According to Gallup 87% are emotionally disconnected at work. This is wiring your brain to make you grey, boring, dull and miserable. You can't spend most of your time emotionally disconnected and then be vibrant, charismatic and attractive in the rest.
But there's hope if you learn how to use the secrets of neuroscience to rewire yourself from the tame lap dog or pussy you've become and unleash inner beast that is powerful, playful and attractive.
If your work life is turing you into a zombie, where you are only half alive or maybe even less than that what do you do?
Most of us are amping up the life side of that work life balance and spending more on leisure, on shopping, on entertainment to try to cheer ourselves up or dull the misery of everyday working life.
Mindfulness has come back into attention as a solution. As someone who got deeply into Buddhism in the 1980’s not because it was a religion, but because the books were located in the mind science section of the book store along with the psychology books. Buddhism has some real answers for dealing with the dissatisfaction of everyday life, although I apply them perhaps a little unusually.
My experience is that while sitting and becoming aware that you are already in the now is the first step, where the work actually needs to be done is not just sitting there like a lump recovering from the trauma of your life but proactively getting up off your arse and having the realisation that the stories you are telling yourself about the past and the future are just stories. And then taking action and telling yourself a better story – creating a future that works for you.
Many mindfulness practitioners are lost in the bliss of the now and they are going nowhere.
This is ok if you have the community, the sangha to support you. But not in the real world that we live in. And yes I do understand the benefit of recovering from the trauma of work that mindfulness offers. But that focus when you are mindful rather than mindless could be on finding a way out of the problems we’re all in.
The most important relationship you have is the relationship with yourself. Neuroscience now tells us we are constantly wiring and rewiring our brains, this is called neuroplasticity and it's how you can build a life you love for yourself.
But you need to use mindfulness to focus on what you want, not be mindless like a zombie.
For example if you focus on the reality that as a human you are a naturally sexy person who is wildly attractive to the right other naturally sexy human then your reality is literally different because you are starting to rewire you brain to be more juicy, more sensual and your body of course responds. You are not a head with a brain inside riding on top of a body. There isn't a little person in your head who is driving you the machine. You are body mind. You mind is in your body just as your head is attached to your body. And we literally have the same cells in our head that we think with in our heart and our gut. Yes you think with your body.
But have you forgotten that you have a body and are you mostly just your thoughts?
We mostly don't think about how we feel but we forget that is part of what we communicate to other people. There's all sorts of stats saying we have everything from 7 seconds to less than 1 second before people decide they like or don’t like us. Not enough time to be judged on what we say but we’re judged anyway, we’re judged on what people feel about us. And this is going on all the time in every interaction that you have, remember words are less than 7% of the content of communication. The most quoted researcher on non-verbal communication Dr. Albert Mehrabian, found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). That’s a total of 93% as all the stuff other than the words.
When I ask clients what their intention is in their communication, they often look at me like I’m running a criminal investigation. It’s a confusing question for many people because they don’t have any intent most of the time and at other times their intent is to get what they want. Most people live in dependent or transactional relationships, as a child you’ll do what you're told to get the cookie. And most people are doing what they’ve been told because of the story they’ve been told, be a good boy or girl and then you’ll meet someone and you’ll live happy ever after. Or get a good job then you’ll live happy ever after, or the longer version is go to school and do well at your exams, then go to University and do well at your exams then you’ll get a good job and you’ll live happy ever after… Except that isn’t the world we live in today, we have make our own happy ever after now.
The state you are in changes the story you tell.
To demonstrate this to clients I get them to adopt the most miserable posture they can think of, often they are curled in on themselves, hunched over, head down, literally sagging with misery and then ask them to tell me a story with the appropriate miserable voice. They talk at a slow pace, with lots of sighing with words blurring together. Then I get them to shift into the most positive posture they can think of, here often they sit upright or even have to stand, they open themselves out often hands palm out head upright on a straight neck with a crisp sharp tone of voice, speaking precisely every word intoned with precision.
It’s very clear the difference in these two states.
But then if you do the miserable posture can you talk in a positive way?
Or do the positive posture and talk in a miserable way?
It’s very difficult to be positive with a miserable posture or miserable with a positive posture, and it can be quite amusing to remind people that they are supposed to be doing he miserable posture when they can't help themselves moving out of it when they start to talk in a positive way.
This shows the difference that physiology has on your state.
Some of the well-known tricks are to stand up when you are making a phone call, this changes how you sound, or to get into that positive posture first. Or if you are going to an important meeting or interview try to schedule it first thing after lunch or first thing in the morning so you can go to the gym first. You’ll come in to the meeting or interview not only freshly showered and freshly dressed but your physiology will radiate confidence from all the good chemicals you’ve generated in your workout. Remember people judge you in less than a second.
With intentionality of course you don’t need to go to the gym first you can access a positive somatic way of being, you can use mindfulness to remember that your mind is in your body and therefore your body affects your mind. It’s that Google search I mentioned that you are doing and being intentional about what you are typing in. You get results based upon both body and mind.
The mindful way of doing this is to understand your communication is whole form.
If you’re nervous you can forget to say some of the words you meant to say. In the same way in our whole form communication we need to remember that our state generated by our body is some of the words that is part of the conversation. You know you wouldn’t make any sense if you left out every other word you were speaking. This is what you are doing if you forget to pay attention to your state. You leave out part of the communication and it’s the bigger part, remember words are 7%.
When we look at powerful communicators we feel their communication, not just hear the words, this is what gives it power. This is because they are congruent in what they are saying, they use both words and the state they are in. The communication is whole form.
They communicate mindfully using both their body and their minds and both our mind and body respond.
This is how you move people to action and become persuasive. It’s how you lead because people want to follow you.
It's how you generate possibility for yourself.
If you need to speak to a gorgeous girl or guy start by shifting to a feeling of possibility - feel good. Then speak from that feeling.
It's the body, the somatics that come first not the head or more specifically the cortex, your human thinking brain. What brings this to life for the clients I work with is when they get their mammal right. Your brain is like a human riding a mammal riding a reptile (human brain, on top of mammal brain on top of reptile brain). When you can consult your inner wolf or inner tiger for the feeling to start with you are intentionally using mindfulness to run your brain. Remember neuroscience can be summed up in one simple sentence: "The mind creates the brain which creates the mind." It's that first step using intentionality, using intent, your mind to create your brain which creates your everyday thinking.