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Hack Your Emotions: Replace Jealousy with Appreciation

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Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies. – Gore Vidal

Of all the things I’ve done, one of the rare smart moves I made was this: many decades ago I actively worked to defeat the emotion of jealousy. I honestly can’t say when the last time was I felt jealous.

Many years ago, I noticed jealousy creeping in when a friend succeeded or had great fortune. I hated the feeling. That’s no way to live, to be irritated when the people you love the most do well. I analyzed the emotion and realized jealousy wasn’t a problem with the friend. They weren’t gloating over their good fortune. They were simply enjoying it. I realized my jealousy was a problem with me.

Being jealous is no way to live, to be irritated when the people you love the most do well.

So I fixed my attitude. I believe the key to emotional hacking is to replace one emotion with another. You can’t stop emotion, but you can reprogram it. Use your neo-cortex to bombard thoughts into the amygdala until the emotion you want becomes your instinct. In short, fake it until you make it. Or, think as you wish to be.

Surprisingly quickly, I found myself enjoying others’ successes, instead of coveting them. I was able to experience genuine joy at their good fortune as well. I suspect they were relieved at my enthusiasm on their behalf. Usually when you succeed, there’s a least one person along the way who (intentionally or not) brings you down from your high with a belittling remark. It’s a delightful change of pace to have someone say, “That’s great! I’m happy for you!” and be real about it.

This is still a bit abstract, so let me mention as many specifics as I can to achieve this hack. First, be sure to appreciate what you have. Appreciate. Appreciate. Appreciate like an Olympic gold-medalist of appreciation. Be thankful for what you have and so glad you have it. That will keep you from thinking, “Shucks, everyone gets the breaks but me.”

Second, be honest. A lot of success comes from hard work. Usually jealousy activates when you see someone reach a milestone, but you weren’t there when they were staying up late and/or getting up early to get where they are. They got there by doing something you were unwilling or incapable of doing. Congratulate them on reaping the rewards of their efforts.

Of course, maybe they just got lucky, like say, won a drawing and scored a new car. Regardless, you should be happy for them. You wouldn’t want them angry at you in the same situation. You’re friends, they’ll share with you and if the roles were reversed, you would share with them.

Jealousy is deadly. It combines some insidious thoughts: you want something, but you don’t want to work for it and you dislike a friend for their success. Jealousy is toxic on many levels and it can and will destroy relationships you could just as easily be enjoying.

MegaPodzilla App Is Live!

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MegaPodzilla is one of those gems on the internet. What I mean is, it’s one of those labors of love that’s been going strong for a long time (in this case, since 2009) it’s run by one person (in this case, “Krazy Joe”) and it’s a solid work.

I hope we’ve gotten to the point where everyone knows that popularity doesn’t always imply quality

Maybe I’m biased, being an indie author, but I’m convinced my works are on par with those called “professional.” In the same vein, I think MegaPodzilla is an entertainment podcast as good as any other. I hope we’ve gotten to the point in history where we realize this truth: popularity doesn’t always imply quality and obscurity doesn’t always imply a lack of quality. Popularity can be manufactured, and is can be a matter of luck, timing or artificial manufacture.

MegaPodzilla is good stuff, and I’m not saying that just because I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed on the podcast to promote my novel Loser’s Memorial (at Amazon.). (Click to open MegaPodzilla podcast episode 52 MP3.)

In my effort to learn more about developing mobile applications, I’ve completed an Android app for the show. It’s got the full collection of almost 80 podcasts, with science fiction and movie guests, and some funny skits here and there. It’s 100% free, so if you’ve got an Android, try it out. You can listen to the podcast’s extensive collection of episodes wherever you are. Click picture or link below.

Click to see the MegaPodzilla app in the Google Play Store

Make Your Own Page-A-Day Calendar Web Page With JavaScript

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You know those page-a-day-calendars? One quotation, holy book verse, or cartoon a day? I wanted to make something like that for the web. Plus I like the idea of set-it-and-forget-it content.

So my goal was to make the page change automatically each day. JavaScript was able to do this relatively quickly. The harder part was coming up with 366 bits of content. (365 + 1 day for leap years.) The trick is to use the same file name. I would suggest setting up a PDF and using some freeware to automatically produce the pages with the needed file names. In my case, I used qece0xxx where xxx is the number of the day of the year.

I had these graphics lying around from when I developed the code in 2000. They’re silly questions from my zine QECE (1996-2001) from the ‘page-top ramble’ – a scrolling bit of stream of consciousness questions and deep thoughts that went across the top of every page. I’ve tweaked it the old JavaScript for 2014 standards and here we go. Now you can set up a website that changes daily without API, feeds, etc. Just make the graphics and go! Below is an example of the question (don’t bother looking at that Geocities link – that was my site from a long time ago.) Also, code below served by PasteBin.