Barry Winbolt's Blog
For as long as I can remember I have punctuated my day with regular ‘thinking breaks’. I don’t know when I started this habit or how I learned it. I only know that as far back in my working career as I can remember I have stopped mid-morning and mid-afternoon(ish) to switch off by reading [...]
One of the great gifts bequeathed to us by our evolutionary development is the ability to predict – to make assumptions based upon past experience – which allows us to prepare for what will happen in a variety of situations. We make assumptions to save time and to reduce uncertainty, in this they are useful. But we need to distinguish where there is uncertainty that implies real risk, and the sort that just makes us feel uncomfortable.
Lower levels of tolerance for uncertainty can make us risk averse, overly worried, and tend to draw conclusions prematurely.
This is perhaps one of the defining mantras of our age. ‘How to achieve more with less’ is usually applied to the workplace and business, what with spiralling costs and a crashing economy and all that. We hear it so often that we might overlook how the idea can be used to improve our personal lives as well.
Now it seems that there are situations where we benefit from the perception of doing less, while we are actually doing more.
A certain amount of stress is necessary and beneficial. But even those who thrive on competition, stimulus and demand, must learn to balance this with periods where they can withdraw, reflect and make sense of the world if they are to remain effective. Most people know this intuitively, which is why a common treatment for stress is ‘time off’.
Is pressure in the workplace making it harder to manage people? I am meeting seriously distressed and demoralised managers these days, who often can’t see the wood for the trees. The result is that they are not as effective as they could be, their confidence is down and this has a negative effect on them, and the organisations they work for. Understanding what contributes might help.
“Don’t fake it ’til you make it, fake it ’til you become it”, Amy Cuddy’s words, not mine. Body language affects how others see us, and it can also change how we feel. When we don’t feel sure of ourselves standing confidently can affect our hormone levels, which in turn even could affect our chances for success.
We are able to look back on our lives and see how we have changed as we’ve aged, but we recoil from the idea that we will go on changing as we get older.
Could it be that though we can see that we have gained wisdom and insight with life’s experience, we nevertheless consider that the process is over and that at any given moment we are as wise as we’ll ever be?
It’s easier than ever before to earn a living, its harder than ever before to stay free of anxiety about it.
Alain de Botton explains, in this TED video.
For almost 100 years psychologists have been saying that we should protect ourselves from unremitting negativity, catastrophising and the constant worry of bad news.
That which we focus on becomes our reality, so too much content filled with negativity and disaster does our heads in, as they say. Here’s the antidote.
A friend in Canada recently told me about Stephen Pressfield’s book, Do the Work. I recommend it.
If you have a project you haven’t been able to get off the ground this little book will give you some perspectives on why that might be, and what to do about it.