In his novel Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor observed that “death alone is certain and the time of death is uncertain.” This knowledge should guide us in one of our most important decisions: How should we spend our limited amount of time on earth?

Why do you work so hard?

There are many different reasons why people might work too hard. Often they toil out of necessity. ...

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I consult on many patients because they are suffering from pain. In fact, their pain is so severe that they are considering spinal surgery. More than 100,000 Americans decide to undergo surgery, and millions more have invasive procedures for low back pain or sciatica every year. You almost certainly know someone who has struggled with such a decision based on their subjective perception of their own pain. Why do some ...

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Brain science explains why visualization improves performance in the real world, helps make better decisions, and minimizes errors.

Before performing surgery, let’s say for a herniated disc, I stand in front of a white porcelain sink. Antiseptic bubbles cover my hands and drip from my forearms. The surgery takes place in my mind, playing like a movie on the inside of my eyelids: The setting of retractors, ...

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Part of your job as a parent is to teach your children, and there's no way for a child to learn anything without making a few mistakes. Actually, a lot of mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes can be infuriating. They might be self-destructive mistakes. They might be mistakes that can cause harm to their siblings or classmates. They might be mistakes that happen over and over again. They might ...

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Running late for school in the morning.

Again.

You yell upstairs to your daughter, “Hurry up.”

While she’s slipping on her sneakers and hustling out the door, you grab her backpack from the chair in the dining room. “Wow,” you think. “That’s heavy.”

Even when she’s soaking wet, your daughter weighs all of seventy pounds. You wonder, “Is that backpack too heavy for her? Can it be damaging her ...

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The availability of up to the minute information, presented 24/7/365, could assist a democratic society in making the best choices in determining its future. That was the promise of cable news. Unfortunately, cable news has fallen short of its potential and has led to the further polarization of America. More than that, it has changed the way your brain works. Not for the better!

The various cable ...

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As a doctor that specifically deals with brain and spine surgeries, I have adopted a No Room for Error mentality in the operating room. I believe this same mentality can be helpful in making the best possible life decisions. What do I mean by No Room for Error? It is natural to visualize the successful achievement of a goal. For instance, prior to performing the most common surgery I perform, resection of ...

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On several occasions, most recently during a press conference in March 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has advocated changing the voting age to 16. Pelosi told reporters that lowering the voting age would increase engagement in politics among younger Americans and would help drive a higher level of voter awareness and turnout. Speaker Pelosi is not the only prominent lawmaker to advocate for a lowered voting age. Also in ...

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When I served as president of the New Jersey Neurosurgical Society, I met a lot of people from around our great state.  One question that I heard from many parents and coaches was, “After a concussion, when is it safe to let a student-athlete return to play?” It is an important question because hundreds of thousands of high school students in the USA suffer concussions annually.  I have given this question ...

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