Humility: The Acceptance of Our Flawed Self


In today’s culture, children are often taught that they’re perfect, they’re always winners, and they can never do wrong.

Parents are constantly coddling and protecting their children’s “self-esteem.” They guard their children from any experiences of negativity, hardship, or failure. They teach their children that as long as they “be themselves” then they deserve to be rewarded for it unconditionally.

As a result, we grow up with the belief that “I deserve all the happiness and success in the world exactly as I am. And anyone that denies me this is wrong.” We have become self-centered, egotistical, and entitled. We begin to believe that we deserve everything for nothing, because we’ve never put in work to earn something ourselves.

According to The Road to Character, “self-esteem” isn’t necessarily the best force that drives good character, even though our society tends to highly emphasize it. Instead, what’s most important today is to cultivate humility and modesty.

As painful as it can be, we need to acknowledge our weaknesses and limitations more often. We need to reinstitute the concept of a “flawed self” – a self that is hypocritical, broken, and highly prone to being wrong and making mistakes.

It’s only when we accept this “flawed self,” that we can truly embark on self improvement and the building of good character. But if we always pretend we’re perfect, and we always pretend we can do no wrong, then we will never change or grow as individuals.

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3 Paths Revolutionary Thinkers Take Before They Arrive at Insights


Whether it’s a ground-breaking scientific discovery or a glimpse into our own personal beliefs and habits, what leads people to moments of insight?

This is one of the key questions psychologist Gary Klein asks himself in his new book Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insight.

Today, in the field of cognitive psychology, there is a big focus on identifying cognitive biases and reducing errors in our thinking. However, according to Klein, this is only one aspect of becoming a better thinker.

While individuals and organizations like to reduce mistakes in decision-making, another important aspect to cultivate in our thinking is how to increase insight and creativity. However, this question can be a bit trickier and harder to answer.

Gary Klein is a rare type of psychologist because he doesn’t always like to study the mind in controlled experiments and laboratories. Instead, he has pioneered a new field of psychology called “naturalistic decision-making,” where he studies people’s decisions and choices in the real world.

Instead of trying to devise a clever experiment to study insight, he gathered 120 different case studies of people actually making insights in the real world. These case studies included revolutionary thinkers in science, medicine, and technology, as well as everyday people like policemen, firemen, teachers, friends, and family.

In this thought-provoking book, Klein does a great job “digging through the trenches” of different stories describing people’s insights. He then creates a working model of how different insights are created, which he calls the “Triple Path Model of Insight.”

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Organized Home, Organized Mind: Why a Tidying Marathon Can Change Your Life

tidying marathon

We like to believe that our minds can be completely independent from our environment. We say to ourselves things like, “It doesn’t matter how chaotic my outside circumstances are, as long as I remain calm and relaxed from the inside.”

This is a popular idea in self help literature, especially among Zen and Stoic philosophies, where we are often told to focus on making internal changes, and not to pay any mind to what is external.

However, an increasing amount of psychology research shows that this is not the case. No matter how independent we’d like to be, our physical environment has a huge impact on our mental state.

This process of improving our environment starts at home. In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo discusses the importance of taking care of our homes and why it has such an influence on our happiness and well-being.

Take a moment now to imagine your home when it is messy and cluttered. How does it make you feel? Now imagine your home when it is clean and organized. Which feels better? If you are like most people, chances are you prefer the clean and tidy home.

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Make Friends At Work: Why You Should Turn Your Coworkers Into Best Buds

Do you consider yourself to be good friends with your coworkers? The answer to this question could determine how much overall happiness and satisfaction you have at work.

In psychologist Ron Friedman’s new book The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Building an Extraordinary Workplace, he explores the many ways companies and employees can work together to build smarter, happier, and more productive work spaces.

One key factor he discovered is making friends at work.

We often think of our “work life” and “social life” as completely separate. Work is for business, leisure is for socializing. We view our coworkers as people who we have to deal with, not people who we’d actually like to have a lasting friendship with.

However, according to one recent study having “informal relationships” at work can improve job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and lower turnover rates. And another study discovered workplace friendships can improve perceived job significance and intrinsic motivation.

When we’re working with friends, we’re naturally more motivated to do our jobs better. Because we’re not just trying to earn a paycheck, we’re also collaborating with people who we don’t want to let down.

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Why a “Team of Teams” Mindset is the Future of Organizational Psychology


Today’s world is filled with more information than ever before and it’s becoming increasingly more complex.

One might think in our current technological age – and with the growing amount of “big data” – that it might become easier for bosses, politicians, and leaders to predict the behavior of large groups of people.

The logic is that the more data we can collect from people (including even their Twitter feeds, Facebook likes, and Amazon purchases), then the easier it is to understand human behavior and manage it.

However, this is based on a faulty understanding of human behavior. We tend to think that humans are like a machine with “inputs” and “outputs,” so as long as we know the right “inputs” then we can change behavior how we want to.

But the truth is that these “inputs” and “outputs” are more like a series of interconnected feedback loops. Human organization isn’t like a “machine,” it’s like a “living organism” that continuously evolves and feeds off of itself in unpredictable ways.

Therefore, building a successful organization (whether a business, a government, a nonprofit, or even a sports team) isn’t about creating the “right machine,” but creating a “living organism” where all the parts work together organically.

This is one of the major themes in Stanley McChrystal’s new book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.

As a general in the U.S. military, McChrystal traditionally viewed human organization as a top-down, “command and control” hierarchy. Leaders gave orders down to their subordinates, and if you send the right orders down the chain-of-command (if you have the “right inputs” going into the “right machine”), then you’ll be successful.

For centuries, this model of human organization had been very effective and common among governments, businesses, and armies. But McChrystal was beginning to find it no longer worked in our current environment.

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