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    What follows are some examples of how our solutions have been applied to produce highly successful outcomes:

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    How can we realize our full potential?

    How can we tap into our full potential, even in the most challenging times?  It starts with understanding who we are and what we do when we are at our best, at our most successful.

    I find it invaluable for me to know what being at my best means for me – this gives me the greatest chance of being energized, successful and happy i

    Building High Functioning Teams

    In working with many different types of teams, I have seen great results where the strengths of the individual team members are leveraged effectively.  This works much better as a conscious action, where individuals in the team have a clearer understanding of the value that others can bring.  Leaving it to chance can result in mi

    How do you retain control? The importance of resilience.

    There is much written about how resilient people handle change better.  It is often described in terms of being more positive and more hopeful, having more interests and friends, and being open to new ideas.  While these seem like fine attributes they aren’t always easy to conjure up when faced with change that can seem confusi

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Music For Your Wellbeing

The stars should have aligned much earlier for me to produce a piece about music and wellbeing:

  • First, it’s about music and that is so high up there in my priority list
  • Second, it’s about neuroscience, and if you’ve read anything on this site, you’ll know my ongoing obsession with what we are learning from neuroscientists.

Somehow I got lost trying to juggle too many things:

  1. A review of my favorite music from the last year – it had become an annual tradition to share this list with a circle of music loving friends.
  2. The cool article I read about reducing anxiety by listening to certain songs: - .w4jlif2k2

     3.   My own search for songs that could bring down stress

     4.   A quick read through Daniel Levitin’s ‘This is Your Brain on Music’.

     5.   And, a desire to somehow bring all these things together in one short(ish) unbelievable blog.

So, you may guess what happened, trying to reflect on more than 4 things is very difficult for our rational brain, and this was proof of how hard it is to overcome that limitation.  Once I applied this insight, I recognized that a more limited focus would help me produce something.  So, there are basically 3 pieces to this blog now – and the search for the killer conclusion will have to wait.  Here they are:

  1. Music to reduce stress
  2. Insights from Daniel Levitin on what music does to our brains
  3. A list of songs from my Best of 2016 playlist – ENJOY!

Reducing Stress

The article above shares research that certain songs can reduce your anxiety by up to 65%.  Here are some selections from my ‘Mindfulness 2017’ playlist intended to lower stress (I have included some songs from the article):

  • Air – Alone in Kyoto
  • Duettino “Canzonetta sull’aria (Nozze De Figaro – Mozart)
  • Weightless – Marconi Union
  • Cranes in the Sky – Solange
  • Someone Like You - Adele
  • Strawberry Swing – Coldplay
  • Simple Things – Zero 7
  • Bossa Per Due – Nicola Conte
  • Harry Patch (in Memory Of) – Radiohead
  • Beach House - Wishes

Highlights from Your Brain on Music

This is a wonderful book that dives into what music does to our brain, and the vital function it plays.  I am not doing justice to the depth and range of the book, but here are some things I learned:

  • Levitin argues that music is fundamental to our species - the relationship is thousands and thousands of years old. 
  • Music taps into primitive brain structures involve with motivation, reward and emotion.  It is clearly a way to improve our moods.
  • Music confuses the traditional left brain – right brain description.  It moves functions between the supposed creative and logical sides of the brain.
  • Music engages our brain in almost every area that has been identified so far.  This can be used against us by movie makers or marketeers to engage us in a way that is not possible without music.

I’d like to join the book club discussion that reads this book.

Last but not least – 2016 my favorite sounds

Another year that did not appear exceptional produced some late breaking works , really worth listening to.  Maybe the changing political landscape was a factor.  Arbitrarily, I decided to choose 1 song from my preferred artists – tell me if you want more:

  • Solange – Rise
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate
  • Margo Price – Hands of Time
  • Dylan LeBlanc – Cautionary Tale
  • Karl Blau – Fallin’ Rain
  • Frank Ocean – Pink and White
  • ANOHNI – 4 Degrees
  • Darlingside – Birds Say

Great shows from 2016:

  • Avett Brothers – I Wish I Was
  • Lumineers – Sleep on the floor
  • Songhoy Blues – Soubour [if you love blues/Malian music, you need to own this]

Old favorities:

  • Radiohead – Daydreaming
  • Wilco – Just Say Goodbye
  • Sturgill Simpson – All Around You
  • Drive by Truckers – What it means

Respected artists who passed in 2016

  • David Bowie – Black Star  (I know there are Prince, Sharon Jones and Leonard Cohen songs that belong here too)

Favorites from so long ago, I probably wasn’t keeping a list:

  • Rene Marie - Blessings

Love to hear your comments and recommendations on my recomendations

Paul Gaskell MBA ACC

Paul Gaskell MBA ACC

Certified Professional Coach

Paul is a coach and change enabler, passionate about developing individuals and teams to their potential.  He brings extensive experience in enabling change and development at an organizational, team and personal level.  His background as a senior IT leader includes delivery of successful IT solutions, completion of major outsourcing programs, and development of new process and people capabilities has developed a deep understanding of the dynamics of change for individuals, team, and the organization.  With real world expertise in leading, coaching and facilitating, Paul is a highly qualified coach and facilitator specializing in individual coaching, and facilitating team development.

Paul’s professional experience includes more than 20 years at AstraZeneca.  He left AstraZeneca in 2014 to launch On N Up Coaching to focus on providing solutions to his clients. 

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