Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

This is a great ted talk!

Amy Cuddy ted.com bio:

Amy Cuddy wasn’t supposed to become a successful scientist. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to finish her undergraduate degree. Early in her college career, Cuddy suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree.
But she proved them wrong. Today, Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. And her training as a classical dancer (another skill she regained after her injury) is evident in her fascinating work on “power posing” — how your body position influences others and even your own brain.

“Using a few simple tweaks to body language, Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy discovers ways to help people become more powerful.”
TIME Game Changers, March 19, 2012

Here goes:

If this sounds hokey, simple.. or even stupid.. GET OVER IT.

You might want to construct your own power pose if you don’t feel comfortable with Amy Cuddy’s version … I myself have a slightly different pose AND supplement with a genuine smile…for 2min.

  It is a very powerful exercise..highly recommended.

My rating: 5/6

  • 5/6 on delivery
  • 5/6 on content

-Egil

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

From Wikipedia:

Dan Ariely (born April 29, 1967) is an Israeli American professor of psychology and behavioral economics. He teaches at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight. Ariely’s talks on TED have been watched 2.8 million times. He is the author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both of which became New York Times best sellers.

TED bio:

Despite our best efforts, bad or inexplicable decisions are as inevitable as death and taxes and the grocery store running out of your favorite flavor of ice cream. They’re also just as predictable. Why, for instance, are we convinced that “sizing up” at our favorite burger joint is a good idea, even when we’re not that hungry? Why are our phone lists cluttered with numbers we never call? Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, has based his career on figuring out the answers to these questions, and in his bestselling book Predictably Irrational (re-released in expanded form in May 2009), he describes many unorthodox and often downright odd experiments used in the quest to answer this question.

Ariely has long been fascinated with how emotional states, moral codes and peer pressure affect our ability to make rational and often extremely important decisions in our daily lives — across a spectrum of our interests, from economic choices (how should I invest?) to personal (who should I marry?). At Duke, he’s aligned with three departments (business, economics and cognitive neuroscience); he’s also a visiting professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His hope that studying and understanding the decision-making process can help people lead better, more sensible daily lives.

He produces a weekly podcast, Arming the Donkeys, featuring chats with researchers in the social and natural sciences.

“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.”

Daniel Gross, Newsweek

TED intro to the talk:

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why.

When it comes to the mental world, when we design things like health care and retirement and stock markets, we somehow forget the idea that we are limited. I think that if we understood our cognitive limitations in the same way that we understand our physical limitations … we could design a better world.”
—Dan Ariely

Here goes:

 

My view:

Funny, interesting & solid delivery.

… and “most people” are irrational.. indeed. I remember one of the first “talk’s” (Google Tech Talk actually) I saw.. David Rock stressed: Rational is overrated.

rating: 5/6

  • 5/6 on delivery
  • 5/6 on content

Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology

From TED bio:

Why you should listen to him:
Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It’s a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures — traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones. In his pioneering work, Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists.

His earlier work focused on perhaps the opposite state: learned helplessness, in which a person feels he or she is powerless to change a situation that is, in fact, changeable. Seligman is an often-cited authority in this field as well — in fact, his is the 13th most likely name to pop up in a general psych textbook. He was the leading consultant on a Consumer Reports study on long-term psychotherapy, and has developed several common pre-employment tests, including the Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ).

Here it is:

Some important points:

The pleasant life: a life that successfully pursues the positive emotions about the present, past, and future.

The good life: using your signature strengths to obtain abundant gratification in the main realms of your life.

The meaningful life: using your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.

The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness.

Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life.

Pleasure is the least consequential… engagement and meaning are much more important.

—————

So we need to aim for the good & meaningful life. The pleasant life has lowest priority, but will be the icing on the cake.

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 5/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow

TED bio:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.

“You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi — on experiencing ‘flow’

“A man obsessed by happiness.”
Richard Flaste, New York Times

about this talk:

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.

Here goes…

 

Flow is “oxy­gen for the soul”
-Dan Pink

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 3/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content

Srikumar Rao: Plug into your hard-wired happiness

Ted bio:

Srikumar Rao was an executive at Warner Communications and McGraw-Hill before he created his celebrated MBA course, “Creativity and Personal Mastery.” The course — the only business school course that has its own alumni association — shows students how to discover their unique purpose, creativity and happiness, through group work and a philosophical perspective. Its popularity has led to write-ups in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

Rao is also an adviser to senior business executives, whom he helps find deeper meaning and engagement in their work. He’s the author of Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life, and has been a contributing editor for Forbes. His latest book is titled Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What. 

About the talk:

Srikumar Rao says we spend most of our lives learning to be unhappy, even as we strive for happiness. At Arbejdsglaede Live! 2009, he teaches us how to break free of the “I’d be happy if …” mental model, and embrace our hard-wired happiness.

The Talk:

Part1:

Part2:

 

Please then remember to:

Invest in the journey/Process, not the outcome

This principle is strongly related to ancient Stoic principles of “The Dichotomy of Control”

EPICTETUS’S HANDBOOK OPENS, somewhat famously, with the following assertion: “Some things are up to us and some are not up to us.

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 4/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content