Un capitol pe zi: When the Body Says No

When the Body Says No
A Note to the ReaderPeople have always understood intuitively that mind and body are not separable. Modernity has brought with it an unfortunate dissociation, a split between what we know with our whole being and what our thinking mind accepts as truth. Of these two kinds of knowledge the latter, narrower, kind most often wins out, to our loss.It is a pleasure and a privilege, therefore, to bring in front of the reader the findings of modern science that reaffirm the intuitions of age-old wisdom. That was my primary goal in writing this book. My other purpose was to hold up a mirror to our stress-driven society so that we may recognize how, in myriad unconscious ways, we help generate the illnesses that plague us. Continue reading “Un capitol pe zi: When the Body Says No”

Un capitol pe zi: Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harrari

Sapiens de Harrari îl putem citi sau reciti dintr-o nouă perspectivă, aici un fragment:Excerpt from Part 1 – Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindThere were humans long before there was history. Animals much like modern humans first appeared about 2.5 million years ago. But for countless generations they did not stand out from the myriad other organisms that populated the planet.

Homo sapiens has kept hidden an even more disturbing secret. Not only do we possess an abundance of uncivilized cousins; once upon a time we had quite a few brothers and sisters as well. We are used to thinking about ourselves as the only humans, because for the last ten thousand years, our species has indeed been the only human species around. Yet the real meaning of the word human is “an animal belonging to the genus Homo,” and there used to be many other species of this genus besides Homo sapiens. It’s a common fallacy to envision these species as arranged in a straight line of descent, with ergaster begetting erectuserectus begetting the Neanderthals, and the Neanderthals evolving into us. This linear model gives the mistaken impression that at any particular moment only one type of human inhabited the earth, and that all earlier species were merely older models of ourselves. The truth is that from about 2 million years ago until around 10,000 years ago, the world was home, at one and the same time, to several human species.Despite their many differences, all human species share several defining characteristics. Most notably, humans have extraordinarily large brains compared to other animals.But if giant brains are such a good idea, why are they so rare in the animal kingdom?The fact is that a jumbo brain is a jumbo drain on the body. It’s not easy to carry around, especially when encased inside a massive skull. It’s even harder to fuel. It accounts for about 2–3 per cent of total body weight, but it consumes 25 per cent of the body’s energy when the body is at rest. By comparison, the brains of other apes require only 8 per cent of rest-time energy. Archaic humans paid for their large brains in two ways. Firstly, they spent more time in search of food. Secondly, their muscles atrophied. Like a government diverting money from defence to education, humans diverted energy from biceps to neurons. It’s hardly a foregone conclusion that this is a good strategy for survival on the savannah. A chimpanzee can’t win an argument with a Homo sapiens, but the ape can rip the man apart like a rag doll.Today our big brains pay off nicely, because we can produce cars and guns that enable us to move much faster than chimps, and shoot them from a safe distance instead of wrestling. But cars and guns are a recent phenomenon. For more than 2 million years, human neural networks kept growing and growing, but apart from some flint knives and pointed sticks, humans had precious little to show for it. What then drove forward the evolution of the human brain? Frankly, we don’t know. It’s one of nature’s biggest mysteries.Another singular human trait is that we walk upright on two legs. Standing up, it’s easier to scan the savannah for game or enemies, and arms that are unnecessary for locomotion are freed for other purposes, like throwing stones or signaling.Yet walking upright has its downside. The skeleton of our primate ancestors developed to support a creature that walked on all fours and had a relatively small head. Adjusting to an upright position was quite a challenge, especially when the scaffolding had to support an extra-large cranium. To this very day, humankind has been paying for its lofty vision and industrious hands with backaches and stiff necks.Women paid extra. An upright gait required narrower hips, constricting the birth canal – and this just when babies’ heads were getting bigger. Death in childbirth became a major hazard. Women who gave birth earlier, when the infant’s brain and head were still relatively small and supple, fared better and lived to have more children. Natural selection consequently favoured earlier births. And, indeed, compared to other animals, humans are born prematurely, when many of their vital systems are still under-developed. A colt can trot shortly after birth; a kitten leaves its mother to forage on its own when it is just a few weeks old. Human babies are helpless, dependent for many years on their elders for sustenance, protection and education.This fact has contributed greatly both to humankind’s extraordinary social abilities and to its unique social problems. Lone mothers could hardly forage enough food for their offspring and themselves. So raising children required constant help from other family members and neighbours. It takes a tribe to raise a human. Evolution thus favoured those capable of forming strong social ties. In addition, since humans are born underdeveloped, they can be educated and socialised to a far greater extent than any other animal. Most mammals emerge from the womb like glazed earthenware emerging from a kiln – any attempt at remoulding will only scratch or break them. Humans emerge from the womb like molten glass from a furnace. They can be spun, stretched and shaped with a surprising degree of freedom. This is why today we can educate our children to become Christian or Buddhist, capitalist or socialist, warlike or peace-loving.We assume that a large brain, the use of tools, superior learning abilities and complex social structures are huge advantages. It seems self-evident that these have made humankind the most powerful animal on earth. But humans enjoyed all these advantages for a full 2 million years, while remaining weak and marginal creatures. They dwelt in constant fear of predators, subsisted mainly by gathering plants, scooping up insects, stalking small animals, and eating the carrion left behind by other more powerful carnivores.One of the most common uses of early stone tools was to crack open bones in order to get to the marrow. Some researchers believe this was our original niche. Just as woodpeckers specialise in extracting insects from the trunks of trees, the first humans specialised in extracting marrow from bones. Why marrow? Well, suppose you observe a pride of lions take down and devour a giraffe. You wait patiently until they’re done. But it’s still not your turn because first the hyenas and jackals – and you don’t dare interfere with them – scavenge the leftovers. Only then would you and your band dare approach the carcass, look cautiously left and right – and dig into the only edible tissue that remained.This is a key to understanding our history and psychology. The position of humans in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle. It was only in the last 100,000 years – with the rise of Homo sapiens – that man jumped to the top of the food chain.That spectacular leap had enormous consequences. Other animals at the top of the pyramid, such as lions and sharks, evolved into that position very gradually, over millions of years. This enabled the ecosystem to develop checks and balances that prevent lions and sharks from wreaking too much havoc. As lions became deadlier, so gazelles evolved to run faster. In contrast, humankind ascended to the top so quickly that the ecosystem was not given time to adjust. Moreover, humans themselves failed to adjust. Most top predators of the planet are majestic creatures. Millions of years of dominion have filled them with self-confidence. Sapiens by contrast is more like a banana republic dictator. Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous. Many historical calamities, from deadly wars to ecological catastrophes, have resulted from this over-hasty jump.

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The School of Life. Cine ne atrage și de ce?

Socitetatea noastră cea de toate zilele este profund preocupată de ideea de atractivitate. Dar în ce constă de fapt această calitate atât de dezirabilă?Prima abordare, ce mai frecventă și cea mai extinsă este legată de biologie, de acele calități care indică fertilitate sau rezistență la boli: simetria feței, pupile mari și luminoase, buze ample (Ce zici de niște botox?), piele tânără (..și un lifting?) sau un păr bogat în melanină. Există oameni profund specializați în păr perfect, sprâncene perfecte etc. și o întreagă industrie chimică care promite să fii ce crezi tu că vrei să fii.Neplăcut că nu se ajunge vreodată la acest deziderat și uneori ne trezim într-o alergare nesfârșită pentru a avea 5 kg în minus care ne vor schimba viața și ne vor îndeplini toate dorințele. Se pare că nu e destul.   Continue reading “The School of Life. Cine ne atrage și de ce?”

În căutarea atenției. O poveste în 10 cărți.

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.”― G.K. ChestertonExistă o nevoie de atenție în fiecare dintre noi, dorința de a fi admirat, apreciat, dar mai mai mult aceea de a fi acceptat exact cum suntem.De multe ori vrem să părem mai mult decât suntem, pentru că ni se pare că suntem prea mici. Vrem relații, dar de obicei nu ne luăm timp să le aprofundăm, să investim în ele și ne trezim într-o luptă de notorietate, ba chiar putere.  Continue reading “În căutarea atenției. O poveste în 10 cărți.”

Cărți online- The Happiness Equation

“Care este formula fericirii?”De la această întrebare îndrăzneață pleacă capitolul pe care îl vom parcurge împreună astăzi, extras din The Happiness Equation, un titlu ce conține rezultatele cercetării a sute de psihologi, a zeci de lideri și a mii de interviuri personale. Autorul străbate o sumedenie de surse– din Europa și până în Asia, de la Buddha la Vonnegut, de la Hitchcock la Singur Acasă.“Dale Carnegie was last century. Steven Covey was last decade. Neil Pasricha is what’s now. The Happiness Equation is a two-hour ticket to changing your life!”–SUSAN CAIN, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking citeste aici

Cărți online- Check-in Strategy Journal: Your Daily Tracker for Business and Personal Development

Check-in Strategy Journal: Your Daily Tracker for Business and Personal Development de Robert Craven , Adam Harris te poate ajuta în fiecare pas spre planurile tale, obținând maximul de rezultate cu resursele pe care le poți investi acum. Întrebările concise, sfaturile privint prioritizare, time-management sau alocarea sarcinilor se aplică în foarte multe situații și oferă un cadru detaliat zilnic și săptămânal.check-in-strategy-journal“If you truly want to make a significant change in your business and personal life, then you need this book.”SIMON HAZELDINE, bestselling author of Neuro–Sell: How Neuroscience Can Power Your Sales Successciteste aici

Cărți online- The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work

The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work de Peter Block dezvăluie traseul de urmat pentru a dezvolta un sistem coerent de organizare în cadrul echipei. Autorul este considerat cu adevărat vizionar, iar lucrările sale dezbat teme precum: teamwork, comunitate și delegarea sustenabilă a sarcinilor.

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“Peter Block is an original and a wise and experienced observer of organizational life. He shares his unique and thoughtful perspective in this enlightening and provocative new edition of his classic, The Empowered Manager. Peter asks us to consider what could be possible if only we rekindled the entrepreneurial spirit and felt safe enough to speak out and take action. In this sense, empowerment becomes the foundation for leadership, and the brightest path to the future is when leadership becomes everyone′s business. The Empowered Manager is at once a deeply philosophical and a highly practical book one that needs to be read and applied by every thinking leader.”
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, Co–authors, The Leadership Challenge:
How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
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Cărți online- Brand Admiration

Brand Admiration de C. Whan Park , Deborah J. MacInnis , Andreas B. Eisingerich  folosește cercetari în psihologie, marketing și comunicare pentru a dezvolta o perspectivă integrata și inovativă în domeniul brandingului. Folosind exemple din contextul afacerilor actuale, acest titlu descrie cum companiile pot transforma un produs, serviciu sau chiar o personalitate într-un brand în care oamenii au încredere și la care revin cu drag.

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“Park, MacInnis and Eisingerich provide a powerful yet immensely practical perspective on building and managing brand admiration.  Solidly grounded in academic research, the book provides an array of actionable tools to curate and measure brand admiration for the short as well as long–term success of brands. This book is a must read for senior executives in businesses large and small, as well as for those who are directly involved in managing brand performance.” Baba Shiv, Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing, Stanford Graduate School of Business

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Cărți online- The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Duncan Bannatyne Way

The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Duncan Bannatyne Way de Liz Barclay face parte din seria de cărți inspiraționale despre lideri și antreprenori. Capitolul de azi îl urmărește pe Duncan Bannatyne, jurat Dragons’ Den.

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I learn something from everyone I meet.

Duncan Bannatyne

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Cărți online- Results: Think Less. Achieve More

Provocarea ne aduce câteva pagini dintr-o carte publicată azi în colecția Capstone:  Results: Think Less. Achieve More de Jamie Smart, un titlu despre claritate în gândire, adevăratul potențial și motivația din spatele tuturor proiectelor. Autorul, deja cunoscut pentru titlurile sale de dezvoltare personală aduce la nivelul următor aceste noțiuni reușind să construiască o rețetă a reușitei în orice domeniu.

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‘This book is going to wake up your innate ability to create results.’
—Sháá Wasmund MBE, author of the Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller Stop Talking, Start Doing

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