• Core

In this TEDx Talk, Mike Vaughan explains a correlation between asking "how" questions, the process of learning, and the ability of teams to adapt and solve problems. Vaughan's company, The Regis Company, applies neuroscience to create business simulations for teaching questioning and learning skills. As the video describes, their basic model juxtaposes "What" questions with "How" questions. Vaughan explains:

"When people have a lot of 'what to think' training and they're placed in these simulations and they're confronted with the problems that they face in the real world, most participants resorted to guessing…when we give them more data, tools, checklists, choices, their decision-making did not improve. If anything, it got worse."

Vaughan has discovered that top performers use language well in order to ask deeper questions. He has found that these top performers are able to suspend judgement in order to understand someone else's perspective, reducing conflict, developing a common language, and creating a shared vision. He also discovered that deeper questions can evoke powerful feelings such as uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and stress. Furthermore, he's discovered that those top performers who embrace and understand that these feelings are part of the natural learning process are the ones who can create an adaptive, collaborative learning environment.

I'm reminded of the Empowered Wealth concept "The Empowering Question", asking "Can I" or "How might I" instead of engaging in positive affirmations. Vaughan's talk adds additional insights into what might become a more empowering decision-making process.


  • Core

I went fishing yesterday with a group of wealth managers. Yesterday, the U.S. stock market as measured by the major stock indexes dropped over 3%. I noticed that there was a distinct difference in reactions to the stock market's fall between those wealth managers who weren't going to allow themselves to feel anxious about circumstances beyond their control and those who couldn't control their own anxieties and worries over the market and especially what their clients might do. It was the difference between being present, enjoying the experience of being outdoors in nature, or not. It was also the difference between enjoying life or being anxious and preoccupied.

I know that some of these wealth managers will return to their offices on Monday nervous about talking to their anxious clients who are concerned about their money. These wealth managers will undoubtedly put in long hours attempting to persuade their clients and themselves that things will be o.k. in the long run. Once the anxieties of the moment subside, they'll continue to put in long hours at the urging of company management attempting to persuade others to become clients. I know that clients', companies', and wealth managers' personal expectations are high. Every stakeholder wants to make more money…and not lose money.

To me, this mentality and way of being is an endless loop of time and effort, fear and greed, surrounding more money. It seems sad but predictable that money and investments are driven largely by the emotions of fear and greed, with fear being the predominant current emotion. This follows several recent years of optimism and greed in the marketplace. Devoting personally detrimental amounts of time and energy to the earning and management of more money to me shifts the focus from money as a resource to money as an end in itself.

It seems to me that during times like these, those who focus on what truly matters more to them than money – in my experience it's health, family, friends, faith, wisdom, and a sense that I'm making a positive contribution in the world – can continue to make progress towards a life of happiness, fulfillment, and meaning. Conversely, the path of overwork, stress, and focus on money as its own end seems to be, as the Harvard Business Review article below indicates, a prescription for poor health, unhappiness, and lack of productivity.

(Thank you to Peter Buyze for pointing out the HBR article).

The Research Is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies
The high cost of overwork.

  • Core

August 17th, 2015 by Addie K Martin

How I’m Using Motion Theory To Improve My Workday

I’m a self-employed writer working from home.  I don’t have a boss or time clock to keep me on task. I’m totally reliant on myself to decide what my day will look like and where my focus will be for the day. While I’m pretty good at keeping myself busy, I had the feeling I could do better. I suspected I could tighten my focus during my workday, leading to greater output and achievement.


However, it was the “getting started” that slowed me down. I wanted to make better use of my Read more »

  • Experience

This article describes new research on how the brain reconsolidates memories. In other words, we can and do rewrite some of our stories about our past. The article speculates on the potential positive impact this knowledge can have on post traumatic stress sufferers. I’d like to suggest that a similar process might be beneficial to anyone who has suffered setbacks or traumatic events in their past. In other words, nearly everyone.

Empowered Wealth’s TimeMap experience is one method of identifying past events that potentially can be “reconsolidated” into sources of greater learning and wisdom. Combining this learning and wisdom with an awareness of our current lived values has the potential to heighten our self-awareness and self-knowledge as we move forward towards the future.


How Our Brains Make Memories
Surprising new research about the act of remembering may help people with post-traumatic stress disorder