Ever heard of the parable of the hedgehog and the fox? These terms gained notice after a philosopher named Isaiah Berlin used them in a popular essay back in the mid-1900s. Berlin used the parable to analyze the worldviews and history of Tolstoy in his classic manuscript, War & Peace. And while I haven’t read War & Peace in many years, or the essay by Berlin, I did read a more recent book entitled, Good To Great by Jim Collins. Collins uses the allegory as a way to define how to be a leader and run a successful business. Even more recently, I came across the two terms in the book Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman uses them to define differing ways to think and predict coming events. But what exactly is a hedgehog, and how does it differ from the fox? Even more importantly, what does it have to do with your life and can it help you live SMART 365? [Read more…]
A big part of Living SMART 365 is staying conscious, awake and aware. In fact, most of us like to believe that’s what we do most of the time. But after reading the book, “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, I’ve discovered that I am seldom as awake and aware as I think I am. In fact, far too often I frame most of my decisions like a lot of you—in the easiest and most comfortable ways possible. Fortunately, now that I have a better understanding of how human thinking and decision-making works, I can be more awake and conscious about some of the most routine illusions that befall us all. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
I’ve always been fascinated by how people think. Particularly, I’ve always wondered why seemingly smart and intelligent people think, say and believe crazy things. For example, the evidence that humans are contributing to global warming is overwhelming and irrefutable by over 90% of scientists around the world. Yet, a huge number of people continue to deny it. Why? Simply put, it’s lazy thinking—or actually not thinking much at all! But before any of us start feeling superior—we all do this at least some of the time. In fact, a book by Daniel Kahneman entitled, “Thinking Fast and Slow” explains how human brains are hard-wired to process and function in ways that are easy and fast. The problem is—most of the time it’s not really thinking—although we all think it is! [Read more…]
One of my favorite authors is a man named Parker J. Palmer. Parker comes from the Quaker Tradition which embodies such a genuine depth of spirit and connection that I am always interested in what he has to say. With a background in education, spirituality, community, and leadership his latest book is Healing the Heart of Democracy.” And while politics may seem a strange bedfellow to spirituality or even SMART Living, the manner in which Parker approaches the topic is relevant to every single subject I ever write about. Ultimately, every one of his themes leads to a greater experience of the whole.
Is the human brain considered plastic? Yes, but unfortunately many people don’t know it. And, even though science now proves that the brain can structurally and functionally reorganize itself, many of us still live our lives as though we are stuck with whatever nature or God provided. Instead, ongoing studies now show that not only does our brain change in size and function throughout our lifetimes; certain areas compete for specific territory within the brain verifying a “use it or lose it” quality. For those of us who want to continue to embrace the best life has to offer, we’d be wise to continue to grow our brains on a daily basis.