Back in my third newsletter in August 2000 (omg 9 years ago) I did a short book review of The Power of Mindful Learning by Ellen Langer, a social psychologist at Harvard University. This is a very powerful book and had a huge influence on me at the time and my work with my Knowledge Cafes.
Ellen has recently published another book Counterclockwise. I have yet to read it but it looks equally as powerful.
She asks the question "If we could turn back the clock psychologically, could we also turn it back physically?" and answers that by opening our minds to what’s possible, instead of clinging to accepted notions about what’s not, can lead to better health at any age. The magic lies in being aware of the ways we mindlessly react to cultural cues.
This sounds very "new-agey" but Ellen's conclusions is based on thorough scientific research. The first chapter is available to read on-line.
What interests me here is that if our mindless reaction to cultural cues can exert such a strong influence on our health and well being what is the impact on our creativity and ability to learn and achieve things.