Our emotions reflect the stories we generate to explain and survive the broad range of situations we encounter in life

Our brains seem to cue our affective states (including extremes ones like depression) through a continuous series of predictions of what physiological state will most efficiently promote our short-term survival. The symptoms are physiological, but the emotional label is psychosocial. The physical symptoms that accompany emotions – such as a racing or slowing heartbeat, flushed […]

Autonomy is illusory; what you really need is more experience of agency

We tend to say we want more autonomy (right to make choices regarding our own lives without external pressures or interference) when what we really want and need is more experience of agency (ability to take meaningful actions, make decisions, and influence the world around us). Conversations about autonomy tend to focus on our resistance […]

Tools for elephant riders: RAFT and AFTER (working draft integrating with a bit of redundancy coming from the integration of disparate drafts)

Below is a very rough draft of an essay I started about 15 years ago, picked up again about four years ago (then forgot about again). The essay provides context on how we came up with RAFT, how we used it then, and how the concept has evolved for me over the years. RAFT: a […]

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story – unless cognitive dissonance makes you pretty sure it isn’t true:)

Mark Twain said: “I never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” Or at least that’s how the story goes. Evidently, we can’t be 100% sure whether the story is true or not. Storytelling is now considered to be an essential leadership skill, and for good reason. When we believe something […]

To extract genuine insights we need to invest our own energy in accumulating experiences and the critical thinking and reflection required to make sense of those experiences

“We can produce more information, but that means there’s more information for us to process. Our processing capability is the bottleneck.” – Gloria Mark, author of “Attention Span” This passage comes from a May 28th, 2023 opinion piece by Ezra Klein published in print and podcast form in the New York Times with the title […]