Henszey - September 23, 2014
As a leader, you probably know the feeling of spending all day in meetings and then feeling drained. Once we reach that state, we typically have nothing left to give. Unfortunately, feeling drained has become the norm for many leaders.
While "extremely busy" may earn us a badge in our culture, at the end of the day, it's damaging; not only do we suffer personally, but our leadership suffers. We can't do anything well with limited mental capacity.
In the face of ever growing demands in our leadership roles, neuroscience is showing us that there are answers to avoid this drained mental state.
Answers from a Brain Guy
One strong voice on this subject emanates from the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Center mixes Western scientific processes with Eastern spirituality concepts. I've meditated in the Center's exquisite meditation room, support the center as a member, and remain captivated by the discoveries the Center is sharing with the world.
Center leader Richard Davidson will set you straight on your "being drained." Just like the fulfilled, light-hearted TIbetan monks that he slides into his MRI machines to monitor brain activity, he knows that you too can develop the ability to go through your day energized.
"Just a little bit of shift in one's mental attitude [can] produce an enormous difference" in how we respond to situations, he explains in an interview from Davos, Switzerland. "Our brains are primed for [generosity, compassion, and kindness]." By embracing practices that alter the brain and enhance these qualities in ourselves, we can act towards others in a more generous and compassionate way; in turn, this creates an inventory of positive experiences that, in turn, creates positive energy. We can fill our mental and emotional gas tanks with this energy and then draw on it to focus on important tasks and challenges at work.