Saturday, August 27, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote for August 27, 2016

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

Exactly! Think about it. Life is made up of our reactions. Our reactions to our thoughts, actions, situations, people, places, etc. etc. etc. We all react and respond differently to what and who we encounter each and every day of our lives and this is what makes us the wonderful individuals we are. Each response is as unique as we are, and this is what differentiates each of us from everybody else sharing our beautiful Earth. How special is that?

by CathiBew.co.uk

Altruism is Sexy

By Tom Jacobs

In a new study, a kind heart trumps good looks—but the combination of both is the most desirable of all.



What does a woman want in a man? The question has long baffled many single males, leading some to bitterly conclude that handsome guys have an insurmountable advantage.
Not so, concludes a newly published study. It shows women do indeed find good-looking men desirable—but if they have to choose, they’ll probably pick the altruistic guy over the hunk.
The results provide “further evidence of the importance of altruism in women’s mate choice preferences,” a research team led by the University of Worcester’s Daniel Farrelly writes in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. It confirms that selflessness is “a highly important characteristic trait women look for in long-term partners.”
The study featured 202 straight women recruited online, most of whom were in their early 20s. They looked at 12 sets of photographs, each of which showed the faces of two men—one handsome, the other much less so.
The images were accompanied by scenarios, eight of which described situations where altruism—or its absence—played a key role. One typical scenario read as follows: “Two people are walking through a busy town, and notice a homeless person sitting near a cafe. Person E decides to go into the cafe to buy a sandwich and a cup of tea to give to the homeless person outside. Person F pretends to use his mobile phone and walks straight past the homeless person.”
The altruistic behavior was ascribed to the handsome man in some scenarios, and the not-so-handsome man in others. In still others, neutral behavior was attributed to both, allowing researchers to determine the importance of looks when the guys were described in similar terms.
After scanning the photos and reading the scenarios, the women rated (on a one-to-five scale) how attractive they found each man, for both a brief affair or a committed romantic relationship.
“Individuals who displayed high levels of altruism were rated significantly more desirable overall,” the researchers write. While the self-absorbed guys were viewed as more attractive candidates for a one-night stand—suggesting a night with a “bad boy” retains its short-term appeal—altruistic guys were rated as “more desirable for long-term relationships.”
“Men who were just altruistic were rated as more desirable than men who were just attractive,” Farrelly and his colleagues add. “If a man possesses only one of those traits, it is altruism that is more valuable.”
What’s more, “being both attractive and altruistic made a man more desirable than just the sum of the two desirable parts,” the researchers report. A handsome guy volunteering at a soup kitchen will catch a lot of women’s eyes.
This research is consistent with a German study from last year, which found engaging in altruistic behavior increases the odds you’ll find a romantic partner the following year.
This latest research also offers encouraging news to all those bitter guys on the Internet whose resentment toward women stems from romantic rejection: Maybe you’re not being turned down because of your looks, but because of your attitude.
Instead of wasting time writing nasty comments, why not help someone in need? You might find you’re more attractive than you realized.
This article originally appeared in Pacific Standard magazine, which tells stories across print and digital platforms about society’s biggest problems, both established and emerging, and the people attempting to solve them.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Newly Discovered Earth-Like Planet is Possibly Habitable

Scientists announced yesterday that the star closest to the Sun has a planet similar to the Earth – which also makes it the closest possibly-habitable alien planet ever found.

Recent observations confirmed that this planet not only exists, but inhabits a zone where its surface temperature could allow liquid water, a key ingredient for life on Earth.

It is not yet known if this planet, Proxima b, has any life. Even if it does not, its potential ability to sustain liquid water might make it a good first hop for humanity’s future trips out into the Milky Way Galaxy.

Although the planet’s parent star, Proxima Centauri, is cooler and redder than our Sun, one of the other two stars in the Alpha Centauri star system is very similar to our Sun. The featured image shows the sky location of Proxima Centauri in southern skies behind the telescope that made many of the discovery observations: ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile.

The discovered planet orbits close in — so close, in fact, that one year there takes only 11 days on Earth.

The planet was discovered by the ESO’s Pale Red Dot collaboration. Although seemingly unlikely, if Proxima b does have intelligent life, at 4.25 light years distance it is close enough to Earth for two-way communication.

Daily Inspirational Quote for August 26, 2016

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

Human nature can be guilty of letting us down occasionally. By that, I mean we can all tend to doubt ourselves and our abilities, or what we perceive to be our lack of abilities. Actually, the trick here is to trust that we know much, much more than we think we do. Lack of trust in ourselves does us no favors whatsoever so why do we allow it this power over us? Exactly! I don’t know either. So let’s agree that, from now on, we all strive to believe in our own powers okay?

by CathiBew.co.uk

The Power of Forgiveness at Work

By Brooke Deterline

Ever carry a grudge or harbor revenge fantasies about a colleague or boss? It’s likely costing you and your workplace.



Over the last two decades, much research has been published about the positive impact of forgiveness, particularly on the forgiver and in relationships. Now, a new study—building on a smaller but growing body of research in the workplace—supports the power of forgiveness to potentially improve well-being and productivity in professional settings.
Conflict among colleagues is inevitable, and—left unheeded—associated with significant stress, health problems (both mental and physical), and poor productivity.  Researchers set out to explore the role of forgiveness in ameliorating these negative impacts.
The participants—more than 200 employees working in office jobs in Washington, DC, or manufacturing jobs in the Midwest—responded to questionnaires about their levels of forgiveness, productivity, and well-being.
The first survey asked respondents to focus on a specific offense, and how they believed it affected them. The second study looked at participants’ general tendency to be forgiving and their general state of mind and work habits over the previous month.
In both cases, forgiveness was linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism (fewer days missing work), and fewer mental and physical health problems, such as sadness and headaches. In the second study, these benefits were partly explained by reductions in interpersonal stress that went along with a forgiving disposition.
This new research is important to employees and employers alike, as a lack of forgiveness negatively affects the individuals involved and organizations as a whole. Holding on to negative feelings after a conflict may lead to disengagement at work, a lack of collaboration, and aggressive behavior. Carrying a grudge is also associated with increased stress and a host of negative emotions, including anger, hostility, and vengeful rumination.
Since many people who have been in conflict need to continue to work together, forgiveness can be an effective coping tool, and a way to repair relationships and restore trust—both of which are key to effective work cultures.

More evidence of the power of forgiveness

In 2012, my team at Courageous Leadership LLC worked with employees at Google to build a more courageous culture, including the courage to forgive (one of the keys to healthy ongoing work relationships). We had employees share times when they failed to act on their values at work, to admit they didn’t understand something, or to speak up when they thought they had a better idea. This was designed to remind everyone how easy it is to act outside of our values in stressful situations—to do something that might merit forgiveness.
Participants then practiced taking courageous action. We had them use the REACH model (developed by Everett L. Worthington, one of the coauthors of the new workplace study) to practice forgiveness by identifying current grudges and work on forgiving (not condoning) the behavior. Participants also remembered and shared when others had forgiven them.
Our program also showed positive impact. Participants reported a greater understanding of the power of stressful situations to negatively affect behavior. They also reported feeling better and more connected afterward; as one noted: “I had a deepened sense of lightening inside, like letting go of heavy weights. I feel the forgiveness exercise for me was very powerful.” Participants also took more social risks, like offering new ideas, admitting fears or concerns, and asking for or offering help.
Research shows that this kind of forgiveness can even impact employees who aren’t involved in the conflict. When people see others practicing forgiveness (and other virtuous behaviors) at work, it often fosters positive emotions that can improve decision-making, cognitive functioning, and the quality of relationships.

How to foster forgiveness at work

Unresolved stress from interpersonal conflict often dampens our cognitive and compassionate capacities, making it hard to find a way to forgive. Drawing on the implications of their study, the researchers offer individuals and organizations some suggestions to foster forgiveness at work: 

  • Model forgiveness at work, particularly if you’re a leader. Leaders’ behavior often has the greatest impact on organizational culture, a kind of contagion effect. Leaders who model forgiveness on a regular basis are cueing similar behavior in others.
  • Apologize and attempt to make restitutions. If we don’t take responsibility for our mistakes, distrust grows and the fear of something happening again can be worse than the original incident.
  • Rebuild trust by working on a common task, creating new experiences and memories of cooperation.
  • Conduct interventions (sometimes best done by third parties) to address conflict and foster forgiveness. Invest in programs to build understanding and teach evidence-based tools for ongoing forgiveness in the workplace.
There’s an old saying (attributed to everyone from the Buddha to Carrie Fisher) that goes, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” If you’re holding onto a grudge at work, you could be sharing the poison with your colleagues.
Forgiveness, of course, does not mean we condone or ignore bad behavior. Every workplace should have policies and procedures for dealing quickly with serious transgressions. However, if you do feel ready and the situation warrants it, give forgiveness a try. It could help you, your colleagues, and your workplace.