The race between creating and eliminating deepfakes is in full swing. Technology is becoming more and more accessible and deepfakes are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from real ones.
- What exactly are deepfakes? A refresher
- How are deepfakes made?
- The Good – An Optimistic View
- The dangers of deepfakes
- What can we do to distinguish fake from real?
- The future of fake – and other considerations
Despite a huge increase in positive applications, the dangers of deepfakes continue to raise widespread concern as they become more widely known and better understood. We are inundated with content describing how rapidly this deep learning technology is being developed, that deepfake tech is becoming more sophisticated and easier to access, and what the risks are when this technology falls into the wrong hands. Like it or not, and as disturbing as the negative consequences of using deepfakes may be, they are and will remain a part of our lives. And even though deepfakes receive mostly negative publicity, there are also many reasons to be excited about this technology and its many positive applications. Deepfake technology, for example, makes it possible to create completely new types of content and democratize access to creation tools – which until recently were either too expensive or too complicated for the average person. The use of artificial intelligence to create realistic simulations could actually be a positive development for humanity.
What exactly are deepfakes? A refresher
Giving a comprehensive definition of deepfakes is not easy. The term deepfake combines the words deep (from deep learning) and fake (fake). We know that deepfakes are made possible by deep learning technology, a machine learning technique that allows computers to learn by following examples. Deepfake technology uses a person’s behavior – such as the voice, image and typical facial expressions or body movements – to create completely new content that is virtually indistinguishable from authentic content. This technology can also be used to make people say or do things in videos that they never said or did, or to replace someone in a video with another person, or to create video content featuring important political figures or celebrities or even with people who don’t exist at all. The manipulation of existing – or the creation of new – digital images is not new. In fact, AI-generated pornographic content first surfaced in late 2017. The creation of this type of video material initially took at least a year and was done by experts in high-tech studios. But thanks to the rapid development of deepfake technology in recent years, this can now be done a lot faster and easier and the results are much more convincing. The term deepfakes was originally used for specific pornographic content, but now it is applied much more broadly to describe many different types of AI-generated or synthetic video content. AI-generated pornographic content first surfaced in late 2017. The creation of this type of video material initially took at least a year and was done by experts in high-tech studios. But thanks to the rapid development of deepfake technology in recent years, this can now be done a lot faster and easier and the results are much more convincing. The term deepfakes was originally used for specific pornographic content, but now it is applied much more broadly to describe many different types of AI-generated or synthetic video content. AI-generated pornographic content first surfaced in late 2017. The creation of this type of video material initially took at least a year and was done by experts in high-tech studios. But thanks to the rapid development of deepfake technology in recent years, this can now be done a lot faster and easier and the results are much more convincing. The term deepfakes was originally used for specific pornographic content, but now it is applied much more broadly to describe many different types of AI-generated or synthetic video content. But thanks to the rapid development of deepfake technology in recent years, this can now be done a lot faster and easier and the results are much more convincing. The term deepfakes was originally used for specific pornographic content, but now it is applied much more broadly to describe many different types of AI-generated or synthetic video content. But thanks to the rapid development of deepfake technology in recent years, this can now be done a lot faster and easier and the results are much more convincing. The term deepfakes was originally used for specific pornographic content, but now it is applied much more broadly to describe many different types of AI-generated or synthetic video content.
How are deepfakes made?
To create a realistic deepfake video of an existing person, a neural network must be trained using video images of this person, including an extensive range of facial expressions, in all kinds of different light and from every angle imaginable, so that the artificial intelligence gains a deep ‘understanding’ of not only the appearance but also the ‘essence’ of the person in question. The trained network is then combined with techniques such as advanced computer graphics to place a made-up version of this person on top of the person in the original video, as it were. While this process is much faster than it was a few years ago, truly credible results are still quite time consuming and complicated. However, cutting-edge technology, such as Samsung AI technology developed in a Russian AI lab, makes it possible to create a deepfake video with just a handful of images – or even just one.
The Good – An Optimistic View
While the not-so-kosher uses of deepfakes are quite frightening, this technology also offers many benefits and we regularly find new, positive uses for deepfaketech. Think, for example, of editing video images without having to do reshoots, or ‘ bringing it back to life’from artists who are no longer with us. For example, researchers at the Samsung AI lab in Moscow recently succeeded in converting Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa into video. Through deep learning technology, they managed to make this famous lady move her head, mouth and eyes. Deepfake technology was also used at the Dalí Museum in Florida to display a life-size deepfake of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí that features several quotes he has written or spoken during his art career. With deepfake technology, we can experience things that never existed, or see all kinds of future possibilities before us. In addition to the many different possible applications in art and entertainment, this technology can also do all kinds of impressive things in education and healthcare. Below are a few more interesting examples of this groundbreaking technology.
Speech manipulator converts text to speech
Adobe’s VoCo software – still in the research and prototype phase – lets you convert text into speech and edit it, just as you would images in Photoshop. Suppose you want to comment on a film clip by, for example, David Attenborough or Morgan Freeman. With VoCo, this is now possible without having to spend a fortune hiring the real voice actors. The software allows you to modify an existing audio recording of a person by adding words and phrases, without the original narrator ever saying them. During a live demo in San Diego, an Adobe employee transformed a digitized recording of a man who had originally said “I kissed my dogs and my wife” to “I kissed Jordan three times.” A 20 minute speech recording was used to arrive at this result. The transcribed version of this recording was then modified and converted into the new voice clip at the touch of a button. As impressive as this technology may be, these kinds of developments could further exacerbate the already problematic situation of fake news and further undermine public trust in journalism. However, Adobe has announced that it is taking action to address these potential challenges. Such developments could further exacerbate the already problematic situation of fake news and further undermine public trust in journalism. However, Adobe has announced that it is taking action to address these potential challenges. Such developments could further exacerbate the already problematic situation of fake news and further undermine public trust in journalism. However, Adobe has announced that it is taking action to address these potential challenges.
Convincing dubbing through automated facial resuscitation
Synthesia, an AI software company founded by a team of researchers and entrepreneurs from Stanford, Cambridge, University College London and the Technical University of Munich, introduces a new kind of media – facial resuscitation software – that enables automated and highly persuasive dubbing. The AI startup was put on the map with the release of a synthetic video in which David Beckham talks about the deadly disease Malaria in nine different languages. This technology can be used in a variety of ways and offers creators around the world an enormous amount of additional possibilities. Synthesia and the international news service Reuters recently teamed up to create the world’s first synthesized, newsreader-spoken newscasts. For this they used basic deepfake technology, with which they made new newscasts based on pre-recorded clips from a newsreader. By far the most remarkable thing is that this technology makes it possible to automatically generate news items that can also be personalized for individual viewers. Synthesia’s technology can be used for training purposes to develop video modules in more than 40 languages and create or modify content easily and quickly. With this technology, you can also turn text and slides into video presentations in minutes, without the need for video editing skills. This is useful for purposes such as business communication, among other things. Synthesia’s technology can be used for training purposes to develop video modules in more than 40 languages and create or modify content easily and quickly. With this technology, you can also turn text and slides into video presentations in minutes, without the need for video editing skills. This is useful for purposes such as business communication, among other things. Synthesia’s technology can be used for training purposes to develop video modules in more than 40 languages and create or modify content easily and quickly. With this technology, you can also turn text and slides into video presentations in minutes, without the need for video editing skills. This is useful for purposes such as business communication, among other things.
With deepfakes anyone can dance like a pro
Tinghui Zhou, CEO and co-founder of Humen AI, a dance deepfakes startup, has teamed up with his research colleagues at UC Berkeley to develop technology that lets anyone dance like a pro. Think, for example, of the impressive dance moves of Bruno Mars. For this, the gentlemen used a type of artificial intelligence called GANs (generative adversarial networks), with which you can ‘read’ someone’s dance steps, copy them and ‘paste’ them on a target body. The system can be used for all kinds of dance styles – such as ballet, jazz, modern or hip-hop. First, videos of the source dancer and the target dancer are recorded. Then the images of the dancers turned into stick figures. After that, the swap takes place through a neural network synthesis video of the target dancer based on the stick figure movements of the sourcedancer – and voila! All you need for this are some video images and the right AI software. It’s impressive work and traditionally this kind of video manipulation with a whole team would take you several days. Humen AI aims to turn the dance video gimmick into an app and eventually develop a paid service for advertising agencies, video game developers, and even Hollywood studios. Ricky Wong, co-founder of Humen AI, says: “With three minutes of motion images and material from professionals, you can make anyone dance. We try to bring joy and fun to people’s lives.” Zhou adds, “The future we envision is one where anyone can create Hollywood-level content.”
Smart assistants and virtual people
Smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have been around for a while and have improved a lot in recent years. However, they still feel somewhat like a new user interface that should give you exact instructions, rather than a virtual creature that you can interact with naturally. And one of the most important steps in creating credible virtual “human” assistants that we can interact with is the ability to mimic facial expressions, body posture, gestures and voices. These so-called virtual persons are slowly but surely becoming mainstream – think of digital influencers for example – and with them we communicate just like we do with real people. And while digital influencers don’t really respond to you in their own words, because their content is created by storytellers, they herald a future of “natural” interaction with real virtual creatures. With deepfake technology trained with countless examples of human behavior, we could give smart assistants the ability to make and understand high-quality conversations. And thanks to the same technology, even digital influencers can develop the ability to respond visually – in real time – in credible ways. Welcome to the future of virtual people. And thanks to the same technology, even digital influencers can develop the ability to respond visually – in real time – in credible ways. Welcome to the future of virtual people. And thanks to the same technology, even digital influencers can develop the ability to respond visually – in real time – in credible ways. Welcome to the future of virtual people.
Deep generative models offer new possibilities in healthcare
Deepfake technology can also offer many benefits in other sectors, such as healthcare. The tech can be used to synthesize realistic data to help researchers develop new treatment methods for diseases so that they are no longer dependent on patient data. Work in this area has already been conducted by a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic, the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science, and NVIDIA, who have collaborated on using GANs (generative adversarial networks) to create synthetic brain MRI scans. develop. The team trained its GAN with data from two brain MRI datasets: one contained about two hundred MRIs showing tumors and the other thousands of MRIs showing signs of Alzheimer’s. According to the researchers, algorithms trained with a combination of “fake” medical images and 10 percent real images became just as adept at detecting tumors as algorithms trained only with real images. In their paper the researchers say: “Data diversity is critical to success in training deep learning models. Medical imaging data sets are often unbalanced because pathological findings are generally rare, which poses quite a few challenges when training deep learning models. We propose a method to generate synthetic MRI images of brain tumors by training a GAN. This provides an automatable, low-cost source of diverse data that can be used to complement the training set.” Because the images are generated synthetically, you no longer have to deal with privacy or patient data challenges. The generated data can be easily shared with different medical institutions, creating an endless variety of combinations that can be used to improve and speed up the work. The team hopes the model will help scientists generate new data that can be used to detect anomalies more quickly and accurately.
The dangers of deepfakes
As exciting and promising as deepfake technology may be, these developments also pose several serious challenges. The most important of these is the distribution of pornographic material featuring persons who have not given their consent. And according to a DeepTrace report, a whopping 96 percent of the deepfakes currently found online are made up of this type of material. There have also been several reports of deepfake audio being used for identity theft and extortion. The use of deepfakes potentially poses a huge security and political destabilization risk, as the technology can be used to spread fake news and lead to an increase in cybercrime, revenge porn, harassment, abuse and (fake) scandals. There is also a good chance that video images and audio files will soon no longer be allowed to be used as evidence in court, as they will become almost indistinguishable from the real thing. according to Brookings Institution, the social and political dangers of deepfakes include “disrupting democratic discourse; rigging elections; decreased trust in institutions; declining journalistic quality; exacerbation of social divisions; undermining public security; and inflicting hard-to-repair damage to the reputation of prominent individuals.” Deepfakes can also cause serious financial problems. Some examples include a British energy company that was tricked into making a $243 million fraudulent wire transfer and an audio deepfake used to defraud a US CEO out of $10 million. And here are some more important examples of the dangers of deepfakes.
New Year’s video speech leads to attempted military coup poging
The fact that more and more – and increasingly sophisticated – deepfakes are circulating on the internet can mean that any video that seems slightly outlandish can cause chaos. An example is the New Year video speech by Gabon’s President Ali Bongo in 2019. The president had not been seen in public for several months and the lack of answers from the government led to more and more speculation and doubt. The video subsequently caused growing suspicion among people in Gabon and international observers about the president’s well-being. Although the purpose of the video was to speculation about the poor health of the president of the world to help this plan failed because Bongo’s opponents were not convinced of the video’s authenticity. The opposition believed there was something odd about the president’s locomotion in the video footage. A week after the video’s release, Gabon’s military called for a coup d’état, which ultimately failed. Hany Farid, a computer science professor who specializes in digital forensics, said: “I just watched several other videos of President Bongo and they don’t resemble the speech patterns in this video, and even his appearance doesn’t look the same” . Farid added that he could not give a definitive assessment but that he felt “something was not right”.
Deepfakes as blackmail material for cheerleaders
A Pennsylvania woman was recently arrested for creating deepfakes of underage cheerleaders. The victims were her daughter’s rivals for the local cheerleading squad. With the fake images, the 50-year-old mother tried to put the girls in a bad light. Using photos and videos that the teens had shared on social media, the woman created fake photos and videos, in which it appeared that the girls were drinking alcohol and taking drugs naked. The woman then sent these deepfakes to the coaches to get the teens disqualified. The fake material was also sent to the girls themselves with a message urging them to commit suicide. According to the American media, the daughter herself would not have known about her mother’s actions. The mother is being charged with cyber abuse and related crimes. With regard to the first victim says Matt Weintraub, DA of Bucks County: “The suspect edited a real photo with some photoshop app to make it look like this teenage girl had no clothes on. But it was a social media screenshot showing the teen wearing swimsuits.”
Deepfake bots on Telegram create nude photos of women and children
Last year, more than 100,000 fake nude photos were generated by an ecosystem of bots at the request of Telegram users . The foundation of this ecosystem is an AI-powered bot that allows users to “strip” the clothing of images of women so that they appear naked. according to a report from the visual threat intelligence firm Sensity, “most of the original images appeared to have come from social media pages or directly from private communications, which the individuals in question probably didn’t know were being targeted. While this case mostly involved individuals, we also identified a significant number of social media influencers, game streamers and celebrities in the entertainment industry. In addition, a limited number of images appeared to be underage, suggesting that some were primarily using the bot to generate and distribute pedophile content.” The deepfakes have been shared on various social media platforms with the aim of public shaming, revenge or extortion. Most deepfake bots use DeepNude technology, but we see more and more similar apps popping up on the internet. All you have to do is upload a photo and then you’ll get a manipulated image back in minutes. Unfortunately, since Telegram uses encrypted messages, users can easily create anonymous accounts that are virtually impossible to trace. And while encryption technology is meant to protect users’ privacy and evade surveillance, it’s not hard to see how you can use these features for shady ends as well. Unfortunately, users can easily create anonymous accounts that are virtually impossible to trace. And while encryption technology is meant to protect users’ privacy and evade surveillance, it’s not hard to see how you can use these features for shady ends as well. Unfortunately, users can easily create anonymous accounts that are virtually impossible to trace. And while encryption technology is meant to protect users’ privacy and evade surveillance, it’s not hard to see how you can use these features for shady ends as well.
What can we do to distinguish fake from real?
As it stands, the number of deepfake videos circulating online has increased at an astonishingly estimated 900 percent annual rate. As technological advances have made it increasingly easy to produce deepfake content, more and more experts are wondering how we can curb the malicious use of this technology. One of the ways to do this – as in the case of cybercrime and phishing – is to raise public awareness and educate people about the dangers of deepfakes. Many companies have now launched technologies to recognize fake content, prevent its distribution or verify authentic content through blockchain or watermarks. However, the downside is that these detection and authentication methods can also be used by those same malicious actors to create even more convincing deepfakes. Here are some examples of technologies that have been developed to combat the misuse of deepfakes.
Deepfake policies of social media platforms
Social networks play the most important role in preventing deepfakes from being used for malicious purposes. Deepfakes are currently seen by social media platforms as any other content that is misleading or could lead to people being duped or otherwise disadvantaged. The policy of Instagram and Facebook for example to ‘manipulated media removal, excluding parodies. YouTube bans manipulated content that is misleading or poses serious risks, and TikTok removes “digital counterfeits” — including false health information — that are misleading and can cause harm. Reddit removes content that deceptively or deceptively impersonates people or entities, but makes an exception for satire and parody. However, as the number and quality of deepfakes continue to increase, it is unclear how social networks will be able to maintain these policies in the future. One thing they could do is automatically label deepfakes, whether or not they are harmful, so that at least more awareness is created.
Spotting super realistic deepfake images
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have developed an ingenious new tool that allows them to spot super-realistic deepfakes. In their paper tell the researchers about the method they have developed to distinguish authentic images from images generated by deepfake technology. They do this by carefully studying the eyes of the person in the picture. What the researchers found is that the reflections in both eyes of the person in an authentic photo due to the same lighting conditions are usually identical. With manipulated images, however, this is usually not the case. The tool has so far succeeded in recognizing images generated by deepfake technology in 94 percent of the cases. Incidentally, the tool is most accurate with photos taken with the portrait setting, which is often the case with close-up portrait photos.
Real attendance guarantee
In the fight against the abuse of deepfakes, it is critical that you can verify that the person you think you are dealing with online is actually real – and this can be done with iProov Genuine Presence Assurance. The iProov system uses biometric scans that can identify whether the person in question is indeed a living person and not a photo, video, mask, deepfake or other method to circumvent a (biometric) security system. The system works on mobile devices, computers or in unattended kiosks and is used by organizations around the world, such as the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The NHS has opted for iProov biometric facial authenticationto improve users’ onboarding experience. Thanks to iProov’s Flashmark facial authentication technology, remote users can securely log into the NHS app to make appointments, access medical records and request repeat prescriptions. The process consists of submitting an ID photo and positioning the face on the screen. After a short series of flashes, the user’s identity is verified and he or she can use the NHS app.
Sensity, an Amsterdam-based company developing deep learning technologies for monitoring and detecting deepfakes, has developed a visual threat intelligence platform that applies the same deep learning processes used in creating deepfakes. The system combines deepfake detection with advanced video forensic analysis and monitoring capabilities. The platform is a kind of antivirus for deepfakes and monitors more than 500 sources on the open and dark web where the chance of finding malicious deepfakes is high. It warns users when they view anything that may be AI-generated synthetic content and provides detailed ratings and threat analysis. When you upload URLs or your own photo and video files, Sensity analyzes them to get the latest, detect AI-based media manipulation and synthesis techniques, including fake human faces in social media profiles, dating apps or online financial services accounts. Sensity also provides access to the world’s most comprehensive deepfake database and other visual media targeting public figures, including insights into the sectors and countries most affected by this technology.
The future of fake – and other considerations
Pandora’s box has been opened and it seems that the race between creating deepfakes and detecting and preventing them will intensify in the future. Deepfake technology is becoming more and more accessible and it is becoming easier for ‘the average person’ to create deepfakes themselves. In addition, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish deepfake content from authentic content. Deepfakes will continue to evolve and spread. And challenges like the lack of detail in the synthesis will no doubt be overcome in the short term. Furthermore, improvements in neural network structures and advances in hardware are expected to significantly reduce training and delivery times. There are already new algorithms that can generate increasingly realistic – and almost real-time – outputs.
And while the use of deepfakes for good is rapidly increasing in industries such as entertainment, news and education, these developments will simultaneously lead to even more serious threats. Think of increasing crime, the dissemination of fake information, synthetic identity fraud, election manipulation and political tensions. Another aspect to consider is that deepfakes also have a very negative impact on our freedom of choice and identity. Using a photo you can actually make someone do all kinds of things – which in reality never happened at all – without anyone’s permission or even knowing anything about it.
It is clear that the misguided, deceptive use of deepfake technology needs to be curbed and tech experts, journalists and policy makers will play a crucial role in this. They are the right people to inform the public about the possibilities and dangers of synthetic media such as deepfakes. And if we teach ourselves to only trust content from solid, verified sources, we may discover that the good use of deepfakes outweighs the bad. With greater public awareness, we can mitigate the negative impact of deepfakes, find ways to deal with them, and in the future even see that we can also take advantage of the possibilities of deepfake technology.
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If you want to get what you want, you first have to know what you want.
Many people have no idea what they really want.
Too busy scrolling, running and clicking.
By definition, if you don’t know what you want, you can never get what you want.
Because even if you had what you really long for, you wouldn’t recognize it as such.
Think of the entrepreneur with a laptop on his lap.
Working hard until late at night.
So that one day there.
Time is for the other.
The other one who is now staring glassily ahead.
Next to that entrepreneur on the couch.
Who is so busy with that screen.
And has no eye for the other.
Make it measurable
As soon as you know what you really want (that’s less than you think) you have to break that life mission into concrete goals.
A word I like to use.
In a world where I see more and more people using more and more vague language.
The benefit of vague language: Vague goals.
The advantage of vague goals: It is not clear that you will not achieve them.
The advantage of being unclear about not controlling your shit: less pain.
The advantage of less pain: No incentive to change anything.
And so everything remains as it is.
The result of the above cycle: Anesthesia for the pain that you feel that you are not living the way you want to live.
I wish you pain if you don’t live the way you want to live now.
So that you can do something about it.
Now it’s still possible.
If you have made your goals concrete, you want to look for the leverage for each goal:
That one thing that takes care of almost all the results.
Remember: Sometimes you have to do one thing right and the rest changes along with it.
If you want to live a healthier life, you can buy the most expensive supplements, worry about what material your yoga mat is made of and how many degrees the perfect angle is for your shoulder press and hardly achieve results. Or you don’t worry about anything and only focus on one thing: eating 500 grams of vegetables every day (leverage).
And you will notice that everything starts to improve positively. From your appearance to your energy, injuries and emotions.
Break up and schedule
You then break that lever down into small concrete tasks and processes.
And after all, you plan it in your agenda with a start and end time.
Dream big and blurry.
Plan small and concrete.
I have gone through the above process for you on the four most important pillars of life:
Getting a grip on your life before you die is simple and cheap.
As long as you use the right structure and always keep refining.
Join the winning minority.
Be the antivirus and break through
The power of your thoughts is enormous. Your thoughts determine your feelings. Your feelings determine your behavior. Your behavior determines your habits. Your habits determine your character – and your character determines your life. It all starts with what you think every day. Watch with me and find out for yourself:
Your thoughts determine your feelings.
Almost every feeling arises from a thought. Let’s take two people with two different thoughts on the same subject: The first person thinks, “Change is scary, I want to leave things as it is.” The second person thinks, “New things are interesting, I like change.”
The first person gets a bad feeling about change. The second gets excited and overcomes every challenge. That difference in feeling is no coincidence, it can hardly be otherwise. What you think about a particular topic determines how you feel about that topic.
Your feelings determine your behavior.
How you feel about a situation determines your behavior in that situation. That is why one person will love to be the center of attention, while the other likes to crawl under the table. The former can be found on the stage in the karaoke bar and act like a professional entertainer. Behavior that the other will rarely display, because there is no feeling for it.
Your daily behavior determines your habits.
Your behavior slowly becomes a habit. Maybe you have a habit of being around people a lot, or withdrawing from yourself on a regular basis. Regular exercise becomes a habit, going out regularly becomes a habit. It is my habit to read daily. What is your habit?
Your habits determine your character.
Does someone have a cheerful character, a difficult character, a critical character, a strong character, a social character? That does not happen automatically, it takes a lot of repetition! Much of our character comes from our habits – which we do every day. At birth everything is still free, but slowly our character takes shape.
When people say, “That’s just how I am”, they are referring to their character. Their character is their identity, it is who they are. They are unaware that they were not born with this. A character is the result of what we think, feel and do every day. That’s why people don’t just change. All those daily thoughts, feelings and habits have now become ingrained..
Your character determines your life
Tell me what you do on a daily basis and I predict where you are likely to be in five years. That’s no hocus-pocus. If you eat a bag of chips every day, you will probably be fatter in five years. If you read a book every day, you’ll probably be smarter in five years. If you walk and your course doesn’t change, we can see where your final destination is, can’t we?
What you think, feel or do every day is reinforced. The power of this is enormous. Change rarely comes in one huge step. Change is usually the result of hundreds of small steps. So the steps you take consistently every day. The steps you take in your work, in your relationships, in your health, in your personal growth. That determines where you go.
And the circle is complete!
Now we’ve come to the end – but it’s a circle, not a dead end. The experiences in your life reinforce your character. Your character reinforces what you do. That in turn reinforces how you feel. And that reinforces what you think. Now we are back at the beginning – to your thoughts. It is a continuous circle. Everything influences each other..
This whole story has only one point: Everything starts with what you think every day. If you generally have constructive and positive thoughts, you will feel good every day. From that good feeling you will make choices that suit you – and you will achieve your personal goals. This slowly shapes your habits and character. Be aware of what you think every day, because this determines your life..
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You can do anything with a lot of energy. When you increase your energy level, you really start to live. But how do you get more energy?
Do as many things as you want. Ignore, avoid, or delegate the rest. Stop wasting your time doing things you don’t actually want to do. It’s your life. Don’t put it off anymore.
This is how you get 10 times more energy:
WHY DO WE WANT ENERGY?
Yes, why actually? That seems like a stupid question, but it is certainly not. As long as you don’t know the answer, you will keep looking in the wrong direction. Think about it: “Why do I want more energy?”
Most people answer, “So that I can do more things that need to be done.” More energy ensures that you can get through all the to-do lists, don’t get behind schedule – and hopefully have enough time for yourself afterwards.
That’s why people invented Time Management …
You just can’t do everything.
Unless you have very small goals (for example, getting up every day), you won’t be able to do everything you need to do. Not a chance!
Most people have more goals and then wish they had time for them. People who are actively engaged in time management are the same people who structurally take on too much hay.
They desperately try to plan everything in their agenda.
But that doesn’t solve the problem …
WHAT IS THE REAL PROBLEM?
The real problem with time is this: when you’re managing the things you need to do, you are missing out on the things you want to do.
In fact, that’s what it’s all about. And time management does not solve that problem. We need something else for that: Energy management.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is based on managing your energy, not your time. Have you ever done what you thought was fantastic? Did you notice that it was no effort at all for you? That you could go on for hours? That it just made you happy?
Time was not important – it was about the energy it gave you. You don’t care how long it took.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND A HOT STOVE.
You have also experienced the opposite. Tasks that you dreaded enormously and that cost you a lot of energy. If you were doing that, time crawled. It took a lot of effort.
You only thought of one thing: “If only I were done with this!”
Einstein explained his Theory of Relativity: “When you’re with a beautiful woman, an hour seems to last only one minute. If you put your hand on a hot stove, one minute seems to take more than an hour. ”
That is the difference between things that give you energy and take energy.
Time is therefore relative and depends on what you do. Energy is absolute: either you have it – or you don’t.
Energy management in practice.
How do you apply this in practice now? How do you get more energy?
It’s all a matter of focus. Focus on the things you like. That make you happy, that make you happy. Spend more time on things:
1. Who you love.
2. That you easily go off.
3. Who inspire and stimulate you.
4. Which you could do for hours (or days!).
5. Which you also want to do in your spare time.
Ignore, avoid, or delegate what you don’t like.
What do you do with the things you don’t like? Try not to do as many of those things as possible.
You can also outsource them: get someone else to do it.
It gives me a lot of energy not to be busy with my accounting! And the person who does it for me actually gets energy from it. The perfect solution.
So do as many things as you want. Ignore, avoid, or delegate the rest. Stop wasting your time doing things you don’t actually want to do.
Read an inspiring book, look for your dream job, buy a hammock, spent your time with people you love or start a new hobby.
It’s your life. Only you decide how you want to spend it …
When do you really start to live?
When you increase your energy level, you really start to live. Gone are the moments when you sat exhausted on the couch and fell asleep in front of the TV. Gone are the spasmodic to-do lists. Gone is the feeling that you are waiting for your real life.
The moment you focus your attention on the things that give you energy, everything becomes easier.
You race through the day and hardly get tired. You achieve more and faster results. You become much more productive. You become happier and enjoy life more.
The question was, “Why do I want more energy?” The best answer is, “So I can do more things I want!”
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How to manage and control strategic change in 2021:
Tips to boost your energy:
This article explains Noel M. Tichy ‘s concept of managing strategic change in a practical way. After reading you’ll understand the fundamentals of this powerful change management tool .
What is Strategic Change Management
Strategic change involves critical implementations for companies trying to improve their competitiveness in the marketplace. It can be viewed as long-term projection decisions that are critically evaluated. Therefore, strategic change is about carefully examining various internal and external factors to make the right decisions.
Managing strategic change takes place during the implementation of the change. Noel M. Tichy , an American management consultant, educator and author of many books and wrote “Managing Strategic Change.” In this book, Tichy refers to managing strategic change through implementation of the TPC model. TPC stands for technical, political and cultural dynamics.
Tichy, the founder of the TPC model, argues that companies need to analyze the dynamics mentioned above if organizations want to manage strategic change. As a result of the evaluation of the technical, political and cultural dynamics of an organization, there is a good chance that companies will be able to answer strategic change-related questions, such as questions related to the industry in which the company operates and the values of employees.
Managing strategic change generally focuses on identifying organizational problems and challenges and identifying how they can be impacted so that the business benefits in the future. The dynamics identified by Tichy are interrelated, which are explained in more detail in the next section.
TPC Model of Managing Strategic Change
As explained earlier, managing strategic change can become successful through the integration of technical, political and cultural dynamics.
This dynamic of managing strategic change focuses on organizational structure and product portfolio issues. For example, increased global competition has made it easier for companies to learn and copy innovations. The result of global learning is that the demand for qualitative and competitively priced products is increasing. Companies that fail to keep up with industry developments need to recognize the need to change.
In addition to only product-related aspects, the technical dynamics of managing strategic change also focus on different organizational strategies. For example, after an internal evaluation of profitability, a company can determine that it focuses on a specific target group is not profitable. It can serve as an indicator to change the company’s strategic direction.
The political dynamics of managing strategic change is an essential factor to evaluate. From a business perspective, this means applying resources to influence current and future political decisions. In addition, the political element is important because it often deals with pressures related to macro perspective problems.
The cultural factor of managing strategic change generally focuses on norms and values that have not yet been discussed internally in the organization. Another view of cultural dynamics is to see the factor as external pressure for change due to different or changing values and beliefs of society. This external pressure to change may be related, for example, to equal employment opportunities that typically lead to a more diverse workforce.
Although the technical, political and cultural dynamics are factors that must be evaluated separately, the dynamics can influence each other according to Tichy. From a business perspective, companies should assess which element of the TPC model visualizes the most important development. The dynamics with the most development can be a trigger for change. However, this is easier said than done because all dynamics also bring a lot of uncertainty when it comes to how a factor might develop over time.
Companies must constantly evaluate and re-evaluate technical, political and cultural dynamics, as they represent the context from which the organization could change course and prioritize work.
Taken together, the dynamics represent problems that will come and go. Solving these problems may not be realistic, but companies are constantly dealing with these dynamics.
Managing strategic change
To manage strategic change, it is first essential to understand an organizational structure. Tichy refers to an organization as an organization made up of social objects.
The social objects are the employees of an organization who interact and do the following: the employees integrate different technical, political and cultural approaches, the employees focus on useful challenging questions, and help the employees implement change. The employees are therefore interconnected and play a vital role in managing strategic change as the workforce enables the flow of goods and services and shares knowledge with each other.
Using the TPC model can be useful for identifying the need for change, but it is also useful for managing strategic change. The TPC model can be used in conjunction with a network model, a model. Tichy’s network model comprises the subsequent elements: input, mission and vision, tasks, formal network, organizational processes, informal networks and output. They are all briefly explained below.
Understanding the history of the organization is essential to managing strategic change. Therefore, the input focuses on how the business has developed over time. It refers to any input from the company that has contributed to a company’s reputation. It is essential because a company’s history largely determines the company’s future course.
Mission and vision
Managing strategic change can only be successful if the company manages to communicate business messages consistently. Since the mission and vision of an organization is often the reason a company is founded, strategic decisions related to change must integrate the organisation’s raison d’être into the decisions. Companies also have to decide which resources can be allocated and to what extent they will be allocated.
Tasks refer to all concrete activities that must be performed to achieve the organizational goals. It also addresses how the activities should be carried out, and thus the technologies needed to successfully achieve organizational goals. Identifying concrete tasks and required technologies provides a degree of certainty for the employees. Moreover, it contributes to a smooth flow of operational processes.
Managing strategic change involves formal understanding of the tasks to be performed by each function. It allows for formal differentiation at different levels of the organization. For example, differentiation can be based on function, geography and production.
Managing strategic change can become successful with the implementation of different processes. These methods can be related to communication, management and even employee benefits. An important element of organizational processes is communication with internal supporters.
Informal networks refer to the interactivity between company employees. Employees share experiences and learn about the company’s mission and strategies. These interactions are necessary for the successful management of strategic change.
The term output refers to the various goals that companies have. These goals all have different functions and can affect the extent to which other goals are achieved.
A final word on managing strategic change
Managing strategic change is claimed to technical, political and cultural dynamics. These represent the primary systems and must be fully understood to understand the basic idea of an organization and the basic idea of strategic change. Since the technical dynamics can be easily explored thanks to the availability of data, the political element focuses on the level of power of organizations and the cultural element changes through the development of new norms, values and attitudes.
All dynamics require continuous evaluation to manage strategic change.
According to Tichy, the organization should be seen as a system in which the aforementioned elements function as one. Overall, identifying the need for change and managing strategic change becomes easier because of the increased power of the force behind the change.
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This article explains the transactional stress model of Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman during a sensible method. when reading you’ll perceive the fundamentals of this powerful psychological science tool .
What is the Transactional Stress Model ?
The transactional stress model (transactional theory of stress and brick (TTSC)) could be a framework that focuses on assessment to gauge damage, threat and challenges. the merchandise or results of this analysis could be a description of the method of managing nerve-wracking events .
Stress is knowledgeable in numerous ways that. a number of these ways that ar thoughts, feelings, behaviors and emotions. These are typically caused by external stressors. the amount of stress an individual experiences depends on however the case is perceived.
The Transactional Stress Model (Lazarus & Folkman)
The Transactional Stress Model [Lazarus & Folkman]
The transactional stress model is that the results of the analysis conducted by Dr. Richard Lazarus . This analysis started in 1966. He continued his analysis and revealed many books and articles. For this he collaborated with different scientists, together with Dr. Susan Folkman .
Causes of stress within the geographic point
Work-related stress could be a major downside everywhere the planet. Not solely will it negatively have an effect on the health of workers, it conjointly affects the productivity of organizations as an entire. Work-related stress arises, among different things, once needs aren’t in balance with capacities. a lot of on this later.
Other sources of work-related stress are conflicts with colleagues and different stakeholders, constant modification or, as an example, dismissal. the foremost common issues are known as potential stressors among a company:
Conflicts Regarding Roles
Both personal and skilled relationships at work
Absence of support
The symptoms of work-related stress and non-work-related stress are similar. a number of the symptoms are:
Sleep issues, sleep disorder and restlessness
Headache, muscle pain and palpitations
Psychological symptoms, like depression, anxiety, discouragement, irritability, pessimism
Cognitive issues, like a reduced ability to concentrate or a capability to create effective decision-making
Loss of productivity
Reduced work performance
Disinterest and isolation
The Core of the Transactional Stress Model
The theory behind Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional stress model evaluates how important life events, as well as everyday affairs, affect emotions. The theory mainly focuses on cognitive assessment and dealing with stress (coping).
The transactional stress model in practice
Cognitive assessment consists of an initial primary assessment, a secondary assessment, and possibly a reassessment. Secondary assessment is about assessing the possibilities in a given situation and the person’s ability to deal with it.
Coping follows from the assessment described above, and can affect a change in the relationships between a person and their environment or the degree of emotional stress experienced. Factors influencing coping mechanisms as well as judgment are personality traits, symptoms of depression and social influences.
To understand the power of the transactional stress model, it is important to understand exactly what stress is and how research on stress has evolved over the years. For this reason, in the next section of this article, stress is defined in three ways: stress as a response, stress as a stimulus, and stress as a transaction.
1. Stress as a response
That stress can be a reaction was established by Hans Selye in 1956. In his stress model he describes how stress creates a physiological pattern. He recorded this pattern in the General Adaptation Syndrome model. This model describes stress as a response based on three concepts.
- Stress is a defense mechanism
- Stress occurs with alarm, resistance and exhaustion
- Stress, if present for a long time, can lead to adaptation diseases and even death
Afterwards, Selye discovered that stress can result in both positive and negative outcomes based on its cognitive interpretation. Therefore, stress can be experienced in a positive way and in a negative way.
2. Stress as a stimulus
The theory behind the concept of stress as a stimulus was introduced by Holmes and Rahe in the 1960s. They saw stress as an important event or change that requires adjustment or response. Rahe and Holmes then created the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) . This scale consists of 42 life events that are ranked based on the estimated degree of influence these events require from a person.
Examples of these events include marriages, divorces, relocations, or the loss or change of a job or loved one. Holmes and Rahe assumed that stress was a variable in the comparison between stress and health. Although some correlations emerged, the extent to which stress affects health was not clearly definable.
The theory about stress as a stimulus can be summarized in the following points:
- Change is stressful
- The degree to which life events require adjustment is the same for everyone
- There is a threshold of adjustment and stress beyond which illness is a consequence
3. Stress as a transaction
As established, several studies on stress had been conducted before Lazarus and Folkman developed their transactional stress model. They did so mainly in an attempt to explain stress as a dynamic process.
The theory explains stress as a product of interactions between a person and his or her environment. When it comes to the person, it is about multiple systems within a person: the cognitive system, physiological state, affective system, psychological system and neurological system.
Attention to the Lazarus and Folkman theory was heightened when Suzanne Kobassa used the concept of hardiness in 1979. Hardiness, also called cognitive or psychological hardiness, is a personality style.
Kobassa described a pattern of personality traits that distinguished managers and executives who remained healthy under stress and those who developed health problems.
Level 1: Primary appraisal
According to the transactional stress model, situations are assessed in different ways. A situation can be judged as positive, irrelevant or potentially dangerous. In the case of the latter option, stress arises more often than with other forms of stress. If a situation is considered stressful, assessment takes place at different levels. As:
- Challenge in manageable situations
- Threats of foreseeable loss
- Damage or loss when the damage has already occurred
Level 2: Secondary assessment
The second level of assessment is called secondary assessment. The purpose of the secondary assessment is to determine whether the specific situation can be managed with available resources.
When insufficient resources are available to deal with the situation, a stress response is triggered by the human brain. A coping strategy is designed on this. This strategy depends on the situation and the person’s characteristics. This way of dealing with stress and the threats that arise from this is called coping.
Known behaviors in response to this are: fleeing, fighting, denying, changing or behavioral alternatives. When individuals use post-situation feedback to evaluate success or failure, they learn to selectively apply different strategies.
Level 3: Reassessment (re-assessment)
At the third level of assessment, the success of the deployed coping strategy is assessed to ensure adaptation for a new situation.
Learning to deal with a stress situation is always a challenge. A challenge can even become a threat if not addressed properly. Lazarus describes the possibility of revising the initial assessment as a reassessment.
Deal with stress
In his studies, Lazarus wrote about three types of stress management. It concerns dealing with stress in a problem-oriented way, dealing with stress in an emotion-oriented way and dealing with stress in an assessment-based manner. The different ways of dealing with stress are briefly explained below.
Dealing with stress in a problem-oriented way
Problem-focused coping refers to a person who tries to control or adapt problem situations by seeking information, taking action, or not acting.
Dealing with stress emotionally
Emotion-focused coping is also referred to as intrapsychic coping. Its main purpose is to reduce emotional arousal.
Dealing with stress in an assessment-oriented way
The term reassessment is used by Lazarus in two contexts. On the one hand, it relates to the evaluation process, and at the same time reassessment is a coping strategy. Coping can affect stress and emotion simply by reassessing the situation.
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This article explains convergent thinking in a practical way. After reading, you will understand the basics of this mindset used for problem solving.
Covergent thinking was developed by psychologist Joy Paul Guilford , who researched human intelligence. According to Guilford, people have two forms of thinking: divergent thinking and convergent thinking. In this article, we take a closer look at convergent thinking.
WHAT IS COVERGENT THINKING?
Convergent thinking is a form of thinking that we all apply, but that develops differently in some people. Every person converts this form of thinking into action depending on the situation he or she is in.
Convergent thinking only looks for one correct answer to a problem or specific situation. No creativity is required for the solutions. Instead, convergent thinking uses logic and reflection to find the answers that lead to the resolution of conflicts a person is dealing with.
It is also used as a form of learning and teaching in schools and universities around the world. There it is applied in knowledge tests such as standardized multiple choice tests where only one answer per question is correct. The line of thought in this case is vertical and specific. The logic is straightforward and results in an exact and unique answer.
In convergent thinking there is no room for other possibilities or choices. An unambiguous answer is what it’s all about. This means that convergent thinking is a process of reflection, action and a precise result in a situation that requires quick and logical action using all available information.
In which situations is convergent thinking applied?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, convergent thinking is used by everyone in different situations that may arise in life, be it at work or out. However, it is important to note that it is more commonly used in difficult situations that require concentration, such as important decisions that require critical, analytical and reflective thinking.
Logic at the heart of convergent thinking
In this way of thinking, the following tools are used to develop convergent thinking: evaluating, filtering and selecting the information you have to find a single solution to the problem or situation you are facing.
There are people in whom convergent thinking is much more developed than in others. These people are not impulsive or passionate when making decisions. They first think, evaluate and reflect on what is the best course based on indicators or scientific criteria to solve the problem.
It is important to determine what can really be used to solve closed, logical and concrete problems.
- Logical and rational thinking.
- Convergent thinking tries to find a solution by examining patterns within the available information.
- It looks for the concrete, the tangible.
- Forming ideas to have something essential.
- Define, specify, plan and find a solution.
ADVANTAGES OF CONVERGENT THINKING
Convergent thinking helps you make decisions in complex situations. People who deeply develop this form of thinking can be more confident when making decisions because they have analyzed the possible alternatives. They have chosen the answer or solution they consider to be the best and most concrete.
It also aids in logical and critical thinking. These skills are developed when you are under pressure or at difficult times at work, where it is necessary to make precise decisions to successfully resolve conflicts that could damage the business.
Disadvantages of convergent thinking
The following drawbacks are associated with convergent thinking.
- It can limit creativity because a person who thinks convergent relies only on factual, tangible data to find a solution. Intuition does not play a role in this way of thinking.
- It’s not good for your mood because people who are constantly engaged in critical thinking and reflection are more serious, sad, and nervous because of the daily effort they have to make to reason logically.
Examples of convergent thinking
Here are examples of situations in which convergent thinking is applied in everyday life.
- Make important decisions when considering alternatives to a business project you are in charge of. The person in question should assess, analyze and reflect on the possibilities to choose the best alternative that his or her team has to offer.
- A student taking a test must remember and analyze the information he / she studied for the test. With the information, he or she is able to assess the various options in the questions and choose the best one.
- Based on what you have learned and the information you see in the document, you put convergent thinking into practice.
- Planning a trip, which seems simple but is important as people step outside of their comfort zone, requires you to identify and analyze the best options and choose one.
- Logically planning your budget, accommodation, transport and what best suits your travel purpose means that you put this form of thinking into practice.
These are simple, everyday examples that people often approach with cognitive processes.
Some studies show that the personality of convergent and divergent thinking people is associated with spontaneity, fantasy, artistic interest and that other personalities are actually associated with divergent thinking.
However, convergent thinking does not belong to a particular personality because all people, regardless of character, will apply convergent thinking in situations that demand it.
CONVERGENT THINKING VERSUS THINKING
As explained earlier, mentation is logical, distinctive and reflective. only 1 answer or possibility is correct. No creative thinking is required to search out an answer or answer to a state of affairs or drawback. People who use or develop this fashion of thinking the foremost area unit additional analytical and suppose everything before creating a choice.
This could cause the person being stricter in their work and private life also. They analyze everything and area unit seldom spontaneous.
Divergent thinking is that the opposite of the on top of. thinking uses creative thinking to appear for alternatives and solutions to a state of affairs or drawback. someone WHO develops this fashion of thinking additional usually is spontaneous in creating choices and creates varied choices on a private and skilled level.
Boosting creative thinking is that the power of thinking. perpetually performing on this stimulation will cause original solutions to a state of affairs, as a result of ideas will arise additional impromptu.
Can these thinking be used together? Although these forms have clear variations, it’s necessary to recollect that confluent and thinking will go hand in hand to hit the foremost economical resolution.
By combining the 2 – thinking for creatively seeking different solutions to totally different issues and mentation for logically reasoning the various choices – you get a prosperous combination.
In observe Convergent thinking is employed in education. Most tests administered by colleges or universities area unit standardized multiple selection tests with one distinctive correct answer per question.
With this method, you study decisions offered within the check and observe mentation to see the simplest selection supported what you’ve got learned. It is conjointly employed in things wherever somebody is besieged, at work or just in case of personal issues.
This needs the person to be centered and weigh the execs and cons of true to create the proper call. that is why everybody uses this fashion of thinking typically once true imply it.
These area unit usually things within which you bear a great deal of responsibility. Criticism of mentation Convergent thinking has been criticized by multiple researchers.
In keeping with them, there are often totally different solutions to issues. they will even be applied at the same time, therefore there’s no have to be compelled to opt for only 1 correct answer. Applying this fashion of thinking may overshadow minorities WHO have a additional thinking vogue. Ultimately, the person applying cerebration makes the proper call to unravel the matter, forgetting to pay attention to others.
Resume All individuals use mentation in bound processes in their existence. However, some individuals develop this manner of thinking over others. This way of thinking is often geared toward preventing risks, selecting the safe means for a result that’s 100 percent correct. arithmetic and precise sciences prove that logic is undeniable and precise which there’s only 1 outcome.
Many people develop mentation and apply it often attributable to the things that arise. Convergent thinking is concerning crucial, reflecting, evaluating and functioning on the premise of 1 selection. it’s an excellent tool for creating necessary choices required to safeguard or conserve resources, in business and on the far side.
Fantasy and adaptability don’t play a task during this means of thinking. objectiveness contains a linear, vertical direction to search out the solution you’re trying to find. mentation conjointly implies that there’s a starting AND an finish in keeping with logical and rational patterns, resulting in that one distinctive answer.
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