Mindful Health And The Power Of Possibility
In the 1970s my colleague Judith Rodin and I conducted an experiment with nursing home residents.1 We encouraged one group of participants to find ways to make more decisions for themselves. For example, they were allowed to choose where to receive visitors, and if and when to watch the movies that were shown at the home. Each also chose a houseplant to care for, and they were to decide where to place the plant in their room, as well as when and how much to water it. Our intent was to make the nursing home residents more mindful, to help them engage with the world and live their lives more fully.
A second, control group received no such instructions to make their own decisions; they were given houseplants but told that the nursing staff would care for them. A year and a half later, we found that members of the first group were more cheerful, active, and alert, based on a variety of tests we had administered both before and after the experiment. Allowing for the fact that they were all elderly and quite frail at the start, we were pleased that they were also much healthier: we were surprised, however, that less than half as many of the more engaged group had died than had those in the control group.
Over the next several years, I spent a lot of time thinking about what had happened. READ MORE + AUDIO
[I]t becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added. READ MORE
Artists, designers, and programmers are different, difficult, and–depending on your strategy–delightful.
Great talent is special and you should respect it. There’s a popular belief that creativity is inherently childlike, that creative people are infants who need to “learn” and not be spoiled. This is wrong. Trying to fit superstars into a box is counter-productive, perverse, and doomed. But don’t go to the other extreme and treat these individuals as though they’re made of glass. They’re tough–maybe tougher than you are–and know their worth. What they most want is respect.
Creatives aren’t interested in rules for their own sake and may be highly driven to break them. READ MORE
After being betrayed, most of us want two things, usually at the same time. We want to wound the person who hurt us—as deeply and as excruciatingly—as we’ve been wounded, and we want to rise above the situation and offer that person forgiveness. But neither of these tactics work. Wounding words tend to boomerang and make you feel as terrible as the person you wanted to hurt. Forgiveness, especially if halfhearted, tends to come off as condescension.
There are actions, though, that you can take to can heal yourself. READ MORE
What’s on Charlie Rose? Authors Phil Stutz and Barry Michels discuss their groundbreaking book, The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity, on personal growth that presents a uniquely effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change. READ MORE, SEE VIDEO