Do you have a 10X mindset?

EXPY Awards

Last April, our Bookphoria team had the honor of attending the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers EXPY® Awards in New York City. It was a powerful two-day event of education, networking with leading business experts, as well as the recognition of our achievements.

We got to learn from the best minds in business: the world-renowned Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan, best-selling author and guru of personal and professional development Brian Tracy, businessman, motivational speaker and President of High Point University Nido Qubein, as well as Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington. What distinguishes all these remarkable leaders is the 10X mindset. Dan Sullivan talked about the difference between 10X mindset of abundance and 2X mindset of scarcity. Can you believe that 10X is easier than 2X? According to Dan Sullivan, the 10X components that create the abundance spiral are:

  • gratitude,
  • creativity,
  • cooperation,
  • exponentials,
  • ingenuity,
  • opportunity.

Our mission at Bookphoria is to make sure that all our cutting-edge, research-based solutions for multimedia interactive learning reflect such 10X mindset, generating more abundance spirals for our clients. We design learning environments for the multisensory world to nourish the senses, nurture the mind and sharpen skills.

What would a 10X mindset mean for your business?

Speaking of multisensory experiences, we have some fun photos to share from the EXPY® Awards. Click HERE to see the photos.

Here is a video of me receiving a Speaker EXPY award:


By | 2014-06-26T19:54:13+00:00 June 11th, 2014|Change, Peak Performance, Public Speaking|0 Comments

My guest appearance on The Brian Tracy Show [Video Interview]

Last November, I had the honor of appearing as a guest on The Brian Tracy Show. I wrote about the amazing experience of meeting Brian Tracy, a legend of personal and professional development, and shared some photos from the event in my earlier blog post. Now I have the video portion of our interview:

Want to develop your own multimedia course based on your book or expert content? Sign up for our complimentary consultation at http://bookphoria.com/register-for-your-complimentary-consultation/

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The uncertainty and thrill of exploring mountains and minds: My travel insights from Sun Valley.

Video link: http://youtu.be/3OMRh31b0fk

I have just returned from beautiful Sun Valley, ID. A famous ski resort in the winter time, the place transforms itself as the sun starts heating up the mountains in the summer. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, golf, and an amazing outdoor skating rink are just a few attractions that make it an ideal summer vacation spot for those who enjoy an active lifestyle and outdoors.

Last year when I was there, I went on a few hiking trails near the resort. This year, I decided to be more adventurous and explore the Bald Mountain.  I chose a fairly easy trail: 5 miles of hiking up the mountain, stopping for lunch at a restaurant up there, and taking a gondola down.  That was my plan.

A few hours into the hike, I somehow missed the turn to the connector that would take me to the restaurant and the gondola. Instead, I found myself on a different trail.  For a while, everything seemed fine. The views were gorgeous. I was moving up the mountain on a narrow path. At one point I could see a town at the bottom of the mountain and some remnants of a forest fire. Then, all of a sudden, I saw mountain bikes coming down on the same path.  It was a steep way up and an abrupt drop down, so there wasn’t really a place for me to step aside. I had to plaster myself against the mountain to let them pass me. It didn’t feel very safe. That was my first red flag. The path was curving around the mountain, and as I was marching up, I thought that maybe, after that next curve, I will finally see the gondola.   But after walking around several curves, I still couldn’t see anything.  A few more bikes passed me on the way down. I asked one of them about the gondola, to which he replied, “There is no gondola up there. If you keep going for 5 or 6 more miles, you will reach the summit.”  At that point I realized I was on a wrong trail.  So, I had to turn back and retract my steps.

On my way back, I saw the turn I missed.  It was a little over a mile to the gondola.  It was getting late, after 4pm, and my lunch plans were long forgotten. As I was moving along, I was wondering when the gondola would stop running.  Will I have to hike all the way down after finally making it to the right spot? When I reached the gondola, I saw it was moving. I asked the man when they closed.  He said, “Now.”  It was 5 minutes after 5pm.  I barely made it down.

It all ended well, and it was quite an adventure. I want to share with you today two insights inspired by my exploration, which are also applicable to business.

First, don’t show up as a stranger, be an explorer. Being an explorer requires some advance preparation. As speakers, teachers, and trainers, we often travel to different locations to deliver our messages. Your message may be the same wherever you go, but today, I encourage you to find your way to connect to the place and get to know it better.  Think about how you can bring more local elements into your presentation to make it more relevant and exciting to your audience. Just like Sun Valley transforms itself from season to season, offering something new to its visitors, you can build a faster connection if you change your content to include local stories, illustrations, local businesses, or known personalities with local roots.  The Internet makes it easy to learn about the place before you go there so take advantage of it. Read a few local newspapers. Talk to people from the area on social media. You can even include some visual hallmarks into your presentation. Show that you care about the place, its culture, and its people, and your audience will respond with more trust and enthusiasm.

Second, when you are in that “explorer” mindset, you have to be flexible and open to receive quick feedback and fine-tune your approach. Exploration offers both the inherent uncertainty and the thrill of something new and exciting.  You have to balance the two. Just like I felt on that mountain, when you make a decision to take a certain path, it is so compelling to stay on it. But in a new context or uncertain situation, you have to watch for the signs. When you work with a different type of audience or in a new culture, don’t be afraid to test your new material and make adjustments as a result.  When you take the risk of changing your content and offering something new – a new story or activity – you don’t always know how it will land with your audience. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. The cost of failure grows exponentially, the longer you wait. You don’t want to hike 10 more miles only to discover that you have to spend the night on the mountain. You want to notice red flags, turn around and find a better way quickly. If you can balance the uncertainty of something new and the thrill of it, you can create a much more memorable experience for your audience.

Don’t be predictable and boring, be aware and exploring!

P.S. Getting lost in the mountain was not the only thrill I experienced in Sun Valley. I also attended a fantastic show called “Sun Valley on Ice” that featured 3-times U.S. Gold Medalist, World Bronze Medalist and twice-Olympian Johnny Weir. As a guest blogger, I shared my experience, photos and videos of the event here

bald mountain

By | 2013-08-21T19:32:02+00:00 July 17th, 2013|Change, Communication, Public Speaking|0 Comments

The Game of Conflict: Rules, Reactions, Roles, Ramifications, and Rewards.

The Game of ConflictSometimes Twitter randomness can spark an idea that is worth exploring beyond 140 characters.  Reading “A different way to game,” in which  developer Jason Rohrer explains how video games can be used to challenge our perceptions of the world, followed by a Twitter conversation with @TriciaLewis, @idealawg, @CINERGYCoaching and @BenZiegler, led me to ponder a question of approaching conflict as a game.

When we say someone “is playing games,” it typically has a negative connotation of manipulating people.  Yet, I would argue that every conflict has a game in it.  Games excite the brain because they offer novelty, control, rituals, status enhancement and rewards – all things that our brains like.  The game of conflict has its own components:

Rules are patterns of human behavior that can be either consciously encouraged or implicitly assumed by the participants in conflict. Rules are fundamental because our brains work like prediction machines, recognizing patterns, making predictions, and fine-tune expectations to better fit the outcomes.  Clashing sets of rules increase the likelihood of tensions and misunderstandings.  Parties may not even be aware of the patterns that govern their interactions as those patterns may be coping strategies or learned responses that are subconscious and automatic.  Examples of such rules may be “Withdraw when feel offended” or “Defend the need to be perfect.” To manage conflict effectively, parties need to uncover those implicit rules and negotiate new more productive forms of engagement.

Rules prompt parties’ specific reactions.  For example, the rule “Defend the need to be perfect” may cause someone to dismiss valuable critique or play safe and avoid challenging assignments. Reactions are observable while rules may not be obvious.  In order to change their reactions, parties may have to become aware of the underlying rules first.

Playing by the rules often leads parties to assume certain roles, such as the victim, aggressor, skeptic, conformist, rebel, etc.  The longer we play a particular role, the more familiar it becomes.  Parties develop scripts and expectations around the roles they play.  Their identities and the sense of self may become inseparable from their roles.

Parties’ behavior patterns in conflict have ramifications, or negative consequences.  Damaged relationships, poor workplace morale and performance, personal unhappiness, and social isolation are all examples of ramifications in the game of conflict. Parties rarely choose these consequences on purpose, but they cannot disengage from them as long as the dysfunctional patterns continue.

Every repeated behavior also has its rewards.  Anger or aggression, no matter how damaging, may be used as a way to gain autonomy and control.  Assuming the mindset of a perpetual victim may absolve the party of the need to take responsibility for the situation or to change.  It is important to understand what we gain from a pattern if we want to change it. Immediate gains are more appealing to the brain than long-term benefits.  Parties may have to look for better ways to get the same benefits or trade the immediate reward for a different benefit.

The conflict management process allows parties to examine each component of the game of conflict and develop a new game with the desired goals and new behavior patterns in mind. The template of rules, reactions, roles, ramifications, and rewards can also be used in conflict management training to design conflict simulations and … games, of course.

What game components do you see in conflicts?

By | 2012-03-28T18:29:10+00:00 March 28th, 2012|Change, Communication, Conflict Management|0 Comments

10 ways to gamify your thinking to make it better

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
~ Plato

Have you ever played with kaleidoscopes – those tubes of mirrors with colorful beads?  You turn and shake them, and the stones form different patterns, reflecting off the mirrors.  Our minds can be like kaleidoscopes.  We receive the same pieces of information, but they get reflected off the mirrors of our experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and form our own, unique patterns of understanding.  We can use play to shake up some old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us to improve our thinking and decision-making.

Play delights the brain. Some neuroscientists believe that play is a central part of neurological growth and development. Play allows children to build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept, and cognitively flexible brains.  Play has also been identified as one of the primal emotional systems of animals through brain stimulation.  Many believe adults can also benefit from play as a way to boost creativity, imagination, and decision-making.

As adults we become overly concerned with the opinions of others.  The fear of embarrassment and social rejection inhibits our creative expression.  Play can relax the brain and make it easier for us to take risks and experiment.  Play helps us prepare for the unexpected and produce a more diverse repertory of behavior.  When we play, a part of the brain that is involved in self-restraint and evaluation – the inner critic – is powered down, allowing for a fuller expression.

Through role playing, we can put ourselves into different kinds of experiences, learn to better understand other perspectives, and cultivate empathy.  Finally, play is also a ritual with its sets of rules and scripts.  As with any ritual, play sets expectations for a certain kind of behavior and prompts the brain to give commands in accordance with these expectations. Here is how you can gamify your thinking to make it better:

  1. Connect the dots to solve your life’s puzzles. Scan your past for repeating behavior patterns, causes and effects.  Learning is the anchor of our experiences, both good and bad.  Without it, we are just drifting through life.
  2. Remove the invisibility cloak: you can’t change what you can’t see.  Develop self-awareness.  Pay attention to context.
  3. Play hopscotch with your own stream of thoughts: know where to land and what to overlook.
  4. Master Jeopardy: your power lies in the questions you ask.  The answer is always closer than you think.
  5. Find your good luck charm. The belief anchored in a symbolic object may cause you to perform better.  The power of suggestion makes the brain respond as if it were true, triggering a placebo effect.
  6. Be a  storyteller. Nothing captivates a human brain more than a good story.  Stories engage us on the emotional level.  Experiences accompanied by strong emotions are more memorable.  When the story resonates with the listener, the brains of the speaker and listener may synchronize, suggesting a deep human connection.
  7. Use a box to think “outside the box.”  Acting out creativity metaphors makes us more creative.
  8. Think on your feet, literally. Let your body guide you when you need to make a decision.  If you experience muscle tension, a “pit” in stomach, or a sudden headache, perhaps, your body is telling you that you are moving in a wrong direction.
  9. Play dress-up.  Clothing affects not only other people’s perception of us, but also our own thoughts.  For example, if you need to pay more attention to detail, you may want to don a scientist’s white lab coat.
  10. Sharpen your thinking through doodling. Doodle, sketch, illustrate your ideas.  Pictures are easier for the brain to process and remember.  Get inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s illustrated to-do list.