WEEK 19 – An Extention of Amy Cuddy

This is a reproduction of an article written by Adam D. Galinsky and Li Huang that further deepens the understanding of Amy’s video


Adam D. Galinsky is the Kaplan Professor of Ethics and Decision in Management at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He studies how hierarchy shapes thinking and behavior, which strategies are most effective in dealing with diversity, counterfactual thinking, and auction and negotiation behavior. Li Huang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She studies how the tension between contradictory psychological forces drives and regulates mental, social, and organizational life

 How You Can Become More Powerful by Literally Standing Tall

Posture can affect how powerful you feel–and how powerful you are
Tom Grill

“The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense that Energy is the fundamental concept in physics . . . The laws of social dynamics are laws which can only be stated in terms of power.”  — Bertrand RussellThree-quarters of a century ago, Bertrand Russell asserted that power is the driving force behind much of social behavior. Consistent with Russell’s theoretical musings, there has been an explosion of empirical research in the past decade – in social psychology, sociology, economics, and political science – demonstrating that power governs the many important social relationships that make up our political, business and family lives. Indeed, the dynamics of power even regulates the interactions of pre-school children. Power appears to be the central animating force of social life.

Given power’s primacy in social life, it is not surprising that one’s position in a social hierarchy transforms people in fundamental ways. Simply placing a person in a powerful or powerless role immediately alters their thoughts and behavior. The powerful tend to see the forest whereas the powerless focus on the trees. The powerful are optimistic, take bold actions and embrace risky ideas while the powerless are psychologically conservative. As Lara Tiedens of Stanford University points out, thiscomplementarity of behavior leads to an efficient division of labor and smooth social relationships. Because it provides survival advantages to groups, hierarchy is the most prominent form of social organization. As a result, the human mind has evolved to be incredibly sensitive to one’s own place in a social hierarchy.

Given the wide range of behaviors and cognition that power pulls into its sphere of influence, a fundamental question is how do people acquire power: what are its sources and bases? Many people answer “money, fame, or an important role in one’s social group.” Indeed, each of these may give you asymmetric control over valued resources, which is the very definition of power. But, are there other sources of power, other ways to both feel powerful and signal power to others?

In fact, there are many paths to increase one’s sense of power. The most obvious method is to have actual control over valued resources. But, power is also housed in our memories – simply recalling a time in which one had power has the exact same psychological and behavioral effects as giving people actual resource control. As memories of past power dance in our heads, we feel more powerful and act as if we are in charge in the present. However, although reliving powerful experiences can make one feel powerful, it doesn’t signal power to others.

As it turns out, there is a simple method to both transform people psychologically and signal power to others: altering your body posture. Across species, body posture is often the primary representation of power. From fish to reptiles to lower mammals to human’s closest evolutionary cousins, non-human primates, power is expressed and inferred through expansive postures, large body size, or even the mere perception of large body size through expansive postures.

The link from expansive postures to feeling and acting in a powerful way was elegantly demonstrated in a recent publication in Psychological Science. Dana Carney and Andy Yap from Columbia University and Amy Cuddy from Harvard University found that open, expansive postures (widespread limbs and enlargement of occupied space by spreading out one’s body), compared with closed, constricted postures (limbs touching the torso and minimization of occupied space by collapsing the body inward), increased feelings of power and an appetite for risk. To measure the appetite for risk, these researchers gave participants $2 and told them they could keep this money or roll a die and risk losing the $2 for a payout of $4 (a risky but rational bet since the odds of winning were 50/50). Participants who had been placed in the expansive posture reported feeling significantly more “powerful” and “in charge” and were also 45% more likely to roll the die.

More impressively, expansive postures also altered the participants’ hormone levels. Using salivary samples, Carney and colleagues found that expansive postures led individuals to experience elevated testosterone (T) and decreased cortisol (C). This neuroendocrine profile of High T and Low C has been consistently linked to such outcomes as disease resistance and leadership abilities. Although past research has found that occupying a powerful role leads to expansive postures, Carney et al.’s paper is the first to investigate the reciprocal relationship – the causal effect of posture on the mental experience of power.

Along with Deborah Gruenfeld and Lucia Guillory from Stanford University, we have further established the primacy of posture. In our studies, also appearing inPsychological Science, we empirically demonstrated that not only does expansive posture predict power-related behavior, but it might actually be the closest correlate of these behaviors. Across three studies, we found that when individuals were placed in high- or low-power roles while adopting an expansive or constricted posture, only posture affected the implicit activation of power, the taking of action, and the tendency to see the forest instead of the trees.

Together, these recent discoveries bolster the notion that power is grounded in the body. Not only does power change the body, but altering one’s postures changes one’s power, or at least the psychological experience of it.

These recent findings further suggest that if you want to predict how people will act in any given moment, it may make sense to look to their posture instead of their role or title. The battle between powerful roles and powerful postures is humorlessly depicted in a cartoon on the cover of the December 5, 2005 issue of The New Yorker. President George W. Bush is slouching. The then vice president, Richard B. Cheney, has both arms expansively extended across the back of a sofa, his legs sprawled across a coffee table. The president has more power vested in him by the Constitution, but the cartoon suggests what scientific research has found: that a person’s posture is often more indicative of actual influence than their position in a hierarchy.




“Thought is a combination of ideation and feeling.  We can attract any feeling to a thought we want.”

In surmising this law, I believe that it also speaks of the duality of emotions that can be attached to thoughts-

Both positive and negative emotions have significant impact on our thoughts.

Imagine that you receive an idea out of the clear blue; the idea can be anything- to start a new business, follow a new and different health protocol, or could be an idea to buy a stock in an insignificant company.  You latch on to the idea, you feel good about the company and decide to and buy stock in the company (positive).  You share your decision with a friend who points out that you are making a sad mistake because that company has never been on the Forbes’ list

You then question your gut feeling with raging thoughts…..  its true that the company has never been on the Forbes’ list…. you could loose your hard earned cash (negative).  You are now in doubt, you remember your deceased father always said “when in doubt, keep out.”  You now compromise the value of your original thought (negative) and you are not going to proceed with the purchase.

Three months passes by and the stock tripled in value and the company is acquired by one of the Five Hundred giants(positive).  You are gripped by remorse (negative) but it’s too late to change anything.  You have made a decision based on a negative thought, which started as a positive thought.


And So It Is


A strange thing has happened!

Following the exit of my first guide, I had a long and interesting chat with my new guide John.  John was curious about my DMP and so I sent him a copy for his review.

John thought the DMP was good but responded with some comments which suggested that I tweak the content for more precision and clarity.  He felt that some of my language was vague and that Subby did not really have something to grasp and hang on to.  I clearly understood his concerns but what a tailspin for me!  I had just returned from a long absence with MKMMA and had a LOT to catch up on.  I asked myself, had I been drinking the wrong Kool Aid all this time? And had I just wasted good time doing so?  I was concerned because this DMP was wrapped up a long time ago, I had  done all the recommended  progressions with it and now, I was faced with a redo.

Of course he did not agree with me!  He assured me that his suggested changes  were only going to make things better.  In his mind he could not see my PPN- Recognition of Creative Expression clearly, and figured that I would have to fix it in order to get further along.

One week later, I finally got around to making the changes that would reinforce my PPN of Recognition of Creative Expression.  Incidentally, this PPN was staged around me being a Trainer and Motivational Speaker.  Having completed that chore, I continued to muster up the energy to finish all my outstanding assignments and at the same time, fulfill my work obligations.   About two weeks later, I was approached by my Corporate Sales Manager who wanted to know whether I was interested in hosting a weekly training session at the office!  Initially, this came as a surprise to me… then when I thought about it I wondered, is my mind playing ricks on me or is this just a coincidence?  Or, is this manifestation?

Whatever it is, thank you John for your insistence, your help and your guidance.   As I told you before…. You are Da Best!

And so it is.





Scroll IV of the Greatest Salesman is such a composite explanation of us as humans and for this reason, I have put it in the “Best Scroll” category for now.

My attention lingered on this passage for a long time-

“never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth.  None that came before, none that live today and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.  All men are my bothers yet I am different from each, I am a unique creature.”

The description of these physical characteristics caused me to reflect on a pair of identical twins that I have known for over 20 years.  To date, I still do not know them apart even if I see them separately.    Except for their mother, it has been impossible for others to identify them for they each seem to be an exact copy of the other- they both have the same voice, same mannerisms, same stance, same of everything, so much that I wanted to believe(in jest) that they may have the same fingerprints!   From their photos, you could never tell who is who.   In fact, if there were no scientific facts to prove that identical twins, even if they share the same DNA, are still separate in their makeup, one would think that they totally contradict Mandino’s words- “I am a unique creature of nature.

This scroll connects with me as also for it set the stage for us to accept ourselves as individuals, to understand that we can do whatever we choose to do and be successful using the tools of our “uniqueness.”  For too long, many of us try to be like other people, especially people we believe to be better than.  If we follow Mandino’s words closely, we understand that our skills and talents set us apart from each other and it is this “apartness” that may give us an edge in our endeavours.  It is, therefore, unnecessary and can be unproductive, to present ourselves as a copy of someone else.

I  subscribe totally to the idea of keeping our domestic lives separate from our professional lives, and also to “seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.


Oh! With regard to twins please read Wally Lamb’s- I Know This Much Is True.  It’s really an intriguing journey into the lives and family circumstance of twins.  Great theme of forgiveness and atonement.



As a Commie in a prestigious restaurant in Europe, I was given the task of producing one of the desserts of the restaurant that served a constant stream of patrons during lunch.  My task commenced at 8:00 am and my goal was to produce a minimum of 100 thin, perfect, delicate and airy crêpes that food writers often describe as “ethereal” The dessert was called Crêpe chaud-froid.  These crêpes, I understood,  were featured on the restaurant’s menu from its inception and had remained a staple.

I gathered the mise en place on my station and put a single crepe pan on a low fire and waited.  By 8:20 am, my inventory was zero.  Anxiously, the Executive Chef enquired whether I knew how to make the batter.  Oui Chef! was my resounding reply, and I proceeded to mix the batter; a batter which initially produced pancakes that would have earned me a promotion as head chef at IHOP.  My second attempt (using measurements that I got from the in-house Pastry Chef), produced a very workable batter that brought me close to that elusive, ethereal crepe, that was an all-time favorite of some patrons.  However, by this time my production level was no way close to the expected inventory.

By 10:30 am pandemonium hit the kitchen….  The dishwasher, who made it his business to check up on me constantly, reported to the main kitchen that I was using a single pan and that, (I presumed),   I would be late!  Yes, I would have been late for lunch for patrons drifted in from 11:30 am and by 12:00 noon, the restaurant would have been packed.

I was astonished when the second Chef de Tournant  took over and instructed me to stand and watch him.  Unknown to me, the crêpe detail involved the use of 8 hot pans and followed a symphony of heating, pouring, twisting, flipping and stacking,  and then repeat, repeat, until the batter was finished.  This task lay before me like a huge mountain of worry and fear but as I watched the Tournant manage the pans with stealth and grace and produced the “ethereal” crêpes in his casually effortless manner, I was determined not to leave that restaurant without mastering the art of the crêpe.

By my third month in the kitchen, I had moved up the ranks to the hot kitchen, working directly with the Executive Chef.  However, I requested, and was allowed to keep my favourite chore.  It had now become a ritual and my delight, to awe my colleagues,  and Executive Chef, with  a minimum of 100 thin, perfect, delicate, airy and ethereal crêpes, before my day’s work.

Lesson 15 of the Master Keys brought me back to this old experience.  By the time I had gone to Europe, I had completed the basics of my art.   I knew how to make crêpes but the knowledge was unused. I  could not have realized the value of what I knew simply because I never applied it.  I knew the recipe and did not bother to think through the process and apply myself to the process. However, the Chef Tournant did set a precedent that evoked a determined consciousness in me to master the techniques I was taught.  Today, I still can make that thin, perfect, delicate, airy and ethereal crêpe. A special treat!


This is a repost from the original posted by MASTERKEYPATSIR – WEEK 14

I choose to repost this because of the author’s skillful presentation of the subject matter.  The fact that the major points highlighted in the stor,y total resounds with the principles/techniques that we have been following to guide us through the MKMMA.  These instances were clearly supported in the conclusion of the article and I have detailed them below for easy reference.  I totally enjoyed reading this post and have listed it as one of my favourites.  Sincere congratulations!

1-A definite major purpose backed by a burning desire (DMP)

2-A positive mental attitude (PMA

3- A plan of action (POA

4- A mastermind alliance (MMA


Door-to-Door was the movie chosen for my blog. This true story is about Bill Porter, a young man born in 1932 with a little understood condition called cerebral palsy. According to his mother, Irene, a doctor’s instrument damaged a portion of his brain at birth. As a result, it was difficult for Bill to walk, one hand was deformed, and his speech was impaired. Bill grew up getting teased over and over and continually discouraged year after year.  It is sad to think about all the stares and mean comments sent his way.  He was often called retarded.  As a young man growing up, he was never able to experience the simple pleasures or experiences of growing up.  His only inspiration came from his mother, who encouraged him to seek out his desire.  Patience and Persistence.

Bill lived in Portland, Oregon where weather was typically cold and rainy.  He visited the unemployment office daily looking for work but was continually turned away.  The state encouraged him to go on disability because of his condition.  He would not give in as he wanted to work to pay the bills. He wanted to become a salesman and work for a living like everyone else.

He was rejected by the Fuller Brush Company and initially by the Watkins Company.  Bill persisted and asked to be given a chance for one month working the worst territory, the one no one wanted.  After all, the Watkins Company would have nothing to lose. Success, Bill was hired as a salesman for the Watkins Company.

Bill had a system which started each day at 7:45 am waiting for the bus which took him to downtown Portland.  You see, Bill could not drive. His limited use of his hand prevented him from tying his tie and buttoning his shirt cuff.  He took the bus to the Fifth Avenue Suites Hotel where his gained the help of the bell hop for these tasks.  His next stop one block away he got his shoes shined and tied.  Bill sought out the help of others.  Their exchange was conversations, jokes, and stories.  Next, he took another bus to get to his sales route to start his daily walk of seven to ten miles.  Remember, Portland is typically cold and rainy.  He never let his mission be deterred by the many rejections he received as a door-to-door salesman in his 35 years. Through all this hardship, Bill never lost his spirit or his determination.  Bill Porter’s determination and persistent was an inspiration and source of strength to others. He was awarded Watkins 1989 Salesman of the Year with gross annual sales of $42, 460.

Let’s take a look at this movie and identify the four tiny habits:

1-A definite major purpose backed by a burning desire (DMP): Bill Porter was bound and determined to work and earn his keep in a difficult career as a door-to-door salesman despite his physical condition and limitations.  So many doors had been closed for him. He could had become a bitter man.

2-A positive mental attitude (PMA): Bill closed his mind to negativity and approached each day with a smile and was not deterred by the negativity of those around him.  He demonstrated patience and perseverance calmly despite the difficulties, just as his mother taught him.  After all, “you can be what you will to be.”  “Ignore the obstacles at your feet and keep mine eyes on the goal above your head” – conquer all.

3- A plan of action (POA): Bill definitely had a plan of action. He approached each day with a smile and followed his system daily to get dressed in his suit and proceed to his route.  Bill’s persistence and belief that he could obtain his dream was clearly defined by his effort.  He kept trying and trying. His will of steel could not be broken.

4- A mastermind alliance (MMA): Bill utilized a friendly alliance of one or more people to encourage and support his plan and purpose. Starting with his mother, the bellhop, the shoe shine boy, and others allowed Bill to emerge victorious.  With each victory, the next struggle became less difficult.

As Og Mandino describes in Scroll IV of The Greatest Salesman in the World, Bill Porter was nature’s greatest miracle.  He put his skills, his mind, his heart, and his body to good use.  He showed the world he was unique and possessed unlimited potential.





A Simplistic View of the Law of Practice

Following a Sushi night out with my Asian Colleagues back in College, I discovered that I loved Sake and handled it well but that I was totally inept with handling chopsticks.  It was hilarious in part for despite the many demonstrations offered by my friends, as much as I tried, I could not pick up the delicious rolls or tiny slabs of raw yellow tail, and hold either for more than a few seconds.  My buddies on the other hand were leisurely nibbling sushi and sashimi off the end of the slender ivory sticks which they nonchantly held between their equally slender fingers.  Finally I became frustrated and resorted to using my thumb and forefinger to feed myself.

A good evening was had by all, we said our goodbyes and left the restaurant;  I, with a resolution that this chopstick fiasco would never happen again.  The next day, I headed into China Town and bought a packet of 24 plastic ivory colored chopsticks.  I placed them in my cutlery bin and put away my traditional utensils- the knife and fork.  I read and re read the stick to finger placement on the packaging and with the sticks, I practiced eating every thing that crossed my lips.

I at my breakfast, main and evening meal (at least I tried) with the sticks.  I ate cereal, peanuts, bagels, boiled sweet potatoes, oranges, buffalo wings, egg salad, beries, butter pecan ice cream….. I even picked up my daily cod liver oil capsules with the sticks.  I used the sticks for every imaginable food that I ate!

My ritual of eating EVERYTHING  and ANYTHING at EVERY MEAL led me to become extremely comfortable and competent in handling chopsticks.  The next step for me was to teach the other members in my family how to use them.  In doing so I gathered numerous pairs of mismatched stick for many of them certainly lost their way in the kitchen refuse bins.

I always recall my orientation to using chopsticks with fondness.  Routinely, I add new sticks to the collection I started since that memorable event at the restaurant many years ago.

Perfect Practice Prevents Poor Performance

And So It Is



OK, so Mark J wants us to remember all the successes we have had for some time, about 30 to 50 of them.  He referred to them as our victories and wants us to Shuffle and Flash through them at least once a day.  I believe he is trying to shake up Subby some more; so, the victories can be small since Subby does not know the difference between small things and big things.

Anyway, this proved to be an alarmingly eye opening exercise.   I realized two major things-

  1. Though it takes little effort, I spend a considerable amount of my time doing things for other people.
  2. I have done an amazing number of things for many people that meant quite a lot to them.

Reflecting on some of these victories I realized that I have contributed a lot to the happiness of many individuals and their families and that it was not much of a financial strain, or even a great imposition on my personal life.  To think that these small victories had so far reaching effects is truly an incentive to continue the practice.

One victory noted on one of my cards read:  Gave call to stranger – Boston South Station

I recall the incident when I was approached by a well-dressed woman who politely asked me to use my mobile phone.  I thought the request was odd but nevertheless I handed her my phone, she made the call, returned my phone and we went our separate ways.   About two hours later I received a call from her husband thanking me profusely for allowing her to use my phone.  However, on relating the incident to family members, they thought that it was an extremely foolish idea to turn my phone over to a complete stranger…. What if she was calling Timbuktu?  What if she had run off with the phone?  None of those negative scenarios crossed my mind when I handed her the phone.  I had no idea what kind of situation she was in but sensed that she may have needed some kind of help and responded to her request.

I think that these random acts of giving to, and doing for others, would truly realize huge payoffs to the givers.  I continue to give and act on behalf of others and truly appreciate how the MMKMA has caused me to focus on giving to others.

And So It Is



, , ,

Scroll III by Og Mandino-“ I will persist until I succeed”

Meggie Zahneis demonstrates in this article how her persistence paid off.  She effectively used her inherent positive traits to execute the things that she “can” do-  Though she was physically impaired she set her mental faculties into gear, and used her  gifts of poetry and storytelling and writing to her advantage.  Her story is truly one of persistence.

Read Meggie’s story here:

Passion and persistence: The winning essay

Essay winner lands dream

The following is the winning entry submitted by Meggie Zahneis in the 2011 Breaking Barriers essay contest:

I know what it’s like to be different from everyone else around you, to overcome obstacles, to confront adversity. It may not be on a baseball field, but I face many of the same social and emotional barriers that Jackie Robinson did.

I have a rare disorder called HSAN II (Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy, type 2). There are only about fifty known cases of HSAN II worldwide, each with varied symptoms. Since I can’t feel pain, temperature, and touch to the same degree as everyone else, I’ve run up against quite a few obstacles through the years. More than anything, I’ve had to rely on persistence, determination, and commitment to get me through those obstacles.

Because of my disability, many kids I know have judged this book by its cover, without taking the time to look a little closer and see that I’m just like them inside. This is where I personally identify with Mr. Robinson, as he dealt with the same issue.

Medically, I am a recipe for disaster. I’ve had fourteen surgeries, including several on my eyes, ears, mouth, and hips. I’ve had to endure one health issue after another, and it certainly hasn’t been easy. I’m also often socially shunned, and as I grow older and prepare to enter high school, this issue has become more and more prevalent. With all these things going on in my life, I’ve had to rely on a few things to keep me going.

You see, Mr. Robinson and I have something else in common besides overcoming adversity: a love of baseball. Although it’s unusual for a fourteen-year-old girl, I’ve had a certain passion for the game from an early age. However, I’m not able to play like most kids, so I’ve had to channel my love of baseball a bit differently. Instead of giving up on it, I persisted and pursued my passion in a more unique way: the next best thing to playing — being one of my Cincinnati Reds’ most diehard fans, and becoming a walking baseball history encyclopedia and avid baseball memorabilia collector.

The other thing that fuels my fire is my love of writing. For years, I’ve been able to creatively express myself through poetry, narratives, and posts on my blog. As I entered junior high, I threw myself into founding and editing my school newspaper and being a member of a competitive writing team.

Every day, I try to make a conscious commitment to focus on the things I CAN do, and not the ones I can’t. I like to think I have the determination to forge forward with my strengths and use them to the advantage of not only myself, but of other kids with special needs. It’s my dream that someday, just like Mr. Robinson paved the way for African-Americans to play baseball, I can pave the way, through my writing, for other kids with special needs. Hopefully, I can help people understand us “non-typical” kids a little more, and inspire them to take a chance on befriending someone a little different from them. I really do believe taking that chance will pay off.

Of course, that’s much easier said than done. It can be very hard for me to maintain my positivity on a day-to-day basis. A particularly rough time for me was one of my most recent surgeries, when I had a major procedure done on both hips. Not only was I in excruciating pain for days, but I was confined to a wheelchair for three months afterwards. To top it all off, the surgery took place a week before Christmas, which was also my thirteenth birthday. It was hard to go back to school and have everyone staring at me, sitting in a wheelchair with my legs sticking straight out! But I was determined not to let it get to me, and the only day of school I missed was the day of the surgery.

It’s during days like those that I’m forced to really dig deep and make that daily commitment to be strong and to be positive. With an attitude like that, I truly believe I can make a difference in this world.

By Meggie Zahneis  Meggie Zahneis, winner of the 2011 Breaking Barriers 




Master Keys – LESSON 9

“This week visualize a plant; take a flower, the one you most admire, bring it from the unseen into the seen…..’

This exercise reminded me of an experience I had some years ago.  At the time I was very intrigued by the intense flavor profile of Kaffir Lime Leaves (KLL).  The leaves of the plant seem to wrap the flavors of limes, lemons, and a flowery hint of lemongrass, into a delicious bundle that heightened the enjoyment of various dishes.  The only problem with KLL was that it had become a tad expensive when fresh, and the dried leaves I hated.

Naturally, I decided to get my own KLL plant and save myself the money and hassle.  Unfortunately for me, as I was living outside of the USA, it was impossible for me to buy a plant and worse yet, to import one.  After many enquiries, perhaps by a stroke of good luck, I stumbled upon a forum for exotic herbs that was run by an interest group in Australia.  Here I was able to secure some KLL seeds from a member gardener, who was kind enough to send instructions along with the seeds.  I choose a large earthen pot and stuffed it with soil from a nearby compost lot.  I put the seeds to germinate in the same soil in a used egg crate, and watched every single day for the sprouts to emerge.  When I saw the first leaves, pale yellow, and almost transparent, I was ecstatic.  I talked to the young shoots constantly and eagerly transplanted them to the pot as soon as they were strong enough.  I watered them adequately; gave them the correct exposure in the early morning, and while still tender, shaded them from the brutal midday sun.   They thrived at an amazing rate and I was so happy to share them with family members.  The lone plant I kept for myself I kept in my kitchen.  It happily provided me with all the dark glossy leaves that I needed and constantly filled the atmosphere with its beautiful scent.

Because I wanted the KLL plant so badly, I was able to “enter into the spirt” of having it.  Furthermore, I kept a “clear and complete” vision and was able to acquire and nurture the young shoots into to a well defined and healthy plant.


And So It Is