Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mirror neurones; how do they affect you?

Recent research has come up with scientific proof of ‘mirror neurones’. What are these? And how do they work?

Well, before reading on, let’s do a small experiment.

Answer this question before reading on: how do you feel right now, on a scale from 1-10 (10 is excellent, superb, never better)

Then, have a look at my picture for at least 30 seconds.

Done? Ok, describe how do you feel right now? Has your initial number changed?

So what does this have to do with mirror neurones. It turns out, that just by looking at faces of other people, we tend to experience the emotions that we see. The effect is very strong when we mimic the face we see (you may wanna give this a try), but also by just looking, without changing anything in your own facial expression, will fire some neurones in your emotional brain, that will make you feel the emotion that you see. In this case probably (and hopefully) happy.

What is the practical side of this knowledge. Well, whenever you feel a little down or sad. Just by looking at, or surrounding yourself with happy people, you will feel better.

Have a smiling day!

Annemarie Steen

Experiential Learning in daily life

Hi there,

It is my firm believe that we can learn from any experience we have in life. From simple things, like when you drop an apple on the floor, it’s very likely a brown spot will appear after some time, to more complicated experiences, like having a burnout.

It’s built in our system to learn from experiences. Otherwise we would not be able to walk, speak, survive. I believe it’s also built in our system the desire to make meaning out of experiences. And when we do, it enhances our happiness and well-being. Did you ever meet someone that experienced some sort of crisis in their lives, that said “looking back, it was the best thing that happened to me.” Do you have similar experiences in your life?

When I’m working with groups, I invite them to (for them) weird experiences, like laughing for no reason, dancing and moving, playing active games, etc. They seem to have no relation at all to their workenvironment. However, when I invite them to reflect on the experience by asking “What just happened?” “How does it feel?” and “How does this experience relate to your work?” it’s amazing what meaningful insights come to the surface.

Kolb described this proces of making meaning in his Experiential Learning Cycle.

First you have an experience (you drop an apple), then you reflect upon the experience by asking questions like “What happened?” (the apple dropped, I see a dark spot appearing). This results into an insight like when I drop an apple, it will bruce. The action that comes from this insight, is perhaps be more careful handling apples.

These same learningquestions can be applied to daily experiences, either positive or negative, either simple or complex.

Questions that will help you are:

What just happened?

How does it make me feel?

What did I do?

What did the other person do (next)?

What can I learn from this?

How can I apply this insight?

What options do I have?

What will I do next time?

What action can I take now?

Good luck and I wish you many meaningful experiences and learning.

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen

How do I start blogging?

Yesterday I signed up for wordpress and started a blog. That’s the easy part! Now I’m wondering what to do with it. Questions come up; Do I have something to say that other people will like to read? Will I be able to post on a regular basis? Will I get bored and stop after the first enthusiasm is gone? How do I get followers/readers? Will this help my business or is it more of a timeconsuming hobby? Bottomline: Is blogging for me?

So, I googled some posts on what it takes to become a succesful blogger.

Passion. First thing I found out is that to be a succesful blogger, you have to be passionate about something, so you don’t get bored writing about it. So this takes some soulsearching to find out where my true passion is coming from. I have many interests, and I’m easily enthusiastic about new things. But a passion comes from deep within. When does time stop for me? When am I engaged in doing things I absolutely love doing? What things would I keep doing, even when I don’t get paid for doing them? Or what would I do, if I had all the money in the world? The answer for me, it’s about learning and creating ideas and experiences to engage other people in learning and growing. I’m a learner by doing. Like starting a blog before thinking about what the content should be…:-)

Like writing, write regurlarly and be able to write clearly. Well, I keep diaries my whole life. I used to love to write traveldiaries, and I sometimes practise automatic writing, so this is a yes. I could motivate myself on the regular part with an audacious goal. Like post one learning experience each day, because a day without learning is a day without paying attention.

Find your niche. I’m not sure about this one. Time has to tell if my personal learning stories are of value to readers. I like to create awareness that learning can be done anywhere, anytime. As long as you put your learningmind to work and make meaning out of experiences you have. And a learningmind is something that I have, and I’m sure a lot of other people have too. I hope my blog will become interactive with readers that will share their learning experiences with me, to inspire others to look at life’s mysterious ways as a learninggame. Maybe I should rename the blog from “the learning mind” to “life is a learninggame” or “play the learninggame”. What do you think?

Work actively on growing your audience. Have to learn this one.

Well, I will give it a go and see what happens. Every new thing is a learningopportunity…

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen


My favorite quotes…

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them


Hello world!

Welcome to my blog. I’m not 100% sure why I started this blogadventure today, but I’m sure it will be a nice journey. I love to learn. And I like any new endeavors that enable me to learn more about me, about others and the world we live in. I’m curious by nature. Another thing I cannot stop myself from doing, is to transform experiences into learningopportunities, not only for myself, but for others too. I will share mine with you in this blog, and hopefully you will do too.