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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fully Charged: FINAL Post

Energy. We get our energy from taking care of ourselves and caring for others.

Rath’s advice about energy is also the title of a former best seller—Eat, Move, Sleep.
a.    Eat: No surprise here—eat more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and processed food. Protein in the morning increases levels of dopamine—keeping us in a better mood and reducing cravings. Put healthy foods in sight and don’t buy unhealthy ones.
b.    Move: We spend 9.3 hours sitting—more time than we do sleeping. Sitting is the new smoking. In terms of negative health implications, it’s “the sitting disease.” Every two hours of sitting reduces 20 minutes of exercise benefit. So, sitting for 8 hours pretty much negates even a great workout. Physiology: Sitting stops electrical activity in your legs, calorie burn is only 1 calorie per minute, fat break-down enzymes drop by 90%, and good cholesterol drops by 20%!  However, walking increases energy levels by 150%.
c.    Sleep: Losing sleep decreases your well-being, productivity and health. The average American sleeps about 7 hours, but elite performers get 8.5 hrs. of sleep a night. Also, frequent breaks make a big difference—ideally, break 15 minutes every hour. Sleep loss: losing 90 minutes reduces alertness by a third, and a loss of up to 4 hours of sleep is like the impairment effect of drinking a 6-pack of beer. Make your room like a cave—cool, dark and quiet.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fully Charged: Post #3--Interactions

Interactions. Keep your interactions positive and watch your life change.
a.    Ripple Effect: When we act happy, are kind, even lose weight—do anything positive—we can positively impact 10 and even 100 people around us (Yale research). And frequency of interactions is more important than intensity of our interaction. Little things count, not amazing gestures. People experiencing them are four times more likely to have a high level of well-being. Also, the closer you live to someone who’s kind or loving, the higher your happiness—up to 40% more if a half mile or less.
b.    Positive Ratios: When we interact with people, negative statements far outweigh positive ones. In fact, it takes about 3 positive ones to counter 1 negative one. Rath suggests 80% of our conversations should be focused on what’s going well; however, work-related performance reviews do just the reverse—spend 80% of the time on what’s not working well. Also, small acts add up: Studies show that making someone smile with a kind gesture is more important than trying to make them happy. Small, concrete goals to help the well-being of another make the difference.
c.    Make Experiences Count: Invest in experiences with other people, not simply on yourself. Such experiences have a greater impact and a more lasting one. Even if you’re waiting in line for an experience, like buying tickets to a concert, you’ll enjoy it more. However, this does not work if you’re just trying to impress someone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fully Charged: Post #2--Meaning

Meaning. Find meaning and purpose in your life.
a.    Progress toward meaningful work every day is what people seek, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile. And, small wins get to meaningful progress. Pursue meaning by helping others, not happiness focused only on yourself. There is science/biology behind this purpose vs. happiness dilemma. People who lack meaning in their lives express a gene pattern that activates an inflammatory response, which can become chronic. However, people with purpose in their lives showed no such gene expression.
b.    Motivation from meaningful intrinsic values (recognition, respect, and impact) and not extrinsic (rewards and money) has significant positive impact on people’s lives. Research: Before starting to write, writers who thought about intrinsic motivations vs. those who thought about extrinsic motivation produced much better writing. People who did meaningful work outside of their work, performed better at work.
c.    Strengths: According to Gallup’s intensive research on strengths, we all have distinctive talents, which can develop into world-class strengths only if we recognize and practice those talents. And when we use those developed strengths, people are six times more engaged at work and three times more satisfied.  Unfortunately, we can often “fall into the default career path” and pursue a job because our parents or mentors think it’s a good idea, often without regard for our talents. Job crafting (U. of Michigan) instructs us to look at tasks that give us energy and meaning in our work and recast our jobs toward those tasks.

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