Welcome to the Mindset Transformation radio show and Podcast. Today Dr. Marcia Reynolds is going to teach us “4 Techniques to Outsmart your Brain” Relax, Detach, gain clarity and ask yourself, How do I want to feel?
But First in keeping with that theme I want to share with you one of the classic stories of how our Brain can Outsmart us.
This story is called “Acres of Diamonds”
There once lived not far from the River Indus an ancient Persian by the name of Al Hafed. Al Hafed owned a very large farm with orchards, grain fields and gardens. He was a contented and wealthy man—contented because he was wealthy, and wealthy because he was contented. One day there visited this old farmer one of those ancient Buddhist priests, and he sat down by Al Hafed’s fire and told that old farmer how this world of ours was made.
He said that this world was once a mere bank of fog and the Almighty thrust his finger into the bank of fog and then began slowly to move his finger around and gradually to increase the speed of his finger until at last he whirled that bank of fog into a solid ball of fire, and it went rolling through the universe, burning its way through other cosmic banks of fog, until it condensed the moisture without, and fell in floods of rain upon the heated surface and cooled the outward crust. Then the internal flames burst through the cooling crust and threw up the mountains and made the hills and the valleys of this wonderful world of ours. If this internal melted mass burst out and cooled very quickly it became granite; that which cooled less quickly became silver; and less quickly, gold; and after gold, diamonds were made. Said the old priest, “A diamond is a congealed drop of sunlight.”
This is a scientific truth also. You all know that a diamond is pure carbon, actually deposited sunlight. The old priest told Al Hafed that if he had a handful of diamonds he could purchase a whole country, and with a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth.
Al Hafed heard all about diamonds and how much they were worth, and went to his bed that night a poor man—not that he had lost anything, but poor because he was discontented and discontented because he thought he was poor. He said: “I want a mine of diamonds!” So he lay awake all night, and early in the morning sought out the priest. Reminds me of the story I tell my children about the dog and his shadow. If you are not familiar, a dog is walking over a bridge and sees another dog with a bone. He decides he wants that bone as well and jumps in and loses the bone he has in his mouth because what he saw was not another dog but his own shadow. It is a story of discontent and greed!
Getting back to our story. Al Hafed woke the priest out of his dreams and said to him, “Will you tell me where I can find diamonds?” The priest said, “Diamonds? What do you want with diamonds?” “I want to be immensely rich,” said Al Hafed, “but I don’t know where to go.” “Well,” said the priest, “if you will find a river that runs over white sand between high mountains, in those sands you will always see diamonds.” “Do you really believe that there is such a river asked al Hafed?” The priest replied “Plenty of them, plenty of them; all you have to do is just go and find them, then you have them.” Al Hafed said, “I will go.” So he sold his farm, collected his money at interest, left his family in charge of a neighbor, and away he went in search of diamonds.
He began at the Mountains of the Moon. Afterwards he went around into Palestine, then wandered on into Europe, and at last, when his money was all spent, and he was in rags, wretchedness and poverty, he stood on the shore of that bay in Barcelona, Spain, when a tidal wave came rolling in through the Pillars of Hercules and the poor, afflicted, suffering man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again.
Now, Al Hafed’s successor one day led his camel out into the garden to drink, and as that camel put its nose down into the clear water of the garden brook Al Hafed’s successor noticed a curious flash of light from the sands of the shallow stream, and reaching in he pulled out a black stone having an eye of light that reflected all the colors of the rainbow, and he took that curious pebble into the house and left it on the mantel, then went on his way and forgot all about it.
A few days after that, this same old priest who told Al Hafed how diamonds were made, came in to visit his successor, when he saw that flash of light from the mantel. He rushed up and said, “Here is a diamond—here is a diamond! Has Al Hafed returned?” “No, no; Al Hafed has not returned and that is not a diamond; that is nothing but a stone; we found it right out here in our garden.” “But I know a diamond when I see it,” the priest said; “this is a diamond!”
Then together they rushed to the garden and stirred up the white sands with their fingers and found others more beautiful, more valuable diamonds than the first, and thus were discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the most magnificent diamond mines in all the history of mankind, exceeding the Kimberley in its value. The great Kohinoor diamond in England’s crown jewels and the largest crown diamond on earth in Russia’s crown jewels came from that mine.
The moral to the story is had Al Hafed remained at home and dug in his own cellar or in his own garden he would have had “acres of diamonds”—
We are all “Acres of Diamonds” Each and every one of us is unique with acres of talent and gifts. If we dig we will find them. Don’t be like Al Hafed and go looking for riches elsewhere. You are all diamonds in the rough.
Now let me tell you a little more of our guest today.
Dr. Marcia Reynolds is fascinated by the brain, especially what sparks feelings of connection, commitment, and possibility. She is able to draw on her research to help leaders have more meaningful conversations that inspire change. She has delivered workshops in 35 countries and has presented at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell University, and the Edwards School of Management in Canada.
Marcia is a true pioneer in the coaching profession. She was the 5th global president of the International Coach Federation and is the training director for the Healthcare Coaching Institute at Virginia Tech. She also teaches for coaching schools in Russia and China.
Interviews and excerpts from her books Outsmart Your Brain, Wander Woman, and her latest, The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs have appeared in many places including Fast Company, CNN.com, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal and she has appeared on ABC World News.
Marcia’s doctoral degree is in organizational psychology with an emphasis on the needs of strong, smart women in today’s corporations. She also holds two master’s degrees in education and communications.
• What do mean by “Outsmart your brain”
The primary purpose of the brain is to protect you and to keep you safe.
Anytime you say something to someone that is critical they get defensive and they get defensive without thought. Outsmarting your Brain is really about making good choices. Stopping and asking what is my brain perceiving here and what is really true. You have to know how to stop, breathe and make good choices.
You have to shift your emotions. Take 10 sec to remember to care, take 10 sec to realize that this person is not trying to hurt me.
You have to change your emotion to change your thought.
Here are the 4 Techniques to change your emotions:
1. Relax your body, release the tension. Take a breath let it out
2. Clear your mind. Quickly drop your mind to the center of your body
3. Center your mind on your Chi or 2nd Chakra
4. Choose how you want to feel.
• What prompts your brain to do things that sabotage your best intentions
The brain perceives a threat to something so it protects you.
If you are afraid it sees danger and sabotages your efforts.
• Is there something we can do to stop reacting?
You have to understand your emotions triggers.
They are there to protect you.
Like respect in the workplace.
The brain reacts because it may think that someone is trying to take control over you
• How can we use our heart and brain to control our emotions?
Quiet your mind and ask your mind or gut. What should I do?
Take a breath and go into your heart and then you usually say something better
When your heart and your gut is open then you have access to all three of your brains
Your brain, your heart and your gut.
• Are the brains of men and women wired differently?
We are born with the same wiring but whatever is rewarded as we aged that is what we become
Women were more head and gut based and men were more head based but that is changing.
Men are becoming more heart based because they are being raised by women.
Go to discomfort zone resources for outsmarting your brain.
Contact Dr Marcia at email@example.com