Saturday, March 26

Fragile Frontal Lobes

Today, many work at a frantic rate. Its well known that we need to keep fit, eat well, avoid excessive alcohol and have a reasonable amount of sleep to cope with the stress and strain of the daily grind. Such common sense approaches are essential for "good living" and help prolong our life.

But the hardworking executive mechanisms of our brains also require rest and nutrition. It seems the most recent development of the brain, the frontal lobes, are quite fragile, and in need of even more tender loving care than was previously understood. A price to pay, you might say for our development, because this richness of an advanced consciousness made available through the operation of the frontal lobes, easily breaks down under extreme pressures.
The development of the frontal lobes occurred late in our evolutionary cycle, causing confusion amongst early communities.

When people died, the memories that persisted in the minds of those who were left were thought to be "ghosts" or assumed as evidence of life after death. And so this "consciousness" was understood within the context of early religious and magical beliefs.

Elkhonon Goldberg's quotes "A rich sensory memory of a deceased tribesperson would be interpreted as the tribesman's "ghost" or as evidence of the tribesman "life" after death". According to the scenario, some of the more literal religions and magical beliefs, which persisted for millennia are vestiges of early humans inability to distinguish between one own memories of other people (internal representations, parts of "self") and those actual people themselves ("nonselves".Others). According to Jaynes, this self-oneself confusion was not confined to prehistoric times. It extended well into the early history populated by individuals we assume to be neurobiological "modern''

Click on to visit his website.

To day it is understood that it is the frontal lobes that allow us to clearly identify our "consciousness" and make" executive decisions" when required, on any number of complex and abstract matters. Such development of the frontal lobes does however have a downside, the loss of control by the frontal lobes to the more primitive areas of the brain. As this occurs, initially the two are in "conflict" until such time as the lower brain takes control. When we lose this control of the frontal lobes it is similar to losing control of an "Executive Manager"of the brain.

That means you are operating at a much lower level, largely from an instinctive, survival mode, without the flexibility and higher level thinking provided by the frontal lobes.

I quote from Edward Hallowell -psychiatrist -an Article from Harvard Business Review -re published in the Work Space area of the Financial Review on Tuesday 15 March 2005.

You can visit his website by clicking on or the icon at the beginning of the article.

"As a specialist in learning disabilities, I have found that most dangerous disability is not any formally diagnosable condition like dyslexia or ADD (attention deficit disorder). Its fear. When the frontal lobes approach capacity and we begin to fear that we can't keep up, 'the relationship between their higher and lower regions of the brain take an ominous turn. In survival mode, the deep areas of the brain assume control and began to direct the higher regions.
As a result the whole brain gets caught in a neurological Catch 22. The deep regions interpret the messages of overload they receive from the frontal lobes in the same way they interpret everything. They furiously fire signals of fear, anxiety, impatience, irritability anger or panic. In a futile attempt to do more than is possible, the brain paradoxically reduces its ability to think clearly."

This can happen a lot easier than we can imagine. Try depriving your self of sleep, become unfit and put yourself in a stressful, hardworking environment when you become "fearful" of not meeting those deadlines.

Under such circumstances there is a good chance your frontal lobes will become overworked to the extent they surrender to the more primitive areas of the brain. We see it all the time don't we? Highly charged emotional decisions, deprived of any creativity, and viewed in purely simplistic terms of who's to blame. Rage is a common reaction. It is also interesting to consider what happens when we are no longer "in control" caused by the temporary or permanent loss of functionality provided by frontal lobe control. We are greatly diminished and lose our perspective to the extent that our "consciousness"is diminished, as we become reliant on instinctive type responses.

Fortunately the solution is simple. Look after those fragile frontal lobes with adequate sleep, a sensible diet and a regular exercise programme. Plan ahead and don't become "fearful" of deadlines, for it is far better to negotiate a postponement, then to risk the "disaster"
of a frontal lobe overload. Make sure you take short breaks at work and wherever possible, discuss matters, rather than e-mail

When you are talking to someone, your brain begins to buzz, releasing pleasurable feelings similar to endorphins when you exercise. This will happen even when you are in a confrontation situation. Providing you don't allow your emotions to "take over" you will feel better afterwards? It is preferable to sending an e mail.

Have you ever noticed, when making presentations to smaller groups, in an interactive mode, how you always feel better than addressing large groups of people when you are in "remote" mode?

When giving presentations I had wondered why those to small groups seemed more successful. Was it the material? Was I more relaxed? Were those present more receptive when in a smaller group, or could it be that the interactive format meant that we were all receiving pleasurable stimuli, similar to endorphins, that made us feel appreciative afterwards.

So I am concerned for you all if you are caught up in a frenetic work pattern. I would like to hear how you plan to avoid a frontal lobe crash. In the meantime, can I send out a "Red Alert"? Be kind to those fragile frontal lobes.

They depend on your tender, loving care much more than you imagine.

Tuesday, March 8


Having an interest we're passionate about is a great attribute, as it generates vitality and enhances our lives. These days I sometimes ask people "What's your passion" to find out their real interest. Recently I have been fortunate to celebrate with my work colleagues 10 years service. The company pays for the celebration to gather with a generous gift. The benefits have recently been significantly increased. Staff turnover is at an all time low with some good profit results. Is there a connection? Does loyalty shown by the Employer make good business sense?

Prior to my present position I was even more fortunate to accumulate 18 years of service with the same company. But when it ended abruptly I was devastated. Despite putting the company first it became apparent my loyalty was misplaced. It all happened subsequent to a tumultuous year which included the deaths of one of my best friends and widowed mother. Since I was an only child I had taken off suddenly from work, to look after her at home in the country. The work position had become tangled up in the process and it wasn't long after her death that I found myself looking for another position.

Looking back now is like standing on a mountain and being able to see all the detailed landscape and intricate patterns of bush and valley behind you and its purpose. I have changed my career occupation in a 360 degree turn, and after the initial difficulty, standing on the mountain and looking back it never felt better. But its been an arduous climb to get there.

I would like to know if anyone out there is passionate about "Loyalty".

Charles Kovess LL.B.(Hons), LL.M., CSP* has a point to make so I have included in full his 2nd Passion Point for 2005 "DOES LOYALTY PAY?"A Passion Point to Ponder 1 March 2005 Welcome to the 2nd Passion Point for 2005.Our goal this year with these Passion Points is to provoke you so that your business, and the rest of your life, become filled with more passion, performance, and improved balance of mental, physical, and spiritual elements.

NEWS :Charles spent five days last week with one of Australia's best retailers,Bev Marks Beds. If you want to experience great customer service with accompany that's committed to delivering great Australian bedding, go unadvised one of the five retail outlets weekend, Charles will be contributing to the celebration of Rotary's Centenary by delivering a number of presentations to a District convention's Bendigo. If you have never explored what Rotary is all about, give it a go! Even though Charles is not a member, he has given many speeches to its various Clubs over the past 12 years. Joining Rotary will expand your soul!

DOES LOYALTY PAY?""20 years ago, everybody who started working to retire after 25 years with a gold watch.Now, that's unusual." Realistic words from a Senior Vice-President of a Scandinavian temporary staffing. For those who did start work around 20 yearsago, 2008 and 2009 might have been those gold watchyears. Looking back they might wonder what was best,the loyalty of then, or the prospects--perhaps thelack of them--of today. Certainly younger workers seethings differently, and regard a change of jobs asroutine and an opportunity to retrain. They'll probably never know, or see, that golden watch ofloyalty.It's not the watch, but the loyalty it represents, that counts. To go through a working life without knowing loyalty is to have missed something; but doesloyalty pay? Only those who have experienced it are qualified to comment. Current theory suggests that today's arrangements benefit the employer and the employee, but time--and those who shared it--will be the final arbiter.Despite its current rejection, loyalty remains a value. Its lack of modern following does not diminishit; in many ways it elevates it, like a scarce resource, a diamond waiting to be discovered, it remains beyond the reach of all. When eventually rediscovered, the challenge will be to see its economic benefits. That will take time of course and, in today's time stressed world, might be difficult.The clock is still ticking and, one day, when digital watches also measure loyalty, society might be betterfor it.

QUOTES TO CONSIDER"We must have loyalty and character." Ralph WaldoEmerson (1803-1882), American writer, philosopher andpoet.Is loyalty on your "must have" list, or do you resistits character?"I'll take 50% efficiency to get 100% loyalty."Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974), American film producer.What percent do you measure, what percent do youtreasure?"Loyalty starts with the leader, not the follower: the employer is theleader, the employee is the follower. Inspire your followers by demonstrating your loyalty!"Charles B Kovess.To your ongoing development of your passionate performance..Charles Kovess Australia's Passion Provocateur ©Copyright- Charles B. Kovess & David J. Wood of Passionate Performance.Republication welcome provided authors are acknowledged & advised at above address. If you want to see Charles on video, or listen to audio, just go and follow the links.For a list of keynote speech topics that Charles would love to deliver in a passionate, entertaining, provocative, and educational way to your teams,clients, or prospects, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, see below.All 128 published Passion Points to Ponder are on our website. If you wish to review them, please visit the site. If you wish to receive a list of the128 titles of the Passion Points please let us know.


best regards from Australia's Passion Provocateur (copyright) Charles Kovess LL.B.(Hons), LL.M., CSP*National PresidentNational Speakers' Association of Australia(*CSP means Certified Speaking Professional, the highest possible international qualification and accreditation for professional speakers.There are only 464 CSP's in the world, of whom only 52 are in Australasia.)