Method acting, leadership, and improving your life, from James Lipton

on October 25, 2013 in Art, Blog, Education, Leadership

I’ve written before about the television show Inside the Actors Studio and how much the young field of leadership training could stand to learn from the longstanding field of acting training. Below is an interview of the host of Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton, describing the transformation acting training went through with Constantine Stanislavsky. Leadership training stands to benefit from similar changes, and that field inspires me to help[…] Keep reading →

We all feel emotions all the time

on October 5, 2013 in Awareness, Blog

When someone gets animated others often describe them as emotional: “John is acting so emotional” “Jane got so emotional when Ryan said …” and things like that. I’d like to suggest an alternative perspective I think you’ll find more precise and useful: Everybody feels emotions all the time. What’s the difference? When someone sits quietly reading, they aren’t acting or feeling unemotional. I suggest the are feeling and acting on[…] Keep reading →

I never take responsibility for someone else’s emotions.

on September 30, 2013 in Blog, Nature

I try to understand people. I think doing so improves my relationships with them and my understanding of myself. I find feeling compassion for others helps me improve my relationships with them too. Same with empathy. I find taking responsibility for my emotions helps me improve my life and keeps me from blaming others. I see taking that responsibility as improving my life as much as anything. Taking responsibility for[…] Keep reading →

A doubly improved representation of Flow-related emotional states

on September 28, 2013 in Awareness, Models, Visualization

A couple years ago I wrote two posts on the emotional state where you get so lost in an activity you lose track of time, focused with all your attention. Hours pass without your noticing while minutes may seem like hours as you focus intently. We like this state. A researcher named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studied it and named the state “flow.” He wrote a book on it that improved my[…] Keep reading →

Start with emotions if you want to motivate yourself … or anyone else

on September 26, 2013 in Blog, Fitness, Nature

I find Americans try to get precise and scientific about food and exercise, in contrast to how incredibly unfit the country is. I write “try to” because I don’t think they succeed in being precise or scientific. The term carbohydrate, for example, used to have a specific scientific meaning. I think it still does, but I think in standard American usage it means “bad” or “evil,” like the term fat[…] Keep reading →

My start with emotional intelligence and self-awareness

on September 23, 2013 in Awareness, Blog, Leadership

You don’t have emotional intelligence, you were born with it, or you developed it. If you developed it you started sometime, like I did. If you don’t have it, you can start too. Here’s my start. I don’t pretend I’m the world master of emotional intelligence, but I’ve come a long way and I know anyone else can. I hope sharing the story motivates others. Context Before business school I[…] Keep reading →

How would you improve the world if you had supernatural powers?

on September 22, 2013 in Awareness, Blog, Evolutionary Psychology, Nature

Here’s an exercise to see your values from a new perspective. I used to do it all the time until I learned my lesson from it, which I’ll write at the bottom. Answer the question “how would you improve the world if you could have a magical wish come true?” and follow through to see if the change would, in fact, improve your life. To clarify, I mean a supernatural[…] Keep reading →

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