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Authentic Leadership Online Summit Interview

In March 2017, I was interviewed by the lovely Judi Glover as part of an expert panel regarding Authentic Leadership.

We talked about some of the following;

  • What authentic leadership really means
  • The biggest misunderstanding in the personal development world 
  • How we can bring the best version of ourselves to our lives and our relationships without complex strategies or ‘mind tricks’.
  • Recognising the difference between fact and fiction and why that matters as leaders
  • Why we don’t have to work on ourselves in order to experience clear thinking or get perspective on the things that matter to us
  • The ONE thing that we need to know in order to truly get out of our own way

FREE YOUR MIND #5 – The ultimate question and the ultimate barrier to success

We all tend to have something we want to change in our lives.

For some it’s re-connecting with passions and hobbies, For others it’s spending more quality time with those people we care about or accomplishing a long held ambition.

The great news is that there is only ONE true barrier to pursuing our dreams or making the changes we need to make.

Here’s a question that I asked a group of 160 business leaders at a conference a few months ago;

If you knew (truly deeply knew) that you will always be safe and secure no matter what happens and regardless of any particular circumstances or situations, what would that mean for you as you go about your life?  How would knowing this (as a fact) make a difference for you in how you live your life?

Business Growth Summit talk by Chantal Burns

Towards the end of 2016,  I did a talk for 160 leaders for the Business Growth Summit conference. 

Here are some of things I reveal in this 45 minute talk below;

  • Some key findings from my groundbreaking ‘state of mind’ research
  • Why we are in the dark ages when it comes to understanding what drives leadership
  • How all the essential qualities of great leadership are not skills and therefore do not need to be acquired or learnt  
  • why being unhappy at work is like being afraid of bridges

I hope you enjoy it – let me know what you think.

 

FREE YOUR MIND #2 WHY POSITIVE THINKING IS OUT-DATED : Part Two – The secret of appy-ness (BBC Radio Interview)

Last month, BBC Radio host Mike Parr invited me to take part in a show about gratitude and positivity. After reading my article published in Stylist Magazine (Ditch the gratitude app – Why positive thinking is out-dated), they wanted my alternative view.

You can hear the interview on the player below

… But first, here’s some context so it makes more sense when you listen.

At the point when I joined the conversation, the radio host had been discussing the benefits of using gratitude tools. He first interviewed Carla White, creator of the Gratitude Journal app and then invited a psychologist to share her opinions.

Carla’s app prescribes that you should ‘write down 5 things you’re grateful for each day’ and that it will ‘change your life forever’.  The idea is that by doing this daily ritual, you will ‘re-wire your brain’ and be conditioned to think more positively which means you’ll feel better, happier or more content. But there are some major flaws with this concept.

Being happy is not about conditioning ourselves to think in a particular way. Feeling grateful isn’t something you have to work at.  It’s something we naturally experience when our minds are free and unburdened. So all we really need, is to understand what gets in the way of a free, unburdened mind. And the one thing that gets in the way of feeling peace, contentment or happiness is the mistaken belief that our feelings can be coming from somewhere other than our own thinking  – for example from other people, phone apps or the weather
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Happy apps and techniques also promote the idea that feeling positive is the ultimate goal. But feeling positive or happy in any given moment doesn’t mean we have clarity and perspective.  We can be happy and yet at the same time be deluded.   So, the key is to understand where our experience is coming from so that we can experience life with perspective and enjoy unconditional peace of mind.

To find out more, listen to the clip below and if you haven’t already, you can read my Stylist article here.

And of course, please post your comments, questions and feedback on the blog!

INSTANT MOTIVATION PODCAST DUBAI EYE RADIO

Last week, Suzanne Redford and her co-host Jo McKibben interviewed  me about my book Instant Motivation on their radio show, Voices of Diversity on Dubai Eye radio.  I really enjoyed our conversation. We really delved into the nature of motivation and thought in our lives in terms of wellbeing and performance at work.

You can listen to the podcast here.

HOW TO BE HAPPY AT WORK (WITHOUT TRYING) featured in Shortlist.com

Want to feel instantly happier at work? Wish that people would stop being so irritating? Fed up of putting on your ‘game face’?

There are thousands of books dedicated to showing us how to be happy or fulfilled. But what if our obsession with happiness is what stops us from feeling happy? What if there’s a much easier way to feel great and do our best work?  click here to read the full article 

THE IRISH TIMES & INSTANT MOTIVATION

On the 2nd of January 2015 my book ‘Instant Motivation’ was published and I was thrilled when it was selected as WHSmith’s Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Then last week, after interviewing me about the book, The Irish Times published a piece in their Business Innovation section and I was glad to read the following:-

The market for self-help books aimed at those wishing to improve their performance and motivation at work is a crowded one. Those looking for quick-fix techniques are likely to be disappointed by one of the latest contributions to this genre by UK author Chantal Burns.

Click here to read the full article.  And I would love to know what you think so please post your comments below.

WHY HAPPINESS IS OVERRATED

The pursuit of happiness is big business. There are thousands of books on how to be happy or stay happy. And David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister has shown interest in measuring the happiness or wellbeing of UK citizens – taking inspiration from Bhutan where in 1972 they began to measure GNH – gross national happiness.

The intention of focusing on happiness and wellbeing is a good one. Everyone wants to feel good within themselves. We want to feel happy and know that those we love and care for are also happy or content. But there’s a downside to what is often a relentless pursuit of happiness so here is my take on it.

1) Life is a journey of bumpy roads, sharp corners and blind spots. That’s what makes it interesting and exciting. And as human beings, we are designed to experience a rich variety of feeling states. We can have a period of sadness that we may even find nourishing. For example the loss of a loved one and the feelings of appreciation for having them in our lives. At the same time, we may still consider ourselves to live in a general state of happiness or wellbeing.

2) The relentless quest to experience feelings of happiness or contentment can get in the way of being in the flow of life. We end up creating more of the feelings we don’t want simply by resisting the feelings we have in any moment. It’s our discomfort with our discomfort that keeps us stuck. The very act of resistance takes energy. It requires more thinking which creates more feelings. Can you see the Catch22 nature of this?

Having some insight into the nature of thought – recognising how all feelings are expressions of our thinking – allows us to move through all feeling states with more grace and ease. We can begin to have a different relationship with our emotions. We can see them for what they are. Insecurity isn’t a thing. It’s a thought which we turn into a thing.

3) As soon as we start to question how happy or content we are, we take ourselves out of the flow of life. The very act of checking and self monitoring moves us out of the moment and out of any nourishing feelings that we may be experiencing.

4) Happiness isn’t about more, different, better, easier, faster or slower. It’s not about accomplishments, status and other material things.
Happiness (as the ancient philosophers have been saying for millennia) is an inside job. It’s a state of mind that we can each experience effortlessly as we gain more understanding of the role and nature of thought.

Happiness and contentment are literally one thought away in any given moment. We innocently take ourselves out of our natural state of wellbeing when we innocently buy into thoughts that we’re not enough or that we need to be more or have more.

INNER PEACE & THE DELETE BUTTON

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to have peace of mind and feel content within themselves.

Many books and teachings will have us believe that peace of mind or contentment are something we must strive for – that they are somehow the result of doing and achieving.

They are portrayed as rewards for accomplishing results in the world.

We grow up being taught that feelings like contentment, peace of mind and happiness are outside of us.

For many years, I believed that doing well at work, being successful and being a nice person would bring me contentment and peace of mind.

Every time I set my goals, I innocently attached my happiness and self worth to my achievement of them.

I subsequently spent years wondering why I never felt quite ’good enough’ or ’happy enough’. And for many years, I tried various personal development approaches to help me find that elusive ‘inner peace’ and contentment and then a few years ago, I had the realisation that all the feelings we yearn for, are much closer than we think.

Peace of mind isn’t a by-product of adding, achieving or accomplishing anything. It’s a process of deleting, of reducing the noise, of taking away what gets in the way and ignoring what isn’t relevant. And what gets in the way is our own thinking.

Contentment with ourselves and with life, is what’s already there inside you when you stop thinking that you’re not enough or that you need to be more, have more or achieve more.

Peace of mind is what’s always there behind those thoughts of inadequacy and self doubt.

The ability to feel peaceful, happy or content is effortless. It’s simply a matter of seeing all the thinking we engage with and the ideas about ourselves that we’ve innocently been holding on to that keep us from feeling great and enjoying life unconditionally.

And the best thing is that we don’t have to engage with our conditioned and habitual ways of thinking. We don’t have to listen to the insecurity and self doubt. It’s just passing weather and behind it is pure blue sky. That blue sky is your natural wellbeing and whilst we are constantly being told otherwise, it isn’t dependent on any accomplishments or achievements. It travels with you and it provides everything you need to achieve optimal success and fulfilment at work and at home.