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Western Culture is adapting to Eastern Buddhism in a secular way, focusing on mindfulness meditation rather than reincarnation. Brain scans and psychological studies show that mindfulness mediation positively impacts our emotions, neural receptors, and mood. While social constructs delude us into believing that meditation always leads to insight and clarity, in truth mindfulness simply allows better understanding of ourselves and our relationship with our feelings, actions, and the environment around us.
“If these basic sources of human suffering and human cruelty are indeed a large part of the product of delusion – there is value in exposing this delusion to light.”
The term “heresthetics,” coined by political scientist William H. Riker, concerns the arts of verbal persuasion and structuring circumstances to achieve victory. Faced with political opposition, a heresthetician utilizes these techniques to reframe the situation and gain supporters. Many great politicians have used political manipulation to succeed, but with ‘manipulation’ having a negative connotation, heresthetics is an alternative for signaling the use of these techniques.
“The Constitution was ratified & the Union preserved, but with a terrible blot which it required a civil war to remove.”
Team of Teams describes author General McCrystal’s modernization of his Task Force. The old methods of top-down command, management, and leadership, are insufficient to succeed in the rapidly changing world of the 21st century. Enemies were less trained, less resourceful, and less equipped, and yet their adaptability allowed them to succeed against the welltrained U.S. forces. By breaking communication and decision-making channels into small, discrete “team of teams”, the Task Force itself adapted. The principles discussed here apply to any modern organization wishing to employ the latest teamwork techniques.
“If we were the best of the best, why were such attacks not disappearing, but in fact increasing? Why were we unable to defeat an under-resourced insurgency? Why were we losing?”
Everyone negotiates, but not everyone negotiates well. Getting to YES dissects effective tactics to help negotiators of all levels achieve smoother and more amicable agreements, while avoiding the dissatisfying and alienating “tit for tat”. Specific techniques are how to distinguish the negotiators themselves from the issues at hand, how to consider your best alternatives before entering the negotiation, and how to communicate effectively when the other side attempts to trick or dissuade you.
“Each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise...And so it goes, on and on. Perhaps they will reach agreement; perhaps not.”
First, Fast, Fearless describes effective and learnable leadership traits that improve team efficiency and cohesion. Studies of veterans show that faith in leadership is positively correlated with good mental health and performance. Civilian leadership can avoid damaging their teams by developing an offensive, instead of defensive, mindset and by learning the three vital leadership tactics used by Navy SEALS: Brand, Brotherhood, and Battle Rhythm. Fear negatively affects imagination and creative problem solving. However, our brains can’t differentiate between fear of a toxic leader, and a lion stalking us on the Sahara.
“A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the nimblest go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they were being directed from behind.”