Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Mindfulness”

Mind Control and the Completeness Obsession

Network Neurons by Gerard79

Network Neurons by Gerard79

I’m thinking a lot about whether I trust myself.

Not in the bigger sense of being out of control at certain points (I’ve controlled those remaining outposts of wildness over the years: only now to be seen when an invited house guest..) No, I mean whether I trust my mind enough. When I wrote about trusting my creativity within confined time slots I kind of papered over the nagging little voice.The nagging little voice is an element within me that is both good and bad. One of my strengths and also my hindrances? I talk a good game about taking an 80:20 approach. To operating within the time slots. But the little voice is always there in different guises.And what does it say? First, it continually asks ‘why’? Good in a number of ways, but it wants to know how and why things work from a people perspective. All the time. And sometimes it doesn’t relent until I’ve settled. The bad side of this is that it is over-rationalising and attempts to compartmentalise too rapidly at times. It attempts to exert too much mind control and not allow the grey. Read more…

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Fighter Pilots and Window Fitters

http://careers.avjobs.com/careers-directory/Military-Fighter-Pilot.asp

Two completely different jobs made me think over the last month or so about focus and immediate action.

We’re in the middle of having windows fitted. In the middle of what I’ve calculated to be 88 man hours of work to replace 100yr old windows and frames with exact replicas in a 4-bed house. Now I think that’s quite impressive anyway. I could talk about expertise and professionalism. The skills built up over the years by the tradesmen in the company that we’re using. However, it’s their immediacy of action that is down-right staggering.

Day One. Minute six of them being in the house. One old window out. Two men literally walked in, accepted our offer of cups of tea, rolled out a dust sheet as they walked in and up the stairs and into the bed room and then quickly covered the closest furniture to the windows. Drills and crowbars out. Window out. Six minutes.

And this pace of immediate action has been maintained over the last 48 hours. They’re in at nine. An hour for lunch. Away at four. What’s massively noticeable compared to other tradesmen we’ve used is that everything is action focused. They only seem to take breaks by drinking the copius quantities of tea we provide them at the same time as swiftly discussing their next immediate action. Brian Tracy would be well proud. Fully frogged-up.

Then when I was running early one morning, piercing blue sky, and the white streak of a fighter jet streaking across the horizon. My thoughts about that fighter pilot’s role hit me all at once. Total focus. Absolutely no distraction. Allow in the distraction = Death. No ‘quick check of the email’ during the middle of writing that Board paper. No thinking about what to watch on telly that night. Pretty sure they’re not allowing the pressure of admin into their focus on the important activity of keeping a c.$138 million bit of metal from crashing and losing your life at the same time.

So, must remember when working: focus like a fighter pilot and work like a window-fitter…….

Learn from Your Mistakes – Or Don’t

Psychologists are discovering that attitude is often a self-fulfilling prophesy. Richard Wiseman pointed out, for example, that if you feel you are lucky you will, in fact, have more “luck.” Specifically, you will create opportunities, you will take opportunities, and you will try harder because you are optimistic about the future. You will, in essence, make your own luck.

There is no magical “secret” to this effect, and no, you cannot change the world simply by wishful thinking. But your attitude and beliefs about yourself affect how you behave, and sometimes attitudes become self-fulfilling. The general principle seems to be – that it is better to be optimistic than pessimistic.

A new study is in line with this principle.  Researchers in this case focused on attitudes regarding the ability to learn from one’s mistakes. They gave subjects a simple test – identifying the letter in the middle of a five-letter sequence. This is an easy task, but when done over and over eventually people make mistakes. The research focused on how they react when such mistakes occur. Some individuals seemed to learn from their mistakes, increase their effort, and improve later performance. Others did not recover from the mistake and improve their later performance.

These behaviors correlated with the subjects’ attitudes. Those who felt they could learn from their mistakes, did. Those who felt that intelligence and performance are fixed characteristics did not improved their performance after the error. Again – these attitudes appear to be self-fulfilling.

via NeuroLogica Blog » Learn from Your Mistakes – Or Don’t.

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