Friday, May 25, 2012

What is mindset

Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset explains:

  • Why brains and talent don’t bring success
  • How they can stand in the way of it
  • Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them
  • How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity
  • What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know
Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.

The Mindsets

Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone and that’s that? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life?

People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they don’t... So people in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort. Sure they’re happy if they’re brainy or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things—not Mozart, Darwin, or Michael Jordan—without years of passionate practice and learning.

Why Do People DIFFER?

Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently, and fared differently from each other. It was guaranteed that someone would ask the question of why people differed why some people are smarter or more moral – and whether there was something that made them permanently different. Experts lined up on both sides. Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable. Through the ages these alleged physical differences have included bumps on the skull (phrenology), the size and shape of the skull (craniology), and, today, genes.

Others pointed to the strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning. It may surprise you to know that a big champion of this view was Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test. Wasn’t the IQ test meant to summarize children’s unchangeable intelligence? In fact, no. Binet, a Frenchman working in Paris in the early 20th century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual differences in children’s intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. Here is a quote from one of his major books, Modern Ideas About Children, in which he summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties:
A few modern philosopher’s assert that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism.... With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.”
Who’s right? Today most experts agree that it’s not either/or. It’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.
At the same time, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for life-long learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way. Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” Or, as his forerunner, Binet, recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.

What Does This mean for me?

It’s one thing to have pundits spouting their opinions about scientific issues. It’s another thing to understand how these views apply to you. For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character, well then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics…I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves—in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser? But doesn’t our society value intelligence, personality and character? Isn’t it normal to want these traits? Yes, but...
There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.
Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable), that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.
Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the 20th century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent?
You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

How Your Brain Functions When You’re In Love

We say our hearts are overflowing with joy. Or we bemoan our hearts breaking. But when it comes to love, the brain, not the heart, is the engine that gets romance started. It’s also what can grind your next love affair to a halt.

The Brain in Love

In casual speech, we use the terms left brain and right brain as shorthand to accord a gender to each hemisphere of the brain’s main processing center, called its cerebral or frontal cortex. The left side of the frontal cortex is associated with the male. It does the rational and analytical tasks. It worries about details, planning, directions, and how something is designed and constructed, whether a city or a computer. In the chemistry of love, the left hemisphere monitors and manages your relationships. It weighs in on important decisions: whether to accept a date, jump into bed, or say “I do.”
The right hemisphere of the frontal cortex, associated with all things female, is given over to creativity, feelings, the overview or gestalt of a situation rather than the details, and to awareness of self and others. It processes the emotions of love and prompts you to act on them. Brain science has finally caught up with this common wisdom in at least one respect: particularly in matters of love and sex, male and female brains are not the same. Remember that when your next argument convinces you that you and your partner really do come from different planets.

Reptilian Love

As much as we may wish to identify exclusively with our higher “thinking” brains, when it comes to love, and especially sex, the lower or reptilian brain calls many of the shots. That’s because it controls the autonomic nervous system of the body. This is the system that operates largely without conscious thought. That includes the mating instinct, and the biochemical actions, and reactions that make mating possible.

The Hypothalmus

The hypothalamus is called the brain’s sex and pleasure center because it’s the seat or central control station for the body’s autonomic nervous system. It regulates hunger, thirst, body temperature, ovulation in females, and libido in both sexes. As such, it is the relay station between the endocrine system (glands, hormones) and the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord); thus it’s the hypothalamus that’s charged with sending out the signal for the sex hormones to get going.
Given the fact that many different drives are regulated by the hypothalamus, it makes sense that you don’t want to eat dinner and have sex at the same time.
The hypothalamus sends out signals to other organs and body systems in two distinct ways: by sending electrical pulses as neurotransmitters into the CNS, the central nervous system, and by activating the pituitary to release hormones into the bloodstream.

The Thalmus

The thalamus is the part of the lower brain that processes sensations received from several sensory organs (sight, taste, hearing, balance) and sends signals on to the frontal cortex.
The pituitary is a gland in the endocrine system situated next to the hypothalamus. It is the body’s main hormone factory, including the sex hormones.

The Amygdalae

The amygdalae are an almond-shape cell group in the brain. Considered the seat of our emotions, the amygdalae are closely linked by nerve pathways to the areas of the hypothalamus and thalamus that respond to sense perceptions and control the different physical changes activated by romantic attraction and attachment, such as pulse rate and muscle contractions. This ensures that our feelings and physical reactions are closely linked, no matter which occurs first.

Brain Chemistry

Hormones and neurotransmitters go together like a horse and carriage in one important respect: in the chemistry of love, one cannot go very far without the other. Both can be considered “information molecules” in that they carry signals to cells throughout the body.


Hormones, the workhorses of human love and sexuality, are controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the lower brain. There are hormones to stimulate and cool sexual desire. Another hormone gives you the urge to cuddle. And two others work by turning an orgasm into an ecstatic experience.


Neurotransmitters are the messengers carrying electrical pulses through a maze of synapses in the brain and through the body’s central nervous system. These signals can be either excitatory or inhibiting as neurotransmitters excite or calm the senses. They also put the body on alert. They control the brain’s reward center. They signal major organs to get busy or relax.

The Nervous System

The central nervous system is one of two main thoroughfares for the body’s messengers and messages. Its neurons or nerve cells communicate with each other by passing along electrical impulses. When they reach a destination, called a receptor site (a muscle, sense organ, or gland), these pulses trigger an action, such as muscle contraction or the release of a hormone into the bloodstream. Each type of neuron performs a different task on a different route of the nervous system.
Sensory neurons carry signals from the internal environment (inside the body) and external environment to the spinal cord and brain, such as “it’s hot outside” or “my stomach is full.”
Motor neurons carry signals and commands from the brain to the muscles and glands of the body, such as “get up and move those legs.”

All Together Now

Now it’s time to see how the central nervous system works with the lower brain and the circulatory and respiratory systems to “make love happen” between two people. Watch how outside stimuli, in this case the actions of a lover, creates bodily reactions in three basic steps.
  1. Your lover walks in the door and you kiss. Sensory neurons (from the sense organs, e.g., eyes, skin) travel to the thalamus where sensations are processed. From there, neurotransmitters signaling arousal and pleasure travel to the amygdalae, hypothalamus, and pituitary, causing them to release their hormones.
  2. You are happy to see your lover. Emotional signals go from the amygdalae to the frontal cortex where feelings manifest in your conscious awareness. Other signals from the hypothalamus activate the brain’s reward system, indicating a source of pleasure has arrived. Motor neurons leave the brain to activate the muscles of the heart and lungs. Your heart starts to pound. Breathing intensifies.
You may be wondering if you really need to understand brain science to find a new love interest, or figure out what’s going on with your present lover. No, you don’t. (People get away with it all the time!) But it’s like driving a car without looking under the hood. Sure, you can do it. It’s just that as soon as it breaks down, you’re going to wish you knew a thing or two about how it operates.
From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Chemistry of Love by Maryanne Fisher, Ph.D., with Victoria Costello

The Similarities between the Human Brain and a CPU


The Similarities between the Human Brain and a CPU thumbnail
A computer's CPU manipulates and stores information.
ome writers describe a computer's central processing unit, or CPU, as the "brain" of the machine. While this is something of an exaggeration as the CPU does not think the way you do, there are some real similarities between it and the human brain. The CPU compares information, does arithmetic, and has different kinds of memory. And, like your brain, it can be "retrained" to handle different activities

Read more: The Similarities between the Human Brain and a CPU |


  • A CPU executes programmed instructions to add, compare, and move data. It deals directly with information. The other parts of a computer serve to store data or bring it into or out of the CPU, but the CPU works actively on the data. The human brain, like the CPU, uses data gathered by the senses to help the body survive. Its purpose is to manage information, and it uses the rest of the body to gather information and act on it.

Specialized Features

  • The brain contains many structures specialized to handle memory, abstract thinking, emotions, and communication with the body. It works as well as it does because of the fine-tuned nature of these parts. A computer's CPU consists of subparts called the arithmetic and logic unit, or ALU; registers, random-access memory; and other features. Each part works on chunks of data and passes them along to the other parts in an organized way.


  • Computers have several kinds of information storage, ranging from fast static random access memory (SRAM) to large amounts of relatively slow bulk storage, such as flash RAM and data DVDs. The CPU has memory units called registers, in which it performs immediate tasks such as comparing two numbers. It has other kinds of memory from which it gets its programming, and a "scratchpad" memory called cache, where it keeps recent data. Brains have short and long-term memory, as well as the capacity for dealing with immediate issues.


  • Your brain comes with hardwired programming for actions such as breathing, sneezing and regulating your heart. Beyond those functions, you have an enormous capacity for gaining new abilities by learning. By loading different programs into memory, the CPU can perform a wide range of different tasks. Each program is a list of instructions drawn from the set available for a particular CPU; different CPUs have different, though similar, instruction sets. One list of instructions will add a set of numbers together; another lets you read email. The general-purpose and programmable nature of the CPU makes it a valuable and versatile tool.


  • While computers can perform impressive feats, such as beating Grandmaster players at chess, demonstrating the general, adaptable intelligence of a 5-year-old child is, in 2011, still a distant goal. The problem is probably not the CPU itself, but the sophistication of its programming. Researchers working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) do not yet fully understand all the facets that make intelligence work for human brains.

Read more: The Similarities between the Human Brain and a CPU |

Friday, May 4, 2012

How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room

If you like everything that stands out and tired of classic and traditional decor of your living room it’s time to learn how to create your own unique living room designUnique living room decor is always a result of experimentation but it doesn’t mean you should not think it all out. Experimenting without really planning out the whole design thing can be risky and expensive, so the first rule is to figure out what you like. How do you imagine your living room? Start with style and color scheme. Will it be a blend of styles and how many colors and shades as well as neutrals will be there?
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
These are all important questions, but also do not forget about a budget. Planning decor along with the budget will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Unique living room usually challenges the traditional color scheme, interior design and even planning. So if you want something unusual challenging the traditional square or rectangular form of the room is the easiest and the hardest thing to do. It’s easy in terms of adding an instant unique look to the room and it’s hard because it’s time- and money-consuming.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
This is a snail-shaped room that lack conventional angles and provides a unique look completed with colored glass.
Another way to make your living room stand out is to use unusual furniture, finishing and accessories. Unique wallpaper, quirky chairs and sofa or creative lighting can all add a special feel to your living room decor.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
The overall design of this living room is pretty simple. White color scheme contrasts greatly with red flower-shaped chairs and black unusual chairs at the background. The decor is completed with two photographs of flowers that remind of the chairs.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
Unusual and creative furniture can also give you an idea of your overall living room interior
design prompting the color scheme and overall feel and atmosphere of the room. Would it be stone cold? Or duplicating some natural scene? Let your fantasy fly.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
If you want minor changes to your room planning a column will add a lot to your room design-wise as well as in terms of style. Ornament columns or column-shaped fireplaces are simply great at altering your room’s decor.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
Don’t be afraid of lots of color. It can make your room look really unique if you blend in the right shades and play with contrasts and add minimum neutrals. It will be jazzy, energetic but if it’s suits you then why not?
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
Fancy decorated or unfinished walls is your call but either way the decor should be pulled off to its logical ‘finished’ end. Which means that if you decided to go with unfinished walls think about most stylish materials that go with the unclean industrial look of your walls. And on the contrary if you decorated your walls with fancy wallpaper keep the rest in “tune” with the polished look of the walls.
How to Create Your Own Unique Living Room
How do you create a unique room decor at your home?
Other Interiorholics Searched for:
  • interiorholic
  • unique
  • unique pictures
  • unique rooms
  • design your own room
  • unique room designs
  • design your own living room
  • unique living room
  • make your own room
  • unique room decor