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Archive for February, 2014

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I love my little bulldog

Ballet-dog-resizecrop--

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Monday morning in sunny Prague writing my new book

monday

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I love you, …..Thanks, I know

 

“How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”

–Albert Einstein.

Einstein was correct—science will never clinically sterilize the wonderment of love (first or otherwise). But I think he’d also agree that it’s a mistake to confuse increased understandingwith diminished meaning. No matter what we learn about love, it will continue to be one of the most meaningful and powerful forces on the planet, as it should be. With that disclaimer, let’s jump in.

Love is addictive.

Thinking about one’s beloved—particularly in new relationships—triggers activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain, which releases a flood of the neurotransmitter dopamine (the so-called “pleasure chemical”) into the brain’s reward (or pleasure) centers, the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens. This gives the lover a high not unlike the effect of narcotics, and it’s mighty addictive.

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At the same time, the brain in love experiences an increase in the stresshormone norephinephrine, which increases heart rate and blood pressure, effects similar to those experienced by people using potent addictive stimulants like methamphetamine.

Love is obsessive.

The brain in love experiences a drop in the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin provides a sense of being in control; it guards against the anxiety of uncertainty and instability. When it drops, our sense of control decreases and we become obsessively fixated on things that rattle our certainty and stability cages—and since love is by definition unpredictable, it’s a prime target for obsession.  This is also why the term “crazy in love” isn’t too far off the truth.

Love is prone to recklessness.

The prefrontal cortex—our brain’s reasoning command and control center—drops into low gear when we’re in love. At the same time, the amygdala, a key component of the brain’s threat-response system, also revs down. The combination of these effects is a willingness to take more risks, even ones that would normally seem reckless to us in another state of mind. (For more on this, check out this PDF’d study.)

Love and lust can coexist in the brain—and not necessarily for the same person.

Love and lust appear to be separate but overlapping neural responses in the brain. They both produce a “high” and both are addictive, and they effect many of the same parts of the brain—but they are distinct enough that you can be in love with one person and in lust with another.

Over time, the differences become more significant. For example, the brains of people in long-term love relationships show increased activity in the ventral pallidum, a region of the brain rich with oxytocin and vasopressin receptors that facilitate long-term pair-bonding andattachment. (Check out researcher Helen Fisher’s work in this area for more information.)

Men in love are extremely visual beasts.

The brains of men in love show greater activity in the visual cortex than women’s brains. Add this to the fact that men seem to be more visually stimulated than women in general.

Women in love remember the details.

The brains of women in love show greater activity in the hippocampus—a brain region associated with memory—than do men’s brains. Add to this that a woman’s hippocampus takes up a larger percentage of her brain than does the male counterpart. (Another lesson here for men: women remember…brother, they remember.)

Eye contact is a lover’s magic.

Newborns and lovers have this in common—more than any other factor, eye contact is the main conduit for emotional connection. When those in love speak of the “entrancing gaze” of their lover, it’s not just a romantic notion—it’s a biological reality. Eye contact and a smile is an especially potent combination.

Only voice interaction comes anywhere close to eye contact in this regardOur voice carries more information than we think, and it can help facilitate an emotional connection, but it’s still a distant second to eye contact. (Check out Barbara L. Fredrickson’s book, Love 2.0, for more information on all of the above.)

Promiscuity and monogamy can be chemically influenced.

You’ve probably heard about our furry little friends, the prairie voles. Scientists who study monogamy and promiscuity love the critters because they provide an excellent mirror for human relationships. One type of vole is monogamous—it bonds with one mate for life. Another type of vole (the montane vole) is promiscuous. The key difference between the two kinds of voles appears to be genetic—an intriguing point when you consider that otherwise the voles are 99% genetically identical.

When researchers inject the promiscuous variety of vole with oxytocin and vasopressin—the neurochemicals that are linked to pair-bonding in humans (and in the monogamous voles)—the promiscuous voles become monogamous. It’s not entirely clear if the effect would hold true to the same degree in humans, but there’s pretty good evidence that it might, though for short periods of time. In two studies (described here) men who inhaled oxytocin became temporarily more empathetic, sensitive and cuddly.

Women and men can just be friends…(well, at least women think so).

Research suggests that when it comes to managing a platonic relationship, men really don’t “get it” and are far more likely to want more than just friendship. Women, on the other hand, are able to keep friendship and romantic involvement separate in their minds. So the old question, “can men and women just be friends?” appears to depend entirely on who you’re asking.

 

here is the extract from David Di Salvos opinion on psychologytoday.com

 

I always knew it, men and women can never be friends, never ever

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lots of love

d

 

 

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Happy Valentine,……….and I do

 

 

Antivalentine 4

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HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT TEAM

When you step on the first rung of the entrepreneurial ladder your team is often a team of one—and that’s you. You wear all of the hats and work all hours of the day as you strive to realize your dream. And, if you’re like me, you do it all from the bedroom of your parents’ home. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a separate room or some garage space to utilize.

trustfall

But eventually as your business begins to grow you’ll discover that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything yourself and you’ll be stretched thinner and thinner. You can’t do the sales and the marketing, the bookkeeping and the fulfillment, and everything else involved, all by yourself.

Congratulations. You need help. You’re beginning to build a real business.

Now you actually have your first leadership challenge. You have to find people to lead. The right people. Before long, if all goes well, you’ll need a team of people that can take your enterprise to the next level. Of course, as your business gets ever bigger you’ll have to identify and recruit more talented, more experienced and more expensive executives. But whether you’re a small company with a handful of employees or you’ve already enjoyed tremendous growth and have hundreds of employees there are some common factors to bear in mind.

written with  GURBAKSH CHAHAL

Find people you can trust: Running the business is stressful enough as it is without looking over your shoulder all of the time wondering if you can truly depend on the people around you. 

Find people who share your passion: You don’t want people working for you who just want to punch in at 9 and punch out at 5. You want people who can appreciate the excitement of your vision and who want more than a job. They want a career. You want people who are going to walk through the door with a spring in their step and who want to make a truly positive contribution to the business. You want people with whom you have chemistry so that it’s a pleasure to work with each other. These are people that you have implicitly trust, because more than likely you will face hell many times before you reach the promise land of success.

OH, here comes a tough one :-)……………………………………………………………………………….

Find people who are smarter than you: We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to identify what they are and ensure that we bring others to the table who can make contributions in different ways. I learned this lesson the hard way. I suffered a major tech crisis right when my first business was beginning to explode and that wasn’t my area of expertise. I quickly recovered from it by hiring an experienced chief technology officer and several engineers all at generous salaries. The sensible business owner hires the smartest people he can find and rewards them accordingly.

Find people who will tell you what they think: You don’t want a bunch of ‘yes men’ surrounding you! It might be your company and you always have the final say—but it would be most unwise to surround yourself with people who always agree with you. No-one can be right 100 percent of the time. So make an effort to recruit seasoned, independent thinkers who are smart enough to form their own opinions and willing to voice them when necessary. For your part it means having an open door policy so that your personnel feel they have the freedom to speak up.

Find people who are team players: The dictionary definition of the word team is “a group of people who work together.” Together is key. It means with each other. Not against each other. Not for the self-glorification or advancement of one individual. All the players on any team whether in the NFL, the NBA or the business conference room have to pull together to get a winning result. They should want that result to come from shared effort and contributions. It also means being careful of having an overly-abrasive team member who rubs everyone else the wrong way, no matter how talented they might be. It will become obvious if someone has their own agenda, and it should probably be your agenda not to keep them around.

team

Find people who want to learn: I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning, and learning from one’s mistakes. Having people on your team who can acknowledge their errors and then employ strategies based on the lessons they have learned can be a tremendous asset. Seek out and promote those who have the confidence to grow as a result of past errors and who embrace the constant change of today’s fast-paced business world.

Find people who want to win: Make a point of looking for people who want your company to be the best in its field, who will have a sense of pride in your mutual accomplishments. You really don’t want people who are satisfied with the status quo. You want goal-setters; go-getters; kindred souls. Surround yourself with a team of like-minded people willing to go the extra mile, that want to be as successful as bad as you do, and I promise you that energy only multiplies over time.

The process of building your team will take years. You will add new members to help handle your expansion and the challenges that accompany growth. But the basic tenets outlined above will apply throughout the years and if followed will enable you to build a team with a common goal, to win.

 

In theory everything seems easy

 

lots of love

d