The Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Taker

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
The Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Taker
If other people saw you as a selfish person, would you realize it? Over the past year, I’ve noticed some telltale clues:

10. You look significantly hotter in your LinkedIn profile than in any other photo of you.
9. When a child draws a picture of you, it sometimes resembles a snake or a weasel.
8. At family dinners, you secretly enjoy grabbing the last cookie.
7. You brag about your SAT score, and you’re not even in school anymore.
6. You’re planning to plagiarize part of this post without giving proper credit.
5. Your Facebook wall is dominated by selfies of you with important people.
4. When your children ask you to read them a story, your first instinct is to ask, “What have you done for me lately?”
3. After reading The Giving Tree, you thought the tree got what it deserved.
2. You’re convinced that most people are takers.
1. You go around telling people you’re a giver.

Let’s add one more: You blushed as you read this list.

I created this list as a lighthearted way to illustrate a serious point. We’re notoriously bad at judging our own generosity.

You’ve heard the statistics: 90 percent of people think they’re better than average. Evidence shows that we think we’re superior to others in every domain: We believe we’re smarter, more attractive, more likable, and more skilled at a wide range of tasks — from math to leadership.

For a long time, I hoped these narcissistic tendencies wouldn’t extend to the domain of giving and helping. I was wrong.

• Exhibit A: Put romantic partners in separate rooms and ask them something cruel: “Of the total work that goes into your relationship, for what percentage are you responsible?” Add up the two partners’ estimates. Three out of every four couples add up to over 100 percent.

• Exhibit B: Do the same exercise anonymously with five-person work teams. On average, when you sum each team member’s estimates, they add up to more than 140 percent.

• Exhibit C: Ask people to predict how likely they’ll be to give money to charity, share resources with others, and do an unpleasant task themselves rather than dumping it off on a peer. Then, track whether they actually do it, and see that people overestimate their generosity by 32 percent.

Psychologists have identified three reasons for these errors. One is ego: We like to see ourselves in a positive light, so we selectively remember our generous behaviors and find rationalizations for our moments of taking. A second is information: We have access to each act of giving we’ve ever done, but only a subset of other people’s helpful behaviors. A third is base rate neglect: when we predict our own rates of selfishness and generosity, we don’t bother to consider how common or rare the behavior is in general.

To find out if you think more like a taker or a giver, there’s a free self-assessment at www.giveandtake.com. You can also invite anyone to rate you anonymously, and the site will give you an aggregated score. Try that one at your own risk.

And if you have a favorite way of spotting or reforming takers, feel free to share it below.

***
Adam Grant is a Wharton professor and the author of Give and Take, a bestselling book about the surprising success of givers–and techniques for recognizing and dealing with takers. It debuts in paperback on Tuesday, March 25.

8 Ancient Beliefs Now Backed By Modern Science
The Earth may not be flat nor is it the center of the universe, but that doesn’t mean old-world intellectuals got everything wrong. In fact, in recent years, modern science has validated a number of teachings and beliefs rooted in ancient wisdom that, up until now, had been trusted but unproven empirically.

A full 55 pages of Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, are dedicated to these scientific breakthroughs that often confirm the power of ancient psychology and contemplative practices. On an intuitive level, we’ve known for centuries that these lifestyle practices can help us lead happy, healthy and balanced lives. But now, with the support of hard science, we can embrace these pieces of ancient wisdom and start really living them.

Here are eight ancient beliefs and practices that have been confirmed by modern science.

Helping others can make you healthier.

helping others

In their never-ending search for the best way to live, Greek philosophers argued over the relative benefits of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Hedonic well-being sees happiness as a factor of increased pleasure and decreased pain, while eudaimonic (“human flourishing”) happiness has more to do with having a larger purpose or meaning in life. A recent study from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychologist Barbara Fredrickson may reveal which form of happiness is more beneficial for health and well-being.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, found that while both types of happiness can make you feel good, the latter could promote physical health and longevity as well. Using phone interviews, questionnaires and blood samples, the study explored how the two forms of happiness affected individuals on a genetic level. Participants with more hedonic and less eudaimonic well-being were found to have a lower production of virus-attacking antibodies, while those with more eudaimonic well-being experienced an increase in antibody production.

Acupuncture can restore balance to your body.

The traditional Chinese medicine technique is believed to address imbalances in a person’s qi (pronounced chi), the circulating energy within every living thing. Whether or not you believe in the existence of this energy flow, a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that the age-old practice may be an effective way to relieve migraines, arthritis and other chronic pains.

Analyzing previous research data from approximately 18,000 subjects, researchers found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture and standard western care when treating various types of pain, including migraines and chronic back pain.

We need the support of a community in order to thrive.

community

Traditional Buddhist teachings suggest that community is a key component in any happy, fulfilled life. A 2010 study conducted by Brigham Young University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers confirmed this belief, concluding that a healthy social life promotes longevity.

In analyzing the 148 studies — involving more than 300,000 individual participants — available on the subject, the researchers discovered that those with stronger social relationships maintained a 50 percent increased likelihood of survival. The effect of social relationships on mortality risk is even greater than the effect of exercise or obesity.

Tai chi can help alleviate a variety of health conditions.

This ancient Chinese martial art is based on the belief that achieving balance with one’s mind and body creates an overall sense of peace and harmony, naturally inspiring a long life. A report in the May 2009 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch summarized several studies confirming that this “moving meditation” practice can help prevent and treat many age-related health problems alongside standard treatment in older adults. A number of studies in the past decade have found tai chi to be helpful for those suffering from arthritis, low bone density and heart disease.

Meditation can help you reduce stress and discover inner peace.

meditate

Stemming from ancient Eastern origins, the practice of meditation is believed to help still the mind and reach a heightened level of awareness, improving health and well-being as a byproduct. Science is now proving the health benefits of meditation. The latest study from a team of Harvard Medical School scientists reveals how this mind-body practice can affect genes that control stress levels and immune function.

Harvard psychiatrist John Denniger and his team used neuro-imaging and genomics technology to measure potential physiological changes in each subject more accurately. After observing the high-stress individuals as they followed the study’s prescribed yoga and meditation practices, the team noticed an improved mitochondrial energy production, utilization and resiliency, which help to reduce the stress linked to health conditions like hypertension and infertility.

Compassion is the key to a meaningful life.

Tibetan Buddhist tradition includes a practice called metta, or loving-kindness. A 2012 study from Emory University found that compassion meditation based on this Tibetan model can effectively boost one’s ability to empathize with others by way of reading their facial expressions.

Another loving-kindness meditation study from 2011 found that, over time, this practice increased participants’ positive emotions that allowed them to find a deeper sense of mindfulness, their purpose in life, the network of support surrounding them, and their health. These components helped increase their overall life satisfaction.

Accepting what you can’t change is key to reducing suffering.

serenity

According to Buddhist teachings, one must accept the things they cannot change in order to reduce suffering. Now, scientists have found that this belief rings true, especially for older adults who are working through difficult life changes.

Researchers from Deakin University in Australia found that facing the realities of living with assistance and losing a degree of independence helps seniors live longer and feel far happier. Their study, which was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies last year, compared feelings of life satisfaction and perceived control of older adults living with assistance and those living in the community. Their analysis revealed that the ability to accept the inevitable (as well as maintain low-level control) in an assisted living setting was a significant predictor of life satisfaction. The researchers concluded, “In order to protect the well-being of older individuals, adaptation involves both a sense of control and the active acceptance of what cannot be changed.”

All you need is love.

If there is one thing that a variety of ancient wisdom traditions can agree on, it’s the value of love in maintaining a happy, meaningful life. And a group of Harvard researchers, on a mission to uncover the true roots of life fulfillment, conducted a 75-year study that reached the same conclusion.

The Harvard Grant Study, led by psychiatrist George Vaillant, followed the life trajectories of 268 male students in order to answer life’s universal questions of growth, development, value and purpose. Vaillant considers the most meaningful finding of the study to be that a happy life revolves around loving relationships. He explained that there are two pillars of happiness: “One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

Daily Meditation: I Am Eternal
We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these daily meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.

Today’s meditation features a work by famous American poet Emily Dickinson. “Behind Me — dips Eternity” is a reflection on the liminal positioning of human beings, centered between “eternity” and “immortality.”

eternal

Behind Me — dips Eternity by Emily Dickinson

Behind Me — dips Eternity –
Before Me — Immortality –
Myself — the Term between –
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin –

‘Tis Kingdoms — afterward — they say –
In perfect — pauseless Monarchy –
Whose Prince — is Son of None –
Himself — His Dateless Dynasty –
Himself — Himself diversify –
In Duplicate divine –

‘Tis Miracle before Me — then –
‘Tis Miracle behind — between –
A Crescent in the Sea –
With Midnight to the North of Her –
And Midnight to the South of Her –
And Maelstrom — in the Sky –

Got Some Downtime? Meditate On The Present Moment
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

When was the last time you stopped to just experience what’s around you?

When we have a million things to do, it can be incredibly easy to get swept up in what’s to come. Deadlines, upcoming events, projects at work — we’re constantly thinking ahead. Even when our minds have some idle time, they tend to wander to thoughts of the future. The next time you have a little downtime, take a look at the inspiration below, which will guide you to focus on the present moment. We promise you’ll feel focused and refreshed.

Still not convinced of the power of presence? This may help:

For more GPS Guides, click here.

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