Credit Scores… Window to the Soul?

>> The one number that’s eerily good at predicting your success in love <<

If you thought that astrological signs or the 5 Love Languages were the most accurate indicators of relationship compatibility, you’ll be surprised to hear that the holder of that title resides in your wallet.

Not surprisingly, a study released by the Federal Reserve found that those with exceptionally high credit scores were less likely to break up with their significant others at any point in the relationship (at the 2nd year, 3-4th year, and 5-6th year marks). This same study also showed that couples with similar credit scores at the beginning of the relationship were more likely to stay together in the long run, those with higher credit scores were more likely to form stable, committed relationships, and that couples are more likely to have similar credit scores than randomly selected individuals. Not too surprising, in my opinion.

Someone tell the folks at OkCupid!

– Sandra

Medicating Women’s Feelings

I think both guys and girls can agree that this notion of girls being termed as ‘crazy’ is a fairly common thing. On this my co-blogger once presented me with a radical idea: what if girls aren’t crazy at all,but really just acting out our natural biological impulses and the only reason we are classified as ‘crazy’ when we do this is because its the guys who are doing the classification?!

This article expands upon this idea and says “Women’s emotionality is a sign of health” as “By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathetic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions.”

>>Medicating Women’s Feelings<<

-Monisha

Exhaustion is not a status symbol

An interview from an author who has produced some excellent TED talks. I personally liked what she said around perfectionism (how you will never find CEO’s or elite athletes attribute their success to perfectionism because perfectionism is not motivated internally. For true success you have to accept that there will be times when you win and times when you lose).

Another interesting point she mentioned was around always needing to be productive and not being able to measure self-worth without productivity. I know I have personally felt the pressure to always be busy. If you’re not always busy completing tasks, meeting people and doing activities then how can you really measure your life right?But maybe its the lack of time in between doing all those things that makes us feel stressed and just generally lost. Maybe this notion of being always busy has left us unable to cope with everything that we are left with when we are not.

>> Exhaustion is not a status symbol <<

-Monisha

Hope for the world

Happy New Year!

It’s quite refreshing to start of this year with an article like this one. Among all the news about missing planes, mass genocide, Ebola, abusive athletes, etc. ( you get the point), it’s pretty easy to start looking at the state of the world as being in shambles. But as this articles says, to really judge the state of the world you need to look at the trend lines, not the headlines. I like how this piece broke it down and went into each reason why we believe the world to be in a sorry state. It talks about the trends of each of these topics, such as mass killings, violence against women and children, the inevitable fall of democracy, etc. and how while we may perceive these things to be at an all time high due to the way they are portrayed by the media, in reality most of these calamities have been steadily declining over the last few decades.So really then the things that have been on the rise are the ubiquity of news (thanks to social media) and the dramatic way in which news is portrayed.

>> The world is not falling apart <<

-Monisha

Listening to Xanax

This article is presented really well because the writer owns up to her bias on the topic and you can clearly tell she herself does not know how to feel about this topic because there are just so many differing opinions on it.  It’s interesting because mental health and taking medications for mental health have such a stigma when really it’s more or less the same thing as physical health. You have a cold you take some Sudafed. You have an episode of anxiety you take a Xanax. Really, considering both things are coming from your body chemistry and you have little control over them, this should be how it works. But maybe because of society or bias or whatever it is, it’s just really hard to think this way.

I thought of this at the point in the article where it reads “The mind is a muscle…with practice you can teach it to handle anxiety.” I found myself initially nodding along and agreeing to the point that dependence on pills was not a good thing. But really maybe this translates back to the very same stigma on mental health which  prevents us from accepting that for certain people this really is not something you can control and they really do need that medication.

A heavy topic but one that has been presented very well:

>> Listening to Xanax <<

Excerpt:

“The real love affair, then, is not with the pills but with the anxiety itself. Anxiety is like the spouse you’re stuck with for better and worse, who makes you nuts but has permeated your cells and without whom you cannot imagine your own heart beating. Anxiety lives with you day and night, holding your hand and nudging you to act, urging you to get up, do more, fix something, make something. Never satisfied, always pressing, it wants you to win, to outlast the others, to impress, excite, excel, astonish. And, as in a marriage, you comply, mostly agreeably, for your anxiety traces the rhythm of your life. Then one morning, it has you by the throat and you find yourself weepy and overwrought, unable to respond to its call. Like a reliable friend, Xanax is there, offering an intermission, the gift of quietude, a break. Because the truth is, and I’ll speak for myself here, I want tranquillity once in a while. But I don’t want a tranquil life.”

-Monisha

What’s your story?

A good friend of mine was telling me about how she had heard a talk on  the power of storytelling a few weeks ago. I found the topic intriguing,especially since I have always struggled with telling stories in a way which both gets the point across and manages to captivate the audience throughout. I think this is a key skill to have since the success of any product/service/person comes down to how well its been marketed. And how do you market something effectively? By telling your story in a way which makes the audience believe what you want them to believe.

According to this article these are the key things to keep in mind while developing a good story:

■ Know who your audience is.

■ Have a beginning, middle and end. (That sounds obvious, but people often forget that.)

■ Use concrete details and personal experience.

■ Don’t self-censor.

>> Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-Up <<

-Monisha

Find your passion

It took me all of two articles to become infatuated with Oliver Emberton. I am posting a second article of his in a row so you can join me in my infatuation. But really this is a great article and I should know considering I read a thousand articles on this topic on a daily basis. It’s like all of a sudden everyone is an expert on finding your passion and decides to write an article about it. But as I was saying, this one is actually good because it offers..(wait for it)…perspective! I will take perspective over advice any day because most advice in these ‘find your passion articles’ are either impractical or hard to apply to my life.

Read it.

>> How to find your passion <<

On a side note I was listening to a podcast this morning on NPR Ted hour radio called Nothing is Original. It featured a few TED talks on the topic of, you guessed it, originality and how while so much of the music we listen to and the movies we watch and the books we read SEEM original, huge chunks of them in fact are borrowed from something that came before them. This is kind of an interesting contrast to a point made in this article that a great way to find something to adopt as your passion is to do something that not many people have done before. Basically, he says that passion comes with success and you (as an average person) are a lot more likely to be successful at something when you don’t have as many people to compete with. But really one might wonder, is there really anything that has not been done before?

Well the answer to this is of course there is and this ties in nicely with the closing remarks of the podcast which claimed that while nothing might be truly original, originality in the present is less about coming up with something entirely on your own and more about putting your own spin on something that might already exist.

I will conclude this with one of my favorite quotes by Jim Jarmusch: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books…dreams, random conversations, architecture…lights, and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your theivery– celebrate if it you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said:”It’s not where you take things from– it’s where you take them to.”

As an additional side note, this guy’s writings remind me a lot of a blog I am a fan of called Wait But Why(there may be an earlier post featuring them as well). Here are some of their best(in my opinion) posts:

>>Taming the Mammoth: Why you should stop caring what other people think <<

>> Life is a picture but you live in a pixel <<

>> Why procrastinators procrastinate <<

-Monisha

That’s not fair!

I was pretty skeptical about reading this article at first (what else is new) because it sounded like it was going to be very negative and I tend to not like people just yelling things at me for no reason (most of the time). But once I actually read it made a lot of sense. I’m a fan of different perspectives and I think this is one of those articles that offers a different perspective on something you think you know all about.

This article also reminds me of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: ” You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Preach.

>>The Problem Isn’t That Life Is Unfair — It’s That You Don’t Know The Rules<<

-Monisha