Boost your personal development and well-being through a mix of engaging articles, exciting competition opportunities, and shared experiences that nourish both your mind and spirit.
Want to know the science behind happiness? UC Berkeley's The Science of Happiness team put gratitude to the test and found that expressing it can increase happiness. What's more, the least happy person who walked in the door experienced the biggest increase in happiness, indicating that expressing gratitude can have a greater impact on those going through tough times. Watch the video to see how the team put their subjects to the test and how you can benefit from expressing gratitude in your own life.
Discover the profound effects of losing just one hour of sleep due to daylight saving time, from a 25% increase in heart attacks to changes in our brain networks that regulate personal space. UC Berkeley's Eti Ben Simon discusses how Want to know why losing just one hour of sleep due to daylight savings can increase the risk of heart attacks by 25%? Or how social isolation caused by poor sleep can lead to anxiety and further affect sleep quality? In this informative video, UC Berkeley’s Eti Ben Simon highlights how losing sleep affects our health, relationships, and social interactions. Discover the fascinating ways in which sleep-deprived individuals behave and how their personal space changes. Learn how even a single night of sleep loss can cause social withdrawal and anxiety, and what you can do to break this negative cycle. Don't miss out on this insightful video!
Discover the secrets of teenage behavior with Dr. Adriana Galván. Did you know that the teenage brain is hyper-responsive to rewards like sugar and money? Or that the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making, is the last brain region to fully develop? Join Dr. Galván, associate professor of Psychology at UCLA, in exploring the fascinating world of developmental neuroscience. Learn how the teenage brain is wired for risk-taking and how parents can provide healthy opportunities for exploration. Don't miss out on this unique insight into the inner workings of the teenage brain.
What makes us kind and empathetic, even in a world of ruthless competition? Dacher Keltner reveals how Darwin's idea of sympathy as our strongest instinct shaped our evolution. He shows how compassion lights up an ancient part of our brain, and how social class affects our capacity for empathy. Keltner's insights challenge us to redefine self-interest and remind us of the strength in generosity and empathy in building strong communities. Watch his video for more on the science of human kindness.
Have you ever wondered why Latinos in the United States and Latin America report higher levels of happiness despite facing relative economic disadvantages? Belinda Campos, Ph.D., director of the Culture, Relationships, and Health Lab at UC Irvine, sheds light on this "paradox of happiness." Campos suggests that prioritizing relationships over the self is the key to greater happiness, which is reflected in Latino and Latin American cultures. Learn more about these fascinating insights and discover how embracing our obligations to others can lead to more fulfilling lives and stronger, more connected communities by watching her inspiring video!
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or perhaps somewhere in between? In this inspiring and thought-provoking talk, author Susan Cain challenges the cultural bias towards extroversion and promotes the power of introverts. She explains how introverts possess unique qualities that can benefit our workplaces and societies, and why solitude is crucial for creativity. Through examples of famous introverts and personal anecdotes, Cain encourages us to embrace our introverted nature and recognize its value in a world that often values the loudest voices. Watch the video to discover the power of introversion.
Discover the surprising techniques top athletes use to overcome anxiety, build confidence, and achieve peak performance. From visualization and positive self-talk to reframing anxiety as excitement, learn how to take care of yourself and let others support you along the way. Whether you're preparing for a job interview or an exam, these tricks from the world of sports psychology are equally relevant in everyday life.
In today's world, academic success is often defined by grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. While these factors are important, they can't measure the depth of knowledge and the passion that comes from exploring academic topics through self-initiated projects. Megan, a high school student, discovered this for herself when she developed a mobile app to solve a problem she encountered while running her small sticker business. Megan noticed it was difficult to keep track of events in the art & crafts/maker community, and she wanted to create a user-friendly solution. Drawing on her experience interning at a tech startup and her programming skills from school projects, Megan developed a mobile app using React Native and Google Firebase. Within the first day of release, the app had over 200 downloads and had a tangible impact on her community. It also led Megan to discover a newfound passion for mobile app development and UI design. While challenging, Megan's project was incredibly rewarding, and she is planning to continue learning about app development in university. Megan's experience is a great reminder that personal projects don't have to be a chore or a means to an end. They can be enjoyable, fulfilling, and even lead to new opportunities. Megan advises students to be patient and wait for the opportunity to come naturally. She emphasizes that the opportunity will often connect to you in a more authentic way and be something you're truly interested in. She also encourages students to enjoy the process and not to be scared to start, even if their first projects are super simple. Self-initiated projects can be a great way to explore academic topics, develop new skills, and create tangible impact in your community. As Megan's experience shows, it's ok to start small and follow your interests. Who knows where your project might take you?
As a high school student, you may feel like your education is limited to what you learn in the classroom. However, there's a world of knowledge and exploration waiting for you beyond the syllabus — self-directed projects were the way that Hannah, one high school student, tapped into that world. Hannah was interested in finance and found inspiration in the efficient frontier, a curve that models investment portfolios with the highest expected returns at every level of risk. Hannah found the concept both accessible and customizable, saying "it is easily generated by online portfolio optimization tools" and "investors can choose the level of risk they want to take." But what truly stood out to Hannah was “the beauty of the simple curve, which demonstrates that diversified portfolios have lower risk and that risk has diminishing marginal returns." Hannah was excited by her discovery and produced a write-up suggesting an efficient investment portfolio to retail investors. This self-directed project helped her gain a virtual internship opportunity at a top investment firm and ultimately to successful admissions into her dream university. Self-directed projects like these, where you set off to design and implement your own goals without direct guidance from a teacher or professor, are wonderful tools for intellectual exploration. Choose a topic you’re interested in beyond your school curriculum, set your own concrete goals for your exploration, and develop your own learning plan. Collecting feedback from subject-matter experts or the other adults around you can also be extra useful for fine-tuning your project. Learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom — pursuing a self-directed project can be a fun and energizing way to explore your favorite academic topics in a plethora of ways. Whether you're interested in math, science, literature, art, or social justice, there's a project waiting for you. So go forth and explore!
Want to know the secret to success in school and life? According to academic, psychologist and author Angela Lee Duckworth, it's grit. In her TED Talk, Duckworth explains that grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals, and it's what sets successful individuals apart from the rest. Through her research, she found that grittier kids were more likely to graduate from high school, regardless of their IQ or family income. But how do you build grit? Duckworth admits that science knows very little about it, but she suggests starting with a growth mindset. Learn more by watching her inspiring talk!
Are you a student looking to find your purpose? You're not alone! According to psychologists, an individual’s purpose is an intention to achieve a long-term goal that is both personally meaningful and makes a positive mark on the world. This can include things like launching an organization, researching a disease, or even teaching kids to read. And it's important to note that our sense of purpose can change over time as we navigate different milestones and transitions in our lives. Research has shown that a sense of purpose is linked to a number of benefits, both for individuals and organizations. For example, young people who have a sense of purpose tend to report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, which is associated with better educational outcomes. In addition, having a sense of purpose has been linked to better physical and cognitive functioning, as well as greater longevity. People who have a purpose are also more likely to take care of themselves, which can lead to lower stress levels and better overall health. So, how do you start finding your purpose? One way is to start by thinking about what you're passionate about. You can also try new things and see what resonates with you. A research team at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center came up with ‘The Purpose Challenge’, a series of science-backed activities you can use to discover your passions! Here are some examples: The Magic Wand Exercise: Imagine that you have a magic wand that can change anything in the world. Then, take a moment to think about the world around you, from your home and community to the larger world. What changes would you make with your magic wand? The Values Game: Discover your personal values by reflecting on different aspects of your life and identify the values that are important to you. Discovering Your Strengths and Talents: Identify 5 individuals who know you well and whose opinions you trust. Ask them personal questions about your potential, and reflect on your feedback. Silver Linings Practice: make a list of things that make you feel good, like "being healthy”. Then, think about a recent negative experience and write a brief description of it. Finally, list three things that can help you see the bright side of the situation. Goal visualisation: Pick one realistic and meaningful goal that you would like to achieve in the next couple of days - break overarching goals into smaller, more achievable micro-goals. Then, describe the steps you will take to achieve that first micro-goal in writing. Discovering your purpose is essential for your personal and academic success. Purposeful individuals tend to be more resilient, have higher self-esteem, and experience greater satisfaction with life. They are also more likely to achieve their goals, have a positive outlook on life, and develop strong relationships with others. You can join Berkeley’s The Purpose Challenge to get started now!
Unlock your potential and break down societal barriers! In his captivating TED talk, social psychologist Mesmin Destin sheds light on how our environment and background can impact our sense of self and limit our aspirations. Discover the power of "belonging uncertainty" and how it can fuel motivation and drive success. Through groundbreaking research and real-life examples, Destin provides actionable insights for high school students on how to defy expectations and achieve their dreams. Don't miss out on this empowering talk that will inspire you to challenge the status quo and reach for the stars!
Are you a high school student looking to challenge your knowledge, refine your writing skills, and stand out in your academic profile? Then the John Locke Essay Competition is just for you! This competition invites students to explore beyond the school curriculum and delve into interesting questions in seven different subject categories: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law. It's a great opportunity for you to showcase your independent thought, depth of knowledge, critical analysis, and persuasive style. The best essays will be judged by a panel of senior academics from leading universities including Oxford and Princeton, providing you with an opportunity to have your work assessed by experts. The writers of the best essays will receive a commendation and be shortlisted for a prize, and even have the chance to visit Oxford for an invitation-only academic conference and awards dinner in September. So what are you waiting for? Registration is typically open in early April and entries must be submitted by the end of June. If you're under 19 years old on that date of submission, you're eligible to participate. You can register by providing an active email address and it's free!
High jump is one of the oldest and most exciting events in track and field. Throughout the years, athletes and coaches have experimented with different techniques in order to jump higher and set new records. One of the most notable techniques to emerge in the 20th century was the Flosbury Flop, named after its inventor, American high jumper Dick Fosbury. Initially, the Flosbury Flop was met with ridicule and skepticism from coaches and athletes. Instead of jumping over the bar with a traditional technique that involved facing forward and jumping with the legs, Fosbury's technique involved jumping backwards over the bar with a unique curved approach. However, Fosbury's unorthodox technique proved to be highly effective, and in 1968, he won the gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics with a new world record of 2.24 meters (7 feet 4 inches). After Fosbury's success, the Flosbury Flop quickly became widely accepted and adopted by other high jumpers. The technique allowed for a more efficient use of the body's momentum and a higher center of gravity, which resulted in significant improvements in performance. Today, the Flosbury Flop is the most widely used technique among elite high jumpers. What can we learn from Flosbury? That you shouldn’t be afraid to be seen trying — Flosbury faced much ridicule for a technique that seasoned professionals, perhaps even previous Olympians, were disapproving of. He was only able to achieve his gold medal by honing in on his goals and ignoring his critics, who eventually changed their opinion on his ‘Flop’ after his success. Therefore, if you’re ever practicing a new sport, learning a new craft, or honing a new skill, know that being a beginner can actually be your biggest strength — you can invent something entirely original and innovative that could change the very nature of your chosen activity. So, go forth and champion your new approaches — you may very well become the next Dick Flosbury!
In her Ted Talk, programmer Tiffani Ashley Bell shares how she used her skills and social media to help 100,000 people in Detroit who were facing shut-offs of their running water due to inability to pay bills. She encourages the audience to notice problems and take action by doing the simplest, most obvious thing to impact that problem. Bell's inspiring story highlights that small and imperfect actions can have a durable impact, and shows how individual efforts can spark a ripple of compassion and drive systemic change. Don't miss out on watching this powerful and compelling talk!
As a high school student, you may feel lost or unsure about your future path. But don't worry, there's a world of knowledge and inspiration waiting for you through academic articles — research papers or publications written by subject-matter experts in their field of study. One high school student, SP, found her true passion through them! She was interested in multiple academic fields such as Politics, Law and Economics. Turning to academic articles to explore further, she came across two that left a lasting impression. One article explored the Social Cost of Carbon and how it shapes government policies, while the other used Game Theory to explain price fixing and cartel behavior by corporations. As SP shares, ""these articles not only sparked my interest, but also helped me identify my interest in the field of Economics and Management, and to learn more about hot topics in this area. When it came time for the Oxbridge academic interviews, I felt confident and prepared to tackle the questions. This exploration allowed me to discover my true passion and helped me make an informed decision about my future.” Academic articles can provide a wealth of information that can help you develop a better understanding of your interests. By exploring academic articles, you get to satisfy your curiosity, analyze complex ideas and arguments, challenge assumptions, and develop your own opinions and critical thinking skills. Start with scholarly search engines like Google Scholar, ResearchGate, or JSTOR to find your topics of interest, then start with shorter articles and work your ways up to longer ones! Take notes as you read and highlight important information, connecting the dots as you go, and feel free to discuss your favourite findings with family or friends. Wherever your passions lie, there's an academic article waiting for you to explore your interests further. You never know what opportunities might come your way when you take a leap of faith. So go ahead, fuel your passion, and explore the world of academic articles! Who knows, it may even help you discover your true calling.
Joy and gratitude are more intertwined than we think. According to vulnerability expert Brene Brown, practicing gratitude is the key to inviting joy into our lives. Brown's 12 years of research, involving 11,000 pieces of data, found that those who described themselves as joyful had a tangible gratitude practice. This practice not only invites joy into our lives but also provides a soulful window into what's going on in our lives. Learn more about Brown's research and how practicing gratitude can change your life in this must-watch video.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, is one of the most successful and celebrated authors of our time. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance, creativity, and a growth mindset. Here are four things we can learn from her: - Perseverance: J.K. Rowling faced numerous rejections before finally getting her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone accepted for publication. She faced rejection from 12 different publishers before finally finding a home for her book. This perseverance is a great example of grit and determination — as J.K Rowling wisely advised during her Harvard Commencement Speech, “it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.” - Creativity: J.K. Rowling's imagination is responsible for creating the magical world of Harry Potter, which has captivated readers of all ages. She has the ability to create an entire world, complete with its own history, mythology, and set of rules, and make it believable to her readers. She once said "Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation." - A Growth Mindset: J.K. Rowling's ability to improve and develop her writing skills over time is a great example of a growth mindset. She credited her publisher for giving her valuable feedback that helped her improve her craft and story-telling. This mindset is important for student who wants to succeed in their academic goals, as well as life. - Generosity: J.K. Rowling is known for her philanthropy and generosity. She has donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes, including multiple sclerosis research, single parent families, and poverty alleviation. She has also set up her own charity, the Volant Charitable Trust, which focuses on fighting poverty and social inequality. Ultimately, J.K. Rowling's story is a reminder that success often comes from persevering through failure, being creative, and having a growth mindset. With hard work, determination, and a willingness to learn, you can achieve great things, just like J.K. Rowling!
Want to learn how to be kinder to yourself and others? Kristin Neff, a self-compassion expert, has some tips! She emphasizes the importance of giving oneself permission to be kind and shares concrete actions, like letter-writing and physical gestures, to practice self-compassion. Neff explains that self-compassion recognizes the shared human condition and can help individuals be happier and give more to others. Check out her short video to learn more about how to treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to learn about global trade, develop your critical thinking skills, and make a difference in the world? Look no further than the FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge! Over the past 14 years, this program has empowered over 5,500 students in Singapore to participate in exciting activities to broaden their understanding of international trade. With 89 Singapore students representing the country at the regional challenge, the competition has been fierce and the results impressive. And this year, it could be you! The FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge is an unparalleled opportunity to promote teamwork, risk-taking, and self-confidence, all while making a positive social impact. By participating, you'll be required to research and synthesize detailed information related to a specific country to gain a greater understanding of international trade. You'll work with a teammate to develop a well-written international marketing plan for a specific country. Here’s the basic challenge process: Ensure you're equipped to prepare your Market Entry Strategy plan, all student entrants are required to sign up and the ITC Workshop. After the workshop, you and your teammate will have two weeks to complete your Market Entry Strategy Plan, where 12 finalist teams will be chosen to present their plans at the Singapore International Trade Challenge Finals. From there, three final winning teams will be selected to represent Singapore at the Asia Pacific International Trade Challenge to be held in August 2023. The experience at the Asia Pacific International Trade Challenge will be unforgettable. You'll have the opportunity to gain invaluable information, insights, and learnings from Senior FedEx executives and expert advice from FedEx program facilitators. You'll also have the opportunity to work with a student from another country to gain a global perspective. So what are you waiting for? Join the FedEx / JA International Trade Challenge and unlock your global potential today!