We are connected to, divine consciousness, and so we come pre-loaded with the power of the Universe, we need to learn how to unleash, the power within.
This week on Mindset Transformation radio and podcast with coach Myrna, I interview Dr Donavan Outten, Dr Outten is going to share “How to unleash your, inner greatness, also called, the power within, so you can tap into the person God intended you to be.
Tip of the week: Are you Desperate and Determined?
A few weeks ago, my pastor preached on the 3 D’s Desperate, Determined and Dependent!
You see the 3 D’s require a mindset shift.
In order to, unleash power within, we must become desperate, determined and dependent. We see numerous times in the bible when God promoted and elevated people who were either desperate, determined or dependent on him for victory.
We see that every miracle begins with a desperate problem.
Esther was born with the power within
The story begins with Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire, holding a lavish banquet, initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards for all inhabitants of the capital city, Shushan.
On the seventh day, Ahasuerus orders the queen, Vashti, to come and display her beauty before the guests by wearing only her crown. She refuses. Furious, Ahasuerus has her removed from her position and makes arrangements to choose a new queen from a selection of beautiful young women from throughout the empire.
One of these is the Jewish orphan, Esther. After the death of her parents, she was fostered by her cousin, Mordecai. She finds favor in the King’s eyes, and is crowned his new queen.
Ahasuerus appoints Haman as his viceroy. Mordecai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman’s disfavor, as he refuses to bow down to him. Having discovered that Mordecai is Jewish, Haman plans to kill not just Mordecai, but all the Jews in the empire.
As the story unfolds, Esther the Jewish orphan turned queen, used her place as queen to intercede with the King; her desperation made her, unleash power within, her and risk death, because it was against the law to present herself to the King unsummoned. This was punishable by death.
Her determination, desperation and dependence on God, saved the Jews of the Persian Empire, she, unleashed, the power within.
Dr. Donavan Outten is a powerful trainer, consultant, educator and administrator with over 20 years’ experience. He is the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Webster University.
Dr. Outten is a published author of 2 books, one of which is our topic today. Unleash your inner greatness: A guide to overcoming obstacles and Tapping into the person God meant you to be.
Dr Outten writes books to inspire and motivate individuals to achieve greatness in their lives.
His research focuses on developing young African American Students in higher education. He has also produced seminars, lectures, classes, assessments and workshops throughout the United States and Caribbean.
Dr. Outten earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Nova.
Southeastern University, his Masters in Human Resource Development & Administration from Barry University and Bachelors in Psychology from Bethune Cookman University.
Unleashing the power within
Question 1. I know that unleashing our, inner greatness, our, the power within, is your space. Can you tell our audience what does it mean to, Unleash our, Inner Greatness,” and a little of why you chose this topic as the subject of your book.
Question 2. So what are some of the obstacles to unleashing, the power within?
Most children today are taught not to question authority, so they go about their lives always looking for someone to direct them and never focusing on their inner strength or, power within.
Question 3. Where does the power within, come from?
We are connected to source energy. If you take a droplet of water from the ocean, it has the same properties as the entire body of the ocean. Similarly we came from God or source, so we have the same powers. We just need to, unleash, the power within.
Question 4. How does an individual muster up enough strength to have such strong determination to finish a task or overcome a devastating life situation?
• Where do they find the courage to stand up for what they believe in or battle back from a medical condition that almost took their life?
• How does one leave a secure job to start a business that they are passionate about?
• What is the secret to obtaining determination and maintaining it over a period of time?
• What kinds of people have it, and what is determination?
Determination unlocks your inner greatness
Dr Outten says, “In my heart, I truly believe that determination is having the will to move forward in spite of what obstacle, barrier, or difficulty you might be facing. It is looking adversity in the face and not backing down, but pushing forward with tenacity and unleash, the power within.
He feels that Self-determination starts on the inside. It is first a thought or a belief that you can or will succeed no matter the problem you have to face. You believe in yourself even when no one else does. That spells confidence, character, and courage.
Question 5. What are some other obstacles to unleashing our, inner greatness?
Resilience: The path toward nurturing a, resilient mindset, and lifestyle is a road
that should not be taken lightly. This path has many bumps, twists, turns, and potholes
and is never straightforward. The road often contains obstacles and detours
that interfere with reaching your destination.
Passion: Your passion does not usually appear overnight. It has been dwelling
inside you for a long time. As a child, what were you passionate about? As a
teenager, what were you passionate about? As a young adult, what were you
passionate about? Often times, you will identify a pattern in what you are
passionate about. It is up to you to identify what it is and go after it.
When turning your, passion into profit, you have to be careful and work smarter,
not harder. You will run into a lot of obstacles and need to face your fears, as
things probably won’t go as smoothly as you’d like them to go. It’s all a part of
Destiny: Destiny can be referred to as a predetermined course of events. It may
be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual.
What you perceive your future to be will come to pass if you work for it, believe
in it, and live your life towards it.
What you have today does not reflect what you will obtain tomorrow. If you have
the capability of looking into your future and seeing what lies ahead, then all you
have to do is work towards your goal.
Walking towards your destiny is no easy task because you will have obstacles and
hurdles along the way. There will be road blocks that will make you think that
you are going down the wrong path, but you will need to have patience,
endurance, and faith. Your faith will play a big part in finding and fulfilling your
destiny; you will need to seek guidance from God and, unleash power within.
Question 6. I know that you work predominately with the African American youth. What advice would you give them on being determined and staying the course?
You have to better than good, you have to be great.
You have to work twice as hard for the same opportunity as your white counterparts.
Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field tell him, If you build it they will come. He interprets this message as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose for his field.
All his life, Ray Kinsella was searching for his, field of dreams. Then one day, his, field of dreams, came looking for him.
If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.
The, field of dreams, says, If you build it they will come.
Here are a few men who believed, If you Build it they will come
The voices in my dreams kept telling me, if I built it they will come. My promised land, I would leave a Legacy for my children.
I have internalized this phrase. It has become my truth. I know without a shadow of doubt, that if I build it they will come. Anything I build, they will come.
As a Life coach and motivational speaker, I am building my business now. I built my radio show and podcast and now I have listeners around the world. I have built my brand on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I blog several times per month. I have authored 3 books.
Here is a story to illustrate, that if you build it they will come. It is about the mother of a Downs Syndrome child who wanted to attend college. The College had to build a program for inclusion of special needs students. They built it, and the students came, proving, that, if you build it they will come.
Several years ago, a young woman attending a special needs graduate course there piped up at the end of class and asked her professor, “What is this college doing for inclusion?” The professor thought a moment and then turned it into a homework assignment (“The other students hated me,” she laughed.): Design and write out what you think a college program for special needs should look like. If ,Field of Dreams, taught us anything, If you build it they will come.
The students designed what became the University Participant (UP) Program, a fully inclusive 2-year program–full residence, dorms, classes, work, support, communication, goals, accountability–and soon found one student with special needs who wanted to come. “We were building the airplane as we were flying it,” Dr. Kelly Kelley remembers. “So you built it,” I asked, “but how did you fund it?” “Passion,” she quickly answered. Speaking of passion, let me explain how I landed in North Carolina last week. Right before Nella’s birthday this year, I received an e-mail from Liz, another mom of a little girl with Down syndrome.
I had written a post expressing interest in organizations helping adults with Down syndrome, specifically in relation to post-secondary educational opportunities. Liz responded, telling me about Ruby’s Rainbow, the organization she and her husband had just started in 2011, providing scholarships for people with Down syndrome to attend college. In four years, Ruby’s Rainbow has already helped fund 42 people’s college dreams. The thing is, a lot of people don’t realize that “people with Down syndrome attending college” is even a phrase. And how can we raise money for it if people don’t know it exists? I wanted to help bring attention to the incredible work Liz and Ruby’s Rainbow is doing, but I was also curious–what does this even look like? One phone call with Liz, and we were scheming.
Let’s go to college. Let’s go visit two Ruby’s Rainbow scholarship recipients and let them tell the story. Let’s peek into the window of possibilities for our own girls. Let’s see what can happen when one person begins with a question: “What are we doing to help? “ Thanks to an incredibly accommodating college that quickly set up a full day’s agenda to give us a thorough day-in-the-life experience, and two individuals who were eager to share their story with us, we were on our way early Wednesday morning last week to make the two-hour drive from our hotel to Cullowhee, North Carolina. Our first stop: The Office of Residential Living where Zach gets paid to work 10 hours a week as an office assistant to supplement his college experience. A handsome young man, sharply dressed, stepped away from his computer to greet us when we arrived. He shook our hands and introduced himself, answered our questions about what he does and paused to answer the phone when it rang or tend to the front desk when his office mate asked for help.
Now some of you know that sometimes, okay most times, especially for startup companies “You build it, they do Not come.”
Sometimes you have to go get the clients instead of waiting for them to come.
Here is an excerpt that displays If you build it they will come
I am not sure my version of this quote would have worked for Kevin Costner and the movie, Field of Dreams, but it would certainly have saved countless entrepreneurs from disappointment and defeat.
There’s no shortage of savvy startups that will never get off the ground or designer duds that won’t grace the catwalk. Just because a product is out there doesn’t guarantee that consumers will come. Great ideas without equally great promotion are as good as non-existent.
It’s just like the age old question?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?
The same can be said for great ideas and products. If consumers never discover or buy them, are they still great? I have fallen victim to the false pretense that if I only built something, consumers would come right over and consume it. But my first failed business taught me otherwise.
At the ripe old age of 21, I managed to convince two successful entrepreneurs — after multiple pitch meetings and business plan revisions — to invest in my media company, despite the fact that I knew nearly nothing about media.
What I wanted was to create the leading online men’s lifestyle magazine, complete with highlights on where to eat, what to wear, where to travel — and I called it Debonair. The idea was much more novel in the early 2000’s before the flood of publications now devoted to gents — and the idea was good (Thrills and Urban Daddy launched similarly oriented sites shortly after to much success).
They wrote me a check for $100,000 and just like that I was in business. But contrary to my mistaken notion, it wasn’t as simple as having the seed money, building the site and just watching everything fall into place. I believed that, if you build it they will come. I wasn’t popping champagne and toasting with the big boys like I thought I’d be. Not even close. The next two years were trying times, and I was swimming in a sea of startups that knew more than I did.
I poured every dollar I had into a fancy website with what I believed were all the right bells and whistles and pricey photography that had made glossy magazines so sought after and I figured that was all it would take. When the traffic didn’t come, I blamed it on the site design, the logo, the font, the layout, the photos. I became victim to the “better is the enemy of best” syndrome, redoing the same thing over and over and over again trying to perfect it for the public. By the time I bypassed the fluff changes and figured out search engine optimization, pay-per-click, buying lists and marketing — it was too late.
I lost every last cent of my seed money, and Debonair flopped.
If you build it they will come so become a visionary
Five years later, I tried again. This time with Sourcing Journal, a trade publication.
Unless your jeans have three legs, it isn’t a new idea. If you want to build a brand, build it. Forget the wealthy heirs to family businesses or those who get large venture capital funding. If that isn’t you, like it wasn’t me, you will have to be a doer and figure it out. Go get some orders, no matter what product you have. Borrow money for purchase order financing to produce the product and pay the too-high rates if need be. Be scrappy, be an entrepreneur, make it happen.
Focus on distribution. Technology has changed the game, so use it to help get the word out there, build hype and sell, sell, sell. Do not wait for the people to come because you could be waiting a long time. Knock down the proverbial door and keep going. And when you get that order from Barneys, or Macy’s or Bed Bath and Beyond, call me. I’d be happy to make that product for you.
Not because you built it, but because you got it built it, and they did not come. hem to come proving that, if you build it they will come.
Here Are Five Reasons That, If You Build It They Will Come.
1. Make sure that there is a need for what you are building. If you are a startup company. Do your research, know the demographics of your target market.
2. Be prepared to keep at it until you win. If something does not work, change your approach. If that does not work, change it again. Keep changing your approach until you win. There is a winning solution and that is, lucid dreaming! Most people give up when success is just around the corner. Don’t let fear sidetrack you.
3. You must see the vision. If you don’t see it, you can never be positive that you will win. It will be like a pie in the sky. Something hoped for, but unattainable.
4. You must have a burning desire to win. You live the phrase “failure is not an option.” The desire must consume you. There is no better example of this than the Sylvester Stallone story. Sylvester refused $100,000 for his script “Rocky” when he had no money to eat. He then sold his dog for $50.00 to buy food. His burning desire was to star in his screen play. He built it and they came!
5. Keep hitting the Anvil. Do something every day that brings you closer to your “field of dreams.”
Valeri Bocage lost everything in hurricane Katrina and used her pain to create her company Powerful Women International. She believes that the greater your pain the greater things that are birthed from this pain. In the, WandaVision, prequel, Vision, was, well, very dead. … Wanda eventually managed to destroy the Mind Stone – and, Vision, – but Thanos turned back time and plucked it out anyway. Both outcomes killed, Vision.
Valerie says that whenever you focus on what you have lost, you can never move forward. Her purpose was to make a difference.
She says to figure out who your audience is. Who are you supposed to make a difference to?
My tip of the week is:
How to Create Positive Core Beliefs
Our guest today shared her story of losing everything in hurricane Katrina and bouncing back to become the CEO of Powerful Women International. To do that she had to have positive self-worth and positive, core beliefs. Beliefs are the truths people hold on to that guide our life. The power of belief can trap you, as in the belief that you deserve only a limited amount of happiness. Or belief can free you, as in the belief that you are safe and protected in the cosmic plan.
When you open your awareness to your strongest, core beliefs, which are known as, core beliefs, two things happen. First, you find out who you are and why you behave in the ways you do. Second, new energies become available when you pursue the, core beliefs, that are life-supporting, fulfilling, and spiritually transforming.
A powerful, core belief, is pure and direct. It gives you a clear sense of who you are. It isn’t confused, conflicted, or compromised. Let’s take steps to make this the kind of, core belief, you are activating. Step one is to bring your, core beliefs, into awareness. The four, core beliefs, you want to activate are:
I am loving and lovable.
I am worthy.
I am safe and trusting.
I am fulfilled and whole.
You already have existing, core beliefs, in these four areas of love, self-worth, security, and fulfillment. Your beliefs can’t be changed simply by throwing out an old one and adopting a new one like changing your wardrobe. The change must come at the level of self-awareness. At the core of your being, where your true self resides, the truth about you is clear and unequivocal: You deserve unconditional love; you are of unique worth in the universe; you can trust Nature to protect and uphold you; and your fulfillment comes from being whole.
To overhaul your beliefs means that you get closer and closer to your core beliefs, these four inner truths, which are absolute. Right now, there’s a gap between them and what you experience. For most people, the positive and negative side of their core beliefs depend on how good or bad their experiences have been in the past. If you have been deeply hurt in love, for example, it is hard to adopt the core belief that you deserve infinite love.
A Self-Awareness Exercise to Create Your Core Beliefs
Hawkeye on , WandaVision, is self aware that he is the weakest link. Although he is an extremely skilled marksman, Clint Barton is often considered to be the weakest Avenger seeing as he’s just a regular guy with a bow and arrow. Reliving experiences from the past only keeps you stuck in the past. Your core beliefs are activated in the now, every day. They can only be changed in the now! Here’s how:
Look upon what’s happening now as a reflection of your, core beliefs. If the reflection is negative, pause and ask yourself why it fits the storyline your beliefs create. If you experience any kind of abusive treatment, for example, this reflects a victimhood story supported by a core belief that keeps you in the story. If you experience unexpected kindness, on the other hand, this reflects a storyline that includes compassion and reflects a core belief in how much you deserve love.
A, core belief, that God has plans to prosper you, will take you through any setback.
• Valeri Bocage started Powerful Women International in 2006 after moving to San Francisco, a move that was prompted by the loss of everything during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Valeri lost everything except her indomitable spirit to help others. Initially, Powerful Women International was formed to help women live their dreams and to begin to support each other worldwide to fulfill their utmost dreams and expand themselves as leaders worldwide.
How did Valerie build and assemble her Power teams?
Power Team, is a team consisting of people who possess all the strengths needed to achieve your mission. They are an extension of you not a mirror.
You’ve thought about your, power team, and created an ideal customer profile based on that aspiration. The same thing should be done as you prepare to build your, power team, members.
As you make a list of your, power team, you’ll need an:
social media manager,
public relations manager,
customer service representatives
This is the time to aim high; to refuse to settle for less-than-ideal.
With her, Power Team, by her side, Valerie was able to take her brand to more people, with greater positive impact. Too many brand builders work to simply fill positions, when they should be working to hire those people who will further the reach and value of their brands. Who will you hire next? What challenges are you experiencing whilst hiring? What difference your, Power Team, made.
Mindfulness Meditation, is not just for Buddhists and monks. Meditation, unlocks the power you have within to take your business to the top.
When you, meditate, you strengthen your intuition, spirituality, awareness, and most importantly, your own sense of self. As many successful entrepreneurs know, reduced stress is the foundation to creating the business and lifestyle you want. If you are not removing your limiting beliefs and constantly working on your vision, you are limiting your own growth and the growth of your company. You are the lid!
Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
As a leader or an Entrepreneur there is no better way to overcome obstacles, rise to the top or be creative with out first quieting the noise in your head. When you become still you tap into your creative power by connecting to your source. During, mindfulness meditation, you experience that peace that surpasses all understanding that the bible talks about. When you forget about all the things you have to do and just focus on the life inside you by witnessing your breathing, you move closer to becoming conscious and understand your purpose. Being quiet and still allows you to listen to instructions from the higher power who guides you. It is said that it is easier to guide a horse in the direction it is running in; so when you fall into line with what God wants you to do for his Kingdom then your business and your life become less of a struggle.
The reasons we practice, mindfulness meditation, are as varied as the many ways there are to, meditate. In the West, most people are drawn to, mindfulness meditation, to quiet the internal chatter of the brain and to reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation, is indeed a very effective stress reducer, but its benefits—sometimes mysteriously hidden—are far more bountiful. The actual act of, mindfulness meditation, can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath while repeating silently a, mantra, a word or phrase. for example the, om mantra, or the Gayatri mantra. There are countless traditions and no singular “correct” way to practice, mindfulness meditation.
Find a practice that you like and stick with it for a while. Notice how you feel as you go about your days. If you find that you have more patience, feel grounded and better able to respond to stressful situations, and are more in touch with your intuition or “gut feelings,” you are enjoying the many benefits of, mindfulness meditation.
I practice, mindfulness meditation, by finding a quiet place in the morning as I drink my coffee. I listen to a, guided mindfulness meditation, tape on topics such as “activating consciousness“, visionary me meditation, “the law of attraction” etc. as I listen I clear my mind by mentally repeating a centering thought and witnessing my breathing. At the end of my meditation I am relaxed, totally open and creative. I usually write some deep insights after my meditation sessions and I get answers from God and the Universe to questions I ask. This is the perfect way to become a visionary and an innovate leader.
Mindfulness Meditation, is good for our Physical Bodies
Scientists gathering data on, mindfulness meditation, have found that a consistent practice of, mantra meditation, not only boosts the mind, but it also bolsters the body. Studies shows that, meditation, can help reverse heart disease, reduce pain, and support the immune system, better enabling it to fight disease.
The mind-body connection between stress and disease is abundantly apparent as science is finding that, mindfulness meditation, can lower production of the stress hormone cortisol. This means, mediators, are better able to adapt to stress in their lives.
2: Mindfulness Meditation, is good for Our Relationships
Paradoxically, while, meditation, helps us tune in and turn inward to our true essence, it also helps us detach from our own egos to connect with others in more meaningful ways. Couples counselors have found when they assign their clients, mindfulness meditation, the couples become less angry, more self-reflective, and more loving. When we become aware of—and honor—our interconnection with other beings, we are able to recast our perspectives, see our worries in a different light, and embrace gratitude, which is the heart’s memory.
The bible teaches that we can’t change others only ourselves and when we, meditate, we tune into who we really are. Our ancestral legacy is a brain that is primed to focus on negative experiences and has a tendency to get stuck in conditioned patterns of thinking, returning again and again to thoughts of anxiety, depression, and limitation. So in our relationships we tend to focus on what we do not have instead of what we do have. As you meditate on a regular basis, you develop what is known as “witnessing awareness”—the ability to calmly and objectively observe a situation, notice when you are being triggered, and consciously choose how you want to respond. The ability to be present and aware is extremely valuable in every relationship.
When you, meditate, you strengthen your intuition, awareness, and most importantly, your own sense of self. Yogis and doctors both agree, mindfulness meditation, even just a few minutes of deep breathing—relaxes the brain, reduces anxiety, and decreases depression. We say we can’t afford the time to, meditate, but the truth is we can’t afford not to. When we tell ourselves we don’t have time to exercise, or meditate, then we will make time for sickness and depression. During most of our waking lives, our minds are engaged in a continuous internal dialogue in which the meaning and emotional associations of one thought triggers the next.
We hear a snippet of music and suddenly we’re thinking about the first time we heard that song with an old boyfriend or girlfriend and how that relationship ended. If we’re still holding emotional pain over that ending, those feelings may bubble up and then our mind may veer into criticism, self-pity, or worries about the future. Mindfulness Meditation, is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:
Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
Lowered cholesterol levels
Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline
More efficient oxygen use by the body
Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
4: Mindfulness Meditation, Reduces Stress and Burnout
What role is more stressful than the role of a Leader? None, as a Leader you are responsible for the lives of your employees, families, and your commitment to your community? Chronic, unmanaged stress can make you sick and accelerate aging. As many scientific studies have found, prolonged stress can contribute to:
high blood pressure,
and accelerated aging.
During, mindfulness meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response—that ancient instinct we all have to either run from perceived danger or take it on in battle. Intended as a short-term protection mechanism, fight or flight causes our body to speed up our heart rate, increase our blood sugar, suppress our immune system, reduce insulin production, pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and reduce the blood supply to our digestive organs. All of these reactions happen so that our body can focus on either running away as fast as it can—or staying to fight. Although few people reading this face daily threats to their bodily existence, many live in a prolonged state of fight or flight, generating stress in response to bad traffic, criticism from a spouse, or a disagreement.
Regular, meditation, dissipates accumulated stress and cultivates a state of restful alertness. There are many compelling studies showing the power of, mindfulness meditation, to relieve stress and promote inner calm. For example, a 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal found that full-time workers who spent a few hours each week practicing, mindfulness meditation, reported a significant decrease in job stress, anxiety, and depressed mood. The reason, meditation, is so popular among successful individuals is it helps release stress, lets go of excess thoughts and expand awareness. As you dive deeper into your, mindfulness meditation, practice you see people events and circumstances as they really are, not as they are perceived to be. It allows you to have an internal Locus of control. That means that you don’t react to external stimuli but are proactive with action plans and goals. It also means that as challenges arise in your business, you will not get overwhelmed; but face those challenges calmly and efficiently. As an Entrepreneur Leader, meditation allows you to turn your failures into successes.
5: Mindfulness Meditation, Enhances Your Concentration, Memory, and Ability to Learn
As researchers have found, mindfulness meditation, can help you tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn, and adapt. While scientists used to believe that beyond a certain age, the brain couldn’t change or grow, we now know that the brain has a quality known as plasticity, enabling it to grow new neurons and transform throughout our lives. Meditation is a powerful tool for awakening new neural connections and even transforming regions of the brain. A recent study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants experienced beneficial growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, empathy, self-awareness, and stress regulation. In addition, the meditators reported decreased feelings of anxiety and greater feelings of calm. This study adds to the expanding body of research about the brain’s amazing plasticity and ability to change habitual stress patterns.
Many other studies provide evidence for the value of, mindfulness meditation, in improving the ability to stay focused in world filled with increasing distractions, and demands on our attention. For example, research conducted by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center showed that teenagers and adults with ADHD who practiced various forms of, meditation for just eight weeks improved their ability to concentrate on tasks, even when attempts were made to distract them. In the world of the Entrepreneur Leader, the ability to focus when you are pulled in so many different directions is extremely important to your success.
6: Mindfulness Meditation, Improves Your Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills in your Business
We each have an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day—unfortunately, many of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, last week, and last year. The mind tends to get stuck in repetitive thought loops that squeeze out the possibility for new ideas and inspiration. Mindfulness meditation, is a powerful practice for going beyond habitual, conditioned thought patterns into a state of expanded awareness. We connect to what is known as the field of infinite possibilities or pure potentiality, and we open to new insights, intuition, and ideas. And as we meditate and focus on our breathing, we stop this continuous cycle.
7: Mindfulness Meditation, Decreases Anxiety, and Insomnia
The emotional effects of sitting quietly and going within are profound. The deep state of rest produced by, mindfulness meditation, triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Each of these naturally occurring brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of happiness:
Dopamine plays a key role in the brain’s ability to experience pleasure, feel rewarded, and maintain focus. Serotonin has a calming effect. It eases tension and helps us feel less stressed and more relaxed and focused. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked to migraines, anxiety, bipolar disorder, apathy, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and insomnia. Oxytocin (the same chemical whose levels rise during sexual arousal and breastfeeding), is a pleasure hormone. It creates feelings of calm, contentment, and security, while reducing fear and anxiety. Endorphins are most commonly known as the chemicals that create the exhilaration commonly labeled “the runner’s high.” These neurotransmitters play many roles related to well being, including decreasing feelings of pain and reducing the side effects of stress.
In her book “Thriving, Not, Surviving” The author provides you with the route map to navigate a particular life, focusing on self-belief, relationships, managing change and finding your true purpose and achieving fulfillment.
Gina is a Motivational Speaker, Empowerment and Relationship Coach and Transformational Leadership Trainer with well over 30 years of experience helping people experience happiness, success and fulfillment. She’s the founder of the Thrive Together Tribe membership and personal and spiritual development Program and The Enlightened Leadership Program.
Gina has learned to walk twice as an adult. For over 20 years, she ran her award-winning school, for the most part from a wheelchair. The gift of this experience was the development of a unique approach to life and learning the tools on, Thriving, not just, surviving.
In 2004 Gina left Headship school as the Principal and has since worked with countless individuals, couples, teams and organizations helping them to step into their potential, to learn the lessons from the past and to recognize that it is their choice to step into their power and live a fearless life. Gina is passionate about supporting people to live a truly happy, successful and fulfilling life, thriving, not just, surviving.
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What is the Difference between, Thriving, and, Surviving?
There’s a huge difference between, surviving, and thriving. Surviving, means to “continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.” Thriving, means to “prosper, be fortunate or successful, to grow or develop vigorously; to flourish.”
I really found myself moving on my career path very quickly. I was promoted to deputy principal of a large junior high school when I was 28. I was appointed to be the catalyst for change. I was the youngest on the staff and for the first six months. I was working directly with the principal because I was the deputy principal to strategically plan what we were going to do and start making the changes.
In the UK schools have a week off in February for the spring half term. I was really thrilled to be going skiing with the kids. I was a keen skier and went off to Italy for the ski trip. In those days it was very fashionable to have the longest skis possible and I got a new pair of skis for Christmas. I proceeded to wrap the extra 10 centimetres’ of the skis. We left for the ski lift after lunch the next day after arrival. It was an absolutely beautiful day, one of those days in the mountains where the sun was shining and everything was clean and crisp. I followed my friends to this new trail, when our lift turned a corner, I noticed the mountain was not as we expected. Instead of being on a lovely red run that went for three or four kilometres, we were on the Schindler slope, which was the most difficult black run called a mogul. A mogul is where the snow has been carved by the weather and they are often little cobblestones; but these were six-foot monsters and the only way to ski was to turn on the top of a mogul and slide down and then find a way through the moguls till the next one, and turn on either side a narrow piece. There was some powder snow, so I skied the first bird and then lost my nerve in terms of turning and ended up falling a long way in the powder snow. It took me about 20 minutes to retrieve my ski and then make my way down to where my friends were sitting. Each of them sitting on a mogul rather like an elf sitting on a toadstool!
I decided to sit on a mogul as well and the top of my mogul gave way and I starting to fall. The next thing I knew, I was coming to. I had lost consciousness. I’m told I fell about 150 to 200 feet down the mountain.
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We were traveling home the next morning, so I thought I’d rather go and see the medics in the UK instead of Italy. I had a terrible journey home. My mum took one look at me and she carted me off to the emergency at the hospital. They diagnosed with a bad concussion and that I had damaged a nerve in my neck. It took me three weeks to get back to school and two weeks later I was due to be the deputy leader on a skiing trip to Switzerland. I was given permission to go because we were taking a doctor with us. I was finding it more and more difficult to manage but I did manage until the very last evening when I said to a staff member, I’m going to have to go and lie down. I wasn’t laying on my bed for more than a few minutes when I discovered that I was paralyzed. So I’m lying on my bed, I can’t feel my one side, I didn’t want to frighten the children, their rooms were children down the corridor, and so I waited until one of the other adults arrived. I have to say it was the longest time in my life. I have no idea how long it was, I just know it felt like forever. When they did arrive all hell broke loose, an ambulance was called. I was carted off to Geneva Hospital and I was there for several days before being flown home and gradually my mobility returned; but I was never quite the same. By the end of May, I went back to school. I was doing school and sleep. I thought I’ve had six weeks to recuperate during the summer break but; two weeks later I had a phone call very early in the morning from my principal’s wife, she had just found him dead in bed, he had a massive heart attack and so far from being restful holiday I was suddenly acting principal.
I had to contact the staff, the parents and the local authority and prepare for September and so by the time September came, I had plans in place and by the following January I was appointed the permanent head master. I was determined that not only the children; but also the staff in my school would get the best learning environment that I could produce. That they would, thrive not just survive. I’ve been very unhappy at school, and I wanted something very different for my pupils, and also for the staff.
I was walking, but by 1987 my mobility was deteriorating, and I had to start using the wheelchair in school. I wasn’t at that point wheelchair-bound, I could walk into the classroom, I could walk into my office; but I couldn’t walk any distance. Any walking produced fatigue and pain and for the next few years I managed like that until in 1996, I sneezed and I felt something ping in my back. It was towards the end of the summer term, there’s something about the summer holidays for me, I’m not quite sure what I did.
I had a special chair in assembly and that where I could sit at standing height, and one day I went to get off the chair, and my legs wouldn’t hold me. I fell to the floor. So off to the hospital. It turned out that I had a huge ruptured disc. I was just, surviving. I had failed back surgery syndrome, so when I came around from the operation, if I put my left foot to the floor, then I just used to faint because of the pain. Surviving, was becoming tedious.
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The best explanation the doctors came up with is that during the fall I had bruised the spinal cord and with skiing the second time, that the spinal cord had been swollen and cut off the blood supply or whatever, and so a period of time I was paralyzed on one side; but I was back at school after the back operation very quickly. I already had my wheelchair, so the school was all set up for me to be operating from a wheelchair. I was still just, surviving. It took me 18 months to walk at the end of my quite small garden.
I ruptured another disk that summer. I could not stand at all now, if I stayed at home, I couldn’t do anything other than read or watch television. If my care giver didn’t fill the kettle, I couldn’t make myself a drink. So I decided to go back to school. I was back at school because my brain worked, my mouth worked, my hands worked. I had people who could lift things if I needed it and I could do what I loved and I was good at. Surviving was my intent. I was going to focus on what I could do to start, thriving, not just surviving.
In 2004 I was given an ultimatum by the neurologist you’ve got to stop working the 15 hours a day that you’re doing because my health was deteriorating. I made the very difficult decision that I was going to leave the school. I had to use an electric wheelchair. I had all of these Skills, these expertise, experience and I thought well. What am I going to do now?
I decided to focus on the development of leadership. Getting more women to the table. I looked at retail manufacturing, finance, Insurance, local government and a whole range of industries. The issues that they faced in terms of developing leadership, was no different in education, so I wrote my first couple of books and they became my credibility. I worked mainly in corporate field as an, executive coach. I was now, thriving. The recession in early 2008 hurt my business, because the corporations just slashed training and development. I was back to, surviving.
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I started to do some lecturing for the university and they would commission me out to go and work with smaller businesses, SME is anything up to about 8 million pound turnover. I would go and work with these companies, we’d sort out the problem, I’d go away and then a few months later I’d be invited back to sort out another problem, so I suggested in those businesses to hire me full time as an, executive coach.
Back to, thriving, using the principles that I used to build up my own organization and become one of the best 100 schools in England. I used the gift that my disability gave me and the gift that I had developed within my own organization to developing people’s empowerment, personal empowerment and leadership where they would take radical responsibility for their own performance and shared responsibility for the team, for the whole organization and it was incredibly successful.
So I setup genuinely you. I wrote the book, thriving not surviving, and that sent me on my mission. My mission now is to positively impact one million people and to do that through personal empowerment and enlightened leadership.
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How can people go from, Thriving, to, Surviving, when facing challenges?
It’s a bit serendipitous. You have a problem, you find a way to get over it, then something
else happens and you find another way to keep, surviving. When I came to write, thriving not surviving, and it was the second book that I’d written around looking at the strategies that I’d used to overcome my personal challenges and going from, surviving, to thriving. The first book
was called, Chariots on Fire, that was my story and the personal strategies that I used to overcome the difficulty of, surviving, but between 2009 and 2017, a lot of things changed.
I’ve done a lot of development work on myself and I’d worked with thousands of people and so I had moved my thinking.
Here are the Two areas to focus to start, Thriving, and stop, Surviving.
Beliefs – our beliefs about ourselves become our reality. If you believe you’ll fail, the chances are you won’t even start. If you believe you’ll might fail, you’re going to make a set of decisions. If you believe I’m going to succeed, don’t quite know how but; I’m going to succeed, your beliefs about whether you’re enough or whether you are, too fat, too tall, too short, not rich enough, not educated enough, too old, too young, those beliefs absolutely determine what sort of quality of life you’re going to have.
The second pathways is relationships. You want to be, thriving, in your relationships. Every relationship we have with other people is a mirror image of the relationship we have with ourselves. So if you don’t feel that you’re enough, if you listen to other people’s opinions rather than trusting your own, if you believe that you deserve to be treated badly because you don’t actually love and appreciate yourself, you’re going to put up with people treating you in a very different way, than if you actually have confidence and a good self-esteem. So the relationships we have with ourselves are incredibly important.
The Lifetime series, Surviving R. Kelly, and the follow up Dateline episode, show a rich and famous R. Kelly feeding his sex machine with women of all ages. His preference seemed to be teenage girls as young as 12 years old; but women in their 30’s had the same experience. One said that she did unspeakable things in a Black room, was starved, had to ask before she went to the bathroom, was physically abused, and had to call Art. Kelly, Daddy.
So in this interview, Nicole and I explore the mindset of predator and how women of all ages can use their intuition to escape the lair of a predator.
These women who were a part of the, surviving R Kelly, documentary, had to learn to be strong minded. Similarly Gina had to learn to push past her flesh and fight to do the things she had always done, like lead a school. One of the victims in the, Surviving R. Kelly, interview, said just that. She said that, sexual predators, look for the, weak minded woman,. They usually go for the young, like teenagers because they are, weak minded women, but if they find you are weak minded as an adult, then you become a victim as well. She was one of the women in her 30’s who was a victim. So if you are a, weak minded woman, then you are not using your intuition, instead, you are looking for this person to fill the void in your life, and in, the mindset of a sexual predator, they are more than happy to accommodate.
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Your Life Theme and, personalities, shape what motivates and drives you throughout your life. Find out which of the four archetypes compose your identity.
John Voris, author of the book “Discover the Power that Drives your, Personality, How four Virtues Define your World, started his career as a door to door salesman. He failed miserably as a salesperson, even after taking sales training. He wondered why some people with the same training is better than others and discovered that, personalities, play an important role in skill. That started his thinking that some, personalities, can do certain skills better than others. He also realized that, personality, controls our communication.
He learned that the human mind needs to express its authentic identity and, personality. One way it does that is by selecting the objects and environment that expresses who we are. That means that the objects around you right now reflect your past decisions. Decisions like, I know I like this or I don’t like that.
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How does objects that we surround ourselves with express our identity and, Personalities.
John: So when I figured out how to sell to, personalities, I became an excellent salesperson closing 12 out of 14 transactions. I would be able to walk into a room and tell the motivation of my clients by the objects they surrounded themselves with. For example If you came into my office today I have over 4000 books. You can deduct that I am curious. Then you look at the titles of the books and you would understand my desire for wisdom. That doesn’t mean I’ll buy; but if the salesperson tailor their language to my desire for wisdom and build rapport, they have a great chance of closing the sale. That is how you read people.
Another example, if I were to go into a beauty salon, I can figure out the, personalities; everyone is having fun. I want to appease the, personalities, so when I walk into the salon I talk about other people of interest. The people who just purchased my widgets like Janice two doors down. I would talk about what is factual about Janice. The, personalities, in the salon would buy my widget because Janice bought it.
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Our, personality, as our way of expression. Your identity does not follow. I think therefore I am; It’s the only way to find self-actualization or self-realization. The objects, events and people around their, personality, identify the, personality type.
Myrna: I’m thinking of an object and that identifies, personalities, and identities. I’m thinking of maybe an expensive car, a big house, nice expensive clothes. These objects around me definitely define my, personality.
True, but I look at what do you like to do for fun? What is your hobby? In my 35 question, personality test, I ask the questions like “What event caused you the most pleasure? What event caused you the most pain?” I ask you to describe both, you will find they are linked to the same answer because they are linked to your, personality, and who you are.
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Discover Your Life Theme: The, Personality, Engine That Drives You
Your Life Theme offers the, personality, framework that gives shape to what motivates and drives you throughout your life.
You are not a, personality, you are an identity. That identity is driven by one of four archetypes or “Life Themes.”
These “ Life Themes” are Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power.
These represent four and the only four major motivating forces that can explain human behavior.
These four archetypes have many roles and functions that compose our identity. It is their adequacy of expression that is responsible for us living a life of happiness and success.
While each of us contains all four, there is one that takes precedent over the others.
They are responsible for our feelings and emotional reactions often causing anxiety, fear, anger, self-doubt, alienation, the lack of life meaning and purpose.
Once you know your, personality, that’s driving your Archetype, you will be able to understand its presence and better manage your life and your relationships.
The Myers-Briggs, Personality, Type Indicator
An Overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Intuitive-Thinking. INTJ. INTP. ENTJ. ENTP.
Intuitive-Feeling. INFJ. INFP. ENFJ. ENFP.
Sensing-Judging. ISTJ. ISFJ. ESTJ. ESFJ.
Sensing-Perceiving. ISTP. ISFP. ESTP. ESFP.
According to, Myers-Briggs, theory of, personality types, people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude:
Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I), their preference of one of the two functions of perception:
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), and their preference of one of the two functions of judging:
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
The three areas of preferences introduced by Jung are dichotomies (i.e. bipolar dimensions where each pole represents a different preference). Jung also proposed that in a person one of the four functions above is dominant – either a function of perception or a function of judging. Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed to see the judging-perceiving relationship as a fourth dichotomy influencing personality type [Briggs Myers, 1980]:
Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
The first criterion, Extraversion – Introversion, signifies the source and direction of a person’s energy expression. An extravert’s source and direction of energy expression is mainly in the external world, while an introvert has a source of energy mainly in their own internal world.
The second criterion, Sensing – Intuition, represents the method by which someone perceives information. Sensing means that a person mainly believes information he or she receives directly from the external world. Intuition means that a person believes mainly information he or she receives from the internal or imaginative world.
The third criterion, Thinking – Feeling, represents how a person processes information. Thinking means that a person makes a decision mainly through logic. Feeling means that, as a rule, he or she makes a decision based on emotion, i.e. based on what they feel they should do.
The fourth criterion, Judging – Perceiving, reflects how a person implements the information he or she has processed. Judging means that a person organizes all of his life events and, as a rule, sticks to his plans. Perceiving means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.
All possible permutations of preferences in the 4 dichotomies above yield 16 different combinations, or personality types, representing which of the two poles in each of the four dichotomies dominates in a person, thus defining 16 different personality types. Each personality type can be assigned a 4 letter acronym of the corresponding combination of preferences:
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The Love Theme- is motivated to better humanity by trying to correct that which causes pain, discomfort, suffering, and victimization. It is driven by love, compassion, and empathy.
The Justice Theme – seeks balance and harmony. Justice is expressed in several ways. It seeks to correct injustice and immorality in people, relationships and organizations. It also gets expressed by seeking balance and perfection using design through engineering, art, music, and literature.
The Wisdom Theme – is driven by a need to know in order to exercise sound judgment in problem solving and goal attainment. Wisdom finds its expression and purpose through teaching, learning, and working with data.
The Power Theme – needs to act upon thoughts and get into action. Empowerment finds its expression and purpose through Power as a natural leader and agent of change.
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Never go with your, gut feelings, because what is true is that your gut, intuition, is often going to be lying to you. Just like people who are depressed and anxious feel that there’s something to be said about, gut feelings, when there’s not, and feel there’s a threat when there is not. Instead use counter intuitive strategies to make decisions.
What was your path in becoming a Cognitive Neuroscientist?
I was 18 in 1999 when the Prince song party like it’s 1999 was Hot. A lot of leaders were partying because their companies were going boom they were making a lot of a lot of money. Billions of dollars were invested into the dot.com industry, and just a couple of years later when I was 21 in 2002, they all went bust. The leaders of the dot.com era made terrible decisions. They trusted their, Gut feelings, and went bust! That and the fact I saw my father trust his, gut feelings, and made terrible decisions, made me study to become a Cognitive Neuroscientist.
Leaders who went with their, gut feelings, made bad decisions
A lot of Leaders who went with, gut feelings, went to jail. Their, gut instincts, were way off. Never trust just your, gut feelings. I was curious about what was going on, so I decided to study the neuroscience of the brain and how people think. I became a Trainer, Consultant, and Coach for business leaders.
Cognitive neuroscience, is a subfield of neuroscience that studies the biological processes that underlie human cognition, especially in regards to the relation between brain structures, activity and cognitive functions. The purpose of it is to determine how the brain functions and achieves performance.is the study of how our brain works, how we make decisions and what our patterns of decision-making are. I also studied the specific judgment errors that we make when we make decisions purely from, gut feelings.
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One of the first things I wanted to know because as a, Lifecoach myself, when I sit down in a coaching session, I’m looking for certain things in order for me to understand where my clients are coming from. As a cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist, what are you looking for when you were consulting with these business leaders?
Coaching to, Gut Instinct
The first thing I’m looking for is to make sure the person is coachable. A lot of people would like to go to a coach, but they’re not coachable. Meaning that they’re not willing to listen to external feedback and accept that sometimes, someone looking from the outside is going to be wiser than the person looking from the inside and making those, gut feeling, decisions.
I also try to find an issue of disagreement and in the first session, to see how the person reacts to this disagreement. Because if this person’s is not able to deal with this disagreement, then we’re not going to be able to have an effective coaching relationship. Because as a coach I’m going to tell you what I think, and if you can’t accept feedback, we can’t work together and I’d like to discover that as quickly as possible.
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The other thing that I look for at the start of the session is how emotionally aware this person is. That’s the quality of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence refers to two broad skill sets:
emotional awareness – where is this person emotions
and emotional management – how are they able to manage their emotions.
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It is really an important element for me to understand. Do I need to teach this person these skills of emotional intelligence, personal skills, emotional awareness and emotional management? Because in order to make good decisions, instead of going with, gut feelings, we need to realize that our emotions are the overwhelming factor driving our, gut intuition and, gut instinct. Our emotions shape about 80 to 90 percent of our, gut feelings, and decision-making. Going with your, gut feelings, means going with your, gut instinct intuition, and they’re often wrong, so this is a problem.
When my clients notice that there are goals they want to achieve from coaching are at odds with their natural inclinations and natural intuition, they change their natural state. One of the very important aspects of coaching, is to change your natural state of activities otherwise there is no point in coaching.
One key aspect of coaching, is to change from where you are today to where you want to be
I’m looking for that as well how aware is the person of their emotions and how able are they to manage their emotions and, gut feelings.
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Leaders shouldn’t just use, gut feelings, to make decisions
As a Cognitive Neuroscientist and Behavioral Economist, you had enough data to write a book on disaster avoidance and that’s also name of your company. Does your research indicate that most people who follow their, gut feelings, or, gut instinct, make the wrong decisions?
Yes, overwhelmingly people who just go with their, gut feelings, and make decisions by, gut reaction, as opposed to people who check with their heads before going with their, gut feelings, make the wrong decisions.
Let’s look at small businesses. A lot of small business owners who don’t have training go with their, gut feeling, and open up a business. They feel that they can do this job, I can do this work. I can run this restaurant or this hair salon or I can be a plumber. But when you look at the actual statistics, what happens to small businesses is about half of them fail within the first five years, about two-thirds of them fail within the first ten years; because people make decisions based on, gut feelings. They just go with their, gut instincts, they don’t check with their head before going with their, gut feeling. Never just go with your, gut feelings.
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The Confirmation Bias – where she might be looking for information from, gut feelings, that confirms her beliefs and ignoring information that do not confirm her beliefs.
Objective Adviser – Understanding the failure rate for hair salons. The failure rate for hair salons are a little bit higher than the failure rate for typical small businesses, so the first question to answer is why she would not fail. What makes her so special ? Never go with just, gut feelings.
Get uncomfortable – Look for information that is uncomfortable and that to prove to herself whether this is the right decision or not.
Check for the optimism bias. Business leaders who open up new restaurants, new salon or new small businesses tech startups tend to be very optimistic. They are too optimistic compared to the reality of the situation.
Exit strategy if Business fails – what are all the reasons why it would fail. Was it the wrong location? Management etc?
Additional Resources Never go with Your, Gut Feelings