Category neuroscience


My son Michael called this morning on his way to work. “Something just happened that I thought you’d enjoy,” he said. “I stopped at Starbucks on my way to work, and when I got to the drive-thru window, the cashier told me the guy ahead of me already paid for my coffee!”

“Wow!” I said. “You’re right. I love it!”

“So I paid for the guy behind ME.” That’s when the cashier told him that he was

The dropped appointment

Several days ago, I awoke about 4 a.m. with a gnawing feeling that I’d missed a client appointment. I got up, went to my electronic calendar, and discovered I HAD missed an appointment. The client  requested a schedule change, I said okay, and then didn’t make the change on the calendar. I felt terrible about it, and sent a note of apology to the client.

That evening, I told my partner Duff about it. “That’s why I always use a good, old-fashioned paper-and-pencil calendar,” he said. “Nothing drops through the cracks.” I was quick with a comeback.

Control your attention …

When I start coaching engagements, new clients almost always have a short list of problems to fix. It’s a normal response. We’re wired [both biological and psychological] to sort for the negative.

And every time our mind attends to the negative, we do something else: we strengthen the brain’s tendency to sort for the negative!

Researchers call it neuroplasticity: the brain’s capacity to change and adapt its

Participate in the unfolding

There’s a whole field of attention studies illustrating that what we see and what we perceive are different things. Sight is governed by one set of structures in the brain, and perception by another. So we actually see far more than we perceive or are cognitively aware of. [For an example, check out the YouTube observation test .]

What happens is that part of the brain is only responsible for processing what enters our visual cortex; that’s all it does. And another part of the brain is busy


Here’s top mistake #7 in behavior change: believing that information leads to action.  Again, the lab techies offer an observation rather than a ‘solution’: we humans aren’t so rational.

Hear, hear! Information may give us a leg up on knowing about something. But knowing and doing aren’t the same. We know far more than we’re able to translate into action, especially consistent action, which is what change is really about.

Besides, reason doesn’t make us act. Emotion does. Reason just makes us think. Doubt it? Then check out neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s book, Descartes’ Error.