Category Archives: Personal Success

Active brain

Mental Workouts Offer Big Benefits

Just as exercise builds and tones your body, meditation can sculpt the mind, studies suggest. Ilchi Lee, an expert on meditation and the president of the International Brain Education Association, points out that you may think of your brain as a muscle. In this way, getting in mental workouts could be just as important as finishing those dumbbell reps.

To assess specific meditation benefits, researchers at the University of Wisconsin scanned the brains of Tibetan monks, who are well-known champions of mental fitness. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at UW, zoomed in on the amygdala, the region associated with emotions and emotional memories. What he found here was a connection between meditation and resilience. His work indicated the more you meditate, the quicker your amygdala recovers from stress. 

A separate MRI study from Harvard University highlighted that meditation also thickens gray matter, which includes regions of the brain involved in memory, muscle control and sensory perception. Researchers found that meditation beginners who took an eight-week course literally had thicker gray matter associated with self-awareness, while the regions associated with stress shrank. 

There are many doors into mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness by concentrating on something, such as your own breath, and bringing your attention back to the point of focus when it begins to wander. Some people choose to hone in on a specific body part, channeling all of their energy into it. 

"When you see you are not your thoughts or your emotions, then you have a whole different palette of ways to be," Jon Kabat-Zinn​, a clinical mindfulness experct at the Unviersity of Massachusetts, told LiveScience.

Cultivating mindfulness can train the mind to work more efficiently, boost concentration and can break harmful cycles, such as those that accompany depression, in which the mind repeats the same negative thoughts. 

Make sure you don’t burn bridges down the stretch

Fulfilling your human potential as a professional means that you should avoid the "lame duck" syndrome when leaving your current employer.

It is natural for many employees who give their notice at a job to shift their work gear into neutral and significantly reduce their production. However, this is a slippery slope that should be avoided for many reasons.

For starters, you never know when you may run into a co-worker in the future, in a professional or personal setting. It is best not to gain a reputation as a worker who "phones it in" once they know they cannot be disciplined by their temporary employer.

In addition, your work habits can seep their way into your next professional role. If you are slacking in your final two weeks at work, you are more likely to start off on the wrong foot in your next profession.

The best way to leave a job is to adequately train your replacement – if you have one. By sharing your knowledge and experiences with your successor, your former co-workers, and the company as a whole, will benefit. 

Quitting one’s job is a process

While it can be easy to over-react to a problem at work – whether it be a disagreement with a boss or built-up stress – employees should carefully weigh all their options prior to quitting the job once and for all.

Ilchi Lee believes that considering all of one’s options is a sign of personal growth that can be useful throughout a person’s life.

According to a recent article on The Street, while the job market may be improving across the country, we’re still in a period of recovery, so workers should not simply assume that they will be able to land another position if they step down from their current post.

In this same vein, it is important to be honest with oneself over the reasons for wanting to quit the job, according to Brazen Careerist CEO Penelope Trunk.

“In general, people quit their jobs because they are delusional and think they need more time for something, like writing a novel or traveling,” Trunk, who is also a business blogger, told the news source. “These are not actually good reasons to quit your job.”

Rather, workers should focus on more legitimate reasons for quitting such as health or potential negative impacts of the job on one’s family or personal life, Trunk said.

If the reasons are there and the employee decides quitting is the only appropriate step, they should make sure to give their employer plenty of notice so that they can hire someone else to step in right away.

Too much focus can lead to lack of mental clarity

Focusing too heavily on one thing in particular may result in a state that a team of University College London researchers has termed inattention deafness. The findings show that failure to maintain proper balance in thoughts can cause people to misperceive the world around them.

This is a common problem in today’s society. With smartphones, people are now connected at all times to their email, text messages and websites. However, focusing too much on these things can make people blind to the world around them.

"Inattentional deafness is a common everyday experience," said Nilli Lavie, who led the study. "For example, when engrossed in a good book or even a captivating newspaper article we may fail to hear the train driver's announcement and miss our stop, or if we're texting whilst walking, we may fail to hear a car approaching and attempt to cross the road without looking."

The findings of the study show that it is possible for a person’s brain to be completely consumed with thoughts of a single subject that they lose awareness of what is happening around them. If this has become a consistent problem in a person’s life, Brain Education programs that teach mental focus may help restore clarity.  

Perceived income inequality makes people less happy

It has often been said that money can’t buy happiness, but a new study published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that many people may still believe that more money would make them happier. The findings suggest that many people may be putting their finances ahead of spiritual growth.

In particular, the University of Illinois researchers who conducted the study found that income inequality, which has increased exponentially in the U.S. since the 1980s, makes people feel less happy.

After reviewing survey results collected between 1972 and 2008, the team found that reports of feeling dissatisfied with income inequality rose, and that this resulted in higher rates of unhappiness. Respondents said they felt that income inequality was fundamentally unfair, and this brought them down.

However, author and philosopher Ilchi Lee says that it doesn’t take money to attain happiness in life. Meditating and developing one’s mind costs nothing. Practicing these techniques can take a person’s brain out of the world of paychecks and inequality and help them attain spiritual growth.  

Brain potential has power to shape economic conditions

Keeping a positive attitude and using brain potential to the fullest are among the top ways to experience success in life. The mind has a tremendous power to shape the world around it, and a person’s outlook plays a key role in this.

Now, a new study has found that this may also apply to economic success. Researchers from the Miami University School of Business have found that optimistic communities tend to recover from recessions sooner.

The team looked at various indicators of economic growth following the 2009 recession and measured communities’ optimism. They found that strong communities experienced recessions that were shorter in duration and less severe.

“Our study is unique in that it shows, for the first time, that mood and optimism can directly affect overall economic activity,” said lead researcher Alok Kumar.

The findings support author and trailblazer Ilchi Lee’s thoughts on brain potential. He says that an individual has the power to shape reality around them. All it takes is concentration and the willpower to make their goals happen.

You are the only person that can give yourself value

The value of self-reliance when it comes to personal assessment cannot be overstated. Author and philosopher Ilchi Lee says that each individual is the only true judge of their own character. When a person realizes this, spiritual growth and personal success are surely around the corner.

“Others will appreciate you just as much as you appreciate yourself,” Lee said. “Don’t look down on yourself. You are a very important person. Your value is huge and precious beyond words. Every human being is a sacred being, infinitely valuable.”

Only by recognizing this value can an individual live a fulfilled life, and this value is only apparent when people stop looking to others to tell them their worth and begin honestly assessing themselves.

While there is certainly value in the opinions of others, they cannot replace an individual’s true self-esteem. External sources cannot tell a person what they are worth or how they should live their life. Only through getting in touch with one’s self and truly appreciating what is found can a person achieve spiritual growth.

Eating a solid breakfast is critical to workplace productivity

With Americans getting less and less sleep and working more and more, it can often be easy to skip out on important daily activities such as exercise and healthy eating.

One thing that all workers should understand is that eating a good breakfast is crucial for being as productive as possible at work, specifically during the morning hours when it can be difficult to get going.

As Ilchi Lee believes energy is an important component in keeping oneself balanced, a solid breakfast can ensure that one gets the boost he or she needs in the morning to show up to work feeling fresh and ready for a long day in the office.

While skipping breakfast may seem like a time-saver in the morning, allowing the person to sleep for an extra few minutes, it can actually take time away from one’s productive hours at work, meaning the company ultimately suffers, which can have a negative impact on one’s job security.

By taking the time out of one’s morning to eat a well-balanced breakfast, a worker can save a number of productive hours in the long run.

Biking to work has many benefits

As much as spiritual healing can help a person to maintain balance in his or her life, commuting to work can be a grind and completely throw this balance off.

However, workers have the ability to counteract problematic commutes by using them as a means of exercise, according to a recent Juneau Empire article.

While riding one’s bike to work can seem like a daunting process for those who live more than a few miles away from the office, it can be fully worth it, as it helps the person to arrive at work ready to go.

Rather than taking an energy supplement or grabbing another cup of coffee, a nice bike ride can truly invigorate a person and wake them up, preparing them for a long day of work. While certain factors such as the weather and time constraints can put a damper on one’s biking commute, it is important for workers to try to make it a habit if possible.

One other important way that riding one’s bike to work can be beneficial is that it allows a person to not have to find time for exercise after the lengthy work day, offering him or her more time for other important things such as socializing.

Improving brain potential leads to career success

Taking steps to improve one’s brain potential is an important part of their future success in life, particularly among young individuals. This point was recent underscored by a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford.

Their 17-year study of 17,200 individuals showed that those who spent time reading out of school when they were 16 were more likely to have career success as adults. Readers were found to have 8 to 10 percent better odds of holding a managerial or professional job as 33-year-olds than adolescents who did not read recreationally.

“According to our results there is something special about reading for pleasure,” said Mark Taylor, who led the study.

Reading may be just one of many ways a person can boost their brain potential. Ilchi Lee says that meditation and other mind training programs may help individuals improve their ability to focus and think creatively.

In today’s competitive business world, these types of skills are in high demand. Taking steps to cultivate a vibrant and flexible brain may give job seekers a strong advantage over their competition and lead to career success.