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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 OLD IS THE NEW NEW

People often hunger for new and unfamiliar experiences.

Some of  us get bored easily and crave exciting or different things. We say we want more variety or we describe ourselves as having a low boredom threshold. But in truth, the experience of new that most people crave or desire is a feeling and all feelings come from the same place – from our own thinking and the perceptions that thought creates.

Thoughts of boredom create feelings of boredom.  Thoughts of wonder, create feelings of wonder.

And whilst it seems like it’s the situation (something ‘out there’) creating our thoughts and feelings of boredom, it never is because it doesn’t work that way.

I remember standing looking up at the beautiful and imposing sight of my local Abbey. I’ve admired this building many times. What was unusual on this particular day was that I felt I was seeing it for the first time. I had a sense of wonder and awe.

In that moment by the Abbey, I realised with absolute clarity how we are always creating the experience of new via our own minds, which means we are also creating the experience of old in the same way. And this has some fantastically helpful implications – especially if you’re a ‘new’ junky. Here are a few of them…

1) If the experience of ‘boring’ is purely a matter of perception and perspective, this means that something you’ve been perceiving as stale or boring can become fresh and interesting in a heartbeat. This includes your partner, colleagues, job or hobbies.

Just noticing how your own thinking is the architect of your perceptions and perspective, is enough to land you into the present moment. In the present moment, there is no old or new because old and new are constructs. We make them up. That’s why you can feel bored in a situation that you’ve never encountered before and feel excited or interested in a situation you’ve encountered many times.

For example, have you ever watched the same film many times or read the same book more than once and still enjoyed it? Or perhaps you’ve visited the same place more than once and still found it fresh and exciting?

2) Things you may have written off as ‘past their sell by date’ may actually have plenty of life left in them after all. This includes your own ideas, a job, hobbies, places or people. There is always the potential to see something with new eyes or hear with new ears.

3) We can choose to give up the sometimes relentless and often exhausting pursuit of the next new and exciting thing. Instead, you can continue to enjoy what you have right now. Every moment is fresh and new – only our thinking makes it old.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek a thrill or try new things. I’m as partial to wanting new and exciting experiences as the next person. I’m just offering an alternative way to understand where the experience and feelings of new really comes from, so that you can have more of that feeling NOW without having to do anything different – i.e.,without changing your partner, job, furniture or hobbies.

Now wouldn’t that be a new experience?!

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.