Weekly Intention – Personal Leadership – Mental Dimension

01.16.13 | Posted in Weekly Intention

Personal Leadership – as we stated in the first Weekly Intention, and it bears repeating as we go through the four quadrants of Personal Leadership, the foundation for the UnCommon Leadership model is personal leadership – both for you as a leader and for those that you lead. Our starting point on this journey of becoming an UnCommon Leader is you. Last week we looked at the Physical dimension and asked you to examine yourself as if you were a Ferrari and determine if your body is operating at peak performance…all 12 cylinders producing 612 horsepower!

Since your body is a like a Ferrari, a high performance machine, when we view the Mental dimension today, a good analogy is that your brain is the CPU, the operating system, the NVIDIA GPU, RAM, etc., all rolled into one! And, have you ever thought about the fact there really are two dimensions to your brain: the hardware and the software? Or, another way to say it is you have a brain and you have a mind. And, they are two very distinct things with two distinct purposes. Another good analogy is the old saying about computers since we’re using that metaphor: GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Unless you’re over 50, this may not be a big issue for you….or so you think….when you’re thinking right! With all of the technological advancements we’ve had in the past 30 years, this has had a negative affect on our abilities to function and focus. Some people claim they can multi-task so, no worries. Brain science says that’s not possible. Our brain is only capable of focusing on one thing at a time. Studies have shown and proven the myth of multi-tasking.

I can tell you that our schools and doctors are seeing ADD and ADHD in epidemic proportions. We are not taking care of our brains very well. Too much stimulus and not enough quiet, reflection time for all of us, young and old! We also have too many adults on drugs due to brain and chemical imbalances. And, I don’t think I need to remind you of the other epidemic that’s exploding with Dementia and Alzheimers.

One of my goals for these blogs is to keep them short and to the point. However, today’s blog isn’t short and here’s the reason. After studying and reading numerous books on health in many dimensions including numerous books on neuroleadership, brain science and the brain and the mind, this may be the most important blog I ever write!

Why? Have you heard of the term “psychosomatic?” Simple definition is something in your mind affecting something in your body. Another way to say it though so it has true impact and understanding is this; “as the mind goes, so goes the body!” If you were to make one change today and instill and keep that change for the rest of your life, I firmly believe that taking care of your brain is the number one issue and should  be your number one focus! If you will devote the next year to reading, understanding and applying the steps to healthily take care of your brain, your body, mind, soul and spirit will reap the rewards. And, so will everyone around you and some in your life may thank you!

I will provide a lot of resources for you at the end because this topic is very broad, deep and complex. One of the resources I’ll provide is from my good friend Terry Small and his website. Terry is The Brain Guy! He travels around the world speaking and teaching people about their brain and how to take better care of it. He also teaches a lot of students, parents and teachers how to use their brains to learn better, faster and with higher retention. In fact, Terry will be a guest blogger on our site this month.

After reading so many books about the brain the research that is coming out is proving a lot of former beliefs total myths. We are in exciting times and it’s estimated that we have learned more about the brain in the past two years than in the sum total of all research prior. That’s staggering even if it’s only close to being correct.  Based on that, there is no way I can do a lot of justice in this blog, but let me paint this scenario for you by asking you this question.

How do you take care of your brain?  Yes, just as this blog is titled, Weekly Intention, there should be an INTENTIONAL focus and effort on understanding exactly how to feed, nourish, exercise and grow your brain. Yes, you read that right, too. Your brain is technically a “muscle” in that, if you don’t use it, you will lose it. But, it will respond in remarkable ways if you do learn how to take care of it.

Here’s one basic idea to explore. Your brain will only do what your belief system (mind) allows it to do. You’ve heard of the expression “I’ll believe it when I see it?” Well, how about this; “I’ll see it when I believe it.” That should get your curiosity up and hopefully encourage you to dig deep for how to take care of your mind and your brain. Just like your life and your body, you only get one of them!

Before we begin to apply the ARIA model get a pen/paper, ipad/stylus or however you take notes and save important planning that you do. TIP: do this process described below mentally first, then go back through and capture in more detail what your thoughts were!

Awareness – Think about your brain and your mind. Are you doing anything intentional to care for it? Do you meditate? Do you do yoga or pilates? Have you discovered brain games? Are you having any memory issues? What about brain “fog?” Are you easily distracted, have trouble focusing and paying attention? What other questions should you be asking yourself about how you’re treating your brain and your mind? Are you aware of any limiting beliefs that you have? Example, I’m too old, I don’t have enough education, change is hard for me, etc.

Reflection – If you uncovered some areas that really need to be addressed, then take time to reflect on the benefits of a focused, intentional effort to regain true brain and mind health. What would happen to your performance at work? How would it affect your relationships, both at work and at home? How would if affect your attitude about life? What would it take to reframe those limiting beliefs?

Insight  – With that awareness and reflection now take time for other insights into just what you could begin to do about regaining brain and mind health.  Is there one thing that comes to mind, like reducing alcohol intake, getting more sleep, stop smoking or drinking sodas (yes, they rot your brain and your body!) that you believe would help you achieve the results you desire?

ACTION – Remember what we said last week that knowledge is just information without ACTION?! Decide now what action steps you need to begin that will drive you toward creating and maintaining the best possible brain and mind that you can. What’s the one thing you could begin to do today that would make the biggest difference?

Now, however you set goals and create accountability, get going! Do you use SMART goals? The get smart and do it! Whatever method you use, commit it in writing and to the right people for accountability for your goals.

Resources to help you discover more about your brain and your mind and how to take care of them both!

Onward & Upward!

Ed Chaffin

Terry Small – www.terrysmall.com – Find his Brain Bulletins and read all 81 of them!

Brain Power – Michael Gelb and Kelly Howell


Change Your Brain Change Your Life – Dr. Daniel Amen


The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge


Super Brain – Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi


The Biology of Belief – Bruce Lipton


The Bullet Proof Executive





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