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Want To Stand Out From The Crowd? You Need To Have This Performer Mindset First

Want To Stand Out From The Crowd? You Need To Have This Performer Mindset First

You’ve been given an unsavory assignment by your boss, which technically is her job to complete, and you’re a little less than enthusiastic about getting it done. You put it off for a couple of days to tackle your “real work,” intending to get back to it when you have a moment. A few days later, your boss stops by your desk and informs you that she urgently needs the report to be on her desk by 2:00 PM that day. It’s 11:30 AM. You begin working on it but slowly begin to realize that it is way more involved and detailed than you anticipated. You haphazardly scurry around and manage to throw something together that is sloppy and only half accurate —at best—and run to her office at 1:59 PM to try to hand it to her.

She grabs her blazer, breezes past you and tells you to just bring the report with you to the meeting—and then informs you that you will assist her in walking the senior staff through the report. Your heart sinks. Doom sets in, and you suddenly feel sick…

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If only you had known that this report was so important, you would have not only put together a report that was polished and accurate, you would have also ensured that everything from the front cover of the report to the index was a phenomenal work of art.

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And therein lies the solution… Always consider yourself a performer and your work an art form.

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The performer’s mindset

Performers and artists are deeply connected to their art forms. Their primary goal is to capture the hearts of their audience members and to “wow” them. They expend copious amounts of energy and time producing a masterpiece for each and every one of their creations or performances. They are delicately intertwined in their work, and they take pride in pouring their heart and soul into each and every performance and creation. They are perfectionists.

Taking on a performer’s mindset benefits you in three distinct ways:

  1. It helps you to become mentally and emotionally engaged in what you are doing. This is so important to producing high-quality work for any purpose. You must be fully engaged and mentally and emotionally invested in what you are doing in order to really deliver. Consider an actor’s portrayal of a character. The actor sells the audience on the character by connecting to the character and essentially becoming who they are portraying. In that moment, they are the character. In order to connect to the mundane, everyday, run of the mill tasks associated with any job, being able to view yourself as a performer or an artist allows you to become fully present in what you are doing.
  2. It reminds you to always do your best. This is one lesson most of us learned early in life, and it is also the one lesson we abandoned the quickest as well. Doing your best all the time is tough. Envisioning yourself as a performer changes your mindset about your work. When you see yourself differently, you see what you do differently. There is a passion and pride that comes with performing and producing art. When you learn to summon that inner passion and pride, you take average, everyday tasks and turn them into the extraordinary. Your work stands out, and so do you.
  3. You become outcome-driven. When you think like a performer, you work to produce. You sacrifice and extend yourself for the sake of the art. You exist to create, and you are unsatisfied with mediocrity and with products that are merely passable. You take into account all aspects of the performance or artwork, from the overall aesthetics of the final presentation to the most minuscule of details, which most people will never see. You not only give your audience a work of art and a stellar performance, you give them you. Which is what they really want.
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Denise Hill

Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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