Paying attention and happiness (part 2) – self-awareness

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog! And of course: best wishes for happy 2018!
 
In last month’s blog, we discussed the fact that voluntary attention – what we consciously focus on – is the instrument thanks to which we can shape our reality – rather than it being just the result of an interpretative process based on our unique life experiences. Really paying attention is the means through which we can expand our horizons: by consciously choosing what we attend to, we challenge our ‘newspaper syndrome’ (for a refresher, see http://coachingforinspiration.com/my-brain-the-newspaper/).

Paying better attention as well as more frequently, thereby refusing to accept the limited reality which is presented to us, is worth our while because otherwise "[w]e can’t study, listen, converse with others, work, play, or even sleep well" (see Allan Wallace’s book ‘The Attention Revolution’, 2006). Apart from the obvious discomfort which must ensue from such fundamental dysfunctions, what is really at stake is our happiness. Lacking the capacity to focus robs us of choice and leaves us vulnerable to the myriad stimuli in and out there, waiting to turn us into weathercocks.
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Paying attention: the secret to happiness (part 1)

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog! Let’s see: where have we got to? Three articles in, we know about the three parts of the human brain (see: http://coachingforinspiration.com/three-brains/) and the dominance of the unconscious. We also know that one of the main purposes of the human brain is sense-making (see: http://coachingforinspiration.com/brain-is-for/).

In last month’s article, we discussed the fact that because ours is only an edited reality which is the result of an interpretative process based on our unique life experiences, it is as though we each read only our own individual newspaper and perceive reality through a filter we are mostly unaware of. Indeed, we don’t get to choose our newspaper, we cannot read any other one and everyone else reads a different one – from mine, yours and each other’s.

It is a wonder that we agree on anything!
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Imagine reading just one newspaper – for the rest of your life

Hello and welcome to the third article of my neuro blog. In the first one, I described the three parts of the human brain (see image to the left for a reminder of the triune brain), notably the importance of the unconscious. In the second article, I suggested that one of the main purposes of the human brain is sense-making (see second photo below).

The diagram describing how the brain processes stimuli – whether internal or external – highlights that nothing is experienced directly. There are a number of implications therefrom but today let me discuss communication. [Read more…]

What your brain is for

Hello and welcome to the second article of my neuro blog. In the first one last month, I described the three parts of the human brain (see just below for a second representation of the triune brain), notably the importance of the unconscious. In future posts, I expect to delve into how the fact that our brain processes are mostly unconscious impacts our decision-making and consequently our behaviour. But today, I’d like to engage you in considering what your brain is for. Obviously, there are many possible answers.
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The three brains in your head

Hello and welcome to the first article of my neuro blog. Since 2013, I have become increasingly interested in what neuroscience, the scientific, multi-disciplinary, study of the nervous system can teach us about the brain. My assumption was that understanding the brain would in turn illuminate my comprehension of the mind. The two are definitely "correlated" (I can’t escape my financial past!) but they are not the same. I expect I’ll return to that difference in future posts.

With this neuro blog, I mean to share some of what I’ve discovered about the brain and the insights about the mind which learning about the brain has made possible for me. Having an appreciation for how the brain works has helped me manage my thoughts – to cope with the less helpful ones, my emotions – to move away from the uncomfortable ones, and my behaviour – to choose more how I act.
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How to Wield Your Light Sabre!

3 Easy Steps to Self-Confidence!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello dear reader and welcome to the second installment of this two-parter on self-confidence!

Last month, I kicked-off with an offering about learning to be self-confident. If you missed it, don’t hesitate to catch it up by going here.

I promised you tips so let’s get on with it. Here’s is how to be appropriately assertive and behave with self-confidence.

My first tip is this simple 3-step model: Now, let me be upfront: this model is deceptively simple and it will take practice in order to get it working. Let me tell you more about it.

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May the Force Be with You!

Be Self-Confident Even When You Don’t Feel Like It!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Do you remember Luke Skywalker training with Master Yoda in the fifth episode of Star Wars, the swampone called ‘The Empire Strikes Back’? They are on the planet Dagobah which is covered with swamps. Luke is standing upside down – on one hand only and Yoda is actually perched on top of one of his feet. R2D2 watches nearby and shows he’s impressed by emitting his whistle sounds of appreciation. Luke is using the Force to pile stones on top of each other and he even starts to lift his X-wing aircraft out of the swamp in which he landed it. And then… Luke falls, the stones roll off and the X-wing sinks back into the water. "We’ll never get it out now!" says Luke, clearly deflated. Yoda sighs and replies: "Always with you it cannot be done".

How about another memorable scene – actually two. First, the one when Darth Vader chokes Admiral Motti who dared pooh pooh the Force, calling it "your sad devotion to that ancient religion". "I find your lack of faith disturbing" counters Vader in his cavernous voice…. And the other scene I have in mind is when Vader says "You have failed me for the last time Admiral" as he remotely, yes remotely!, strangles Admiral Ozzel  (I am still amazed that the Force lets you asphyxiate someone in another location…)

Whereas Luke dropping the stones and the X-wing was a case of too little Force, Darth is a case of too much Force. What we want in life is the right amount of Force, not too light but not too dark either…

But why am I reminiscing about Star Wars? What does Star Wars have to do with success at work? Well, It is because Star Wars tells us about learning to be self-confident even on those occasions when we least feel like it. In this post, I am beginning a two-parter on self-confidence.

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4 Steps to Optimal Performance

Going for GOLD™

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!) 

Hello and welcome to this new edition of Career Tips! We are now close to the midway point in 2015. Are you happy with your achievements at work? For those of you who have a midyear performance review coming up, are you comfortable with your achievements to-date?

Depending on how you answered this question, how about upping your game?

For that reason, I thought I would share with you a simple method to optimise your performance. Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, it is my hope that the GOLD™ method will both inspire you and provide you with pragmatic tips so you add value to your employer and you too get a gold medal for your performance in 2015!

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Work Smarter by Better Prioritizing Your Activities

How do you really want to spend your day when you’re at work?

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello and welcome to the last installment in this three-part series on personal effectiveness! We kicked off in March by looking at the benefits of time management and how you can improve your effectiveness at work as well as increase your own quality of life. If you missed it, catch it up here. Last month, we explored a powerful technique to get you started: I told you about the time log and how to use it to understand where you spend your time. To read about the time log, go there.

Thanks to your time log, you now know how you spend your day while you’re in the office. It is now time to make changes to how you allocate your time.

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A Powerful Technique to Manage your Time

What happened while you were rushing?

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Welcome to the fourth edition of Career Tips in 2015! This is also the second installment of a three-part series on personal effectiveness. Last month, we looked at reasons why managingpersonal effectiveness your time might make sense and in fact could deliver for you benefits both at work and at home.

If you missed that article and would like to catch it, just click here.

If you are someone who has either White Rabbit or headless chicken moments, feels rushed, or frustrated about how much time you spend at the office, how late you leave in the evening, or irritated that you often take work home, let me suggest that you start keeping a time log.

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