Self-reflection is the adventurous process of (1) becoming aware of self-judgment and developing self-motivation, (2) finding self-reliance and applying self-leadership, and (3) using self-imagination and exerting self-control.
People were made to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are loved and people are used. – Dalai Lama
Do you follow the market or nature? Are you a consumer or a creator? Are you a capitalist or a humanist? Yes, it’s an either-or decision! You cannot run and drive, fast and eat at the same time, or increase shareholder value and keep all jobs in a crisis. The decision is always to be made. However, most people get overwhelmed by consumption habits in the process as we are never told what to do but are constantly told what to buy.
A simple everyday example: Many people have forgotten during or after their childhood that our natural way of maintaining strong and healthy feet is to walk barefoot. Instead, we are sold cushions and supports that degenerate our walking form, weaken our joints and impair our feeling of grip. Not good for the individual, but profitable not only for the shoe industry, but also for the medical industry. Or that the weather is only as bad as our clothes, they say. This is an interesting concept from a sales perspective, but catastrophic to our ability to benefit from hot and cold exposure. For this reason, companies like to offer saunas and cryotherapy instead. So, what we lost in nature can be bought back in the market.
These upside-down worlds are omnipresent. And the more frustrating the turning away from the appreciation of all of our nature, the more salvation is promised and sought in the market. A vicious circle. Therefore, it seems like better advice to do exactly the opposite of what is being advertised to us. Some examples:
Have you saved money and now interest rates are falling and the only ones benefiting from it are financial institutions? Have you invested in stocks and now investors have earned on the upswing while the small investors bear the loss after the big ones exit? In the real estate market, too, the little fish are usually one step too late.
Have you invested in diplomas and are now overqualified?
Have you been able to keep up with showing how much you enjoy eating and drinking and being part of the foodie lifestyle, but need to consider hiring a weight loss coach?
Are you using stairs, elevators, and other equipment that promises you a more comfortable life, but you are thinking of buying an indoor treadmill, gym membership, or something similar?
How has the daily media news contributed to your personal growth? If these leave you sad, angry, worried, and stressed out, it is recommended that you get a prescription for medicine and book a relaxing vacation somewhere for a week or two. It won’t be without side effects (though additional pills may be available for) or enough, of course, but you can rebook and change your lifestyle after you retire, right? – I doubt.
The more I take care not to fall victim to every marketing trend, every scare tactic, and every commercially exploited promise of salvation, the clearer it becomes. The people who pull the cords would prefer me to be dependent on their help like a farm animal; that makes them appear charitable despite the moneymaking. However, in contrast to fully bred farm animal breeds, I believe that our natural human self-efficacy and responsibility are still available to us. It is still possible to find much healthier and more satisfying alternatives for much of what is suggested to be consumed on the market through our own activities according to our nature. Because in the end I actually prefer digging in the dirt myself than craving for the worm on the hook.
The Socio-Temporal Mental Schema Analysis (STMSA) and its awareness intelligence properties
It’s online now: The novel Self-reflection Tool STMSA. It offers a simple yet holistic approach to explore one’s mental world. The tool’s matrix-organized systematic allows to navigate thought preferences, which indicate mental schema constellations that can explain personality tendencies and related psychological properties. Want to deepen your insight, expand your horizon, and harmonize thought patterns for increased thriving, meaning, and well-being?
Die sozio-zeitliche mentale Schemaanalyse (STMSA) und ihre Eigenschaften der Bewusstseinsintelligenz
Es ist jetzt online: Das neuartige Selbstreflexions-Tool STMSA. Es bietet einen einfachen, aber ganzheitlichen Ansatz, um die eigene mentale Welt zu erkunden. Die matrixorganisierte Systematik des Tools ermöglicht das Navigieren von Gedankenpräferenzen, die auf mentale Schemakonstellationen hinweisen, welche wiederum Persönlichkeitstendenzen und damit verbundene psychologische Eigenschaften erklären können. Möchtest du deine Einsichten vertiefen, deinen Horizont erweitern und Gedankenmuster harmonisieren, um mehr Erfolg, Sinnhaftigkeit und Wohlbefinden zu erzielen?
Probiere es kostenlos unter www.mathias-sager.com aus (verfügbar auf Englisch und Deutsch).
Think about personal development as a
threefold set of understanding, that includes the psychology of learning,
leadership, respectively self-leadership psychology, as well as developing a
growth and global mindset. Growth always starts with you. This short program
provides you with the knowledge, which, if you internalize and apply it, can
radically change your behavior, and consequently, the results you produce, in
your personal and professional life.
This recording contains progressive views and in-depth background information in a summarized way. Therefore, especially if you did not attend any prior program of mine, I recommend that you repeatedly listen to the following 99 ways to grow the learner and leader in you.
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
The realization that you are not controlled by
The awareness that you can unlearn and learn
whatever you want if you put in the effort; and
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.
Human capital refers to the production factors, coming from human beings, that are used to create goods and services. These include knowledge, skills, habits, and social and personality attributes (marketbusinessnews.com).
Changes to neurological pathways in the brain take place with practice. This would suggest that innate talent has no/little role to play (C. Ackerman, 2018)
Metacognition as the study of mental processes is about “thinking about thinking” and “learning how to learn” (Flawell, 1979).
Expert learners are more aware of/able to monitor systematic cognitive processes and therefore have more knowledge and better problem solving capabilities (Laureate education).
Self-efficacy comes from own believes and attitudes that are stronger than social discouragement (Adapted from Bandura, 1997).
Self-efficacy is influenced by four factors: Verbal persuasion (encouragement), vicarious experiences (role models), performance outcomes (motivational lifts), and physiological feedback (arousal) (Bandura, 1977; Redmond, 2010).
Motivation success will increase if the individual attributes his/her successes & failures to internal, unstable factors over which he/she has control (e.g., effort) (Weiner, 1974).
Just World Hypothesis
To make meaning of the world, people tend to have a need for believing that the world is fair. However, people often are less generous about other people than about themselves (M.J. Lerner, 1980).
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
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.Reducedistractions, 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.Useintuition, 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.
Although ‘meaning’ isn’t reducible to a state-like single factor , the meaning of a concept (i.e., work) is related to how an individual does experience the significance of a situation that causes related inferential intentions to behave in a certain way . While for many people the primary meaning of work lies in the earning of money for making a living, work provides also for values such as achievement, honor, and social relationships that determine how central the purpose of work is as compared to other life aspects like leisure, family, and community .
Economist and psychologist approach to work
The economist approach to work assumes a transactional exchange of time and effort for money. Non-financial job values have gotten limited attention by economists when examining work motivation and productivity. However, like for example, academics who have highest job security without the need to outperform, and who study beyond working hours without monetary incentives, are motivated by pure contribution to a subject, intellectual stimulation, and the satisfaction from a deliberate exchange of knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of autonomous decision-making regardless of ‘pain’ put into it in the form of time and effort. Top talents have been found to prefer to work for social organizations rather than just for the best paying one .
Albeit the financialized political economy  ignores many aspects of work, such as its creative and interpersonal (social) value , the examples show that through psychological satisfaction, work can be a source of meaning beyond merely earning an income .
Cultural features of work meaning
Work creates culture, culture creates work
Culture as a guiding set of material, mental, and spiritual values that are based on a group’s experiences over time, creates meaning on how to behave and work  and, at the same time, its meaning itself is produced by work. Consequently, work should be considered a meaning-making construct of and within culture respectively as the producer and product of people’s mindset simultaneously . A culture, therefore, can be only as rich and meaningful as the work that produces it is itself.
In most Western cultures, there is today a less clear boundary between school and work life. In Japanese society though, there exists still a distinct point in time (usually beginning of April every year) that is marking the end of one’s student identity through entering the working world on full-time basis, which means to becoming a ‘shakaijin,’ i.e., a person of society/workforce . Companies use recruitment practices and regular personal assessment throughout an adult’s work life to socialize . Age-based reward and promotion systems also support this ongoing socialization process . More recently, the traditional path to adulthood and ‘companyism’ has become more diverse, and the increasing number of part-time workers and contractors is shaping a changing understanding of the transition to adulthood and work life, one that takes place rather through action than through the acquisition of the ‘shakaijin’ status .
Masculine breadwinner identity
Company respectively work-led socialization reinforces gender roles. The breadwinning role is a priority in masculine identity. After the earthquake in 2011, men’s concern in Fukushima was less related to health than to the loss of their economic situation . As in Japanese patriarchal culture, the father role is still primarily related to company job-related work, childcare duties are culturally assigned to solely to the female role (i.e., mother or grandmother), which provides a widespread potential for work-family conflicts. Shared family and work-related commitments, however, begin to be seen as essential to improve self-worthiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life . Men who don’t exhibit a regular full-time job are more likely to marry late. Also, males with non-standard jobs have the lowest chance of getting children, an effect that is prevalent in Japan, but not in the US, for example .
Given the importance of work as a provider of status, identity, and meaning, it is understandable that Japanese commit with a lot of grit to it . Over time, Japan’s values align more closely with global trends insofar as there is a great emphasis on the economic function of work as well . Will that be enough meaning to engage the next generations of employees as well? Research is showing that lack of meaning at work is reducing work volition and work-related well-being significantly .
Economy of dignity and respect
A further question is how much a collectivist society may be able to reduce the dependency on others and society overall because over-dependency on the meaning of work risks to hamper dignity. The individual capacity to understand and position oneself as a fully recognized societal participant is vital to the notion of dignity as sourced from within. It is to hope that companies and society, not only in Japan, help to create dignity by de-stigmatizing of traditional personhood markers such as employment type and gender roles . It’s maybe such a shift from status-focus to an action-focus orientation that also explains the changing meaning of ‘sonkei’ (Japanese for respect). Formal respect (e.g., towards age-based status) is increasingly recognized as a moral duty rather than an emotion built on genuine love and admiration .
Benefits from meaningful work
The benefit of employees perceiving their work as meaningful come as experiences of greater happiness, job satisfaction, team spirit, and commitment (; ), thus reducing turnover rates and long-term sickness absences. This is because of the positive emotional bondage to the workplace that is an end in itself; a characteristic also called intrinsic motivation . A greater sense of meaning in one’s work can be protective of burnout . Eudaimonia is a term describing the sort of well-being that comes from living an engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling life . Such a spirit at the workplace can be fostered by letting employees feel they contribute to something more significant in connection to a common connection and purpose .
Performance and physical health
Work meaning is also closely linked to better outcomes, such as increased income, quality of work, and job satisfaction . Finally, a sense of purpose and sense of socially embedded growth in and from work (i.e., eudaimonic, meaning-based well-being versus hedonic, pleasure-based job-satisfaction ) was found to be associated with positive health outcomes, for example, by the means of supporting one’s physical resistance against adversities like inflammation or viral infection . The Japanese type of stress-death, the so-called ‘karoushi’ (death from overwork) cannot be seen as a physiological phenomenon only. Rather death is caused by a vicious cycle of depressive feelings, and states of helplessness and unescapable despair combined with overwork .
Fostering meaning at work
A culture of mentorship and nostalgia
For a long time, job satisfaction research has been focused on an organizational perspective without sufficiently considering the role of the job on family, the standard of living, personal development, and on a worker’s larger worldview . It is crucial to understand better situational contexts in which meaning ensues. Researchers found that the highest levels of meaning arise during spiritual practices and work hours, especially when performing social job components such as talking to people. As a general pattern, meaning occurs most during states of increased awareness . An organizational listening climate may facilitate such an awareness , and acting as a self-reflective mentor might be a useful avenue of experiencing meaning at work . Indeed, studies among nursing practices from different countries (e.g., Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, and Korea) confirm that leaders and a culture of mentorship are important for fostering meaning of work for both mentors and the mentees . Also, the induction of nostalgia (i.e., remembering sentimental events from the past) can be used to meet employees longing for wistful affection to the past and may increase an employee’s perception of the meaningfulness of his/her organizational life and therefore the attachment to it .
The need for humanizing the economy
The hope that unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and even health and life-threatening mental stress at work will improve may be overshadowed by the continuing centrality of profit margins and efficiency in corporations. Neo-liberal development in Japan has shaken the traditions of secure long-term employment and a state responsible for citizens welfare. While the need for meaning at the workplace implies rather a humanization of the economy and society, capitalist marketization of everything is continuing. Corporate managers continue to exploit deregulated labor and capital and maintain insecurity and growing competition among workers. . While rhetoric is sometimes trying to convince otherwise, understandably in the light of how grim the reality reveals, capitalism’s ultimate sense is about capital rather than humanity. In case of conflict, business goals come before anything else. Regardless of how meaningful employees perceive their job, no CEO is considered unsuccessful when driving profits within legal constraints and without caring especially about humanistically meaningful jobs. It’s, therefore, as an example, a non-surprising and common observation that such managers only after their retirement turn to a more dedicated anthropological role of contributing to society.
Meaning determines moral and ethical intentions and behavior
It seems that people need to find answers from within because the treadmill of the pursuit of consumption, pleasure, and economic success from work won’t fulfill the potential of greater meaning at work in many cases, regardless of how comfortable or tough the circumstances. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to fill the void of meaning through their sacred awareness, philosophy, and artful approach to put it into practice. And it is critical that we help others to do so too. The meaning of work should be considered simultaneously from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective, considering its psychological function for everyone. Meaning is the basis on which intentions ensue and according actions follow . Consequently, claiming peaceful fulfillment in one’s work is an essential part of and prerequisite for moral and ethical behavior towards oneself and others alike.
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Great article about self-efficacy, enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance, … and the anime character Shoyo Hinata. See the original and more on the blog Crushing the Moon (https://crushingonthemoon.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/thoughtful-moments-6-is-shoyo-hinata-delusional/)
Shoyo Hinata is a tiny boy with huge dreams. He knows that volleyball is a sport dominated by extremely tall players, and yet at just over 5′ 4″ he wants to become a national champion more than anything. However, he has almost no experience whatsoever with volleyball. Still, he’s determined to work his hardest and fight his way to the national stage. Hinata’s seemingly endless enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance is his most defining as well as his most endearing trait. This boy has proved that he won’t stop or give up, even when the challenge he faces seems impossible. Although some of the other Haikyu!! characters took more time for me to appreciate (I’m looking at you, Kageyama) I fell in love with Hinata’s boundless energy and cheerfulness immediately.
There’s a psychological construct known as self-efficacy, which basically tells us that our belief in our ability to accomplish a task greatly increases our likelihood of achieving it. In short, seemingly impossible challenges can be conquered if we just believe in ourselves. Hinata’s endless optimism is basic self efficacy–it’s what allows him to improve at such a rapid rate. As long as this wannabe volleyball star has faith in himself, we as an audience feel happy and reassured that he can in fact reach his goal. Hinata’s enthusiasm and determination gives us hope.
As you know from past years, I have been researching, advising, and working with many successful global leaders. I have also read several hundred research papers and books on leadership from a managerial and psychological perspective.
I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!
As you know from my blogging activities, I’m doing a lot of research, writing and projects related to leadership and personal development.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on my first online course and today it’s officially live on Udemy, the platform for high-quality on-demand online courses!
You can find a description of my course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Leadership Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’ below as well as in this introductory/promotional video: https://youtu.be/TQQWZCn3R_A
I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!
If you know of anyone else that’d be interested to learn developing leadership skills, I’d appreciate if you’d share this information with them too.
Thanks so much, and all the best!
The course ‘Developing Leadership Skills’ is a compelling summary of latest research and good practices that may well become your passport to explore new ways of effective leadership styles, increased levels of motivation, and untapped creativity.
Whether you are an HR practitioner, an aspiring or current leader, an executive coach, or a student, this logically structured course will help you in becoming personally and professionally more effective and efficient. You are offered practical tools for insight and understanding of your possible
roles in team situations,
conflict management style,
successful negotiation strategies,
better decision-making, as well as
unlocking of your innovation capacity.
The goal of this course is to make sure you will find answers to the questions that are relevant for personal growth and a thriving career. Compact, straightforward, and with numerous references to further information, the interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural knowledge and perspectives presented in the twelve short lectures will benefit your well-being and success as a dynamic leader and the common good alike.
Self-efficacy, job effectiveness, and higher achievement
Less risk of burnout
Generally increased happiness
Increase leadership adaptability
Rapidly changing leadership challenges
Leadership education has undergone a substantial shift. Life and working world seem to have become more complex with competing urgencies and over-dynamic developments of issues that challenge the required qualities of the next generation of leaders. Leaders today need to be able to find ever-new solutions and adaptations to challenging situations. This can be traced back, for example, to the growing world population and increased growth expectations in all areas of life and economy that cause growth issues in the following six areas :
Natural resource management
Energy production and consumption
Climate change, and
Organizations keep aspiring to increase profits, acting ethically, and promoting community and environmental sustainability. How will it be possible to optimize all these aspects while not doing it at the cost of others ? One answer is that it requires leaders who believe they can respond to these challenges in their own capacity, a concept that is coined as “locus of control.”
Definition of internal vs. external locus of control
Locus of control is about a person’s confidence that he or she can control events in their lives. Individuals with an internal locus of control have a strong sense of self-responsibility and that they have the power to change their lives. Externally-controlled individuals believe that they are not in control of their lives and it is instead chance, opportunities, and other individuals and events (i.e., the circumstances) that determine their destiny .
According to research, adverse consequences from an external locus of control are heightened levels of intolerance and anxiety, and finally higher burnout rates .
Internal locus of control, on the other hand, is associated with individuals gathering more information , which improves their decision-making process, effectiveness, and achievement. That internally-controlled individuals benefit from increased self-efficacy is in line with these results. For example, it was found that teams with individuals of relatively high internal locus of control are able of higher performance in a self-reliant way respectively without a leader . Last but not least, people with an internal locus of control generally enjoy more happiness .
Adaptation of leadership style
Locus of control is one aspect of personality. Leaders with an internal locus of control can adapt their leadership style as required to achieve the leadership objectives effectively and efficiently .
What’s your locus of control?
LEt’s find out more about ourselves. You can find a couple of free online assessments related to locus of control. The following example structures the result along different dimensions of life, such as achievement, career, relationships, and health. Comparing different tests, you will see soon that it becomes quite clear how to distinguish between internal and external locus of control.
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