Productivity and performance matter, and underneath this is how we think. We load up on ‘what to do?’ but the deeper question is ‘how do we think about it?’. If we think that work and life are hard and that to be successful we have to feel pressure or stress, we are likely to dampen our level of productivity and performance. It takes more energy to push against ‘hard’ than to enjoy ‘easy’. This is about our perception—a subjective matter. You see, it is not so much what we do as it is the mindset we hold about what we do, and how we focus our brain as we do it.

We are using our brain, of course. Yet we talk more about optimizing our website, our keywords, or our bank accounts than we do about optimally using our amazing Inner Brain Technology. Of course, this is typically due to lack of knowledge. Talk about ‘innovation’, this is a new frontier. It is an answer to issues such as bad bosses, team disengagement, and stagnant culture — and no, I’m not only a dreamer.

While having a clear intention and an expansion of vision — a dream — is the path to real innovation, I also realize that people need to want to change. When we understand how to more easily recognize and change our derailing behavior, we can play the game of life at a whole different, and easier, level.

I would suggest that the challenges of a four-generation workforce, rapid change, need to innovate quickly, and 70% employee disengagement rates are reasons to incentivize change. Still, this is a tall order. How are we going to do all of this while under unprecedented stress and uncertainty? Obviously, we need to be open to new answers, as what we are currently doing isn’t working.

Fortunately, even being able to change our thinking about what is possible is included in this idea of optimally operating our brain’s processing system. We can expand our vision for possibility as we learn how to stop constricting our potential. We currently use our brain to limit our performance instead of using it to help us be more effective. I use the metaphor of technology, as we have modeled technology after our brain without even realizing it consciously.

What are some of the things we currently do to sabotage our brain’s efficiency?

#1. Focusing on ‘what is’, what’s wrong, and locking down on whatever negatively grabs our attention in the moment. This is a big no-no; it keeps us stuck with no clue about how to develop what we really want to be, do, or have.

#2. Doing too much, often even without clarity of purpose. Hence, there’s no real passion to fuel our endeavors. It’s all just hard work, and it drains our energy and concentration, and increases stress in our body, mind, and spirit. I use my ‘Purpose Filter’ to put an end to this kind of self-sabotage.

#3. Lack of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have or have accomplished. We don’t take the time to feel good, enjoy our success, and recharge our batteries. This will lead to a joyless life and burnout.

The most important tip about optimally operating your brain is to know that your brain works by focus of attention. Do just the opposite of the typical patterns of 1 through 3, above. That is, focus on where you want to go, get clear about your purpose for doing everything, and express more gratitude and appreciation. This way of thinking works wonders.

Wherever you hold your focus — whether it is on what you desire or what you fear — you are sending your brain on a seek-to-find mission.

Notice ‘You are Here’, and then make the time to reflect and get clear about where you want to be in the future. See it in your Mind’s Eye and learn how to wire it into your heart. When you understand this principle, even if you know very little else, you can direct your focus of attention to a better space than finding what is wrong.

Why is this so important? You will likely continue to recreate what you are holding your attention on. If you are in a stressful situation and this is how you see it, you will continue to find more stress. Thoughts and feelings held in mind really do continue to increase in frequency.

We need to be intentional as to how we are focusing our thoughts. Remember, focus. It is the key to the operating system of your mind. Focus wisely.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at