Posts by Steve Scanlon
As I work with people, one recommendation I’ve seen pay dividends regardless of job title is to stay curious. Whether you’re a CEO or janitor, in operations or sales, following this axiom will keep you growing and connecting — both with your work and with the people around you.
In today’s Wireboard article, I would like to propose two new ways to think about the New Year. Yes, I realize that New Year’s Day was almost a week ago but all that really means is that many have already ditched their annual resolution (which seems not to last very long most of the time anyway). That is why I would like to offer two new ways to consider 2016, with the goal of moving us off of stale, largely-unhelpful ways of thinking about New Year’s resolutions and into patterns of thinking and acting that will actually, sustainably and genuinely change us for the better.
Over the past 15 years or so, neuroscientists have made so many discoveries about the human brain that we are now beginning even to understand connections to the human mind. Yes, there is a tremendous difference between studying the brain and studying the mind. But there is some magic happening (metaphorically, of course) when what we are learning about the physical brain is intersecting with what we have always inferred about the mind.
Until recently, the standard scientific belief was that human attributes were pretty much set after adolescence. This is why people like Will Rogers have said things like “People change… but not much.” Or, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The sad part about that is not only that we believed these sorts of statements, but that we have done our work and lived our lives on the basis of their presumed truth.
When hosting a Rewire Workshop, I often ask groups “how long does it take to break a habit?” A spattering of attendees will yell out anything from 5 days to 100 days. I suppose these answers are based upon the most recent book they read. And there are a lot of books out there on habits. How to change them, get rid of them, recognize the power in them, etc. Our habits seem to be all the rage. A brief search in Amazon left me smiling at the idea that there are hundreds of books all aimed at helping us create or somehow dismantle a habit or two.
Last week some 60 of us gathered in Coronado, California for the purpose of a further Rewiring as individuals and as a group. It was truly a remarkable few days -- evidenced by its lingering and lasting effects on those who came and participated.
The picture for this article is of water taken from the "Fountain of Youth." You can tell it's the real deal because it comes in an actual plastic bottle and even has a cartoon likeness of Ponce de León on it! Bottled water aside, I don’t think the Fountain of Youth is a real thing. I hope that doesn't burst anyone's bubble. Best I can understand, there is a 100% chance that you will get old. Granted, you can buy some creams that promise that you will look like Cindy Crawford for a while, but even she will eventually look like the rest of us will: old.
We spend a great deal of time and energy here at Rewire helping our clients think their ways to greater outcomes. Our team has an idiom that states “we cannot help people take different action until we help them take on different thinking”. Good thinking should always precedes right action.
I haven’t slept well lately. Have you? As many of you now know, getting good rest is a huge part of living with a stilled lizard brain. And when our lizard brains cool down we are able to live a much fuller, much richer life.
For those of you out there who have been to one of our workshops lately, you will notice that we focus quite a bit on the idea of making and breaking habits. One funny thing about “breaking” habits is that it is actually a bit of a misnomer. Once the brain has habituated something, the neural pathway exists in your brain for the remainder of your days. So, really, there is no breaking of a habit but only the start of a new one.