At one time, I was at the top of one of Stockholm’s hottest companies. On the verge of going public, and with an executive marketing title and sizable salary, I somehow felt empty. After some soul searching, I realized that I couldn’t
- 27 Jul 16 11.49 am
Why Keeping a Diary Is ImportantRead more
I´d like to share with you one of my personal habits—something which means a lot to me and, fact, makes me constantly grow into a better person: I write in a diary. And I write in it almost every single day.
This is not just to keep an account of what’s happening, but also as a space to reflect, to discuss with myself about the different situations I find myself in, and their meaning. I try my best to always stay true to my values but I have never been as challenged as I have since I started the NOA project over 2 years ago.
Reflecting in the diary helps provide creative benefits, but it also allows me to see things more clearly, and draw conclusions on how to navigate tricky situations. I will give you an example.
Earlier this year I had a disagreement with my girlfriend and I got pretty angry. I shifted over to the other part of the sofa and sat there quiet, sulking like a child. Feeling as angry as only a child can be, or act. I walked off and tried to me
ditate (to take the edge off), and it worked somewhat.
Then, I turned to my diary, and started writing down exactly what had happened in the disagreement, but from her perspective. When I was finished I thought, “Wow! I understand her more, and her actions would make complete sense from her perspective.”
Right then and there my anger went away and I vowed to act completely different from how I normally would. I told her that I wasn’t mad, and explained what I had just done. And let me tell you: the positive feelings created between us from that action was really, really strong.
I got a few takeaways from that episode. By trying a completely new response I got a much more positive response than ever before. I also learned that by pausing and literally writing down what I think–but from the other person’s perspective–gave me new insight into the situation and deepened my empathy. Writing in my diary is not just good for me, but also for my relationships with other people.
- 26 Jul 16 11.03 amRead more
The Focus School: 3 Easy Tips for Hacking Your Flow State
Have you ever found yourself completely surrounded by distractive noise and chaos around you, yet you were in such a zone that your focus continued unimpeded? At a bustling café with your book, working out in a busy gym, or even getting work done in an open office: that we can focus in the midst of such a din indicates our capacity for achieving a “flow state”.
What is a “flow state”? Researchers use this shorthand for selective attention: the neural capacity to beam in on just one target while ignoring a staggering sea of incoming stimuli, each one a potential focus in itself. Meditation gurus and yoginis swear by it, and achieving consistent focus state capacity is a must for high-level athletes.
Flow matters because it impacts our ability to lead more productive lives. (Notice that, in the time you took to read this paragraph, you completely tuned out the blank margins surrounding this text.) A chronic inability to achieve a “flow” state impacts a person’s ability to concentrate: only 20 percent of people have such “flow moments” at least once a day, and around 15 percent don’t ever enter a flow state! In fact, a study conducted among senior executives points to a relationship between “flow state” and productivity.
Rewiring your brain to maximize your flow state is not hard, but it requires will and practice. In order to get more “flow”, here are three quick tips:
- Managing Emotions
The emotional distractions are harder for the brain to resist. Imagine reading this and suddenly hearing somebody softly calling your name. Your attention reflexively shifts to the direction of the sound, attentive to hear what is (presumably) directed at you. (You can imagine that emotions from close relationships intrude our thoughts even more!)
- Write It Down
It can also be a good thing to write down what frustrates you. By seeing the dilemma as phrased in your own words, you may see it with different eyes.
- Plan It
Decide what approach you are going to take to solve a problem. Do you want to ignore it, or do you want to do something about it? If you want to do something about it, book it in your calendar. By knowing when to deal with it, you can take your mind off from it.
- Managing Emotions
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