Experience

Choice

Neuroscience and Determinism

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 2 2022

Possibly the most surprising, amazing, and contentious finding in the last 20 years of the study of neuroscience is the idea that the brain’s decisions might be made up to 10 seconds before person is consciously aware of it. The most famous popular psychology assertion on the topic of free will comes from Sam Harris, who stated that free will is an...

Read More
Experience

Control Your Attention, Control Your Experience

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 28 2022

Even in a world where you have almost no control over your life, you control what you focus your attention on. This is one of your most powerful abilities to choose how your life unfolds. Two of my favorite examples of this are: In the first example, the advice is sound: if you are looking at something and it displeases you, you can just look away...

Read More
Growth

Your Failures Aren't a Waste

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 24 2022

Do you remember your first steps? (Probably not) Do you remember someone else’s first steps, such as a child’s?  In either case, there was a lot of failure involved in the process.  Maybe the child wasn’t strong enough yet, or maybe they fell a bunch of times.  Maybe they were scared.  Yet no one remembers that nor points to their failures while le...

Read More
Desire

How to Figure Out What You Want

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 13 2022

Most simple motivational talks could be summarized as such: “Find what you want; believe you can attain it; and go out there and get it!”  Similarly, when you go to the self-help section of a bookstore, you’ll find a whole list of books claiming to provide anything from the belief system to get what you want to step-by-step guidance to attain what...

Read More
Emotions

Wanting and Feeling Good vs. Wanting and Feeling Bad

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 6 2022

Longing.  We all know the feeling: having a strong desire for something you can’t have.  But do you have to feel that way?  Let’s explore. I’ve been criticized in the past for stating what is basically common sense—of course, I’ve also had my brushes with people who vehemently oppose my “hot takes” (go figure).  One of those biggest hot takes come...

Read More
Emotions

You Can Raise Your Emotional State at Will

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 27 2022

Many people think that their emotional state is almost exclusively due to the reality that they are experiencing.  After all, basic biology and psychology teach the classic “stimulus-response” model in living organisms where a change in the environment will trigger a response in the affected creature.  This is mostly true, as life forms that did no...

Read More
Growth

Take People on the Journey

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 20 2022

Everyone knows that people love a good story.  It helps them learn, remember things, and stay engaged in a presentation or conversation.  But why is it such a more impactful way to convey information than simply stating facts, such as “2+2=4”?  Because the story is a journey, and effective engagement, influence, and relationship-building follows th...

Read More
Planning

When You Are Feeling Behind in Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 19 2022

“I was supposed to have a spouse and kids by now.”  “One of my classmates from high school is now a CEO.”  “I’m so far behind in my retirement savings.”  People naturally compare their life progress to others, and they start to wonder what they need to do to “catch up” to others when they fall behind.

Read More
Growth

Life’s 8 Major Fallacies

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 5 2022

Mistakes People Make in Their Search for Meaning When people are looking for their meaning in life, they will have trouble finding it if they make erroneous assumptions about how life works or what they’re supposed to do with the one that they’ve been given.  Unfortunately, such fundamental assumptions are held sometimes without people having thoug...

Read More
Growth

Flow: Optimal Experience for Optimal Growth

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 27 2021

Dedicated to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934-2021) Photo courtesy of Ehirsh and Wikimedia (Public Domain). When I first heard of the idea of positive psychology, i.e., the study of living a healthy, happy life, the first names that came up were Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Considered to be the pioneers and leaders in the field, these...

Read More
Next