Posts Tagged ‘conditioned behavior’

Are You Suffering from Soul Starvation?

Yesterday I had two  telephone calls. The first one was with a past client who started sharing some of her recent challenges.  This client is a dynamic, forward thinking leader who is having some physical challenges due to anxiety.  I shared I had heard similar stories from other clients and asked her:  Is this issue one of soul starvation?



The second call was from a deal colleague and trusted friend.  She too appeared to be having some challenges and again I brought up the issue of “soul starvation.”

Possibly to understand this concept helps by reading these three books:

  1. The On Purpose Person by Kevin McCarthy
  2. Start with the Why by Simon Sinek
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Neither of the first two books are religious in their content.  Rather both address the issue of purpose.  McCarthy’s book exposes the reader to the concept of “being on purpose.”  Sinek’s book drills down further and helps the reader to understand the very essence of purpose, that being the why. Frankl’s book provides more practicality about these concepts of purpose and why as he shared his experience in living through the Nazi concentration camps.

What makes human beings unique is we do have a soul, an essence of who we are that transcends simple words.  Some people to cure what ails them seeks psychotherapists while others go for run to clear their minds and some engage in yoga or other stress reliving behaviors.

Now some may disagree about this concept of soul and that is okay.  What I have discovered is those clients who have been brought up with some religion, some sense of spirituality require a re-connection with those experiences.  Until that re-connection happens, there is still imbalance in their lives.  Anxiety is present because for whatever the reason they have created internal, unrealistic judgments.

Human beings are also creatures of conditioned behavior.  Our brains are control centers with a designed purpose to function using the least amount of energy.  That stored energy is for those fight or flight moments still embedded into our DNA.

Whose to say our souls are not also conditioned?  When we as young children experience a spiritual or religious practice, we began feeding ourselves with that nourishment.  As we grow, many of us have a tendency to leave the “church,” “temple” or “synagogue.” Then later in life many of us return to those spiritual roots seeking nourishment.  Of course we probably don’t think our soul has been starving, yet my sense is that is exactly what has happened.

When there is a lack of balance in all aspects of our lives, we may seek the quick fix which does more harm than good.  The quick fix is a temporary solution and leaves our soul more depleted than when the solution was first implemented.

Now some may feel this talk of soul is the last a blog about leadership, small business and sales should be addressing.  Yet after listening to my client and colleague, I am more convinced “soul starvation” is real and possibly reaching epidemic proportions.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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To Change How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take?

Changing our behaviors, our beliefs, requires us to take risks.  Some of those risks are minimal while other push us to our own personal endurance.

riskWe hear about extreme athletes who challenge their own physical limits. They are in a continued state of risk taking between the environment and knowing what their bodies and minds can endure.

Risks go beyond the physical dangers and extend into mental, emotional, financial  and even spiritual areas of individuals.

With the passing of the 4th of July here in the US, we are reminded of our Founding Fathers, 56 men,  who signed the Declaration of Independence.  All of these individuals put their lives on the line along with the lives of their families and probably some of their friends.

Weekly we hear about men and women who place themselves in danger to help others.  Sometimes we are not surprised because these individuals are in the military or in civil roles such as policemen or firemen. Then at other times, these risk-takers are average citizens who are just helping out other average citizens.

The challenge we all face is our brains fight change because change requires additional energy consumption and it is much easier to stay the status quo.  Human beings are creatures of conditioning. This conditioned behavior works to allow us to be more efficient yet works against use when we realize we want something else.

To leave the current status quo requires asking this question:

To change how much risk are you willing to take?

No one else can answer that question, only you and you alone.

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Are You Living By Default?

Yesterday I spoke to a professional colleague who admitted she was “living by default.” I had never heard life expressed that way. She went on to explain how she took events as they came and handled them. I had several questions for her:


  • How does this behavior leverages and maximizes your limited resources of time, energy money and emotions? Response was “I don’t know.”
  • How does this behavior give you the results in you want in the time frame you want? Response was I don’t know and probably not.
  • What results do you think you could achieve if you stopped “living by default” and began  “living by intentional and purposeful actions?” Response was probably a lot more with a lot less stress.

This individual is not alone. So many people live with the default behaviors of life.

How many times do we rely on default behaviors?

For example, someone upsets us and we may immediately react through default behavior by yelling, being sarcastic to verbally demeaning.  And this type of behavior moves us closer to our desired results?

Or we continue to make paper piles on our desks and never really get to them because our default behavior is “I’m too busy.”

Default behavior is very much connected to conditioned behavior. Think Pavlov’s dog.

We allow a stimulus automatic response without any intentional, conscious thought.

We become tangled in our own muddled emotions and allow the fear or flight responses to take over.

Yes there is a lot of living by default.

How sad because how much more could be accomplished by refusing to hit the default key?

If you truly want to stop living by default for yourself personally or for your small business,  then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of where you are

#2 – One growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call at 219.759.5601 especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.



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Have Any Good Conversations with Your Brain Lately?

Each day we have good conversations with others and yet the most important good conversation we should be having is the one we fail to have. Maybe that is because talking to yourself is considered somewhat suspect to even being a personality disorder. Of course, no one said that good conversation with yourself, with your brain,  had to be out loud.

Your brain, that 3 pounds of of tissue and muscle with neurons firing thousands of time each second not to mention being the repository for all your past experiences and emotions, is the single most important factor in your life.

Henry Ford probably said it the best “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot it, either way you are correct.”

The brain, your thoughts, is your springboard for success. However it must be used and not just through reactionary or conditioned thoughts such as when driving down the highway, not even speeding and you see a police car. What usually happens? Your foot hits the brake even though you were not doing anything wrong. Conditioned, reactive reflex behavior is part of each of us and wired into our primitive grains from the still existing flight or fight response.

Brains take an incredible amount of energy to do what they need to do. Therefore by design, brains look to conserve any bit of energy and conditioning is one of the most common ways to conserve brain energy. In other words, our brains probably would rather not have those conversations because that energy could be saved and used elsewhere.

Reflective thinking can be a conditioned behavior, but requires time and a commitment by you. By asking yourself what went well today, what did not go as well as it could have, what you may need to do differently, what you are proud of, are all questions good conversations with your brain should include. Yes you can develop your brain to be more reflective through good conversations.

Invest the time to have a good conversation with your brain. Who knows, you just may be surprised by the results?

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