How to buy happiness Authors: People fantasize about going on a buying spree if they win lotteryThe reality is that buying more stuff doesn't maximize happinessTheir research shows that giving things to others is more likely to make us happy Editor's note: Michael Norton is an associate professor at Harvard Business School. Elizabeth Dunn is a professor at the University of British Columbia. They are co-authors of the forthcoming book, "Happy Money: The Science of Spending" (Simon & Schuster). Norton spoke at TEDxCambridge. TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "Ideas worth spreading," which it makes available through talks posted on its website. (CNN) -- What would you do if the world handed you a million dollars right now? Our guess is that many of the first things that come to mind involve driving to a store, or going online, and buying stuff. There's nothing wrong with buying things for yourself. Michael Norton Elizabeth Dunn But there's a solution: Give it away. TED.com: The antidote to apathy
Mental Heuristics Page A heuristic is a "rule-of-thumb", advice that helps an AI program or human think and act more efficiently by directing thinking in an useful direction. Some of these heuristics are age-old wisdom, bordering on cliche, but most are actually helpful. If you want something done, do it yourself Comment: Obviously true, and doing it is usually very good for your self esteem. A surprising amount of work can be done this way, and experts are not always necessary. However, there is a risk of becoming overworked if you try to do everything yourself - we all need other people after all. Never procrastinate anything you can do right now Comment: Very powerful. When you have several things you could be doing and don't know which to do: Just do any one of them! Comments: If you cannot decide between two or more possibilities, then there is a good chance that the differences don't matter. Always assume that you will succeed If you can't find a solution, change the rules. Up to the Mental Enhancement Page
8 Things Everybody Ought to Know About Concentrating “Music helps me concentrate,” Mike said to me glancing briefly over his shoulder. Mike was in his room writing a paper for his U.S. History class. On his desk next to his computer sat crunched Red Bulls, empty Gatorade bottles, some extra pocket change and scattered pieces of paper. Mike made a shift about every thirty seconds between all of the above. Do you know a person like this? The Science Behind Concentration In the above account, Mike’s obviously stuck in a routine that many of us may have found ourselves in, yet in the moment we feel it’s almost an impossible routine to get out of. When we constantly multitask to get things done, we’re not multitasking, we’re rapidly shifting our attention. Phase 1: Blood Rush Alert When Mike decides to start writing his History essay, blood rushes to his anterior prefrontal cortex. Phase 2: Find and Execute Phase 3: Disengagement While in this state, Mike then hears an email notification. The process repeats itself sequentially. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself - StumbleUpon When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back. Here are some ideas to get you started: Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. Update: Read our follow-up to this post: 30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself Photo by: Rob Brucker
Facebook Blocker The Untapped Powers of the Smile By: Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap Recently I made an interesting discovery while running – a simple act that made a dramatic difference and helped carry me through the most challenging segments of long distance runs: smiling. This inspired me to embark on a journey that took me through neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and psychology to uncover the untapped powers of the smile. I started my exploratory journey in California, with an intriguing UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study that examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. A smile is also one of the most basic, biologically uniform expressions of all humans. Why?
:zenhabits Lies We Tell Kids May 2008 Adults lie constantly to kids. I'm not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why. There may also be a benefit to us. We were all lied to as kids, and some of the lies we were told still affect us. I'm using the word "lie" in a very general sense: not just overt falsehoods, but also all the more subtle ways we mislead kids. One of the most remarkable things about the way we lie to kids is how broad the conspiracy is. Since we all agree, kids see few cracks in the view of the world presented to them. The conspiracy is so thorough that most kids who discover it do so only by discovering internal contradictions in what they're told. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. I remember that feeling. Protection If you ask adults why they lie to kids, the most common reason they give is to protect them. Sex (and Drugs) Innocence Death Identity Authority
How to Stop Worrying Undoing the Worrying Habit Once acquired, the habit of worrying seems hard to stop. We're raised to worry and aren't considered "grown up" until we perfect the art. Teenagers are told: "you'd better start worrying about your future". If your worries aren't at least as frequent as your bowel movements, you're seen as irresponsible, childish, aimless. To the extent that worrying is learned/conditioned behaviour, it can be undone. Centuries-old cultural conditioning has given us a nasty neurosis: the belief that happiness must be "earned". Laid on top of the first neurosis is the idea that spending money will make you happy. So: we never stop working, we never stop spending money, we're never really happy – ideal conditions, coincidentally, for a certain type of slave economy. You won't stop worrying if you think it serves you. The fight-or-flight response (FOF) is useful on rare occasions of real danger. Worrying is never useful. Rearranging the mental furniture Accelerator-Brake analogy
La La Love You Is it weird that Valentines Day is one of my #1 favorite holidays? Especially considering the fact that I can't actually remember the last time I've had a boyfriend during this emo-as-hell day? Maybe it's just that I le love the idea of love (and that i want my life to be a magnetic fields song). But this also might stem from my preconceived ideas about living in New York. But enough about me, let's talk about this super sweet and kindhearted breakfast-in-bed grilled cheese that won't stand you up on a Friday night I'm making for you and your lovie. And now here are the sweet ingredients: - 3 heart shaped pieces of challah bread (I used a giant cookie cutter) - your favorite french toast batter (I used 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon) - 3 large sliced organic strawberries - 2 pads of salted butter - 2 tbs of Mascarpone Cheese - 2 tbs of Nutella (ZOMG, right?) Once they are the perfect temperature (i prefer room-temp) gently spread on your mascarpone. . xoxo,
9 Surprising and Intriguing Brain Exercises Every Wednesday is Tip Day. This Wednesday: 9 mental exercises — zany but productive. Dorothea Brande was an American writer and editor, well known for her books Wake Up and Live and Becoming a Writer (a useful resource for writers, by the way). In 1936, in Wake Up and Live, Brande suggests several mental exercises to make your mind keener and more flexible. Even apart from the goals of creativity and mental flexibility, Brande’s exercises make sense from a happiness perspective. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Doing this kind of exercise can seem artificial, but it can also be a fun way to put a little challenge into your ordinary routine. * I was thrilled when my friend Jennifer Smith (author of the great young-adult novels You Are Here and The Comeback Season, and a member of one of my children/YA literature reading groups) sent me this extraordinary link: to J.K. * The Happiness Project is being published all over the world — 31 foreign editions — very exciting!
Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better | OEDb - StumbleUpon If someone granted you one wish, what do you imagine you would want out of life that you haven’t gotten yet? For many people, it would be self-improvement and knowledge. Newcounter knowledge is the backbone of society’s progress. Life-changing knowledge does typically require advanced learning techniques. Health Shake a leg. Balance Sleep on it. Perspective and Focus Change your focus, part 2. Recall Techniques Listen to music. Visual Aids Every picture tells a story. Verbal and Auditory Techniques Stimulate ideas. Kinesthetic Techniques Write, don’t type. Self-Motivation Techniques Give yourself credit. Supplemental Techniques Read as much as you can. For Teachers, Tutors, and Parents Be engaging. For Students and Self-Studiers Be engaged. Parting Advice Persist. Sources For This Article This is only a partial list of sources, focusing only on Web sites. Did you enjoy this article?
Advice From An Old Programmer — Learn Python The Hard Way, 2nd Edition You've finished this book and have decided to continue with programming. Maybe it will be a career for you, or maybe it will be a hobby. You'll need some advice to make sure you continue on the right path and to get the most enjoyment out of your newly chosen activity. I've been programming for a very long time. So long that it's incredibly boring to me. At the time that I wrote this book, I knew about 20 programming languages and could learn new ones in about a day to a week depending on how weird they were. What I discovered after this journey of learning is that it's not the languages that matter but what you do with them. Which programming language you learn and use doesn't matter. Programming as an intellectual activity is the only art form that allows you to create interactive art. Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a dozen and get no respect. Of course, all of this advice is pointless.
Awareness to Action Solutions. Enneagram workshops for personal and spiritual growth By Robert Tallon Co-author of “Awareness to Action,” The Enneagram, Emotional Intelligence, and Change: A Guide to Improving Performance Although it has been known to spiritual seekers for centuries, the Enneagram has only become known to the general public within the last thirty years or so. It is increasingly being used as a powerful tool for spiritual growth, relationship building, and executive coaching. The Enneagram is a personality system that describes nine basic types. It explains the strengths and limitations of nine specific strategies people use to interact with each other and the world. The Enneagram reveals what we are good at, the kinds of people and environments we are attracted to, and the gifts that we easily and naturally offer to the world. The origins of the Enneagram go back many centuries. The Enneagram identifies nine key strategies. Transformation simply can’t happen without awareness.