Category Archives: work environment

Leaving the comfort zone

A few days into the New Year it appears that we are on the threshold of some major economic and political changes.  A downturn is long overdue given a cycle of uninterrupted growth for almost a decade. A continued trajectory upward defies the law of nature but most of us continue to believe that there are exceptions.

In making contingency plans, you won’t be caught by surprise. Those who choose the path of safety and comfort will fail to see the thunder storms of change on the horizon and take action only when its too late. It is the unwritten code of all life form.

An organism has the flexibility to adapt to changes in its habitat, changing its response or moving to a different environment. The species that fails to adapt to the continuous changes of the wheel of life will inevitably be doomed.

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Photo by Maik Fischer on Unsplash

The natural response of most humans in an economic environment of major change is to go into blaming mode: Its always the fault of the management, the government, foreigners or other external factors, surrendering themselves to a life of misery of what was and could have been.

But it’s the fear of the unknown that prevents most people from taking action when the writing is all over the wall.

Life appears easy in the comfort zone but a comfort zone can get very uncomfortable. Expectations are in line with what is expected. You are on automatic mode. You have the skill set on what needs to be done. But there is no magic left in the air. Staying in the treadmill of the routine is the reason why so many people lose their drive and enthusiasm.

We humans are creatures of habit and we need to train ourselves to remain adaptable to the cues of change that the universe is constantly sending us. We learn when we encounter new experience and that’s part of the magic in becoming our true self.

Be brave and adventurous. Try some New Year resolutions:

Take a path you’ve never walked before or go to places you’ve never been to. Learn a new craft, language or hobby. Meet new people that help move you out of the comfort zone. Try a different restaurant and a different dish. Wear clothing and colors that are different from your standard repertoire.

In becoming more flexible you will have less difficulty adapting to external changes that are out of your control.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, lifestyle management, meditation, personal choice and happiness, Uncategorized, work environment, work purpose

Sprint and recovery

We live in a time where countless forces are demanding our attention. They are in reality pulling us away from our true destiny and our heart wishes. Most TV shows, the tabloids and social media feed our mind with false images and mind junk. And what you feed your mind with you become.

We so easily lose focus and sense of purpose when these external forces distract us. Moreover it depletes your mental and physical energy to the point where you are constantly exhausted. Don’t let it come to that.

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In my previous blog I discussed some of the reasons why most New Year Resolutions fail. The major reason is procrastination and procrastination comes from the lack of drive caused by exhaustion and over-exposure of the mind to distracting clutter.

There is a Chinese saying that the empty space between the spokes of a wheel are more important than the spokes themselves. The recovery time after a sprint is more important than the sprint itself.

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If you are currently engaged in a project or trying to sustain your New Year Resolution then you need to set aside time each day for uninterrupted focus on what you are doing. Make sure you have a space where no one will disturb you and you won’t be distracted by  electronic media for a 90-minute sprint session. After that take a break. Do something completely different, like going for a walk, doing an exercise sequence or taking a power nap.

Its a common illusion that sitting at an office desk for eight hours a day or longer is productive. I would guess that at the most a third of the time is actually used for effective work. The same applies to meetings. Most meetings are completely useless and energy sapping.

Remember: We have all the time in the world and yet no time to lose!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under corporate health, lifestyle management, longevity, mass media, meditation, psychology, Uncategorized, work environment

Who takes the blame?

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During our recent walk on the Camino in Spain we met a young guy with a big hat on a remote mountain. Miguel was selling cold drinks and water to pilgrims and at the same time giving them an arm band with wise words written on them. I got the quote: “analyze, understand and resolve.”

Words so true and important both in a personal context and how we should deal with problems and conflicts at the organizational level.

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It comes to mind that organizations in the corporate world and leaders who learn from mistakes are extremely rare. My experience: The bigger the organization the more slow and complex the decision-making process. Most managers are afraid to take the blame if something goes wrong.

It is deeply ingrained in our culture from early childhood. Admitting failure means taking the blame and living with the resulting shame and consequences. That is why so few organizations have systems in place where the potential of  learning from failure can be fully realized. The recent diesel scandal at Volkswagen is a classic example. Many of the executives and managers at top level were obviously aware that something was seriously wrong in manipulating emission requirements. But the rigid hierarchy culture at that level obviously made it very unsafe to admit and report the failure of engineers.

Failures and mistakes, especially where human interaction is involved, is inevitable. It is a by-product of a creative and experimental culture that leads to innovation. To consider them bad or avoidable is counterproductive. In fact such a culture will produce major calamities as we have seen with VW.

On a personal level we often dwell endlessly over a problem or fall into a freeze mode out of shame if we have really messed it up. We also tend to blame the situation on external factors but do the opposite when assessing the mistakes of others.

Here are some problem solving tips:

  • Analyze the reasons that led to the problem
  • Identify several possible problem solving options and write them down. This is getting clarity in understanding why something went wrong.
  • Occupy your mind with other things like taking a walk or sleeping over it for a night
  • Prioritize your options and then take a decision that leads to resolution

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, happiness research, lifestyle management, organisational structure, outdoor coaching, psychology, raised consciousness, work environment, work purpose

Flying cars and plastic hearts

Could anyone have predicted in the world of 1997 the profound effects that social media and the digital revolution would have on the world of today? Then think ahead of what our world might look like in two decades.

flying carsSome years from now it will be quite normal to have flying electric cars as a mode of transportation. Food might be grown in greenhouses in city skyscrapers and human organs and body parts produced by 4D technology.

Technological revolutions always have cataclysmic effects on whole industry sectors with winners and losers on both ends. But it also changes society on many levels, the way we live, our relationships and state of mind.

Is it something to embrace or something to be afraid of? Depending on your mindset it could be either of the two, depending on your willingness to adapt. Do you accept the inevitability of certain changes as an opportunity or do you prefer to reject anything that you perceive as a threat to the status quo?

The point is that it is an inevitability of life that nothing remains static and that change is part of life like the seasonal changes of the year. Life is an a constant state of flux and evolution. Those species that accept the change and adapt to the new situation the fastest are the ones that survive.

We humans are very much animals of habit.  How we exercise, the foods we eat, where we work or live and in what relationships we remain committed to, is mostly determined by habit. Even if we know on a rational level that some of those habits are not doing us any good.

The choice is simple: Do you bear with the pain in an increasingly difficult comfort zone of the status quo or do you take on the pain that comes with change and adaption to new circumstances?

Embracing change is embracing opportunity of growth,  constant learning, self-development and evolution of human spirit. So lets go for it!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, Job satisfaction, life vision, lifestyle management, mental-health, raised consciousness, work environment

How important is your health?

Most personal bankruptcies in the United States are directly linked to a health issue. I have seen so many good friends, leaders and experts in their fields hitting a wall with a life-threatening disease in the prime of their lives.

Comical chubby guy not sticking to his diet

This doesn’t come overnight. In most cases poor or good health is directly linked to lifestyle choices.

Less than ten per cent of major health issues are triggered by fate such as accidents or hereditary factors.

When asked, most people will tell you their health is very important. Asked what they are doing to stay healthy, the question gets a little more difficult to answer.

The truth is that bad lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise are seeing diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and mental illnesses such as depression skyrocketing in all of the industrialised countries.

I have myself been on the brink of burnout, overburdened by work demands and relationship issues, so I know what I’m talking about. Poor health doesn’t come overnight. Its a slow degenerative process that sets in when you stop looking after yourself and external demands or distractions start controlling your life.

So, its become my passion, my personal mission to tell people what they can do, to lead a much healthier and happier life.

I firmly believe that it all starts from within. Do you love and respect yourself? What is your self image. Your body will reflect what is going on inside you. Facial expressions and body posture can be telling. What mental and physical clutter are you carrying around with you? How do you deal with stress? Are you following your soul purpose? These are questions that need to be answered before you start a diet and it is the main reason why most weight-reduction and exercise programmes fail.

In the many workshops and trainings I have done with people at all levels in the corporate world, the issue its not the lack of awareness. All of us have heard and read about these things. But there is a huge gap between awareness and taking concrete action. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Why do people avoid action when it comes to the most important aspect in their lives with personal health literally affecting every facet of life.

One reason is that you don’t see the effect of bad lifestyle habits immediately. If I told you that drinking that sugar-laced “energy drink” is a poison that will kill you in the next few hours, you wouldn’t touch it. Toxic foods and negative mental distractions are all around us. Its become a huge challenge of our time to avoid these and to focus our mind on positive thoughts.

To have a healthy body metabolism you need a walk of between five and eight kilometres per day. Most people don’t even manage two in walking from the house to the car and from the car to the office. The compound effect – good or bad is what does it.

I have gleaned and finetuned from my workshops what I believe are the key principles of good health. I have put all this together in a seven-part online course with a clear positive habit forming plan to set you up for a much healthier lifestyle. You can check it out here and watch a free video preview

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

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Filed under blood pressure, cancer, corporate health, cortisol, exercise mental health, happiness, Job satisfaction, lifestyle management, longevity, nutrition, psychology, Uncategorized, work environment

The myth of multitasking

In an unprecedented gaffe that saw one winner swapped for another at the recent Oscar awards, the question was obviously on everyone’s mind. How could that happen? It seems  a classic case of multitasking gone wrong.

According to a report in the New York Times the person responsible for handing the envelopes with the winner to presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty had posted a tweet while sorting the envelopes during the show.

We see it constantly around us: People on their smart phones while attending important meetings or supposedly conversing with others around the table and at the same time answering whatsapp messages. Believe me. There is no such thing as multitasking.

We are fast losing our ability to concentrate on the magic of the moment by falling prey to a constant bombardment of distractions. Most of the recent neoroscience research concludes there is no such thing as multitasking – that is the brain’s ability to do several things at the same time with the same amount of concentration.

Losing Brain Function

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While multitasking we make mistakes, lose energy, get stressed and are less productive. The brain focuses on things sequentially and is unable to do two things at once. It must disengage from one activity in order to engage in another. And it takes several tenths of a second for the brain to make that switch.

Multitasking is not holding the hands on the wheel of a car and concentrating on the road at the same time. We can breathe and talk but when it comes to paying attention we can only concentrate fully on one thing at a time which is why accident research shows that a person using a cell phone and driving at the same time, takes up to a second longer to slam on the brakes.

Mindfulness training is concentrating on one thing at a time and also concentrating fully on the person we are engaged with instead of checking emails at the same time. Above all its downright rude. You are missing out on life and telling that person. My emails are more important than you are!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

 

 

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Why you need to take a break

IMG_1197With work pressure increasing in practically all sectors its not uncommen for people to remain stuck at their desk for hours and taking their “lunch” while tapping away at the computer or taking a call. On the long term this is wreaking havoc on concentration levels, health and productivity.

Under stress your sympathetic nervous system is on alert flooding your body with stress hormones that accelerate your heart beat, increase your blood pressure, dilate your pupils and inhibit other body functions like your digestion. At some stage however the calming side of your body, the parasympathetic nervous system, will want to reduce the arousal system, bringing everything back into balance and tiredness creeping in. Its a natural body reaction that you can’t control.

We need a good balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system – between the arousal and recuperation phases.

Research has indicated that most concentration levels start sinking rapidly after about 50 minutes of uninterrupted work on a computer. At the latest after 70 minutes your parasympathetic nervous system will start taking over. This is the time to take a short 5-10 minute break. And a break is only really a break if you interrupt your work and do something completely different, like opening a window, taking a deep breath, looking at the bird in the tree across the road or chatting to a colleague.

If you have an office job you will have spent some 80,000 hours of your lifetime in a sitting position until you reach retirement age. This is an enormous strain on your back, neck, skeletal and body alignment system. Interrupting your work for 15-20 minutes a day to do some active stretching movements, will work wonders for your health, your mood and your concentration and work ability.

Pushing your break of say half an hour until the end of the work day practically has no recuperation effect. Regular shorter breaks after every hour are far more effective. Taking a power nap of between 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon works very well for some people. It should however not be longer as you then fall into the deep-sleep mode and will wake up more fatigued.

If you have had days, weeks or months of high stress, your body will very likely have high cortisol levels. It means vital organs in your body are being undernourished because your body is in a “fight or flight” mode. You need recuperation, a time out, to bring those stress hormones back to normal. Best you choose a place where you can lock away your cell phone and focus your mind on anything else but work. Check out also our outdoor coaching programmes.

Reino Gevers, coach, trainer, author

PowerBodyMind – Gevers Consulting

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

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Filed under blood pressure, corporate health, cortisol, exercise mental health, healing nature, lifestyle management, meditation, outdoor coaching, psychology, stress hormones, Uncategorized, work environment