Monthly Archives: September 2015

mindfulness

Use Mindfulness for Sustained Motivation

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing nonjudgmental awareness to the present moment. Most of the time our attention is caught up indiscriminately in the ever-changing kaleidoscope of our busy minds – thoughts, emotions, memories, stories, worries, plans, fragments of popular songs, etc. Because the majority of our attention is already engaged, we have very little left to focus on the task at hand.

By using mindfulness, you develop the ability to be present for any given experience just as it is, with full awareness, beginning with breathing and gradually expanding to include sights, sounds, feelings, and ultimately thoughts. Eventually, you learn how to bring mindful awareness to every area of your life. In turn, you improve your level of motivation to fully engage in activities you are involved in. Like other skills, mindfulness can be cultivated and honed, and the more mindful you are, the more you benefit. Mindfulness has no religious or spiritual message or affiliation and can be practiced by anyone, no matter what their beliefs may be.

 

Green-Check-MarkExperts Agree on the Benefits  

 

 

  • “Our findings indicate that a short training program in mindfulness meditation has demonstrable effects on brain and immune function.” – Professor Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin
  • “Productivity rests on focused human attention.” – Assistant Professor Jermey Hunter, Peter F. Drucker School of Management
  • “Building mind-fitness with mindfulness training may help anyone who must maintain peak performance in the face of extremely stressful circumstances, from first responders, relief workers and trauma surgeons, to professional and Olympic athletes.” – Associate Professor Amishi Jha, University of Miami
  • “It’s fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.” – Research Fellow Brita Holzel, Harvard Medical School

 

benefits

You can practice and use mindfulness for sustained motivation. The benefits of mindfulness lead to a less stressed and more motivated you!

 

Reduce-StressStress reduction: In the last 10 years, numerous studies have demonstrated the robust effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, making it the gold standard among stress-reduction techniques. Since employee stress is one of the greatest sources of lost revenue for businesses, mindfulness can be an essential safeguard for the corporate bottom line. Brain scans of people that practice mindfulness consistently show a shift in activation and gray matter density from the areas of the brain associated with negative emotions like stress, anxiety, frustration, and dissatisfaction to the areas associated with positive emotions like happiness and contentment. Mindfulness practice also reduces levels of the primary stress hormone, cortisol.

 

guys_jumping_stairsFewer sick days: Since many illnesses, both major and minor, are caused or exacerbated by stress, it makes perfect sense that an effective stress-reduction technique like mindfulness would translate into better health–and fewer sick days. And the research supports this conclusion. In a ground-breaking study of biotech workers that revealed that mindfulness makes people happier, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that it also boosted their immune system, as measured by the amount of flu antibodies in their blood after receiving a flu shot. Similarly, a more recent study at the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that mindfulness practitioners missed 76% fewer days of work than non-practitioners.

 

creative-mindGreater creativity: Innovation and creative problem-solving require an ability to think “outside the box” and to examine a situation from multiple perspectives simultaneously. Research in the Netherlands demonstrates that mindfulness reduces the intrusion of habitual thinking and facilitates insight-based problem solving. Similarly, a study at Ben Gurion University in Israel found that mindfulness reduces cognitive rigidity and opens subjects to novel and adaptive ways of responding.  According to a survey by the Institute of Mindful Leadership, 93% of leaders report that mindfulness training helps them create space for innovation, and nearly 70% say it helps them to think strategically.

 


keep-calm-and-carry-onIncreased resilience: 
The cluster of qualities that enable us to withstand stress and thrive in challenging situations is known as resilience–and every one of these qualities is cultivated and enhanced with mindfulness practice. Mindfulness increases the ability to be open to new perspectives, to think creatively, to distinguish thoughts from feelings, and to respond to challenges rather than merely reacting.

 

focusFocus and concentration: By its very nature, mindfulness is the practice of returning attention again and again to the present moment and the task at hand. Researchers at the University of Washington found that HR professionals who took an eight-week mindfulness course could concentrate better, stay on task longer, multitask more effectively, and remember what they’d done better than those who didn’t take the course.

 

workplace-harmonyWorkplace harmony: At the heart of harmonious workplace relationships is the ability to empathize with another’s experience and point of view. In a study published in the journal Psychological Science and reported in the New York Times, subjects who practiced mindfulness were three times as likely to offer assistance to a person in need than those who didn’t. Try engaging your workforce in a 1-2 hour keynote session on mindfulness, motivation, creativity or another topic listed.

 

Love_my_jobGreater employee satisfaction and well-being: Numerous studies have demonstrated a direct correlation between the practice of mindfulness and positive mind states like happiness, contentment, equanimity, and compassion. In one study at the University of Wisconsin, brain scans of employees at a biotech company who practiced mindfulness for just eight weeks indicated a happier, more upbeat mood, both immediately thereafter and three months after the practice period ended. Not only that, the employees reported being in touch again with what they loved about their jobs.

 

Mindfulness and happiness 

Brain scans have shown that each person has an emotional set point, an innate level of positive or negative mood that’s basically determined at birth. No matter how positive or negative your experiences may be, you’ll oscillate up or down and then soon return to your emotional baseline.

But mindfulness has a unique ability to raise your set point and make you happier and more contented. Early research with Tibetan Buddhist monks revealed them to be some of the happiest people on the planet, and subsequent studies showed that as little as eight weeks of regular meditation can boost the set point on a lasting basis.

Richard Davidson, distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, identified a particular area of the brain, the left prefrontal cortex, as the seat of positive emotions. The monks he studied had highly activated LPFCs – but so did the eight-week mindfulness meditators, both at rest and in response to emotional stimuli. Not only that, they reported significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions that continued long after the program ended.

 

Mindfulness and emotional intelligence 

Before mindfulness became the latest fix for the corporate bottom line, there was “emotional intelligence,” an approach based on the insight that people who are more adept at perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions make more successful employees. The good news is that mindfulness boosts EQ, by increasing our awareness of our own thoughts and feelings and our ability to attune to the feelings of others. The more awareness we bring to our interactions , the more we can take emotional responses into account — our own and others’ – to enable us to communicate more appropriately and effectively.

By practicing mindfulness, individuals and businesses can advance their bottom line by cultivating happier, healthier lives that are more focused, productive, inventive, and efficient. We strongly recommend you use mindfulness for sustained motivation at home and at work. Request more information about mindfulness and improving motivation.

 

Companies That Have Embraced Mindfulness 

  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Target
  • Google
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Aetna
  • Hearst Publications
  • eBay
  • General Mills
  • Twitter
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Cargill
  • Genentech
  • Facebook
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Compusense
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • Plantronics
  • Intel
  • Proctor& Gable
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Astra Zeneca

 

live-large

Begin to Live a Larger Life on Purpose

In order to get the most out of life, try living it out loud and on purpose. This type of living is typically called living large. There are many ways to live large that brings you great joy, satisfaction, and is rewarding. Below are a few of the secrets to living a larger life that will help you live life on purpose and not on default. Use these secrets in a proactive manner by making deliberate and conscious choices. Making choices is the way for you to live your life instead of living by circumstances. By doing this you are allowed to lead your life instead of letting life lead you, or worse following others. Here are some tips to help you begin to live a larger life.

 

Understand Your Full Potential

 

Live in the moment of now. Be present during this very moment and do your best to give it your full attention. Even if you are not in a position that you relish, give it your all so you can move forward faster. When you master what is at hand (it needs to be mastered), other things in life will shift for the better.

 

Overcome Fear

 

Fear can cause people to stay frozen in their comfort zone. While locked in your comfort zone you will miss the moments in life that make your pulse race, and the butterflies launch in your stomach. These are simple things that let you know you are alive. They allow you to grow in various new directions. The more fear you overcome, the more freedom you gain. If you want to overcome a fear, simply do what you fear. Once you realize how easy it is, you can overcome many different types of fears to start living a larger life.

 

Find Your New Talent

 

When you try something new, you may find you have more talents than you realized. You will not find out if you have talent outside what you already know if you do not try new things. Take music lessons for a new instrument, or take cooking classes, follow your interests and learn all you can about them. No matter what you want to do, when you try it for the first time, you may just discover you have hidden talents. Live large and expand your talents in new directions to make life even more enjoyable.

 

 

Doug Dvorak, CSP and Motivational Keynote Speaker speaks at motivational seminars and has been helping people learn the secrets to living a larger life for over 15 years. To learn more about seminars and classes, visit www.dougdvorak.com.

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What Makes a Motivational Speaker Great

There are over 150,000 motivational speakers in the world today. Many of them speak on specific subjects such as leadership, sales or team building. So, what makes a great motivational speaker great? Great motivational speakers should have a niche topic or a few niches they concentrate on and master in terms of speaking about and presenting information on those topics. However, they should also be able to speak on any given subject. Provided that they are given ample time to prepare.

 

A great motivational speaker will also be certified, awarded and consistently provide at least 25 speeches each and every year. This proves that the speaker is dedicated to his/her profession. It also shows that they practice their trade on a regular basis helping to keep their skills sharp. They will also be certified in the areas they speak on. For example, a sales speaker should also be a certified sales trainer or certified sales management consultant.

 

A speaker that provides client satisfaction is another trait of a great motivational speaker. You can tell if a speaker provides client satisfaction because they will proudly provide/display references and testimonials. Another way to check this is simply by engaging with the speaker to see if he/she is willing to provide you with the time of day before hiring them to answer questions and address concerns. Motivational speakers that are truly good will provide testimonial/reference evidence and video evidence. This will be in the form of a demo video. If a speaker is really that great, they will have the resources and desire to create a demo of their services.

 

Professional speakers that provide additional resources to their clients are also amongst the more qualified speakers. These resources can include books, CDs, pamphlets, professional websites, potential speaker programs and more. Here is an example of a product page of a motivational speaker who provides extra resources to his clients.

 

An elite speaker will provide a common ground for the audience to meet on. They will be able to break the ice and keep the audience feeling good. The energy in the room will flow and the information will also flow freely throughout the audiences minds.

 

If required, a great motivational speaker will be able to elicit audience participation with ease. There are several factors involved here; likeability, industry knowledge, ability to adapt and more. Getting the audience involved can be a game changer. When people actively provide their insights and thoughts they are thinking on a deeper level. They are also providing information for others to absorb, which can make them feel a sense of purpose, which in turn makes the presentation more memorable.

 

Finally, standing out and making an impact is what makes a motivational speaker great. This involves providing valuable information and tools that can be used at a later date to improve the audience’s lives. It also involves being able to capture and keep the audience’s attention while delivering an educational story that will resonate and hit home. A story that dictates action and creates positive changes. When a speaker can truly master this, they are great! This is when the speaker stops delivering information and starts changing lives and transforming organizations.

Knowing what makes a motivational speaker great can help you choose the right speaker for your next event or conference!

If you are looking to hire a motivational speaker, learn more about professional motivational speaker Doug Dvorak here.

a-negative-mind-will-never-give-you-a-positive-life

Survive and Thrive with PMA – Positive Mental Attitude

Let a Positive Mental Attitude Show You the Way

You can survive and thrive with PMA – a positive mental attitude. It does not matter what circumstance you are facing, you need to accept it and then try to improve the situation. Eventually you will find a way out of a bad situation with a survivor’s mentality. It is smart to apply survival methods that are for emergency situations to your everyday life and career.

Your Brain Is the Best Survival Tool

The ability to handle stress has a great deal to do with how much stress a person goes through. The most valuable asset during stressful times is your brain. How you think and perceive a situation is going to determine how you handle it. With a positive mental attitude you will have a more focused mind, helping you to find your way out of negative situations faster. Having a strong mentality is a great asset that you can work on making stronger and stronger, just like your body. You need mental skills in order to perform physical tasks in an effective manner. Physical skills tend to fall to the side if you do not have a positive mental attitude. Being physically active stimulates your brain and further increases your ability to motivate yourself to think positively.

Be in the Right Frame of Mind

A proper attitude makes almost everything possible. A positive mental attitude can provide you with determination. Such a positive influence is necessary to set personal goals and see them through. This includes being stubborn. Being stubborn does not have to be considered a negative. When you have a strong and stubborn will power, there are not many obstacles that cannot be conquered.

Defeat Negative Thoughts

Your brain can be your best asset, or your worst enemy. Negative thoughts can discourage and derail even the best plans and goals. A lot of times negative thoughts are produced by fear. Once you face your fears and apply a positive attitude, you can defeat most negative thoughts. This calls for shifting your mental process so you adopt a better attitude. By being creative you can improvise and improve any situation and adapt to the circumstances to produce a positive outcome.

Come up with activities you can do in order to defeat negative thoughts. This way, you will have a plan to defeat those thoughts when they arise out of the blue.