QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL
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Finding Light in the Darkness
If you haven’t actually heard or viewed the poem written and performed by poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, I’m sure that you have seen the reaction by people from all walks of life. It was excellent, and while I found all of it to be both inspiring and well-delivered, I especially liked how she began the poem with a question, and then answered it at the end.
Further, given that my mission and passion is to help people and organizations become more influential in their lives and in the lives of others, I found the beginning and ending message to be instructive, as well as, inspiring. For example, the first concept that so impressed me was that to find the light (the good in the world, in ourselves, and in others), we must first be brave enough to see it. Notice the suggestion wasn’t that we just see the light, but that courage and bravery will be necessary.
Why? What does courage have to do with vision or one’s ability to see the what is good? Because, the news, the world, and even our brain is skewed to pay more attention to the negative than to the positive. In terms of the brain, this dark bias is a remnant of our past when we were in danger much of the time (dangerous animals in the jungle, tribes from other villages, etc.). Unfortunately, the evolution of the brain has not kept up with our society (where physical danger is rare) and, therefore, we must work and have the courage to find the good in the world, in other people, and even in ourselves.
That being said, as much effort and courage that it will take to see the light, it will take even more bravery to be it. For me, this second concept refers to our ability to access the best of who we are, and bring these more purposeful qualities and characteristics to life, regardless of the situation.
In her book, “Dare to Lead,” Brene’ Brown writes of how it takes courage to be vulnerable as a leader, and to allow others to see this way of being, even if some are misinterpreting it as weakness. She asked an audience of military leaders if any could name an act of courage that didn’t involve some sort of risk or vulnerability. None could. She goes on to document how being willing to be the light that illuminates the best in others versus point out their failings is actually one of the most important characteristics of a successful leader.
In my books and seminars, I call these qualities our “Highest Purpose” to emphasize the importance of these ways of being, and, again, it will take courage to champion these more positive qualities, because they will be seen by some as soft or naive. And, remember, our old middle brain thinks that if we aren’t worried or anxious then we are not safe, thus it will also take courage to actively choose the confident, compassionate parts of who we are, especially when we are being exposed to so much negativity in the news and social media.
For those who are wanting to know how to bring this courageous perspective to life, I have created a system that I call “Life from the Top of the Mind.” I have written a book about it, and have the pleasure of going around the world teaching individuals and organizations how to understand the workings of the brain, how to shift to the upper 80% of the brain where we can access our “Highest Purpose,” and even how to use neuroscience to become more influential with others.
If you feel that this information would be valuable to you and/or your organization, I suggest you contact me. Until we have the courage to not only see the light, but have the bravery and ability to be it as well, we will be forever groping in the darkness, trying simply to survive while our ability to thrive continues to remain beyond our vision and beyond our grasp.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill