The paradoxical power of humility: how being humble is a strength

For too long, humility has been misunderstood. Despite traditionally being viewed as a weakness, psychologists now have a better understanding of the complex effects of humility. Far from being a weakness, being authentically humble has been found to offer many powerful benefits, including improved relationships at work, better team performance, and increased overall wellbeing. So …

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Creative Problem Solving: from complex challenge to innovative solution

Even if you usually excel at finding solutions, there will be times when it seems that there’s no obvious answer to a problem. It could be that you’re facing a unique challenge that you’ve never needed to overcome before. You could feel overwhelmed because of a new context in which everything seems to be foreign, …

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How to use strength-based journaling for self-esteem and resilience

Have you ever noticed that it is far easier to dwell on mistakes than it is to focus on the things that went well? For instance, you might become fixated on the three seconds in which you tripped over your words during a presentation, rather than acknowledging the remaining twenty minutes in which your performance …

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Present bias: how instant gratification impacts your long-term goals

How many times have you heard the phrases “live for the moment”, “you only live once”, or “seize the day”? This advice may sound great for adding some spontaneity to your life, but seizing short-term opportunities can lead you to settle for a small present reward rather than wait for a larger future reward. This …

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The psychology of unfinished tasks

Unfinished tasks can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination and slowing your progress. On the other hand, the annoyance of having all of these unfinished tasks on your to-do list may motivate you to tackle them at the next opportunity. These contradictory experiences are due to two effects: the Zeigarnik effect and the Ovsiankina effect. A …

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Temptation bundling: how to stop procrastinating by boosting your willpower

You know you should be working on that presentation, but you’ve been procrastinating. To make things worse, the latest season of your favourite show has just dropped on Netflix. Luckily, making progress on your work and indulging in activities you enjoy is not only compatible, it can make you more productive. That’s called temptation building. …

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Servant leadership: why being a servant leader is worth the work

Servant leadership may sound antithetic. Isn’t the role of a leader to guide and manage, rather than follow and serve? However, being a leader and being of service are not only compatible, their combination can lead to better outcomes than the sum of their parts. Instead of blindly following organisational goals, servant leaders prioritise the …

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The dangers of apophenia: not everything happens for a reason

Humans love patterns. Sometimes that’s helpful, but other times… Not so much. Apophenia is the common tendency to detect patterns that do not exist. Also known as “patternicity”, apophenia occurs when we try to make predictions, or seek answers, based on unrelated events. Apophenia can lead to poor decision-making. For instance, many people choose their …

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The psychology of negative thinking

Of course, we all have negative thoughts from time to time. After all, our thought processes are affected by what we experience around us, and it’s normal to experience both good and bad times. However, when negative thinking becomes the norm, it can contribute to mental health problems including social anxiety, low self-esteem, and even …

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