Daily Quote: The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way you live. Dr Jim Loehr
Have you ever used this excuse for not exercising–I just don’t have the time. In reality this excuse is based on not making exercise a priority in your life.
There is simply no replacement for exercise. A consistent exercise program offers a reliable and natural way to boost your mood and increase your self-esteem. When you exercise, your body produces substances called endorphins. These are the biochemicals that are associated with producing a euphoric feeling of peace and satisfaction. Besides the obvious physical benefits of daily exercise, being physically active also offers important emotional benefits and is one of the most powerful influences that you can inject into your life. If you are not presently engaged in a consistent exercise program, it is time to embrace this concept and begin. As George Bernard Shaw so eloquently said, “You see things and you say, why? But I dream things and I say why not?” Why not make today the day you revisit your dream of health and commit yourself to exercise. There is no better gift to give your body and your mind and it will help make your dream of a healthier life come true.
If you want to be healthy, inside and out, you simply must incorporate exercise into your life. Regular physical activity is a major contributor to effective weight loss, improved physical health and emotional well-being. Research consistently shows that regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits and adequate water intake, is the most efficient and effective way to improve your health, control your weight and enhance your mood.
Now we all know that exercise is a key to our physical and emotional health, so why don’t we do more exercising?
1. We do not put exercise time on our things to do list. The more exercise is planned and scheduled the more we do it.
2. We alck the energy to get-up and go. This is because we don’t understand how energy is depleted and are willpower is less efficient the longer the day go es on. Pick an early morning time to exercise. If you think I don’t have the time to do it in the morning, then add 30 min. to your day by getting up earlier and exercising
3. Learn to measure how you are doing–keep an exercse journal and reward yourself as you see progress.
4. Study and learn how to build your “willpower muscle”
If we’re going to optimize our energy, says Dr. jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their New Your Times bestselling selling book The Power of of Full Engagement:: “we need to recognize that our willpower is (a) weaker than we think and (b) more draining to employ than we think. Every time we have to consciously decide whether or not we’re going to do something, we deplete energy. This is why schedules work, and where rituals come in handy. They remove some of the exhaustion associated with choic..“We use the word ‘ritual’ purposefully to emphasize the notion of a highly structured behavior,” write Loehr and Schwartz. “In contrast to will and discipline, which require pushing yourself to a behavior, a ritual pulls at you. Brushing your teeth is something to which you feel consistently drawn, compelled by its health value. You do it without much conscious effort or intention. Rituals ensure we use as little conscious energy as possible, leaving us free to focus our energy in creative, enriching ways.”
Self-Coaching Challenge–.Make an action plan for building exercise into your daily routine. Start with small steps and set a date to begin andwho will support you in your personal change project?
Daily Quote: “One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”
Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management
Reflection: I don’t think Dr. Drucker is suggesting that we should avoid identifying and addressing areas for development, but we tend to make weakness and improvement of problem areas a priority at the expense of ignoring or taking for granted our strengths. We need to remember that on any given day we only have a certain amount of time and energy. So in focusing on weaknesses or problems as the priority we have little energy or time to emphasize and use our strengths to tackle our duties and responsibilities, and I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling for living a more meaningful and constructive life.
And the more presentation coaching I do, the more convinced I am that people are better served by seeking to build on their strengths than by seeking to overcome their weaknesses. As a coach, I have been amazed at the over emphasis in presentation coaching of observing and pointing out weaknesses of what I call “technique rather than substance”. For example, the trainer who focuses on negative things like poor eye contact, hands in the pocket, fill speech (eliminating Uhh’s and Um’s), low energy or just overall nervousness impacts presenters in a negative ways. We know from research that positive feedback at the ratio of 3 positive to 1 negative comments increases motivation and the probability of positive behavioral change.
One of my fundamental assumptions as a presentation coach is that each client has the potential and abilities within to learn how to be “great”. They just need to observe and concentrate on their strengths, like their great smile, their positive and contagious passion for their message and ability to challenge and engage the audience. To do this it is essential for the training program to use video feedback techniques like “interjective coaching and self-discovery” tools. When training techniques encourage participant’s active involvement in learning it brings out insights, strong motivation, and resourceful creative ways to build on strengths. From my perspective nothing is wrong or broken, and there is no need to fix the client,; they just need to belief in and practice what they are best at. The only problem is that presentation training programs have often focused on “fixing” the presenter rather than helping them find and use their strengths. The challenge here is that people often seek coaching precisely because they or their managers believe that something IS “wrong” or “broken” and something needs “fixing.” It’s essential for the coach and client to collaborate on identify strengths and develop an alternative perspective that focuses on the client’s strengths, because their capabilities–their belief, their resourcefulness for seeing their strengths-are the qualities that will generate going from “good to great” as public speakers.
Self- Coaching Challenge: Since I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying strengths and successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling in changing behavior I am offering a FREE NO CHARGE ANALYSIS of your presentation skills. Over the next thirty days, just send me a u-tube video or home video of your last presentation or of a practice session that you would like feedback on. I will provide a one page presentation evaluation checklist that we will use to observe and identify your speaking strengths and you will be well on your way to becoming a GREAT presenter.
Daily Quote: “Create what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and windmills and motivates you to keep on track for fulfilling your dreams”. Dr. William Glasser, Author of Reality Therapy.
1. Learn to become more assertive and open to feedback.
You stand-up for your rights and confidently assert your viewpoint and perspectives. You know that the key to self-awareness is being aware of your strengths, weaknesses and blindspots so you encourage other people’s viewpoints and observations about your behavior through feedback, whether they’re observations are negative or positive. You welcome other people’s point of views, so you can learn to develop and improve interpersonal relationships.
2. Learn to make practice perfect and become more persistent in following through on your personal goals and objectives for living a more fulfilling and constructive daily life.
You have a strong will power which doesn’t let you give up on things you really want. You keep persisting in small smart-steps until you master the things that are important to you. You keep trying and you don’t stop until you’ve achieved that target. Part of your trying to change is to apply the rules of deliberative practicw to your life. Giving up just isn’t your thing, but looking for alternatives and creating more effective habits is.
3. Practice being more gentle and forgiving of yourself.
Many people are so hard on themselves they don’t have difficulty trusting and accepting their true self. The lack of self-compassion makes it hard to be positive and move on. If you don’t let go, and forgive yourself it is difficult to learn lessons from making mistakes or failing to accomplishing your goals for personal growth and development. The answer is to learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake and leave the past in the past and focus on the next event. Learning to forgive yourself increases your ability to restore energy and increase positivity in life.
I accept who I am–strengths, faults and “big ears”…
There are persons who have similar outlooks and physical characteristics
And some personality styles and preferences like me…
Still no one is exactly like me…
Therefore, I am special and a gift…
Everything that comes out of me is not beautiful or prized
And yet it is singularly authentic because I am me.
And I am choosing and creating my way…
I own everything about me–
My mind including its thoughts, feelings, and demons
My bodyincluding all its flaws and scars… and moles
My eyes including the images of all they behold;
My smile…My words tone of voice loud or soft, sweet or harsh—-
And most of all my actions…good or bad…intentional or impulsive
I own my hopes and dreams, my fears, my failures
I own all my strengths, weaknesses and all my wins or losses.
I own all of me–bright and shadow sides…
By accepting me I am free to change and renew
I know there are aspects of me I don’t know and can’t hide
These parts confuse, scare and puzzle me–
Other aspects others see and I don’t.
But as long as I am open, vulnerable and compassionate with myself,
I can act whole-hearted and be daring.
Looking for ways to be more courageous…more caring and less self-serving
All I need to do is ask the universe…and solutions appear.
And if I stay curious, open and aware
I will find out more about me.
Being present and attentive to whatever I say and do
Whatever I think and feel at a given moment is me…
And this is being authentic and real…
I can discard that which is not working, keeping what proved worthy.
And invent something new.
Because this is me. This is me…Trying to do my best
I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do.
I have feelings of joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement and happiness
To be close to others, to be happy.., and to make sense out of a complex world…
I own me, and therefore I can create my meaning…my meaning…
I am okay and good enough…enough…enough…this is my BEST
EFFORTING—On Becoming a Growth Mindset Change Machine
Creating a 30 day plan based on PURPOSE. EFFORT, LEARNING AND LOVE
Focus of Artticle: Overcoming Obstacles for Personal Change in Thirty days using self-coaching process and structure
Many folks are not motivated to make the effort to become more self-aware. So they just set their life map on automatic pilot and float through life accepting what ever comes their way.
Formula for Change Self-awareness and Action = overcoming inner obstacles for personal growth and development.
Reframing: Goal Focused Method for Personal Growth and Change –Change your behavior and then your thinking changes.
G-oal –Focus on what you want to accomplish. Make your goal specific and measurable. Realize that change comes from both the inside-out and outside-in.
O bstacles—Barriers to accomplishing goal. E.g. Fear of failure, low believe in self (SA), bad habits difficult environmental circumstances.
O utput—Effort and energy needed to overcome obstacle. Deliberate practice and effort
D—Development Plan– IF…Then system for Behavioral and cognitive process for changing habits and triggers
Plan eg. If fearful then name it, face it and act
Start with a clear and focused mind. Focused on self-awareness.
Self-Coaching uses an imagery or mental technique that involves thoughts and actions. You should be relaxed, focused, and willing to clear your mind. Identify a meaningful wish. This is meant to help you select a personal, academic, or professional desire—one wish that is dear to you. It should be challenging but feasible. It can be a wish you want to come true in a day, a month, or longer. Once you have a wish, summarize it in 3 to 6 words to make it memorable. Identify and imagine the best outcome. This part of the process enables you to connect your mind and feelings to the best result of fulfilling your wish. Be willing to think about the best result. Really see and feel what it’s like to accomplish it! Once you are ready, make sure to hold the outcome in your mind and imagine it. Identify the obstacle within you that is holding you back. Imagine it. Sometimes, our feelings, thoughts, or actions prevent us from fulfilling our wishes. Identifying your internal obstacle raises your awareness about what is preventing you from achieving your wish. You may have to dig deeper to find your real obstacle. Once you identify your internal obstacle, hold it in your mind, and imagine it. See and feel yourself experiencing the obstacle. Create an “if [obstacle], then I will [effective action]” plan. You can overcome your obstacle. First, identify one effective action you can take to overcome it. Then you will need to create a plan, but not any kind of plan. A WOOP plan has a specific formula: “If [obstacle], then I will [effective action].” This formula ensures that your plan is directly linked to the obstacle. Once you create a plan, you should repeat it aloud and imagine it. Reflect on the process. You may need to make adjustments to some or all sections of your WOOP. To do so, ask yourself: “Is this wish meaningful? Is this the real obstacle? Is this action effective? Did I really see and feel it, and feel engaged in the WOOP process? Once you find answers, WOOP again. Give it a try! Wish: What is an important wish that you want to accomplish in the next _________ [time period]? Your wish should be challenging but feasible. Write your response in 3 to 6 words. Outcome: What will be the best result from accomplishing your wish? How will you feel? Obstacle: What is the main obstacle inside you that might prevent you from accomplishing your wish? Plan: Select an effective action to tackle the obstacle.
Tool for change implementation:
If (X) ________________________________________, then I will _________________.
Hold this statement in your mind. Take a moment to really imagine it. Hold it in your mind. Take a moment to really imagine it. Do this exercise for the next thirty days, then evaluate whether your thinking and behavior has improved this self-discipline and intentional change technique.
Sources and Reference Literature on Mental Contrasting Process
Duckworth, A. L., Grant, H., Loew, B., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2011). Self- regulation strategies improve self-discipline in adolescents: Benefits of mental contrasting and implementation intentions.
Brainwork–Understanding and Managing Anxiety and Fears
Although you may experience anxiety as a bodily sensation (hands shaking or sweating), anxiety actually comes from the part of your brain which is responsible for emotions. You can think of your brain as being divided into four quadrants, ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ and ‘left’ and ‘right’ and this structure reflects how your brain functions. Roughly speaking, the bottom half deals with sensation and emotion while the upper half deals with thoughts, although feelings really straddle the two. Anxiety and fear are mediated by the amygdala, which is located in the center-front of your brain, about two-thirds of the way down (near where your brain narrows into the brain stem). The amygdala is where sensory inputs from the environment are initially processed. It also has connections to long-term memory which helps with threat detection. Your brain is a ‘bottom-up’ system which means that feelings tend to drive thinking and ideas rather than the other way around. It is possible to control feelings with thoughts, but usually only temporarily. The left side and right side deal with many different functions, but for the purposes of this app you only need to know that the left hemisphere is responsible for narrow focused attention, which anxious people are more prone to.
Although anxiety seems to start with something “out-there”, as we can see, anxiety is very much “in-here” … in your brain. So this is a good place to start if you want to learn how to tame anxiety. Just as your brain can be trained to produce anxiety, through too much stress, it can also be trained to not feel anxiety. Your brain’s capacity to for re-wiring is known as neuro-plasticity. For a long time it was thought that your brain couldn’t change, but this has now been found to be incorrect, which is great news. Changing the anxiety response means working WITH your brain in terms of how it processes information. Since your brain is a bottom-up system, the most effective way to neutralize anxiety is to stimulate the lower, sensing part. This is why many people find sounds such as waves on a beach or rain on a roof soothing – they are appealing directly to this lower region of the brain. Unfortunately, such stimuli are only temporarily effective because they are not sufficiently interesting to permanently alter the brain activity associated with anxiety.
So what are some ways to manage anxiety and fears? You need tools or stimuli that do four things:
It must be soothing-like deep breathing
It must be interesting enough to your brain to prefer it to the anxiety provoking stimuli-like meditation
It must hold your attention so as to quiet your mind-mental visualization
The relaxation technique must have time to actually be integrated into the emotional memory response by building a habit or daily ritual-like daily exercise or mindfulness activities.
LOVE in the Workplace
When I envision what goes into a loving and caring workplace, I think about more than just the other employees, location, facilities and technology. My ideal workplace is built on that “can do” attitude and is strengthened by the relationships we build with individuals and teams inside and outside our organizations. In order to accomplish this, leadership and teams must be:
Safe – a great workplace makes safety a foundational commitment for employees and the customers they serve.
Engaged – people are excited about their work, proud of their organization and eager to make their work environment better. They feel valued for doing meaningful work. They trust their leaders, and their leaders trust and empower them.
Diverse – a true team that is diverse, inclusive and reflective of the customers it serves. Diversity, in all of its many dimensions, makes workplaces stronger, including diversity of thought and experience.
Empowered – every employee is challenged to contribute to his or her full potential. They are encouraged to contribute and speak up when something needs fixing or improving.
Aligned – employees are committed to the organization’s core values and behaviors. They work together to win.
Committed – people are focused on excellence. They lead by example and know that integrity, openness, flexibility, accountability and results are expected and rewarded.
Opportunity for personal Growth and Development
Challenging and Respectful
Collaboration and cooperation are cornerstones of building trust and producing results
Giving your best effort whenever and wherever it is needed
The above characteristics make for a loving workplace which creates an exciting and challenging work environment – and that in turn gives us the freedom – to pursue the art of love and possibility. And that’s exactly what successful organizations are doing around the world in leading the transformation of in the workplace from inequality, command and control and frustration or boredom to an Open, Agile, Loving, Caring, Engaged and Accepting culture from bottom to top of an organization. The mantra is that everyone matters and needs to be respected.
Power of Self-Coaching: Start today to Change Your Life through Mental Rehearsal
Overview: The purpose of self-coaching is to bring a sense of direction and inner peace to the participant – a state of being mentally and spiritually calm, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. This state can be measured and brings the following results according to the research. To summarize, participants were more self-sufficient and self-reliant, they sounded more upbeat and flexible, felt healthy, relaxed and more enthusiastic after successful self-coaching.
Mental Rehearsal Self-coaching process and structure
Many folks are not motivated to make the effort to become more self-aware. So they just set their life map on automatic and float through life accepting what ever comes their way.
Formula for Change Self-awareness and Action = overcoming inner obstacles for personal growth and development.
Goal Focused Method for Personal Growth and Change
G-oal –Focus on what you want to accomplish. Make your goal specific and measurable
O bstacles—Barriers to accomplishing goal. E.g. Fear of failure, low believe in self (SA)
O utput—Effort and energy needed to overcome obstacle. Deliberate practice and effort
D—Development Plan– IF…Then Behavioral Method for Changing habits and triggers
Plan eg. If fearful then name it, face it and act
Start with a clear and focused mind.
Self-Coaching uses an imagery or mental rehearsal technique that involves free thoughts. You should be relaxed, focused, and willing to clear your mind. Identify a meaningful wish. This is meant to help you select a personal, academic, or professional desire—one wish that is dear to you. It should be challenging but feasible. It can be a wish you want to come true in a day, a month, or longer. Once you have a wish, summarize it in 3 to 6 words to make it memorable. Identify and imagine the best outcome. This part of the process enables you to connect your mind and feelings to the best result of fulfilling your wish. Be willing to think about the best result. Really see and feel what it’s like to accomplish it! Once you are ready, make sure to hold the outcome in your mind and imagine it. Identify the obstacle within you that is holding you back. Imagine it. Sometimes, our feelings, thoughts, or actions prevent us from fulfilling our wishes. Identifying your internal obstacle raises your awareness about what is preventing you from achieving your wish. You may have to dig deeper to find your real obstacle. Once you identify your internal obstacle, hold it in your mind, and imagine it. See and feel yourself experiencing the obstacle. Create an “if [obstacle], then I will [effective action]” plan. You can overcome your obstacle. First, identify one effective action you can take to overcome it. Then you will need to create a plan, but not any kind of plan. A WOOP plan has a specific formula: “If [obstacle], then I will [effective action].” This formula ensures that your plan is directly linked to the obstacle. Once you create a plan, you should repeat it aloud and imagine it. Reflect on the process. You may need to make adjustments to some or all sections of your WOOP. To do so, ask yourself: “Is this wish meaningful? Is this the real obstacle? Is this action effective? Did I really see and feel it, and feel engaged in the WOOP process? Once you find answers, WOOP again. Give it a try! Wish: What is an important wish that you want to accomplish in the next _________ [time period]? Your wish should be challenging but feasible. Write your response in 3 to 6 words. Outcome: What will be the best result from accomplishing your wish? How will you feel? Obstacle: What is the main obstacle inside you that might prevent you from accomplishing your wish? Plan: Select an effective action to tackle the obstacle.
Tool for change implementation:
If _________________________________________________, then I will ___________________________________________. Hold it in your mind. Take a moment to really imagine it. Hold it in your mind. Take a moment to really imagine it. Bringing WOOP
Sources and Reference Literature on Mental Contrasting Process
Duckworth, A. L., Grant, H., Loew, B., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2011). Self- regulation strategies improve self-discipline in adolescents: Benefits of mental contrasting and implementation intentions.
Educational Psychology, 31, 17-26. doi:10.1080/01443410 .2010.506003. Duckworth, A. L., Kirby, T. A., Gollwitzer, A., & Oettingen, G. (2013). From fantasy to action: Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) improves academic performance in children.
Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 745-753. doi: 10.1177/1948550613476307. Gawrilow, C., Morgenroth, K., Schultz, R., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2013). Mental contrasting with implementation intentions enhances self-regulation of goal pursuit in schoolchildren at risk for ADHD. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 134-145.
Oettingen, G. (2012). Future thought and behavior change. European Review of Social Psychology, 23, 1-63. doi:10.1080/10463283.2011.643698
Oettingen, G., & Schwö rer, B. (2013). Mind wandering via mental contrasting as a tool for behavior change. Frontiers in Psychology,4:562. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00562 .
A sticky idea is an idea that’s understood, that’s
remembered, and that changes something (opinions,
behaviors, values). As a teacher, you’re on the front lines
of stickiness. Every single day, you’ve got to wake up in the
morning and go make ideas stick. And let’s face it, this is
no easy mission. Few students burst into the classroom,
giddy with anticipation, ready for the late
Main benefits of coaching to recipient
Generates improvements in individuals’ performance/targets/goals 84%
Increased openness to personal learning and development 60%
Helps identify solutions to specific work-related issue 58%
Greater ownership and responsibility 52%
Developing self-awareness 42%
Improves specific skills or behaviour 38%
Greater clarity in roles and objectives 37%
Corrects behaviour/performance difficulties
Whether you go for a short or long journey, even a brief walk from point A to B – maintaining and connecting to the self may give tremendous boons and inspiration. Go for it!
Learning to be a Great Communicator through Self-Coaching
In self-coaching you need to develop self-compassion and remember your strengths for solving problems and delivering on promises. When you are perceived as a trusted adviser and someone who is enjoyable to be around you have the opportunity to engage and connect with others in an energized and special way. To be seen as a great communicator try these four tips for personal growth:
Do what you say you will do (DWYSYWD) Following through on commitments builds trusting and enduring friendships.
Show you care about others in very specific and tangible ways. Start by saying Thank You when others are there for you.
Have others best interests at heart by adopting the MMFI rule of interaction. This style helps others to be accountable to those interests, too.
Be an active listener and ask powerful questions that get others thinking about their life and circumstances in fresh ways.
Be patient and show understanding when it takes others’ time and many failures to wrestle with personal and interpersonal problems, especially when they don’t like your candor and caring confrontation.
Mistakes are the fuel for Learning and Growth
Quote: “It is well to cultivate a friendly feeling towards error, to treat it as a companion inseparable from our lives, as something having a purpose which it truly has.” – Maria Montessori
Process and methods for learning from mistakes is critical for growth. Being open and reflective about mistakes increases our ability to learn and change. The ability to be reflective supports the growth of our brain and moves us to take more risks so we can move from a fixed and closed mindset toward more growth in our daily actions. This type of action makes us more effective learners and frees us to perform at our best level.
The critical ways to develop a more effective way to learn from mistakes is highlighted in a article by Dr. Eduardo Briceno for Mindset Works. In the article entitled, Mistakes and the Growth Mindset Dr. Briceno points out that the keys to learning from mistakes are deliberative practice, challenging ourselves and openness to growing our abilities through effort. In other words don’t give-up when you attempt to perform new activities. Remember we are all able to enjoy growth and learning throughout life, no matter what our current level of ability is. Nobody can ever take that source of learning and growth away from us.
Mistakes are not all created equal, and they are not always desirable and sometimes dangerous . In addition, learning from mistakes is not all automatic. In order to learn from them the most we need to reflect on our errors and extract lessons from them.
If we’re more precise in our own understanding of mistakes and in our communication with students, it will increase their understanding, buy-in, and efficacy as learners.
Failed Decision making and training destroy Broken Windows Theory.
How does a good idea like “broken windows” get distorted and broken itself by poor decision making and execution mistakes.
Eric Gardner case–flawed execution and escalation through poor communication and decision-making led to death of innocent man.
Fatherhood Certain topics are inherently fraught and should be approached slowly and with care, when the emotions they evoke often cause us to impulsively rush in and thus needlessly cause issues or conflicts. A good guideline and process to follow in these situations is David Rock’s SCARF model—any topic involving status (or power or influence), certainty (i.e. the likelihood of future events), autonomy (our own or the other person’s need for independence , relatedness (i.e. the sense of interpersonal connection or distance) and fairness is more likely to trigger a threat response in one or both parties.
Pathway to character development are: open and flexible mindset, understanding and managing emotions and showing empathy, being non-judgmental and selfless when interacting with others. David Brook’s new book on Character.
Accepting ignorance and failure as constructive learning challenges stimulate brain growth.
Why we need to reconsider teaching cursive handwriting?
Quote: “Cursive handwriting improves neural connections in the brain,” and stresses physiological movement of writing cursive letters to “build pathways in the brain while improving mental effectiveness.” Iris Hatfield
What you may not realize–and what many educators and parents do not realize– is that by learning cursive you are learning how to communicate in another method from printing and keyboarding. In practicing cursive you are building the neural pathways necessary to stimulate brain activity that enables language fluency and vision-motor control important for cognitive development, learning, reading, sports, and other everyday tasks. In most three grade classrooms computers and key boards now dominate classrooms throughout our nation. With the entrance of the information age has come a shift to emphasizing the development of knowledge skills over physical skills. Keyboarding is in vogue and cursive is out as one of the Common Core Standards for best education practices.
We entered the 21st century and shifted from industrial to information society and with it came an emphasis on the development of knowledge over the development of physical skills. As a result, educators have begun to abandon physical instruction of practices that are no longer in use due to the advent of technology. Cursive handwriting is the most recent victim of this shift.
In many states cursive is like Latin very impractical and of little use in the modern world. So cursive is no longer required to be taught and instead is being replaced by keyboarding. Many schools now require keyboarding skills and printing thus eliminating cursive hand writing. They say keyboarding is more practical because most people don’t write letters they just e-mail. What you may not realize–and what many educators do not realize– is that by learning cursive you were not merely learning how to write in another style from printing, you were building the neural pathways necessary to stimulate brain activity that enables language fluency and vision-motor control important for reading development and other cognitive development skills.
Without recognizing it, those repetitive cursive handwriting drills we did as children were some of our first and most basic steps in developing our cognitive abilities. Fine motor skills are the building blocks our brains need to connect and make sense of the world around us through our 5 senses. Understanding and knowing how to form letters on lines to a certain shape and size, at a certain angle, in real time and space comes through the fine motor control of the hands and arms. Cursive handwriting naturally develops sensory skills, as they are called, by taking advantage of a child’s inability to fully control their fingers. Through repetition the child begins to understand how much force need be applied to the pencil and the paper, positioning of the pencil to paper at the correct angle, and motor planning to form each letter in fluid motion from left to right. This physical and spatial awareness allows them to write but more importantly builds the neural foundation of sensory skills needed for a myriad of everyday tasks such as zipping up clothes to tying shoes, picking up and using objects, copying words from blackboards, shaking hands, and most importantly, reading! Unfortunately we are abandoning the activities that allow for this cognitive and physical development to take place.
Over the past few years neuroscience and other researchers have been working to understand and educate the masses on the effects of educating the mind alone.
As Pulitzer Prize nominated neurologist Frank Wilson wrote in his book, “The Hand: How its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, And Human Culture,” “teachers should not try to educate the mind by itself.” If educators continue to dissolve the disciplines that involve the hands and the body in full movement, much of the knowledge will be poorly processed and inadequately learned.
So what do we need to do as parents if neuroscience science experts and their brain research studies show the positive effects of teaching cursive handwriting as a basic building block of cognitive development?
Challenge: Find ways to educate school leaders on the neurological benefits of cursive handwriting and make parents aware of the positive effects on brain development and cursive handwriting One solution is to promote this problem is for schools to require and teach all three modes of writing– printing, cursive and keyboarding. All of these modes have benefits for brain development and are necessary tools for brain development.
Consulted resources and research:
The Hand: How its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture. Frank R Wilson. First Vintage Books Edition, September 1999.
“There is nothing more frightening than the moment we expose our ideas to the world.”Dr. Brene Brown
A great speech about how critics and our self doubts keep us from being more creative in our work and lives. Dr. Brown uses the platform of the 99U conference to talk about what it means to be in the “arena” of hard work and presenting our ideas can make us feel vulnerable and less confident. She cites Teddy Roosevelt’s quote as being her inspiration for having the courage to say and do what really matters to her in living a daring and fulfilling life. Please read the following quote and then listen to her down to earth and inspiring presentation that highlights how to deal with self-doubt and fear when living an open and caring life based on solid values and your truth.
Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris on 23 April, 1910.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Power of Belonging—Focus on Teams and Relationship
Tons of research has documented how important belonging and being connected socially on our happiness and productivity. (Maslow made it one of his hierarchies of needs). Being social and feeling included is critical to our growth and development.
Dr. David Rock, founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, in his breakthrough research on the Brain has identified the powerful concept of relatedness — feelings of trust, connection, and belonging—as one of the five primary categories of social pleasures and pains (along with status, certainty, autonomy, and fairness). Rock’s research shows that the performance and engagement of employees who experience relatedness threats or failures will almost certainly suffer. And in other research, the feeling of working together has indeed been shown to predict greater intrinsic motivation which is known to be the trigger for curiosity, engagement and enjoyment that results in high productivity and a person or team’s very best performance.
If you go by the number talks and papers on teamwork you would think we understand the processes and methods for build outstanding and productive teams. Yet this is not necessarily true. In our daily activities most of us are involved with teams and meetings. But it does not follow that because many of us are working on teams all the time that teams provide a positive source for workplace satisfaction and positive relationships. Yet here’s the irony: While we may have team goals and team meetings and be judged according to our team performance, very few of us actually enjoy or find satisfaction with work place teams. When employees are questioned and interviewed about how they get work done and satisfaction most people don’t enjoy team meetings and get most of their work done as individuals. Yes, many of the goals we pursue and projects we complete are done in teams, but unlike those bands of prehistoric humans banding together to take down a woolly mammoth, most of the work we do today still gets done alone.
So that, in a nutshell, is the weird thing about teams: They are the greatest (potential) source of connection and belonging in the workplace, and yet teamwork is some of the complex and loneliest work that you’ll ever do.
So what we need is a way to give employees the concept of working as a team, even when they technically aren’t. And thanks to new research by Priyanka Carr and Greg Walton of Stanford University, we now know one powerful way to do this: simply saying the word “together.”
In Carr and Walton’s studies, participants first met in small groups, and then separated to work on difficult puzzles on their own. People in the psychologically together category were told that they would be working on their task “together” even though they would be in separate rooms, and would either write or receive a tip from a team member to help them solve the puzzle later on. In the psychologically alone category, there was no mention of being “together,” and the tip they would write or receive would come from the researchers. All the participants were in fact working alone on the puzzles. The only real difference was the concept or feeling that being told they were working “together” might create.
The effects of this small manipulation were profound: participants in the psychologically together category worked 48% longer, solved more problems correctly, and had better recall for what they had seen. They also said that they felt less tired and depleted by the task. They also reported finding the puzzle more interesting when working together, and persisted longer because of this intrinsic motivation (rather than out of a sense of obligation to the team, which would be an extrinsic motivation).
The word “together” is a powerful social cue to the brain. In and of itself, it seems to serve as a kind of relatedness reward, signaling that you belong, that you are connected, and that there are people you can trust working with you toward the same goal.
Executives and managers would be wise to make use of this word with far greater frequency. In fact, don’t let a communication opportunity go by without using it. I’m serious. Let “together” be a constant reminder to your employees that they are not alone, helping them to motivate them to perform their very best.
Jack Bogle, the Vanguard Group founder (Vanguard has $3 trillion in assets under management), wrote in 2008 a marvelous book titled Enough. I offer here the chapter titles:
“Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value”
“Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment”
“Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity”
“Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust”
“Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct”
“Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship”
“Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment”
“Too Many Twenty-first Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values”
“Too Much ‘Success,’ Not Enough Character”
I would add:
Too much independence , Not enough togetherness and belonging”
Too much selfishness, Not enough selflessness
Too much yelling and advice giving, Not enough listening
Too much me. Not enough giving and caring= togetherness
Too much hatred, Not enough LOVE
When people show and tell you who they are belief them. Don’t normalize what they say or do. Don’t make excuses for them or rationalize their behavior. Just accept what they are doing as the person they really are. They are either wonderful or just plane assholes. Period. End of story. This is the power of acceptance.
Moving On: Keys to reducing Anger, Stress and other Unwanted Feelings
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of the most important Stoic philosopher’s once wrote, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your perception and reaction to it ; and this you have the power to change and revoke at any moment.”
We are lose track and are disarmed most by the things we are “blind” to as person.
Albert Einstein once reportedly said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I knew the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” Einstein knew he had to understand an issue deeply before addressing it in order for his solution to have the most meaningful impact. You need to overcome the core, often hidden problem in your work — not just the visible stumbling block.
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to GIVE TRUST AWAY AND BE HONEST. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”— Brené Brown
What is rich ? Are you Rich enough to help Anybody …” ___Ralph Valdo Emerson
Misty Copeland–Case Study on never Giving -up
For those that don’t know the story of Misty Copeland and are struggling with obstacles and difficulties in life you are missing many lessons of how self-belief, learning , effort and perseverance are at the heart of thriving and growing in life.
Tom Ashbroke in his podcast On Point with Misty Copeland has produced an amazing 1 hour of insights, reflection and triumph of mind-body insights, racism and mindsets for discovering, accepting and acting on your gifts and strengths in living a life on purpose.
Case Study On negative consequences of overconfident and arrogant mindset.
Brain Research and the effects on our Mental Maps
New research has finally begun to shed light on the complexity of mental maps. Social psychologists Joyce Ehrlinger, Ainsley Mitchum, and Carol Dweck thought that the answer might lie in the implicit beliefs that overconfident people hold about the malleability of the brain and inherent ability. Decades of research by Dweck and others has shown that some people see personality and intelligence as relatively “fixed” (i.e., you are born a math whiz, leader etc. and there isn’t much you can do about it), while other people believe your intelligence, abilities and brain functions are changeable. With the brain being malleable, we are capable through learning and deliberative practice of changing and developing with effort and through experiences new wiring for our brains. These beliefs have profound consequences for how we live and see ourselves and others and how we learn (or don’t). For instance, people with a fixed mindset tend to be much more interested in proving or showing that they are smart, rather than pursuing opportunities to grow and get smarter.
What is rich ? Are you Rich enough to help Anybody …” ___Ralph Valdo Emerson
Ehrlinger and her colleagues theorized that overconfidence might be another overlooked aspect of fixed mindset–thinking. In their studies, students solved a set of problems that varied in difficulty. Before learning their score, students were asked to guess how well they had done. Fixed mindset students were indeed overconfident — their estimates were more than 25% higher than their actual scores. Those students who believed their abilities to be malleable (i.e., “growth mindset”) overestimated their performance by only 5%. It seems that if you believe your abilities are fixed, that belief motivates you to inflate your abilities and skills.
To figure out why this overestimation of ability persists, however, Ehrlinger and her team had to dig a bit deeper. When they looked at how the students tackled the test, they realized that the fixed mindset students had spent more time working on the easier problems and less time on the harder ones. In other words, they’d selectively attended to the problems that reinforced their overconfidence — confirming their high opinion of themselves and ignoring everything else as much as possible. False beliefs and pride don’t just come before a fall; pride is what trips you in the first place.
Why do the arrogant, egoistic, and overconfident remain blind and ignorant of their own limitations? Could the findings of this research unlock the reasons some people get “”stuck” in living a life of disappointment and unhappiness?
Your challenge is to identify where in your life are you willing to face reality about your self and update your mental maps? With awareness can come growth and development.
For example Trump’s unbelievable and embarrassing Health Care failure. The Reps and Trump have had seven years to “repeal and replace” this so called disaster and yet they they failed when it really counted.
To figure out why this overestimation of ability and delusional thinking persists, however, Ehrlinger and her team had to dig a bit deeper. When they looked at how the students tackled the test, they realized that the fixed mindset students had spent more time working on the easier problems and less time on the harder ones. In other words, they’d selectively attended to the problems that reinforced their overconfidence — confirming their high opinion of themselves and ignoring everything else as much as possible. Pride doesn’t just come before a fall; pride is what trips you in the first place.
Love 2.0 Big Idea–Redefining meaning of Love in the Workplace and Beyond
“Love is our supreme emotion; Its presence or absence influence everything we feel, think , do and become. It is that current state that ties you in (your body and brain) to the body and brain of of those in your midst. When you experience several moments of Love, you will be able to breath life and set yourself to a pathway that will lead to more health, happiness and wisdom.” Barbra Fredrickson
“You are Made in the Image of What You Desire …” Thomas Merton
Quote for Today
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” Epictetus
” In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, listen, I have to be responsible for myself.” Howard Schultz
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices you make. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Rocking Horse Process vs Positive Change Strategies
Anyone attempting to lead an effective change process in an organization knows that the status quo has ardent supporters who are difficult to win over. These change resistors need to be heard and listened to in order to craft successful change efforts and move forward in new directions. Change is generally an emotional process; no matter how positive a future picture you are painting, it’s natural for humans to struggle with change because you are messing with their past experiences, desires and comfort zones.
Such resistance is no less frustrating for being predictable. At times, it can seem that all that stands between you and your goals are a few oppsaniate naysayers and whiners. And to those on a mission of change and advocacy, such reactions can seem like burying one’s head in the sand. “The old business is not coming back,” one CEO told me. “We have to innovate or we will die.” Faced with negative remarks, critical questions, or stony silence, change champions naturally begin to interact more with those already on board, consciously or unconsciously distancing themselves from those who “don’t get it.”
Gradually, a wall begins to form between “us” and “them” — champions who support the change, and resistors who openly or quietly oppose it. Unfortunately, approaching change with an “us versus them” mind-set actually increases push back. When we think of people as resistors, we don’t truly engage with them. We tend to avoid them and discount their perspective, assuming that if we are right, they must be wrong.
When we think of people as resistors, we don’t truly engage with them on a level that builds trust.
“In reality, each side is paying attention to different things,” says Robert Jacobs, an expert in polarity management — a method for dealing with chronic issues in organizations and groups. Change champions tend to pay attention to the upside of their future vision and the downside of today’s status quo. For example, those who are passionate about customers are hyper-focused on building relationships for the long term. To them, resistors seem greedy or blind.
Conversely, resistors pay attention to the downside of the change and the upside of the current state. They see the risks. When change champions refuse to discuss an issue, resistors assume they are hopelessly naive or sinister actors trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. To them, it can seem fiscally reckless to divert attention from the financial aspects of the business to softer issues such as customer experience. Which of them is right? “They both are,” says Jacobs. “But each is only half-right.”
In the worst-case scenario, “us versus them” thinking devolves into factions that compete but never really engage. According to Robert Fritz, author of The Path of Least Resistance for Managers (Newfane Press, 2011), the result is an oscillation between changes, rather than real advancement. “Companies swing back and forth, from centralization to decentralization, acquisition to divestiture, customer focus to shareholder focus,” he explains. “It’s like a rocking chair: lots of movement, with very little progress.”
The solution is to re-frame how we think about so called status quo resistance. Rather than assuming critical thinkers are resistors, we would do better to treat them as devil advocates . They many times point out blind spots of possible trouble the change agent missed. They see what needs to be protected because these elements are working fine, and the trust that can be destroyed by throwing away present strengths in favor of untested change. They can pinpoint both indented and unintended consequences of new ideas. Who else will ask the hard questions? WISE Guardians OF THE PAST keep us honest in the face of self-delusion or blind spots. For example, one executive I worked with learned that his frontline professionals were convinced that new data he wanted to capture would be used in a punitive way. He had no intention of doing so, and had dismissed their concerns as ridiculous. But, in fact, he had provided no assurances to the contrary, and such abuses had occurred in the past. From the employees’ point of view, he later acknowledged, their questions were legitimate. Seeing this, he gave them practical assurances — and backed them up over time through his actions.
When you approach guardians as responsible, thinking adults (with imperfect information and biases, just like you), you demonstrate genuine respect. You gather input, not as a way to get them to buy in to the change, but because they have important information and insight you may be missing. Remember Stanley Tucci as the risk management officer in the movie Margin Call? He isn’t resisting the new direction out of spite; he knows the risks are too great.
Once you have recognized your barriers which are mostly internal, you can turn the wall between us and them into a bridge. In the “getting unstuck” process outlined by Hardwick, you start by asking about the upsides or positive effects of your current reality. What is important? What strengths should be protected? What are our change goals? Get specific, ask for the history. Next, ask about the downsides of the change. What could go wrong? One manager I spoke with worried that outsourcing would hamstring his company — and he had good data to support his concerns. In another company, I heard people joking about the company’s new performance review initiative. Their worry? That the effort was just another management fad that they could wait out. Bringing these risks to the surface helped the first company avoid a bad decision OR POOR IMPLEMENTATION and the second to avoid “commitment drift.”
Once you have recognized your barriers for change, you can turn the wall between us and them into a bridge.
Let’s be clear: You aren’t asking for permission to change. You still need to make tough calls and stand for your values. You will have real differences to work out. But engaging your internal barriers with honesty and respect gives you greater insights, options and evidence for developing an effective change strategy. This method of caring confrontation keeps you honest in the face of internal resistance and old well established habits. This process highlights where safeguards are needed. Having acknowledged your own commitment and internal doubts and other peoples’ valid points you can lay out a plan for change. This process allows you to add your perspective, highlighting what needs to change in the current situation and the possibilities for creating a new future. Throughout this process, you will learn about misconceptions, blind spots, barriers, fears and assumptions which block your ability to take constructive action for change.
For their part, guardians can do a better job of clarifying what they are protecting, and articulating it in a constructive way: Don’t just assume change champions see the risks and don’t care. Then, together, you can decide how to approach the future you want. According to Fritz, “We shift from the oscillating pattern into an advancing pattern when we focus on a shared purpose that builds on the things that work now.” For example, one plant manager told me he discovered his employees were resisting added safety precautions because the procedures made it hard to respond quickly to customers. Rather than overriding or dismissing them, he used the tension as a focus for innovation, asking his teams, “How might we increase safety and reliability without sacrificing customer responsiveness?” This is the kind of leadership needed to create a successful organization for the long term.
Want to differentiate yourself from the pack? Learn to design and present good stories.
Consultant’s and speech making authors are making money with an old idea of teaching people how to tell effective and inspiring stories. Learning — or relearning — how to tell stories requires a structure and specific skills which can be studied and learned. And consultants are lining up to teach it — sometimes for a hefty fee.
Although the power of storytelling to attract — and even manipulate — is well known, the reason for its appeal has been unclear. But Dr. Zak from Clairemont University it may have something to do with oxytocin, also called the love hormone.
To see the impact of storytelling on oxytocin, Professor Zak conducted a now well-known experiment. Participants had their blood drawn before and again after watching videos of character-driven stories. The result? When those watching the stories had an increase in oxytocin, they tended to help more — donating money to a charity associated with the story, for example. But not every story is well told. Most of us know a compelling tale when we hear one, but “it’s difficult for people to articulate why they like what they like,” Professor Zak said.
So don’t miss the ideas, in a New York Times article , where he and other colleagues point out that good story telling hing on how to develop and present stories that show how to “balance your personal story — incorporating your values, tying it together with a vision of the future, and telling how listeners can get involved and also benefit themselves.”
Mr. Quesenberry decided to see if he could understand what drew people to a particular story. Along with a co-author and his graduate students, he dissected two years’ worth of Super Bowl commercials using Freytag’s Pyramid, named after a German novelist who saw common patterns in the plots of novels and stories and developed a diagram to analyze them.
It probably sounds familiar from middle-school English class: Act 1, scene setting; Act 2, rising action; Act 3, the turning point; Act 4, the falling action; and Act 5, the denouement or release. Variations of this include fewer or more stages, but they all follow the same pattern.
The team coded each of the Super Bowl commercials for their number of acts before they aired. Some had only one act, others went up to five.
Mr. Quesenberry determined that consumers rated the commercials with more acts as higher, which can increase the likelihood that they will be shared on social media.
In fact, this year he predicted that because the commercial called “Puppy Love,” advertising Budweiser, had the full number of plot points and told a complete story, it would win in the ratings.
And sure enough, it was the viewers’ favorite in a USA Today poll. Having adorable puppies and horses probably didn’t hurt.
So does this translate into sales? Well, a Budweiser spokesman said that the company experienced “a marked improvement in share trends” after the puppy commercial.
Our nature is to live a life of service — to help others and contribute to the world. Any resistance to this inherent purpose is therefore a negation of our humanity and a failure of self-love.
You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
Focus on What You Can Control
Obviously, it’s easy to get distracted. And based on the questions I get, people are really distracted when it comes to money.
Should I buy this stock?
What do you think the market will do?
Will Europe go down in flames?
Will the economy ever recover?
But what if instead of asking those questions, we asked just these questions:
How much can I save?
How is my portfolio allocated?
Can I pick up some extra work this month?
Can I start a little business on the side?
“I believe ability and effort can get you to the top,” says coach John Wooden, “but it takes patience, practice and belief to keep you there.… It’s so easy to … begin thinking you can just ‘turn it on’ automatically, without proper preparation. It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there. When you read about an athlete or team that wins over and over and over, remind yourself, ‘More than ability, they have discipline and character.” Coach Wooden
Start 2017 with Daily Challenges, Reflections and Action
The design and layout of these daily activities for personal change are provided with the goal of making new research findings and old wisdom for living a constructive and meaningful life accessible and doable for our fast paced daily life. Accessible is accomplished by providing small smart steps for living a more fulfilling life by providing insights for accomplishing far more personal development in less time by focusing on what works when trying to go from where you are now to where you want to be in your personal and relationship development journey.
These Personal Development Guides were created with the intention of providing lessons learned and inspiring personal challenges that you can actually use in your real life. Here’s a sample from the Mental Toughness Action Guide:
INTRODUCTION FOCUS ON Daily GROWTH CHALLENGES
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
“When you think about DOING YOUR BEST, think about mental toughness and effort.” Carol Dweck
Strong is not just physical strength, it is a mindset. Schwartz
Change your thoughts and you change your world. Fake it until you make it. Jim Loehr
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. Henry Ford
Mental toughness is something you become not something you are given. Wooden
Experiences and risk can make you mentally tough, if you are prepared to learn. MWH
Difficult Times A Reflection…Poem by MW Hardwick
Doubt and ambivalence haunt my sense of being
To question trust in others and institutions is normal.
Here in the midst of lies and false news causing confusion.
The “Father of the Birther” movement becomes President Elect
Our future based on trust and accurate information, planning and a steady hand this time around…
May not hold true.
We stop to engage where we are
And see many potential scenarios, that scare us
These difficult times leave us with many questions
This reality of change may not support our beliefs and values
And challenge our reality and security,
The answer may be to consider living in the here and now
We worry about things we can’t control
This day, now, awaits you and challenges you to do your best,
With what you have…have the courage to admit that these are scary times.
Move ahead…Move ahead….remembering there will always be more reasons for gratitude than for despair.
Suffering and Failure can be good – if you use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Cultivate living in the moment as a way of being,
We can not change the world and its lies and ills
We can change our perception and response to the world.
If we fill our lives with moments of connection and love…
Moments of love…moments of life… and respond by answering
The call of a meaning by just being in the “here and now”…
We will indeed love the life we have…if we stay awake and engaged
“ Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
Search for Meaning–Viktor Frankl’s LOGOTHERAPY
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” – Victor Emil Frankl
The 3 Critical Elements of Logotherapy
Socratic dialogue is a technique in which the logotherapist uses the person’s words as a method of self-discovery. By listening intently to what the person says, the therapist can point out specific patterns to the client, and help someone find new meaning. This process allows a person to realize that the answer lies within and is just waiting to be discovered.
2. Dereflection (Redirection)
Dereflection is helpful when someone is overly absorbed or angry about a person or their issue or the attainment of their goal. By redirecting attention, or ‘dereflecting’ attention away from the self, the person can become whole again, thinking of themselves in the context of others and the bigger picture.
3. Paradoxical intention
Paradoxical Intention involves using humour to pacify what we fear most. For people who experience anxiety, phobias or PTSD fear can be paralysing. By using humour or ridicule, one can express oneself about the thing they fear the most, removing the fear and relieving the anxious symptoms associated with it.
3. Socratic dialogue
Socratic dialogue is a technique in which the logotherapist uses the person’s words as a method of self-discovery. By listening intently to what the person says, the therapist can point out specific patterns to the client, and help someone find new meaning. This process allows a person to realize that the answer lies within and is just waiting to be discovered.
“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation. . .we are challenged to change ourselves.”-Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Wait, What? I Wonder? – I wonder why? – I wonder if? Couldn’t we at least? How can I help? What truly matters [to me]? Understanding Curiosity Progress Relationships The Heart of Life – And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth. – Raymond Carver
Designing a Purpose focused life is based on a “structure with process”change frame and GROWTH MINDSET learning tools . Until you learn the strategies of SWP and Growth Mindset personal change, growth and self-development will be difficult and seem like an up hill battle and unobtainable goal. Yet once understand and practiced living a life of growth, learning and mindfulness a light will go on and a positive path for living a life of meaning and purpose will be yours.
In her ground breaking research and book, Mindset, Carol Dweck presents the “growth mindset” as the most essential element for learning, success and happiness in life. A growth mindset is a belief and perspective on life in which we find motivation for tackling challenges by understanding how our brain grows and new skills develop rather than giving up after failures or setbacks.
Who we become is what we learn from making the effort and using proven strategies to grow and develop our brain and new skills.
Overcoming Election Blues–Make Choices to be Focused and in the State of Flow
“We may not be able to change what’s happened in the last week, the last day, or the last hour, but we CAN choose our attitude in any given situation by being more present and mindful. In choosing to take a path of hope and growth you can make the decision to live with more intention, purpose, calm, optimism.
How did Hillary Clinton go from being rated as the most admired woman that Americans “have heard about or read about, living in any part of the world”, in the words of an annual Gallup poll that she has topped for the past 14 years, to being equated with the disgraced Richard Nixon? And how did Donald Trump, her opponent, go from a history of corporate bankruptcies that made others pay the cost of his business failures, and from a record of racial discrimination, exploiting illegal labour, and predatory behaviour towards women, to being a viable candidate for the presidency of the US?
One answer is that Mr Trump ascended through the media, not a political party or election. He was a brand, not a person, a shiny gold name on buildings, even if he did not build them, and a boss on television, even if he merely insulted and roared. During the presidential primaries, for instance, he received an estimated $2bn in free exposure from corporate media in search of ratings to attract advertising, which may be the best argument for subscription-financed media, public television, investigative reporting and the simple act of fact checking. Another reason is that even-handed coverage has created a false equivalence. Each negative question to Mr Trump was balanced by one to Hillary Clinton, and any positive about her was matched by one about him. Thus, he was artificially elevated, while she became subject to doubt. Also, in polls about why Americans support him, many equated being rich with being smart enough to run a country. In fact, Mr Trump would have been richer if he had just put his inheritance in an index fund tracking the stock market.
” Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. This is – everything around you that you call life was made up by people no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”– Steve Jobs
Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something. Eric Hoffer
“Your customers will never be any happier than your employees.” John DiJulius
Failure is good – if you use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. MWH
“A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” – Csikszentmihalyi, 1990
Here are some of the characteristics that comprise THE FLOW EXPERIENCE according to Csikszentmihalyi’s.
Characteristics of flow:
Complete focus on the task at hand
Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback
Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down of time)
The experience is intrinsically rewarding, has an end itself
Effortlessness and ease
There is a balance between challenge and skills
Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination
There is a feeling of control over the task
Who experiences flow?
Interestingly, a capacity to experience flow can differ according to personality. Studies suggest that those with ‘’autotelic personalities’’ tend to experience more flow.
A person with an ‘’autotelic personality’’ tends to do things for their own sake rather than chasing some distant external goal or dream. This type of personality is distinguished by certain meta-skills such as high interest in life, persistence, and helping others.
It can be speculated that negative and critical individuals are more prone to anxiety and being self-centered, which are conditions that can block the state of FLOW. In contrast, servant leaders, responsible, considerate and realistic individuals are more likely to spend time on mastering challenging tasks, which are characteristics important for creating the flow experience.
What happens in the brain?
The state of flow has been rarely investigated from a neuropsychological perspective but is a growing interest. According to Dietrich, it has been associated with decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is an area responsible for higher cognitive functions such as self-reflective consciousness, memory, temporal integration, and working memory. It’s an area that’s responsible for our conscious and explicit mind state.
However, in a state of flow, this area is believed to temporarily down-regulate; a process called transient hypofrontality. This temporary inactivation of the prefrontal area may trigger the feeling of distortion of time, loss of self-consciousness, and loss of inner-critic.
Moreover, the inhibition of the prefrontal lobe may enable the implicit mind to take over, resulting in more brain areas to communicate freely and engage in a creative process. In other research, it’s also hypothesized that the flow state is related to the brain’s dopamine reward circuitry since curiosity is highly amplified.
Power of Self-Efficacy and Growth Mindset and Learning
Self-Efficacy: “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Mahatma Gandhi
Capture a specific circumstance or experience of Flow in your life?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Self-Understanding and Awareness
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” Anne Frank
Self-knowledge:Once your mind is open, calm and clear, you can create a level of self-knowledge or self-awareness that improves slowly over time (small dose learning), and motivates ongoing personal exploration,development and learning. This continuous learning and growth process evolves into self-mastery. You know about yourself enough that you can create a new path based on clear thinking, managing emotions and development of more effective skills.
Tools and Resources:
Positive thinking and grit are two aspects of positive psychology not some faddish self-help gimmick for overcoming fear and creating courage adversity. Surrounding yourself with a great lifestyle and material goods may seem to lead to happiness, but how you really feel is governed by what goes on inside your head. When you go out of your way to think positively and believe you have the ability and skills to overcome obstacles, you actually gain the strength and mental toughness to overcome fear and rid yourself of negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk is one of the biggest barriers to positive thinking and mental toughness. People become so accustomed to negative thoughts and ideas that their BRAIN will pull them down and be rewired to negative negative thinking when life circumstances present difficult challenges. He though they have done nothing wrong this type of thinking becomes a powerful force on how they see and behave in everyday life. Negative thinking people become insecure, overly indecisive and victims of circumstances.
Negative thinkers have four common mindsets:
Confirming mindset that focuses on Negativity. Many negative thinkers will pull the negatives out of a situation and focus on them. Sometimes these people will see only the negative in a situation, to the point where they deny any positive factors.
Disaster Fantasies and Personalizing.Some people make every difficult circumstance requiring effort and perseverance a personal affront about themselves. They are sensitive about criticism and are quick to personalize every negative thing and assume that bad things happen because they are unlucky, lack “smarts” not a result of conscious choices or a result of something they did or didn’t do. They will often “make stuff up” (MSU) about situations and people rather than using problem solving techniques to minimize negative situations. They create “disaster fantasies” to reinforce reasons why negative things are either their fault or expect terrible things to befall them. This type of catastrophizing leaves little room for positive thoughts and action because this involves thinking and expecting the worst in life. Some people even precipitate it. They can turn a slightly awkward interaction into an overreaction, making the situation worse through drama. If something negative does happen, they will use it to validate their negative assumptions.
Dualistic thinking This type of negative thinker sees things as black or white, right or wrong etc. In this world there is no room for grey. Either a situation is perfect or it is a catastrophe. This type of negative thinking can affect every area of a person’s life. Its effects can be both psychological and physical.Solutions to this type of thinking and negativity can be overcome practicing the 3 to 1 positive thinking technique. By making this positivity technique a mental habit you can actually stave off negative thinking and reap the benefits of having a positive outlook on life.
” Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” PROUST
“When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else,you surrender your own integrity [and] become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being. Eleanor Roosevelt
What’s one thing you would you do right now if you had more mental toughness ?
Your toughness is made up of equal parts belief, persistence and deliberative practice and experience. You don’t so much outrun your demons and other obstacles as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the negativity and skeptic or sarcastic one inside your head. ~ Joe Henderson
Self-Coaching. Quality of Life Intervention: Want to Increase Your time and energy for important things in life?
The format for this quality of life exercise is to take a blank page in your journal and list all of the things in your life that you have left incomplete ( no matter how trivial they may seem). When you have exhausted them all, push to add at at least five more items. When done listing you will probably have 10-15 items. Assign the letter A to those items that are most important for you to accomplish. Assign a B to those items items that are somewhat important but less critical than the A ones. Then assign the letter C to those items that are least important.
Then within 24 hours complete one of these in-completions. It doesn’t matter if they are from the A,B, or C items, just get one completed. After completing the item reflect in your journal what the item was, how did it make you feel in completing it and why you think you have been putting off doing this thing. Then go back to your list and select an A item one that you can complete within the next 48 hours. After that keep your list handy and work through them one at a time over the next three weeks seeing how many A’s and B’s you can complete. Most of the C’s may have disappeared by then, if they were were assigned the right letter if not go ahead and complete them. Always after completing an item take time to reflect on your feelings and insights. This exercise hopefully will result in you seeing how in-completions can drain your energy resources. Doing this exercise over a month will provide you time to build a new habit of more effectively managing and prioritizing your time. Have fun with this exercise and feel free to change the approach if you discover a better way to get the in-completions completed in your life.
Good weekend reading. Hear the story of the greatest foul shooter in basketball Rick Berry. Then listen to the story of the basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain who had only one flaw: He couldn’t shoot free throws. In 1962, Chamberlain switched to making his foul shots underhanded—and fixed his only weakness. Then because he didn’t want to be seen as a “granny” or “sissy” he switch back.
Malcom Gladwell in his new Revisionist History podcast uses these basketball greats to help you understand why good ideas like the underhanded foul shot never catch on or take such an effort for people to try it or adopt it as the standard practice for foul shooting. The key is not in changing beliefs but in understanding the social psychological theory of Threshold developed by Mark Granovetter, Ph.D.
“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.”— Aristotle
Anyone wondering about the mental health of Donald Trump and fitness to be POTUS needs to read this Interesting article in the Huffington Post by Daniel Wagner.
Mr. Wagner cast sunlight and reasons why many of Trump’s remarks and behavior during this run for President of the United States seem to be over the top and irrational. He opens his article with this powerful statement concerning Trump’s lack of impulse control and confusing self-absorption.
” Take away all the ‘other’ labels of Donald Trump – such as racist, bigot, fear monger, elitist or fascist – which are in and of themselves hard to fathom as characteristics of a U.S. presidential candidate, and there is something even more disturbing about Mr. Trump that every American voter should be concerned about: Mr. Trump appears to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)…this is a serious mental disorder, and someone with NPD should never be allowed to lead this country as president…
Wagner goes on to provide us more information: The Mayo Clinic’s definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD is: “A mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem… At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior.” Does this sound like Mr. Trump? You bet it does!”
Don’t miss the rest of this article because it lays out other important characteristics of this disorder that have important consequences when it comes time to vote in this election. After many years of assessing and evaluating people’s mental health issues I totally concur with this diagnosis.
Feeling Stuck or Overwhelmed this intervention to get going
” Take Small Steps to Change Your Stuckness. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don’t do anything. If you make small goals for change accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to reach for higher dreams”.
The format is to take a blank page in your journal and list all of the things in your life that you have left incomplete ( no matter how trivial they may seem). When you have exhausted them all, push to add at at least five more items. When done listing you will probably have 10-15 items. Assign the letter A to those items that are most important for you to accomplish. Assign a B to those items items that are somewhat important but less critical than the A ones. Then assign the letter C to those items that are least important.
Then within 24 hours complete one of these in-completions. It doesn’t matter if they are from the A,B, or C items, just get one completed. After completing the item reflect in your journal what the item was, how did it make you feel in completing it and why you think you have been putting off doing this thing. Then go back to your list and select an A item one that you can complete within the next 48 hours. After that keep your list handy and work through them one at a time over the next three weeks seeing how many A’s and B’s you can complete. Most of the C’s may have disappeared by then, if they were were assigned the right letter if not go ahead and complete them. Always after completing an item take time to reflect on your feelings and insights. This exercise hopefully will result in you seeing how in-completions can drain your energy resources. Doing this exercise over a month will provide you time to build a new habit of more effectively managing and prioritizing your time. Have fun with this exercise and feel free to change the approach if you discover a better way to get the in-completions completed in your life.
Getting UNSTUCK–Finding Fulfillment and Meaning in Life and Work through effort and growth mindset.
Mission: Your love of learning and growth, our passion—
Making the effort–Take Your Shot… “YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU NEVER TAKE.”
“Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they kept growing and made their best effort”. John Wooden
” If art is always created in the service of the almighty dollar, we’re really in trouble”. Vincent Desiderio, Artist “.
A painter from the School of Realism shares his thoughts about art and its purpose to transform people. In an unbelievable and insightful featured story at NPR Sunday Morning 7/3 2016. Kayne West inspired by a painting by Vincent Desiderio, entitled called Sleep has produced a music video in homage to a Desiderio (Sleep: a 24-foot wide, hyper-realistic image of a group of people lying in mostly nude slumber). NPR’s Rachel Martin spoke to the artist to find out what he thinks of West’s new album, The Life of Pablo and their most recent chat and celebration. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read more of their interaction and unlikely meeting. This definitely an unlikely couple, both portraying the world of “celebrity and culture” through a different art form and lens yet insync in their view of the obnoxiousness, silliness and erosion of modern day culture.
When Rachel Martin, NPR reporter, ask about his reactions to Kayne’s video he said:
I was gobstruck, is the word. I was absolutely floored and honored, and I almost felt like crying. I think that Kanye and I embraced each other, and everyone else was sort of like that — they were all high-fiving me and hugging me. There are experiences like that in the arts where somebody actually gets what you’re doing. Not that your goal is to communicate — it’s more self-enlightenment. But at that moment I realized that Kayne and I were on the same page completely. He was an art student, and speaking to him was like speaking to the brightest of my peers.
The keys to building new habits is through brain training and learning the following: self efficacy -belief in your ability and skills to learn, discovery of new ways to do things, efforting and deliberative practice using small steps. The good news is that practicing these new behaviors over and over again changes our brain structure. So the take away is that you always have the power to change yourself: No matter how old you are belief, deliberate practice, as well as effort and rest can result in successful brain changes through what is called neuroplasticity.
Remember what researchers have discovered that when it comes to neuroplasticity, one of the key things to keep in mind is that neural pathways (paths that connect different areas of the brain and nervous system) can not only be created at will, but can also be eliminated. Every time we learn something new or have a novel idea, a new pathway is created. The more we use this pathway (through practice and repetition), the firmer and more ingrained it becomes; likewise, the less we use it, the weaker it becomes, until it is eventually forgotten.
Neuroplasticity Effect: Our brains can be thought of as malleable plastic or muscle— they are constantly being changed by our day-to-day experiences. In scientific terms, the effect of neuroplasticity refers to the “rewiring” of the brain structure by interactions between neurons that transmit information in the brain, and the alterations that occur at synapses with constant use.
3. Conversations focus on goals, growth, and development.
In the revamped performance management systems, conversations have evolved from assessing past performance to setting goals, planning growth, and taking action. One organization summarized its new performance management approach as “providing feedback in ways that empower individuals, drive performance, support development, and create a sense of purpose.” Conversations about goals have taken on new importance, since they are an important cornerstone of setting clear expectations in a process without ratings. There’s an implicit recognition that performance and engagement are strongest when employees feel supported by a manager’s guidance and coaching and when they have more ownership of the process. Companies told us that the new focus on quality conversations has been well received by employees and managers alike.
Operation a success. I am going to play on Monday. Don’t know about the serve with these eyes. Want to see something funny you will have to see me in goggles. Thanks for checking on me. Mark
Daily Quote: You are responsible for creating your worth and meaning in life. These won’t be given to you. Therefore, no one can take them away.“Remember when Life’s path is to steep keep your mind even.” Horace “Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” Wayne Dyer Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/albertelli318505.html#ca06rd3YvUCkXQpj.99
Embrace Stress–Understanding and using Self-Acceptance and Willpower to create Mental Toughness (Grit) Embrace Stress. Stress is one of the leading causes for poor mental health. When you’re stressed out, your body has to work harder to keep up and, overtime, it will take its toll on your body and your brain. Next time you perceive something as stressful use the 10 second stress recovery response. Directions: Take a deep breath hold for 5 seconds and breath-out saying to yourself my body is relaxed, my mind is alert and there is a smile on my face. If that doesn’t work for you, try letting off some emotional tension by taking a walk or run. Keeping a positive frame of mind and training your mind to view stress from a more positive view point keeps your body and mind in balance, over time these type of mindful and physical activities will promote positive mental health and change your attitude about stress.Daily Quote: In order to be a leader, people need a sense of purpose and self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life. Albert Bandura Reflection: Joshua Freedman, Lorenzo Fariselli, Massimilano Ghini & Giacomo NottoliIn our research to create the Brain Talent Profile, we analyzed thousands of anonymous open-text comments about high performing leaders. We coded these to identify specific behaviors and talents by making a deep dive to identify the following essential attitudes and skills for breakthrough growth performance.
Highest Growth Leaders
Create feelings for others to work effectively.
Care about others. Inspire others through listening and loving behaviors.
Develop effective teams to manage business process.
Develop leadership & passion to support people.
Love job, set goals that fuel energy.
Effective role model with integrity, purpose + humor + authenticity
Sharing time with people, communicate the vision.
Empathic, aware, caring, approachable person
Focus, drive results.
Use clear interventions and process to produce priorities.
Model good attitude. Maintain calm.
Create a learning and caring environment . Smile. Provide recognition and positivity.
Reflections and observations:
Leadership is about people, passion and purpose
Leaders are effective role models–integrity+purpose+humor+authenticity
Top performers go deeper emotionally – not just caring, but showing deep empathy and personal caring through their daily interactions.
Not just a good attitude, but providing an environment for positive energy and growth.
YOU LISTEN WITH HALF AN EAR Ever zone out during a conversation or check your email while you’re talking to someone on the phone? You may think you’re being stealth, but the other person can almost always tell and it sends a message that they’re unimportant, says Gordon. Giving a client or friend your full attention is so meaningful, because it sends the meta message I really care about you and what you need. You are my top priority right now, not my latest e-mail.
Presentation of Self is a performance art and skill Effective interpersonal communication is self leadership at its finest. It is all about having a developed sense self-efficacy which entails knowing who you are, what you can do, and where you are now and where you want to go. In addition to the above, you must have the ability to access and master self-awareness and reflective thinking by choosing to accept others relevant feedback and feelings or emotions surrounding decisions and personal change. Your success in self-coaching relies on using a “process and structure” that allows you to discover and choose what fits your needs, time and personal change goals and objectives.”Self leadership equates to the leadership competencies of observation, questioning, listening, reflection, problem solving and choices encompassed in the popular Emotional Intelligence category of Self Management. But most importantly self-coaching can impact all important values and priorities of your life, including health, education, career, relationships and spiritual arenas.For Self leadership to occur we have met our survival needs of food and shelter and begin to look for meaning in our lives. The first skill of self leadership is to STOP and STEP BACK from the things that trigger us to react; because when we react we are being controlled by the trigger. The second skill is to consider our INTENTION. Intention is what is important to us, our values and what we are trying to achieve. By being intentional we can start to live a life of principled choice. Intention precedes any behavior (action). Actions have effects which we evaluate via feedback. A difference between the expected outcome (intention) and the feedback causes us to feel emotions. The meanings we make of these emotions can reinforce, reduce or distort our intentions. To make sense of this in your own life, consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your wealth or developing a relationship. Start with translating your intentions into appropriate actions.
What is it you want to achieve?
What actions do you need to take to achieve growth and improvement in the workplace?
How do these actions align with your principles and values?
Once action has been taken it is necessary to be receptive to the feedback that the world will give in response to your actions. The quality of the feedback is essential – the sooner you receive it, the sooner you can make adjustments. Beware your conditioned filters or blindspots that might cause defensiveness and lead you to interpret feedback or observations as criticism. These reactions at their foundation can lead to selective perceptions about what you take notice of because of your reliance on confirmation bias.
What are the results of your actions?
Is this feedback accurate?
Am I defensive and closed to constructive feedback?
Am I soliciting feedback from others who will take the risk to be honest or are they just trying to please you?
Are you selectively filtering the feedback to support your present behavior and beliefs about the people or situations you are dealing with?
The feedback we receive causes us sensations/emotions from which we make meaning.
What am I feeling?
What does this mean?
What else could this mean?
What changes do I need to make to correct this perception?
By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for a rapid feedback loop that will enable you to make the adjustments required in your communication/behavior to achieve more growth and improvement. If problems arise start first by checking your intention, then your perceptions, then your behavior, then the feedback and finally what you need to do to improve performance.
Daily Quote: “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits that is real joy.” Arthur Ashe
Reflection: The process ofself-coaching and reflecting on your life experiences actually creates the space for you to grow both professionally and personally. When you become more self-aware and develop the ability to reflect and examine your experiences, then write about your insights, especially people and situations that have changed your life you over the years, you reduce your insecurities and dailystress levels, improve your confidence and belief in your abilities to handle difficult and stressful situations and enjoy a healthier emotional life.
Daily Quote: What you are thinking, what shapes your mind is in the end, what makes the biggest difference of all. Willie MaysReflection: Your toughness is made up of equal parts belief about your ability and willingness to change, persistence and deliberative practice of new strategies and full reflection on your experience. The toughest opponent of all is the negativity and skeptic or sarcastic alien inside your head. Below see the 4 tips for overcoming negativity in your life.1. Believe it or not, passions grow out of your values. Make early, wise choices to value what (and who) is good, trustworthy, and praiseworthy.2.Think straight, talk straight and do the straight or right thing to grow your character and live by your values and principles3. Find a passion. Pick a hobby, own it: running, photography, juggling, tennis, writing, poetry, art or whatever interests you. Get your 10,000 hours of perfect practice in early and change your life.4.Don’t bother comparing yourself to others—this only leads to frustration, anger, and disappointment.Self-Coaching Challenge: What’s the one thing you would do right now if you had more confidence? What are you going to do to gain more self-confidence and mental toughness or grit in trying to achieve your goals and dreams for living a more fulfilling and constructive life?
Self-Coaching–Identifying your Strengths
Guided discovery is such an important element of the ” structure with process” framework to self-development process rather than merely telling others what you want them to do. Overholser’s (1995) described guided discovery being analogous to a jigsaw puzzle. My role in the SC process is to make sure all the pieces are on the table for your choice and discovery . If the person you are helping is feeling forced to use the pieces you present and that don’t fit together there will be resistance to change. The result will mean they remain stuck. As a coach you can point out where the corner or edge pieces are likely to be found but is not your role to solve the puzzle. Ultimately it is only the other person who can fit the pieces together. This is why I prefer self-coaching to direct coaching because if the coach tells you the answers (i.e. solves the jigsaw puzzle), then you will ultimately not gain the experience, skills and satisfaction of being self-directed in making decisions and completing the puzzle oneself.
So you’re stuck, huh? Welcome to the crowd. With constant change and pressure from work and family obligations it becomes difficult to define ourselves, it’s no surprise that who we actually can become overwhelming and confusing that leaves “stuck”. One way around this confusion is to figure out what are your strengths and how to use them? Identify your interest, talents, skills and especially passion for change and start using them now with these three guiding tips: Answer this question–What’s one thing you would you do right now if you had more courage and confidence and didn’t have to worry about love ones and money?
1. Be Attentive,Flexible and Open.
Know that as we age, our tastes change and our strengths and weakness grow. Don’t allow yourself to be complacent or locked-in by telling yourself the same story over and over again. If you say, I’m not good with numbers because I did not get good grades in accounting in college, you’re not giving your current self a chance to identify new opportunities. Being attentive and open to change means reality testing of your assumptions and preconceived ideas about yourself. Changing your mental set and collecting new information that is not limited to past experiences or skewed by self-confirming biases can grow help you explore experiments that teach you more about your talents and abilities.These new experiments can help you discover and develop your hidden potentials. This kind of openness and growth mindset can ooch you toward risking new behaviors and strategies that can lead you to develop skills and knowledge tackle any challenges life throws your way.
2. Identify skills, strengths and blindspots for personal improvement use a daily –Growth and Reflection Journal
Let your thoughts flow onto a few pages every morning and walk away from them for the rest of the day. Stream of consciousness writing can be very effective at creating a more mindful approach for developing new ways of thinking about your talents. Come back after a week and re-read your pages. You’ll notice a lot of your thoughts circle back to one main idea. This is usually a hot new interest or desire. Use your writing to look for hidden answers or themes in your daily life activities.. What are you missing? What are you longing for? What opportunities are you over looking or discounting? Then, use your reflection journal to create a list of your strengths and a list of opportunities to set new goals that are aligned with those strengths.
3. Get feedback
You know they are going to be brutally honest. But the great thing about asking a handful of trusted colleagues and friends about your strengths and best qualities qualities is that they all usually say the same thing. It’s enlightening to hear different people see you in the same light and this is definitely an indicator of a strength. Use your friends’ perspectives here to work on what you’d like to do better. Are you demanding and overbearing or do you show your true empathy only under pressure. Use your empathy in many different situations by slowing down and giving others your full attention through active listening.Use your natural talents to improve those parts of your personality that might need a little fine tuning and practice.
Next time you facilitate a meeting keep these principles in mind and I promise less frustration and more success in accomplishing the team’s goals.
First let’s talk about courage. Aristotle stated that courage is the primary human virtue, because it makes all other virtues possible. In business this quality is critical. In a world that is increasingly uncertain, where decisions must be made rapidly, and where lines of responsibility are unclear and different stakeholders make contradictory demands, people must summon their courage every day to stay the course based on their values, principles and purpose.
Developing personal courage should be a critical objective for every manager and leader. But how to go about this? From the many ideas in our selected publications, we felt the following to be particularly important: – Courage is needed in many ways, not only to respond to risk, but also to face the truth, dare to be more open to opinions of others, etc. – We must not ignore our fears: Learning to identify and analyze them objectively helps us surmount them. – We can develop our courage, which is a quality that improves with practice.
Now let’s look at identifying and conquering fears that are holding us back from more joy in our lives. Find small ways to move out of your comfort zone and move fearlessly toward freedom using the plus-one technique. As a noted author, Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” This is so true. Who would you be if you could conquer and let go of your fears and obstacles for living a better “quality of life”?
Self-Coaching Tool—The ten second mindfulness tool of Relax and Reflect. To truly understanding your feelings requires that you be present in the moment to moment “here and now” state. Learning to set aside distractions in order to deeply listen and reflect on this moment. Teaching yourself to pause and relax before reacting, whether listening to self, friend or in a argument with a colleague, is key to emotional understanding, regulating impulses and empathy.Practice Activity: Stop. Breathe. Listen. Reflect and Respond.
Prescription for Constructive interpersonal change.
Daily Quote: “Remembering that you are going to die one day is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. Follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
Reflection: The key to our Self-directed coaching approach to awareness and development can be summed up in one sentence: “It’s not me–it’s my negative thoughts.” That is our battle cry. It is a reminder that negative thoughts and urges are real and drive your thinking and behavior, if gone unchecked. Research shows that these negative self-talk messages from the brain need 3-5 positive messages to over ride just 1 negative thought. In focused, mindful and self-directed behavior coaching you gain a deeper understanding of this truth.
On this Memorial Day let’s show our gratitude to those who gave so much so that we all can be free and proud to be Americans. As John F. Kennedy once said: ” As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
Decision to focus on Growth Mindset for Self-Development
Daily Quote: “Becoming is better than being… never stop growing and believing in your potential to become a fully functioning person.” Carl Rogers In 1973 almost 43 years ago, I made a critical decision that changed my professional life. I decided that I loved to teach and facilitate other people’s growth and development and that being an Administrator in Higher Education was to reactive and to focused on the “status quo” of supporting establishment policies. This approach and positions available did not fit for my change agent outlook on life. When you have a growth mindset, you can better understand that many things in life remain fixed until we see them with the new eyes of positive change and personal growth. For example, IQ, EQ, and other skills like presentations, listening and leadership can be developed they are not fixed at birth. When we learn to focus on improvement and the processes of self-development instead of being concerned about whether we are talented in some activity or do we have the talent to perform we learn to perform better. When people work hard to bring about their best through deliberative practice, effort and hard work we see improvement toward goals and a meaningful purpose for living a more constructive life. All of sudden they become better or seem to be smarter at the activity they are trying to perfect. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores. What does research say about the relationship between positive and growth mindset and fixed mindset on performance? Your belief (self-efficacy) in your self and the possibilities for change have a high positive relationship for improving performance and successful learning. Mindsets Predict Motivation and Achievement.
In one study, Blackwell and her colleagues followed hundreds of students making the transition to 7th grade. They found that students with a growth mindset were more motivated to learn and exert effort, and outperformed those with a fixed mindset in math—a gap that continued to increase over the two-year period. Those with the two mindsets had entered 7th grade with similar past achievement, but because of their different mindsets their math grades pulled apart during this challenging time. (Blackwell, L.S., Trzesniewski, K.H., & Dweck, C.S. (2007).
In another study, also with adolescents, Blackwell and her colleagues divided students into two groups for a workshop on the brain and study skills. Half of them, the control group, were taught about the stages of memory; the other half received training in the growth and potential mindset (how the brain grows like a muscle when challenged and used.) and how to apply this idea to their academic schoolwork. Three times as many students in the growth mindset group showed an increase in effort and engagement compared with the fixed mindset control group. After the training, the control group continued to show declining grades, but the growth-mindset group showed a clear improvement in their grades. (Blackwell, L., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2007).
Bottom line is that the open and positive mindset increased achievement scores, effort expended on improvement (increased practice time), as well as greater resilience to snap-back after failures and setbacks produce an overall increased life satisfaction scores. Research shows that Brain is Malleable Cognitive psychology and neuroscience research supports the hypothesis that positive change on mental set from fixed to a growth or potential mindset is possible because the brain is malleable and demonstrates plasticity. For example, nuero-scientists tracked students during their teenage years. For many students, they found substantial changes in performance on verbal and non-verbal IQ tests. Using neuro-imaging, they found corresponding changes in the density of neurons in the relevant brain areas for these students. In other words, an increase in neuronal connections in the brain accompanied an increase in IQ-test performance, while a decrease in neuronal connections in the brain accompanied a decrease in IQ-test performance. This is just what Brainology teaches. (Ramsden, S., Richardson, F.M., Josse, G., Thomas, M., Ellis, C., Shakeshart, C., Seguier, M., & Price, C. (2011). Verbal and non-verbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain. Nature479, 113–116. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. “perfectionism spectrum or continuum” Pygmalion Effective and Potential Growth mindset on attitude, practice behavior and achievement levels. http://www.mindsetworks.com/webnav/whatismindset.aspx Self-centered vs process-centered viewpoint of personal change and growth. (EQ) prescription along with a daily spoonful of optimism. What does an Self- Coaching challenge and prescription look like? When life’s devastating storms pop-up, how do we create an EQ raincoat which is accessible and easy to slip on? Knowing ourselves intimately by identifying our emotions, recognizing personal strengths, triggers, and what action to take in case of emotional emergencies is a good place to begin. When taking our EQ prescriptions and (in case of emotional down pours grabbing our raincoats) we will begin to understand how to manage our affairs with confidence, ease, grace and dignity. As a result, we will be able to manage feelings, reduce stress, set healthy boundaries and strengthen resiliency. We will receive the grandest of gifts ‒ intrinsic motivation, deeper empathy, a sense of purpose, gratitude and optimism. What does a daily spoonful of optimism look like? It means doing something nice for ourselves as well as another person each and every day. It means staying replenished mentally, physically, and emotionally which results in a sense of well-being. A spoonful of optimism can be reading an inspirational quote, talking to a trusted friend, having a fabulous dinner, practicing an attitude of gratitude, or indulging in a “music bath”, (this is where we put on our favorite music and submerge our hearts and minds in song). To solidify our daily dose of optimism it is imperative to develop our emotional intelligence skills. A powerful and exemplary model is the wheel created by 6 Seconds to Emotional Intelligence. (The Six Seconds EQ Model,” 2011). “Everything important in life requires huge amounts of effort over long periods of time. If effort makes you feel inadequate… you are at a huge disadvantage.” If our culture expects (or even just hopes for) perfect, effortless achievement, when things get hard, we quit. Talent is equated with not having to work hard. The thing is, that some things get harder and more complex the more we dig into them. So effort is required know what your natural talent level is. Believing in growth and the importance of effort and practice can make a powerful difference in our self-development, efficacy and maximizing our full potential in life.” Dr. Carol Dweck I am going to copy this quote on a slip of paper and put it close to my work station where I can be reminded every day real learning is hard and often messy, but worth the time and effort.
Exploring Empathy, Responsiveness and Relevance as keys to Audience-Centered Presentation” Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection, understanding and compassionate action.” Daniel Goldman The RATER is a useful tool to measure your ability to be Audience-Center in presenting or public speaking. Your ability to listen, relate to, understand and respect the inner world of others, doesn’t mean agreeing with the other person’s perceived experience or opinion . For many, empathy is what I’ll call a touchy-feely word. “It’s all about feeling and relating to what others feel , isn’t it? – being compassionate. Does that really have any place in the hard-nosed world of business? One of the problems with empathy is that it is often confused with being ‘soft’ – overly sensitive, compassionate and even emotionally “mushy” or sentimental. It can be associated with tolerating bad performance or bad behavior, which is probably more to do with avoiding conflict than empathy.
Let’s be clear, empathy is simply the ability to understand and be respectful of the inner state/experience of others, it does not mean agreeing with the other person’s perceived experience or condoning the actions they take based on their perceptions and interpretations of what the issue or problem. It is also not just limited to understanding another’s feelings. Empathy includes an ability to identify and articulate another’s perspective, expectations, wants and needs to the other person’s satisfaction. Great communicators are experienced as having empathy when they try to see the world through the eyes of their audience. By doing so they show respect and caring for their audience and when people feel respect they become engaged and open to listening to other viewpoints. There is an old saying, “I don’t care about what you know until I know that you care.” As a presenter you need to be self-aware and sensitive to how your own behavior impacts others. Empathy is both outward and inward looking. When you learn to be responsive and respectful as a communicator it becomes easier to identify and be responsive to the audience members needs and expectations. Being “quick on your feet” to provide relevant examples and tell engaging stories about your ideas helps you connect in what I call audience-centered communication ways. Show respect and and empathy and your audience will respond in kind. Self-Coaching Challenge: To get at this topic in short form, I’d ask you to take a quiz and to score yourself on a scale of 10, where 1 is awful and 10 is being masterful as a presenter demonstrating empathy toward the audience members. What follows are the essence-of-leadership activities (or a rough stab at them) I’d like you to self-evaluate:
EXECUTION IS STRATEGY. 95% OF SUCCESS IS EXECUTION. WHAT ARE we DOING — WHAT DO YOU WANT –OVERCOMING OBSTACLES. Only question you need to ask about life starts with this reflective questionWhat is the reason you are living? Victor Frankl challenges us about the meaning in life when he says: Survival for what reason? Those who survived the ordeal of concentration camps in WWII created a future orientation rather than a self-center orientation. They created in their minds eye a future desire for re-connection with someone or something outside of themselves. This ability to find a mission outside of yourselfis called Self-Transcendance. Frankl goes on to use this theme as central to Logo therapy because he says this skill is the secret for creating a meaningful purpose in life. More questions for Self-Reflection:
I go to work each Monday at_________ because I want to______________.
2. What is your professional vision and purpose_________________________________.
3. What specific mindset or skilllset do you need to develop in order to become a more effective leader _____________________________.
4. What do you want to focus on for improvement in your position___________________.
5. What motivates you in your present job_______________________________________.
Reflection: I agree with Dr.Rogers statement because if you do not know your self and are reluctant to examine and learn both your strengths and areas needing improvement life is just one activity after another. In addition, acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can’t change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good but the things you can control make life more exciting and fun. Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don’t fully accept the reality of a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty getting going to change it . Moreover, if you don’t fully accept and understand the situation, you will never really know if the situation needs changing. In the Self-Coaching I am going to provide a model for you to get going on personal changes.
Self-Coaching Challenge: Creating Your Future in next 30 days: 6 Steps to Meaning and Purpose .
1. Ask yourself WHYyou want to make this personal change
2. ASSESS? Where your are NOW ( Point A) and where you wan to be in the next 30 days (Point B)
3. WHAT? Describe in realistic and specific detail your DREAM ( Point B )?
4. HOW? Creating the future with your personalized Development Plan
5. Constructive ACTION: WHAT, WHO, BY WHEN DO YOU SEE AND MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS.
6. CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND FEEDBACK LOOP -RE-PURPOSE AND RENEWAL
Arizona Governor Ms. Brewer makes the right decision to veto an anti-gay law. WOW can’t believe the law got to her desk. This situation was easy if you made this assumption–Inclusion=Wins and Intolerance = Losses in the 21st Century. And Oh by the way, we have anti-discrimination laws and separation of church and state in America.
Did You Get your the 30 minutes of Brain Fitness Today? Did you know that you can re-wire your brain? It is a fact of neuroscience that we are now able to re-wire our brains. Back in 2000 the now famous “ferret” experiment proved that the brain is basically tissue just like our muscles and can be developed and changed with deliberate practice and effort. This new idea is brain plasticity. The core idea was that the brain adapts and changes the more it is used. Remember the idea for keeping physically healthy–” move it or lose it” concept. Brain plasticity refers to fact that the brain is adaptive — it self-organizes, meaning that if exercised appropriately it can adapt and change for the better. This new understanding of the brain, made possible in the 1990’s by the invention of the MRI, is in stark contrast to the prior theory, that each part of the brain has a fixed specialized function. The old theory hypothsized that once these functions are learned, typically at a young age, they are fixed, and pre-determined for life. This theory by Norman Doidge’s was called localization and it has been PROVEN WRONG. In fact, not only is the brain plastic and able to change, it is changing constantly. Brain maps, the functionality by region, change constantly depending on individual needs. This is called “competitive plasticity”, referring to the fact that the brain is constantly dropping connections (knowledge or skills) that seem to be no longer needed or that are not being used or challenged, and it will add connections if there are new demands.
A story by the NY Times magazine written by Pro Bronson and Ashley Merryman detailed an experiment where a teacher was able to impact math scores by having children read out loud a scientific paper on how the brain is a muscle that will respond to exercise. The knowledge of this opportunity encouraged students to work harder and a new improved trend was established. But it takes time and practice. The brain is like a muscle if not used it can lose it’s power and strength when not exercised. So the question becomes –Do you care for your brain through exercise and activities that stimulate and protect it or do just take the brain for granted? The bad news is that since you were never provided an owner’s manual for your brain, you are probably making lifestyle choices that impair your brain’s performance, or worse, actually damage your brain! The good news is that because your brain is resilient, making healthier lifestyle choices can improve your brain’s health and performance. Alvaro Fernandez, with www.SharpBrains.com, has identified four pillars of brain health. Let’s start with the pillar of Physical Exercise, which has a number of positive benefits for your brain including increasing oxygen flow which increases mental sharpness, increasing BDNF which supports the growth of brain cells, increasing the creation of blood vessels in the brain and … click here to learn more from Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Rules for Surviving and Thriving at Work School and Home. PS Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise just twice a week reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia by 50%!
Allied commands depend on mutual confidence, and this confidence is gained, above all, through the development of friendships.”General D.D. Eisenhower, on managing the impossible—the D-Day allianceDaily Quote: Being relaxed and open allows lucky people to see what’s around them and to maximize what’s around them.
Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), …Lucky people look at events differently than others. They are more observant and typically have a different mindset than unlucky folks”.People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have determination and know how to use it.
Nietzsche wrote, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Reflection: We all get bad luck and experience suffering in life. The question is how to use it to turn it into “one of the best things that ever happened,” to not let it become a mental or psychological prison. What is the mindset that lucky people have that makes than more lucky than others? Management “guru” Tom Peter’s once said: Luck was the main reason for selling over 5 million books for his legendary and acclaimed In Search of Excellence. Most business books of this type up till the time this book by Peters and Waterman sold generally 5,000 copies. When I heard this from Peters in one of his lectures I was amazed and stunted. I thought how could I bottle this thing called luck be for selling the next breakthrough management book or the “pet rock” phenomena. I searched the internet and now can share with you that according to some researchers there are specific reasons why some people are lucky and others are not. “It’s better to be lucky than smart.” “You make your own luck in life.” “Some folks are just born lucky.” In an environment marked by rising tensions and diminished expectations, most of us could use a little luck — at our companies, in our careers, with our investments. Richard Wiseman thinks that he can help you find some. Dr. Wiseman, 37, is head of a psychology research department at the University of Hertfordshire in England. For the past eight years, he and his colleagues at the University’s Perrott-Warrick Research Unit have studied what makes some people lucky and others not. After conducting thousands of interviews and hundreds of experiments, Wiseman says he has cracked the LUCK CODE. In an article in Fast Company he hypothesis that luck is not due to kismet, karma, or coincidence, he says. Instead, lucky folks — without even knowing it — think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives. In his new book,The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), Wiseman reveals four approaches to life that turn certain people into luck magnets. (And, as luck would have it, he tells the rest of us how to improve our own odds.)
According to Richard Wiseman, understanding and using the following four principles can create good fortune in your life and career.
1. MAXIMIZE CHANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences. Lucky Code: LETO
2. LISTEN TO YOUR LUCKY HUNCHES
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities — for example, by being more mindful through meditating and relaxation strategies that clear their minds of distractions.
3. EXPECT GOOD FORTUNE
Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. By using and acting on the principle of the Positive Self-fulfilling philosophy. (Merton) Over time, the expectation that you are lucky becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.
4. Adaptation –TURN BAD LUCK INTO GOOD
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don’t dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.
5. Resilience, not luck, is the signature of greatness.
6. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive. The 10Xers exercise productive paranoia, combined with empirical creativity and fanatic discipline, to create huge margins of safety. If you stay in the game long enough, good luck tends to return, but if you get knocked out, you’ll never have the chance to be lucky again. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive. After finishing our luck analysis for “Great by Choice,” we realized that getting a high ROL required a new mental muscle. There are smart decisions and wise decisions. And one form of wisdom is the ability to judge when to let luck disrupt our plans. Not all time in life is equal. The question is, when the unequal moment comes, do we recognize it, or just let it slip? But, just as important, do we have the fanatic, obsessive discipline to keep marching, to push the opportunity to the extreme, to make the most of the chances we’re given? Return on Luck favors the observant and those that are ready to act when luck presents itself .Southwest Airlines story–Airline Captain avoids crash we need to be skilled, strong, prepared and resilient to endure the bad luck long enough to eventually get good luck. WE came across a remarkable moment at the very start of the history of Southwest Airlines, described by its first chief executive, Lamar Muse, in his book, “Southwest Passage.” “The very first Sunday morning of Southwest’s life, we narrowly escaped a disaster,” Mr. Muse wrote. “During the takeoff run, the right thrust-reverser deployed. Only the captain’s instantaneous reaction allowed him to recover control and make a tight turn for an emergency landing on one engine.” What if the jet had smashed into the ground in the first week of building the company? Would there even be a Southwest Airlines today? If we all have some combination of both heads (lucky flips) and tails (unlucky flips), and if the ratio of heads to tails tends to even out over time, we need to be skilled, strong, prepared and resilient to endure the bad luck long enough to eventually get good luck. The Southwest pilot had to be skilled and prepared before the thrust-reverser deployed. This highlights the notion of Return on Luck and Being observant and ready when luck presents itself. For example, The 10Xers exercise productive paranoia, combined with empirical creativity and fanatic discipline, to create huge margins of safety. If you stay in the game long enough, good luck tends to return, but if you get knocked out, you’ll never have the chance to be lucky again. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive. After finishing our luck analysis for “Great by Choice,” we realized that getting a high Return on Luck (ROL) required a new mental muscle. There are smart decisions and wise decisions. And one form of wisdom is the ability to judge when to let luck disrupt our plans. Not all time in life is equal. The question is, when the unequal moment comes, do we recognize it, or just let it slip? But, just as important, do we have the fanatic, obsessive discipline to keep marching, to push the opportunity to the extreme, to make the most of the chances we’re given? Sources: 1. http://www.fastcompany.com/46732/how-make-your-own-luck 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/business/luck-is-just-the-spark-for-business-giants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 http://www.tompeters.com/docs/7SHistory.pdf
For all of you who wanted to know where the “Soft skills and Hard Skills” idea came from from don’t miss this historical summary from Dr. Tom Peter’s. It first appeared in a HBR article and then was expanded in the award winning and ground breaking organizational and management effectiveness book entitled In Search of Excellence. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.” LET YOUR LIFE HAVE DIGNITY AND MEANING FOR YOU. Then your identity will be your own quilt to put over you and pull up to your chin as restful peace and tranquility surrounds your body as your life comes to an end.Your identity is what you’ve committed yourself to. It may just mean doing a better job at whatever you’re doing. There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are –and that too is a strong commitment to living life “on purpose”. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It matters very little whether they’re behind the wheel of a truck or a country doctor or bringing up a family. Interesting discussion on Mike and Mike–I am going to do this thing I love forever, I don’t need the help, I am bullet proof and will play forever. These are false ideas are obstacles when reality hits. They setup a difficult and sometimes painful situation for getting through life’s transitions. Another difficult area in losses or transitions is whether the unfortunate event is an on time and off time loss–I am 65 and it is time to retire (on time) or I am 25 year old soldier and I loss both of my legs or a rookie all star football athlete who sustains a career ending injury, or you 44 and get fired because of circumstances or incompetence…etc. If you want more information on to handle these situations see the book Transitions by William Bridges. Eddie George’s struggles to find his way after football. How to craft and cope with losses and find new opportunities for creating a stable life and new identity. There are six questions that can open the door to successful transitions in life:
Are you being honest with yourself?
What challenges does this life transition present? What is changing?
What will actually be different because of this challenging situation?
What losses might I experience?
What strengths do I have and what are weaknesses or voids that have been created by this loss?
What does success look like once I have confronted and overcome this transition and loss?
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living or don’t ask for help when we need it. We are all dreaming of some magical time over the horizon instead of enjoying the moment and using the time right in front of us to prepare for the expected or unexpected events that confront us all at some point in life. Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dalecarneg106496.html#m9CmEmAiJgf5klJp.99
Daily Quote: Be a Man or Women for Others–What do you think? How can I help? What have you learned? Why are you stuck? Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit”. WOW WOW WOW………………………Talk about the domination of the Seahawks. The one sided victory showed the power of the Pete Carroll Philosophy of Caring and Playing in the Moment. This philosophy will definitely have an impact of the rest of the NFL. If you listened carefully to the interviews after the game you heard and saw the humility and pride of teamwork. Let me summarize, the “Winning Forever” philosophy of Pete Carroll. The four words that capture the essence of the team culture are: Fundamentals, Man for Others, Caring and Respect. This means that “soft skills” as a leadership philosophy is on the ascent to building teams and producing results. The Seahawks according to all the interviews is a “team of misfits” . What does that mean? It means that most of these players were not given the recognition they thought they deserved. The team is mostly made up of 3th, 4th, 5th, 6th round draft picks and free agents. No stars just players who were committed to do the best they could with there strengths and determination to reach their potential. Now let’s break down the philosophy: 1. Fundamentals 2. Man for Others 3. Caring 4. Respect “Boyatzis, a faculty member at Weatherhead School of Management, and Jack, director of the university’s Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab, say coaches should seek to arouse a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA), which causes positive emotion and arouses neuro-endocrine systems that stimulate better cognitive functioning and increased perceptual accuracy and openness in the person being coached, taught or advised.”
Daily Quote : ” Knowing how to stop, relax and step-up to difficult people and challenging situation is a critical skill needed to grow and develop as a leader.” Robert Greenleaf, author of Servant Leader In the moment technique for controlling impulses and powerful emotions: STOP…Take a DEEP BREATH…REFLECT…THINK. This allows you to get back in control by triggering your executive function of your brain. Your emotional impulses of fight or flight slow down so you can take charge in a more deliberate way by observing and reflecting on the other person and the situation you find yourself in. When safety, trust, congruence and self-disclosure are established, these qualities support the actions that lead to greater self-awareness to be who you are–a mixture of hopes, dreams, caring and ambitions and disappointments, anger frustrations etc. With this acceptance of your natural self comes a willingness to experiment, take risk and grow in the process. When we feel able to experiment, take risks and make ourselves vulnerable, our ability to learn, to increase our self-awareness (and our awareness of others) to change our immediate impulsive reaction and over ride our emotions in order to achieve our goals increases dramatically. Find ways to successful step-up or lean-in provides an opportunity to constructively take on life as an adventure. Don’t be afraid t try new things, take risks and use your natural strengths. Poem on the Brain 100 poems written time to publish Rock, D. (2009) Your Brain at Work, Collins, New York.
“You must begin to THINK ABOUT HOW YOU THINK if you want to be seen and experienced as an effective leader” Drucker How to make meetings more satisfying, productive and work more effectively? “Begin with the end in mind” or the vision thing. By setting a vision of what the team wants to accomplish and what a successful meeting looks like the changes of increasing engagement and having more satisfying outcomes increase dramatically . In a meeting, I believe there are five types of thinking you can focus on using, “vision and strategic priority setting, tactical details of execution, problem solving, creative brain storming and “rocking horse” discussions that can lead to conflict, frustration and drama.” We generally ignore priority setting or vision thinking in most meetings. For some reason there is pressure to get down to work quickly. This feeling sounds like this “we can’t waste time on all this petty stuff we have important things to do”. So what happens is that most team leaders and members avoid or ignore answering these important questions: What is the most important thing to work on and accomplish while we are together this morning? Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve? Where are we trying to get to?’ What does success look like? How do we handle side issues that might come up? How do we get everyone involved, engaged and committed to what’s important to discuss and decide on today? What the leader and team fail to understand is how important it is to have that vision thinking done, not just to motivate thinking and members engagement but to guide how to use our valuable time together. Both “structure and processes” are key elements for increasing energy and productivity in meetings. So my first recommendation–STOP, CLARIFY and get AGREEMENT on what is important to focus on today. Planning and detail thinking are both about “how” to implement your vision, with planning being more at the 30,000 level and big picture thinking, and detail discussions are more ground level dealing with specific actions and commitments. These kinds of thinking can only be done once an overall direction and vision for success are worked-out. “This kind of ‘how’ to execute or thinking is very difficult if you don’t have a very clear what and why these activities are a priority and important to the individuals, team and organizational imperatives. “Most meetings start with detail, and then it’s easy to devolve into conflict, problem focus and frustrations of drama. So I recommend the team leader start with vision and priorities as much as possible and work out a clear work plan for the meeting itself, and do all that before you start getting into the “nitty gritty” of details.
Power of Self-Talk ” Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. Gandhi
Fear based decisions (play to win) vs. Comfortable decisions (playing not to lose). Over coming fears, “melt” downs and uncomfortable situations bring different performance outcomes. Based on flight, stuck and fight brain chemicals. There is no magic bullet for overcoming these type of decisions and situations. Yet one of the key tools available to you is often ignored. This tool is the ability to manage your self talk. For a moment think about this situation. You are involved in a heat discussion with a fellow employee and your phone rings as you glance down you see it is from one of your top customers. In a flash your verbal tone and energy changes from negative and emotional to a calm and friendly demur. What has just happened to you?
Daily Quote: You must begin to THINK ABOUT HOW YOU THINK if you want to seen and experienced as an effective and competent performerReflection: Once I heard someone say the most powerful thing about accomplishing goals. This wise person who I became friends with when training for the Dallas Marathon said ” When it comes to finishing the race I mean the last 5 miles of the 26,2 mile challenge–Whether you think you can or think you can’t … Your Right”. I must say he was right. I found the last 10 miles one of the biggest achievements in my athletic life. There were so many times I wanted to stop that I stopped counting. Both physically and mentally I keep running into barriers, like the 16th mile hill that seem like a mountain. As I walked up the hill I told a friend that I was going to finish this race if it was the last “fucking” thing I did. She laughed and that laugh remained a joyful motivator for the rest of the race. The one lesson I learned in fulfilling this running goal was to trust myself. I realized that my body (a knee I could barely stand on for the last 2 miles)and mind would let me know if I needed to quit. I now use this past success when facing difficult challenges and use what I learned about perseverance, practice and mental toughness to help achieve any new challenges or targets in my life. I learned the 5 C’s of trust. Commitment to a goal, Consistency and need for Practice, Camaraderie, Competitiveness with Self Compassion.
Self-Coaching Challenge: Identify what you want to achieve in the area of your personal fitness? Be specific about what and how you will go about achieving your goal. What past win can you use to motivate you to get going and stick with your plan even during times that are difficult. Begin with the end in mind–Steven Coffey–Here is a powerful example, Coach Dandonio of MSU had his daughter shoot a short video on her iphone in Spring of 2012 on the field in Pasandena saying he saw his team there in 2013 celebrating the end of their quest to wing the Rose Bowl…guess what that vision came true on Jan 2014 when MSU beat Stanford 24-20 in the 100th Rose Bowl football game…
What a vision and awakening as Carl Jung said: “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Resilience of Andrew Luck and Cook at MSU “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The ill-trained will find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists,” warns futurist Eric Hoffer.
Today, to stay competitive and growing with the times we need to think of learning as a lifelong pursuit, an enriching experience that will always be part of a meaningful and purposeful life. In the 21st Century coaching was born out of the need to obtain sustainable and ongoing live-long learning education and behavior change.
“Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful obstacles we have overcome through trial and error and groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.
Eric Hoffer Vision of Achievement, Mental Toughness (self 3),Resilience and Guided Mastery( structure) and Deliberative Real Practice (Smart Step by Step /Plus-One) –Keys to breaking bad habits and suffering through difficult challenges to become a more versatile leader. Reflections on Certainty and Change–Japanese saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now.”
It is my impression that many people do not really like the new or talking out about the need for change. We are afraid of uncertainty and change. It is not only as Dostoyevsky put it that “taking a new step, uttering a new word is what people fear most.” Even in slight things the experience of the new is rarely without some stirring of fear, resistance or uneasiness.
In the case of drastic change the uneasiness is of course deeper and more lasting. We can never be really prepared for that which is wholly new. We have to be flexible and adjust ourselves, and every significant adjustment is a crisis in self-identity: We undergo a test; we have to prove ourselves. It needs inordinate self-confidence and perseverance. (like Donald Trump being President) to face drastic change without inner trembling.
If you were raised by tough, stoic and insensitive people who kept their emotions bottled up with a real tight lid on the bottle and who never, ever talked about feelings out loud or tried to work through conflicts. You probably were taught that there are only two possible responses to all feelings, interpersonal troubles and conflicts: 1) you silently “suck it up” and try to get over it on your own, or 2) if you can’t silently get over it on your own, you wipe out the other person from your life or you just vanish from that person’s life forever without another word. These two methods of dealing with emotions and conflict are unhealthy both from a physical and psychological point of view. To bury your discomfort, or run for the hills can lead to an endless stream of pain and a negative life position of being the victim. The trouble with not confronting the emotional issues in your life is that you generally are unable to deal with loss, life transitions, sadness, anger etc. and this doesn’t help you resolve these situations and find better ways to get through these existential moments of truth; it just leaves you deeper into isolation, or fear of others. It also is a loss of opportunity to grow effective and long-term interpersonal skills and trusting relationships. Robert Bolton likes to think of listening as the yin (the receiving aspect) of communication, while assertiveness is the yang (the active aspect). When I am experiencing emotional/interpersonal vulnerability, the best I can do sometimes ask myself what the alternative is to my entering this scary arena — to live a hard-hearted moment locked-down, resentful and unforgiving life? Is that really who I want to be? Have I ever met a hard-hearted, locked-down, resentful and unforgiving person whom I truly admired? Do you have a tendency to think that having good people skills means the ability to get what you want or manipulate others into doing or saying something that suits us, not them, I want to remind you of the four critical components of respect that accelerate and produce effective and growing relationships: listening, empathy, unconditional love, and genuineness. It has been the excruciating work of a lifetime for me to try to learn how to change this pattern — how to stay in the conversation longer, how to sit through the fear and discomfort of interpersonal emotional openness (especially when it comes to expressing my own anger, which is the emotion that I least comprehend and most fear.) I have had some success of late with being more open to this process, but OH MY GOD IT IS SO SCARY FOR ME, and sometimes I still totally fail — still run for the hills or use sarcasm or an ugly attack mode to put the other person down. But at least I pause first. In other words, I am still far from the person I wish to be with this particular manifestation of vulnerability…but God knows, I am working on it. Harder than anything, harder than ever. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ernesthemi152913.html#HAK84sy346bbKVBH.99Todd’s Art
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Barnard Shaw “
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Dr. Peter Drucker
“Any problem, big or small …always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. Emma Thompson
” This a failure to communicate” ( standing over a guy he just shot and killed) from the movie Cool Hand Luke
The art of communicating is critical for self-development. It requires you to go outside yourself by learning to actively listen and then say the right thing given the person and the situation.
Building strong and endearing relationships is more about understanding and empathy than anything else. It is about developing the skills and habit of connection through understanding. It takes the ability to read the other person and then in that moment finding the right words to connect with the other person. The real power of communication is the ability to interact in an effective way with other people in your everyday life.
If you can’t effectively communicate with others you dramatically narrow your chances of connecting, solving problems and finding opportunities to create winning results for everyone involved in the interaction. This includes your organization, team, colleagues and family members. Communication is the glue in effective communications.
Self-Coaching Challenge: Select a person at work that you have been having difficulty communicating with and schedule a coffee with them to see how they are doing. During the conversation practice active listening techniques and capture in your Learning Journal your reactions. Did active listening and using the CPR techniques improve the conversation? If so what changed in your interaction? If using the techniques did not work what were some the issues or problems you experienced?
Structure with Process and Gestalt theory –Zen Management http://www.greatplacetowork.com/best-companies/100-best-companies-to-work-for Tao of Effective communication–Virginia Satir said, “The only real certainty in life is change” (Loeschen, 1991, p. 133). Her teachings offered a view of change as a natural, healthy and human phenomenon. From this perspective change is a requirement for living. It is being in the calm flow of the moment. Lao Tsu’s message is similar,
The way of nature is unchanging. Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. Knowing constancy, the mind is open and flexible in approach problems and difficulties in life.
Beowulf –The bridge between interior and inner side of your identity– walk in the woods: I awoke in the middle of the dark forest not knowing which way to go and I knew that I had met my Waterloo. The PlusOne technique teaches us that in order to live the largest life possible, we need to be able to block and protect our time and energy to work towards our priorities and goals. For example, you must create alone times so as to gain space and reflection points in your daily life to avoid being overwhelmed with just doing stuff. Creating extended periods of focus, provides time for relaxation and reflection time. This PlusOne method insures more room for understanding why you do what you’re doing, gaining time to sort through priorities and measure actions against important values and take responsibility for decisions in life. It may take a time to establish this new routine, but eventually you will act and see the payoffs. I understand that a bad habit or a new behavior change can be extremely difficult, so go out and find an accountability method to support your efforts to change, such as a coach. The coach requires reporting in on timely basis to review actions. This can help keep you on track, and get the support you need to be successful on this personal development change plan called PlusONE Smart-Step. Keep track of your progress in your Personal Change Journal remember to talk to your coach for daily support and reinforcement. And, if you find yourself struggling to meet the deadlines associated with your personal change goal it might be helpful to try and create a 30 day Self-Coaching Challenge—by using the Smart-step approach to change or create a new habit of alone time to reflect on life’s daily actions. We understand that a bad habit or a new behavior change can be extremely difficult, so go out and find an accountability method , such as a coach. The coach and reporting in on timely basis to review actions can help keep you on track, and get the support you need to be successful on this personal development change plan called ONE Smart-Step. Keep track of your progress in your Personal Change Journal remember to talk to your coach for daily support and reinforcement. Simply thinking differently won’t change a bad habit to a good one. To get where you want to go, you generally need to dedicate time, energy, engagement and focus toward a realistic and small goal for change that will end with big results! 1. Why do talented and high skilled performers collapse under stress and pressure–They fear failure and lack mental toughness and hardiness skills. 2.Collaboration vs interruptions and conflict listen to radio TED October 6, discussion for ideas and applications to effect team development. 3. Review Tom Peter’s Free stuff for ideas like Negativity doesn’t connect or sell in making presentations. Do not get hooked on people’s negativity 4. Re-considering stress (Sales)–shinning new light on how perceptions and self talk impact our view of stress 5. How stripping away materialism and excess can have a positive effect and unlock the positive experience of true abundance and purpose in daily life. 6. Effective Presentations–Share more of self (vulnerability)–Connect more with audience (authenticity increases) 7. Inside Putin’s Brain–SCARF Model apply to Putin’s actions and recommendations –Max pleasure and positive actions vs. reducing threats and pain reduce 8. Why we choke and how to overcome it– 9. Comparing dimensional factors of SCARF model for different work situations–leaders decision making, performance reviews, team changes, organization changes, increasing employee participation in the workplace and communicating 1 to 1 and and small team presentations. 10. Work to live or live to work –Max Weber. Have we out grown the 3 traditional boxes of life education, work and retirement ? Are you inventing new ways to live in this complex and ever changing social media and information driven world? Have you forged a new definition of success, happiness and meaning? How do you find the right balance between outer and inner success ? Richard Leider page 137 in Life Skills Ultimate challenge is finding balance in life through self-directed leadership. 11. Self-Compassion vs Self-Esteem–What researchers tell us. 12. Hollow inner life (inner kill) is the death of a balanced and productive life. Leider 13. Quotes on thinking-The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha14. All of the top achievers I know are lifelong learners … looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. So here is a new and practical idea from neurology research on why people behave the way they do–SCARF in action…If they’re not learning, they’re not growing … not moving toward excellence.” Denis Waitley 15. Look at “Bright light” or “Flash of Brillance” process for change from article by Heath brothers in Fast Company issue Feb 2010 called SWITCH and Lewin’s Model for change and idea of “flash of brilliance or the “Obvious Adam”–Talk about ATT QWL project 16. How to use Dr. Glasser’s Realty Therapy for Self Coaching—Three critical questions to get started.
What do you want?
What are you doing to get what you want?
Is what you are doing working and helping you get what you want ?
Part I: Improving Meeting Dynamics: Identifying and understanding 3 categories of team meeting needs — Task, Individual, and Group needs. You are thinking Sunday evening about the mandatory Monday morning meeting. The agenda has been send out on Friday and everyone has had an opportunity to contribute to the agenda. So why as you ponder this meeting does dread rise up and you stomach start to grumble? Let’s review the group dynamic that states when a group of people get together, there are several kinds of things that need attention, different kinds of need. There are three principal kinds of of need or categories which are important to understand when operating within a group environment. These three needs are: 1. Task activity–the group has a job to do 2.Individual needs–every individual because of their uniqueness may have different needs that need to be met, such as recognition, control, status and fairness. 3. Group or team maintenance needs–this is the need of the group as whole to maintain, support and work for cooperation, collaboration and accomplishment of team goals. This maintenance of team processes is one element that many team leaders and groups overlook in managing and conducting meetings. This element is called the “maintenance function” because it tries to prevent problems and issues that will reduce the ability of the group to work in an efficient and effect manner to produce desired results. This 3rd element is difficult to to define because we spent so much time and are so familiar with the other critical group element–the “task function.” So for the remainder of this post I will explain why this element of group maintenance is the most important element for you as a manager or facilitator to understand. The “maintenance function” is a soft skill need of members to identify and share how they feel about the process elements of the meeting, like agenda building, how to arrive at consensus, and other ways the group works together to build trust, set guidelines for interaction and how the group can continually improve their communication skills and problem solving. Although the feelings about working together start with individuals I have found that the group as whole has a need to maintain and enrich its own identity through openness of discussions, sharing of view points and feelings, and working for cooperation and cohesiveness in decision making and planning. “Efforting” and pushing beyond a person’s limits isn’t necessarily the right approach for achieving more more knowledge transfer and skill learning because it produces to much stress which block focus and learning. Trying harder or efforting actually can put more pressure and stress on your ability to perform at higher levels. Under high stress your brain can produce biochemical reactions that interfere with your muscles, they get tighter; and your movements and voice can become negatively effected. If you stake your hopes and expectations for a breakthrough on trying harder than ever, you may lose energy and stop your changes for a peak performance. Finally, Willis’s essay reminds me of my own belief in the importance of safety, trust and intimacy in any learning environment. As I wrote recently: The basic elements qualities that define a positive learning climate are the levels of safety, trust, congruence and self-disclosure= Safety. You learn the best when the challenges you take on are aligned with what you want to learn to in order to strength your skill set set as a manager. Also learning takes place when you use a variety of skills and behaviors to solve problems and implemented changes that will make you, your team and organization more efficient and effective. Safety= Knowing that we won’t get hurt. Trust= we are vulnerable but can dependent on others to have good intentions toward us when interacting. Congruence = We mean what we say and we say what we mean. Self -disclosure and risk taking = A willingness to make the private public knowing that this makes us more vulnerable and yet having the courage to something even if it means potential failure . Knowing how to stop and relax in difficult and challenging situation is the critical thing needed to grow and develop as a leader. When safety, trust, congruence and self-disclosure are established, these qualities support the actions that lead to greater self-awareness and a willingness to experiment, take risk and grow in the process. When we feel able to experiment, take risks and make ourselves vulnerable, our ability to learn, to increase our self-awareness (and our awareness of others) to change our immediate impulsive reaction and over ride our emotions in order to achieve our goals increases dramatically. Dare to be great. Take on life as an adventure. Don’t be afraid t try new things, take risks and use your natural strengths. Does a leader have to be a jerk? If you just start ticking off names, it sure seems to help. Anthony Weiner, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Steve Jobs, Michael Eisner, Larry Ellison, Martha Stewart, Meg Whitman, Jeffrey Skilling, Carly Fiorina, “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap, and in a class of his own is Donald Trump, who has parlayed an unbounded self-regard and selfishness into a real estate and media sideshow. You can see why people would make the connection. There are times when a overblown sense of importance, know it all attitude and indifference to the feelings of others seem just the ticket for career advancement. Or you could put a positive spin on it, as the Michigan Business School’s Noel M. Tichy does. “To an extent,” he says, “every good leader is an asshole,” explaining that they’re despised because their underlings can’t appreciate their vision or willingness to take risks. One way or the other, modern executive pay structures are apt to exacerbate the condition. It’s an immutable law of economics that one’s sense of entitlement increases as the gap one’s compensation to that of the average worker is wider. Obama Plays to Lose again. Delays Healthcare Reform implementation. Oh, by the way did you know the Dems won the election and corporations are at record high profits. Obama’s decision again puts the Dems on defense and says the Reps and naysayers on Health care reform were right.
This is another non-assertive and fearful decision by a President who has no swagger.
When we needed to pus forward and assertive push for the rights of millions without Healthcare he looks in the mirror losses his nerve and says no we must wait. As a progressive this very disappointing. Where is the courage and confidence to say to the foot dragging Reps Healthcare is a “right for all” American citizens.
One of the most important skills that I’ve begun to develop is the art of discussing difficult issues in a direct way without being unduly confrontational or causing unnecessary defensiveness. (Note that I say “begun” because although I’d like to think I’ve made some progress over the years, I run into situations where I could have done better every week.) In David Bradford and Allen Cohen’s Power Up (the text for David’s class at Stanford Business School on High Performance Leadership), they call this skill Supportive Confrontation and describe four basic approaches to difficult conversations like this, starting with… Approach 1: Specific and personal feedback—“This is the effect of your behavior on me” You describe to the other person the negative impact they’re having on you. This can be harder than it sounds because a) we often imagine that the difficulties others cause us are apparent to them, so they must be doing it intentionally, and b) this puts us in a vulnerable position relative to the other person, which is often tough to do in the workplace. But I’d argue that a) what we imagine to be true isn’t necessarily so–it’s surprising how often people don’t realize that they’re causing problems, and b) exposing our vulnerabilities, rather than trying to deny or hide them, can be an incredibly empowering experience–most people react with concern, interest and a desire to help. That said, this is not about asking for sympathy; it’s about stating the negative impact you’re experiencing plainly and directly. However, as Bradford and Allen write, “This approach works only if [your] reactions cause [the other person] to want to change. But something else is needed if [the other person] is defensive, and tells [you], ‘That is your problem, not mine,’ or even worse, labels [you] as weak or over-sensitive.”So on to… Approach 2: “Your behavior is not meeting your apparent goals or intentions.” Just as people are often unaware of how their behavior affects us, they can be equally unaware of how their behavior affects their ability to achieve their goals or how it deviates from their stated intentions. We observe others’ self-defeating behaviors or inconsistencies and imagine that they’re irrational or hypocritical, but the truth is they simply may not have the data that we have by virtue of our outside perspective. If someone’s not going to be motivated to change because of their impact on you, perhaps they’ll be motivated by their impact on themselves. The key here is linkage, a term that comes up frequently in Bradford and Cohen’s work. They regularly emphasize the importance of leaders linking team members’ personal goals to the goals of the larger group, and here they talk about linking your goal (i.e. getting the other person to change) to their goals, whatever they may be. But what if their goals are being met, despite (or even because of) their behavior? How can you induce a desire to change then? You can try… 3) “Your behavior may meet your goals, but it is very costly to you.” There’s another type of blind spot–a person’s inability to see what is being lost in their efforts to achieve their goals. Some people are so focused on reaching the finish line that they just can’t see how many problems they’re creating while running the race. Again, sharing data that you have from an outside perspective about the costs of their behavior can provide a powerful motive for change. This can be a variation on Approach 1, in which you don’t simply describe the negative impact of other person’s behavior on you but show how it affects them as well. If in Approach 1 you’d say, “Your behavior is really bothering me,” in Approach 3 you’d add, “…and as a result, I’m a lot less motivated to help you succeed.”4) “In what ways am I contributing to the problem of poor communication between us.?” The first three approaches in Bradford and Cohen’s framework are presented almost as sequential alternatives: If Approach 1 won’t work, try Approach 2, and then move on to Approach 3. But I don’t believe that Approach 4 should be regarded as the final step in this sequence, the last resort if all else fails. Rather, it’s a tool that can be used to complement all the other approaches at any stage of the process. And given that most of our working relationships are systems in which our reactions to the other person’s behavior affect and modify that behavior in turn, it’s likely that we are part of the problem at some level. We shouldn’t use this approach as a political ploy. If you’re completely confident that you’re not part of the problem, don’t ask this question just to seem nicer or more sympathetic; there are more effective and authentic ways to accomplish those goals (and if you’re not making a genuine inquiry, the other person will see through it.) But I’ve come to realize that when I’m having a problem with another person, it’s pretty rare that they’re the exclusive source of the trouble. <><><> Two final notes: 1) Throughout Bradford and Cohen’s approaches to difficult conversations, note the emphasis on behavior. It’s essential to avoid guessing or making assumptions about another person’s motives, because we can’t know what they’re thinking. Almost everyone believes they’re acting rationally, and most of the time they are acting rationally based on the data they possess or their perception of the situation they are in (As Jean Renoir said, “The real hell of life is that everyone has his reasons for the way they behave.”) And 2)
Encouragement and the art of possibility. I’ve found Bradford and Cohen’s work incredibly helpful as a conceptual framework, you can’t develop these skills by reading about them. You have to put them into practice, and one of the best places I’ve found to do that are the “T-groups” (“T” for “training”) that are the basis of Kurt Lewin’s model for change. The T-group methodology Lewin developed in 1950’s and 60’s essentially convenes a group of people who give each other direct–and sometimes quite blunt–feedback on how their behavior effects them and group, and it provides a very rich environment in which to experiment with and improve upon these skills.ng things right and reinforce it.
Recently, I heard a story on TED radio hour by a sensitive teacher about a student getting 2 right answers out of 20 on a test. She decide instead of putting a big fat F on the paper she decided to try a more positive approach. She put a smile face next to the results -18/20 on the paper to try and reinforce his effort that he got two right and could do better. When asked why from the student– She said, “You got two right you are on a role and when you take the test again I know you will do better.” The student did do better and gain confidence that he could master numbers and was not a loser. Oh, what an example of positive reinforcement and high expectations. We have enshrined failure and weaknesses by sending negative messages and telling underachievers that they are a loser because they got an F and the over riding feeling from getting F’s is your dumb.
SOLE-Self-organizing learning systems is the key to eliminating fright and running away from learning to getting joy and pleasure from what we got right. Students have the power to organize their own learning ( see peace and war post) if we leave them on their own to discover. Peers can help peers to learn. Big question has “knowledge ” become obsolete and Is their “curse associated” with knowledge ? George Carver–All learning is based on relationships.”
Mental. Emotional. Physical hardiness key to self 3 (high performing self) vs. Self 1 (real self) and Self 2 (natural self).
George Washington Carver–Father of “discover learning”.Looking to attract the best and brightest African-American professionals to Tuskegee, Booker T. Washington hired the young teaching assistant, George W. Carver, in 1896. The two men shared the belief that a practical education would make African Americans self-sufficient. In a letter to Washington, Carver said “it has always been the one ideal of my life to be of the greatest good to the greatest number of my people possible and to this end I have been preparing myself for these many years, feeling as I do that this line of education is the key.” Carver believed that Tuskegee Institute was the place that could “unlock the golden dawn of freedom to our people.”A gifted teacher, Carver was assigned various responsibilities at Tuskegee over a long career. Although he was frustrated by Carver’s management and administrative shortcomings, Washington realized that Carver was “a great teacher, a great lecturer, a great inspirer of young men and old men.”At schools, on farms, and county fairs, Carver urged others to recognize their own potential, and that of their surroundings. He was committed to learning by doing. Students were encouraged to “figure it out for themselves.” They need a thorough preparation to “do all common things uncommonly well.” Carver’s talks and writings were direct, practical, and engaging. His warmth and charm allowed him to develop and maintain close personal relationships with students, farmers and powerful philanthropists over the years.George Washington Carver
Give up living your life to other people’s expectations
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path. Henry David Thoreau If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau
#2 Life is unfair–Be ready–
# 4 “playing to win and not playing to lose”
Don’t just suck it-up or try to live with desperate situations or people. Dig-in find out what is the problem, figure out what is most important to you and make the changes needed happen!!!
#3 Be a great Listener
#4 Be life-long learner–Use Smart steps and Plus 1 tool to change your life
#5 Yes I can…
#6 Learn to laugh at yourself when mistakes are made…Take a bow– or curtain call. The idea isn’t that I’m dumb or stupid, but maybe I did a weird thing, fell over, or made a mistake. But if we celebrate our mistakes, rather than stick our head down in embarrassment, it just makes life better.
#8 No regrets life
#9 Invented and create a life of adventure and meaning
#10 Always admit and own your mistakes
#11 Be truthful in all the things you do. Live a life of integrity
#7 Observe your surroundings and pay attention. “What we notice becomes our world” So true. You can travel the same route every day, but if you can notice what’s different, you can change your perceptions. #2 Fairness The hardest truth of all is that life doesn’t owe us anything. The hardest truth in life is that it is “unfair” Just because we are human beings and show up doesn’t mean everything will work out etc. As Jimmy Carter said, “life is not fair.” Behind so many of our decisions is the implicit assumption that “of course my marriage will work, i will be promoted to a new position on time and this stock will go up. Things will work out because life would not dare disappoint me.” I also really liked the “take a circus bow” challenge. If something doesn’t go quite as planned, take a bow anyway. I did that once when I tripped over something and fell down. I got up and took a bow. It helped me to have a laugh, and the people watching me had a laugh as well. Instead of feeling embarrassed and walking away with my head down, it changed into the mentality “stuff happens and I can laugh about it and other people can laugh as well.”
Be a Life long student–continuous education and learning If we don’t keep learning, we lose our edge. Once we think we know everything, we are in trouble. We can always learn things that will improve our work and personal life. The challenge is to find the right form of learning that works for us. To educate literally means “to draw out”, and therefore education, whether in the classroom, with a mentor, on the job or with a coach leads us to explore and discover more creative options and ask the right kinds of questions. Continued learning keeps us sharp, keeps our thinking fresh, prevents burnout and actually helps our brain cells develop further. We need to discover how to keep learning what we truly need to know throughout our lives. 9. Money
The big key is taking that first step.
I use small steps on activities I find challenging to create positive momentum. Some successful people have big visions, big goals, and take big leaps. But many do the opposite. They don’t look ahead, set smart goals, and use plus 1 by taking small doable steps. Issy Sharp, founder of Four Seasons Hotels, said to me, “People ask what my big vision was for Four Seasons Hotels. But I had no vision – ever. I didn’t do this to build a business. I did it to build one hotel. I wasn’t even thinking of doing it again.” And with that approach of little vision, small goals, and small steps, Issy built Four Seasons into the world’s top premier hotel chain. The problem with setting big goals and taking large leaps is they can be very intimidating, and actually discourage us from ever getting starting. The other approach of setting small goals and taking small steps makes it easier to get going and keep going. Forrest Sawyer told me the small approach is how he went from being an unknown radio announcer to becoming a famous TV news anchor: “I started with 1-minute pieces, and then I would do 3-minute pieces, and I would keep doing them until I got them right. And then I did 10-minute and 13-minute pieces.” When I first started running, my only goal was to run a few blocks and try to keep up with my wife. But it wasn’t long before I was lying on the ground gasping for air while she kept going. I stayed at it, gradually got better, and a couple of years later thought, “Maybe I’ll try running a 26-mile marathon.” I crossed the finish line, and after I stopped puking I said, “I’ll never do that again.” Then a year later, “Hmmm, maybe I can run a faster marathon”… Now, at this point in my life, I’ve finished over 50 marathons on all seven continents and run more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km). That’s equal to 3 times around the world, or 25 times across the United States. It’s been a blast, and I did it all with no vision, no big goals, and no big leaps. The same approach led to success in my career. The bottom line is we can accomplish big things with little vision, small goals, and small steps. So go ahead. Take the first step. What are you waiting for?
Flexible Leaders: Avoid Perceptual Blinders.
The Pragmatic Leader
Practical wisdom in life and business comes from combining past experiences and lessons learned with acute awareness of present situation and long view of what is right for the future.
Pragmatism is the core element for building a successful organizational culture in the 21st-century. Whether it’s called practical intelligence, or common sense or savvy, one can never have too much of it in a company. Pragmatic leaders can see patterns in seemingly random information, enabling them to way alternatives, spot what can be accomplished, or take pragmatic action while others are still assessing a problem or the situation.
Business smart” leaders, like GE’s Jack Welch and Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, are no pragmatic and big picture thinkers who recognize that opportunities are unlimited, at least for those ready to seize those opportunities. They are competitive, dynamic, and proactive. They relish high-stakes games, and display an aggressive, winner-take-all mentality. Bill Gates exemplified this form of leadership when he took Microsoft from a college dropout’s start-up in 1976 to a company with a market capitalization of more than US$616 billion by 1999. But these leaders’ expeditious and sometimes self-centered approach to decision-making can also cause trouble. Gates learned this in 1998, when the U.S. Justice Department (followed by a number of European countries) filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft. By most accounts, this was a rude awakening for Gates. Under questioning at trial, he appeared combative and defensive. Although Microsoft settled the lawsuit in 2001, these events contributed to the company’s loss of dominance.
“Functional smart” leaders are grounded in the concrete, tangible, and tactical, enabling them to achieve operational and execution effectiveness. Like Genentech co-founder Herbert Boyer and HP founders William Hewlett and David Packard, functional-smart leaders tend to have deep expertise in narrow domains. They understand that constraints are unavoidable, but also know that they can be managed by those willing to design appropriate solutions. Tim Cook, for example, who took over as CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs’s death, brought a new level of operational efficiency and bottom-line productivity to Apple, honed during his years as chief operating officer. Functional-smart leadership may seem like a safer bet, but these leaders are prone to repeating poor decisions or procrastinating on tough decisions. They are more likely to be caught in the weeds of habitual practice, neglecting things outside their purview. Cook, for example, in overlooking the poor working conditions at Apple’s Chinese subcontracted factories, damaged Apple’s reputation and some of its profitability. Today’s business leaders need to balance narrow and broad views of their business and of the world, and to combine flawless execution with big-picture thinking. This ability to navigate swiftly and effectively between the two forms of smartness based on the context, coupled with a focus on a higher purpose and enlightened self-interest—the belief that a rising tide can lift all boats—is what we call “wise leadership.” Flexible and common sense wisdom based on experience and an openness to changing times gives executives the tools they need to achieve both professional and personal success: the flexibility to anticipate change, the execution capabilities to meet today’s on demand requests, and the opportunity to build their mental maps to include both moral decisions and shared values. Most people, when they start their careers, have potential for both large picture business-smart and detailed functional-smart leadership. But over time, they tend to favor one or the other because of past successes. They take on what psychologists call a perceptual blinders or biased filter. They lock into self-fulfilling prophecies and begin to only see what they expect to see—they become conscious of only one point of view and possibilities become narrower, furthermore they begin to anticipate and accept only one type of behavior. The perceptual blinders of business smartness and functional smartness are so prevalent and yet so subtle that it’s hard to recognize the extent to which they influence and govern behavior. They shape executives’ mind sets and view of “should be done in any given situation; although people may have an intellectual or intuitive appreciation for both types of smartness, they miss chances to bring them together.
Gratitude can serve to heal and help us move forward in positive ways. A daily acknowledgment of what is right in our lives can create the groundwork for mindfulness, confidence, self-esteem, and empowerment. Active recognition of the optimistic force of gratitude is a powerful approach to living. This presentation includes remarkable research findings about the benefits of using this simple, safe and uplifting wellness tool.
Call Noreen on MA paper and project –Formula for Success Authenticity(True Story) + Vulnerability (story) + Values (story) Emotion(story)+Worthiness + Belief in Self =Formula for Creating a Purposeful Presentation and Connection
JJ and MH tapes on Feedback from LDP program in SA Team Texas –An Invented Life
Want your own MBA–Follow these four blogs and websites: Year of Purposeful Learning
A one-hour show on management and leadership, “Drucker on the Dial” is available for free on the second Friday of every month on the PRX, an online marketplace for distribution, review and licensing of public radio programming. It is also available for webstreaming through the Drucker Institute’s blog, the Drucker Exchange, and for podcast at iTunes U. “Drucker on the Dial” features a wide range of well-known guests—executives, authors, academics and others—discussing topics that spring from the headlines. At the same time, the show is informed by the teachings of the late Peter F. Drucker, hailed by BusinessWeek as “the man who invented management.” The tagline for “Drucker on the Dial” is “where timely issues meet timeless principles.” http://www.druckerinstitute.com/link/drucker-on-the-dial-recognized/
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
present-moment awareness. “Be right here right now!” she’d say. “Just let go and let yourself be in the moment.”
That’s the first paradox of living in the moment: Thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually makes you do worse. If you’re in a situation that makes you anxious—giving a speech, introducing yourself to a stranger, dancing—focusing on your anxiety tends to heighten it. “When I say, ‘be here with me now,’ I mean don’t zone out or get too in-your-head—instead, follow my energy, my movements,” says Hayden. “Focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room, less on your mental chatter and more on yourself as part of something.” To be most myself, I needed to focus on things outside myself, like nature’s beauty, the music or the people around me. Indeed, mindfulness blurs the line between self and other, explains Michael Kernis, a psychologist at the University of Georgia. “When people are mindful, they’re more likely to experience themselves as part of humanity, as part of a greater universe.” That’s why highly mindful people such as Buddhist monks talk about being “one with everything.” By reducing self-consciousness, mindfulness allows you to witness the passing drama of feelings, social pressures, even of being esteemed or disparaged by others without taking their evaluations personally, explain Richard Ryan and K. W. Brown of the University of Rochester. When you focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem, unpleasant events like social rejection—or your so-called friends making fun of your dancing—seem less threatening. Focusing on the present moment also forces you to stop overthinking. “Being present-minded takes away some of that self-evaluation and getting lost in your mind—and in the mind is where we make the evaluations that beat us up,” says Stephen Schueller, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Instead of getting stuck in your head and worrying, you can let yourself go. 2. To avoid being distracted by the future or past, focus on enjoying and being in the moment
In her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims in a near panic, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” “It takes all my persuasive powers,” writes Gilbert, “to try to convince her that she is already here.”
In her memoir, Eat, Pray and Love, Elizabeth Gibert writes about a companion who, whatever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims in high pitch voice and near panic, “It’s so beautiful here. I want to come back someday!” “It takes all my persuasive powers, writes Gilbert, “to try to convince her that she is already here.” Often, we’re so trapped in thoughts of the future or the past that we forget to experience, let alone enjoy, what’s happening right now. We sip coffee and think, “This is not as good as what I had last week.” We eat a cookie and think, “I hope I don’t run out of cookies.” We put enormous amounts of energy into comparing experiences or wondering about what can go wrong in the future. These “disaster fantasies” distract us from enjoying and fully experiencing the moment. Instead, relish or be aware of whatever you’re doing at the present moment—what psychologists call savoring. “This could be while you’re eating a pastry, taking a shower, or basking in the sun or building a beach castle with your grandson. You could be savoring a success or savoring music,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside and author of The How of Happiness. “Usually it involves your senses.” When subjects in a study took a few minutes each day to focus or savor something they usually hurried through—eating a meal, drinking a cup of tea, walking to the bus—they began experiencing more joy, happiness, and other positive emotions, and fewer negative and frustrating experiences. Why does living in the moment make people happier—not just at the moment they’re tasting chocolate or lemon pie on their tongue, but lastingly? Because most negative thoughts concern the past or the future. As Mark Twain said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The hallmark of depression and anxiety is catastrophizing—worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet and might not happen at all. Worry, by its very nature, means thinking about the future—and if you hoist yourself into awareness of the present moment, worrying melts away. The flip side of worrying is ruminating, thinking bleakly about events in the past over and over again. So, if you focus your attention into the now, rumination ceases. Savoring forces you into the present, so you can’t worry about things that aren’t there. So the question is how many times a day do you stop to savior the moment in your life?
At Fieldstone we create and seek what is best for customers, rather than best for ourselves and our group. We are ego-less when searching for the best products for customers. We share information opening and pro-activity trust others to use it wisely for the shared goal of flourishing and growing.
Seven Core Beliefs for Fieldstone’s Difference
1. Expect the Best
2.Values are what we Value •
2. High Performance. Do what needs to be done for our partners success.
3. Freedom&Responsibility to play to our strengths •
4. OPENNESS AND FLEXIBILITY NOT CONTROL
5. Highly Aligned VISION AND PURPOSE
6. Treat our employees and partners with utmost respect and consideration•
7. Provide our associates and consultants with self-development and leadership opportunities.
All of this done with one thing in mind EXCELLENCE AND EXPECTING THE BEST For All
Year of Creating Meaning and Purpose in Life– A “year of living purposefully” requires answering the two questions with three daily practices: Reflection, Learning and Activation. The challenge is, “Will we dare to contemplate who we really are? Then risk taking constructive action to create what we have discovered?”
Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.
…passionate and intensity to a purpose may serve as a substitute for confidence. The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.
There is a close connection between lack of confidence and the passionate state of mind…
When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. To be fully alive is to feel that everything is possible.
We usually see only the things we are looking for- so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not. Making excuses for not doing things in life–
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have problems to handle and prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Moreover, when we have an excuse for not writing a book, painting a picture, volunteering for a good cause and so on. Know wonder that the energy expended and the time involved in finding a way to maintain the “staus quo” often exceed the effort and energy required for the attainment of a positive and fulfilling achievement.
To be stuck in life for some is to have a purpose in life.
They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than poor choices and insufficient knowledge of their talents and the need to have courage (risk) and passion to execte and move one-step closer to fulfilling their dreams. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor. Hoffer
“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.”― Eric Hoffer
” In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” “The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.” Eric Hoffer
On Blindspots–Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.” Eric Hoffer
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. ~ Shannon L. Alder“You can add up your blessings or add up your troubles. Either way, you’ll find you have an abundance.” Which are you more like? ― Richelle E. GoodrichA writer doesn’t dream of riches and fame, though those things are nice. A true writer longs to leave behind a piece of themselves, something that withstands the test of time and is passed down for generations. ~ C.K. WebbNo legacy is so rich as honesty. ~ William ShakespeareWhile it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction. ~ James CabellWe all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.~ Chuck Palahniukll our discussions and activities will aim to help our students understand that is what you leave behind. It’s what people remember about you, a team you were on or a school or class you were part of — even after the season or year is over.Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts. It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.To inspire your own discussions at home, here are five of our all-time favorite quotes about legacy:“The mass of men worry themselves into nameless graves while here and there a great unselfish soul forgets himself into immortality.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson“Pride and power fall when the person falls, but discoveries of truth form legacies that can be built upon for generations”—Criss Jami“The reward doesn’t necessarily go to the biggest, the brightest, or the best. It goes to the one who has the courage to keep trying until success is inevitably achieved.”—Dr. Robyn Silverman“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”—Benjamin Franklin“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.“—Shannon L. Alder“No legacy is so rich as honesty.“—William Shakespeare–To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing over the next 4 weeks:Week 1 Legacy defined: What does legacy mean? What does is a good legacy look like?Week 2 Legacy, character & behavior: How do I treat others?Week 3 Impact & impression: Who has made an impact on me? Who has taught me?Week 4 Keep & share: How do we remember and celebrate successes?
Secret Sauce: Collaborative Dialogue & Interpersonal Skills Change project“We’ve got to debunk the myth that those managers who thing the most important thing to do is a data dump. It simply is not true or the best way to do business. We must find common ground more than just talk about numbers and financial targets because our joint results are the product of an open and mutual problem solving process based on active listening, questioning and collaboration”. 1. Make the assumption that coaches won’t interfere with the focus on business results and will work on small changes in developing a more collaborative exchange and seeking common ground with agents to solve business problems. 2. How to hit the target goals and get the results is done by changing the conversation from a “tell and sell” approach to a “collaborative conversation” using the best practices process—agenda setting , questioning and probing, self-diagnosis, collaborative problem solving and opportunity finding and follow-up through action plans. 3. Results are achieved by not by having a conversation focused a date dump or fixation on numbers but by using a comprehensive dashboard that facilitates an identification of themes, issues and opportunities to mutually identify and solve with strategic solutions and action plans. 4. Key to success build a trusted business partner approach based on listening, questioning and sharing information to arrive at the most important problems or opportunities that drive a successful agency of tomorrow Be inner- directed and outwardly aware
Gauge your emotional reactions-Stop-Breathe-Reflect-Think-Act Differences are not bad just different Be aware of your hot buttons Problems will always be a part of life–learn how to be a better problem solver Listen and understand before trying be heard. Small changes and events can have big impact. Research shows that ripple effects result from small actions that have a positive, significant impact on situations and people over time. When the constructive commitment to action through Smart-steps are at the core of the ripple effect a new approach to change based on purpose and deep meaning of serving others can produce a multiplier effect, yielding additional benefits and value for change agent. Many times being compassionate rewards the giver much more than the recipient of this kindness and respect. Positive psychological effects expand when people are doing something they love for others and the process of doing it makes them happy. A related idea is emotion contagion through story telling. This phenomena says that people have a tendency to feel and be influenced by others’ positive story, actions and emotions. It explains why the best way to influence others to get involved and engaged in a project is to present a message of hope tied to an emotional appeal rather than dry facts and other statistical data. “Researchers reveal that happiness and negativity are contagious: People who are happy and positive about life and their circumstances significantly boost the chances that their friends will become happy. Furthermore, this effect can span two more degrees of separation, “improving the mood of a person on your team or close associates and family members has been shown to impact their close associates and friends. Further, these positive connections and effects have a lasting impact on these relationships. They are not just one-off interactions. Life is a series of peaks and valleys, but remember you are a change agent and influencer not a hill climber!
If you want to be a Leader-Coach be a positive model for others – Period.
People want to learn to swim, and at the same time want to keep one foot on the ground, in this kind of situation in order to achieve your goal you must do one or the other actions–Jump-in with both feet (commit and take a risk) or stay on the ground with both feet ( Stay with “status quo” and stay secure)
Mindfulness of Play–
After playing tennis today which was a wonderful match–I was grateful for the capacity to enjoy life, just as it is. MWH
Essence of Self-Coaching: “Process with Structure”–Provide a Process for Development (pathway)and Structures (tools, learning techniques and experiments, like discovery and experiential learning) is summed up by this famous but true Chinese Proverb “Give a Man a fish and you feed him for a Day. Teach a Man how to fish and you feed him for life”.
Weekend Challenge : Spend a moment thinking about a negative life event that led to a positive learning experience or personal change. Getting Unstuck Challenge Write down 3 key characteristics of your ideal job or volunteer work. Then next begin to build one of those characteristics into your present job over the next week. The more explicit you set expectations (on both sides of a transaction) at the beginning as well as consequences (to both sides) if they are not met, the less conflicts, project creep, disappointment and anger later on. By expectations I mean specific, tangible, measurable objectives and actions such as:
the vendor/consultant will provide a, b and c products/services by a certain time with the promise that those products and services will produce d, e and f result.
the customer/client will pay for those services by a certain time AND furthermore will read manuals, accept training to use the products properly or will cooperate and/or provide necessary internal resources to implement what consultants advise to achieve the expected result from their services
By consequences when expectations are not meant I mean:
if their products/services are not provided on time, are not what they are said to be or do not produce the results that were promised at the outset, the vendor/consultant will pay what consequence?
if they do not pay the agreed amount by the agreed upon time, nor do what is required to enable the product/service to produce the promised result, the customer/client will pay what consequence?
If most people would agree that: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or in this case, bad feelings later on), then why do vendors/consultants and their customers/clients do such a lousy job of setting expectations from the outset? People have trouble spoiling and soiling the honeymoon of an initial agreement by bringing up the unpleasant – but nearly universal – scenario that either side will find themselves disappointed about something later on (pinch) For instance many doctors — and to a lesser extent lawyers — face this because part what they offer in their professional services is not just professional care, but genuine caring (for the hurt, frightened or angry that patients/clients present with emotion). But this often leads to confusion in clients’ minds where the feeling is “If you really cared about me (and how I feel), you would not only cut me a break regarding paying, etc. but you’d accept my ‘story of woe’ as a true mitigating circumstance in my not being able to meet my responsibilities.” This doesn’t work in reverse. The “caring” (or providing care) service provider in most cases feels inhibited from saying to their client: “If you really appreciated the service I have provided, you would not only pay as you agreed to do on time, but you would also provide the information (documents) and resources I need from you to make the service work (and then tell all your friends how great I am so they would use me).” This awkwardness is instead dealt with poorly through consent forms, agreements, binding arbitration agreements, and other materials that no patient or client I know has ever read or fully understood. It’s as if the conflict avoidant service provider is saying: “Of course I care about you, now before we get started let’s just get a few papers out of the way.” Maybe the time has come to be more direct and leveling with people in:
setting expectations answering questions if they don’t
asking if customers/clients/patients accept them
answering questions if they don’t
providing them with an alternative if they don’t agree and to do so more politely than saying, “Okay, then there’s the door.”
Daily Quote: “Be quick, but don’t hurry” by famed UCLA Coach John Wooden Reflection: By that, he meant learn to do the right things, (not just doing things because that’s what we have always done. ) and then do them quickly. This really is the core of leadership the difference between efficiency–doing things right vs effectiveness doing the right things. Action Challenge: Review the things you do next week and then categorize them into two columns Efficient Things and Effective things. Stop and reflect on what insight you have gathered and make a commitment to add one new thing to the effectiveness column and subtract one efficient thing in the next week of your self-coaching project. After that week assess how that makes you feel? Think about your audience needs and wants. Tailor your message to get audience interest, curiosity and attention. What does the audience know about the topic? Is it meant for decision makers , diverse group interested parties, or others? The visualization needs to be framed around the level of information the audience already has, correct and incorrect:
New Comer: first exposure to the subject, but doesn’t want oversimplification. These want to understand the issues and opportunities of your message and how they can be involved.
Generalist: aware of the topic, but looking for an overview understanding and major themes and why this topic is important for them
Managerial: problem solving focus, in-depth presentation of how we got to where we are now, and what actionable ideas can help sove or create understanding of intricacies and interrelationships of topic back-up by relevant data and evidence.
Innovators and Expert: more exploration and discovery and less storytelling with great detail
Executive: only has time to glean the significance and conclusions of possible solutions and actions that can solve or create more opportunities for all shareholders.
Loyalty vs. Trust–Obama needs to be careful in his rant on “loyalty” How loyal is he when he offers up Social Security and Medicare cuts in his budget? President’s blind spots–Wants to be liked by everyone, does not like interpersonal conflict because he experiencing it as a failure, poor negotiator, bought and sold by corporate America and the wealthy elite plutocracy is destroying our Democracy . Gabbie Giffords connects the dots of fear, money and self-interest in this quote: “On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in New town, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count. Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in New town. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them”. They have failed us all and failed to fulfill their oath of office. They need to quickly recover from this stupid vote or we need to vote them out their office. Maybe then they go get a job with the NRA. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/a-senate-in-the-gun-lobbys-grip.html?nl=opinion&emc=edit_ty_20130418 Old idea rediscovered for increasing energy in life: Homeostasis Self-Coaching Exercise on Saying Yes and commiting to action and purpose driven life Try this Self- Coaching activity: Support someone else’s dreams. Pick a person (your spouse, child, boss), and, for a week, agree with all of their ideas. Find something right about everything he or she says or does. Look for every opportunity to offer support. Consider her convenience and time preferences ahead of your own. Give him the spotlight. Notice the results. Winning formula for Presentations: Focus + engage + inspiration + execution = mental toughness. This focus can change lives and the world of presenting. Saying yes (and following through with support) prevents you from committing a cardinal sin of withholding or blocking. Blocking comes in many forms; it is a way of trying to control a situation instead of accepting it. We block when we say no, when we have a better idea, when we change the subject, when we correct the speaker, when we fail to listen, or when we simply ignore the situation. The critic in us wakes up and runs the show. Saying no is the most common way we attempt to control the future. For many of us the habit is so ingrained that we don’t notice we are doing it. We are not only experienced at blocking others, we commonly block ourselves. “I’m not good at brush painting, so why bother? Whatever made me think I could do art?” “I’ll never be the cook that Mom was, so I might as well order take-out.” Blocking is often cleverly disguised as the critical or academic perspective. Finding fault is its hallmark. A sophisticated critic may even appear to be agreeing by offering the “yes but” response. Try substituting “yes and” for “yes but”óthis will get the ball rolling. The spirit of improvising is embodied in the notion of “yes and.” Agreement begins the Self 3’s key to success is maintaining mental equilibrium or homeostasis. This is a point of “balance” or internal equilibrium. The mind never gets to high or to low—the three bears effect. All kinds of systems— both human and institutional — can work to keep themselves in this state of balance and positive energy, but the word “homeostasis” is most often used in the field of biology, particularly to describe how the human body reacts to changes and keeps itself within certain boundaries to ensure that it can function correctly. These reactions include a range of responses, from the release of hormones to regulate internal imbalances to sweating to lower body temperature. The idea of homeostasis is not a new idea because its foundation lies in the wisdom of the ancient culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a self-contained 5000 year old system for living in harmony. All of these bodies of ancient wisdom understand that energy is the fundamental principle of life, and if it is not harnessed or renewed, major struggles, symptoms and imbalances manifest in our daily life. Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/024962_energy_life_balance.html#ixzz2QAZ2Lbge
Maintaining equilibrium in communication
One simple analogy for homeostasis in communication is that it is like a set of scales. In order to create balance generally coins are poured into one side of a scale that side will fall; if an equal amount of weight is added onto the other side, the scale balances. When too many weights are added to one side, however, the scale becomes unbalanced or losses equilibrium. The human body and mind behaves in a similar way, working constantly to achieve a state of balance. Unlike scales, the mind-body system is extremely complex, requiring numerous tiny adjustments every second as new input is constantly putting or pulling the mind or body off-balance. There are three Key Elements of Homeostasis proposition impacting leadership are: Physically Strength and endurance, Mentally Toughness and Emotionally Sensitive: Openness to other people’s ideas and active and flexible listening and trust. MMFI Rule of Leadership “Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost and support the self-efficacy of their personnel. They find ways to give credit for success away. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” –Sam WaltonThe creative mind is the playful mind. Philosophy is the play and dance of ideas. Eric Hoffer I have never let my school interfere with my education. Mark Twain I have never let my lack of time interfere with my accomplishing commitments. MWH Obama’s Achilles Heal “Go along to get along” examples–sequester, Section 5 of Civil Rights Law Create 6 Secrets of Sticky Presentations–RATER Sticky Presentation and Self-Discovery –Learn to use Video Recall RATER Three critical barriers to overcome to improve our lives– 1. Bad Thinking and poor decisions 2. How good are you at acknowledging others for their efforts and excellent work? Try the MMFI technique 3. Get rid of Grover Norquest’s no tax pledge. 4. Redefine proactive support and help for people suffering with severe and persistent Mental Disease. Change the absurd and useless legal standard for MI laws “need to threaten harm to self or others” drives more violence and suffering for MI. 5. Outlaw weapons of mass destruction–assault fire arms whose only purpose is to kill other people not deer. Politicians need to have the courage to fight the insanity of the NRA 6. Mindstorming or Star gazing for success Wait– New book on the advantages of being thoughtful, patient and taking time to decide on things. vs Blink relying on split second gut feelings. Gratitude, Kazen, Golden Rule, New York Times article and relationship between stuff and happiness. Strive for less indulgence. Man for Others. Uncertainty and the growth of our economy. Where is the balance between strategic risk taking and seizing the opportunity and waiting for the economy to be safer and less risky. Back to the BASICs for Sales Excellence High Performance–X-Factor or IT factor S.Williams–Key to greatest don’t worry about the # of Championships or Grand Slams–Do the best you can when you walk on to the court , be a hard worker-deliberative practice and always learn the lesson in front of you when you lose and get back up and go forward with a new sense of urgency. Difference between success and greatest. You define success and greatness not defined by others. Results such as, records, wins and a consensus that you are the best when you were playing, others fear you and you feel fulfilled. A pathway for personal excellence and fulfillment Let’s look at three different models of High Performance: Flow, by Csikszentmihalyi, High Performance State Jim Loehr Inner Game by Tim Callawey. What do high performance people have in common? It’s their passion for doing their best, willingness to push themselves beyond their current limits day in and day out, despite the discomfort that creates, the sacrifice of more immediate gratification, and the uncertainty they’ll be rewarded for their efforts. Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist at theUniversityof Chicago, and Dr. James Loehr are researchers who have uncovered the core elements on satisfaction and high performance for individuals and groups. They have interviewed and coached surgeons, professional athletes, mountain climbers, to rock dancers, and chess players. They discovered that all of them, regardless of activity, reported the same general experience, which, because “fun” isn’t a word one can safely use in academic circles, Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow” and Loehr calls “ideal performance state”. Their research, is carefully documented in Csikszentmihalyi book Flow (HarperCollins, 1991), and Loehr’s Toughness Training for Life ( Penguin, 1993). Milhaly identifies the following key attributes of the flow or fun experience:
Clear goals and feedback
A challenging activity that requires skill and know how.
The merging of experience, awareness and action not just talking a good game
Concentration on the task at hand. Learn to change before you have to or required to by someone else.
The loss of self-consciousness through focus on an important goal and task
The time passes fast
Sticky Presentation Notebook–3 E’s of Engagement and connection 1. Emotional stories that are relevant to the audience and the topic at hand 2. Evidence based data that enlightens and expnads audience members awareness and thinking 3. Examples of real life situations that are concrete and visual (paint a picture for audience) Want to see an example of emotional story and real life situation combined into a powerful opening in action? Listen to this great opening that highlights the power of emotion and concrete story delivered by Dr. Berne Brown at a recent TED speech–“Vulnerability and Self-Disclosure” 2. Two critical factors for success in sales–Active Listening ( CPR- Power questions) and Ego Esteem ( Self-efficacy and resilience) You have the product evangelism gene. When I find something I love, I want to shout it from the rooftops. One of my favorite things is talking about my favorite things. Good service, great products, life-changing books, compelling movies – I like good stuff. Self-serving vs. Servant Leadership Lies and more lies –Who is Romney Self-disclosure and Vulnerability basis for presentation anxieties S3 Structure with Process Model –MT, Flow, RET, Improv, Acting, Choice Theory X Factor in high Performance Obama Salesman in Chief Highway men Artists of Route #1
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
“That which is unigue and worthwhile in us makes itself felt only in flashes…catch and savior these flashes, for more growth and exhilaration.” Eric Hoffer
The major question being examined in Happiness research is how can modern psychology help us become happier? One of the areas for research is to identify in a scientific way what interventions can promote more constructive and positive life habits.
“If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” Kurt Lewin Father of Group Dynamics and Field Theory
As a performance coach I needed to develop a framework for personal and organizational change. Over my thirty plus years of consulting and coaching I have fine tuned the following model. I focus on helping my clients replace self-sabotaging thinking and ideas with meaningful and powerful goals through rational ideas and constructive actions. I call this approach the Smart-Step Change Process. It is all about establishing a clear and meaningful purpose, confidence through positive self-talk and developing through realistic practice, feedback and execution plans.
Smart-Steps are more manageable in developing positive behavior and organizational changes then a more general or abstract approach. Smart-Steps allow the client to focus on behavior and the process instead of judging performance (based on fears, false expectations and results). For example, process goals help speakers focus on being in the moment and responding in a responsive way to there audience needs. It helps speakers turn nervousness energy into positive enthusiasm. Here are some essential components of the Smart-Step Process applied to personal change and more productive meetings.
1. Clarify and agree to a purpose, agenda and expectations for your time together. After introductions and time for re-connecting, start meeting with an attention grabber or controversial factoid or story not a joke.
2. Monitor and Edit yourself.Sincerely listen and try to meet the audience needs, interest, opinions and concerns--do not try to give advice; try to listen and understand their needs and wants. Show them that you have their best interest at heart. Remind team members to stop and ask questions if they are confused or the discussion is not meeting their needs. Encourage conflict and challenges . This will keep people stay engaged and reduce boredom. See great book Death of Meetings by Patrick Lencioni
3. Get attention with “start up.” Be friendly and welcoming to participants. Too much, too soon and too strong can lead to resistance by audience members. But the flip side of being boring or too laid back will lose people immediately. Find the balance that works for you and the audience. How? By asking a powerful question or engaging them in the topic right from the start. For example, How many of you are sick and tired of going to unproductive and boring meetings? Ask what they think are the reasons for poor meetings.
4. Accept and encourage differences and influence. A presentation succeeds to the extent that the presenter can accept influence from the audience members. Be responsive to audience comments or concerns. Be quick on your feet and flexible to show your care.
5. Have high standards. Leader-presenters have high standards and don’t expect perfection. Things may go wrong. Be ready to go with the flow.
6. Respect and Encourage candid dialogue. Understand how to become a better listener, give positive feedback, and inspire people with upbeat memorable messages. Learned to model the good habits and positive energy you would like others to practice and learn.
7. Focus on the optimistic “POV”. Try to understand the other person’s view of the world. In presentations that work and are experienced as meningful and satisfying, presenters make at least three to five times as many positive statements on their topic as negative ones. See Barbara Fredrickson’s book on Positivity.
Once you understand the Smart-Step process you are on the road to significant personal change. Process goals replace personal expectations and help performers focus on what is really important during a performance – being audience centered and in the moment. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust and believe in yourself. Developing this sense of trust means being vulnerable and at risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and is experienced as authenticity by the audience. Try to change your next meeting by being more prepared, clear on purpose, and more engaging with your team. Let us know how it goes. Don’t let yourself get frustrated by boring meetings be a leader and change the game.
Studies have concluded that 70 percent of the average day is spent in communicating. However, only 10 percent of that communicating is done in writing: therefore, the rest is verbal. Also, it has been discovered that most people speak at a rate of 125 words per minute and that people can absorb or process words at a rate of 400-500 words per minute. The question becomes what do we do with that extra capacity to listen?
The hubris of the situation in the Gulf may be hard for us to take, especially while we look at the lack of accountability of the executives from BP et al. One theory about how all this happened is that BP rushed the contractors to finish the well so they could have a great party when the executives came to the platform scheduled for two days after the blow-up. If this story is true I am outraged at the lack of leadership and integrity of these executives. Yet we will have a hard time getting at the truth because BP has lost all credibility so they think lying and withholding information is the way to go in this crisis.
It is now known that our government stood by and waved safety requirements for BP. Where is the integrity with our government officials? We can not trust greedy business men to self-regulate ( look at our financial institutions.) But we (the larger community) allowed investment banks to come into being and have allowed them to operate in just such a manner so as to cause an economic meltdown that we still struggling to get out of. If a child has been allowed to reach into the cookie jar whenever he or she wants without even a raised eyebrow, you cannot be surprised at the child’s shock at getting their hand slapped for taking a lot of cookies, even if there is a shortage.
This disconnect occurs when rewards and consequences are out of sync with the real outcomes we desire. Investment banks were originally structured to be the vehicle of supplying capital to businesses for expansion and growth. But they have operated more like casino’s, making ever more exotic games available for decades. And this is not the only example of rewards out of whack we can see in the news today.
Trans Ocean, the company whose oil platform exploded and sank in the gulf, is in the news with investigations into negligence, safety issues and even a possible willingness to take advantage of the panic to extricate themselves from liability. I wonder about the contract terms they had with BP, whose oil they were pumping. All the slogans about safety do not matter if the rewards systems (formal and informal) are not aligned to support safe operations.
Where is the outrage ? Where is the accountability? Where is the urgency to get a handle on the worst oil spill in the history of our country?
Change? You can’t stop it. It is a fact of life that nothing ever stays the same. Do the advocates of change recognize the complexity of adjusting cultures and norms for living differently or even when true change is taking place? Or rather do they recognize it only when there is a crisis or it meets their particular requirements for change? Do we want the fundamentals of n respect and dignity to change? I say no. Let the changes take place slowly as they fit into every day living of respect and dignity for the individuality of our fellow human beings. Why compromise honesty for a few more barrels of oil or bonuses for greedy Wall Street types. I think the following provides a framework for living a Constructive Life and handling change that is inevitable.
“Change occurs when you become what you are, not when you try to become what you are not”. Jung
Behind all the tips for Constructive Living Theory that are providing lies a deeper mystery of life– as if there is a never-ending force that quietly drives most of us by continuing to ask what is my purpose or meaning in life? This is the true wonder of every life. At the heart of this question and our answer is the essence of a constructive and fulfilling life.
In my view there are three powerful questions driving this self-exploration for meaning and the answers will help you create and generate principles and action that you need to build a constructive and meaningful life.
Question Number one– Who am I?
Question number two—What is happening right now in your life – this question has some sub-questions for reflection. What am I feeling?, What am I doing? What am I thinking?
Question number three-What to I want for myself in this new moment?
Over the next few days you might want to spend some alone time reflecting on these questions before beginning your self-renewal program.
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one-handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each
student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what
everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin.The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother
and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. ‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’ Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two
worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him. ‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’
All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’ Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’ ‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’ Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times, ‘Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
All of our lives are hectic and filled with complexities but as caring individuals we can’t forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So celebrate your friendships now.
Constructive Living Assignment:
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this task:
1, Forward this blog on.
2. Send an e-mail to one of your best friends telling them why thet are important in your life
3. Call afriend within the next twenty-four hours and in the course of the conversation tell how important they are to you and identify their strengths and virtues as a friend. .
Finally, as a little guilt nudge, if you do not send you e-mail, or make the call, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful– Saying thank you to dear friends for being there for you.
The more people who you send this blog to, the more you solidify a relationship with those you care about. Remember, what comes around, goes around. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. May you from this moment on feel very important because you are unique and contribute in known and unknown ways to people feeling good about themselves. So today pick a best friend and send them an e-mail about their strengths and virtues and why you love them. Good Luck. You will feel empowered from this exercise.
“Men who have loss their adaptiveness resist personal change. The most stubborn protector of his own vested interest is the man who has loss the capacity for self-renewal.” John Gardner
You have invested in yourself and earned your degree and are now bored or feeling unfulfilled in your job. Is it time to reassess where you are going and if this job is right for you? As a result, you’ve saved countless hours of learning the hard way and your career has progressed but now it seems to have flat lined and dipped. Your enthusiasm and energy is low. And your sense of purpose has become foggy. You are feeling “stuck”.
You’ve invested in a new health regiment. After the market crash you are seeking new financial advisors. You’ve switched love interest and partners. You seem out of sorts when interacting with clients. Could it be time to switch paths and try to find happiness and fulfillment in life? Are you ready to tackle this existential crisis? Assess your readiness for a job change.
Here are some signs it’s time to change jobs…
When you find yourself…
Daydreaming and fantasizing during work tasks.
Sleep and relaxation is difficult to find.
You dread your ride to work..
Distracted easily during meetings and team project sessions.
Annoyed with your boss and colleagues style of management and communication.
Complaining about what they are paying you.
Making sacrifices to always accommodate your company’s schedule.
Feeling your promotion path is blocked
Relationships are not satisfying and arguments are increasing.
You seem to be treating water and are feeling stuck.
Having little energy and new insights in a long time.
More and more fearing failure or loss of job
You feel like a stranger to your self
Zoning out on weekends in front of T.V.
Joy of life is at a real dip
More anger and frustration with spouse, friends and co-workers.
Feel unloved and not listened to.
Dread Sunday nights in preparation for work on Monday.