What Brain Science Tells Us: 10 Tips to Prime Your Brain for Success

I appreciated by this video of Irene Becker, first female CEO of a steel company in Canada, where she shared her personal story of great achievements and losses. Her experience uniquely positions her as an expert on the topic of the relationship between happiness and success.  Today Irene writes a guest post on this topic.

Irene Becker – Guest PostYour Brain for Success

10 Tips to Prime Your Brain for Success

The scientific evidence is in, and it is conclusive.
If you want to be more successful you need to prime your brain to be positive.

➣ That’s right. Happiness must come before success. Staying stuck in a negative rut, dwelling on problems versus being solution oriented will not help you succeed, and it will contribute to what the World Health Organization tells us will be the major cause of disability by 2020—stress, negativity, disengagement.

➣ What exactly does brain science tell us? Most of us were trained to think that success leads to happiness. We now know, through neuroimaging and other longitudinal scientific studies, that achieving success in a rapidly changing and often chaotic world, workplace and marketplace demands a whole new skill set.

Here are ten simple steps that take only a few minutes a day and will help prime your brain to be success oriented.

1. Talk nice to yourself! Celebrate every win in your mind’s eye no matter how small. Pay attention to the positive.

2. Connect, get social. Talk to people you care about; talk to people you work with. Make social connections.

3. Hug. Hugs stimulate oxytocin, the “love hormone,” spreading a feel-good boost.

4. Make love. Yes, it’s no surprise that lovemaking boosts happiness levels!

5. Keep a gratitude journal. Writing about what you are thankful for both helps retrain your brain to be more optimistic and positively impacts your health!

6. Get physical. Physical activity is a significant happiness booster. Exercising for 30 minutes a day can take up to 7 years off your chronological age! And, it eases stress, improves sleep, strengthens immunity, and increases happiness.

7. Help others. Altruism makes us happier and stronger. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital, or shelter.

8. Go outside, spend time with Mother Nature. It will make you feel more alert, enthusiastic, energetic, and happy.

9. Take two minutes or less to be mindful! If you don’t meditate regularly, spend a few minutes several times a day being mindful of your breathing.

10. Get silly, embrace the kid in you. Enjoy a good joke, watch a funny video, smile, enjoy a great comedy. Laughing is a great way to exercise your brain and give your body a mini aerobic workout!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Priming your brain to be positive will help you achieve greater success and well-being.

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About Irene Becker: Irene Becker was the first woman CEO of a steel company in Canada. She was chosen by Federal Development Bank of Canada as one the ten top business women and was the first woman Rotarian in Canada.  Irene currently writes, speaks and coaches executives on the 3Q Edge™ which optimizes talent and performance in high stress, high change environments. For more information on Irene and the services she offers, visit her web site Just Coach It – | The 3Q Edge™

33 comments to What Brain Science Tells Us: 10 Tips to Prime Your Brain for Success

  • Jesse Lyn – Thanks for sharing Irene Becker with us. What an inspiring story.

    Irene – I became disabled 10 years ago because of stress and negativity. Thank heavens I had the opportunity to get out of that environment and regain my health. It’s nice to know that the World Health Organization confirmed how dangerous these are for our health. Thanks for getting the word out.

    Those 10 steps are so simple and you’re so right, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Connie

  • Hi Connie: Thanks for your comment. I am so sorry to hear of your disability, and applaud you for sharing what happened, and on your regaining your health! Hats off to YOU.

    I really believe in steps and tools that are effective, power and simple. Steps that we can all use that do not require an excessive amount of time, but are powerful! I hope that you will try some of the steps, and do send me your feedback. My email is irene@justcoachit.com. Would love to hear from you.

    I am also including the link to an article I wrote, as I truly believe that individually and collective we have the power to not only optimize our strengths but to transform the stressors and challenges we face. http://db.tt/iBWnlDX

    Very best! Irene

  • Hi Jesse, great to discover your blog and Irene, thank you for alerting me to your post. Definitely agree with your list, I’ve found gratitude lists especially helpful for perspective and appreciation of what’s good in my life. Volunteering and generosity are their own rewards, mindfulness and laughter also help tremendously in nourishing a positive attitude. And I read your personal story, Irene, sorry that happened to you (with two young children!) and grateful for the transformational lessons you have taken from it and are bringing to us. From practicing what others have taught me I do rely on sources of strength from within that remind me I am more than my outward circumstances. Thank you for inspiring reading.

  • Hi Garrett: Thank you so much for your very kind comments; and a big thank you to Jesse Lyn for having asked me to do a guest post.

    You are SO right about gratitude lists! Kudos. Brain science now tells us that our brains (no matter how optimistic we are) are automatically set to negative. Yes, a vestige from days when we lived in caves and were surrounded by preditors.

    The ability to not only prime our brains to be positive, but to learn to transform challenges, changes, crises into a new way of looking and seeing that can strengthen our best selves is critical.

    Thank you again for your comments, and for your very sensitive and kind wishes re the journey that took me to a place of service; and a dedication to help others build what I call their 3Q Edge.

    My new blog and resource centre will be up on http://www.justcoachit.com within the next three weeks, and there will be lots of great free info and resources!

    Thank YOU for taking the time to comment, for sharing your wisdom and for embracing the power to use what is to create what can be in your life and the lives of others.

    Yours in service and friendship, Irene

  • It is a pleasure to read the “mantra” in the right order happiness within breeds success and not the other way around. We are programmed to seek happiness in things and beings outside of us. The truth is after we achieve them, we have already lined up the next goal to achieve. We live in if we get that then I will be happy model. This if and then model of happiness always keeps happiness around the corner and out of reach. Alas, we lost the celebration of those successful achievements. Happiness within model not only breeds success, but also allows you to enjoy the successes and deal with failures a lot better. Thanks for sharing!

  • Irene – Good to ‘see’ you again, this time on Jesse’s blog! You already know how inspired I am by the video you shared with me a couple of weeks back. It’s so true that the stories we tell ourselves (whether full of negativity or hopeful optimism) coupled with the daily actions we choose to take, have the power to shape our lives, for better or worse.

    Jesse – Thanks for sharing Irene’s story with us all. Like you, she’s a wonderful source of wisdom and inspiration.

  • Sharon: Thank you SO much for your very kind note! I am SO glad that my video inspired you. Inspiring others and helping them use what is to create what can be in their lives and organizations is my mission! I think you will enjoy what I wrote about my journey and how it helped me discover my greatest strength and my 3Q’s http://db.tt/iBWnlDX Against All Odds

    Ah, you hit on a key point-the stories we tell ourselves! Our words do make our world, and they also configure our brain. UPSIDE we now know that it is possible to rewrite our brains-to use simple tools that help us change our mental maps if you will!

    I not only believe in what I call the 3Q’s, I have lived them and used them to optimize strengths and transform changes, challenges and some really tough crises into greater resiliency, optimism, enhanced cognition, communication-better results, happier results and fulfillment.

    Thank you again for your wonderful comments! I am here to serve, and what you wrote was a huge gift to me. I have a blog, articles and resource centre going up on my new website http://www.justcoachit.com-I know you will enjoy it s there will be lots of good info and inspiring stuff as well!

    This is the link to the first taping of my new web tv show, Passion Point-http://www.vimeo.com/25012939 Passion Point-Show II hope you enjoy it also!

    And,please do not hesitate to contact me at irene@justcoachit.com. Always wonderful to hear from YOU.

    Best! Irene

  • Hi Garrett, Rakesh and Sharon,
    I was delighted to share Irene’s post and I appreciate your responses. Thanks so much for adding your insights to the conversation.
    Jesse

  • Thanks so much Rakesh! For most people it is counterintuitive to think that happiness comes before success; but science now makes it clear that it does. Fascinated by your blog and work on Ayurveda-look forward to reading more about what you do.

    Very best! Irene

  • Dear Jesse and Irene,

    Thank you for working together to bring these great tips and resources to us. I found Irene through Dave @dapancost and am so glad. These tips are easy and solid ways to re-wire our thinking. I believe that happiness IS success. Everything else is a bonus.

    I’m grateful for your insights and desire to share.

    Wishing you the best,

    Helen

  • Hi Irene – Excellent tips for staying positive. I love the idea of recording all the things that any one has done well in a day. There is a tendency in us all to allow the negative to linger and we tend to forget our success stories!

  • Helen and Dorothy, Much appreciation to both of you for your comments and support for Irene and for her important message.

  • Thanks for sharing this Jesse. Irene consistently spreads great words of wisdom that will keep making our lives better. My favourite point of course is #7 Help Others. Since giving every day for 252 days now it has truly change my life. Knowing you are doing one small thing to help others every day changes the way you see the world. You search out the things that will support other people know it will make them happy which in return makes you happy. Thank you Irene for sharing the happiness. The happier we are the more we will want to share our happiness with others as well. The ripple effect goes a long way.

  • Hi Helen: Thank you so much for your lovely note and comments. So glad that you enjoyed the article, my tweets and tips! I look forward to sharing more great info, and to learning more about your work.

    Very best!
    Irene

  • Hi Dorothy: Thanks so much for your very kind comments, and sage reflections on staying positive. Look forward to learning more about your work.

    Very best! Irene

  • Jacqueline: Thank you so much for your comments, your spirit, insight and dedication to making a positive difference. Success to me is best reflected in the value we create for others; in our ability to use our strengths to contribute. I believe that the foundation for happiness is meaning. It is the meaning we ascribe to our lives, the journey we each face of letting go of ego in order to live and lead from a place of empathy and humanity that can change one life, many lives, and ultimately our world. Hope lies in the hearts of those who recognize the critical importance of learning to live and lead from goodness to greatness.

    Thank you so much. I hope that my articles, tweets and the work I do with clients will continue to help smart people work, communicate and lead smarter and happier.

    Very best! Irene

  • Thanks for these simple things you can do that set you up for both success and happiness. I included this post in my weekly selection of top leadership posts from the independent business blogs.

    http://blog.threestarleadership.com/2011/06/22/62211-a-midweek-look-at-the-independent-business-blogs.aspx

  • Wally: Thank you so much for selecting my article as one of the top five independent business posts. I am truly honored! I am passionate about the integrity of my work, and I also love to write. Jesse asking me to write a post for her blog, and your acknowledgement of my work is simply awesome.

    I thank you both SO much.

    Irene

  • Jesse: I was humbled and honored when you asked me to write a post for your blog. Now, I am so deeply grateful. Being chosen by Wally as one of five best in biz and leadership was SO wonderful.

    I am committed to being of service, passionate about writing; and, writing for your blog and the responses I have received to my post have been a milestone moment I will always cherish.

    Sincerest thanks, Irene

  • Excellent paper- to be taught in the school of life nad at courses. However I dare to consider that in practice, the absence or removal of negatives is more important and difficult than the presence or creation of positives. NO is more influential and natural than YES. See please: http://egooutpeters.blogspot.com/2011/02/can-you-guess-word.html

    I also think that a negative (toward evils) but constructive approach of problem solving is the best:
    http://egooutpeters.blogspot.com/2011/06/super-rule-included-complete-list-of.html

    See please the writings labelled BASIC and my 77 Septoes at the blog Ego Out, the power of NO is greater than that of YES.

    Peter

  • Hi Peter: Thank you so much for your feedback! I think that your blog is really important. EGO, or the need to seek validation has been the downfall of every great person, kingdom and fiefdom in human history.

    It is an interesting debate re which is more powerful no or yes. Brain science tells us that our brains are automatically set to seek out the negative…However, from another perspective I believe that the word YES is inspiring content in terms of an article or posting and from what I have read and researched it will attract the scanning eye.

    Hence while I agree in the power of NO, I think that both in terms of retraining our brain to be more positive, to be able to see the solutions in the problems we face and to prime ourselves to ideate, innovate and create the importance of YES is really critical!

    Wishing you great success with your important work.

    Irene

  • Dear Irene.

    Thank you, I am honored and enchanted by your nice amd wise answer!
    Let’s be friends, I always said that differences in opinion attract intelligent people and repel only those who are not …so. Actually tolerance toward contrary opinions is a very rare virtue. My blog is about Ego-Out- a word created by me and accepted in the English dictionary – it is defined as “information, knowledge and wisdom lost by the death of an individual” It has to be reduced to the minimum. It was inspired i.a. by Arthur C Clarke, my great friend’s EGOGRAMS- but it is a kind of “do not die with your music in you!”
    A condition of happiness at old age.
    NO and YES are both necessary and equally important.
    in my Rules NO, NOT play 3 roles showing inexistence, surprise and prohibition. I invite you to my blog, it is not popular and does not tell nice things- see the 77 Septoes for example. Or the metaphor of the Bisinisencephalians.
    I will study your writings, with anticipated pleasure
    My best wishes,
    Peter

  • Dear Peter: Thank you so much for your very kind note! I do my utmost to be of service, and your note was so wonderful. I am working against really tight timelines this week but look forward to being in touch soon!

    I smiled when you talked about studying my writings, as I am now in the process of editing 80 articles to put them on my blog! I have a new site, need to add the blog, articles as well as a resource centre.

    I am editing them because while I love words, devour books, cannot learn enough; I recognize that most people like short word bites and sound bits. And, I am also writing a book with an neuropsychologist all about happiness and success! I will make sure you get a copy when it is hot off the press (still in the works:)

    Maybe you should consider having your blog tell nice things because you ahve told me that you are not going to die with the music in you. Life is, with all its challenges, a gift. And, I have a sense that there is much positive stuff inside you to share with the world.

    Here is a clip that will tell you about the genesis of my work http://vimeo.com/25557271 and http://db.tt/829ojTXa bit about Thriving in the Face of Negativity and Crisis. I hope you enjoy them:)

    Yours in service and friendship, Irene

  • Dear Irene,
    You are a Personality! I will watch your site and when the blog will become active
    we will discuss and collaborate As ssoner as better.
    Warmest greetings,
    Peter

  • Dear Peter: Thank you for your comment! I guess I do have personality! And, thankfully it has remained authentic, honest and devoted to service! I will let you know when the blog is up! Also, being a learn-a-holic and share-a-holic I do a lot of learning and sharing on twitter. You can find me there justcoachit@twitter.com

    Warmest greetings back,
    Irene

  • Hi Peter: Just wanted to let you know that the blog is up! Hope you will enjoy it. Looking forward to your feedback.

    Best, Irene
    irene@justcoachit.com

  • Thank you, dear Irene! This week I am busy with preparing a travel to Italy
    for a kind of interview (see please my Blog Ego Out about Galileo’s Rules)
    but I will study the blog ASAP.
    Best wishes,
    Peter

  • Dr Charu malik

    Hello,
    Jesse I feel fortunate to have found your Blog, and this guest post by Irene is great, simple yet so empowering, I’ve been giving treatment and advise on Memory Enhancement in alternative therapies for 10 years now, and was delighted to read this article, I feel following these steps will also increase cognitive power of an individual. I have written an article based on the memory enhancement techniques I’ve been using,here’s the link, http://greatlivingtips.com/health/10-tips-to-boost-memory/508/ .
    If you feel appropriate then please look at my article, I’d love to have your expert suggestions.
    My best wishes,
    Dr Charu

  • Hi Dr. Charu: I want to thank you for your much appreciated comments about my guest post. I agree with you that the imperative and importance of enhancing memory and cognitive development is of the utmost importance. I would be delighted to learn more about your work, and welcome your writing to me at irene@justcoachit.com

    Very best! Irene

  • Dr Charu malik

    Thanks Irene,
    I would definitely write to you.I’d really love to see more of your work.
    Meanwhile I have written two more articles on Memory, here are the links http://greatlivingtips.com/health/top-10-tips-to-improve-concentration-to-improve-memory/525/ and http://greatlivingtips.com/health/yogic-postures-that-improve-memory/560/ .I also have a Blog, URL http://myblogdrcharu.blogspot.com . Please feel free to have a look, I’d appreciate comments and suggestions from an expert like yourself.
    Regards,
    Dr Charu

  • Hi Dr. C: I thank you for your message and for sending me the links to your articles. I look forward to reading them and to visiting your blog.

    I think that you will enjoy my site http://www.justcoachit.com and blog http://www.justcoachit.com/blog.

    This week is toast for me schedule wise. Would you like to schedule a chat on Monday of next week. irene@justcoachit.com

    Very best! Irene

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