What would Aristotle say about the “Marshmallow Effect and Happiness?

What would Aristotle say about marshmallow effect and happiness?

The essence of instant gratification or “marshmallow” effect is summarized here: Delaying Gratification More than 40 years ago, Walter Mischel, PhD, a psychologist now at Columbia University, explored self-control in children with a simple but effective test. His experiments using the “marshmallow test,” as it came to be known, laid the groundwork for the modern study of self-control. Mischel and his colleagues presented a preschooler with a plate of treats such as marshmallows. The child was then told that the researcher had to leave the room for a few minutes, but not before giving the child a simple choice: If the child waited until the researcher returned, she could have two marshmallows. If the child simply couldn’t wait, she could ring a bell and the researcher would come back immediately, but she would only be allowed one marshmallow. In children, as well as adults, willpower can be thought of as a basic ability to delay gratification.

Aristotle would be strongly critical of the culture of “instant gratification” or eating the marshmallow in the moment. Yet in our world of instant gratification, most people want to be rewarded now not later. For example, instant gratification is so predominate in our society today because of or selfishness and technology. Yet in Aristotle’s non-tech world his view was in order to achieve a life of balance and complete virtue, people needed to make the right choices, and that involved keeping an eye on the future, on the ultimate result want for lives as a whole. Aristotle believe that people  achieve happiness not by enjoying the pleasures of the moment. Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves because of lack of will power.

As Aristotle laments, “the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts… and instant pleasures (Nicomachean Ethics, 1095b 20). Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the weakness of the willpower. In many cases the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure obscures one’s perception of what is truly good. Fortunately, this natural disposition is curable through self-awareness and training, which for Aristotle meant education and the constant aim to perfect character or what he called perfect virtue. As he puts it, “a clumsy archer may indeed get better with practice, so long as he keeps aiming for the target.”

Note also that it is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing: we have to actually do it. Thus, it is one thing to think of giving up alcohol or smoking, or create a beautiful piece of art or heart felt poem and another thing to put together a plan to create the sustained energy, effort and time to do it. When we impose a form and structure upon the idea of happiness and actually produce a compelling change in our daily life, we are challenging our rational and intellectual abilities and emotions that if accomplished bring a sense of delayed happiness, pride and fulfillment.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Examine your life over the next 24 hours and identify one instant gratification” habit  you would like to change. Then create a SMART STEP Action Plan for change it in the next 30 days.

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Daily Quote: Secret On Increasing Employee Engagement

 

Daily Quote: When people know we truly care about them—and not just about what we can get out of them—they tend to go the extra mile.

Reflection: Recently, I was pondering the lack of engagement and dis-satisfaction of employees at their workplaces. According to a 2014 Aon Hewitt survey, only 61% of worldwide workers said they feel engaged at their jobs. Why aren’t the numbers higher? Boredom, authoritarian management styles and lack of respect and trust are the usual culprits for these negative attitudes.

Self-Coaching: Over the next week checkout how your employees are feeling about their jobs and make a plan based on their input how to put mor joy and fun into the workplace. This effort would be appreciated and I promise will improve everyone’s “quality of worklife.

Click through to this insightful article on workplace satisfaction.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3047366/hit-the-ground-running/why-you-should-treat-your-employees-like-your-most-loyal-customers

 

 

5 Tips for Building A Growth Mindset Environment for Learning

Following are five things successful parents, teachers and leaders can do to build a more inclusive and open environment that engages and challenges the status-quo of a “fixed mindset” and supports “growth mindset” principles.

  1. Give power and recognition away to others who are eager to learn and have demonstrated the capacity to handle challenges and accept responsibility for their actions .
  2. Create a favorable environment which encourages curiosity and learning skills.
  3. Don’t always try to save others from pain or disappointment and stop second-guessing others’ decisions and ideas because this causes dependency on others. This type of rescuing behavior undermines self-efficacy and confidence in person’s ability to discover and initiate their imagination and creativity they need to keep growing in positive ways. .
  4. Give others autonomy over their challenges, tasks and resources. To do the best they can so they can learn from mistakes and success.
  5. Communicate with “growth mindset” words and phrases that emphasize effort, taking on challenges, support lessons learned from mistakes and failures, collaborate on how to problem solve and discover new strategies for learning, expose others to models of success, educate people on the concept that the brain is a muscle and can be developed and grow with the right practice and exercise.

Growth Mindset Framework for people who are willing to exercise their leadership in such a way that others are involved and encouraged to discover new ways of learning, create innovations, make decisions, share information, and most importantly learn from their experience. Most people see the value in creating a participatory and discovery climate and are willing to take risks and responsibilities that come with it. If all of us can develop the wisdom to observe, listen and learn from their own experience with certain safety limitations and reasonable boundaries all of us involved and engaged will share in the benefits of a “growth mindset” and a discovery environment.

My Message for 2014 College Graduates–“Live to Learn then Learn to Live”

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Ghandi 

Although I was not asked to give a commencement speech this year, here is what I would have tried to convey to the 2014 college graduates: Your accomplishes during college have been many and lessons for life abound if you were paying attention, so congrats to you and your family on this very special day.

A lot of professors give talks titled The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question:

What wisdom would you impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If you died or vanished tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

Reflection:  As with every ending there are mixed feelings of sadness and happiness and some anxiety about what the future brings. During my 70+ years of living I have learned many things and missed other things,  but one thing for sure I will always hold dear is my love for learning. 

Learning to me is beneficial in every aspect. It is beneficial for overall progress in society; it can raise the levels of civic action and participation; on an individual level it can boost our curiosity, critical thinking and challenge our stereotypes and narrow thinking. Well let me just say it straight out– it can help in every way, literally. The good news is that learning after formal schooling is usually free and self-directed, this type of learning can help us keep current and keep growing.  Actually learning is my favorite thinking to do in life because it is what makes us human.

Your new beginning will be more successful if you keep in mind this maxim by Ben Franklin “time lost is never found again”; so don’t waste your time being pessimistic, critical of yourself or others and “sleep walking through life” grab life by the horns and always be a “life-long Learner” 

My formal educational experiences provided me with seven critical things:

1. The gift of life long learning–  “learning how to learn”

2. Need to be curious in life–always acknowledge you don’t know somethings and can learn by listening and asking questions.

3. Learning to be more “open “minded and not “fixed” in my ways or the view of the world

5. The motivational spark to overcome obstacles and keep improving by “getting better” Never give-up…Never give-up

6. Respect and dignity for others—tolerance is the glue of relationships

7. Being self-aware and responsible for my own choices and behavior

Self-Coaching Challenge: So the challenge facing you as you start your new beginning is to reflect on your learning in school and figuring out your next chapter. For some this is just letting life come at them and hoping they will be ready to apply things from their education; for others it will be struggling to define and figure out the next steps; but no matter how you attack your next phase in life be clear on one thing, so as to avoid some pain and difficulties, be a life-long learner by taking advantage of training and professional development courses offered by your employer and start today document your accomplishments and create  a career portfolio because you are responsible for your career and reaching your potential. Promise me and yourself today that you will sit down in the next 24-48 hours and define what success in life will look like for you. For me it has not been defined by money or material stuff ( I always had enough to get by)– it is doing that which fulfills me–by making a difference in creating a better world to live in for all.

Finally, “remember that when it comes to learning there are no mistakes, only lessons. Respect others, trust your choices, and everything is possible; and if you face difficult times stop take a deep breath and as Marcus Aurellus once said: “Look within; within is the fountain of all good.”  

 

Updating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Creating More Effective Social Marketing Campaign

Instinctively, we all know how important it is to secure basic needs of rest, water, food, shelter, and warmth are to survival.

The three steps in between the basic physiological needs and the fulfillment needs are where marketing and advertising most directly applies.

This was the essence the Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, shows the advancing scale of how our needs lay out on the path to developing our full potential, meaning, fulfillment, creativity, and the pursuit of what is our passion in life. The version of the pyramid you see below was developed by the Doorway Project and clarifies Maslow’s five different levels of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs.

  • Safety
  • Belonging
  • Esteem

In Maslow’s pyramid, the descriptions for these needs don’t hit the “sweet spot” for creating a powerful and “sticky” message or a 1-1 strategic marketing perspective to them, so it requires design thinking and creativity to see how you can tailor your message to fit these needs. Christine Comaford, an author and expert on the subject of messaging and persuasion, has found safety, belonging, and esteem to have incredible value for living our everyday work and family lives more creatively, and on purpose.

Ms. Comaford says: “ Without these three essential keys a person cannot perform, innovate, be emotionally engaged, agree, or move forward…The more we have of (these three elements) the greater the success of the company, the relationship, the family, the team, the individual.

Her experience has helped her hone three phrases that are essential for influence and persuasion and for creating this sense of safety, belonging, and meaning that we all need and desire in our lives.

Here are some concrete verbal phrasing that gets at the  basic survival and psychological belonging needs that have been proven successful :

  1. “What if.” This phrase removes ego from the discussion and creates a safe environment for curiosity and brainstorming.
  2. “I need your help.” This statement tips the roles of status from dominant and subordinate, to equality and engaging the other person and provides a sense of shared power and more of an ownership perspective for idea or plan.
  3. “Would it be helpful if.” This phrase shifts the focus from the problem to a cooperative and in some cases a collaborative solution.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Want more Positive Energy practice Renewal and Recovery

Daily Quote: “The richest, happiest, and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal”–Dr. James Loehr and Schwarz, The Power of Full Engagement

Reflection:  Dr. Loehr and Scwartz quote reminded me of some of the posts I have written on the power of self-renewal and recovery. It is my opinion that the ideas of engagement, renewal and recovery are all linked to the level of our happiness. So I recommend now an then to take the time to do a personal audit of how you are spending your time and how do these daily activities impact your energy and vitality for living a more productive and higher quality of life.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Identify the best thing you have done for yourself in the last month. It could be as simple as waking-up earlier on Monday – Friday and spending the first 30 min. exercising, eating a great breakfast with the kids and 30 min. of mindfulness or meditating before reporting in for work. If you have difficulty identifying something , then it is even more important for you to STOP and take a look at how you are using your time.

Try this exercise identify how you use your time. We all have only 168 hours per week. This week keep track of how many hours are spent in these life activity categories:

Work ____, Family _______, Exercise______, School or Community Volunteering ________,Sleeping______

Fun and Recreation_________ ( Chatting with Friends, Reading for Pleasure, Music, Reading writing poetry etc_____

Spiritual, Religious ____________ Learning new skills_________Other_________. Total 168.

Reflective questions:

How do you feel about your allotment of time overall– 1 very satisfied to 10 unsatisfied/need changes.

Are there any key activities that are left out of your time allotment review?

What are the changes you are committed to make?

What kind of support will you need to make these changes?

How would the changes improve your quality of life?

When are you going to start making these changes?

Daily Quote and Reflection: Critical question for Living a Fulfilling Life?

Quote: My grandson ask me a profound question that life asks of us all. And, that question is not “what is the meaning of my life?” It is “what meaning am I creating with my life?” 

Reflection: I am trying to live a life full of respect and support for others. This life is one of trying to care for others without judgment and with empathy for their goals and dreams for a happy life. This ads-up to be my definition of a living a life of meaning. 

Self-Coaching Challenge: How would you answer such a question from an eight year old?

Over the next 24 hours figure out your answer and share it with at least three other people. Good Luck and have fun with this exercise.

Coach Mark