With your colleagues aim for a win-win solution. Find a way to a common goal that benefits you all.
Or at least aim for “coopetiion“. Blend cooperation to help others succeed with enough competition to help you feel that rush of accomplishment.
“Hope without critical thinking leads to naïveté and critical thinking without hope leads to cynicism. To survive, we need both.” Maria Popova
“if you combine those two mental qualities [you achieve] wisdom… The absence of both gets you apathy.” Coert’s Visser
These wise insights capture beautifully what I often teach. What gives us the most power and insight is the right blend of optimism while facing the hard truths as well.
The research by Barbara Fredrickson on the ideal balance of positive to negative communication also supports this. There are no easy answers or beliefs that we can use to make all decisions. We need to take each situation face the hard truth of that situation, then switch a solution focus for ideas. The right balance makes us far better decision makers (and more credible as well).
Popova profoundly states, “Yes, people sometimes do horrible things, and we can speculate about why they do them until we run out of words and sanity. But evil only prevails when we mistake it for the norm. There is so much goodness in the world — all we have to do is remind one another of it, show up for it, and refuse to leave.”
I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Ryan Estis tell this story again yesterday at dynamic NEHRA conference. The hero of this true story, Lily (#LilyEffect), demonstrates powerfully how we can create purpose that fulfills ourselves, wow customers, and create “evangelist customers” who spread the word about us.
Our brains do some weird things when we are successful. It can pay to prepare for it. Especially, because we can get what I call “expertitis.”
I have a confession to make. After getting some really rough feedback about ten years ago I realized that I had come down with a bad case of expertitis. I had become successful as a change agent, and at helping people transform. This success unfortunately went to my head (which swelled a few sizes). I began to lecture people who had no interest in my advice. I was showing the first two symptoms below. No surprise, my success rate (and popularity) began to decline.
Symptoms: Expertitis is that dreaded egotistical state that shows itself in one or more of the following behaviors:
My solutions to priming by brain to be more realistic and helpful were simple, if not easy.
I’d love to hear what you do to balance yourself and prevent expertitis.
Also, I love learning about other brain geeks that use research to help us all learn how to work and live better.
I’ve followed Dr. Srini Pillay for a while. Here are his great suggestions for counteracting expertitis in the Harvard Business Review blog. The Unexpected Consequences of Success
Jason Silva is one of the most profound thinkers of our day. To make it even better he is a master video producer (and host of Brain Games) so creates dynamic videos to explain his concepts.
I challenge you to create vital cycles of optimism. Design experiences for yourself that increase your passion, enhance your optimism, and as Silva says, “make your life a work of art”.
Tom Raffio interviews Bob Faw about how to get your ACT together on their radio show.
Here are tips for motivating yourself, and others, particularly during busy or stressful times.
Tom Raffio is the leader of Northeast Delta Dental. He is also the co-author of “There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors For Sustaining a Business Long Term” with Dave Cowens and Barbara McLaughlin
In addition to calming the Caveman’s fears and energizing the Artist, positive change of any type also requires convincing the Thinker. This part of the brain wants to have a clear vision of how to get to your goals. If there’s too much detail, the Caveman gets bored and confused, but too little detail leaves the Thinker unconvinced. For example, when I had to change the vicious cycles of economic despair into the vital cycles of a great career, I created a few steps that I thought would lead me to my goals. I planned the first step, but I didn’t worry too much about the following steps until I was ready for them. Each person’s Thinker is different and requires a different blend of information. Experiment to find out how much planning is enough to make your Thinker confident, without planning so much that you lose motivation in the process. The Caveman part of our brain starts to rebel when plans get too complex.
Some people need lots of background information and analysis to help convince the Thinker. However, people who have stronger Artist tendencies are happier with a big picture and motivating reasons; and are impatient with too much data. When motivating others, choose your approach based on what they prefer.
There are some things that both the Caveman and the Thinker like. For example, both like it when you are clear about a specific amount to accomplish. This works whether your goal is money, job satisfaction, depth of relationship, or any other goal in life. Both of these parts of the brain also like things that are clearly beneficial to all aspects of your life. For example, when I started doing more public speaking, my Thinker enjoyed the mental stimulation and potential for bringing in more work, my Caveman enjoyed the fun I had working a crowd, and my Artist thrived on the passion I felt talking about positive change.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wisely stated, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Mastery is the same way. It takes step after step in the right direction. I have my own model, which describes the journey of mastery a little more explicitly. Although we’re going to measure this in hours, ten thousand of them, according to the research shared in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success”.
Read books to gain knowledge. Do activities to earn skills. Practice skills successfully in many situations to develop the ability to use them where you want to. Perform these abilities long enough, and they will become habits you can do instinctively. And after ten thousand hours of practice, you will achieve mastery. That’s when it becomes part of your personality.
When I was a teenager, people described me as shy, angry, depressed, and rebellious. Now people describe me as positive, outgoing, confident, and energizing. This transformation came from walking my journey of motivation mastery over the decades. I’ve seen thousands of my clients transform from being quite negative to becoming motivational. I’ve also seen hundreds of the trauma survivors I volunteer with become far more positive about themselves and their lives. You, too, can learn ways you can move yourself further along the continuum than you are today. Once you’re far enough along, create steps that specifically fit you. Part of how I’ve created my steps is borrowing from books, workshops and the masters themselves.
All around us is both dreary, dull and irritating things, as well as amazing, exciting and beautiful things. We have to intentionally focus on the amazing, excitement and beauty around us to counteract the Negativity Bias, and challenges of everyday life.
I started a practice around ten years ago of looking for the beauty in as many situations as possible. I’m blown away at how much beauty is actually around me! Free! To be enjoyed just by looking for it. The flowers in my neighbor’s yard, the kindness of an elderly woman helping her ailing husband so gently, the joy children are feeling as they chase soap bubbles, the nuggets of wisdom in someone I once saw as an enemy, and so much more. The quality of my life has improved the more habitually I’ve done this.
For more Positive Psychology tips like this one listen to Shawn Achor. He’s amazing.