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Did you know what over 45,000,000 people search for happiness on GOOGLE monthly? And that’s just on the main search engine. This number could potentially be tripled if you take into consideration that happiness seekers might word the phrase differently. Some may search for ways to be happy or how to be happier. Others may take a different approach and look for ways to snap out of a bad mood or how to overcome the blues. Few subjects have been researched as the question of whether wealth leads to greater happiness. …


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Does one’s physical attractiveness have a positive or negative impact on life? Does it give you an advantage when it comes to finding a mate, getting good grades in school, getting a job or being more successful in life? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? What does the research tell us? And while most of us would prefer a world where you are not judged solely by your appearance, should we admit the reality of that’s the way things are.

The dictionary defines beauty asthe quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” …


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Here is a short list of what it’s like to live through the coronavirus: heightened feelings of anxiety, hopelessness brought on by social distancing and self-isolation; a 24-hour death toll to keep track of, life or death decisions facing health care workers; struggles to make rent; worries about keeping your job or maintaining your business; and, on top of all of that, the stress of whether you yourself or your loved ones might get sick.

These forms of anguish usher in a pandemic all its own — a relentless surge of mental health concerns of all varieties originating in this perfect recipe for anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Trauma tends to be thought of as belated, after the fact, but it can also be prefatory: a suspended state of knowing that loved ones will die or suffer but not yet knowing who or when.In other words, even as some people weather the pandemic reasonably well, the need for mental health care like therapy has rarely been more pressing. …


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An executive gets unapologetic messages from colleagues on nights and weekends, including a notably demanding one on Easter Sunday. A web designer whose bedroom doubles as an office has to set an alarm to remind himself to eat during his non-stop workday. At vice president with four kids logs 13-hour days while attempting to juggle her parenting duties and her job.A tech support employee gets off of the 5th Zoom call of the day and collapses in bed, tired and drained.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have shifted to remote and virtual work, which has impacted women and families the most. …


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Most people claim that they have an accurate self-assessment and that they are aware of their blindspots and aware how other people see them. My experience as a coach of CEOs and executives over the past 35 years has shown me that is not true. Which promoted me to write my new book, I Know Myself and Neither Do You: Why Charisma, Confidence and Pedigree Won’t Take You Where You Want to Go.

It’s worth looking at some scientific studies that examine the question of accurate self-assessment.

People tend to think they are more intelligent than others, but results from a recent systematic survey of Americans’ beliefs about their own intelligence (the first to be conducted in 50 years) found that about 70% of men and 60% of women agreed with the statement: “I am more intelligent than the average person.” The team was forced to conclude that Americans’ “self-flattering beliefs about intelligence are alive and well several decades after their discovery was first reported.” Other work has found that our over-estimates of our intelligence can be staggeringly huge — around 30 IQ points, on average, according to a study by Gilles Gignac and Marcin Zajenkowski which also found that we tend to over-estimate our romantic partner’s intelligence even more than our own). The sobering lesson is that you’re probably a lot less smart than you think are. …


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It seems that every family has an Uncle Joe — the guy who goes on and on about conspiracy theories at the dinner table. In this era of “fake news” and rising populism, encountering conspiracy theories is becoming a daily phenomenon and growing. Some people usually shrug them off — they find them too simplistic, biased, or not supported by scientific evidence — but others are taken in. And if a person believes one kind of conspiracy theory, they usually believe others.

The problem is that today, these beliefs can have a negative and destructive impact on the lives of others and society. …


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In a post-truth world of alternative facts, there is understandable interest in the psychology behind why people are generally so wedded to their opinions and why it is so difficult to change minds.

We already know a lot about the deliberate mental processes that people engage in to protect their world view, from seeking out confirmatory evidence (the “confirmation bias“) to questioning the methods used to marshal contradictory evidence (the scientific impotence excuse).

A team led by Anat Maril at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem report in Social Psychological and Personality Science that they have found evidence of rapid and involuntarily mental processes that kick-in whenever we encounter opinions we agree with, similar to the processes previously described for how we respond to basic facts. …


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“I’ll never get that promotion/job. I screwed up again. I should/shouldn’t have…(fill in the blanks).

We frequently hear people verbalize these types of self-critiques to their friends, families and even strangers online. Or you may do it too.

We can define self-criticism as “an intense and persistent relationship with the self, characterized by (1) an uncompromising demand for high standards in performance, and (2) an expression of hostility and derogation toward the self when these high standards are — inevitably — not met.”

Many of us believe that being self-critical is the best way to improve and achieve success or happiness. Sometimes that can appear as perfectionism, and when the perfect result doesn’t materialize we criticize ourselves. …


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

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Many professionals and academics have avoided criticizing the Trump administration. Indeed, the American Psychological Association has the Goldwater rule, (Section 7.3 of the American Psychiatric Association’s ethical code (2013), prohibiting the diagnosis of public figures without a personal examination.

My perspective is that academics and professionals are also citizens in a democracy and have the right and obligation to speak out when they become aware of amoral, immoral or unethical behavior by leaders in institutions and business. …


Fall down seven times, get up eight.” — Japanese Proverb

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A virus pandemic. Climate change disasters. Racial and ethnic conflicts. Economic inequality. Democracy in decline. The world appears to be in disarray, and a connected fallout is our emotional and mental health. The need for coping skills and particularly resilience has never been greater.

When faced with adversity in life, how does a person cope or adapt? Why do some people seem to bounce back from tragic events or loss much more quickly than others? …

About

Ray Williams

Executive Coach/Author/Professional Speaker. President, Ray Williams Associates

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