Your Mantra of the Future

One of the fun concepts my co-author Michael Couch and I introduce in our soon to be released book, Strategy Driven Leadership (here is our new cover!) is the idea of using mantras to help people find short cuts that change behavior and are easy to remember.

In working with one leader who tended to jump in and problem solve for his team before they even had a chance to finish their presentation, his mantra became “shut-up and listen” that he told himself in meetings. That simple phrase prompted him to pay attention to what others were saying before he gave his opinion.

Our intentional use of mantras or rules of thumb builds off the neuroscience that an individual will more likely achieve a difficult goal or learn a new skill if they specifically prepare in advance for a particular situation. Swedish psychiatrist and neuroscientist, David Ingvar described this unique human capacity as our ability to build “memories of the future.” By thinking about how we construct the future and then remembering it later actually we are interestingly accessing memories of the past (when we created a perspective on how we want our future to be) as we create that upcoming part of our life!

Mantras help us create that compelling memory of the future which refines and reinforces our upcoming behavior.

Your Challenge this Week: Think about something upcoming for you and how you want it to play out. Create a mantra that will help you recall the outcome you want to achieve and use your “memory of the future” to help you achieve it.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2019


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