There is so much information out there about:
- How the brain works
- How to maximize its capacity
- and simultaneously how to feel better
And if there is EVER a profession that needs to maximize brain capacity and feel better,
How this works is like an algorithm.
Simply, these are the elements of the algorithm:
First of all, we each have only so much bandwidth.
[Bandwidth = the energy or mental capacity required to deal with a situation.]
Secondly, Information, Attention and Emotions are all active within our bandwidth at all times.
Thirdly, Cognitive Control is also in play. It’s how we control the activity levels of each of these three forces within our bandwidth.
Keep these points in mind when wanting to improve your Cognitive Control:
“A wealth of information is a poverty of attention” (from a Daniel Goleman source)
Emotional Hygiene – the process of exercising control of emotions:
- Tuning into our emotions
- Managing distressing emotions
- Marshaling positive emotions
- Tuning into other people
(from Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman)
The ability to focus when and where we want is the key to success.
(Success is what each of us considers success for ourselves in life or in a situation.)
Mindfulness is a Mental Gym. This is when we pay attention, focus, notice. Consider ‘paying attention’, ‘focusing’, ‘noticing’ as muscles to be exercised.
Exercising mindfulness can help you manage your bandwidth algorithm anytime and anywhere:
- Identify and focus on what is active within your bandwidth at the time
- Choose which information is the priority to focus on
- Pay attention to the emotions that are helping you, propelling you forward
- Unload the emotions that are blocking you at the time
- Expand your observations of what is happening around you
- And especially pay attention to what is making you feel good at the time
Goleman,D. Emotional Intelligence, 1994. New York: Bantam Books. Goleman, D. Force For Good, 2016.