List of News Articles:
The Coherent Life Group on Linkedin
MAKAKILO, Hawaii—The Coherent Life has formed a group on Linked.com (click here to go to the group now).
The Coherent Life founder, Jim Risser, created the Linkedin group as a place for positive people to discuss ways to be happy, loved, and at peace.
It is described as "an oasis of positivity." In a world filled with hate, anger, and negativity, it provides a place where people can grow and strengthen.
Buddhists Slogans for Overcome Difficulties
BOULDER, Colorado—The March 2013 issue of Shambhala Sun lists six Buddhist slogans that can transform life’s difficulties into awaking and benefit:
Turn All Mishaps Into the Path—By practicing patience we can turn mishaps into the path. Patience is the spiritual quality to welcome difficulty with strength, endurance, forbearance, and dignity.
Drive All Blames Into One—Don’t blame others or anything else, but take full responsibility for whatever happens in your life. Instead of complaining or whining, find ways to make use of the difficulty; learn from it, use it as a springboard of motivation.
Be Grateful to Everyone—Article author Norman Fischer writes, “Literally every thought in our minds, every emotion that we feel, every word that comes out of our mouth, every material sustenance that we need to get through the day, comes through the kindness of and interaction with others.” To be grateful is to be happy.
See Confusion as Buddha and Practice Emptiness—Distance yourself from your problems and look at the underlying reality. When you view your problems in the context of birth and death you are living in the moment of the Buddha.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Appreciate Your Lunacy, Pray for Help—Do positive things such as saying hello to others and smiling; to practice this intentionally is to give them meaning. Avoid evil means to pay attention to our actions, speech, and thoughts. Appreciate your weaknesses so that you can laugh at yourself. By praying for help we are asking for the strength to do our best; all we accomplish is the result of a wider sphere.
Whatever You Meet is the Path—This slogan sums up the first five; make whatever happens in your life, good or bad, part of your spiritual practice. Life is your spiritual practice, whether you know it or not, and you always have the ability to turn difficulty into the path.
Facts About Happiness
NEW YORK, New York – The National Geographic’s Your Brain: A User’s Guide lists several facts about happiness:
Furthermore, the book states that “Happiness . . . seems to be more nature then nurture.” It is believed that more than 60 percent of the tendency to have a character dominated by positive emotions comes from our genetic makeup.
LONDON, England – According to the special edition The Wired World in 2013 technology will make us more “angelic.”
For example, your angelic side sets your alarm clock so you have extra time in the morning for a workout before going to work. But when your alarm goes off in the morning, your devilish side hits the snooze button. This is a real life struggle between an impulsive self and a far-sighted self.
Clocky, designed by Gauri Nanda, is an angelic technology that addresses this problem. When you hit the snooze button on this alarm clock, it jumps off the nightstand and rolls to a random corner of the room so that the next time the alarm goes off, you have no choice but to get out of bed to turn it off.
Another angelic technology is GlowCaps, is a pill bottle that flashes if not opened often enough. It can also call your smartphone to remind you to order refills. Such technology can help save lives; half of those prescribed tuberculosis medication don’t take their medication; three quarters of lower limb amputations could have been avoided if people were better at taking their diabetes medication.
Such angelic technologies that use behavioral science could help us to control wasteful spending, help us stick to our New Year’s resolutions, and control the amount of time we spend on the internet.
Tips for Designing Your Logo
HONOLULU, Hawaii—“Your company logo is the heart of your brand image,” writes Bill Haig of Haig Branding in the January 2013 issue of Hawaii Business magazine. Haig gives several tips for designing an effective logo.
First off Haig says that your logo is a form of communication, not artwork. As such, your logo is visual shorthand of what your company is and does. It should symbolize that you are an expert in your field. For example, if you are a house painter, then your logo should symbolize “house” and “painter.”
Other suggestions are to apply design overtones that communicate that your company can be trusted, keep your logo simple so that the focus is on your company’s traits, and create a logo that is bold and has high impact.
Finally, when planning your logo, plan for credibility traits that define your company’s expertise. A verbal credibility trait that is brief and simple can give you and your logo designer a specific direction.
Lessons for 2013
NEW YORK, New York—Here are some lessons for 2013 from the cover story of the January 2013 issue of Fast Company:
Tips for Happiness
NEW YORK, New York—Here are some tips and techniques for happiness from Sue Elliot in the Winter 2013 issue of Law of Attraction:
1. Stop “waiting until”—Don’t wait for some future event to become happy. Change how you feel right now and you’ll attract people, circumstances, and events with the same vibrational match.
2. Learn to love yourself—Loving yourself is key to being able to receive love from others and for living a happy life.
3. Stop trying to be perfect—Perfection is a lie and false goal; the sooner you let go of this expectation, the sooner you will find the perfection that already exists inside you.
4. Become a spy—The next time you’re pushing yourself to do something you really don’t want to do, make a game out of it. For example, if you don’t want to go to a business mixer, go and pretend that you are a spy on an undercover mission.
5. Spend some time daydreaming—Imagine yourself living the life you wish; make it powerful by engaging your emotions.
6. Journal about the good stuff—We attract more of what we focus on; so instead of journaling to vent, use it to focus on what you do want.
Developing Future Leaders
NEW YORK, New York -- In the Winter 2012 issue of strategy+business magazine, leaders of Devon Energy Corporation discuss the HR (Human Resources) strategy and talent practices that have helped give the company a competitive advantage.
After the recession began in 2008, oil company profits began to fall significantly. To stay competitive Devon changed their business strategy. Along with this change in how they did business, leaders began to focus on organic growth where there was less dependence on technical experts and focused more on leaders with broad experiences who could foster high levels of engagement and productivity.
For the past five years Devon has been named one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune magazine. Part of this is due to its HR Connect whose job it is to answer employees’ questions and help them with benefit issues. Also, they have a wellness team that encourages employees to be aware of their own health risk factors. Employees are given incentives to participate in a biometrics screening program.
Devon develops its future leaders by making fact-based assessments on each person. The company looks at employees three levels or more down from the executive committee. They look at potential leaders who might be flight risks and what people need to work on to develop.
One of Devon’s leaders concluded, “Everyone needs to take ownership, and they have to embrace the case for change . . . . [I]f you see how it’s important to your organization, it can be very successful.”
Disagreeable Employees Get Raises
NOTRE DAME, Indiana – Agreeable employees, especially women, are less likely to be recommended for advancement, researchers have discovered. In other words, it doesn’t pay to be nice.
As a matter of fact, disagreeable men tend to make almost twenty percent more than their more agreeable cohorts. One reason is that disagreeable men are better able to negotiate pay raises, even though they have been fired more often than more agreeable employees.
Overall, the research provided strong evidence that men earn substantially more for being disagreeable while being disagreeable had little effect on women’s income.
Leadership and Creativity
LISBON, Portugal -- Researchers wrote that, “By understanding their own emotions and especially their employees' emotions, supervisors are able to directly stimulate the creative outputs of workers.” The researchers found that direct action by the leaders had a bigger effect on creativity than indirect actions. This was found to be especially true in a difficult environment such as a hospital.
The article concludes that self-encouragement and understanding of one’s own emotions were the most important Emotional Intelligence skills necessary for leaders to foster creativity in their employees. Researchers wrote that such leaders need to show their employees how to look positively at negative situations and be understanding of their employee’s emotions so that they can help them recover from negative emotions.
Johns Hopkins Studies
NEW YORK, New York—Author Steve Andreas writes in the Winter 2013 issue of Brain World magazine that we need to be carefully word our affirmations. For example, the affirmation “I am happy” implies always and no one is always happy. If we say this affirmation when we are sad then that will contradict our experience. “Most of us already have enough conflicts;” writes Andreas, “we really don’t need another one.”
Andreas suggests using a more subtle way of talking to ourselves developed by Vikas Dekshit. Look around where you are and say “I’m sitting on a happy chair,” or “This is a happy table.” There is a correspondence between our internal state and the world around us; sad people tend to notice sad events, while a happy person notices happy things.
“This kind of affirmation directs your attention to events in the present moment, just as any useful meditation does,” write Andreas. Since our attention is limited, this technique will draw our attention away from the thing that is making us unhappy.
Use this method of affirmation for any useful adjective such as “loving,” “peaceful,” or “calm.” Such affirmations will work and not conflict with other internal voices that oppose or nullify it.
NEW YORK, New York – The editors of O, The Oprah Magazine (February 2013) asked top meditation and mindfulness experts for their best on-the-spot, do-anywhere calming techniques. Here is their advice:
Count your breaths—This technique is best for surviving “red alert” emergencies. Do this by inhaling and feeling your abdomen expand. Go slowly and count 1-2-3 as you breath in and then out. By making your body breathe as you would when you are relaxed, your body releases calming neurohormones.
Be here now—This technique is best for combating worst case scenario anxiety. Anxiety is caused when our minds wander into past mistakes or into future catastrophes. By practicing coming back to the present, the less anxious you will feel. Instead of letting your mind wander, pay attention to the task at hand. For example, while washing the dishes feel the water, the heat, the smoothness of the plate.
Flex and release—This technique is best for letting go of work tension. Starting with the muscles in your forehead and face, clench your muscles as you take in a breath and hold it for a moment. Exhale and release the tension and relax. Continue the process working your way down your body. This technique gives your body a physical cue to let stress go.
Take a smoke break (without smoking)—This technique is best for dealing with chronic stress. Smokers have the right idea in that they are distancing themselves from the immediate pressures and all the cues that say, “Work harder.” Such distancing naturally calms down the alarms in the brain. But you don’t have to smoke to simply walk away from the stressors for a few minutes.
Reinterpreting the Marshmallow Test
NEW YORK, New York – New research is reinterpreting the results of the classic Marshmallow Test were the impulse control of preschool children was examined. In the February 2013 issue of Psychology Today, three of the most common misconceptions about the test are debunked.
The first misconception was that if children couldn’t wait for the second marshmallow they had poor self control. New research suggests that these children might just be exhibiting a “take what you can, while you can” strategy. Such a strategy is common for children who grow up in unstable environments.
Another misconception is that parents can replicate the Marshmallow Test on their own children to test their self control. But the test needs to be done by a stranger so that the child has an unbiased opinion of the person’s reliability.
The last misconception is that self-control is a quality that you’re born with. Research has found that impulse control can be learned. According to psychologist Tanya Schlam the best way to practice self-control is to reduce your focus on the temptation. For example, turn your attention away from the marshmallow or picture it as being tasteless.
Changing Your Cognitive Bias
NEW YORK, New York—According to Elaine Fox in the January/February 2013 issue of Scientific American Mind magazine, people who rate high on measures of anxiety and depression tend to have a negative cognitive bias, that is they tend to draw negative conclusions when faced with ambiguous situations.
A new field known as cognitive-bias modification (CBM) is helping people turn their negative predispositions around so that they have more positive assessments. In one experiment half the participants were trained to notice nasty words while the other half were trained to avoid such threatening words. Later, when subjected to a stressful test, the participants who had focused on the threatening words reported feeling more stressed.
Incorporating an action such as rejecting negative items and embracing positive ones seems to strengthen the CBM therapy. Such actions could easily be delivered on computers or smartphones to help train people to have a more positive frame of mind.
In conclusion, Fox recommends some simple techniques for changing your negative mood: Keeping a journal to record and remember the good things that happen in your life; changing your routine to interrupt a dark mood; or giving yourself a 15-minute break to help calm yourself. “[C]ultivating healthy mental habits can bring optimism back for good.”
Breakthrough in 2013
DALLAS, Texas—“Taking on a breakthrough project can reinvigorate your spirit and redefine your path,” advises Jason Ryan Dorsey in the January 2013 issue of Success magazine.
Dorsey defines a breakthrough project as “a risk of failure, a specific outcome and public accountability.” Such a breakthrough project will take you out of your comfort zone and help you find the power to create the life that you desire.
“All that’s between you and your desired outcome is taking action,” writes Dorsey. Taking action right now, right where you are is the key. “You never know where your breakthrough project will take you,” concludes Dorsey, “but I promise it will be more rewarding than looking back 10 years from now and wondering, What if I had only . . . .”
Resetting Your Financial Thermometer
NEW YORK, New York—T. Harv Eker writes about how to change your “financial thermostat” in the Winter 2012 issue of Law of Attraction magazine. Eker explains that your financial thermostat is your relationship with money. Just like a thermostat that regulates heat or air conditioning, you can simply change your financial thermostat.
There are four elements to changing your financial thermostat: 1) Awareness—observing your thoughts, fears, behaviors, actions, and inactions; 2) Understanding—seeing where your way of thinking has come from in your past; 3) Disassociation—realize that your way of thinking isn’t you and that you can separate yourself from it; and 4) Reconditioning—rewiring and retraining your mind.
Eker finishes the article by writing that, “thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions, which lead to results. You can choose to think and act like rich people do and therefore create the results that rich people create.”
Leap Of Faith Or Stupid Decision?
NEW YORK, New York – In the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (January 2013) Martha Beck writes how to tell a leap of faith that is a love-based from a fear-based decision. Beck writes that distinguishing between the two can be confusing “because leaps of faith are frightening even when the choice to make them is based on love.”
One way to gain more clarity is by getting into the habit of imagining the choices you would make if you had no fear. If you let your fear go, Beck writes, your imagination will clearly show you which decision still have “fire and energy.”
Another distinguishing trait of love-based choices is that they are enduring and make us act like “heroes.” We follow the hero’s saga: First we are called to adventure; then we refuse the call; but the calls keep on coming.
Beck finishes by writing that the more leaps of faith that we take, the better we get at solving problems. Also, we get better at recovering from disappointments.
How Emotionally Intelligent