“Brave men are all vertebrates,” said G.K. Chesterton. “They have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle. But these modern cowards are all crustaceans; their hardness is all on the cover, and their softness is inside.”
Americans are spending way too much on housing. Devoting 30% of pre-tax income on housing costs is considered the standard for affordability, but most Americans are spending nearly 40% (with many spending even more: one in four renters spends more than half their income). For buyers, inventory shortages have pushed up real estate prices, with expensive markets like San Francisco — where the median home value tops $1 million — seeing hardly any houses change hands. Skyrocketing prices across the country are slowing the housing market recovery, with home sales falling to an 11-month low in July.
“I don’t care which way you decide. But if you choose to swim on the national team — if you’re going to train these next two weeks, and get in the pool to race — I don’t want to hear another word about your broken foot until after the meet is over.”
No one has perfect circumstances. I realized, as I looked around the pool, that everyone has something — tired, bad night of sleep, social stress, and more — and the ones who find a way to do it in spite of, and alongside, all that’s going on, are the ones that rise to the top. When we make excuses, we’re just making excuses.
We confuse the fact that change requires effort with the myth that success is unlikely. The evidence actually suggests that change is hard much in the same way that it’s hard to finish a marathon or learn a new language. Of course it requires effort. But the fact that it requires effort doesn’t negate the fact that the majority of people who commit to it will eventually succeed.
PANS is thought to be an inflammatory condition that results when an infection or some other invasive trigger spurs the body to turn on itself and attack structures in the brain. For years, scientists had focused on a single infection — group A streptococcal disease — that produced antibodies that attacked the part of the forebrain involved in forming habits, resulting in OCD. Today, the paradigm has widened into a much bigger idea that expands our understanding of psychiatric disease: A whole host of infections and other unknown triggers lead to the production of antibodies and immune cells that can cross into the brain. Depending on where these immune responses land and which brain structures they block, erode or destroy, a range of psychiatric ills can result. In one person, it could be OCD; in the next, it could be hyperactivity and inattention, anxiety, restricted eating, even hallucinations or autistic behavior.
The two discovered that due to the brain’s circuitry, humans are constantly switching between two states of awareness: being either task-positive (actively focusing on a task at hand) or task-negative (wandering or daydreaming). “Seesawing” too rapidly between these two networks can leave your brain feeling “dizzy” and unable to commit to either state. And when are you most likely to be in this confused in-between? When you’re on social media or surfing the web.