Are you tired of hearing about positive change without any practical advice for garnering positive results? Bob Faw is here for you with his new book, Energize: Ignite Passion and Performance with User Friendly Brain Tools. Bob demonstrates that positive change is now much more than a feel-good concept. It’s a process of psychological transformation that uses decades of scientific research to increase confidence, calm fears, energize passion, and motivate others. By understanding the science behind how our brains work, we can gain insight in to what motivates us and those around us. We can then turn this knowledge into positive energy to make practical positive change.
As a positive change consultant, Bob Faw has reworked these scientific insights into usable tools. Energize explains each of these powerful scientific concepts in everyday language and with common sense imagery. Bob has already taught thousands of people around the world how to ignite passion for goals, involve people in meaningful ways, and inspire action for change. Now, his proven strategies are available in an engaging, practical guide for organizations and individuals. Leaders can use these principles to motivate their teams, create a positive environment, and influence others.
Become the best you can be by replacing the old, limiting stories playing in your head with positive “inner movies” that inspire you daily. Rewrite your “inner autobiography” to broaden your horizons and increase confidence. Bob’s advice will engage your brain in new and powerful ways. Bob will help you energize the way you think and then take the steps to enact change.
Learn the Power of Positive Change.
Targeted Age Group: 25-55
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business & Leadership, Personal Transformation
The Book Excerpt:
Ignite passion and performance with user-friendly brain tools
By Bob Faw
Countless centuries ago, three siblings were hiking back to their village at the end of a long hunt. The leader of the hunting party was named Thinker. Tall and brainy, Thinker was the planner. He was smart and analytical. The sister was named Artist. Thin, creative, and passionate, she loved making new things. Caveman, was the most powerful. He loved the action of the hunt itself best.
On a hot, sauna-like afternoon, the siblings were trudging tiredly home after a long day of hunting. Artist was watching out for tasty fruit snacks. Caveman, on the other hand, was more worried about becoming a snack. He jumped at little noises and became irritable and argumentative at the slightest provocation.
Ignoring the others, Thinker thoughtfully stated, “I think I have a plan for surprising that woolly mammoth next time.”
“What about the new net I made?” Artist excitedly interrupted. “It was so good! It almost brought the beast down!”
Caveman grumped, “You dreama! I was almost run over by dat mammoth as it got outa your stinkin’ net! It’s good I’m fast and hit it with mah club!”
“Quiet! I’m analyzing different options for our next hunt,” Thinker replied.
Little did the three siblings know, just around the bend in the trail were two surprises. Tasty, ripe pears hung heavy on a tree on the left. On the right, a saber-toothed tiger hid in the bushes hunting for food for her own family.
Continuing to argue, they rounded the bend. Artist immediately spotted the pears and rushed for them eagerly. Thinker was caught up in his thoughts and didn’t notice a thing. Caveman, scanning for danger as always, spotted suspicious movement in the brush. Instantly, he ran past Artist and scrambled hurriedly up the pear tree. Artist was still laughing at Caveman’s frantic climb when the saber-toothed tiger pounced on her and then attacked the lost-in-thought Thinker.
For the purpose of explaining the way the human brain works I chose characters that represent three different aspects of how we think and feel. True cavemen (Cro-Magnon, etc.), of course, had all three aspects to varying degrees. Our distant ancestors with the more Caveman-type personalities were wired to constantly over-scan for danger; as a result, they were more likely to live long enough to pass on their genes. The Artists and Thinkers were necessary enough to survival that they passed on some of their genes too, but less so.
What does that mean to us? Many generations later, we have the genes of the survivors. We do have the traits of all of the siblings, but the strongest will always be Caveman’s. We’re children of countless ancestors who stayed alive by focusing more on threats than on the good stuff. We’ve developed what’s called in science a “negativity bias”; it’s literally in our DNA to see the negatives in our lives as larger than they are and to minimize positives when scared. That works great in survival situations! Thank goodness for that tendency. But that same negativity bias gets us into trouble in social situations. It can also be a problem in everyday decision-making. In business settings, the Caveman part of us wants to resolve conflict by swinging a club or climbing a tree. We see this when people are blaming and running from responsibility in work relationships. We also see the Caveman’s blame game in family life, whether it’s nagging about chores, belittling the ones we love the most, or even becoming enemies.
However, blaming and focusing purely on negativity does not create solutions. It does not inspire people to go above and beyond. To be highly successful in the complex lives we live today, we need to rebalance ourselves by focusing far more on positives than negatives. We need to rebalance ourselves whenever the Caveman part of our brain wants to take over. It is more powerful than the Thinker and Artist combined. Otherwise we can be, what the mental health professionals correctly describe as, unbalanced.
Focusing on the positive activates the Thinker and Artist parts of our brains as well. When we’re feeling down, it often takes great willpower to motivate ourselves to get a degree, try for a better job, or even be respectful to our loved ones. When the three characters work as a team inside of us, we do our best. We then have the emotional passion of the Caveman, the creativity of the Artist, and the logic of the Thinker. This “inner teamwork” can help us perform better in every area our lives.
Even though we have all three of these parts of our brain, we tend to spend more of our time in one mode than the others. Personally, I tend towards the Artist. I love creating new ideas and sharing them with people. As a child, however, my Caveman took over a lot. I was defensive and lashed out at others. I’ve also had to purposefully develop my Thinker traits more as an adult to become more balanced. I trained myself to think more rationally by analyzing cause and effect rather than just going with gut feelings. Nowadays, I can get the three parts of my brain to work as a team most of the time.
You can probably think of people that tend to be more like one of the three siblings. In fact, you are probably inclined toward one of them as well. But it’s important to use them all effectively to get what you want out of life.
I want to be really clear here. It’s important, of course, to focus on threats and problems a certain percentage of the time. We’ll always need the Caveman part of the brain to survive. However, in order to reach life dreams, we need to focus far more time on goals (Thinker), what works well for us and others, as well as new ideas (Artist). Spending too much time in Caveman mode tends to worsen relationships and reputations by angering others with our negativity.
By purposely focusing more on positives, we can give our brains a better balance of positive and negative thoughts and words. This enables us to make more balanced decisions by using all three aspects of our brain. This also makes life easier and more enjoyable. Think about it: Optimists are more popular for a reason. We prefer people who see the best in us, rather than just our faults. Moderate pessimism is more helpful when fixing machines, making financial forecasts, ending relationships, and analyzing a process. Machines, money, and numbers do not have a Caveman and Artist inside. Optimism is more effective when motivating people, communicating ideas, teaching, athletic performance, starting relationships, sex, and helping people persevere.
In this book I’ll refer to “positive change” a lot. What I mean by this is a change process that yields positive results, and is also as positive to go through as possible. Of course there are plenty of necessary negatives to face in life, but there are many unnecessary negative experiences that can be avoided through using positive change tools. By learning the concepts taught in this book and putting the positive change principles into action, you will gain skills and a goal-focused perspective. This will help you to create a powerful and motivating balance for yourself and others. These skills can be used in every part of life to achieve more happiness, financial success, and better relationships. You can use them to create motivation, from the inside out.
I’m incredibly passionate about positive change and its power to energize people. The tools and ideas taught in each chapter have helped me transform my life, and they’ve helped many others as well. For the past twenty-five years, my days have been filled with sharing this passion. It’s something I do daily through my work as Chief Ignition Officer at Matchbox Group and when speaking to leaders and organizations around the globe. My goal is for you to see the incredible power in positive change approaches and intuitively understand how truly effective and simple they can be.
So, what do I mean by positive balance? It’s more than just being happy or optimistic. It is the art of focusing more on your dreams. It’s about thinking and talking more about what does work, and what to do, and spending less time focusing on what doesn’t work, what not to do, or what to avoid. Even though it is critical to face hard truths, once we’ve done that, it’s important to start creating more productive movement. A positive balance is key to igniting your own passion, as well as motivating others. Doing this well helps improve our performance and the performance of those we lead. This is true for your children, people you meet at work, a team you coach, or anyone else you need to influence to be effective.
What motivates me to keep teaching these positive change techniques to people and companies is that the principles can transform lives. I love seeing others improve their lives in small ways and in monumental, life changing ways. I also love helping leaders become more motivational, inspiring their organizations to increase passion and performance. It is so invigorating and meaningful to me that I have made it my life’s work.
This positive change transformation has worked for me, personally. It has changed everything about who I am as a person, friend, colleague and even family member. People who attend my motivational and educational events are often surprised when they find out that I used to be a very negative person. I transformed the vicious cycles of a hard-knock childhood into the vital cycles of a rewarding adulthood.
You can relate if you’ve had the misfortune of experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect as a child, or even in your adult life. Having lived in some bad areas with gangs, race riots, and murder, my survival growing up was not guaranteed. At one of my lowest points, I was subjected to horrific violence and was very near death. Even inside my home, which was supposed to be a safe place, violence occurred, along with terrible confusion and guilt. These events led to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Heartbreaking events like these affected the way I felt about myself at a deep level.
The internal chaos built up until, as a teen, my life spiraled out of control, and the world seemed only full of danger. It became easy to despise life, other people, and most of all, myself. There was so much emotional damage that living to the age of 18 felt impossible. Life merely felt like a series of degradation and low expectations.
Thankfully, even amidst the chaos, there were positive influences. As an older teenager, I had experiences that gave me a glimpse of how to make life better. There were occasionally wonderful people who cared enough to show a confused kid he deserved a better life.
One such experience began to shed some light on the power of influencing one’s own “inner movie”. My father hadn’t always been able to protect me from the aggression of others, but he did try to help during some difficult times in my life. When I was seventeen, he sat down with me and showed me a book about depression. Even though I denied that it applied to me, I secretly read some of it after he left. Practicing one technique changed my life. The technique was to imagine a completely pure white wall and not think of anything else. Practicing visualizing that imaginary white wall quieted my anxiety and brought a rare feeling of almost-peace deep inside. This was a huge revelation! Up until this point, it had seemed impossible to positively influence my own mood (legally). The contrast of feeling more peaceful helped me recognize the constant state of anxiety that had been consuming my life. Knowing that it is possible to healthily change moods has been incredibly helpful ever since then. I learned how to identify what is actually happening inside, and what to do to improve it, and that knowledge has been incredibly empowering.
After turning eighteen—and, to my surprise, still alive—it became easier and easier to connect with inspiring people. It was a powerful motivator to be seen as a good person! People seeing the strengths and goodness deep inside brought out more confidence and the courage to dream of a positive future. Some gave out unconditional love that was like water for a dying plant. All of these individuals gradually transformed my self-confidence and helped me dream for good things in my life. Excitement for transformation began to grow more and more, and I began devouring books on positive thinking and influence. Positivity became the nectar of the gods!
I bet you, too, can look back on your life and recognize those wonderful people and ideas that have helped you to create vital cycles in your life.
Having learned ways of gradually transforming, I have continually searched for new ways to transform that were easier, faster, and smoother. At the age of 19, I began to work with people in summer camps, after-school programs, and adventure trips. I realized that I could apply the same principles and strategies I’d used in my own life to help others. My life’s work had begun!
Since that day, I have eagerly learned more and more ways to energize positive change in myself and others. I read the latest in brain science research to help me understand why we do the beautiful and bizarre things we do, and based on that research, I’ve developed ways of motivating change.
In the last 28 years, I’ve continued to learn, hone, and guide people with these tools. I’ve gained deep fulfillment helping others who have gone through major life challenges to transform their lives. In 2007, I cofounded a nonprofit called Vital Cycles with five others who have a similar passion for helping others transform their baggage into brilliance. Together, we’ve created Vital Cycles books and web resources, which are full of powerful tools for transforming the deeper, more “stuck” things that keep people from their dreams.
Today, I have a great life. I’m successful beyond my wildest teenage dreams. I travel the world sharing tools and ideas that can change lives. I make more money than I ever thought I could. I live in a beautiful house on a lake in New Hampshire. I have a sweet love and many great friends. And I, who once was so shy and depressed, now do motivational speaking on the concept of positive change in one’s business and personal life! I make entertaining educational videos, write articles, and author books. I once hated my life; now I love it, and it gets better every year.
I want to share what I’ve learned to help you energize yourself and others. This book contains powerful tools for igniting passion for your goals, and inspiring the performance needed to achieve them. I’ve taught these to thousands of my clients and audiences over the last 28 years. I have taken complex neuroscience discoveries and turned them into “usable brain science” that can help ignite passion and performance in your life and the lives of those around you. And since the making of any good movie starts with the director yelling, “Lights! Camera! Action!” I’ll use that idea to help define and explain the underlying concept of the book, the “inner movie.” We start off with the “Lights!” chapters, which describe how people are motivated and become discouraged. The “Camera!” chapters then teach you how to focus your mind, thoughts and words to energize for greater passion and performance. And finally, the “Action!” chapters guide you in developing your energizing skills.
Like anything else worth doing, positive change tools take practice, improvement, practice, improvement, and more practice. Life is short and precious! You deserve to make it as wonderful as possible.
Prepare for Ignition!
Do you want to become great at motivating others? Would you like to learn how to ignite passion and performance in your life and the lives of those around you?
You can learn by reading, but building skill takes action. Since I want you to be as powerful at energizing as possible, this book is full of activities that are similar to the ones in my training programs. Next to each activity, you’ll see this match icon, which represents an opportunity to “ignite” your skills through real-life learning. Wherever possible, write down your answers, as that helps them stick in your memory.
I find that I’m also most likely to actually use the ideas if they’re simple and have all I need in one place. To help you do that, download the free Ignite Workbook at www.energizeperformance.com. As you move through the activities in this book, find the section that corresponds with the activity you’re doing and complete the writing prompt.
My hope is that you’ll put this book into action to become even better at igniting passion and performance. In addition to the Ignite Workbook, I hope you’ll find the free educational and entertaining videos available at www.matchboxgroup.com/inspiring-tools helpful. Equally important, I hope you will take the things you learn, together with the wisdom you develop, and share it with others to continue to help make this world a better place to live in. Together, we can be part of the positive change revolution.
The Inner Movie: Coming Soon to a Brain Near You!
Lights! Camera! Action! See what motivates us—and what drags us down.
Inner movies are stories that play in our heads and motivate us for good or bad results. They can impact our ability to succeed or fail at anything in our lives. The more we understand inner movies, and learn to influence them, the more we can ignite passion and performance in ourselves and others.
Our inner movies replay memories of past events, things we wish we had said and hadn’t said. Most inner movies are created unconsciously, and often without our even realizing that they’re playing. However, we can create inner movies on purpose to help us achieve our goals. For example, while writing this book, I’m purposefully playing back memories of teaching about inner movies and what helped make the concept understandable to people. Inner movies can also help us plan for the future by creating images, ideas and motivating emotions about what we want to happen and how to get it to happen. For example, in my current inner movie, I’m imagining someone reading this book, and I’m trying to anticipate what might be going on in that person’s head as they read the words on the page, rather than hearing me explain this concept in person. This inner movie motivates me to write more clearly.
We also use inner movies to anticipate possible successes or failures and imagine what we will feel like when we experience them. For example, I’ve also imagined what it will be like to hand out a copy of this book to all the people attending a speech I’m giving; this motivates me to write and design it in a way that really fits their needs. I’ve imagined that it will feel rewarding if it works and embarrassing if it doesn’t.
In order to really “get” the concept of the inner movie, it’s important to do the following activity. Fill out this table with your own personal answers. Most people have answers for around two of the four questions on each example; if that applies to you, just leave the others blank.
Take 30 seconds to think of each of the things in the left hand column. Then, write your answers to the questions across the top row.
As you thought about what to write in the chart above, your answers played in your inner movie. Everyone experiences inner movies differently. Some people see images in their minds; others hear the words being spoken. Some get more of an intuitive sense, and their inner movies are made up of feelings and emotions. Most of us experience a blend of these different senses. Notice what you experienced.
Here’s a story to help you gain even more insight into how inner movies work and how they influence outcomes in our lives. Watch closely in the Motivational Leader story to see how team members’ inner movies affect their moods—and their actions.
Maria “The Dynamo” Martin walked confidently into the meeting with Chin Wang, the new head of research and development. Maria looked far taller than her 5 feet 2 inches. The confident gleam in her eyes and perfect black hair made her look every bit the competent project leader she was. Chin grinned when he saw her. He had that predatory grin that told Maria there was a fun challenge coming up.
“What’s up, boss?” she asked.
“Well,” Chin replied, with excitement in his voice, “we’ve got the approval to make the Genius phone!”
Maria literally jumped in the air and pumped her fist. “Yes!” she shouted. “We’re going to give Apple a run for their money! Hell, we’re going to blow the iPhone out of the water!”
Chin grinned at her enthusiasm. An inner movie began to play in his mind of walking out on a stage in jeans and a turtleneck, telling the world about the greatest smart phone. No, he thought to himself, it’s better than smart! It’s a Genius phone! Watching Maria, he could see that she was just as motivated by the inner movie she was seeing in her head.
“Maria, you have one day to pick the top talent from anywhere in the company and create a top secret ‘Genius Phone’ team,” Chin said. Maria’s smile widened like the Cheshire Cat as she pictured herself telling the top talent what to do.
As Maria walked back to her office, she excitedly typed a text message to three people. She thumbed, “Drop everything. Get to my office at 4:00 today. Prep for big changes.”
At 3:45, a heavyset, pretty blonde woman knocked on Maria’s door. Maria called, “Come on in, Jenny. You’re early.”
Jenny’s usually smiling face looked worried. “Is it layoffs? Did I take too many vacation days last month?” Maria looked at her, confused for a moment. The text had been vague, and Jenny’s inner movie had formed an image of her out of a job.
Realizing this, Maria cried, “Oh! No, no, no, this is great news!” Jenny relaxed, and her smile gradually returned.
A dark-skinned, gray-haired man suddenly peered in the door with a concerned look on his face. “Everything okay here?” he asked. He continued grumpily, “Maria, you know I’m involved in several very important projects. How can you take me off of the Rocket project? I’m almost done with it.”
Maria sighed. “I should have been more clear in my stupid text message! Sorry, Mech. You’re the best hardware engineer in the company, maybe the world.” Mech’s frown smoothed out and his back straightened with pride. “I figured you would give anything for the chance to be on the new Genius Phone team.”
At that, Mech rushed into the room excitedly. “Well! Why didn’t you say so, my dear? Let’s get cracking. I see Jenny will be our marketing expert.” Jenny smiled and nodded. “So, who’s going to be on software? You know a holographic phone has never been attempted. We’re going to need the best.”
They heard a cocky voice from the doorway, “Yo, dudes. You’re clearly talking about me!” At 6 feet 2 inches (not including his spiky Mohawk), and weighing 140 pounds, Sly swaggered in. Jenny rolled her eyes at his cockiness. Sly continued, now looking angrily at Maria, “You’re sure getting bossy, ordering me to your office like that. I’m not some worker drone, you know.”
Maria shook her head in frustration. She realized that her poor communication has started off the best project she’d ever directed on the wrong foot. Soothingly, she said, “Sly, soon you’re going to be able to show Apple that you’re the boss!” That got Sly’s attention, and he slouched over to a chair and sat down.
In this story, each person on Maria’s new team had a completely different inner movie, which influenced different reactions to the same text message. Jenny’s inner movie was of herself without a job. This caused her to be afraid. Mech’s inner movie was of Maria pulling him from his other project because his work was not good enough, rather than to work on a better project. This caused him to be resentful. Sly’s inner movie of being ordered around like a “lowly drone” influenced him to be angry and act arrogantly and rebelliously.
Maria, being the motivational leader she is, was able to energize each person’s passion quickly. She soothed Jenny’s fear by saying “great news” which helped her let go of the fear of losing her job. She inspired Mech with an apology, praise, and the idea of being on the best project. She calmed Sly with her calm voice and energized him with a vision of besting Apple. In later chapters, you will learn how to motivate people using these same skills, as well as how to identify and influence your own inner movies to create more passion for whatever you care about in life. Understanding how inner movies work—and how to use them—will also help you energize greater performance in yourself and others.
Activity 1: Understanding Inner Movies
Think back over the Motivational Leader story and notice all the physical and emotional reactions that occurred based upon the characters’ inner movies. Their inner movies changed from bad news to good news, even though the situation remained the same; it was just their perceptions that changed. This is true for all of us. Inner movies change our moods quickly and regularly.
Think about your day today and some of the inner movies you’ve had. Write the answers to Activity 1 in the Ignite Workbook (if you’ve downloaded it at www.energizeperformance.com ).
The Brain: A Mental Simulator
Inner movies are constantly playing in our minds as our brains continuously try to make sense of what is happening around us. Sometimes we are aware of them, but, more often, they simply play in the subconscious. They are our dreams when we sleep and our daydreams when we are awake. They are also playing with every thought and emotion we have. Sometimes they cause us to lose opportunities. Sometimes they help us break out of past ruts and reach for new experiences, take new risks, and think more positively about ourselves.
Inner movies are created by our brains from information gathered from all of our senses, blended together with memories of past experiences. Our brains are not able to actually see what’s happening in the world with clarity. As Rick Hanson, author of Meditations to Change Your Brain, says, “The brain is like a mental simulator.” Think of it like steering a submarine. You see what your instruments tell you, and you create an idea in your mind of what is actually happening in the ocean around you. But you rarely see the fish, other submarines, and boats directly. Our brains are so amazing at doing this, they make perception of the world around us seem seamless and smooth; it’s like the most sophisticated virtual reality video game ever.
For example, when I was 18, I worked on a horse ranch that was also home to rattlesnakes. After my first encounter with a rattlesnake, I began to react as if every rattling noise was the tail of a snake. I’d even see a curved tree root and, in the first microsecond, think I saw a snake, before I realized what it was. This simulator dynamic kept me alive, but anxious, in the canyons.
[B&W Illustration: Young Bob (blonde hair) with cowboy hat and boots seeing a curved tree root that slightly resembles a rattlesnake – to represent the Inner Movie of seeing a snake where there is none. SIZE: small LOCATION: to the right of the paragraph above]
The bad news about the brain being a simulator is that it is easily fooled, even when it’s not a survival issue. Here’s a thought experiment for you: Think of a time when you believed someone was going to do something bad to you, only to find out that you were wrong about his or her intentions. That happened because your brain simulator played an inner movie of catastrophe and frightened the Caveman part of your brain.
For example, a colleague of mine once left me a voice mail saying, “Can you call me back? I’d like to give you some feedback about the retreat you ran.” Until we talked three days later, my brain kept playing inner movies of bad things he might be feeling. Once on the phone with him, I was surprised to hear him simply say, “I learned so much during the retreat, Bob. It was a powerful lesson to me on dealing with change.” I had wasted a lot of emotional energy preparing for negativity. That experience was a reminder that trying to guess in advance can backfire. If I can’t stop the negative inner movies, I try to balance them out with inner movies of possible positive outcomes.
Inner Movies Fuel Motivation
Do you want to find out why some people are so motivational? Would you like to understand why, when you tell people to stop doing something, they usually continue to do it? Are you curious as to why some people go into a funk and can’t seem to get out of it, while others seem to create opportunities and success everywhere they go? People’s inner movies have a huge impact on all of these situations.
The bad news: Sometimes inner movies get stuck in regret mode—playing the “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” game. That is, thinking, “I would’ve done that, if only something different had happened!” or, “I could have done this if only someone did something right!” or, “I really should have done better!” This game tends to waste time and emotional energy.
The good news is that our inner movies can help us learn, prepare, and practice to be successful. The great news is that we can purposely influence our inner movies to be happier, more successful, and even better in bed. I’m only half joking with that last one, but using the inner movie well really can help in any area of life. In addition, it can help with relationships with other people and even the way we feel about ourselves.
Side Benefits of Great Inner Movies
Since inner movies are stories that play in our heads and motivate us for good or bad results, it follows that high performers generally have very positive inner movies. Their inner movies help make them resilient, strong, and ready to deal with challenges. They know what energizes them and what brings them down. To ignite passion and performance, they work to keep up their physical and emotional health. They have inner movies playing that show them being healthy, strong and successful, which helps motivate them to eat well, stay active, and get enough sleep.
Medical research has shown that what plays in our minds—our inner movies—directly affects physical health. There is fascinating research showing that our thoughts affects stress levels, and more and more ailments are now known to be caused by, or at least worsened by, stress. Stress has the negative side effect of preventing the immune (healing) system from kicking into gear. On the plus side, inner movies can create a placebo effect that increases confidence that a pain medication can work. Just playing the inner movie of feeling more comfortable helps us to relax more, which allows the body to heal more quickly, and this is true of both physical and emotional ailments. When patients believe a medicine will work, they relax internally, which lowers stress (calms the Caveman). To play this kind of inner movie, visualize yourself feeling healthy, and think of all the nice things others do for you when you are sick. These kinds of positive inner movies both help relax you and allow the immune system to do its work better. This strategy isn’t magic, and it won’t cure things by itself, but it does help boost your immune system so that you heal faster when used with effective medical treatment.
Calming the Caveman in this way is a way of saying: By soothing the mind, stress (caused by the sympathetic nervous system) quiets down. This allows the immune system (activated by the parasympathetic nervous system) help heal and relieve pain.
Activity 2: Side Benefits of Great Inner Movies
Think of inner movies that play around your health. For example, “I never get sick,” “I always get sick,” or “I can’t lose weight.” Write about one that drags you down that you’d like to replace with one that helps you calm yourself and activate your immune system. For example, when I hear people around me sneezing, I tell myself, “I often stay healthy while others are sick.”
Each of us has an inner autobiography that has a profound impact on motivation, enjoyment of life, and even the ability to see ourselves as capable of a given challenge. We each also have a massive inner movie “library.” It’s like a chaotic scrapbook of everything that has had meaning to us in our lives. This library contains memories, experiences, and beliefs that are constantly producing new inner movies and adapting old ones. Behind all of these inner movie clips is the story we have about our lives, the world, and how we fit into it. I call that story the inner autobiography.
Inner autobiographies run our lives by telling us who we are and how we fit into the world. This is the brain’s way of using past experiences to make us safe and successful in the present. It reminds us not to take bad risks that are similar to ones that have burned us in the past. It also reminds us of the best ways we’re likely to get what we want. By the way, these lessons from the past sometimes no longer work for us in our lives today. We may need new inner movies to be successful in new situations.
Over time, everything we experience shapes our worldview. The more emotional an experience is, the more it impacts our inner autobiographies.
Starting in childhood, and progressing throughout life, we tend to see ourselves in a particular type of role, or character. Some of us see ourselves as heroes in our inner autobiographies. Some of us see ourselves as victims. A few even see ourselves as villains. This includes the concepts of self-esteem, self-worth, and even self-confidence, and our inner autobiographies define and limit the choices we think we have.
University of Illinois researcher Bonnie Benard looked through tons of research to discover what it is that helps children in tough situations become resilient adults. She found that at-risk children could often succeed if they had relationships with caring adults who had high expectations of them. I have experienced this firsthand myself. These wonderful, caring adults help create inner autobiographies of self-worth and potential for success in children. These positive autobiographies help children later in life by creating inner movies of confidence, and this confidence enables kids to see opportunities for success where their less fortunate peers just see another chance at failure.
Activity 3: Your Inner Autobiography
List some things that you notice about your own inner autobiography. Make sure to include some things that energize you for success, as well as some things that bring you down.
BOB FAW is a positive change consultant, transformational thought leader, and sought after dynamic speaker who motivates people around the world to make positive changes in their lives. A trusted consultant to organizations like Harvard Business School, Merck, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and Applebee’s, Bob works with companies to set a foundation for positive change with lasting performance. His strategic insights and improvisational comedic approach help people embrace new ideas, energize vision and objectives, and make continuing transformations in their lives and organizations.
In his paid and volunteer work, he’s seen the best and worst of people and has emerged a practical optimist who loves people more all the time. He also co-founded and volunteers with the nonprofit Vital Cycles, helping people transform their lives.
Bob lives in New Hampshire with Zsuzsi Gero (his fiancé) and Nisha (their dog). His passions include hiking, dancing, swimming and learning from brain science.
To learn more visit: energizeperformance.com