Archive for February, 2010

Waiting for the 2nd Marshmallow

First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park, Portland, OR

Power to change your mind
2010 Illahee Lecture Series
Jonah Lehrer

Going to lectures for entertainment made me feel “of a certain age.” But I don’t regret going to this one. The lecture addressed our ability to exercise the skills we need as not so hapless primates to use our minds to:

  1. Identify when we’re being manipulated by powerful emotional messages. Like advertising đŸ™‚
  2. Make the right long term decisions to despite the irresistible pull of the “now.” Remember Mischel’s Marshmallows and the children who could wait for the 2nd Marshmallow? See example/resources linked below.
  3. Change our position or situation when attempting to solve problems creatively.

Another important point about creativity and effective problem solving that Lehrer reiterated was.  Being an outsider to the system often gives you an edge when you need to creatively solve problems.  ( leverages ‘outsiders’ all the time to do this)

Here’s the mindmap of my notes on the lecture. (You can click to view a larger version)

Power to Change Your Mind - Lecture (Click to view larger version 800 x 379)

View the larger version on this mindmap (sorry it took so long)

The talk really got me thinking of the ‘ideal’ place for creating great products. Here’s a snapshot of what it would look like. This is just a start.

  • Have access to a lovely park, meadow or wooded area.
  • Play is encouraged.
  • Good mix of playful types. Not too many people who are overly concerned with looking ‘silly.’
  • Place for yoga or meditation.
  • People kindly remind you when you’re ‘banging your head against the desk.’
  • Useless rules are questioned or even broken.
  • Sometimes take the time to solve problems that have nothing to do with your field.

Resources after the fact:


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