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"Making money is art and working is art
and good business is the best art."

- Andy Warhol

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  • 13 May 2020 3:49 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    • Definition of potential: latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success

    • On average people consider they have achieved about 40% of their full potential

      So what are the game changers that enable people to align with and grow into their potential and ultimately achieve their goals?

    • Increased awareness
    • Perspective and attitude
    • Taking responsibility for ourselves
    • Taking responsibility for our choices and decisions
    • 1. Become more aware of your own behaviour and the behaviour of others


    •  Become more emotionally intelligent and resilient
    • Emotional resilience enables us to manage our emotions more effectively, to ensure we are not overly influenced by the emotions and behaviours of others.

      So, how can you build emotional intelligence and resilience?

    • Pick the company you keep wisely – both in real time and online

      Apparently mixing with or sitting near a high performer can help you achieve better results. This sounds like a good thing, however it has also been proven that stress and anxiety can also be contagious, as we have witnessed first hand over the passed 7/8 weeks!

      The reason for both these outcomes is the human ability to mirror emotions and behaviour and our basic instinctive desire to be part of a tribe.

      According to Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, who has been studying decision-making for over a decade, when two people are in each other's company, their brain waves will begin to look nearly identical

      One study of moviegoers, for instance, found the most engaging trailers all produced similar patterns in people's brains.

      Again this can be seen very clearly during the pandemic, as we respond to news broadcasts with reactive threads of dialogue and shared posts on social media.

      This means the people we hang out with, not just in person but also on social media, actually have an impact on our engagement with reality way beyond what can be explained, and one of the key effects is we become alike.

      2. Become more aware of other peoples perspectives


    •  By being open minded and open to changing your mind – seeing it from another’s view point 
    • Recent research (Antinori, 2017) found that people who are open to new experiences have an ability to absorb more information than others and process it in different ways.

      This flexibility helps boost their creativity and innovation and thus ability to solve complex problems and be more successful.

      So, how can you become more open-minded?

    • Read books
    • Ask questions – never assume.  
    • Be aware of your internal and external programming and belief systems
         Remember even salt looks like sugar
    • Why do we think pink is for girls and blue is for boys?

      This is a very modern stereotype – prior to the 1940’s Pink was more often a boys colour.

      Did you know the Nazi’s used pink in concentration camps to identify gay men and transgender women.

    • Listen and have empathy
    • Listening is different to conversation. In conversation we listen for only a very short time and then start thinking about our own experiences and how to respond (we listen for approximately 20 seconds).

      Empathy is different to sympathy. Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Sympathy is being in harmony or agreement. Sharing the feelings of another.

      3. Take responsibility for yourself


    • By recognising your values and pursuing your passions
    • “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life!” Pablo Picasso

       “Making and consuming art lifts our spirits and keeps us sane. Art, like science and religion, helps us make meaning from our lives, and to make meaning is to make us feel better.” Grayson Perry

      A recent report by the all-party parliamentary group on arts, health and well being which included hundreds of interviews and dozens of case studies demonstrated how powerfully the arts can promote health and wellbeing.

      Co-chaired by former arts ministers Alan Howarth and Ed Vaizey, the all-party inquiry contends that their findings evidence the arts can keep people well, aid recovery from illness, help people live longer, better lives and save money in health and social services

    • Making healthy lifestyle choices – fresh air, exercise, healthy eating 
    • Fresh air boosts brain function and exercise reminds us that practice, repetition and patience are critical to learning.

      Nutritional imbalance is now being linked by scientists to all manner of conditions such as hearing loss, previously linked to age.

    • Give your self a break! Turn off phones & social media and consider meditating.
    • New research (Kumaria et al, 2017) found that regular meditation can make our sight more responsive, due to the brain attention system benefits it is believed to trigger. In the study, Buddhist meditators were compared to non-meditators in various tasks. The meditators eye movements were consistently more accurate and responsive, demonstrating how the practice could help to boost focus.

    • Meditation Apps – Mindfulness; buddhify; Calm; Stop, breath and think..
    • Deepak Chopra 21 day abundance meditation

      4. Take responsibility for your own choices, decisions and actions


    • Give yourself time to think and permission to be content & happy
    • Why is time important?

      Stress over lack of time causes lower well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia. Psychologist Dr.Elizabeth Dunn argues it is time, not material goods, that raise happiness levels.

      So, how can you give yourself more time and be happier and more content?

    • Prioritise the important things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_N_uvq41Pg
    • Planning, preparation and time management
    • Time management: https://youtu.be/n3kNlFMXslo (12 mins)
    • Prioritising and saying No is an essential learned skill in a world where the demands on our time are infinite.  Write do it or ditch it lists. Be strict with yourself when setting screen use times and social media contact times. Especially now when it’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole!

    • Research to avoid assumption and fact check
    • Thoughts are not facts!

    • Mind maps are a useful tool to understand what is important
    • Goal setting – a well formed outcome that you can visualise through your own eyes is a powerful tool

    Set goals or outcomes which stretch you.

    Have the courage to be brave. In the words of Dr. Brene Brown – Do it scared

    Become the hero of your own story, because it is often in the failing that we learn the most and reap the greatest rewards.

    Ask yourself the question – “What can I do today to be brave?”

    Lesley Samms MSc ANLP

    Email: Lesleysamms@gmail.com

    Lesley delivers group and on line training and 1 2 1 professional development, mentoring and coaching 

  • 7 May 2020 11:07 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    Do you ever feel like you’re sleepwalking through life with no real idea of what you want or where you are going?

    Perhaps you know exactly what you want to achieve, but have no idea how to get there or you are simply overwhelmed by the prospect.

    That’s where goal setting comes in.

    Goals are the first step towards planning for the future, and play a fundamental role in the development of skills in various facets of life, from work to relationships and everything in between.

    They are the targets at which we aim our proverbial arrow.

    In the words of Pablo Picasso:

    Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

    And in the words of Benjamin Franklin:

    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

    So, what is Goal Setting?

    Goal setting is a powerful motivator, the value of which has been recognised in a wealth of clinical and real-world settings for over 35 years.

    ‘Goals,’ as defined by Latham & Locke (2002, p.705) are “the object or aim of an action”

    According to Locke (2019) “Every person’s life depends on the process of choosing goals to pursue; if you remain passive you are not going to thrive as a human being.

    Locke & Latham goal setting theory is based on the premise that conscious goals affect action and that conscious human behaviour is purposeful and regulated by individual goals.

    Therefore, we must decide what is beneficial to our own wellbeing and then set goals to achieve it.

    So, why do some people perform better on tasks than others? 

    The key is motivation. The more we achieve the more we become motivated to achieve more and bigger.

    Goals give us control over the future outcome of our lives…

    The key principles of goal setting are;

    1. Commitment – the more committed or invested you are the more likely you are to succeed.

    2. Clarity – Goals need to be clear and specific

    3. Challenge  - they must be challenging but attainable

    4. Complexity – the timescale must be relevant to the complexity of the goal

    5. Feedback – reporting and learning

    Goal setting is especially important for artists as it is closely associated with achieving flow state. Setting clear goals that are both challenging yet within your skill level is a powerful contributor to finding yourself in ‘the zone’.

    Have you heard of SMART goals?

    SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebased. SMART goals help focus our efforts and increase the chances of achieving our goals. And don’t forget the importance of rewarding yourself when you achieve your goals.

    Why does Goal Setting Work

    When done correctly, goal setting is effective and often critical to success.

    Goals give us direction by focusing attention on goal-relevant behaviour and away from irrelevant tasks (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992).

    Miner (2005) suggested that goal setting works through three basic propositions:

    1. Goals energize performance through the motivation to expend the required effort in line with the difficulty of the task.
    2. Goals motivate people to persist in activities over time.
    3. Goals direct people’s attention to relevant behaviours, and away from behaviours which are irrelevant, or detrimental to the achievement of the task.
    What are the Disadvantages of goal setting?

    If employed incorrectly, goal setting has the potential to cause rather than solve problems.

    Goals can present with threat of negative consequences, leading to stress and anxiety as an outcome if not attained.

    Also if there is a conflict between two or more goals, performance with respect to each goal may be undermined (Locke, Smith, Erez, Chah, & Shaffer, 1994).

  • 29 Apr 2020 10:08 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    Studies have shown that people perform much better when they write down what they need to do.

    So, what makes the to-do list such an effective productivity tool?

    Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik was perhaps the first to note the brain’s obsession with pressing tasks. The so-called “Zeigarnik effect”

    He noticed we remember things we need to do, better than things we’ve done. This theory stemmed from observing that waiters could only recall diners’ orders before they had been served. After the dishes had been delivered, their memories simply erased who’d had the steak and who’d had the soup. The deed was done and the brain was ready to let go.

    More recently, a study by professors Baumeister and Masicampo from Wake Forest University showed that, while tasks we haven’t done distract us, just making a plan to get them done can free us from this anxiety.


    The pair observed that people underperform on a task when they are unable to finish a warm-up activity that would usually precede it. However, when participants were allowed to make and note down concrete plans to finish the warm-up activity, performance on the next task substantially improved.

    The mental load is reduced and we can function at a much higher level.

    Some people resist this kind of structure, however. They think it will affect their creativity or prevent them from being flexible. Time management expert David Allen – whose book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity - Believes these free-spirited creative types are quite simply wrong.

    He believes anyone with a full schedule and no structure will struggle to cope. A system is needed – and scribbled notes on hands won’t cut it. It’s not enough to scrawl “bank” or “Mum” on a Post-it note, says Allen – you need more detail. Is it an email, a visit or a phone call, and for what purpose? If your to-do list isn’t clear enough and to the point, your tasks probably won’t get done – and they certainly won’t be prioritised.

    A major downfall of the list can be chunking up – for example “Write my novel” is a pretty foreboding task; “outline first chapter of my novel” is far easier to cope with mentally!

    Remember don’t try and eat the elephant in one go! It will be easier to digest if you break it down into bite size pieces

    Dopamine is the key here.  Dopamine is a chemical messenger – Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells.

    Motivation is the essential and irreplaceable element of success.

    When we’re not motivated, we fail.

    When we experience even small amounts of success, our brains release dopamine, which is connected to feelings of pleasure, learning and motivation. When we feel the effects of dopamine, we’re eager to repeat the actions that resulted in that success in the first place.Neuroscientists refer to this as “self-directed learning.

    When we are positively motivated to do something, we learn to take that same action to receive the same feeling. This is why achieving small goals is such an effective way to stay motivated during long-term projects and processes.

    Or even during lockdown!

    Checking items off of a checklist releases small amounts of dopamine that then fuel us to keep checking off more items, i.e. get more done!

    Thus the saying “fail to plan and you plan to fail”

    A great hack you can introduce to make your lists even more effective is gamification.

    Gamification is the notion of tricking your brain by making it think you are playing and having fun.

    An essential ingredient of gamification is rewards.

    You must remember to reward yourself when you tick things of your checklist – your brain responds quickly to these rewards – but you must have integrity – the negative low is very low if you try to cheat yourself!

    Another hack to trick your brain is to send your lists forward to your future self. You can do this via futureme.org. Select a date in the future to receive it back. Seeing the impact of your past to do lists in the future can give you a real sense of satisfaction and achievement on how far you have progressed, or a reality check about the importance of the kind of tasks you choose to prioritise and get anxious and overwhelmed by...

    Lesley Samms MSc ANLP

    You can download Suzan Aral's design project checklist here:


    Here is Suzan's Campaign design order form:

    ARALetc_OrderForm_PROMOCAMPAIGN (1).pdf

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