The first thought that goes through almost any professional when they hear the phrase, "Can we talk?", is that they did something wrong. An unexpected meeting can take the most self-assured person aback, especially if it comes from your boss.
This is a normal response that is naturally wired into the brain. It is a protective mechanism designed to keep you safe.
Your body may go into a fight-or-flight response when you receive a request to a surprise meeting. You may experience an increased heartbeat, tunnel vision, and sweating.
A simple way to calm yourself is with a mindfulness technique called grounding. It will slow your heart rate, improve your self-control and give you greater command over your thoughts and actions. There are many grounding exercises that you can try.
After you've calmed your body, focus on your automatic negative thoughts. You may fall into unhelpful or wrong thinking like catastrophizing - where you imagine the worst-case scenario - or jumping to conclusions where you convince yourself that you know what other people are thinking.
To counter cognitive distortions, simply look at your fingers and consider five alternative explanations for why your boss may be calling the meeting.
Instead of thinking up stories about your boss's intentions and withdraw in your mind, do the opposite.
Reach out to your boss to clarify the agenda for the meeting. Ask if there is something specific you can prepare. This can give you insight into the reason for calling the meeting while easing your concerns.
The best way to deal with the anxiety of the unexpected is through rehearsal.
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement: We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results.
We concentrate on the people who end up winning 🥇 —the survivors—and mistakenly assume that ambitious goals led to their success while overlooking all of the people who had the same objective but didn’t succeed.
The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.” The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone.
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. It’s not about any single accomplishment, but about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.
It means aiming to combine a few skills that are not usually combined.
If you associate two valuable skills that are even more valuable together (for example, computer science and a law degree, or math and public speaking), you will have a competitive advantage that allows you to reach the top of the earning power.
If you want to specialize and become a basketball player, for example, you have to reach the top 0,001% to have phenomenal financial gains.
Skills to consider: public speaking, writing, and negotiation. These are examples of marketable skills that can be transferred to other areas outside those particular projects.
Try to avoid getting nervous about the future. Just live each day until bedtime.
Only think about and focus on the current day. We cannot go back to the past or see the future. The future is today.
When you are faced with a worrisome business problem, write out and answer the following questions:
The story of a race of warrior women first appeared in Greek mythology, but excavations across the north and east of the Black Sea region revealed that worrier women like the Amazons really existed.
According to Herodotus, a 5th-Century Greek writer and geographer, the Amazons maintained an idyllic all-female existence in modern-day Turkey. The women pillaged the Persian Empire and procreated with neighbouring tribes, raising the baby girls.
They met their fate in a battle against the Greeks in Thermodon. The Amazons eventually entered Scythia near the Black Sea and joined forces. Their descendants are the Sarmatians.
Besides Greece, many ancient cultures told tales of warrior women such as Persia, Egypt, Rome, Caucasus, Central Asia, Mongolia, India, and China.
In the US, the comic book character of Wonder Woman, inspired by the Amazonian warrior woman mythos, was created in 1941 by psychologist William Moulton Marston. The story goes that the Amazon Princess Diana was moulded out of clay by her mother Hippolyta and brought to life by the gods.
William Moulton Marston describes his narrative objective as "psychological propaganda for a new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."
The birth of this feminist character happened just as the attack on Pearl Harbour brought Americans into World War Two. The conflict gave women the option to enlist, enter factories and workplaces, and building expertise in fields secured for men. After the war, most women went back to their homes, but in their hearts, the Wonder Woman had emerged and could not be repressed.
Walking through a doorway can make you forget. You'll walk from one room to another with a clear idea of whatever you need to do, but when you get there, you can't remember what you wanted to do. Studies show that a doorway seems to insert a mental divider into memory.
Our brains record memories in segments, rather than as a continuous event. Passing through a doorway triggers a pause between events and in that tiny pause, connective parts of memories can be lost.
Researchers found that imagining walking through a doorway can also interfere with your memory. Worse still, phrases that insert a temporal boundary between events have the same sort of mental divider as a doorway. For example, reading a sentence that starts with "A few hours later..."
This tells us that our brains operate with certain mechanical dynamics. When you can't remember why you walked through a doorway, don't be alarmed. Your brain simply thought the doorway meant you needed a memory divider.
We all have heard the cliche that ‘Good Things Come To Those Who Wait’ but not many of us are really fond of waiting.
Waiting is an institution by itself, imbibed in our very society and culture. The Doctor’s office, for instance, has a ‘Waiting Room’, and we can’t do much in it, besides waiting.
Awareness and mindfulness are something that can be brought in the act of waiting, making it less of an ugly feeling where we fiddle with our phones, and turning it into a beautiful opportunity to explore our surroundings.
In the early 19th century, psychologists feared that imaginary friends could be a sign of emotional unstability or psychological problems in children.
But over the last two decades, scientists have learned that invisible friends are really a sign of positive developmental progress.
Studies found that 65% of children play with invisible playmates. Children typically start inventing imaginary friends at age three to five.
Children make up imaginary friends to relieve loneliness, especially firstborn or only children. Another reason is to have someone to blame for bad behaviour or mischief.
Children who have fantasy friends are more socially aware. They can put themselves in other people's shoes better than peers who don't have imaginary friends.
Children with imaginary friends tend to talk more about personalities than visual clues when describing real friends, suggesting that they focus more on the minds of others than their looks. Children with invisible playmates are also more creative than others.
Parents often wonder how they should approach their children's imaginary friend.
Most children with imaginary friends understand the difference between their own fantasy and reality. The best thing then is to accept the imaginary playmate and join in with the child.
The Escalator, or ‘moving stairs’ is an infrastructural technological development which is actually a trademark, a brand that became so common that its name became a ‘trademark genericide’, just like Aspirin, or Cellophane.
Escalators came after elevators and of course, stairs, both of which were serving the purpose, but had many constraints like vertical expansion of space and a limit on how much a person can ascend or descend manually.
The new technology of escalators transformed not just how the walking person is transported in a building, but the way architecture itself is designed, and created fluid transitions without the limits of the sky or ground.
Nathan Ames, an inventor, applied for the patent in 1859 for the first kind of moving stairs, with a belt attached with three wheels, and powered by kinetic energy. This was never built.
As the 19th century came to an end, there were improvements in the way people lived and worked, facilitating the development of malls, skyscrapers, and electric subway trains. The print and photography industry paved the way for better advertising of products and services.