Everything Is a Present
At age 108, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer still practices piano for 3 hours every day. At age 104, she had a book written about her life: “A Garden Of Eden In Hell.” At age 83, she had cancer. Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way – a smile, a kind word, the sun. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: “I look where it is good.”
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.
Ron Gutman is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, a personalized health-info site that’s currently in beta.
Why you should listen to him:
Ron Gutman is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, responsible for the company’s innovation, vision and product. Before this, he was founder and CEO of Wellsphere, an online consumer health company that developed the world’s largest community of independent health writers; it was acquired in early 2009.
As a graduate student at Stanford, Gutman organized and led a multidisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students from the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Business, Psychology and Law to conduct research in personalized health and to design ways to help people live healthier, happier lives. He is an angel investor and advisor to health and technology companies such as Rock Health (the first Interactive Health Incubator) and Harvard Medical School‘s SMArt Initiative (“Substitutable Medical Apps, reusable technologies”).
To explore the connection between breath, air, and the word inspiration: “We are what and how we breathe, so paying attention to breath and air quality is crucial. We can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breath.” A short talk about the environment, specifically air quality, will link to the word inspiration meaning both intake of breath and the passion that leads to action. The program will conclude with the audience participating in a short breath meditation
What does a disgusting image have to do with how you vote? Equipped with surveys and experiments, psychologist David Pizarro demonstrates a correlation between sensitivity to disgusting cues — a photo of feces, an unpleasant odor — and moral and political conservatism.
Why you should listen to him:
It’s common knowledge that our emotions can have a strong effect on our behavior and judgment. But why would an emotion like disgust, evolutionarily developed to protect us from poisons and other dangerous substances, have any influence on our political leanings today? David Pizarro, associate professor at Cornell University, is studying this surprising phenomenon: Sensitivity to disgusting sensations (like a photo of feces, or being reminded that germs are everywhere) correlates to moral and political conservatism. In his studies he has demonstrated that exposing people to an unpleasant odor can increase negative feelings toward homosexual men.