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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What does sex and age have to do with competiveness ?

Do you think that age and /or sex affect the degree of competitiveness?  You probably know individuals, both male and female, who are extremely competitive.  Also, you probably are acquainted with male and female individuals of all ages that are competitive.  If there are differences in competitiveness, what might those variables be?  You know, we all have been hardwired to be competitive as it is necessary for one’s survival.  Has our degree of competitiveness been modified through the ages?  We know that in families there are competitive differences among the siblings when birth order is taken into consideration.  Freud, in his psychoanalytic theory, wrote about the Oedipal and Electra complex in describing the male and female’s attachment- competitiveness with father as it relates to mother.  So family dynamics play a part and contribute and reinforce competition beginning in childhood and continuing throughout adulthood.
In my family, I am the oldest of three siblings.  I have a younger brother and a younger sister.  I would say that all three of us are extremely competitive and continue to be so especially with each other.  My brother Ron is a physician and was certainly very competitive in school where he excelled.  Although Ron is five years younger than me, he continues to work in the medical field.  During one conversation, he told me that a physician friend of his was George Bush’s personal physician. My sister Beverly, 10 years younger than me, also excelled in school.  She is president of her head hunting firm that places individuals in executive-positions in information-- technology in large firms. Beverly claim to fame was when she met Steve Jobs, who was interviewing her to attain whether or not she should do an executive search for him.  A good example of my mother’s competitiveness was around playing the word game Scrabble.  She would not let anyone beat her at that game, and had a dictionary ready to challenge the use of any word.  If the word was not in the dictionary, I could not use it, too bad for me. I would not play that game with her very often since it was not any fun to lose.
Okay, an article on competitiveness appeared in the December 10-11, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal.  The article based on a study titled “Competitiveness across Lifespan: The Feisty 50s,” by psychologists Mayr, Wozniak, Davidson, Kuhn’s, and Harbaugh reported that in their research that included 543 men and women between ages 25 to 75  found that men are more competitive than women-a pattern that seemed unaffected by age-and the gap could not be explained by ability. They also found that the will to compete climbed from the youngest ages up to the age of 50, and then it finally began to decline.  My questions are: 1. Was there research group randomly selected? 2. What generalizations can be made from their findings? For their study, they used arithmetic problems that had been properly solved and added the use of a monetary reward.  Would the results have been the same if the task was something other than arithmetic problem solving?  Would the results have been the same with the use of an intrinsic reinforcement? I could go on and on but in fairness, I did not examine the research design. I want to hear what Secretariat has to say about his competitive spirit and this study. I like what Winston Churchill had to say: “Successes is the ability to go on from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”


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