"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
Some of the Most Interesting, Thought-Provoking (Though Slightly Controversial) Topics for a Speech or Assembly in 2017.
So you've been asked to give a speech, talk, or assembly. And you want it to be memorable. You want your audience to think -- to feel something. To question their entire worldview, perhaps.
Now you just need a topic.
Skip the boring cliches. No one wants to hear you talk about abortion, the death penalty, gun rights, or minimum wage. These are huge and broad topics, and you're not an expert. You'll put your audience straight to sleep.
This week, I bared my soul in the semifinals of Mars Studios' songwriting contest... and I lost. But I had a wonderful time competing, and I got some helpful feedback from the judges.
And, due to the lyrics of one of my songs, I was reminded of the most hilarious review anyone's ever written on Amazon.
An open letter from a Christian, politically moderate farm girl from Iowa. With a BA and MA in Psychology, and an extensive background in both gifted and disadvantaged education.
Dear Senator Chuck Grassley,
You have been an Iowa senator since before I was born in Black Hawk County, and you have always been a household name. My family has discussed you over dinner. I’ve beamed when hearing you mentioned on Sean Hannity while working in the barn. I’ve even written papers about you in school -- one of which hypothesized that you might run for president someday!
Let me start by saying: I lied. Kind of. Psychology research shows that Unless You're a Psychopath, You Are OBSESSED With What Others Think of You. Because the ability to cooperate and form large societies is one of the biggest evolutionary advantages ever, we are hardwired to care tremendously when people think bad things about us.
BUT! We can absolutely decrease how sensitive to and aware of others' opinions we feel. Here are three scientifically proven ways to liberate yourself, and just be you.
Everyone who's been paying attention knows that if anything mattered in 2016, it was La Croix.
LaCroix is a lightly flavored, sugar-free carbonated water wrapped in a garish can. It was a favorite drink of Midwestern moms in the 1990s -- but suddenly exploded in popularity and ubiquity in the last year. The New York Times published an essay raving about it. The Awl and Time Out New York ranked its flavors. Young urban professionals everywhere can't stop talking about it.
In short, it's become an obsession.
"Too Early is the Same as Wrong" - Why I Should Have Dressed as Microaggressions THIS, Not Last, Halloween
"Too early is the same as wrong, too late'll make you miss the train," I sing in my totally non-pretentious original, "Too Early (The Startup Song)."
It's based on an old saying that describes failed startups like SixDegrees.com (the original social network), GO Corporation (the original Palm Pilot -- and, arguably, iPhone and iPad), and LoudCloud (the original Amazon Web Services). And also the Halloween costume I wore last year.
Novels are great! They stir the soul. They share emotional journeys we can all relate to. It's great to read novels – which is probably why Stanford provides a list of three books -- usually novels -- for its incoming freshmen to read each summer.
My freshman year, the Three Books were M Butterfly, Annie John, and Old School, which was actually pretty spectacular -- especially since I'd just graduated from a New England boarding school.
But let's be honest. Did any of these books change my life? Prepare me for college? Change the way I think? Improve my cognitive skills?
No. But this one will:
Annie's all, "Now get lost."
Humans love chivalry -- just take a look at every movie ever made. Woman gets in trouble. Man saves woman. Or look at some of the most beloved photos from every wedding ever. Grandson dances with Grandma. Father walks bride down the aisle.
A venture capitalist I respect... err, respect enough... recently said that he very pointedly never compliments his daughter on her looks. Because sexism, feminism, bla bla bla.
He invests wisely, so I guess I should care what he has to say. But honestly, I think he's wrong on this. Sadly, other "experts" (which, all too often, means "people on the internet with an opinion") have echoed the sentiment -- and it's time to set the record straight.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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