The power of thought.

August 20th, 2010

Just for fun, because life – and, yes, that includes your professional life – is supposed to be fun, take a look at how my two favorite, feathered friends illustrate a very big idea.
We may not be cartoon characters, but we can create our day’s experience. I hope your next meeting, presentation or vacation day unfolds exactly as you want it to. Envision it. And have some powerful fun.

Note: Heckle and Jeckle were created by the wildly talented human Paul Terry.

Imaginatively speaking.

August 17th, 2010

A client consultation this a.m. re: their vision for a new business was followed by reading this NYT article. Thinking is planning. What are you thinking about?

Friday the 13th.

August 13th, 2010

Some people get freaked out by Friday the 13th. Not my sister, whose June 13th birthday has fallen more than once on a Friday. She considers it a lucky day. But, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C. as many as 21 million people are fearful of this day and an estimated $800 million is lost in business every Friday the 13th because people won’t fly or do business they would normally do.

So some people are superstitious. They believe that if something bad is going to happen, it’s more likely to happen on a bad-luck day like Friday the 13th. And chances are, for them, it will.

A belief is anything you accept as truth. From my experiences, and those of my clients, and what I’ve learned about confirmation bias, our beliefs shape our experience. For example, if you believe a situation will frustrate you, then most likely it will. Or, if you believe a co-worker will make you unhappy, then probably s/he will.  And your frustration or unhappiness — or bad luck  — will  in turn reinforce your belief.

So beliefs can be limiting.

Find some time to examine your beliefs about yourself, your business, your job, your staff, your co-workers and your clients. Write them down. Make lists. Study them. Are any of those beliefs limiting? Keep in mind that just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s true.

No one can change your beliefs for you. And beliefs can’t be forced upon you. But I have learned that we can change our ideas about ourselves that allow us to grow, develop and have happy, fulfilling professional lives.

Energy: The mystery with lots of clues.

August 6th, 2010

You hear the word energy used often enough. There’s green energy, renewable energy and energy conservation. You can buy energy drinks, get an energy home analysis or find energy-saving tips. Our government has a Department of Energy. We talk about having a high-energy day, a low-energy afternoon or just plain nervous energy. And then there’s the whole list of scientific energies. You know, like thermal energy, mechanical energy, chemical energy and nuclear energy, to name a few.

Scientists will tell you that, bottom line, nothing happens without energy.

So what is energy, anyway? Well, if you can’t define it easily, guess what? Nobody can. In fact, Richard P. Feynman, famed theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, once noted, “It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is.”

I find it exciting that thousands of scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and NASA’s Fermi program go to work everyday to figure out the laws of the universe, explain existence and, ultimately, discover what makes us tick. So I am fascinated by the ideas, theories and phenomena of energy that extend into the area of human thought.

Whether or not you liked science in school, you probably remember that the brain works on electrical impulses. So it’s no mystery that energy powers our brains. So  when we think, we’re converting energy. Our energy changes things, or, as I like to think of it, makes things happen.

When we’re thinking, we’re planning. We can focus our energy and create something. Focus is really just energy moving. Let’s think about that.

Thoughts on professional success.

July 30th, 2010

Welcome to Brain Food. My place to share ideas, articles and links that I hope will inspire and get you excited about the many possibilities that exist for you in advancing your professional life. And, ideally, you’ll get a chance to know more about me and how I think.

My expertise is helping people gain leverage in the achievement their goals. And a number of influencers and motivators have shaped my approach and best practices. One of them is Napoleon Hill (1883-1970), best-selling author, publisher, lecturer, educator and presidential advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

His most famous book is Think and Grow Rich (1937). More than 25 years in the making, it was written after Hill accepted a challenge from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie to research and write the first-ever “philosophy of success.”

Carnegie told Hill he would introduce him to the world’s most successful and influential people, but Hill would have to finance the cost of the project himself. They agreed, and Hill interviewed hundreds of successful men and women, among them Henry Ford, William Wrigley Jr., George Eastman, Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, F.W. Woolworth, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. (You can listen to Napoleon Hill recall his first meeting with Andrew Carnegie here.)

The book is a personal favorite, not only for the knowledge and information it contains, but because it’s the earliest mention I know of that links the ideas of energy, vibration and thought in the context of professional success.

I am reminded everyday of Napoleon Hill’s principles. I subscribe to a “Thought for the Day” email published by the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I encourage you to subscribe to this free service, too. It’s an uplifting way to start the day. And I think it will leave you positively hungry for more.