I recently had a conversation with a client who told me that one of her greatest strengths is that she is fantastic at multi-tasking! New neuroscience research proves that multi-tasking is next to impossible.
Have you ever spent time around people who are too smart to think? They have an uncanny ability to recite information verbatim from a book, but when asked to come up with an original thought they struggle immensely. Working for Elation, one of the most important lessons that I have learned is that “How you think is more important than what you know."
Every person that we come into contact has a different interpretation of experiences. This is what makes us unique. We bring so many different things to the table...
- personal experience,
- and even relational history.
Our mindset is the way we view the world. And yet, our perspectives can shift and change.
Managers face the daily challenge of working with difficult people. But yet, in the midst of this difficulty, we discover leadership gems.
Have you ever have one of those mornings where everyone seems to be irritating you? Do you ever find yourself at the end of a day thinking, “How can so many people be so wrong?” Or maybe it’s a trip where you take stock of how many horrible drivers there seem to be. Or, did you just have one of those days where EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong? Perhaps it is that one person that has really wronged you, and you can’t seem to stop thinking about them.
What does your current state look like? If you are like many of my clients it might sound something like the following:
"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide if he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." -James A. Michener
How does one master the art of living? What does it actually take to create this type of art? These are the types of questions that keep me up at night.
A while back I was searching for a video to help illustrate the ideas around the concept of “self-awareness.” I randomly stumbled upon a video where a scientist was researching whether or not elephants could see their reflection in the mirror and actually process whether or not it was of themselves. A majority of animals, when they see their own reflection automatically assume that it is another animal, but this is not the case with elephants.
Her vision was shrinking up and dying in front of her eyes. A once vibrant and beautiful dream that filled all her free time was slowly drifting away like clouds on a windy day. She had to do something. Anything. Day by day, she was dragging herself out of bed to make her way to a “perfectly acceptable” career, but it was not “filling up her bucket." She was disengaged, frustrated, not utilizing her strengths, and the tears would flow as she drove to work each day.
Mahatma Gandhi famously pronounced, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And it turns out, there’s a lot of neuroscience behind the phrase…
Have you ever seen someone stub his or her toe and you instantly feel pain in your foot and react as if you just experienced the injury? Or have you noticed that you start utilizing the same lingo and vocal inflections of your friends and/or colleagues?
At Elation we talk a lot about mindfulness.
But, I still find myself asking questions like, “How do you do it?” and “What impact does it have anyway?”
Mindfulness has been defined by many well known people. Take a look at this article by UC Berkley and the included video featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn if you need more information about what mindfulness is about.
I am a computer geek and software tester working with a U.S. based software development team. I can wrap my mind around abstracts--like mindfulness often appears to be. But at the end of the day if abstract doesn't lead into something concrete I haven't done my job properly.
So how do I do mindfulness? FOR REAL!