top of page
Search

HCI Webinar: It’s Just a Thought: Emotional Freedom through Deliberate Thinking, with Thomas M. Sterner

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Thomas M. Sterner about his book, It’s Just a Thought: Emotional Freedom through Deliberate Thinking. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


Thomas Sterner and Jonathan H. Westover discussed the importance of deliberate thinking in the workplace and teamwork. Thomas Sterner emphasized the potential risks of mind wandering and the impact of subconscious thoughts. They also explored the role of the subconscious in shaping our reactions and habits, and the significance of thought awareness training. Thomas Sterner highlighted the importance of having a 'rescue mantra' to overcome anxiety and stress, and the concept of being in control of one's thoughts and feelings.


Workplace Applications of Emotional Freedom


Jonathan and Thomas discussed the potential applications of Thomas's book, "Emotional Freedom through Deliberate Thinking," in the workplace and teamwork. Thomas expressed his comfort with being referred to as Tom. They acknowledged the challenges of maintaining focus on tedious tasks and the potential risks of mind wandering in other work environments. Thomas shared his background as a high-level concert piano technician and how his experience taught him how to stay engaged in tasks. He also discussed his previous book, "The Practicing Mind," which he originally wrote in the early 90s and published in 2005, and how it eventually became successful and allowed him to change careers.


Thoughts and Their Impact on Daily Life


Thomas Sterner discussed his research and work on understanding the nature of thoughts and their impact on our daily lives. He emphasized the importance of deliberate thinking, contrasting it with automated thinking which leads to mind wandering. He also mentioned the influence of the subconscious mind and the need to be aware of the impact of our thoughts. The discussion concluded with Jonathan H. Westover, who agreed on the significance of deliberate thinking.


Subconscious Habits and Thought Awareness Training


Thomas Sterner and Jonathan H. Westover engaged in a conversation about the role of the subconscious in shaping our reactions and habits. Thomas explained that the subconscious tries to make us happy by writing programs in response to upsetting situations, which are then automated and repeated as habits. He emphasized that these habits are not deliberate thoughts and require no RAM or decision-making. Jonathan agreed, noting that early life experiences can program our responses. They also discussed the idea of thought awareness training to recognize and potentially change habitual thought patterns. Thomas suggested the use of a 'rescue mantra' to help switch from being thought to observing thoughts.


Importance of Procedures in Overcoming Stress


Thomas Sterner discussed the importance of having a procedure or a 'rescue mantra' to overcome anxiety and stress, drawing parallels from his experience as a private pilot. He emphasized the significance of practicing procedures so they become instinctive, which he found helped him during his first solo flight. Thomas also referenced the successful landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River by Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, attributing his success to the repetition of drills.


Meditation for Anxiety Control


Thomas Sterner and Jonathan H. Westover had a conversation about the importance of being in control of one's thoughts and feelings. They explored the concept of anxiety being a result of feeling out of control. Thomas suggested that meditation, which involves sitting comfortably and focusing on breath or a phrase, can be a helpful tool to increase awareness of one's thoughts. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the need to sometimes "turn off" the mind and the benefits of meditation for relaxation and stress management.


Mindfulness and Performance Enhancement


Thomas Sterner and Jonathan H. Westover had a detailed conversation about the importance and benefits of mindfulness and practicing being in the present moment. Thomas emphasized the role of mindfulness in managing stress, improving performance, and reacting versus responding to situations. He also shared his methods of practicing mindfulness, such as focusing on breathing or using simple phrases, and suggested that organizations can benefit from mindfulness exercises to enhance team dynamics and individual performance. Thomas concluded by inviting interested individuals to contact him through his website, TomSterner.com, for more information or guidance.


Listen to the webinar here:



2 views

Comments


bottom of page