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Coronavirus Crisis: Reasons for Hope During These Dark Times

As Heather and I work from, and stay home, to be part of the solution, I found myself gorging on way too much negative news. As my sleep and mood deteriorated, I went looking for an antidote to the pessimism plague. I began a search for reasons to be optimistic. One of the first articles […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Ego

In his recent Globe & Mail column, “The Benefit of Silencing Our Own Egos,” Harvey Schachter writes, “Columbia University psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman observes on the Scientific American blog that media debates he watches these days want to make his head explode: ‘All our egos are just too damn loud.’ And those out-of-control egos we […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Hacking Our Pessimistic Neuro Programing

These comments and excerpts come from my last two blogs on Lose Those News Blues and Leave the Dark Side: The World’s Never Been Better and Don’t Start the New Year Losing Touch With Reality “In Christian tradition, the four horsemen of Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death usher in the apocalypse. Compared to 100 years […]

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9 Ways to Increase Communication at Work

Bob was clearly frustrated. “I keep telling them, but nobody listens,” he fumed. As we looked at his 360 feedback on his communication practices, it was clear why nobody was listening to him. Bob’s communication skills were awful. Bob scored quite high on technical expertise and analytical skills. A big part of his communications problem […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from…”You Are Awesome” by Neil Pasricha

Read my review of You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha “Resilience is a skill we now have in very short supply. Not many of us have been through famines or wars or, let’s be honest, any form of true scarcity. We have it all! And the side effect is that we no longer have the […]

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Review of “You Are Awesome” by Neil Pasricha

Resilience is a vital skill. It’s crucial to our health, happiness, and leadership. Resilience is a muscle that we can strengthen – ideally before we really need it. Positive psychology research and best practices show that we can build resilience strengths or habits for Post-Traumatic Growth. Since I enjoyed and reviewed Neil’s previous book, The […]

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Courageous Leadership: The Hero Just Might be You

Like a spotlight cutting through darkness, courage shines brightest in the presence of fear. It’s easy to boldly march forward when we’re filled with confidence, and the way forward is fairly smooth. It takes real courage — and strong leadership — to navigate our way when we’re full of negative fantasies and everything seems to […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Courageous Leadership

“The courage to look hard realities in the face is essential to effective leadership.” Winston Churchill “Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.” Alan Alda, American actor, […]

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Courageous Leadership: What Are You Waiting For?

In Samuel Beckett’s play, “Waiting for Godot,” two tramps are waiting by a sickly-looking tree for the arrival of M. Godot. We never learn who Godot is or why he’s important. The tramps quarrel, make up, contemplate suicide, try to sleep, eat a carrot, and gnaw on some chicken bones. Two other characters appear: a […]

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Exposing and Expressing Fear is Key to Reducing It

Years ago, I was captivated by Yann Martel’s novel, Life of Pi. When I finished reading it, I immediately went back to page one and read it again. The story centers on “Pi” an Indian Tamil boy who, after a shipwreck, survives 227 days drifting on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean. With him in […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmm on…Fear

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” Robert Albert Bloch, American screenwriter, “Psycho,” “Psycho II”   “We usually learn faster from pain than from pleasure. Strong dislikes are acquired faster than strong likes. In relationships, trust is easy […]

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The Fear Factor: Do You Speak Up or Shut Up?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Overcoming fear has been a major theme in our work. Fear is appealing food for moose in the workplace. It attracts and nourishes them. Moose-on-the-Table is where everyone in a meeting knows there is an issue or problem, but no one is talking about it. It’s like […]

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The Fear Factor: Visualization’s Dark Side

The last series of blog posts discussed visualization as “The Force” that can pull us forward. But it also has a dark side that can energize our fears. Fear and pessimism can be even more powerful. This Dark Force too often overshadows positive possibilities. Neuroscience shows we’re wired to focus on what’s wrong and picture […]

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Use the Force and Foretell Your Future

Visualization sparked my career and energized my life. When I was just starting out, someone recommended I read Claude Bristol’s book, TNT: The Power Within You. The book sparked such an intensity of energy and profound new awareness that I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep for almost a week. Even now, as I thumb […]

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5 Ways to Keep Growing and Energizing Your Dreams

I’ve been studying and applying the power of positive pictures for most of my life. These skills, habits, and techniques are often called visioning, imagery, and visualization. They have a power for change, improvement, and energy creation that we’re only beginning to understand It’s hard to picture a positive, hopeful future if we’re not positive […]

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Tips and Techniques to Harness the Power of Visualization

Visualization energizes our dreams. The more vivid our visualization, the higher our energy and magnetic attraction. Neuroscience shows we’re hardwired to look for what’s wrong. If our ancient ancestors missed catching lunch, they’d keep trying for dinner. If they missed that rustling in the bush, they became lunch. We have a natural ability to imagine […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Visualization

That we are drawn by the future rather than just driven by the past is extremely important and directly contrary to the heritage of social science and the history of psychology. It is, nevertheless, a basic and implicit premise of positive psychology. Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being  When I […]

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See It to Be It: Visualizing Your Ideal Future

Decades of research has proven the power of visualization in athletics, health, and personal, team, or organizational effectiveness. We become what we think about. The following is an exercise I’ve used personally, with my wife, Heather, and many groups. Recently I led a group of high potential leaders through this guided imagery process as part […]

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Are You Being Poisoned by a Toxic Culture?

During a retreat with the leadership team of a large healthcare organization, we were running a little behind schedule so I said we’d move fairly quickly through the Responsibility for Choices principle in our leadership discussion. Fortunately, an astute participant piped up with, “Jim, I think we need to talk about our ‘blaming and disclaiming’ […]

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Are You a Leader on the Grow?

Stanford University professor of psychology, Carol Dweck, has become well-known for her work on the power of a growth mindset. Her research shows this is vital to success and fulfilling our potential. Spring is a great time for gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere to reflect on growth. I enjoy perennial gardening in our yard. As I […]

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