I read a lot. In this weekly post I present a summary of some of the things which have caught my eye this week, along with a few thoughts about each of them. By doing this I hope to live a more authentic life and improve my level of self-knowledge:
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
Voters respect a woman who genuinely speaks her mind. If the viewing public decide that she has done well in the jungle then Cameron will have a newly famous critic with an even greater ability to dent his authority.
Agree? Leave a comment below:
Next, in an article on IntentBlog Tanzi and Chopra (co-authors of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being), whilst somewhat vague, does make a reasonable point:
Your entire world, all that you see, hear, taste, touch, and feel is conjured up for you by your brain … Once you truly appreciate and realize that your brain brings your world, you can make choices about the type of world you wish to live in. Why? Because you, the “true you” that is self-aware of having a brain, is in charge of your brain. As the master, leader, and user of your brain, you get to make conscious choices about the world your brain will produce for you.
This is of course another demonstration of the idea that the map is not the territory. Next this Guardian article argues that sometimes selfishness is the sensible option. This paper is quoted (pdf) which concluded that people are generally happier if you insist that they are selfish as opposed to feeling guilty about being selfish and then feeling bad about it. The article concludes with a suggestion for increasing happiness:
… pre‑commit to your self-interested activities, instead of undertaking them spontaneously. Make hard‑to‑break plans with friends; pay for holidays months in advance; buy cinema tickets for next weekend now. The less freedom you have to back out, the more fun you’ll have when the time comes, because doing something more selfless instead won’t feel like an option.
This may be worth a try to see if it really does occur?
I also learned that we have an innate tendency to be optimistic too discounting bad news in favour of good. The result of this is:
it encourages explorative behaviour and reduces stress and anxiety; as Dr. Sharot points out, depression tends to be associated with the absence of the good news/bad news effect, suggesting it may play an important role in our well-being.
Of course, this is the basis for the ABCD Model outlined in the book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman:
- Adversity is the event that happens
- Belief is how that adversity is interpreted
- Consequences are the feelings and actions that result from the beliefs
- Disputation, which centres on providing counter-evidence to any of the following: the negative beliefs in general, the causes of the event, or the implications. D also means reminding oneself of any potential usefulness of moving on from the adversity.
Read any great articles this week? Leave a comment below.
Inspiring photo of the week
by I Am Not I
Quotes of the week
Videos of the week
This Big Think video, The Universe in a Nutshell: The Physics of Everything
Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at CUNY discusses:
What if we could find one single equation that explains every force in the universe? Dr. Michio Kaku explores how physicists may shrink the science of the Big Bang into an equation as small as Einstein’s “e=mc^2.” Thanks to advances in string theory, physics may allow us to escape the heat death of the universe, explore the multiverse, and unlock the secrets of existence. While firing up our imaginations about the future, Kaku also presents a succinct history of physics and makes a compelling case for why physics is the key to pretty much everything.
Read any good articles this week? Leave a comment below: