Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Exchanging and building energy through gratitude

People’s hunger for energy, which they’ve learned to satisfy mainly from the outside, is causing so much exploitation, abuse, and conflict. But there is another way we can become aware of. In states of ideal Awareness Intelligence, when the circle of perpetual life is made aware, and

When a human’s life origin and destiny become one, then the flux of life energy can flow and circulate as well.

It is this state in which we feel, like a magnet, where we are naturally attracted to and what we better keep away.

When we run out of energy, it is generally not that others are responsible for our energy depletion, albeit it is sometimes better to avoid energy suckers, especially when we are not able to maintaining maximal Awareness Intelligence on our side. Our energy balance has much more to do with how we ourselves let energy leak from the energy field of humantime. Life energy is not scarce.

Whether we feel more or less energetic is depending on how intelligently we use awareness to keep the doors to the all-abundant source of life energy in humantime open. 

The spring of life energy is within us. The energy that is accessed awareness-intelligently in one’s intra-past is pure energy coming directly from the source of all power. Sharing it in the inter-present, and offering it to the extra-future is gratefully supporting the flow of life. Gratitude for our abounding supply of divine energy keeps the portal to the intra-past open.

Without gratitude, receiving is just consumption.

Energy that is, instead of being fed back to life, kept for oneself, is an irresponsible waste.

Being part of the energetics of an awareness-intelligent life is joy and fills us with all its spirit and vigor.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Chapter 34 – Think thrice

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

Chapter 36 – Unconditional love

Chapter 37 – Humankindism

Chapter 38 – Unimportant urgencies versus purposeful service

Chapter 39 – Becoming wholly human

Coming next:

Chapter 41 – Enthusiastic learning and teaching

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Humankindism

mathias sager awareness intelligence chapter 37

Awareness Intelligence is caring; caring for yourself, for your relations, and the common good. Working hard on something we do not sincerely care about is called stress. Genuine care comes from, by, and with love, as it does not expect anything in return. Sayings like “kill them with kindness” are expressions of aggression and have little to do with true kindness. Bad feelings against others are always hurting ourselves most. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. Chasing victories brings defeat. To live and fulfill life’s purpose of supporting all other life, however, is to be kind. Kindness is not something one primarily does, but it is the voice of who one really is. Human kindness is the very ever-present, non-depletable and everlasting characteristic of humankind.

In the sense of Awareness Intelligence, timeless kindness is the extension of linear time and social relations towards the inclusiveness of the entirety and eternity of humankind.

Humankindism that is kindness in accord with humantime does base on the boundless love and courage that claims the extra-future that’s in for all.

It’s easy to be smart, but difficult to be kind. Indeed, kindness requires courage and strength. Awareness-intelligent thought and courageous efforts to act in kindness reward with feelings of egoless affection, as everybody knows who has ever, for example, only helped a lost tourist despite low likelihood to ever meet again and get reciprocity. By caring for somebody’s soul, we care for the collective of all souls, we affect universal consciousness, thanks to acting in line with Awareness Intelligence.

Through timeless kindness, which heals, liberates, and amplifies the consciousness of all humanity and time, therefore, opens the inter-present into parallel time.

The ineffable bliss of giving up one’s fictitious personality comes from detaching from the experience of momentary being and serving life itself that comes in the form of another human soul in need. True kindness is the ticket to detach from time and to access eternity. It is eternity where we all meet at the same time. The ability to surpass the fear of losing oneself in service to others points to all three doors of humantime.

Research finds that hostility is a leading cause of attracting illness. Acts of kindness, even if only observed or imagined, increase the serotonin level in the brain’s reward system, which supports states of well-being. That’s how compassion and generosity become a major predictor for good health.

The awareness about the existence and functioning of humantime is vital to understand what mindfulness might mean. There are as many legitimate opinions about what the problems of the world are from a socio-cultural perspective. Awareness Intelligence, on the other hand, is not based on opinion.

It is the capacity to position human life in time and to identify the socio-temporal constellations that are respectful of all life at any time.

It cannot be iterated more how important it is to stretch and bend time into the circular and parallel nature that let us see that caring for others’ future is supporting the same life that gave birth to our own anatomical existence.

There is nothing anybody can ever take away from us, which will not be taken away by life itself very soon anyway.

So, don’t destroy your life through being fearful of loss and becoming hostile in the process of trying to protect it in vain. Show life that you know it better. Enjoy the power of timeless kindness that is always available to you as the most critical source of sanity and health.

Evan Esar, a 20th-century American humorist and author, wrote, “Character is what you have left when you’ve lost everything you can lose.” You can find your source of kindness wherever you are in life. It is the independent and universally valid currency available even when you’ve lost your wealth, social status, or business and private network.

Kindness is the inexhaustible human energy from within. Accessed through Awareness Intelligence, it is irresistible and rewarding in itself in that it makes us and others feeling good about us and others.

Mahatma Gandhi recommended going every year somewhere where one has never been before. Becoming uprooted in some way or the other indeed may provide for an eye-opening experience on what is left after we’ve lost everything we can lose: Timeless, universal kindness coming from a strong character that nobody and nothing can take away from our control. In that sense, on what side of the world and with whatever we end up, if we always stay genuinely kind to ourselves and others, we can’t feel gotten lost by any means.

Kindness represents a threat to institutionalized materialism. Sometimes kindness is even decried as selfish narcissism because it does not discriminate in favor of the group calling it that way.

If kindness is sourced from the intra-past, displayed in the inter-present, and intended to serve the extra-future, the very opposite is true. That’s timeless Humankindism resulting from Awareness Intelligence.

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Chapter 34 – Think thrice

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

Chapter 36 – Unconditional love

Coming next:

Chapter 38 – Unimportant urgencies and purposeful service

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Unconditional love

Love often is mentioned as the most important ingredient in life. Despite being considered the greatest energy in the world, it’s one of the least understood powers too.

Who and what one is not aware of, one cannot love; and which is not loved, one is not properly aware of. A readiness to love is necessary for it being expressed and recognized.

If not made explicitly aware, the emergence of love occasionally appears quite arbitrary. Awareness Intelligence along with the dimensions of the different social relations and time as visualized by the socio-temporal matrix, invites love to arise more likely and both more specifically and more broadly. Real love is unconditional. Real love does not seek to get; its reward is to give, while even this opportunity is unconditionally unexpected. By awareness-intelligently knowing how to arrange relations and time to establish transaction-free relationships, for example through staying in the inter-present without past resentments and future expectations, love becomes a genuine expression of the soul.

There are different types of love, and there is romance. “Romance is tempestuous. Love is calm.” as a Mason Cooley’s aphorism goes. The different levels of love along the Awareness Intelligence modes build on each other harmoniously. Love is the light, the awaring appreciation of source energy, the socio-temporally infinite holy quality of pure life.

Only if you see this source of love in you, you will find it in others too.

Noticing others’ loving energy causes strong emotions of affection and attraction to them. Love is of lower quality if there is a shortage of awareness about everybody’s access to the same source of love. The extension of empathy to all souls, whether they have the Awareness Intelligence to express it too or not, enables compassion. The compassion of the extra-past in that sense is the knowing that at the core of all human expression is the identical love that we’ve discovered in our intra-past and that we joyfully yet without attachment experience in our affectionate inter-present encounters and relationships.

Love the people for who they really are, not for what they allegedly used to be, or for what they supposedly are expected to become, do, or have in the future. Un-condition yourself, learn a new language of love that is free from beliefs based on stories you have adopted. With Awareness Intelligence it’s possible to disrupt the conditioning into misbelieves and to unlearn unhealthy habits. Trace back your story to where it started, all back to the only origin of truth there is. Express your language of respect by letting others become who they really are too.

Find and deliberate your purpose based on such unconditional tenderness. That’s all you are. And you are it all. You do not love. You are love. Unconditionally.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Chapter 34 – Think thrice

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

Coming next:

Chapter 37 – Humankindism

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

Want to expand your mental world?

Everything you achieve, become, and feel is the direct result of how you think! We are often made to believe otherwise; but in reality, our human experience is a mental world.

In the ‘80% is Psychology’ webinars, you get reminded of the fact that you can change your thoughts, and therefore, you can change your world. What it takes, however, is

  1. The realization that you are not controlled by your genes;
  2. The awareness that you can unlearn and learn whatever you want if you put in the effort; and
  3. The courage to say “no” to societal expectations and to connect to all humanity regardless of cultural divisions

If you want to increase your Awareness Intelligence for deeper experiences and more significant impacts in your private and professional life, I invite you to join our unique, interactive live online sessions; every Thursday, starting from August 1st.

I see you there!

Think thrice

mathias sager awareness intelligence chapter 34

We should not only think twice; we need to think thrice. To think about ‘me and others’ is not enough. To only reflect on the ‘now and then’ is sufficient neither. Thinking in couples instead of triples creates instabilities and disables wholesomeness. For illustration, only seeing and having faith, without following through is wasteful meaninglessness. Belief and action alone without seeing clearly what to believe and act upon, are naïve and irresponsible. To see and act upon without faith discourages trust. Therefore,

Awareness Intelligence as the threefold awareness about awareness requires to think thrice.

Thinking three times involves the three Awareness Intelligence pointers in a silent trialogue of wisdom. Instead of a bipolar mind that typically tends to either over- or underthink, a harmonious mind, in contrast, avoids the loud arguing or pausing of a two-sided dialogue and instead synthesizes the whole socio-temporal awareness structure within which right, compassionate thought can arise. The thinking gets liberated thanks to extended awareness, and therefore, allows being also sensitive to intuitive and creatively non-analytical thought. In a second step, thoughts can be selected and integrated according to their awareness-intelligent value. In addition to the reception of intuitive and imaginary input from consciousness, Awareness Intelligence can self-generate thought, the thought that creates the knowing of holiness, wholeness, and wholesomeness. The mastery of the intentional use of such a mighty awareness-structure of the mind lines up thought logically from along the intra-past, through the inter-present, to the extra-future. Thus, life becomes less complicated, simpler, and correspondingly causes less related suffering.

If you want to increase reliability in decision-making, you need three points of fixation respectively three sources for a three-way match. If for a point to be confirmed, you can’t find two other reference points, verification is weak.

Think about a tripod and how its three legs need to interact simultaneously to provide a stable stand. Only by such a well-established awareness, bigger logical arcs of higher importance and sharper thought can be captured.

Whether you want to achieve better thought-through results or to relax mental tension, think thrice the same way as you take three deep breaths as a physical exercise.

Don’t judge too early, only cross the street of thought after having applied a ‘watch-listen-walk’ attitude in your decision-making.  For your own and all others safety, watch the intra-past, listen to the inter-present, and walk the extra-future.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Chapter 22 – The Extra-future

Chapter 23 – Full awareness and pure thoughts for coherent meaning

Chapter 24 – The three awareness sparring partners

Chapter 25 – The joy of being, doing, and becoming

Chapter 26 – Learning to die during a lifetime

Chapter 27 – Physical spacelessness and spatial mentalness

Chapter 28 – The law of creation: Intuition, intention, and imagination

Chapter 29 – Energy and the illusionary objectification of life

Chapter 30 – Body, mind, soul

Chapter 31 – Trialistic harmony, not dualistic balance

Chapter 32 – A tripartite world that works in triplets

Chapter 33 – Triadic philosophies and wisdoms

Coming next:

Chapter 35 – Circumthinking

— In love for my daughter Natalie and all children of this world. —

The Intra-past

Chapter 20 – The Intra-past

It’s not others or circumstances that make us aware in the first place, although they can help to trigger the process.

It is you who is giving awareness to yourself. It is you who is open to becoming aware. All it needs is that you start with giving yourself the gift of honesty and self-compassion to become one with the humantime of your intra-past.

To be properly in the intra-past, some alienation from others, and a self-alienation from the inter- and extra-past, is necessary. Of course, you want to stay social and cooperative with the ones close to you in your life, although with time the nature of these relationships may transform as your awareness regenerates. Separation from yourself and others means, in a psycho-spiritual way, that you let go of your identity, which is based on social conformity and cultural beliefs that would be misbeliefs in a different culture. You also have to let go of attachment to others’ judgments, which are opinions only and have little if anything to do with truth.

By distancing yourself from the idealized role you have learned to assume during all the years of education, socialization, and enculturation, you begin to see who you really are.

Young children don’t need to learn what honesty, fairness, empathy, and compassion are. It’s amazing how children from the beginning know how to love fearlessly; an ability that many grown-ups seem to have forgotten. You don’t need to recall specific events; rather contemplate yourself as a young child, as a newborn, and even as an expected baby before conception that has made its way to its birth without fail, without any support from society, without cultural rules or the advice of any experts. That way, bring yourself into contact with the life animating force from which you came.

As you came from it, you are it. You come from what you were part of before. Each of us is one specific human-type cell of the whole cosmic energy body.

It’s impossible that you are not of your origin. If you got this, you’ve established the foundation of intra-past awareness.

A child does not care about history; it does not have much of it anyway. And yet it is not a matter of age to know what’s right and what’s not. Young children take other people without reservation, regardless of their past, indifferent of their inherited fame, and unconcerned of their economic status. Children, before being taught otherwise, don’t care about how other people look except for their more or less friendly expression. They don’t care about race, size, fashion, and accessories. Children start to interact with whoever is genuinely interested in and willing to on a psychological level. What a clear expression of that all life is connected.

Like water that always flows together again is life finding life unmistakably to unite in love again.

That’s our natural tendency to live life. It’s the only desire, if we stay aware of it, whose pursuit can make us feel truly alive. No possessions or status can substitute for it. Don’t believe any stories that destroy your confidence in connecting to your life source and any other human beings with whom you share the same.

There is a tragicomical saying that, unfortunately, hits the nail right on the head: A banker, a worker, and an immigrant are sitting at a table with twenty cookies. The banker takes nineteen cookies and warns the worker: “Watch out, the immigrant is going to take your cookie away.” As the ones in power don’t want to give up their privileges, people are kept fearfully in survival mode. Survival concerns are best stirred up by propagating a materialistic view on life.

Our immortal soul’s drive is not about survival; it rather needs freedom from the mind’s concern to solely survive.

People with the concern to survive don’t aspire to thrive. They are not motivated to be as fast as they could, for example. To survive before the chasing bear, being only the second slowest is sufficient to ride out. And that’s how people socially compare and construe their story of being relatively OK.

As we deserve to be not judged by our past, we should not judge others according to the labels they are given.

The socio-economic status of people doesn’t tell us much about their human qualities. Try to see people’s soul regardless of social personality appearances. Don’t waste your thoughts on interpreting equipment, façade styles, and fashions. They are not relevant to our true self, and they are gone as fast as they came. We are not our social personalities. Clinging to our social identity and old ways of thinking about ourselves makes us in any case matter less than we deserve. Artificial rules that protect selfish interests are not natural laws of life. Yes, actually money grows on trees. Just, the land where the trees grow has been misappropriated. Even worse, our memory, our awareness of this land of abundance that once had belonged to all has been taken too. Now laws ensure that the treasures don’t need to be shared anymore at all.

Children are dependent on the care received from their parents and other adults in the culture they are born into. For them, inter-psychological learning, the influence of other people is unavoidable. Their survival depends on following their caregivers. Such dependencies should not exist anymore later on in life though. An adult person can re-build her or his identity intra-psychologically.

It is of intra-past intelligence when you realize the possibility, even the necessity of your socio-cultural independence. Intra-past awareness allows you to free yourself from backward-related definitions of your person by others.

It is an awareness-unintelligent trap to let one being defined by others opinions and beliefs.

When I moved abroad and ended up being on myself in a completely different culture, there was nobody and nothing anymore that would have supported and validated my identity at that time. For my new environment far away from my former social networks, jobs, and possessions that had defined me to a significant extent for a long time too, I then was left to be just an unknown foreigner. Therefore, I could not and did not have to live up to any story anymore. What an opportunity. I’ve realized how foolish it had been to build one’s personality too much on the unstable ground of externals. Meanwhile, having left most of the external things and values behind, there has remained one true identity-giving source: The inner self. I’ve found my true self when mentalizing back to before I had grown into an adult body, before I was associated with a certain social status, and before I started to hold on to a variety of achievements and acquisitions. Now literally as an alien in a foreign country, I became aware of what was left, what will always be left, and I mentally returned to the core of whom I am: The consciousness that is all and my origin of life.

For all my life I was looking for happiness. Now I found meaning. And when I accepted meaning, happiness became meaningless. That’s when I started to really enjoy life again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than a hundred years ago that history should be banned from school. I agree in the sense that the common issue of glorifying the past and using it to legitimate and reinforce established power structures, for example in politics, is hindering real improvement.

The world needs new solutions to old problems.

A spirit-based awareness to overcome ego-based identification is needed. Rather than closing down for victories, humanity needs to open up for progress.

Just because things are our culture, they are not necessarily good. Good is what increases awareness.

By definition, culture is a set of widely unconscious norms and beliefs, artifacts, and institutions of only a particular group of people that have developed over generations. It fosters in-group bias that tends to over-favoring the own culture and negatively stereotyping cultures other than the own one. In a way, promoting in-group adhesion is following the economic principle of making things scarce. In that sense, the source of affection, praise, friendship, and love is made reserved to the own group and therefore is increasing the group’s perceived value. However, differing viewpoints and new solutions often come only from a cross-cultural, broader and more diverse perspective that is free of group interests. Of course, not everyone can have a cross-cultural background, nor is it affordable or practical for most people to leave their environment, to travel extensively, or to live in another destination for sustained periods of time. Nevertheless,

Everybody can develop an intra-past awareness that is sufficiently culture-free and independent to heal from limiting and hateful beliefs

and to give access to what is real: Pure energy and love that has the executive intelligence to change everybody and everything.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

Chapter 18/19 – The structure and dimensions of life: The socio-temporal matrix (three tenets of Awareness Intelligence)

Coming next:

Chapter 21 – The Inter-present

Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

mathias sager Awareness Intelligence

There are lucrative business cases behind the emerging possibilities in new technology such as smart devices, the internet of everything, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.

The intentions of the humans who are creating and utilizing technology are determining how technological progress will look like. What is clear is that technology follows the mindset of developers and users.

How virtuously technology will serve humanity depends on how people grow in their awareness.

Never will technology lead or replace Awareness Intelligence that is the direct expression of the life force itself. The appreciative study of the human mind, therefore, should be the absolute priority of all undertakings.

Due to the disappearance of unions in Europe and other markets, the unity of workplaces in the knowledge-based economy crumbles and gives place to lose short-term contracting. Also, employees today increasingly fear their replacement by machines and are worried about losing control against further automation. Having realized that the understanding of human connections, life- and humantimes are the most relevant human factors, it should be clear that in a humanistic society machines cannot be serious competitors. If machines replace humans, it is because humans do the work of machines, not because the machines came to do human work. Rather than reducing people to carrying boxes, the love and creativity-deprived modern societies should use people’s soul-inspired intuition and imagination to give them, by being wholly human,

What humans really need: to be as different from machines as much as they want to be.

Technology as a vehicle can increase a journey’s efficiency dramatically. The masses got used to focus the vehicle instead of the destination. The fun factor is understandable, but where does it lead? The deployment of technologies advanced to dictate how we communicate, work, buy, sell, and entertain. User policies and technological process designs became the remote control, while we think we are still in control. Through freemiums, addictive interaction design, and market monopolies whole industries came to depend on systems that today dictate many of the processes in our everyday businesses and lives. It’s important to realize that technology often is misused to take the remote control for the device of our personal earthly existence. Digital platforms decide how they pool their user stock and what they feed them. It’s difficult for the user to see the big picture transparently. And the politics in the virtual world are the politics of the physical world. The virtual realm too introduces division, incompatibilities, and builds walls. It’s not technology itself though. It is our and everybody’s level and the constellation of awareness that determines the results of its use.

There is no digital divide if there is no human divide. Only human minds share universally distributed intelligence. We cannot count on technology alone to reconnect and save us.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Coming next:

Chapter 17 – The choice to be part of something bigger

The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is an individual’s ability to monitor her or his feelings and those of others and therefore is an essential interpersonal competency. Beliefs and feelings are closely intertwined. Feelings are an important indicator of how a situation measures up against our socially and culturally shaped beliefs. Hence, feelings might have not much to do with our genuine human nature.

Feelings and more intense short-term emotions alike can seem overwhelming and be an all-consuming psychological state. There is always though, in minimum, some room for reasoning left.

To grasp the true nature of life, rational thinking helps to explore and direct one’s emotions. Emotions and attitudes are never the beginning; they are the result of thought, albeit not always rationally controlled thought. If you stick to your believe-based emotions, new ways of thinking might be hindered.

If you can deliberately change the way you think, if you can widen and sharpen your awareness at the same time, then you can create different emotions and if chosen wisely, feel better.

High levels of so-called emotional intelligence generally correlate with high levels of performance and success. However, there is the risk of over-relying on emotions with adverse effects on one’s mental states. Emotional understanding and the ability to manage emotions is not in itself a “good” or “bad” quality. One can perceive another person empathically and still not be aware of what that means for oneself and the broader context; therefore, neither empathy nor emotional intelligence do necessarily involve the development of compassion and the desire to help. On the other side, hypersensitivity to other’s emotions can be burdensome, contagious, and incapacitating supportive responses. If one is overwhelmed by others pain to the extent of getting sick oneself, nobody is helped. Rather than to merely intensify empathy,

It is more awareness-intelligent not to exaggerate but to broaden the responsiveness to other’s need for care.

Your beliefs and the way you feel about them come from your social upbringing, your education, your enculturation. If you were born somewhere else or at a different time, your language, religion, your beliefs about appropriate symbols, customs, and rules would be expected similar to anybody else in the same cultural milieu of that ages, but also entirely different from somebody in another temporal culture. No culture is a more or less legitimate way of living, but none of them represents an absolute truth either. There is, however, a fundamental lawfulness to human life. We need to choose how we put ourselves, others, and all humanity into relation to each other from the perspective of our life as well as from the standpoint of other generations and all human evolution. Without such a complete socio-temporal relationship, people across different realities of societies, cultures, and eras are continuing to insist on which would be the most likely illusion of their places and times.

Fortunately, we can choose to understand where we set the boundaries for exclusion, and how much back into the past and forth into the future we care.

It is this reference-system of humantime that would better guide our thought processes than a relatively random set of contemporary socio-cultural believes and sensitivities.

You are neither your emotions nor your feelings or thoughts as long as they are the mere aftereffect of somewhat limited awareness.

You are your watching mind of human relations in time. You are the entire and perennial conscious source intelligence you are coming from.

Use this gift to intelligently self-generate your thoughts in concord with all life. Awareness-intelligent thought is based on compassionate care that feels more deeply satisfying, moving, and human, while not being confusing or overwhelming after all.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Coming next:

Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind

Ignorance is not bliss

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

mathias sager Awareness Intelligence

“Ignorance is bliss” is an often-seen quote with a seemingly appealing message. But let’s think again. If chosen as an attitude, ignorance for bliss would be like having given up happily the aspiration to be of help. Negative collective consequences would be one type of issue, the missed individual opportunity for true joy through service another.

Popular demeanors like ‘ignorance for bliss’ evidence that the quest for happiness has driven us into emptiness and carelessness.

In contrast, if we learned to be more awareness-intelligent, we’d have the chance to herald the start of the post-shallow-happiness era that will be about comprehension and meaning instead of ignorance.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

Although today’s education systems provide information and knowledge, they do not ensure to understand in empathy, for which advanced qualities of the mind would be required. This awareness would also include the knowing about the lasting joy whose profound quality is way beyond some short passing showers of bliss. It’s comprehension and meaning that make our soul feel alive.

Bliss, happiness, and joy may sometimes be used interchangeably. However, joy might involve more virtue seeking and meaning, as compared to the more pleasure-based notion of happiness. One of the major enablers of happiness respectively joy, is personal control. Being aware and understanding means mastery. The spectrum of one’s perceived control through ability increases the more Awareness Intelligence is present.

Becoming aware is like lightening up mental space and making previously dark and hidden parts of life accessible to be included in controllable reasoning and decision-making.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

Children intuitively seek joy by exploring the world and learning. The desire to learn is in all of us, which is a tremendous gift that is telling us “come, I show you the full joy of life.” Simple-mindedness, according to popular opinion, seems to cope well with life. Sure, diminished awareness may well be sufficient for functioning in a relatively tightly defined underrun — however, simple mind- over-simple life. A pronounced local focus of mind is doomed to become linked to difficulties in broadening one’s horizon when needed and is hindering the cultivation of diverse social interactions in any case. Over sooner or longer, every soul is revolting against too narrowly fenced personal development. People never regret what they have learned; they regret what they have missed.            

Is ignorance really the cause for all evil? At least, being educated does not necessarily prevent ignorance and foolishness. Pieces of uncombined knowledge that is not put into context point to low levels of awareness. For example, an oppressive manager in an organization may be a loving father of a family. A nation’s tyrant leader may be favorable for many organization’s success. A brutal xenophobic may care a lot for the wealth of the natives of his country. What appears right on one level, can be quite the opposite on another level. There is a serious issue with how people come to restrict their awareness about their social scope of care. It’s not a bad gene that causes these troubles. But why get the dots not connected, even by otherwise intelligent people who can comprehend most complex systems of many types? It’s the unawareness of one’s lack of awareness. It’s the absence of awareness-driven motivation to be fully human. Without a mental connector to establish compassion towards all levels of social organization, there is no desire to fill the gaps.

Only when envisioning the ‘why’ one can speak about complex empathy. Complex empathy includes meaning and is a main source of joy.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

Next time when asking a friend “how are you?” surprise her or him with following up with “why?”. For many, it will be difficult to answer; however, this is an excellent occasion to connect on a deeper level and have a meaningful conversation about how to navigate life. Why do I feel well? How do I see life? What is the bigger picture? Wouldn’t it be strange if living a better life wouldn’t include a deeper apprehension and socio-temporal navigation of life? It’s time wisely spent to learn to understand all that better.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

Coming next:

Chapter 14 – Awareness Intelligence is learnable

Mental coordinate system

Chapter 12 – Mental coordinate system

A new kind of mental map is required to explore and navigate effectively mental territory. Before the map-making process can start though, orientation must be enabled. As for physical maps, coordinate systems typically serve that purpose. These are grids formed from a vertical and a horizontal reference line respectively the north-south and the east-west axis. It’s possible to use the same technique to build a mental map.

The mental map of awareness uses human relations (the social dimensions) on the vertical reference line, and time (the temporal dimensions) on the horizontal axis. These are the inherently relevant aspects of human awareness.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

Plotted as a mental reference system, they will help to establish the socio-temporal structure that is required to focus what is relevant for the human soul. Once the mental coordinate system is established, the landscape of the psyche can be more easily navigated. With socio-temporal awareness as your mental navigation system, you won’t get lost anymore. You will feel traveling safe, and you’ll be able to connect to your most liked joyful spots again.

mathias-sager-socio-temporal_awareness intelligence_matrix

Mental map that shows the directions of socio-temporal expansion to increase awareness intelligence (explained in next chapters in more detail)

The indefinite power of the human soul and mind can be unlocked as human beings evolve from doing ‘sightseeing’ to ‘thoughtthinking.’ This will intensify the understanding and appreciation of the mental world and propel the development of Awareness Intelligence. No field of science or any advanced forms of artificial intelligence have been able to solve the disconnect between the people that causes all the issues of inner and outer conflict.

It’s the power of awareness that has the potential to link separateness together and to unify.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

It’s time to become more aware of our absence of awareness, the only way to solve the remaining problems of humanity, which are all due to shallow lives lost in thoughtless wandering.

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

Chapter 10 – Expanding the here and now

Chapter 11 – Individual revolution, human evolution

Coming next:

Chapter 13 – Ignorance is not bliss

Leadership & (Em-)Power(-ment)

From our ‘80% Percent is Psychology’ session, Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. Thanks all for the great discussions!

  • Force causes counter-force; and transactional leadership likely results in compliance only; It is transformational leadership based on inspiration and collaboration that increases most follower’s involvement and true commitment.
  • It is not the acquisition of power (whether it be positional or personal), but the mindset through which it is employed which determines the nature and effectiveness of leadership.
  • Agile leaders are able to cope with uncertainty and complex issues. Based on self-awareness, they are willing to ask for help and transfer experiences and values to different areas of the business, which is inspiring and developing others too.
  • Representativeness posits that leaders need to demonstrate how they are similar to their followers and then succeed by representing the values of the group. Leaders themselves may be required to adapt to followers to ensure continued representation.
  • Leadership and follower diversity is an important contributor to organization’s success (DuBrin, 2016). Unfortunately, gender stereotypes still cause a preference for men in ‘power’ roles. •Acceptance of inequality doesn’t stem from a passive stance, but rather an active endorsement that allows to justify and perpetuate the status quo.
  • System Justification Theory (SJT) states that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious belief of inferiority most strongly among individuals of underprivileged groups. Although it is a myth that Western Societies are characterized by equality of opportunity, studies found that a majority’s belief in equality helps to justify a meritocratic ideology, i.e., that it is, given we all start with the same possibilities, fair that individual differences are rewarded. The motive to legitimize economic inequality is further blocking critical thinking capacities with severe consequences for the economic and psychological well-being of marginalized persons (Godfrey & Wolf, 2015).
  • It’s a good description for Authentic Leadership too: “Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do ‘nothing’ for you.” – Mother Teresa
Course-2-Session-6-Leadership-Power-and-Influence_v02-compressed

To be free requires freedom to learn

Thankful for another night being free to learn.

mathias-sager-freedom to learn

 

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The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

10 takeaways from the 80% is Psychology session ‘Learning and motivation’. Tokyo, November 7, 2018.  

Presentation and discussions:

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Beyond the brain (Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

Course 1 Session 4 Brain and Memory in Learning_v04_TAKEAWAYS

1.Know that the brain has different chemical processes for addictive pleasure experiences (neurotransmitter is dopamine) versus more long-term, empathic, and self-sufficient happiness-related behavior (neurotransmitter is serotonin).

2.Reduce distractions, especially to avoid over-dependence (addiction) to technology and social networks that interrupt your attention and learning.

3.Increase for how long you are able to stay offline and/or exclusively focused for better learning results.

4.Train your brain through exercising, diet, sleep, and alternative learning strategies.

5.Recognize how your consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body, and the world. Brain activities may be necessary, but not sufficient preconditions for human behavior.

6.Experiment with stretching your sense of time and thinking of cyclical time. The soul/spirit wants to expand. As the earth is not a plate where you can fall off the edges, time may not be a simple line with birth and life ‘abysses.’

7.Do not fear the future. The brain takes even distantly thought threats for real and causes already now suffering, anxiety, and depression.

8.Do not fear loss. If we are only our physical brain, we don’t need to fear any regrets or pain after death. If there is something more permanent than our brain, death isn’t an existential threat to fear either.

9.Use intuition, imagination, and intention to ‘real-life check’ what really counts in everything you learn: Is it meaningful, unlimited, and purposeful? If not, it’s not worth it.

10.Read to activate your brain, increase the working memory’s capacity, and expand attention span.

 

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Social Learning & Developing a Growth Mindset (7 Takeaways from 80% is Psychology)

Takeaways from our event on October 24th, 2018. Thanks for the discussions. Please see also https://www.facebook.com/colorfulgrowth/

mathias sager psychology social learning growth mindset

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Hope, Living with Uncertainties, and Tolerance for Ambiguity

Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are increasingly unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties. The promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance that leaves more room for thoughtful and empathic decisions. It will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all. What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

mathias-sager-hope-uncertainty-tolerance-ambiguity


The difference between ‘uncertainty’ and ‘ambiguity’

Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity often have been confused. Although IU and IA are overlapping concepts, they can be differentiated as follows: Intolerance of uncertainty refers future negative events that cause worries, and intolerance for ambiguity refers to adverse stimuli in the present [3]. Also, intolerance of uncertainty is built on the fact that information on outcomes of a situation is missing while intolerance for ambiguity is characterized by ambivalent or conflicting information available on the situation [5].

The effect of intolerance for uncertainty on tolerance for ambiguity

As per the discussion around the article https://www.mathias-sager.com/2018/06/12/tolerance-for-ambiguity-as-a-gateway-to-leadership-opportunity/ it became clear to me that tolerance for ambiguity respectively Intolerance for Ambiguity might be dependent a lot on context too. Thanks to all the involved for triggering that further research. While having assumed general business situations in times of relative peace in democratic countries in the last article, individual’s behavior in highly stressful (e.g., military) conditions in threatening environments needs to be looked at specifically, including both the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope this article can contribute to that discussion.

Tolerance for ambiguity of an individual can be reduced in the context of threat through uncertainty, and especially when there is increased intolerance of uncertainty. In other words, in the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context [4]. Besides, not only the threat itself but the possibly stronger propagation of stereotyping (e.g., of enemies) might promote black-and-white thinking that is hindering an open mindset as required to positively decipher ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger [7].

We generally have a choice between concern and cruelty. But as the example above showed, sometimes not-so-obvious factors influence our predispositions for one of the options because intolerance for an ambiguous situation, induced by threats of uncertainty, may trigger reactions of self-defense based on uncontrolled prejudices. Interviewing perpetrators in the Rwanda genocide revealed that individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power caused closed mental systems unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties [10].

Hope and resilience to endure uncertainty

In our times of continued pervasiveness of populations living in environments of war and disasters, resilience is a further important concept. Hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement [9]. That way, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions.

Growth versus safety orientation

Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being [1]. When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible [2]. Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason though. After World War II this became evident and powerful movements toward an open mind of tolerance of ambiguity emerged that could cater to both safety and growth needs [8]. It is a function of societies to prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all [6].

What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

 

References

[1] Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

[2] Hartman, D., & Zimberoff, D. (2008). Higher Stages of Human Development. Journal Of Heart-Centered Therapies, 11(2), 3-95.

[3] Grenier, S., Barrette, A. M., & Ladouceur, R. (2005). Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity: Similarities and differences. PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, (3). 593.

[4] Neta, M., Cantelon, J., Haga, Z., Mahoney, C. R., Taylor, H. A., & Davis, F. C. (2017). The impact of uncertain threat on affective bias: Individual differences in response to ambiguity. Emotion, 17(8), 1137-1143. doi:10.1037/emo0000349

[5] Kirschner, H., Hilbert, K., Hoyer, J., Lueken, U., & Beesdo-Baum, K. (2016). Psychophsyiological reactivity during uncertainty and ambiguity processing in high and low worriers. Journal Of Behavior Therapy And Experimental Psychiatry, 5097-105. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.06.001

[6] Einwanger, J. (2014). Wie riskant ist Sicherheit? (German). Pädiatrie & Pädologie, 49(4), 33. doi:10.1007/s00608-014-0152-4

[7] Bright, L. K., & Mahdi, G. S. (2012). U.S./Arab Reflections on Our Tolerance for Ambiguity. Adult Learning, 23(2), 86-89.

[8] Rohde, J. (2015). Review of The open mind: Cold War politics and the sciences of human nature. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 51(3), 343-345. doi:10.1002/jhbs.21739

[9] Wilson, M. J., & Arvanitakis, J. (2013). The Resilience Complex. M/C Journal, 16(5), 17.

[10] Böhm, T. (2006). Psychoanalytic aspects on perpetrators in genocide: Experiences from Rwanda. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 29(1), 22-32. doi:10.1080/01062301.2006.10592776

Tolerance for Ambiguity as a Gateway to Leadership Opportunity

mathias-sager-tolerance-for-ambiguity

The necessity for tolerance of ambiguity

Today’s professionals need to succeed in technology-rich environments [1]. Information age organizations are characterized by rapid change and uncertainty [2]. Progressing globalization poses challenges through ambiguities that are caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and workforce factors [3]. The ability to tolerate ambiguity, therefore, is increasingly vital for successful leaders and employees alike [1].

Definition

“The tolerance for ambiguity (or intolerance for ambiguity) construct relates to a person’s disposition or tendency in addressing uncertain situations” [4, p.1]. The concept is also described in organizational behavior as “a coping mechanism for dealing with organizational change” [5].

Tolerance for ambiguity as a performance driver

Tolerance for ambiguity was found to support organizational performance drivers, such as [2]:

  • Mindfulness
  • Receptive for cross-cultural work and collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Tolerance for failure
  • Taking risks
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Monitoring self
  • Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial performance, and
  • Managerial performance
  • A firm’s financial and market performance

Importance for (global) leadership

“Dealing with ambiguity is seldom taught, but higher-performing leaders tend to understand that uncertainty can be the gateway to opportunity” (6, p. 30).

Indeed, tolerance (or intolerance) for ambiguity influences one’s behavior and consequently leadership and decision-making style [4]. Studies have found that expatriates high on tolerance for ambiguity adjust and perform better in global work workplaces and cross-cultural environments [3].

Practicing tolerance for ambiguity

Leadership learning and development should adapt to the rapidly evolving business world, for example, by providing innovative learning strategies such as simulations [2]. Potential for improvement and learning progress related to tolerance for ambiguity can be measured with according psychometric assessments and accordingly monitored as a key leadership ability [3].

 

References

[1] Arlitsch, K. (2016). Tolerating Ambiguity: Leadership Lessons from Off-Road Motorcycling. Journal Of Library Administration, 56(1), 74-82. doi:10.1080/01930826.2015.1113063

[2] Brendel, W. )., Hankerson, S. )., Byun, S. )., & Cunningham, B. ). (2016). Cultivating leadership Dharma: Measuring the impact of regular mindfulness practice on creativity, resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, anxiety and stress. Journal Of Management Development, 35(8), 1056-1078. doi:10.1108/JMD-09-2015-0127

[3] Herman, J. L., Stevens, M. J., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M., & Oddou, G. (2010). The tolerance for ambiguity scale: Towards a more refined measure for international management research. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 34(1), 58-65. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2009.09.004

[4] Kajs, L. T., & McCollum, D. L. (2009). Examining tolerance for ambiguity in the domain of educational leadership. Academy Of Educational Leadership Journal, 13(2), 1-16.

[5] Judge, T.A., Thoresen, C.J., Pucik, V. and Welbourne, T.M. (1999), “Managerial coping with organizational change: a dispositional perspective”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 84 No. 1, pp. 107-122, doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.84.1.107.

[6] Shullman, S. L., & White, R. P. (2012). Build Leadership’s Tolerance for Ambiguity. Chief Learning Officer, 11(10), 30-33.

How do you define …

How do you define ‘right’
If you know only black and white
Asks a pen the other
When denied to draw together

How do you define ‘between’
If you know only up and down
Asks a pair of hands
When denied to come to terms

How do you define ‘family’
If you know only friend and enemy
Asks a father the mother
When denied to see his daughter

How do you define ‘collaborators’
If you know only in- and outsiders
Asks a colleague the other
When denied to add his matter

How do you define ‘life’
If you know only birth and death
Asks a thought the conscious
When denied to become perpetuous

How culture shapes different types of empathy

mathias-sager-culture-empathy

It is useful to differentiate between sympathy and empathy as the basis to also understand better how culture itself (amongst other factors) shapes cultural empathy. This is important also to define and assess more subtle aspects of empathy as it becomes increasingly imperative in education and disciplines such as global talent management.


Empathy (like sympathy and compassion) is related to human emotions as a reaction to other individuals’ plights [1]. Empathy is considered crucial in motivating pro-social attitudes and actions as well as moral development and involves research from various interdependent fields such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy (Mason & Bartal, 2010). Science is differentiating affective empathy, i.e., the experience of others’ emotional state, and cognitive empathy, i.e., the apprehension of others’ emotions [3].

Empathy as a concept conflates with similar ideas like ‘sympathy’ [4]. A casual comparison describes sympathy as “to feel with,” while empathy involves “to feel for” others. More specifically, there is no need for a person experiencing sympathy to simulate the other’s state of mind as would be required for practicing empathy [5]. Batson (1991) defined empathy as a category of responses to another “that are more other-focused than self-focused, including feelings of sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and the like” ([6] p. 86).

Because the emotion of empathy determines, besides reasoning, how ethical decisions are made, it is vital to acknowledge its key role in human development and professions, such as, for example, journalism, which strongly influences how people related to empathy [7]. Despite increased globalization and the ubiquitous of information about others’ plight, a tendency of ‘sympathy-without-empathy’ represents the reality of globalized individualism [8]. Also, how the ability of empathy is individually employed should be assessed as well, as empathy can be for the good or the bad, e.g., not only for help, but for manipulation, bullying, and the exertion of cruelty where it harms others most [9].

Culture shapes how empathy is experienced and communicated as it is true for any emotions, which always are impacted by a culture’s particular social intricacies. Hence, the expression of sympathy and empathy require a language that is sensitive to support the maintenance of both the sender’s own and the receiver’s identity respectfully [10]. For example, it is essential to understand how cultural background moderates empathy. For example, people in East Asian collectivist societies that emphasize interpersonal harmony, tend to show increased empathic accuracy (while the level of empathic concern tends to be lower though) compared to more individualist cultures such as the UK [11]. The communication of distress, as well as sympathy responses, are both stronger when involving narratives of somatic experiences (e.g., fatigue) as compared to cognitive symptoms (e.g., negative thoughts), but only among Korean and not US study participants [12]. In another study, American individuals were found to focus less on negative aspects respectively avoid more negative affect compared to Germans when forming sympathy for other’s negative experience and suffering [13]. Russian people have, as a consequence of how the culture frames empathy, a more apparent preference for experiencing empathy more exclusively for people whom they know personally [1].

Education on cross-cultural empathy for global talent management is essential. However, even within any one nation socio-cultural differences might suggest a need for cosmopolitan education to develop empathy between all co-citizens [14]. The same might, of course, be true for between the employees in a single country too.

References

[1] Gladkova, A. (2010). Sympathy, compassion, and empathy in English and Russian: A linguistic and cultural analysis. Culture And Psychology, 16(2), 267-285. doi:10.1177/1354067X10361396

[2] Mason, P., & Bartal, I. B. (2010). How the social brain experiences empathy: Summary of a gathering. Social Neuroscience, 5(2), 252-256. doi:10.1080/17470911003589085

[3] Wang, Y., Wen, Z., Fu, Y., & Zheng, L. (2017). Psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the Measure of Empathy and Sympathy. Personality & Individual Differences, 119168-174. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.07.019

[4] Haase, F. (2012). Empathy vs. Evidence in Rhetorical Speech: Contrastive Cultural Studies in ‘Empathy’ as Framework of Speech Communication and Its Tradition in Cultural History. Ethos: Felsefe Ve Toplumsal Bilimlerde Diyaloglar (Dialogues In Philosophy And Social Sciences), 5(2), 16-35.

[5] Halpern, F. (2018). Closeness Through Unreliability: Sympathy, Empathy, and Ethics in Narrative Communication. Narrative, 26(2), 125-145.

[6] Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Towards a social social– psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

[7] King, C. (2017). ‘Gays Are the New Jews’: Homophobic Representations in African Media versus Twitterverse Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 193-216. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_010

[8] James, P., & Scerri, A. (2012). Globalizing Consumption and the Deferral of a Politics of Consequence. Globalizations, 9(2), 225-240. doi:10.1080/14747731.2012.658249

[9] Fairbairn, G. J. (2017). Reflecting On Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 61-83. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_005

[10] Sheikhan, S. A. (2017). Rapport Management toward Expressing Sympathy in Persian. Linguistik Online, 83(4), 101-114. doi:10.13092/lo.83.378

[11] Atkins, D., Uskul, A. K., & Cooper, N. R. (2016). Culture shapes empathic responses to physical and social pain. Emotion, 16(5), 587-601. doi:10.1037/emo0000162

[12] Choi, E. )., Chentsova-Dutton, Y. )., & Parrott, W. ). (2016). The effectiveness of somatization in communicating distress in Korean and American cultural contexts. Frontiers In Psychology, 7(MAR), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00383

[13] Koopmann-Holm, B., & Tsai, J. L. (2014). Focusing on the negative: Cultural differences in expressions of sympathy. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 107(6), 1092-1115. doi:10.1037/a0037684

[14] Culp, J. (2018). Internationalizing Nussbaum’s model of cosmopolitan democratic education. Ethics & Education, 13(2), 172-190. doi:10.1080/17449642.2018.1439308

Cultural intelligence (CQ)

mathias-sager-cultural-intelligence copy

This article describes the relationships of cultural intelligence (CQ) with other types of intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior. Mindfulness provides for a conceptualization of intercultural competence. CQ is a useful competency for acculturation challenges as required for expatriate talents in multinational enterprises. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being. For Global Talent Management CQ is essential as a predictor of performance and creativity and therefore increasingly used as assessment tool also for transformational leadership styles.

Emotional and social intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior

Human capital is the major sub-factor of intellectual capital that contains a measurement of “sharing and reporting knowledge” [1], indicating that social competencies are acquired capabilities on the basis of emotional intelligence [2]. Cultural intelligence (CQ) might be essential to enable sharing across cultures as it means the ability to adapt to a new culture through open-mindedness and judgment-free respect for others [3]. CQ moderates emotional intelligence and leadership behavior [4]. Indeed, to understand emotional intelligence, cross-cultural differences need to be understood too [5]. As emphasized in the theory of emotional and social intelligence competencies (ESC), the motivation to make use of the competencies is vital to consider too [2].

Mindfulness, acculturation, and psychological well-being

Mindfulness might provide for a comprehensive conceptualization of intercultural competence as a cultural sensitivity that is put in action as a result of reflection [6]. Cross-cultural intelligence can be taught through different respectively the combination of methods such as lectures, literature, exchange sessions, and most effectively field trips [7]. CQ is also a significant contributor to career capital [8], potentially not only across geographies, but also in navigating company cultures [9]. Direct inter-cultural contact impacts both cultures involved, a process that is called acculturation [10]. The challenges that come with such foreign cultural influences might be a reason why it is often difficult to find talents who are willing to live abroad. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being [11].

Performance improvement and transformational leadership

Assessing CQ is highly useful for global talent management as there is a proven positive correlation with job performance [12]. Thanks to higher-quality cross-cultural social exchanges, knowledge hiding, on the one hand, can be decreased and creativity, on the other hand, improved [13]. It is, therefore, not surprising that culturally intelligent global leaders are high in demand [3]. An impressing percentage of 92% (out of 100) of companies who invested into improving CQ increased revenues within one and a half years [14]. Multinational organizations’ talent management functions fare well with using CQ as a selection tool [15]. Social intelligence and CQ also predict effective transformational leadership styles [16] as it allows the appropriate adaption of behavior to cultural differences [3].

References

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