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Is Inspiration Contagious?

June 24, 2016 in Blog

“The central, final, inescapable fact is that inspired words create life in us because they are themselves alive.” — Cecile Maurice Bowra, Inspiration and poetry Is inspiration contagious? Do inspired works of art inspire the audience? There is a long tradition in the humanities that suggests it does. Plato once argued that inspiration is transmitted to the audience through the […]

Grit and Authenticity

June 21, 2016 in Blog

Success in accomplishing your goals requires grit: passion and perseverance over a long stretch of time. Grit requires constantly moving toward toward your north star– who you were meant to be–over the course of years, despite life’s inevitable trials and tribulations. This requires the capacity to ignore distractions, and to maintain one’s enduring purpose. But life is not only […]

STUDY ALERT: Childhood Intelligence Predicts Adult Trait Openness

June 20, 2016 in Study Alerts, Blog

Adrian Furnham and Helen Cheng This study used a longitudinal data set of 5,672 adults followed for 50 years to determine the factors that influence adult trait Openness-to-Experience. In a large, nationally representative sample in the UK (the National Child Development Study), data were collected at birth, in childhood (age 11), adolescence (age 16), and […]

The Creative Dilemma

June 17, 2016 in Blog

I am often torn between two extremes– inspiration and self-doubt. There are moments I feel I have stumbled upon a great truth, a new discovery. This enlivens my spirit and motivates me to further explore, and share. Explore and share. The deep drives of the artist. Yet, what happens when we explore, and discover that so […]

Can You Be Social AND Introspective?

June 16, 2016 in Blog

Sociability: Inclined to associated with or be in the company of others. Introspection: Observation of examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself. The fundamental human needs for connection and reflection enrich our lives, and infuse it with meaning and growth. However, we often treat the […]

Both Introverts and Extraverts Get Exhausted From Too Much Socializing

June 13, 2016 in Blog

Having an active social life is one of the strongest predictors of longevity and good health. Human connection is one of the most fundamental and important human drives. But it can also be our most tiring! Quick question: raise your hand if you ever get tired after talking to too many people. Did you raise your hand? Congrats: […]

Cal Newport on Deep Work

June 12, 2016 in Blog

On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we feature a particularly lively exchange, as Cal Newport and I attempt to decode the patterns of success. We discuss a wide range of topics, including deep work, deliberate practice, grit, creativity, talent, mastery, IQ, and cultural misconceptions about passion and finding one’s calling. The discussion has a fun and curious tone; it […]

Introducing the “Imagination Retreats”

June 10, 2016 in Blog

What is imagination? How do you teach it, nurture it, allow it to flourish—and are these goals worth having? The Imagination Institute is dedicated to these issues by making progress on the measurement, growth, and improvement of imagination across all sectors of society. Toward these aims, we are funding 16 research teams to develop better ways […]

Relaxation Benefits Introverts More Than Extraverts in Boosting Creativity

June 9, 2016 in Blog

Everybody loves creativity. Organizations spend large sums of money on programs designed to “unleash creativity”– from Edward de Bono’s lateral thinking program to Tony Buzan’s mind-mapping techniques, to Scott Isaksen and Donald Treffinger’s creative problem solving Process (CPS). But can creativity really be trained? In one of the biggest reviews on this topic, Ginamarie Scott and colleagues assessed […]