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Life is better if first thing is for you.

Human capital is the collective resources of an individual and the degree of capacity to bring them to bear for the highest good of all.

Intention: To help people optimize their human capital: more great, less grind.

Source: Life so far, a career in financial services, domains of positive psychology, high-performance sport, mindfulness, neuroscience, and compassion.

Insight Four: Life is better if first thing is for you.

Summary of last three Insights:

One: "It is ok to close your eyes" = you matter, take care of yourself. Who else is doing that?

Two: "Breathe like your life depends on it" = breathing well is a natural trigger for activation or calming.

Three: "Neuroplasticity in a nutshell" = what we choose to dwell on changes the brain. Choose well!

I once pitched a senior leader in a prominent wealth management firm on resilience training with his Advisors. He said, emphatically, "We have no resilience problem here!" I gave him an example of an Advisor friend of mine at his firm who told me when talking about stress, "Are you kidding, I'm freaking out before I even get to the office." That stopped this leader for a few seconds but not long enough to know what to do with it.

Goldman Sachs does get it and has had a robust resilience program for almost 10 years. They know that taking a broader role in supporting their sales and service people is good business. Sales and service people are like high-performance athletes. I think wealth management leadership has an opportunity to see more clearly there being ROI in supporting sustainable performance. We all know examples of the risks inherent in unsustainable performance.

We have two almond-shaped amygdalae, one in each hemisphere. Small and powerful. Ancient. Two hundred million years of practice at emotional memory and charged responses. That's where fear, anxiety, and aggression are felt and triggered. Freaking out inside or outside is known as an amygdala hijack. Adrenaline and cortisol are released very fast. Our amygdalae react to imagined threats too: the same area of our brain "lights up," whether a real or an imagined threat. The good news is that with training, we can create a pause before a reactive response. Nice.

Depowering the hijack effect is done by attention training, which coincidentally powers up the pre-frontal cortex (self-regulation). We are so crazy cool. The morning is a great time to practice training attention and positively correlates with a good day!

When we wake up, our minds are usually clear, having just had, we hope, a good night's sleep. Part of each day's success is based on how the previous day ended—plan on getting enough sleep that you can rise easily in the morning. It would help to get ahead of the inevitable influx of thoughts that may hijack our day. New habits can take a bit of effort to implement: a comfortable sense of ease is essential. Be easy on yourself if this is a new habit you want to implement.

Rise well. I suggest you plan to get up a little earlier than usual to comfortably have the time to practice.

  • Make your bed … unless there's someone still in it! (Great book! "Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life by William McRaven). Feels good to start the day with a completion. Completions are energy creators.

  • Find a quiet place to sit where you won't be disturbed. Having a regular place helps prime the brain for making this a habit.

  • Sit quietly and breathe. Back straight. Feet flat on the floor. Allow your body to become relaxed. You could do a body scan by starting with your feet, relax … your legs, relax … feel your buttocks on the chair, relax your torso, and let the shoulders relax. … Just sitting and breathing. Try for 2 or 3 minutes. Build to 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Make 2 to 3 intentions for the day: Could be business or personal—completing an essential task for work. Or exercise or to be present or eat a healthy lunch or feel good throughout the day.

  • Keep a journal handy to write down insights and reminders. Reviewing goals at least once a week is helpful.

  • Either write or dwell on 3 things you are grateful for.

  • Consider constructing an affirmation or statement or prayer that fully supports you having the day and life you desire.

  • Stand up tall, shoulders back, smile, and carry on with your day with relaxed intention.

I think our job is to do the work that brings us alive. Starting each day, settled and in control, practicing self-direction creates the patterns that support optimizing the route!

Think Roger Federer, walking onto centre court. Control. Leaning in with confident anticipation. Ready to take care of business.

May you be well. It's better that way.


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