kanban, and the 5S system.

The Japanese word for waste is muda (wastefulness, uselessness), which relates to muri (overload) and mura (imbalance). All three are the foundation on which the TPS philosophy is built.

Interestingly, in TPS waste is comprehensively categorized into the “7 wastes of lean”, with very concrete recommendations as to how to reduce it. And that’s what you’ll learn in this article.

What is considered as waste in lean production?

We all intuitively know that waste is undesirable, both in business and our personal lives.

In general we can define waste as something unwanted, poor, or bad; something that doesn’t bring anything positive, usually appearing after a specific process has been completed.

In business, a more formal definition would be that waste is all those activities that don’t create any value for the market.

In other words, valuable are all those activities that directly or indirectly lead to an outcome which a customer would be willing to pay for (creating higher added value). Everything else is considered as waste.

It’s important to understand that every organization must also perform activities that do not directly lead to value for customers, but do create value indirectly. That’s why TPS defines two types of Muda:

  • Type-1: Necessary non value-adding activities for customers (necessary waste)
  • Type-2: Unnecessary non value-adding activities for customers (pure waste)

Reducing or removing Type-1 Muda should only happen after careful analysis and consideration, in order to make sure the reduction won’t impact the quality of the products or overall success of the company.

Nevertheless, the core task of all managers is to optimize efficiency in all value-adding activities and minimize the non-value-adding activities.

With that in mind, research behind “lean production” has shown that even if the products being produced in factories are totally different, the types of waste across industries are very similar. And that brings us to the 7 wastes of lean.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

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LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Glazers are unlikely to ever be liked, let alone loved, by fans of Manchester United. The fiercely private American family that bought the famous English soccer club 10 years ago has been widely depicted by the team’s fans and the British media as seeking to bleed the club dry after leveraging it up with debt.

Yet the Glazers are now assuaging some of their critics as the club says it will bankroll new player signings and is in a position to return to Europe’s biggest cup competition after failing to qualify in 2014 for the first time in 19 years. Crucially, their transformation of United into a commercial cash machine may give them an advantage over rivals.

There have been modest signs of hope for investors in the club’s New York-listed shares, which have outperformed the S&P 500 so far this year, gaining 2.3 percent against the index’s rise of 1.7 percent as revenue and cash flow are expected to climb. The shares have lagged the market since United’s 2012 initial public offering.

“My view is Man United are better off for the Glazer’s ownership. Building the commercial engine they’ve built will continue to serve the club well,” said Philip Hall, managing partner at Spotlight Equity Partners, who advised other U.S investors on purchases of Liverpool and Sunderland soccer clubs.

Last week, consultancy Brand Finance declared that Manchester United had regained its position as the most valuable soccer brand in the world in annual rankings, moving up from No. 3 in 2014. The value of its brand had soared 63 percent in the past year to $1.2 billion as its Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward and the Glazers “capitalized on the brand’s growing power to establish a worldwide fan-base and a range of sponsorship deals unrivalled in their number and value,” according to Brand Finance CEO David Haigh.

United and the Glazers – the family rarely make any public statements – declined to comment for this story.

On the pitch, this season’s performance improved enough to get United fourth place in the English Premier League, up from what for United was a shockingly low seventh in 2013-14.

While still unacceptable to fans given the side has been synonymous with winning trophies for much of the past two decades, the improvement is enough to secure a play-off round for the UEFA Champions League, the continent’s blue-riband competition. With that comes more match-day revenue from extra games, increased sponsorship money, additional club merchandise sales, and a boost to TV income.

But crucial to growth is the way in which United is using the allure of what it says are 659 million people following the club around the world to secure sponsorship deals.


A world record 750 million pound 10-year kit deal with Adidas, signed last year, underlined United as commercial leaders in soccer. That followed a seven-year $559 million shirt branding deal with General Motors’ Chevrolet.

Commercial income will eventually make up over half of revenue, up from 29 percent when the Glazers arrived, brokerage Jefferies says, pointing to the club’s 17 global sponsors now versus 10 in 2012, and 95 total categories earmarked for marketing from 40 three years ago.

That could give it a leg up on rival clubs because the increased commercial revenue allows United to push up wage and transfer bills while remaining within its means. That satisfies new regulations designed to prevent clubs from spending more than they earn in attempts to buy success.

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri , Parijat Ghosh
Published: Friday 05 March 2021

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

How has the marginalised community in India fared in the last couple of decades? Has their situation changed?

There are certainly many changes that one may observe in the last 20 years. Access to food grains from the public distribution system at a subsidised rate has improved; many villages have been electrified; more children are going to primary schools in villages and urban slums; toilets have been constructed in several villages; many now use mobile phones.

But has there been any significant change in the income of small and marginal farmers among Adivasis and Dalits?

This is probably a more complex question to answer. When we started our journey as development practitioners two decades ago, we had to conduct a village study as a part of our training. While it was not a very systematic income study, it did give a fair idea about the average income of the people with whom we were supposed to work.

The average income of Adivasi households in a village of Bihar’s Lohardaga district (now Jharkhand) was around Rs 15,000 in 1996. This matched with the findings of similar such studies in other areas of the Central Indian Plateau (CIP) conducted by our peers during the same time.

Similar studies by development practitioners show that across the CIP, the average income of small and marginal households in an Adivasi area was Rs 55,000-60,000 in 2020 — an increase of almost four times from 1996.

The income of these people did not change much in the last two decades, if we take into account the inflation rate. The net present value (NPV) of Rs 15,000 in 1996 was around Rs 67,000 in the year 2019.

Rising inequality

Is the situation changing at the national level? Yes.

India’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) increased five times between 2000 and 2019; to $2014 in 2019 from $443 in 2000.

This doesn’t mean that income of the entire population has increased. The top one per cent in India earned 21 per cent of total country’s income in 2019. This was 11 per cent in 1990.

The top 10 per cent earned 56 per cent of the country’s total income in 2019; the bottom 10 per cent earned only 3.5 per cent.

Wealth distribution tells a similar story. The richest 10 per cent Indians owned 80.7 per cent of wealth in 2019.

The Gini (inequality in income distribution) coefficient points to an increasing inequality in India. The coefficient in 2014 was 34.4 per cent (100 per cent indicates full inequality and 0 per cent full equality).

The coefficient increased to 35.7 per cent in 2011 and to 47.9 per cent in 2018. India is only second to Russia in the world in terms of inequality.

Villages are hub of poverty

Agricultural work is one of the major routes to livelihood in villages. A total of 26.3 crore households are involved in farming activities in India, according to the latest census data for 2011.

Of this, only 11.9 crore people are land-owning farmers; 14.4 crore are landless workers and peasants. At least 86.2 per cent of all farmers in India own just 47.3 per cent of the crop area, according to the agriculture census data 2015-16.

During 2010-11 and 2015-16, the proportion of small and marginal farmers grew to 86.2 per cent from 84.9 per cent, while the total number of operational holdings grew to 146 million from 138 million.

There are 126 million small and marginal farmers, which points to fragmentation of lands and that more medium farmers are becoming small and marginal farmers. These farmers together owned about 74.4 million hectares of land — or an average holding size of just 0.6 hectares each.

Between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the number of small and marginal farmers rose by about 9 million, according to agriculture census 2015-16.

Per capita land holding of the bottom 67 per cent marginal farmers reduced to 0.38 hectares from 0.4 hectares in the last two decades. The area is not enough for farmers to grow food for even six months.

Nearly 17 per cent smallholders have an average land holding of 1.4 ha — a reduction of 1.42 ha in 2000. The average holding of Scheduled tribe marginal farmers is 0.48 ha; for Scheduled Caste, it is only 0.37 ha.

The country has added 3.76 crore households of landless agricultural labourer in the same time.

Pandemic made it worse

French economist Thomas Piketty, in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, came up with a simple idea to explain how inequality in terms of wealth distribution takes place in an economy.

According to him, when the return on investments (r) is higher than the rate of economic growth (g) of the country, more wealth gets accumulated in the hands of a few (who own the means of production) as compared to the labouring class.

Piketty showed that the average rate of return on investment was five per cent throughout history. He concluded that any growth rate below 5 per cent will cause more inequality as more wealth will be generated for a few investors as compared to those who do not own any means of production.

Whether Piketty’s findings, mostly based on Europe and the United States, are applicable for countries like India where economic history and pathways have been different, is debatable.

However, a 35 per cent increase in the net worth of the billionaires in India during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, when India’s growth was negative 10 per cent, may force us to think if Piketty was right.

The way ahead

India’s economic growth has slowed down significantly. This is the time when states need to invest: Money has to go into the hands of the marginalised.

States earn money through taxation. Increasing tax on the wealthy people is the obvious solution. Piketty also proposed a similar measure to reduce inequality. A higher rate of income tax for billionaires can be a way to generate more revenue for the state.

In any case, disinvestment of Central Public Sector Undertakings and public sector banks can’t be a permanent solution in an economy where inequality is rising sharply.

There is a need to track what is happening in the poverty pockets of India. A periodic study may help policy makers to think about the issue more seriously and come up with better ideas to reduce inequalities.

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Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks scores in the second period of Thursday’s Game 1 in their West Conference quarter-final in Anaheim. The Ducks were 3-2 winners.

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ANAHEIM — The Calgary Flames insisted they weren’t thinking about their past horrors at Honda Center in Anaheim.

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Yet the curse continues because for a split second in the middle period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Ducks in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, they didn’t seem to be thinking at all.

Calgary Flames prove to be their own worst enemy in Game 1 loss to Anaheim Ducks Back to video

Thanks to a pair of postcard-pretty passes by Kris Versteeg, the Flames were staked to a one-goal lead over the Pacific Division-winning Ducks when their five skaters skedaddled to the bench for a line change. All five, all at once.

Kevin Bieksa, who must have been baffled when he retrieved the puck and didn’t see any white jerseys, fired a long pass to captain Ryan Getzlaf, and the Ducks were off on a three-on-zip rush.

Brian Elliott made the initial save, one of his 38 stops in a strong showing, but Rickard Rakell buried the rebound as a fresh batch of Flames scrambled to the scene.

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Too late. Tie game.

And now, it’s 28 straight losses for the Flames at the Honda Center.

“That was a big game-changer,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “That’s something we talked about — line changes — at length over the last couple of days, because those details become important.”

Rakell’s second-period goal wasn’t Thursday’s winner, but it’s the one that will haunt the Flames as they prepare for Saturday’s Game 2.

Jakob Silfverberg scored on a man-advantage less than four minutes later for the game-winner.

“There were a couple bad changes that hurt us tonight. We have to clean those up,” said Versteeg, one of the five guilty of the ill-timed beeline to the bench. “We just have to figure that out. Everyone who is on the ice has to talk. It was loud in there, but that’s just playoff atmosphere. You’re going to have to figure those things out as you go.

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“I don’t know if that sucked the life out, but the games are about momentum up and down and they found a way to get the momentum back on their side after we were up 2-1. That’s what those teams do. We’re going to have to learn from our game and bring a better one.”

Getzlaf and Silfverberg each recorded a goal and assist for the Ducks, who scored twice on seven power-play opportunities in Game 1.

Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett scored for the Flames. The guests wasted a golden opportunity to tie it up late, failing to score on 1:14 of five-on-three power-play action in the final 2:20 of the third.

“We’re frustrated and our discipline tonight hurt us, but we’re right there,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “We can play with these guys, we know we can. Certain moments in the game, I thought we had good looks to go up by two. We didn’t score and then they get a break and then they come down and score.

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“We talked about it — they have players who, shift to shift, they can change the game because they’re so skilled and they can make plays, make things happen. You saw that tonight.”

The lead-up to Game 1 was dominated by a pair of popular storylines — the losing streak in Anaheim and the carnage in their final regular-season matchup, when the Ducks lost defenceman Cam Fowler after a knee-on-knee collision with Giordano.

On both sides, they insisted there would be no further fallout from that hit. It was over.

The losing skid, on the other hand, is not.

The Flames haven’t celebrated a victory at Honda Center since an opening-round series against the Ducks in 2006.

For a while, it seemed like this might be the night that historic funk finally ended.

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Asked in his post-game presser about that ugly change, Gulutzan pinpointed two times “that we stopped playing for a second.”

Both cost them dearly.

They were campaigning for a too-many-men call in the opening minute and had a valid point, but Flames defenceman Dougie Hamilton was preoccupied with pleading for a penalty when Andrew Cogliano claimed the loose puck and started to wheel away.

Hamilton hauled him down, earned his own trip to the penalty box and had just five seconds to settle in before Getzlaf’s blast glanced off the stick of Engelland and re-routed for the top shelf. The Ducks has a 1-0 lead after just 52 seconds.

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The Flames cashed in on a man-advantage of their own later in the first, their lone power-play goal on five tries. Defenceman T.J. Brodie scrambled to glove down a clearing attempt at the blue line and swatted a pass over to Versteeg, who surveyed his options, spied Monahan and put the puck in a perfect spot for a re-direct.

Versteeg provided another sweet setup on Bennett’s goal near the midway point of the second. The sophomore centre was scrapping for position at the edge of the crease and managed to get his stick on a spinning backhand feed.

The Flames’ lead was soon erased by that boneheaded line change and then a brain-fart by fourth-liner Lance Bouma, who nudged Ducks netminder John Gibson as he cruised through the crease after a scoring chance.

With Bouma in the box for goalie interference, Silfverberg wired a wrister that squeaked under Elliott’s arm and would stand as the eventual winner.

Special-teams, as is so often the case come spring, was key..

“When you get a five-on-three with two minutes left and you’re down a goal, you have to find the net there,” said Flames star Johnny Gaudreau. “We didn’t. But it’s a seven-game series so we have to regroup.”

B ut all creative blocks are not created equal. Different types of block require different solutions — something that’s easily forgotten when you’re feeling stuck. Here are seven of the most common types, and how to unblock them.

1. The mental block.

This is where you get trapped by your own thinking. You’re so locked into a familiar way of looking at the world that you fail to see other options. You make assumptions and approach a problem from a limiting premise. Or maybe your Inner Critic rears its head and stops you thinking straight. Solution: You need to change your mind. Question your assumptions, ask yourself “What if…?”, and adopt different perspectives. Go somewhere new, or read/watch/listen to something new. Talk to people you can rely on to disagree with you, or offer an alternative point of view. You may find creative thinking cards useful, such as Roger von Oech’s Whack Pack, Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies or IDEO’s Method Cards.

2. The emotional barrier.

Creativity can be intense. It’s not a comfortable pursuit. Faced with the unknown, you may be scared of what you’ll discover or reveal about yourself. Maybe your subject matter is painful, embarrassing or plain weird. Whatever – all of these fears and qualms are just different forms of Resistance, leading to procrastination. Solution: You need to face the worst and come through the other side. There are plenty of things that can help — such as routine, commitment, and meditation. But ultimately you are going to have to endure the fear, pain, or other unpleasant emotions. It’s like getting into a cold swimming pool — you can dive in head first, or inch your way in. Either way, it’s going to be bone-chillingly cold. But once you’ve got over the initial shock, done a few lengths, and got into the flow of it, you may be surprised to discover how invigorated you feel.

3. Work habits that don’t work.

Maybe there’s no great drama — you’re just trying to work in a way that isn’t compatible with your creative process. You work too early, too late, too long, or not long enough. You try to hard or not hard enough. You don’t have enough downtime or enough stimulation. Or maybe you haven’t set up systems to deal with mundane tasks – email, admin, accounting, etc – so they keep interfering with your real work. Solution: Step back and take a good look at how you’re working, and where the pain points are. If it’s email, learn a new system for dealing with email. If you don’t have enough energy, are you working at the right time of day? If you feel paralyzed by freedom, introduce more structure and order into your day. If you feel constrained by routine, find room for improvisation. There are no hard-and-fast rules — the only standard is whether your work habits work for you. Look for the right balance of routines, systems, and spontaneity for your creativity to thrive.

4. Personal problems.

Creativity demands focus — and it’s hard to concentrate if you’re getting divorced/ dealing with toddlers/battling an addiction/falling out with your best friend/grieving someone special/moving house/locked in a dispute with a neighbor. If you’re lucky, you’ll only have to deal with this kind of thing one at a time — but troubles often come in twos or threes. Solution: There are basically two ways to approach a personal problem that is interfering with your creative work — either solve the problem or find ways of coping until it passes. For the first option you may need some specialist help, or support from friends or family. And it may be worth taking a short-term break from work in order to resolve the issue and free yourself up for the future. In both cases, it helps if you can treat your work as a refuge — an oasis of control and creative satisfaction in the midst of the bad stuff. Use your creative rituals to set your problems aside and focus for an hour, or a few, each day. When your work is done, you may even find you see your personal situation with a fresh eye.

5. Poverty.

I’m not just talking about money, although a lack of cash is a perennial problem for creatives. You could also be time-poor, knowledge-poor, have a threadbare network, or be short of equipment or other things you need to get the job done. Solution: Like the last type of block, this one has two possible solutions: either save up the time/money/or other resources you need; or make a virtue of necessity and set yourself the creative challenge of achieving as much as possible within the constraints you have. If you’re doubtful about the latter option, consider the first and second Star Wars trilogies, and ask yourself whether more resources always equal more creativity!

6. Overwhelm.

Sometimes a block comes from having too much, not too little. You’ve taken on too many commitments, you have too many great ideas, or you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming demands and information. You feel paralyzed by options and obligations, or simply knackered from working too hard for too long. Solution: It’s time to cut down. If you take on too many commitments, start saying ‘no’. If you have too many ideas, execute a few and put the rest in a folder labeled ‘backburner’. If you suffer from information overload, start blocking off downtime or focused worktime in your schedule (here are some tools that may help). Answer email at set times. Switch your phone off, or even leave it behind. The world won’t end. I promise.

7. Communication breakdown.

Creative blocks can happen between people as well as between the ears. If you work in a team, tensions are inevitable, and can make it hard to do your best work — especially if you have one of those proverbial ‘difficult people’ in your working life.Sometimes you get blocked by phantoms — merely imagining your work being booed by audiences and mauled by the critics. And sometimes this happens for real and you have to deal with it. It could just be a marketing problem — after years of plugging away at your art with a miniscule audience, you wonder why you bother. Or maybe you just don’t have a hotline to the people who matter in your field, so you struggle to land the right opportunities.


This is where creativity blends into communication skills. You need to be adept at understanding and influencing the right people, however difficult or mystifying they may be. Which means beefing up your influencing, marketing, or networking skills. I don’t care if you’re shy (I was) or introverted (I am). If you want to succeed, you need to do this. And sometimes it’s about accepting that you can’t please all the people all of the time, and growing a thicker skin for rejection and criticism. Show me a creative who’s never suffered a setback or a bad review, and you won’t be pointing at a superstar. — How Do You Deal with Creative Blocks? Which type of block do you struggle with most often? What solutions have worked for you?

George W. Bush, America’s 43rd President (2001-2009), was transformed into a wartime President in the aftermath of the airborne terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, facing the “greatest challenge of any President since Abraham Lincoln.”

The airborne terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the thwarted flight against the White House or Capitol on September 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 Americans were killed, transformed George W. Bush into a wartime president. The attacks put on hold many of Bush’s hopes and plans, and Bush’s father, George Bush, the 41st president, declared that his son “faced the greatest challenge of any president since Abraham Lincoln.”

In response, Bush formed a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, sent American forces into Afghanistan to break up the Taliban, a movement under Osama bin Laden that trained financed and exported terrorist teams. The Taliban was successfully disrupted but Bin Laden was not captured and was still on the loose as Bush began his second term. Following the attacks, the president also recast the nation’s intelligence gathering and analysis services, and ordered reform of the military forces to meet the new enemy. At the same time he delivered major tax cuts which had been a campaign pledge. His most controversial act was the invasion of Iraq on the belief that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein posed a grave threat to the United States. Saddam was captured, but the disruption of Iraq and the killing of American servicemen and friendly Iraqis by insurgents became the challenge of Bush’s government as he began his second term. President Bush pledged during his 2005 State of the Union Address that the United States would help the Iraqi people establish a fully democratic government because the victory of freedom in Iraq would strengthen a new ally in the war on terror, bring hope to a troubled region, and lift a threat from the lives of future generations.

Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut while his father was attending Yale University after service in World War II. The family moved to Midland, Texas, where the senior Bush entered the oil exploration business. The son spent formative years there, attended Midland public schools, and formed friendships that stayed with him into the White House. Bush graduated from Yale, received a business degree from Harvard, and then returned to Midland where he too got into the oil business. In Midland he met and married Laura Welch, a teacher and librarian. They had twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, now out of college and pursuing careers.

When George W. Bush, at the age of 54, became the 43rd president of the United States, it was only the second time in American history that a president’s son went on to the White House. John Quincy Adams, elected the sixth president in 1824, was the son of John Adams, the second president. While John Adams had groomed his son to be president, George Bush, the 41st president, insisted he was surprised when the eldest of his six children became interested in politics, became governor of Texas, and then went on to the White House.

During the early part of the 2000 campaign for the White House, Bush enjoyed a double-digit lead in the polls over his opponent Vice President Al Gore Jr. But the gap closed as the election approached and though Gore finally won the popular vote by 543,895 votes, victory or loss of the presidency hinged on Florida’s electoral votes. That struggle through recounts and lawsuits worked its way to the Supreme Court. In the end Bush won the electoral count 271 to 266. His new administration was focused on “compassionate conservatism,” which embraced excellence in education, tax relief and volunteerism among faith-based and community organizations.

Bush was challenged in his re-election bid in 2004 by Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry. The election was a good contest, but Bush’s contention that the invasion of Iraq had made the world more secure against terrorism won the national political debate. Bush was re-elected with 51 percent to 48 percent.

On the inaugural stand, George W. Bush set the theme for his second term: “At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For half a century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet- and then there came a day of fire. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom – tested but not weary… we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.”

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

One of the main things I’ve learned about life is that before you conquer the external world, you have to master the inner world of your mind.

You might have all kinds of awesome goals.

  • “I want to buy a Lambo.”
  • “I want to feed starving people.”
  • “I want to fly to the moon.”

No problem. The enemy lies not in the outside world. It’s not money, people, or opportunity that’s holding you back. It’s you.

Legendary surfer, Laird Hamilton said it best:

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”

Self-doubt creeps into your system at the weirdest moments. At times you don’t expect it at all.

And all of a sudden, you have a true inner war on your hands:

  • “What am I doing this for?”
  • “Is it really worth it?”
  • “Why, why, why?”

There’s a war going on inside your head. And you’re not even aware of it.

Here are 10 war strategies that will help you to win your inner battles.

1. See Yourself As A Warrior

First things first: You have to start looking at yourself as a warrior.

You’re in constant battle with yourself.

You have to realize that you’re the person who’s in control of your life. It’s not the economy, your family, spouse, boss, or anything else that you can possibly blame.

That means one simple thing: This is your life. Own it.

Robert Greene said it best in 33 Strategies Of War:

“When something goes wrong, look deep into yourself — not in an emotional way, to blame yourself or indulge your feelings of guilt, but to make sure that you start your next campaign with a firmer step and greater vision.”

Never blame yourself. That’s not what a warrior does. Instead, fight your inner enemy by not giving up.

2. Know Yourself

What makes you angry, sad, fearful? How do you make decisions? What’s most important in your life?

If you want to win your inner battles, it’s obvious that you have to know your enemy.

I’ve made a list of 20 questions that can help you with self-awareness.

3. Have Zero Expectations

One of the biggest causes of inner conflict is that we have too high expectations.

We expect a lot from our spouse, family members, friends, colleagues, boss, etc.

But that’s not the way the world works. You don’t control people. You only control yourself.

Never have high expectations. You will only be disappointed.

Instead, expect nothing.

Stop expecting that:

  • Your friends will always be there for you.
  • You will always stay healthy.
  • Your family will always be with you.
  • You will always make money.

Now, you’re free. Everything you get is a gift.

4. You’re Not Perfect: Accept It

Never beat yourself up for making mistakes.

This is life. It’s unpredictable. It makes no sense. Shit happens.

When you try to be perfect, you’re always at war with yourself. You’re never at peace. Nothing is good enough.

You will never get to enjoy life for what it is. Even though it makes no sense; there’s still enough beauty in life.

You just have to take off your tunnel vision goggles and see it.

This post is also available as an infographic! Click here to download it.

5.Never Burn Yourself Out

Sun Tzu, the most famous war strategist in history, once said:

“In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.”

Always keep in mind that you’re worth more when you’re at full strength.

You might want to achieve something so bad that you put all your energy into it. You work hard. Don’t sleep.

But here’s the thing: You might win a hard fought battle, but not the war.

Life is long. Don’t burn out before you reach the end. That’s pure self-sabotage. Instead, save yourself.

6. Never Question Life

I get it. You work hard, hard, hard. But nothing happens. No results.

You ask: “What Am I Doing This For?”

  • No one reads your work.
  • You’re never promoted at work.
  • No one buys your product.
  • No one hires you.
  • No one cares.

Once you have one negative thought like that, the floodgates will open.

It’s the same as binge eating: “Ah fuck it, I’ve had one spoon of ice cream, I might as well eat the whole jar.”

Don’t get all existential on yourself. There’s no point in doing that. It’s not helping you.

Never question life. Never think about it. It’s a discussion you will never win.

It’s best to avoid this war. Not all wars can be won.

7. Believe In Yourself

How do you believe in yourself?

“Affirmations,” says the ignorant self-help guru aka life coach.

“I’m the best. I’m the best. I’m the best.”

That stuff makes me laugh. It’s not the 80s anymore. You can’t tell that to people.

You also can’t say things like that to yourself if you don’t truly believe it. Deep down we always know that we’re full of shit.

  • Lying to yourself will not help.
  • Lying to others will also not help.

Not putting in the work? You develop no skills. Hence, no belief.

So go and work. That’s where it all starts.

8. Pick The Slow Road To Success

We love fake promises because they distract us from reality.

You know better. There’s no such thing as overnight success.

Even if someone promises you the quick road, opt out, and pick the longer, and harder road to your destination.

I promise you this: You will feel 10X more fulfilled when you get there.

The lazy person is always looking for the next best thing.

You don’t care about the destination; you love the journey. No matter how hard it is.

9. Stop Making Assumptions

Never make conclusions based on assumptions.

Always look at facts. Don’t have the facts? Don’t make assumptions.

Also, ignore conventional wisdom. Most stuff you hear and read around you is not true or very subjective.

Avoid inner conflict by looking at facts. Always.

10. Keep Moving

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that movement was the main thing to life.

No matter what you do, never stand still. Staying still is the same as moving backward. Because life doesn’t wait.

Mental toughness is created by always plowing forward. By facing your adversity head on.

“What does not move is dead.”
– Robert Greene

You don’t become mentally strong by ignoring your inner troubles and looking at your Instagram feed.

No, your battles are not fought on your smartphone. You fight by looking in the mirror.

Win or Die

The battles you fight with yourself are very real. And if you arm yourself with the right strategies, you will win.

Why should you always fight? Napoleon Bonaparte said it best:

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die every day.”

Many of the worst contemporary wars are accompanied by mass starvation. In some cases, starvation is used as a weapon.

Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Civics

Syrian Woman Gets Food Aid

Intentional starvation has been used as a military tactic in the Syrian conflict. A woman is shown receiving food aid at al-Hol camp in Syria.

Photograph by Delil souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

On May 24 2018, the United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the use of food insecurity and starvation as a tactic of war. It was the first time the Council had ever addressed the issue, acknowledging a threat to the lives of tens of millions of people. Aimed at countries currently engaged in international or civil wars, the resolution implores all parties to leave food stocks, farms, markets, and other distribution mechanisms intact. It demands parties in conflict permit humanitarian aid workers unimpeded access to populations in dire need and states that “using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare may constitute a war crime.”

Ending hunger and extreme food insecurity features among the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015. Worldwide, the number of hungry and malnourished people had been declining for at least two decades but began rising after 2015. Experts believe conflicts and wars, along with weather events associated with climate change, are the main reasons for this setback. Among the 815 million people suffering from chronic malnutrition in 2016, 60 percent lived in areas affected by armed conflict.

Wars are inherently violent and harmful, but destruction of resources can sometimes create more catastrophic harm than bombs and bullets. Warring parties may plunder an enemy’s food supply, deliberately destroying farms, livestock, and other civilian infrastructure. Conflict can cause food shortages and the severe disruption of economic activities, threatening the means of survival of entire populations. Additionally, wars commonly trigger the displacement of huge numbers of people, cutting them off from their food supplies and livelihoods. Refugees are often vulnerable to acute food insecurity as well as disease. Alternately, if people remain in their homes, surrounding armies can trap people inside a village, city, or neighborhood and deprive them of food, medicine, and other vital resources until they surrender. Many conflict zones desperately need humanitarian aid, but increasingly, one or both parties in a conflict may block relief operations from reaching starving populations or even carry out attacks against humanitarian organizations.

Armed conflict can certainly bring about dangerous conditions of food insecurity, but some scholars argue the reverse is also true: Food insecurity can precipitate violent political conflict. Most often, it is only one among several causal factors, but a sudden change in the availability or price of basic foodstuffs can trigger an explosion of social unrest. A famous example is the French Revolution of 1789, which was fueled in large part by poor grain harvests and economic pressures that led to sharp increases in the price of bread. More recently, the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 took place during a period of historically high food prices in North Africa and the Middle East.

The history of warfare is filled with examples of military tactics deliberately used with the intent of starving enemy armies or civilian populations. During the United States Civil War, Union soldiers fought under rules of engagement known as the Lieber Code, which allowed them “to starve the hostile belligerent, armed, or unarmed.” Nazi Germany drew up a “Hunger Plan” during World War II that, had it been implemented, could have resulted in the starvation of some 20 million people or more in territory controlled by the Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands did starve to death during the German siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Soviet Union, between 1941 and 1944.

Among contemporary wars, three examples serve to indicate the nuances of the problem of hunger in conflict zones:

South Sudan

The world’s youngest nation, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011, may also be the world’s poorest. A civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013. The fighting led to 400 thousand deaths and drove four million from their homes and food sources. Conflict and poor harvests contributed to a hunger crisis in 2017. Compounding the situation was an economic crisis that incapacitated markets and sent the price of food beyond what most people could afford. Armed groups terrorized the population by raiding cattle, stealing food, setting fire to markets, and preventing farmers from cultivating land. South Sudan was also the world’s most dangerous nation for humanitarian aid workers in 2017; more than 100 of them were killed there between 2013 and 2018. Although the rival factions negotiated a tenuous ceasefire in September 2018, UN agencies have reported that well over half the population were facing acute food insecurity as of early 2019.

The brutal Syrian conflict, which began in 2011, has displaced more than 12 million people from their homes, with more than six million displaced within Syria as of July 2019. By 2016, Syrians fleeing the fighting contributed to the largest global refugee crisis since the end of World War II. The huge number of internally displaced Syrians represents the major cause of the country’s hunger crisis, along with significantly decreased agricultural production. Both sides of the conflict, the Syrian government and its rebel opponents, have used starvation as a military tactic. Repeatedly, Syrian government forces besieged areas under rebel control, placing a blockade on incoming supplies while bombing markets, hospitals, and other civilian targets. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the human rights group Amnesty International were among those who accused the Syrian regime of carrying out war crimes.

A 2018 report by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) referred to the situation in Yemen as “the worst human-made disaster in the modern history of the world,” one that “starkly demonstrated the unequivocal link between conflict and hunger.” A rebel movement known as the Houthis captured the nation’s capital in 2014 and ousted its government. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intervened, ostensibly to restore the deposed government. Their bombing campaigns degraded Yemen’s fragile economy and destroyed much of its infrastructure. The country’s currency collapsed, public employees stopped receiving their pay, and food prices skyrocketed. The Saudi-Emirati coalition effectively shut down the Red Sea port at Hodeida, the main entry point for food imports, on which the population depends, and for humanitarian supplies. By the end of 2018, the UN said more than half Yemen’s population urgently needed food assistance to prevent starvation.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

A carbohydrate is like the internet. It can either help or harm you — it just depends on how and when you consume it.

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“You want to find the right balance,” says registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD.

Patton explains why carbs shouldn’t be diet enemy number one and the best time of day to eat them.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates often get a bad rap. But they’re one of three essential macronutrients, along with fat and protein.

“Carbohydrates turn into glucose, or sugar, in your body. Your body converts that glucose into energy,” says Patton. “Carbs are your body’s main and preferred energy source.”

“The majority of your carbohydrates should come from natural sources — things that aren’t modified or processed,” says Patton. Examples of healthy carbohydrates include:

  • Grains and starches: Opt for whole-grain options when it comes to bread, cereal, rice and pasta.
  • Legumes: Legumes are also a great source of plant-based protein. These sources include split peas, lentils and beans.
  • Fruit: Patton recommends whole fruit, with its skin intact. “But some fruit is better than no fruit,” she notes. “So, if canned fruit is more accessible or affordable, that’s OK, too. Just get it packed in water or juice and strain it.”
  • Vegetables: These healthy carbs are also full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Veggies rich in carbs include potatoes, corn, root vegetables and squashes.
  • Milk: Milk is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

When is the best time to eat carbs?

“Most foods and food groups contain carbohydrates, so you want to find the right balance,” says Patton. “If you’re an average, healthy person, eat some carbs with each of your meals throughout the day.”

But consuming carbs earlier in the day may be better if you:

  • Want to lose weight or improve blood sugar levels: “Most Americans are active early in the day and more sedentary at night,” says Patton. “Having your biggest portion of carbs in the evening can cause a blood sugar spike. Your body then stores the extra glucose that you didn’t use for energy as body fat.”
  • Exercise in the morning: “If you’re exercising in the morning for less than an hour, it’s OK to exercise on an empty stomach and get in the fat-burning zone,” notes Patton. “But if you’re more of an endurance athlete or exercising for more than an hour, you may need a small pre-workout snack. In either case, it’s good to have carbs to help you refuel after.”
  • Have trouble sleeping: “Eating carbs at dinner can affect your sleep if you go to bed while your food is still digesting, especially if you have heartburn.”

To get the energy-fueling benefits, you need to consume the right kind of carbs. Patton says that eating sugary, processed foods can quickly spike your blood sugar. As a result, you may feel hungry just one to two hours later — and eat even more. The same can happen if you eat only carbs and don’t get enough protein and fat.

The best time to eat carbs when you practice intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is eating and fasting during certain windows of time. If you follow this type of eating pattern, Patton says it’s OK to eat carbs throughout your entire window — even if your goal is weight loss or if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. “But during that eight-hour window, try to control the total amount of carbs you’re eating,” she recommends.

What should your daily carb intake be?

Patton says following the plate method is an easy way to make sure you’re eating the right amount of carbohydrates. Start with a 9-inch plate. Fill half of it with vegetables, one quarter with protein and one quarter with carbs.

If you’re an athlete or physically active, dividing your plate into thirds may better fuel your day. But Patton recommends keeping macronutrients balanced at every meal. “Your body can only absorb so much protein at once. It processes fuel most efficiently in smaller, more frequent doses. So be consistent throughout the day: Eat three meals and two to three snacks.”

How to eat the right amount of carbs consistently

If your carb-eating habits leave something to be desired, Patton says these tips can get you on the path to a well-balanced diet:

  • Log what you consume: “Some apps can show you what your total percentage of calories from carbs is,” she says. “These apps usually give a visual representation, such as a pie graph, for each of the meals. That way, you can better track your carb consumption.”
  • Go European: “The European style of eating tends to involve consuming your biggest meal at lunch,” notes Patton. “Since many Americans have dinner as their biggest meal, it can be as simple as swapping the two and making dinner your lighter meal.”
  • Indulge in leftovers: “If you keep dinner as your bigger meal, try to eat the protein, vegetable and a smaller portion of the carb,” Patton suggests. “Then pack those leftovers for lunch the next day and have the protein and vegetables with a bigger portion of the carbs.”

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The observation that science and politics make uneasy and often treacherous bedfellows is hardly revelatory. In science, all hypotheses must withstand the trial-by-fire of experiment; its methodology is self-correcting and objective, unconcerned with petty prejudices or personal conviction. Politics, by contrast, is deeply entangled with ideology – it is not bound to respect reality as science is, and thinks nothing of substituting convincing evidence for emotive rhetoric. And yet, when science and politics clash, it is all too often science that loses.

This is clearly seen in clashes between scientific evidence and economic liberalism, which is defined by the belief that economies should be founded along individualist lines, with minimal governmental regulation. Strong support for the free market and private property rights are identifying features. This latter axiom of faith states that those who have obtained property are free to exploit it as they desire, with no obligation to others. This right is considered absolute, and anything that would interfere with the property without consent – often even taxation – is considered an infringement.

With some variation, these principles form the basis of the political philosophy of many organisations, think tanks and even political parties, such as the Libertarian Party and Tea Party in the United States and Australia’s ruling Liberal Party. Yet often, these fiercely individualist and regulation-adverse philosophies clash with science, with hugely detrimental consequences.

Climate change illustrates this well, because despite overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic influence, there is a tendency for those with pronounced free-market views to reject the reality of global warming. The reason underpinning this is transparent – if one accepts human-mediated climate change, then supporting mitigating action should follow. But the demon of regulation is a bridge too far for many libertarians. Given that climate change affects everyone whether they consent to it or not, then unregulated use of natural resources infringes the property rights of others and is ideologically equivalent to trespass, so the tenuous property rights house of cards comes crashing down.

When faced with this ideological dilemma, free-market advocates often resolve the cognitive dissonance by simply rejecting the reality of climate change, rather than acknowledging that their axiom is fundamentally flawed.

I explored ideologically driven reasoning in a previous blog. Rejection of science seriously impedes climate action and denial is endemic in American economic-liberal sets, with the Tea Party being the worst offenders. Last year, when it snowed in Alaska in May, Sarah Palin exclaimed “Global warming my gluteus maximus!”, despite the fact that paradoxical cold snaps are predicted by climate-change models and do not contradict the finding that average global temperature continues to soar. Libertarian politician Ron Paul dismisses climate change as a hoax.

Of course the assertion that climate change is a myth is not a solely American phenomenon: Tony Abbot decried climate-change as “absolute crap”. Earlier this year he struck down the already limited carbon tax introduced to mitigate the damage, despite clear evidence that Australian average temperatures continue to rocket skyward.

The individualist anti-regulation stance of free-market advocates also has serious consequences for healthcare. As economist Paul Krugman explains in a recent column, disciples of Milton Friedman remain deeply opposed to the very concept of the US Federal Drug Administration, viewing it as needless intrusion by government. In Friedman’s opinion, without the FDA corporations would be kept from hurting people by fear of lawsuits and thus self-regulate.

The truth is that without external evaluation, it is difficult to work out the efficacy or side-effects of any drug. Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Pharma illustrates with copious detail that when pharmaceutical companies are obliged to do clinical trials, they are often reported in statistically devious, cherry-picked and wholly dishonest ways to overstate their treatments’ effectiveness. This is unsurprising, given the incentive of a private company is to maximise profit, with scientific integrity coming a distant second.

The expectation that private companies can be trusted to innovate health care is also misguided. While antibiotic resistance has been steadily increasing, for example, practically no new antibiotics have been developed in decades. A major reason for this is that despite the massive impact of antibiotics on mortality rates in the past century, they remain a low-profit product, typically used by a patient for only a short time. It is far more profitable to develop long-term medication for chronic conditions, and unsurprisingly this is what drug companies prefer to do.

This is the logical outcome of entrusting health research to private companies. It also means they can charge extortionate amounts for life-saving medicines. Free-market defenders may try to pin the blame on costly and needless regulation for driving up prices, but this argument is somewhat superficial, given that they are generally opposed to increased taxation and public spending on medical research, which could circumvent this vicious cycle. It also ignores the fact that drugs companies spend multiples of their research budget on marketing.

Another example is gun control. Many American libertarians decry any suggestion that regulations should be tightened, insisting people have the right to arm themselves to make themselves safer. But the statistics show this argument to be nonsensical: those who carry firearms, even for protection, are much more likely to be shot and increase the risk of death for those around them. These trends have been confirmed time and again in serious epidemiological studies, yet despite the very act of carrying risking the safety of others, the ideological position of individual rights trumps the facts for a sizeable contingent of the US population.

All of these problems stem from a clash between ideology and evidence. The ruthlessly individualist philosophy fetishised by the modern disciplines of Ayn Rand conveniently ignores the fact that humans do not exist in a vacuum, and that individual actions often have consequences for all. The mantra that profit is a panacea for everything and that personal rights trump collective good is frequently misguided and potentially disastrous.

This is not to dismiss the entire political philosophy as bunk, nor to imply all economic liberals exist in a state of abject denial, but we must be wary of allowing any political ideology to blind us to objective reality. Our individual rights must be balanced against the rights of others, which requires a pragmatic interpretation of political philosophies, and some softening of extremist outlooks.

While we may hold incredibly strong personal convictions, reality doesn’t care one iota for what we believe. If we persist in choosing ideology over evidence, this endangers us all.

The refugee crisis is a human crisis: Behind the statistics are people filled with unique life experiences and dreams for the future. They are mothers longing to return home, fathers yearning to work again, children searching for a childhood.

We are witnessing a massive shift of humanity unlike any seen before. Today nearly 80 million people around the world are displaced from their homes.

What does it look like for that many people to be displaced?

It would be like over half the population of Russia going homeless. Or everyone in the U.K. fleeing and leaving an empty nation behind them. It would be like every last person in the states of California, New York and Pennsylvania having to leave the lives and communities they built, so they and their families could be safe.

More than a third of the world’s displaced population — some 26 million people — have been forced to flee their own countries entirely, leaving familiar lands behind and becoming refugees. Refugees are defined as people forced to leave their countries because of persecution, war or violence.

Over half of those refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.

Elsewhere around the world, people are also being displaced at staggering rates, but are categorized by a status other than “refugee” — like many of the 3.6 million Venezuelans living outside of their home country.

With your support, Mercy Corps is responding to these crises with emergency assistance to help refugees meet their urgent needs around the world. Our refugee response reaches people in more than 20 countries with support like cash, food, water, shelter, youth centers and life skills training.

All refugees have suffered unimaginable loss, whether they are displaced in their own country or seeking safety overseas. Yet they are filled with potential and the strength to triumph over adversity. Their story is our story, because we are all human — and together, we can build a better world.

Read on to learn more about where the refugee crisis is hitting the hardest, and how you can help.

1. Syria: 6.6 million refugees

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with itJoury, 12, fled Daraa, Syria with her family four years ago. She now lives in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, where she dreams of being a painter. Photo: Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps

The Syria crisis has accelerated more dramatically than any crisis on earth, and Syrians continue to be the largest forcibly displaced population in the world. After war erupted in March 2011, it took two years for 1 million people to be displaced. Another million were displaced within six months. Now nine years on, more than half of the pre-war population has been internally displaced or forced to seek safety in neighboring countries. That’s more than 13.2 million people on the run, including more than 6.6 million people who have escaped across the borders.

In 2019, Mercy Corps provided assistance to 1.48 million people all across Syria with urgently needed food, water, blankets and other essential supplies.

We’re also working to reach the millions of Syrian refugees now living in other countries. In a colorful classroom in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, 12-year-old Joury paints a picture of a garden. It’s a place she remembers from Syria, with tall trees that linger in her memory from visits there with her grandmother.

Joury fled Syria with her family eight years ago. There is no way to know if she will be able to go home again. At a Mercy Corps youth center in Za’atari, art helps young refugees like her cope with their stress and enjoy being kids again.

“In Syria I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t know how to draw,” she says. “I learned how to draw at Mercy Corps [youth center program].”

“When I am thinking of anything, I just like to draw it. I feel comfortable when I draw.”

2. Afghanistan: 2.7 million refugees

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with itShakila, center, fled Afghanistan with her kids, Sonia and Arash. Cash from Mercy Corps is helping them meet their urgent needs while living in Greece. Photo: Sara Hylton for Mercy Corps

Years of unemployment, insecurity and political instability have led to a massive migration from Afghanistan. More than 2.5 million people are estimated to be living in new and prolonged displacement, while more than 2.7 million people have been forced to leave the country to Iran, Pakistan or Europe.

The United Nations estimates that an average 1,100 people a day — mostly women and children — were forcibly displaced by violence in 2017. As of 2018, over half of people displaced by conflict in Afghanistan have been displaced at least twice, compared to just 7 percent five years before.

Mercy Corps is working to build a stronger future within Afghanistan by training farmers to grow better crops, improving economic opportunities for youth, teaching new mothers healthy nutrition practices, and helping women and girls find better access to financial services and job opportunities.

We’re also helping Afghan refugees while they live away from home. Shakila, 31, fled Afghanistan with her husband and three children, seeking a better life. Now they wait in Greece for a future they’re not sure will ever arrive.

Mercy Corps is providing Shakila with a cash card to buy essentials for her family, while her daughter, Sonia, is in an art workshop at a Mercy Corps youth center.

“I worry about my children,” Shakila says. “They need an education but here they just pass the days without anything. My daughter is depressed. She always stays inside the tent.”

“I’m a little older; I don’t need anything. I just need my kids to go to school and have an education and change their future for good things to come.”

Sloths—the adorable and lethargic animals living in treetops—depend on the health and survival of Central and South American tropical forests. They spend much of their lives in the canopy, snoozing and remaining hidden from predators.

The animals live solitary lives and travel from tree to tree using canopy vines. Located in places such as Brazil and Panama, the six species of this strange and wonderful animal need healthy forests to survive.

But tropical forests are some of the most vulnerable to deforestation. Loss of trees means animals are forced to live on smaller areas of land that can’t support healthy populations. WWF works with communities, governments, companies and other partners to protect forests and the animals that rely on them.

Read on for some questions and answers about sloths.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

1. Why are sloths slow?

Sloths have an extremely low metabolic rate, which means they move at a languid, sluggish pace through the trees. On average, sloths travel 41 yards per day—less than half the length of a football field!

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

2. Are female sloths good mothers?

Female sloths give birth to one baby a year after a gestation period of six months. The baby sticks with the mother for about six months, grasping its mom’s belly as she moves through the trees. This is an important bonding period that helps the offspring learn and develop. When the sloth leaves its mom after about six months, it adopts part of its mother’s range, continuing to communicate with the parent through calls.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

3. How often do sloths sleep?

Sloths snooze for about 15 hours per day. That leaves only nine hours to lumber through the trees. They maintain a low body temperature of about 86°F-93°F and move in and out of shade to regulate their body temperature.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

4. What do sloths eat?

Sloths munch on leaves, twigs and buds. Because the animals don’t have incisors, they trim down leaves by smacking their firm lips together. A low metabolic rate means sloths can survive on relatively little food; it takes days for them to process what other animals can digest in a matter of hours.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

5. What threats do sloths face?

Though not all sloths are endangered, some of the six species are threatened by habitat loss. Deforestation in the tropical forests of South and Central America jeopardize the trees sloths rely on for food and shelter. Through a program called ARPA for Life, WWF helped the government of Brazil create a $215 million fund to ensure that 150 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon is properly managed.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

6. Do sloths know how to swim?

Surprisingly, sloths are strong swimmers. They will sometimes drop down from their treetop perches into water and use their extended arms to propel through the water.

Why lack of movement is our biggest enemy and how to deal with it

7. Do sloths ever leave the trees?

Sloths spend a majority of their time up in the canopy, coming down only one time per week to relieve themselves. The trees provide a natural protection from predators such as jaguars and eagles; it’s safer for sloths to remain motionless and camouflaged off the ground. They will, however, venture down on rare occasions to find more food or a mate.

If you’re in possession of such a treasure, free agency simply becomes an exercise in building around his prized arm. Teams stuck mining for one on the open market travel a far darker road.

Related Links

  • 2022 NFL free agency:  Baker Mayfield’s future; Wednesday’s winners and losers
  • Top 101 NFL free agents of 2022: Odell Beckham Jr. highest-ranked WR still available
  • 2022 NFL free agency tracker: Latest signings, trades, contract info for all 32 teams

We’ve experienced a tangible shift over the past few seasons: Fans are too savvy to be pitched a roster revolving around Tyrod Taylor or Teddy Bridgewater. They’ll win you a few games when plopped into the perfect situation, but the final destination will disappoint.

Even middle-tier quarterbacks who pull you to the playoffs (read: Mayfield, Baker) — nay, the Super Bowl (read: Goff, Jared)! — get zero slack in today’s rough-and-tumble milieu. The modern-day front office with a B+ signal-caller will eternally search for an upgrade, hurt feelings be damned.

The opening wave of free agency saw bad teams overspend, playoff teams tinker and all eyes zeroed in on the most important position in sports.

Let’s take a gander at what went down during a mind-bending flurry of activity.

NOTE: This piece was posted on Thursday before we learned where Deshaun Watson will be headed next. Though this (along with the ripple effects elsewhere in the NFL) will obviously count as one of the biggest moves of the offseason, the situation was too fluid at the time of this writing to allow for meaningful analysis.


Tom Brady’s ‘More Time With Family’ act gives way to reality: The minute I saw the beach photo, I knew it was over. Just a hunch, but the look on Brady’s face — walking hand-in-hand with Gisele — exuded a certain energy: I’M BORED. Who would have guessed? One of earth’s most ferocious competitors somehow wasn’t fulfilled leaving it all behind to pack school lunches, rearrange the attic and tag along on driftless voyages to Target. Plenty of dudes in 2022 are suspiciously thrilled by domestic life. Brady was a sure-fire lock to go nuts in a fortnight, wandering around the hallways of his mansion knowing within: I CAN STILL PLAY.

From where I sit, his return to the Bucs is the least surprising development of the offseason. I suspect his retirement was more about testing the waters on a possible move to join his childhood team in San Francisco. Bucs coach Bruce Arians made it crystal clear, though, that Brady would never be traded. Back in Tampa, TB12 wields as much power as any player league-wide, with his return helping to pull center Ryan Jensen back into the mix, before the Bucs fortified their line with former Patriots guard and Brady pal Shaq Mason. Corner Carlton Davis said Brady’s return “definitely” influenced his decision to stay in Tampa. Wideout Russell Gage made up his mind to join the team after Tommy called him up. Expect Gronk back next, with bit players such as Leonard Fournette sure to circle around again if Brady so desires.

It’s fair to wonder where the 44-year-old quarterback sits with Arians after whispers of a “souring” relationship. The coach ripped that line of chatter, but it’s clear who stirs the drink in Tampa. This is Brady’s show. Without him, the Bucs were rendered an abyss-bound ghost ship theoretically led by Blaine Gabbert. With him, they’re right back atop the heap of NFC teams housing legitimate dreams of Super Bowl gold.

Russell Wilson becomes a Bronco: The Broncos didn’t let Russell Wilson get away. Not this time.

Denver’s brass, led by John Elway, invited Wilson into their building before the 2012 NFL Draft, where the soon-to-be Seahawk happened upon none other than Peyton Manning.

“I met Russell Wilson . I believe it was after I signed with the Broncos, so let’s call it March or April [of 2012],” Manning told ESPN before his doomed encounter with Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII. “They were having players come in for visits before the draft. I was actually in the film room watching some tape, and someone brought Russell in. He was in town for a visit. I had a chance to shake his hand. It was an exciting time in his life, getting ready for the draft. So, I wished him luck and told him I enjoyed watching his college career.”

A decade later, Wilson is back on Colorado turf, hoping to do what a late-period Manning did: lift a Lombardi in Broncos orange. The landing spot comes packed with a rich cast of targets (Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler and Albert Okwuegbunam), a juicy runner in Javonte Williams and the offensive-minded head coach Wilson has long sought in Nathaniel Hackett.

The offensive line is a concern, along with the division Russ air-dropped into. The AFC West doubles as a thorny dogfight, with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr on Denver’s dance card a combined six times in 2022. Wilson must also return to battle against the NFC West, with that portion of the slate including a showdown with his former team in Seattle.

Those Seahawks, by the way, look an awful lot like last year’s Broncos: a talented roster missing one key ingredient — a quarterback you can believe in.

Simple, everyday activities like walking, swimming, gardening and dancing can ease some of the pain directly by blocking pain signals to the brain.

Activity also helps lessen pain by stretching stiff and tense muscles, ligaments and joints.

It’s natural to be hesitant if exercise is painful and you’re worried about doing more damage. But if you become more active gradually, it’s unlikely you’ll cause any damage or harm. The pain you feel when you start gentle exercise is because the muscles and joints are getting fitter.

In the long term, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any increase in pain.

Read more about exercise.

Breathe right to ease pain

Concentrating on your breathing when you’re in pain can help.

When the pain is intense it’s very easy to start taking shallow, rapid breaths, which can make you feel dizzy, anxious or panicked. Instead, breathe slowly and deeply.

This will help you to feel more in control and keep you relaxed and prevent any muscle tension or anxiety from making your pain worse.

Read books and leaflets on pain

The Pain Toolkit is a booklet packed with simple practical advice on how to live better with long-term pain.

The British Pain Society’s website also has a number of booklets and patient information leaflets about managing pain.

Counselling can help with pain

Pain can make you tired, anxious, depressed and grumpy. This can make the pain even worse, making you fall into a downward spiral. Be kind to yourself.

Living with pain is not easy and you can be your own worst enemy by being stubborn, not pacing your activities every day and not accepting your limitations.

Some people find it useful to get help from a counsellor, psychologist or hypnotherapist to discover how to deal with their emotions in relation to their pain.

You can also find out more about getting therapy or counselling.

Distract yourself

Shift your attention on to something else so the pain is not the only thing on your mind. Get stuck into an activity that you enjoy or find stimulating. Many hobbies, like photography, sewing or knitting, are possible even when your mobility is restricted.

Share your story about pain

It can help to talk to someone else who has experienced similar pain themselves and understands what you’re going through.

Pain Concern, Action on Pain, Versus Arthritis and BackCare all have telephone helplines manned by people with long-term pain, who can put you in touch with local patient support groups.

The healthtalk.org website also has videos of other people’s experiences of pain.

The sleep cure for pain

Many people with long-term pain find it difficult to sleep at night. But it’s important to try to stick to a normal sleep routine so you’ve got the best chance of sleeping through the night.

Sleep deprivation can also make pain worse. Go to bed at the same time each evening, and get up at a regular time in the morning and avoid taking naps in the day. If sleep problems persist, see a GP.

Pain Concern has produced a useful leaflet on getting a good night’s sleep.

Take a course

Self management courses are free NHS-based training programmes for people who live with long-term chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes to develop new skills to manage their condition (and any related pain) better on a day-to-day basis.

Many people who have been on a self-management course say they take fewer painkillers afterwards.

The best examples are:

    – British Pain Society – offers support to people with long term conditions

Keep in touch with friends and family

Do not let pain mean that you lose contact with people.

Keeping in touch with friends and family is good for your health and can help you feel much better. Try shorter visits, maybe more often, and if you cannot get out to visit people, phone a friend, invite a family member round for a tea or have a chat with your neighbour.

Aim to talk about anything other than your pain, even if other people want to talk about it.

Relax to beat pain

Practising relaxation techniques regularly can help to reduce persistent pain.

There are many types of relaxation techniques, varying from breathing exercises to types of meditation.

Ask a GP for advice in the first instance. There may be classes available locally or at your local hospital’s pain clinic.

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Tactics are sexy. It’s inspiring and fun to whip out some sweet new technique that will rock your marketing, shake up the industry and blow away the competition. But for most entrepreneurs, business success is not born from tactics. It’s born from those subtle, below-the-surface mental shifts. And shifts take time.


Yet, like massive glaciers inching down mountainsides, those business shifts are unstoppable.

The way that you as an entrepreneur or business leader train your mind will make all the difference in your future. You will succeed or fail based on the critical mental shifts that you make. So, take note of one mental shift that’s particularly important for producing success: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Let me show you how this single idea can become the mental shift that will stop you from floundering and turn you into a successful entrepreneur.

Who first said it?

Where did this idea come from: that “the perfect is the enemy of the good”? We don’t know, but similar phrases have been attributed to several philosophers and sages throughout the ages:

  • Voltaire: “The best is the enemy of the good.”
  • Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
  • Shakespeare: “Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.”

Recently, contemporary positive psychology author Gretchen Rubin again popularized the aphorism in her book, The Happiness Project. And through the years, various business people and thinkers have expressed the idea without the pithy pointedness of Voltaire or Confucius.

What does it mean?

What does the idea mean? It takes a second glance to let its meaning sink in: The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Trying to make something perfect can actually prevent us from making it just good. Perfection in its elusive glory is like a unicorn. Sure, it sounds great, but who’s actually seen one? I’d rather ride a real horse than wait for an imagined unicorn.

So, if you can’t achieve perfection, don’t sweat it. Go for good instead. Gretchen Rubin described it this way:

Instead of pushing yourself to an impossible ‘perfect,’ and therefore getting nowhere, accept ‘good.’ Many things worth doing are worth doing badly.”

Many high-achieving people are perfectionists. This trait characterizes the world’s prototypical Type As, whose ranks of movers and shakers include many business leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, writers and business owners.

And perfection can be a good thing: After all, that drive can push people to do great things. But it has a dark side, too. The challenge of “perfection” can intimidate people so they don’t even try. If perfection is the goal, yet unattainable, what’s the point?

In fact, this is the exact point at which we need to remind ourselves that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Instead of idolizing the pinnacle of perfection, be content with something good.

How do you apply it?

Rubin, the Happiness Project author, expressed her quote in the imperative: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Hers was a direct way of putting it, forcing us to stop and think about our actions. But, what about you? How can you put the principle into practice in your daily experience? Here are some options:

  • Business Idea: Instead of waiting until you have a complete airtight business plan, simply start your business.
  • Software: Instead of ironing out every last bug, release your beta.
  • Products: Instead of adding every conceivable improvement and feature, ship your product. Release improvements later.
  • Health: Instead of finding the right gym, selecting the right outfit and picking the right workout, just go for a walk.
  • Website: Instead of finding the best server, CMS, theme, appearance and font, just get a landing page up and start selling.
  • Email: Instead of trying to create a well-written and grammatically impeccable email, just get the message out and click “send.”

Perfection is a pipe dream. As Psychology Today explained, “‘perfect’ may exist as a concept,” but it’s not a reality. After all, its definition is entirely subjective. “Achieving perfection” is entirely a judgment call, depending on who’s trying to achieve it and who’s watching.

Satisfaction is better than exhilaration.

We’ve been conditioned to think that the right combination of actions will achieve a flash of exhilaration. When we happen upon the perfect marketing strategy, we expect a rush of joy. When we discover the best business for us to start, we’re flooded with an electric sensation of excitement.

This thrill-seeking mentality is yet another symptom of the good killing the perfect. It’s important to understand that the perfect-being-the-enemy-of-the-good can skew aspects of our daily lives, like those listed above. But the concept can impose even more damage, skewing our expectations even as it cripples our actions. So, try the following moves:

  • Rather than expecting aha moments, prepare yourself for gradual improvement.
  • Rather than risking sudden leaps in ability, skill, or progress, expect marginal improvement over periods of time.
  • Rather than waiting for a rush of exhilaration, expect modest satisfaction over time.

It’s good to condition ourselves for success. We can do this by preparing for it, visioning it, pursuing it, seeking it and wanting it. But we can’t expect our success to explode like the finale in a Fourth of July fireworks display.

Instead, success is more likely to be gradual. It may feel good, but it won’t necessarily feel perfect. Success arrives as a sense of satisfaction, not a sudden thrill.


You’re capable of amazing things. But unless you let go of the idea of perfection, you’ll have a hard time achieving those amazing things.

The pursuit of perfection is noble, but unless we’re willing to settle for “good,” we may have to settle for nothing at all.

How can you apply this principle to your daily practice as an entrepreneur?

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Minutes after the Minnesota Twins announced the acquisition of Sonny Gray from the Cincinnati Reds, the White Sox answered with a pitching depth acquisition of their own.

OK, that’s overselling it more than a little. Nevertheless, Robert Murray reported that the Sox agreed to a deal with Vince Velasquez.

Free-agent pitcher Vince Velasquez in agreement with the Chicago White Sox, pending physical, according to sources familiar with the situation.

— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 13, 2022

The terms have yet to be disclosed, and they’ll say a lot about the kind of ambition the Sox have for Velasquez. Their position is enviable and ironic, in that their staff is so strong that it’s difficult to bolster. They’re short on candidates to take starts during the season, but the typical respectable back-end free agent sees no room in the Sox rotation, and the White Sox lack the kind of prospect capital to trade for a starter without worrying about letting a more pressing need go unaddressed.

A pitcher like Velasquez occupies that awkward middle ground. He’s capable of making starts, but he’s struggled enough to where he can’t be choosy about any job that puts him on an MLB roster.

That’s not blurb-quote material, but there’s no inherent reason to be excited. Velasquez’s career hit a new low in 2021, and the highs have been hard to come by after a fine first full season. In 2016, Velasquez posted a 4.12 ERA with 152 strikeouts over 131 innings, but he’s never been able to take the next step.

Part of it’s a dodgy injury record: Tommy John surgery to start his career, followed by an assortment of strains, a comebacker off his arm, a blood clot and a blister. The bigger issue is the lack of a reliable secondary pitch to take some of the load off his fastball.

Velasquez has had a very good fastball — so much so that he made 127 starts over seven seasons despite the lack a plus breaking ball or changeup — but it’s yielded severely diminishing returns over the last two years. He gave up 23 homers over 94⅓ innings in 2021. That was enough for the Phillies to finally cut bait in September, and the Padres saw nothing to like in four September emergency starts.

It’s possible that Velasquez has been his biggest enemy. While Velasquez was in between teams that month, FanGraphs’ Devan Fink wondered what a pitcher like Velasquez is to do in an era where even guys with good fastballs are throwing them less than ever. Velasquez has felt pressure to find another way to get bad swings, both in words and in pitch selection …

… but Fink says that if blasting fastballs is his only way back to adequacy, the White Sox might have a role model on the staff.

If Velasquez were to become a carbon copy of Lance Lynn and throw nothing but fastballs, it might not end up making him too predictable; there’s an argument to be made that it could make him better.

Indeed, when using Statcast’s similarity tool, Lynn is one of the five most similar pitchers to Velasquez in terms of velocity and movement. The former throws a fastball more than 90% of the time, offering hitters a four-seamer, sinker, and cutter; the latter only has a four-seamer and a sinker, and he’s reduced his usage of the sinker over the last two seasons. But while there’s not much to be gleaned from a sample smaller than 100 pitches, that sinker has graded out well in terms of run value in each of the last two years and seemingly has at least some seam-shifted wake that could aid in its effectiveness if thrown more often.

Or maybe that’s overthinking it, and instead Velasquez is merely the most interesting of a flawed batch of pitchers who wouldn’t hesitate to agree to the White Sox’s terms. We can project where he might fit in, but we’re probably better off waiting for the White Sox to tell us.

In the meantime, it’s a good opportunity to remember that insane 15-inning White Sox-Phillies game in 2019, in which Velasquez had to play left field and pulled off one of the damndest performances I’ve ever seen.

He’s not just starting pitching depth, but he might be a defensive replacement for Eloy Jiménez should Adam Engel be unavailable. Rick Hahn likes him some utility, after all.