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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Psychology Today – “Why We Are Afraid of Creativity” by Michael Michalko

Once people establish a hypothesis about the way things are, they develop a deeply-rooted bias against anything that causes them to feel uncertain, anxious or confused about their pre-established hypothesis. The novelty of the new watch caused great uncertainty in the minds of the watchmakers. This bias against uncertainty is activated when people are asked to evaluate new, novel ideas and interferes with the participants’ ability to recognize a creative idea. The insidious nature of this bias is that there is strong societal pressure to endorse creativity and its products and a strong social desirability bias against expressing any view of creativity as negative. The resulting state is similar to that identified in research on racial bias; a conflict between an explicit preference towards creativity and unacknowledged negative associations with creativity…

Do people desire creative ideas and innovation today? Most us would answer with a loud ‘YES, OF COURSE’ asserting that creativity is the engine of discovery in the arts, science and industry, is the fundamental driving force of positive change, and associated with intelligence, wisdom, and goodness.

Still while most people strongly endorse a positive view of creativity, historians have discovered that scientific institutions, business, education, medical, military, nonprofit, political organizations, and leaders and decision-makers in all fields routinely reject creative ideas much like the Greeks rejected atomic theory

continue reading Psychology Today – “Why We Are Afraid of Creativity”

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The Hidden Treasure of Anger.

Great article. Well beyond the usual mantra “don’t hold on to your anger” and “holding grudges is bad for your health”, this story goes into why people get angry in the first place, which is oddly never discussed, but probably the most important issue.

What is the most skillful intention in relation to anger? In my view, it’s being interested in anger—your own and another’s. True anger is about unfairness, injustice, and intolerable treatment. Inquiring into the source of anger and trying to understand its message is very useful.”

Anger has unfortunately been confused or conflated with aggression, hatred, or rage—some of its more destructive siblings. Many people make the mistake of pushing away anger, being afraid that it will be destructive if expressed. Some may hyper-value silence as though it were its own virtue. Others may express aggression, blame, anxiety, or rage instead of anger. But if you have the skill to feel your feelings with a gentle acceptance of them, you are less likely to dissociate from your feelings or distance yourself from another in times of anger. You won’t have to hide your anger from yourself and you can learn about speaking it honestly and kindly—and about inquiring into your beloved’s anger at you.

In many ways, human anger is a treasure. The Greeks called it the “moral emotion” because they noted that animals did not possess it; animals, the Greeks observed, got aggressive and showed fight or flight reactivity. They did not get angry. Humans, on the other hand, could experience and express anger with its inherent reflective component: “I can see/know/feel that someone or something has wronged me.”

As a response to being wronged, anger is a boundary-setter that says, “Stop! I can’t tolerate this,” or, “This isn’t working for me.” It is not blaming the other or shaming the self. Often experienced first as a contraction in the throat, chest, stomach, or abdomen and a clenching of the fist, anger may be associated with the words “I can’t go on like this” seared into the mind.

Anger—sparked by injustice—is at the root of all protest movements, all major processes of change. In our most intimate relationships, when we or our loved ones experience or express anger, it is an opportunity to get to know one another better, to get closer and clearer, and to work with ourselves in a new way. It is an opportunity to ask ourselves, “Why am I feeling this?” “What needs to change here?” and “What do I need to do about it?”

Because anger is expressed at a moment of need, the person expressing it is vulnerable. If, when our partner is angry, we inquire into his need to be seen, treated, known, or held more wholly, dearly, or fairly, we have a chance of accepting our beloved more fully. In our closest relationships, our fate is bound up with the fate of the other. In Buddhist terms, our karma is interwoven and we cannot easily escape feeling the consequences of the beloved’s actions. It is a natural desire for us to want to keep our partner safe or happy, for both selfish and unselfish reasons. But, as a result, we have a tendency to want to control our beloved—and that often creates a sense of being unfairly treated.

Our closest relationships are the most challenging in our lives when it comes to practicing fairness, equality, and kindness. That is because in these intimate relationships, we always begin to get to know the other person (even if that person is an infant) through a process of psychological projection: seeing/feeling/experiencing the other through already familiar views, desires, and ideals. This is especially true in romantic love, where we “fall” in love through an idealizing projection and assume that the other is ideal for us and meets our needs in some particular or general way. When the other person does not do or become what we want, which is always the case, we can easily turn against him with hatred, rejection, or pain.

Working with anger skillfully can actually be very helpful in our not doing this.

Please read the rest of the article The Hidden Treasure of Anger. Good stuff!

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I came across this article, and thought it really has some interesting points. (Original link is at the bottom.) I’m re-posting here, so I can reread the article in the future. The points seem simple, but require a little thought. 

To summarize:

1. LOVE vs. FEAR. FEAR less and LOVE a lot more.

2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE.   you can’t really change a situation by resisting it,

3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS.  it’s not healthy to hold on to anger.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” —Buddha

4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”  —Mark Twain

5. MEANING vs. AMBITION.  “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life”

6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”.

7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. understanding that underneath challenges lie many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.

8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS.  they do not for themselves, but for the good of others.

”Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.” –Buddha

9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life.

10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. They love and dare to dream big.

11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.

12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and they express their gratitude for them all.

13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.”  —Eckhart Tolle

14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.

15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.

I thought these were words of wisdom worth a further look. Found here:

http://www.purposefairy.com/4899/15-powerful-things-happy-people-do-differently/

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