Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

From ted.com:

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a ­premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She’s a longtime magazine writer – covering music and politics for Spin and GQ – as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for one movie so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own memoir, in this magazine article, of working at the famously raunchy bar), and now it looks as if Eat, Pray, Love is on the same track, with the part of Gilbert reportedly to be played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.

Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

From ted.com:

Ron Gutman is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, responsible for the company’s innovation, vision and product. Before this, he was founder and CEO of Wellsphere, an online consumer health company that developed the world’s largest community of independent health writers; it was acquired in early 2009.

As a graduate student at Stanford, Gutman organized and led a multidisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students from the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Business, Psychology and Law to conduct research in personalized health and to design ways to help people live healthier, happier lives. He is an angel investor and advisor to health and technology companies such as Rock Health (the first Interactive Health Incubator) and Harvard Medical School’s SMArt Initiative (“Substitutable Medical Apps, reusable technologies”). He’s the organizer of TEDxSiliconValley.

 

Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

From ted.com:

What’s behind the human instinct to trust and to put each other’s well-being first? When you think about how much of the world works on a handshake or on holding a door open for somebody, why people cooperate is a huge question. Paul Zak researches oxytocin, a neuropeptide that affects our everyday social interactions and our ability to behave altruistically and cooperatively, applying his findings to the way we make decisions. A pioneer in a new field of study called neuroeconomics, Zak has demonstrated that oxytocin is responsible for a variety of virtuous behaviors in humans such as empathy, generosity and trust. Amazingly, he has also discovered that social networking triggers the same release of oxytocin in the brain — meaning that e-connections are interpreted by the brain like in-person connections.

A professor at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California, Zak believes most humans are biologically wired to cooperate, but that business and economics ignore the biological foundations of human reciprocity, risking loss: when oxytocin levels are high in subjects, people’s generosity to strangers increases up to 80 percent; and countries with higher levels of trust – lower crime, better education – fare better economically.

He says: “Civilization is dependent on oxytocin. You can’t live around people you don’t know intimately unless you have something that says: Him I can trust, and this one I can’t trust.”

Here it is:

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation – Daniel J. Siegel

From Wikipedia:

Daniel J. Siegel (born September 2, 1957) completed his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his post-graduate medical education at UCLA. His training is in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. Siegel was the recipient of the UCLA psychiatry department’s teaching award and several honorary fellowships for his work as director of UCLA’s training program in child psychiatry and the Infant and Preschool Service at UCLA. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute.

Mindsight – TOC:

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The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

From Wikipedia:

Charles Duhigg (born 1974) is a reporter at The New York Times, where he writes for the business section. Prior to joining the staff of theNew York Times in 2006, he was a staff writer of the Los Angeles Times. He lives in BrooklynNew York City. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School.

“Charles Duhigg masterfully combines cutting-edge research and captivating stories to reveal how habits shape our lives and how we can shape our habits. Once you read this book, you’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of #1 New York Times bestselling Drive and A Whole New Mind

 

TOC

PART ONE: THE HABITS OF INDIVIDUALS

1. The Habit Loop – How Habits Work
2. The Craving Brain – How to Create New Habits
3. The Golden Rule of Habit Change – Why Transformation Occurs

PART TWO – THE HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS

4. Keystone Habits, or The Ballad of Paul O’Neill – Which Habits Matter Most
5. Starbucks and the Habit of Success – When Willpower Becomes Automatic
6. The Power of a Crisis – How Leaders Create Habits Through Accident and Design
7. How Target Knows What You Want Before You Do – When Companies Predict (and manipulate) Habits

PART THREE – THE HABITS OF SOCIETIES

8. Saddleback Church and the Montgomery Bus Boycott – How Movements Happen
9. The Neurology of Free Will – Are We Responsible for Our Habits?