Life like an airport

Imagine the following scene:
You are making an intercontinental flight from Australia to Berlin via Singapore when, during the refueling in Singapore, all flights are cancelled. There’s a great storm outside and your flight is about to delay at least four hours until the wind calms down.
“Stay calm and make yourself comfortable,” invites you an airline agent kindly. Suddenly, the internet at the airport dies, mobile phones have no connection. There are no newspapers, books, TV, or radio. Only people. Nobody panics, people remain calm. All they have to do is wait until the storm is over.

Look around.
Which person in this multinational crowd full of strangers might be “your type”?
What do you like about him/her?
What would you talk to him/her about?
Pay attention to what interests you in this person? Why exactly him/her?
What would you recommend him/her?

Now, let’s change the point of view. If you were trapped in real life for hours at the airport far away who would like to to spend your time with? And who else?
Write down three names. Hide the mini list at some place totally private, and be aware, because this information is top classifieds and confidential!

Freedom to be yourself

In 2012, Google invested millions of dollars to discover the secret of productivity? What sets high-performing teams apart from the rest? Communication skills? Time management? The common interests of their members? The amount of time people spend together after work? Education? Background? Gender? Personal traits?

To honor of the great thinker who believed that the whole is more than the just a sum of its parts, they named the study “Project Aristotle”. 180 teams were observed. Hundreds of interviews with leaders and members were conducted. Researchers concluded that the most important prosperity factor is the “psychological safety”. Freedom people to be themselves. Freedom to risk and to fail. Opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow. Belief that their team is a safe zone with no labels, no criticism, no insults. In teams with high psychological safety levels, anyyone is allowed to admit mistakes, ask random questions, and offer crazy ideas with confidence they would not be humiliated or punished.

The psychological safety principle is deeply incorporated in the essence of generative coaching. To “generate” means to create something new, something that haven’t existed before. But if one wants to achieve an authentic generative state and to inspire some new ideas, one must be ready to accept all the aspects of life and human nature not just the pleasant ones. As if we invite problems “to a cup of tea”, аpproach them with a friendly attitude, observe them and seek the positive intention or secondary gain in each challenge.

The secret ingredient of generative coaching that makes it so effective is in utilizing the benefits of the biochemistry of thinking. Whenever we experience emotions, mentally or in real life, our bodies react, activating specific parts of our brains, releasing hormones, stimulating some organs, triggering systems that influence our behavior and choices. And if we are smart enough to take advantage of these opportunities, why not do it? We need a generative state, and psychological safety attitude including towards ourselves. Then be curious what challenge will come out and welcome if for a cup of tea.

Is it cool or hot to have Willpower?

The willpower has many faces such as determination, self-discipline, drive, or self-control. Тhe willpower can be defined as the ability to resist the short-term temptations in order to meet the long-term goals. And this can only happen when our cognitive mind overrides our unwanted emotions, thoughts, or the impulses of our unconscious mind.

In children as well as adults, the willpower can be described of as their ability to delay gratification. The American psychologist Walter Mischel, PhD proposed so called “hot-and-cool” system to explain why sometimes our willpower succeeds and why sometimes it fails.

The cool system is our cognitive conscious mind. It’s a rational thinking system, that incorporates our knowledge, logic, and reasoning.

The hot system stands for our impulsive and emotional unconscious mind. Our hot system is accountable for the quick, reflexive responses to certain triggers without considering the long-term consequences. When exposed to a “hot” tempting stimulus, the hot emotional system overrides our rational cool system, our willpower collapses, and we do what we usually do even if we don’t want to.

However, some people are more susceptible to tempting triggers and others are less susceptible. Naturally the susceptibility to emotional triggers reflects on people’s behavior and attitude in life. Imagine it as if you have a “cool angel” on one shoulder and a “hot devil” on the other. The first one is responsible for your self-discipline and the other is leading you to impulsive actions.

Now ask yourself, which system of yours controls the most choices in your life?

When brain activity was examined, it turned out that the brain patterns of individuals with low self-control differed from those with high self-control. In subjects with higher willpower the region that controls executive functions, such as making choices, was more active. And in those with lower willpower the region processing desires and rewards displayed boosted activity.

Also keep in mind that according to doctor Mischel people with more willpower better handle stress, maintain self-control in difficult situations, concentrate better, and score higher on their exams.

So, it turns out to be cool to have willpower, right?

Trinity of life forces

The trinity of life forces is at the core of our human nature, and plays a key role to the quality of our life.

Let’s refer to these life forces as archetypal energies. The secret of mindful life is in the awareness of these three archetypal energies that constantly appear in our lives and determine our behavior, and it’s not only about us. Correspondingly, these energies influence other people’s choices and actions. In order to control and manage these forces, we shall first identify them.

According to Stephen Gilligan, PhD – one of the authorities in coaching who personally trained me, there are three main archetypal energies that intertwine and complement each other: Tenderness, fierceness, and playfulness.

The first archetypal energy is the life force of tenderness, that gentle aspect of our human nature that most people carry within, regardless of age, gender, or any background. It’s in our attitude of affection, respect, and delicate approach to any other person or other living creature; When we mean no harm, judgment, or offense – but quite the opposite: We want to encourage, help, contribute, brighten, and in general to contribute something of meaningful value.

Tenderness is important to be presented in the right amount, because too much tenderness leads to weakness, humility, and obedience, whilst the lack of tenderness develops into harshness, aggression, and cruelty.

The second archetypal energy is fierceness. Everyone has it and it plays an important role in our lives. This energy helps us to identify and protect ourselves as individuals. We need fierceness to set our boundaries, stand our ground, fight, and achieve. Again, the amount is key, because too much fierceness turns into brutality and violence, whereas the lack of it makes us weak, obedient, soft, and ultimately unreliable.

Personally, I believe that we should spare and accumulate this kind of energy on a daily basis, so we can use our supply of this energy when we are faced with tough moments in our life, and we are required to become true warriors in order to survive.

The third main archetypal energy is the force of playfulness and fun. 

Why is it crucial? Because this is the energy of creativity, of pleasure and joy, of curiosity, and of innovation. In a joyful state, everything seems easy and attainable, and that’s the state when brilliant ideas are born. But we should be aware: Too much playfulness makes a person superficial, irresponsible, and untrustworthy. Lack of playfulness, on the contrary, can make us rigid, overly critical, angry, and gloomy.

Having fun is always welcome during the generative coaching process. But please, don’t misunderstand me, one should not underestimate the challenges along the journey. We just have to be able to embrace any and all occasions to smile and laugh at the situation, including (and especially) to ourselves.

How to disinfect our thoughts

Generative coaching for everyone by Manuela Draganova –
co-founder of Generative Mindset International Learning Center
and author of the novel Ana’s Way.

Usually, people have skills to handle stress on a short-term basis, especially if they have a tangible end-point in mind (term, desired outcome, or other criteria). But such continuous suspense, like the one from the coronavirus pandemic, might be exhausting to human physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s scientifically proven that stress has a negative effect on our immune system, and thus it reduces our body’s ability to fight viruses.

Forbes 2016, neuropsychologist Dr. Fabian van den Berg explains what negativity does to our immune system:
“If you experience stress, you release cortisol, the main stress hormone. Cortisol has a variety of effects, including on the immune system.
Negativity and the stress that accompanies it have also been seen affecting certain stem cells that cause changes in the brain. It increases the risk for mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, will shorten your life, and will just make you weaker in general.”

American developmental biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. and author of “The Biology of Belief” says:
“Stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. When an individual is in stress, the release of stress hormones as cortisol shuts down the immune system to conserve the body’s energy for running away from the perceived stressor.”

Is it true that negative emotions and the fear of the coronavirus are more lethal than the virus itself? If so, what can we do to survive Covid-19 in the best possible way? Is it enough to stay home and take the necessary precautions?

Well, we can also support our immune system by reducing stress levels through managing our thoughts, simply because body and mind are one system. We should learn to disinfect not only our hands, but also our minds. Though, how can we stay positive while the new coronavirus is taking over the Globe, resulting in thousands of casualties, spreading anxiety, uncertainty, and negativity among us?
I’d like to share with you my ideas on how to support your immune system by shifting your focus from the negative emotional states to the positive ones. It’s easy and simple, everybody can do it. I call it “Vitamins for the Mind”:
1. Gratitude
2. Self-care
3. Hygiene of Communication
4. Resilience and Responsibility
5. Dreaming and Long-term Planning
6. Good News

Try using your mind in favor of your body. It won’t harm you, it could only help. In generative coaching we share the belief that difficult situations have the greater potential for a big transformation. Why not take advantage?

1. GRATITUDE

Gratitude has great emotional value and is a powerful “vitamin” for our immune system, since it shifts our focus from complaints, discomforts, and bad news to the meaningful things in life. Let me offer an easy practice for building a positive mindset:

When you wake up in the morning, avoid rushing to switch on the TV, or to check your phone for news about the coronavirus. Instead, remain in your bed for a few more minutes and just ask yourself “What are the three things I feel grateful for today?”. They could be simple things (like the wonderful sunny weather outside) or could be existential subjects (like beloved kids or parents).
You can thank your immune system for helping you overcome and defeat hundreds of viruses in your life so far. Each of us has recovered many times, right? The idea is that the very first emotion you experience is gratitude – to God or to the Universe for everything that enlightens and gives meaning to your life. Start disinfecting your thoughts early in the morning to support your immune system during the day in the fight against viruses.

2. SELF-CARE

Why is it so important to take care of yourself?
Remember the oxygen masks instructions on an airplane: “In case of emergency please place the mask over your mouth and nose BEFORE assisting others.”
How can you help others if you are not okay yourself? You simply wouldn’t be able to, and in addition, the possibility of you becoming a burden would be high. That’s why it’s very important to mindfully take care of yourself. Please, look after your physical and mental health, and if you need any help – just ask for it, don’t hesitate.
Take advantage of the solitude of self-isolation to search inside yourself or to rearrange your thoughts and priorities. You could pay attention to what you call yourself when you’re having an internal dialogue? How do you address your inner “me”? What kind of words do you use? What’s the tone of your voice? Are you nice or critical? Or maybe you don’t have any personal address at all (many people don’t).

For example, I refer to myself with my childhood nickname “Memche”, and subsequently I treat my inner “me” with tenderness and affection like I would a child.
You could try a similar mind game, or perhaps you could address your inner self as if it’s somebody you deeply love and respect. You can pick a real name or an alias such as “Mighty Warrior”, “Dear Princess”, etc. Play with your mind. You might like it. Remember, we all live in two dimensions – the one inside of us, and the outer one – encompassing our relationships with the rest of the world, and we mustn’t neglect either of them.

3. HYGIENE OF COMMUNICATION

Hygiene of communication with the rest of the world is the third vitamin for the mind. It sounds a bit complicated but is actually very simple. Imagine you are facing the dilemma of communicating with somebody who complains all the time or with another person who is positively encouraging you? Whom would you prefer?
Obviously, the latter, and so would I. Thus, we should consciously try to maintain good relationships with our friends and family. Compromises are more than welcome in the pandemic times. Remember, this way you are protecting both yours and their immune systems from stress.

Additionally, smile more! According to researchers at the University of Kansas smiling (even a fake grin) helps lower the blood pressure and reduce the heart rate in stressful situations. Try some daily humor therapy. Search online for funny videos and watch them alone or with others. Smile and laugh as much as possible. Keep practicing having fun and being hopeful, it’s good for your health. Optimists are more resistant to stress.

4. RESILIENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor Frankl

Now is the perfect timing for you to consciously try building the skill of resilience in intense situations. If you succeed in this endeavor, you will greatly benefit from this skill in the future, long after your worries regarding Covid-19 have become a thing of the past.

The first step is to accept the fact that change is an inevitable part of life! Yes, it is. Wise people have said: “The one certain thing in life is change.”
We know we should stay open to the new possibilities coming ahead, but at the same time the uncertainty of change creates anxiety and fear. How must one react to this inevitable stress?
By taking control over everything that you can be in charge of. Complete all of the tasks that you’ve been procrastinating and can be fulfilled now. Take real actions on existing problems instead of waiting for them to magically disappear.
Invest in your personal development. Read more, take online classes, practice reframing (Instead of complaining about the rain outside, you can appreciate the opportunity to spend a few extra hours at home reading or listening to nice music. Simply accept that there is absolutely nothing you can do about the bad weather).
However, being in control of the things that depend on you is not enough.
Resilience is a combination of maintaining control and taking responsibility for your actions and behavior. Blaming others for your failures or misfortunes is not a constructive approach to life. You’ll become more and more miserable. Instead, keep your word; say “I’m sorry, how can I fix it?”. If you make a mistake, don’t try to justify yourself by placing the blame on somebody else. Remember, people who aim to control their destiny feel more confident in general and are more stable in stressful situations.

5. DREAMING AND LONG-TERM PLANNING

Dreaming and long-term planning are like multivitamins to our mind and powerful immunostimulators to our body.
Imagine that sometime soon Covid-19 will begin to wane, and the world will start operating as it had before thee pandemic, and people will get back to their business. We’ll pursue our dreams, and we’ll continue working on the projects we care about.

Imagine that we’ve forwarded the time, and now is an year from now.
Please ask yourself: “What do I want to have in my life that I don’t have now? What do I want to create?”
Set an intention. Formulate your statement positively – “what DO you want”, not negatively – ‘what do you NOT want”. Use five words or less. Imagine a defined or symbolic picture of the vision of your future. Think of a gesture or a movement that expresses your intention. Plan strategic steps for achieving your goals. Be generative. Imagine how you would feel when you succeed.
Setting future goals is important, because it increases human motivation to survive, and awakens the unconscious resourcefulness while decreasing stress levels. Stimulate your imagination to support your immune system!

6. GOOD NEWS

Please, share every possible good news! The world needs optimism to overcome the epidemic. Do good deeds, help others, donate, contribute, be kind, be generous. There is collateral beauty in this state of emergency.

What is the good news on Covid-19?

• According to Euro News it usually takes 10 to 15 years to develop a vaccine. Highly unusually, human trials with an experimental Covid-19 vaccine have already begun. Seattle resident Jennifer Haller became the first person to receive one on March 16, 2020.

• There are over thirty companies and academic institutions worldwide trying different approaches to find the silver bullet that will beat Covid-19.

• The World Health Organization says there are over 40 potential vaccines.

• Japanese flu drug, Favipiravir, has produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in its effectiveness against Covid-19.

• According to official statistics, China has defeated the coronavirus. After two months of total lockdown Wuhan has lifted restrictions as the city reemerges from the coronavirus crisis. Checkpoints are removed, public transportation is operating as usual, people are going back to work, and the economy is functioning again.

• A 104-year-old American veteran and a 104-year-old Italian woman have recovered from the coronavirus. If they can do it, so can others.

• The severe worldwide precautions shall have results! Sooner or later this crisis will be over, and then we will have a lot of work to do. If you look back in time to consider how much technology has developed during the last decades, you’ll get an idea of how much humankind must spiritually evolve to sustain the balance in nature.

Einstein’s Formula of Success

According to the great genius Albert Einstein, A = X + Y + Z is the formula of success in life. What do the components of this seemingly mathematical equation mean?

 

A – Success. According to Einstein, what represents success in life is the sum of three main components:

 

X – Hard work. Without hard work, true success can’t be achieved. It’s a well-known fact, that Einstein was aware of his remarkable mind and felt responsible for not wasting it, so he strictly followed his schedule. By virtue of his ability to maintain discipline, Einstein made his huge contribution to humanity and modern science.

 

Y – Play. Having fun. This second component may sound trivial to some, but the great genius had a strong opinion on this matter. He believed that relaxation and leisure are of equal importance to hard work as playfulness unlocks creativity and boosts productivity. Drowning in duties and responsibilities without any fun makes people rigid and boring, so Einstein scheduled sufficient time for pleasure and relaxation into his timetable. Sometimes his preferences were beyond the usual ones such as walking, talking or exercise. He wasn’t an ordinary person; He was the greatest man of science of the XX century.

 

Z – Keeping your mouth shut. This is the most interesting component of the formula of success, meaning “talk less, say more”. Einstein had no need to flaunt or to constantly be in the spotlight. He had no need to entertain people. He felt no obligation to talk to everybody or to demonstrate his extraordinary IQ. Instead, he communicated with courtesy, listened with empathy, and spoke when appropriate.

 

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is xy is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut,” said Albert Einstein in article that appeared in “The New York Times” in August 1929.

 

Article sources:

The New York Times 1929/08/18

https://www.nytimes.com/1929/08/18/archives/einsteins-own-corner-of-space-in-a-prosaic-flat-in-a-prosaic.html

Let’s talk about mindset

De facto, each of us is in possession of one phenomenal perfectly arranged super-hyper-ultra-powerful biocomputer with limitless memory. That’s our unconscious mind. But we simply don’t know how to benefit from its power. As if we are driving а Batmobile using тхе first gear only. Or even worse. Not driving it at all.

If you believe your rational thinking controls your life, you’re wrong. It’s your unconscious mind.

Scientific assessments reveal that the wishes, desires, and aspirations of our creative conscious minds only control cognitive behavior about 5% of the time. Unconscious programs are in control 95% of our lives “Bruce Lipton, PhD: The Jump From Cell Culture to Consciousness

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438088/

 

All the information we receive from the world around us can be divided into two parts:

  • sensory information that we receive through our five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste)
  • our subjective reasoning about that information, based on our personal experience, beliefs, and values.

Let’s consider the subjective reasoning part, that we said is based on our personal experience, beliefs, and values. Each of us has experienced different life journey, forming our individual notion of right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, fast and slow, expensive and cheap, soon and late, possible and impossible, and so on. Ask your grandma in case you need a verification to this universal fact.

All our personal beliefs and values, both deliberately established by ourselves or simply inherited from our parents, relatives, and society, they form our mindset. And according to the thinking programming of our brain, we take relevant actions and achieve corresponding results. Mindset is in the core of almost every triumph or failure we have ever witnessed or will witness in life.

Imagine an athlete. If he strongly believes he’s capable and deserves to win the race or achieve something, he’ll be outstandingly persistent and persuasive in his actions, and the odds of him succeeding will be super high.

Likewise, if he doesn’t believe something is possible or worthy for him, he’ll be uncertain and inconsistent in his actions, significantly reducing his chances. Of course, we shall pay a tribute to the luck factor, but let’s not overestimate it. We can’t rely on luck. But we can rely on our mindset.

Our beliefs are emotionally based. Neurologically, they are related to autonomic processes in the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, posture, breathing. Beliefs manifest in real life as answers to the WHY questions. So, if you wanna know what drives or motivates any person, just ask him or her WHY. Now wonder why Tony Robins introduces himself as a “why-guy”.  J

Silent Movies as Resources

Occasionally we get confused – people state one thing, yet act, or don’t act, quite differently. We wonder, how to distinguish the truth from the false commitments?

There’s a simple, but very powerful trick. I call it “a silent movie effect”.

Imagine you’re looking at your life events as if you are watching a silent movie, a Charlie Chaplin’s one for example. Remove the words from that film telling your life story and watch how characters act. Remember, it is only important what characters do, not what they say. If you are asked to add some title lines between the scenes, what would you pick intuitively?

Following this simple trick, you dissociate yourself, and you’re no longer emotionally bonded. Now, you can grasp the motives behind the behavior of the people involved in your plot (including your own motives). You can sense the shades of various commitments, intuitively recognizing empty promises from real ones. You’ll be surprised how many unclear motives become distinctly comprehensive in no time.

The silent movie effect has one more important aspect. From the observer’s point of view, you’ll be able to look at yourself. It takes courage to self-analyze your attitude, but afterwards you can eventually change the next chapter of your own life script.

Remember the quote from Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator: Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.

When the sun comes up, you’d better be running

After each night comes a day, after the winter–spring, after every crisis there’s a chance for revival. From a survival point of view, our ability to recover from crises quickly and efficiently is as crucial as our ability to endure the crises. Even more important, because there’s no meaning in survival if we don’t get back on track and move on toward our goals..

Meantime, due to the same crisis our world has changed, and we have changed. Now our transitioning to the next stage requires adaptability, creativity, and mindset upgrade. We need to overcome our fears, to transform our archaic limiting beliefs, and to build a stronger mindset, more resilience, inspiration, and faith.

As it’s said:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” ― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
One of the ways to upgrade your mindset and develop sufficient skills is to experience a series of mindset coaching sessions, also known as generative coaching. This advanced methodology can help you deal with the challenges in life and recover quickly and efficiently after any crisis, by developing an advantage from the great resources of our own psyche and unconscious mind.

If we must describe the process of mindset modeling to rational engineers, it would sound like this: Uncertainty during any crisis kills motivation, right? But where does our motivation come from? What is it?
It’s a result of an intense inner desire, longing, striving to be, to have, to achieve. If there’s a desire, there’s a motivation. In order to restore our high motivation, we must evoke from deep within our identity an intense desire and passion in combination with other positive emotions.

Emotions– They come with clarity, empowering beliefs, and freedom to feel. Emotions are more powerful than logical and rational thinking. They are supreme unconscious resources. We can capitalize on them to create the desired mindset, then take relevant actions to achieve what we’re aiming for. It’s the chain reaction of mindset > actions > results, which determines our choices, behavior, and quality of life.

However, if we reverse the order, it turns out that to achieve peak results, we should pay attention to our mindset, constantly improving it. This is the reason why personal development and self-improvement are an important facet of the approach to life that the most prosperous people in the world apply. To them, setting meaningful goals, broadening their worldview, being aware of who they really are, and the extent of their capabilities, are all qualities of great significance. Because when the sun comes up, they’d better be running…