Tag Archives: psychology

what is your Primary Question?

HERE IS A GREAT, QUICK VIDEO ABOUT ASKING YOURSELF THE BEST QUESTIONS EVERYDAY AND THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE.

I’VE DISCUSSED HOW QUESTIONS HAVE IMPACTED MY LIFE, PERSPECTIVE, THOUGHTS, AND MORE and HOW QUESTIONS HAVE LOTS OF POWER – GOOD OR BAD.

FROM:Robbins-Madanes Training
 Have you ever wondered what goes on in the head of people (especially young people!) when they make decisions you simply don’t understand?

Well, in today’s 11 minute video you’re going to learn one of the most surprising principles of human behavior. It’s called your Primary Question.

Your Primary Question may be the most powerful force in your life, because it guides your mental focus:

What you notice.
What you react to.
What you decide.

When you understand your Primary Question, you can change what you notice, what you react to, and what you decide – and this will transform your life.

Watch how Tony Robbins helps a young woman understand the primary question that had driven her to make a lot of stupid and self-destructive decisions. It’s amazing to see how, by understanding her own primary question, she liberates herself and takes herself to a new level.

Wouldn’t you like to do that?

Enjoy the video.

Warmly,

Mark Peysha
CEO and Cofounder
Robbins-Madanes Training

People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer

People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer

by Patti Neighmond

July 28, 2014 4:57 AM ETWe know that happiness and social connection can have positive benefits on health. Now research suggests that having a sense of purpose or direction in life may also be beneficial.
To find out if having a sense of purpose has an effect on aging and adult development, Patrick Hill, an assistant professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, looked at data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, which is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Hill and his colleague Nicholas Turiano of the University of Rochester Medical Center looked to see how more than 6,000 people answered questions like “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them,” and other questions that gauged positive and negative emotions.

They found that 14 years after those questions were asked, people who had reported a greater sense of purpose and direction in life were more likely to outlive their peers.

In fact, people with a sense of purpose had a 15 percent lower risk of death,compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s.
Hill’s analysis controlled for other factors known to affect longevity, things like age, gender and emotional well-being. A sense of purpose trumped all that.

Hill defines it as providing something like a “compass or lighthouse that provides an overarching aim and direction in day-to-day lives.”

Of course, purpose means different things to different people. Hill says it could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy. It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity.

“Often this is individuals who want to produce something that is appreciated by others in written or artistic form, whether it’s music, dance or visual arts,” Hill says.
It’s not exactly clear how purpose might benefit health. Purposeful individuals may simply lead healthier lives, says Hill, but it also could be that a sense of purpose protects against the harmful effects of stress.

An experiment in Chicago tested this theory. Anthony Burrow, a developmental psychologist at Cornell University, had college student volunteers of different races and ethnicities ride rapid transit through the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago, recording their emotions as individuals of different racial and ethnic groups boarded.

Earlier research has shown that when people are surrounded by people of different ethnic or racial groups than their own, their level of stress increases. Burrow wanted to know if thinking about their sense of purpose might reduce that stress.

He had about half the students write for about 10 minutes about their life’s direction. The other half wrote about the last movie they saw. They were all then given packets that listed the name of every stop. When they got to a stop, they were asked to assess how they felt and how much they felt that way by placing an “X” in a box next to negative emotions such as feeling scared, fearful, alone or distressed.

It turned out that the students who wrote about the last movie they saw experienced the expected levels of stress as the percentage of people of different ethnicity increased. But the students who wrote about their sense of purpose reported no feelings of increased stress at all.

More research is needed, but Burrow says his findings suggest that having “a sense of purpose may protect people against stress,” with all of its harmful effects, including greater risk of heart disease. And that may explain why people with a sense of purpose live longer.

philosophy
psychology
mental health

Certainty vs. Uncertainty

This is from Tony Robbins and tonyrobbins.com—

The 5 Keys to Thrive — anytime, anywhere, and from within — it’s time to delve a little deeper to understand how to fully tap into that incredible power of certainty. (And how to use uncertainty to your advantage.)

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you felt like you had total uncertainty?Like you had no idea what was going to happen and you couldn’t move forward because of it? Uncertainty creates fear, and this fear keeps you from creating the momentum you need to produce the results you desire most. Here’s the good news: There’s a way to use your body and your voice to create certainty, influence people, and bring even more abundance to your life.

Certainty versus uncertainty: In your life, which one dominates? As Tony reveals in these exclusive audios, we need both forces to lead fulfilled, passionate, successful lives.

To help you create your ultimate 2014, we’re sending you two of our most-valuable audios from Tony’s PowerTalk series. Discover how uncertainty can both paralyze and liberate — and how, with certainty, we can get anything we want from life:

Download Tony's Audio

The opportunities of 2014 will wait for no one. Download these audios now and take life to new heights in 2014!

How to Get People to Change

I’ve written about these authors and this book before. Really good stuff.

This is a diffferent article about something related and relevant, FYI! !

How to Get People to Change

from: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100201/how-to-get-people-to-change.html

Authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath discuss their new book on change management.

Courtesy Random House

Chip and Dan Heath uncover the truth about why people make poor decisions.

Forget PowerPoint. If you want to influence employee or customer behavior, charts and data typically won’t cut it, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the 2007 bestseller Made to Stick and the new Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. In Switch, the Heath brothers explore ways to manage big changes in life and in business. “Change is hard, because we’re schizophrenic,” says Chip, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. (Dan is a senior fellow at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.) “Part of us may want to change, but part of us has this emotional connection to the way that we’ve always done things.” In researching their new book, the Heaths consulted experts on subjects as diverse as how to diet and how to change society. “Time and again, we found the same principles coming up, whether it was individual change or organizational change or societal change,” says Chip. Those principles, he says, involve appealing to both our rational and emotional sides. Inc. senior editor Bobbie Gossage recently spoke with Chip Heath about the book’s findings.

What mistakes do leaders make when they are trying to change their organizations?

One of the main mistakes is when leaders come up with a new vision but never translate that broad analytical vision into something people on the frontlines can actually execute. I was talking to an entrepreneur who wanted his employees to have a “mindset of customer service.” But if you’re an employee, when you hear that, all you hear is buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, jargon, jargon, jargon.

What if you are dealing with some really stubborn people who don’t like change?

You can try to find the feeling that’s going to make them empathize with customers. For instance, Microsoft had some very stubborn programmers who thought they were writing brilliant software. But six out of 10 customers Microsoft surveyed couldn’t figure out how to use the new feature. When they told the programmers this, their response was, “Where did you find six dumb people?” Microsoft brought the programmers into a usability-testing lab and put them behind a two-way mirror. When the programmers watched a real customer struggle with the software they designed, the programmers immediately started thinking about ways of changing it.

Don’t try to argue with a stubborn employee. That appeals to the dark side of the analytical parts of ourselves.

What do you mean by the dark side?

Our analytical capacity is wonderful, but we face too many choices. If you give customers in a grocery store an assortment of 24 jams to sample, they’re actually less likely to buy any of the jams than if there are only six jams. Very often we paralyze our analytical side by offering it too much to analyze. The same thing happens if you give your employees too many things to think about — like having a “mindset of customer service.” As an employee, there are 45 things I could do that might improve customer service, and I don’t have time to do all of those things, so I end up doing none of them.

What about using carrots and sticks?

If you’re offering bonuses or hiring and firing a lot of people so that you can find the few special people who can execute your vision — those are expensive, time-consuming strategies. Very often, by making small changes in the environment, we lead people in the right direction without that expense.

So you should change the environment, not the employee?

One of the most basic mistakes that psychologists have documented is that we tend to blame people and their personalities for problems and ignore situations. One of my students, a director at Nike, thought of herself as a very open manager. She had an open-door policy, but when she asked for feedback, she learned that her staff thought she was a bad communicator.

After talking with her team, she realized the problem was the way her desk was set up. When an employee came in and sat across from her, her computer was right in the middle. She got distracted when e-mails showed up. After she rearranged her office so she would have to turn her chair away from the computer when an employee came in, she immediately got positive feedback. By fixing that environment, she fixed the problem.

You mention in the book that peer pressure is also a powerful motivator.

Social influence is strong. If a third of your employees aren’t filling out their expense reports on time, what they may not know is that two-thirds of your employees are. Sometimes just understanding that a crowd of people is moving in a direction makes people uncomfortable enough to change. One of my favorite studies in the book is about a group of researchers who went into hotels that have those “Please reuse your towels” signs. They changed one of the signs to say, “Most people in this hotel reuse their towels at least once during their stay.” Immediately, towel reuse rates went up 25 percent, and laundry bills went down.

Does a bad economic climate affect people’s ability to change?

We commonly think that fear is a good motivator, but fear works for only a short time. And this recession has gone on for a couple of years in some parts of the country. So when we try to motivate people, we need to find feelings of hope and optimism.

How do you do that?

There’s a technique we talk about in the book: looking for the bright spots. When you face a change situation, you’re often demoralized and depressed. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working, you need to shift people over to thinking, What have we done in the past that has been successful for us?

I was talking to a small-business owner whose firm is a general contractor. He had been killing himself by doing proposals for big government contracts, which the company would often lose. I asked him, “What are the last three times that you got a contract you were excited about?” Turns out they were all projects from referrals, and they tended to be not the bigger projects but projects for small and medium-size cities where relationships mattered more.

At this firm, they were masters of taking people who might not necessarily agree on what the fire station should look like and helping them resolve those conflicts. The firm shifted to focusing on smaller projects where it was in charge of a more complete project and people’s skills were better utilized.

It’s easy to get demoralized when you lose and you lose and you lose. But when you think about the last time you won and how you can do those kinds of things more often, that gives people a sense of hope and optimism that will motivate their behavior.

Words To Live By: Judgement/Generalizations

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

photo

This Words To Live By is about Making judgements and generalizations in life. I guess I want to focus on how we look at others and how we look at opportunities and make a generalization or judgement.

From vocabulary.com –A generalization is taking one or a few facts and making a broader, more universal statement. If all the girls you know play with dolls, you might make the generalization that all girls play with dolls. Scientists try to make generalizations based on research — the more data they have, the more accurate the generalization. Generalizations can be similar to stereotypes in that they are sometimes wrong and harmful. Usually, it’s best to stick with specifics and avoid generalizations.

We constantly are making judgements in our minds each day about small and large decisions. We need to make snap judgements about all sorts of things. But, many times we make judgements about others based on emotion, prejudice, previous pain, misunderstandings, etc.

We generalize about some things don’t we? Sure, it is necessary to some degree but these generalizations are unfair and limiting. When we judge someone or something, we limit ourselves, we limit them, and we immediate limit the possibilities.

For instance, I had a former boss that made lots of generalizations. If we’d get a client that was from a certain vocation, he’d generalize “I worked with a few of those people before, she won’t return the forms or follow up, they’re all like that.” He would immediate make a judgement that she wasn’t the type to follow through, she was flakey, and that she wasn’t committed. Guess what? He was often wrong when he made these generalizations and I loved it. Often I didn’t even say anything, but once in while my ego got in the way perhaps and I’d say something like “Oh, she did return the forms and follow up?” I had to becareful.

Sometimes a client or prospect came in dressed a certain way. My boss would make a judgement whether they had money, and if they were flakey, etc. It really bothered me. Again, often he was wrong. I remember one single man came in and was about to retire. My boss thought he was without financial resources and was the type to not follow up. He was wrong.

I’ve had bosses, friends and relatives make judgements and generalizations about all sorts of things. In some ways it is almost entertaining to hear someone talking about their misunderstandings about other people or about an opportunity. I love to laugh at people who say small-minded things (but I don’t classify them as small-minded, nonetheless!) It is unfortunate and even offensive when people start making generalizations about race and creed.

I remember an older lady in my family, she has since passed, she was getting a little foggy in her head as she grew older. She often would see someone, almost anyone, and make some generalization. Many times it was amusing. She saw an Irish man once drinking tea and said “They like their tea, don’t they?”

I, on the other hand, did not know thatJ. She’d see someone riding a bike and say ‘they like to ride their bikes around here.’ Do they? But, it would get borderline racist when she’d see an African American and make a generalization. Many times it wasn’t about a stereotype and maybe wasn’t necessarily offensive by itself, but it was sometimes racist and we told her to stop it.

I had a boss that would generalize about Jewish people due to his experience with one Jewish person years ago. It made me sick. I told him numerous times not to make those statements around me.

What about when others make judgements or generalizations about you?

I recall, when I was young, getting passed over for a few rounds for an intramural football team. They made a judgement about me and how I played without ever having seen me. They were wrong. Soon they had me playing first string.

We’ve all gone to job interviews and felt that the interviewer was making a judgement or generalization right? Relatives often easily pass judgement and generalize about us, don’t they?

How does it feel when someone makes a judgement or generalization about you? It angers me. I feel that I want to yell, point out all of their faults, that I don’t want to deal with them.

I must admit, I’ve been told that I’m not cut out for things or can’t do things many times and in many ways it motivates me. Healthy or not, I use that anger or whatever it is to fuel me to do better. In some ways I do it to “show them” – but that’s not what it really should be about. We need to do things and make choices for ourselves, not for someone who is passing judgement on us.

When confronted by mean-spiritedness, and hateful gossip, respond to it from your position of love: “I don’t want to make any judgments.” Rather than criticizing the mean-spirited person, silently project love. Wayne Dyer

How many times have you had a friend or relative pass judgement on an opportunity, job, relationship?

“You can’t make money in the stock market.”- or – “Real estate is a drag, it’s all about fixing someone’s toilet, tenants are mooches.” – or – “He comes from a big family. People from big families are attention hounds.” – or – “She’s an only child. You know how only children are spoiled, she is so selfish.” – or – “Why would you ever work there? That job just seems so boring/challenging/empty….” – or – “do you put in an honest day’s work in that kind of job?”

These are all actual one’s that I have heard lately. Many people make judgements about a whole group of things because of one or two situations.

Many of us also make judgements because of our own fears and negative emotions. It is a way that we can rationalize passing on an opportunity and doing nothing. It is a way to deny a failure or lack of action.

It amazes me sometimes that even intelligent people will analyze a situation or make a judgement after only recognizing the standard or traditional structure of a piece.  David Bowie

I think of my old boss sometimes and all the things he said. He must have been a fearful guy. He was constantly setting himself up so that if he did fail or not get an opportunity, he had the excuse ready. “Sure he didn’t sign up as a client, he’s one of those _____, what do you expect.”

I see some of my friends and relatives do this too. I love these people and they’re good people, hardworking, giving, friendly – but sometimes their judgement isn’t entirely un-biased. Emotions and fear cloud them. Prejudice too.

Don’t get me wrong, I make judgements, incorrect ones, and generalizations. But I do constantly work at stopping myself. Judging others is such a waste of time and energy. In essence we’re focusing on a perceived negative quality of another person or situation. In essence we’re complaining or worrying about something we don’t even know to be true. Other than rationalizing and making us feel a slight bit better for a moment, how does that help anyone?

So many people build up prejudice, judgements, generalizations as they go through life because of failure, hurt, loss, pain, etc. It is easy to do. It is natural, perhaps, but not healthy.

Are you making judgements? Generalizations? About people or opportunities? Are you limiting yourself? Are you seeing things clearly for what they really area?

A good friend and coach once said, we should not judge an event as good or bad. He said,” I suggest taking words like bad, good, negative, positive out of your self-talk by simply stating what it is without labeling it.
You can change it to “I have empathy/compassion for that person,… Yet If you have empathy/compassion and want to do something (even if it’s sending love or compassion from your heart) that offers something for that person to help Empower them to move forward…use your feelings to help in some way instead of simply feeling “bad” which usually ties to guilt and is a mind and time waster.”

In some ways I think judgements and generalizations, like forgiveness, seems to be about others but in fact it is about us. When we hold a grudge against someone else, it really doesn’t hurt them, it hurts us mostly by what we carry around. When we pass judgement about someone or something, we do limit the other person but we also limit ourselves more by not seeing the whole picture, relying on prejudices, not being open, not being a loving human being. We’re hurting ourselves when we judge or generalize.

Our prejudice, judgements, generalizations often tell others a lot about ourselves, too! Have you ever seen or heard someone say something, some kind of judgemental statement or generalization – that they are trying to ‘look bigger’ or somehow act superior, or put down another person? However the effect is instead that they look silly/small-minded/angry/inferior. We suddenly see what is really inside rather than the fascade they project.

Look. Art knows no prejudice, art knows no boundaries, art doesn’t really have judgement in it’s purest form. So just go, just go.K. D. Lang

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