Overcome anxiety by articulating your rationale
Canadian author, psychologist, and intellectual Jordan Peterson has an interesting way of overcoming your self-doubt and anxiety: run right into it. Or, rather, write right into it.
Jordan B. Peterson, raised and toughened in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta, has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt-plane, explored an Arizona meteorite crater with astronauts, and built a Kwagu'l ceremonial bighouse on the upper floor of his Toronto home after being invited into and named by that Canadian First Nation. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers, transforming the modern understanding of personality, while his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief revolutionized the psychology of religion. His latest book is 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
Jordan Peterson: Okay so we have an online writing program called “self-authoring” and that helps people construct the narrative of their life.
That’s a good way of thinking about it.
And so part of the narrative of your life is what happened to you in the past that made you who you are now – good and bad. And part of what you want to do— think about the purpose of memory.
“Well the purpose of memory is to remember the past.”
It’s like “No, that’s wrong!” The purpose of memory is so that you take from the past what you need not to do stupid things again in the future. So the purpose of memory is to learn from the past so that you can construct the future more effectively.
So now if you’ve had terrible things happen to you in the past and you don’t understand them, what that means is that you’re insufficiently prepared for the future. And that means you’re going to be in a constant state of anxiety and stress. And so if you write about your past and you do a causal analysis of the good and the bad things that happen to you, then that arms you more effectively for operation in the present and the future. And that produces an increment in physical health by the way. Okay, so that’s the past-authoring program. It asks you to divide your life into epochs and to outline the emotionally significant events and to essentially do a causal analysis of them. So it’s like you’re getting the gist of the story of your life down. You’re articulating yourself.
So the present-authoring program uses a personality model to help you identify your faults (so that you can improve them) and your virtues (so that you can continue to capitalize on them).
It’s the simplest of the three subprograms. And the future-authoring program, which is the one we’ve done the most research on, helps you first of all formulate a vision for your life.
So the idea is okay, imagine that you’re charged with your own care and that you’ve determined to do a good job of it. Okay, and then it asks you specific questions about your life. If you could have what you wanted three to five years down the road, what would be good for you? What do you want from your friends? What do you want from your career? Are you going to educate yourself? What do you want from your family? What do you want from an intimate relationship? How are you going to handle pitfalls like drug and alcohol use and other sorts of temptations? How are you going to take care of yourself mentally and physically? What are you going to do with your time outside of work that’s productive and meaningful? If you could have what you wanted and that would be good for you, what would that look like?
And then it asks you to write for 15 minutes about what your life could be like if those conditions were met three to five years in the future. Then it asks you to do the reverse. Take stock of your failings. Imagine they get out of hand and things aren’t so good for you three to five years down the road. What does that look like? Okay, now you’ve established two points: Something to strive for and something to stay the hell away from.
And that’s maximally motivating, because if you want to be motivated to do something, you can’t just be hopeful about it. You have to be hopeful about doing it and afraid of not doing it. And that way your anxiety is behind you pushing you forward instead of in front of you stopping you. Because like imagine you wanted to undertake a new enterprise. You might say “Oh my god, look at all the risks! Look at all the threat!” And that could paralyze you. But if you can say simultaneously “Yeah, fair enough, but look where I might end up if I don’t do it.” Like “Oh! Well, that’s a whole different issue.” It’s like, “Well there’s dangers ahead of you, but there’s dangers behind you too.” So maybe it’s worthwhile taking the risk. So anyway you want to have both your negative and your positive emotion systems working for you.
Then in the future-authoring program you take your positive vision and you develop an implementable plan which includes philosophical justifications.
So one question would be all right, break your vision up into nine practical steps. Develop an implementation strategy. And then articulate why, if you accomplish goal one your life would be better, your family’s life would be better, your society would function better.
Because you need deep reasons to keep you on track, because otherwise your own doubts will undo you let alone other people’s opposition. You have to articulate your rationale so that you can quell your doubts and move forward powerfully.
And so those programs, that program in particular has a very salutary effect on people. So we’ve given it to thousands of university students now in business schools in particular. Thirty percent improvement in overall retention.
Canadian author, psychologist, and intellectual Jordan Peterson has an interesting way of overcoming your self-doubt and anxiety: run right into it. Or, rather, write right into it. Jordan's latest book is 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
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Water may be far more abundant on the lunar surface than previously thought.
- Scientists have long thought that water exists on the lunar surface, but it wasn't until 2018 that ice was first discovered on the moon.
- A study published Monday used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to confirm the presence of molecular water..
- A second study suggests that shadowy regions on the lunar surface may also contain more ice than previously thought.
Credits: NASA/Daniel Rutter<p>Still, it's not as if the moon is dripping wet. The observations suggest that a cubic meter of the lunar surface (in the Clavius crater site, at least) contains water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million. That's roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water. In comparison, the same plot of land in the Sahara desert contains about 100 times more water.</p><p>But a second study suggests other parts of the lunar surface also contain water — and potentially lots of it. Also publishing their findings in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1198-9#_blank" target="_blank">Nature Astronomy</a> on Monday, the researchers used the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to study "cold traps" near the moon's polar regions. These areas of the lunar surface are permanently covered in shadows. In fact, about 0.15 percent of the lunar surface is permanently shadowed, and it's here that water could remain frozen for millions of years.</p><p>Some of these permanently shadowed regions are huge, extending more than a kilometer wide. But others span just 1 cm. These smaller "micro cold traps" are much more abundant than previously thought, and they're spread out across more regions of the lunar surface, according to the new research.</p>
Credit: dottedyeti via AdobeStock<p>Still, the second study didn't confirm that ice is embedded in micro cold traps. But if there is, it would mean that water would be much more accessible to astronauts, considering they wouldn't have to travel into deep, shadowy craters to extract water.</p><p>Greater accessibility to water would not only make it easier for astronauts to get drinking water, but could also enable them to generate rocket fuel and power.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist in the advanced exploration systems division for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, in a statement. "If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries."</p>
A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.
- AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
- At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
- Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
Why this matters<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ1OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTkyODg5NX0.O3S2DRTyAxh-JZqxGKj9KkC6ndZAloEh4hKhpcyeFDQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="3770d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3c27b79d4c0600fb6ebb82e650cabec0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Area in which trees were located
Credit: University of Copenhagen<p>As important as trees are in fighting climate change, scientists need to know what trees there are, and where, and the study's finding represents a significant addition to the global tree inventory.</p><p>The vegetation Brandt and his colleagues have identified is in the Western Sahara, a region of about 1.3 million square kilometers that includes the desert, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahel" target="_blank">the Sahel</a>, and the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/subhumid-zones" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sub-humid zones</a> of West Africa.</p><p>These trees and shrubs have been left out of previous tabulations of carbon-processing worldwide forests. Says Brandt, "Trees outside of forested areas are usually not included in climate models, and we know very little about their carbon stocks. They are basically a white spot on maps and an unknown component in the global carbon cycle."</p><p>In addition to being valuable climate-change information, the research can help facilitate strategic development of the region in which the vegetation grows due to a greater understanding of local ecosystems.</p>
Trained for trees<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU2MDQ3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTk5NTI3NH0.fR-n1I2DHBIRPLvXv4g0PVM8ciZwSLWorBUUw2wc-Vk/img.jpg?width=980" id="e02c0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="79955b13661dca8b6e19007935129af1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Credit: Martin Brandt/University of Copenhagen<p>There's been an assumption that there's hardly enough vegetation outside of forested areas to be worth counting in areas such as this one. As a result the study represents the first time a significant number of trees — likely in the hundreds of millions when shrubs are subtracted from the overall figure — have been catalogued in the drylands region.</p><p>Members of the university's Department of Computer Science trained a machine-learning module to recognize trees by feeding it thousands of pictures of them. This training left the AI be capable of spotting trees in the tiny details of satellite images supplied by NASA. The task took the AI just hours — it would take a human years to perform an equivalent analysis.</p><p>"This technology has enormous potential when it comes to documenting changes on a global scale and ultimately, in contributing towards global climate goals," says co-author Christian Igel. "It is a motivation for us to develop this type of beneficial artificial intelligence."</p><p>"Indeed," says Brandt says, "I think it marks the beginning of a new scientific era."</p>
Looking ahead and beyond<p>The researchers hope to further refine their AI to provide a more detailed accounting of the trees it identifies in satellite photos.</p><p>The study's senior author, Rasmus Fensholt, says, "we are also interested in using satellites to determine tree species, as tree types are significant in relation to their value to local populations who use wood resources as part of their livelihoods. Trees and their fruit are consumed by both livestock and humans, and when preserved in the fields, trees have a positive effect on crop yields because they improve the balance of water and nutrients."</p><p>Ahead is an expansion of the team's tree hunt to a larger area of Africa, with the long-term goal being the creation of a more comprehensive and accurate global database of trees that grow beyond the boundaries of forests.</p>
Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.
Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
- A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
- This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
- The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.