Vulnerability – The Birth Place of Shame, Joy, Love and a Meaningful Life – Brene’ Brown

Brene’ Brown is my new hero(ine). You must check out this fantastic talk she did at TED in 2010.

I’m currently ordering numerous copies of her recent book, The Gifts of Imperfection, for all the mothers I know for Mother’s Day.

Emminently readable, vastly significant and life-changing.

If you’d like a FREE copy of my award-winning book, Guide to Self: The Beginner’s Guide to Managing Emotion and Thought, simply go to, click on the yellow book icon on the left side of the page and enter your name and email address.

Have a relaxing Mother’s Day!

To life, love and laughter,

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.
Founder Guide to Self, Inc.
Award-winning author and blogger
Anger management coach

Kids – Learn Your Math Skills! Numeracy Skills Linked to More Wealth

From Science Daily…

ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2010) — Couples who score well on a simple test of numeracy ability accumulate more wealth by middle age than couples who score poorly on such a test, according to a new study of married couples in the United States.

Psychology of wealth, success and happiness

Researchers found that when both spouses answered three numeracy-related questions correctly, family wealth averaged $1.7 million, while among couples where neither spouse answered any questions correctly the average household wealth was $200,000. Numeracy is the ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts, and are skills typically learned during school.

“We examined several cognitive skills and found that a simple test that checks a person’s numeracy skills was a good predictor of who would be a better family financial decision maker,” said James P. Smith, a co-author of the study and Distinguished Chair in Labor Markets and Demographic Studies at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. The other two authors of the study are John McArdle of the University of Southern California and Robert Willis of the University of Michigan.

Researchers found that choosing the wrong person as a family’s primary financial decision maker can have consequences. While families choose the less-numerate spouse less than 20 percent of the time, when this does happen total household wealth is lower.

The findings are published in the November edition of The Economic Journal.

The study relied on a sample of married couples from the Health and Retirement Survey, a nationally representative survey of Americans at least 50 years old that includes high-quality measurement of family wealth and tests of cognitive ability of both husbands and wives. The Health and Retirement Survey is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Researchers say the skills needed to make successful investment choices are among the most cognitively demanding that a family has to make, especially as they get older and assume greater control of decisions about their wealth, pensions and health care.

The new study is one of the first to examine who makes these financial decisions for a household, how that selection is influenced by couple’s personal attributes and the relative cognitive abilities of both wives and husbands.

In addition to studying numeracy skills, the study also examined the impact that other cognitive skills, including memory retrieval and intact mental status, may have on financial outcomes. Researchers found the other cognitive functions studied had far less influence on a household’s wealth.

Other findings from the study include:

• As the numeracy score of each spouse rose, the percent of a family’s portfolio held in stocks increased.

• A man was the financial decision maker in 62 percent of the households studied. This male preference was particularly pronounced when the husband was older and more educated than his wife.

• Selection of the husband as the financial decision maker was more sensitive to a husband’s numeracy ability than it was to the numeracy skills of the wife. Even when a husband scored zero in his numeracy test, there was essentially a 50-50 chance that he would still be selected as the financial decision maker. This male bias in choosing the financial decision maker has been declining over time so that it is smaller among younger couples in this age range.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging to RAND, the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.

1. James P. Smith, John J. McArdle, Robert Willis. Financial Decision Making and Cognition in a Family Context. The Economic Journal, 2010; 120 (548): F363 DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02394.x

RAND Corporation (2010, November 10). Couple’s numeracy skills linked to greater family wealth, study finds. ScienceDaily.

Study your math! Study your math! Study your math!

To life, love, laughter and wealth!

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Founder Guide to Self, Inc.

For a free PDF copy of the award-winning self-improvement book on positive psychology and optimal human functioning, Guide to Self: The Beginner’s Guide to Managing Emotion and Thought, visit and enter your name and email address for 216 pages of the latest tools to manage your mind. This book includes tools to turn down sadness, stress, anxiety, guilt and anger. What’s more it includes tools to turn up the volume on curiosity, joy, pride, love, compassion and relaxation. It’s the key to your courage, success, wealth and happiness.

Positive psychology for dogs? Strengths-based redemption

From Desert News…

Hector - Michael Vick's former fighting dog

Hector – One of Michael Vick’s former fighting dot

Rescued pit bull makes successful transition from dogfighting

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 1:16 a.m. MDT By Steve Fidel, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A pit bull named Hector that was rescued from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s illegal dogfighting operation in 2007 is now a certified therapy dog that makes visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

He and owner/trainer Roo Yori also made a visit to Glendale Middle School on Monday to teach kids how to interact safely with animals.

“What do you do if you want to pet a dog?” Yori asked students. “Ask if you can pet it. The most important thing is to ask if you want to pet the dog. Not all dogs are as friendly as Hector, unfortunately.”

Hector, a one-time fighting dog now retrained as a therapy dog, takes a break during a demonstration Monday, Oct. 11, at Glendale Middle School. The “friendly” moniker might be unexpected for a dog rescued from a dogfighting environment.

In the case of the 51 dogs saved from Vick’s illegal fighting operation, Yori said 47 were either sent to rescue sanctuaries or adopted instead of being euthanized.

“Every dog coming out of that situation handled it differently. Hector came out of that situation pretty much like this,” he said, pointing to a docile, friendly dog that gives high-fives, rolls over on command and wears a vest that reads “Ask to pet me — I’m friendly.”

Hector needed the usual socializing skills once Yori and his family adopted him — he needed to learn not to jump up on the dining-room table or chew on the furniture.

That successful socialization is also part of the work Yori promotes in his role as director of care and enrichment at the Animal Farm Foundation.

“He’s got scars all down his chest (from fighting). He’s got scars down his leg. He’s got a missing notch out of his tongue,” Yori said. But Hector settled down quickly once his environment changed. “We promote the idea that all dogs are individuals,” he said.

Football star Michael Vick was a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons when he was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting ring. He served time in federal prison and remains highly controversial among animal rights activists since being signed with the Philadelphia Eagles one year ago, less than one month after his release from prison.

For full article, click here.
For free award-winning self-help book on ways to turn down the volume on anger, sadness and anxiety, as well as ways to turn up the volume on happiness, relaxation and pride, visit I’ll trade you a free copy of my book for your email address and name!

All the best,

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Founder Guide to Self, Inc.

Award-winning author, blogger, speaker and mental health professional