The Secret of Effective Motivation
Encourage people to do something for its own sake, not for its benefits.
Rohan Dixit is a former neuroscience researcher who studied meditation and the brain at Harvard and Stanford University. He also spent a year measuring the brainwaves of meditating monks in the Himayalas, which is nice work if you can get it.
Rohan has a fascinating project that he’s Kickstarting at the moment. It’s called the Lotus and it’s essentially a hand-made brass flower that blooms with your mind.
The Lotus responds to your brainwaves through a supported brain-sensing headset, which is hooked up to a smartphone app. When the headset detects that you’re calm and relaxed, the flower blooms and begins cycling through colors.
The Lotus gradually closes and slowly changes colors when it’s time to meditate again. This is a nice visual reminder to take a mindful break during your day.
That’s nice, but there’s a really lovely feature, which is that you can connect friends to your Lotus. You can assign a particular color to a friend, and when he or she meditates your Lotus will respond and change to their color. I love that idea.
Another really cool thing is that the Lotus isn’t mass-produced by sweatshop workers in China. It’s hand-crafted by artisans in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra in India, forging petals by hand out of metal. As the Kickstarter page says, “Combined with cutting edge neurotechnology, biosensors, and 3D printed components, the Lotus is a blend of the very ancient and the highly modern.”
Some of the rewards are very nice, too, including a bunch of guided meditations for $5. I think the Lotus is an intriguing idea, and if you do as well, why not head over to Rohan’s Kickstarter page and make a donation.
Reshared post from +Susan Stone
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How a password changed my life.
The following events occurred between ? and ?.
Not many people like their bodies. The typical reaction from looking at oneself naked in the mirror lies somewhere on a spectrum from mild disappointment to outright revulsion, with a bit of disbelief thrown in (how did I get so old? where did those wrinkles come from? where’s my hair gone?)
I had a little epiphany the other day, though. I’d been talking with my girlfriend, who I adore. She’s beautiful. Really beautiful. And she’s also afflicted by doubts about her attractiveness. So when we were talking she was going over some of the things she didn’t like about her appearance (wrinkles, etc) and I’m, like, “I don’t care. I love those things about you. You’re beautiful.” Well, you know what it’s like when you love someone unconditionally. There’s just a complete acceptance of the whole of them. So that’s one thing.
Then I walk into the bathroom to get ready for bed, and see myself naked in the mirror. And a quick series of criticisms of my body flashes through my mind. Some bits are too skinny. Some bits are too flabby, too hairy, not hairy enough… My overall response could be summed up in the word “Yuck.”
And then I caught myself. Why can’t I give myself the same uncritical love that I give to my girlfriend? I mean she thinks I’m attractive, so why can’t I just accept that?
So I started telling bits of my body that I love them. I patted my belly fondly and said “I love you.” I did the same as I touched my thinning scalp. And as I laid a hand on my man-boobs.
And you know something? It feels great saying those things. Criticizing ourselves is almost as painful as being criticized by others, but giving ourselves affection, appreciation, and acceptance is often even more moving than receiving those things from other people, because it’s something we so rarely do. So I’ve been doing this ever since. You might want to try it too.
If there’s an inner voice telling you that this is silly or doubting that you can really love those bits of yourself that you tend not to like, don’t suppress that voice or try to argue with it. Just let the thoughts come and go.
Bear in mind that this is something you might want to repeat often. After all, you might have criticized your body tens of thousands of times, so perhaps it’ll take you a while to get into the habit of doing the opposite. But do try it. I’d love to hear how you get on.