May 17th, 2013
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
A whole lot of human energy emanated from Madison, Wis. two days ago when global thought leaders, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, participated in Change your Mind Change the World 2013, a day of panel discussions on how neuroscience, economics, environments, emotional intelligence and health care can combine to make the world a healthier, happier place. The event was co-hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute.
If you weren’t in Madison, or missed the simulcast, recordings of the morning and afternoon sessions will be posted on the event’s web site next week, perhaps even as early as Monday.
In addition to the Dalai Lama, Davidson and Patz, the other participants include:
- Don Berwick, national leader on health care quality, former CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, recent administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services;
- Daniel Goleman, psychologist, science journalist, author of The New York Times bestseller “Emotional Intelligence,” named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by Time magazine;
- Arianna Huffington, author, syndicated columnist, founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post;
- Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; interdisciplinary advisor on promoting health globally;
- Lord Richard Layard, professor, economist, director of the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, co-author of the United Nations’ “World Happiness Report”;
- Mattieu Ricard, bestselling author, translator, photographer and Buddhist monk, author of “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill,” dubbed “the happiest person in the world” by popular media. (He also has several awesome TEDTalk presentations. Check out this one.)
And until you can watch the Madison sessions online, check out Action for Happiness, a movement that invites you to be the change, first from within and then outward.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
May 10th, 2013
“We can actually be happier people…if we take responsibility for our own mind.” – Dr. Richard J. Davidson
I admit it. I’m a neuroscience junkie. The plasticity of the brain – its ability to be shaped by thought – is pure mind-bending excitement for me. So I eagerly await the mind/brain topics that highlight for me this weekend and next.
Tonight at The Rubin Museum of Art is a screening of Free the Mind (2012) a film in which leading neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson sets out to discover if and how the brain might be physically altered using only the power of thought. The test cases include a 5-year-old suffering from ADHD and veterans coping with PTSD. Promo materials tell me he poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices? (Spoiler Alert: By studying Buddhist monks, Davidson has found it is possible to rewire your brain through meditation.)
Next Saturday night rockers The Amygdaloids – scientists by day who shed their scientific garb by night – take the stage for the Second Annual Heavy MeNtal Variety Show, presented by the Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation. The band will play original songs on the mind-body problem, memory, emotion and unconscious processes. Each suite will be preceded by a short, three-minute talk on the scientific or philosophical foundations of the topic by lead singer/neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux. (Here’s a video in which NYU’s LeDoux interviews colleague Ned Block on the nature of consciousness, from Scientific American online. At 11:30, the interview segues into The Amygdaloids’ music video of My Mind’s Eye.)
May you be equally powered by thought and transformed by fun!
The bounce-back quality pops up again. (4/29/11)
Do you already have the brain of a leader? (9/24/10)
Image courtesy of The Amygdaloids
March 1st, 2013
Just as quantum entanglement – what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance” – was verified experimentally and recognized as a fundamental of quantum mechanics, so has the relationship of engagement and trust been linked inextricably to the success of an organization. And powerful evidence of the trust-engagement relationship has never been more clear and irrefutable.
If you were unable to attend the free webinar last week by Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link, titled Toxic Teams Kill Engagement, you can enjoy a replay of the audio presentation here. Whether you work in business, government or the non-profit world, I think the introduction alone is worth your time. Listen in how engaged organizations outperform in every area and how trust is the key driver to moving the needle on engagement scores.
At the very least, check out Covey’s list of The 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader. I’m confident it’s a document you’ll want to print out, memorize and act on.
Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
February 15th, 2013
I have a suggestion for you. Sign up for a free webinar offered Tuesday, Feb. 21st with business partners and Smart Trust co-authors Stephen M. R. Covey and Greg Link. Here’s why.
On the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Edelman launched its thirteenth Trust Barometer, a global study that explored levels of trust across 26 markets and diverse industry sectors. Among its findings: Only 15% of people in the U.S. believe business leaders will tell the truth with confronted with a difficult issue.
Trust is the ultimate leadership skill and the igniter of that fireball of energy, focus and commitment that’s critical to the success of any organization: employee engagement.
According to Covey and Link, low trust causes toxic teams, and toxic teams kill employee engagement. Their own data, published in Smart Trust, show that a 10% increase in trust has the same impact on employees as a 36% increase pay.
Join the conversation on the 21st. And feel free to submit your own questions for discussion. A little trust can change everything.
Happier people work harder. (Sept. 9, 2011)
Trust: the ultimate skill. (Sept. 14, 2012)
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
January 28th, 2013
My first post about discovering the unlimited possibilities of the mind back in August, 2010 featured the mischievous magpies Heckle and Jeckle in The Power of Thought. Last week, thanks to AsapScience co-creators Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, I found another two-minute piece of clever animation that addresses the brain’s integration of imagination and action head on. You won’t want to miss The Scientific Power of Thought.
Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net