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A short lesson before we get into the goods of this week's column, stay with me. You have one million year-old software running in your body called the brain. It’s there to keep you alive. It’s also there to keep you safe. It’s inside of you to help you compute and digest what you are experiencing in the world. Your brain is actually unreal. Stimulation first comes in from any one of your five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, or sound. Simple enough. Your brain then decides if it’s good or bad and whether we like it or not - usually based on past experiences of seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, or hearing.
Your brain literally categorizes every single piece of stimulation that consciously and unconsciously comes in to your senses. Instantly a brain connection is solidified between A) thing and B) You. Remember, everything from this one million year-old software is in relation to You.
And so, life continues. Experiences and instances come up again and again and you receive sensation and categorize it. You feel something and you tuck it away in the back pocket of your mind for when it comes up again. You see and smell something unique to a situation and you create a memory about it. Isn’t that amazing? Yes, it really is - until we recall that this brain software is meant to keep us safe which alludes to the idea that somehow we have something to fear that may seemingly make us unsafe. Most of us aren’t being threatened by wild animals on a daily basis, so we don’t need to make the choice of whether to fight back or run - this is where our old school fight-or-flight brain software comes from, the caveman days.
Okay, now to the gooooods!
Now here we are. It’s 2017. We are in an era where we have the necessities of life covered and we are trying to find ways to have more, do more, be more. We are in constant search mode to have the next best thing because our things somehow aren't currently cutting it. We are hunting for the secret on how to be more than the next person. We fill, fill, fill our schedules up in hopes of being fulfilled by doing more - only to be left feeling empty or only temporarily satisfied. Do you see where the underlying gap is? We are operating from a place that we view our current state as wrong, bad or unfavourable. What about what’s right with you? Has anyone ever asked you that? I bet not and I also bet that you’ve been asked, "What’s wrong?" more times than you can count. Same here.
Focus on the good, knowing it will no doubt bring you joy and groundedness. Choose to see the best side of people. Pose questions with intent to learn rather than an intent to respond with your opinion. Lead with a full heart, bright eyes and an undercurrent of happiness. Stay wide open with your outlook on the everyday grind, there’s more potential for opportunity this way. Listen with the capacity you want to be listened to. Be clear with what you want and ask, ask, ask for it. Move away from your urge to interfere. Instead, sit tall and look in the mirror. You have the ability to change the pathways of your brain with a flick of a switch, a conscious choice. There is always work that’s been done. There is always work yet to do. Meet yourself in the middle. Know that everything about where you are is all right.
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