Saturday, 31 October 2020

What am I grateful for?

During the next seven days, spend a couple of minutes each night to write down how you felt during the day. Make sure you recall every time you disrespected or discouraged yourself. As you do so, visualize the scene and imagine yourself saying something nice instead. Imagine you're talking to your best friend or your lover. What would you say to them? This exercise will help you become more aware of your self-talk. Changing your self-talk Many of the words you use right now when talking to yourself create artificial limitations, preventing you from reaching your true potential. In 1989 Andrew Carroll was struggling to make it through his first year of college. He had big plans for his life. He wanted to earn an English degree and head to Los Angeles to become a film producer. His primary goal was clear--Andrew wanted to make money--lots of it. Just before Christmas of that same year, while preparing to take his final exams, his dad called with some disturbing news: his family home in Washington, D. Everything his family owned was gone. When Andrew received the news, he was surprised to find that after years of hoarding material possessions like CDs, clothes, and articles, the one thing that caused him the most pain was the loss of the letters he had saved throughout the years from his family and friends. They were irreplaceable. Andrew's personal experience of losing his home sent him on a spiritual journey that opened his heart. He began to seriously reevaluate his life. SOCIAL PSYCH AT THE MOVIES The movie centers on Max Cohen (Sean Gullette), a genius mathematician who lives like a hermit in his apartment, into which he's crammed a sprawling, home-built supercomputer.

Max is obsessed with the idea that reality can be understood in terms of numbers. He can state his entire worldview in three assumptions: 1. Mathematics is the language of nature. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. For the past 10 years, Max has been trying to uncover the hidden numerical pattern beneath the stock market, a notoriously chaotic system. Max's supercomputer crashes under the strain of his research, but the answer it spits out just before crashing--a 216-digit number--fascinates Max. He starts to believe that this number provides the key to unlock not just the stock market but the very nature of the cosmos and existence. Why not replace them with more empowering words? Below are some examples of disempowering words people use. I can't do this. I can't lose weight. I can't speak in public. I can't change my job. I will never + a negative statement: I will never succeed. I will never achieve my goals. I will never live the life I want. How important was the pursuit of money? Was he spending enough time with family members and friends?

How would his career ambitions make a difference in the lives of others? Once he returned to school, Andrew felt drawn to volunteer at a local homeless shelter. While there, he started an initiative called A Better Christmas Project and papered his community with requests for donations of toys, articles, and other items for homeless families. The members of his community rose to the occasion and donated far more than Andrew ever imagined. Remembering this event he said: As the donations came in, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of people. It was the most extraordinary feeling to be able to rally people together to help others in need. Seeing how easy it was to make such a big difference in people's lives, Andrew stopped to consider how he might combine his values with his vision. Fueled by the loss of his letters, Andrew embarked on a journey to educate others about the value of connecting with loved ones through letter writing. Let's focus on three aspects of Max's life that connect with ours, albeit usually in less extreme forms. Max sees elusive mathematical patterns everywhere. For him, they pop out of the environment, just as faces or a vase can pop out of Figure 3. For example, when we see a city street through Max's eyes, passersby appear as a jittery, undifferentiated mass of bodies, whereas the stock market numbers displayed on a building's LCD monitor are crystal clear. Later, when Max becomes obsessed with spirals (a representation of the mysterious Golden Ratio in math), he sees them in his coffee, the newspaper, and the smoke rolling off a cigarette. He is hunting for order in nature, and he sees it everywhere . Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), Max's elderly mentor and only friend, warns Max about his obsession: You have to slow down. You're losing it. Listen to yourself. You want to find the number 216 in the world, you will be able to find it everywhere. I'm always + a negative statement: I'm always late.

I'm always boring. I'm always the one who doesn't/can't *insert subsequent statement here*. Also, look for disempowering questions, because they automatically invite poor or negative answers. Remember, your mind will always come up with answers to any of your questions. For example: Why am I always + a negative statement: Why am I always late? Why am I always the only one who can't cope with new tasks? He launched the Legacy Project with the idea of collecting historically significant letters and sharing them with others. After his request for letters appeared in a Dear Abby column, Andrew received over 50,000 responses! Andrew's next step would become an enormous labor of love. Most of the letters he received were written during wartime. Over the next three years, he gathered the most touching of them from all over the world with the intention of sharing them in a article. Deeply moved by these vivid accounts, he wanted to give readers a first-hand experience of the life-changing effects of war. And he wanted to show how letters heal, inspire, offer hope, and express love. In May of 2001 he published some of the most inspiring of these letters in a article called War Letters, donating every penny of his significant article advance and royalties to non-profit groups that support peace efforts and veterans' organizations around the world. When I asked Andrew about how his personal journey grew into a global crusade, he offered the following: What started out as a desire to help my community turned into a much larger vision: an international campaign to educate others about the importance of staying connected through letter writing. I never had a `grand plan. Two hundred and sixteen steps from your street corner to your front door. Two hundred and sixteen seconds you spend riding on the elevator.

When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere! Max is clearly extreme in the way he filters reality through his schemas, but even supposedly normal people like the rest of us prefer interpretations of reality that confirm our schemas. As we've seen, this is the confirmation bias. Perhaps the only difference is that Max's schemas are idiosyncratic: No one else seems to share them--and Max is perfectly fine with that. The rest of us tend to use schemas that we share with other members of our culture. Just as powerfully as Max's schemas make some features of the environment salient, they downplay whatever does not fit within his precise mathematical worldview. When Max is approached by Devi (Samia Shoaib), his friendly neighbor bearing gifts and offering affection, he resists her. For one thing, Max lacks a script for interacting with others--that is, he lacks knowledge of how the give-and-take of normal social interactions unfolds in time. Why am I always so slow to learn? Why can't I + a negative statement: Why can't I do what I want to do? Why can't I be more successful? Why can't I speak in public? Do these questions sound familiar? Now, there are better ways to talk to yourself. For instance, instead of, I can't do that, you could say: I can do this (you reassert your potential). I will do this (you broadcast your intention). The harder I worked, the more doors opened to bring my message to the world. By staying committed to my larger vision and engaging in work that was spiritually and emotionally rewarding, the project took on a life of its own and everything fell into place.

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