I get asked this question often, so I thought I’d share my response to an email I received. Hope it helps you get unstuck and decide where to start agilizing, too. Continue reading
In this video I share some of my best strategies for Designing for Your Brain. Designing for Your Brain is about applying what we know about how brains work to design our everyday experiences, goals, and intentions in a way that optimizes our overall ability to shape our attention, memory, and focus. Instead of trying to control our attention we learn to Continue reading
ADHD Awareness Expo 2014
I’m excited about this year’s ADHD Awareness Expo 2014 starting October 26. I’ll be appearing along with 30 other top ADHD expert speakers. I’ll be sharing some of my best strategies for “Agilizing your Goals” and magnetizing yourself to get into action. Hope you can join me!
This is the model I reference during my interview.
Can’t wait to read this book which is being released tomorrow! I’m so grateful that Todd B. Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener wrote this book to help us remember the inherent value in NOT being happy all the time.
What we usually think of as “negative” emotions are actually powerful tools that we can harness to experience greater overall success, fulfillment and well-being. Agile is about embracing all of the tools in our toolbox and that means we need to accept the dark side of good things….and strive to see the GOOD side of DARK things too.
The English language is notoriously dualistic – nearly every word we use has a good or bad connotation to it. It’s so hard to be unbiased or even to find “neutral” words to describe things like our own emotions.
Did you know that the english language has like 25 or 30 words for “negative” emotions and only like 8 or 10 for “positive”?
We call Anger, Fear, and Pain “negative” emotions but in reality, they are what make it possible for us to have long lives. Insects don’t have anger, fear or pain because they only live a few days or weeks – so they don’t need them in order to survive and flourish.
I’m thrilled to include this book on my Resource List as I’m writing my book on Cultivating Agile Self-Leadership for people who don’t respond well to self-“control” : ) It also fits beautifully with the 8 Keystone Habits of Personal Agility.
Self-Leadership is a term that to my knowledge was first coined by Charles Manz in a article published in 1986. Manz defined self-leadership as:
“leading oneself toward performance of
naturally motivating tasks as well as
managing oneself to do work that must be done
but is not naturally motivating” 
Most of the articles and books I have read on the topic describe self-leadership in terms of taking personal responsibility and being a role model for others. As I see it, self-leadership is a whole other way to think about how we get things done, and how we grow (vs. improve) ourselves.
Cultivating agile self-leadership enhances self-confidence, goal achievement, emotional resiliency, decision-making, self-respect, self-acceptance and self-compassion.
The practice of self-leadership over time reduces stress, procrastination, anxiety, worrying, depression, as well as chronic overwhelm and dissatisfaction.
The more you trust your ability to agilize, the more confident you become that you can rise to the occasion and deal with whatever challenges come your way. You become able to:
- Orchestrate your most valuable resources (like time, energy, attention, and focus) to enhance your overall life satisfaction and well-being
- Reduce clutter in mind, heart, body and home
- Design simple, flexible, organizing systems to serve your optimal functioning
- Master the 8 Habits of Personal and Emotional Agility
- Establish new habits and modify existing habits
If you are highly creative, intelligent, or ultra-sensitive or empathic, or have a high level of emotional, cognitive, or sensory intensity, your brain is literally wired differently from the average brain. Chances are your daily life is far more challenging and painful than it is for others. Living in a world that is NOT designed to fit you hurts.
But that does NOT mean you are defective. To me it means you have a need to be understood, accepted, and respected. We all need our strengths to be recognized, appreciated, and cultivated. Agile self-leaders learn how to accept and encourage themselves and how to identify, cultivate and use their strengths to minimize the impact of whatever our “weak” areas may be.
Today, we all need mental and emotional agility: the ability to
- appreciate cognitive differences,
- listen and communicate in ways that respect differences, and to
- resolve the inevitable conflicts without resorting to verbal or physical violence.
Mental and emotional agility is what enables us to:
- break through stuckness,
- see ourselves in new ways, and
- use our current challenges as springboards to personal growth and fulfillment.
If self-control has not worked for you so far, chances are excellent that you will benefit significantly from learning the art and science of Agile Self-Leadership.
AgiliZen™ is about letting go of agonizing over the things you want to change, but can’t.
Agile Self-Leadership is about mastering the skills, habits and mindset that enable you to lead yourself to change what you can.
It’s about starting where you are today, and using the brain you have to design creative, out-of-the-box, custom solutions to the challenges that keep you from feeling capable, confident and in charge of your life.
The 10 Mantras of AgiliZen
Agile Life Design™ and AgiliZen™ provide a unique set of tools for natural agilizers (people who weren’t born to be “followers” of other people’s systems nor to be controlled by themselves or others) to practice agile self-leadership and continuously cultivate personal agility as they grow, evolve make life better for themselves.
The 10 Mantras and Practices of AgiliZen provide a framework and curriculum for leading yourself to design your life, career, relationships and environments to fit you now — and — evolve easy in the future as you grow and your needs inevitably change. We call this “Designing for Change”
AgiliZen teaches the Agile mindset and Self-Leadership skills required to practice self-growth and self-advocacy. The classes cover self-leadership skills such as Continue reading
Everyone can benefit from cultivating Agile Self-Leadership and Personal Agility and agilizing skills, but if you answer yes to any of the following, the impact on your life will be profound. Do you often feel:
- You are on a roller coaster between too much and not enough?
- You can’t have, be, or do enough no matter how hard you try?
- Deeply misunderstood by the people around you?
- Exhausted from the stress of trying to keep up with the demands of life, work, home and relationships?
- Your high potential and capabilities are overshadowed by your challenges with making decisions, letting go of things, and / or getting things done?
- Stuck in painful patterns of overworking, fits of frustration, impatience, anxiety, depression, addictive behavior, compulsive apologizing and explaining, or “OCD” (overwhelm, clutter and disorganization)?
- You could be doing so much more with your life if only you could:
- manage your time better?
- have better people skills?
- be more patient?
- go to bed or get up earlier?
- eat better? exercise more?
- pick one thing and focus on it till it’s done?
In the age of ridiculously abundant information, it’s so easy to develop infomania and feel like you can’t stop researching and learning more about a topic.
Nurturing and protecting your ability to create is more important and more difficult than ever.
Falling in love with the power of no helped me learn to focus. Instead of feeling like I’m giving up, I’ve taught myself to connect my power to say no to a feeling of freedom , liberation and power. I think of saying NO as actually enabling me to say YES.
My power to say no to something “interesting” is what makes it possible for me to say YES and devote time and energy to what I’m truly passionate about.
“Stop. I’m not going to take any more input until I’ve made something with what I got.”
– Merlin Mann
If you are like most people today, daily living is full of unpredictable events requiring you to constantly rethink, replan, and reprioritize.
One of the most commonly recommended strategies for getting things done today is to cultivate more “self-control.” The idea is that if you had more self-control you could get more done — and operate at “peak performance” level more often — because after all “normal” successful people have a lot of self-control, right? That’s the common working assumption in our culture. Rarely do you hear anyone talking about self-leadership or leading yourself to get things done.
But when you really think about it…what is self-control? Every one has their own definition, and many usually say something like “we don’t really mean “control.” Are we just too lazy to find a more accurate way to describe how we get ourselves to do things? I propose that “Agile Self-Leadership“ is a much more precise, meaningful and inspiring way to think about how we cultivate and optimize our own performance.