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Archive for July, 2011

Does Imagining a Goal Make You Less Likely to Achieve It?

July 28th, 2011
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A common theme among self-help teachings and new age spiritual ideas, such as The Secret, is that you have the power within you to make your “dreams” come true by focusing your mental energy, your “intent” on them. Then, they will come to you. But some new research claims that doing so can actually make you less likely to achieve what you wish for.

The research says that fantasizing about achieving goals makes you less likely to achieve them because it drains the energy you need to pursue them. I think the research is as flawed and distorted as The Secret and similar teachings, but for very different reasons. Let’s take a look.

This study, from New York University’s Motivation Lab, found that “positive fantasies” predict poor achievement because they don’t generate the energy to pursue the desired future. That is, if you create idealized images of future outcomes, your fantasized ambitions are less likely to become reality. That’s because positive fantasies are de-energizing.

The research contains so many confused ideas and faulty assumptions that it’s hard to know where to begin. But it does, indirectly, open a door to understanding some important elements for turning your goals into reality. Read more…

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Psychological health in a post-globalized world, Work & Career "4.0" , , , ,

How To Deal With Abusive Bosses And Unhealthy Management With “Engaged Indifference”

July 12th, 2011
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In my previous post I described how abusive bosses and psychologically unhealthy management harm both employees and business success, and I explained that such behavior in the workplace is increasingly dysfunctional in today’s highly interconnected, interdependent economic and social environment. This follow-up piece offers some suggestions for dealing with such situations when you find yourself within them.

Many people struggle to find ways to better cope when subjected to unhealthy, abusive management. Often that means learning stress management techniques. They can be helpful, especially when you don’t think any alternatives exist. But ultimately, they aren’t enough. However, reframing how you envision your situation to begin with can open the door to proactive, positive actions in the situation you feel trapped in.

Cathy’s example contains some ways you can do that. She was at mid-level in her company and had a record of steady promotion. At one point, senior leadership in her area changed abruptly, and she was now reporting to a newly appointed boss. “I’m here to shake things up,” he told everyone when he took over. “Everyone’s job is on the line.”

Cathy’s assessment of her new boss was that he didn’t really know her area of expertise, nor was he very interested in learning about it. Nevertheless, he freely criticized her work. Moreover, he kept sitting on a promotion that she had been in line for.

It wasn’t just her: Her boss stirred up much resentment among others because of his arrogant, controlling, dismissive style. When Cathy researched something he had requested and presented it to him, he exploded, Read more…

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Midlife Conflict and Renewal, Psychological health in a post-globalized world, Work & Career "4.0" , , , , ,