Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Finding Your Flow-the Optimal State for Great Performance

In my pursuit of a qualification in life coaching, I picked up a useful book called "Mastering Coaching", on Amazon, by a "guru" in the life coaching space, Max Landsberg. Glancing at the cover of the book I felt a little intimidated. The sub-topics included mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology and experiential learning. You see, I've been wondering whether some learning in neuroscience and psychology would boost my coaching career. After all, wasn't coaching to do with fixing the mindset of the coachee. 
My fear was quickly dispelled in the book when Landsberg made it clear that firstly, the findings in neuroscience are not completely foolproof, and secondly, coaches did not have to use the findings in their work. Indeed, coaches sometimes apply the principles anyway without understanding them. 
Landsberg demonstrates the findings of neuroscience in simple-speak and helps the reader see their uses and applications in coaching. Being new to these space I found myself drinking up the new knowledge being provided to me through this book. And my insecurities about the use of neuroscience and psychology (I'm not even sure if those words are supposed to be interchangeable!) began to fade away. 
I particularly enjoyed Landsberg's synopsis of the Csikszentmihlyi's Flow state,  proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihlyi (pronounced chick-sent-me-high). He was initially curious with the differing happiness in people who had much material wealth (generally not being very happy), and those who were absorbed with activities that brought little material wealth--such as artists, writers and composers. Mihaly (notice I'm using the easier name to spell) published his book called "Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play". 
Flow refers to the high emotional state that one is in when completely absorbed in an activity, so much so that time either stands still or rushes by to quickly. There is an internal ecstasy experienced during this moment. I've heard this phrase used by coaching guru Tony Robbins but never really understood what he was talking about. This book gives me a clue.  
Mihaly provides three suggested conditions that increase the likelihood of achieving flow, note the subtle caveat--increases the likelihood.  
1. A clear goal--knowing what exactly you will be achieving through the activity gives you focus and a proper measure of your progress;
2. Feedback--get clear and immidiate feedback regarding your performance. Each industry has its way of telling you your doing well and where you need to improve;
3. Skill v Challenge Balance--the challenge should not be too easy nor too hard, respecting your skill and competence. 
Understanding these prerequistes for achieving flow are very helpful both as a coach and coachee. Learning simple methods of getting yourself into the state required to execute a performance wee is invaluable. As a coach it provides a tool to helping your coaching achieve that state in their current situations, or changing their situations to discover their flow. 
If you're an aspiring coach, I recommend picking up Landsberg's book Mastering Coaching. I first thought that I wouldn't qualify for the book since I am not even a rookie coach.
But after just half-way through the book I am  convinced it is applicable for any level of coaching you may be in. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mastering Reading

It's cliche I know. 
But reading is so under-rated. Especially in today's social-media crazed world. Everywhere you turn people are staring at phones and tablets. Yes of course, they're reading. But really?
Recently I've rejuvenated my love for reading. I had to temporarily move out of my home country to revamp that habit. I hear of great people all the time who commit themselves to reading. Warren Buffet recommends a book a day. Tai Lopez reads a book a day. He gave a TED talk called "Why I read a Book a Day".
I don't know about speed reading but I'm willing to try it out. If you would like to do so to here's a useful resource that you may find useful. I'm going to try it out too. Imagine, if you could read a book a day, how much knowledge and wisdom could you fill you head with. 
I'd love to get to a place when I can read a book a day. But for now my reading goal is to read at least two books a month. 
Reading opens our minds to great ideas. It teaches us mistakes that have been made by others so we can avoid making them. Who was it that said "If I am able to see farther than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." We all have dreams of better lives. Of better relationships. Better performance. No, we dream of great lives, relationships and performances. But we seem to not know what to do about getting to that place. 
Here's the thing. People have achieved those things. They created for themselves great lives. Or at least people out there, in history and at present, are have beat the odds we current face, and have reached the goals that we also have for ourselves. 
People face all kinds of problem, and wreck their brains thinking of ways to solve or fix them, but all you need to do is read. 
Want to be successful in a particular field of study or calling. Read up on it! The world is full of useful knowledge (and useless knowledge too but let's talk about that later). You need to get out there and read up. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner -Brief review

A short review of The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner by Gerrie Dine Bii

Been reading a YA Series called, The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner all week and its really unique compared to the lot that's been coming out lately.

Giving it a 4/5 because I cant think of a reason why it should be 3/5.
If I were to describe it then the closest thing I can compare it to is The Lord of The Flies (a bit of World War Z too).

I think the three things that shaped my ideas for this story the most are: The books ENDER'S GAME and LORD OF THE FLIES, and the TV show LOST." ~James Dashner
Some fans of The Hunger Games say it's a copycat but let me assure you bookworms its NOT. That's what overlly obsessed fans would say. Anyway, I found it highly entertaining.
Im sorry that I cant give you a full summary. I'm afraid I might give away too much which would ruin the whole trilogy for you. Its better to enjoy it as it is. An amazing journey.
The Maze Runner Trilogy:
1. The Maze Runner
2. The Scorch Trials
3. Death Cure
*Prequel- The Kill Order*

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blurb Could be Better

It's really good to see a young PNG writer get his book published internationally. The chances for such an opportunity are very slim, as PNG young writers would note. So good on this author for landing the publication.

But I must say, reading the blurb at the back left me none too impressed. The grammar on the blurb was terrible. At the very least it put me off any serious consideration in buying the book. I'm not sure if the writer wrote the blurb or the editor of the book. In any case it didn't help in getting me interested. It's selling for quite a sum so buying it would be a gamble. So I would have to borrow it somewhere and read it before I can let myself buy it.

My post here is quite unfair considering I haven't read the book yet may have put off potential readers. But bookworms understand the value of the blurb. It's supposed to wet the appetite of potential buyers/readers. In this case it failed only that. 

I hope my low expectations can be lifted by a more informed reader.

Heavenise day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

America the Beautiful - Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great ––By Dr. Ben Carson (2012): Book Review By Amos T. Wama

I’ve thumbed through the pages of a New York Times Best Seller and great book, “America the Beautiful - Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great”, by Dr. Benjamin Carson (with his wife, Candy).

Dr. Ben Carson is a prolific writer and Thinker; he’d also penned two profound books, ‘The Gifted Hands” and “Take the Risk”. He’s also God’s greatest gift to this generation: a gifted brain surgeon. Currently he is the Director of Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery & Professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, U.S.A.

In February 2013, the Wall Street Journal–WSJ flaunted “Ben Carson for President” on its front page after Dr. Carson had intellectually ‘lectured’, President Barack Obama––my two role models in the same room––for 27 minutes straight during the ‘National Prayer Breakfast’ (07 Feb 2013). The speech became an instant hit and went viral on the internet. Considered the ‘New Conservative Folk Hero’ by many in the U.S., the devout Christian––who publicly declared ‘Jesus is my role model’––Dr. Carson had proposed logical, cost-effective policy options at the Prayer Breakfast.

Many of the ‘hot issues’ he addressed at the Prayer Breakfast are dealt comprehensively in this book––‘America the Beautiful.’ A brilliant student of history and intellectual powerhouse, Dr. Carson artfully canvasses a wide-array of issues––historical underpinnings of Europe’s current economic crisis and the lessons for the U.S.; political developments in U.S.; racism to which he’s nor bitter; capitalism; socialism; and America–a moral nation or not.  
Coming from a poor background: rough and tough neighborhood and, being raised by a single mum doing multiple low-paying jobs, Dr. Carson is understandably passionate about quality education being the ‘key to success in life’. An avid reader and lover of books from childhood, what he ‘discovered between the pages of books’ guided him to realize full potential, to becoming the person he is today.

‘Walking the Talk’ in education, he’d founded the Carson Scholars Fund 17 years ago which operated in all 50 states. The Fund awards US$1,000 college scholarships to students in grades 4-11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.

The multi–dimensional mind of a Neurosurgeon runs clearly throughout the book as it churns out innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to U.S.’s pressing problems: from affordable HealthCare for every U.S. citizen to reducing the nation’s mind-numbing national debt. Dr. Carson’s Biblically-based idea of ‘tithing’–everyone dips in 10% of gross income–as a fiscal public policy instrument to address U.S.’s national debt problem is simple, straightforward and could get traction among weary voters.

What I liked best in this book is Dr. Carson’s upfront, uncompromising stance on ‘political correctness–PC’. If allowed to fester undeterred, he correctly asserts, PC would stifle ‘freedom of speech, thought and association’; evidently fracking one of U.S.’s bedrock principals on which it stands.

A must-read book I highly recommend to anyone wishing to be ‘read in’ the mind of a fascinating Thinker and world-class Neurosurgeon.

© Amos T. Wama
    Geneva, Switzerland
    21 May 2013


Friday, April 19, 2013

Improve Your Reading Improve Your Career, Business and Personal Life

In this short post, I wish to tie the importance of reading to your job. 21st century is a highly phased competitive century according to historians. There is so much truth in this sentence. Walls of countries are breaking down, cultures are merging like never before, giving birth to strange cultures or way of life, some of which are good and some are out right confusing.

I mekim ol manmeri i go longlong na ron nambout olsem anis long rot. 
As organizations come to realize the challenges of 21st century market place, they tighten their grips on essential human skills that are necessary for day to day operation of their business or organizations. They demand you to have those skills. I was a divisional manager with a big oil palm company in Kimbe few months back and I am telling you from my experience. I use to hire and fire, and people skill was always a determining factor in the hire and fire process. 

Critical Human Skills for 21st century carrier and business success


Writing and speaking can’t do WITHOUT reading. That is why PNG Book Club puts every effort in nurturing reading culture in PNG. One time back in University of Natural Resource and Environment where I was attached a research scientist, a colleague of mine who was an academic there passed few soils report from 4th year degree students for me to read and mark. I made some very fascinating discoveries.  That some final year degree students can’t even differentiate between past and presence tense. This is really bad, I thought to myself. Why? Because they don’t read..Simple as that. You can hide and be lazy about reading but it will all show when open your mouth to speak or put pen to paper. 
Its gets harder and harder when you try to get a good job with poor reading, writing and speaking skills. Businesses survive because of people skills. Managers hire you for your skills. Your skills add value to the company to maintain competitive edge over others. YOU SEE IT NOW?.
Question: What happens if you don’t have these skills?  
Answer: More struggles for you.
Recommendation: Invest in yourself and get these skills, most of which are free. Read and read and read.

I became an author not because I studied language at UPNG. No. I became one because I committed my time into studying books and how they are written. You study accounting to be an accountant, right!
So if you want to be a good reader, study READING. If you want to be a good speaker, study SPEAKING and if you want to be a good writer, study WRITING.

That is all.

Click HERE to read more pf my similar self help articles on my Hub Pages site

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Understanding the power of words - LEVERAGE

Reading plays an important role in how we as individuals perceive the world. In the beginning there was word and the word became man. We read that in the bible. In the financial world, word is the most important thing to understand. Word makes or breaks business. Word makes or breaks contracts. Word brings millions into ones account or words take out just the same million. 

In the political structures, you will find word as just as important as it is in the financial world. I took a lot of time trying to define the word LEVERAGE in my articles published at Hub Pages, a site where I publish for online income. 

You will find that the world is moving too fast. It’s getting even easier for people to amass greater wealth than before. 

Let me give you an example. It took John D. Rockefeller long time to become a billionaire. Mark Zukerberg became a billionaire whilst in college. Mark understood the power of leverage and used it to his advantage.

Now leverage as defined by self-made millionaire and investor Robert Kiyosaki is doing more with less effort. I add and "getting better results".

Understanding the words and their powers is a leverage it itself for you to become what you dream to have in life. 

Reading is the way forward. It is the bridge that connects you to the knowledge and wisdom you wouldn’t have otherwise found. 

I once had a chat with Professor Yamamotto from Japan, whilst I was a student in College. This is what he said to me ;

“Young man, your word is more powerful than guns; you just have to know how to use it”

There is so much truth is what the prominent professor said. 

I hope this short blog gives you some boost in reading. 

Happy reading and happy learning