Has lockdown made your pet extra clingy?
Photo by bradley pisney on Unsplash<h2>Treating separation anxiety with behavior change</h2><p>Here, we're talking about your behavior. The goal is to make your absence <a href="https://www.dovepress.com/canine-separation-anxiety-strategies-for-treatment-and-management-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-VMRR" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">seem like no big deal</a>. Making a fuss over your pet when you leave or arrive home only makes matters worse. If you treat it like it's routine, your pet will learn to do the same.</p><p>Try to <a href="https://www.bsavalibrary.com/content/chapter/10.22233/9781905319879.chap14" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">figure out when your pet starts to show signs of anxiety</a> and turn that into a low-key activity. If it's when you pick up your handbag, for example, practice picking it up and putting it back down several times over a few hours. Similarly, get dressed or put on your shoes earlier than usual but stay home instead of leaving right away. Try starting your car's engine and then turning it off and walking back inside.</p><p>Next, practice short absences. When you're at home, make it a point to spend some time in another room. In addition, leave the house long enough to run an errand or two, then gradually increase the time that you're away so that being gone for a full day becomes part of the family routine.</p>
A new study found that personality growth in young adults predicted career benefits such as income, degree attainment, and job satisfaction.
Success with the Big 5<p>That's the conclusion of a recent <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797620957998" target="_blank">longitudinal study</a> published in Psychological Science. The study followed two samples of Icelandic youths from roughly ages 17 to 29. Its researchers used data across three and five time points to measure the young adults on the Big Five personality traits (openness, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability). It also surveyed them for five indicators of early career success. These were income, degree attainment, occupational prestige, and job and career satisfaction.</p><p>The study's findings showed that personality growth predicted career outcomes better than "adolescent trait levels and crystallized ability." Across both samples, the researchers found extroversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability to have the strongest effects. Specifically, conscientiousness was tied to career satisfaction, emotional stability to income and career satisfaction, and extroversion to job and career satisfaction.</p><p>"Overall, the findings highlight the importance of personality development throughout childhood, adolescence and young adulthood for promoting different aspects of career success," Kevin Hoff, lead author and assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Houston, <a href="https://uh.edu/news-events/stories/2020/december-2020/12022020-hoff-personality-maturity-career.php" target="_blank">said in a release</a>.</p><p>Hoff believes these results support policies designed to help young people develop personality-based skills. "The study showed you're not just stuck with your personality traits, and if you change over time in positive ways, that can have a big impact on your career," he said.</p><p>According to the release, the study is the first to assess the predictive link between personality growth and career outcomes across a decade of young adulthood. While preliminary, it does fit in with other studies looking into the relationship between personality traits and career success. </p><p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1069072703254501" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2003 study</a> published in the Journal of Career Assessment surveyed more than 5,000 individuals. Its results found that conscientiousness, extroversion, and openness correlated with career satisfaction. Similarly, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00174.x" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a 2006 study</a> published in Personnel Psychology drew on data from <a href="http://ihd.berkeley.edu/research-centers/inter-generational-studies" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the Intergenerational Studies</a>. It found that conscientiousness positively predicted extrinsic career success (i.e., income and status) as well as intrinsic success (i.e., job satisfaction).</p>
The change you want to be<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67cab64f293633035f0c699f71a5d426"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vyJ_hhninDw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>William James famously penned that personality becomes "<a href="https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318271" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">set in plaster</a>" by the age of 30, never to soften again. There's some truth to this. Personality traits do remain relatively stable throughout our lifetimes. Your inherently disorganized friend won't transform into Marie Kondo because they watched a YouTube tutorial on shirt folding.</p><p>But many studies show that our personalities aren't immutable, either. We can remold ourselves well beyond 30, shifting our traits on their continuum in ways that can be either beneficial or deleterious. One such study, <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/pspp0000210" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology</a>, assessed participants' personality traits for 50 years. If found that as people mature over time, they also accumulate personality changes.</p><p>"The rankings (of personality traits) remain fairly consistent. People who are more conscientious than others their age at 16 are likely to be more conscientious than others at 66. On average, everyone becomes more conscientious, more emotionally stable, and more agreeable," Rodica Damian, the study's lead author and the director of the Personality Development and Success Lab at the University of Houston, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201808/how-do-personality-traits-change-16-66" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">said in a statement</a>.</p><p>Cultivating such growth can be difficult as these traits often require the very talents we feel we lack. To become more extroverted, for example, one needs to be less introverted. It seems both obvious and self-defeating—if one was more outgoing, one would be more outgoing. Because of this, interventions typically focus on actions that alter how we typically think or behave (hence the name cognitive-behavioral therapy). These actions can be small at first, but they have to be deliberate and specific, the so-called <a href="https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/brain-hack-new-years-resolution" target="_self">SMART goals</a>.</p><p>To become more extroverted, introverts don't have to throw lavish, hedonistic house parties to rival those of rock-'n'-roll legends. Instead, the introvert starts by attending a small book club on a specific day and tasking themselves to talk at the meeting This is the first step that makes subsequent steps easier, and after an accumulation of such steps, self-perspective begins to shift. </p><p>"Once you start to change those behaviors, you'll start to change the way you see yourself," <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201604/can-introvert-ever-change" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Susan Krauss Whitbourne</a>, Professor Emerita of Psychology and Brain Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, writes. "That change in <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/identity" title="Psychology Today looks at identity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">identity</a> may provide the key to personality trait change. You change the narrative from 'I've always been an introvert' to 'I've usually engaged in introverted behavior.' Seeing yourself as in charge of your personality rather than being run by it may be the key to having your personality suit instead of define you."</p><p>The same goes for conscientiousness. Taking on tasks and responsibilities that <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/201902/three-potential-ways-become-more-conscientious" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">require one to utilize conscientiousness</a> brings about that change over time. As Damian noted, people typically become more conscientious as they get older. One reason is simply that adulthood requires more diligence, discipline, and self-control than high school and punishes a lack of those traits more harshly. Adult environments also tend to reward and support such characteristics. By realizing that with intention, we can self-furnish our environments to support and foster that change.</p><p>We can also hack our metacognition—the way we think about our thinking—to great effect. Such techniques are often used in <a href="https://cogbtherapy.com/cbt-emotion-regulation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">emotional regulation therapy </a>to intervene in heightened or easily triggered outbursts. Mindfulness, for example, teaches people to identify their emotions, and the practice helps people from becoming overwhelmed through the act of labeling an emotion as something distinct from themselves. Recognizing the difference between being angry and feeling angry assists in self-modulation.<em></em></p><p>Some techniques and interventions may improve certain personality traits better than others, but they all demonstrate a key takeaway. Practice won't make perfect, but it can shift personality to be more in line with our goals. While personality may not be the only factor in career and life success, self-improvement will pay dividends to both.</p>
The "lone genius" often gets the credit for big ideas, but real-world innovation is a team sport.
- Individuals like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are often idolized as masters of ideas, but according to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, it usually takes many people iterating and taking chances for a company to be truly innovative.
- Using Whole Foods as a case study, Mackey shares a story of how a bar experiment at one of his California markets evolved into a successful feature and spread to other locations.
- By giving teams the freedom to try (and fail) without being micro-managed, organizations can create a culture that allows innovation to happen, not one that tries to force it to happen.
Lack of communication and collaboration are the biggest struggles facing remote workers.
When did you last pick up the phone to a coworker or friend instead of firing off an email or text message?
Image: Buffer<h3>COVID-19 is changing how we work</h3><p>In May, 42% of Americans aged 20-64 earning more than $20,000 were working from home full-time, according to a <a href="https://siepr.stanford.edu/research/publications/how-working-home-works-out" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stanford University survey</a> – compared to just 2% working full-time from home before the pandemic.</p><p>And many want to keep working from home. An Adecco survey of 8,000 workers and leaders in eight countries found <a href="https://www.adeccogroup.com/futuhreinsight/we-asked-8000-people-how-they-want-to-work-post-covid-19-here-are-5-things-they-told-us-that-will-likely-change-the-world-of-work-forever/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">three out of four employees preferred more flexibility and a hybrid</a> approach to working - part at home and part at the office.</p><p>But lack of communication and collaboration - and loneliness - were reported as the biggest struggles of remote workers in <a href="https://lp.buffer.com/state-of-remote-work-2020" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Buffer's 2020 State of Remote Work</a> survey (based on 2019 data).</p><p>The World Economic Forum's virtual<a href="https://www.weforum.org/events/the-jobs-reset-summit-2020" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Jobs Reset Summit</a> is discussing the creation of new jobs and new standards in digital, on-site and hybrid workplaces, as well as the safety nets needed for the employees of the future.</p><p>As working from home continues, encouraging employees to adopt good habits in connecting and communicating in person with others could improve both well-being and productivity.</p><p>Reprinted with permission of the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">World Economic Forum</a>. Read the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/mental-health-remote-working-conversations-virtual/" target="_blank">original article</a>.</p>
Work that can break down the body can also break down the mind.
- A new study out of Denmark finds that physical laborers are at an elevated risk of dementia.
- These findings hold even when other health factors are accounted for.
- The study also suggests that exercise can help reduce the risk of memory loss.