Cholesterol – why all the hate?

Cholesterol – why all the hate?

What do the numbers 27, 46 and 1 have in common? These are the amounts of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen tied up in one tiny molecule of Cholesterol. If you are an animal or a human it would help to know that this molecule is absolutely essential to life. It helps keep stuff inside your cells and keep other stuff outside your cells. It gives structure to the cells and lucky for you it is very malleable, which means your cells can change shape. This is kind of important for movement for example. Cholesterol is also used in helping nerve fibers conduct electrical impulse. They form part of the myelin sheath that surround nerve fibers. Some of the fastest nerve fiber communication has been measured in the nerves that help you sense and evade danger. In some of these nerves the velocity has been measured to about 120 meters per second. That’s the equivalent of traveling the distance of a football field in one second. Cholesterol is also used to make steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D. These help you reproduce, deal with stress, absorb fats and calcium, magnesium and zinc.

A plant doesn’t make cholesterol. Instead, its cell walls are made of cellulose. That is what gives that delicious crunch when you bite into fresh lettuce.

So if cholesterol is so good for you, how did it get such a bad rap?


 

What do 8K, 1.5 Mil and 1 Bil have in common? That is how many people die each year from cardiovascular disease, the amount of people who have a heart attack or stroke each year and how much money is spent PER DAY on diseases related to our tiny friend the cholesterol molecule.

Money is spent on medicine, surgeries, diagnostic testing and some to pay the doctors who try to help people with these diseases. One of the most lucrative specialties for doctors to go into is Cardiology. Those are the doctors that show up before the nurses in the morning and leave after them in the evening.


As a primary care doctor I get to see a multitude of patients with diseases related to cholesterol. The problem is that our bodies can’t handle the amount of cholesterol we ingest. The body actually loves cholesterol so much that it smothers itself to death with it. The body naturally plans ahead, it will store excess fat just incase a long winter or dry season breaks out where food is scarce. This survival mechanism works overtime when we live in an abundance of food.


So what do we do? We have vilified the poor little cholesterol molecule. We have declared a war on it. But, we are losing. We are losing this battle fast. The numbers are getting worse every year. Obesity is increasing at a rapid pace. Heart attacks and strokes multiply.


We found some help in research. Certain medications (called Statins) have been developed to help lower cholesterol levels. Through research we have discovered other risk factors that contribute to strokes and heart attacks. Here’s how they did it.

Researchers took millions of people and sorted them in two categories. Those who have had a stroke or a heart attack (MI) and those who haven’t.

Then they looked at the stroke/MI group and divided them up further into categories like tobacco use, weight, height, sex, race, aspirin use, statin use.

The results were profound.

We found that smoking significantly increases your risk. Uncontrolled blood pressure and having diabetes also made a huge difference.

The American Heart Association put all this together in a convenient calculator in an attempt to predict the risk of you having one of these catastrophic events. Check it out. Stroke / Heart Attack Calculator


So what to do…

Stop smoking, control your blood pressure and diabetes.

Exercise daily

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Find within you the tiny little bit of willpower that can be fostered and kindled, fueled and coddled, to grow to a powerful force of life changing capacity, to burn strong inside you to resist the endless temptation of giving in to your natural urges to settle for your comforts. Push back on your urges and your life will deliver in abundance.

Good luck my friend.

Marthinus Zeeman

A Hero’s Journey

A Hero’s Journey

What life is like on the other side

the side of freedom and joy

what life is like on this side

is the same but gained by choice

 

A fellah found joy, so let’s follow

listen closely and learn from the,

free your mind and let me wallow

and show you a Hero’s journey

…..

A baby was born

A king was scorned

Not the son he’d hoped for came

 

A heart so torn

A mother was warned

The fate of the child was lame

…..

 

Born with one small leg

unable to grab his threads

lame he was labeled

and then

 

He grew in body but not in mind

a blind soul he failed to find

his virtue ruled by vice

and so loosing control of his mind

 

Shunned from the loving light

the warmth turned into a fight

cold and waddling at night

through dust he lost his might

 

A strange woman appeared

in need of a hand

He helped she gave thanks

Kneeled down to write in the sand

 

Let your mind start to wallow

forget the past and tomorrow

live for your life the only one

 

work for yourself

find a friend to help

find your own light in the sun

 

forgive yourself

preserve your health

help those in need of someone

….

so he started to lay low, quietly retreat

weeding and planting good seed

made friends with the ancients

as he began to read

 

faced at the foot of an enormous mountain

started to climb to find something

seeking to find the life giving fountain

his virtues growing and counting

….

the poor legged boy

became the greatest joy

of the people he was able to aid

 

the poor legged dog

became the king’s rock

a hero’s journey was made

…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Disney bought Pixar for 7 bil

Why Disney bought Pixar for 7 bil

Pixar was the first company to produce an award winning full length computer animated movie. They experienced enormous success with their first film, Toy Story. Woody and Buzz are as much a part of our culture as any could imagine. After Toy story came more films with one success after another. Maybe Disney bought this company to suppress competition but I think it goes much deeper than that.

Some of the most successful Disney films revolved around the same theme. In my mind the Disney classics consist of Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, later came Lion King, Aladdin and so on. These were some of the highest grossing films. Most of these films are about love. Love is strong, love can conquer evil, love can break magic, love can heal.

A real shift was needed and it came. The top of the Box Office was waiting patiently for a new contender, someone to break away from the theme of Love.

Pixar stepped up to the plate. With a record streak seen by none before they dominated the Box Office. They brought a fresh new genre to the plate and have been hitting home runs since.

Life lessons learned on the Hero’s journey became the dominating theme. Every Pixar movie revolves around these two themes. The only love story so far was between two robots, and even that was intertwined by a theme on the journey.

Disney couldn’t stand it and finally the two giants collided. It was very nerve wrecking for the staff at Pixar to be bought out. Fortunately Steve Jobs and John Lasseter protected the Pixar staff and they were able to continue working freely and creatively. Here read the book. The difference was that now they could do so with a multibillion dollar movie making machine behind them.

The collaboration brought us treasures of movies. The newest Moana, a perfect example of the Hero’s Journey. A young girl becomes the hero when she saves the entire planet. Empowering woman became another central theme. In Zootopia the feeble bunny becomes a police officer and solves a New York equivilant animal city’s biggest crime. These movies are loaded with cultural and deep philosophical questions.

These new themes promote human development, self improvement and helping others. They promote growth and prosperity earned by taking risk and putting yourself on the line. They encourage young girls to be independent, strong and courageous. They advise to help your fellow human being.

What is Coraline about?

What is Coraline about?

The movie Coraline deals with good vs evil, resisting temptation and addiction.

*Spoiler Alert* See the movie and read the rest. It is on Netflix right now.


The intro shows a Being made of sewing needles making a doll. This Being represents evil, but we do not find this out until the end of the movie when the other-mother transforms into it. At first, the soothing music of the mechanical lullaby distracts us into thinking this Being is well intentioned.

She sends the doll to find Coraline, a spin on the metaphor of a Lion in Sheep’s clothing.

Coraline’s first scare comes in the form of a scrawny black cat, so initially we assume the Cat is the Antagonist.

The Cat can freely enter the other world and back, where he is able to speak. He ultimately informs Coraline of the other-mother’s evil schemes. The Cat may be a metaphor for Good or God.

The other world represents an altered reality from using a substance which may lead to addiction.

It is a world where her mother is happy, caring and cooks well, her father plays entertaining songs on the piano and works in the garden. In her “real” world she feels bored, her mother is mean, her father focuses on work rather than play.

When using a substance a person will feel a sense of altered reality, they may physically feel different, have less pain, become mentally happier, more social or daring or playful. When the effects of the substance wears off these feelings will do so also. From prolonged use the opposite feelings may be pronounced.

As Coraline is more drawn into this world her other-mother starts tempting her to stay forever. At first this has some appeal to Coraline, who quickly changes her mind when she has to make a choice to sew buttons over her eyes.

The buttons represent the point where using a substance becomes an addiction. At the point of addiction one cannot view the world in a same sober way.

For example, a heroin addict will justify committing a crime to satisfy their addiction, an alcoholic will justify spousal abuse and a meth addict will justify a deteriorating body to enjoy the high.

Fortunately Coraline was able to make the right decision and return to her normal world, which in the end she sees with a clear mind and learns to love her real parents and accept her sober situation.


Drug and alcohol addiction is a leading cause of so many diseases. What is interesting though is that much research points to these addiction being rooted in past trauma. Many of the patients I encounter attest to this. Myself case in point, I used to smoke tobacco to relieve post traumatic stress from being deployed to a war zone. Smoking always eased my anxiety. It was an epic battle to overcome that addiction. I want to challenge you today, find the courage to cut back at least. Push on your willpower and see what you are made of. Resist that temptation. If it is God you need, then pray, if it is willpower you need then try every trick in the book to sway your hand in the right direction.

Good luck my friend.

Marthinus Zeeman

My daughters, Please don’t work one day.

My daughters, Please don’t work one day.

My dear daughters,


Afraid of loss afraid of gain

Don’t lose yourself don’t lose the game

Do you wait for life to show you gains

Do you blame life for being the same

Life comes with loss and comes with gain

It’s only worth your time

If you save these lessons in your brain

Remember the past, what life has taught you

Live in the moment, the beauty, what’s true

Hope for tomorrow and patiently wait

For life will surprise and show you your fate


As I watch you grow I realize the beauty of your developing mind. Your fascination with the common rivals that of an alien discovering the human race. The slightest artifact can hold your attention, captivate your imagination and deserve a safe location in your tote bag. An irrelevant piece of glass covered in dirt becomes a wondrous treasure found in the yard. In your opinion, every earthworm deserves a name. As far as you are concerned the weather forecast doesn’t matter, only whether or not you are dancing in the rain. Adding rainwater to dirt makes clay to mold in your hands. IMG_4660Money holds no regard, for the only thing you would buy is what is already free, your imagination. You absorb stories made up on the spot. You crave the surprise held tight in my fist. You desire the feeling of wind in your hair. When you become part of a pendulum swinging from a tree, the shrieks and shrills of swinging higher is a pleasure to share. 

……………….

A time will come when the magic may fade. There comes a shift from leaving your world of imagination to reality. The world of endless pleasures and self driven discovery of treasures will become a world filled with goals and tasks, deadlines and pseudonyms. You will be told to shape up or slip out, sit right and act right, adhere to the rules and obey the facts. To question is to hinder the ideal of the establishment.

As you grow and learn, these fantasies and ideas start to dissolve. They get lost in the humdrum of life. You will face a constant battle to follow your nose or to put it to the grindstone for another. Your work becomes less driven by intrinsic discovery but instead external reward. The feeling of freedom will fade into the past.

……………….

When you are faced with life pressuring you, even gripping you at the throat, demanding your time, remember the days you were young. Remember those times your activities consumed you, when you were in full engagement and following your curiosity gave you happiness.

………………..

Learn again to live in the moment, rediscover the happiness of your childhood delight, explore the world around you as if it was new to you and ever-changing, and don’t forget to make those moments count. Savor those special moments. Take in the beauty of each moment. If you are in awe at a sunset, a sprouting plant, a child’s innocence, capture the moment in your phone and your memory. Moments shared. Moments documented in history. You still have to take the time to study, read and research, but even that can be rewarding. If you are studying or researching your passion, those moments spent cruising the information highway will give intrinsic value.

This is what is meant by; If you love the work you do it won’t seem like work at all. Too many people today find that they don’t enjoy the kind of work that they do. There are many reasons, but among them is the perceived need to earn a paycheck. If you derive happiness from spending money, well, in that case it seems fair. Hate what you do in order to get paid so that you can enjoy spending that hard-earned income. This is fine but you will miss out on so much more value in life. Life happens for us not to us. Unfortunately the happiness derived from spending money is short-lived, that is why you quickly move on to the next purchase. Have you ever notice a child plays with their birthday gift a few seconds?

We do not live to work or work to live. Instead, I think it may be much more fruitful to get paid to live. If your life and what you love to do comes with the benefit of a paycheck, so much more the better. Compared to the person who hates work to get paid to be happy to spend, instead, love to work and make money at the same time.

Finding value in your work will give a much more long-lasting happiness. This is the difference between intrinsic reward and extrinsic reward. Intrinsic is long-lasting, it provides meaning to you and to others. Extrinsic reward is short-lived, it provides false motivation, it encourages enslavement. Slave after that which you enjoy to do and in turn you will provide meaning to life.

So figure out how you can get paid for what you love to do. Once you figure this puzzle out, the rest will be history. Over are the days of slaving after a paycheck. Welcome new days, the new you, who can’t wait to get out of bed to start your work, because your work is just that rewarding.

Work = meaning = happiness

It’s okay to try several different jobs in a lifetime, after all, how would you know what you would enjoy if you don’t try it. Start by thinking what it is that you enjoy to do, and how you can incorporate this activity in such a way to bring meaning to others. It is through this meaning, that others will end up paying you to continue to provide more meaning.

 

I am Doctor Zee

What’s the meaning

What’s this feeling

What is it I am to know

Why this thought creeping

What am I seeing

What seed I am to sow

The question that looms

What to do

Without an answer soon

Only time will tell,

Depends on how bold

My story may unfold

I am here to tell

When I finally figure out

How to become rich

I’ll pay you my dues

No doubt

Share my wealth

To help your health

Is my goal no doubt

So share with me

Your secrets to see

To help save you

And me.

A Curse

A Curse

The word “roof”

I used to pronounce “rooooophh.” The way english speaking people pronounce it. Or so I thought. Until I moved to the U.S. Here I was told it is pronounced “ruff” the way a dog might say it.

“Mirror” I used to call it a “mirror.” You know. M.I.R.R.O.R. Only to one day be corrected in calling it the right way. A “mierrorrr.” Sort of the way a cat might say it. Meaowrrorrr. I was so confused.

But, I adapted.

When I joined the army. I learned the way to pronounce, “drinkin” “swimmin” “divin” “runnin” no need to add the “g.” Forget that useless son of a “b.”

The army taught me the beauty. The art of “cussin” you see. Missing the “g” is no big deal. Missing the “g” is like a missing an 11th toe. Never needed it. Will not implement it. That’s the way of the army.

Cursing was new too. Have you ever tried to curse every other word of every other sentence of every other thought of every other interaction. Wait a minute I thought.

I don’t curse as much in my thoughts. Why curse when I speak?

The army ended. The cursing ended. The smoking ended. A new me started

That’s the way life goes. From a “cuss”, to a fuss, to a life lived long and loved

Keep on keepin on, times of longing gone, forget forlorn, times of promise to come

Marthinus Zeeman

 

Lucky Luke

Lucky Luke

There was lucky Luke, a loathsome lone outlaw, he gained fame for his six shootin game. He was feared in the west and anyone knew best, don’t mess with Luke, let him ride.

For luck was on his side.

With a six shooter pistol before the rooster crows, he would knock of ten. A lucky bullet shot one, two, three in a row, and then,

the crowds would erupt at his display, with luck on his side Luke saved another day.

“Leave luke alone, leave luck on his side. Live long live well, let lucky luke ride.” they would cheer.

………..

How much of success depends on luck? Is there a way to make more luck? What is luck and where can it be found? Do you need luck to answer that last question?

Many failed startups will argue that the one thing they were missing was luck.

Many bronze medalists will argue they weren’t lucky enough to have the right genes.

Many B-students will proclaim the lack of luck of not having good parents therefore good teachers therefore a good education.

We speak of luck helping many successful startups like twitter, paypal, uber and airbnb.

Is this true? Can it really be that Michael Jordan simply had the luck of exceptional genes, specifically aligned with the times and the Bulls to produce the greatest basketball player known to man?

It may be so, but this type of thinking may kill motivation. If success depends on what genes you are born with, and you think you didn’t get those genes, then why try to become successful? If all you need is luck, then what is the point of working towards a goal? If you don’t strike it lucky you might as well give up now right? Wouldn’t it be better to just sit and wait patiently for luck to find you?

I’ve mentioned before that we may be different from animals in that we are capable of abstract thought as well as capable of creating new ideas. We can create tools and objects with our hands. So, can we create luck?

Luck is an abstract idea, therefore is possible to imagine in our minds. It would be hard to prove outside of our thoughts. It may not be very easy to create with our hands, create in a chemistry lab or in a workshop, so maybe we will try a different approach.

Maybe it is possible to find luck. A famous historical figure would argue “I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Maybe not “create” luck, but instead search for it. The fun is in the search. You won’t know what luck you are searching for until it finds you. The luck game is based on odds. What are your odds of striking it lucky? Of landing in that right spot at the right time to hit the jackpot? If you are sitting on your couch watching netflix all day, chances are you might not find that perfect moment where everything is aligned. Your chances are low, the odds are against you.

Now what if you deny yourself the pleasure of sitting on a soft sofa with soft soothing tunes coming through a network of speakers? What if instead, you get up, search the internet, find an opportunity and get after it. In which scenario would you increase your odds of striking it lucky, of finding that golden opportunity?

That’s what is meant by the “goldmine is between your ears.” The amount of luck you gain depends on what you set your mind to.

Let me put it this way. You may be able to increase your chances of getting lucky if you expend more energy in seeking your goal. The harder you work and the more time you put in, the greater your odds of striking it lucky.

We don’t know how much luck played a role in every famous success story but they do share one thing in common. One thing that invariable plays an integral part in the equation of success.

Every underdog movie shows this sequence,

“Cue the montage music!”

The hero of the story gets defeated on their path. It leads them to start working harder than ever. Rocky would wake up every morning before sunrise and get out and start running. A montage of training clips flash by to the beat of an inspiring minor chord progression. The film director zooms in on the straining face of Stallone. A macro lens spies a bead of sweat emerging from his anger and rolls down his forehead in a slowmotion bliss. The third Act begins with the hero facing his opponent with confidence, built on endless practice.

The moment of glory, the moment of joy, that second been forged, by work and work, work employed.

Michael Jordan even admits that his luck came from endless practice. He said that early in his career, after every game he played, he would remember several mistakes he made. Then, instead of going out to celebrate, he would head to the gym, practice those moves or free throws over and over and over. The next morning he would come in early and do the same before practice. That was putting his heart and soul into what he loved. That was him ensuring he would find “luck” in the future of becoming the greatest ballplayer of his day. Watch the video below and tell me this. Were each of those points he scored due to luck?

“To air is not human” – go to 13:49

………………….

The bandits loathed his luck. They envied his hand. There was only one way they could make a stand. They once heard a rumor that luck sits in the soul. They had to strike there in order to gain full control. In a devious plan to give reprimand. Held him down, they sliced off his hand. In a foul swoop a dried clover, his six shooting days were over.

…………………

You see, the misconception lies in the perception of where luck comes from. Are some people just favored by the gods? Are some just born lucky, to strike it at every turn? We tend to jump to conclusions without the background story. We invoke magical thinking to answer questions about where success comes from. We fail to see the progression that lead up to that grand success.

Every success story shares the same thing, the hero started somewhere, had a dream, then started working diligently towards it, practicing endless hours.

That is the hard part though, I get it. How do you get yourself to work ten thousand hours toward achieving that ultimate level?

The trick is to focus on the journey, to focus on the habits you have to form to ensure you have no choice but to reach your goal. Let me give you an example.

If you are trying to lose weight, stop trying to set a huge goal. Don’t say “I want to lose fifty pounds.” Instead, ask yourself, how will I lose one pound? Make it a small goal. Chances are, if you can lose one pound, you may be able to lose two. If you can lose two, you can lose three and before you know it, fifty! Ah, but wait a minute, not so easy.

How do you lose just one pound?

Try this. It is better to try and fail, than try at all. So try the first thing that comes to mind, just one thing, thought of it yet? Now, execute. Do that one thing with all your effort. Give up drinking soda for example. Completely give up soda and see what will happen. Weigh yourself Monday, no sodas through Sunday and weigh yourself again. See if you’ve lost an ounce, maybe a pound?

Studies have shown that by drinking just water for one week straight will result in positive weight loss. I can positively tell you that extra weight will be history, evaporated into thin air.

Keep it going my friend.

Finding the method to loose weight does not depend on being lucky, it simply means you searched until you found it.

…………………….

Luke secretly knew that the key to success

was not in luck or those who are blessed

forged in steel he made a new hand

trigger and all avoid tempting can’t

with his new hand by his side

saved another day,

lucky Luke shall ride

……………………..

Rare moments occur around us all the time. I consider these lucky moments, to witness that perfect mix of luck and chance.

You have to look for these moments. We dream of the last second three pointer to fall through the hoop and save the entire season, but we have to be realistic. Think of it this way, you are lucky to be alive, what are the odds that your exact DNA makeup has ever existed before, almost zero right. You have never existed before. You are the only you. How lucky is that? So every moment you encounter is unique to you. By searching you will find more of these moments.

When I garden and I dig up some earth worms I would call the kids over to come look. There’s that magical moment when they realize they are holding an earthworm in their hand. You can see the joy in their eyes, the curiosity overflowing. I feel lucky to be alive to witness such a perfect moment.

Found some #worms #kids

A post shared by Marthinus Zeeman (@drzeeman) on

The other day I happen to discover a birds nest with little babies inside, I was able to get some video of it, what a moment.

……..

So in the famous words of a legend gone old, “do you feel lucky punk?”

Marthinus Zeeman

 

New video, how to focus on achieving your goals

New video, how to focus on achieving your goals

Hey everyone, check out my new video.

I’ve tried giving some advice here and there on the process of making your goals a reality. Remember it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to get there, but you can only do so by putting in a little or a lot of effort every day. It will take time, but a little effort over time will amount to large success.

Good luck,

Marthinus Zeeman

 

Seasons will change

Seasons will change

Remember where you came from

Remember what you’ve become

It’s okay not to belong

Keep building your own kingdom

 

Every day when you wake

Breathe deep and seize the day

Count back from five

Do not delay

Forget the pain and ache

that’s life I say

 

Think and stare through the floor

Gather your courage,

And make the day yours

 

This one life given to you

Don’t waste it, don’t snooze

Let your success soothe

pain endured and soon

 

Seasons will change

And time moves on

Seek and strive on

You’ve got many to prove wrong

 

The Force is in you.

The Force is in you.

Yesterday I posed a question on what is the difference between humans and animals? It seems as though animals act based on a prewritten script, a blueprint of instructions. Their instincts determine their every move. Humans on the other hand seem to have a choice of how to react. Some may say that we are “determined” to act in a certain way exactly like animals do, but some may say there is something in us, somewhere in our human brain that can think, weigh the odds and make a choice. I mentioned that, as we lead our lives we are constantly acted on by external forces. The course your life takes directly depends on how much you push back, im talking about another force, one from an internal origin. 

Watching my kids grow has been a pure delight. There is a moment, around one year old, that your child will suddenly make their first choice. I think this is the moment your baby becomes a toddler. “Toddler” say it with me, it has a little playful sound to it, makes your tongue dance in your mouth. They come with many surprises at this age. 

You see, a little baby depends on their parents for everything. When they get hungry, they cry. The parent will come rushing in with a bottle to save the day. They soil their diaper. The parents look at each other, the first one to give in rushes in to save the day and so on.

Then comes that magical moment. Around one year old you may place a good nutritious variety of food in front of your darling baby. She will pick up a few pieces of food and suddenly, without warning, toss them to the floor. What just happened? You turn your attention to them, scoop a spoonful of food and aim for their mouth. Their response, “neh” and turn their head at the last second just in time for the spoon to come crashing into their cheek. More food on the floor. This also happens to be the dog’s favorite day in child development. So where did this sudden choice come from?

Let me explain.

As we grow, we come to this realization, that we have a choice in what we eat, what we do and how we react. A toddler keeps growing and learning about choices, they learn what they like and what they don’t. Many times it may seem absurd what they choose to do, but hey, even if they are eating off the floor, at least they are eating, right? It is the parents duty to help guide their child to discover new truths of life, like broccoli really isn’t that bad, or they can slide down the slide on their own. They also learn that crying for everything is not the best reaction but instead to ask for help. 

I’m struggling with my three year old right now, trying to teach her to ask for a snack instead of cry for a snack. When she stubs her toe or gets a scratch to wait instead of crying, wait, waaaait, and the pain will eventually go away. Crying is the response a baby shows to feeling discomfort. It is in learning how to better deal with discomfort that they grow.

I tell this to my patients as well. Especially someone trying to lose weight or kick a habit. There is no magic pill or exercise, to lose weight you just have to push against the discomfort of feeling hungry. To stop smoking cigarettes you have to push against the discomfort of withdrawal. To get that gym body you have to face the discomfort of going there in the first place. 

Our path in life may only depend on these two forces. External forces and your internal force. External is what happens to you, internal is what you make happen. For example, if you walk outside and suddenly it rains. The rain is the external force. You may decide to go back in the house and get an umbrella or risk a few drops and dash like a madman to the car. That is the internal force that helps determine your response to the rain, how you choose to react.

External forces are out of our control. The weather, what happens in the news, the driver that ignores the red light and crashes into another. Some of us are very preoccupied of what may happen in the future. We check the weather report, we try to predict the stock market, we try to imagine what will happen if we say this or that to her or him. Some of us just take one day, one moment at a time. I’m not the one to say which is better but I embrace these changes instead of grubble. 

If it’s sunny out I run outside and enjoy the heat on my skin. If it’s rainy and stormy I run outside and enjoy running against the resistance of the wind and the sting of the rain drops.

Depending on what you believe, these external forces may just be random occurrences in our lives. Internal force is within our control. So ask yourself, would you rather be concerned with what is in your control or what is outside of your control? We decide how we react to external forces, the decisions we make, the actions we take, the mood we exhibit.

There is a flaw in the argument though.

How much of what we do is taught to us by our surroundings and circumstances? How much of how we react to external stimuli are simply prewritten by our previous experience? It is hard to say. Some of us believe that our decisions are in our own hands, some are okay accepting the fact that we are predetermined. Some like to think that these forces are subject to the metaphysical or religious but that’s another discussion.

The argument of determinism takes a different stand. It assumes that we are no different from animals, that we simply react based on a prewritten script, that our actions are merely determined by our genes and previous experience. Determinism goes as far as stripping away our free will. 

If we cannot choose to act a certain way but instead the choice is made for us by our god or our genes we must therefore have no free will to choose to make a decision. What? So both religion and Darwin had it wrong? 

This is an important issue in the legal system. The question of criminal responsibility routinely creeps up in the judicial system. It is the goal of a lawyer to prove their client’s actions were due to external forces. When I was in Afghanistan I caught wind of a famous court case where two F 16 fighter pilots had their sentence of manslaughter reduced on the defence that their actions were influenced by “go pills.” They were taking prescription amphetamines offered by the Air Force at the time which was a routine practice for pilots to help them stay alert on long missions. An unfortunate incident happened where they dropped a bomb on friendly forces killing several.  Amphetamines blamed for Friendly Fire.

Despite the flaws in the legal system we have to remember that external forces may just be out of our control. Once we accept that we can start clearing those anxieties from our daily lives. Try giving up checking the weather, checking the news or trying to predict others’ behavior. 

Look back at your life and try to see what forces have acted on you and how you chose to respond. Which of your actions then led to good things and which led to bad? Now that you have that separated in your mind, try and think, were all those actions, with good or bad outcomes, made  entirely by you? Were you ultimately the one that chose to stop trying diets or stop working out or working on your relationship or working for the sake of working? 

So what if another person’s decision directly affects your life?

If your boss demands you to do something, if a parent restricts their child or a Jewish man is held captive by the Nazis, it means that their life circumstance was determined by someone else’s decision, right? Consider this, from the worker or child or Jew’s perspective they were merely acted on by an external force. The choice they have is in how they will react to their suppressor.

The amazing story of Viktor Frankl illustrates this beautifully. He was an Austrian Neurologist, Psychologist and Holocaust survivor. As a concentration camp inmate he discovered these truths about our lives. He said that “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in a any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Man’s Search For Meaning

So hopefully we are a little closer to understanding ourselves, maybe you are just as confused as I am, but it’s worth a try to see life this way, to take responsibility for our past actions and consider the effects of our future decisions.

With that I leave you to watch Star Wars and really think what is this force within you.

The force is strong with this one.

Marthinus Zeeman

 

Creators, a correction

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Yesterday I wrote an article stating that time is the only thing we cannot create. Any physicist, especially a man named Julius Robert Mayer, will consider this blasphemy. Back in 1842 he created a law stating otherwise. The law of conservation of energy. It states that in a closed system, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred between different objects in different form. Then Einstein came along and turned this idea on it’s head by asking how relativity plays a role. I’m sure we can name a few more things and continue to argue, but the point was that, for our daily lives we are stuck with the same amount of time.

My other point that demands explanation is the question whether animals are capable of creating. As I was sitting on my porch this morning watching the sun rise and playing some tunes, I saw a little bird pick up a couple sticks. I hit an off note, my ears hurt and the bird turned its head in disgust. It then flew away, far away, to go build it’s home.

Wait a minute, build it’s home? Isn’t that creating something?

Let me explain.

There is a difference between spontaneous creation and recreating from a plan. Spontaneous creation comes from previous knowledge and hand motor skills to make something new. A certain set of learned skills are used in combination with your brain power and a few tools and walah you created something brand new. The other way to create something is to work from a plan. A builder looks at the architect’s blueprint and builds the home exactly the same way it was done before, nothing new.

I bet that most of you create something new every day. You open your closet and assemble your outfit. This is the process of making something new. You take previous knowledge and apply it to match your clothing and produce a new look. When you tell a story you recreate the experience in verbal form. You use your vocabulary, syntax, intonation, metaphor and walah, a brand new story told.

Here is the question.

Are animals able to create de novo? Are they able to learn skills to manipulate their environment and create something new? If you take a small finch egg, hatch the baby bird, feed it and let it grow and once released into the wild, it will automatically begin assembling a nest. It will build its nest exactly like any other finch builds theirs. This is because nest building resides in a blueprint somewhere in the bird brain.

Animals are born with these instructions. Their instructions determine their behavior. A finch is born with the instructions to build a nest. A baby fawn is born with the instructions on getting up right after birth and walk over to it’s mother for a drink of milk. A human baby is born completely dependent on its parents. A newborn will certainly die if not taken care of. As a child grows, they have to learn different skills. They have to learn to crawl, then walk, then speak and ask for food. My three year old has learned the skill of pulling a chair up to the fridge, opening it up and grabbing the remaining strawberries from the top shelf.

But…

For the sake of turning my argument upside down, we have found examples in the animal kingdom of creating de novo. Chimpanzees in the wild have been witnessed to take a stick, strip off all the leaves and stick it in an ant hill. The ants climb up the stick and the Chimp has a delicious snack. There you go. An example of an animal that can learn behavior from another animal, apply it to their environment, create a tool and use it. Chimp fishing for Ants

Do you still feel special?

Don’t worry, I don’t think any chimps will attempt to take over the world any time soon, but just in case, we have Mark Wahlberg to back us up.

The part that I find interesting is the satisfaction derived from the process of creation. In writing, film editing, building swings and climbing walls for my kids, it all gives me a sense of satisfaction. This is very peculiar. I see the power of creation as a very unique characteristic of human beings. I alluded to the idea that if an animal has the capability of metaphysical thought that they would see our brain power as a superpower.

This is what intrigues us so much about our animal counterparts. We see their abilities as super powers. The bee can see infrared, the hawk can see a mile far, the owl can see at night and the platypus can see electricity. Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spiderman, Iron Man, the Hulk and more would agree, he would definitely include some of these abilities in his superheros.

Unfortunately I can’t tell if a bee derives pleasure from seeing infrared, their antennas might buzz and their tail might wiggle when they see their favorite color flower but who knows? I can say this much though, my dog Shaka is obsessed with chasing a stick or a ball or a squirrel. As soon as he sees me hold a ball his tail starts wagging, he starts jumping around in anticipation. He hates it when I make him sit and wait after I throw the ball. His whole body shakes with excitement. He will run and fetch, run and fetch, run and fetch all day until his tongue drags on the dirt. He finds pleasure in the chase, the thing that he was born to do. He originates from the wolf who hunts for it’s prey. If wild dogs did not find pleasure in the chase they might starve.

The pleasure is in the creation. I wrote another article on this and how this idea may help depression.

This brings me to my point.

There are some things we cannot create. There are many things we can. Our lives being one of those. We are constantly acted on by external forces, pushing our lives this way and that. At the end of the day the change you make in your life depends on how much you push back. It depends on the decisions you make, from minute to minute ask yourself, does this decision contribute to my life?

Think about your misfortunes and success, is there a correlation to the decisions you have made in the past?

The ability to create is a very strong power. “With power comes great responsibility.”

You are your own creator, you owe yourself the responsibility. 

Marthinus Zeeman

 

 

How to Make Time

How to Make Time

Dear reader,

This article is on how to manage your time, you can also watch the video version.

You are born a genius, at least from a giraffe’s perspective.

You possess a super power, at least from a spider’s eye.

You, my fellow human person, possess the power to create, to foresee the future and plan, to envision your sculpture and form it with your hands. An animal reacts to immediate stimuli and impulse, unable to imagine what possibilities lie out there.

Throughout history humans have evolved their creations from smoke signals to the telegraph to the iphone in your pocket. From chasing deer to chasing a football to fantasy football on the iphone in your pocket. We have created cities and highways, freeways and byways. We are the creators of our own ways, our own lives.

But,

What is the one thing we cannot create?

Time.

You see, time is on it’s own, well, time, unaffected by your wishes and desires. When you hit a roadblock it keeps marching on, when your phone dies, time ticks away. No one can stop it, no one can speed it up, no one can create it. You are given a set amount. You get to spend it how you choose.

So where does that leave you? What if you wanted to learn a new language, get another degree, read a book, get to the gym, get a promotion, but you have no time?

Maybe there is a way. Maybe I found a clue. Maybe you can figure it out on your own. I can’t walk in your shoes but I can tell you how I found more time.

As a doctor I work up to 70 hours per week, on a slow week I work a standard 40 hours, actively. Then, when I get home I put in a few more hours finishing charts and updates. I suffered a terrible disease. I was afflicted with having no time. How do I make time for my three daughters, my gorgeous wife, my energetic dog? How do I make time to play guitar, write blogs or even use the restroom?

I found a few ways that have worked for me, they may work for you, but here’s the trick; You have to find what works for you, you can try what I have done, or what the neighbor does, your facebook friend or your co worker, but you have to read the books and watch the youtube videos. You have to accumulate ideas, come up with your own and try them all. Try them UNTIL you find what works for you.

I started waking up between 4 and 5 a.m. The house is quiet, the kids and dog are snoring away, my wife is dreaming of me. Three extra hours that I work for myself until eight a.m. when that changes. I read on the way to work, via audiobook. I’ve read a good number of books in the last year, all via the audible app (see the list and some links at the bottom). I listen to books when I run, cook, play blocks, mow the lawn, iron my clothes, even on the toilet. The best part is you can triple speed them, so a three hour book will take you one hour to read. If you have a 20 minute commute to work, you can read an entire book in two days. Most books are 10 hours on average, that means you can read a book every few days. Do you think this may help you in some way? Will reading a hundred books about your goal get you closer to it? 

Audible Free Trial

If your goal is to grow your business, learn the stock market, learn history, about weight loss, quitting a habit or anything else, take one month, read 20 books and you might pick up a few things that will help you achieve that goal. Time well spent.

There’s a goldmine between your ears, so start by listening for the entrance.

You can’t create time, but you can learn how to use yours more efficiently.

The other way is to give up some of the things you already do to free up some time. Remember, you are given the same amount of time as everyone else. I get the same amount as any other doctor, the same as my old army buddies, the same as my highschool friends, my college roommates, everyone I know. The Pope, Obama, Trump, my dog Shaka, we all share the same 24 hours. The difference is in how you choose to use those ticks and spend those tocks.

If you don’t know what activity to give up, ask yourself the following.

What activities do not contribute to your life? Or is there an activity that wouldn’t affect you if you gave it up? Is there one you can replace with an activity that would change your life? What about watching TV shows, watching the news, driving to get fast food instead of eating leftovers, checking your social media account every 30 minutes instead of every hour?

You know what you do all day, now find some time to sit and think about your time.

Here’s my first Youtube movie on making Time and here is a brand new video on  Time Management, enjoy. 

Thanks for spending your time to read my thoughts.

Marthinus Zeeman

Here are some of the Books I’ve listened to in the last year, most of them multiple times.

Here are the links to some of my favorite books, all available on the Audible website.

The Great Courses: The Addictive Brain” target=”_blank”>The Addictive Brain  Your Best Brain
The Art of Exceptional Living” target=”_blank”>The Art of Exceptional Living  The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting
The Servant Leadership Training Course” target=”_blank”>The Servant Leadership  A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph” target=”_blank”>The Obstacle is the way  The Richest Man in Babylon
Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” target=”_blank”>Unshakable  The Compound Effect
 The subtle art of not giving a f*ck  As a Man Thinketh
 Born a Crime  The Power of Ambition
 Made to Stick  Exploring Metaphysics
 The Walking Drum  Mindset, Psychology of Success
 The art of the deal  The Rise of Superman
 48 Laws of Power  Flow
 The Art of Seduction Creativity

 

Not all Habits are Bad

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Is there a struggle you are facing? Are you stuck in the same old rut? Do you find yourself waking every morning and snoozing the alarm? Let me help.

Continue reading “Not all Habits are Bad”

Beal street

Walking down Beal street

Started thinking

What is life and

Why I am sinking

Walking down Beal street

Looking for answers

What can change me

What am I seeing


Walking down the mississippi

And who do i see

The king’s alive

He’s shaking those hips

Walking down the mississippi

And who do i see

The king’s a leading

The many, the free

Walking down the mississippi

And who do i see

J’s a walking

On the water with me

Walking down the mississippi

And who do i see

Jay’s a walking

Rapping to me


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What is bitcoin

What is bitcoin

WhitePaper

Above is the white paper. This was written by a guy who nobody knows who he is. Described in this paper is everything one needs to know about it. Unfortunately it cannot predict the future of its product.

Let me explain my experience with it thus far. I met my old army buddy for a hike one day. Deep in the Sierras he explained the basics of the coin. At the time he pondered whether it will hit $2000. 10 days of hiking led discussion later we left the Sierras to reunite our phones with the internet. The first piece of news, bitcoin increased to a little over $2k. My friend was ecstatic. He made money by hiking. I finally got a job and saved some money. Instead of paying my credit card off I bought bitcoin on a hazy night. At the time a coin cost $4500. Within 2 months the value of what I owned doubled and then some. Not much later the value tripled.

I discussed my experience with a few people. I sent several of them a small percentage of bitcoin. I hired an app developer and paid the initial down payment with bitcoin. I bought coffee with a fraction of coin. All transactions were done via email. None of the transactions lost a percentage or a transaction fee. The transactions occurred as far as from Hawaii to India. The rest, to different US states and some right here in person. All transactions were instant. The only transaction fee occurs when you exchange bitcoin for any other currency. Most folks did not convert to conventional currency. Every single person saw their gift increase in value. The developer received a generous bonus and replied with a smiling emoticon.

How it works?

Every transaction that occurs between two bitcoin addresses are recorded in the network, it’s public knowledge. What remains private is the identity of who holds the address. Perfect anonymity. When a number of transactions have been recorded a group of computers or “miners” go to work. The bitcoin algorithm WhitePaper determines a randomized math problem that involves all the characters that define the transactions. These characters are the bits that contain the information regarding the transactions. Date. Time. Address. Amount. Etc. the data is then scrambled and the computers go to work again. This time the goal is figure out the solution to to the math problem that results in the information being unscrambled. This takes an immense amount of energy. The fastest computers in the world are working together on this. We know this because the reward for the computer that finds the solution is to write that block of transactions coupled with answer to the math problem into eternity. It then gets added to the block chain. The end of the block is coupled with a scrambled version plus the answer of the last transaction in the previous block. This way each block added in succession is linked to its predecessor and so the entire block chain therefore can never be reversed. Unlike banks a payment can be recalled with a good enough argument. The block chain has no conscious therefore cannot be convinced via reason.

Now why all this effort?

The reward for recording a block into eternity is one bitcoin. This bitcoin is then in possession of the miner and they can elect to sell it or keep it or turn it into dollars.

Here’s the catch.

There’s ONLY 21 million bitcoins available!!! Right now about 16 mil have been found. It is similar to what happened to real estate in Hawaii. There is limited land that is very desirable. So over time the land value in Hawaii skyrocketed due to its scarcity. With a known limit of bitcoin and knowing that eventually all will be mined investors in the coin are betting on the eventual scarcity to continue to drive up the price. So far it has worked. It has out performed the stock market by all measure.

The miner. You can buy a mining machine for as little as $4k. The catch, it eats energy. In several states and other countries specifically China, solar farms are being built to support the energy demand. Bitcoin is essentially a representation of an amount of energy used.

What’s going to happen when all the coin has been mined?

There will suddenly be an immense amount of solar farms with nothing to do but provide green energy. Services will be paid for across continents with zero transaction fees. There is no such thing as over draft fees. Banks may loose income from less transaction fees. The government won’t be able to tax payment. Transaction fees between bitcoin and conventional currency may sky rocket. Tips for your waiter won’t be shared with the rest. I may pay off my credit card, although so far the increase in value has outpaced the 15% interest rate on the card.

Good luck. Buy at your own risk.

according to the WhitePaper;

The incentive can also be funded with transaction fees. If the output value of a transaction is less than its input value, the difference is a transaction fee that is added to the incentive value of the block containing the transaction. Once a predetermined number of coins have entered circulation, the incentive can transition entirely to transaction fees and be completely inflation free.

It may be a good idea to invest in mining?

Records App 1

Page 1:

The user login with their email & password or choose to sign up.

If matching email & password then go to page 4. 

If (sign up) go to page 2.

Page 2: 

A user can type their email address and a unique password and reenter the password. If a unique email and matching pair of passwords entered and (confirm) go to page 3. 

If anything otherwise give an error message and allow the user to try again. 

(back to login) go to page 1.

Page 3. 

New users have to enter all the data fields (except the For the doctor section) and if (confirm) go to page 4. 

A doctor using the app also has to enter all their info (including all the info for the For the Doctor section). If a doctor doesn’t enter ALL this information then give an error message and allow them to try again. 

If the doctor entered all their information completely and (confirm) go to page 4. 

There will be two lists created as users enter the above information. A general user list and a list of doctors. This will be relevant later (on page 12).

Page 4. 

This will serve as the Home Page for the App.

Here a user can view their own records, request, share or get a summary of their own records. 

Whenever another user shares their records with another user, for example if a patient shares their record with their doctor, the doctor will be able to get to those linked records from this page by clicking (linked records).

Another example is if an elderly person shares their records with their son or daughter to allow them to take care of their medical issues. 

If (request my records) go to page 5 and after page 7 (this is the “request” pathway)

If (summary) go to page 10

If (share my records) AND a user has selected one or more records then go to page 5 and after page 6 (this is the share pathway). If no records were selected give an error message that reads no records have been selected. A user may also share their “summary” record.

If (linked records) then go to page 12. 

A user should be able to “share” their records with doctors or other users. 

A user may only request records from a doctor, hospital or clinic.

A user may view records of other users who have shared their records with them.

Once a user purchases a summary of their records, this summary will be uploaded and displayed here on this page in the top left corner of the other records. 

The rest of their records will be displayed next to it here on the screen.

If a user clicks a record then highlight that record.

If a user [click and hold] a record then maximize that record to a full screen view and allow the user to resize the record, zoom in and out and scroll to other pages of that record. 

Page 5.

Here a user may search for a doctor (this list would be made up from all the doctors that have previously joined the app). I also want my company to be able to add doctors and clinics etc to this list manually. 

If a user does a search and no doctor is found they can enter the name & location manually. This is only for the purpose of requesting a record. My company will add this doctor’s name to the list manually for now. 

When a doctor’s name is searched and found and selected (by highlighting the name) OR a doctor / clinic / hospital name has been entered below AND the dates of treatment has been selected AND (confirm) is clicked then go to page 6 or page 7 depending on what pathway the user is on.

A user may also search for other users whom they desire to share their records with. 

If the user is on a “request” pathway then show the Doctor/Clinic list (this list will be maintained by my company, this list will only contain doctors and clinics/hospitals names). Once selected and (confirm) go to page 7

If the user is on a “share” pathway show a list that includes both doctors and other users of the app. Once selected go to page 6. 

Page 6: This is a popup that reads “user name (the doctor or user that was chosen) can now view your records.

(return) go to page 4.

Page 7: the agreement to obtain records. Display the agreement document from my company.

(agree) go to page 8

(disagree) go to page 4

Page 8: the user will sign with their finger. This signature will be saved and imported onto the document displayed on page 7. The patient’s information including their name, date of birth etc will also appear on this document. My company will then send this document to the clinic / doctor the request was made to. 

It is important that the App compiles this document to avoid my company from having to fill out any part of document. A copy of this document with the signature and user name and information will be uploaded to the patient’s documents displayed on page 4. 

(confirm) go to page 9

If on the “linked records” pathway and (confirm) go to page 14.

request pathway: (confirm) send an alert to my company that a user has requested their records.

Page 9: A pop up message reads “Your records will be promptly requested…”

(return) go to page 4. 

Page 10. 

This is for the In-App purchase of having the medical record summarized.

If the user clicks (agree) then they will be charged a certain amount and taken to page 11. 

If (agree) then send an alert to my company that a request for a summary has been placed.

Page 11. A pop up message reads “your records will …translated…”

(return) go to page 4.

Page 12: Here a user will see a list of names of people who have shared records with them. For example a doctor will see many names of all the patients that have shared records with them. Alternative the son/daughter of an elderly parent will see their parent’s name here and will be able to view their parent’s shared records.

The search function will allow a user to search other users who have shared their records. For example a doctor may search a list of their own patients to find their records.

If a name is highlighted and (view records) go to page 15. If no name is highlighted then give error message and allow the user to try again.

If (return) go to page 4.

A doctor may also add a patient’s name here (only doctors are allowed to do so at this time)

The doctor can enter the patient name, date of birth etc and when all this information is added and (add link) is clicked then go to page 13.

Page 13: Pop up window that shows the text information with the doctor’s name, NPI # and DEA # and text that reads “I am Doctor…” Only if all the information is entered and the user clicks (agree) then go to page 7, then 8, then 14 (this is the “link” pathway).

Page 14: Pop up  window that reads “your linked records….”

(return) go to page 12

Page 15. This shows the records of the user that shared their records with you.

These should be able to be zoomed in and resized etc as on page 4. 

(return) go to page 12

Every patient a puzzle

There always seems to be a puzzle to solve. Each patient presents with this or that. After swapping a few stories we come to find out it was actually these and those that were really the problem.

To find these and those one have to try and search for them on a daily basis. The search happens within the data. The data generated by each patient. The point of the search is to find a pattern in the data.

The pattern is the key to the puzzle.