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Archive for January, 2011

“Are your messages being heard?” Kevin Leahy’s advice in the NY Times

January 11th, 2011 Kevin No comments

M.P. Mueller, contributor for the N.Y. Times’ Small Business blog, featured a conversation with Kevin Leahy in her recent post. Leahy’s communication advice was beautifully presented by her; thank you MP!

Here is the link: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/are-your-messages-being-heard/

Underlying much of the advice about how to manage our conversations is the need for smart, focused, and meaningful questions. That’s my eighth point: ask great questions filled with wonder, respect and honor.

Categories: Thoughts Tags:

Meet your New Year’s resolution with “a fever pitch for action!”

January 4th, 2011 Kevin No comments

New Year’s resolutions are like belly buttons– but different; since most people lose their resolutions.

How can I make my 2011 New Year’s resolution come true?

Easy, make it worth your brain’s while.

Huh?

Make your resolution happen by making it worth your brain’s while. Do that by following the right steps.

What are the steps?

Our brains need the following steps, mostly in order, to act and meet our goals: attention; focus; value; resolve; pitch (as in, plan); and action. This phrase helps you remember the steps: A fever pitch for action!

You mean I have to work up “a fever pitch for action” to make sure my resolution happens?

Well, that’s also a phrase to help remind you of the steps. Here is how the phrase lines up with the steps:

A = Attention.

F = Focus.

V = Value (as in, importance).

R = Resolve.

P = Pitch (as in, plan).

A = Action.

How does “a fever pitch for action” work?

It works by following the steps in order. first, attend to the goal. In other words, surround your awareness with it. Then, focus in on it and clarify any unknowns. Then check in on your value, resolve, and so on.

You have to take the steps on in order?

Yes, it makes the most sense to do that. Of course they interchange a bit, but mostly, follow them in order.

This is how our brain is wired?

Yes. We have sections of our brain dedicated to attention, focus, value (prioritizing), resolve (decision making), and finally, planning and action. It all directly correlates with brain parts and functions.

And if I follow these steps I will create a fever pitch for action?

Yes, and you will meet your goal: to make your New Year’s resolution come true!

Good luck.

Categories: Brain power, Thoughts Tags:

Here’s to new hopes, new habits and new horizons this New Year!

January 1st, 2011 Kevin No comments

May 2011 arrive with new hopes, new habits, and new horizons for you. Here’s a story that marks all three.

I met a cancer survivor last night who chooses new hopes, new habits and new horizons daily

Last night I met a brain cancer survivor at a New Year’s Eve Party. Given our casual conversation I did not expect the talk would lead to exploring the consequence of the loss of her right frontal lobe. Powerful stuff.

What does it mean to lose a key part of our brain?

The answer is dependent on the person, circumstances and her will to continue. In this woman’s case it means loss of short term memory, confusion about time, and a few other things.

What does her story say about our will to live?

We are magical creatures! She thrives despite living without her right frontal lobe. What a tribute to her to be so willing, capable, and so wonderfully able to attend a New Year’s Eve party with presence and style.

How does she do it?

Hard to say. I asked her husband when I had a moment what her doctors think of her success. “They don’t say much,” he reflected as we reveled in the wonder of it. The portion removed is not inconsequential.

I found this story of a neurosurgeon’s removal of his sister’s right frontal lobe that marks its importance:

http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/129/4/827.full

What does this story mean for us on this first day of 2011?

This woman has no choice: she must form new hopes, habits, and horizons daily. This, despite missing key brain neurons of memory and planning. Let her effort teach us to face our adversities with triumph.

New hopes?

New hopes power our imagination. This woman experienced dire medical reports and believed in her full recovery and remission. Marvelous! What new hopes do you own today?

New habits?

Habits form when our neurons fire and wire together; over the long term the path literally calcifies. This woman’s new habits fill the void of missing neurons. What new habits do you form today?

New horizons?

New horizons explore our full territory, no need for a map! Think of this woman’s story and the new horizons she rises to meet every day. What new horizons do you choose to find and follow this day?

Be of single mind this year! Take every advantage of your full brain’s awesome powers! Cheers to you and here’s to your new hopes, new habits, and new horizons! Bravo 2011!

Categories: Brain power, People Tags: