What makes interesting people interesting?

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Interesting people have a special magnetism. They tell incredible stories and lead unusual lives. But what exactly makes them so captivating?

They are curious more than anything else. An interesting person is always excited to explore the world, and this energy radiates outward.

Some people are naturally interesting, but there are also ways to learn to be more engaging. Anyone can learn to become more interesting, which is a wonderful thing, because being interesting can help you strengthen your network, win more clients, and lead more effectively.

There are several habits that many interesting people have in common. Sometimes these habits form naturally, but they are more often than not the result of conscious effort. Here’s what interesting people do to make themselves engaging, unusual, and hypnotizing.

They are passionate. 

Jane Goodall, a bona fide interesting person, left her home in England and moved to Tanzania at age 26 to begin studying chimpanzees. It became her life’s work, and Goodall has devoted herself fully to her cause while inspiring many others to do the same. Interesting people don’t just have interests; they have passions, and they devote themselves completely to them.

They try new things. 

Interesting people do what interests them. They know what they want, and they’re brave enough to take the steps to get there. This often means trying new things—things at which they may be terrible at first. The very act of seeking new experiences also happens to be great for your mood, and people who are happy are magnetic and far more interesting to be around than duds.

They don’t hide their quirks. 

Interesting people often have unusual preferences that don’t fit the norm. They are open and unabashed about who they are, which gives everyone a good look at these interesting tendencies. Billionaire Warren Buffett, for example, has never been suited to the high-rolling lifestyle. Instead, he still lives in the same modest house he bought in 1958 for $31,500. It might seem quirky—or even strange—for such an incredibly wealthy man to live so frugally, but Buffett doesn’t sacrifice his preferences because of what’s expected of him.

They avoid the bandwagon. 

Nothing is more boring than following the bandwagon, and interesting people are intent on forging their own paths. There’s often nothing wrong with what everyone else is doing; it’s just that interesting people are innovators, who break conformity to pursue new, exciting, and yes, interesting ideas.

They check their egos at the door. 

An egomaniac is never interesting. Egomaniacs are always posturing, always worrying about how they’ll come across. It’s exhausting, and it’s also dishonest. Take Oprah Winfrey—an interesting and interested person. In a speech to the Stanford University graduating class of 2008, she said, “The trick is to learn to check your ego at the door and start checking your gut instead. Every right decision I’ve made—every right decision I’ve ever made—has come from my gut. And every wrong decision I’ve ever made was a result of me not listening to the greater voice of myself.” Oprah’s advice is so important: listen to your values, goals, and ambitions, rather than worrying about what will make you look good.

They’re always learning. 

To interesting people, the world has infinite possibilities. This curiosity about the unknown leads to constant learning, fueled by an ever-burning desire to discover the unknown. Despite his intelligence and accomplishments, Albert Einstein kept a sense of wonder throughout his life that made him continue to ask questions about the world. Like Einstein, interesting people are in a constant state of wonder.

They share what they discover. 

The only thing interesting people enjoy as much as learning is sharing their discoveries with others. While some will spin engaging yarns about their exciting travels, there is more to it than that. Interesting people are interesting because they feel out their conversational partner to see what sparks that person’s interest. They don’t share to expose all of the interesting things they’ve done; they share for other people to enjoy.

They don’t worry about what others think of them. 

Nothing is more uninteresting than someone who holds their true self back because they’re afraid that other people might not like it. Instead, interesting people are true to themselves wherever they are, whoever they’re with, and in whatever they’re doing. Interesting people are authentic to a fault. The famous English author Charles Dickens personified this. No matter where he was working—in a friend’s house or in a hotel—he would bring specific pens and objects and arrange them precisely. While his behavior may have seemed strange, he was always true to himself.

It might not always be easy to incorporate these habits into daily life, but that’s what makes the people who do so interesting—they go against the grain, and that is undeniably interesting.

Never forget to keep exploring the world and staying true to yourself.

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Study Reveals Google Search Improves Brain Functions

The Internet, Facebook, smartphones, and other technology might be a challenging new frontier for many seniors, but there are benefits to learning and embracing the evolving technology.

A study at UCLA showed that simply using search engines such as Google triggered key centers in the brains of middle-aged and older adults, areas that control complex reasoning and decision-making, according to a press release at ucla.edu. Researchers involved said the results suggest that searching might help stimulate and possibly improve the function of the brain.

“The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults,” said principal investigator Dr. Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA who holds UCLA’s Parlow-Solomon Chair on Aging. “Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function.”

You might be familiar with the posit that crosswords, word searches and other puzzles help keep the brain active, but as technology becomes more a part of our daily lives, the influence of computer use, including the Internet, also helps keep the mind engaged and may help preserve cognitive ability.

Study volunteers were between the ages of 55 and 76; with half of them having search experience and half of them had no search experience. Gender, age and education level were kept similar between the two groups, which performed Web searches and book-reading tasks.

While all the participants showed significant brain activity during the book-reading task, Internet searches were another matter. All the participants showed the same brain activity as in the book-reading task, but those familiar with online searches also showed activity “in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, which control decision-making and complex reasoning,” the study revealed.

“Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading — but only in those with prior Internet experience,” said Small, who is also the director of UCLA’s Memory and Aging Research Center.

He said the minimal brain activation found in the less experienced Internet group may be due to participants not quite grasping the strategies needed to successfully engage in an Internet search, which is common while learning a new activity.

What does this mean? In addition to helping seniors keep up with ever-developing technology, being actively engaged with the Internet can help stimulate brain activity as we age.

Those who haven’t embraced the Internet might consider classes offered at senior centers or other locations. Or there’s always a computer-savvy grandchild who might provide an easy introduction.

New research study may reveal that people with kids live longer.

I read this article recently originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com1-aoKisu1Z7eqdOtuDJ4bVxQ If you want a longer life, consider creating one. They’ll help you out later.

This is the takeaway from a new nationwide study of Sweden in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Researchers tracked the lifespans of 1.5 million Swedes born between 1911 and 1925 and their children.

The people with kids outlived the childfree, especially later in life: At age 60, the gain in life expectancy was 1.5 years for women and 2 years for men, and the differences grew more pronounced from there.

Close relationships, psychologists are finding, have a profound effect on people. When we talk about how kids, partners, and friends offer social support, we’re speaking to how close bonds literally help regulate hormone levels and physiological arousal, helping to bring the body back into a healthy balance.

Like Jenny Anderson notes at Quartz, this study can’t conclusively say that having kids caused these Swedes to live longer; it’s an association. But the researchers, lead by Karin Modig at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, offer that it’s the best explanation, backed up the finding that people with kids who had been divorced still had greater lifespans than those without kids, with greater benefits for men. The finding echoesearlier research around how parents have better heart health than their child-free peers, and the folk wisdom that if you take care of kids when they’re young, they’ll look out for you when you’re old.

Technically, your brain’s efforts to keep your body’s systems in balance is calledallostasis, and getting it screwed up by stress and lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to disease. But thankfully, you don’t have to just rely on your brain and body for that stabilization — at a physiological level, that’s what friends (and parents and partners and adult children) are for.