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The Treasure You Seek

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Positive psychology

I just finished the Positive Psychology course by Martin Seligman at University of Pennsylvania.  One of the topics he talks about is optimism and pessimism.  A study showed that 8 to 11 year old pessimists were twice as likely to get depressed in puberty.  Although we often lean one way or the other on the optimism scale, he wondered if we taught positive interventions to children, would it have an effect? Continue reading

The moment my three children were laid on my chest

The moment my three children were laid on my chest after being born.  When the surgeon came out of the operating room and said, “Your mom is going to be fine.”  The big hug my Irish grandma gave me as I ran into her arms after travelling across the ocean to see her.  Standing at the podium as MC at my high school graduation.  Opening the box that contained the first copy of my published book. Continue reading

One group had a fixed mindset

In a 2006 study by Mangels, two groups of people were set up with electrodes to catch their brain activity.  One group had a fixed mindset and the other group had a growth mindset.

Each person was given a quiz.  After every question, the participant was told whether they answered right or wrong.  Then immediately after that they were given the correct answer if they had answered incorrectly.

Researchers found that the brains of fixed mindset people lit up when they heard if they had given the right or wrong answer.  While those with growth mindset brains lit up when the researcher gave them the correct answer if they had missed it.

The fixed mindset people were worried about being wrong.  The growth mindset people were interested in learning something new.

At the end of the quiz, the researcher surprised the participants by telling them they would now redo the quiz.  They had already been given all the answers they missed along the way so their score should improve.

The growth mindset group did better on the retake because they had been focused on learning the right answer while the fixed mindset group was only  worried about being wrong and therefore missed some of the right answers when they were mentioned during the first quiz.

This is so powerful.

If we are scared to fail and allow that fear to light up our brain, we will miss opportunities to grow and learn.  If we see each mistake as a chance to find the right answer, redirect, and open the door we were meant to open, we will continue to become more of ourselves.

When are we too old to grow?  If we embrace the path of lifelong learning, then we grow until we die.  It’s not just about growing our intelligence, it’s about growing our emotional IQ, our empathy, our ability to control anxiety, our relationships, our health, our food intake and our results.  When we know better, we do better.

Stay curious, reward positivity, surround yourself with people who raise your average, and decide what is urgent versus what is important.

You are exchanging a day in your life for what you are doing today.  Are you growing into tomorrow?

 

You want to be the weakest person in the room

You want to be the weakest person in the room.

The weakest student, teacher, parent and colleague.

Because then you can learn and grow from those who are stronger than you.

You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

So raise your average.

If you are the strongest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

We all strive to be competent.  To do things right.  To not make mistakes.  To not look weak.  But the only way to evolve is to fall down and rise again.

In order to do this we have to try.  We have to share.  We have to be vulnerable.  We have to take a chance.  We have to embrace failure.

And by doing this, you can find a beautiful treasure that you had no idea was there.

As author Anne Lamott said, “We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.  It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea.  You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

We are on that ship together.  And we are waiting for you to sing.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t hit the right notes.  It’s far worse if you don’t start singing at all.

 

The cost of learning the lessons he needed to learn

Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss toyed with getting an MBA after his undergrad.  But instead, he took the $100,000 he would have paid in tuition and invested it in start-ups.  He knew that he’d most likely lose it all.  But he looked at it as the cost of learning the lessons he needed to learn.  Just like you don’t get your tuition back after earning a degree.  He lost money but he also learned a massive amount.  Invaluable experience. Continue reading

The obstacle is the way

I just finished reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  What a great book.  When it first came out, Michael Lombardi and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots picked it up.  They shared copies of the book with players and coaching staff and the team won the Super Bowl that year. Continue reading

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

A study was recently published by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management that reminds us what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The study looked at scientists who were applying for research grants for their papers.  They followed those who just made the cut and those who just missed it.

Ten years later, the scientists who just missed the cut were 6.1% more likely to have published a hit paper.

Which means the scientists who were rejected by the process were more likely to succeed.

This was the group that was turned down and did not get the grant money to continue their research but never stopped their quest to find answers and share them.

What didn’t kill them made them stronger.

By embracing failure, taking the lesson and persevering, they were more likely to succeed.

As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

What is something we can continue to work on even though we’ve been rejected?  What can we learn from the process and how can that help us grow?

Rejection is redirection.  Now that we know the new path we should be following we must start walking.

More than three priorities

Author Jim Collins said, “If you have more than three priorities in your life you have none.”

That really hit me this morning.  Three seems like a low number.  When I think about that list for me it would be my kids, growing my mind and walking daily.  But we also have to balance projects, pay bills, care for family or friends in need, do chores, cook meals and interact in society.  The list can be endless.  How can we only have three priorities? Continue reading

Bird by bird

In Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird, she reminds us how to get through writing and life when she says, “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day.  We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.  Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.'” Continue reading

The landlord owned the land but not the building

I read this story in the book Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins and it made my heart flutter.

The year was 1598.  Two brothers, Richard and Cuthbert Burbage, had inherited a theatre from their father when he passed away.  The problem was, for a number of years they were not able to perform any shows in it as the landlord wouldn’t let them out of the contract and the rent was too steep.

Then they realized something.  The landlord owned the land but not the building.  Continue reading

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