I am delighted to be beginning the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology with the University of East London. I wanted to summarise the field and offer a little introduction. I think this man does it well. A story about perceptions, brains and....unicorns.
"When we felt safe amongst our own, the natural reaction was trust and cooperation." In this Ted talk, Simon Sinek reveals what inspires people to get behind their leader to give then everything and the ancient precedent for building this kind of trust. In a word: safety. Safety is fundamental to trust and trust is essential to inspire others to act. If the aim is simply hitting short-term goals then coercion and authority will suffice. Yet most leaders, whether deserving of the title or not, yearn to be inspirational. For Sinek, making your people feel safe is paramount to trust [...]
I've watched a lot of panel discussions, live and online, on leadership, on management, on inspiring others and on how to grow a 'successful' business. They look, at first glance, like this one. Well educated, Caucasian men sharing a stage with expensive-looking water. This. Is. Different. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, talks in this interview about starting Obvious Corporation. The title of the discussion, 'Mindfully Building a Company From the Ground Up' merited my click. So, what do they do? We bring experience, capital, and focus to startups combining profit and purpose for a smarter, healthier, and more sustainable world. [...]
Strength and awareness beat force and rigidity for collaborative and exemplary decision making. As children, handstands were an expression of our carefree and fearless selves. They were spontaneous, energising and fun. As adults, regardless of yoga experience, they can feel forced, exhausting and intimidating. What changed? In this inverted, unsupported place, we must feel confident in our ability to stay easy in the face of uncertainty, connect with our centre, challenge our comfort level and approach it all with an attitude of fun, no matter how it ends. Perhaps a lifetime of socialisation and self-set expectations can dampen this inherent [...]
Perhaps the most well-known and classic image of yoga, Downward Facing Dog is fundamental to the flow of sun salutations and features in most classes. Yoga practitioners at every level find familiarity here. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to avoid and as asanas go, this one is all-encompassing. Stretching and strengthening the feet, legs, back, shoulders, arms and wrists, Downward Facing Dog is energising and relaxing. It is said to boost circulation, digestion, improve bone density and release tension. In short, if this is the only practice you add to your day, you’re bound to benefit. Often overlooked, [...]
This posture confidently exemplifies restraint, patience and self-awareness. The seated forward bend is one of the greatest guides to letting go of the ego. Our inherent competitive nature may surface initially, pushing us deeper into the stretch. It’s common to overlook the breath or become aware of what’s happening on the next mat, but the folded nature of the posture fosters a feeling of grounding, of coming back to oneself. Learning to focus inwards we can let go of the need to compare ourselves to others. We understand that every body is created differently and can begin to enjoy the [...]
“I’d love to practice yoga, but I am just not flexible enough.” Whenever I hear that, I curiously ask, “Ok, so where else in your life does your inflexibility show up?” Now we have a conversation! This can surprise some people who meant to just talk about their physical body and possibly, only certain parts. There's a reason I ask. Mounting evidence suggests our mental wellbeing affects our physical state and many illnesses manifesting in the body originate in the mind. When the conversation moves beyond the physical, almost everyone feels this truth. The Oxford definition of flexible is: Flexible [...]