Archive for the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

VIDEO: EVERY RUNNER HAS A REASON   Leave a comment

Here is a cool inspirational video on what running is about for so many of us!

LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #9 – ROBERT NEEDHAM (NAVY SEAL) ON TEAM LEADERSHIP   Leave a comment

Today I would like to continue sharing with you more of my highlights and notes from Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs by Robert Needham (Navy SEAL).

Chapter 1 – Leading the Best (cont.)

1. “If an individual or a Team starts to lose focus, they must step back and review.” — Sometimes individuals or teams feel that they do not have time to step back and refocus. Of course, if you ask if they have more or less time to lose focus, go for a walk in the woods, fail and get miserable, re-focus time doesn’t look as costly as the alternative. That said, I’ve seen people and teams get into “locked up” mode and require a wake-up call to snap out of it.

2. “It is incumbent upon any group that desires true success to set an environment that allows and encourages communication.” I used to pride myself on being a submarine commander when it comes to communication: “If you don’t hear from me, everything is OK.” With time, I have really come to think that all things are possible with good communication. Just the social support provided in communicatin improves the resilience and chances of survival and success of people in tough situations. As I have heard so often said (to me) before: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.”

3. “You must honestly evaluate your own ability and communicate forthrightly about it — for your own good and for that of the Team. If everyone else is unaware of a weak link, they cannot repair it. Unnoticed, the weak link will break, costing money, time, and perhaps even lives.” — Thee’s a strategy called “Fake it ’til you make it!” for self-improvement, which involves acting like the person you want to be in order to become that person. It’s an effective approach. At the same time, trying to “fake out” others by posing or lying about knowledge or ability is misguided and a clear commitment to making disaster happen for self and others. The bigger person on a Team knows to be clear about limits, risks, and look for reality-checks and options from others.

4. “Wat’s important to the SEAL TEAm is important to any team of professionals inbusiness: Stay informed, stay alert, and stay alive.” — Yep!

5. “It is imperative that you stress [to your team] that no issue will be addressed unless the author also includes a viable solution.” — Major General Ronald Bailey (USMC) imposes the same requirement onhis team. You don’t get to complain or bring up a problem without a number of possible solutions. This makes sense if you want to see firsthand descriptions of problems always accompanied by firsthand proposals for solutions. If you’re not there, you really end up counting on the person who is closest to the problem to ascertain a best probable solution. Makes sense!

6. “Challenge yur team to think outside the box, brainstorm, and create. Give them the responsibility and the latitude to be creative.” — Innovation, adaptation and improvement require creativity. It is an invaluable resource asset for any team. Take care of it!

7. “If you can find humor in a bad situation and joke about it, you will have a better chance of salvaging your attitude and coming out on top.” — Humor puts things in perspective, and opens up space for creative thinking and problem-solving. In addition, laughter activates physiological processes that reduce stress and the distracting, demoralizing and fatiguing effects of stress. Use humor like a medicine and a weapon!

I am preparing engaging leadership development modules, including practical exercises, for individuals and teams. If you or your team is interested in engaging with leadership development in a practical and meaningful work session, let me – Tom Delaney – know via e-mail to greatriverfitness@gmail.com. We’ll put it together and make it happen!

SERE Training Mobile Phase Video   Leave a comment

This is it! Land navigation! It combines physical fitness with developing the ability to think along multiple dimensions simultaneously – not just spatial, but chronological and situational as well. Perhaps unlike other phases of SERE, this is phase involves exercises and drills for skill development that you can participate in locally. If you or your team want to to improve your own skill level as well test your mental and physical limits with land navigation, contact me – Tom Delaney – at greatriverfitness@gmail.com and let me know. I will set you up with introductory training and a challenging course that will educate you, motivate you and give you a focus for future skill development.

MOTIVATIONAL MOMENT #4: JONATHAN SIEGRIST CLIMBING   Leave a comment

Hang with Jonathan Siegrist in this incredible climbing vid. If liberal wisecracks from Naropa University alumni bother you, have a kale chip and refocus on the unflinching commitment this guy brings to scaling the vertical! Besides, look at me…that’s right I’m a Macalester College alumnus with more clock hours on the meditation cushion than a commercial airline pilot, an impressive Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan record collection, several ethnic shirts — and I can still qualify for a security clearance! Always challenge your mind! Anyway…this guy has skills and hardcore commitment, check it out dude!

LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #6: ALWAYS CHALLENGE YOUR MIND   Leave a comment

Tonight I had an incredible leadership development experience. I completed an introductory metal welding course through a local art college – Vesper College. It may seem counterintuitive that metal welding, especially artsy metal welding, can be something that supports the personal capacity for leadership development, but let me share a few highlights with you. Let me start by asserting that three critical competencies for leadership are creativity, problem-solving, and adaptive ability.

During the course we completed a “conceptualization phase” activity which called on us to utilize our impressions and associations in naming a creative direction for what we were to construct from welded iron bars and thick wire. It was difficult for me to jump out of the rational thinking box and into a wider space of possibilities. Our activity consisted of naming our impressions of welded pieces, adding random words to the mix, taking associative feedback from other classmates, and finally naming our prospective welding project and creative direction. To be honest, I would appreciate more practice at it, because I can see how this mode of thinking is absolutely critical for thinking of something that either hasn’t been though of before or hasn’t been accomplished before. That’s the maelstrom of leadership.

The process of learning how to weld metal is a non-stop series of problem-solving situations. You start with two pieces of cold metal that won’t stick to each other, a cylinder of inert gas, some electrical and gas lines, and a vision in your mind of what you want to construct. That’s where the problem-solving starts. The iron bars need to be cut, the seam weld needs to be hot enough to hold the iron together but not so hot that I burn a hole through the pieces, etc. Needless to say, I burned my hand within the first 10 minutes (freshly cut iron is hot), burned a few holes through my iron bars, and never finished strong spot welds. Even so, the process of setting a vision and problem-solving my way toward it was a a true learning experience. At one point, my spot welds simply were not taking, and I felt like quitting and heading home as it was the scheduled end of class. Instead, I took 5 minutes, walked around, decided to stay after class since the instructor was keeping the studio open. I took a run at it again, this time finishing a decent enough spot weld. The process involved both technical problem-solving and adaptive problem-solving from me.

I started this whole process with an initial vision and plan. As I completed my project, some things did not work out as I had planned, and required me to be creative again and adapt. My final product was developed through a process of adaptation and evolution.

I walked out of the building tonight having engaged in a challenging creative mental process that got me out of my comfort zone, challenged me to define a personal vision, and work my way towards it through problem-solving and adaptation. The series of problem-solving challenges required both technical and adaptive solutions from me. I am a better leader because of this experience.

Want to work on your leadership ability? I’ll say “Always challenge your mind!” Get out of your comfort zone, seek new information and experiences that will require you to create, problem-solve and adapt in new ways. If you have an art school near you…think about it! Me? I’m going back for another class next month! Train hard, never quit, live well! – Tom Delaney (that’s me in the photo)

If you or your team would like to more meaningfully engage and work on the leadership principles of creativity, problem-solving and adaptation, contact me – Tom Delaney – at greatriverfitness.org to select or custom design individual or team training professional development designs.

Meditation and the Brain   Leave a comment

Check out this TED talk video featuring Harvard University’s Sara Lazar. Lazar uses brain imaging to demonstrate how meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving memory, attention and resiliency under stress. If meditation isn’t part of your training, you are missing out.

Practice Session for February 6, 2012   Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I posted up my own “workout” and in the past weeks I have really worked on establishing a daily “practice” as defined by Michael Murphy and George Leonard. My numbers are a little down perhaps owing to coming off the flu this past weekend, but anyway here’s my practice for today:

1. 30 minutes Taijiquan (24 Form)
2. 5K run with 20 lb weighted vest (approx. 30 min.)
3. Regular Perfect Push-ups: 10,4,5
4. Goblet Squat (20 lb): 6
5. BOSU Crunches: 10 Center, 10 Left, 10 Center, 10 Right, 10 Center
6. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 4
7. Wide Perfect Push-ups: 1,1,1
8. Perfect Push-up Mountain Climbers: 5
9. BOSU Flutter Kicks: 5
10. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 3
11. Narrow Perfoect Push-ups: 6
12. BOSU Star Jumpers: 30
13. BOSU Sky Jumpers: 30
14. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 1
15. Regular Perfect Push-ups: 6,2,2
16. Lunges (5 lb x 2): 3
17. BOSU Hello Dollies: —
18. Pull-ups with Leg Extension: 1,1
19. Chin-ups with Leg Extension: 1,2,1
20. Commando Pull-ups with Leg Extension: 1,1
21. Dips: 1,1
22. Stretching Cool-down
23. 15 minutes of sitting meditation
24. 5 minutes of walking meditation

Finishing up reading George Leonard’s The Silent Pulse.

– Tom Delaney, 6 February 2012