Years ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with lymphoma. In addition to that, people in my family suffered from hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, anxiety, addictions, and many had a very hard time controlling their weight. But lymphoma was the last straw: I didn’t want to develop a chronic illness, so I decided to tackle things upstream and start taking better care of my health.
I thought that I’d just been dealt a pair of bad genes; no one in my family smoked or used drugs. We didn’t sit around all day eating. So our genes were causing all of these
Here’s the most important thing I ever learned about the way we see the world and process information…. The brain is in charge of two very different goals:
1. Successfully move our bodies around through space and time (accomplish tasks needed for survival)
2. Use as little energy as possible. Even though it accounts for 2% of our weight, the brain uses about 20% of our body’s energy. Unless we’re really motivated—given extra rewards, or come across a mistake we can’t avoid—we conserve energy.
Ergo, the Law of Least Effort
In Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Prize-winning researcher Daniel
Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker.
That’s one of the takeaways in Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life, a paper by Roy Baumeister, author of Willpower and one of my favorite social psychologists.
Satisfying one’s needs and wants increased happiness but was largely irrelevant to meaningfulness…. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were linked to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness. Concerns with personal identity and expressing the self-contributed to meaning but not happiness.
So apparently I live
On Wednesday, researchers from York University published a paper in Perspectives on Psychological Science that uncovers the nature of boredom. And found that we get bored in the following circumstances:
- We have difficulty paying attention to the internal information (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external information (e.g., environmental stimuli) required for participating in satisfying activity
- We’re aware of the fact that we’re having difficulty paying attention
- We believe that the environment is responsible for our aversive state (e.g., “this task is boring,” “there is nothing to do”).
In other words, being bored is really a problem with attention. We