Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 29 Apr 2017
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit
Map

Butterfly

8 Powerful Habits of Highly Influential People

© Getty images
Influential people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside.

We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things.

And, yet, we're missing the best part.

The confidence and wherewithal that make their influence possible are earned. It's a labor of love that influential people pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of influential people remain constant. Their focused pursuit of excellence is driven by eight habits that you can emulate and absorb until your influence expands:

Black Cat 2

Compassion for animals improves personal well-being

Compassion is the humane side of suffering, which inspires the most beautiful acts of humanity. In man's world, animals often bear the worst of our dark side, suffering under the stresses of cruelty and ruthlessness, however, being compassionate towards animals may actually be good for your health and well-being, perhaps even prolonging your life.

For so many of us, compassion appears to be an innate, instinctual part of the human experience, something so many of us do automatically, and decades of clinical psychological research into the problem of human suffering shows how our most evolved nature is to respond compassionately. A host of university studies share the conclusion that compassion is part of our higher nature, looking at the biological basis for compassion.
"Dacher Keltner summarized the emerging findings from this new science of human goodness, proposing that compassion is "an evolved part of human nature, rooted in our brain and biology."" [Source]
Human well-being is multi-dimensional and the corollaries between how we behave and how that behavior in turn affects our overall wellness are more understood now than ever before. When we act from our higher nature, it benefits our health, which may explain the tendency for so many people to live altruistic lives in helping others and protecting animals.

Attention

Children understand far more of what goes on in the minds of others than long believed

© Shutterstock
Until a few decades ago, scholars believed that young children know very little, if anything, about what others are thinking. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, who is credited with founding the scientific study of children's thinking, was convinced that preschool children cannot consider what goes on in the minds of others.

The interviews and experiments he conducted with kids in the middle of the 20th century suggested that they were trapped in their subjective viewpoints, incapable of imagining what others think, feel or believe. To him, young children seemed oblivious to the fact that different people might hold distinct viewpoints or perspectives on the world, or even that their own perspectives shift over time.

Much of the subsequent research on early childhood thinking was highly influenced by Piaget's ideas. Scholars sought to refine his theory and empirically confirm his views. But it became increasingly clear that Piaget was missing something. He seemed to have gravely underestimated the intellectual powers of very young kids - before they can make themselves understood by speech or even intentional action. Researchers began to devise ever more ingenious ways of figuring out what goes on in the minds of babies, and the resulting picture of their abilities is becoming more and more nuanced.

Consequently, the old view of children's egocentric nature and intellectual weaknesses has increasingly fallen out of favor and become replaced by a more generous position that sees a budding sense not only of the physical world but also of other minds, even in the "youngest young."

Comment: When do children develop a sense of self-awareness?


Brain

Meditation keeps your brain young

Human knowledge is constantly evolving and changing, yet most of us believe scientific theories to be fact rather than working understandings of a topic. But they are theories, and our understanding of 'what is' continues to change. These are always difficult times, because long-held beliefs enforced by scientific dogma are, for many people, difficult to adjust or relinquish. Anger and disbelief are common reactions, no matter how thoroughly an old theory is disproven. Just think back to when we discovered the Earth was round, not flat, or that Earth was not the center of the universe — the Catholic Church went so far as to persecute and even put to death scientists and 'free-thinkers' who opposed them.

Fast forward to today and, fortunately, much has changed. Although several industries that we rely upon are plagued by corruption, fraud, and disinformation, some would argue that it's not as bad as it used to be, as evinced by the scientific study of concepts once deemed to be spiritual 'nonsense' by the community, like meditation, or non-material science.

Over the past few years alone, a wealth of scientific data has outlined the many benefits meditation can have on our biology, furthering strengthening the scientific validity of the mind-body connection.

Comment: For a fantastic meditation program try Éiriú Eolas.


Music

Stop worrying about talent -- everyone can sing

© Jessica M. Kuhn / U.S. Army, CC BY
A Hungarian film titled "Sing" recently won the Oscar for best short film. "Sing" tells the story of young Zsófi, who joins a renowned children's choir at her elementary school where "everyone is welcome."

Soon after joining, Zsófi is told by her teacher Erika not to sing, but only mouth the words. On the face of it, she accepts her teacher's request stoically. But later in the movie, her anguish and pain become obvious, when she reluctantly tells her best friend what happened.

The movie goes on to reveal that Zsófi isn't the only choir member who has been given these hurtful instructions. The choir teacher's defense is, "If everybody sings we can't be the best."

I have been a professor of music education for the past 28 years, and I wish I could say that the story of a music teacher asking a student not to sing is unusual. Unfortunately, I have heard the story many times.

In fact, research shows that many adults who think of themselves as "unmusical" were told as children that they couldn't or shouldn't sing by teachers and family members.

Comment: More on the benefits of singing:


Binoculars

90% of people don't want to know about a negative future

© David Grey/ Rutgers
Given the choice most people would not want to know their future, even if these events could make them happy, a new study has found. Researchers say that people would rather avoid the suffering that knowing the future could cause. Most people wish to avoid regretting their decision to know, and want to preserve the enjoyment of suspense in their lives, the research found.

The team also found that those who prefer not to know the future are more risk averse and are more likely to buy life and legal insurance than people who want to know the future. They claim that those who choose to be ignorant anticipate regret and so are more pessimistic.

The length of time until an event would occur played a role in participants' responses. Deliberate ignorance was more likely the nearer the event was. For example, older adults were less likely than younger adults to want to know when they or their partner would die, and the cause of death.

Pi

New study finds religious students perform worse in math and science

© Uwe Umstätter/globallookpress.com
Students who opt to enhance their spiritual life may be hindering their academic knowledge, according to a new study which found a negative link between religion and performance in science and mathematics.

The study, jointly conducted by researchers at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Missouri, ranked 82 countries by their 'religiosity score' on a scale of zero to 10.

Levels of religiosity were determined using questionnaires carried out in the World Values Survey and the European Social Survey among the adult population.

The most religious countries were found to be Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Indonesia and Qatar. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic, Japan, Estonia, Sweden and Norway are the most secular.

The research also assessed levels of school performance in mathematics and science, based on scores from children between 14 and 15 years of age.

Comment: The brains of religious people have been shown to work differently than others:


Family

Sometimes feeling positive can actually be bad for you

Like many seekers of happiness, I once aspired to feel good as much as possible. There's probably a part of everyone that would prefer to avoid life's more difficult, or even mundane, feelings—and self-help books assure us that we can, if only we adopt the right attitude.

Yet most of us know that perpetual joy is not a practical goal—and recent research is starting to suggest that it may actually be a harmful one. Scientists are discovering that feel-good states can be detrimental to our problem-solving, judgment, morality, and empathy in the moment.

The upshot? Context matters.

On the whole, it's absolutely beneficial to be someone for whom feeling good comes easy, who can appreciate a good meal, connect warmly with others, and dream up sunny possibilities for the future. But our whole spectrum of different feelings, from anger to elation, evolved for a reason: to help us confront and handle challenges to survival. There are times in life when feeling positive won't help—and could even hurt.

Health

Leading addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Mate explains what is needed to stop the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis is happening all around us in the background of society, as overdoses from street drugs and prescription painkillers continue to rise. Talk to your local firemen and paramedics and you'll quickly realize the situation is sucking up our public resources while ruining lives and destroying families. A crisis as devastating as this should be top priority for a sane society, however this issue gets very little media attention, all the while, pharmaceutical companies are reaping massive profits, and globally, the black market for illegal heroin has become a global industry.

Pharmaceutical makers are tweaking their product lines to supply more options for opiate addicts: stronger pills, weaker pills, new guidelines, overdose antidotes, and so on. Yet, none of this addresses the root of the problem, instead only targeting the symptoms of the crisis, and a bigger idea is needed to interrupt the trend.

Gabor Maté, Canada's renowned addiction specialist recently commented on this issue, specifically addressing fentanyl, the super-potent new pharmaceutical grade opiate which, in some areas, has been found in up to 90% of street drugs tested at independent testing facilities. He first spoke about the genuine need for pain killers:
"The drugs these users choose are often opiates, the most powerful painkillers we know. In my years as a palliative care physician, I daily had reason to be grateful for the easing of suffering the opiate medications afforded my patients afflicted with cancer and other pain-inducing conditions. But opiates also soothe emotional pain; in fact, the suffering of psychic pain is experienced in the same part of the brain as that of physical pain." ~ Gabor Maté

Comment: What is the root cause of addiction, and how do you heal it?


Magic Wand

The magic of intuition is not magic

© Dr. Joe Dispenza
Have you ever wondered how it is that when you think of your friend on the other side of the world, seconds later they call or text? Or how a mother can sense her child is in distress when the child is at another location? When something like this occurs, there are three possibilities at play, the first being intuition.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, intuition is defined as, "The power or faculty of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference." Another way to think of it is that this direct knowledge is essentially a download of information from the unified field into our brain. It occurs when we stop thinking and analyzing and we go into trance. It's almost as if our brain pauses, and that pause in the chatter allows other types of information to enter our nervous system. The challenge most of us face is what to do with the information when we receive it. Often we tend to analyze it and not trust its authenticity, but mothers and people who are open and can connect easily tend to trust it more. We all have access to this type of information—some are just more skilled at receiving it than others.

Comment: More on intuition: Radio shows: Telepathic communication: