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  1. So – who reads write ups? The meaning of life is R-R-S (1<>0) (How to frame your life productively and achieve success) Success in life results from many factors, including genetics, social and economic circumstances, cultural forms and luck. Much is randomized, but there are processes that we can effect in determining personal outcomes. This talk is about these processes and how to utilize them effectively. Mainly hard core pragmatic stuff – with a few ‘oh so cheem’ bits (for those who like this)

  2. “There is no view from “nowhere”, the authorless text…There is only a view from “somewhere”, an embodied, historically and culturally situated speaker” Richardson, 1990

  3. My Personal View Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. Charles Mingus When the confusions and complexities of life experiences are examined, sorted and untangled, what remains is a set of behavioural elements and rules that aren’t too difficult to understand at all. (Dilts, 1980, p.5)

  4. An Anchoring Frame(oh so-cheem bit) “…the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.” Viktor Frankl

  5. Components of Highly Effective Human Performance What is it that highly successful teachers have? What is it that highly successful comedians have? What is it that highly successful communicators with the opposite sex have?

  6. R – R -S • Results are the outcomes we want in any situation (e.g., student success rates, laughter, get attractive dates) • Resources are the things we can bring into play in order to get our desired results • Strategies are the orchestrated use of our resources to get the results we desire

  7. So – What results do I want in my life? • Metaphysical – God/design master – however framed • Wealth/Fame/Power • Belonging/Love • Fun/Novel experiences • Self Actualization/Personal achievement of specific outcomes – make a different to education in Singapore/world / Breed best budgies in Clementi “Striving to find meaning in ones life is the primary motivational force in man” Frankl (p.125) “Against boredom even the gods themselves struggle in vain” Nietzsche

  8. What resources do I need and how do I get them? • Physiology (health, fitness, appearance) • Competence – technical/social (requires learning) • Psychological State Management (ability to manage impulsivity, integrate conflicting mental modules in consciousness) • Positive Beliefs (derive from perceptions – determine personal maps of reality) • Ability to Reframe (essence of creativity)

  9. Physiology Attractive people are more likely to get jobs, receive lighter sentences in a court of law and are perceived as having nicer personality traits Which is why folk spend a lot on clothes, hairdressers and, increasingly, plastic surgery

  10. Competence “The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself in some way” Anthony Robbins “We can predict with confidence that we will redefine what it means to be an intelligent person …(it) will be somebody who has learned how to learn and who continues to learn” Peter Drucker

  11. Psychological States At the psychological level our state is how we think, feel and perceive at any given moment. In most basic terms – pictures in our heads Managing your state is one of the keys to managing yourself Resourceful states are the key to peak performance

  12. Smiling and laughing set off biological responses which release endorphins from the brain – they make us feel good and enhance our health Findings from recent brain research To be playful and serious at the same time is possible, and it defines the ideal mental condition Dewey

  13. How to manage your state Engage your body by doing something physical. Its hard to be down when your active – hence exercise is great. A good diet will give you more energy and you’ll look and feel better –especially if you exercise as well Anchor yourself into previous successful experiences and use these as resources. Engage your mind in a project in which you are developing a competence (work or leisure) and engage with others Free yourself from limiting beliefs and poor habits. Use vocabulary that is positive (can do lah) and avoid excessive over-reacting words (e.g.,“absolute nightmare”, “beside myself”, etc) No Problem

  14. Beliefs “Mum, Mum, you don’t have to buy eggs anymore coz I’m laying them” “We forget that beliefs are no more than perceptions, usually with a limited sell by date, yet we act as though they were concrete realities” (Adler, 1996)

  15. The Mapis not the Territory Deletions Distortions Generalizations Senses FILTERS The Territory The Map Selective Attention Memory Personality Beliefs and Values Language

  16. Beliefs shape reality Processing • If you think you can, • or think you can’t • you’re right • Henry Ford

  17. Reframing “How your perceive something makes all the difference, and you are free to see things from any perspective you wish” “If you don’t get the result you want, do something different” (Adler, 1996, p.145) “Its easier to change your perception of the world than it is to change the world” Merlevede et al, 2001

  18. Utilize your resources most effectively to get the result you want, but it must always equal 1 Get the best calibration between your Map and the Territory – a BIGGY Find someone who is very good at what you want to do and work out specifically what they do and how they do it – behavioural & cognitive modelling (benchmark successful people) NOTE: Strategies are always situated – or as we say in England – “Horses for Courses” Designing Effective Strategies? “The meaning of your communication is the response that you get” (Bandler & Grinder, 1990)

  19. (1<>0) = Massive effort or whatever This is very simple to understand, but most folk don’t do 1 – why? (test here) “Average people look for ways of getting away with it; successful people look for ways of getting on with it” James Rohn Once you say that “you’ll try” or “maybe” – that inevitably ends up 0 or thereabouts

  20. Simple – but why so hard lah? “Life’s full of difficult decisions innit” (The sea witch to the little mermaid)

  21. Existential Challenge 1: You must DECIDE the meaning of your life Life is yours to make sense of and its value is the sense you choose to make Jean Paul Sartre Dying is tragic, but dying without having actually lived is the ultimate tragedy Eric Fromm All animals, except man, live their life based on instincts. They have no moral choices to make, experience no guilt and do not worry about dying. In contrast, we must constantly make decisions about how we live our lives, creating personal value and belief systems to guide our behaviour. We also have the capacity to reflect on our behaviour and judge ourselves in relation to such value and belief systems. For example, we may feel guilty or happy about what we do – we have to live with ourselves.

  22. Existential challenge 2: You can change, but you are also Hard Wired Substantial evidence from psychology suggests that our personalities differ in 5 major ways: we are to varying degrees: • introverted or extroverted • neurotic or stable • incurious or open to experience • agreeable or antagonistic • conscientious or undirected All are hereditable, with perhaps 40-50% of the variation in a typical population tied to differences in their genes. It is no fun dealing with the unfortunate wretch who is introverted, neurotic, narrow, disagreeable and undependable

  23. Existential Challenge 3: Emotions typically override Thinking “Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure, …They govern us in all we do, in all we say, and in all we think” Jeremy Bentham Emotions Intellect Far more neural filters project from our brain’s emotional centre into the logical/rational centres than the reverse

  24. Existential Challenge 4: Naturally occurring internal chaos “Its really important to understand that most people are very chaotically organised on the inside” (Bandler & Grinder, 1990, p.71) “We contain multiple personalities living in uneasy alliance under the same skin” (O’Connor & Seymour, 1995, p.13) The mind is a complex system composed of many interacting parts or mental modules – the really important point is that: “Behaviour…comes from an internal struggle among mental modules with differing agendas and goals” (Pinker, 2002, p.40)

  25. Summary Frame • What’s done is done – you can only learn from it (or not) • Thoughtfully decide what’s important to you , build necessary resources, develop effective strategies and make massive effort – R-R-S (1<>0) • Face the ‘Existential Challenges’ Head on • “Ring the bells that still can ring…” (but don’t listen to too many Leonard Cohen songs • “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile” (see the funny side and don’t take yourself too seriously - no one else does) Learn to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want James Rohn (p.60)