8 Facts About Self-Control Reply

It takes self-control to stop bad habits like smoking.

It takes self-control to stop bad habits like smoking.

From Reflectd:  Psychological Insights & Perspectives

“… Overcoming the self’s natural, impulsive nature requires self-control … Without this capacity, we would be slaves of our emotional impulses, temptations, and desires and thus unable to behave socially adequately.” (pp. 128-132).

Self-control is delaying short-term gratification in favour of long-term outcomes. It is the investment of cognitive, emotional and behavioural resources to achieve a desired outcome

Self-control often involves resisting temptations and impulses, and habits often undermine self-control. Humans are relatively successful at exerting self-control to achieve long-term outcomes (Hagger et al., 2009).

However, people are better at exerting self-control when it comes to making decisions that are distant in time compared to near (Fujita, 2008). Eight facts about self-control are presented in this article.

1. Self-control is a limited resource

According to the self-control strength model, exerting self-control at one time or over one set of behaviours may deplete the ability to exhibit subsequent self-control over another set of behaviours. A study by Shmueli & Prochaska (2009) supports this idea.

In this study, smokers who resisted sweets were more likely to smoke a cigarette during a break compared to smokers who resisted raw vegetables. Participants, whose self-control strength was depleted (due to temptation resistance), were more likely to smoke compared to those who had not depleted their self-control strength.

A study by Vohs & Heatherton (2000) also supports the idea of a self-control strength model. The study draws three conclusions:

  • Perceived availability and proximity of tempting snacks undermined subsequent self-control among dieters
  • Exerting self-control in one domain leads to subsequent reductions in self-control in another domain
  • Asking dieters to suppress their emotional reactions to a movie depleted their self-control resources

Another study found that people’s ability to exert self-control and resist temptation decreases gradually throughout the day (Kouchaki & Smith, 2014). This finding also suggests that self-control is a limited resource.

Hagger and colleagues (2009) found that breaks in exerting control (since it is a limited resource) and training in self-control makes people better at exerting self-control.

Feature continues here:  Self-Control 

Emotional Intelligence Predicts Job Success: Do You Have It? Reply

The best salespeople and leaders have a high EQ. Daniel Goleman, the man who coined the term, pulls apart the aspects of emotional intelligence.

By Drake Bauer, fastcompany.com

Let’s say you work at a place that’s saturated with smarts. If all of your colleagues were always the brightest person in the room growing up, then what makes you stand out? Your emotional intelligence.

Consider cosmetics giant L’Oreal, which has started to factor emotional intelligence in their hiring process for salespeople. Those who were recruited for their high EQ outsold their peers by over $90,000. On top of that, the high-EQ employees had 63% less turnover than the typically selected sales folk. As this and other studies show, emotional intelligence predicts success for people and the companies they work for.

But EQ isn’t fixed: it can change over time. As University College London Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (sic) notes on Harvard Business Review, your level of EQ is “firm, but not rigid.” While most EQ increases happen with age, you can train yourself to have a higher EQ, by being mindful of your mindfulness, more agile with emotions, or taking the dive into coaching.

Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who coined the term emotional intelligence, recently talked to the Huffington Post about the many characteristics of emotional intelligence. Lets go over a few here, so that we can know what to train in.

1. You’re curious about new people.

Do you ask a lot of questions when you meet someone? Do you actually listen to their answers? Then you might be a highly empathic person, someone attuned to the needs and feeling of others, and you may also mark high on openness to experience–a trait correlated with creativity.

2. You’re self-aware.

To be emotionally intelligent, Goleman says, you need to have confidence. To have confidence, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Then you work from that framework.

3. You know how to pay attention.

As Arianna Huffington told us, you can’t make connections if you’re distracted. Additionally, the ability to remain focused–and not carried away by texts and tweets–predicts not just the ability to form strong relationships and cultivate self-knowledge, Goleman says, but also your financial success.

“Your ability to concentrate on the work you’re doing, and to put off looking at that text or playing that video game until after you’re done,” he tells the Huffington Post. “How good you are at that in childhood turns out to be a stronger predictor of your financial success in adulthood than either your IQ or the wealth of the family you grew up in.”

4. You can say no.

If you have high emotional intelligence, Goleman says, you can avoid unhealthy habits and otherwise discipline yourself–which also allows for relationship-nourishing, success-engendering non-distraction.

5. You know precisely what’s pissing you off.

Folks with a high EQ acknowledge emotions as they come rather than repressing them or misattributing their causes. You could also call this emotional agility.

6. You trust your intuition.

There are neuroscientific reasons for trusting your gut: they’re markers for what to do next. Part of having a high EQ is learning when to trust them.

Drake Baer is a contributing writer at Fast Company, where he covers work culture. He’s the co-author of Everything Connects, a book about how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational psychology shape innovation, due out in February. Email him: dbaer at fastcompany.com.

Chen Lizra on “The Power of Seduction in Our Everyday Lives” Reply

With nearly a decade of experience in the animation industry, working on projects for MTV, TVA, Alliance Atlantis, Mainframe Entertainment and Radical Entertainment, Chen Lizra’s intellect, imagination and creative thinking evolved her into a branding expert.

In 2009 & 2012 Chen was nominated as one of the “YWCA Women of Distinction in Vancouver,” and was recently honored by the Australian government with a Distinguished Talent Permanent Visa for her international achievements in the arts. As the international author of “My Seductive Cuba, a unique travel guide”, Chen has won two awards in the US, including the prestigious IPPY Book Award. With a passion for dance and creative movement, Lizra offers students seduction workshops and focused lectures and seminars about the art of seduction in our everyday lives.

What Acceptance Really Means to Me Reply

After a rather difficult past few days, I’m beginning to rebound to some degree. Mentally and emotionally I’m slowly bouncing back. Three of my four children are in college. My oldest son was out the door and on the road at 7:30 a.m. this morning to the university that he attends. It’s about 3 1/2 – 4 hours away. We had planned on following him and seeing him off, but he kept insisting that would be 8 hours of driving for us to have to just turn right around and come home because he had to unpack and have a physical and concussion test shortly after arriving. He’s a pitcher for the baseball team. We took him last year when he was just a freshman. It’s nice to make sure they arrive safely, help them unload the car and put things away, make sure they have everything they need. At least we have seen the place where our son will be living until next spring. It’s always bittersweet. Can’t wait for them to go, but I start missing them the minute they’re gone. My youngest daughter will be off to school sometime today. She won’t be so far away. She’ll be close enough that she can come home on weekends, doesn’t mean she will. My oldest daughter is attending the junior college, right here in town, and started back last week. My youngest son is a senior in high school. Wow! Time certainly does fly by so fast. Next year I’ll have all four of my kids in college at the same time. Some may say that wasn’t the greatest planning on our part. I would have to say I agree.

This time of year is always difficult for me. The stress of all the extra expenses and everyone going their own ways. Since I’ve become disabled we’ve been struggling financially. The anxiety drives me mad. Worrying about money and, of course, worrying about my kids being out on their own, not knowing if they made it home the night before or if they have everything they need. Yes, I know they are adults now, but as a mother, I don’t think I’ll ever quit worrying about my kids, especially sense I suffer from anxiety.

My youngest son, a senior in high school, has already missed seven out of the first ten days of school. He became rather ill with C Diff Colitis, just another thing for me to worry about. This is a serious disease and must be treated promptly. He has been on antibiotics and will be going back to school tomorrow. Many people who contract this disease will relapse at least once within a very short time. Others will relapse several times, over several months and others won’t relapse at all. Praying for the later. It’s a very contagious disease because the spores can live on surfaces for months and according to the doctor, there are very few products to kill these spores. Another issue for me to worry about, as if I don’t already have enough, is that my eleven month old grandson lives with us. This would not be good for him to get sick with this and being a baby he puts his hands in his mouth all the time because that’s what babies do.

Friday I was a hot mess. All the negative thoughts racing and racing. It only lasted the one day because by Saturday I had decided I wasn’t going to stay stuck in this state of mind. I’ve been working way too hard at being in the wise mind and trying, difficult as it may be, to stay there most of the time. I’m just a beginner when it comes to all this mindfulness business, but as of late, I’ve decided that I do not want to live the rest of my days out of control with a negative attitude and all the emotional baggage that goes along with that.

One day, not long ago, I decided to face this monster head on.

Story continues here: http://tlohuis.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/what-acceptance-really-means-to-me/

The Challenges of “Imagined History” – Part II Reply

By Chris Simmons

Recently, I introduced my loyal readers to the concept of “Imagined History.” We now need to revisit this issue so I may add additional depth and context to this important subject.

“Imagined History” does not occur for singular strategic issues like the American Revolutionary War. Quite the opposite, it occurs simultaneously on as many as four distinct levels: societal, regional, special interests, and personal. Over time, these overlapping narratives weave real events together with perceptions, assumptions, personal preferences, misinformation, and disinformation. The result is a distorted world view with significant consequences.

Perhaps the penultimate case study in “Imagined History” is the very fractured worldview held by Cuban Master spy, Ana Belen Montes. The highest-ranking Cuban agent ever caught and imprisoned by the United States, I led the Defense Department’s months’ long interrogation that followed her arrest. Never before had I witnessed an individual so completely able to rationalize and (mentally) segment events. In some arenas, she even held beliefs and values that contradicted one another. I believe it was this imagined history that enabled her to thrive in a world of massive self denial.

I observed many other spies, as well as innumerable Al-Qaeda terrorists, display similar patterns of anti-social behavior paired with belief systems derived from a multi-tiered integration of imagined histories.

In more “everyday” situations, the dangers of this phenomenon arise from the impairment of personal interactions. The filters and biases created and sustained by these imagined realties guarantee the misinterpretation of others’ actions and intentions. In some scenarios, the intensity of these filters and biases render one unable to anticipate the future behavior of others. This can eventually constrict one’s choices so severely that you are left simply reacting to circumstances created by everyone else.

Evaluate the means, motives, opportunities, and demonstrated behavior of others and their intentions will reveal themselves. However, one must be free from filters, biases, and imagined histories to succeed in such behavioral analysis.

Author’s Note: Disinformation is false or inaccurate information deliberately spread with the goal of making legitimate information useless. It is inherently different from misinformation, which is spreading information that is unintentionally false.

The Challenges of “Imagined History” 1

Refusing to let facts get in the way of a good belief system

By Chris Simmons

I’ve long witnessed a widespread phenomenon I call “Imagined History.” Simply put, it is one’s past as we would have liked it to have been. It’s a perverse form of nostalgia in which we look back and see our actions – and those of our ancestors — as more enlightened and nobler than they actually were.

Wars provide virtually unlimited opportunities for us, collectively, to whitewash our past and re-invent ourselves. For example, Americans’ perceptions of the Revolutionary War — THE event that gave birth to the United States — are grossly distorted. I offer as evidence three fundamental truths about the war to which most present-day Americans are oblivious.

1. An estimated 70% of all colonists opposed or were neutral on the issue of independence from Great Britain. Thus, the present-day liberty of the United   States rests, in part, squarely on the shoulders of a small group of malcontent colonists.

2.  I said in part because long forgotten is the role that France, Spain, and the Netherlands filled in secretly providing supplies, ammunition, and weaponry to the revolutionaries starting in early 1776. More specifically, France provided 90% of the gunpower used by the patriots throughout the war. As a result, George Washington’s triumph at Yorktown was as much a French victory as it was “American.”

3.  The October 1781 surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown did NOT end the war. The conflict dragged on for two more years before finally ending with the September 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Poet Lucille Clifton was right:  “the saddest lies are the ones we tell ourselves.” History itself is neither good nor bad. Events – life-altering or mundane – occur because of the means, motives, and opportunities capitalized upon by individuals. Recasting these actions to make us feel better about ourselves or others actually has a long-term debilitating effect. When we deceive ourselves about where we’ve been, how can we really understand who we are?

Additionally, when we fail to accept the past as it actually occurred, we sabotage our ability to foresee opportunities and challenges. Having lost this “forecasting” skill, we become unable to shape our future and fall victim to our imagined histories.

Seven Somewhat Unexpected Truths About Liars and Lying Reply

By Kare Anderson, Contributor – Forbes.com

Observing the seemingly glorious times others are having, based on what they share online, tempts us to embellish our own tales. Further, until recently, we could click on a Facebook FB -2.61% advertisement to hire someone to lie for us – about our brilliant successes at past jobs or where we were last night, for example.

Modern “social” life is ripe for temptation so it’s especially helpful to recognize some myths and counter-intuitive truths about lying.

1. What Do Those Apparently Shifty Eyes Mean?

When someone is telling you something and looks up to the right, they are lying, according to an often-cited Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) claim. And they are telling the truth if they glance up to the right. Yet at least three studies show no differences in truth telling by which way you look up. While a co-director of the NLP Training Center of New York, Steven Leeds recently asserted that NLP only cites eye movement as a way to recognize whether someone uses visual, auditory or kinesthetic (physical) cues to take in information, even that is disputed.

2. There are Unexpected Personal Benefits of Lying

Knowing when to remain silent, or to tell a white lie is, in fact, a social believes Feldman said. “We don’t want to hear hurtful things.” Bizarrely people who lie tend to be more popular. And embellishment-as-lying has its benefits. In interviews, college students who exaggerated their GPA later showed improvement in their grades. Their lies were self-fulfilling prophecies. Further, “exaggerators tend to be more confident and have higher goals for achievement,” according to University of Southampton in England psychologist, Richard Gramzow who concluded that, “positive biases about the self can be beneficial.”

Yet, our overall psychological health improves when we tell fewer lies.

3. Few Are Good Lie Detectors

“Most so-called lie detection experts — experienced detectives, psychiatrists, job interviewers, judges, polygraph administrators, intelligence agents and auditors — hardly do better than chance,” wrote Adam M. Grant. “In a massive analysis of studies with more than 24,000 people, psychologists Charles Bond Jr. and Bella DePaulo found that even the experts are right less than 55 percent of the time.”

Yet amateurs and so-called experts (from police to custom inspectors) over-estimate their ability to read body language, including detect deception. According to Sue Russell, that confidence, “is counterproductive and even lowers the accuracy of judgments. People under stress—being wrongly accused certainly qualifies—can behave in ways impossible to distinguish from those who are lying.”

Yet, in a study of a business situation where business professionals, “amateurs” at lie detection, were asked to interview prospective employees, which kind of person was better at detecting liars and thus less likely to hire them, the more skeptical or the trusting evaluators? *See the answer at the end of the column.

4. Some Situations Seem to Spur Lying

• “Both men and women lie in about a fifth of their social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes.

• When meeting with another person, face to face, we deceive others about 30 percent of the time.

• In one out of two conversations, college student lie to their mothers a whopping half of the time, according to psychologist and researcher, Bella DePaulo.

5. We Usually Lie to Get Along (A Lie We Tell Ourselves?)

How often do most of us lie? About once or twice a day according to Allison Kornet, “and sometimes we tell the biggest lies to those we love most.” Not you, of course, which may be a lie. According to social psychologist Robert Feldman, most of us lie to avoid others’ hurt feelings or anger, and “to feel better about ourselves,” or so we tell ourselves. We are also more likely to lie to someone we just met.

6. One Thing We Miss When Our Self-Awareness Isn’t Off

Ironically, those who see themselves as emotionally intelligent tend to be worse at spotting liars.

7. Three Ways You May be Able to Trap a Liar

It takes considerably more mental focus and energy to keep one’s lies straight. Consequently three approaches adopted by those who interview suspects may be adapted to your situations:

• Ask open questions that encourage others to talk, and allow you to listen for inconsistencies, both in what they say, and in what they say and you already know.

• Ask unexpected questions at unexpected times.

• When asking about a situation, ask them questions that relate to parts of the event in reverse chronological order. In other words, rather than asking what happened, begin by asking about something you know happened near or at the end of the incident. If someone is lying it is more difficult to keep the sequence straight in their minds.

*Following up on #3, the evaluators who were trusting were better at detecting lying and less likely to hire those who most lied in the interviews.

Three Actionable Truths

“One may outwit another, but not all the others.” ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld

“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what every man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” ~ Demosthenes

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”  ~ Mark Twain