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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Monday Mash – Wellness Links – June 24

June 24, 2013

Leaves in Sunlight

A Graduation Speech

Anyone who has signed up for will have come across the Graduation Speech by Nipun Mehta, given at the May 2013 graduation at Harker School in California. If you haven’t read it, it is worth the time it takes to read. It’s inspiring in what seems at first to be a contradictory way. He introduces himself with good news and bad news. The good news is oh so brief while the bad news sounds rather hopeless at first. But Nipun keeps talking and offers some interesting solutions that he calls Keys. If you don’t want to read the whole speech, inspiring though it is, one thing worth looking at is the ServiceSpace web site, something he started about 10 years ago. It is about generosity – as Nipun says while paraphrasing the Dalai Lama, “It is in giving that we receive.”

Greater Good

When I think of personal wellness, just one of the aspects (there are plenty more) that comes to mind is related to feeling helpful and useful to others. For me being helpful doesn’t come only from empathy, it actually is selfish in a way – it feels good, it gives me a purpose, it allows me to believe that my activities and beliefs are meaningful.

If you are interested in the many aspects of living a Meaningful Life, go and explore the Greater Good site. It is chock-full of podcasts, videos, links, and printed information that will inspire, inform, and possibly lead you to even better wellness in your life.

Games, anyone?

There is a new type of game that sounds very intriguing and may well help players feel more connected to the world as a whole. I’ve never been a gamer of any kind but I may become one when I try some of the Games Aiming to Change the World. A couple of the game links just provide information about the game but most of the links take you right to the game where you can take on the challenge if you so choose.

If you look on the right side of the Games Aiming to Change the World page, there are links to related blog posts. Even if you’ve never been an instructor, you’ve been a student of one form or other. The blog post about Priming Your Brain for Academic Success covers some useful ideas whether you’re on the teaching side, the learning side or both sides of the academic world.

Irrational Decision Making

Speaking of how our brains work, apparently this rather important part of our bodies can trick us so well that when we think we are making a rational choice, it is anything but. A Behavioural economist, Dan Ariely, (a very humourous speaker, by the way) gave a TED talk (well, actually he did a study and wrote a book first) about just how irrational our decisions can be and why. Watch the TED talk video, listen to Dan Ariely, and laugh along with the audience. Decide what you think and then wonder if your brain is telling you the truth.

And more about our brains

What is the internet doing to our brains? A short video illustrating an interview with Nicholas Carr, the author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains will let you know (and it might worry you a bit.) The first 15 seconds of the video reminded me of when I first started venturing onto the internet back in the middle ages (Windows 3.1, I think). I remember having a great time looking for information on the internet but was constantly getting lost – as in losing track of what the heck I was looking for in the first place. It was a bit overwhelming. I can vividly remember my fleeting wish that I could just find what I needed in a book. My brain has since adjusted, thank goodness, or maybe not.