On lifting the burden of productivity and living the everyday wonder

On lifting the burden of productivity

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” Thomas Edison.

I hope my email finds you well, enjoying the evening, with a lot of curiosity and eagerness to live the life’s adventure.
It’s been a while since last time I wrote you. Loads of time for relaxation, meditation and more importantly, wonder.
I would like to share with you some lessons that I learnt while I’ve been to Romania and I made big wonderful changes in my personal life. I hope you’ll find them interesting to read and maybe will make you a bit more curious about the concept of being present and engaged in living your life.

1. Time Management is DEAD 
The idea that we will ever manage our time, is very wrong. Somewhere along the line, the game changed. We now live in an age of constant connection and information overload. We are bombarded with new information inputs – and from different several sources at the same time – in a way that would have been staggering co comprehend even ten years ago. Today the archaic systems of ‘to do lists’ and ABC priority systems are overrated. We are buried under 24-7 emails, social media, voicemails, instant messages, texts, conference calls, collaboration tools and of course, the burden of staying connected. Ever got to 5pm, 6 pm, or even the end of the day and you’re still staring at a full to do list, wondering where the day went? Well, that’s it. The truth is that “Time Management is DEAD”.
Quite apart from the ever increasing volume of information in our work, there are so many other reasons why time management theories of old no longer cut it. Work is more complex now, our roles are less defined, the work itself more free-flowing: the emphasis is less on rigid management hierarchies and more on each member of the team taking personal responsibility – the pace of communication has increased dramatically and we’re expected to reply or at least be ‘in the loop’ constantly. Working hours are becoming longer and more flexible, catering to the needs of working parents as well as colleagues across continents. All of this means you have to come to terms with one important thing:

2. You will never get everything finished

The completion of the ‘to do list’ is indeed very satisfying. This satisfaction naturally gives way to clear space. Psychologically, clear space helps provide perspective, a brief recovery from the frenetic pace of life and time to re-evaluate our priorities.
The trouble is, the modern work paradigm gives us so little sense of completion or clear space that it feels like we’re constantly straining to see the light at the end of a long, long tunnel. And when the light at the end of the tunnel finally approaches, you realize it’s just some nasty bloke with a torch bringing you more work to do.
For unfinished tasks, there is a solution, of course – Decision making. The art of decision-making, our ability to make space for the ‘quality thinking time’ we need, how do we react on our gut instincts (especially when such time for thinking isn’t available) defines us at work.

3. Is better to be Response-able than to be responsible

We live in a fast-paced world. Our personal efficiency depends on how quickly do we react to change. Is not about just realizing that things are changing, but actually digesting, understanding and responding with an appropriate action.We all know that the more people get paid or achieve, the more responsible they are. But simply being ‘responsible’ these days, isn’t enough. As society we value those who are comfortable with positions of responsibility, but we rarely explore responsibility as something proactive and dynamic. Yet, being in a position of responsibility usually also means ‘influence’. The nature of responsibility is that it should also bring reward- the ability to make an impact, create wealth and success for your organization, for society, for your family and for you. By viewing responsibility as inherently troublesome, we view it as the price to be paid for its success. We see it as a trade off.
To be response-able means you have the ability to define in the moment the actions you need to take to overcome and enjoy any new challenges. To be response-able therefore means to be: response-able now (develop new habits so that you’re proactively looking for ways to respond,rather than to avoid tasks and defer) response-able later (setting up systems so that you will know what your next move will be on any given project) response-able in crises (easy ways to respond when is a moment of crises and to ensure full focus on the job at hand)

4. Lifting the burden of productivity offers freedom

I love productivity, I simply love when I finish my ‘to do list’ when I add things and I easily find solutions to any situation that will arise. But, do you ever realize that you spent time in a job where you then wonder, a year later, what happened during that year?
That is what defines to live with the burden of productivity.
Insight – change your state everyday by simply looking around you. Different ways of looking around you, it offers you new things. this novelty, this way of living in wonder, creates space for us to enjoy life.
What’s interesting about the productivity dogma is that we live in a culture where we worship work ethic — by a very narrow definition — as some sort of this grand virtue. And we define it as showing up, day after day after day. But I often think that that’s the surest way to full ourselves into a kind of trance of passivity, where we show up but we’re absent from our own lives. And I think one of the most beautiful things you do is you show how we can be present in our own lives.

I wish you a week of wonder, novelties and moments that will remain memorable :)


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

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Employee motivation

What drives you? 

 Historically, organizations have believed that compensation is the primary motivator for results, but scientific evidence suggests that the link between money, motivation, and performance is much more intricate. A new UNC Executive Development white paper, Motivation on the Brain – Applying the Neuroscience of Motivation in the Workplace, discusses the science behind motivation and why it is important in the workplace. 

Brain Triggers 

Kimberly Schaufenbuel, program director at UNC Executive Development, explains that with the burgeoning field of neuroscience and advanced tools like functional magnetic resonance imaging, there is scientific evidence that the source of motivation is all in the head. Specifically, “dopamine, long thought to be the happy neurotransmitter, is actually the reward and punishment transmitter.” 

The white paper distills how this works: Motivation is created in the brain when dopamine is released and makes its way to an area of the brain called “nucleas accumens,” which triggers feedback that predicts whether something good or bad is about to happen. “That prediction, in turn, triggers the motivation to respond; to act to minimize a predicted threat (the bad) or to maximize a predicted reward (the good),” writes Schaufenbuel.

Behavioral Drivers 

Schaufenbuel goes onto outline the work of Harvard Professors Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria, who blended motivation theory with neuroscience to describe four fundamental patterns of human behavior: 1) drive to acquire, 2) drive to defend, 3) drive to bond, and 4) drive to learn. 

Why does this matter? “When HR and talent managers understand what drives a person’s behavior in this context, they can design systems, policies, procedures, and practices that will appeal to each driver,” writes Schaufenbuel. She reminds talent managers, however, that they must think holistically when taking actions to address each driver. For instance, “fulfilling the drive to bond has the most effect on employee commitment, but other drivers will influence how strong that bonding is.” 

Meanwhile, the white paper states that job design is a critical factor when looking to appeal to the drive to learn. “HR and talent management professionals must ensure that jobs are designed in such a way that they are meaningful to employees and foster a sense of contribution to the organization.” For example, when The Royal Bank of Scotland was merging with the National Westminster Bank, it heavily invested in a state-of-the-art business school facility to which employees had access. “This move not only helped fill the drive to bond, it also challenged employees to think more broadly about how they could contribute to making a difference for co-workers, customers, and investors.”

 Schaufenbuel also describes David Rock’s SCARF model, which also combines motivational theory with neuroscience. Based on this model, “a job should not be viewed as a business transaction—do the work and get paid—but rather as a part of a social system in which the brain is rewarded (or punished) based on how well the business environment is meeting an employee’s need for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.” 

Rock advises organizations design motivation strategies that appeal to the social aspect of the brain to dvelop a sense of affiliation. In other words, appealing to SCARF will likely boost teamwork, belonging, camaraderie, and knowledge sharing. According to Rock, “social motivators like these will activate dopamine in the brain and trigger the brain’s reward systems.” 

Bottom Line 

Schaufenbuel concludes that combining motivation theory and neuroscience provides organizations with roadmaps for how to shape culture to motivate employees, spur engagement, and boost the bottom line. “This has important implications for HR and talent management professionals, because along with these neuroscience discoveries comes the realization that the brain can be retrained to increase a person’s motivation for rewards—and therefore engagement, employee productivity, retention, and more,” writes Schaufenbuel. 

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On the construct of HOPE

We are amazing human beings. Why amazing? Because of the way we rebuilt hope and strength after a big failure. How are we so optimistic, so careful not to trip and yet do trip, and then get up and say “IT WILL BE OK”?

What is that thing that propels us to get up after loss, after heartbreak, after failure? What is that immutable rope that pulls us out of our own depths — depths we hardly know until that moment when the light of the surface vanishes completely and unreachably? How do we create that thinking of “The difficult I’ll do right now. The impossible will take a little while”?

And yes, somehow we access the root of hope and create in our heads an image of the life we want.

Once we have glimpsed the world as it might be, as it ought to be, as it’s going to be (however that vision appears to us), it is impossible to live compliant and complacent anymore in the world as it is… And so we come out and walk out and march, the way a flower comes out and blooms, because it has no other calling. It has no other work, than HOPE.

I am interested in finding the meeting point of hope and history, how hope happened and what we make of it. What has happened is met midstream by people who are spiritual beings and all that implies of creativity, imagination, crazy wisdom, ancient wisdom, passionate compassion, selfless courage, and radical reverence for life. And love—for one another absolutely, and that love that rises out of us, for something larger than ourselves.

Life’s purpose – to save the world? If we do save it, we save it from what?

Well, I am not here to save anybody or to save the world. All I can do — what I am called to do — is to plant myself at the gates of Hope. Life’s challenges are always in our way. Sometimes they come in; sometimes they walk by. But I do stand there every day, at the gates of hope. And I call out HOPE every day, regardless my barriers, I call out till my lungs are sore with calling, and urge them in toward beautiful life.

There’s something for all of us there, I think. Whatever our vocation, we stand calling, singing and shouting, planted at the gates of Hope. This world and our people are beautiful and broken, and we are called to raise that up — to bear witness to the possibility of living with the dignity, bravery, and gladness that befits a human being. That may be what it is to “live our mission.”

That mission, of course, is different for each of us.

We stand where we will stand, on little plots of ground, where we are maybe “called” to stand (though who knows what that means?) — in our classrooms, offices, factories, in fields of lettuces and apricots, in hospitals, in prisons (on both sides, at various times, of the gates), in streets, in community groups. And it is sacred ground if we would honour it, if we would bring to it a blessing of sacrifice and risk…

P1070934Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope — not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinges (people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through); nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is gonna be all right.” But a different, sometimes lonely place, the place of truth-telling, about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, the piece of ground from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle. And we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we are seeing, asking people what they see. We create stories, for others to use to make their lives better.

At the end, how do we construct HOPE? My opinion is that hope is built on memories. If we focus on good memories, we can create hope. When we focus on negative memories, we create disaster.

But memories are not recordings, but stories that we retrieve from the compost heap that is our long term memory; We construct these stories to make sense of the events we have experienced so far. To tell you the truth, they change over time as they become distorted, merged, turned over, mixed in and mangled with other other experiences that eventually fade. But some memories remain as vivid as the day they happened or at least they seem so – those episodes that refuse to decompose. These are the events we can’t forget.

When we witness something that is terrifying, then a memory can be branded in your brain, like a hot searing iron that marks our mind forever.

A bit of psychology…


This is because emotionally charged memories are fuel injected by the electrical activity of the limbic system. Arousal, triggered in the amygdala, produces heightened sensitivity and increased attention. The dilation of our pupils reveals that our vigilance systems have been put on high alert to look our for danger. The world suddenly becomes very clear and enriched as we notice all manner of trivial details that we would not normally care about. It’s like the scene has suddenly been illuminated by bright light- as if some paparazzi photographer has lit up the world in a brilliant blaze of light during our moments of terror-which is why these recollections are called ‘flashbulb’ memories. And we experience the emotion – we feel the past.

We usually lament our loss of memory as we age but sometimes it is better to forget. While many flashbulb memories are associated with the more joyous events in life such as births and weddings, most are generated by the horrors. Victims and survivors typically experience traumatic memories that they can’t erase- a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our emotional systems seem compelled to never let us forget the worst things that happened to us. In truth, details of flashbulb memories can be as false as any other memory, but they just seem so accurate.

Maybe flashbulb memories serve some form of evolutionary value to always remember the worst case scenario. When it comes to surviving, it would seem that Mother Nature has decided that it is more important to remember how we felt when endangered compared to the pleasures of life.

One way to combat PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is to administer a beta-blocker such as propranolol immediately after the event. Beta-blockers dampen the arousal of the limbic system so that events are not encoded with he same degree of emotional kick. People still remember what happened but feel less upset.


What is a memory? Can you hold one? Can you make one? Can you copy a memory?If we are our memories, can we be re-created?

Memory is information stored as a pattern of electrical activity that “re-presents”the original pattern at the time it was formed. The representation is memories are – although human memories are not rigid but dynamic and continually changing as new information is encountered.

If we are our brains and our brains are a network of physical cells connected together in a pattern of weighted electrical activity, then it really should be possible to copy a memory in the same way we can copy any information. We should be able to copy our selves.

The possibility of copying memory is at the heart of what it is to be unique.

Whatever way we achieve it, let us assume that we have the technology to reliably duplicate anything. Imagine now that you step into the machine and an identical physical copy of you is created.

What would this new you be like? If we assume that there is no spirit or soul, what makes us unique?

Our autobiographical memories are crucial to our sense of self. We know now that our bodies can be copied but not our memories. Our memories are what make us who we are.

Just to get back to our focus today, how do we construct HOPE?

1) I believe that hope is based on memories. The more we recall the good memories, the more we create hope for a better reality and new positive memories.

2) Hope is based on focus on the good parts of our lives.

3) Hope is based on the stories we tell to ourselves. The stories that we tell ourselves, whether they be false or true, are always real. We act out of those stories, reacting to their realness. William James knew this when he observed: “My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind.”

4) Hope is based on critical thinking .

IMG_4712To live with sincerity in our culture of cynicism is a difficult dance — one that comes easily only to the very young and the very old. The rest of us are left to tussle with two polarizing forces ripping the psyche asunder by beckoning to it from opposite directions — critical thinking and hope.

Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.

Finding fault and feeling hopeless about improving the situation produces resignation — cynicism is both resignation’s symptom and a futile self-protection mechanism against it. Blindly believing that everything will work out just fine also produces resignation, for we have no motive to apply ourselves toward making things better. But in order to survive — both as individuals and as a civilization — and especially in order to thrive, we need the right balance of critical thinking and hope.

A plant needs water in order to survive, and needs the right amount of water in order to thrive. Overwater it and it rots with excess. Underwater it and it dries up inside.

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More women in the team, better for the business

The Comfort Principle in Female Entrepreneurship

Firstly, I’ll share with you some interesting facts about female entrepreneurship in the UK. Maybe the gap between male entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs is closing, but it still exists.

UK Female Entrepreneurship: key facts

  • Women account for under a third of those in self-employment, but over half the increase in self-employment since the recession started in 2008. Between 2008 and 2011 women accounted for an unprecedented 80% of the new self-employed. (Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics 2013).
  • There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed which represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013).
  • Women account for 17% of business owners, ie. owners/ managers/ employers (Labour Force Survey 2008, in Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
  • UK Women’s businesses have a higher churn rate (ie. more start-ups and closures). But women are less likely to attribute closure to ‘business failure’ and more likely to cite ‘personal reasons’ – which peak at age 25-34 for women. (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
  • Men are now twice as likely to be entrepreneurially active as women but in 2001 were two and a half times more likely to be entrepreneurially active, ie. involved in the early stages of a new venture. (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, UK Report 2011)
  • 10% of the female population are thinking about starting up a business (Women in Business: key facts,  Government Equalities Office 2008)

There are of course plenty of factors influencing the entrepreneurship world, but today I wanted to focus on one aspect that matters when we think about women and leadership. What is the cause of the gap between women and men when we speak about leadership?
Among the causes for why women are still not proportionally represented at the top of UK business are what is called: invisible mindsets. These obstacles to gender diversity in the workplace are tough to uproot because they operate at the unconscious level. One unconscious mindset is what in my coaching practice and my workshops, I call the “comfort principle”. 

This principle is based on the idea that we all have the understandable preference of being around people with whom we are comfortable. Often that means people with similar backgrounds, ways of thinking, politics and even gender or skin color.

I am not trying to change this principle, I’m just mentioning it to you to highlight that our preferences are already established by our unconscious mind.
Access to informal and formal networks, and having mentors and sponsors, are key to successful climb to the top. Good work assignments provide opportunities for development, experience and exposure. If leaders and managers are unconscious of the comfort principle, they are likely to think first of people with whom they developed comfortable relationships. People most like those leaders and managers gain an advantage if access, mentoring or getting great assignments depends to a large degree on “comfort”. Those with whom the leader is less comfortable (often women and people of color) may be disadvantaged, perpetuating the current demographics of leadership.
Conscious awareness of the comfort principle is its cure. If I acknowledge that I am subject to this natural phenomenon, I can make conscious, deliberate choices. I can stop and consider whether it is influencing my decision about mentoring or assigning work. I can think about what skill sets are needed on a project or who needs an opportunity to gain experience or exposure. I can be (or at least try) more inclusive!

What can women and others affected by the comfort principle do?
***Look up for ways to build comfort. We can notice what the leader has in his or her office that reveals hobbies or family. We can find opportunities to get to know him or her outside the work environment.Sharing social time can build comfort!

This week, we will meet up to speak about Women and Leadership. What makes women feel powerful, limitless and resourceful ?

“Power is the ability of not pleasing everybody else before yourself” – ELIZABETH JANEWAY
Our “Light Up Your Feminine Power” seminar is devoted to reconnecting with Your Real Self — helping you to discover, resource and finally celebrate the fire of your unique flavor of feminine power.
Over the evening course, you’ll celebrate the beauty that you and only you possess.
You’ll experience living in and loving the body you have right now.
You’ll find a safe place to honor your feelings and emotions.

Some of the highlights of the night:
– you’ll learn how to understand the light and shadow aspects of your power so you can enhance and harness both
– You’ll discover how to resource the truth and wisdom of your beautiful body – with way less worry and stress and way more joy and pleasure
– How other women can be your allies instead of your rivals, so your gifts are promoted for you
– How to be your own best friend — creating greater intimacy, trust and integrity in all your relationships


Even if you don’t aspire for a leadership role, organisations need women in their teams, in order to be successful.


1. Hiring women is good for the business
Women’s empowerment is an engine for economic growth in poor countries. This means empowered women can generate a vast amount of wealth that people around the world would be able to spend. There are billions of women and girls with untapped purchasing power. If you want a successful future, then you need to be doing as much as you can to create it—and that means empowering women.

2. The organisations will expand their skills set

You’ll be motivated by the need to think strategically in order to make an impact. Because women think differently, your general business strategy will be more creative, more inclusive and more powerful. Women are gifted with more empathy (or at least they use it more effectively) which makes the business to last longer by creating longer relationships, maybe partnerships with the customers.

3. You will gain valuable insight

As a female business leader sometimes you have to fight to make yourself heard. Women all over the world, no matter what their position in life, are doing the same thing. When women have more power to make decisions, conditions in their communities improve, and their families are healthier and more prosperous. Yet society routinely ignores their knowledge and their ability to solve problems.

From my perspective as someone who works in development, this is what makes investments in women so powerful. When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else. And if you gradually start to take action it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business.

Reading more about confidence and entrepreneurship? Click here: evisioncoaching.co.uk

Don’t forget to join us on 1st of April, “LIGHT UP YOUR FEMININE POWER”  Tickets – Feminine Power

Have a great week!


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

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Joyful attempts to find out what makes you happy

P1070597What is happiness? Going back in time, to the Declaration of Independence, we find out that this one refers to inalienable rights, among which are “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness”. Various philosophers have considered happiness to be one of the highest aims of living and a way of assessing the quality of human action.

In my coaching practice, I bump into this concept of happiness every time I ask my clients why do they want to achieve what they want.

“I want to be better, I want to become better, I want my family to love me, I want my work to be recognized, I want to be an wealthy person, I want to be HAPPY…” These words are on the lips of all of them.

What exactly is happiness? What brings us lasting happiness?

Pleasure is one of the core elements of happiness. What makes an experience to be pleasurable? Barbara Fredrickson and Daniel Kahneman have found some surprising answers to this question.

Through different studies about pleasure, the two scientists found out that:

There are three determinants of people’s overall assessments of pleasure.

– the peak moment of pleasure associated with an event (Imagine that joy you feel as You’re eating and ice-cream) predicts how much pleasure you will associate with the event.

– how you feel at the end of the event also predicts your overall reports of pleasure.

If you are planning a backpacking trip through Europe or a first date, make sure that last day is really pleasurable.

– the length of the pleasurable experience is unrelated to the overall reports of pleasure, a bias called “duration neglect”

Whether the neck massage lasts 20 minutes or one hour, whether a first date lasts one hour or ten, seems to have little sway over our experience of pleasure. what matters is that whether the peak moment and ending are good.

! The same principle for negative experiences. Remembered pain is predicted by peak and end discomfort, but not by its duration (Kahneman, 1999)

 Whether we know or not what is happiness, do we really know what makes us happy? Can we reliably predict what will make us happy, and what will bring us despair?

We spend our lives in work on the assumption that the career success will bring lasting joy. We choose graduate schools, careers, vacations, marriage partners based on the sense that one option will bring more happiness than others.

A variety of biases interfere with our attempts to predict the level of our future happiness.

1) Immune neglect – we are resilient in responding to painful setbacks, because of our ‘psychological immune system’ which allows us to rise above the effects of negative experience and trauma. Somehow we find the silver lining, the humour, the potential for growth, insight and positive change in the face of painful setbacks and traumatic experiences. These immune related processes allows to return to satisfying lives in the face of negative experiences.

The problem in predicting happiness is that we fail to consider these processes when estimating the effects of traumatic events like breakups or failures at work. We assume that we will be devastated by them, but in fact we often respond in resilient fashion. As a consequence, we have difficulties predicting our future happiness.

2) Another bias is focalism – we focus too much on the main elements of the significant events, neglecting the fact that the other aspects of our lives will also contribute to our life satisfaction .As we move through life, it is common for us to assume that once one event happens – for example, once we get married, or have children – we will be truly happy. What we forget to consider is that after our wedding, after the arrival of our children, many other events ( for example problems on our job, conflicts with our spouse, or difficulties with our children) will impinge to our happiness.

INVITATION: Live a mindful life, consider all the aspects of your life when assessing your level of happiness. Don’t postpone your happiness and be mindful now, live your dreams and don’t leave them for one day!


We all have difficulties predicting whether we will be happy  in the future, as we are more resilient than we think we are and we tend to focus on certain aspects of future events while neglecting other bits that can actually be important in the future.

What I found so far is that most people are happy because they are able to adapt rapidly to life’s circumstances. In wealthy countries, money, age and gender do not seem to affect life satisfaction but relationships with family and friends are important sources of happiness for people throughout the world.

P1070685Easy ways to find out what makes you happy:

1) Think about 5 things you like about yourself

What would be the purpose of being happy if you, firstly, are not happy with yourself. To be happy in the outside world, means to have a happy relationship with ourselves.

2) Finish the sentence: “My dream is…..” Don’t be afraid to write it down. What would you do if no one is watching or reading?

3) Say to yourself, as many times as you can, that “ IS NORMAL TO BE HAPPY”. Think about those times when you thought that happiness isn’t in the cards for you, or that you don’t deserve it, or that you don’t have what it takes to be happy…so many reasons to find blockages against your own happiness. Yes, Happiness is NORMAL! Go and grab itSmile

4) List 50 things that bring joy to your life right now, repeat the exercise as many times as you feel like to. Some of these things are making you feel alive indeed.

5) What is the best thing that happened to you lately? Don’t be afraid to write about a simple thing, you know, simple things make us feel alive.

On 1st of April we meet up to “LIGHT UP YOUR FEMININE POWER” – If you feel that this event is for you, please do register here: Tickets – Feminine Power

Have a great week!


Development Coach,

Elite Vision Coaching

Explore ~ Connect with Others ~ Share your Discoveries

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Why is FANTASY important in entrepreneurship

Why is FANTASY important in entrepreneurship?

What if we live in a world where everybody can sprinkle magic liquids on the ground, where the start-ups can bear success whenever we want, where all types of instruments against the pain of failure would be sold at a bargain price?

What if we all live in a fantasy world where music can sow a panic of uproarious motivation through the streets, where parrots off all colors recite successful business recipes, or hens’re laying hundreds of golden investments to the sound of a tambourine?

What if trained monkeys can read the minds of the world’s biggest investors, or multiple use machines that can sew on inspired ideas and reduce start-ups anxiety in the same time?

What if we all live in a world where we all would have access to special tools to help other entrepreneurs to forget their past failures, in a world where we would have a poultice to lose time and gain focus?

What if the object of recreation in our fantasy world is NOT the Iphone but the flying carpets?

What if all these mentioned above would be possible? How would you, yes YOU, dear Entrepreneur, would you approach your business?

As entrepreneurs, or even as grownups, we lose a bit the sense of wonder that we had as children.

Even though that a person who wonders is bound to become a poet, philosopher or a monk, and all these three types of people are useless to the society, we can still add wonder and fantasy to our business.

As entrepreneurs, we are trained as machines, skillful machines, robots. Yes, we train ourselves to be useful to the society. The society needs knowledgeable people, that know and use numbers and figures, effectively. The truth is that, as knowledgeable entrepreneurs, we wonder less and less. Because, when we know, how can we wonder?

!Invitation: Set aside space in your mind for wonder

As entrepreneurs, people of numbers, we trained our minds for question marks. When we add wonder, in our approach, we start living with exclamation points.

What does it mean to be living with exclamation points? What does it mean to have fantasy in our business approach?

* when we meet other entrepreneurs, we really CONNECT with them. The connection will not be focused on numbers or figures, it will be focused on their passions, on their ‘human’ side instead. By ‘knowing’ how does their voice sound like, or if they collect butterflies and drawings, we emotionally connect and this will be the fuel for along lasting partnerships.

* The sense of wonder will make us wiser. When you wonder, you step into the world of beauty. That will affect your focus as a startup. As entrepreneurs, our mindsets are permanently challenged by negative factors. Is hard sometimes, to keep our focus up and motivation high. When we wonder, we imagine the best option and that is keeping us ‘alive’ when working, it gives us direction for our business.

* The wonder will bring us to the source of search, the real search. When we wonder, we connect with ourselves. Self-discovery will keep us focused on what is truly important to us,aligned with our core values, that create a fulfilled life not just one of achievements and punctual results.

* It is exciting to step into the adventure of entrepreneurship. When we see entrepreneurship as a process, we strengthen our resilience. We all know that entrepreneurship has ups and downs, having your own business is a ‘real’ roller coaster. It doesn’t have a beginning or and end point, it is a process that requires curiosity, excitement and focus.

* In a fantasy world, there is no past or future. When we live in the moment, as entrepreneurs, the whole world stops, the time stops. That will allow us space to BE, to be inspired, to follow intuition and be inspired.

* By choosing fantasy, we enable the existence of choice in our business. With the power of choice, we can choose the best stories to lift up our moods, to maintain our focus, keep us motivated, or relaxed in an energized day.

* Fantasy gives flexibility in business approach. Probably you learned like me that in entrepreneurship is vital to explore options and to keep on going in different ways until you reach your destination. With flexibility, everything stops being just ‘yes’ or ‘no’, it starts being ‘MAYBE’. Who knows? Maybe success is not as far as you thought before.

* With wonder, we step into a safe world. Safety in the business world is represented by certainty. What if we would know that everything will be alright? ‘Fantasy’ comes from ancient Greek which means ‘to make visible’. With fantasy, everything becomes certain, visible, beyond the dragons of investments or the wizards of private loans. When we think about a startup, we immediately think about the risks of investments, the challenges that can arise on the way. We trained our minds to count the barriers. When we wonder, we keep our hope high, our maintain up our motivation and energy. Wonder doesn’t mean no action, it means loads of action with curiosity and passion. 

Well, my dears readers, fantasy is a mandatory ingredient  in entrepreneurship. Fantasy is not a way of escaping the challenging reality of business plans and action strategies, FANTASY IS JUST A WAY OF UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP. 

Dear reader, as entrepreneur, I invite you today to do something different than last week in work, I invite you to be brave, to be an aspiring artist every time you go for funding or sell your magic products or services. Trust your talent and be curious about the journey!

Have an amazing week!


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

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A bigger negotiating pie?

If we want to admit it or not, we have to negotiate at all times in our lives, in almost every aspect or environment: at work when trying to get funding for a great project that you’ve been working very hard lately, in a business environment when closing a deal, at shopping trying to get a better offer for the products you need, we need to negotiate everywhere. But the question is do you do it right? Do you have sometimes the feeling that someone took advantage of you? Do you seem to have to fight your corner aggressively?  Well the negotiation skills are like any other communication skills, some things that we can learn and develop through practice and commitment.

Picture the following: it’s time to buy a new car, and you’re in the showroom at a local dealer.

You’re interested in a car priced at £9,000, with an initial payment of 20 percent, and the rest as an interest-free loan over three years. You think you can get a better price, but the sales-person isn’t prepared to lower it.

So, how can you get a better overall price for yourself while also making your offer more attractive to the dealer?

You think of another option and say to the sales-person, “I like the car, but I want to change the deal to something that’s more beneficial to both of us. For your price of £9,000, I’d like you to include three years of free servicing. If you do that, I’ll pay you 50 percent of the price up front, and the rest over just two years.”

This is an example of integrative negotiation. The situation has changed from a “win-lose” (a pound you win is a pound they lose, and vice versa) to a “win-win” (a better pounds deal for both parties).

In effect, you move toward a deal that makes the “negotiating pie” bigger, rather than continue to fight over how to cut up the existing “pie.” The car dealer makes a sale with better cash flow, which outweighs the cost of servicing. And you get your car with a lower total cost of ownership because three years of servicing, which you’ll need anyway, will be free.

What is Integrative Negotiation?

An easy way to define integrative negotiation is to compare it with its counterpart, distributive negotiation (what we know mostly that negotiation means). Distributive negotiation is what people traditionally consider negotiation to be: both sides fight over the price of a fixed package of goods or services, and they try to hide their real positions and objectives in order to gain an advantage.

In contrast, integrative negotiation uses more creative thinking. Instead of assuming that someone has to lose, you find ways for everyone to win. Integrative negotiation emphasizes building a good relationship in order to increase the chances of everyone getting what they want, rather than playing games and trying to fool the other side to win at their expense.

When is recommended this type of negotiation?

Well, every time when your relevant “currency” is relationship, anytime when you think that you will deal with this partner again in the future.

In order to perfect this skills for the future, we have some techniques that we recommend you to use when negotiating.

Integrative Negotiation Techniques

There are several ways to go about the “creating” part of a deal, before you move on to the “claiming” phase that involves distributive bargaining. You can use more than one in any specific negotiation.

  • Expand the pie – Add to the package of goods and services, or restructure the payment, so that all parties can achieve their objectives. This happened in our car purchase example.
  • Find new solutions – Restate the problem to invent new options that meet each party’s needs. In terms of car sales, this is what dealers are doing when they offer financing packages as an alternative to full payment up front.
  • Trade favors – Split the primary issue to achieve a “highly preferred solution” on one issue for one party, and another “highly preferred solution” on another issue for the other party. For example, your partner and you need to buy one car, but you each have different selection criteria. You settle on advantageous purchase terms (you really like to get a bargain), with top safety ratings (your partner’s key issue), and you both accept more modest performance and more limited luggage space.
  • Match compensation – One party can compensate the other for accepting the first party’s preferences, according to the perceived value of the inconvenience or disadvantage. Let’s look at our car example. In return for the dealer accepting your request for free servicing (a small cost to the dealer), you compensate the dealer by paying more money up front and improving the dealer’s cash flow.
  • Lower the cost of compliance – Minimize the costs and inconvenience to one party. For example, the dealer could offer to buy your old car to save you the trouble of trying to sell it.
!Tip:Before you make your proposals to the other party, think about how acceptable your proposals are likely to be to them. With good preparation, your proposals are more likely to be well-received, keeping the negotiation process moving forward smoothly.

Integrative negotiation doesn’t always involve money. For example, it can be used for two people in an office who can’t agree on whether to open or close the window. At this level, any decision is likely to leave one of the two people dissatisfied. However, when the people discuss their real interests, they discover that one person wants some fresh air, while the other wants to avoid air blowing directly into the room. The integrative solution is to redefine the problem and find a win-win solution: open a window in the room next door to get fresh air with no draft.

If you decided to brush up your negotiation skills, we would like to offer our support.

This Friday morning, we will explore more the world of negotiations in the workplace. if you’d like to come along, buy your tickets now, just click here: http://evisioncoaching.co.uk/programmes/

We will meet up in City Centre, @City Business Hub, 10 a.m.

Have an amazing week!


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Motivation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your behaviour the result of a Positive Mindset?

 Mindset concept in tag cloudIs your behaviour the result of a positive mindset?

Once we have opened our mouths and words have blurted out, we cannot reverse the process. We know the importance of thinking before speaking and acting. Forgetting to think first can land us in trouble. It is behaviour that directly connects to results, even though thinking may be responsible for generating the behaviour.

I may think up a strategy for persuading my peers to buy into a project, but my behaviour will be judged by the perceptions of the people on the receiving end of my communication. It is not enough just to think we have the best way of influencing others; we must also pay attention to how we may be received by them. If our strategies are not getting us the results we want, we can carry on doing the same or we can do something different. The former is the choice of ignorance and incompetence; the latter requires flexibility and making a conscious decision to do something different.

Behaviour often conforms the rules and norms within an organisation. Even with a conscious effort to think differently, strong behavioural patterns can prevent change from taking place. A team of ten people may resist change simply because it is easier to stay within the limits of well-worn groove.

Successful team leaders are also change agents, with the ability to influence large groups. The larger an organisation becomes, the more fixed patterns of behaviour you will find and the more you will require influencing skills to make a difference.


Take a few moments to do the following exercise.

Think about your own patterns of behaviour. Take a typical week in your working calendar and recall the meetings and the written communications you engaged in.

1. How much of this was a repetition of something you have done before? How much of it was different to what you had done before?

2. Scrutinise what you did, what you said, and how you said it. How much of it got the results you wanted? How much of it didn’t?

3. If you could go back in time and live that week again, which parts of your behaviour would you change and why? What about your listening skills, your perception?

If some of your behaviour is not getting you what you want, the first step towards changing it is to recognise what you want to change, and then create some alternatives. This may sound simplistic, yet I bet you know lots of people who keep repeating ineffective behaviour, even though the results are clearly not contributing to higher-level goals.

Next article we will speak about the role of feedback in changing behaviour, stay tuned:)


Posted in Behaviour, Change, Habits, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The heart of a WINNER

As she was sitting on the chair, looking at the blue sky, she remembered the words that her grandmother used to whisper in her ear when she was a child:

“Good seeds come from good plants and bad seeds come from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They remain dormant in the depth of the earth until one of them suddenly decides to wake up. It stretches itself, timidly at first, and then begins to push a charming little sprig inoffensively towards the sun…..[…] if it is a weed, it should be torn out at once, as soon as it is recognised….[…] if you interfere too late, you will never get rid of the baobab. It spread over the entire planet….[…]

‘It is a question of discipline’ ….When you have finished your cleaning in the morning, it is time to attend to the planet’s cleaning with great care”Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery

Than she realized that the same thing happens to her own thinking, her own mind: If she doesn’t take a good care of the good seeds and bad seeds, new ‘baobabs’ (negative results seen as worries, stress, sadness, anger) can grow and get really ingrained in the soil (seen as habits, behaviours).

She put the pen down and she shouted really loud from the top of her longs:

“The process of creation is everywhere whether it is a star system, a designer jeans, a gardener of a simple human being that is taking care of her type of thoughts!!”

Give thought to something you’ve infused with the appropriate feeling….which creates the appropriate behaviour…and here it comes.

All the positive thoughts in the world won’t make any difference, nor being a good person with a generous heart, nor praying, visualizing and meditating ’til dawn, nor even knocking our heads against countless stone walls in our fervent attempts to capture life-long dreams. None of that will create a thing until we launch the magnetic vibration to pull those dreams in through our infallible magic genie called feelings, that electromagnetic authority of which dreams are made.

Dreams are the fuel for a happy life! – Just think about it!

No matter who is trying to emancipate those frightening things we call ‘feelings’ and boil all the fancy techniques down to one simple remedy for creating and abundant and fulfilling life:

“Learn to identify a good feeling from a bad feeling”. – She felt relieved, when she heard the sound of her voice heating the walls of her room. She knows that THIS will make a difference from now on: self-awareness, is “my key to my own happiness”


That’s it. Learn to do that and you’ve got the course made. You can create anything your heart desires!!

This is the secret that transforms us into deliberate creators instead of creators by accident. This is the power that changes wishful thinking into actuality, the simple art of being able to identify a good feeling from a bad one.

Don’t worry these kinds of feelings have nothing to do with digging up garbage from your past, or confronting whatever bogeymen might currently residing in your emotional closet. They’re just the garden variety type of feelings we have all day long. But one you learn to keep track of which ones feel good and which ones feel less than good, you’re home free.

This is what fosters good health, closes the big sale, brings spiritual fulfillment and puts comfortable sums in the bank! Just learn to tell a wonderful feeling from an everyday downer one, and watch the magic happen.

Swallowing Glass

Feelings, those things we’re all so terrified of if they happen to be negative, are nothing more than energy that go zipping through our body, set off by our thoughts. The only reason we go to such lengths to avoid them is that some of those negative emotions don’t feel so hot. We don’t like the sensation they give us. So we stuff them way down deep, where frankly, they’re raising holy hell with our magnetic demons.

Let’s all have a look at those ones that we want them to be buried, called “Feel Bad Habit”: can mean anything from flat-lining which is our normal daily state or neither up nor down, just existing, to a little bit down, to rip-roaring rage.

We feel BAD when we think any kind of thought that doesn’t have to do with joy, like guilt, loneliness, anger, resentment, worry, doubt, frustration, stress, concern. Those are all fear-based thoughts that vibrate within us at an extremely low frequency, that is why they don’t feel good. They are totally contrary to our high-frequency natural state.

We feel good when we think thoughts that have to do with joy, like appreciation, delight, pleasure, enthusiasm, awe, gratitude, love, all those warm fuzzies we relish when they happen.

No one can swallow cut up glass and expect to feel good, yet that’s what we do all day with our somber thoughts and feelings. We literally bath ourselves in unconscious negative energy (from our own thoughts as well as everyone’s else)….which is totally contrary to our natural state of joy.

So, it becomes a vicious circle: Both our conscious and unconscious day-to-day feelings, that we think are normal, are sending unnatural negative vibrations throughout our bodies…which make us feel down, or as we don’t have feelings at all.


The MIND, controls our feelings. You can have mountains of knowledge, skills, qualifications but if your mind is charged with doubt and uncertainty, if you are feeling at a low ebb, or if you are unsure about your ability, you are unlikely to perform well in anything.

Being in a resourceful state of mind helps you to be in a resourceful state of heart, meaning that you will create the ‘right’ fuel to sustain your performance. It will help you to access your knowledge and experience more readily. An unresourceful state of mind will make it much more difficult to tap into your natural ability and will ultimately limit your potential.

“When an athlete prepares for a competition he is creating a ‘winning’ states of mind to help him succeed in his challenge”.

That state of mind is creating the state of feelings that will fuel the body and create the results he imagined at the beginning.

The more you know about your mental patterns, about how you generate your state of mind, the more flexibility you will have to influence your results and get more of what you want.

Getting different (better) results in a new context requires obviously a flexibility to learn, an ability to communicate differently and to change the way we think or behave. This is a higher level of learning than that one applied to learning a technical skill. It requires the ability to adapt and evolve to cope with new situations and relationships, using our natural creativity to foster the resources we have within.

Untitled The real limitation is not technical ability, but the degree of creative thinking we are able to apply to our learning and personal development. There are many ways of putting limits on ability, but they all come down to the degree of access we have to our inner creative resources, including self-motivation, belief, determination, responsibility, energy, perception, focus, flexibility.

These are the resources that, when enabled, empower you to create more of the results and more of the future you want.

Don’t forget to meet us this Tuesday, in our beautiful lounge studio on Malone Road for a great night full of tips and resources that you can use to unlock your potential.

Click here for the details and tickets:

Positivity – A Fuel for a Brilliant Mind

Have an amazing week!


Development Coach

Posted in Creativity, Events, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

What SMALL step can motivate others and yourself to complete tasks

What SMALL STEP can motivate others and yourself to complete tasks

Imagine this:
In one sunny day (very possible in Belfast) you and your friend meet up for a coffee. After you order and pay for your drinks, the waiter hands you a loyalty card and explains to you that every time you buy a cup of coffee they will stamp your card. Once you have collected your ten stamps you can claim a free cup of coffee. You take the card from the waiter and notice that he has already stamped your card twice to get you on your way toward that free cup of coffee.
The progress you have now made toward your free cup of coffee could be framed on one of two ways:
a) 20% of the way toward achieving that free cup of coffee
b) you have 80% remaining.
Which one is more likely to motivate you to complete the task?
It turns out that the answer is not relevant just to a coffee shop owner looking to influence his customers to be more loyal, but to anyone else interested in themselves and others to complete tasks.
(***By the way, you already read 10% of this newsletter***)

Influence researchers Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach thought that an individual’s motivation to complete a task could be improved by making a small change in where they focused their attention.
They found out that, at the beginning of a task, getting individuals to concentrate on the smaller amount of progress they had already made toward a goal would be more motivating than focusing on the larger amount of effort that remained.

One reason for this is because in the early stages of a task, focusing on the smaller number appeals to the human desire to behave as efficiently as possible. An action that moves someone from 20% completion of a task to 40% completion has doubled their progress –  which seems like a very efficient action indeed.

As a result, if you are a manager or supervisor, keen to keep your staff motivated to reach the sales goals or performance targets, in order to maintain the early motivation high is to provide feedback on the staff’s progress: “You’re only one week into the new quarter and you’ve already achieved 15% of your quarterly target!”

If you are just a person trying to save money regularly to buy a new definition TV or a new sunny holiday, you can improve your commitment to your financial plans by focusing on the SMALL but important progress you already made.

If you are keen to motivate yourself to get through that 60 minutes Gym, or a Spinning Class, a focus on the time or distance endured in the early stages before transferring to the time or distance remaining toward the end could help get you through such challenges. Alternatively to add momentum to your personal weight-loss program or smoking abstinence, emphasize the weight you’ve already lost or days without cigarettes in the very early stages before directing attention to weight still needed to be lost or smoke-free days left to reach your desired goal.

When we change the way we think, the way we make sense of the world, requires a lot of commitment and effort to do so and most importantly a lot of time. We cannot change our belief over night!
It is a very beautiful negotiation game that we play inside our heads between our new goals and our old, automatic, very impulsive mind.

SMALL tips for BIG changes:

1) Admit that is a game, so give it curiosity, time and don’t give up

2) Be patient! – it takes time and practice like any other muscle

3) Start with win-win situation – by changing the way we frame our progress and goals, we gain better mental agility, we improve focus, task-motivation and confidence in achieving the results we wanted.

That’s it, you just finished reading 95% of this newsletter.

By now, you remembered how important is to see the ‘glass half full’ of any progress toward any goals you established this year.

You need fuel to achieve your yearly goals. Go quickly and grab a pen and paper, review the objectives you established for this year and count our progress the way show    n above! Well done you:)

This month we are happy to announce an event about negotiation in the workplace. Go and grab your tickets now, click here

I wish you a very productive week, the first month of the year went very well!

Have a happy Day!


Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching

Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Confidence, Deadline, Goals, Motivation, Negotiations, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment