Inspirational Messages Should Match Personality By Rick Nauert PhD

Inspirational Messages Should Match Personality

Fascinating new research suggests presenting a specific task as “fun” can be an effective strategy to obtain compliance among individuals who have difficulty staying on task. However, transforming a task into “fun” can lower the performance of individuals who value excellence and hard work.

The findings suggest that two students may respond quite differently to a teacher’s exhortation that they strive for excellence, said University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracín, who conducted the research with William Hart, of the University of Florida.

One may be spurred to try harder, while another could become less motivated.

The study also suggests that those who are “chronically uninterested in achievement” are not operating out of a desire to do badly, Albarracín said. Their differing responses simply may reflect the fact that they have different goals.

“The competitive mindset, the achievement mindset becomes a huge de-motivator for those who don’t necessarily value excellence as much as they value their well-being,” Albarracín said.

“Perhaps the reason they don’t care to do well is because they want to do something else; they want to enjoy themselves – which is not a bad goal,” she said.

In four studies, the researchers evaluated how participants’ attitudes toward achievement, called their “chronic achievement motivation,” influenced their performance on various tasks.

The researchers found that those with high achievement motivation did better on a task when they also were exposed to subconscious “priming” (the flash of a word on a computer screen, for example, that appeared too briefly to be consciously noticed) that related to winning, mastery or excellence.

Those with low achievement motivation did worse under the same conditions.

Similarly, when given a choice, those with high achievement motivation were more likely to resume an interrupted task, such as a word-search puzzle, which they were told tested their verbal reasoning ability, than their peers, who were more likely to switch to a task perceived as fun.

But in a final study the researchers found that those with high achievement motivation actually did worse on a word-search puzzle when they were told the exercise was fun and they had been exposed to achievement primes, such as the words “excel,” “compete” or “dominate.” Their counterparts, who were not very motivated to achieve, did better under the same conditions.

These finding suggest that achievement primes inhibit the desire to have fun in those who are motivated to achieve, the authors wrote. But in people who lack achievement motivation, the same cues seem to enhance their desire – and ability – to perform a task seen as fun.

“It’s not that those with high achievement motivation always perform better,” Albarracín said. “You can also get the low achievement motivation folks to perform better than the highs when you present a task as enjoyable and fun.”

These findings should be of interest to educators hoping to motivate their students in a way that improves performance, she said.

The study appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Source: University of Illinois

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STOP!! by Henk & Nicholas

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In the first half of the 20th century there was a Russian mystic called Gudjieff. He was the teacher of P.D. Ouspensky who talks about him in his book The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin.

In it, Ouspensky touches upon the topic of reincarnation.

Now let me be clear upfront that the intention of this article is not to discuss the existence or the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of reincarnation…

It’s just that Ouspensky’s take on it makes up a nice intro to the rest that this article is going to be about…

Anyway, in his book, Ouspensky poses that reincarnation is not what we’re often led to think it is…

He says that instead of being born as someone else, we’re rather reborn to relive the exact same life we’ve always lived… over and over and over again… until we make a significant choice at one particular moment to do something differently than we’ve done it life after life.

Kind of like the basic principle of the movie Groundhog Day… (which I think you should watch sometime if you can, in case you haven’t seen it).

Based on this take, Ouspensky says that hell on earth is living life the way you’ve always lived it, and heaven on earth is breaking free of your long-standing patterns.

And as you probably know, it can take an enormous amount of energy, passion, determination, and will to even see patterns… let alone break free from them.

So that’s actually the thing that we’re trying to help you with through our materials:

We want you to be able to see those patterns in your own life… and then provide you with the information and tools (or point you to the ones) that we think can help you break free from those patterns.

And in the context of this topic of breaking free and creating the life you really want, many times we’ve also mentioned the importance of recognizing your ‘passion’, and knowing what you want… or at least, having some kind of vision of what you want in order to have some sense of direction.

Passion is in fact the fuel that drives you forward in life… the passion to experience… the passion to create value… the passion to invent… the passion to build something that has a life of its own… the passion to do something remarkable with your life… whatever it is that feels important to you.

But what has become abundantly clear over time, is that for many people, the process of ‘creating’ or ‘attracting’ what they want comes to a halt at this point already… simply because they say they have no idea about what they want… or can’t decide on anything.

Fact is however, that they do know… at least when they turn deeper within themselves and are prepared to be honest with themselves…

The thing is that it’s usually covered up by a lot of subconscious patterns and mechanisms that are basically pulled over their eyes to blind them from it… although every now and then it makes itself apparent.

Let me tell you a quick story:

Back in high school, I remember some friends of mine came with these books where each page is a picture (usually some abstract collage of colors at first sight) that has another picture underneath it that you can’t readily see…

You’re supposed to hold the book at a certain distance from your face, and then pull it slowly away without focusing on the picture… sort of looking through the picture… and then suddenly the picture slows up.

I could never do it, except for some occasional instances of success… It could drive me crazy! I could try and find it, but it never worked…

And then at one point, for no reason whatsoever that I can remember, I picked up one of those books, opened it to one of the pictures, and without trying it all… there it was! The other picture behind it just appeared!

But even after that, I couldn’t do it on a consistent basis…

At first I thought the trick was sneaking up on the book as if I wasn’t interested. But that didn’t turn out to work consistently… Putting my eyes out of focus didn’t work either. Sometimes it just came to me, but usually it didn’t.

I can’t say I consistently and diligently practiced it though… It was just never that important to me…

And that’s the key point of what I’m trying to get across here! That’s the key to really discovering your passion!

You see, passion is kind of similar to those pictures I mentioned… You can’t always see it. But sometimes it’ll come to you… usually at the most unexpected or inconvenient moment…

It can come to you in the strangest, most unpredictable ways. You can be standing on the corner about to walk across the street… You can be turning in your sleep, dreaming… You can be in the shower, packing a suitcase, engaging in ‘number two’, cleaning out your closet… etc.

And it’ll always be like that, unless you make it truly important!

If you really want to use it to your advantage… if you want to tap into that enormous resource for anything you want to do… if you want fuel to power any intention you have… if that’s what you want…

… then you must make it really important to you!

In fact, you must make it so important that you’ll do anything to see it for what it is. It’s being interested in it… deeply and genuinely interested in it… that’ll give you the power to see.

“So how do you do I do that then?”, you’ll probably ask…

Well, I’ll let you in on a simple little trick to get yourself going in a moment… Just hear me out, because I need to clarify a few details first…

You see, the actual problem of ‘not knowing what it is’ or ‘not seeing it’ is caused by these subconscious patterns that I mentioned. And like I said above, it can take an enormous amount of energy and determination to even see those patterns… let alone break free from them.

It’s kind of a catch-22:

  • You try to see your adverse subconscious patterns, in order to be able to break free from them…
  • Your adverse subconscious patterns make up virtual ‘blinders’ and prevent you from seeing them…

So if you want things to change for you, you definitely need to get out of that rut…

And there’s one basic thing that you absolutely must be able to do to make that happen… It’s a basic trick that’ll put you back in the driver’s seat and take the steering wheel!

Here’s the thing:

The very frustration that most people are feeling about their lives and their inability to change it can only be addressed once they’re able to see how completely identified they are with their ‘pain’ of not being satisfied with the way things are.

As long as you are your pain… and you can’t create enough distance from it to step back and ‘see yourself being in pain’ instead… you can never get free of it.

The ‘pain’, or ‘exhaustion’, or ‘frustration’, or ‘overwhelm’, or whatever negative state you find yourself in, is usually a subconsciously driven defensive reaction to something you feel threatened by… and that thus takes you away from being consciously present in the moment.

It’s a subconscious pattern, and it’ll keep playing out as long as you don’t deal with it. And in order to deal with it and break free from it, you need to find out what you feel threatened by…

But that’s a next step. Let’s stick to the most essential thing first:

First you need to actually put yourself in the position to see those patterns for what they are. This means that you need to take a step back and observe yourself… and then look… see… and listen… to discover what you feel threatened by…

Or rather, to discover what part of you feels threatened.

If you do this, and you do it seriously… let me tell you what you’re likely to discover:

  • You’ll discover that the part of ‘you’ that feels threatened, is the ‘you’ who doesn’t want to be seen because he/she’s feeling so small…
  • It’s the ‘you’ who doesn’t feel he/she’s up to it…
  • It’s the ‘you’ who’s terrified of all the passion that you’ve got inside you that could blow you away in a flash!

And you know what?

Instead of ignoring that part like you’re told to do in many of the ‘positive thinking’ and ‘Law of Attraction’ schools of thought… that’s actually part of you that deserves more attention instead of less!

You can do that once you learn how to step back. I called it the ‘participant/observer’-method in an earlier article.

You need to take a step back into the ‘observer’ role, instead of getting caught up in the experience of the ‘participant’…

Because underneath that superficial take on your experience, you’ll find that there’s something really different going on.

You’ll discover that, no matter how you’re feeling at any particular point in time, whatever you’re doing, or whatever you’re afraid of doing… your passion is alive and well underneath, whatever it is that’s standing in the way…

It’s the connection with this passion that enables you to move through all of the inevitable external obstacles you’ll find in your way, which of course each come with their own set of internal obstacles to be overcome.

So to learn how to observe the form it takes at any particular point in time is one of the most essential things you can do… that you must do actually, if you want to put your creative power back into your own hands…

It’s actually one of the most empowering things you can ever do! If there’s any skill you need to learn to actively make a difference in yourself and in your life… this is it!

And to internalize this skill, here’s something you can practice:

Step 1:

First, whenever you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, ‘wrung out’, etc… just say to yourself: “See through it!”

That’s the first step…

Just see through it, and see what happens…

Step 2:

And secondly, just for three times a day… STOP. It’s as simple as that… You just STOP, whatever you’re doing.

Any time of the day is fine… any time at all. However, the best times for you to choose to STOP would be the times when for instance:

  • You feel completely consumed by something you’re doing…
  • You feel dreading or dreading the prospect of something you need to do…
  • You feel frustrated…
  • You feel overwhelmed…
  • You feel exhausted…
  • You feel ‘wrung out’…
  • You feel angry…
  • And so on…

Basically, whenever you feel identified with your moods…

And when you feel that, you just STOP!!

And then you look… listen… see…

This will not just enable you to ‘see through it’, as I mentioned above…

But more importantly, with practice, something amazing will happen:

  • You’ll see how absolutely consumed you are with your moods, thoughts, emotions…
  • You’ll see how they eat up your passion by filling the space with something else to do…
  • You’ll find out that there’s more passion than you’ve ever imagined underneath your moods… more than enough to fuel whatever it is that you want to do!
  • You’ll see that you’re not your emotions… not your feelings… not your thoughts… not your moods.
  • You’ll see that you’re the silence in between… something apart from them that is more alive than you can possibly imagine!

It’s taking this observer point of view that’ll enable you to see all this…

When I got more adept at this myself… I literally saw myself. And then I saw myself seeing myself. And then I saw that I was seeing myself seeing myself.

This may sound crazy, but it’s absolutely remarkable. It’s an experience of awesome clarity, where you see yourself as separate from ‘yourself’… or the ‘self’ that you think you are… the identity that you have in this world.

It’s a new dimension to your experience… a fourth dimension if you will… almost like a parallel universe to the one we live in.

This ‘observer’ point of view is the foundation for a completely new relationship to life.

  • You’ll see that any ‘pain’, ‘frustration’, ‘exhaustion’, ‘overwhelm’, whatever negative state that you may find yourself in… is nothing but a strategy… and certainly not a result.
  • You’ll see that it’s a defensive strategy that covers up the fact that you have a big hand in ‘creating’ your life…
  • You’ll see that it’s a subconscious defense mechanism blinding you from the truth that you may find hard to face, because it leaves no alternative but to take full responsibility…
  • In fact, you’ll see that it covers up the fear… and in many cases, the being ‘totally terrified’ of being ‘All You Can Be’.

In the words of Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We’re all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Now that’s a revolution…

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The Power of Visualization

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by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

We’ve heard it before: “Imagine yourself passing the exam or scoring a goal and it will happen.”

We may roll our eyes and think that’s easier said than done, but a new study suggests that the imagination may be more effective than we think in helping us reach our goals.

Researchers asked a group of students to search visual displays for specific letters (which were scattered among other letters serving as distractors) and to identify them as quickly as possible by pressing a button. While performing this task, the students were asked to either imagine themselves holding the display monitor with both hands or with their hands behind their backs (it was emphasized that they were not to assume those poses, but just imagine them).

The results showed that simply imagining a posture may have effects that are similar to actually assuming the pose. The participants spent more time searching the display when they imagined themselves holding the monitor, compared to when they imagined themselves with their hands behind their backs.

The study, by Christopher Davoli and Richard Abrams from Washington University in St. Louis is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The researchers suggest that the slower rate of searching indicates a more thorough analysis of items closer to the hands. Previous research has shown that we spend more time looking at items close to our hands (items close to us are usually more important than those further away), but this is the first study suggesting that merely imagining something close to our hands will cause us to pay more attention to it.

The researchers suggest these findings indicate that our “peripersonal space” (the space around our body) can be extended into a space where an imagined posture would take us. They note there may be advantages to having this ability, such as determining if an action is realistic (e.g., “Can I reach the top shelf?”) and helping us to avoid collisions.

The authors conclude that the present study confirms “an idea that has long been espoused by motivational speakers, sports psychologists, and John Lennon alike: The imagination has the extraordinary capacity to shape reality.”

Source: American Psychological Association

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The Phases Of Memory

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Memory is the retention of information over a period of time through storage, encoding, and retrieval. For something to be considered memory, you have to take it in, store it, and then retrieve it for use in the future. Memory is a very complex things and it can let you down sometime especially when our trying to remember something, especially during an important test in your life. Also memory can also cause some confusion, especially when two people experience different events. For example, if two friends went on a trip and one said scenario A happened while the other says that scenario B happened then It could lead to lots of confusion. I think it’s fair to say that most individuals have experienced frustrations when they can’t recall someone’s name or a place that they visit. It’s obvious that memory is not installed like data is in a computer; human memory is a little more concrete. The initial stage of memory is known as encoding, in which the information is processed for storage. When you are listening to music, or watching television you are encoding information into memory. Some data gets into memory practically effortlessly, while other requires some extensive time to get in there. How information gets stored into data is an interest in psychologist because it tends to vary from individual to individual. When we start encoding we use selective attention which means that we focus on a specific situation while ignoring everything else. It’s like showing undivided attention to a specific factor. Although our brain is magnificent, and is more powerful than a super computer it does has its limits, and it can’t pay attention to everything at once. Divided attention also has an impact on memory, which means that people try to pay attention to too many different things at once. When researchers measure divided attention they have participants to try and remember a list of materials, but they are asked to perform an additional task at the same time. Participants that focus their attention on one single event as opposed to trying and remember numerous of things simultaneously perform a lot better. However simply paying attention to something does not guarantee success with remembering it. Encoding is processed in three different levels. Levels of processing is known as encoding information from shallow to deep and the deeper processing produce better results than the shallow.

 Shallow level: Includes the sensory or physical characteristics of stimuli that are analyzed. For example, we might detect some shapes of printed characters, or detect the pitch of a particular sound.
 Intermediate level: The stimulus is recognized and is given a distinct label. For example, we will identify an object that drives on the road as a car.
 Deepest Level: Includes information that is processed semantically which means in terms of its meaning. When we get to the deepest level we make associations with things which mean that we are more likely to remember it in the future.

Time after time it seems that people memories improve when they make associations to stimuli that are used in deep processing as opposed to tuning into just the physical characteristics. For example, you are more likely to remember someone face if you make some type of association with it as opposed to remembering how the people look. You could attach a meaning to it or correlate the individual to a famous person. Likewise you could associate a famous individual with a friend of yours not is not a celebrity by any means. Next, cognitive psychologists or the psychologists that studies the thinking process realize that there is more to memory than just deep processing. Ther’are a lot of layers of memory so to speak. While were still on the topic of deep processing, the more extensive the processing, the better you will remember something. Elaboration is defined as the extensiveness of processing at any level. Rather then just remembering a definition, you should come up with a deep concept of the word by thinking of examples that relate to the word his is a strategy that is used often of Kaplan’s Sat flashcards. On the front it has the word, and on the back it has the definition followed by a sentence that uses the definition properly. The primarily reason that elaboration is so successful is because it helps makes something distinct in your mind. Just think of an event that you remembered in your life. A one that I think that affects people living today is the World Trade Center event. Most people most likely remember where they were and how they first heard the news. The people that were in the event and survived most likely have a hard time forgetting about the event and can most likely remember the sounds and all of the imagery very clearly. Speaking of seeing things clearly, imagery is a very important aspect of memory. To make memories extremely powerful it is important to use mental imagery. An example of using mental imagery is remembering where you placed your remote control once you finished watching television last night. Some psychologists believed that using mental imagery is so powerful, because people will tend to remember images more then words. It has been proven that images can help individuals learn a foreign language. However, how intricate storage is just don’t determine how well it will get encoded. Storage refers to the ways that information stays in storage for a long period of time. We remember some information for years, and some we forget within a minute or possibly less. Sensory memory is a type of memory that holds information in a sensory form for an instant. It is extremely high in detail but the information is quickly loss. Think of the sounds you hear when you’re getting out of the car, or the sound of a bird singing. These are some common examples of sensory memory. Next, short term memory is information that is usually contained in storage for 30 seconds, or less there are some other strategies used to keep it in storage longer. Some ways that you can improve short term memory is by chunking and reversal. We all probably have experienced with rehearsal which is the repetition of something, usually a number. If we have to remember a telephone number then an easy way to do this is to keep repeating the number. Likewise you can try and remember long numbers by chunking them. For example, look at this number and turn away and try to repeat it. The number is 7835677876. How did you do? Don’t feel too bad if you did poorly. However, you could have done better if you’re chunked or grouped the numbers together. For example rather than trying to remember this big blob of 7835677876, you can chunk in into 783-567-7876. Well, look at what we got it looks similar to a phone number. This is an example of how chunking can b helpful in helping individuals remembers content.

Unlock the Potential of Your Memory

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms
An anxiety attack sometimes referred to‚ as a panic attack can be a very terrifying experience. The symptoms of anxiety attacks can be very confusing as usually the person has no idea as to why their body is reacting in the manner it is. If you have experienced some of these unusual symptoms (below) while experiencing anxiety let me help you to understand it better and try and put your mind at ease.

Firstly anxiety attacks are very treatable. It is very important that you speak with your doctor if you are experiencing these anxiety attack symptoms in order to receive an accurate diagnosis. Getting your anxiety symptoms investigated after you first experience them will help reassure you that nothing more serious might be wrong.

So what are the typical anxiety attack symptoms?

The most common symptoms of anxiety attacks are: Palpitations
Pounding heart‚ or an accelerated heart rate
Trembling or shaking
Shortness of breath
A choking sensation
Chest pain or discomfort
Nausea or stomach cramps
A feeling of being dizzy
Lightheadedness or feeling faint
Derealization (a feeling of unreality)
Depersonalization (a feeling of being detached from oneself)
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Fear of dying Numbness or a tingling sensation
Chills or hot flashes
(Source Source: American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV-TR) 2000 Washington, DC.)

These are some of the possible symptoms of a anxiety attack but what does it actually feel like to experience one?

Usually an anxiety attack begins with an unusual bodily sensation from the list above. The person then reacts with fear that the symptoms are indicators of a much more serious threat and in turn reacts with more fear which escalates into a state of heightened anxiety. A vicious cycle of anxiety and fear can begin.

Typical situations people report having an anxiety attack are:

Crowded areas
At Night while sleeping

Often anxiety attacks occur in a situation where the person feels they cannot exit easily from such as a meeting‚ or out socializing with others. Many can also experience an anxiety attack for no apparent reason while at home or in the middle of sleep.

People who first experience these symptoms feel a sense of foreboding and that there is something terribly wrong with their health. This is understandable as anyone who has experienced an anxiety attack can tell you how unusual the bodily sensations are.

What initially may have been a once off ‘out of the blue’ anxiety attack‚ can develop into a perpetual cycle of fear and anxiety if not treated. This cycle can last from weeks to years depending on how much help the person receives. I want to point out that anxiety attacks are not a mental illness. The great news is that this disorder is very treatable. You do not have to fear you will spend your life living with this condition.

More often than not‚ the symptoms of anxiety attacks cause people to worry that there is some larger problem lurking behind the unusual sensations. If you have experienced anxiety attack symptoms‚ do not convince yourself that you have a clinical illness. You do not. Experiencing anxiety attacks and their associated symptoms does not mean that you have a physical or mental illness. Your brain is fine; your body is fine. You can return to a more relaxed level of living if you follow the steps and psychological techniques I am going to outline for on this site.

Learn to trust is your body. Yes it may be experiencing a wide range of strange anxiety attack symptoms but it is well able to handle this. During an anxiety attack‚ many of the symptoms are similar to those of a really good workout:

Increased heartbeat rate
Increased bodily sensations
Rapid breathing
You do not become fearful of these symptoms while exercising and therefore you should not fear them should they be present while experiencing anxiety.

The fuel that really drives the anxiety symptoms is anxious thinking. The “what if” thoughts that appear during an anxiety attack create the powerful drive that fuels the anxiety much longer than it would normally last.

"What if I have a heart attack"
"What if my mind loses control"
"What if I do something crazy or faint"
"What if I cannot get out of here"

In order to extinguish the fuel that drives the anxiety attack we need to eliminate these anxious thoughts. Tackling anxious thinking effectively requires a two-pronged approach. To eliminate the negative thinking patterns‚ there needs to be a shift in attitude along with specific visualization tools.

The "Panic Away" Program:
Proof At Last that Panic Attacks and Anxiety
Can be Eliminated For Good!

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