Author Archives: MacroMichael

About MacroMichael

I aim to promote mental health and philosophy that will help as many people as possible towards a better quality of life - including myself.

Intro to ‘Balancing Mood for Greater Productivity’

IMG_5985

I have decided to start a writing project.  This could turn out to be something for blogs, an all-out book, or something towards a university degree…  I will have to see where it takes me.

Here is an introduction of sorts:

Balancing Mood for Greater Productivity:  Optimism and Empathy – Strategies to Manage Life

By Mike Scott

Introduction

Intense productivity and good health derive from the ability to balance mood.  I know this from experience.  I want to share with you what I have learned about balancing high levels of energy such as mania and hypomania.  I have had success by turning these potentially troublesome moods into a consistent calm attitude from which I have been able to generate productivity in the workplace and at home.

You might ask, “In what way has this guy been productive?”.  It is about perspective.  I have fought through one heck of a lot.  Perseverance became a major factor that enabled me to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree with a psychology major while I fought off manic and mixed episodes in bipolar disorder for the duration of my undergraduate studies.  I was hospitalized several times.

I have not had an episode since 2001.  Within a decade of taking my degree, I completed my electrical apprenticeship.  I worked for close to fifteen years as an electrician.  I spent four years as an electrical foreman in data-wiring and had multiple, hard-earned successes in large construction projects.  Again: determination got me through.  I sustained injuries and worked through pain for many years.  Due to the physical dangers for me in the field and the industry demands that threatened to compromise my goals in mental health, I left the electrical trade.  Years before this, I had started working on my goals in psychology again.

In 2011 I submitted a paper on goal-pursuit.  I was told by a prominent researcher from a top U.S. university that a PhD should be within my reach.  By the time I left electrical work in 2015, I had already started casual hours in support work for mental health.  I have had success supporting adults, youth and children with special needs for over five years now.  This can be gritty work, with emotional and physical challenges.  I also coached over a dozen sports teams and won nine championships as a coach in minor league baseball.  Yes, this is just kid’s stuff to some, but with new responsibilities in the new millennium and learning from my problems in the 1990’s, I have found better ways to balance mood… and generate productivity.

I suffered a lot from episodes over those years, and I learned how to stop escalating into mania.  I did this by managing physical health, taking medication for mental health, and using all sorts of cognitive strategies.  New insights allowed me to manage triggers that otherwise would have set me off.  They are no longer triggers.  My newly balanced and calm demeanor has helped turn many difficult situations into productive ones.  This has been noted by family, friends, co-workers, clients and supervisors.  My energy is about patience and reason.  At the same time, I have electricity.  I quietly buzz with productivity, and systematically accomplish goals.  I find grounding by getting tasks done and discovering new perspectives to balance mood while appealing to common sense, spirituality and humor.  The certain edge that I have, landed me in research with the University of British Columbia.  In 2016 I was published as a co-author for a study on “Effective self-management strategies in bipolar disorder”.  The team’s research has been respected by the government of Canada with an award of distinction.

Meanwhile, I have worked through challenges in my home-life successfully.  I went through a divorce.  It was a mutual split.  I remain close with my kids and they have adjusted.  I do everything I can for them.  I gave my ex-wife the home, to settle quickly, and to provide for them.   Almost a year after moving out, I became romantically involved with my new partner, and in 2014 I moved in with her, her two kids, and her father.  I work extremely hard for all parts of my family, and we are doing considerably well.  The four kids get along and are making progress in school and in new occupations.  My partner and I are very happy together.  I work steady, take care of the kids, handle most of the household chores and help my wife’s dad run what is basically a small hobby farm.  All these experiences are ways that I have been productive, while avoiding mania or depression.

Now, if you are still interested, I hope to tell you how I have most effectively balanced mood, to create productivity over my lifetime:  Being confident and kind helps me find more productivity!  Optimism.  Empathy.  It’s simple.  It seems like a no-brainer!  Why can’t people get this?  For me, being optimistic increases productivity because it builds a bias towards confidence to achieve.  Then, more often: we achieve.  Being considerate increases productivity because if we help others, others are more likely to help us!  It seems straight-forward.  There is something else about caring, when the world gets involved… and the universe.  There are so many surprises and challenges that every situation is different.  Optimism and empathy have enabled me to have many successes in life.

There is one complex discussion that plays a big role in this book and it may be hard for some people to appreciate initially.  I will be using many of my own experiences to describe the psychology which I have based my operations-plan on for most of my entire life.  I will explain and support why I feel that some mechanism occurs, and events can unfold, perhaps like karma or synchronicity and in some ways, it can work for us.  By having respect for life, such as in procedures in goal-pursuit and in creating routine or ceremony:  Life rewards us with serendipity – as if hard work and good intentions have dynamics that are stronger when we recognize and respect value beyond the surface.  I find this connection to be very reassuring.  It is about visualization of outcomes to some extent.  It keeps me level in difficult situations.  I will point to a direct correlation between certain moods and productivity in this type of transcendental work, and how this is enhanced by confidence, care and respect.  This is where I would like to explain balance from, such that you might attain the same sense of stability too, even amidst possible turmoil.

We balance our life towards goals.  Social feedback and the environment can aid or blockade goal-pursuit.  Our own belief-system and how we react, is where all the dynamics start.  On top of the most essential building blocks of physical and mental health, respect for life may determine mood more than anything else.  We can build moods of productivity with optimism and empathy.  I will explain how.

******

(First chapter is under way.  You can also read my ideas in the poetry on this website).

Day’s End

Image

Horizon

A vision seen like

Clay pottery,

Intricate design

grey

Orange,

Bright and dripping

Gold

Pouring

Rivers of molten lava

into flowing thoughts,

through the trees

into the centre of the Earth

You and I

Taking rehearsed dives into

The dark

Into the night

Time

Full of Life

Together Standing Free

IMG_2784
This picture shows hundreds of birds standing on the shoreline. They sit like little spheres.

 

Fighting the news

Trying to choose

what to say

Not profanity or vanity

Seems like articulated complacency

by a person just speaking to fill time

An act in adjacency

A plan I see:

Humanity

Mood for mood

Science or art

In between

Far apart

Together striving hard

to be standing free

Centered

 

Storm_Aug30_small (3)

As I lay down after what seems like a thousand years,
I’ve accomplished what I’ve needed,
Escalated a million times,
And come down heavy here,

I’m feeling no pain since I’ve been back,
Killing time until we’re dead,
It’s an emotional lecture
I’d speculate
How to maintain a pain-free head,

The way is clear,
Find the path,
My head is clear,
What a blast,

I’m feeling like a train on the tracks: fast,
Finding guidance from you instead,
It’s not just conjecture
I anticipate
How we always get ahead,

As I charge up and energize, I’ve no more valid fears,
I realize all we carry,
How we’ve lightened spilling-skies,
And stayed so steady here

img_4359-1

Monster Marigolds

This is from about five and a half years ago. It’s out of the archives. I finally have a picture to match…

*****

I’m hoping and I’m confident for the

Future, hanging by a thread and still safe

My dream was on hold and subconsciously…

I left it like marigolds to be saved

For the spring, to dry in a newspaper,

Headlines reading: Drastic change is needed

And a waft of earth mixed in with pungent perfume,

A sharp joy familiar from another life,

Seeds in time need space – In some sense starving,

For rebirth, like a continental drift

Driving plates of earth into new mountains,

Necessity for action altering

The landscape, dangerously alone with

Unavoidably complicated results,

It is not that I’m crazy or even,

Secretly in love – it is that my world

Would flip with some unknown consequences,

Yes, for moments satisfying – Even

After a long while and at once broken

Off, pieces of another life hang like

Uncertain segments of sidewalk dripping,

Off the edge of an earthquake, Could it be

Consumed – an edible shoelace of cheese

On the pizza of life, real sustenance,

Or would it be wasted, and shrivel up,

Prepared to spend time covered in food wrap,

Forgotten in the far back of the fridge,

To spend its eternity alone once

Again, without the earth and teaming road,

That once made it whole? And delivered with

Maturity, its value could really

Be reclaimed, new roads paved, an emptiness

Filled, satiety of scenario

And the landscape once again level, Night

To follow, but awakening to a

Content system: Business- thoroughfare

At once resuming – It is a vision,

Or is it just simply the winds of change,

Enveloping a tired world, swiftly

To be swept right up, forcing the divine

Action of a society – Invoke:

Swarming feats of brilliant engineering,

And eventual, and still quick triumphs

For the ones previously thought to be

Left behind?  Now: Does she inspire me?

Truly and without isolation – One

Possibility with the infinite

Similarities to every other

Love, real and imprinted in time, surreal,

Once drawn into my creative current,

Unusually focussed, yet correct

And productive state of mind, for which I

Would change a world in hopes that I could find

The best way possible to carry on

And still perpetuate our existence,

Orange flowers blooming with centuries of

Genetic change curing previous flaws

In the stems of our garden, a hybrid

Strain, and pick up where we left off today

 

Awareness of Nature (Part 2): Camping Rejuvenation

A full day planning for freedom in reach,

We unpack the truck and dash to the beach,

A refreshing dip, the rain was abrupt,

It’s lucky we had our tarps all set up,

Fun moments erupt, nature’s not boring,

Thunder rolled in and it began pouring,

Minor setback to reserving campsites,

When it rains this hard, all day and all night,

Now working for fun, just without the sun,

The day turns around, free time starts to run,

Hours get better without feeling rushed,

A foot in the sand, the days’ stress is crushed,

For moments I waste in some worried haste,

Now I feel cool waves and in the haze, baste,

In one sure moment we live all our lives,

As nature breathes, a miracle arrives,

**

Calm and enlightened, earth, sky and water,

In summer outside, the sun stays hotter,

Hitting heights heals life, dreams won’t fall through cracks,

Get up much stronger, find handles to facts,

I don’t think past now and then anymore,

Glacier edges through a rocky corridor,

Frozen yet fluid, how we make our way,

Know it, don’t lose it, just get through the day,

Life carved in senses, next day’s aftermath,

Joy, pain, today’s shock, ignites in one path,

The mountains stand high and scrape at the clouds,

The grey and the cold form shapes in the crowds,

When the sun breaks through, people will scurry,

For a hot dry spot, each one will hurry,

Creatures on top feel ahead of us all,

Nature never stops, we all heed its call,

**

Followed my path in the one way I can,

Through ice cold passes, for storms I have planned,

For days I’ve wondered and nights I’ve wished gone,

The skies split open, I’m spent like a pawn,

Each day I’m coping, sometimes like a bear,

At times I’m roped in, that do not seem fair,

Finding ways to tame the beast of my mind,

Can’t say what I want but I can be kind,

If I shut this down and lock every door,

I won’t be outside the box anymore,

“Breathe deep and relax”, what I tell myself,

The battles wage on, like books on a shelf,

Far out in the wild, I read of the world,

Our thoughts bold or mild, an advent unfurled,

In order to fight, I may stay silent,

Words hidden away, asleep in my tent,

**

Slept okay this time, foam mattress is great,

Better than gravel, I anticipate,

The storm was waging, peppered our world: numb,

Pounding and bouncing a rapid snare drum,

The tarps held up fine, water still snuck in,

Air-laden and moist, damp camp we’re stuck in,

It’s early morning, in drips bright bold light,

I unzip the tent and slip out of sight,

Perking the coffee, a priority,

Start fire quick, keep camp clean as can be,

The air’s so fresh, pitter-patter persists,

Nature hits the earth, rain droplets, her fists,

Wrapped around branches, the feet of small birds,

Divine voices chirp, the tree’s joyous words,

A quick note to self: “Enjoy simple things”,

Day’s peace can be found, when calm morning sings,

**

Once snug at the lake, gone from where we lay,

A splash, all arise and welcome the day,

We are not sullen, grey skies still share light,

Feeling energy here, alive and bright,

Catch frisbees and balls, then sprinting races,

Each day summer calls, run through the paces,

Bring on some music and later board games,

Tell stories of life and don’t change the names,

Free from the office, the work-shop and job,

Free to write verses, eat corn on the cob,

Hot dogs and marshmallows, baked on a stick,

Real time to digest, not rushing and sick,

Find hours to relax, without so much stress,

Turn it all into meditating success,

Prepare for our life, days of rain or shine,

Good rest and hard work meet up and combine

Finding Life

latest14 220

Hello sunshine

Where’d you leave the rain?

I can feel your good vibes

Coming down again

 

Building a future

I see the final stone

I lift it

and carry it all day

Giving me back some energy

When I put it down to stay

 

I recognize salvation in a song

I can feel it coming on

Heavy or light words

The music can’t be wrong

 

Hello sunshine

Where’d you leave the rain?

I can feel your good vibes

This life is found again