Saturday, 31 October 2020

How will I be a moment maker today?

Over the course of several retellings, people's memories of the event became more consistent with racial stereotypes: Eventually the man holding the razor was remembered as Black, not White. Mass Media Biases Of course, we don't get information only from having it told to us directly by others; Just as rumors and gossip can distort the truth, media portrayals seldom are realistic accounts of what life is like, although they do provide vivid portrayals of possible scenarios. Think about your own schemas or scripts about dating and romantic love. Your earliest ideas about such matters probably came from fairy tales, television shows, the Internet, and movies. Unfortunately, these media offer biased views of many of these matters. For example, they tend to portray romantic relationships and love in oversimplified ways; Sustain Momentum By now you should have a much greater understanding of what you can do to build momentum and get yourself unstuck. Hopefully, you've already taken some action, made progress and feel more motivated than when you started this article. Once you've started the ball rolling, the next phase is to put in place the habits that will allow you to maintain the momentum over the long term. Many people can experience a state of excitement at the beginning of a new venture, but unfortunately, few can sustain it long enough to achieve the results they seek. In this part, we're going to discuss in detail what you can do to sustain momentum over the long term. First, you'll learn the importance of acknowledging yourself and your accomplishments on a consistent basis, to help maintain or even increase your motivation. You'll discover specific exercises you can do to boost your self-esteem. You will also be introduced to the concept of right action so that you can create positive reinforcement. Second, you'll learn the importance of commitment and how you can use it to stay on track with your goals over the longer term. What qualities of character have you strengthened? When it came time for my client Rachel to reevaluate her values and the life changes she thought she needed to make in order to honor these values, she was surprised to find that while her values had stayed the same, all of her life changes needed to be modified.

Rachel said she no longer felt like the same person, and the changes she originally chose to make--change her job, end a significant relationship, and go back to school--were all attempts to fill a void in her life. Now the time and energy she was spending developing a new relationship with herself had filled this void. Rachel's realization is a common one. Too often we attempt to make major life changes in reaction to something else that isn't working in our lives. When we do this we either set ourselves up to fail or choose a direction that ends up being temporary or ultimately unfulfilling. When you build a solid relationship with yourself you make smart life choices. Choices that come from a deeper, more centered place, a place that brings true fulfillment. Now feeling stronger, confident, and more able to stand up for herself, Rachel realized that she needed to do things a bit differently. The latter feature may explain why people who watch a lot of television think that crime and violence are far more prevalent in the world than they actually are (Shanahan & Morgan, 1999). News programming is based on reality, and so people tend to assume that it paints a fairly realistic, accurate, and less biased picture of events and people. But the news is created at least as much as it is reported. Those who produce the news choose which events and people to report about and what perspective on the events to provide. These decisions are influenced by concerns with television ratings and newspaper sales, as well as by the political and social preferences of those who own and sponsor the television programs, radio shows, newspapers, and magazines that report the news. And just as Allport and Postman showed seven decades ago, racial stereotypes can play a role as well. Just consider the two different descriptions of similar actions by people dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans in 2005 (FIGURE 3. Both images show people leaving a grocery store and wading through floodwaters with food and supplies; Media Biases After Hurricane Katrina, these two images appeared in different news sources. You will also see how simple daily actions repeated over a long period of time can radically change your life. Third, and finally, you'll discover how to use appreciation to further boost your motivation and enhance your self-esteem.

Let's get started. Acknowledge Do you take time to acknowledge your accomplishments every day? Do you appreciate all the things you've already accomplished in your life? Building motivation requires you to acknowledge yourself and all the wonderful things you have done and are continuing to do. The more you perceive yourself as a success, the better you will feel, and the more likely you are to achieve even more great things, moving forward. When you feel proud about yourself, you will develop the confidence and motivation to progress. Yet, how often do people blame themselves for their shortcomings instead of focusing on their strengths and accomplishments? She made a decision to stay in her relationship and continue the work started in article four, by asking to have her needs met and by keeping her boundaries firmly in place around the time she needed to herself. Rachel also decided to stay at her current job in order to improve her finances. She realized that her energy was being drained by her debt and that handling that problem was a higher priority than changing jobs. Finally, Rachel also put going back to school on hold while she worked hard to get her finances in order. She realized that finishing school for the sake of getting a degree without a smart career plan might well be a foolish move. She needed to research and explore her career options before making such a large investment of time and money. When Rachel finished reevaluating her life changes they looked like this: Improve my relationship with Kevin. Eliminate my debt. Explore new career options. Whereas the media described the White people as finding food in grocery stores, they described this Black individual as having looted a grocery store. How Do Schemas Work?

Accessibility and Priming of Schemas Given that people learn a host of schemas, the question becomes, Which schemas are used to guide thinking and behavior at any given moment? To answer this question, it helps to introduce some technical terms. Accessibility refers to the ease with which people can bring an idea into consciousness and use it in thinking. When a schema is highly accessible, the salience of that schema is increased: It is activated in the person's mental system, even if she is not consciously aware of it, and it tends to color her perceptions and behavior (Higgins, 1996). We can now rephrase the question as, What factors increase the salience of a schema, making it more accessible for thinking and acting? One answer is that the mind accesses schemas that fit (or seem to fit) with characteristics of the context. If Yana walks by a social gathering and sees people drinking and hears loud music, she'll likely pull up her party schema to interpret what is going on and how to relate to it. The truth is, there will always be people in the world who are smarter, richer or better looking than you. There will always be people who accomplish more than you. And if you focus on what you lack, you will never feel as though you are enough. So why not focus on all the things you have going for you instead? In the previous part, we discussed how completion builds momentum and how it can make you feel better about yourself in the short term. However, unless you take the time to capture and acknowledge your accomplishments, they will be soon forgotten, and you will find yourself like that poor hamster in his wheel who is forever running, but never reaching the end, never feeling satisfied. Acknowledgment is the conscious process of storing your accomplishments in your mind so you can revisit them at will. It entails pausing for a few seconds to capture mental pictures of the positive moments in your life--a similar process to what you do when you take real photos. When you choose to celebrate each of your accomplishments, you start building a library of great memories that serve as positive reinforcement. Some people naturally acknowledge their accomplishments while others never take the time to do so. My client Paul decided to take a different path. As a result of making a deeper commitment to the needs of his soul he decided to step out on a limb and risk in a big way.

Paul was single, in his late thirties, and ready to pursue a lifelong dream. When he revisited his values and life changes he found that they were still exactly the right choices. A district attorney turned criminal defense lawyer, Paul had a hidden desire to be a comedian. His values were: Educate others 3. To have fun Laughter 4. To catalyze Accessibility The ease with which people can bring an idea into consciousness and use it in thinking. The aspect of a schema that is active in one's mind and, consciously or not, colors perceptions and behavior. Notice that in the above example, seeing the party is what activates Yana's party schema. Priming occurs when something in the environment activates a schema. This happens because the information that we store in memory is connected in associative networks (FIGURE 3. These networks are tools that psychologists use to describe how pieces of information stored in a person's memory are linked to other bits of information (Anderson, 1996; Collins & Loftus, 1975). These links result both from two concepts having similar meaning (eg, nice and kind are semantic associations) or from two concepts being experienced together in time or space (eg, clouds and rain are experiential associations). Because some concepts become linked based on one's personal experiences, different people's associations to the same concept can vary. Fortunately, this is a skill you can learn. One of my friends is hugely gifted at expressing gratitude for all the little things in life.

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