What the iPad Can Teach About Behavior Change

I like to use the phrase “mental models” to describe the ways we view the world. It’s a neat term, because it gives a sense of solidity to mental activity, which is, perhaps, the opposite of solid. It’s hard to hold on to the way we think. Sometimes, it’s hard to even be aware of it.

But that’s where the “mental model” model becomes fascinating. It helps us see the way we think. It also helps loosen up the places of rigidity in our thinking. A model, afterall, is not a reality. It’s much easier to see how we create our perception when we can see the ways we create our thinking.

When we are working to create a behavioral change or work beyond a fear, it’s a particularly helpful concept.

But the “mental model” phrase is used more often in the technology field. And there’s a lot we can learn from the way they use it.

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Overcoming Shyness

You walk into a room. The room is filled with strangers. They are all talking to each other.

Depending on your perspective, this could be the beginning of a great night or of a panic attack. For a shy person, the prospect of breaking into the flow of chatter bouncing around a room can be totally, completely, utterly overwhelming. Or, at the very least, an enormous challenge.

Unfortunately, most well-intentioned advice for the socially nervous usually comes in some variety of the phrase, "you should just get over it." Put yourself out there and it'll be fine.

The truth is, that's exactly the sort of advice that is perpetuating the source of social anxiety. Continue reading

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The Super Secret Key to Stage Presence

Stage presence: the magical, mystery phrase, elusive to many. (Except for the lucky few who just "have it.") It's one of those terms like "charisma" that we all know but might have a hard time actually defining.

As I've written before, I don't think it needs to be such a mystery. What if I told you there was a key to unlocking the secret garden gates of presence? What if that key were so easy to use, we might forget to use it all together? I think, even for the most shy of us, the key to effective stage presence is readily available. Want to know what it is?

Your body. Continue reading

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To Be Free

Nina Simone is a legend. A voice that's unparalleled with a soul that flies. And, of course, one hell of a performer.

What she says about performance just about sums it all up:

That's freedom. That's why I'm writing this blog, and why I'm doing the work I do. I'm committed to bringing that freedom into the world for my self and for others.

It's no fear. NO fear.

I believe what's left is joy. And endless possibility.

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You Are Already Wealthy

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. What a day. NPR played stories from victims' families and the news replayed the crash over and over and over. Collective memories certainly hit hard.

I posted recently about mental models, and subsequently, a video about how mental models affect our happiness. Days like yesterday remind me of how easily our mental models get taken for granted.

Every day we are alive, we have a lot more than we often consider. In fact, we have our entire life.

This article came across my email recently. In it, Sonia Simone shares the secret to wealth and success: realize you already have it. Just having clean, disease-free running water is a great case-in-point. It separates all of us from a huge population of the world. Continue reading

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