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Breakthrough
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Breakthrough
Newsletter
VOLUME VIII ISSUE NO. 3 | MARCH 2016 
I am thrilled to announce I will be appearing on the "Life Out Loud with Junie Moon" internet show. Come be a fly on the wall as we dive into real conversations about topics that matter.
 
I will be speaking about Beyond Mindfulness: Optimal Performance through Conscious Living with her on April 14. I would love for you to join us.  Click here to sign up for this free presentation.


Optimal Performance: Knowing 
Who You Are
By George Pitagorsky

Have you ever experienced being in flow, fully immersed in a complex activity like writing or reading, dancing, singing, listening, walking, solving a problem, communicating, playing in a sport, doing yoga, running or just sitting. You are an actor, playing your role. There is no director; no script. It's performance time. Everything is just happening. There is a sense of clarity and expansiveness. YOU have vanished. Performance in these moments is as close to perfect as it gets.
 
How often do you experience such moments? How often could you be experiencing them?
 
Flow can be cultivated. Imagine being completely immersed without distraction in whatever you do for increasingly longer periods of time. You would experience optimal performance, free of unnecessary stress.
 
Some say this is Nirvana, our natural state, free of the things that get in the way of being all we can be.
 
Practical Relevance
"What are we beyond the personalities we have constructed....?
What is our true identity?" 
[1]

Does contemplating such questions make a difference in the way we live our lives? Are they relevant to the cultivation of flow?
 
The answer is yes. Self-identity is the single most significant influence of behavior and of the way a person feels about his or her life. It is at the heart of being in flow. The disappearance of YOU that takes place in flow is a key to optimal performance.

Is There an Identity Beyond Ego?
So, what is self-identity? Is there is an identity, an "I" beyond personality or individual ego?
 
For anyone willing to investigate, it becomes clear that it is very hard, if not impossible, to find a single self-identity. As soon as you ask the question, "Who am I?" You are faced with the question "Who or what is asking?" It's like looking into a mirror facing another mirror. There is you looking at you looking at you, on and on. Physics tells us that at some point the images become increasingly fuzzy until they become photons and then become totally absorbed.

When you identify yourself with your profession, as in "I am a doctor or a student", you quickly realize that you are not your profession. You have a gender identity, an identity as child or parent or both, you identify as a member of an ethnic group, religion, and/or of a nation. You might be all of these and, yet are not fully defined by any of those labels.
 
An Actor's Mask
Interestingly, the word personality is derived from the Latin word persona which refers to a mask worn by an actor portraying a role. The actor is taking on the personality of his or her character.
 
Are you your personality? Personality is the collection of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that makes you unique as an individual. It is influenced by psychological and physical factors. Psychologists generally agree that personality is relatively consistent across a person's life, though it is subject to change. If your personality changes do you stop being you?
What happens when you start to pull apart the traits that define your personality? Are you your shyness or aggressiveness? Are you your tendency to boil over or be fearful? Your greed or your aversions? Your thought patterns? Your feelings? Are any of these traits permanent? Do they have any real substance or they just part of a continuously changing process?
 
Are you your personality? Is that the real you, your True Identity? Or, is it a mask that is covering something more fundamental?
 
What is left when you drop away the labels and the identification with your personality traits?

What is True Identity?
What is your "True Identity?" Some say there is no True Identity. Some say True Identity is Christ or Buddha nature or pure awareness. Some say it is a soul. There is no definitive answer. It seems that as soon as we give it a name it becomes just another identity that is being observed and labeled by another "I-dentity".
 
The question is enough. By asking it, you give yourself permission to go beyond self-inflicted limitations to discover an identity that allows you to be all you can be, and you will see what that is when you experience it.
 
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe", a part limited in time and space He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest...a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." [2] Albert Einstein
 
Practically speaking, you do have a unique identity. However, that identity is impermanent, not fully satisfying and without any solid ongoing foundation or substance.
 
Identifying with something beyond your personality and roles sets you free from being driven by your thoughts and emotions. It takes away unnecessary constraints. It opens your mind and heart.
 
Being a Competent Human
The freedom Einstein refers to is the central factor in being a competent human being.
 
The reactive behavior that stems from being driven by emotions and the need to continuously reinforce the sense of a solid "I" is counterproductive. Regardless of your intention, reactive behavior is unlikely to help to achieve it.

Take for example a person on a team. If that person is self-centered and does not expand his identity to include the team and the organization it is in, he is likely to be self-serving rather than being able to forgo some personal gains to benefit the group. He can collaborate and compromise.
 
The bottom line is to strike the right balance between your sense of individuality and the recognition that any identity is a mask. Then you can increasingly experience flow and the optimal performance it brings.

__________________________

[1] WisdomAtWork.com Joel and Michelle Levey, Feb 29 2016
                                            
2016 George Pitagorsky                                                 Top
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness

Open-minded: 

questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 
Mindful:
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

 Learn More
Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.

 

Read More
The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

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