May 27, 2023

We So Scared

Many opine we aren't born with fear but as we go through our lives, it seems we take less chances and become more cautious. It could be because we've experienced things that haven't gone well. It could be because we think we have more wisdom so not to make foolish choices. That voice in our head says; "let's not do that again!"

Experts have been studying this for years and in an article entitled "Decision Neuroscience: Why We Become More Cautious with Age", there is sound evidence which suggests at least part of the reason is physical. As we age, the levels of dopamine in our bodies declines. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It plays a role in many important body functions, including movement, memory and pleasurable reward and motivation. We might be smart but our physiological makeup does have a say in the matter without our interference. 

Age and Ageing 

So that might point to why we rolled the dice at 20 and hesitated at 50. We were born with the ability to reason but we are also made up of chemical elements that don't ask for our input and can become our biggest foe.  

I've had to make a couple of pretty significant decisions in the last few years. One of them I belabored over for weeks. I had a similar situation happen almost two decades ago and I jumped at it. I did make the move again this time but I was aware of how I gave downside more weight than opportunity. 

Hormone levels and age may make us pause a bit longer or fear a bit more but here might be an exercise worth trying. Find something small you are thinking about right now. It could literally be something so insignificant, it might not even matter next week. Take five minutes and try and think of you a decade or two ago and make the decision through that lens. You might surprise yourself.

But I'm still not bungie jumping! 

May 12, 2023

Yeah, What He Gestured

Communication is at the cornerstone of our lives. We email, text, tweet, phone, meet, talk, tiktok, and connect because we have an inherent need to belong. And there are countless studies out there that point to the way we receive communication. 

One of the most adopted and accepted appeared in a book published in 1971 by Albert Mehrabian entitled Silent Messages. His research found that the person receiving our messages gives 55% of their attention on our body language and eye contact, 38% to our tone, and just 7% to our words. So how we say it carries more weight than what we say. It's interesting that Mehrabian's research still holds true 52 years later. 

 According to the professor, non-verbal cues carry 93% of the weight of communication. So we should probably think about how that can help us strengthen or hinder in our relationships and culture in our businesses. 

Enough said.

May 1, 2023

Finding Our Thing

It’s often said we should find something we’re passionate about and do it. We'll cool let's do that! Now why are we unhappy again? Oh yeah, because we often have absolutely no idea what are truly passionate about and worse how to even achieve it.  

In his latest book, “Love + Work”, author, speaker, and consultant Marcus Buckingham examines how our lives and our careers are forever intertwined. He writes finding something we love doesn't mean it's going to be nirvana all the time but rather we will find love within it and the challenges will be easier to overcome. Have you ever lost track of time doing something? Yeah that. 

Buckingham also reminds us no one will ever be exactly the same as each of us. No one who has ever existed or will ever exist will be exactly like you. Celebrate that. 

Perfection is impossible.  

We live in woke times. Some have deemed themselves the grand jury of all opinion. Here's the deal, I won't judge you, you don't judge me, and we'll be good. You do stuff you will love most of the time and I'll do that same. I may love auto racing but I won't insult you if you have a passion for flower arranging. It's not my call! 

No one has any right to tell you what you think or feel, nor does anyone have the right to tell you what or who you love. Life is not a zero-sum game to be won. As its own name defines, it is living breathing inaccurate flawed experience. Yet for some reason we measure ourselves against perfection. 

This is your life. Tell her how you feel. Look for another line of work. Stop letting others decide for you. Love who you want, do what you want, don't let others tell you what's best for you. I'm not proclaiming I don't have that doubtful voice in my head most of the time which I wish would shut up, but let's see if we can shift our thinking together.

To me, that sounds like a good plan.
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