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Posts from the ‘Books’ Category

What is important to you?

July 26th, 2019

Heather Johnston

purple dot_behavioural change and transitions

Working as an executive coach and an organisational development consultant these questions come up again and again. What do we value? What does success look like? How come what I used to love I don’t anymore- what next? What type of success drives me and why…Where should we be as a business? Why? How can we stop falling out as a team? How can I raise staff wellbeing

In our lives and work we are driven innately by what we value and the social context of what is around us. We may also be being influenced by our bodies’ and minds’ automatic wiring, pushing us towards and away from things and people that we desire and avoid. We react, make decisions and lead our lives by these implicit rules and behaviours. This is us on automatic pilot– our own personal intelligence that helps and guides us through life, so that we don’t have to stop and think every second to appraise what might be best. 

It is a complex web and who you talk to will focus on a different element of that web- driven by what is important or makes sense to them. Very simply, social psychologists and behavioural scientists may tell you that actually you have little agency and that your behaviour is determined by the context that you work and live within- social comparison and a desire to belong within groups being at play. Other specialisms of psychology will focus perhaps more on the individual level, your own personality perhaps, or common themes among people seeking out life satisfaction. Philosophers will come again at another angle exploring how do we know what is important to us? Challenging us to think about what matters and what doesn’t and why. 

So I invite you to consider a couple of things:

You may in fact be being driven by your social context and not actually what makes you happy…do your really want that degree, get married, promotion etc For a challenging look at these social memes that may be guiding you I invite you to read Paul Dolan’s latest book and have a look at this MOOC

Have you stopped to consider what really matters to you? What are your personal indicators for a good life?  The fields of positive psychology  and wellbeing try and measure this area using indicators such as satisfaction with life and psychological wellbeing. Looking at your own personal balance between eudaimonia (flourishing/fulfilling our potential) or what is purposeful to us and what makes us feel happy in the moment -our own personal pleasure (with thanks to Paul Dolan).

For some of us that are in the lucky position to have moved beyond pure survival, pleasure may be our key driver for others success and a good life is more about realising our potential, learning, growing and challenging ourselves. What is your balance? To explore this further I invite you to start being your own personal investigator- noticing in the moment when you feel good and not so good- is it when your ‘think’ you ‘should’ feel good, perhaps having a go at this self test for a few days. If you are struggling with a lack or purpose or meaning have a go at the test above and reflect on what is really important to you in your life? What challenge, change, learning or area of growth would bring you more fulfilment and/or what contexts (hobbies, workplace, communities) would support and enable this?

Interested in exploring this further both individually or as an organisation? Drop me a line hello@mindtrip.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books on creativity and curiosity

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Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...
Mindfulness for Creativity
by Danny Penman
Work deadlines, to-do lists, family commitments, pressure to perform... Our frantic lives demand so much from us that we can often feel locked into a cycle of frustration, anxiety and stress, unable to tackle the tasks before us or see a way out ...
Wired to Create
by Dr Scott Barry Kaufman
Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity? Creativity works in mysterious ways, with inspiration often arising out of nowhere - and then failing to show up when we need it most! Combining the latest findings in ...
Creativity
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. The author's objective is to offer an understanding of what leads to these moments, be it the excitement of the artist at the easel or the scientist in the lab, so that ...
Curious?
by Todd Kashdan, PhD
“Curious? is one of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world.” —Arianna Huffington “This is the perfect book to read when you are having second thoughts about challenging yourself to explore that next step in life ...

Books on strengths based development

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Flourish
by Martin E. P. Seligman
Explains the four pillars of well-being--meaning and purpose, positive emotions, relationships, and accomplishment--placing emphasis on meaning and purpose as the most important for achieving a life of fulfillment.
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...
The Strengths Book
by Alex Linley
Realise your strengths and you'll be realising the best of you. Do you want to be confident, successful, and sustainably happy? Do you want to achieve your goals and enjoy beter realtionships? Leading strengths experts provide the evidence that ...
Average to A+
by Alex Linley
Who wants to be average? Nobody does, and yet few of us know our strengths clearly, or know how to make the most of them. Until now. Average to A+ is the seminal volume for identifying and maximising our strengths.. Written by an international ...

Books on mindfulness and compassion

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Mindfulness
by Williams Penman
MINDFULNESS reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that can be incorporated into daily life to help break the cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion and promote genuine joie de vivre. It's the kind of happiness that ...
Lovingkindness
by Sharon Salzberg
Explains how the Buddhist path can help individuals discover the inner joy within themselves, and shares simple Buddhist teachings and suggestions for meditation.
The Little Mindfulness Workbook
by Gary Hennessy
A practical, jargon-free workbook for you to put mindfulness strategies into practice and improve your life. Explore the key principles of mindfulness to reduce stress and be more effective and efficient, generally improving your well-being.
Love 2.0
by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
We all know love matters, but in this groundbreaking book positive emotions expert Barbara Fredrickson shows us how much. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health as well as lengthening ...
Buddha's Brain
by Rick Hanson
Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else's, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history. With new breakthroughs in modern ...

Books on Positivity and developing Resilience

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In my coaching with individuals and supporting Leaders and Managers within Organisations the topic of resilience, positivity and ‘can-do’ attitude generally comes up. The following are books that talk about concepts, tools and perspectives that are at the heart of my coaching with both individuals and organisations. Each book interlinks with the others and focuses on the relationship between how we see the world and our emotional and behavioural reaction to it.

To help us in developing our resilience, through coaching, it is useful to explore the links between our thoughts, actions and emotions when people are resilient and when they are not.

Source
by Joseph Jaworski
As he did in his classic Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski once again takes us on a mind-expanding journey, this time to the very heart of creativity and deep knowing. Institutions of all sorts are facing profound change today, with complexity ...
Life Coaching
by Michael Neenan
The way we think profoundly influences the way we feel, so learning to think differently can enable us to feel and act differently. Derived from the methods of cognitive behaviour therapy, this book shows how to tackle self-defeating thinking and ...
Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck
The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset. After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking ...
Positivity
by Barbara Fredrickson
World renowned researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson gives you the lab-tested tools necessary to create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls "the upward spiral." You’ll discover: •What positivity is, and why it ...
Conquer Your Stress
by Cary L. Cooper
The authors of this text assert that conquering work stress is actually no different from acquiring any other management skill: it just needs understanding and practice.
Curious?
by Todd Kashdan, PhD
“Curious? is one of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world.” —Arianna Huffington “This is the perfect book to read when you are having second thoughts about challenging yourself to explore that next step in life ...
The Resilience Factor
by Karen Reivich
A look at the role of resilience in promoting a happy and healthy life introduces seven proven techniques for developing the capacity for coping with the challenges and setbacks of life, from self-criticism and negative self-images to crises ...
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...
Flourish
by Martin E. P. Seligman
Explains the four pillars of well-being--meaning and purpose, positive emotions, relationships, and accomplishment--placing emphasis on meaning and purpose as the most important for achieving a life of fulfillment.
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...

 

Books that inform my approach to Coaching

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Great Books that focus on some of the techniques that inform my coaching.

Click on any of the links to be taken to my public google bookshelf which will tell you a bit more about the book, any reviews and where to buy or find electronically:

Positivity
by Barbara Fredrickson
One of the leading members of the positive psychology movement draws on cutting-edge research and lab-tested tools to explain: • Why positivity is more important than happiness • How it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives • How ...
Happiness by Design
by Paul Dolan
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Few books change one's life; in 48 hours this has improved mine' Jenni Russell, Sunday Times How can we make it easier to be happy? Using the latest cutting-edge research, Professor Paul Dolan reveals that wellbeing ...
Positive Psychology Coaching
by Robert Biswas-Diener
Positive psychology moves psychology from a medical model toward a strengths model to help clients shore up their strengths and thereby lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the Science of Happiness to Work ...
Happiness
by Richard Layard
Draws on a range of scientific research in such fields as psychology, sociology, and applied economics in a study that seeks to define happiness while identifying its causes and the means that are available to everyday individuals to pursue and ...
The Strengths Book
by Alex Linley
Realise your strengths and you'll be realising the best of you. Do you want to be confident, successful, and sustainably happy? Do you want to achieve your goals and enjoy beter realtionships? Leading strengths experts provide the evidence that ...
Life Coaching
by Michael Neenan
The way we think profoundly influences the way we feel, so learning to think differently can enable us to feel and act differently. Derived from the methods of cognitive behaviour therapy, this book shows how to tackle self-defeating thinking and ...
Source
by Joseph Jaworski
As he did in his classic Synchronicity, Joseph Jaworski once again takes us on a mind-expanding journey, this time to the very heart of creativity and deep knowing. Institutions of all sorts are facing profound change today, with complexity ...
Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck
The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset. After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking ...
Life Choices, Life Changes
by Dina Glouberman
Everything we create in life begins as an image in the mind, whether it's a passionate affair or a new business venture. But the power of images goes well beyond illustrating the 'germ of an idea'; used in its full capacity, it has the potential ...
Authentic Happiness
by Martin Seligman
'A practical map for a flourishing life' (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence) In this groundbreaking, heart-lifting and deeply useful book, Martin Seligman, internationally esteemed psychologist and the father of Positive Psychology ...

Career Book Recommendations

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Great Books that I have read around helping clients with career moves and choices. Some of the books focus on understanding your strengths and talents, others about mindset and others around process. Let me know what you think.

Click on any of the links to be taken to my public google bookshelf which will tell you a bit more about the book, any reviews and where to buy or find electronically:

How to Find Fulfilling Work
by Roman Krznaric
The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age and this inspirational book reveals how one might make it a reality. It explores the competing claims we face for money and status while doing something meaningful and in ...
It's Your Life - What Are You Going to Do with It?
by Anthony Grant
This revised edition of Coach Yourself is for anyone who wants to lead a more purposeful, more successful life. Packed full of scientifically tested psychological tips and techniques, this highly practical book will show you how to become your ...
The Pathfinder
by Nicholas Lore
No description available
A Life at Work
by Thomas Moore
A guide to finding meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction in one's professional life helps readers to overcome the obstacles and challenges that keep them from finding purpose in their chosen career.
Getting Unstuck
by Timothy Butler
You will experience psychological impasse many times in your life. During these times, you have the sensation that you’re stuck or paralyzed. You’re convinced that something must change, whether in your work or personal life. Though this feeling ...
The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People
by Carol Eikleberry
You don't have to stifle your creative impulses to pay the bills. For anyone who's ever been told, "Don't quit your day job," career counselor Carol Eikleberry is here to say, "Pursue your dreams!" Now in its third edition, her inspiring guide ...
If Not Now, When?
by Camilla Arnold
Practical and expert advice for anyone wanting to change careers.
Flow
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment ...