Is it time to start a band?
Plus, why some goals make us happier than others.
“Ultimately people are motivated by this desire to protect themselves, to guard against threats. They’re motivated by a sense of vulnerability.” —psychologist Kurt Gray
Don’t goal there. What are your goals? In a recent study, researchers looked at the differences between intrinsic goals (like forming better relationships) and extrinsic goals (like building wealth or social recognition). They found that intrinsic goals – goals that are inherently satisfying and personally fulfilling – are linked positively to well-being. Put simply, these kinds of goals make us happy. This isn’t so surprising – intrinsic goals are, in a way, focused on increasing our happiness and fulfillment. But the study also found that extrinsic goals are often associated with “ill-being.” In other words, these kinds of goals make us feel worse. In an interview with CNBC, psychologist Arthur Brooks says this might have to do with something called “the arrival fallacy.” That is, the belief that reaching a milestone will make us happy. But “happiness lies in progress and personal growth, not what we can show others,” Brooks said.
So you want to be a rock star. If you’ve ever wanted to pick up the guitar, now is the time. New research shows that it’s never too late to benefit from learning a musical instrument. In a study, researchers from the University of Exeter analyzed the musical experience and lifetime exposure to music of more than 25,000 participants. They also tested cognitive function. They found that, especially for older adults, playing an instrument or singing was associated with improved brain health. Specifically, it seemed to be good for memory and executive function. Study author Amy Corbett said that “promoting musical education would be a valuable part of public health initiatives to promote a protective lifestyle for brain health, as would encouraging older adults to return to music in later life.”
Hocus focus. We spend more and more of our lives staring at screens. Our digital devices are altering our brains in profound ways. The good news? There are ways to protect our minds in a world filled with endless distractions. Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
US 2.0: What We Have In Common: The United States, we’re told, is increasingly a house divided. Conservatives and progressives are so alienated from each other that conversation is virtually impossible. But are we really as divided as we’re led to believe? As we begin what promises to be a pivotal election season, we’re kicking off a new series about how we form our political beliefs. We’re calling it “US 2.0.” We begin with psychologist Kurt Gray, who studies how we think about our political allies and opponents — and how these insights can help us to chart a new path forward.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Ben Gomes’ Story: When Ben got a call about his mother being badly injured, he feared the worst. But when he arrived at the hospital, he learned how a stranger's quick thinking had saved her life.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
Only four words in Standard English begin with the letters "dw". They are all common. What are they?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?
Answer: A square manhole cover can be turned and dropped down the diagonal of the manhole. A round manhole cannot be dropped down the manhole. >So for safety and practicality, all manhole covers should be round. Source
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Hidden Brain is a game! Do you struggle to recognize people after you've met them? Do you like games and puzzles? If so, check out Hidden Brain Daily Challenge, our new app available on Apple iOS! It features our very first game, designed to help improve your facial recognition skills. Check it out here.
A MOMENT OF JOY
Ever seen an armadillo on an exercise wheel? Today is your lucky day.