Conscious Communication: bringing communication
up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above
in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Quick Communication Tip
Where crazy and conscious collide™
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
"Pre-Trans Fallacy and "the
What's nonsense and what's useful."
Where crazy and conscious collide™
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
"Using Your Own
Neurochemistry to Fight Depression
and Motivate Yourself."
Neuro-Carrots and Neuro-Sticks
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
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.
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
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
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
- Ian J. Blei
Special Offer -
As this has been helpful for people over the last few months, I'm going to run another
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Quick Communication Tip
Down to the Speed of Hearing
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
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
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ourselves, each other, and our relationships
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Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
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Communication results in success, and how you can
Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
the tools to slide over to the
driver’s seat of your
Circumstances will always be
changing, seemingly thwarting
our plans, but we don’t have to be
thrown around by them. You can
charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
as a practical guide you can
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
"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
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-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media
“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to
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
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
-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