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The “Everything Counts” Mindset to Exercise: How to Reframe Your Perspective on Health

everything counts


For those of us who have never been very health-focused throughout our lives, it can be very difficult to build a new healthier lifestyle.

We often see exercise as a “chore” that needs to be done. We try out new routines and diets because we think they are what we should do to “lose weight,” or to “look better,” or to “live longer.”

But while these are good goals to have, they usually aren’t very motivating.

Why? Because they are based on external factors (“we exercise because society says it’s good”), rather than internal factors (“we exercise because we like it and it makes us feel good.”)

Imagine how much easier it would be to build a healthier lifestyle if you genuinely enjoyed the physical activities you participated in?

This is one of the major themes in the new book No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by behavioral psychologist Michelle Segar.

In this article, I’ll describe the key ideas mentioned in the book and how these have transformed my own health-related habits.

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What Can Psychopaths Teach Us About Success?

psychopaths


When we think of “psychopaths” our minds usually jump to serial killers, terrorists, and pathological manipulators.

However, according to The Wisdom of Psychopaths, this only describes a small part of the picture. Today, psychologists are beginning to see “psychopathy” as a spectrum that we all lie on to some degree.

At extreme levels, psychopathy can lead to a lot of antisocial and destructive behaviors; but in moderate levels, it can actually come with interesting advantages.

For example, psychopaths tend to be very focused, ambitious, and confident when it comes to achieving their goals. A person who has very low levels of psychopathy probably isn’t very good at standing up for themselves and what they believe in.

According to psychiatrist Kevin Dutton, one key difference between “clinical psychopaths” and “functional psychopaths” is that the functional ones know the right context to exhibit their psychopathic characteristics.

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Do We All Have Multiple Selves? How to Build a More Dynamic You

multiple selves


Our personality is often much more flexible than we think, especially depending on the circumstances.

We often change our speech, body posture, facial expressions, and behaviors depending on the context of a situation and the people we are interacting with.

In this way, one could say we put on different “selves” or “personas” depending on who it is we are interacting with and where we are.

How you interact with a friend from college is going to be very different than how you interact with your boss. And how you interact in a classroom is going to be very different than how you interact at a party or bar.

In Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, it describes how our personalities are influenced by 3 main factors: biogenic (genes and biology), sociogenic (environment and culture), and ideogenic (personal constructs and goals).

According to renowned psychologist and professor Brian R. Little, the ideogenic factors are what create the “degrees of freedom” we have over our personalities.

A mother may be very introverted (biological) and have been raised in a quiet household (social), but when she throws a party for her daughter she becomes active and out-going for her guests, because being a “good mother” is a personal goal that means a lot to her (ideogenic).

We all “act out of character” every now and then. And sometimes it’s necessary for being a happier, healthier, and more dynamic human being.

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5 Improvisation Exercises for Improving Your Communication Skills

improvisation exercises


When it comes to communication, we like to think if only we follow the right script and say the right words then things will always work out the way we want.

Asking a girl out on a date? I need that perfect opening line. Trying to get a new job? I need to give the perfect answers in my interview. Want to persuade someone? I need to have the perfect argument in my head.

But life rarely follows a script. Instead, it’s a whole lot of improvisation.

We can never know exactly how a situation will unfold. So we need to be able to respond to information from our environment in real-time, and adapt to each situation as we go along.

There are no perfect answers. There are no perfect words. There are no perfect scripts that will give you the same exact results every time.

According to Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking, improvisation is a skill anyone can apply more to their personal and professional relationships.

The book explores the teachings and philosophy behind The Second City, one of the first major comedy-improv groups in the United States and Canada.

First started in 1959, it has since given birth to many comedic legends over the years including Bill Murray, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.

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How to Build a Creative Mind That Will Never Run Out of New Ideas

creative


Do you ever think you’re just not the “creative type?” Well, it’s not true. Creativity isn’t just for artists, musicians, or filmmakers anymore – it’s for everyone.

Regardless of our lifestyle, we’re all faced with tough decisions and new problems to solve. Creativity is simply being able to think of these problems from different perspectives and discover solutions that haven’t been thought of yet.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to code a new piece of software, or make a hospital more patient friendly, or improve a company’s culture – creativity plays a crucial role in finding new and better answers.

This idea that “we all have creativity” is a theme embedded throughout Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

It’s a very practical and insightful book by two brothers, David Kelley and Tom Kelley, who draw extensively on their work at the innovative consulting firm IDEO and Stanford’s Institute of Design (also known as the “d.school”).

The Kelley brothers do a great job describing not only how creativity can be applied to any area of life, but also how anyone can build “creative confidence” – the belief that we can create something new that adds value to the world.

Here are the main principles behind building creative confidence no matter what walk-of-life you are from.

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