About Us






Habits, Neuro-Carrots, & Neuro-Sticks

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.

Feature Article 

No time? Listen to the  podcast (8:02 min.) in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.


Upcoming Events

Feature Article 

Special Offer

Quick Communication Tip

Resource Links



"Conscious Jam" Tele-Radio
Where crazy and conscious collide

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
"Pre-Trans Fallacy and "the Secret."
What's nonsense and what's useful."

7:00-8:00 pm PST

Register Here


"Conscious Jam" Tele-Radio
Where crazy and conscious collide

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
"Using Your Own Neurochemistry to Fight Depression
and Motivate Yourself."

7:00-8:00 pm PST

Register Here



Habits, Neuro-Carrots and Neuro-Sticks
(click for podcast)

Sprinter Michael Johnson wanted to run faster. The how was his coach Clyde Hart’s job. Distilling the practical, immediate applications of cutting edge science and thought is key to high-level coaching. Then the knowledge and techniques need to be communicated in the language of the coachee. When Hart watched Johnson run, he noticed that as Johnson swung his arms, they crossed the saggital plane of his body causing lateral momentum tangential to his plane of travel. This was a huge waste of energy, and the twisting motion further required Johnson’s hips to compensate, thus shortening his strides. Applying physics, geometry, and kinesthetics, Hart distilled this down to “swing your arms parallel,” and Michael won 8 Olympic gold medals.

Okay, so it wasn’t quite like flipping a light switch. We’re still organic creatures, not “apps.” It takes us a while to turn things around, and that impatience is where people often lose their motivation to take on serious growth. We have a lot of momentum. We’ve been barreling down this highway of life for a while, and we do what we do, think how we think, feel how we feel. We don’t question our wired-in habits, and if we don’t re-examine our trajectory, we’ll continue the same course. However, when we start questioning why we’re not getting where or what we want, it’s time to look at a new approach.

Michael Johnson had been running with his old style his whole life. Learning to shift that style for more speed took time. We literally need to re-wire our brains to re-learn habits. You’ve probably heard of the 21 to 28 day cycle required to form a habit, and shifting from old to new ones can take even longer. Sending electrochemical impulses down the same pathways over and over is the only way to do this. If we go back and forth between old habit and new, we run electrochemical impulses down both pathways, enrich them both, and train ourselves to go down both. This is why we need to be pretty self-disciplined about re-training our brains. Cheating undoes all the work.

Some of the most insidious of our habits – the ones that really get in our way – are around how we interpret events or people’s words. Most assumptions are based on our habitual way of seeing something. If, for instance we lean toward “worst case scenario” thinking, we can become habituated to it, so that it becomes a kind of filter. Not only will we see things this way, we’ll project it on others. If we have a habit of believing everyone’s out to steal our cheese, we’re going to interact with people in a more aggressive manner preemptively. If we’ve wired a habit where we interpret our lives as rushing past us while we have too much to do and no time, we’re going to react to everything as overwhelming.

All of these issues can be traced back to a habit or pre-wired way of interpreting things. This is great, because we know we can re-wire ourselves for new habits. We can step beyond physical habits, all the way to interpretation habits, which will invariably shift our behavioral habits. Nothing like going to the root of things to get your biggest bang for your buck.

Simple Habit Formation
Almost everyone has heard of the “carrot and the stick” when it comes to training. There’s a form of this happening in our brains that has a lot to do with the habits we develop. In our reward or punishment process, we get “good” or “bad” feeling chemicals, depending on what’s happening.

An original interpretation got wired in place over time, and now when our brain gets its pattern stimulus, we get a reward. This is of course, the carrot: Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphin. Simplified, do something that facilitated survival in Neolithic times, and you’ll get a “treat.”  Do something that’s wired to a threat, and you’ll either not get a “treat,” or get other chemicals that don’t feel good (the stick.)

Since we know we can use these neurochemicals to reward and punish ourselves in the habit forming process, we can design “practices” that will cause us to interpret a certain way over and over. As we take on the new interpretation designed to serve us, we get the neurochemical reward. That makes it increasingly easier to repeat ourselves. Just as in athletics, repetition of the technique in practice builds the habit that enables you to perform the technique in “competition.”

Coming back to practical applications of all this information, it turns out that how we talk to ourselves; from internal arguments to how we motivate ourselves, affects those neurochemicals as well. We can design “practices” involving our language choices that will give us reward chemicals, just as our current unconscious habits most likely are filled with linguistic ways we punish ourselves. The ever-present reality is that our thinking shifts our language choices, and our language choices shift our thinking. We can shift our thinking so that our interpretations are less locked in place, and our I.Q. becomes more agile.

Retraining these interpretation habits makes us less reactive, more responsive, less trapped, more innovative, less limited, and more free. Imagine barreling down that highway of life in a car that’s going wherever the old habits lean. Of course we want to change its direction. Instead of trying to wrestle a car into a new direction from the outside, it’s much easier and effective to climb inside and drive it from there.

     - Ian J. Blei


Special Offer - Post-Autumnal Equinox

As this has been helpful for people over the last few months, I'm going to run another
Special Offer

I'm going to give Dynamic Discovery coaching sessions away to the first 3 people (not already clients) who email me with this month's "secret word."  Ready?

The secret word for October is "Supernatural." Great Santana album, great TV show, and apropos to the holiday.  Just put that in your email, along with your contact info so we can schedule.

Each session is a normally a $187.00 value, and will be worth much more to you in life-changing ways.  Good luck!


Quick Communication Tip

Slow Down to the Speed of Hearing

We The first thing we need to do before we can shift our direction is to slow down. This is what we resist, as it seems at first glance that slowing down is the opposite of getting more done in less time, but reality often shows up with a paradox. In fact, slowing down to speed up is more the rule than the exception. When it comes to hearing someone – really hearing them – we need to not have our minds racing ahead. There’s simply too much information being transmitted, from the words chosen to tone to micro expressions showing emotional context, for us to “speed listen,” and think we really heard the other person.

Our interpretive filters sort out tons of information that we need, and distort plenty of what gets in. If you’ve ever looked at a spoon in a half-full glass of water, that distorted, bent spoon is a perfect metaphor for our own interpretations. If we don’t slow down enough to recognize our filters, and adjust for them, we open the door to misunderstandings and conflict; both slowing us down far more than just being more mindful in the first place.

Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.



Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



Subscribe to the Conscious Communication Chronicle




Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page
now on



Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners





© 2001- 2013 Optimized Results. All Rights Reserved     205 Chattanooga St.   San Francisco, CA 94114     415.826.0478