The 7 best books on the science of happiness

1. In The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, psychology professor Jonathan Haidt unearths ten great theories of happiness discovered by the thinkers of the past, from Plato to Jesus to Buddha, to reveal a surprising abundance of common tangents.

 

 

 

Continue reading The 7 best books on the science of happiness

22 rules of storytelling – according to Pixar’s Emma Coats

On Twitter, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled nuggets of narrative wisdom she’s received working for the animation studio over the years. It’s some sage stuff, although there’s nothing here about defending yourself from your childhood toys when they inevitably come to life with murder in their hearts. A truly glaring omission.

 

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

 

Read the rest of themThe 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

Continue reading 22 rules of storytelling – according to Pixar’s Emma Coats

Psychology’s five aspects of wisdom

A recent article in the Economist used a complex, but somewhat small in scope, survey to study wisdom. They found that Americans definitely get smarter with age. They scored 45 points at age 25, and 55 by age 75.

In comparison, the Japanese learn wisdom much quicker, scoring 51 in both age groups.

This led to the byline – Americans get wiser with age. Japanese are wise from the start.

Very interesting and thoughtful, but I found it more inspiring to look at how they judged wisdom.

The assessors scored participants’ responses on a scale of one to three. This attempted to capture the degree to which they discussed what psychologists consider five crucial aspects of wise reasoning:

  • Willingness to seek opportunities to resolve conflict;
  • Willingness to search for compromise;
  • Recognition of the limits of personal knowledge;
  • Awareness that more than one perspective on a problem can exist;
  • Appreciation of the fact that things may get worse before they get better.

 

Basically, how good of a – diplomat/negotiator/self-aware/empathetic/realist – are you?

 

// Thx to Kirby Plessas

Gray hair – in search of the Silvercat

I’m fascinated by the absence of gray hair in my life. As a ‘male’ youth of the feminist movement I have continually had women in positions of authority over me. There have only been a few male bosses who were worth their weight, while the females overwhelmingly dominate every aspect of my life.

In many ways I have come to expect this continual mentoring and guidance from women. Which is why it is all the more shocking for me to find this chinc in their armor: gray hair.

Among the 100 most powerful women on Forbes list only four of them have natural hair, even though all of them are at the age where gray hair sets in. I don’t know what to make of this. My idols have dropped the ball on this one and I am left to fend for myself.

Join me as I explore this trend and try to discover the truth of the situation and where I fit into all of it.

 

Next: The Great Gray Female War (for Boomers)