It’s Everywhere You Turn – See How The Beauty Industry Is Manipulating The Masses & Preying On The Insecure

It’s Everywhere You Turn – See How The Beauty Industry Is Manipulating The Masses & Preying On The Insecure

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No matter what country you’re in, France, the UK, Japan, India, or Canada, you are surrounded by it at any given moment. The latest sale, the hottest new look, the ideal body, the only way to ‘fit in’. This overtly westernized image of beauty has become the international standard through the influence of clever marketing and advertising schemes. We are taught that in order to fit into the globalized culture we must fully embrace the western body.

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Vanity-Insanity
Sadly, lighter-colored skin is considered the ideal image of beauty in most countries that contain darker skinned people. The use of skin lightening creams are rampant throughout these countries, pulling in billions of dollars every year. The majority of these products work by eliminating the production of melanin, the natural pigment found in our skin. By the year 2018, it is estimated that the global market for skin lighteners will reach a staggering $20 Billion. But the use of these products don’t come without dangerous risks.

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Skin lightening products are estimated to bring in $20 billion by 2018.
Hydroquinone, a common topical ingredient found in skin lightening creams has been shown to cause leukemia in mice and other animals. The European Union even banned the ingredient in cosmetics in 2001, although it can now be prescribed by a doctor.

In Korea and other Asian countries, blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, has become the most common cosmetic procedure. The idea is to create a look that makes the eyes appear more open, similar to the shape of Caucasian eyes. If you look at the models and Anime characters portrayed in Asian magazines and advertisements, it is easy to see the exaggerated size of their eyes and the influence this has on the population.

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Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is the most common cosmetic procedure in Asian countries.
Self-Love = No Profit For Beauty Industry
Where do these beauty ideals stem from? The sad part is that the desire to look a certain way doesn’t come from the men and women themselves, it is often imposed on them from the mass media and society at large. Why? Because insecure people make better consumers.

And this isn’t just a female related issue either, men face the same bombardment of chiseled models and beefy sports super-heroes every day. There is a market pin-pointed for every faction of the population.

In truth, if someone were completely happy and confident with how they felt and looked, they wouldn’t feel the need to wear makeup, do their hair, dress fashionable, or pay for expensive and invasive surgeries. These industries would all fail, and this is something they know.

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This is why the big companies spend billions on advertising every year. This is why the westernized standard for perfection is pushed in everyone’s faces day-in and day-out. And this is exactly why we need to put an end to these standards.

The Illusionists is a new documentary coming out this year that aims to raise awareness around the vanity-insanity issue currently plaguing our world. Their 4 minute teaser has been going viral around the web and for good reason, I think the timing of this message couldn’t be any more imperative. We can’t wait for the conversation around westernized beauty standards to be at the forefront of international discourse.

What do you guys think, have you ever felt pressured to look a certain way based upon our current westernized standard for attractiveness? Share with us below!

10 Quotes To Help Us Stop Resisting Something We All Go Through

changeThere is one thing that is constant in life, that is change. The sooner we recognise that nothing remains the same, the sooner we let go of attachment and we can start living and learn to enjoy change.

Why is it Difficult to Change? We are always searching for a state of permanence, we want things to remain the same. We want certainty. This certainty is the same certainty that at the end of the day will make our lives dull, lifeless and conformed.

How do we Make Changes? By understanding our fears and insecurities we are better placed to make the change we want or need to make in our lives. We must meditate on what we really want and why. Once we have discovered the truth we must take action.

Change is in Understanding the Big Picture – Too often we get caught up in day to day trivialities of life and forget the bigger picture. It is only when we take the time to stand back and put things into perspective, we can change our focus of what really matters and make things happen.

Change and Life – Change is the only thing we can really predict with any certainty. When we understand everything is in a state of flux our wisdom grows and we can enjoy life.

Change is How we Perceive Things – Our beliefs and attitudes have been molded over many years. To be free of any influences we must acknowledge and release these mental states that hold us back from new experiences, and a fresh way of living.

Lao Tzu and the Buddha both recognised that we must not get attached to things as this limits our existence and makes change difficult. Attachment restricts new experiences and ideas cannot enter. Being open and empty allows the individual to accept alternative ideas, possibilities and change. We must empty ourselves of any existing beliefs and attitudes so that we can be filled with new exciting and sustainable opportunities. Change is a constant and we must recognise this as such. By sticking to past ideologies, beliefs and models that are flawed we are hurting only ourselves. By coming to terms with and addressing our potential with a fresh approach we can realise a new reality and future that benefits all. Here are some great quotes to get us thinking about change and changing…

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky. Rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain. What is born will die. What has been gathered will be dispersed. What has been accumulated will be exhausted. What has been built up will collapse and what has been high will be low.” Buddha
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.” John Lennon
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” Stephen Hawking
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” George Bernard Shaw
“In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.” Benjamin Disraeli
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov
“Any action is better than no action, especially if you are stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake at least you learn something in which case it is no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.” Eckhart Tolle
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
“Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone you’re living an illusion. There’s something seriously wrong with you. You’re not seeing reality. Something inside you has to change. When we have a negative feeling we usually project this onto someone or something else. I am right, they have to change. No. The world is all right. The one who has to change is you.” Anthony De Mello
Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

1 Absolutely “Weird” Trick Turns Your Mind Into A Natural Money Magnet

Source: The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles

“Since belief is all important, it behooves you to guard your thoughts; and as your beliefs will be shaped to a very great extent by the things you observe and think about, it is important that you should command your attention.

And here the will comes into use; for it is by your will that you determine upon what things your attention shall be fixed.

If you want to become rich, you must not make a study of poverty.

Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites. Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease; righteousness is not to be promoted by studying sin and thinking about sin; and no one ever got rich by studying poverty and thinking about poverty.

Related: How To Release Your Undiscovered Millionaire Mind!

Medicine as a science of disease has increased disease; religion as a science of sin has promoted sin, and economics as a study of poverty will fill the world Do not talk about poverty; do not investigate it, or concern yourself with it.

Never mind what its causes are; you have nothing to do with them. What concerns you is the cure.”

“Do not spend your time in charitable work, or charity movements; all charity only tends to perpetuate the wretchedness it aims to eradicate.

I do not say that you should be hard hearted or unkind, and refuse to hear the cry of need; but you must not try to eradicate poverty in any of the conventional ways. Put poverty behind you, and put all that pertains to it behind you, and “make good.”

Giving-to-the-Poor Opportunities are multiplied when seized – Sun Tzu, Art of War

And you cannot hold the mental image which is to make you rich if you fill your mind with pictures of poverty.

Do not read books or papers which give circumstantial accounts of the wretchedness of the tenement dwellers, of the horrors of child labor, and so on. Do not read anything which fills your mind with gloomy images of want and suffering.

You cannot help the poor in the least by knowing about these things; and the wide-spread knowledge of them does not tend at all to do away with poverty.”

Related: The Truest, Easiest and Purest Way To Get Rich

“What tends to do away with poverty is not the getting of pictures of poverty into your mind, but getting pictures of wealth into the minds of the poor.

You are not deserting the poor in their misery when you refuse to allow your mind to be filled with pictures of that misery.

Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well to do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich.”

The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration.

Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery.

If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich; prove it by getting rich yourself.

People must be taught to become rich by creation, not by competition. Every man who becomes rich by competition throws down behind him the ladder by which he rises, and keeps others down; but every man who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow him, and inspires them to do so.

You are not showing hardness of heart or an unfeeling disposition when you refuse to pity poverty, see poverty, read about poverty, or think or talk about it, or to listen to those who do talk about it.

Use your will power to keep your mind OFF the subject of poverty, and to keep it fixed with faith and purpose ON the vision of what you want.”

An Awesome Way to Make Kids Less Self-Absorbed (PARENTS THIS IS GOOD!)

I’ve been inspired by recent news stories of children who are working to make a difference in the world, committed to projects much bigger than themselves. There’s Malala Yousufzai, the young advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan; Craig Kielburger, who advocates for the abolishment of child labor; and Ryan Hreljac, who raises money to build wells in developing countries. The list goes on and on.

But there’s a flip side to these stories. Research suggests that some young people in the United States are actually becoming more self-absorbed and less connected to others.

A recent study that examined the empathy levels of almost 14,000 university students between 1979 and 2009 found that students have become dramatically less empathic over the years, particularly since 2000.

In addition, narcissism, which correlates negatively with empathy, is on the rise amongst university-aged students. Narcissists, by definition, are extremely self-focused and tend to see other people in terms of their usefulness rather than true friendship—not exactly a recipe for empathy.

What’s more, a 2006 survey showed that 81 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds think getting rich is an important goal, and 64 percent think it’s the most important goal. Sadly, only 30 percent believe that helping others in need is important.

While these studies focused on university students and young adults, the findings suggest that somewhere in their earlier development, they weren’t cultivating the skills needed to connect with others.

So how can teachers help students avoid the joyless path of self-absorption and instead cultivate a life in which they feel part of something larger than themselves—one of the keys to a meaningful life?

There are, of course, many strong programs that have been designed to help students develop empathy and positive relationships.

But new research suggests another way: awe.

Very little is known about the experience of awe; however, several new studies, many conducted by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner, have shown awe to be a potentially powerful positive emotion that might just help our students develop empathy.

Here’s how it works:

When we see a grand vista in nature such as Victoria Falls, or experience an inspiring work of art such as Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” or Michelangelo’s Pieta, or ponder the phenomenal inner strength of a great soul like Gandhi who non-violently led India to independence, we often feel two things: 1) a sense of vastness that gives us 2) a new perspective on the world and our place in it. This is awe.

Dacher’s lab has found that awe makes us feel very small and like we’re in the presence of something greater than ourselves. We also may lose awareness of our “self” and feel more connected to the world around us.

Imagine the potential of this life-changing emotion for students—and, in particular, for our hyper-self-focused teens! Since adolescence is a crucial period for identity-formation, some researchers have suggested that adolescence is a particularly important time to experience awe—it could help them see themselves as deeply connected to the world around them, not the center of it. Inducing the uplifting experience of awe could also be a positive way to keep narcissism in check.

While scientists haven’t yet examined if this temporary loss of self-focus directly impacts empathy levels, they do know that awe makes people feel less impatient and more inclined to volunteer their time to help others—strong evidence that it makes them feel more connected and committed to something bigger than themselves.

So can teachers actually create awe-inducing experiences for their students?

Absolutely! In an experiment to see if awe could be elicited, Dacher and his team had one group of university students look at a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and another group look down a long hallway. On a follow-up survey, the only difference between the groups was that members of the T-Rex group felt like they were part of a larger whole—a defining feature of awe.

It’s probably not too difficult to imagine something that might induce awe in teens, or kids of any age; I’ve named a few examples above. Stories of exceptional modern-day figures such as Nelson Mandela (consider his ability to forgive) or pictures of the universe such as the birth of a star may be engaging and effective—especially if you find the subject matter to be awe-inspiring. Many teachers already bring content like this into the classroom, and this research on awe validates that approach and suggests it should be tried with more frequency and focus.

Here are two important points to remember if you want to expose your students to awe-filled experiences:

1) Not all students will get it. Dacher has found that some people are more prone to awe than others—usually the ones who are comfortable changing how they see the world. So, if you’ve got some students who seem immovable, don’t fret. If nothing else, they’re still learning about “awesome” art, music, nature, and people.

2) Help students process what they’ve experienced. Awe requires what psychologist Jean Piaget called “accommodation”—the process of changing our mental models to incorporate something to which we’ve recently been exposed. Discussing and writing about experiences of awe will help students understand and process at a deeper level what they’ve just felt.

Awe is not a term heard very often in schools, but its potential is vast. Think of the enthusiasm and wonder and joy that awe-filled experiences could bring to our students—experiences that could not only help them out of the narcissistic funk of adolescence, but also put them on a path to a life lived in compassionate connection with others. Awesome!


This article is printed here with permission. It originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

15 changes you should try to aim for in 2014

Resolutions? Fuck them.

It’s tough to hold on to them. Let’s aim for changes instead.

I am game. Are you?

Let 2014 be your blank slate. So what then, do you want to put on this slate? What do you want to make for yourself this year?

This is life man. It’s all about making good decisions and change for the better. Let’s let go of resolutions cause they’re annoying and easy to fail.

Let’s make a change now. Let it be so that at the end of 2014, you’ve developed new habits.

Here are 14 changes you should try to aim for in 2014:

1) Cut down on social media. Stop mindlessly surfing Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You’d have a lot more time in your hands then and also become more aware of what’s going on around you.

2) Read more. Read more books. Blogs too, but make sure they add real value. Go to your library.

3) Appreciate being alone.

4) Stop being so pissed and upset over little things. Do you want some totally, uncontrollable event ruin your entire day? I don’t.

5) Stop procrastinating. Just get off your ass and do something. Do one thing first, then let it flow. It WILL flow.

6) Meditate.

7) Let go of toxic friendships which aren’t doing you any good any more. Seriously, dump the friends you don’t need.

8) Loving yourself with full compassion, because you don’t really need others to give you that.

9) Exercise more.

10) Appreciate the art of doing absolutely nothing.

11) Eliminate shyness. Don’t hold back on socializing.

12) Lower expectations.

13) Create.

14) Have fun in everything you do. Because most of us forget to.

WRITTEN BY Alden Tan HE HAS A GREAT BLOG CHECK IT OUT  http://alden-tan.com/about-me/

Want to jump start your changes this year? Check my books out. I’m pretty sure they can help you out.

Understanding How to Frame Your Creative Expertise GOOD

Again and again I see talented people with ideas they want to share – books they want to write, talks they want to give, businesses they want to launch – holding back because they think they “don’t know enough” about their topic.

“After all,” they reason, “there are real experts on this out there – and I’m not one of them.” They’re thinking about the people with advanced degrees and decades of deep experience working in the field.

In fact, that’s just one type of expert — “the specialist.” There are three other kinds of experts that make world-changing contributions, without specialist training.

You are likely one of these four types of expert, when it comes to the work you most want to do. As you read, identify which type (or types) of expertise you could bring to the projects you are currently pursuing as well as those that you want to pursue:

1. The Survivor

You’ve been through something, learned a heck of a lot along the way, and now you are on fire to share what you’ve learned. Maybe, like best-selling author Kris Carr, you lived through cancer and want to write about your path to health. Maybe, like Jonathan Fields, you’ve started a few businesses and want to share insights about entrepreneurship.

“Survivors” often worry that their personal experience is not enough to earn them credibility or allow them to make a meaningful contribution, but consider these powerful strengths of this source of authority: You have an ability to move and connect with your audience that most formal experts on your topic don’t have. You can provide inspiration and role-modeling– not just information. You have insider insights that will help you create a more compelling offering for your audience.

But, be careful, here’s where you could get in your own way: it’s easy to over-generalize from your experience to that of others. If “survivor” is your source of expertise, tell your story as powerfully as you can, and pass on your lessons learned as just that – without making claims on having the truth or the solutions for everyone. People will listen up simply because you are honestly sharing what did and didn’t work for you.

You have an ability to move and connect with your audience that most formal experts on your topic don’t have.

2. The Cross Trainer

When an athlete cross-trains,they “train in a sport other than the one that they compete in, with a goal of improving overall performance.” In our context, the “cross trainer” is the physicist who takes a look at a problem in medicine, the family therapist who writes about fixing dysfunctional teams at work. Cross trainers have deep expertise in field “x,” and bring ways of thinking from field “x” to bear as they look at field “y.” Business leaders Whitney Johnson and Clay Christensen each apply theories on business development to personal development. Tom Ford applied his expertise in fashion design to cinematography when he created the stunning film, A Single Man.

Cross trainers make interdisciplinary connections and drive innovation. They see the blind spots of the conventional thinking in the field they’ve turned their attention to.

However, if you are a cross trainer, here’s where to watch out: you may miss seeing how insights from your field of expertise are not applicable to your new topic. For example, many MBAs have hindered nonprofits by assuming that all the planning tools and metrics used in a business should be applied to nonprofits to make them more efficient.

For cross-trainers, the charge is to be bold in asking provocative questions and making interdisciplinary leaps, but humble about the applicability of anything across fields. Focus on starting new conversations and prototyping cross-training-based solutions without assumptionsabout what will in fact apply across fields.

3. The Called

Then there are those people that dive into a project out of a sense of calling. They feel an inner, mysterious sense of “this work is mine to do.” Jessica Jackley felt outraged that conventional charity didn’t empower the poor to help themselves, and out of a persistent frustration with that status quo, and a sense of calling, began developing Kiva.org, now the world’s largest microfinance platform.

The called bring many gifts to their work.  They have sustainable passion. They have vision and – perhaps most important – ardent dissatisfaction with the status quo where insiders may have become resigned.

The challenge for the called is to trust their sense of calling. That is particularly difficult when they can’t find a logical reason why they’re attracted to a project, or qualified for it. The called generally feel that they don’t have what they need – and they aren’t who they need to be – to complete their calling.

Their charge is to start anyway in whatever partial way they can. They also need to gather mentors to fill in knowledge gaps –those who support (and aren’t threatened by) an outsider bringing new ideas and vision.

The challenge for the called is to trust their sense of calling.

4. The Specialist

In our culture, this type of authority is most validated and embraced. The specialist has formal training (degrees, certifications) or lots of work experience in the area of their project. They might also achieve their specialist knowledge by conducting extensive research on their topic.

Brene Brown, a professor of Social Work spent years conducting research on shame and vulnerability and now speaks and writes widely on these topics. Dr. Harriet Lerner honed her expertise with hundreds of clients in her private psychology practice before writing her best-selling books on our emotional lives.

The pluses of this kind of expertise are many: specialists have a sense of the standard industry knowledge on their topic. They have the benefit of industry networks. Because they’ve seen so many examples over the years, they can tell apart the trends and the outliers.

The downside? Specialists often get stuck in inside-the-box thinking. They can also get distracted with the politics of their field or in debates about minutiae. To avoid that, specialists must talk regularly with colleagues from related but different disciplines, and seek out rebels and dissidents at the margin of their fields, listening to their perspectives with an open mind.

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Immeasurable contributions are lost because many of us think that #4 – formal training/work experience – is the only kind of legitimate authority. We usually don’t hold that belief when it applies to other people – we are thrilled to read that nonfiction book based on someone’s personal journey or to listen to the interesting TED talk by a cross trainer. But for ourselves? We think we don’t know enough.

To be sure, specialists are extremely important. We benefit enormously from living in an age when there is so much information available, when formal education is becoming more and more accessible, and when there are people with deep, specialized knowledge. All of that is invaluable – but it is not the only kind of value.

Identify which source – or sources – of expertise you bring to your current project. Leverage its strengths. Most of all, trust that it is enough – not because it enables you to know everything, but because it enables you to make the contribution you are uniquely qualified to make.

How about you?

How have you successfully framed your expertise?

Tara Sophia Mohr

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Tara Sophia Mohr is an expert on conscious leadership and the creator of the Playing Big leadership program for women.  You can download her 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook here.

The “Boxed Set Approach” to Setting Goals

Writers often refer to life as a stream or a journey – a continuous, ever-changing flow of events. It’s poetic but doesn’t capture how the human mind construes the passage of time. Our natural inclination is to chunk our lives into episodes and seasons, rather like a DVD boxed set.

The “Boxed Set approach” is significant to goal setting because where we place the episode dividers affects the way we perceive our past and future selves. If we think of a future self as being in a completely different (DVD) Season, so to speak, we are more likely to think of that future self as more separate and distinct from the person we are now. This sense of distance is energizing because it makes visible the ground we’ve yet to cover.

This connects with a motivational phenomenon known as mental contrasting. Stated briefly, thinking about the contrast between where you’d like to be at and where you are tends to have a galvanizing effect on motivation, focusing your mind on what needs to be done to achieve your goals. Thinking this way, you’re more likely to book the gym sessions or rehearsal times, rather than making vague promises that you should exercise more or practice more often.

This suggests that if you want to re-ignite your hunger and focus for a given ambition, you should pay attention to any “temporal landmarks” between now and project completion time. You can use public events, birthdays, or simply a planned weekend away to help act as episode dividers in the path ahead.

Pin Your Goals to “Temporal Landmarks”

Think of it like this: today you’re only mid-way through Season One of your life whereas those episode dividers indicate your end goal is located all the way in Season Two. This goal-achieving version of you in Season Two is superior to Season One you, which is a good thing, but you’ve got to work hard through some important life episodes to get there.

If the flexibility is available to you, you could even assist this process by deliberately planning project completions or future aspirations for the other side of important dates. Arrange a book deadline for after your birthday or a weight-loss target for when you get back from a conference. The more episode markers between now and your completed aims, the greater the sense of distance between present and future selves, and the more motivated you will be.

If you want to re-ignite your hunger and focus for a given ambition, you should pay attention to any “temporal landmarks” between now and project completion time.

The psychologists Johanna Peetz and Anne Wilson illustrated this Boxed Set approach (my name for it) in a study they conducted in late Fall. They gave participants a timeline and asked them to rate their health and fitness today, and then their desired physical state in seven weeks time. For some, Christmas Day was marked prominently on the time line, creating an obvious episode divider between now and the self in seven weeks. As predicted, these participants tended to rate their current physical fitness as much poorer than their future self’s fitness, as compared with participants using a time line with Christmas unmarked.

A similar result was found when two new groups of participants described their physical health today and their desired fitness in six months time. Compared with the participants who used a mostly featureless calendar, those who were shown a calendar marked with public holidays and prominent weekends tended to rate their current self as having much poorer fitness in relation to their future self.

What’s more, in both the Christmas Day and Calendar experiments, the sense of greater discrepancy between current and future selves went hand in hand with far greater motivation to achieve the desired future self. And consistent with the mental contrasting phenomenon, this translated into real behavior at the lab – for instance, participants reminded of episode dividers between now and the future were more likely to take away fitness brochures on offer at the end of the study.

Other experiments showed the flexibility in this approach: participants’ birthdays, the birthdays of past Presidents, and Mothers Day all acted as effective episode dividers, so long as attention was drawn to them and they were located between the current self and an imagined future.

A note of caution before you start mapping out the episode guide for your future life: If your goals are daunting or unrealistic, seeing them lying ahead in a future Season could backfire, dimming your morale and encouraging you to procrastinate. Save this technique for when you’re confident this isn’t a risk.

One more thought: although they didn’t test this idea in their lab, Peetz and Wilson speculated that episode dividers could also be used to help how we feel about the past. Imagine you’re feeling hamstrung by recent failure. The Boxed Set approach says you should pay attention to significant dates and events between the failure and today. By highlighting those past dividers (“This time last year, I hadn’t received my promotion yet.”), you’ll find it easier to believe you’re about to start a new Season starring a new You.

How about you?

Have you seen success in dividing your life into a “Boxed Set?” How’d it work for you?