Focusing only on work means that other obligations are neglected. And, just as importantly, it means personal growth and time to dream are limited or nonexistent. Finding time to let your mind wander is important for a good mindset and improved mental and physical health.

Your innovation will suffer unless you are in the proper mindset. No one can work endless hours, barely sleeping or eating for very long. Eventually, you will burn out. The bottom line will suffer, your physical health will decline, and your personal life will grind to a halt. Instead of pouring all of your considerable talents into only work, learn to take a step back, find a swing, and let your mind wander.

Mindset - It Matters More Than You Want To Admit

As technology advances, so does our understanding of neuroscience. Research has now shown growth mindset, or the idea that your intelligence can be increased and nurtured with learning, is linked to intrinsic motivation, or the internal drive we have to do something. Our brains have a great capacity to change, and growth mindset intervention can positively impact personal growth and learning (Ng, 2018).

Your employees and coworkers want to share their ideas and views, allowing for the growth of innovative solutions. You can help others develop new mindsets by creating an environment conducive to creativity and imagination because we can learn to reshape behaviours and retrain our brains.

So, Hop On A Swing And Let Your Mind Wander

The importance of mindset cannot be understated for leaders. When there are low levels of innovation in an organisation, you can expect fixed mindsets that do not encourage self-reflection and growth. But what if you can lead the way by exhibiting a positive mindset? Then you will see outside the box thinking and a “make it happen” culture.

To create the right kind of environment, you have to start with yourself. As a leader, you have to recognise the traits that you want to nurture, and then you can share this knowledge with your peers and employees.

How to improve your mindset:

  • Go outside and swing. Find a park nearby. Even if you live and work in a big city, with a little research, you can find a park with swings and a playground. Then go! Don’t think about going, or merely talk about it. Take a bottle of water and spend some time swinging and reflecting on your life.
  • Stop saying “yes” to everything. You can’t do it all. Successful leaders learn early on how to delegate responsibility. Think of yourself as the maestro of an orchestra - you support and direct a crowd of people to make beautiful music. The maestro can’t play all the instruments at once, and neither can you.
  • Consider meditation. Meditation can help you have a healthy mind and a healthy body. All that stress at work, or even at home, can be lessened through meditation. Then take a close look at what you’re eating and drinking, and how much sleep you’re getting.  

Leadership In The Imagination Age

Times are changing, and you can’t bury your head in the sand if you want to lead others into a more authentic style of leadership. The Imagination Age requires a brain-friendly culture to increase the well-being of your employees - and yourself! By improving your mindset, you can enhance innovation and imagination, which will, in turn, improve productivity and engagement.

A balanced and functional brain is the foundation for good performance and also the basis of the attributes that characterise the type of leader who could thrive in the Imagination Age.

Silvia Damiano

Progress will push us along, and we can kick and drag our feet, slowing us down, or we can jump in and embrace a new kind of leadership.

Saying no sometimes, enjoying some time in nature, and letting your imagination run wild is a fantastic way to reset your brain. Reflecting on yourself and learning how to meditate can also give your brain the chance to process information while moving forward. You only get one chance at life, so take some time to sit on a swing, let your hair fly in the breeze, and laugh more often.

Ng, B. (2018). The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation. Brain Sciences, 8(2), 20.

Originally posted on: 13 September 2018
Last updated on: 12 April 2024

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Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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