Family Health By Design

Empowering families be to live life with passion and purpose

Mom and child

November 29, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Family Health Starts With Mom and Dad- 5 Tiny Habits That Eliminated my Allergies

Family health is the responsibility of both parents, Mom and Dad and it is the foundation that has the potential to leave a legacy of disease or health and vitality.

As a kid who was born in 1962 our food system was not filled with as many food additives or chemicals as there are today and I believe that is why, my mom, and my two sisters, and myself were pretty healthy. But that isn’t the case with many families today that are eating the standard American diet. Many families today are facing health challenges like:

  • Allergies
  • IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Auto-Immune Diseases

In 1980 at 18 years old I began to experience allergy symptoms when I was exposed to dust, pets, and trees. I decided to go to my doctor and get tested and I was blown away by what they found. If you have ever been tested for allergies you know that the way they test you is to put a grid on your back and prick your skin with a small dose of substances in each section of the grid and if there is a reaction that means you are allergic to that substance. The results the doctors gave me was a list of about 10 things I was allergic to. for example. I was allergic to trees, dust, and all pet dander.

I followed my doctor’s recommendation and started immunotherapy where I had to get injections each week to allow my body to build up immunities to the substances I was allergic to. This went on for a year with no changes, I still suffered from the same symptoms.

In 2008 I was on a 7-day cruise with my family and on the return trip home there was not much to do because you are on the ship for the rest of the trip home. One of the days my wife and I decided to attend a health talk where the speaker began to share that if you are currently experiencing things like obesity, high blood pressure, and poor health that the last ten years of your life can be very difficult and painful. This started me on my journey of examing what I eat on a daily basis and along with some valuable information my wife was learning at a local nutrition class and I was shocked at what I found.

The first thing we started doing was read the nutrition labels of the dry foods we eat on a regular basis. Foods like macaroni and cheese, crackers, potato chips. (most of these foods contain high amounts of preservatives, fat, and sodium.

The second thing we started looking at was the quality and the number of servings of fruits and vegetables we were eating on a daily basis. We found that we ate about 1-2 servings a day of mostly non-organic and produce and many were canned or frozen. ( Daily recommendations are 3 cups for men and 2 1/2 cups for women). Source VeryWellFit.com

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

The Third thing was to begin drinking half of our body weight in water. ( Water helps with weight loss, regular bowel movements, mental clarity, and healthy skin).

The Fourth Thing we did was change where we ate when we ate out, we eliminated fast foods and ate at restaurants that cooked fresh foods in healthy ways. (many fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Wendys use a lot of preservatives and food additives). ( I noticed that every time I ate my favorite meal at Wendy’s I had a headache afterward and when I stopped eating there the headaches stopped).

The fifth thing we did was to buy organic produce whenever possible and avoid the dirty dozen. ( These are 12 food you need to pay the most attention to how it is grown and harvested. The details on each one are listed at The 2020 Dirty Dozen List  I included the list below.

The 2020 Dirty Dozen Foods List:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

In summary, After following these five steps for the past 12 years I was able to eliminate all of my allergy symptoms, lost over 50 pounds, created a habit of looking at my diet before I visit the doctor, and finding alternative ways to help my body heal. Many people have left their health in the hands of their physician but do not realize their doctor does not have any knowledge about good nutrition unless they live a healthy lifestyle themselves. My doctors only wanted to treat the symptoms with medication but never wanted to get to the roo of the problem

Make the commitment today to be 100% responsible for your health, look at the five things listed above before you seek treatment for minor ailments. If you have a serious health issue contact your doctor right away or go to the emergency room.

November 3, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Making Family Time A Priority Can Be A Challenge – 5 Ways to Make it Happen

Making family time a priority today can be a real challenge but with a little creativity, it is possible.

On Oct 16th I had the extreme pleasure to go on vacation with my lovely wife for one whole week in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA. We have owned a timeshare in Lake Tahoe for over 3o years and we look forward to being able to get away for one week every other year and unplug from the hustle and bustle of life. What is so wonderful about this trip is we have no agenda with the exception of some of our favorite spots we love to visit.

One of my favorite spots to visit in the Lake Tahoe area is the Camp Richardson Nature Center and what makes this place so special is that is causes you to slow down, look and listen to the sights and sound of nature. One-stop on the trail has you sit on a bench and listen to how the wind blows across the grass and the sound it makes and during that time when I am still I can hear several different creatures around me moving in the bushes and the water. Creatures like ducks, lizards, and birds, one time we even saw a bald eagle but what makes this experience even more special is that I get to be in this beautiful place with the love of my life Valerie. The feelings, sounds, and sights stay with me long after vacation because I can recall the memory at any time and be right back on that bench hearing the wind and other sounds.

Courtesy of Tripadvisor.com

These are the memories I will never forget. I can still remember being in Carmel, CA with Valerie 32 years ago walking down Ocean Avenue and turning into a little alleyway where we stopped in at least 5 different shops to look and their creations and recall the scarf with the Stewart tartan Valerie gave me as a gift from the Scottish shop or the smell of the coffee walking by the Carmel Valley Coffe Roasting shop.

Photo courtesy of USDA Foerest Service

Five of the ways to make Family Time a priority

  1. Add family events to the monthly calendar first and work all other things around them.
  2. Revisit places you went when you were dating.
  3. Get the kids involved by allowing them to make some suggestions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help to make it happen.
  5. Take photos of each trip and create a photo album.

Life is too short so be sure to make time to unplug as a family or as a couple, you won’t regret it.

October 13, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Happiness Is An Inside Job – You Have the Power To Make Yourself Happy

Happiness is an inside job, it is not a fleeting feeling it is created by our own thoughts.

Have you ever said to yourself I’ll be happy when we get our new car or I’ll be happy when I get that promotion? Many people make their happiness dependable on an outside source and don’t realize that happiness starts on the inside, it starts with what we think about.

Some people postpone their happiness all their life just waiting for that one thing instead of taking the time each day to really think about what makes them happy and focus on those things each day.

What if you could wake up each morning, be grateful for all the good things in your life, and be open to all the other blessings that await you that day? What would that feel like? How would that shift your focus from all the outside temporal things you believe would make you happy to living in a constant state of happiness and gratitude all the time.

I know what you are thinking, how is that possible? Can it be that I have the power within my own mind to make myself happy, it’s true you do have that power, you were just never taught how to access it until now.

There is a simple formula I learned years ago but never applied until a couple of years ago where you write down the things you want to attract in your life on a 3X5 index card. The income you want to have, the car you want to drive, the dream home, and even that special someone and you read that card each morning and each evening with feeling and imagination as Earl Nightingale explains in the audio The Strangest Secret In The World and you can listen to the message on Youtube here.

I have been following this formula for over five years now and it has changed the way I view life, I am happier than I have ever been. All it took was a little extra time out of my day in the morning and in the evening, and by applying this formula I created a new habit of generating my own happiness. Think about that for a moment millions of people every day are waiting for something to make them happy and they have everything they need to make it happen within their own mind.

Are you ready to be happy? Are you willing to put in the work to change your life, exchange old habits that don’t serve you for habits that empower you to pursue a life of purpose? You won’t regret it, you are worth it, you deserve to be happy and use your gifts to make others happy. There is a quote by Zig Ziglar that says “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want”. I live by that motto every day.

Listen to the Strangest Secret, follow the formula and come back and leave me a comment.

Remember you have the power and it has been inside you all along.

September 18, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Why Can’t We Discuss Our Differences Instead of Arguing? 5 Ways to Talk About Issues With Respect and Compassion

Why can’t we discuss our differences instead of arguing? Why can’t we discuss difficult issues with respect and compassion?

I had a very interesting experience last week when I attempted to post a link to an article on Facebook written by Ty and Charlene Bollinger. The article shared CDC Admits to Inflating COVID Death Count with the intention to share the article with my Facebook friends but I received the response in the photo below and my post was blocked by Facebook’s software. That is a subject for another article.

The real interesting thing happened when I posted a photo of the article instead. My friends began to make comments like “that is fake news” and “You are misinformed” but not one person asked the question “Why do you believe that?” There was no dialogue about the facts or an attempt to understand each other’s position and that is plaguing our entire nation. Why can’t we be open to hearing another person’s experience or opinion when it differs from our own?

We must learn how to discuss our differences and also teach our children to do the same. We all believe what we believe based on our experience and our source of news but what if we had the tools to ask compelling questions with the intention to learn from one another.

Five Ways to Talk About Issues with Respect and Compassion

  1. Listen with the intention to understand.
  2. Ask compelling questions to understand more about them and their experience.
  3. Be self-aware of what triggers you and why.
  4. Focus on solutions and how to solve the problem together
  5. If you can’t agree, agree to disagree and move on.

By practicing the five ways listed above you can become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. You can be part of a generation of world changers that are not threatened by opposing views or beliefs but welcome them. You can be an example to your children and equip them with the knowledge they need to become a powerful communicator at a time it is most needed.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I would love to hear about your experiences on this topic.

Mike

August 21, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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When Life Knocks You Off Track How Do You Recover? – Five Ways to Get Back on Track

When life knocks you off track how do you recover?

Have you ever like you were in a really great place in your life where everything seemed to be working for you and all of a sudden you’re hit upside the head and find yourself on the side of the road of life dazed and confused? Maybe you experienced a health challenge or a job loss, maybe you received some bad news but all of us experience it at different times in our life. How do you handle it? How do you pick yourself back up and dust yourself off and keep going? Some people seem to never recover, some people drown their sorrows in alcohol and drugs, and some overeat.

In March we are put on lockdown and told to stay indoors, and this week even though we have the ability to go outdoors we are hit with fires that make it dangerous to go outdoors. It reminds me of Roseanne Roseannadanna of Saturday Night Live would say “It just goes to show you it’s always something if it’s not one thing it’s another”. The real question is what do you do to get back on track?

Five ways to recover when life knocks you off track

  1. Continue to remind yourself of what you want your life to be. Write on paper exactly how you want your life to be in present tense and feel what it’s like to have it and read it 3 times a day out loud. Our unconscious mind has no defense against your own voice.
  2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and challenge you to always go to the next level. To be the best you. They say you live your life based on the lives of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  3. Find ways to give and help others who are struggling with your time or money. you can volunteer at a homeless shelter or a food distribution program. By helping others you are helping yourself.
  4. Talk to a friend about what you’re going through, don’t isolate yourself from your friends and family, if you keep all this stuff in your head you are sabotaging the possibility of finding that great opportunity you have been praying for.
  5. Exercise, by exercise you can improve your mood and get many other benefits like. Release feel-good hormones: Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that improve your mood and contribute to a positive sense of well-being. Endorphins even help relieve pain, which often accompanies depression. [Modulates important neurotransmitters: Depression diminishes the neurotransmitters associated with mood and stress response (serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine). Exercise increases the availability of these essential neurotransmitters, which may restore healthy brain function and help you feel better. Boost your self-esteem: Depression contributes to negative thoughts and feelings of low self-worth. However, exercise has been shown to enhance self-efficacy — your belief in yourself and your abilities.
  6. It’s relaxing: Raising your core body temperature through exercise may reduce muscular tension and make you feel relaxed, which alleviates symptoms of anxiety and stress.

I actively practice these five tips and it always helps me get back on track and feeling better about myself and life in general.

Leave a comment on the ways you get back on track.

Have a great week!

July 17, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Men Self-Confidence and Feelings – How Men Can Share Feelings Without Being Weak

Men’s self-confidence and feelings have been a topic that has been avoided or overlooked for years because men who shared their feeling were weak. That is what I’ve heard from many men over the years. If you shared your feelings or got emotional both women and men would say you were weak.

The only safe environment where I saw men vulnerable was at a men’s church retreat, in all other settings it was taboo for show emotions or even cry. Why is that? I can remember being told as a boy growing up by several male figures in my life that men had to be tough and It was better to just stuff my emotions especially if they were negative and were accompanied by tears. There are many negative side effects of teaching boys that philosophy like almost 50 percent of married couples in the US will get divorced. Many marriages have domestic violence happening to men women and children.

I believe we can lower the percentages of divorce and domestic violence if we will begin to train men as young adults to process their feelings and give both men and women tools to be better communicators. Imagine a couple who may be having a disagreement being able to so effectively communicate that they resolve issues in the first conversation.

Now is the time for community centers, high schools, and colleges to start offering these classes and courses.

I learned some skills and tools of talking about my feelings good and bad five years ago at a weekend workshop and it has made a huge difference in my marriage.

Seven Tools

  1. Preface a difficult conversation with your spouse with ” what I’m going to say may upset you”
  2. Ask your spouse if you could have our marriage be any way what does that look like for you?
  3. Always come from a place of love and harmony.
  4. Becoming a good listener, make your mate the priority.
  5. Visualize your wedding day and remember why you fell in love.
  6. Forgive each other now, life is too short to hold a grudge against your best friend.
  7. Give one another permission to speak openly about how they really feel without judgment or interruption

You can eliminate most disagreements before they ever escalate to finger-pointing and blaming. Communication and confirmation is the key.

A famous author said once that couple should communicate like they were confirming an order at your favorite fast-food restaurant. It goes something like this, Jill who is a housewife says to her husband “honey when you come home and ask me what I did all-day it makes me feel as if you don’t value the role I play in raising our kids and taking care of the home”. Ben replies “so what I hear you say is that when I come home from work and I say to you what did you do all day you feel devalued as a wife and mother”, is that correct? Respectful compassionate communication is the key.

By talking about it the first time it happens you prevent what I call the volcano from erupting. You know how gasses and pressure build up in a volcano and eventually erupts by spewing ash and lava everywhere. Some of you may remember when Mount St Helens.erupted it caused a lot of damage all around the mountain and just like Mount St Helens the eruption of a husband who has stuffed his emotion for years will do a lot of damage to a marriage.

I hope some of these tools have been helpful to you. Please leave a comment with the experiences and communication tools you have used in your marriage.

Have a great week!

June 20, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Was Shutting Down the Economy The Answer To Covid-19? You Decide

Was shutting down the economy the answer to stop the spread of Covid-19? I have heard various reports from news agencies and government leaders that it was vital that we shut down all small businesses to be able to stop the spread of the virus but there is a group of doctors that are saying it caused more harm than good.

On May 7th, 2020 Tony Robbins interviewed a panel of 7 doctors. I listened to the podcast of this interview last week and what I heard shocked me because I did not hear any of this information from the mainstream media. Listen to the podcast here.

THE PANELISTS INCLUDED:

  • Dr. Michael Levitt, PhD, Nobel Prize – Chemistry, Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford
  • Dr. Eran Bendavid, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University
  • Dr. Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus, Cleveland Clinic
  • Dr. Alan Preston, Sc.D, Former Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Texas A&M
  • Senator Scott Jensen, M.D., Family Physician (R-Minnesota)
  • Dr. Dan Erickson, M.D., Co-Owner, Accelerated Urgent Care
  • Dr. Artin Massihi, M.D., Co-Owner, Accelerated Urgent Care

The actions taken by government officials around the world have caused way more deaths than Covid-19 would have caused according to the numbers reported.

Repercussions of government actions and stats

  1. COVID-19 will double the number of people facing food crises unless swift action is taken. Read More
  2. Coronavirus pandemic may lead to 75,000 “deaths of despair” from suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, study says. Read More
  3. Nearly 9 in 10 COVID-19 patients who are put on a ventilator die, New York hospital data suggests. Read More
  4. Case fatality rate = 3% age 70 and over; Age 60 and under is less than 0.2%
  5. Hospitals are laying off doctors and nurses, closing floors Read More
  6. Dr. Rozien “If you’re under 60, you’re at very low risk of getting a severe problem from this,” Roizen; China mislead us to believe lockdown stopped the spread”

As I continued to listen to the podcast I learned that two of the doctors on this panel were trying to get their messages out to the public but their Press Conference video was removed by YouTube. You can watch the video HERE.

As I continued to research the history of how our media has changed I found several fascinating facts. These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

I was also shocked by a Facebook post from a friend of mine that shared how many of our local news networks were being told what to say or they were all reading from the same script.. Watch the video HEREI learned years ago to stop watching my local news if I want to know the facts of what really happened.

After researching all the facts I concluded that our government officials and our new media overreacted and shutdown our local businesses out of fear without really checking the facts and our news media beings controlled was a big part of spreading that fear like wildfire.

I remember a time when our news networks employed investigative reporters that were allowed to get the real scoop on the story but those days are gone. If you want to know the truth about any story you hear on the news you have to do your own research. Don’t just read or listen to the liberal or conservative view but be open to all views and be willing to discuss it with people who may have a different political view. I believe we can empower each other by sharing what we found in a respectful compassionate way and in a grassroots manner create more unified communities. If we want real change it will have to be done by you and I not being afraid to talk about the issues and also being willing to listen to each other. By educating ourselves we will truly bring the power back to the people.

Have a great week!

June 2, 2020
by Mike Stewart
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Are The Nationwide Protests Really A Solution To Police Brutality?

Are the nationwide protests really a solution to police brutality?

I was really confused yesterday when I was driving to Morro Bay yesterday when the freeway traffic came to a screeching halt for about 15 minutes. I attempted to find out what was causing the problem on my GPS application when I looked down the freeway and I was shocked when I saw people of all ages walking down each side of the freeway carrying signs protesting the tragic death of George Floyd. The crowd was chanting black lives matter.

I was confused at how shutting down highway 101 was a solution to police brutality and this caused me to just shake my head when one of the protestors stepped toward my window and F… You which just confused me even more. If they were chanting for peace what did that lady lash out at me?

On my way home I felt such compassion for all the police officers that do their job with integrity who are being grouped or labeled with office Chauvin as a brutal killer. I waved to each one as I passed by to let them know I support them doing their best to protect the peace.

When I arrived at home I became curious if this was happening all over the country and I was shocked at how out of hand all the protests got with people rioting and others looting the stores and lighting fires in several cities I had to ask myself how is this making a difference to stop police violence in the future. I feel that the protestors could have spent their time more wisely organizing workshops that focused more on solutions than the problem like developing programs or laws that we could get passed to change the future without breaking any laws.

Are we focusing on what happened or the story that is being reported?

The truth is that ALL LIVES MATTER, every human being has value and each one is precious.

What happened?

A police officer lost sight of his sworn duty to serve and protect and in doing so killed George Floyd.

What was reported by the news media is still not quite clear, on one had it was reported that George bought a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill and another report said he wrote a counterfeit check. The real issue is that a human being was murdered after repeatedly telling the officer that he can’t breathe. I can’t imagine how this tragedy has rocked the world of all of George’s family and friends and I pray for them every day.

Some people believe that many activists are using this as an opportunity to spread their own personal agenda by organizing massive groups to protest for their cause. The protestors are carrying signs that talk about justice but their tone is very threatening. These are supposed to be peaceful protests but the protest I witnessed on the freeway yesterday was anything but peaceful and the news stories that are reporting from across the country confirm that.

How do we really make a difference?

I believe the best way we can make a difference is by showing compassion for the victims, their families, and friends, let each person have the opportunity to share their feelings, how they are affected by this problem and if they have a solution to offer. This problem will never be solved by more violence or aggression against the police, it can only be solved by unity and love for one another.

Image by Linus Schütz from Pixabay

Each person has a moral obligation to stop the spread of violence against all people regardless of color. I believe it is imperative that we do our best to stop the mass protests across the country that do not offer a solution, the only people that are benefiting from the protests are the thieves who use it as an opportunity to loot the nearby stores.

The Apostle Paul provides the answer in this passage from the Bible in Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

If you are afraid or upset or in fear by what you are seeing on TV across the nation please reach out to someone who can help you process those feeling in a safe place and give you the support you need.

If you need a resource in the Arroyo Grande or Five Cities area on the Central Coast of California please reach out to me.

As always I value your feedback.

Have a great week,

Mike

May 24, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

What Have We Learned From Covid-19?

What Have We Learned From Covid-19?

How did it impact you initially, what was your greatest fear, and how is impacting you now?

Many people responded in fear by stockpiling supplies and raiding the grocery shelves and throwing and throwing a wrench in the supply chain/

Some people came right out and said it was going to be no worse than the previous flu viruses that we experienced in the past.

Many people responded with compassion by helping others that were alone or senior citizens.

But the real question is what did we learn? How are we going to prepare for something like this in the future?

Let’s start by looking at what some people learned from Covid -19.

Before I share what I learned, let’s look at what other people have learned from various sources.

One person shared the following from a discussion when he was asked the question

  • That we probably aren’t ready for what’s coming.
  • We ravaged grocery stores and stacked 10 years of toilet paper in our homes; all while fast-food chains and coffee shops stay open.
  • People are treating this current pandemic as if it is the plague. They’re behaving as if it is the plague, they’re ravaging super-markets like it’s the apocalypse, and they’re showing signs of violence toward each other.

Another person posted on the same forum

  • A microscopic organism can create worldwide terror.
  • ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’- This is the first time in the history of mankind that these lines have proved to be worthless. Staying aloof is the best solution to fight this pandemic.
  • Saving Life sometimes is very easy- Just stay at home and you can save the precious life of a human being. You don’t need to fly to be a Superman or Wonder Woman.

I read a good article that had a list practical lessons on called LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS

  • Get the facts Uncle Joe does not know as much as the CDC when it comes to the Coronavirus and that is why it is important to get the facts from trusted sources. It is also important to teach our children how to conduct research on the internet from trusted sources. The local news and social media are not always telling you the truth but contain misinformation, politicized content, and scary data and this pandemic is a great opportunity to help your child get the real facts of why things are being done and where the real decisions are being made.
  • Good Hygiene  The CDC or WHO should not have to remind us to wash our hands, to wash our thumbs, or to use warm water, and always wash your hands after using the bathroom.
  • Realize and focus on the things you can control By focusing on what we can control we can alleviate anxiety for ourselves and our families and explaining why choices are being made for us can have a positive effect instead of creating more fear.
  • Remain calm If we remain calm in the midst of a crisis and use common sense we are modeling good practices for our children that can help them when they grow up. Practices like meditation, deep breathing or even dancing to your favorite musician help relieve stress.
  • To have compassion for others By understanding that everyone responds to stressful situations or emergencies differently we have an opportunity to show more compassion and empathy. By being of service to people who are unable to shop for themselves or perform simple tasks around the home we can bring them a greater sense of peace just know they are not alone and that someone cares.

What I learned from the Covid-19

  • You can’t trust the local TV news A friend posted a video on Facebook that confirmed that my local news was not reporting real news but most of it is scripted by a commons source. The local news networks repeat statements word for word. 
  • It is important to focus on helping others I found it more inspiring to focus on how I can be of service to others by volunteering at my local church giving food to families in need and offering to run errands for seniors in my local neighborhood than to focus on the possibility of getting sick or what rights or privileges I was being deprived of during the stay at home order.
  • To get updates on the virus and county ordinance from one source I was very pleased to find that a local county supervisor Lynn Compton would share daily posts of how many people had contracted the virus, how many were hospitalized, and what the plans were for reopening the local businesses. I also liked the way she provided links to the Governor’s updates. It really helped me realize that the virus was not going to have the impact on our society that was previously predicted.
  • I like to cook and eat at home I started cooking more regularly at home due to the stay at home order and I now actually look forward to cooking with my wife in the kitchen.
  • How to be more active on social media and meet people around the world. In the past month, I participated in two different challenges on Facebook that were focused on shifting your business model to be more virtual than physical that challenged me to take action and launch a coaching business. I met people from Spain, Africa, Australia, the UK, and each of my new friends inspired me to share my gifts with the world.

I would love to hear what you learned from the Covid19 pandemic, leave me a comment.

Until next time, Mike

May 18, 2020
by Mike Stewart
0 comments

Are We Being Fooled By Fake News? – 5 Ways to Verify Fake News

Are we being fooled by fake news?

Have you ever turned on the local news and heard about a story and share it on social media only to find out the news was fake?

Have you ever had a coworker share a story with you that really upset you only to find out the story was not true?

Some people will only listen to the news on television and some will only listen to the news on the radio but what is more troubling is most people never research to see if the story they heard is true, they talk about it with their friends and family as if it is true without verifying the story.

I was that person!

I used to be a victim of fake news daily when I used to travel from job to job repairing phone problems and as I traveled I would listen to the radio in my company truck. I would hear a story the host of the radio show I was listening at the time, sometimes it was a political issue and other times it was a conspiracy story but the problem was I would get so riled up about it I would come home and share the story with my wife without ever verifying the story was true.

I followed this routine for about a year before I learned something very powerful. The news we hear on the radio or watch on TV is only giving you enough facts to support their point of view and they never share the source where they got the story from.

I got upset when I learned the truth

Have you ever saw a story that was posted on your social media feed and shared it because it was information that everyone should know to protect themselves only to find out later when you checked on sites like Snopes.com

Image by andrewsbird from Pixabay

5 ways to verify if a news story is true

  1. Develop a critical mindset. Ask yourself, the following questions.  “Why has this story been written? Is it to persuade me of a certain viewpoint? Is it selling me a particular product? Or is it trying to get me to click through to another website?”
  2. Check the source. Is it from a well know agency or is it a post on someone’s blog? Does the article contain spelling errors?
  3. Examine the evidence. A credible news story will include facts, quotes from experts.
  4. Read beyond the headline. Read the whole story, many times writers and advertisers will post a fake news story just to route you to their website to sell you their product.
  5. Check your biases. Confirmation bias has people to put more stock in information that agrees with their beliefs and discount information that doesn’t. Read from sources from both sides.

Teach your children to follow the same guidelines and you can save them a lot of pain socially. I can remember when I was in school kids would spread rumors about other kids because they did not like them or to make themselves feel better. Always tell you, child, to talk directly to the person in question and ask them point-blank. If you are concerned about the person being mad you can ask the question in the following way. “What I am going to say may upset you but I heard a rumor about you and I wanted to confirm whether it was true or not.”

By teaching our children to communicate openly and with respect you will be equipping them to build solid relationships based on trust and not fake news.

Have a great week

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