Positive futures
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There's More to Life Than Being Happy

There's More to Life Than Being Happy | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness

Via anafpires, Ariana Amorim, Les Howard, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Ariana Amorim's curator insight, January 22, 2013 8:39 AM

A must read.

Is there a difference between a happy life and a meaningful life? How do the happy life and the meaningful life differ?  

In a new study, which will be published this year in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Positive Psychology, psychological scientists found that a meaningful life and happy life overlap in certain ways, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life is associated with being a "taker" while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a "giver.

Take this: "Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided".

Ariana Amorim's comment, January 22, 2013 8:40 AM
Um dos melhores artigos que li nos últimos tempos.
Les Howard's curator insight, January 22, 2013 10:24 AM

Interesting article and fascinating discussion afterward

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15 Leadership Books Every Future Leader Should Read (or anyone actually)

15 Leadership Books Every Future Leader Should Read (or anyone actually) | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Many times I've had people ask me, "In addition to coaching and training, what else can I do to learn more about how to improve myself? How can I learn to be a great leader that propels myself and others towards greater growth and greater opportunities?"

 My answer is simple, read. Read everything you can about successful leaders and the steps that they have taken to achieve peak performance for themselves and their organisations.

 The following is a list, and brief overview, of some of the best books that I have read about leadership.
David Hain's insight:

If you only have a small bookshelf and a thirst for leadership wisdom, here's a good way to fill it!

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, Today, 3:53 PM
A list that includes Viktor Frankl and Man's Search for Meaning is good.
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Introducing the Whole Person Index – Postcards from 2035 

Introducing the Whole Person Index – Postcards from 2035  | Positive futures | Scoop.it
In your world, you strive towards individualism: more credentials, more stuff, more recognition, more things that show the world how successful you are. In our world, the only thing we strive toward is holism. That basically means we celebrate collectives rather than individuals; the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. Left thinking teaches ‘parts of whole things’; right thinking teaches ‘whole things.’ So we never measure our success as individuals. We don’t get grades, we don’t win medals and we don’t display status symbols. The only public display of our success is our Whole Person Index, which forms a part of our digital identity — our Trust Cloud.
Every individual’s Whole Person Index is a ratio of a range of inputs and variables that are constantly updated and recalculated. Our devices, our clothes and sensors all over the world record and track data about every aspect of our well-being. I understand that you’re uncomfortable with data collection, but that’s only because in your world, data is collected by others. In our world we collect and own our own data. The more we collect, the better we can analyse and improve — ourselves and our world.
David Hain's insight:

Meet the Whole Person Index - a measure of success for the future? Interesting, @StandardOfTrust?

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Common Purpose: Realigning Business, Economies, and Society

Common Purpose: Realigning Business, Economies, and Society | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Underlying the bitter politics of our time is a simple, prevalent reality: Too many people feel that they are being left behind by a system unfairly stacked against them. For a number of generations, citizens in the world’s wealthiest nations perceived themselves as participants in a long chain of ever-increasing prosperity. Now many see themselves as worse off than their parents. They also believe their children’s lives will be worse than their own, and often with good reason. They resent the global financial system and perceive that its benefits are going only to a small minority of people — which does not include them.

These perceptions are now so widely shared that they add up to a political and economic malaise. This is not limited to the “populists” who are angry and active; they are prominent because of the role they have played in influencing major elections. No matter what your own political perspective may be, our times are marked by a fundamental loss of confidence: in the reliability and impact of economic growth; in the institutions of our interconnected world (and the trust people have in them); and in the apparent ability of government, business, and civil society to respond.
David Hain's insight:

In our divided and increasingly uncertain future, the only certainty is a need to realign society. A thoughtful essay on how we got here...

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The importance of debate

The importance of debate | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Debate: a formal discussion, often in front of an audience, in which two or more people put forward opposing views on a particular subject; any general discussion on a subject, not necessarily in one place or at one time. 13th Century, from French ‘debatre’ meaning ‘to discuss’. Chambers Dictionary.

The importance of fair discussion and a chance to challenge and explore new opinions and ideas cannot be overstated.

Leaders, debating is your chance to explain what you know, win supporters for your strategies and probe and improve the goings-on throughout the company.

Team-members, innovate in a collaborative and iterative manner by putting your solutions through a debate.

Shareholders, find out whether a strategy is in your best interest, or decide how to move forward.

Staff, solve problems and improve transparency and communication by talking openly about issues and opinions.

Debating in the workplace can have a number of uses:
David Hain's insight:

Now more than ever, we need dialogue. Dialogue means debate. Some good advice on debating here.

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The Primary Barrier Stopping You From Everything You Want In Life?

The Primary Barrier Stopping You From Everything You Want In Life? | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” And he’s right. But I’m going to take it one step further.
Pain, discomfort, shock, boredom, impostor syndrome, awkwardness, fear, being wrong, failing, ignorance, looking stupid: your avoidance of these feelings is stopping you from a life beyond your wildest imagination.
These are the feelings that accompany a life of success. And yet, these are the very feelings you relentlessly avoid!
Interesting how that works, right?
David Hain's insight:

"Discomfort is very much part of my master plan." Jonathan Lethem

No discomfort, no growth?

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On the Brink of Massive Change: Is This The Future You Want?

On the Brink of Massive Change: Is This The Future You Want? | Positive futures | Scoop.it

Our world is going to look and operate drastically different over the next two decades. Powered by exponential technology, the cost of storage and computing are near zero making it possible to crunch gigantic data sets and enabling a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI). Application development tools and enabling technologies (i.e., sensors, cameras, robots) have improved dramatically. The combination makes it possible to automate even super complex tasks like driving.

“They already are much smarter than us at many things,” said Harvard’s Erik Brynjolfsson. “The question is ‘Can we adapt fast enough?’”

It is hard to tell exactly how this will all play out, but there four primary reasons you and the young people you care about should pay attention to artificial intelligence–we think it’s time to #AskAboutAI.

David Hain's insight:

Artificial Intelligence will dominate the future, like it or not. One thing we can do is to learn all about it...

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Naming, Taming, and Erasing Your Fear Patterns: The 7 Universal Obstacles 

Naming, Taming, and Erasing Your Fear Patterns: The 7 Universal Obstacles  | Positive futures | Scoop.it
But here comes the tricky part. As the Fear Patterns are mostly unconscious behavior and habits, we are often not aware of them. We are mostly oblivious to how they can play havoc in our lives, the lives of others, and in our workplaces, through harmful and destructive behavior. Being in the throes of an egoic fear attack saps us of our full energy and personal power, and can prevent us from making a difference through our voices and actions. That is why it is vitally important to be able to recognize, name, tame, and even erase these Fear Patterns and move through these Obstacles.  By now I trust you are curious enough to want to discover the other Fear Patterns and start pondering which ones are your biggest adversaries. As I mentioned before, there are 7 Fear Patterns or Universal Obstacles and they work in pairs:

The 7 Universal Fear Patterns / Obstacles:

Pair 1: Self-Destruction and Greed

Pair 2: Self-Deprecation and Arrogance

Pair 3: Martyrdom and Impatience

Stands alone: Stubbornness
David Hain's insight:

Are these some of the patterns that might subconsciously be holding you back?

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8 mistakes I made as a manager and how you can avoid them

8 mistakes I made as a manager and how you can avoid them | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Winning business is so distractingly sexy that we keep making the same mistake over and over: we prioritize business development over fostering good managers.

I know “growth” is the word to emblazon across the sky, but without good managers a healthy culture and retention are simply not possible.

When I first became a manager, I made every mistake in the book.

David Hain's insight:

I made most of these mistakes too...

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How to Be a Lifelong Learner

How to Be a Lifelong Learner | Positive futures | Scoop.it
People around the world are hungry to learn. Instructor Barbara Oakley discovered this when her online course “Learning How to Learn”—filmed in her basement in front of a green screen—attracted more than 1.5 million students.
Part of the goal of her course—and her new book, Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential—is to debunk some of the myths that get in the way of learning, like the belief that we’re bad at math or too old to change careers. These are just artificial obstacles, she argues. 

“People can often do more, change more, and learn more—often far more—than they’ve ever dreamed possible. Our potential is hidden in plain sight all around us,” Oakley writes.
She should know: Throughout her early schooling, she flunked math and science classes and resisted family pressure to pursue a science degree. Today? She’s a professor of engineering at Oakland University, after many different jobs in between.
Her book aims to help readers discover their hidden potential, by offering them both the tools and the inspiration to transform themselves through learning. 
David Hain's insight:

Learning to learn - and never stopping the learning journey - is one of the secrets of a long, fulfilled and successful life!

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The why and how of effective altruism

The why and how of effective altruism | Positive futures | Scoop.it
If you're lucky enough to live without want, it's a natural impulse to be altruistic to others. But, asks philosopher Peter Singer, what's the most effective way to give? He talks through some surprising thought experiments to help you balance emotion and practicality — and make the biggest impact with whatever you can share.
David Hain's insight:

The best ways to put back into society?

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Turning Setbacks into Success

Turning Setbacks into Success | Positive futures | Scoop.it
In every person’s career, there are pivotal moments that stand out. These experiences can range from landing your dream internship to being made partner at a firm, and each holds its own set of lessons. However, I’d argue that the setbacks and failures we experience shape us equally as much as our successes. We are defined by our failures, the lessons we choose to learn, and how close we stay to the pulse of change in order to keep up with market transitions. I’d like to share a few are key lessons I’ve learned:
David Hain's insight:

Career lessons form someone who has made it very big. Worth noting...!

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4 lessons from the longest-running study on happiness

4 lessons from the longest-running study on happiness | Positive futures | Scoop.it

Have you ever wished you could fast-forward your life so you could see if the decisions you’re making will lead to satisfaction and health in the future? In the world of scientific research, the closest you can get to that is by looking at the Harvard Study of Adult Development — a study that has tracked the lives of 724 men for 78 years, and one of the longest studies of adult life ever done. Investigators surveyed the group every two years about their physical and mental health, their professional lives, their friendships, their marriages — and also subjected them to periodic in-person interviews, medical exams, blood tests and brain scans.

The big takeaways from that talk: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier, and loneliness kills. But there were, of course, many more lessons to be learned — the study has yielded more than 100 published papers so far, with enough data for “scores more” — and Waldinger shares four of them here. 

David Hain's insight:

Work on those relationships for a long and happy life...! obvious - but true!

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One of NYU’s most popular classes is now a book

One of NYU’s most popular classes is now a book | Positive futures | Scoop.it
The Science of Happiness is a rare, but not exactly unheard of, class. Lerner pointed to similar courses offered at the University of Pennsylvania — where the father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, taught — as well as Harvard.
“There are a ton of positive psychology classes around the country, but I don’t know any of them quite like ours, where we deal with how to both overcome challenges and how to thrive,” Schlechter said.
The two hope their new book becomes required reading for incoming freshmen.
“My dream is that this book lands on the pillow of every matriculated high school senior and incoming college student in the country,” Lerner said. “It can help make their entire experience a better one.”
David Hain's insight:

How to ace college, deal with challenges and have fun!

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Using AI to program humans to behave better

Using AI to program humans to behave better | Positive futures | Scoop.it

If we agree that some biases perpetuate existing, unacceptable behaviors (racism, sexism, ageism), then we also have to agree that there are desired behaviors we should design for. This suggests a more hopeful dimension to this story: we can proactively program our AI systems to reward behaviors like kindness, empathy, thoroughness, and fairness. We can make AI a force for good.

David Hain's insight:

Could AI accelerate good behaviours? Apparently so!

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30 ideas to reboot equality in Europe | Nesta

30 ideas to reboot equality in Europe | Nesta | Positive futures | Scoop.it
The European Social Innovation Competition has selected 30 semi-finalists with ideas to spread the benefits of technological change in Europe.

In response to digitalisation’s transformative effect on the labour market, the 2017 Competition aims to ‘reboot’ equality and shape future society by inspiring fresh approaches to digital inclusion, collaborative economy, connectivity and skills development.

The 30 selected projects have been chosen from almost 800 entries by our judging panel. They come from all corners of Europe and Horizon 2020 participant countries, with 15 different nations represented including Greece, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

David Hain's insight:

Lots of ideas to manage technology, equality and social justice here!

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Elevating the strength of character strengths

Elevating the strength of character strengths | Positive futures | Scoop.it

“The purpose of life is to discover your gifts. The meaning of life is to give your gifts away” — David Viscott


It’s one thing to use our strengths for our personal growth and wellbeing, but where the strength in strengths really shines is when we infuse them with purpose. Using our strengths to express our whole, authentic selves in a way that contributes to our own wellbeing – and the wellbeing of the communities and ecosystems we belong.

David Hain's insight:

Focus on your strengths, there are so many ways to find them out and to utilise them!

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Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out Disconfirming Evidence

Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out Disconfirming Evidence | Positive futures | Scoop.it
In The Case for Motivated Reasoning, Ziva Kunda wrote “we give special weight to information that allows us to come to the conclusion we want to reach.” Accepting information which confirms our beliefs is easy and requires little mental energy. Yet contradicting information causes us to shy away, grasping for a reason to discard it.

In The Little Book of Stupidity, Sia Mohajer wrote:

The confirmation bias is so fundamental to your development and your reality that you might not even realize it is happening. We look for evidence that supports our beliefs and opinions about the world but excludes those that run contrary to our own… In an attempt to simplify the world and make it conform to our expectations, we have been blessed with the gift of cognitive biases.
David Hain's insight:

Confirmation bias distorts our judgement, as this poem by Shannon L. Adler illustrates:

Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.
Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.
Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.
Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery.
Read it with hope and you will feel positive.
Read it with humor and you will feel joy.
Read it without bias and you will feel peace.
Do not read it at all and you will not feel a thing.

 

HT to the excellent Farnham Street blog - but, then, I'm probably biased!

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Ian Berry's curator insight, May 31, 7:56 PM
Love this article and the refs. I'm contrarian by nature. I surround myself with people who will disagree with me and push back when I show bias
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What makes life worth living in the face of death

What makes life worth living in the face of death | Positive futures | Scoop.it
In this deeply moving talk, Lucy Kalanithi reflects on life and purpose, sharing the story of her late husband, Paul, a young neurosurgeon who turned to writing after his terminal cancer diagnosis. "Engaging in the full range of experience — living and dying, love and loss — is what we get to do," Kalanithi says. "Being human doesn't happen despite suffering — it happens within it."
David Hain's insight:

How we treat people at the end of life (and remember, young people die, too) is a critical measure of our society. if this doesn't make you think about that, nothing will...

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7 Signs That You’re Lying

7 Signs That You’re Lying | Positive futures | Scoop.it
New research by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke at the Haas School of Business suggests that, while most of us have pretty good instincts when it comes to recognizing liars, we hesitate to call out lying in professional environments because we feel guilty for being suspicious. Calling someone a liar for no good reason is a frightening proposition for most.

Dr. ten Brinke’s research points to objective, well-documented physiological and behavioral changes - or “tells” - that we can use to make accurate assessments of other people’s truthfulness. Both her work and that of Dr. William Ury (Harvard) in Getting to Yes, can help us recognize autonomic behaviors in others and ourselves, in order to increase our truthfulness. Here are seven “tells” that may indicate someone is lying:

David Hain's insight:

Useful guidelines for your personal crap detector!

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Top Employers Say Millennials Need These 4 Skills in 2017

Top Employers Say Millennials Need These 4 Skills in 2017 | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Millennial job seekers receive conflicting messages from employers and career advisors: on the one hand, we’re told robots will someday replace our technical skills, so why bother. On the other hand, we’re told hard skills are a hot commodity.

Which is it?

Employers value technical skills, to be sure. But I asked more than 100 top HR managers, recruiters and CEOs which was more important for entry-level job seekers, and nearly all of them said soft skills. “We look for candidates with a solid foundation of soft skills and trust so that the rest can be built upon it,” Emőke Starr, Head of HR at Prezi, said. Likewise, Wayfair's Global Senior Director of Talent Management and Employee Development, Marcy Axelrad, said that Wayfair often doesn’t require entry-level candidates to “have the exact experience in the area for which she/he is interviewing.”

Traditional soft skills include leadership, communication and collaboration. Millennials tend to excel at these or, at the very least, know they should. But there are four additional soft skills that are under-discussed, rare and essential in the modern workforce:
David Hain's insight:

4 areas of soft skill to focus on if you are looking for a job?

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How To “Hack” Human Communication 101 

How To “Hack” Human Communication 101  | Positive futures | Scoop.it
I’ve been failing at human communication for 26 years now, so I think I’m more than qualified to talk about this.
Over the years, I have pulled countless communication doozies. I have wiggled my way around questions, nodded my head when I should have shaken it, said “yes” when I mean to say “no,” refused to ask for help, failed to give compliments, and I hated saying “sorry.”
I started getting a little better each year since 2011, so I’m improving. Here are six communication “hacks” from those past six years:
David Hain's insight:

Succinct sense on the journey to communication clarity!

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The Art and Science of Getting into the Flow

The Art and Science of Getting into the Flow | Positive futures | Scoop.it
Research suggests that if you can cultivate the flow in your daily life, the benefits don’t just stop at job performance — the flow state of mind also contributes to health and well-being. But as soon as we try to bottle up the feeling and carry it into less appealing tasks, it seems to elude us. Rather than gettting in the flow, we end up disengaged and working harder than ever on work we just don’t appreciate.

Thankfully, cutting-edge psychological research can help us cultivate flow when we’re elbow-deep in work we don’t want to do. When facing difficult tasks, we can experience meaning, move through challenges, and embrace productivity while easing stress.

Quite simply, flow psychology offers an alternative to the daily grind: a way of working that is easier, more effective, and more enjoyable.
David Hain's insight:

How to find your flow! Everybody needs some time in this state...

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 26, 1:36 PM
Flow activities are ones that truly engage participants. They range from busy and active to reflective and quiet. I had an activity called "The Culture of Peace" that was an example of the former and art was often like the second. Students would comment to each other they could "this" all day.
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The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower

The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower | Positive futures | Scoop.it
When reflecting on the future self, the brain’s activation is identical to when it is considering the traits of another person,” writes Kelly McGonigal in The Willpower Instinct, a book that has helped me change the way I see and move toward my goals. So the Paulette of Next Year can feel like another kind of authority figure, someone trying to make me do something I don’t want to do today.
When I screw myself over, by getting in debt, being hungover, or procrastinating on my work until it becomes a flurry of panic typing, I rail against this person inside. “You’re the worst!” I tell myself.
According to McGonigal, I’m going about this all wrong. Firstly, she says, berating yourself for being “bad,” is only more likely to keep you from acting in the way you want to act. Guilt is a stressor, firstly, and stress weakens your willpower.
Secondly, by moralizing my behavior, labeling it as “good” or “bad,” I’m opening myself up to the risk of moral licensing.
David Hain's insight:

Why we need top learn to re-frame that inner voice...!

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 25, 3:10 PM
This is an interesting article.
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How the London borough of Harrow is building the council of the future | Nesta

How the London borough of Harrow is building the council of the future | Nesta | Positive futures | Scoop.it
The LB of Harrow has been managing cuts since 2008, when government funding increased below inflation. The “fat” was trimmed long ago. Yet the council is determined to keep delivering services effectively, and efficiently. Harrow recognises that the expectations of citizens are changing; they are used to a certain standard and experience in other areas of their lives.

Harrow also understands that technology is advancing significantly, and innovations are being developed across the world that people could benefit from.

So how does a council change that culture so that it attracts, catalyses, and incubates innovation? Could this be the answer to delivering high-quality services as funding pressures intensify?

Working with TechUK, Harrow have designed a programme which aims to find out.
David Hain's insight:

Contrary to received wisdom, there are some amazing projects - and challenges in the Public Sector. Have you considered...?

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How Do You See the World Around You?

How Do You See the World Around You? | Positive futures | Scoop.it

Do you view the glass as half-full or half-empty? I hope you said “neither” — it’s never good to see the world through a single filter. The fact is, every gear in your car does something different. What would happen if you got stuck in neutral? The same can be said of the way that you view things. How do you see the world?

Unfortunately, we often fall victim to “thinking traps” that influence our feelings and impact our behavior. It’s not a matter of lacking intelligence, but rather of being blinded by a filter that distorts our thinking process. For example, if you wake up thinking that today’s going to be awesome, you’ll likely be happier and more productive than if you fear that problems are lurking around every corner. If you look for problems hard enough, you’re bound to find one.

The key is to know how you see the world and to manage it accordingly. Do these 20 behavioral filters sound familiar?

David Hain's insight:

You will fall victim to some of these thinking traps - best learn to recognise them!

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