Monday, May 06, 2002

Daily Grind

Listen to Mom; be a success

        So Mom was right all along: Sit up straight, and keep those shoulders back. Put down that can of pop and get ice water instead. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. And while you're at it, go to your room. That's great advice for anybody interested in finding more energy at work and reduced arguments at home, said Dr. Robert K. Cooper, a researcher, motivator and author who apparently did listen to his mother.

        Dr. Cooper, praised as “a national treasure” by Stanford Business School Professor Michael Ray, brings his message to the Schiff Family Conference Center in Xavier University's Cintas Center on Thursday. Register at or call toll-free 877-709-9775.

Astonishing findings

               Taking advantage of his simple but effective strategies will bring out peak performance in anybody, he promises.

        Tips are based on the latest in neuroscience research (even though most are not much removed from what Mom always said). Some of his findings are astonishing:

        There are three brains in the body. The first is in the head. A second is in the gut, where about 100 million neurons reside — hence the phrase gut check.

        Another is inside the heart — about 40,000 baroreceptors in the center of the heart that crank out an electromagnetic field 5,000 times stronger than the brain.

        The brain-in-the-heart finding is from a Stanford study. “It means that from five to 10 feet away, everybody can feel what you feel,” he said.

        Believe it or not, shoulders are critical to sound thinking. “Excellent research from the University of California Medical School shows that shoulder fronts influence up to 30 percent of brilliance because they control up to 30 percent of the blood and oxygen going up to the brain,” he said.

Your brain on ice

        Here's more from the Dr. Cooper sampler:

        • Alertness switches in the brain can be instantly turned on.

        “This is from Harvard Medical School researchers and others, and the question is, how do you instantly turn on the switches that keep you at the best?” he said.

        • Ice water beats a dehydration problem in the brain, he said, that causes tissue around the brain to shrink. Mistakes and oversights occur. “Ice water revs up metabolism, senses are more engaged with the world,” he says.

        • Find a moment every half hour to glance at a bright light — either out a window or straight up for everybody in cubicle land. You can gain about one-third more energy for an hour by looking at a bright light.

        As for the challenge of finding a better work-life balance, consider this: half of the most damaging arguments happen or escalate within 15 minutes of breadwinners returning home from work. The solution: say hello then retreat to decompress.

        “It's the single best integration tool I've found. Change the way you walk through the door,” he says. “The first 15 minutes are really touchy. It's a danger zone.

        “Leadership is not something that's locked away at the office or held in the workplace. If it's real, it's you, and you better take it with you.”

        E-mail Past columns at


Ambassador finds pace a challenge
Andersen trial opens
Discovery a process of careful observation
- ECKBERG: Listen to Mom; be a success
Morning Memo
Kroger, union reach tentative agreement
Promotions & new on the job
The Success Coach
Web site buffer for divorcing
Buffett predicts nuclear attack on U.S.
Iraq to resume oil exports
OB-GYNs: Insurance costs could provoke crisis