Are you busy?  Really busy?  Stressed?  Really Stressed?

It’s good right, I mean, you got this?.  You want to be busy, both at home and at work.  It’s how life should be!

Deep down you know… NOT REALLY… THIS ISN’T THE REAL ME…

Do you feel like you don’t have time to better yourself and read this



How Stress Impacts Your Ability to Learn

The human brain looks for stress.  It’s a safety mechanism.  You might even say that safety is our number one concern. From an evolutionary standpoint, that makes a lot of sense.

But in the modern world, the tendency of the brain to be constantly on the lookout for danger is not so helpful. That’s because, whenever the brain identifies something it perceives as dangerous– tough customers, high self expectations, critical work situations, busyness… it creates stress.

Stress hormones are produced in a portion of the brain that is frequently called the lizard, or reptilian brain.

Unfortunately, when the reptilian brain is activated, the forebrain or neocortex is shut down.

When you are in “stressed mode” you become an animal.  I’ve been there. It’s not pretty.

When you are stressed your brain goes into reptile mode.

Ok, what does reptile mode mean?

Think of an alligator.  They don’t have relationships.  They survive.

Some of the traits associated with the reptile brain are:  aggression, dominance, rigidity, aloofness, greed.

Think of an alligator defending it’s territory.  Now think of a stressed out co-worker, friend or family.  See the resemblance?

Traits of the neocortex: Logic, creative thinking, communication skills, controls emotions.

You can survive without the neocortex working well but you are an ANIMAL to those around you.

If we make time to invest in our relationships and spent quality time with our family, friends and colleagues we would dramatically improve the quality of our lives and careers.   We slow down.  We are less stressed and busy.

We feed what Jon Gordon calls the positive dog.

Yet, too often busyness and stress cause us to focus on what is urgent instead of what matters most.

We focus on our to-do list instead of people and our own survival instead of building thriving relationships.

Busyness and stress are the enemies of great marriages, teamwork, relationships, and customer service. Busyness and stress keep us from caring about the people and things we are supposed to care about.  It feeds the reptile.

In many ways it’s not our fault. Science tells us that when we feel busy and stressed we activate the reptilian part of our brain. If you know anything about reptiles they will never love you. Reptiles want to eat you. They are all about survival. And so are we when we feel busy and stressed. Creating meaningful relationships is the last thing on our mind when we are stressed. Instead our reptilian brain is thinking about how to just make it through the day and it will eat anyone for lunch that gets in its way.

The good news, however, is that we have another part of the brain called the neocortex. We activate it when we love, care, pray, and practice gratitude. In any moment we can override the reptile with the positive dog.

We can choose to love people instead of ignoring them.

We can choose to slow down instead of rushing.

And we can choose to be thankful instead of stressed.

In fact, the research shows we can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. So anytime we are feeling busy and stressed we can pause, take some deep breaths, focus on gratitude, pray, and change how we approach the day and the people in our life.

I know how and why busyness and stress can sabotage my joy and relationships. I know the antidote to busyness and stress is a positive thought away. I know that in each moment of my busy life I can override the reptile and focus on my relationships. And I know that when I make relationships my top priority everything in my life is better.

Thank you for reading this post.  Grateful you took the time.  Kill that reptile in your brain.  Feed the positive dog.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

*** Excerpts directly from Jon Gordon’s Blog.  Thank you Jon.


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