My sister has been living in the same house in Chicago for over 30 years, and most of the neighbors have been there that long too.  Behind them is a family with an adult child named Brenda.  Brenda is a 27-year old, bright woman, who evidently has been bed ridden for the past 4 years, mostly house-bound, and using a wheelchair to get around when necessary.   While I’m not quite sure what her diagnosis was, what I know is that somehow her brain and her body were not speaking to each other.

Here’s the amazing thing.   Over the weekend, she wheel-chaired into a 3-day seminar and 3 days later literally walked out!  (If I did not see the picture of her walking down the street I wouldn’t have believed it myself.)  Now obviously, her body physically worked, but her brain was a barrier.  I just can’t help think about the potential we all have.  How can you identify and overcome some of your internal barriers?  How we can too, all speak to ourselves in a way that reconnects us not only physically but to our higher purpose and goals?  What does that dialog sound like?  How can you move into a more powerful you?

The, I’ll say healing, event of Brenda highlights at least one thing: the way is always there for us.  It’s time for you to reconnect and be that miracle!

If the reference you want to cite has neither an author nor an editor, put the title of the book or article in the author position.  Alphabetize such citations according to the first significant word in the title.  In text, use either part of the title or the whole title if it is short in place of the author in the citation.  If an online version refers to a print edition, include the edition number after the title (APA6, p. 205).



Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2005). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Heuristic. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (11th ed.). Retrieved from

david viscott quoteMy friend, the late David Viscott, has said that the baby looking out of their crib is the same person 80 years from now with eyes looking out of their death bed. We’re always the same person. If you are insecure and then get married, you’ll be a married insecure person. Who we are doesn’t change. The hero’s journey is developing that person who is aware of those shadow aspects, but, essentially, is becoming more and more of that person they were intended to be.

I’m impressed with Elon Musk’s vision. He wants to build a colony on Mars, plans to build the largest lithium ion battery plant on earth in Nevada, build electric cars (Tesla), and provide the means to take trips into space (Space X). He has a mission to save the planet and holds that as one of his highest values. All of his business aspirations and activities flow from that mission.

The mythologist Joseph Campbell spoke of “following your bliss,” and offered some advice. He said “for an hour each day, just do what you want to do. Don’t think about who you owe and who owes you, what your responsibilities are, and so on.” If you want to listen to corny music, then great, don’t worry about what other people think. Do what pleases your soul. Twenty years ago, I did just this. Every day while walking to school, I listened to Sting’s “Nothing like the Sun.” Then one day, I had this peak experience. All the trees I had walked past for years were suddenly lined up, and a sense of peace and purpose and me in this life all made sense. I knew I was in the right place. My purpose was to secure an education. That education at CSULB resides in me every day and sparked the business operation I now run. It was true for me and I know it can be true for you.

As our life travels down our road, take time to get grounded, do what fills you heart, take time to contemplate, dream and act in your own best interest. Be audacious, you and the world will be glad you did.

Warm Wishes,


James Lani, Ph.D

A key aspect of your dissertation is the reference list.  The reference list includes the sources you consult in the process of researching for your dissertation, which prevents plagiarizing that information and increases your credibility as a researcher.  In order for source information to be clear to your reader, follow the guidelines in the APA Manual and your University guidelines, in case differences exist between the two.

Basic format for a citation in APA style:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx, pp–pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx

Generally, citations will include the author or contributor’s name, year of publication, title, and publishing data, though each type of publication has its own citation format.  In this way, other researchers know where to find your sources and that you are a conscientious researcher.  Therefore, pay attention to spelling of proper names and to electronic retrieval data. For more information, see APA6, pp. 180–192 and pp. 198–215.

Use slashes sparingly in APA style. Because a slash could easily be replaced with a conjunction, while also increasing clarity, slash use is limited to specific instances (APA6, p. 95).
For example, here are the situations in which it is appropriate to use a slash:
• to clarify a relationship in which a hyphenated compound is used
o hits/false-alarms comparison
• to separate numerator from denominator
o X/Y
• to indicate per to separate units of measurements but only when accompanied by a numerical value
o 0.5 deg/s
o however, luminance is measured in candelas per square meter
• to set off English phonemes
o /o/
• to cite a republished work
o Freud (1923/1961)
However, don’t use slashes in the following situations:
• when a phrase would be clearer
o each child handed the ball to her mother or guardian
o not, each child handed the ball to her mother/guardian
• for simple comparisons
o test-retest reliability
o not, test/retest reliability
• more than once to express compound units
o (nmol)(hr-1)(mg-1)
o not, nmol/hr-1/mg-1

Correct comma use is essential to the clarity of a dissertation. Commas are used to separate units of meaning, such as phrases and clauses, and support the cadence of the sentence. Therefore, please recognize the proper uses of the comma in different situations. Below are a few examples of correct comma use. For more information, please look in the APA Manual (APA6, pp. 88–89).


Use commas

  • between elements (including before and and or) in a series of three or more items
    • in height, width, and depth
    • in a study by Stacy, Newcomb, and Bentler (1991)
  • to set off a nonessential or nonrestrictive clause
    • Switch A, which was on the panel, controlled the recording device
  • to separate two independent clauses joined by a conjunction
    • Cedar shavings covered the floor, and paper was available for shredding and nest building

Do not use commas

  • before an essential or restrictive clause
    • The switch that stops the recording device also controls the light
  • between the two parts of a compound predicate
    • All subjects completed the first phase of the experiment and returned the following week for Phase 2

march poemWhy are you here?  Have you ever really thought about that?  Did you know that your mission and meaning in life is your priority?  Think about that for a moment. As Viscott said, meaning is derived by identifying your gifts, developing them, and then returning them.

Identify gifts.  The wonderful news is that your gifts are already in you as well as in front of you!  You’ve always had a sense of them.  They’re right there next to you, right this moment!  People have always told you, haven’t they?  Your job is to follow that highest purpose.

Develop gifts.  To develop that gift, we all need to stay aligned with our life’s purpose.  I remember Hall and Oates induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame saying, “Even our unpopular songs we worked very hard at.”  This reminds us that even our natural gifts need to be developed, and that takes time.  It’s easy to get distracted with all of our important and worthy commitments.  However, if we’re not following our purpose, we’ll be less than present with everything else and will ultimately be dissatisfied and be more likely to live a mediocre life.

Give gifts.  You have to return your gifts to the world.  While some mentors have been paid for their guidance, many were not.  They gave their gift of inspiration, perspiration - and sometimes, putting up with us can demand both.  The point is that our gifts need to be expressed.  You and the world will be glad you did.

Your dissertation may be part of your life’s purpose, maybe not.  This newsletter is meant to speak to that highest self that you can be.  Go for it! Be that self!

Warmest wishes,


Some of the capitalization rules in APA can be tricky, so please be aware of what the APA Manual outlines. For example, you must capitalize the titles of books and articles but only in the body of the paper and only the major words. A word under four letters should not be capitalized (APA6, p. 101). You must also capitalize references to the titles of sections within your paper and the major words of table titles and figure legends (APA6, p. 102).

• The criticism of the article, “Attitudes Toward Mental Health Workers”
• In her book, History of Pathology
• In Liu et al.’s (2008) article, Theory of Mind Development in Chinese Children: A Meta-Analysis of False-Belief Understanding Across Cultures and Languages
However please note the capitalization difference in the reference list citation:
• Liu, D., Wellman, H. M., Tardif, T., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2008). Theory of mind development in Chinese children: A meta-analysis of false-belief understanding across cultures and languages.

Poetry is a spiritual path for me, and Rumi and David Whyte language that path.  So, when David Whyte came to Florida this past weekend, I of course went to go see him.  During his reading, he spoke jasmineabout asking “beautiful questions.”  Beautiful questions are questions that open-up imaginal horizons to walk towards; they start a conversation; the questions serve as invitations.  For the past month, it’s been easy to get caught up in the “thick of thin things” as Covey has said.  And then there’s poetry, which permits us to get back to our authenticity, allowing our future selves to look back at our ancestral selves for a conversation.

As a new father to an 8-month old daughter, when Whyte read My Daughter Asleep, I realized again what’s important and thought about all of the carefully wrought lines in her tiny hands; in my hands that once were that small; in all of our hands.

So, in this moment of clarity, I’d like to remind all of you to stay focused on the important things, to ask beautiful questions that allow you to explore your ancestral self, to remind yourself of your intentions, and to continue achieving your goals!

Best wishes, James


My Daughter Asleep

Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry my daughter
adrift on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender dreams
and I carry her beneath the window,
watching her moon lit palm open and close
like a tiny folded map,
each line a path that leads where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm not knowing what I read
walk with her in moon light on the landing,
not knowing with whom I walk,
making invisible prayers to go on with her where
I can’t go,
conversing with so many unknowns that must know her more
intimately than I do.

And so to these unspoken shadows and this broad night
I make a quiet request to the great parental darkness
to hold her when I cannot, to comfort her when I am gone,
to help her learn to love the unknown for itself,
to take it gladly like a lantern for the way before her,
to help her see where ordinary light will not help her,
where happiness has fled, where faith will not reach.

My prayer tonight for the great and hidden symmetries of life
to reward this faith I have and twin her passages of loneliness with friendship,
her exiles with home coming, her first awkward steps with promised onward leaps.

May she find in all this, day or night, the beautiful centrality of pure opposites,
may she discover before she grows old, not to choose so easily between past and present,
may she find in one or the other her gifts acknowledged.

And so as I helped to name her, I help to name these powers,
I bring to life what is needed, I invoke the help she’ll want
following those moonlit lines into a future uncradled by me but parented by all I call.

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe,
with my open palm whose lines have run before her to make a safer way,
I hold her smooth cheek and bless her this night into all these other unknown
nights to come.

--David Whyte


James Lani is the CEO and Founder of Statistics Solutions. He founded the company in 2003 and has been assisting students working on their dissertations ever since.

  1. What is your personal philosophy?James Lani - CEO

I have to take full personal responsibility for everything that happens, from growing finger nails to being a successful entrepreneur and loving father.  If it’s not you, then who?

  1. What’s one thing/person you couldn’t live without?

A sense of connectedness.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do?

Make Jasmine (my daughter) smile, and see her wave her hands as she scoots towards me.

  1. You are hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people (living or dead) who you would invite, and why?

Joseph Campbell, so we could philosophy about religion and mythology… David Viscott because he epitomizes truth and honesty for me, and Rumi so we really know what God is.

  1. Tell us something that surprises us about you?

I’m more of an introvert than people think.

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People blaming people.

  1. What 3 traits define you?

Fairness, honesty, and intelligence.

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up/start your day?

I check my pulse.

  1. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It’s more of a perspective than advice.  A quote from Campbell that Schopenhauer, in his essay On the Apparent Intention in the Fate of the Individual, wrote “of the curious feeling one can have, of there being an author somewhere writing the novel of our lives, in such a way that through events that seem to us to be chance happenings there is actually a plot unfolding of which we have no knowledge. “

  1. What celebrity do people think you look like?

Not sure.

  1. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be (your spirit animal or patronus)?

I would be a Tardigrade.


  1. If you could give advice to your 16 year old self, what would it be?


  1. Who is your favorite superhero?

I don’t have one.

  1. What is your biggest fear?

That desires overcome equanimity.

  1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you?

The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks, family, pencil and notebook.

  1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pork chops marinated in tomato sauce with black beans and rice.

  1. What is your favorite movie quote?

A scene from Reservoir Dogs.  The conversation with Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) does not want to tip the waitress.  The scene shows my how dogmatically foolish I can sometimes be.

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I manifest imagination in myself and others. (Oh, I have that superpower J)

  1. Do you have a favorite quote?

“Once the seed of faith takes root, it cannot be blown away, even by the strongest wind.” - Rumi

  1. What is your favorite thing about being part of the Statistics Solutions Team?

The freedom to communicate honestly.