Summary of “What Does Immersing Yourself in a Book Do To Your Brain?”

Drama makes more visible what each of us does when we pass over in our deepest, most immersive forms of reading.
These are the learned capacities that help us become more human over time, whether as a child when reading Frog and Toad and learning what Toad does when Frog is sick or as an adult when reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, or James Baldwin’s I Am Not Your Negro, and experiencing the soul-stealing depravity of slavery and the desperation of those condemned to it or to its legacy.
What will happen to young readers who never meet and begin to understand the thoughts and feelings of someone totally different? What will happen to older readers who begin to lose touch with that feeling of empathy for people outside their ken or kin? It is a formula for unwitting ignorance, fear and misunderstanding, that can lead to the belligerent forms of intolerance that are the opposite of America’s original goals for its citizens of many cultures.
“What will happen to young readers who never meet and begin to understand the thoughts and feelings of someone totally different? What will happen to older readers who begin to lose touch with that feeling of empathy for people outside their ken or kin?”.
In what is surely one of the more intriguingly titled articles in this research, “Your Brain on Jane Austen,” the scholar of 18th-century literature Natalie Phillips teamed with Stanford neuroscientists to study what happens when we read fiction in different ways: that is, with and without “Close attention.” Phillips and her colleagues found that when we read a piece of fiction “Closely,” we activate regions of the brain that are aligned to what the characters are both feeling and doing.
In related work, neuroscientists from Emory University and from York University have shown how networks in the areas responsible for touch, called the somatosensory cortex, are activated when we read metaphors about texture, and also how motor neurons are activated when we read about movement.
Oatley and his York University colleague Raymond Mar suggest that the process of taking on another’s consciousness in reading fiction and the nature of fiction’s content-where the great emotions and conflicts of life are regularly played out-not only contribute to our empathy, but represent what the social scientist Frank Hakemulder called our “Moral laboratory.” In this sense, when we read fiction, the brain actively simulates the consciousness of another person, including those whom we would never otherwise even imagine knowing.
This emerging work on empathy in the reading brain illustrates physiologically, cognitively, politically, and culturally how important it is that feeling and thought be connected in the reading circuit in every person.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To increase your emotional intelligence, develop these 10 qualities”

Write these thoughts out, analyze them and determine how you want to treat others in the same way you’d want to be treated.
Your “Antennae” are up to things you love, to wanting to grow and learn more.
The emotionally intelligent mind is able to discern between things that they need versus things that would be “Nice to have” that classify more aptly as wants.
We do not need those things to survive, but rather we want them based on our own personal desires or what we perceive to matter to society.
Emotionally intelligent people know the difference between these two things, and always establish needs prior to fulfilling wants.
If you want to increase your opportunities, improve your relationships and think clearly and constructively, you’re best positioned to maintain a positive attitude.
Their inspired leadership and passion, combined with their optimism, drives them to want to do best for themselves and others.
In the same way that we should be focused on our self-interest, we should also maintain a spirit of desire and hope for wanting to see the people around us succeed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Does Buddhist detachment allow for a healthier togetherness?”

In a healthy relationship, you feel good when your partner is around.
So what makes for a healthy or unhealthy relationship, and how do you maintain one? Buddhism offers a set of guidelines for how to treat your partner to minimise suffering.
Have you ever heard a friend complain about his partner, saying: ‘He isn’t the man I thought he was,’ or ‘She’s a different person now’? In Buddhist terms, your friend is suffering because he reified his partner in the service of reifying himself.
Relationship science suggests that romantic relationships are healthier when you and your partner see each other in an unrealistically positive light.
What if you and your partner’s problems are more serious than a battle over fridge space? What if your partner utters snide remarks intended to cause you pain, or even takes a swing at your head? First and foremost, you have to make sure that you’re physically safe.
The second Buddhism-inspired suggestion for a healthy relationship is don’t see your partner only in terms of yourself.
If you received an offer of a new job, your partner might push you to negotiate a higher salary not for your own happiness, but because you are your partner’s meal ticket.
In a healthier relationship, your partner would see you as a person with your own thoughts, feelings, experiences and needs that are important to you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Pressing Need for Everyone to Quiet Their Egos”

To be clear, a quiet ego is not the same thing as a silent ego.
The goal of the quiet ego approach is to arrive at a less defensive, and more integrative stance toward the self and others, not lose your sense of self or deny your need for the esteem from others.
A quiet ego is an indication of a healthy self-esteem, one that acknowledges one’s own limitations, doesn’t need to constantly resort to defensiveness whenever the ego is threatened, and yet has a firm sense of self-worth and competence.
A concern for prosocial development and change for self and others over time causes those with a quiet ego to question the long-term impact of their actions in the moment, and to view the present moment as part of an ongoing life journey instead of a threat to one’s self and existence.
A quiet ego is also associated with humility, spiritual growth, flexible thinking, open-minded thinking, the ability to savor everyday experiences, life satisfaction, risk-taking, and the feeling that life is meaningful.
Another recent study conducted by Heidi Wayment and Jack Bauer further supports the notion that the quiet ego really does balance the needs of self and others.
These results underscore the centrality of growth and balance values to the quiet ego construct, and make clear that quieting the ego does not quiet the self.
Imagine if in addition to learning math, reading, and sex education in school, we also learned how to cultivate the four characteristics of the quiet ego? Or imagine if before any potentially heated public debate, the ground rules included at least an attempt for all participants to practice these characteristics? Better yet, how about instead of the goal of the debate being “Who won?”, the debate concludes by having each participant state the things they learned from the other person as a result of the discussion? Would that really be so boring? If so, then I think the problem cuts even deeper than I thought.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Your Emotional Intelligence Authentic, or Self-Serving?”

Plenty of research has documented manipulative misuses of emotional intelligence – the intentionally subtle regulating of one’s emotions to engineer responses from others that might not be in their best interest.
The capacity to understand and share others’ feelings creates authentic connection and deepens trust.
Being attuned to the spoken and unspoken concerns of others demonstrates an openness to their views, a willingness to engage ideas different from ours, and honors the courage of others to express divergent perspectives.
Unaware of the tension between a genuine desire to take in others’ views and a need to be right, leaders can feign listening while actually trying to lure others to their side without realizing they’re doing it.
Keenly self-aware leaders detect how others experience them, actively solicit critical feedback from others, and accurately acknowledge their strengths and shortfalls.
Genuinely self-aware leaders face that insecurity head on, and don’t put the burden of soothing it on others.
Our ability to express emotional intelligence is sometimes impaired by unacknowledged, unhealthy, emotional needs.
If you want to genuinely employ effective emotional intelligence skills, pay attention to the unaddressed scars and voids lurking beneath the surface of your inner emotional landscape.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The friend effect: why the secret of health and happiness is surprisingly simple”

This research is far from the first to suggest a link between eating with others and happiness.
Researchers at the University of Oxford last year found that the more that people eat with others, the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives.
“The kinds of things that you do around the table with other people are very good at triggering the endorphin system, which is part of the brain’s pain-management system. Endorphins are opioids, they are chemically related to morphine – they are produced by the brain and give you an opiate high. That’s what you get when you do all this social stuff, including patting, cuddling and stroking. It is central to the way primates in general bond in their social groups and relationships.”
“You can eat as much as you like, you can slob about, you can drink as much alcohol as you like – the effect is very modest compared with these other two factors.”
One study from the University of Michigan found that replacing face-to-face contact with friends and family with messages on social media, emails or text messages could double our risk of depression.
“Homelessness and unemployment in particular takes us out of contact with others. In addition to the obvious harms of homelessness, it does massively increase social isolation and anxiety. To take that even further, many people are in exile from their communities. In mental health services, we see an enormous amount of grief, depression and anxiety in people who are asylum seekers and refugees and much of that is not just due to trauma or torture or detention or fleeing from their country, but from the severe rupture of being cut off from their families and communities of origin.”
As Gilbert says, the best relationships are the ones where people love us for our perceived dark sides and flaws.
Instead of texting a friend or messaging them on social media, why not knock on their door, look them in the eye and make yourselves both feel better?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Book of LifeThe Book of Life”

The work of two University of Denver psychologists, Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver, the questionnaire asked readers to identify which of three statements most closely reflected who they were in love.
I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me.
Behind the scenes, the options refer to the three main styles of relating to others first identified by the English psychologist John Bowlby, the inventor of Attachment Theory, in the 1950s and 60s. Option A signals what is known as a secure pattern of attachment, whereby love and trust come easily.
Attachment, where one longs to be intimate with others but is continuously scared of letdown and often precipitates crises in relationships through counter-productively aggressive behaviour.
If there is one thing we should do to improve our relationships, it is to know which of the three categories we predominantly belong to – and to deploy the knowledge in love, so as to warn ourselves and others of the traps we might fall into.
We then need a little training because half of us at least are not secure in love; we belong in the camps of either the avoidant or the anxious, and we have – to complicate matters – an above average propensity to fall in love with someone from the other damaged side, thereby aggravating our insecurities and defences in the process.
Their quiet might just be quiet, not a lack of love.
Knowing whether we can be classed as secure, avoidant or anxious in love should be a basic fact we grasp about ourselves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths”

It might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL. When McKenna-Doyle was hired, she observed that a number of her people were struggling, but not because they weren’t talented – because they weren’t in roles suited to their strengths.
Experts have long encouraged people to “Play to their strengths.” And why wouldn’t we want to flex our strongest muscle? But based on my observations, this is easier said than done.
Notice these moments: They can point to strengths that you underrate in yourself but are valuable to others.
When people bring up new ideas, you can ask them, Will this leverage what you do well? Are you doing work that draws on your strengths? Are we taking on projects that make the most of your strengths?
Brett Gerstenblatt, VP and creative director at CVS, has his team take a personality assessment, then post their top five strengths on their desk.
Brett wants people to wear their strengths like a badge.
As with McKenna-Doyle, building a team that can play to their strengths begins with analysis.
Then you can measure new ideas, new products, and new projects against these collective superpowers, asking: Are we playing to our strengths? When people feel strong, they are willing to venture into new territory, to play where others are not, and to consider ideas for which there isn’t yet a market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why inequality bothers people more than poverty”

Most remarkably, his research revealed that the Ju/’hoansi managed this on the basis of little more than 15 hours’ work per week.
More than any other food, meat was capable of making the Ju/’hoansi forget their customary good manners, so it required extra diligence in distribution.
Ironically, how envy functioned in societies such as the Ju/’hoansi suggests that, even if Smith’s hidden hand does not apply particularly well to late capitalism, his belief that the sum of individual self-interests can ensure the fairest distribution of the ‘necessaries of life’ was right, albeit in small-scale band societies.
Highlighting the explicit role of envy in Ju/’hoansi life risks giving the impression of a society of reluctant egalitarians constantly sniping at one another – an impression that any Ju/’hoansi will tell you is a far cry from the cheerful banter and mutual affection that characterises day-to-day life.
While, to be sure, the Ju/’hoansi do not reward people for being egalitarian, they are conscious of the positive emotional and social dividends that sharing, cooperation and harmony bring.
Unsurprisingly, envy still accounts for most conflict among the Ju/’hoansi in contemporary Nyae-Nyae where inequality is greater than ever before, because some have jobs or access to resources such as pensions that are denied to others.
With many Ju/’hoansi now dependent on the cash economy with its attendant employment hierarchies and management systems, many Ju/’hoansi are reluctant to take management roles or assume responsibilities that require making and imposing their decisions or authority on others.
If envy played a constructive role in small-scale band societies such as the Ju/’hoansi, it is harder to establish whether it has a similarly beneficial purpose in more complex, hierarchical societies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mastering the abundance mindset ~ Get Rich Slowly”

With a scarcity mindset, you believe that everything is limited.
Here’s the thing: In so many ways, financial freedom depends on casting aside this scarcity mentality and embracing an abundance mindset instead. Financial well-being is fundamentally tied to positive expectations of the future.
Let’s look at three ways the scarcity mindset can manifest itself – and how to embrace abundance instead. Jealousy and Spite.
For some, the scarcity mindset manifests as jealousy and spite.
For others, the scarcity mindset manifests as fear of the future.
With our flavor of the scarcity mindset, we’re so skeptical about tomorrow that we enjoy too much today.
A scarcity mindset leads to self-defeating behavior.
To finish, let’s look at a technique anyone can use to move from scarcity to abundance: To get what you want, give what you want.

The orginal article.