The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas about addiction are built atop a deeper fallacy—the idea of normalcy—the notion that there is an unadulterated state of consciousness, a “normal” state where our interpretation of reality is accurate. There are a number of huge problems with this idea.
The Poetics of the Psyche: Adam Phillips on Why Psychoanalysis Is Like Literature and How Art Soothes the Soul by Maria Popova “Everybody is dealing with how much of their own aliveness they can bear and how much they need to anesthetize themselves.” “A writer is someone who pays attention to the world — a writer is a professional observer,” Susan Sontag once said. The object of the writer’s observation isn’t just the outer world but also — and perhaps even more so — the inner. In that regard, the writer bears a striking similarity to another professional observer — the psychotherapist. Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives By Maria Popova “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…” Far from Pollyanna platitude, this advice actually reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (public library) — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives. One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality.
How to run a brainstorm for introverts (and extroverts too) Cocktail party trivia: Brainstorming was invented in the 1930s as a practical idea-generation technique for regular use by “creatives” within the ad agency BBDO. That all changed in 1942, when Alex Osborn — the “O” in BBDO — released a book called How to Think Up and excited the imaginations of his fellow Mad Men. Since 1942, the idea-generation technique that began life in a New York creative firm has grown into the happy kudzu of Silicon Valley startups. Somewhere near Stanford, an introvert cringes every time the idea comes up of sitting in a roomful of colleagues, drawing half-baked ideas on Post-it notes, and then pasting them to the wall for all to see.
What makes a hero? - Matthew Winkler The Hero Archetype in Literature, Religion, and Popular Culture: (along with a useful PowerPoint presentation teachers can download at this URL: ) Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (users embark on their own hero's journey): An American Masters Lesson from PBS for Teachers on George Lucas, the Power of Myth, and the Hero's Journey: And an interactive approach to the Hero's Journey: And of course, information about Joseph Campbell's works on the subject, on the Joseph Campbell Foundation site:
Your Personality Could Influence How Well You Fight Disease The extent to which our personalities determine aspects of our lives and health has increasingly been the subject of research over the last few years. There was the suggestion, for example, that being a morning person or a night owl might reveal a lot about our personality. But scientifically speaking, what do we actually mean by our “personality”? When you break it down, personality can be defined as a collection of distinct psychological traits which remain fairly constant over time and therefore shape the way we react to the world around us.
How to Find Fulfilling Work By Maria Popova “If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment,” wrote Dostoevsky, “all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.” Indeed, the quest to avoid work and make a living of doing what you love is a constant conundrum of modern life. In How to Find Fulfilling Work (public library) — the latest installment in The School of Life’s wonderful series reclaiming the traditional self-help genre as intelligent, non-self-helpy, yet immensely helpful guides to modern living, which previously gave us Philippa Perry’s How to Stay Sane and Alain de Botton’s How to Think More About Sex — philosopher Roman Krznaric (remember him?) explores the roots of this contemporary quandary and guides us to its fruitful resolution: Never have so many people felt so unfulfilled in their career roles, and been so unsure what to do about it.
The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on sticking to resolutions It’s the second week in January and, at about this time, that resolution that seemed so reasonable a week ago — go to the gym every other day, read a book a week, only drink alcohol on weekends — is starting to seem very … hard. As you are teetering on the edge of abandoning it all together, Kelly McGonigal is here to help. This Stanford University psychologist — who shared last year how you can make stress your friend — wants you to know that you’re not having a hard time sticking to a resolution because you are a terrible person. Perhaps you’ve just formulated the wrong resolution.
Scientist Turns To Crowd-Funding To Continue Research The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of IFLScience. When I started my Ph.D. in 1973 as a recent zoology graduate, I never imagined that forty years later I’d still be working on the same project. On one level, I can imagine you thinking: "He should get out more." But let me explain. My Ph.D. research was to try to understand why Britain’s guillemots were declining. From Chimps To Bees And Bacteria, How Animals Hold Elections Lots of people find elections dull, but there’s nothing boring about the political manoeuvres that take place in the animal kingdom. In the natural world, jockeying for advantage, whether this is conscious or merely mechanical, can be a matter of life or death. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, are highly political. They’re smart enough to realise that in the natural world brute strength will only get you so far – getting to the top of a social group and remaining there requires political guile.
Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness by Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. “On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living. And yet we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment, constantly occupying ourselves with overplanning the future or recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence, thus invariably robbing ourselves of the vibrancy of aliveness.