1% Better S3,

Hugh O’Donovan – Focusing Attention, Positive Psychology & Mindful Walking – EP111

May 23, 2019

Hugh O’Donovan is a Coaching Psychologist, Lecturer, & Author of the excellent book ‘Mindful Walking’. He also been an Entrepreneur and was a member of the Irish Army for 23 years. During this episode, Hugh reflects on many of the stand out moments in his career and shares very valuable insights and practical tips that you could use to become a better version of yourself.  

For me, some of the key takeaways here touch on discipline, developing awareness, giving yourself a choice, mental well-being and the idea of flourishing!

I would recommend you take out a pen and paper for this one.

Thanks for your ongoing support and listening. Hope you’re enjoying this as much as I’m enjoying sharing it.

A summary of topics covered:

  • Improving Performance & Mood
  • The value of Acts of Random Kindness
  • Mindfulness and the evidence behind how it’s working
  • Experimenting in Mindfulness
  • The physical benefits of movement
  • Learning the skills of focusing attention
  • The curious thing about walking and how a natural mindfulness comes when you’re moving
  • Incorporating Mindfulness into many things you do
  • 23 years-experience in the Army
  • The importance of discipline learned in the Army and how mindfulness also invites you to approach things in a disciplined way
  • Having a Busy mind – but building the awareness of these thoughts
  • Leaving you with a choice to breath
  • Behavioural changed in society
  • The challenge of transitioning from the Army into Civilian Life
  • Being in Business but not being driven to earn money!
  • Losing a friend to a tragic event and identifying this as a turning point
  • The importance of reviewing, reflecting and re-evaluating
  • The Army being all about Service
  • Values, Goals and Actions
  • Congruent Goals & making sense of the path and direction
  • How Hugh managed to get out of the business
  • Moving into psychology and feeling like this was the right place
  • All of us being psychologies as we are all trying to understand things!
  • Positive psychology and the science of flourishing
  • Martin Seligman and understanding the need for a rebalancing on mental wellbeing
  • Focusing on mental wellbeing instead of mental illness
  • Beyond Zero and flourishing
  • The importance of Gratitude
  • A negativity bias as part of the human condition
  • Keeping a diary/journal to track the things you savoured from day!
  • Rewiring the Brain & neuroplasticity
  • How can you get people to buy into the practice of journaling?
  • Keep yourself safe and avoid discomfort
  • Mindfulness asking us to observe our experience and explore discomfort
  • Appreciate comfort and discomfort
  • Exploring the edges of own discomfort
  • The writing process and what lead Hugh to write the book!
  • An exercise to try – ‘asking yourself to writing a letter to yourself in the future’
  • The secret of writing – sit down and write – 100 words a day x 365 = 36500
  • Writing the book as being the best year of Hugh’s life
  • The formal and informal practices of Mindfulness’s
  • The manta of ‘showing up, slowing down, and noticing what comes up!’
  • The invisible becomes visible when we do this!
  • Taking the new attitude towards life
  • The only time you know when you’re fully present? – aware of the breath – the only way!!
  • Acronyms to help you remember approaches
    • FORM = Focus, Observe, Reflection, Meaning (new) = FORM
    • FARM = Focus, Act, Reflection, Meaning (new)
  • The 7 pillars of mindfulness
  • Mindfulness is not about performance, it’s about observing what is
  • How the attitude towards mindfulness has changed over the last decade
  • Concerns with how Mindfulness could be used to get more out of the system!
  • The Finite System with finite resources!
  • The economic system is about growth and there is tension!
  • Changing mindsets and nudge people towards behaviours that keep us in a good place!
  • Current work and research in coaching psychology
  • Working with the HSE and the GLOW (goals for life opting for wellness) program
  • Plans for the next book that promises to be ground breaking
  • Other books recommendation:
  • Hugh’s website name HODA is an Arabic word – can be translated as guidance and enlightenment

Connect in with Hugh on www.hoda.ie


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