Personal Life Contracts

Personal Life Contracts – Being Accountable To Yourself
Joel Fotinos
Posted on: September 30, 2015
Interview Date: 5/28/2015
http://newdimensions.org/personal-life-contracts-being-accountable-to-yourself-with-joel-fotinos

Contracts are used to lay out expectations and responsibilities of the parties involved. We take them very seriously in business and law. Fotinos believes that we should take our own goals just as seriously and create personal contracts to hold ourselves accountable in our pursuit of excellence. His philosophy is that once we make clear the responsibilities for our part of the contract, we set success in motion. “Energy follows action. We can say what we want all day long, we can yearn, we can hope, we can read, we can understand it intellectually, but until action happens, nothing happens.” Fotinos shares his methods and ideas for committing to a Personal Life Contract, such as finding a group or person to connect with throughout the process. He further explains that there are different components in a contract and we can only control our part. When we do that, life or spirit will do its part. “Our side of the contract is to decide what it is, to get clear and then to make a decision, take action, be consistent and persistent.” He suggests that when we let go of control of the “how” and the “when” the results happen more quickly than we expect. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Bio
Joel Fotinos is a vice president at Penguin Random House Publishers and publisher of the Tarcher/Penguin imprint. He’s also a licensed minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living.

Joel Fotinos is the author and coauthor of several books including:
◦The Prayer Chest: A Novel About Receiving All of Life’s Riches (coauthor August Gold) (Doubleday Religion 2007)
◦Multiply Your Blessings: A 90 Day Prayer Partner Experience (Hampton Roads 2012)
◦Little Daily Wisdom: 365 Inspiring Bible Verses to Change Your Life (Paraclete Press 2009)
◦Think and Grow Rich Starter Kit (coauthors Napoleon Hill, August Gold) (Tarcher 2014)
◦The Think and Grow Rich Journey: Enhance and Enrich Your Path to Success (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2013)
◦My Life Contract: 90-Day Program for Prioritizing Goals, Staying on Track, Keeping Focused, and Getting Results (Weiser Books 2014)

To learn more about the work of Joel Fotinos go to http://www.joelfotinos.com.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:
◦ What is a Life Contract
◦ How can we create a Life Contract
◦ What is a Mastermind Partnership or Group
◦ What is the difference between your purpose and life’s purpose
◦ Why is it important to prioritize
◦ What is a contract map
◦ How can we stay on track and take the right actions
◦ What does it mean to be consistent and persistent
◦ What do we have to do every day during our contract
◦ Is the path to success linear
◦ What does it mean to be accountable

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/you-need-motivational-support-to-turn-that-knowledge-into-action

It must be right

Made With Code – Danielle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTPRBnCm12M

You’re sitting in a room and people say things.
I would think “I don’t know if I would have known that! But he said it so … strongly. It must be right, you know?”
It took me a long time to realize that these guys didn’t actually know any more than I did.
They just believed in what they thought.

related:
Ayah (littleBits)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h26A3s7fAHE

They did care more than you ever, ever realized

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead
August 07, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/08/07/335285098/rich-kid-poor-kid-for-30-years-baltimore-study-tracked-who-gets-ahead

Houser didn’t realize it at the time, but he thinks his parents did a pretty good job with him.
“There comes a point where … it was even before I had a kid, you realize they did a damn good job, and they actually did care more than you ever, ever realized, and that’s a powerful thing when you realize that,” he says.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/parent-values-peer-values]

the Hopkins researchers undertook a massive study. They followed nearly 800 kids in Baltimore — from first grade until their late-20s.

They found that a child’s fate is in many ways fixed at birth — determined by family strength and the parents’ financial status.

The kids who got a better start — because their parents were married and working — ended up better off. Most of the poor kids from single-parent families stayed poor.

Just 33 children — out of nearly 800 — moved from the low-income to high-income bracket.

JHU note:
http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/06/02/karl-alexander-long-shadow-research

a novel based in Baltimore:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/on-such-a-full-sea-a-fable

Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure

How Super Bowl Players Could Perform In The ‘Clutch’
February 06, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/06/133538954/How-Super-Bowl-Players-Could-Perform-In-The-Clutch

In his new book, “Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t“, New York Times business columnist Paul Sullivan studies some of the world’s best clutch performers like Billy Jean King, Tiger Woods and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

What are the traits in someone who you can fairly say won’t choke under pressure?

Mr. SULLIVAN: Yeah, and that’s where this book is fun and interesting to people beyond football fans. Because I found that regardless of what you do – whether you’re a football player, a golfer, or a litigator, or a businessperson or a parent – the five key traits are the same throughout, regardless of who you are.
And those traits are: Focus, discipline, adaptability, being present, and what I’d call the push and pull of fear and desire.
Those traits I found are in a particular order and they sort of -they run sequentially for people who are great under pressure.

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/performing-under-pressure

Johns Hopkins researcher explores the science of choking under pressure
http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/06/16/vikram-chib-reward-system-brain

The Social Animal

The Social Animal. David Brooks.

David Brooks Defines The New ‘Social Animal’
March 07, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/07/134329412/david-brooks-defines-the-new-social-animal

David Brooks has covered some of the most significant events in recent time.
Looking at the effects of these events from a broader view, Brooks began to think that perhaps other people besides policymakers — such as scientists, philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists — were the ones who had real insight on how people thrive, and what causes failure on such a large scale.

In Washington, D.C., which Brooks calls “the most emotionally avoidant city on Earth,” Brooks notes that decisions are made based on the assumption that people are cold, rationalistic individuals who respond to incentives.
Those assumptions didn’t quite match what the research in other fields began to illustrate, however.

“Scientists, philosophers and others were developing a more accurate view of human nature, which is that emotion is more important than reason, that we’re not individuals — we’re deeply interconnected,” Brooks says. “And most importantly … most of our thinking happens below the level of awareness.”
[related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/emotion-more-real-than-facts
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/reason-and-emotion-come-into-conflict]

Instead of relying on rational decisions, Brooks says, people tend to be influenced by their underlying, unconscious emotional state, which is in turn influenced by the social relationships surrounding them. For example, Brooks has covered education reform for 20 years and writes that he has seen little improvement from multitudinous policy changes.

“The reality of education is that people learn from people they love. But if you mention the word love at a congressional hearing, they look at you like you’re Oprah,” he says.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/kids-dont-learn-from-people-they-dont-like ]

Brooks emphasizes that what really matters in people’s lives today is how they relate to one another.
Scientists can now study an 18-month-old child interacting with his or her mother and predict with 77 percent accuracy whether the child will graduate from high school.
While Brooks cautions against letting these early signs determine a child’s future, as mentors or other strong relationships can intervene along the way, he stresses the importance of looking at the impact that emotional relationships have on our lives from the very beginning.

The most successful groups, he says, are the ones who take turns having a conversation and are good at signaling each other.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/enhance-your-resilience ]

related:
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/14/134240870/david-brookss-smart-messy-theory-on-everything

What’s New? Exuberance for Novelty Has Benefits

What’s New? Exuberance for Novelty Has Benefits
February 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/science/novelty-seeking-neophilia-can-be-a-predictor-of-well-being.html

novelty-seeking, a personality trait long associated with trouble … attention deficit disorder, compulsive spending and gambling, alcoholism, drug abuse and criminal behavior.

In the right combination with other traits, novelty-seeking is a crucial predictor of well-being.

“Novelty-seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy and fosters personality growth as you age,” says C. Robert Cloninger, the psychiatrist who developed personality tests for measuring this trait.
The problems with novelty-seeking showed up in his early research in the 1990s

“It can lead to antisocial behavior,” he says, “but if you combine this adventurousness and curiosity with persistence and a sense that it’s not all about you, then you get the kind of creativity that benefits society as a whole.”

Fans of this trait are calling it “neophilia

Robert Moyzis, a biochemist at the University of California, Irvine.
The mutations are more prevalent in the most far-flung populations, like Indian tribes in South America descended from the neophiliacs who crossed the Bering Strait.

genes, as usual, are only part of the story.
Researchers have found that people’s tendency for novelty-seeking also depends on their upbringing, on the local culture and on their stage of life.
By some estimates, the urge for novelty drops by half between the ages of 20 and 60.

Dr. Cloninger, a professor of psychiatry and genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, tracked people using a personality test he developed two decades ago, the Temperament and Character Inventory.
By administering the test periodically and chronicling changes in people’s lives over more than a decade, he and colleagues looked for the crucial combination of traits in people who flourished over the years — the ones who reported the best health, most friends, fewest emotional problems and greatest satisfaction with life.

What was the secret to their happy temperament and character?
A trio of traits.
They scored high in novelty-seeking as well in persistence and “self-transcendence.”
Persistence, the stick-to-it virtue promoted by strong-willed Victorians, may sound like the opposite of novelty-seeking, but the two traits can coexist and balance each other.

“People with persistence tend to be achievers because they’ll keep working at something even when there’s no immediate reward,” Dr. Cloninger says. “They’ll think, ‘I didn’t win this time, but next time I will.’

The other trait in the trio, self-transcendence, gives people a larger perspective.
“It’s the capacity to get lost in the moment doing what you love to do, to feel a connection to nature and humanity and the universe,” Dr. Cloninger says. “It’s sometimes found in disorganized people who are immature and do a lot of wishful thinking and daydreaming, but when it’s combined with persistence and novelty-seeking, it leads to personal growth and enables you to balance your needs with those of the people around you.”

She and Dr. Cloninger both advise neophiles to be selective in their targets.
“Don’t go wide and shallow into useless trivia,” Ms. Gallagher says. “Use your neophilia to go deep into subjects that are important to you.”

‘Self-Help Messiah’ Dale Carnegie Gets A Second Life

‘Self-Help Messiah’ Dale Carnegie Gets A Second Life In Print
by Maureen Corrigan
November 07, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/07/243466374/self-help-messiah-dale-carnegie-gets-a-second-life-in-print

“Make the other person feel important.”
“Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his.”
“Make people like you.”
Those are some of the peppy commands that have sent generations of Americans out into the world, determined to win friends and influence people — oh, and make big bucks.

see also:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/amy-cuddy-your-body-language-shapes-who-you-are