psychology – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: psychology

Title: Illusion / Liu Yushan | Credit: Tsinghua University | Source: Ars Electronica | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Telling it Like it Isn’t

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” —Leonardo da Vinci We recently drove from Asheville, North Carolina to San Diego, California—about 36 hours of driving time. I was pleasantly surprised not to hit a single pothole. The roads were in excellent shape from coast to coast. Thank you, President Obama, for your stimulus package.  The bump-less ride made me think of the broad assault Trump has made on the Obama legacy by Read More

Photos by Mike Wilson and Ky0n Cheng

Inspiration and Aspiration

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”  —Khalil Gibran, The Madman I once worked for a company that aspired to be a $10B corporation. I said to the executives at that time, “That may be a good goal but it surely isn’t a compelling vision, and it does nothing to inspire me.” I left the company after two years. Part Read More

Title: orange | Author: Bob May | Source: alternative_illustrations on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Balance and Unity

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” —Abraham Lincoln, Nov. Read More

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

Walter De Maria, 360˚ I Ching/64 Sculptures, 1981. © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York.

Ethereal Threads and Cosmic Fabric

“Creative interpretation of the world: Art. Personal beliefs trumping objective facts: Lunacy.” —Brian Greene. When you are swimming upstream in a powerful current, it’s not only hard to think about anything other than surviving, it’s also difficult to raise your head up to look around. This river we are swimming in has a mighty flow, and we are hanging on by a thread—perhaps an ethereal thread or a vibrating string as you will see later. Read More

Illustration for the ‘Mansion. Mizgir.’ fairy tales (1910), by Heorhiy Narbut

Experience and Expression

Spending 8 years in juvies and jails certainly changed my perspective on what it feels like to have all your values violated. Fortunately, I was serving time as a counselor for incarcerated inmates in county jails and juvenile delinquency “homes” — not as a convicted felon in a federal prison. I had no trouble responding to inmates’ experiences and helping them find more constructive ways to express themselves. These days I’m wondering if we are really jailing the right people.

Title: Naturalization Ceremony September 7, 2016 | Author: Yellowstone National Park / yellowstoneps | Source: Flickr | License: CC0

Reciprocity

Are the facts you think you know about immigration in the U.S. actually myths?–and what does the psychological concept of reciprocity have to do with the concept of being an American?

Credit: goldbug | License: CC0

The Rudder and the Soul

The executive function represents the highest level of mental competence. It is the ability to plan ahead, anticipate consequences, derive abstract meaning, and arrive at appropriate judgments.

Read my assessment of the various competencies necessary for strong leadership and find out how Donald Trump’s skills stack up against my criteria.

Tu m' by Marcel Duchamp (Photo Credit: Yale University Art Gallery)

Taming Tourette

When I was 30 years old, I was diagnosed as having Tourette syndrome (TS).

It was a huge relief to me to finally have a name for what had been tormenting me since I was about 13 years old. I was also depressed to know that I would be dealing with this neurological disorder for the rest of my life.

"Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Source: Internet Archives | License: No known copyright restrictions

Assessing Leadership Potential

We are currently in a dark period resulting from dark forces (Trump himself, Comey, Putin, racism, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy, and ignorance).

In the midst of this darkness, we all need to take responsibility for growing whatever light we can find within ourselves and in the people we love.

Title: trust issues | Credit: Yumi Krum

Presence and Presents

“We convince by our presence.” —Walt Whitman

You can’t fake being present in the long term…and other thoughts on how presents can’t stack up to the gift of presence.

"July 15, 2014," www.thezendiary.com

Reacting and Responding

People deserve to be understood.

Many people are suffering from crushing pain that they just can’t seem to beat.

How can we respond–without reacting?

Image from page 295 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Source: Internet Archive

Pain and Empathy

Pain may not be your friend, but it may be your partner. And pain may be the path to empathy.

Title: Eyjafjallajökull plumes | Author: anjči

Renewal

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett Remember when air traffic was shut down in Europe from the eruption of E15 in Iceland? It was April, 2010, when Eyjafjallajökull (E15) erupted causing floods to rush down the rivers and requiring 800 people to be evacuated. The eruption was so explosive it caused air travel disruption in Europe for 6 days. More tragically, it buried the farms below it Read More

Title: Fox at Malone Bay Campground -2 | Credit: Ray Dumas | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

The Tao of Money

I just spent a few days on Isle Royale, one of the best kept, National Park secrets in the United States. I walked ten miles a day on rugged trails on this spectacular island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The views were stunning: pristine lakes, lush forests, breathtaking views, and occasional sightings of fox, moose, and wolves. These walks filled me with renewed appreciation for Teddy Roosevelt for founding and funding the National Parks Read More

Fear and Freedom

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” —Aung San Suu Kui Raising children and having grandchildren gave me an intimate understanding of fear and freedom. I wanted my kids to have the freedom to explore the external world and to discover who they were, but I lived in constant fear of lurking dangers. I always leaned toward freeing them, but tried to establish boundaries that would keep Read More

Credit: annajasinski on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thinking and Believing

Believe me—Daniel Kahneman got it right: we are more likely to find stories that support our beliefs than seek out evidence in the pursuit of truth. Kahneman is a professor emeritus at Princeton University who wrote the best selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. His work is focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His findings challenge the assumption of human rationality. Clearly, Read More

"New Technology" by Flickr user Byron Stormweather

Machines, Money, and Meaning

“And every sand becomes a Gem reflected in the beam divine” -William Blake In 1909, E. M. Forster published a series of short stories in his book The Eternal Moment. The first story is entitled “The Machine Stops.” This chilling masterpiece concerns the role of technology in our lives. Written over 100 years ago, when technology was in its infancy, it is more relevant today than it was then. With an uncanny prescience, Forster wrote about Read More

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

Photo of Interlochen in 1966. Interlochen started off as National Music Camp in 1928--it's been around for a while. Credit: Flickr user Up North Memories https://www.flickr.com/photos/upnorthmemories/

Community and Connection

Walking onto the campus of Interlochen Arts Academy is like walking into a different world. For one, there is as much artistic genius per square foot as there is mathematical genius at MIT. There is also a richness of diversity. In a typical summer, 2,500 kids from all over the world and practically every state attend the camp for four to eight weeks of intense study in music, drama, creative writing, dance, and/or visual arts. Read More

Photo by Master Wen on Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/@36chambers

Religion: For Better or For Worse

And it seems such a waste of time If that’s what it’s all about Mama, if that’s movin’ up then I’m movin’ out And if that’s what you have in mind Yeah, if that’s what you’re all about Good luck, moving up, ‘cause I’m movin’ out —Billy Joel In psychology, there is a body of work that suggests that confrontation may at times be necessary for change, but it is never sufficient. Similarly, one might Read More

Fudekuyo Calligraphy Ceremony, by Aurelio Asiain | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A Tribute to Old Friends and New

There’s a comfort in old friends. It’s a warm, easy comfort that is somehow different from the new. There’s no posing, pretending, or pandering. There’s no need for anything other than relaxing in the joy of connection and in being who you are. There is no fooling an old friend. There is a fullness and richness in conversations with old friends. The long histories and specific details of trials, triumphs, and tribulations enrich the re-telling Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.