Happy Easter to everyone!
This blog will be moving to fortnightly as from today. In the alternate week I will be writing a blog focused on ‘Cultivating a High Performance Brain’. If you would like to receive that blog, and I’d love to take you on the journey with me, please sign up here. <CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR MICHELLE’S BRAIN FIT BLOG>
As a sneak preview, the journey to a High Performance Brain involves five major areas of focus:
1. Creating a brain enhancing ENVIRONMENT
2. NOURISHING your brain
3. Developing brain CAPACITY
4. Exerting CONTROL over your brain
5. Working at PEACC brain performance (you’ll have to wait to see what PEACC stands for!!)
In the initial blogs I will also be looking at why we need to focus on cultivating a high performance brain, no matter what age we are, and breaking down some of the myths that surround the human brain and it’s functioning!
And finally, most blogs will provide you with some ideas for focus and exercises to do for the fortnight that will move you forward in cultivating YOUR high performance brain.
Please join me to reap the benefits of focusing on this important part of you!
<CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR MICHELLE’S BRAIN FIT BLOG>
Funny how we can have the same goals month after month, year after year…and yet never feel like we are getting any closer. Or at least we can feel totally frustrated that we can’t achieve something that seems so simple on the face of it.
As leaders (or really busy people), with so much going on in our lives, this overwhelm – and our apparent inability to deal with it well – has become endemic in 21st century western life and is, in itself, often the barrier to moving forward.
Let’s look at what is going on in our brains. The Executive Function in our brain (the prefrontal cortex – PFC) is the part of our brain that makes us human, that separates us from animals. It is our thinking brain. It would make sense that this is the part of our brain that is used to solve our problems – but in fact, this part of the brain whilst very capable, has many limitations. One limitation is that it can only really work with one complex idea at a time without some loss of processing capacity. As each new idea or aspect of the problem is considered, the brain’s ability to resolve it lessens. The PFC is a linear processor, it has to consider one thing at a time in order to make sense of it.
The part of our brain that holds the real processing power is our Basal Ganglia – or the automated brain. This is where our hardwired neural connections live – our habits – the behaviours and attitudes that our brain has automated due to the attention and repetition we have given them over time. This part of the brain is a non-linear processor and it can connect many ideas at a time in order to solve more complex issues for us.
BUT, the processing that occurs in the Basal Ganglia is non-conscious. In other words we can’t MAKE it work like we can consciously do with the PFC. So how do we make the best use of our brain in order to get what we want, resolve our mental issues, and move forward?
Firstly, there are usually one or all of the following three things that may be preventing your brain from moving forward:
- You don’t really know what you want (you don’t have clarity around your goals). This sounds so simple, yet can be so difficult to figure out on your own.
- You don’t know how to get it (you don’t have a well-thought out methodology or strategy). Again, this seems simple, but there are just so many options…
- There is something standing in the way (you haven’t figured out the ‘real blockage’). And more often than not, it’s you!
Engaging a coach can really assist. Whether you just need one or two sessions to get the clarity you need to focus, or whether you have developed a number of habitual thinking patterns that are not serving you well (that need to be identified, unravelled and reset), professional coaches are trained to assist you with your thinking, to help you to figure out what is going on and why, and can support you and hold you accountable to making the changes you really want.
What is the value to you of being able to get focused and get moving?
If you think a coaching session or two could assist, we’d love to hear from you to have a chat about what’s possible. Or even better, you may be interested in learning how to do this for yourself, and as a leader or parent – to assist others around you with the clarity of their thinking. Feel free to visit our website to explore some options.
In the meantime, reflect on these three ideas, and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences via our Facebook page. Click here to link to it.
Have a wonderful week!
Last week I attended a ‘Chicks in Business’ lunch event and the guest speaker was Mark Bouris (Wizard Home Loans, The Apprentice – Australia). He told a fascinating story about his first big deal with Kerry Packer and referred to Kerry’s unique and powerful ‘Practical Intelligence’.
After a 3-6 month long due diligence period which subjected Mark and his company to intense, professional scrutiny, he finally met the man himself. Kerry had only three questions for Mark in terms of his own due diligence before sealing the multi-million dollar deal….
Question 1: Son, do you know what business you are in?
In Kerry’s view, Mark’s Wizard Home Loans business was not in the home loans business, but the business of hopes and dreams. He believed that business purpose connects to some form of basic human need, and there is much power in having the empathy and understanding required to connect with what your business really provides – your business purpose. I would suggest that my business purpose may be to help people achieve that human desire to better ourselves and to do our best for ourselves and for others? What business are you in?
Question 2: Son, do you have enough fight in you to see it through in good times and bad?
Do you have the fortitude, strength of character and sheer courage to stick it out when things get difficult. Starting with a passion for your business or career is not enough on it’s own. Navigating a GFC, surviving low cash flow, dealing with the energy-takers and confidence-knockers are all examples of the challenges involved in our careers and businesses. What do you need to do to develop the courage necessary to see you through your challenges?
Question 3: Do you know who you are accountable to?
In Mark’s case, Kerry set him a task (an ‘on the side’ deal) that essentially risked the 25 million dollars he had just made on the deal, and the fear of not achieving the task, and having to repay the 25M (who wouldn’t be fearful!) drove him to be even more successful. Kerry had held him totally accountable to the success of their partnership. Sometimes, if the stakes aren’t high enough, the dedication to the cause is insufficient to achieve real success. Are you holding yourself accountable to something that truly motivates you to achieve and go beyond your normal limits?
Perhaps these are three great questions to reflect on this week, or with your team, or with your business partner or coach!