The space in between

You know what you want and what you need to do to get it.

You also know what you don’t want.

So, where do you spend most of your time? 

Do you get stuck in and go about making happen what you want?

Or do you spend a lot of time thinking about what you don’t want?

Or do you spend your time in the space in between?

I recently discovered what I’m calling ‘the space in between’ when I decided to finally lose some weight.

For me it’s the space where I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want AND yet doing very little about it. There’s a lot of talk, a lot of planning and buying new notebooks to write things down, there’s research and then pulling it all together. And then…nothing!

What stops me from making it happen, from taking the steps I know I need to and getting what I want?

Here are my top eight:

  1. The thought that it’s going to be difficult or complicated
  2. The thought that it will take me ages to get it
  3. The thought that I will make a fool of myself
  4. The thought that I will fail
  5. The thought that I need to think about it some more
  6. The thought that it won’t be perfect
  7. The thought that I can magically manifest it
  8. In reality am I just interested and not committed?

Think about something you want – maybe you’ve wanted it for a long time and think about what you need to do to get it. Do any of my eight realisations apply to you?

I do know that the best way to get what I want is to make it happen, take some action, get started and move on from the space in between. To help me make a shift and get going I’m using The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins  who says,

“The moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something) start counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. The Rule is a proven form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking and awaken your pre-frontal cortex – making change easy. The rule acts as a starting ritual”.

So here goes, 5-4-3-2-1 I’m pressing the publish button!


Coach, Communicator & Collaborator
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Nudges do work

Recently I have been incorporating the ‘Telomeres Manifesto’ as a nudge in organisations, to better manage stress and well-being.

Simply put, the nudge theory states that small changes in the “choice architecture” of people can lead to meaningful shifts in behaviour. During his time as Google’s SVP for People Operations, Laszlo Bock investigated and invested in understanding how behavioural science could improve the workforces’ health at work and home. He deployed an array of nudges that delivered steady progress with impressive metrics demonstrating how nudges motivated employees to make healthier and wiser lifestyle and dietary choices.

Whilst some opponents of nudge theory are concerned with it being a potentially manipulative practice, Laszlo noted “nudges are about influencing choice not dictating it” (WORK RULES, 2015).

From my perspective, a transparent alignment to an organisation’s purpose, value and behaviours (PVB) and an equally transparent dialogue about nudge theory ethics and its limitations, are conversations that need to be had before nudge development. Nudges do work.

As a nudge the ‘Telomeres Manifesto’ (below) serves not only as an aide-mémoire but can assist an organisation to design an environment where it can change attitudes and behaviour towards managing stress and well-being. It has sparked curiosity, encouraged exploration and offered a scientific insight to well-being. Clients have unanimously said it offers them a choice they weren’t aware of.

It is always a rewarding challenge working with organisations to promote and navigate well-being in the workplace. The fact that we can leverage behavioural science to nurture decision making is of benefit and the continuing application of scientific discovery means that the journey is evolving with evidence based data.

Try the Telomeres Manifesto as a nudge in your environment.

Neena Speding
Chartered MCIPD, BSc (Hons) HRM, PGCE
Emotional Intelligence Thought Leader & Collaborator
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Your cellular health is reflected in the wellbeing of your mind, body, and community.
Here are the elements of telomere maintenance that we believe to be the most crucial for a healthier world:

Mind Your Telomeres

  • Evaluate sources of persistent, intense stress. What can you change?
  • Transform a threat to a challenge appraisal.
  • Become more self- compassionate and compassionate to others.
  • Take up a restorative activity.
  • Practice thought awareness and mindful attention. Awareness opens doors to wellbeing.

Maintain Your Telomeres

  • Be active.
  • Develop a sleep ritual for more restorative and longer sleep.
  • Eat mindfully to reduce overeating and ride out cravings.
  • Choose telomere- healthy foods – whole foods, omega‑3s, skip the bacon.

Connect Your Telomeres

  • Make room for connection: Disconnect from screens for part of the day.
  • Cultivate a few good, close relationships.
  • Provide children quality attention and the right amount of “good stress.”
  • Cultivate your neighborhood social capital. Help strangers.
  • Seek green. Spend time in nature.
  • Mindful attention to other people allows connections to bloom. Attention is your gift to give.

Create Telomere Health in Your Community and the World

  • Improve prenatal care.
  • Protect children from violence and other traumas that damage telomeres.
  • Reduce inequality.
  • Clean up local and global toxins.
  • Improve food policies so that everyone has access to fresh, healthy, affordable food.

The future health of our society is being shaped right now, and we can measure part of that future in telomere base pairs.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer. (p.327)
Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, 2017

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’.
Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein, 2008

WORK RULES! Insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead.
Laszlo Bock, 2015


Books, books, books

Recently we’ve been reading a lot and sharing what we’ve discovered.

This got us thinking, what are you reading at the moment?

And if you love what you’re reading let us know why and we will add it to our list.

“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape”
Nora Ephron


Neets, Carol & Neena
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Telomeres – helping me extend my health span

I constantly seek research and findings that effectively and meaningfully link academia and the real world. This week’s example that sparked my imagination was discovering the works of Elizabeth Blackburn a Nobel prize winning, molecular biologist.

In a world that constantly seeks to improve well-being she focuses on the positive application of theory and science to open the world to Telomeres and how they influence your health span.

Studying mental ill health, I have become increasingly and uncomfortably familiar with the negative vocabulary that currently prevails in the literature. “The Telomere Effect“ offers a refreshingly positive vocabulary and vibe as it presents a strong scientific representation of the effects of stress on one’s body and health span. The book powerfully articulates the levels of control we can exert on our own and others health by focusing on our Telomeres.

Quick definition required here, Telomeres are the caps at the end of our DNA strands, they offer a protective sheath often likened to that at the end of a shoe lace. It prevents damage to our DNA strands and protects the chromosome.

Chronic stress and negative thoughts can shorten your Telomeres whilst meditation has been shown to strengthen them. As an advocate of the power of empathy, self-awareness and mindfulness her book has given me a novel scientific narrative to translate research into reality.

An excellent preface, or substitute if time is of the essence, to the book is her TED talk, it offers an invaluable bite size insight to Telomeres and her work.

You have the power to change your well-being, explore the possibilities. I am!

Neena Speding
Chartered MCIPD, BSc (Hons) HRM, PGCE
Emotional Intelligence Thought Leader & Collaborator
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Your journey in 2018

  • What do you want to see and experience along the way?
  • Who is travelling with you?
  • What are you really looking forward to?
  • How do you want to feel?

I have decided wherever my road takes me, the journey is going to be an easy one. Easy is my word for 2018.

After all it’s easy if I think it is.

Coach, Communicator & Collaborator
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