8 articles Articles posted in Life Sense

The power of a smile

The power of a smile

Image: “The Sun” by Yue Minjun
If you put a baby monkey in front of two human beings that it doesn’t know, and one of them smiles at it and the other one doesn’t, the animal will always make for the person who is smiling. The reason is simple: smiling is a form of social glue. Smiling brings us closer to others (and to the whole family of mammals, one might add). Obviously, we are talking …

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Fragility makes us stronger

Fragility makes us stronger

The other day in a leadership training workshop, we did a role-play where one of the participants took on the role of a boss who has to give some bad news to a co-worker. The situation cried out for this person to start off by apologizing, but he didn’t. I have to admit that I’ve always been puzzled by people who act like this -and let it be said in passing that it’s very common- …

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Common myths about love and happiness

Common myths about love and happiness

If we compiled a list of all the things that we need to be happy, it’s possible that we would include being in a relationship, getting married or not splitting up if we’re already with someone. Psychologists have set about examining this question and have analyzed if our list of seemingly marvellous things would actually bring us the happiness that we’re looking for. Their findings are conclusive: it seems that many of the elements in …

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Why we prefer Fridays to Sundays

Why we prefer Fridays to Sundays

Imagine that you have the chance of being passionately kissed by your all-time favourite celebrity. How much would you be prepared to pay for the privilege, and when would you like it to happen? George Loewenstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, put precisely this question to his students. Regarding the time, he gave them several options: in the next three hours, in a day’s time, in three days’ time or in ten years’ time. …

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The history of happiness

The history of happiness

Our attitude to happiness is a product of culture and history and, as such, it has varied over time. We began to look for happiness relatively recently. It seems that we started to become concerned about it in the XVIII century, influenced by the values of the Enlightenment. The poet Alexander Pope extolled happiness in 1732 in the lines “Oh happiness! Our being’s end and aim!”, and his fellow-poet John Byrom eagerly took up the …

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