Belief is a powerful thing.
That said, the quote in the graphic from William James is taken out of context. We know that plenty of people believe things that aren’t true, and while it may be their truth, that doesn’t make it an actual fact.
Not believing in climate change, for example, doesn’t make it go way. It’s already sadly evident that our planet is becoming less hospitable, and it’s going to get much worse.
But there are other areas where belief makes a real difference. The placebo effect is a fascinating case.
Belief can make pain subside from salt tablets, wine taste better from claims about the design of the glass, and cancerous tumors disappear via completely ineffective treatments. All that matters is that the subject believes that the desired result will happen.
For our purposes, the most profound aspect of belief involves the capacity for change. All you need to achieve personal growth is a mindset that allows for it.
Carol Dweck’s research on the dramatic differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is the fundamental basis of the positive psychology movement. She literally wrote the book on the topic with Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
I’ve read the book, and with absolutely no disrespect, I think you can get the gist of a growth mindset from an article. And further, you can have a growth mindset simply by believing you can continue to learn and grow.
Personal growth exemplified, no charge:
- Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: How Your Beliefs Change Your Behavior
- The Weird Power of the Placebo Effect, Explained
Might as Well Jump
A jump rope feels decidedly old-school: something you played with as a kid but that most adults, except for boxers, leave behind. That’s a shame, because jumping rope offers a combination of benefits to bone, balance and muscles that most types of exercise can’t match.
Sweat to Sleep
There are millions of tips and tricks to get a better night’s sleep — a personalized mattress, eating dinner early, sleeping with a crystal under your pillow. But what about working out?
Smells Like Weight Gain
You hold firm to your spin + green juice plan, but hey, a little sniffing never hurt anybody, right? Maybe not. Researchers at University of California, Berkeley say smelling food before eating it could actually cause weight gain.
Round-the-clock headlines, political rants, dire global events — it’s enough to drive you to the nearest bag of cookies. #resist
Oona Goota Solo?
This article provides solo travelers with a few options to help them choose the best tour company to suit their needs for an amazing outdoors and adventure trip. Also, Star Wars nerds love that subhead.
I, (Not) Robot
We may live in a digital world, but soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and empathy are becoming more valued than technology. And that’s good news for you.
You Really Like Me!
Being instantly likable isn’t rocket science, but this checklist takes practice to master in the short space of a first impression. If you’re into that sort of thing.
As long as we can hear someone and understand their words, we’re listening, right? Hearing is not enough — we need to comprehend what’s being said and why, reflect on intentions, and consider non-verbal communication.
So-called “memory athletes” can rapidly learn and retain large amounts of information. The bottom line of a new study is that successful memory athletes utilize the same brain network connectivity that any of us may be able to develop with training.
Your Pain Escapes Me
Psychologists have long studied the issue of when we are more likely to ignore the suffering of others and just walk on by, and when we are likely to stop and help. While there are many factors that contribute to a lack of compassion, studies have identified one factor that is usually under our control.
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