mindset; the new psychology of success
carol dweck 2006
the journey to children’s mindsets—and beyond
carol dweck 2017
metamorphosis: how and why we change
polly morland 2016
simply showing people a ‘burning platform’, although all too common, is a lousy way of motivating them to change. Instead you must offer them the ‘shining beacon’ of a hopeful future and that can be conjured with structured, imaginative effort:
‘You don’t have to like your clients, but it is essential to love them. You’ve got to see beyond the bad behaviour, because there’s a lot of that, into the human being behind it. And that behaviour is actually just a trigger into an opportunity to change the world for the better.’
rose markus, hazel & nurius, paula 1986
Introduces the concept of possible selves (PSs) to complement current conceptions of self-knowledge. PSs represent individuals’ ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, and what they are afraid of becoming, and thus provide a conceptual link beteen cognition and motivation. PSs are the cognitive components of hopes, fears, goals, and threats; they give the specific self-relevant form, meaning, €organization, and direction to these dynamics. It is suggested that PSs function as incentives for future behavior and to provide an evaluative and interpretive context for the current view of self. The nature and function of PSs and their role in addressing several persistent problems (e.g., the stability and malleability of the self, the unity of the self, self-distortion, the relationship between the self-concept and behavior) are discussed.
alongside any dream we might harbour of our ideal self, the happy, wealthy, attractive, successful version, there are also other possible selves, those that surrender to what we feel is attainable and also those that plunge deep into our darkest fears of loneliness, failure, poverty, rejection. Perhaps the most important feature of this gaggle of possible selves is that they do not travel alone, but rather that any of us, at any given time, has a number of possible selves that jostle and barge like a crowd of schoolchildren, according to the conditions of the present.
This combination of unruly plurality, the essential unpredictability of the future and a tendency to play fast and loose with the present facts is, Markus and Nurius argued, the reason why these possible selves had spent so long in the wilderness of psychological study. In general, the science always sought to drill down towards some core, the most true, the most central, the most authentic. Little heed was paid to what Markus and Nurius characterised as ‘a continually active, shifting array of available self-knowledge’, its distortions, its wild flights of imaginative fancy or fear. In so doing, contended the paper, we had all but ignored the very architecture of our lives over time, the way in which we concoct, achieve or resist a restless throng of possible selves.
Their point was that this inner realm of make-believe is more than imaginative background
noise. It can and does direct not only our hopes and fears, but also more practical aspects of motivation and behaviour, serving to form what Markus and Nurius call ‘cognitive bridges between the present and future’. In this way, these possible selves, the fruit of our ever-stirring imagination, turn out to be the building blocks of the new stories we write for ourselves. They are the very fount of change and sometimes even redemption.
‘Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.’
‘Every form of addiction is bad,’ Jung wrote, ‘no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.’
happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.’ And according to Frankl, such a reason can be found even when it seems to be most elusive. ‘Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation,’ he concluded, ‘facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself and by so doing change himself.’
Contemporary scholars tend to translate eudaimonia as ‘flourishing’, but the point is that it is not a passive state. It is an activity full of human agency and focused on the habitual practise of the virtues that make up the Good Life. It is not something you are; it is something that you do. As Aristotle put it in the Nicomachean Ethics, ‘this activity must occupy a complete lifetime; for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.’
‘Not everybody wants to change, but I think that getting a sense that life is fragile and has an ending can really light a fire under you. It’s a call to action. For me it was the realisation that if I simply let life happen to me, I wasn’t necessarily going to like what happened and I realised that wasn’t enough for me, that I also wanted to play a hand in creating my life and that there is a timeline’ – she grabs a sweater and a book from the desk and puts them in her lap – ‘so I’d better get moving.’
If we simply regard future events or milestones through a ‘fine-grained’ time metric of days, rather than through
‘gross-grained’ months or years, we automatically feel a closer psychological affinity with them. That affinity, that ability to pick out the smile on the face of your Future Self over there across the valley, in turn has a palpable effect on our inclination to give that Future Self a helping hand. The irony is that this sense of continuity arguably makes us more likely to change.
intolerance of uncertainty predicts increased striatal volume
m. justin kim et al. 2017
posterior cingulate neurons dynamically signal decisions to disengage during foraging
david l. barack et al. 2017
•Foraging salience drives monkeys’ choices to switch strategies in two tasks
•PCC neuronal activity during both tasks predicted strategy switches
•PCC neurons signaled salience in both tasks more strongly in poor than rich contexts
Foraging for resources is a fundamental behavior balancing systematic search and strategic disengagement. The foraging behavior of primates is especially complex and requires long-term memory, value comparison, strategic planning, and decision-making. Here we provide evidence from two different foraging tasks that neurons in primate posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) signal decision salience during foraging to motivate disengagement from the current strategy. In our foraging tasks, salience refers to the difference between decision thresholds and the net harvested reward. Salience signals were stronger in poor foraging contexts than rich ones, suggesting low harvest rates recruit mechanisms in PCC that regulate strategic disengagement and exploration during foraging.
Techniques that directly activate the posterior cingulate cortex like brain stimulation or game play that promotes distraction, particularly within situations that don’t allow a routine to form, can lead to more creativity.
“People who have more activity there have more mind-wandering, and they tend to be more creative,” according to Platt. “It suggests that capacity to be more creative evolved for a very specific purpose, which is to allow you to forage efficiently in a landscape that’s always changing.”
it is not that we will be stuck in one state forever or that we would be stuck in constant change. we will always face challenges and so we will always be stuck in something — we seek to change what we are stuck with so that we deal with different things
the first question I should ask my friend is, “what is your understanding of change?”
it might seem as if there are two competing forces, one of constancy and one of change, but in reality they are one and the same, have been so, and always will be.
neuroplasticity, epigenetics, evolution, are showing the way that change is emerging in people's consciousness of biology. as for philosophy, the idea of change is crucial to the concept of choice. when we can choose in a meaningful way, then only does morality really exist.
we develop by replacing what no longer works with what does now work and what will work in the future. yet most of the time, what we see seems unchanging — what works, and doesn't, seems to rule the world. this is not a paradox. there is no reason to change until it is necessary, and also at the same time we must prepare the way for change as comes — and it will come.
yet often things do seem the same on the surface, even as it changes — our bodies, society, and the earth herself.
change in ancient times can be studied through what has endured from those times — their changing ideas. (read sophus’ book, also the role of the gods in ancient greece)
what we now lack most is no longer data or access to data, but our ability to change
mavericks are essential because by living outside, in some way, of the past prevailing current, they show the way of the current as it is now and as it will be
mankind as the only animal that strains against the flow of change. there may be some upside to this behavior but I haven't come across those benefits yet, only seen the downsides and tried to understand and implement a solution to them.
change habit, routine, pattern
institutional inertia resists change, whether it is abusive or responsible. thus once an institution becomes mostly abusive (because its individuals are now mostly abusive) then it becomes a massive obstacle to responsible change.
in computing or biology, the time in which a static fact or process description is a valid representation of reality can be as short as hours or days. it is important to reassess information whenever we encounter it, to understand how, if at all, it still represents reality.
If habit is a self reinforcing cycle, then one way to stop a habit is to find a key part of the cycle and stop doing it in the way that reinforces the cycle.
people are motivated to rationalize the status quo as legitimate—even if it goes directly against their interests.
fear of threat from others who believe the status quo should not be sullied
“We find surface ways of appearing original—donning a bow tie, wearing bright red shoes—without taking the risk of actually being original.”
People like to think that what they do is immutable, that it is justified, and not only that, but justified since antiquity. Sometimes when people think about their achievements within a framework, such as science, or religion, or politics, this assumption colours and biases their way of thinking. It distorts understanding because it simply is not true.
The premise is that nothing can have maintained its existence for a long time if it does not pertain to reality, or, as they say it, the truth. (lead to discussion of probability as indicator for )
One spell they were under is to conflate existence with goodness.
The Santa Ana in La Jolla or the Föhn in Germany or other changes of weather are not dangerous in themselves. We may be able to explain the illnesses they seem to bring by an analogy to rain runoff in La Jolla. These processes are dangerous because contaminants — created by human technology, industry and activity for example — which were stationary until the change of weather, are now stirred up and mobile, and distributed to humans. For example, dog faecal bacteria, freeway rubber tire tailings, pesticide residues, illegal industrial dumping, or radioactive dust — downright dangerous!
In La Jolla, it rarely rains so these kinds of contaminants are collected on the land and wash off in large quantities and concentrations when it rains. The storm drains lead to the sewers which lead to the sea. It is extremely unwise to be in the nearby sea soon after a rainstorm because of the effects this runoff cause.
meditating at a waterfall