Dr Tal Ben-Shahar – Harvard Open Courses 1504 – Positive Psychology 11

This session carries on the topic of ‘change’.

Continuing on the facial feedback hypothesis, Tal explains what is ‘Fake it till we make it.’

If the comfort zone would be freezing water, the stretch or the optimal discomfort zone would be flowing water, and the panic zone would be boiling water. The healthy approach to change would be along the stretch zone.

Most people can not get more self-discipline. It’s nature. However, you can be more successful and happier with the self-discipline that you currently have if you change your focus from relying on self-discipline to introducing rituals. Maintaining a ritual does not require a lot of self-discipline, but creating a ritual requires a lot of self-discipline.Having rituals is the only way for lasting change.

Interpretation is a neural pathway. How we interpret things will help us create new neural pathways.

People and their work:

  • Frances M. Haemmerlie and Robert L. Montgomery – behaviours and shyness
  • Albert Bandura – self-efficacy
  • Chapters of the Fathers, the English version of Pirkei Avot
  • Dan Millman’s book Way of the Peaceful Warrior – the important of action and change
  • Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s book The Power of Full Engagement – a paradigm shift – 30 days to change a habit.
  • Roy Baumeister – how long will you persevere before giving up and your self-discipline – we all have limited amount of self-discipline.
  • William James – it takes 21 days to change a habit.
  • John Carter – changes in organisation
  • Joe Tomaka – turn from a threat to a challenge
  • Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer – the two-factor theory of emotion – focuses on the interaction between physical arousal and how we cognitively label that arousal.
  • Lee Ross – how we frame the situation can make all the difference
  • David Schnarch – primarily if we want long-term, successful, thriving, passionate relationships, the first objective is to go into relationship to be known. To be known, rather than to be validated.
  • Ali Crum and Ellen Langer – mindful and perception
  • Howard Gardner – for people to be an expert of a field, they have to have invested at least ten years of very hard word, then incubation.
  • Joseph Campbell – a place of creative incubation
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