Category Archives: Psychology

Nobody has more credibility about achieving success than wildly successful people. Knowing how to get to the top of the mountain is one thing, but summiting that peak again and again until your smiling visage is carved into it is quite another. Why else would a conversation about what it takes to be great between the King of All Media and one of the greatest comedians of all time is worth repeating on a site about learning and performance. Apparently, Howard Stern recently interviewed Jerry Seinfeld, and the conversation turned to work ethic. Howard started talking about how hard he worked everyday to make a living in radio: Howard Stern: “I thought, you know, it is possible to will yourself, maybe not to be the greatest in the world but to certainly get what you want.” Jerry Seinfeld: “I’m going to adjust your perspective a little bit. That was no…

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Face facts… you simply can’t do everything. You can do many many amazing things, especially of you’ve mastered the secrets of time management. But you can’t do everything. So if you want to fulfill your most meaningful goals, prioritize relentlessly. Once we take a hard look at our priorities, we can sort our goals so we devote enough time and commitment to achieving them. We can and should also enlist help, since success is usually a group effort. But does every type of goal benefit from social support? Consider two types of goals: Give-Up Goals define success through subtraction: e.g. less goofing off, weight loss, bad habit cessation Go-Up Goals define success through addition: e.g. better grades, muscle gain, good habit development Conventional wisdom suggests that we should always share our give-up goals, as others are usually very helpful in encouraging us to drop bad habits. But more aspirational goals…

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Sometimes in life, you find yourself a holding pattern, forced to delay when you dearly desire to act. You want to take the field, but the big game hasn’t even started yet. What else can you do but wait? Here’s what you can do: Be patient. As author Joyce Meyer said, “Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Be strong. As Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, another author, said, “Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.” Be planful. Some wise individual observed, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Last but not least, be present in the moment you find yourself. Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you’re living.…

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When the school year started, nobody–and I repeat, nobody–could have predicted that Spring 2020 started with school closings across the United States and utter cessation of all sports and activities. But this really is happening. Take heart!           Now, how will you use your social distancing downtime to pursue all the dreams you have for when society reconvenes? Stay strong and never stop working towards what you really want!

Many see the highest calling of human existence to be the search for some external truth. Others, however, move the locus of control and value to our innermost selves. Viktor E. Frankl, celebrated optimist and Holocaust survivor, summarized this position well in his influential book, Man’s Search for Meaning: Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. Where, then, do we find answers to life’s problems–or at least the means to confront and prevail over them? Whether we’re dealing with existential threats or more common challenges at school, work, or play, we should start looking in the place we know (or should know) best: ourselves. Sense-of-self can be described simply as our self-image, our assessment of our personal abilities, appearance, and personality. Sense-of-self encapsulates what we perceive as our strengths and weaknesses,…

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Test anxiety is truly an unruly beast, eager to sabotage us during our most important moments. Fortunately, all kinds of strategies work well at taming this beast. If you’ve ever struggled with maintaining peak performance in the face of stress, consider adding expressive writing to your arsenal. Expressive writing?! Gerardo Ramirez and Sian L. Beilock, researchers from the University of Chicago, unraveled an interesting knot of interactions: – Worries lead to poor test performance. – Expressive writing helps regulate worries. – Expressive writing should lead to better test performance. These researchers devised a series of tests to test their hypothesis that expressive writing benefits high-stakes test performance, especially for students who tend to worry in testing situations, by reducing rumination. They created a high-stakes math testing environment in their lab and amped up the pressure among subjects. Then, subjects spent 10 min either sitting quietly (control group) or writing as…

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