agent of arcadia

Posts Tagged ‘strength’

Three simple elements to stay focused

In Branding, Change Management, Communication, Development, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on August 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I was on a plane once traveling from point A to point B, as you do. In the last brief moments of the flight, a mini-documentary came on the screen to while away the last few moments of the flight.

It had been a long flight and the last thing anyone wanted to do was watch a documentary. Documentaries usually mean a dedicated cognitive presence and invested focus. You can’t simply tune out because you would miss the gist of the topic.

But this one caught my attention. A group of children were the focus of a study. Each child was placed alone in a room with nothing but a small plate on a table in front of them. On the plate was a marshmallow.

The kids were told that they could have the marshmallow. However, they were also told that if they resisted, waiting a mere fifteen minutes, they would get another one and could then have both.

I watched in fascination at the sometimes comical reactions of the children. Fifteen minutes to a child is but a lifetime. Some squirmed. Others contemplated. And others still negotiated within and with themselves.

And then there were those who persevered and doubled their takings.

This study, conducted in the late 1960s was known as the Stanford marshmallow experiment and focused on the concept of delayed gratification.

Years later, researchers found that the kids who resisted gobbling the marshmallow grew up into individuals who coped and performed better in school, the workplace, and life in general, asserting the same willpower that they had demonstrated as younglings. So it seems, delayed gratification has its perks. More importantly, it builds our willpower.

So in the face of adversity, change and tough times, how important is it to have the will to persevere? Very. Without it, we would all simply give up.

And why is it that some people seem to have more focus to willpower than others? And can this be nurtured?

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The art of mindfulness

In Branding, Creative, Development, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on July 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm

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I was watching an episode of ‘An Idiot Abroad’ the other night. And the protagonist, Karl Pilkington, was in Petra, Jordan.

In this particular episode, he had spent countless hours on a camel, then overnight in a camp with others and having dinner eating parts of an animal he didn’t care for, then finally had had enough and insisted they drive the rest of the next day’s journey to their destination.

By the time Karl Pilkington got to Petra, one of the wonders of the world, and one of my most revered dream destinations, he was beside himself.

I watched with amusement at how distracted he was. Despite standing in the presence of one of the world’s most magnificent wonders, the carved ancient city that stood in front of him was furthest from his mind.

I wondered how I would react given being in the same situation. I found myself empathizing with the man. It was humbling.

Then I started wondering how, if I could whenever I want to, tap into the resources I have within me, to bring myself back to the present moment to simply be.

Is it all easier said than done?

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Change readiness in a constantly dynamic world

In Change Management, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on June 22, 2014 at 10:50 pm

When I was younger I believed that people don’t change. As an adult, I realize this is incorrect. People do change; we learn, we evolve, we grow.

In fact, change is the only constant. We’ve all heard it before. This is true. Look around you. Change is everywhere.

And change is good. If we don’t change, we’re stagnant. Change pushes our boundaries. Takes us out of our comfort zone. And inspires us.

The person you are today is not the person you were yesterday. I certainly am not. I needed to change to adapt to the constant shifts around me. We all do.

So instead of fighting change; it’s about embracing change.

The art of embracing change is therefore to be change ready.

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Get bulletproof

In Branding, Inspire, Leadership, Personal Branding on May 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm

I’ve been told I have an amazing positive philosophy on life.

So when I was allocated a project at work to create a coaching program on resilience in the workplace, it was only fitting.

I’m not going to talk about that program. Instead I’m simply going to share what I believe it takes to build emotional strength. To get bulletproof.

I’d like to think I’m emotionally strong. I’d also like to think I have the humility enough to admit I may not always have been at the peak of this emotional strength.

But that’s the thing about emotional strength. It’s an internal thing that you build, nourish, and maintain. And continue to build, nourish, and maintain. Every single day.

And being only human, some days you need to get the hits in order to make you stronger.

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