Have you ever wondered why at times your creativity and productivity seem to flow, and other times you can’t think straight and produce mediocre work? Why at times you are happy to be with people, and other times you are fed up with their presence? In reality, each of us has a preferred way of approaching and ordering activities and tasks, and if we plan according to our preferences – when and with whom and how we collaborate, solve problems, make decisions, and brainstorm, for example – we naturally find effectiveness and joy. The trick is knowing our preferences in the first place! Let’s learn about them together…
Observing others’ behaviors is, in itself, rather healthy. It allows us to appropriately anticipate and react to kindness or threat from others, which serves to give us motivation (anticipating kindness) or information to protect ourselves (anticipating threat). However, “binocular behavior”, as I call it, is a dysfunctional level of this observation behavior – when we try too hard to anticipate kindness or threat. Relating to the world from a distance, we distort reality in ways that cause us to lose our motivation or to create feelings of insecurity. Gifted people, with their strong imaginative, abstracting and pattern recognition skills – in combination with their general intensity of mind and experience – sometimes use their “binoculars” to create very elaborate, if misguided, theories about what is happening in others’ minds, the results of which can be socially unpleasant and painful. This article aims at helping gifted individuals put down their binoculars and relate directly with the world, and to understand the crucial role that differences in cognitive timing play in the tendency to pick them up in the first place.
Many of our emotions are self-experienced; however, sometimes our emotions are carried emotions — emotions that we do experience but that are not ours. These emotions have been given to us by others (our parents, our culture, etc.) and they make us feel like we are living someone else’s life. In this article, I explore the difference between self-experienced emotions and carried emotions, and show how gifted people can gain conscious control over their inner emotional lives.
Chaos, disorder, volatility, turmoil, errors, and uncertainty – among other factors commonly perceived as negative – are not necessarily our enemies. Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out once again in his latest masterwork, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, that we live in a “Black Swan” world where unpredictable events that have maximum impact on our lives happen necessarily and, well, unpredictably. These events are “Black Swans” in Taleb’s prose. In our complex, modern lives, these factors – chaos, disorder, volatility, turmoil, errors and uncertainty – are not a matter of choice; they exist and in ever-increasing quantities. We will run into them, or they will run into us. So, instead of positioning ourselves against them, why not use them as “friends” or at least as “allies” in our development of self?
How many years do searchers of peace spend looking, but never finding it? And how many conclude that, just maybe, it’s not possible at all, resigning themselves to isolated moments of peace within a more general state of chaos and inner inquietude? Peace is possible, but seems impossible until you find it. We in some way expect to find it as an external “thing,” some physical object found in our outer environment, or as a lifestyle that provides an inner security. But once found, we are often surprised to learn that peace is different than we thought it would be. It is not external. It arises as if spontaneously from a more internal process – a self-catalyzing end-process that springs from an inner “organized” chaos. Thinking about collectively autocatalytic systems helps understand why this is the case, and how we can encourage the seemingly spontaneous arousal of peace in our lives.
William Glasser was an American psychiatrist who had a profound effect on the early development of my approach to life, therapy and coaching. His unconventional voice in the fields of psychiatry and psychology was responsible for giving me, and many others, hope in a profession that felt stifling and impractical. He passed away this year, but he and his work live on in those millions of us who found hope and healing in his message. Rest in peace, Dr. Glasser.
Gifted people have big agendas – they want to learn and accomplish so much in life! However, without understanding how to best manage their energy, they often find themselves burning out or otherwise not concentrating well, not accomplishing what they want, and not being satisfied with themselves. Learn about how I help my gifted clients learn to better understand and manage their energy to increase productivity, creativity, self-care and self-esteem.