Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Pulse Driving
Disciplines: Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Systems Thinking

"To get a state-of-the-art 4/5-seat hybrid-electric midsize sedan to perform at 53-55 mpg (it's rated at 55) rather than in the low 40s it needs "pulse driving." Amory Lovins

I love my new Toyota Prius. Learning to drive it well is a bit tricky, though. In an article titled, "How to Drive a Hybrid Car," in the Rocky Mountain Institute Solutions Newsletter, Lovins goes on to say, "pulse driving differs in 2 ways from our old driving habits:
1. When you see that you'll need to slow or stop up ahead, start braking gently and as early as possible so you recover the most braking energy back into the battery for later reuse.
2. Contrary to what we were all taught in high-school driver's ed, when you're accelerating up to cruising speed, do so briskly. The engine is most efficient at high speed and torque, so you'll use less fuel accelerating aggressively for a short time than gently for a long time."
Just after reading about "pulse driving" I read about "interval exercise," alternating high-intensity bursts with recovery periods - which ramps up your calorie burn so you can accomplish more in less time.
This somehow reminded me of my friend Mary who calls herself a "spurt housekeeper." I think this is the same thing. Go like crazy for a short time, then slow down for awhile, then spurt again.
A client of mine catches up on work by doing a "double productivity" week just before a vacation.
I like to work on difficult or tedious projects with focused attention for an hour, alternating with 30 minutes of more relaxed work or a 15 minute break...or nap.
Maybe "pulse driving" is the perfect metaphor for getting the best mileage out of life in general.
Lovins ends the article by noting,
"You'll find it very instructive to keep an eye on the real-time mpg display and (like a videogame) use the feedback to improve your driving habits for best mpg."
Since we don't come equipped with a nifty navigation screen, perhaps the best we can do is pay attention to our body's feedback signals -- are you energized/sleepy, are you healthy or are there feedback warning signs that could be wake up calls to "pulse drive" for better mileage?

1. Accelerate quickly
2. Slow down to recharge your batteries
3. Pay attention to internal feedback, energy, health, mood

There will be no telegathering this month because Hal and I are working hard to get our book to the publisher! The title is Liberating Greatness, The Whole Brain Guide to an Extraordinary Life. It's about the neuroscience of mental models, personal mastery and systems thinking. You will be the first to hear when it is available. Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone.

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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