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The PROPEL Institute and Dr.Tom Muha

Passion: Developing the Drive to Create Positive Outcomes

The PROPEL Principles: Passion
Passion is the source of our inspiration and motivation. Having passion for our work can enable us to perform at the highest level. But passion can also have a dark side if it becomes a consuming need for control.

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Relationships: The Science of Building a High-Performing Team

The PROPEL Principles: Relationships
You might think that by sharing an occupation, co-workers are a team. But Gallup surveys have consistently found that only 30 percent of employees are engaged (doing a good job, deliberately and with enthusiasm), while 50 percent say they are disengaged (emotionally disconnected from their workplace, no longer caring about the organization’s mission or their leader’s goals). Disengaged employees demonstrate minimal motivation and little involvement with coworkers and patients, resulting in lackluster performance.

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Optimism: The Truth (and Science) about Positive Thinking

The PROPEL Principles: OptimismStudies show that as many as 85 percent of initiatives attempting a change fail. The reason most often cited is discouragement. But the truth is, it takes weeks and often months to make real progress toward a goal, and setbacks along the way are to be expected. No matter the setting, individuals who “give up” have one trait in common: pessimism. Pessimistic people see failure as permanent, pervasive, and personal. This outlook is vastly different from those who can be classified as optimistic; they see setbacks as temporary, specific, and situational.

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Proactivity: How to Redirect the Energy of Negative Reactions

The PROPEL Principles: Proactivity
We humans are hardwired to react negatively when faced with a problem. When we feel threatened, the midbrain (mesencephalon) hijacks our attention to focus on how we can avoid harm, triggering the production of stress chemicals (cortisol) that prepare us for “fight or flight,” a chemical reaction that can kick in whether or not reality warrants it.

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Energy: How to Replenish Your Internal Engine

The PROPEL Principles: Energy
You might think that those who devote their professional lives to improving the health of others would themselves be models of good health and good habits. You’d be wrong. Study after study finds that healthcare providers are pretty terrible about looking after their own health, and that they have a surprising inclination toward unhealthy habits. Ironically, the passion and training that drives them to want to give the best care humanly possible does not carry over into their off-hours. Spend a day in their shoes and you’d see why.

When we become so consumed by our work that we fail to replenish our own energy, sooner or later we pay the price. We become physically exhausted, mentally drained, emotionally spent and spiritually depleted. We burn out.

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Legacy: Making a Meaningful Difference = Greater Life Satisfaction

The PROPEL Principles: Legacy
Studies show that nearly every successful person, at some point in his or her life, benefited from a mentor. Even those who have experienced impoverished backgrounds, challenging circumstances, or traumatic events can flourish if they have a mentor, coach, or loved one who is dedicated to making a difference in their life. The benefit is mutual; mentors’ lives are enriched too. As all the research on happiness confirms, one of life’s greatest satisfactions come from knowing that you have helped another human being in a lasting way.

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