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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2 Easy Ways To Increase Willpower — Courtesy Of The Cookie Monster

Really useful to start anytime :)

I want cookie!


Willpower Is Destiny

Haven’t we all heard of Mischel’s Marshmallow Self-Control Test by now? If not, here’s a quick summary:
  1. Stick a little kid alone in a room with nothing but a marshmallow.
  2. Tell the kid they can eat it now or, if they wait 15 minutes, they get two.
  3. Then you leave the kid alone.
Some children eat the marshmallow immediately, others wait and earn two.
Big deal, right? Wrong.
It’s a huge deal.
Check with those kids 20 years later and you find this silly test of self-control predicts who gets good grades, goes to jail or gets rich.
The big shock: statistical analysis found that a child’s level of self-control is every bit as powerful a predictor of her adult financial success and health (and criminal record, for that matter) as are social class, wealth of family of origin, or IQ. Willpower emerged as a completely independent force in life success— in fact, for financial success, self-control in childhood proved a stronger predictor than either IQ or social class of the family of origin.
Watching the kids during the experiment is pretty cute:
So how do you use this to teach kids (and blog readers, for that matter) about improving self control?
Enter Sesame Street.


Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster underwent a similar trial:
The above was just a promo. In the episode there was more of a detailed lesson for Cookie Monster about fighting temptation.
How did Sesame Street assemble such a lesson? They consulted Mischel, of course.
To get the self-regulation strategies right in this segment, says Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president for education and research, they consulted with none other than Walter Mischel, the mastermind behind the marshmallow test.
After testing so many kids, Mischel had learned a good deal about what does and doesn’t improve willpower.
What’s really important? Attention is one of the most essential elements of self-control. Distraction is a powerful tool.
How we focus holds the key to willpower, says Mischel. His hundreds of hours of observation of little kids fighting off temptation reveal “the strategic allocation of attention,” as he puts it, to be the crucial skill. The kids who waited out the full fifteen minutes did it by distracting themselves with tactics like pretend play, singing songs, or covering their eyes. If a kid just stared at the marshmallow, he was a goner (or more precisely, the marshmallow was).
So Mischel gave Sesame Street a few strategies related to attention that might help Cookie Monster.
One was a type of refocusing: “Think of the cookie as something else.” 
Mischel proposed teaching Cookie cognitive control strategies like “Think of the cookie as something else” and reminding himself of that something. So Cookie sees the cookie is round and looks like a yo-yo, and dutifully repeats to himself over and over that the cookie is a yo-yo. But then he gobbles anyway.
So that didn’t work for Cookie Monster.
But then they tried another method: Delay and focus on reward.
To help Cookie take just a nibble— a major triumph of willpower— Mischel suggested a different impulse-delay strategy. Alan tells Cookie, “I know this is hard for you, but what’s more important: this cookie now, or getting into the club where you’ll get all kinds of cookies?” That did the trick.
Success! Cookie Monster was able to hold out for the bigger plate of cookies.

How This Can Help You

I’m seriously hoping you’re already more disciplined than a five-year-old or a blue puppet.
Meaning if these methods worked for them, they’ll definitely work for you.
What are the effective strategies you can start using immediately? To review:
  1. Distract yourself. Willpower is tied to attention. Focusing on something else increases self-control.
  2. If you can’t distract yourself, just delay the impulse and focus your attention on the reward ahead.
For more tips check out my round up of self-control research and my interview with NYT bestselling author and willpower expert, Roy Baumeister.
(After all these years, how does Cookie Monster still make me smile like that every time I see him devour a cookie?)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The 45 Most Powerful Photos Of 2013

Something to inspire or really make you stop and feel grateful about :). They really etch into my heart. Thanks BuzzFeed

A couple pauses between salvaging through the remains of a family member’s home one day after a tornado devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma.
AP Photos/Discovery Channel, Tiffany Brown
Aerialist Nik Wallenda walks a 2-inch-thick, quarter mile long steel cable over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona in June.
Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images
A demonstrator is shot by rubber bullets as riot police charge after clashes erupted during a protest against corruption and price hikes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA / Landov
Michael Knaapen and John Becker, who married seven years ago in Toronto, Canada, react to the news that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Nacho Doce / Reuters
A man dressed as Superman smiles at patient Joao Bertola, 2, and his father at the Hospital Infantil Sabara in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Tim Holmes / AP
Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages in the Australian town of Dunalley.
AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn, File
An anti-government protester gives a rose to a Thai soldier at the Defense Ministry during a rally in Bangkok.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Thania Sayne leans on the headstone marking the grave of her husband, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Tó Mané / Barcroft Media / Landov
Garrett McNamara attempts to break the Guinness World Record for largest wave ever surfed on in Nazare, Portugal.
Reuters/Romeo Ranoco
A boy carries his dog through floodwaters brought by the monsoon rain in Manila, Philippines.
Michael Sohn / AP
Catholics take photos with their phones and tablets of the newly-elected Pope Francis as he speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Samantha Sais /The New York Times / Redux Pictures
Renata Teodoro, 25, right, holds hands with her mother, Gorete Borges Teodoro, who was deported six years ago from the U.S., through the bars of a border fence in Nogales, Ariz.
Mohammed Abdel Moneim / AFP / Getty Images
A woman tries to stop a military bulldozer from hurting a wounded person after clashes between security forces and opposition groups that left hundreds dead in Cairo.
Sanjay Kanojia / AFP / Getty Images
An Indian youth dangles from a power line before diving into the floodwaters of an overflowing Ganges river in Allahabad in August.
Mohammad Sajjad / AP
A Pakistani man carrying a child rushes away from the site of a car bombing in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan.
Fred Dufour / AFP / Getty Images
A man kicks a topless activist of the Ukrainian feminist movement Femen as she raises her fist to protest against Islamists in front of the Great Mosque of Paris
STR / AFP / Getty Images
A young man jumps from the Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, China, into the river following another person who committed suicide minutes earlier.
John Kolesidis / Reuters
A man rescues a woman from her car on a flooded road in the Athens suburb of Chalandri in February.
Superbonnie via Reddt / Via reddit.com
A boy looks into the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., which was temporarily closed due to the government shutdown.
Wong Maye-E, File / AP Photo
A woman sits prayerfully while her head is shaved to mourn the late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk ahead of his funeral in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Parwiz / Reuters
Afghan boys play with toy guns on the first day of Eid al-Adha in October.
Hasan Jamali / AP
A Bahraini anti-government protester is engulfed in flames after a shot fired by riot police hit the gasoline bomb in his hand that he was preparing to throw.
John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / AP
Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Luke Macgregor / Reuters
Runners observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings before the start of the London Marathon in Greenwich, southeast London.
China Stringer Network / Reuters
Visitors watch water gushing from a section of the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on China’s Yellow River during a July 6 operation to remove built-up silt.
Noah Berger / AP
Sue Rochman, left, and Robin Romdalvik hug their son Maddox Rochman-Romdalvik, 8, at San Francisco’s City Hall, after the Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
Jonathan Palmer / Herald-Leader
Figo, a Kentucky police dog, pays his last respects to his human partner, Officer Jason Ellis, who was killed in an ambush five days earlier.
Philippe Lopez / AFP / Getty Images
Survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left 1.9 million homeless, take part in a religious procession in Tolosa on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte.
Dmitry Lovetsky, File / AP Photo
Riot police guard gay rights activists who have been beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia.
AP Photo
Rescuers pull out a female survivor, Reshma, alive 16 days after a garment factory building collapsed in Bangladesh.
Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel / AP Photo
George Zimmerman winks at his lawyer at the start of his trial in Seminole Circuit Court.
Jason Lee / Reuters
A boy holds his mother’s leg as he cries in front of their damaged house after a strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake at Longmen village, Lushan county in Ya’an, Sichuan province.
Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP
Capt. Michael Potoczniak marries his partner Todd Saunders, in a ceremony in San Francisco on June 29.
Osman Orsal / Reuters
A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas against a woman as people protest against the destruction of trees in a park brought about by a pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul.
Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports
An Air Force sergeant surprises his wife and daughter during the second quarter of a game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers.
Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters
A couple runs near riot police gathered at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, on Sept. 7 before the international friendly soccer match between Brazil and Australia.
Evan Vucci / AP Photo
President Obama looks out the “Door of No Return” on Goree Island off the Senegalese coast, which was the last stop for millions of slaves sent to the New World.
Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that left 67 dead.
Rescue workers carry a child who was rescued from the rubble at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai, India, in September.
Claudio Peri / EPA / Landov
Pope Francis blesses and prays with a severely disfigured man.
Roni Bintang / Reuters
An Indonesian child watches as ash spews out of Mt. Sinabung.
Erik De Castro / Reuters
Newly-born Bea Joy sleeps as her mother recuperates in a makeshift birthing clinic at the airport in typhoon-devastated Tacloban. Ortega was in an evacuation center when the storm hit and had to swim and cling to a post to survive.
Jerard Julien / Reuters
The first same-sex couple to be married in France kiss on the balcony in front of the crowd after their marriage at the city hall in Montpellier.
Jae C. Hong / AP Photo
Inmate firefighters prepare to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., in August.
Make-A-Wish Bay Area / sf.wish.org / Via Twitter: @SFWish
Miles, a five-year-old battling leukemia, is dressed as “Batkid” as part of a day arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation in San Francisco on Nov. 15.