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Latest insights and trends in Personal Analytics, Operational Intelligence, and Workplace Productivity.

May 04
Be positive about your success

​Whenever we talk about personal success in today's world, we think about new ways to achieve it. We look for new ideas, approaches, opportunities and new tools. Is it really reasonable?

The positive answer is mostly based on the vision that the world is in constant progress. No matter how much we like to complain, it is obvious that knowledge an​d means accumulate and are being used for the best, (whatever this "best" means in particular case). It makes the chance to have an advantage.  But if you do not get all the "news", you will be soon outdated and others will get your success. Cruel world, I would say.

Then what about "olds"? It wasn't so long ago, when people didn't like novelties but still some of them were really successful while some other not. People valued tradition and reliability over creativity. They focused on rudiments. Every apprentice would learn this the hard way in the beginning of his career and surprisingly seemed to appreciate it still after he became the master. Maybe this is what we should look for?

The positive psychology's answer to questions about success is mostly motivation but it's not that survival motivation that I mentioned earlier nor the severe external motivation imposed on us by rules and requirements. It is intrinsic reward motivation that comes from job well done and interesting problems solved. It is the gratification that comes from the work itself that triggers us the best to do things successfully and efficiently. It is called Motivation v.2.0 by Daniel H. Pink, an author of the book: Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, where he explains scientific research that lead to this conclusion, as well as the reasons why it is more important nowadays then it was in old times.
I would add, that as this motivation stays with us, there is no reason to ​refrain from enhancing it by taking life into own hands with the help of Omnicontext™ Personal Analytics​.

Then why so many of us aren't that eager to have their work done as soon as they can and doesn't get this satisfaction that easy? Why some of us even repeatedly put off what they should do or even what they have chosen to do? While motivation leads us towards our tasks, there are certain emotions, coming from our past, that stand in the way, providing obstacles and difficulties that act against our engagement. In spite of our rational attitudes, these emotions aren't easily controlled and become a real threat to our aspirations. Applying pressure doesn't really help, as these emotions are us, so the more we fight them, the more it hurts. The solution is a positive approach, rebuilding confidence and reducing stress.  Surprisingly supportive, great book by Neil Fiore, The Now Habit, can help such people get on tracks with their productivity. ​Self-awarness and self-observation is a part of the process, so ​honest record of your daytime activities by Personal Analytics is an objective help.

 

The real success requires the best of us. That is why positive psychologists discover how to free the most creative and rewarding activity of our mind in a state called the flow. It was investigated in studies on great artists, successful athletes, martial arts masters and then described by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi from University of Chicago, as well as by researchers at Harvard. The main characteristics of this state are: being calm but highly concentrated at the same time, disappearance of distractions from consciousness, guiding actions by immediate feedback, levelling challenges with abilities and the familiar concept of the activity being rewarding just by itself. The flow can be learned, allowing to reach the functioning on a genius level.

While positive psychology is relatively new branch of this science, it can be easily noticed that these ideas intuitively appeared in most of religious and philosophical systems for ages, in the form of meditation, self-knowledge or faith ​attitudes, ​​thus being modernly researched reflections of very old concepts.

So, should we really look only for the "news"?

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