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education, Engagement, Learning for now, Learning Strategies, lifelong learning, Performance

It took a dance for me to see..

You should know I am writing a book framed by the many blog posts I have written about learning, strategy, design, and improving human performance.  About 3 months ago I suIrish_DanceGillies_1200_899ddenly couldn’t write a thing.  I found myself using the time to develop project proposals, try new marketing ideas and efforts, and other “stuff” that filled my days and used my energy.  The book idea was fading.  Recently I was returning home with my dancing daughter from a weekend filled with competitions.  I am a loyal dance dad, I hold the bags and have learned how most things are put away and am an ardent champion supporter.  But this trip helped me in a most interesting way.

This particular weekend of competitions was held in a county fairground, not the usual kind of venue but it worked.  Metal roof, big doors at each end to let the breezes in yet the inside became very warm.  Each day was sponsored by a different group and the second day began with a delay of almost an hour.  The complexity of events grew until the schedule we had planned for was almost 3 hours late.  Combined with the heat, the frustrations, the many hours needed to drive back home – nerves were on edge.  The competition took place but the energy, attitude, and passion were lacking and while the results were okay that was not the goal.  On the way home with the air conditioning on and something cold and sweet being consumed the most astute statement was made, “I expected everything to go wrong and bad and it did”.  Then the most interesting question, “what can I do to change that?”.

The concept of resilience and the practice of a positive mindset is more than a theory.  These are tools to get us past the setbacks and barriers that are often not within our control.  When schedules are delayed what can you do to stay focused whether it be a competition or a project proposal?  When things are not aligned for you to be your best, be it a dance or a presentation, what can you do to maximize your strengths?  When you ask but get no answers what can you tell yourself to create calm and let you perform at a high level or write insightful, creative posts?  A recent book by Bonnie St. John and Allen Haines (Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive, and Energy) looked at techniques that would help a person be “better than normal” in the daily, even hourly, challenges we encounter.   In this book they describe how people ranging from athletes to office workers used certain methods to recover their focus, their energy, and improve their performance in a timely effective manner.  These methods used in the “now” can create a quick path to goals and desired success.  Micro-resilience has five strategies, frameworks, that I am working to incorporate in my daily efforts.  The intent of these strategies is to speed up our mind and bodies reactions to obstacles and allow us to recover quickly.

  1. Refocus your brain.

Develop and use different ways to stop the multiple channels playing in your brain, the negative stories and the multitasking that interrupts our ability to zone in on what is important.

  1. Reset your primitive alarms

Use specific techniques to reduce the time your emotions take over leaving you drained. 

  1. Reframe your attitude

It is a valuable set of techniques to create your positive inner story, optimists are more successful so this area creates desired results.

  1. Refresh your body

An overlooked strategy but when the body is balanced the brain works better.  Hydration, snacks that balance and replenish the glucose balance are key.

  1. Renew your spirit

The power of purpose.  Goals, dream, aspirations – reminding yourself what the purpose is that drives your passion, your sense of purpose, and a connection with the community to create a powerful focus on “now”.

It took a dance, and a very special dancer, to open my mind.  In the last week this is my third written post and I have a list of four more topics that I will be addressing.  And these are all around where my book, Learning: Your Strategic tool for organizational success, is focused.  Learning is a strategic path that impacts retention, engagement, and performance metrics.  Learning is a way to grow, to share, to be connected with the community around you, certainly around me.  Learning is a way to open our minds, our hearts, and our eyes to share the evolving story of who we are and who we will be.  My learning story started again with a dance and a dancer…

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About wjryan

Principal Consultant at Ryan Consulting, LLC. Please visit www.williamjryan.com

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