Wednesday 23 March 2016

What it Takes to Make a Goal or Habit Stick... and it may be Happiness!

Grechen Rubin has made a very important realization since her best-selling book "The Happiness Project". She learned that, more than anything else, its habits that drive happiness and that the two are very much connected. That realization has led to her most recent book "Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.

Could Setting Goals be Preventing Us From Changing?

An interesting article from Susan Bond, author of "The Anti-Goals Guide" claiming that setting our small goals may actually be preventing us from achieving the big goal.  We have to be careful about how we frame the changes we want to make.  Extrinsic (external) goals usually fail, goals that are made in response to a negative event don't last, or really ambitious goals fade really quickly.  We fall victim to "False Hope Syndrome".   We have to move away from "habit formation" to "intrinsic motivation" (internal).  It's now how we behave, but how we think.

Wow! Strategic Neural Stimulation to help us learn faster, better... and maybe cure some neurological diseases!

Sounds like science fiction... for now of course.  A program called DARPA is being investigated for its ability to not only return the brain to normal functioning, but through stimulation, to give it extra cognitive capabilities.  We'll be able to learn more, faster!

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Coming Out Ritual available on the Web

In 2006, when I was a Lay Chaplain with the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, I had the honour of creating a ceremony to celebrate the transition of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered, Queer (LGBTQ) community.  This may be a transition to a different gender, or a public declaration of who they are as a queer person.

In western countries, and Canada in particular, society has come a long way in its understanding of LGBTQ matters, and some are already moving beyond "tolerance" and "acceptance" to a point where a person's orientation is an innocuous as their eye colour.  There are those among us, though, who still experience (or worry about) oppression, rejection, alienation, shunning, psychological or physical violence.  Marking their new life with a celebration is a way for that person to take control of something that seems negative, and turn it into a powerful, emotional, and positive event.

This came about when I heard about my friend Seamus' coming out many decades ago.  His parents celebrated with a party, and gave him information and contacts with gay people to help him with his transition.  I was struck by how different his experience was from most people in decades gone by, that it gave me the idea to create a celebration, using time-honoured tenants of rituals to help mark this momentous occasion.

The template for this ritual is now available online for the world to use and share.