Blog Post #514 Thanksgiving

Coaching for Life Success:  Giving Thanks

It is good to give thanks – for health reasons (plus more)

This article is perfect for today – Thanksgiving Day 2018.

It gives five reasons for why being thankful is good for you:

1- Counting your blessings boosts your health.  The old song from White Christmas goes:

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

You can fall asleep counting your blessings – you can boost your health by counting your blessings (and I can count sleeping great as one of the blessings – I generally sleep like a rock)

2- Slow done the aging process.  In a research study, it was found that people who had a daily practice of gratitude have less depression and can lessen the impact of aging

3- Being grateful can cut your stress.  Another research study found that practicing being grateful can lower a stress hormone in your body.

4- It can help your relationships.  Being grateful and thankful can help you bond better in your relationships as it helps with serenity and calmness in those relationships.

5- It CAN LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AND WAISTLINE!!  Okay, on Thanksgiving is it okay to talk about losing weight?  The research shows that being grateful can lower systolic blood pressure by 10 points and decrease fat intake by 20%

So, today – do take the time to “count your blessings”; make peace with those around you, be loving (as you ask your family or friends to pass the green-bean casserole!!)  It is really good for your health!!



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Blog Post #513 – Pilgrims as Entrepreneurs

Coaching for Life Success – Entrepreneurship Plus

Okay, this is not quite your normal entrepreneurship blog.  It is about the 102 people on the Mayflower – being ‘entrepreneurs’.

For probably a variety of reasons, but primarily for religious reasons, they set off from Plymouth England for the New World.  They had a charter from the Virginia Company to establish a colony. They really landed north of where the charter was – but they settled in what is now Massachusetts.  After two rough months crossing the ocean, to be on land again, even if not quite the location they envisioned was better than being on the Mayflower another day.

In some respects, the ‘separatists’ were entrepreneurs – setting off to find a new life, a new career, a new location, new tasks.  

The separatists had moved from England to Holland to avoid religious persecution, but found that in Holland, while they were free to worship as they saw fit, that they couldn’t get the jobs and income that they wanted since there were ‘immigrant’ (maybe not unlike the immigrants coming to the United States today).  

I look at them (and the Jamestown colony which was founded thirteen years early) as leaving all that they knew for a wild and untamed land.  Yes, they were free to worship, but not free from discomfort.

Of the 102 that started on the journey, the reports say only 53 survived the first winter which was spent living on the Mayflower; and then when they built houses and started living off the ship, even more died of malnutrition, disease, and exposure to the elements (it was a long trip back to an English hospital!!!)

I have tried to imagine what their lives must have been like.  Could I live in a drafty log cabin (without electricity and a toilet)?  Could I live on shellfish and other fish from Cape Cod? (Yes, I do like cod – like with fish-and-chips – but every day?).  Then everyday working communally they built more houses, more infrastructure – in the new environment.

I have lived in Connecticut for thirteen years – and while it is not Cape Cod, it was hit by the winter Noreasters; by rain in the summer.  I can imagine being chilled to the bone almost constantly – and the drafty houses would not keep the rain, the snow, and the cold out very well.  Plus, summers in New England could bring flies, mosquitoes, and some unpleasant days too.

I’m guessing that if the people were offered a free trip back to England, they may have opted to take it – even if it meant renouncing their faith practices and beliefs.  But, they stayed.

Yes, they did befriend the Indians (Native Americans), yes, it eventually did prosper, yes, there are those that really can trace their heritage back to the Mayflower.  

I’m glad they made it – I’m glad for all those that came after looking for the new utopia, for a new adventure and a new life.  Entrepreneurs? Yes, in that sense of quitting all that they had known for the unknown of a new land.

Thank you, Pilgrims!!!  You set an early standard of living through trials and hardships – to make a new life!!



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Blog Post #512 5G and AI – are you ready?

Coaching for Life:  5G and AI

The article starts with this strong statement:
What is “fifth-generation intelligence”? Fifth generation, or 5G, is a term used for a range of technologies that will enable mobile internet to function up to 20 times faster than today’s speeds. Combine the proliferation of 5G data speeds with another advancing technology, artificial intelligence, and you get a new and potentially game-changing era of technological development.

So a technology for mobile internet at speeds up to 20 times faster?  WOW. And then throw artificial intelligence on top of that, and yes “you get a new and potentially game-changing era of technological development”.

The article goes on:

Making you safer online. Globally, nearly 2 billion data records were compromised in cyber attacks within the first six months of 2017, and big tech companies have come under fire for failing to protect user privacy. Once again, enter AI: Now Microsoft, IBM and Cisco, among others, are employing machine learning to protect their customers’ identities and data around the clock and in real time.

“Satellites will play a big role. The towers that mobile connectivity currently depend upon won’t work for 5G, and new towers could cost billions of dollars. So, at least to start, it will only be profitable for telecom companies to develop 5G in densely populated metropolitan areas, building as few new towers as possible. The best way to expand the 5G footprint? Satellites. Groups from SpaceX to the European Union are trying to fill that gap by developing satellite solutions to beam 5G connectivity from space to millions more people.”

I remember in my early years in computing where computers were described as “high-speed idiots”.  The concept was that no matter how fast the computers were, they were no better than the programming built into them.

But, now, the ‘high-speed idiot’ is a ‘super-high-speed-very-intelligent-machine’.  That does scare some people (but ‘horseless carriages’ and ‘flying machines’ also scared our ancestors a hundred years ago.

What should we do?  Learn, learn about what is going on; and be ready for the ‘game changing’ technologies!!!

Are you ready?


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Blog #510 Thanksgiving Hymns

Coaching for Life Success:  More on Thanksgiving

Continuing my thoughts on Thanksgiving.  

Here are a couple of traditional Thanksgiving Hymns and some scriptures about giving Thanks:


We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin;
God our Maker doth provide For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home.


Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.


Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his;  we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

I Thessalonians 5:18: give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

And . an illustration about being grateful.


Happy Thanksgiving

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Blog Post #509 Thanksgiving traditions

Coaching for Life Success – Getting ready for Thanksgiving

My brain has snippets of the old Thanksgiving song we learned as children.  So, I found it on the internet (what did we do for song lyrics and trivia answers before the internet?)

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s* house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!

Over the river and thru the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and thru the wood,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bell ring, “Ting-a-ling-ling!”
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!

Over the river and thru the woods,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the woods,
Now, Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

While my grandparents are long gone, and I’m a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren (who are all five years old for three more months), it is still good to have traditions.  This year I will probably not have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner (my wife and I will be on a Rhine River cruise), but I am already thinking of turkey (white meat please), mashed potatoes (hmmm – how long has it been since I had real mashed potatoes – or really potatoes other than French Fries?), and Green-Bean-Casserole (with French Fried onion rings on top).  Over the years, I’ve even learned to (first) tolerate and (later) like pumpkin pie. And, sweet potatoes and cranberries as well. And then, fall asleep in the living room during a football game.

That is my/our traditions. But, different families and different cultures do things in different ways.  Some might also have oysters, others pasta.

Our society is also changing.  I’m not sure I knew any vegans or vegetarians growing up, but now I know plenty.  Bread? But what about those with gluten allergies? Are you using milk to make your mashed potatoes creamy?  But, Aunt Connie is lactose intolerant. Are the various items organic? What did the cooks use for pans? Was it copper-free (or is that the other way around)?  

We, in America, are becoming diverse.  Should we have tamales in Texas for Thanksgiving?  Curry seasoning? Rice?

In spite of differences, make we should focus on the day – a day to give Thanks.  And, even that day, we can give Thanks to God – however, we think of Him or Her (or to no god at all).  It is good to take a day off, with family, friends, great food, great traditions, and reflect on what is good – and give thanks for that!!

What about you?


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Blog Post #508 Vacation

Coaching for Life Success:  Vacations

Are you taking some time off this week?  At least Thursday? Maybe even Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday?

You should!!

The highlighted article gives four SCIENTIFIC reasons for taking a vacation!

Here we go:

1- Stress Reduction.  You get away from job stress.  (Now family stress might still be there, but generally, that isn’t as bad).  In fact, the article cites a research study that more than just stress, but headaches, backaches and heart irregularities.

“A small study from the University of Vienna found that after taking time off from work, vacationers had fewer stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities, and they still felt better five weeks later.”

2.- Heart Disease Reduction.  That’s right, taking a vacation (and getting away from stress), can help your heart.  Here is another study:

In one study, men at risk for heart disease who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least a week off each year. Even missing one year’s vacation was associated with a higher risk of heart disease.”

So … vacations can help your heart health.  Get away and relax this week.

3- Improved Productivity. Again, the data shows that taking some time off will help your productivity when you return.  While it isn’t a vacation, I know if I’m working on a big project and my productivity is sagging, it is better for me to take a walk – and take a nap.  When I return to the task at hand, my heart is clear and I can generally have better ideas and better approaches.

4- Better Sleep. In the article we find this:

“Researchers say, that vacations can help interrupt the habits that disrupt sleep, like working late into the night or watching a backlit screen before bed. If you have stress from work and you find your sleep is disrupted because of anxiety or tension, take time off and learn to reset your sleep pattern.”

Having troubles sleeping – get away, have a vacation (or holiday).  Get to bed at a decent hour on your vacation, relax and put the problems of life behind you.

If you need to justify this, you can say “Dr. White prescribed vacation time for me, to reduce stress, lessen the chances of heart attacks, improve productivity and give me better sleep” (If you need to, ask me and I’ll try to write that on a pseudo prescription pad!!!  Of course, my father liked to say “My son is a doctor, but he doesn’t do anything good for people”!! Of course, I think I did a lot of good for my students in critical thinking and problem solving – and preparing for life!!!)

So … take some time off this week.  I will be!!


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Blog Post #507 Retirement and Family

Coaching for Life Success – Retirement #7 – Family

We’ve been following Zig Ziglar’s seven spokes (financial, spiritual, family, work/career, physical health, mental help, and personal/social).  Today the last – looking at the Family spoke.

The second article says:

“Retirement is when you reap what you have been sowing all these years. Only this article is about family and not about money. Far too often I have interviewed individuals approaching retirement and their biggest concern is that they have spent so much time and energy on their career and planning for their financial future that they have neglected to nurture one of their most valuable assets: Family!!!”

So, how is your family relationship?  Did you ignore them as you worked through life?  Did you separate or divorce your spouse? Do you have children that you rarely see?  How about grandchildren that you rarely see.

It is time to mend fences.  Go see your children, visit your cousins, see your extended family.  If you have not spent enough time building a relation, try Facetime or Google Hangout (or even Skype) to see each other and talk.  It doesn’t have to be a high-level philosophical discussion. If you don’t agree on politics or religion, then don’t talk about those topics.  Talk about what you are doing and what they are doing.

Yes, friends are important.  But, who is around to take you in when you can’t drive anymore (but not bad enough for an assisted living or nursing home care).  Your close friend Marge probably is about the same shape you are in, and she would wonder why she is going to take you into her house.

Forgive one-another.  Love one-another. Be the ‘bigger person’ and go to them to be reconciled.  

Matthew 5:23-24 says “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

What do you think?  Can ‘bygones’ be forgotten?  Can you reconcile with that ‘hard to love’ person?



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Blog Post #506 Spirituality in Retirement

Coaching for Life Success – Retirement #6

We’ve been following Zig Ziglar’s seven spokes (financial, spiritual, family, work/career, physical health, mental help, and personal/social).  Today the next to last – looking at the Spiritual side of retirement.

Now, spirituality means different things to different people.  To some, it means a church, synagogue, a faith; to others, it may be nature and human kindness.  I am on the faith side of things – but want to suggest that in retirement and in life in general, ‘it takes a village’.  As John Donne wrote many years ago “No man is an island”. For me, that means belief in God and regular worship. For others that might mean supporting nature, supporting other causes that are bigger than one person.  

From this link, the author suggests three ways that your spiritual life enhances retirement.

1 – Keep a positive attitude.  Don’t accept negative thought, keep positive.  Put good thoughts into your brain. “You are what goes into your brain” – therefore let the good thoughts go in!!

2- Life Stage Satisfaction.  You are retired = face it. Yes, you worked hard to get here.  Do you remember telling people “When I’m retired, I’m going to <do something>”.  Well, now you are here. Don’t live in the past!! Be satisfied (and positive) about who you are – and where you are going.

3- Life meaning.  What will give you meaning in this life stage?  Just sitting on the sofa probably isn’t very meaningful to you.  What are your dreams? Who are you really? After years as “Dr. Bruce White”, my life has changed in retirement.  I am happy – and from #1 and #2 know I have to be positive and enjoy this (final) stage in my life.

I have chosen to be positive, to write and blog, to live life fully.  

What about you?


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Blog Post #505 Part-time work in retirement

Coaching for Life Success:  Retirement #5 Career and Work

Okay, I’m not quite ready to give up retirement for a new career.  But with volunteering, four groups that I meet with regularly, tutoring four students and trying to get the other of Zig Ziglar’s spokes down, I’m not sure I could really work a new career!!!  I had a contact for academic advising – which would be fun (for maybe 10 hours a week – two hours a day), but I don’t want a full-time job!!!

But, let’s look at career and work – for retirement – and for non-retirement.

My tutoring pays a little – so it is like a part-time job.  I have to be at a specific place at a specific time, I have to ‘deliver’ the goods (that is, teach and help the students do well).  I like the little bit of income as it makes me feel like I’m going something good for myself. (Not that I don’t like the volunteering, but mentally, without getting paid, it is a good-will, service, being a good person thing.  

For some of us in retirement, retirement can just be boring.  You can just get tired of playing golf every day, of doing ceramics every day, of fishing every day, of sitting and watching television every day.  

Yes, volunteering can be like a part-time job, but the few bucks in your pocket can let you ‘splurge’ and get a Starbuck’s Coffee occasionally, or have a dinner out.  You aren’t getting rich, but the finances can give you a nice feeling.

Of course, there are those that take a part-time (or full-time) job in retirement for the money.  Depending on your situation, that can cut into your Social Security payments. If you want (or need) the money, check how that can affect your government (and other benefits).

Some like the part-time jobs to get out-of-the-house, to interact with people on a professional (or semi-professional) basis.  I was a customer service representative for Kohl’s department store for Christmas two years ago, and I enjoyed it – even with customers wanting to return items and get their money back.  

Maybe your part-time job can work towards other rewards.  My brother-in-law, Bill, worked part-time for an airline for 10 years to get travel benefits on that airline (and my sister and brother-in-law are off on several trips every year).  Or, like my Kohl’s job, gave me an employee’s discount on items (and in the Christmas season that was great).

I have commented that I’d rather burn-out than rust-out.  I’d rather be active than sitting and watching television.

What about you?  Active retirement, lots of volunteering or part-time work?



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Blog Post #504 Mind/Intellect

Coaching for Life Success – Retirement 4 – Mind/Intellect

I’ve been following Zig Ziglar’s Seven Spokes.  They are Financial, Spiritual, Family, Work and Career, Mind/Intellect, Physical Health and Personal and Social.

Today is my fourth day on this and we are looking at keeping your brain busy in retirement (and actually in ANY age!!)

But first a comment (joke).  I keep thinking about the ‘Here After’.  Not the ‘hereafter’ when I die, but as I go into a room, I find myself wondering “What am I here to get -or -here after?

Here are comments from Harvard University on Seven ways to keep your memory sharp at any age:

1- Keep Learning.  Let me share my learning.  Not the least of my learning is writing a daily blog – and I mean daily!!!  Some bloggers do once a week or twice a week. I’ve done one blog post a day for most of this year (yes, I think I’ve missed two).  That means deciding on a topic, doing some research, formulating my thoughts, writing them down, checking spelling and grammar, and publishing twice (Facebook and at

But .. that isn’t all.  I’ve also ‘mastered’ (okay, not mastered) the German language on  “Mastered” as in completed all the lessons once (before they revamped them). Not mastered as I’m still looking for words and expressions.  

2- Use all your senses.  My eyes (sense of sight), and ears (sense of hearing) are probably the most used senses.  I probably need to work on my sense of smell more. The article suggests trying to determine ingredients when tasting a new dish, or taking a sculpting class and let the tactile sense of feeling help with the shape of the clay a well as the odor of the clay.

3- Believe in yourself!!  As we age, we sometimes buy into the myth that we don’t remember things well.  Yesterday I was with a friend (about half my age) who was trying to remember something and she said she was having a ‘brain fart’.  I believe in myself and don’t believe that my mind is gone, rather, I believe it is still strong and vibrant.

4 – Economize your brain use.  This suggestion is to use organizational skills to help your brain.  My iPhone calendar has been my ‘life’. I have all my tutoring appointments, my groups, my other events on my iPhone.  I kid when I say “if it isn’t on my calendar, it doesn’t exist” (but that is almost fully true. I also put my keys, purse/billfold in the same place every time I come in the door.  (I know some younger people who play “where are my keys now” very frequently).

5 – Repeat what you want to know.  My brain is filled with 71 years of great stuff.  I have names and faces of my wonderful students in my brain.  When I see a student (or friend) that I haven’t seen for a while, I will be recalling those details (and hoping I’m not confusing David L with David C.)

6- Space it out.  Recall things from yesterday, last week, last month.  Facebook does some of that as it recalls my memories from previous years on this date.  Today was memories of my trip to Kazakhstan for an ABET accreditation. That was quite a trip and having the pictures does remember me of that experience.

7- Some suggest a mnemonic to remember things – like HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior) to remember the Great Lakes.  I haven’t done enough of that, but that is a good suggestion.

In addition (really back to #1 above), I do daily games – like the SET puzzle, the daily Flow Free, and Flow Hex puzzles for spatial acuity.  “Use it or lose it” is somewhat my motto for keeping my mind/intellect active!

How about you


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