The 5 Breaks You Need to Succeed

break·through ˈbrākˌTHro͞o/ noun: a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development; an instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity Notice how the buzzword “breakthrough” is everywhere? Breakthrough thinking, breakthrough performance, breakthrough earning, breakthrough conversations, and my personal favorite: breakthrough diet pills that make or keep us thin while we lounge on the sofa eating as much of any ol’ thing we want. I googled "breakthrough" and "book titles." In seconds, nearly 14 million results popped up. Little wonder breakthrough is en vogue. It sounds so enticing, a secret unveiled, like winning the lottery or some starlet's big break. Some dramatic event that will take you from zero to hero or rags to riches; a sudden leap that will change you, and your life, forever. While you may sometimes wonder what it  would be like to win the lottery, I doubt you’re fooled with such magical thinking. Rarely will one breakthrough change the course of your life. There's no such thing as being an overnight success, just like there are no free lunches. Heavens, even lottery winners find that the breakthrough, the big break of winning … [Read more...]

Leaders, You’d Better Laugh

Want to learn something shocking? "The average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day. The average 40-year-old? Only four," writes Harvard professor Dr. Pamela Gerloff in "You're Not Laughing Enough, and That's No Joke." That's shocking! Zen Buddhists believe that if you start the day with a laugh, you’ll be fine the rest of the day. Maya Angelou, a wise woman if ever there was one, said "I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh." And a Yiddish proverb advises us, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” We all intuitively know that laughter is good for us, that it heartens us and strengthens us. We feel it when we laugh, the joy that pulsates through our bodies and tickles us to our very hair follicles. Global research confirms that our intuition (and "best medicine" proverb) about laughter is right on the nose. We need to take this seriously. Laughter & Health, Well-Being "Laughter is carbonated holiness." - Anne Lamott Stress Reduction +. Research has shown that laughter reduces levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine; increases health-enhancing hormones (such as endorphins), neurotransmitters, and infection-fighting … [Read more...]

Lead With Kindness: You’ll Get Better Results

What happens when we put kindness at the center of our leadership? There's plenty of hard evidence that kind leaders get better results. Emma Seppala, Ph.D, a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, details several studies in Being a Kind Boss Pays Off: A kind leader may actually be good for "followers" hearts. In fact, a study out of the Karolinska Institute conducted on over 3,000 employees found that a leader’s qualities were associated with incidence of heart disease in their employees. Employees feel greater trust with someone who is kind. Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and her research partners have also shown that leaders who project warmth—even before establishing their competence—are more effective than those who lead with their toughness and skill. Why? One reason is trust. Employees are inspired by kindness. Jonathan Haidt at New York University Stern School of Business shows in his research that when leaders are self-sacrificing, their employees experience being moved and inspired. As a consequence, the employees feel more loyal and … [Read more...]

5 Gentle Happiness Reminders

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, theorizes that 40% of happiness is really up to us – 60% is determined by genetics and our environment. So what do we do with our 40%? How do we live in state of more purposeful happiness? Here are five gentle reminders, happiness tips drawn from research and life... Get your Zzzzzs Earlier this week on a work call, I heard my colleague’s 3-year old daughter saying, “Don’t be talking on the phone, Mommy, you need to be coloring.” Funnily, within a couple of minutes I could no longer hear her fevered “let’s color” pleas. She’d fallen asleep. Her Mom explained that typically, her daughter gets pretty loud and wound-up just before crashing. I had to admit—sometimes so do I! The director of sleep medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Dr. Raymonde Jean, says that a good night's sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. That’s not just true for 3-year olds, it is definitely true for me too. Let’s allow ourselves more pillow time so that in our waking hours, the choice is be happy is an easy one. Use … [Read more...]

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