Showing posts from December 10, 2017

Inspirational Quote – December 16, 2017

“Go after your dream no matter how unattainable others think it is.”

Naysayers…they’re everywhere! If I think back on how many times people told me I couldn’t do something, which to me was merely a challenge, my life would be completely different. If you have a dream, a desire, a mission, follow your heart! Taking that leap of faith off the cliff will either teach you to fly or teach you to swim!

Susyn Blair-Hunt

Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet

Late in life the English poet, novelist, essayist, and social justice advocate Sir Stephen Spender asked artist David Hockney to draw each letter of the alphabet, then invited twenty-nine of the greatest writers in the English language to each contribute a short original text for one of the letters. Among them: Susan Sontag, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Hughes, Ian McEwan, Erica Jong, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Iris Murdoch. The result was the 1991 out-of-print Hockney's Alphabeta sublime addition to the canon of imaginative alphabet books, with all proceeds going toward AIDS research and care for people living and dying with AIDS. Enjoy those available here on Brain Pickings!

What Can a Historian Reveal About Positive Psychology?

A Q&A with Daniel Horowitz, who investigated the history of the positive psychology movement in America.BY JILL SUTTIE

The field of positive psychology has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Now almost everywhere you look, you see articles in mainstream publications about the science of happiness and emotion, purporting to tell us the secrets to achieving a happier life. Historian Daniel Horowitz, professor emeritus at Smith College, became fascinated with the rising popularity of this scientific movement. But he was also disturbed by some of the larger social and political themes many in the field seemed to ignore—things like wealth inequality, racism, and the benefits of collective political and social action. He decided to take a closer look at where the movement started and who was contributing to its popularity, as well as what might be missing from the discussion. The result of his research is his new book, Happier?: The History of a Cultural Movement That Aspired to Tr…

Inspirational Quote – December 15, 2017

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

That first step to change is always the hardest. We struggle with letting go of old habits and embracing new ones. We fear taking a risk. Intellectually, we can find a thousand reasons not to try. As we close out 2015 and begin a brand new year, let’s make a solid commitment that for every resolution on our list, we will make the decision to “try!”

Susyn Blair-Hunt

Julian Treasure on 5 Ways to Listen Better

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, "We are losing our listening." In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening -- to other people and the world around you.

Why Do Some People Resent “Do-Gooders”?

When others feel resentment toward you, doing well is a double-edged sword.BY JULIANA BREINES

Whether it’s reaching a professional milestone, attaining a health goal, or doing a good deed, accomplishments should be a source of pride. But sometimes the warm glow of our success is overshadowed by an unexpected side effect—the not-so-positive reactions of other people. On the one hand, success can benefit others by providing a source of motivation or inspiration. For example, one study found that cancer patients preferred hearing about patients who overcame their illness to hearing about those who were worse off—the success stories provided them with hope and useful information. And research on basking in reflected glory suggests that we often take pride in the success of in-group members, even if we’re not directly involved in it—sports fans are a classic example. But other times, success is met with less positive responses, and outperforming others can put a strain on relationships and ev…

Inspirational Quote – December 14, 2017

“By being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that wasn’t there before.”

How much time to we spend comparing ourselves to others? I wish I had her hair, his money, their house… When we do this, our serenity and inner peace go right out the window! Instead of lamenting what you don’t have, turn your perspective around by acknowledging the unique and wonderful presence you bring to the world. Whatever we focus on grows stronger, so make it a point today to celebrate the real you!

Susyn Blair-Hunt

Fly by Light Music Video

In the shadow of our nation's capital, high school students face more than just the challenges of schoolwork. They have to deal with inner-city gangs, drug dealers, drive-by shootings, a lack of role models, and little parental support. It can be a struggle just to stay alive -- which is why many D.C. teenagers never graduate. The Fly By Light program seeks to break this cycle with a series of after-school workshops culminating in an 8-day nature retreat. For many of them, it is their first time leaving the city, hiking in the woods, cooling off in a creek, uncovering difficult emotions, or expressing their feelings through art. Let this music video from the program wash over you like a cool stream, move you with raw emotion, energize you with the beat of drums. It is the sound of transformation, self-acceptance, friendship, and hope for a brighter future.

How to Help Students Believe in Themselves

New research on hope suggests that believing that you "can" is critical to success.BY VICKI ZAKRZEWSKI

“She’s just going to be a maid anyway.” This was the reason given to me by a fifth grade teacher as to why I, a student teacher at the time, shouldn’t give extra help to a child who was working hard to improve her reading. Once my shock at this disturbing statement wore off, I realized that the teacher’s beliefs and assumptions were potentially jeopardizing the quality of life and future aspirations of this student. Bar none, reading skills are essential to life. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with domestic work, what if this student wanted to become a cancer researcher or an airline pilot or a Pixar animator? As educators, the most important—and rewarding—part of our work is to recognize the vast potential within our students and to help them see it within themselves, and then support them in reaching that potential. In other words, we need to help them cultivate h…