raised-hands-bdrAs I have said multiple times throughout the different sections of this site, one does not have to have a paying or nonpaying job that is traditionally thought of as a Common Good job or work for what is traditionally thought of as a Common Good employer to be contributing to the Common Good.  One can also lead their lives in a way that supports the Common Good—that is, provides positive benefits to the greater community and not just to yourself.  Again, you can see why that is the case, if you go back to the definition of the Common Good in the Welcome: An Introduction to this Site page: Common Good refers to any idea, plan, or actual deed that will benefit a community as a whole, and not just help a select few.

This section identifies ways that individuals can stay healthy and energized and working at peak strength in Common Good activities. Each of these sections will begin with a slide from programs I have done on Peak Performance Living.

I have used Charles Garfield’s *** Peak Performance: Mental Training Techniques of the World’s Greatest Athletes for much of my career to help job seekers and others I have coached understand the importance of mental preparation for anything one does.  Garfield introduces the power of volition, making a choice and engaging your will to make it happen through the creation of a Mission Statement.  Garfield describes a Mission Statement as follows: “By developing what peak performers call a sense of mission, a passionate belief in a personal philosophy that establishes the basis for setting goals, you can control your own energies and generate that special drive essential for excelling in your sport.”  It is a purpose, a passionate belief—not a simple goal.  I had to create a Mission Statement when I graduated from my Master’s degree program in Counselor Education in 1977.  The statement, which I still have on the wall in my office, is: “To help as many people as possible to live a life with which they are satisfied.”  That statement has shaped my decision-making around career and other choices I have made in my life, with my moving away from a choice if it did not allow me to be consistent with that Mission Statement. I would encourage you to create a Mission Statement using what you know about yourself along with what you might have learned about yourself as you moved through this site.

Garfield then provides suggestions about how to relax one’s mind, visualize success, and slow down so that one can move ahead.

You may be familiar with Stephen Covey’s best-seller, *** The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The key for me in his 7 Habits is the first—to be proactive—which he defines as, “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value…proactive people are driven by values—carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.”  Go back to Question Four in the Why You and Why the Common Good section:  What are your values and how do they connect to the Common Good?  This exercise is related to Garfield’s challenge to create a Mission Statement.  The clearer you are about your purpose and your values, the more likely it is that you will make decisions that support your Mission Statement.  Covey’s remaining 6 Habits can be just as powerful as you look to move ahead in your career.

There has been an explosion of books and other products that talk about enhancing brain functioning.  That is a great development.  The book I have chosen to use as a focus of my work with people who want to create a healthy body–mind regimen for themselves is called *** The Brain Training Revolution: A Proven Workout for Healthy Brain Aging by Paul E. Bendheim, MD.  The suggestions he makes impact not only the brain, but your body and your outlook on life.  He outlines in a very clear and thorough way how physical exercise, diet, mental exercise, sleep, and the lessening of stress through multiple means, including changing one’s attitude, can work toward increasing the health of your body and mind.  Whether you read Dr. Blenheim’s book or one of the hundreds of others that are out there, creating a lifestyle designed to enhance your physical and mental functioning will obviously increase your ability to contribute to the Common Good more effectively and over a longer period of time.

Part of this section on Resilience was also in the Approaching Organizations of Interest section under The 7th Key to Success.  It is repeated here because developing resilience is becoming increasingly important, as pressures on individuals mount in our increasingly interconnected world.

As I had mentioned earlier, Dr. Al Siebert wrote one of the most useful books on this topic, called *** The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks.  His research on resiliency is available at *** www.resiliencycenter.com.

Let’s look at each of the 5 Levels of Resiliency on the previous slide.

  • Level 1 – An optimal health plan is laid out in detail.  Siebert says, “To remain healthy, your body needs time when your heart rate slows down, digestive processes increase, and the complex activities of your immune system increase…You will manage your emotional reactions in emotionally competent ways, gain control over events in your life that affect you, and be able to create a positive, supportive, healthy environment for yourself.”
  • Level 2 – Three kinds of intelligence and how to use them are outlined:
    • Analytical Intelligence: logic, reason, and abstract thinking used to solve familiar problems
    • Creative Intelligence: used to invent unusual solutions in new and unfamiliar circumstances
    • Practical Intelligence: applied to solving situational, real-life problems.  People who are ‘street smart’ are individuals who have practical intelligence, although they may use logical and creative thinking as well.“When you follow steps for effective problem solving, you not only solve problems better than most, you develop self-con