10-OCTOBER 23-2021

Do You Have A Purpose?

It’s true that in order to live our purpose in this world, we’ve got to have a vision and a plan for achieving our dreams.  We must be tenacious in working toward our goals, and we might occasionally have to sacrifice a little sleep for that dream.  However, our “hustle at any cost” culture has convinced us that this means choosing between success and quality of life (e.g. health, happiness and fulfillment).  This either/or mindset is not just inaccurate — it actually threatens our bottom lines and secretly sabotages success.

The stress, exhaustion and decision fatigue caused by “hustling” can all lead to mood swings.  Our logical processes literally shut down, opening up the floodgates to irritability, frustration, anger and sadness.  In other words, the primitive part of our brains (controlled by emotion) takes over and dictates our behaviors, while our higher-level thinking is put on pause.

Can you see how this creates the exact opposite of the success we’re striving for?

Although the stigma remains that break-takers are lazy or unmotivated, this belief is unfounded.  Breakthroughs in neuroscience research unveil proof that goes against everything we thought we knew about achievement.  Periods of intentional rest are now known to boost our:

    • Your Purpose!Productive energy
    • Creativity
    • Innovative thinking
    • Executive function
    • Positive mindset
    • Intuition
    • Memory

One specific method that’s especially effective?  Napping.  Often we’re tempted to rely on coffee in lieu of taking a short break when we feel sluggish during the workday.  However, napping has been shown to enhance alertness and attention even better than caffeine.

Brief periods of rest also counteract the sluggish effects of not getting enough quality sleep at night.  Napping even makes us better problem solvers, which directly leads to innovation and decisive action — two notable hallmarks of success.

Maybe this all sounds great, but you’re wondering who has the time or flexibility for a workday nap?  You’re right, many of us don’t… but guess what?  Falling asleep is not necessary in order to feel the restorative benefits of midday rest!  Try these three faux nap ideas to enhance creativity and productivity.  They’re easy to fit into even the busiest of schedules — so pick one, set a timer for five minutes and enjoy.

1. Close your eyes.  More than 50 percent of the surface of the brain is devoted to processing visual information.  Closing our eyes frees up the energy associated with that 50 percent, allowing our brains much needed recovery.  We can tap into the unconscious processes that help us connect with our innovative ideas and solve problems more efficiently simply by decreasing visual input.

Action step: Create a cozy nap environment without the expectation of falling asleep.  Taking that pressure off of ourselves goes a long way toward relaxation and leads to increased productivity.  Consider playing some soothing music to help drown out any distracting noises.  Allow your eyelids to gently close, and notice any thoughts that arise.

2. Daydream.  As a child, were you ever scolded for gazing dreamily out the window?  Our parents and teachers presumed that a wandering mind was a hindrance, but neuroscience researchers find that daydreamers actually score higher on creativity scales.  For best results, approach your daydreaming session with intention: You must be able to notice when you are in this state and pull yourself out at will.  This requires some practice.

Action step: Choose a photo or work of art that feels relaxing to look at, perhaps a calm ocean scene or some flowers against a bright blue sky. (Note: Blue is calming; orange stimulates creativity.) Set a timer for five minutes.  Sit comfortably and gaze at the picture.  Allow your mind to wander while keeping the focus on the feeling you get from the image, and keep a pen and notepad nearby to jot down any flashes of inspiration.

3. Breathe.  The adult brain, a mere two percent of body weight, is responsible for around 20 percent of oxygen consumption.  This means oxygen is one fuel our brains heavily rely on for planning, decision-making and higher-order thinking.

Simple focused breathing gives us a mental energy boost.  It also helps us relax into our unconscious mental processes, supporting creativity and productivity by activating our parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for both mental and physiological relaxation).

Action step: First, practice diaphragmatic breathing — drawing the air into your belly instead of your upper chest.  Place one hand over your heart and the other over your abdomen while inhaling.  When your lower hand rises during inhalation and your upper hand does not, you know you’re bringing the air fully into your diaphragm.

Next, breathing only through your nose, inhale for a count of four… hold for a count of four… exhale for a count of four… and hold again for a count of four.  Repeat this sequence for anywhere from two to 10 minutes.

Using these techniques, our brains are able to pick apart information and reassemble it, like pieces of a puzzle, in a way that our conscious mind alone cannot.  And that is when we can achieve a level of success that hustle culture just can’t match.

October 23, 2020

Oh LordGood morning.
The job market may be on the mend.  The number of first-time unemployment filings fell below 800,000 for the first time since mid-March.  While that’s a sign of improvement, it also shows that there’s still a long way to go.
After all, a first-time filer is someone who just recently lost a job, months into a pandemic.  With many big companies trimming the C-suite and other higher-end jobs, we may be in the second part of a crisis where rising unemployment among higher-earning white collar workers could have a greater impact on the economy going into 2021.  Trade cautiously!

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Picking The Winners in a Retooled Economy by John Persinos
This past weekend, I took my four-year-old twin grandsons to a physical shopping mall to buy winter parkas.  I was stunned by what I found.  The mall resembled a post-apocalyptic landscape, with almost no shoppers and several store windows boarded up with plywood.  Not finding what I wanted, I simply ordered the coats online.
Anecdotal experience can help you truly understand abstract statistics.  My recent shopping trip drove home the fact that most shopping malls are doomed and their workforces are permanently out of work.  The same can be said for other old-line industries that have seen their inevitable demise hastened by the coronavirus pandemic.
Investors need to position their portfolios for the emergent future … no matter which party captures the White House on November 3.

October 23, 2019

“If you don’t do everything possible to share your gifts and reach your dreams, the world     will have lost something truly irreplaceable: you.” —Marie Forleo

Some things are better left unsaid … Some things are best not written about … Some things need not be said or written about.  For those things you must write about … here are 2 Ninja Tips that will make you become a better writer.

Become A Better Writer

Do you write or want to write?

Maybe you want to write book, or a blog, or a short story or an article: possibly to gather your thoughts for an upcoming speech, or anything else.  Perhaps you haven’t started yet or maybe you have started but you aren’t yet confident with your writing or maybe you are a great writer but you still want to improve.  No matter what your writing skill or confidence level, here are two tips that will improve your writing skills drastically.

#1. Write Everyday

If you want to become better at anything, it is important that you practice.  The more you do something, the better you will get at it.  If you put your time in everyday you will become a better writer.  Writing everyday, doesn’t mean you must put in 2 hours or even 30 mins each day.  You just need to put your time in.  It’s a matter of building a habit.  Just put in a minimum of 5 – 15 minutes a day.  On some days, you will put your time in and it won’t be pretty.  You’ll put in your minimum amount but at least you put in some time.  That will help you build your skill.  On other days, you will have more time and motivation.  Instead of just putting in your minimum time, you’ll keep going.  You’ll be having fun and you’ll have a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment.  As a result, you might write for hours before you stop.  As you get better, you’ll write more and more each day but that can’t happen until you build a habit of writing on a daily basis.

“Being consistent is more important than being intense.”

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway [07-21-1899 — 07-02-1961]
#2. The Hemingway Method

Ernest Hemingway was an accomplished author.  But he had a problem when it came to writing.  He found it hard to get started for the day.  It would take him some time and effort to get into things and allow the creative juices to flow.  Once he got the momentum going, he could write for hours but getting started was a different matter.  Writing isn’t hard once you get going.  The hard part is just getting started for the day.

Hemingway would overcome his procrastination of getting started by doing something counterintuitive the day before.  When he was done writing for the day, he would stop working in the middle of a thought.  He could be in the middle of a paragraph or in the middle of a sentence and he would pack up for the day.  That way when he got started the next time, he would not have to think.  He could just keep writing and finish up the sentence or paragraph and he would avoid the building momentum part of his writing.  He would simply carry on with the momentum that he had built the day before.

I’ve tried this method and it is quite effective.  So now you know 2 Ninja tips that will help you become a better writer…

Create A Great Day!  😉

IMG_0712
Come From Aways, Do You?

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