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July 31, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #76 with Michael Horn, the author and coauthor of multiple books, white papers, and articles on education, including the award-winning book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns [i], (a book I think that everyone should read as it describes how disruptive technologies  will personalize and revolutionize learning) making complete sense with what’s happening with online learning in the world today. He also wrote the Amazon-bestseller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools [ii]and his most recent book,  Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life.[iii] that was written to help students and parents stay ahead of the curve as they make important college decisions. Watch this interview on YouTube here. Podcast Intro and Background on Michael Welcome Michael! It was fun to hear your reaction to some of my questions yesterday, that dig back a few years.   I first saw you speak, Michael, at the ASU/GSV Summit in San Diego in 2016[iv] when our company was nominated for the McGraw Hill Innovation Award[v] in K-12 Education and wanted to watch this event, learn from the speakers, through streaming video. The title of my notes this year was “Aha Moments from the Eyes of a Disruptor” so I must have been reading your book Disrupting Class at that time. It was from this event that I learned about disruptive ed tech companies like Class Dojo, Clever and Remind who were all skyrocketing their online services  within the school market  (and now most people have these apps on their phones) and I knew this conference was one that I needed to stay connected to, and learn from these speakers, with you being one of them, if I wanted to stay at the forefront of innovation in education. Things really have changed since 2016, haven’t they? Thank you so much for meeting up with me, to share your vision of education with those who are listening. I’ve been on your email list, ever since that 2016 summit, and felt that it was time I reach out to you when your email subject matter read “Why Developing Character in Schools Matters” as I have been focused on a Character Manual for Educators to put these of these concepts into practice. Q1: Michael, I have so many questions that range from the K12 market, into higher education, and then I found your podcast Class Disrupted[vi] that you started when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted education and changed everything we as parents, teachers, or workers know about what it means to go to school.  I listened to a few episodes, and loved them with my favorite being the one about “Why can’t Sal Khan just teach everyone?” Can you give an overview of your podcast, and what your vision is so our listeners can check it out and stay with your content? Q2: Let’s go back to 2016 to that ASU GSV Summit (this was the one that Bill Gates was a keynote speaker), these were the good old days in education. I was watching some of these ed tech companies talking about their growth. It’s crazy for me to look back and see that Class Dojo was only founded 9 years ago, and Coursera 8 years ago or that the Remind app back then was only in 50% of public schools (I am sure they are in 100% by now). We can all see that online education and technology has disrupted education.  Remember Moore’s Law[vii] that shocked Gordon Moore, Intel’s co-founder and author of Moore’s Law that states that “computing power will double every two years.” What advice would you have for schools/teachers/parents that were not ready or set up for this wave of online education that we are all now getting used to? Q3: As a parent of 5-year-old twins, what are you focused on at home with their learning? I know routines are important, but what does a typical day look like for you? I’m asking mainly because I’m hoping to hear that someone whose written all these books in education with access to all of the tools under the sun, finds working from home, AND homeschooling to be challenging…like I am!  Q4: What about higher ed. I saw your article “Changes Ahead in Higher Ed: The Experts Weigh in”[viii] and wonder what other changes do you see for the 2020-2021 school year that go beyond COVID-19 testing, online learning challenges, the sports team you mentioned were being eliminated and whether campuses will reopen? Q5: On this podcast, we do focus on the 5 social and emotional competencies, with self-awareness being one of them. Why do you think a gap year is so important for students these days to consider learning more about themselves before going to their next steps after high school?  Q6: Is there anything that you think is important that we have missed, to close out our conversation? Thank you very much Michael, for the time you have taken to be on this podcast and share your vision for education in the next year. For those who would like to learn more about you, they can go to https://michaelbhorn.com/ and find all of your books there and follow you on Twitter @michaelbhorn or Michael Horn on LinkedIn. Michael’s BIO Michael is a senior strategist at Guild Education, and founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit think tank. He's an expert on disruptive innovation, online learning, blended learning, competency-based learning, and how to transform the education system into a student-centered one. He serves on the board and advisory boards of a range of education organizations, including the Clayton Christensen Institute, the Robin Hood Learning+Tech Fund, and the LearnLaunch Institute. He also serves as an executive editor at Education Next and is a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners. RESOURCES: ASU GSV SUMMIT https://www.asugsvsummit.com/ SEPT. 2020 Agenda with Michael Horn speaking https://www.asugsvsummit.com/speakers/michaelhorn Class Disrupted Podcast https://www.the74million.org/class-disrupted-podcast/ Khan Academy Kids for ages 5 and under teaches early literacy, math and social and emotional skills through 1,000 games, videos and stories. https://khankids.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004559231-Welcome-to-Khan-Academy-Kids Resource for Colleges https://www.edmit.me/ Measuring Colleges’ Financial Strength https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/08/public-and-private-measures-colleges-financial-strength-spark-more-discussion Kaplan’s Boost Year https://boostbykaplan.com/   REFERENCES:Remind, a company that reaches parents and students wherever they are, increased to 35M users, with 50% of public schools using their services.ClassDojo, a simple, safe classroom management app that helps teachers encourage students in class, and easily communicate with parents was founded in 2011 and now has 50M users.Clever, founded in 2012, a program that keeps educational applications (anything that needs a user name and password) up to date so that students log into their applications in one place, with a simple process, now has 20M users across the country.Stanford AI Lab, had 160,000 students in 2011, and has now grown to over 4M users.Coursera had 18M students in 2012, now has over 35M.  Moe continues to explain why these companies have experienced exponential growth with Moore’s Law, that states that “computing power will double every two years.”  These numbers have shocked Gordon Moore (Intel co-founder and author of Moore’s Law) himself, as shown in this image.  So what’s next for this next generation of students with these current trends? We do know that 50% of the jobs that currently exist will be replaced in the next 20 years, bringing up new challenges. How are we preparing our students for jobs that don’t yet exist? How do we ensure that “every person has an equal opportunity to participate in the future?” Moe asks and replies with some solutions to consider. Think of ways to “apply imagination to come up with ideas to solve big problems” with these companies as examples.Facebook re-imagined communicationAirbnb re-imagined travelUber re-imagined how to hail a cab REFERENCES:[i] https://michaelbhorn.com/2017/08/disrupting-class/[ii] https://michaelbhorn.com/portfolio/blended-using-disruptive-innovation-to-improve-schools/[iii] https://michaelbhorn.com/portfolio/choosing-college/[iv]ASU GSV Summit 2016 Keynote hosted by Michael Horn “Mind the Gap: How Do Universities, Employers, Students and Government Get in Sync.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y2u_5URWQM&t=258s and summit keynote slides https://www.slideshare.net/gsvmedia/brain-waves-2016-asu-gsv-summit-keynote[v] McGraw Hill Jr. Prize in Education  https://www.mcgrawprize.com/winners/[vi] Class Disrupted Podcast https://www.the74million.org/article/listen-introducing-the-class-disrupted-podcast-a-weekly-pandemic-education-conversation-hosted-by-author-michael-horn-summit-public-schools-diane-tavenner/[vii] Moore’s Law https://ourworldindata.org/technological-progress[viii] Changes Ahead in Higher Ed by Michael B Horn July 18th, 2020  https://michaelbhorn.com/2020/07/changes-ahead-in-the-world-of-higher-ed-the-experts-weigh-in/
July 30, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #75 with Maurice Elias, a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University[i], Director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab[ii], Academic Director of The Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service at Rutgers and he is one of the members of CASEL (Collaborative  for Social and Emotional Learning) which our listeners will know as a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs.[iii] Prof. Elias lectures nationally and internationally to educators and parents about students’ emotional intelligence, school success, and social-emotional and character development. Among Dr. Elias’ numerous books are ASCD’s Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, the Social Decision Making/Social Problem-Solving curricula for grades k-8, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, and many others that I will reference in this interview. Watch the interview on YouTube here.  Podcast Introduction and Backstory of Maurice Elias My name is Andrea Samadi,  I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, matched with social and emotional skills, with interviews from experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level. My vision is to bring the experts to you, and help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or parent working in the corporate space, for immediate results. When I was first introduced to Maurice Elias, it was from Corwin Press’s Marketing Department, who explained to me that his work fit directly into what we are doing with this podcast. When I looked at his website, and the Rutgers Social and Emotional Learning lab, it looked familiar—I know I have been on his page before, while researching leaders in this field, and within a minute of watching a YouTube video of his work from back in 2010[iv] that describes Emotion in Education, I wish I had been introduced to him 10 years ago. Welcome Maurice, it’s wonderful to meet you. Thank you so much for agreeing so quickly to share all the work you have been doing to transform education. After reading a couple of your books, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would have happened, if I had met you 10 years ago when I worked at Pearson Education... At that time, I was working as a sales rep, selling programs and services to the school market and someone reminded me recently of how hard I tried to put social and emotional learning content into one of the products we were selling. For those who have been following this podcast, you will know that I have had this vision for teaching these skills in the classroom for the past 20 years, and finally decided to approach Pearson’s Product Development team with this vision and was told “let’s take it slow, and poll some educators, and see how they respond.” It just wasn’t the right time. If only I had met you back then, Maurice, I would have just played the video I saw of you in 2010 called Emotions in Education to help them catch the vision that you explained in be “the foundation of what learning is all about.”[v]  I would have had the right person, with the right sense of the urgency for this vision but so glad to be meeting you now! Q1: Maurice, as a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University and the Director of the Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab that guides school-based efforts on SEL and character development, I wonder how and when your vision for SEL and Character began and what’s the vision that you hold now for your SECD lab[vi] and SEL in schools?  Q2: I’ve always thought that character was an integral component to SEL and I can see that you agree calling your lab social and emotional and character lab. Can you explain the idea that Character has two essential parts: moral character and performance character that you talk about in your book The Other Side of the Report Card[vii]?  Q3: I know that many educators want to improve their students’ social and emotional intelligence, but don’t know where to begin. In your book The Educators Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement[viii], you mention some first steps that educators should consider when implementing these ideas into the classroom (in person or virtual classroom)? I read your article about creating buy in for educators[ix], but what else should they consider? How can they best prepare for their vision of integrating these skills into the classroom? Q4: What about parents who want to raise emotionally intelligent children, (which is all of us) and especially children who have the ability to think and make decisions. In your book, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting,[x] you take some of the principles from Daniel Goldman’s bestseller, Emotional Intelligence[xi] and explain how they can be applied to successful parenting. Can you explain a couple of these principles and why we its crucial to be teaching them at home to our children?  Q5: I loved the article you published for Parent Toolkit (I saw it on LinkedIn about how watching sports with your children can boost their SEL/Emotional Intelligence skills).[xii] I absolutely loved this idea, as I never thought about this connection but there was this one time, we were at a baseball game with my 2 girls, ages 10 and 8 and we watched Wilson Ramos[xiii] (Ra-Mos) meditate away from some other players who were warming up, before a game. We did talk about it, but I never thought about going deeper with this like you did with this article. (Talking about focus, the athlete’s preparation and practice, emotion regulation, goal setting, problem solving, planning, teamwork, building resiliency and overcoming obstacles). I know it’s going to be awhile since we are all watching a game like this live, but can you recap these ideas so we can think of creative ways to talk about discussing these skills so we can learn from these athletes?  Q6: It’s definitely been different times the past few months, but I know there is always a positive side to every challenging situation. What do you think are some challenges that educators/parents/families are going to face in the next year, and how can we think of these challenges as learning opportunities to build resilience? Q7 Final thoughts. Is there anything that we’ve missed that you think is important?  Thank you so much Maurice, for your time today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the work you are doing at Rutgers’s Social and Emotional Learning Lab. My brother in law went to the New Brunswick Campus, and he’s now a Professor at SMU in Texas, and I’ve only heard great things about Rutgers over the years. For those who want to reach you directly, they can go to www.secdlab.org and contact you from there. RESOURCES:www.casel.orgwww.character.orgCommittee for Children https://www.cfchildren.org/https://sel4us.org/ REFERENCES:[i] https://psych.rutgers.edu/faculty-profiles-a-contacts/93-maurice-elias [ii] https://www.secdlab.org/ [iii] https://casel.org/founders/ [iv] Emotion in Education YouTube with Maurice J Elias Published Aug. 4, 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K2uSg-_KlI [v] Emotions in Education, Maurice J. Elias, YouTube Published August 4, 2010[vi] Social and Emotional and Character Development Lab https://www.secdlab.org/ [vii] The Other Side of the Report Card by Maurice J. Elias, Joseph Ferrito, and Dominic Moceri. (2015) https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-other-side-of-the-report-card/book245000 [viii]The Educators Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement by Maurice J. Elias and Harriett Arnold (2006)  https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-educators-guide-to-emotional-intelligence-and-academic-achievement/book226781 [ix] Creating Buy-in for SEL at Your School by Maurice J. Elias Published October 10, 2017 https://www.edutopia.org/article/creating-buy-sel-your-school [x] Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, Socially Skilled Child by Maurice J. Elias, Steven Tobias and Brian S. Friedlander  (May 18, 2011) https://www.amazon.com/Emotionally-Intelligent-Parenting-Self-Disciplined-Responsible-ebook/dp/B004G5ZY92 [xi] Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ by Daniel Goleman (2009) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002ROKQNS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 [xii] Watch Sports with Your Kid and Build Their SEL/Emotional Intelligence Skills by Maurice J. Elias (Nov. 2018) https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/watch-sports-your-kids-build-selemotional-skills-maurice-elias/ [xiii] Wilson Ramos https://www.mlb.com/player/wilson-ramos-467092
July 28, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #74 with Horacio Sanchez, the President and CEO of Resiliency Inc.,[i] an agency leader in helping schools improve climate, instruction, and discipline with tools and resources that include his most recent book The Education Revolution.[ii]Watch the interview on YouTube here.  My name is Andrea Samadi,  a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level. Welcome Horatio, it’s an honor to have you on today, especially knowing that one of our early interviews, EPISODE #3 with Ron Hall, from Valley Day School, Pennsylvania on “Launching Your Neuroeducational Program”[iii] features you in the show notes and YouTube video (2:51)[iv] I highly recommend listeners go back to the video interview, and hear Ron Hall’s story of meeting Horatio by chance at an educational conference, where he says that “in 10 minutes (of his presentation) he saw his future in education change right in front of his eyes.” I want to give a bit more information on your background, since your background is vast in the field of neuroeducation, which is what we focus on here on this podcast. Horacio Sanchez is recognized as one of the nation’s prominent experts on promoting student resiliency and applying brain science to improve school outcomes. Horacio has been a teacher, administrator, clinician, mental health director, and consultant to the Department of Education in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and other states. His diverse education and background have helped him to merge research, science, and practice which is why he has been so successful in the field of neuro education. His best-selling book, The Education Revolution published by Corwin Press, addresses the decline in empathy, increase in obesity, and the impact of implicit bias on minority students. Welcome Horacio, I have so many questions to ask you, and hope that we can get them all in! Q1: I like how you named your company Resiliency Inc as the word resiliency is important these days in education. Can you tell the story that I heard you tell on a podcast with John Williams, where you talk about how resiliency is built? (early days were hard, every day was a struggle, then they progress with hard work, effort, and now you have only good days and better days). Q2: As a former publishing rep, I have visited thousands of schools in the US (mostly in the Southwest region) and know that you can “feel” a school’s climate within minutes of walking into a school, sometimes even from the parking lot. We’ve all felt this feeling—and you know that our students feel it also. How do you improve school climate and what outcomes does a school typically see with your school climate improvement plan? Q3: One of the motivators for me doing the work that I’m doing with SEL/neuroscience began in the late 1990s with the Columbine tragedy being a huge motivator to take action. With all of your knowledge with students with emotional disorders, why do you think we have these incidents in the US? (My friends in Australia say they have not had one school shooting ever). What types of programs, or things should parents and educators be aware of to prevent these incidents from happening in the future? (connecting with the shy/anxious type) Q4: These days, it’s very clear that students are not learning as much as they could be or should be learning. Parents are just not equipped to be teachers, and I’m talking from the heart, as a parent with a teaching degree, with more resources for my 2 kids at home to learn while schools have not been in session. With a sense of urgency, I’m thinking about students in poverty who will be struggling more these days with less instruction, especially if parents are working. How does culture and poverty impact an individual's perceptions, behaviors, and how they learn? What solutions do you see here? In the next 2 weeks, I have been blessed to interview authors from Corwin Press, and while researching over the weekend, I can see that all authors for the school market are focusing on instilling character in addition to a student’s social and emotional skills. Why do you think there has been a decline in empathy and what do your programs do to build this skill back up again? Q5: You have such a vast choice of training topics[v] on your website for educators.  One of the topics that stood out to me was Overcoming Issues of Diversity. Can you explain the impact of implicit biases, and how they are formed? What can we do to reduce or eliminate bias in the human brain in order to experience immediate progress? Q6: What obstacles do you see that hold schools back from making progress with your programs, or any other programs they might be using? What are some key areas that schools should focus on for the most noticeable improvement? Q7: Is there anything important that we have missed? Final thoughts. Thank you so much Horatio, for meeting with me today to share more about your programs for schools. Are you conducting these programs I saw at https://www.resiliencyinc.com/ online? For anyone who wants to learn more about Horatio Sanchez’s programs, go to https://www.resiliencyinc.com/   Follow Horatio on Twitter @resiliencyinc or Facebook and LinkedIn with Horatio Sanchez. RESOURCES:Cultural influences on neural systems (Feb.2020) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028393218303610 Kimberly Noble, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University. https://www.irp.wisc.edu/staff/noble-kimberly/ REFERENCES:[i] https://www.resiliencyinc.com/ [ii] The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate by Horatio Sanchez (August 5, 2016)   https://www.amazon.com/Education-Revolution-Science-Improve-Instruction/dp/1506332064/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1GQ398GD9TR7I&dchild=1&keywords=education+revolution&qid=1595640400&sprefix=eduaction+revol%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-2 [iii] https://www.achieveit360.com/ron-hall-of-valley-day-school-pa-on-launching-your-neuroeducational-program/ [iv] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1O0EWWYewQ&feature=youtu.be (2:51) where Ron Hall speaks about his introduction to educational neuroscience. [v] https://www.resiliencyinc.com/training
July 23, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #73 with Chris Manning, Ph.D., who is a distinguished clinical professor of finance, real estate and entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University. He has authored and co-authored more than 30 articles published in both academic and professional journals (including the Harvard Business Review), and he continues to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Real Estate Research. Watch the interview on YouTube here.  My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level. Today we have Chris Manning, who co-authored the book Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success[1], with my mentor Mark Robert Waldman, and he is the only business professor I know who applies contemplative values and empathetic dialog when working with his Executive MBA students and corporate leaders. It is, in many ways, the psychology of business and work under one umbrella. Thank you so much for agreeing to come on the podcast and sharing with our audience your knowledge on the brain as it relates to business success. Chris, I just met you last week on Mark Waldman’s webinar, but I’ve known about you for years, through Mark Waldman. I didn’t know about your interest and vision Wto bring this concept you call Neurowisdom to your Executive MBA students.  Q1:  As simple as possible for our podcast listeners, please tells us What is NeuroWisdom all about?   Answer:  NeuroWisdom is about learning to use your brain better to be more self- aware and self-directed to better achieve your goals and enjoy your life more;Several years ago, Mark Waldman and I published our research findings learned from teaching our Loyola Marymount University Executive MBA NeuroLeadership course in a popular book (that we could also use as a textbook for our graduate level NeuroLeadership course):This book, NeuroWisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success, has now been turned into an online interactive course[2] complete with audios and videos to help people learn how to use their own brains better. (I recommend your listeners go MarkRobertWaldman.com[3] to check out our new and improved NeuroWisdom interactive online flipbook course complete with audios and videos and also look over our 10 free ebooks on related topics while there.)In essence, our book discusses the practical application of recent Neuroscience discoveries about our brains that can enable a person to learn more efficiently, with less stress and more joy and become more successful (at whatever that means to them whether it be their career, relationships, an advanced graduate professional degree, or merely making more money). Q2: What are the practical useful applications of recent Neuroscience discoveries that your book explains that our listeners can use every day in their life pursuits?  Answer:We call them the “Four Pillars of Wealth” in our book (referring to a person’s search for both “inner and outer wealth”) and they are really more about “How to take advantage of your brain’s natural patterns and tendencies to better learn and achieve things in life” While we all often “get in the way” (or “block”) our natural healthy motivations, and our natural abilities to learn and get ahead in the world, our book explains how to accept and take advantage of four natural brain circuits in everyone’s brain that supports our learning and how get what we want in life. Q3. What are the actual “Four Pillars of Wealth” you talk about in NeuroWisdom and how does each of them help people learn better (faster, easier, and with less stress and more joy) to overcome whatever obstacles get in the way of their success in life?  Answer: Pillar #1: Motivation (Desire, Curiosity and Pleasure)Desire and curiosity are what gets us all out of bed in the morning to do anything! When people get stuck living by only this first pillar, and pursuing desire to the extreme (while ignoring what else their brains can enjoy), people become overly selfish and greedy.Educators and business leaders need to encourage and support their students/employee’s natural desire and curiosity to further people’s energy and good health, not block, discourage, or get in the way of this extremely important natural brain function that even releases a dopamine into a person’s body (which is very pleasurable and even a euphoric experience even when only contemplating achieving whatever it is you desire to achieve or acquire).   Pillar #2: Decision-Making (Goals, Consciousness and Inner Speech)While most educators and employers appreciate the importance of learning and thinking better to make better decisions, few realize the importance of noticing when they are thinking “Positively” vs. when they are thinking Negatively,” and to learn how to control their negative thinking when it creaps in.  Certainly, worry and anxiety over something is natural for everyone, but we not only don’t have to dwell on negative things in our lives, it actually turns out to be unproductive to do so!!!What happens is that when your brain gets caught up on worry, anxiety and other forms of negativity thinking, your higher brain functions (which we are about to talk about) merely shut down (and most people don’t realize that they can’t think well using negative thoughts.We will come back to this at the end after I tell you about the two higher brain functions: Pillars #3 &4 . . .   Pillar #3: Creativity (Imagination, Intuition and Daydreaming) This is where your brain enjoys “taking a break” from consciously learning, memorizing or working hard. People don’t realize that their best thinking happens subconsciously when you are not concentrating hard on solving a specific problem, but rather when you are relaxed, thinking of something else, asleep, and maybe even daydreaming.  Neuroscientists can now observe using brain scans that a person’s brain is actually more active and working harder when they are relaxed and daydreaming that when you are trying hard to concentrate on something!!  This relaxed brain state is when your intuition and creativity provides a person with their best answers – and it is a very pleasurable experience.  (Thus, daydreaming is an important use of your time to further learning and success!)Think of all the times that people are trying to think harder for longer periods of time attempting to learn something or come up with “the answer.” Forcing yourself or others to do this is really counter-productive.  Resting your brain’s decision-making efforts is not only more productive (and even necessary at times), but it is also enjoyable, reduces stress, builds self-confidence, brings more joy and satisfaction into one’s life as they get to enjoy using their creativity and intuition to easily know “the answer” to something.  Pillar #4: Social Awareness (Fairness, Empathy, and Generosity)This higher level of brain function that makes learning easier and more pleasurable builds upon our first learning how to, and becoming comfortable with, using the other three pillars of wealth just mentioned.Thus, we should teach people to not fight their natural desire and curiosity about things (Pillar #1), while encouraging people not to dwell on “negative stuff in their life,” but rather use their infinite creativity to look for positive solutions to whatever is causing them to “worry” or “be anxious” (Pillar #2), all while taking frequent pleasure breaks and relaxing from “working hard” on their “decision making” (Pillar #3), so that their awareness (Pillar #4) can enable their intuition to “come to the rescue” to provide the answer sought;By using our self-awareness, our brains are able to “be present” with whatever is going on in our lives and intuitively know the answer to things through a higher brain function called “contemplation.” Being relaxed helps a lot to make this all happen for us. In addition, using our self-awareness, our brains can naturally integrate our desires and thoughts so that we realize automatically how important other people are to us (e.g. family, friends, etc.) such that self-awareness naturally evolves within all of us as social awareness (that includes wanting to be fair to others, having empathy for what others are experiencing in life, and even being generous toward others);Just as social awareness naturally evolves from one’s self-awareness, “Enlightened Hedonism” and even spiritual awareness naturally evolves from self-awareness and social awareness (which NeuroWisdom discusses at the end). Q4: Was there any resistance to these concepts when you first started teaching them to your Executive MBA students? Q5. Does NeuroWisdom contain any practical exercises that people hearing our Podcast today might be able to practice in order to learn how to use their brains better?   Answer:Yes, we have more that 50 specific exercises contained in NeuroWisdom that people can practice – most of which take less that 1-2 minutes for someone to do so they can immediately access the the personal benefit of doing it.Our Executive MBA students at LMU were far to busy to waste their time on meditation or anything that would take them 10-15 minutes to do! Thus, we wrote NeuroWisdom to seduce “busy skeptical people” into using their brains better to accomplish more in life, with much less stress, which enjoying each day. Q6. Can you give us an example of one of your NeuroWisdom exercises that your Executive MBA students found particularly helpful?  Answer:Yes, that would be our “Inner Values” exerciseDo we have time for me to briefly describe for your listeners how to do this exercise themselves and well as the benefits that they will notice right away in their own lives within a week? It will take less than 2 minutes? Q7. Go ahead and briefly describe for our listeners how they can do your NeuroWisdom “Inner Values” exercise on their own and experience the benefits within a week.   Answer:This is what I want your listeners to do each morning when they wake up before they get out of bed to start their day. . . .Relax, take a deep breath, and ask themselves over the next 60 seconds first think in the morning before they get out of bed: What are my deepest inner most values?By merely doing this first thing every morning, our Executive MBA students discover two very important things that improve their lives within a week:      First, that they are subconsciously reminded throughout their normal workday (after they do this exercise) when some rote habit, behavior, or repetitive social interaction is not consistent with the deepest inner most values and they are inspired to change whatever that is to improve their life.Second, when our students get in the habit of doing this exercise over a 10-day period, they begin to notice that their “deepest innermost values” gradually evolve into being even more important values that they want to live their lives by. Chris,  I do often get asked “how do I know if I’m thinking of a value” and I found it helps to remind people values are like our north stars, and when we are living them, happiness, success, and high performance shows up, and when we are not living them, conflicts and unhappiness shows up. That’s one way to identify values that you want in your life. What would you say to someone who is having a hard time uncovering their innermost values or their north stars? Chris, I want to thank you very much for your time and all the work you did to prepare for this interview. If people want to learn more about the Neurowisdom book and online version that has the experiential exercises that you spoke about,  they can go to Mark Waldman’s website www.markrobertwaldman.com [4]where there’s a ton of FREE ebooks, tools and resources that take these evidence-based concepts and help us to bring them into our everyday experiences. Thanks so much for your time today. RESOURCES: EPISODE 30 of the “Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast” with Mark Robert Waldman on “12 Brain-Based Experiential Learning and Living Principles” https://www.achieveit360.com/neuroscience-researcher-mark-robert-waldman-on-12-brain-based-experiential-learning-and-living-principles/ EPISODE 48 of the “Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast” on Brain Network Theory: Using Neuroscience to Stay Productive During Times of Change and Chaos https://www.achieveit360.com/brain-network-theory-using-neuroscience-to-stay-productive-during-times-of-change-and-chaos/ FREE EBOOKS that relate to Neurowisdom http://markrobertwaldman.com/neurocoach-press/  REFERENCES:[1]Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[2] Interactive Version of Neurowisdom http://markrobertwaldman.com/neurowisdom-enhanced-edition/[3] Mark Robert Waldman’s Website www.markrobertwaldman.com[4] Mark Robert Waldman’s Website www.markrobertwaldman.com
July 19, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #72 with sleep medicine physician, sports psychiatrist and author of the NEW book that I couldn’t put down, “Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage”[i] Dr. Shane Creado. I highly recommend watching this interview here on YouTube with the visual images. My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level.I am beyond excited to have Shane Creado[ii] here today. He is a double board-certified sleep medicine doctor and psychiatrist who practices functional sleep medicine, integrative psychiatry, and sports psychiatry, putting all those skills together to uncover underlying factors that sabotage the patients, comprehensively treats them, and helps them to achieve their goals. That shows dedication.I want to give you just a bit about Dr. Creado’s background that shows where this dedication to helping others improve their lives began: He completed an undergraduate degree in physical therapy, went on to do an MD. He then went on to a fellowship in Sleep Medicine at the University of Wisconsin because of the huge overlap between sleep and psychiatric issues. As he believed in optimization, not normalization, he devoted his time to optimizing brain health in professional athletes, executives and anybody who is interested in peak performance. If you have not yet listened to episode #71 from last week, I did a deep dive into his book to prepare for this interview so we could maximize our time together.Welcome Shane, thank you so much for writing back so quickly and agreeing to come on the podcast.  I know how busy medical professionals are--these days especially, and I know that you are working with patients in between this podcast. I didn’t expect that I would be able to get this time with you, so thank you so much!After reading your book and recording episode #71 about the most important concepts from your book, I had so many questions.INTRO/PRE QUESTIONS: Shane, I first heard you on Tana Amen and Dr. Amen’s Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast[iii], and then watched your YouTube Live with Tana Amen this week to be sure that the questions I ask you, don’t overlap with questions you have recently answered, but before we dive into the questions, can you explain what  you do with Amen Clinics in Chicago? Why would someone come and see you?Can anyone come into Amen Clinics for a SPECT SCAN[iv], or do you need to be referred with a specific issue?Q1: I love how you named your book Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes, as I know you are talking about concepts that EVERYONE can apply. I always look at elite athletes, or friends I see in exceptional shape and always ask them the same question “What foods do you eat and how do you train” to see if I can learn something. When you wrote this book, what message did you want to get across to those who work with elite athletes, as well as the regular person reading it, who may not be an elite athlete, but wants to train, live, eat and act like one?Q2: I came across something you said in your book that I thought was so profound, I instantly created a graphic and shared it as many places as I could. You mention “your brain health and sports performance cannot be optimized unless your sleep is optimized. Once this is achieved, your quality of life will skyrocket. When you sleep well, the fabric of your life will change. When this happens, it will have a ripple effect.”  This podcast is all about improving our results with the understanding of neuroscience that I think is relatively new. 20 years ago, no one was asking me “what are you doing to improve your brain health, or what are you doing with your brain in mind.” Can you explain what research says now about the importance of our brain health and sleep as it correlates to our results (whether it’s athletic or just our day to day lives)?Q3: One of the most powerful statistics I read in the first part of your book was that “60% of people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience long-term difficulties with sleep” (p54) and that concussions cause sleep problems. Most people I know involved in athletics, have hit their head in some way, and I never would have made this connection between brain health and sleep, especially the fact that “sleep optimization is important before an athlete has a concussion, to reduce the risk of concussion.” (p58) Can you take us through the importance of sleep on the parts of the brain that are critical in sports and how sleep deprivation puts the athlete AND anyone else in significant danger of injury?The parietal lobes, associated with spatial awareness (critical in sports with visual processing, sense of direction) are impaired with lack of sleep putting you at risk of poor form, positioning, footwork and performance. (p29)Q4: When I was watching you with Tana Amen on her YouTube[v] live this week, she was asking you about nutritional supplements and you had mentioned of the importance of not just hearing that a supplement is good, and taking it, but to know your brain type. I know that Dr. Amen has assessments[vi] you can take online (I have done this one) but is the only way to know exactly what type of brain you have (busy or sleepy etc) to get a SPECT SCAN[vii]? Do you think that this type of scan is important to see what’s happening in the brain even if there are no problems showing to get a better understanding of how to improve our overall health and life?Q5: In the deep dive episode to your book, I suggested 3 sleep improvement strategies.  What do think is important to add to this list to help prepare ANYONE for improved sleep and results in their life? I know that you listened to this episode. What else could we add to this list to improve our sleep right away?Adopting the Mindset of an Elite Athlete: We can all learn from the lifestyle and work ethic of an elite athlete to take our results to the next level.Empower Change with Fear: Understanding Exactly How Sleep Impacts the Brain: I’m not sure which one of the many statistics would make enough of an impact on you to change with your sleep habits, but once you find it, here’s your answer to sticking to the change you want to create.Your Sleep Routine: Pick one or two new strategies to implement to improve your sleep and log your results. With time, you should notice an improvement in areas that go far beyond your health and daily results.Q6: I saw your course Overcoming Insomnia[viii] that you have on Dr. Amen’s Online University Classes. I’ve taken his Thrive by 25 Course which I loved, so I highly recommend these classes. Can you give an overview of this course?  What if someone doesn’t have insomnia but just wants to improve their sleep? What types of supplements do you recommend for someone to improve sleep? What would I learn from this course?21 exclusive evidence-based lessonsA comprehensive sleep evaluation + easy to implement protocol for better sleepCognitive behavioral strategies & recommended supplements for overcoming insomniaQ7: My final question…I know you get asked this one EVERY time, but what’s the magic number? Is it really 7-9 hours of sleep that you want people to get? What about if we are getting 6.5 hours? I heard Dr. Satchin Panda[ix] (circadian rhythm researcher and sleep expert) speaking on Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof podcast and he mentioned that it’s 7 hours in bed meaning you can wake up and meditate or read at 6 hours… as long as you are resting in bed. Is this accurate, or would you still say, 7-9 hours asleep? (I get 6.5 hours and meditate for one hour…main reason I’m asking) Q8: Any final thoughts?Thank you so much Shane for carving out this time to come on the podcast to share your knowledge about this powerful book Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes and online course Overcoming Insomnia. I think this is a crucial time for us all to be proactive with our health, and sleep is one of the facts we can change. If someone wants to dive deeper into all of the ways that a deficit of sleep impacts health and longevity, I highly recommend buying Dr. Creado’s book, looking into his online course and following his work. You can find him on Instagram or YouTube @peaksleepperformance or his website www.shanecreado.com. The good news is that we can all modify, optimize and improve our sleep routines for improvements that can have an immediate impact on our overall health, results and future.RESOURCES:Samuel Holston, Melbourne Australia, explains John Medina’s Sleep chronotypes (lark, owl, hummingbird sleep patterns) and more about sleep is his new podcast BRAIN TOOLS. https://braintools.podbean.com/e/brain-tools-ep-1-sleep-full/Put Me to Sleep Brain Supplement https://brainmd.com/put-me-to-sleepOvercoming Insomnia Online Course https://brainmd.com/overcoming-insomnia-courseDr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage (March 15, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085YFP9YW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1Dr. Creado’s YouTube Channel Peak Sleep Performance https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChZEFjjDIjO3QqYHBZkWSmA REFERENCES:[i] Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage (March 15, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085YFP9YW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[ii] www.shanecreado.com[iii] Dr. Shane Creado The Link Between Sleep and Daytime Performance https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/the-link-between-sleep-daytime-performance-with-dr-shane-creado/[iv] https://www.amenclinics.com/services/ [v] Building Resilience: Sleep Tips with Dr. Shane Creado https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty4kZFWYbJQ&pp=wgIECgIIAQ%3D%3D [vi] https://brainhealthassessment.com/assessment [vii] https://www.amenclinics.com/faq/ [viii] https://brainmd.com/overcoming-insomnia-course [ix] Bulletproof Radio Podcast with Dave Asprey https://blog.daveasprey.com/light-dark-your-sleep-satchin-panda-part-1-466/
July 13, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, I’m so grateful that you are here, listening with me at this time when there’s a lot of chaos and uncertainty in the world. I’m sure you are feeling it—I most certainly am—but I do know that this chaos that we are feeling will always be here. There’s always going to be something happening in the world, and we must be prepared and stay in control, without letting outside influences impact our results. This is one of the key strategies used by the most successful people in the world. They have all have developed sound systems, with a clear plan to follow, and they don’t ever veer of their path. This uncertainty surely has the ability to knock the best of us, even the most productive, off course, without a clearly defined plan in place.My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level.First of all, I want to thank everyone who has followed, supported and shared this content. With this episode, we are now at over 20,000 downloads, reaching over 110 countries. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to create and share these ideas with such a wide audience. This has been the most powerful learning opportunity I have ever been involved with, and with each expert that we bring on here, we are learning the most current success strategies, to help us to all stay on track.  Here’s what we have covered so far on this podcast, so you can see where we started and where we are going. Season 1 EPISODES 1-33 introduced the social, emotional and interpersonal competencies to help parents, educators and those in the workplace to bridge the noticeable gap with SEL Competencies like growth mindset, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, social awareness, self-regulation and relationship building. We know that interventions that address these competencies increased students’ academic performance by 11 percentile points[i], compared to students who did not participate in such programs. Students learning these competencies also showed improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school. The case is clear that these competencies are important for us to practice whether we are a teacher working in the classroom, a parent working with our children at home, or even how we interact with each other in the workplace.  Implementing these SEL competencies are the first step towards bridging the gap that employers have noticed exists in the workplace today.Season 2  EPISODES 34-67 introduced more high-level experts with cognitive strategies from many different fields, with a focus on improving learning, focus, attention, goal setting, planning, perseverance and problem solving.  These are the core skills that our brain uses to think, read, remember, reason and pay attention and each guest explained how they use these skills for improved, consistent, predictable results in their field.Moving into Season 3 now, with EPISODES 68 and onwards we are diving deeper into these 5 competencies by connecting them to well-known authors and experts and bringing in a cognitive connection. The more ideas, thoughts, and strategies that we can implement in our day to day lives, with our brain in mind, the more productive we will be. If we can learn to do everything with our brain in mind, the results will not only show up in our personal or academic/work lives, but we will be increasing our emotional intelligence at the same time—a skill that will prepare us for future life success.This week, episode #71 focuses on applying self-regulation (everything that we do to feel better) with a close look at Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage. [ii] If you have been listening to these episodes, and studying brain strategies, you will know that sleep is not only important for sports performance, or for elite athletes, but work and brain performance as well.  This episode we will continue to make connections for how we can pinpoint an area of our life to improve our results with these new ideas.I first heard Dr. Shane Creado[iii] speak on Dr. Amen’s Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, and he caught my undivided attention when he said that “your brain health and sports performance cannot be optimized unless your sleep is optimized. Once this is achieved, your quality of life will skyrocket.” Dr. Amen mentioned that he thinks this is one of the reasons why there’s an increase in mental health issues in the country, because if we don’t get a good night’s sleep, all areas of our life will suffer. If this sentence didn’t catch my attention, I’m not sure what would. I quickly bought Dr. Creado’s book and have reached out to him personally to see if I could dive even deeper into his work in person. Stay tuned, he will be our next interview, but in the meantime, I will break down the most important concepts from his book, that are not just important for me to share with you, but for me to practice as well. All of us will be at different stages of learning and implementation, depending on how long we have been working on these ideas. Sleep has been a topic that I have been learning, measuring and looking to improve for only the past year and a half and it’s not an area I would say I have mastered, yet, so join me in learning these tips, and I would love to know what  you think, if you learn anything new, and if you were able to implement any new ideas for new results. I would love to know. Send me a message on Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram.Some quick facts that build a case for our need to put sleep first:Sleep debt adds up and is non-recoverable, and “getting six, four, two or zero hours of sleep resulted in impairments equivalent to consuming 2/3, 5/6, 7/8 or 10/11 beers respectively.”[iv]Even a single all-nighter can reduce your reaction time by more than 300%. (p21)Reducing your nighttime sleep by 1.5 hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.Athletes who slept less than 8 hours/night had 1.7 times greater risk of being injured (p22)72% of sleepy MBA players are no longer in major leagues two years later. (p24)Sleep loss impacts the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, parietal lobes, and the amygdala “impairing judgement, decision-making, and worsens impulsivity (risk taking and moral reasoning), motivation, focus, memory, and learning. (p25)Not getting enough sleep causes people to react more emotionally to negative stimuli because their amygdala overreacts. (p26)Students with better sleep report higher GPAs and insufficient or poor-quality sleep predict a student’s academic performance. (p27)We need sleep not just after we learn something (to back it up on your hard drive so you don’t forget it) but before learning as well to make sure there is enough space on our hard drive to store it. (p28)The parietal lobes, associated with spatial awareness (critical in sports with visual processing, sense of direction) are impaired with lack of sleep putting you at risk of poor form, positioning, footwork and performance. (p29)The most shocking statistic I learned from Dr. Creado is that “60% of people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience long-term difficulties with sleep” (p54) and that concussions cause sleep problems. Most people I know involved in athletics, have hit their head in some way, and I never would have made this connection between brain health and sleep, especially the fact that “sleep optimization is important before an athlete has a concussion, to reduce the risk of concussion.” (p58)Larry Fitzgerald (an NFL player) who I ran into often as our kids attended the same daycare when they were little has said that “on game days, that night I will for sure get 10 or 11 hours. I always get my rest and I think that’s one of the things that people don’t talk often about.” (p30)I could go on and on and make a case for why sleep is so important for athletes, which easily transfers into our everyday life.  Sam Ramsden, the Director of Player Health and Performance of the Seattle Seahawks says that “sleep is a weapon” (p33) and that there are the countless ways that sleep impacts our health. Todd Woodcroft, former Assistant Coach to the Winnipeg Jets, currently the Head Coach Coach of the Vermont Catamounts from episode 38[v] was right in line with Ramsden’s emphasis of the importance of sleep with his players in ice hockey, saying that “rest is the single most powerful weapon” and that they schedule sleep for their players all the time. It was interesting for me to speak this morning with Rick Miller, from the Oakland A's Organization, as he told me that it’s been 30 years since he has played, but there was a stark difference from his experience with training. He told me that there was not a push to eat right or sleep well at all. It was the survival of the fittest where they would fit in meals when they could, and sleep when their crazy travel schedule allowed them to.  He compared it to the way athletes train today and said that he had zero access to the coaches that these young athletes have now. Athletes today are bigger, stronger, faster and are like machines, and they have to be because the competition is fierce. There are 20 people who can do exactly the same things as these athletes, so they need a competitive advantage, a way to step out and set themselves apart from the rest. Athletes today need to work at insanely higher levels than he was used to and live their sport every single day. Sleep is one of the many tools they use to do this.If you want to dive deeper into all of the ways that a deficit of sleep impacts health and longevity, I highly recommend buying Dr. Creado’s book and following his work. You can find him on Instagram or YouTube @peaksleepperformance or his website www.shanecreado.com  The good news is that we can all modify and improve our sleep routines for improvements that can have an immediate impact on our overall health, results and future.THOUGHT PROVOKING STRATEGIES THAT WE CAN IMPLEMENT to IMPROVE OUR SLEEP:TIP 1: Adopting the Mindset of an Elite AthleteAn elite athlete, who has made significant sacrifices with their training schedules, and life, would most likely never choose sugar, alcohol or foods they know are bad for their body, the night before a big game. They just know better, and we can all learn from the lifestyle and work ethic of an elite athlete to take our results to the next level.  Rick Miller reminded me that athletes today are taking this to the next level, and often doing it on their own. They know what they must do, and they are sticking to their plan.Not at all the way things were 20 years ago, where athletes often flew by the seat of their pants.  Jeremy Roenick, a former professional ice hockey player said that he once “played 36 holes of golf with basketball legend Michael Jordan, who drank maybe 10 beers, and then went on to play for the Chicago Bulls that night…against the Cleveland Cavaliers, where Jordan put up 44 points to help the Bulls win by 24 points.”[vi] There’s always the exception to the rule, but the research is clear that over the long term, alcohol will impact your sleep, not help it, since it’s a depressant to the nervous system, and will more likely cause fragmented sleep. It might have worked out ok for Michael Jordan back in those days, but not today, with the high level of competition in pro sports.Dr. Creado talked about the fact that reaction time is reduced by 300%[vii] with one night of sleep deprivation, that not only translates over to the impact on the athlete,  but think about the impact on sleep deprived medical professionals, or the facts that there are over 38,000 fatal auto accidents/year in this country[viii]  where Dr. Creado ties in the fact that “with one night of sleep deprivation of less that 4 hours of sleep, it’s like drinking 4-5 alcoholic beverages and is literally the same as if you were drunk.”[ix]Implement this tip into your daily life: and think how could you improve your results by watching what you put into your body the night or even few days before an important presentation?  Think about how a good night’s sleep a week before something important (modeling the way athletes treat a big sports game) and notice how it can impact our results. We all know this. If we haven’t slept well, and we get into the car and drive, we know we are not as focused. When we work on our sleep, all areas of our life improve.TIP 2: Empower Change with Fear: Understand Exactly How Sleep Impacts the BrainBy now, we’ve all heard that it’s bad for our brain to read our phones before we go to sleep because it disrupts our natural circadian rhythm (a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of your brain defining our sleep/wake cycle)[x] and keeps us awake. I even heard this go a step further when I heard Dr. Satchin Panda (a researcher in circadian rhythm) talk about the fact that even going to a brightly lit store a few hours before bedtime is a bad idea, since that bright blue light from LED lighting can negatively impact your sleep.[xi]  Your circadian rhythm works best when you have developed regular sleep habits, like going to sleep and waking up the same time every day (including weekends) and limiting your exposure to these bright blue LED lights that can disrupt our biological clock by suppressing the production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates our sleep cycle).Dr. Creado found a trick to encouraging his younger patients to turn off their devices at night by teaching them how their brains work. He taught one young patient that “if he was sleep deprived, the hippocampus, (the area of the brain responsible for new memories and learning) functioning drops by 40% and that kind of impact could have a detrimental impact on his choice of his career and sport. It could also limit his ability to become physically fit.”[xii] The young man didn’t want his phone use to ruin his future dreams and plans, so he made the habit change needed.  But what about you?Implement this tip into your daily life: and think about your use of the phone before you sleep. I can see how this strategy could help students who need to maximize new learning and their ability to remember what they are studying), especially if they are trying to get into a certain school, and their entire future is on the line, but would it motivate you to make a change here? When I first started to learn more about brain health, I remember reading about the importance of shutting my phone off at night, to limit the amount of radiation coming from the phone, especially if it was next to my bed, and the importance of using the “night shift” feature that produces a dimmer light at night. While the research remains elusive if cell phones are really bad for us, and that “public health data shows no exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones and health problems”[xiii] I still take notice when health experts I am studying talk about the fact that they do not sleep with electronic devices in their room at all.  It really made me think when I heard Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof.com talking about the fact he wears blue light blocking glasses when he is using technology at night.[xiv]TIP 3: Your Sleep Routine: Create regular “wake and out of bed times” that are consistent on a daily basis.Create a bed time routine that takes into consideration a good bed (mattresses replaced every 7-10 years), with a room temperature in the mid-60s (F) or 16-19 degrees (C) and keeping lifestyle choices in mind like avoiding strenuous exercise four hours before bed time, and being aware of foods can disrupt sleepChapters 9, 10 and 11 of Dr. Creado’s book are dedicated to sleep performance habits and tips and I could spend the next couple of days writing about. Pick one or two new habits that you would like to implement likeChoose your going to sleep/wake up time and stick to it.Decide how you will calm your mind before sleep (read/meditation).Block out lights in your room that might be keeping you awake or use a sleep mask so lights are blocked.Creado dedicates Ch 12 to sleep disorder supplements and it’s worthwhile reading up on his sleep promoting strategies and supplements.When I speak with Dr. Creado for our next episode, I will go much deeper into the science behind sleep, the supplements he recommends, and more details on sleep strategies.Just to review, there is a clear case that improving our sleep is not only important for sports performance, or for elite athletes, but work and brain performance as well.  There were 12 powerful statistics that caught my attention when reading Dr. Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes, and that “60% of people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience long-term difficulties with sleep” (p54) and that concussions cause sleep problems. Knowing how important sleep is for athletes, why wouldn’t we all want to optimize our sleep for improved performance? With the brain in mind, there are 3 thought provoking strategies to think about: Adopting the Mindset of an Elite Athlete: We can all learn from the lifestyle and work ethic of an elite athlete to take our results to the next level.Empower Change with Fear: Understanding Exactly How Sleep Impacts the Brain: I’m not sure which one of the many statistics would make enough of an impact on you to change with your sleep habits, but once you find it, here’s your answer to sticking to the change you want to create.Your Sleep Routine: Pick one or two new strategies to implement to improve your sleep and log your results. With time, you should notice an improvement in areas that go far beyond your health and daily results.Let me know if you learned anything new with this episode that dives deep into self-regulation and sleep. I hope that you have found something helpful here to help you to create some sort of routine in these times of chaos and uncertainty. I know that we all create energy that goes out into the world, and my hopes are that these ideas help you to keep moving with positivity. Everything that we are all doing now, matters in the larger scheme of things. If we can create a solid framework now, then when more challenge or uncertainty comes our way, we will be prepared for it. Using these strategies will help you to keep those energy reservoirs high, so that when challenges hit you, you will be able to get back on track, with more resilience.Stay well and see you with our next episode.REFERENCES:[i] https://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/meta-analysis-child-development-1.pdf[ii] Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage (March 15, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085YFP9YW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 [iii] www.shanecreado.com[iv] Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: Page 21[v] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #38 with Todd Woodcroft on “The Daily Grind in the NHL” https://www.achieveit360.com/assistant-coach-to-the-winnipeg-jets-todd-woodcroft-on-the-daily-grind-in-the-nhl/ [vi] Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: The Cutting-Edge Sleep Science That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage (March 15, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085YFP9YW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 Page 7[vii]Dr. Shane Creado The Link Between Sleep and Daytime Performance https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/the-link-between-sleep-daytime-performance-with-dr-shane-creado/ [viii] https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatality-estimates [ix] Dr. Shane Creado The Link Between Sleep and Daytime Performance https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/the-link-between-sleep-daytime-performance-with-dr-shane-creado/ [x] What is Circadian Rhythm? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-circadian-rhythm [xi] Bulletproof Radio Podcast with Dave Asprey https://blog.daveasprey.com/light-dark-your-sleep-satchin-panda-part-1-466/ [xii] Dr. Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes: Page 9[xiii] https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/cell-phones/do-cell-phones-pose-health-hazard [xiv] Dave Asprey on Blue Light Glasses https://www.bulletproof.com/sleep/tech/blue-light-glasses-sleep/
July 6, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #70 Applying Self-Regulation to Move to Higher Levels of Consciousness and Results with David R. Hawkins’ Power vs Force book to analyze the hidden determinants of human behavior. My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level.   Today we are going to take a closer look at Human Behavior. The past 4 episodes have touched on identifying paradigms or habits that we want to change, with some ideas on how to change them with episode #67 with a Deep Dive into the Most Important Lessons I Learned from Bob Proctor’s Seminars[i] and episode #68 The Neuroscience of Personal Change, with a Deep Dive into Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People[ii]. I have received the most feedback about these 2 episodes, out of all the episodes we’ve done in the past year, so thank you for everyone who listened sent me messages about what you learned from the awareness and application of these 2 episodes. When writing these lessons, they often take many different turns and directions and you never know how they will turn out. I’m so glad to hear they have been helpful.  I know that we can still go a bit deeper into looking at human behavior, with some serious introspection, that will improve our self-awareness, as we take serious inventory of what’s working in our life, and what’s not working. When I first heard the term “paradigm” when I worked with Bob Proctor in the late 1990s, it took me a few years to understand what he was talking about. Then it took me many more years to figure out what paradigms weren’t serving me. Then, after writing them down, and staring at them, it took me a few more years to decide I was going to change a couple of them at a time. We all have paradigms that are working for us—so we will want to keep those and be aware of the ones that are preventing us from reaching those higher levels of achievement.If you want to identify your paradigms (positive and negative ones): take out a piece of paper and write out all of the behaviors that you do habitually. You will be able to identify your habits that are working for you (they’ll be the ones helping you to produce better results in your life) and the ones that are not working for you (the ones that hold you back). Circle the habits that are NOT working for you and pick one or two that you want to change. I suggest reviewing episode #35 How to Use Your Brain to Break Bad Habits[iii] as I go into detail here on how to substitute bad habits for more productive ones, with brain science in mind. For the next 90 days, you focus on changing just one habit, and this will take discipline. It will take the ability for you to give yourself a command and follow it.  For example: I am going to switch this habit for a new one—like maybe you want to stop drinking coffee, so you substitute coffee for hot lemon water in the morning instead. If you really want to stop the old habit, you will be ready to make this switch. I want to give a shout out here to Mandy Krueckeberg, a social worker who follows this podcast. I recently saw her post on her FB that she was on day 1 of cutting out coffee in her diet, and she did it by replacing the habit she wanted to change (coffee) with something that made her feel better (by drinking cinnamon tea). When I was writing this episode, she was on day 3 of this habit change and the longer she keeps this up, the more likely it will be that this habit change will be a success as her brain will lock into the new neural pathway she’s creating. She applied discipline to achieve the results she was looking for.  Awesome work Mandy! There are also tools that you can use to log the days that you are successful with your habit change. I use the 100 days to habit worksheet[iv] to cross off my successful days, and notice when I go off track, so that I can get myself back on track. But what happens if you really want to change a behavior, and you try, and just can’t? If you have put all of your effort into change, and are still struggling, I suggest reading John Norcross’s book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions[v] because millions of people around the world have met with success through his plan. If you are still not having success with changing a behavior, and just can’t stop the habit for 2 weeks on your own (after 2 weeks you should lose interest in the habit) then we are crossing into the field of addiction, where I’m not an expert, but there are entire podcasts based on this topic that you can tune into. Since human behavior is predictable, and addiction is not difficult to miss, it’s just difficult to acknowledge and take the steps to change.  This current Corona Virus time will magnify something like this as there is nowhere to hide while we are all on quarantine. People with addiction can be extremely high functioning like we have seen with celebrities who have to go through their challenges in the public eye. It is very clear that the first lesson here is that we can’t change other people’s behaviors since all of our brains are wired differently. We can only change our own habits, but we can gain understanding and awareness that can help point others and ourselves towards finding our own way.But how do we know if we have an addiction and need more specialized help? This will be apparent if you cannot stop the habit that you want to stop on your own and the habit is preventing you from reaching your highest levels of achievement. If there is something you are doing that is giving you poor results and you keep doing it anyway, you will know what it is. There will be no question in your mind, but the key will be when you decide to do something about it.On July 4th, I was fortunate to be near my favorite mountain in the Phoenix area and hiking this mountain is always at the top of my agenda. When I was starting out, it was still dark, around 4am, and I noticed a large group of men in a circle, prepping for their hike. I couldn’t really see anything except for their silhouettes against the rocks, but I could tell these guys all looked like they were in shape, and I was guessing they were a sports team, meeting for some sort of training, the way they were interacting. They said some sort of prayer or something before they started, and then they all took off like a rocket. For this hike, the starting stretch is the most difficult. These guys left me in the dust, and I asked 2 guys near me “Are you all a part of sports team?” and they replied, “kind of, we are all recently out of a rehab program.” This made sense to me now, as this mountain will open your eyes to how you are showing up in life. If you aren’t sleeping well, you will fade at the beginning. If you haven’t been treating your body well, it will be a rough hike. After the first few hills, you see it all the time, the ones who are being good to their bodies will keep their pace, and the rest will fall behind. On my way down, I passed the guys who I spoke with at the start—they started out strong, and now they looked like they were about to die. I asked “hey, what happened?” I had already seen the rest of their team celebrating at the top and these guys were nowhere near the finish line. They both looked at me, then looked down to the ground  and said “well, smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day is going to need to stop.” The mountain never lies. Either do the stairs when the elevator is broken. We all know the bad habits that interfere with our daily life, just like these 2 guys knew that it was smoking that prevented them from staying with the rest of their team. Self-awareness is the key, but sometimes it takes something like this to kick us into a higher gear to do something about this awareness.Another helpful tool is David R. Hawkins’s book Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior.[vi] This book taught me more about human behavior and why people do what they do, than anything I had ever heard before, that it wasn’t surprising that Dr. Wayne Dyer said this book was “perhaps the most important and significant book (he had ever) read.”This book has helped many people with addiction to get to the root cause of it. If you ask any addict about their behavior, and they are at the point where they are not hiding it anymore, they will talk about the shame and guilt they feel about it. They want to break the cycle. So, this is their work, to heal their past, and move upwards on the map of consciousness. I’ve provided this map in the show notes that David Hawkins created to show that different emotions we have are like radio stations or frequencies and when we are tuned into a certain emotion, or level, we are thinking thoughts at this level, and operating from this level. Any emotion at the level of 200 and above (Courage, Willingness, Acceptance) are constructive expressions of power, showing us that true power comes from within, while the lower frequencies, anything under 200, he explains are destructive for the individual and society. Think about people in a position of leadership. True leaders know they cannot apply force to get their team to do the things they want them to do. True leaders inspire loyalty, not fear, using the higher levels of the map of consciousness.It’s interesting to look at where anger sits on this chart since we might think that anger is a destructive emotion, but it’s quite a way up from guilt or shame. If you are in a place of leadership, you can use this map to predict human behavior and this can be very helpful. You can use these ideas to walk into a room and assess where the people you are leading are operating from, without being judgmental. If someone is angry about something, there’s no need for you to react to this person and get upset about their anger, you just need to find a way to encourage them to move them up the scale perhaps by talking to them, and looking for a solution to what they might be angry about. This map can really help you to become more self-aware, have more belief in yourself and your own abilities, to help you to understand others and you will want to inspire people with your example, which is to by using power, never force.Take a look at where you sit on this map and strive for higher levels of consciousness with self-regulation techniques.Neuroscientist, Stefanie Faye, from episode #39 Using Neuroscience to Improve our Mindset, Self-Regulation and Awareness[vii] just recorded a podcast called Mindset, Micro Movements and Super Regulators[viii] where she talks about how we can become better at self-regulating to move up this map of consciousness intentionally. Regulation, Stefanie explains is “everything that we do to feel better” and this is relative to each person. She explains that “there are two types of self-regulation: conditional self-regulation (bottom up) where we use television or our phones or something from the outside to regulate, or top down, unconditional, where we use our mind and body to access a sense of inner well-being like through meditation, focused awareness or visualization.We can also co-regulate with our connection to others—conditional, which would happen when we are physically present, or unconditional, by using visualization where we can draw people up in our mind for a regulating effect. We are not born with this ability, so we must learn how to do this.Some people, she calls super regulators, have become really good at this skill and can help others to climb up the scale to “self-regulate, co-regulate and access a higher awareness of their own possibility for well-being, growth and evolution.”  People in leadership roles should develop the skill of a super regulator as they can model the way for other people to improve this use of their Prefrontal Cortex (thinking, decision-making part of their brain) but they will need to be aware of what they are doing. Since humans are the only species who have this ability, we must model for others to keep building a better brain and life and help others to reach up the scale of human consciousness. Stefanie does have a Masterclass on developing the skills to be a Super Regulator[ix] where you can learn specific strategies to gain a sense of power with your well-being by using biological signals in your body to help you to solve problems you might be facing.A fascinating part of her podcast, she talks about habit breaking, to improve our results and takes it a step deeper when you add in her knowledge of the brain to this practice. Think back to where I had you write out all of your habits on a piece of paper and circle the negative habits you want to break. Now, go back to the habits you want to break and write out the micro movement that you take BEFORE doing the habit. For someone who wants to break the habit of drinking coffee, the micromovement would be grabbing the hot cup of coffee and smelling the coffee beans before you take a sip. Take a minute to identify the micromovements involved in each of the habits you want to change. There is muscle memory involved here, so to break the habit, we will need to be aware of and break the micromovement by doing something different. Instead of reaching for whatever it is that you reach for to feel better, break it up and go for a walk instead. Take a brain pause, think, slow things down and be intentional about the new habit that you want to create. The more we can slow things down, the better we will become at breaking our habit loops.We’ll meet with success when we are able to practice giving the brain what it wants. Our brains seek novelty, and this new level of awareness will propel us forward and up the scale of consciousness where our results will be heightened. When looking for solutions to feel better, Stefanie Faye suggests to “find the answers from within your own body” with this new sense of awareness. Learn to tune into yourself, build up your self-awareness, and practice listening to what you might be thinking or feeling to break the habit loop of mindlessly staring at your phone, or whatever strategy of escape you are using. With practice, we can all take the steps to connect with ourselves mindfully, take a pause, and rise up the levels of David Hawkin’s Map of Consciousness where our results will soar.Just a quick review:To identify your habits or paradigms, whether positive, or negative, take out a piece of paper and write out all of the things you do habitually.Circle the habits that hold you back from accomplishing your goals.Write out the micro-movement that you take before you do this habit.Pause the next time you want to repeat the bad habit.To change this habit, you will want to replace the bad habit with something new, something positive, that doesn’t hold you back from the results you want to attain.Watch yourself rise up David Hawkin’s map of consciousness when you are able to practice self-regulation.If you want to help others to regulate, you can learn more about begin a super regulator from Stefanie Faye’s Masterclass.Practice being “kind and forgiving to everything and everyone, including yourself, at all times, without exception” and strive for the power emotions that are at 200 and above (Courage) vs the destructive emotions (below 200). (Power vs Force)I hope you have enjoyed this episode and that these episodes are helping you to think differently about yourself (the social and emotional side of you) with your brain in mind (the cognitive side). Once you have these new insights and have opened up your awareness, you'll want to take action on the ideas that come to your mind. It's the action, integrating these ideas into your behavior, that will change the results in your life. REFERENCES:[i] EPISODE #67 of the Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast “Expanding Your Awareness with a Deep Dive into Bob Proctor’s Most Powerful Seminars” https://www.achieveit360.com/expanding-your-awareness-with-a-deep-dive-into-bob-proctors-most-powerful-seminars/ [ii] EPISODE #68 The Neuroscience of Personal Change with a Deep Dive in Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People https://www.achieveit360.com/the-neuroscience-of-personal-change/ [iii] EPISODE #35 How to Use Your Brain to Break Bad Habits https://www.achieveit360.com/how-to-use-your-brain-to-break-bad-habits-in-2020/ [iv] 100 Days to Habit Worksheet https://www.bsuperb.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/100_days_habit-1.jpg [v] John C Norcross Changeology http://www.changeologybook.com/ [vi] David R. Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior. https://www.amazon.com/Power-Force-David-Hawkins-M-D/dp/1401945074 [vii] EPISODE #39 Stefanie Faye on “Using Neuroscience to Improve Our Mindset, Self-Regulation and Self-Awareness” https://www.achieveit360.com/neuroscience-researcher-stefanie-faye-on-using-neuroscience-to-improve-our-mindset-self-regulation-and-self-awareness/ [viii] Mindset, Micro Movements and Super Regulators Stefanie Faye on the Girl on Fire Podcast http://stefaniefayefrank.com/articles/mindset-micro-movements-and-super-regulators-my-interview-with-girl-on-fire-host-kirsten-franklin/ [ix] Super Regulator Masterclass http://stefaniefayefrank.com/master-class/
June 29, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, episode #69 with Ben Ampil,  a US-Certified Neuroscience Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer who I have watched all over the news this weekend, even though he is located in the Philippines, his positive message about using your brain to manage your behavior is having a global impact and following. Stay tuned for the YouTube link for this interview. My name is Andrea Samadi, and if you are new here, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, to take your results to the next level.    I’m beyond excited to speak with Ben Ampil today and we’ve been chatting about our topic the past week or so, adding new thoughts and ideas to his message as things in the world are changing on a daily basis, but Ben’s message remains consistent. He has had extensive corporate experience in the various cross-functional disciplines of General Management, in a variety of Industries and has also been a Keynote Speaker in Conferences in Neuroscience in London and in Bangkok. His background and speaking history is top notch, and I know that he will share some insights to make us all think differently after this interview about the best ways for us to manage our behavior with our brain in mind.Welcome Ben! All the way from Manila, Philippines! This was fun setting up this interview and making sure we had the time zone correct. You are so right, nothing is going to stop us from finding the right time to speak together and from now on, I will be mindful about what it means for me to say “see you tomorrow” because my tomorrow and your tomorrow are 15 hours apart. Q1: Since connecting with you on LinkedIn, I noticed many similarities with how much we are both passionate about the topic of neuroscience. It’s an area I lose track of time when I’m learning and studying and spend all of my spare time with. What got you interested and passionate about the field of Neuroscience? Q2: I’ll never forget the first person who introduced me to this topic. He was a school administrator and he urged me to take my work in this direction. He handed me a bunch of books off his bookshelf, one of them was a series from David Souza on How the Brain Learns[i] (to Read, the Special Needs Brain, the Gifted Brain, the ELL Brain etc) and at first glance of this book series, without any knowledge of how the brain works, it can be an intimidating topic. You’ve created some acronyms to help demystify an otherwise intimidating topic like “Neuroscience”Can we break this down a bit?2 A) CHANGE OUR PARADIGMS vs BEHAVIOR: The past few podcasts I’ve taken a deep look at the fact that in order to make significant change in our life, we need to change our paradigms vs our behavior….Can you explain how our brains work with your acronym BATMAN and keep in mind that we don’t want to just change our behavior, but change some of our old ways of thinking or beliefs that might be keeping us stuck? 2 B) WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES FOR OVERCOMING THE FEAR WE MIGHT BE FEELING IN THE WORLD TODAY? (Real fears like you’ve lost your job, or someone you know is really struggling with something or even a perceived or imagined fear?) SCORE2  C) Over the weekend, I created a graphic based on Dr. Bruce Perry’s concept of the Power Differential that describes the fact that there is this power differential that puts one person at a cognitive disadvantage and can cause significant issues with leadership and communication (it describes what happens to a young child’s brain when dealing with an adult, or when anyone gets pulled over by a policeman for speeding etc. What are triggers the fear we feel coming from the amygdala and what are some solutions we can keep in mind to offset this instinctive fear? SCARF as a solutionQ3: I know that we all know that when our brain works right, everything else works right. What other strategies do you suggest to better manage our brain/minds and behavior during these times, so that we can continue to move forward and make progress in our lives?Q4: From all of the work you have been doing all over the world with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Neuro-Coaching with Business Executives, what do you see as some of the most common reasons that people become stuck with their results? What do you think we should all know and practice daily to improve our personal and professional results, with the brain in mind?Q5: What strategies that you teach about, have you found to be the most useful for you, in your own personal and professional life?Q6: To sum this all up, what’s a simple way for us to all remember these strategies to Manage our Minds and Behavior? BATMAN/SCORE /SCARFand SELFISH?Thank you for this interview, Ben, for the insightful conversations we’ve had as weve been preparing for this interview and for doing this after hours in Manila. If people want to learn more about you, they can go to www.benampil.com and follow you @Ben Ampil on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  You’re definitely all over the media, so it’s not difficult to find you! Thank you for everything you are doing to help the world to take some deep breaths, and continue to move forward.  REFERENCES:[i] David A Sousa, How the Brain Learns https://www.amazon.com/How-Brain-Learns-David-Sousa/dp/1412997976
June 20, 2020
Today’s episode #68 started out with me wanting to take a look the most important concepts from Dr. Amen’s “Thrive by 25”[i] online course that dives deep into understanding brain basics that we should all understand for ourselves as well as to better understand others, since brain health strategies will lead to a better brain and life. But—while writing this episode, I was sitting in an empty lobby of what used to be a busy local resort, looking around at what was once the hustle and bustle of business people, hurrying off to their events, or families rushing off to the pool to spend time together and the fact that the world has literally STOPPED STILL really made me think. This place looked like a Ghost Town, almost like in a movie where the scene freezes. It made me freeze and think. Things around the world have changed like night and day over the past few months starting with the COVID-19 Pandemic, with the danger of infection and death, and the change continues as the world now faces racism, riots, and global economic upheaval.  I thought that this episode needs to go a bit deeper than I was planning at first, and really needs to address the Neuroscience of Change. Since we usually reject anything that we aren’t familiar with, I thought this episode could look at how to consider a change with our thinking or perspective, resulting in a change in behavior around some of the critical issues our world is facing, to see where we can take individual responsibility. If we can add the understanding of how our brain works optimally and how we can improve ourselves by really thinking about some of these issues our world is facing, we can become more empathetic towards others, and set the stage for the much needed change our world needs. If nothing is done at this time, we will look back and there will be no change, but if we can all do some self-reflection, and make our own personal and individual change, 20 years from now, we will know if our actions made a difference. While still thinking about the new direction of this episode, I read a social media post from my mentor, Greg Link[ii], who I’ve mentioned in past episodes. As co-founder of the Covey Leadership Center, Greg was the one who orchestrated the strategy that led Dr. Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, (1989) to become one of the two best-selling business books of the 20th century according to CEO Magazine, selling over 20 million copies in 38 languages. He created the marketing momentum that helped propel Covey Leadership Center from a start-up company to a $110-plus million-dollar enterprise with offices in 40 countries. When he writes something, I always pay attention and what he has to say is always insightful and profound. This time, what he wrote was full of his own personal insight on what was happening in the world today, tied to the 7 Habits book, and he was talking about Habit #5. For such a popular business book, that sold so many copies, you would think I would know the habits off by heart. If you were to ask a room of 100 people “who knows about the 7 Habits Book?” most people should raise their hand, but few people (including myself) can actually name the habits.  Did you know the habits were divided up into 3 segments? Habits 1-3 are focused on how we manage ourselves, habits 4-6, how we lead others, and habit 7 how we unleash our potential. The 8th Habit[iii] is a whole new book, published years later in 2004 and it focuses on “Finding your voice and inspiring others to find theirs.” There’s never been a time like this in our world, and more than ever right now, we need to think about how we are managing ourselves, how we lead others, and how we can unleash our potential, and find our voice, in a way that inspires others to do the same. If we can do these 4 things, I am sure that when we look back to this time period, 20 years later, there’ll be some change.If it’s been awhile since you’ve read this book, go back to the habits (I’m doing this as well) and I’ve included them in the show notes so we can all begin to implement some of the most powerful principles of the 20th Century into action, in our life.  I challenge you, just like I’m challenging myself, to learn more about yourself here. Sit down somewhere quiet and think about some of the issues our world is facing. None of us can escape them, so we might as well begin here. Do you know what implicit biases are?[iv] Do you know the biases you hold? We all have them. Greg Link’s post reminded me that “We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are”[v] and that “if we want small incremental changes, work on your behavior. If you want quantum-leap change, (like we all do) work on your paradigms.”Here’s that word paradigm again. We talked about it in EPSIODE 67 with “A Deep Dive into the Most Important Concepts I learned from working directly with Bob Proctor and his Seminars”[vi] where we cover paradigms so you can go back and take a closer look at what might be holding you back. We all want quantum leap change, and Greg Link went on to explain that the secret to this change lies in changing our paradigms. I also suggest reading Price Pritchett’s You Squared[vii] book for the best description of how to experience quantum leap results in your own life, especially if you are ready for significant change to occur. I’ve had a copy of this book since the late 1990s and it’s always on my desk. It’s only 38 pages, but the concepts are ground-breaking as they teach you HOW TO change your personal effectiveness. Price Pritchett[viii], a business advisor, speaker and author who specializes in mergers, culture and organizational change, states in this book, that “if you want to accelerate your rate of achievement rapidly, you must search out and vigorously employ new behaviors.” Quantum Leaps will knock you out of your comfort zone, but where do they begin? They begin with shifting your Paradigms—that could be controlling virtually every move that you make.Remember: “To ignore the power of paradigms to influence your judgment is to put yourself at significant risk when exploring the future. To be able to shape your future, you have to be ready and able to change your paradigm.” –Joel Barker, a technology and business futurist who published the book Paradigms in 1993.The more understanding we have of ourselves and others, the better we can communicate, work with and thrive, not just survive with our current and future results. If we want significant change to occur in the world, we must begin with some self-reflection. We did cover some of these concepts in episode 29 “How to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness and Well-Being”[ix] but this episode will focus as a review of the most important brain basics that we should all understand and apply to our life, so we can stay strong and focused and challenge ourselves to think in ways that we have never thought before, tied to Stephen Covey’s powerful habits. If the brain is involved in everything that we do and everything that we are, then we must tie in brain health to optimize our future behavior, actions and the state of the world.Let’s take a look at Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (and the 8th Habit) as they relate to the 8 Most Important Concepts I learned from studying from Dr. Daniel Amen’s Thrive by 25 Course, with an action plan in place to implement these habits, and brain tips, into our daily life.STEPHEN COVEY’s 8 HABITS TIED TO A BRAIN TIP TO ENCOURAGE CHANGEHABITS 1-3: How We Manage OurselvesHABIT #1 Be Proactive, The Habit of Choice. We want to look for alternatives, not roadblocks to help us to see that there are choices. What areas of your life right now, can you be proactive with? During this COVID 19 Pandemic time, think about reframing “I am stuck inside” to “Now I can Finally Work on Myself[x]” or my home and complete some of those projects you’ve always wanted to complete.  Write out a list and see how good it feels with each item that you complete. Focus on the things that you can influence, and let the others go. I know this can be difficult because people do not resist change, when it’s their choice, but many of us are now dealing with change that is NOT our choice, and it’s frustrating, annoying and just darned difficult. Just keep the momentum moving.BRAIN TIP #1: BE PROACTIVE: WITH YOUR BRAIN HEALTH: Normal is a myth. 51% of us will have a mental health issue (post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, or addiction) and cases have increased since the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s more normal to have a problem than not have a problem, so being prepared and aware of how to help yourself and others is more important than ever these days. “If you struggle with attention, focus, sadness, anxiety, worry, flexibility, stubbornness, or impulsivity—welcome to the club, this is normal.” (Dr. Daniel Amen). Then add to it the fact that many of us, globally, are still quarantined, and in lockdown, and it’s understandable why there has been a rise in mental health issues. Whatever you might be dealing with, take action towards finding a solution.PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #1 INTO ACTION:Be proactive and ask for help if you just don’t feel right.  Do you know where you would begin to learn more about your brain health? Dr. Amen has a whole website dedicated to this at https://mybrainfitlife.com/. Visit his site, and also access his FREE 6-week challenge called The End of Mental Illness: Brain Health Revolution[xi] that he launched January 2020. This free YouTube course goes back to the basics and has tons of worksheets, tools, strategies and ideas that we all should be implementing to put our brain health at the forefront of our minds.  This course will keep you busy and give you the most current information you will need to know about being PROACTIVE with your brain health.HABIT #2 Begin with the End in Mind: The Habit of Vision. Isn’t it true that we can see things clearly in hindsight? “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.”[xii] Looking back at my life and choices as a young teenager (I’m sure we could all could do the same) the things we know today with all of the advancements in neuroscience, would have changed some of the actions I took back then but we don’t know what we don’t know and no one was preaching about brain health back then, so we can only focus on the change we want to see for ourselves moving forward, (yes, we can change our brain health if we change our habits) for our next generations with the new knowledge we are uncovering every day. If we truly want ourselves, and our next generation to reach the highest level of potential, then this habit, tied to brain health is the key. We just need to have a clear vision of what we want, and then infuse this vision into our homes, schools and workplaces.BRAIN TIP #2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND: CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR BRAIN HEALTH: Your brain is involved in everything that you do, and everything that you are. It’s involved with how you think, feel, act and interact with other people. It’s the origin of your intelligence, character, decisions, dreams, thoughts, creativity and actions.  If you think about it, your brain is the organ that’s behind how well you will do in school, in your career and your relationships. I’m sure if we were taught about brain health in high school, we would be mindful about doing anything to not harm this powerful organ that has complete control of our future success. Everything a young person does either HELPS or HURTS their brain development and when your brain is working right, you will work right. Everything in our life stems from the functioning of our brain.PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #2 INTO ACTIONWhat change do we want to see in the world? What vision do you have for the world in the next 20 years? As parents, teachers, coaches, managers and leaders, “teaching civil responsibility, respect and character” should be at the forefront of our minds if we expect change in the next 20 years. These themes should be reinforced in our homes, schools and workplaces, and infused into our day to day lives. If our brain health determines the actions that we will all take towards these themes, then brain health should also be emphasized in order to carry out this vision, starting at an early age, to protect our brain, and future, but we must begin with the End in Mind, with a Clear Vision.HABIT #3 Put First Things First: Plan Weekly and Act Daily.Stephen Covey built his whole career around the 4-quadrant chart called the Urgent and Important Matrix[xiii] where our attention goes to Quadrant 1 with Urgent and Important Tasks completed first and Quadrant 4, Distractions last. I’ve put the chart in the show notes for anyone who wants to see all of the quadrants.Quadrant 1 - Crises - URGENT and IMPORTANTQuadrant 2 - Goals and Planning - NON-URGENT and IMPORTANTQuadrant 3 - Interruptions - URGENT and NOT IMPORTANTQuadrant 4 - Distractions - NOT URGENT and NOT IMPORTANT BRAIN TIP #3: PUT YOUR BRAIN HEALTH FIRST: What You Do Today, Impacts TomorrowJust as our daily habits impact our future results in our professional world, the same goes for our brain health. Make brain health a priority; put it first, as urgent and important. We must know what things are bad for our brain (I’ve included the link to Dr. Amen’s 6 week course in the show notes resource section—this course has a resource of 100 foods that are bad for us in week 3 of this 6 Week course).[xiv]It’s helpful to know the food we should learn to avoid—the things that are bad for us and our brains so we can begin to eliminate them.           PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #3 INTO ACTION If you can plan ahead, the night before, write out the top 3 urgent and important things you need to do for your work, this will eliminate time wasting. If you can follow the same idea with healthy eating, and plan ahead, making sure that your fridge is full of healthy food vs the items we know are bad for us we will be miles ahead with our health.HABITS 4-6: How We Lead OthersHABIT #4 Think Win/Win: The Habit of Mutual Benefit.Win/Win “is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense of or exclusion of the success of others.”[xv]  When a situation is Win/Win, both parties feel good about the decision, and this builds trusts.BRAIN TIP #4  WIN/WIN: Strengthen Your Body and You Strengthen Your Brain. This is a Win/Win situation as everyone wins when they are building a stronger brain, and body. The benefits do spill into other areas of your life when you put a focus on brain/body health as your relationships and career will also improve.  You will also role model the way for others to follow your example.PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #4 INTO ACTION Put this habit to test and see what happens if you take 90 days to focus on your health. Have you ever done this? When you make your health priority, you will watch all other areas of your life improve. This is truly a WIN/WIN situation. You will feel sharper, have more energy, and something happens to someone who is on track. People are drawn to them, creating more opportunity. Try it—I would love to hear what happens when you take control of your health.HABIT #5 Seek First to Understand, then to be UnderstoodThis was the habit that Greg Link mentioned he was working on, and is centered around practicing empathetic listening, and effective communication. We listen first to understand, to really understand the situation, without putting our own beliefs, thoughts, feelings, or motives inside someone else’s head. Only then can we seek to be understood, which takes courage.BRAIN TIP #5  Understand Your Brain First: Discover Your Brain Type If we want to deepen our understanding of ourselves, get to know more about your brain, since it controls everything that you do.  Look up and take Dr. Amen’s Brain Type Assessment[xvi] to get an idea of what type of brain you have. You will receive an email with a video explaining your brain type, characteristics of this type of brain, dietary suggestions for your specific brain type and a full report with your brain fit score. PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #5 INTO ACTION Take the time to understand where you are right now with your brain health. Once you have this baseline, you can take the 6 week course, and begin to make changes, one step at a time.  Be kind to yourself, and know that you can make significant change to your brain and health, by learning and implementing some new ideas.HABIT #6 Synergize: The Habit of Creative Cooperation The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and when we can learn to work in synergy   with others, we create something powerful. One plus one equals three or more. My mentor, New York Times Best Selling author and Presidential Historian, Doug Wead[xvii] used to call this concept “the triple braided cord” where we accelerate our results with the synergy that comes from the creative cooperation when two or more minds come together. Call it a brain trust or mastermind, but be prepared for the great power that comes from this union. TIPS #6 Create Synergy by Understanding Other People’s Brain Types If you want to reach the highest level of potential and experience the magic of synergy whether it’s in the workplace, or in your personal life, it’s important to keep in mind that not all brains are the same. This was John Medina’s Brain Rule #3 that “Every Brain is Wired Differently.”[xviii]  Since we have all had different experiences in life, our brains are all different. What we do and experience in our life, literally re-wire what our brains look like.PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP #6 INTO ACTION If you really want to understand another person, Dr. Amen’s Thrive by 25 Online Course covers the main parts of the brain, with characteristics that we can all use to recognize our own brain vulnerabilities, along with ways we can improve and strengthen different parts of the brain. Also, week 2 of his Brain Health Challenge has a PDF document for strengthening each part of the brain.[xix] When we can use habit #5 (using empathy with others) with habit #6, we really can create a new level of communication with others.Habit 7 and 8: Unleashing Our PotentialHABIT #7 Sharpen the Saw: The Habit of RenewalHow do you sharpen your saw to increase your personal and professional effectiveness? Is it through continual learning, or renewal from exercise, meditation or prayer? Whatever method you choose, know that we must renew ourselves in body, heart, mind and soul to unleash our full potential.BRAIN TIP #7 Keep Learning About Brain Health, Nutrition and Exercise The older we get, the more serious we need to get about our brain health. When we stop learning, our brain starts dying. We must keep learning to stay sharp and focused and to prevent our brain from aging. We can even measure our genetic age by measuring the telomeres which hold our genetic material together like the end caps of shoe laces. We know there are specific strategies that prevent our brain from aging, and the more we take this seriously, the stronger and healthier we will be.PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP  #7 INTO ACTION Pick one new strategy to implement and write it down. If you want to begin a daily mediation program, begin here. Or perhaps you are looking to improve your eating, then pick one area, and focus on this area for 30 days. What we measure improves, so if you can log how many days you were successful with your new strategy, you will have a gauge at the end of the 30 days how well you have implemented this new habit.HABIT #8 “Finding your voice and inspiring others to find theirs”This habit is so important that Stephen Covey wrote a whole book about it. In this book, he talks about 5 behaviors that inhibit our greatness: criticism, complaining, comparing, competing and contending. Then he goes on to say that we all have the ability to impact the world by taking our mental energy and creating a vision, channeling our physical energy with discipline, unleashing our emotional energy towards what we are passionate about  and tapping into our spiritual energy to share your truth, or what life has to offer others for a better life. When we do this, we are role modelling the way for others to do the same.BRAIN TIP #8 Role Model the WaySince we can only change ourselves, it’s important to think about role modelling the way, whether it’s with our health, or ways that we can inspire change in others.  When I worked with Bob Proctor in the seminars, I remember he was always asked the question “how do I change my (spouse, parents, sister, etc) so they can stop xyz (being negative, complaining, criticizing).  The answer was always “You can’t. Just focus on yourself, and role model the way.”PUT HABIT AND BRAIN TIP  #8 INTO ACTION You will NEVER change another person, as people resist change, unless it’s their choice, so the best way to inspire others to take action, is to focus on developing your voice, and encourage others to do the same.I remember the first time I put my voice and ideas out into the world, with my first book in 2008, just 12 years ago, and it wasn’t an easy step. Finding your voice takes courage and initiative, and with that comes the chance that you will face criticism, but when you can move forward, regardless of what comes along with putting your voice out into the world, there is a chance for great opportunity.  It will start off small, but with time, momentum will take your ideas from one person, to the next, to the next, and with each person you are helping, you create a ripple effect of goodness in the world. Not everyone will resonate with your message, but the ones who do, will propel you forward. Before you know it, others will begin telling you the actions that they have taken and you realize that finding your voice has made a bigger difference than you could have ever imagined.To Review the 8 HABITS:HABIT 1: BE PROACTIVE: WITH YOUR BRAIN HEALTH and ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT.HABIT 2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND: CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR BRAIN HEALTH: Your brain is involved in everything that you do, and everything that you are, so create plan and vision to improve it.HABIT 3:PUT YOUR BRAIN HEALTH FIRST: What You Do Today, Impacts Tomorrow so make your Brain Health Urgent and Important.HABIT 4: WIN/WIN: Strengthen Your Body and You Strengthen Your Brain.HABIT 5:Seek to Understand Your Brain First: Discover Your Brain TypeHABIT 6:Create Synergy by Understanding Other People’s Brain TypesHABIT 7:Sharpen Your Saw: Keep Learning About Brain Health, Nutrition and ExerciseHABIT 8:Find Your Voice and Role Model the WayI’m grateful that I saw my good friend Greg Link’s post on social media, reminding me of the importance of Stephen Covey’s powerful 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tied to our brain health makes us all think of ways that we can improve our own personal effectiveness in the world. If each of us can, like Greg did in his post, take personal responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions, we can begin the ripple effect of change we all want to see in the world. If we want quantum leap results, we must focus on changing our paradigms. I hope you have gained some insight from these ideas.Episode #69 (being recorded next week) will feature speaker Ben Ampil, a US Certified Neuroscience Coach from the Philippines, to cover the neuroscience behind the fear that the world is facing, with some ideas for us to further implement the change in our behavior that could impact the world if we can all expand our own awareness, think, and accept the challenge to take new actions. My hope is that our next episode will allow us build of this one and discover that there is great possibility in front of us, and that with this great challenge (of self-reflection and change) there is also great opportunity as we begin to put each brain tip into action in our daily life, reflect on the 8 Habits and make the necessary changes so that we can look back on our world in 20 years’ time and see the impact of this change.  See you next week.RESOURCES: Dr. Daniel Amen’s Thrive by 25 Online Course.If you have a teenager, or a young adult, or just want to optimize your own brain, this course is important because it will open your eyes to the vital importance of taking care of your brain at an early age. “Thrive by 25” was designed to educate students in high school to prepare them for success in life so they thrive by the time they are 25, (there is a section where high school students debrief each lesson) but this information can help us at any age. If you purchase this course, you can gain access to 3 undergraduate units, transferrable to ANY college or university. Access Dr. Amen’s online courses by clicking on the link in the show notes, or just listen to this podcast where I break down the most important concepts from this 12-module course. https://endofmentalillness.com/brainhealthchallenge/resources/What I liked the most about this 6-week course were the resources. In week 1 for example, there was a worksheet all about knowing our important numbers. Just as our numbers are important with our business, we should all know our health numbers as well. You can print off these resources and take notes week, highlighting the most important ideas learned. You will never be the same. Your brain will love you. Week 2 was powerful as they outlined their BRIGHT MINDS Brain Risk Factors and Interventions. This is the backbone of the course, with tips for staying on track with your brain health, with each risk factor, like for example, what to do if you have someone in your family who has dementia, or other mental health issues. Week 3 the resources included 100 foods that love you (or are good for you) and 100 foods that are bad for you. If you follow Dr. Amen’s work, and his Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast[xx], you will get to see that he is on a mission to change the Standard American Diet, (that he calls SAD) and I’m his #1 fan! Be sure to check out his podcast and this 6-week course and you will learn the most up to date information on building a better brain. REFERENCES:[i] https://brainmd.com/brain-thrive-by-25[ii] Greg Link Speaker’s Bio https://premierespeakers.com/greg-link/bio[iii] The 8th Habit by Stephen R Covey https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006J23YQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[iv] Understanding Implicit Bias http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/research/understanding-implicit-bias/[v] Greg Link on Stephen R Covey[vi] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPSIODE #67 on “ Expanding Your Awareness with a Deep Dive into the Most Important Concepts from Bob Proctor’s Seminars” https://www.achieveit360.com/expanding-your-awareness-with-a-deep-dive-into-bob-proctors-most-powerful-seminars/[vii] Price Pritchard You Squared: A High Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps (Feb 2012)  https://www.amazon.com/You-Velocity-Multiplying-Personal-Effectiveness/dp/0944002048[viii] Price Pritchett Bio https://www.pritchettnet.com/biography/price-pritchett[ix] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #29 “How to Re-Wire Your Brain for Happiness and Well-Being to Optimize Learning” https://www.achieveit360.com/how-to-re-wire-your-brain-for-happiness-and-well-being-to-optimize-learning/[x] Covid-19 Lockdown Guide: How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine by Aarti Gupta https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-guide-how-manage-anxiety-and[xi] Dr. Amen’s 6 Week Brain Health Revolution Challenge https://endofmentalillness.com/brainhealthchallenge/resources/[xii] Proverbs 29:18 King James Version of The Bible.[xiii] The Urgent and Important Matrix https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/coaching-tools-101-what-is-the-urgent-important-matrix/[xiv] https://endofmentalillness.com/brainhealthchallenge/resources/ [xv] 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/1451639619/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=7+habits+of+highly+effective+people&qid=1592600926&s=books&sr=1-3[xvi] What’s Your Brain Type Quiz by Dr. Daniel Amen https://brainhealthassessment.com/[xvii] Doug Wead  https://www.dougwead.com/[xviii] John Medina’s Brain Rules http://www.brainrules.net/the-rules[xix] Dr. Amen’s PDF for Strengthening Different Regions of the Brain https://eomi-endpoint.azureedge.net/wk2/6-Wk-Challenge-wk2-New-Learning-by-Brain-Region-List.pdf[xx] Dr. Amen and Tana Amen’s Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/episodes/
June 10, 2020
Today we are going to take a deep dive into the most powerful and important concepts from Bob Proctor’s seminars. If you have not yet heard episode #66[i], be sure to check out this episode first, to get some context behind how I met Bob Proctor, and how he influenced the work we are doing here today. I do suggest going to the show notes and writing down some of the ideas you learn from this episode, since these are some extremely powerful ideas that really can make an impact on your life. These concepts were learned from 6 years of working directly with Bob’s seminars, taking his courses over and over again, and then repeating them periodically over the past 24 years. These ideas changed the trajectory of my life, and I want to share them with you so you can have access them, and see if their application can impact your world, as much as it did for mine.I first met Bob when I was a teacher in Toronto, because his director of sales, Mark Low, lived next door to me at the time, and when I asked him what he did for a living, my whole world changed when he handed me Bob’s You Were Born Rich[ii]  book. Be sure to look in the show notes for the links, as Bob gives this book away for FREE on his website under his tips and tools section. Go there, download his book, and this lesson will make more sense once you have had a chance to look at the book first.Before I go into a deep dive of this book, which was also the first seminar I ever attended live (in May 1998), I want to give a backstory that you could relate to, if you’ve ever invested hours of your time creating something. Here’s how I remember this story (and remember from EPSIODE #44 “12 Mind-Boggling Facts About the Brain”[iii] that memories are not 100% accurate, so I’m telling you a story that I remember hearing many years ago and some of the details might be inaccurate, with the way that I’m remembering the events, but you will get the main idea of this story.So, when Bob was first writing this book, (my copy of the book shows a copyright date of 1997 which was just a year before my first seminar with him) and it was years before everyone carried their own personal laptop around. When I think back to writing reports or essays in school at this time, I used a typewriter, so I think that’s how Bob wrote his first book—the manuscript was a physical copy that he had typed, and he would carry it around with him to add more ideas to it, before he sending it off to the publisher.  On his way to the publisher, he took a taxi, again, years before we went everywhere via Uber, and he left the only copy of the book in the taxi. This story made me think of all those times I had written something, and then the computer crashed, and the document was not saved, or the times that I just lost something another way, and the only solution was to recreate what you’d lost, and that’s exactly what Bob did with this book. When you are reading it, think of the years of work that went into the stories in each chapter, and these are all true stories—I knew many of the people he wrote about—and then imagine that one day, these ideas were completely lost, and he had to recreate them again, for the world to gain access to them. It will give you an entirely new perspective when you are reading this book.Bob mentions in episode #66 that “he always believed he would reach the goals that he set and believed in the material and that goals are set not to GET—but to GROW.” It’s who we become that’s important in this process, not the things that we accumulate along the way, but the knowledge we acquire and how we use it to help others. When Bob first met me, he asked me “What do you really want?” and it took me back a bit because no one had ever asked me this before. I had to really think about it. I remember not being sure, but in the Born Rich Workbook we had the chance to revisit this and write out our heart’s desire. I still have the workbook from 1998 and what I wrote back then, isn’t far off from what I am doing today.  So, think about it, “What do YOU really want?” Have you written it out on a card like Bob still does and like I’ve been doing ever since?  Once you know what you want, then you will want to look at your beliefs and see if they integrate with your behavior. Then you will know what changes you need to make.Let’s Take a Deep Dive into Bob Proctor’s You Were Born Rich BookBIG IDEA #1 Paradigms: Something is Holding You Back. When You Become Aware of it, You Can Move Forward. Paradigms—what are they?  Paradigms could be controlling virtually every move that you make.“To ignore the power of paradigms to influence your judgment is to put yourself at significant risk when exploring the future. To be able to shape your future, you have to be ready and able to change your paradigm.” –Joel Barker, a technology and business futurist who published the book Paradigms in 1993.What’s interesting is that Bob Proctor is known for helping people to increase their life in the area of wealth, but that’s not what drew me to him. Even though his book was called You Were Born Rich, and his seminars focused on helping the attendees to build wealth, I was drawn to his work not just for the idea that I could make more money, but that I could increase the potential we had. This is where I started to see my own paradigms showing up.Let’s look at Paradigms. We used to sell the You Were Born Rich book for $20/copy and I remember having a box full of books at one of my first events, and within minutes, they sold out, and I was left with a few hundred dollars in one hand and an empty box in the other. This was the first time I thought, “I really need to write a book” as my awareness shifted as I identified a paradigm that I was ready to change—I was only used to earning money by trading my time, you know, go to work from 8am till 5pm kind of thinking and  you earn a paycheck this way. This was the way I was raised, but I was seeing now that there were other ways. With this book, I learned that we can create a product or service and if people want it, they would gratefully pay for it, giving anyone the opportunity to earn multiple sources of income. You could still work 8-5 but could also earn money from all over the world when you sell your programs and services online. I had only just started to interact with this book, hadn’t even taken the seminar yet, and my beliefs about earning money were beginning to change rapidly, without expecting it.Once you can change your belief, it opens up a whole new world. I began to see that we could earn money many different ways than how I was raised to believe.  When I started to sell for Bob, we would earn a certain amount of commission on each sale. Suddenly, we could sell a seminar seat and earn a few thousand dollars in a few minutes. This really changed my money paradigm quickly. The more you become aware, the more your mind opens up to new opportunities. Think about it like you are looking through a keyhole, and with more awareness, the keyhole opens up until eventually the door is wide open. Years later, when I worked in the corporate world, and had the chance to earn commission each year, it was not uncommon for the most successful sales reps to earn $50K-$300K in commission (on top of their yearly salary) but if your mind can’t grasp this, then you probably won’t be the one reaching this level.  Over the years I met many people working in the seminars, doing all different types of work. Some were truck drivers, some were business executives, some were educators like me. All of them had grasped this idea that we could earn income from multiple sources. This was a huge paradigm shift for me. How Do We Change Our Beliefs or Paradigms?Bob’s running a seminar this month on this very topic called the Paradigm Shift Seminar.[iv] I suggest going to the link in the show notes and watch the video at the top of the page.We first of all need to know what these paradigms are, before we can change them. I know it wasn’t until after a few years of working with Bob and he was always talking about these paradigms that we needed to change, that I finally asked, what exactly IS a paradigm? I had no idea what mine were. It’s easy to connect the dots looking back and see what they were now—I had all these notes from all these seminars, and could quote them word for word, but I still didn’t have the understanding of how all these pieces fit together. Do you know what your paradigms are? This takes time as we learn to integrate the information into our behavior and daily practice.Here are some steps that I found useful for changing our paradigms:IMAGE SOURCE :http://herzette-records.com/paradigm-shift a) Start by Identifying what paradigms are, then figure out what ones we want to change. We must understand what paradigms are controlling our behavior in order to make these changes. This starts with self-awareness[v] (that we dove deep into in EPISODE 2) and keep in mind that these habits have been passed down from your parents, and past generations (the ideas, thoughts, and beliefs of those who surrounded you when you were growing up, in addition to your environment) so it’s not our fault that we have these paradigms in the first place, and they aren’t bad, it’s just how we were raised and they might be preventing us from reaching our highest levels of potential. I’m pretty sure that I heard my Dad say “money doesn’t grow on trees” a few hundred times when I was growing up, so this was ingrained into my way of thinking—until I learned how to change it.b) Begin to study yourself and learn at the very core “who are you?” “Are you really doing the things you want to do?” “How do you approach change and challenge?” “How do you see yourself in the world?” Start here to identify who you are, and you will begin to see patterns that come up that keep you stuck where you are, preventing growth. You will discover what paradigms are controlling your actions, and in turn controlling your behavior and results. You can begin to identify your patterns, beliefs and behaviors the things that you need to change to reach these new results or levels of achievement.A Paradigm is a mental program that has almost exclusive control over our habitual behavior…and almost all of our behavior is habitual.Paradigms are a multitude of habits passed down from generation to generation.Paradigms are the way you view yourself, the world and opportunity.Paradigms are how you approach change and challenges.c) Once you’ve identified a couple of your paradigms, the work begins. Pick one habit or belief that you want to change and take new actions—while integrating your behavior and your beliefs with the new idea. You will change the paradigm when your beliefs and behavior line up by repeatedly taking new actions towards the new idea. The same way the paradigm was formed (repetition of action from those who raised you, or who you were surrounded by in your early years). You can do this with affirmations, by repeating the new belief over and over again, until one day it changes. You’ll need to repeat this over and over again (1,000 times at least) for 90 days until you actually believe it. An example of a paradigm that might hold you back from opportunity could be something like “no one at my age has ever done this or that” (I’m sure they have, so this is a limiting belief—find someone who has done what you want to do and ask them to mentor you) or another example “every time we’ve tried to reach this goal, we have failed, so I’m sure we will fail again this year” (if you think you will fail, I’m sure you will also, unless you try something new, a new angle). Another paradigm that might be passed down from generation to generation could be “no one in our family has ever done xyz…written a book, graduated from College, etc. I’m sure you are getting the point. We all have paradigms that hold us back, and until we change them, we will never reach the levels of achievement that we are capable of.d) Watch your whole world change when you identify and change your paradigms. Think of how mine changed when I saw that I could earn commission from sales or write a book and sell it to earn money all over the world. It opens up your thinking to a whole new level. If you are thinking “there’s no way that I could do any of these things, I work a job 8-5 and have no idea how this is possible” well, that’s a paradigm. I wrote my first book by waking up at 5am when I worked a corporate job. I would write 5 days a week 2 hours each morning before work, which was 10 hours a week and 40 hours a month. You really can accomplish anything that you really want to, if you have the will and desire to do it. I would love to hear from anyone who has identified and changed a paradigm that was holding them back. What was it, and how did you change it?BIG IDEA #2 Prosperity Thinking: The More We Give, The More We Stretch our Minds to Receive and Keep Giving More. This book starts off with a chapter that outlines our ways of thinking. We either think in lack and limitation, and that there’s not enough, or we can have abundant thinking. We even know from Mark Robert Waldman’s research from his recent book Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success, that money does predict your happiness and that “those who make more money are happier, and those who are happier, live longer.”[vi] So, having a prosperity consciousness is vitally important for your future success as well as your health and longevity.Prosperity Thinking in Action:  How to Think into AbundanceBut how can this way of thinking be possible if we’ve just lost our job and are not sure where we will end up?  This is a timely question with unemployment being high at this time, all over the world. How can we create a prosperity consciousness when our bank accounts don’t have a paycheck being deposited every few weeks, or we can’t see what’s going to happen next? If you are thinking this right now, I highly suggest reading this book, and learning all you can on this topic. Changing your thinking from poverty consciousness (I don’t have enough) to prosperity consciousness (I have more than enough and want to share with others) was probably the most important lesson I learned after Sept 11th turned the US upside down.  Mindset and taking action is important in these transitional and uncertain times. I recently listened to Mark Cuban on LinkedIn being interviewed[vii] with tips for large or small businesses on how to navigate times like we are experiencing now, and his ideas all have to do with staying positive, being creative and pivoting your business which is what many of us did after Sept 11th. Before we can create new ideas, we must have our basic needs like food and shelter covered. When times change, and we need to find work, he suggests searching within an industry that’s doing well. Do some research and then see what areas match the skills that you have, so that you can pivot to something new, where you will find some success with your current skillset.  Once you find something, keep working, and don’t give up on any ideas that you might have had before this whole pandemic hit. Write them down, keep working and when times shift, like they always do, you can begin to put your focus on what you what to create. BIG IDEA #3 The Law of Vibration and Attraction: You Attract What You AreThe movie The Secret talks about this Law, and the book The Science of Getting Rich[viii] outlines this law, along with others, but my first introduction to these levels of vibration that Bob talks about often, was in Chapter 6 of the Born Rich book.  Bob mentions this law in our interview and also the quote from Andrew Carnegie at the top of Chapter 6, that says “Any idea that is held in the mind, that is either feared or revered will, begin at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical forms available.” This means that we draw to us what we think about—a person thinking positive thoughts will emanate positive energy and draw other positive personalities and situations to them, and a person with negative thoughts, will of course be in a negative vibration, or give off bad “vibes” that will repel positive personalities, drawing negativity towards them. What type of person do you want to be?  How does this work? There’s lots of different places to gain this understanding, ranging from a powerful book that I keep on my bookshelf, David Hawkin’s Power vs Force[ix] where he talks about low-energy frequency people vs high energy and the ranges of emotions that either drain us or fuel us.Our thoughts have a certain frequency, and the things that we draw to ourselves have the same frequencies as the thoughts that we have created—let’s say what’s on the same wavelength as we are. We cannot be thinking negative thoughts and be in line with positive thoughts at the same time. Since like attracts like, you will notice that when you are tuned into positive thinking, you will attract more positive things to yourself. In the interview with Bob, I asked him why we meet certain people at certain times in our careers who accelerate us? He answered “You attract them, and they attract you.” He drew Sandy Gallagher to his company when he had a need for someone who understood finances, and here was Sandy, sitting in a seminar, writing out that she really wanted to work with Bob, but it took her a bit of time until they were both in harmony with this idea. Once they were, the partnership was a success.The same goes with negative thinking. If you start off on the wrong side of the bed in the morning and do not change your thinking, you will attract more and more negative things to you as the day progresses. It can snowball either way for you, so why not let it snowball in a positive direction?Our goal is to raise our vibration level and be a positive, high vibrating person if we want to achieve our highest level of results.TIPS for RAISING YOUR LEVEL OF VIBRATION or FREQUENCY Positive thinking will help you increase your thought waves to that higher level of vibration. Just think of how great it feels when you are doing something that you enjoy, like listening to your favorite song, or enjoying the beauty of the landscape and nature around you. Practice recognizing how good you feel when you doing something that makes you happy. When you are feeling good, you are on the right track to raising your vibration, and when you are feeling bad, you are not on the right track. Do whatever it takes to stay in that good feeling, and your vibration will continue to rise.Limit your activities with people, places or situations that are on a lower level frequency. If you are operating on a higher level, you won’t be able to do this for long anyway, because it will drain your energy. Be mindful of who you are spending time with so that you can keep your level of vibration up.Spend more time with like-minded people who are positive like you. This will only allow you to keep increasing your level of vibration. Join a club or a group in which you can meet people with interests similar to yours and keep improving yourself.Be polite and mindful of others at all times. Over time and with practice, this will become a habit. If you are always thinking about ways to help others, it will be inevitable that your level of vibration will rise.Find ways that you can quiet your mind, and just spend time in this quiet to rejuvenate. Some people use meditation, and others find great benefits from yoga. Find what works best for you to relax, and then practice quieting your mind. Be open to what might happen here, as powerful thoughts can occur to you when you quiet your mind.Once you begin to increase your vibration, you will notice that your life will become more easier and more peaceful.BIG IDEA #4 Learn to Live Beyond the 5 Senses with the 6 Higher Faculties of the MindWe’ve all been raised to live through our five senses: what we see, touch, taste, hear and smell, but our 5 senses can be limiting. We can access new information, deeper flashes of insight, higher levels of creativity, if we learn to live with our 6 intellectual faculties that operate beyond our 5 senses for a competitive advantage. These intellectual faculties tap into the non-physical or spiritual world and help us to build new ideas.  How does this work?  Let’s see how we can learn to use the faculties of our mind to gain a deeper understanding, perspective or ideas.Perception is your point of view. This factor can be altered at will which means that you can always see two sides to a situation, but it takes the will and some effort to switch your way of thinking to see another side of something. Sometimes when I’m hiking, I can look at the trail when I’m going up, and the exact same spot, going down, looks completely different. What we see with our eyes can be viewed an entirely different way from someone else’s point of view, standing at a different viewpoint. PUT IT INTO ACTION: How can you use this concept to gain new ideas or perspective? If you are having a problem or disagreement with someone, try to look at the issue through their eyes to see a different point of view, not just your own.  You’ll notice with practice, this skill becomes easier, and it will open up your mind and you will become more flexible, improving your relationships with others. Reasoning is the ability to think. Having this faculty makes us different from other members of the animal kingdom; they do not have the ability to reason. In the book, The Strangest Secret[x], Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer was being interviewed and he was asked “What’s wrong with men today?” The great doctor answered, “Men simply don’t think.” Wallace D. Wattles, in his book The Science of Getting Rich[xi] agreed with this back in 1910 when he said, “There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it’s the hardest work in the world.” PUT IT INTO ACTION: Use your will to stay focused when you need to think and create new ideas. Critical thinking and reasoning is an important skill that we should be teaching to our children at an early age, so they can learn to think for themselves, rather than follow the crowd. Be sure you are always challenging young children to think for themselves by letting them make decisions. Ask them questions and see what answers they come up with.  I have a 10-year-old who often thinks of new ideas or angles that I might have missed, so I’m grateful to have more thinking minds in our home. The will is the understanding that each idea has a certain pattern and with focused attention, we have the ability to concentrate on what we are thinking about and increase the amplitude (the height of the wave) or thought wave and make them very powerful. PUT IT INTO ACTION: Use the will to lock into an idea and block out all other distractions. Using the will allows you to focus your mind on the things you want and lose focus on what you don’t want. Memory is something you can develop with practice. There is no such thing as a bad memory. However, just like your muscles, if your memory is not used, it can become weak. When you do not exercise the muscles in your body, they lose strength. This is exactly what happens when you are not practicing your memory. PUT IT INTO ACTION: Treat your mind with as much care and consideration as you would your body, as they are very much connected. The more practice you give this faculty, the stronger it will become. We have heard of some research-based strategies that are known to improve your memory, such as avoiding cramming and study what you want to remember used spaced repetition, relate new information to things you already know, be sure that you are sleeping well as sleeping consolidates memories, and adding visual images to what you want to remember. Imagination is Everything[xii] according to Earl Nightingale. All great inventions are created in two separate places: the mind of the inventor and the physical world when the inventor creates it. Our lives reflect how well we use our imagination, because when we hit one plateau of success, it will be our imagination that will take us to what’s next. PUT IT INTO ACTION: Write our where you see yourself in the next 3, 5 and 10 years. If you can do this in detail it will activate cells of recognition in your brain that when you imagine what you write, eventually your brain will accept and recognize what you are telling it, and it will go from feeling like a crazy pipe dream, to eventually something that you can see yourself actually doing, since you have thought about it so often.  One day you can make what you imagined, yoru reality. Intuition is a mental tool that gives us answers, by picking up the energy or feeling from another person or situation. We can even read a person’s energy over the telephone or the internet as I experienced in EPISODE 65 with Dr. Barbara Schwarck[xiii]. Sometimes we feel we just know the answer, or we have a gut feeling. That is our intuition at work, and we must learn to develop it. With practice, we can learn to trust our intuition and become confident with that which we feel or know. Then, we can move confidently toward that which we want. PUT IT INTO ACTION: The best book I have ever read on developing intuition was called Developing Intuition from Shatki Gawain[xiv].  This was probably one of the most valuable skills I learned to help guide my personal and professional life. I never needed to ask anyone else for advice, as I had my own built in guidance system that helped me to stay in a productive state of mind. BIG IDEA #5 Spirit is Everywhere. We are all Connected, Like a Rainbow (SIP)This next idea, I put an image of what I’m describing in the show notes. When I asked Bob about the quantum world that Dr. Dan Seigel talks about, where there is this plane of possibility where we can create anything, Bob answered with “I believe the physical realm that we live in and the spiritual world, are all connected, like the colors of the rainbow.” When we take an idea, it comes in from spirit, hits our intellectual mind, and it’s up to us whether we move it into form. Have you ever had an idea that you thought was brilliant, and you never did anything with it, and then suddenly you see someone else has created it? That’s because there is only one mind, and that we can all tap into these ideas.  Think of the three levelsSpiritIntellect/MindPhysical/Body What you can see (physical world) and what you cannot see (non-physical world) are all connected.  The physical is a manifestation of the non-physical. Another way to look at this, is to think about WATER in the physical world. We can see it. We add heat to water and it turns to STEAM (intellectual level) and add more heat to it and it turns to AIR (spiritual level). Just because we have changed the state of water from its physical form to AIR in the spiritual level, it doesn’t mean that the water doesn’t exist. It exists and when cooled down and goes right back to water.So, what we see in the physical world and what we cannot see, are all connected.Since spirit is for fuller expression and expansion, ideas (like I want to write a book) come in through the spiritual level and are looking to be expressed (from a higher to a lower potential). Think of when you ask for help from God through prayer, you are in the physical realm, reaching the spiritual realm with your thoughts for help or ideas. Ideas that come to your mind (your intellect) from the spiritual realm and it’s up to you if you will bring them to physical form. This is called the Creative Process.PUT THIS INTO PRACTICE: THE CREATIVE PROCESSDo you pray? Do you meditate? Do you believe in a higher power, or something bigger than yourself?  If you do, you will find this process fascinating, it you learn to use your FAITH through understanding. You will get new insights, and ideas through this practice that will keep you busy. Write out what comes to your mind here and see if the ideas match what you really want to BE/DO or HAVE or CREATE.  When you get an idea that’s congruent to what you want, you will want to take action with this idea. BIG IDEA #6 Thomas Troward- Fuller Expression, Increasing Life Always Aim for Bigger and Better Things There really are no limits to the heights that we all can reach and a reminder that it’s not what you’ve got that’s important, it’s who we become in the process of reaching our goals.“Nothing is impossible to the mind.All its guidance and power are available to you.When you have fully realized that THOUGHT CAUSES ALL,You will know that there are no limitsThat you yourself do not impose.” –US Andersen, author of The Magic in Your MindThomas Troward: Dore Lectures on Mental ScienceRight now if you ask Bob Proctor what he’s studying, he’d say he’s reading Troward’s The Dore and Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science[xv] and I’ve had this book and a couple of others from Thomas Troward in my Kindle iPhone library for the past 6 years and haven’t read them. I just looked through them and saw a section on Intuition, healing, the will, the body, soul and spirit—everything that we talked about in these 6 BIG IDEAS except healing. I can see why he would be reading this book, sharpening his higher faculties, deepening his connection with spirit and doing all that he can to deliver his message to help as many people as he can. Bob always read a section of Troward’s Dore Lectures on Mental Science in the Science of Getting Rich Seminar. One day, while he was running a seminar, I asked him if I could read the passage from the stage, because I was just dying to practice my public speaking and had memorized the quote. So, I read this by memory, and if there’s any passage of information I recommend anyone memorize, it’s this one. “My mind is a center of Divine operation. The Divine operation is always for expansion and fuller expression and this means the production of something beyond what has gone before, something entirely new, not included in past experience, though proceeding out of it by an orderly sequence of growth. Therefore, since the Divine cannot change its inherent nature, it must operate in the same manner in me; consequently in my special world, of which I am the center, it will move forward to produce new conditions, always in advance of any that have gone before.”What does this mean? It means that my mind/your mind is a center (there’s more than one center) but we are all connected, and there are no limits. If I was to stop there, I think that’s enough to motivate any of us to reach higher than we might have reached in the past. We are Limitless.This Divine operation is always expanding (there’s as much power above it as below it) and this means the production of something that has gone before, something entirely new, not included in past experience, through proceeding out of it, in an orderly sequence of growth. This means that what you are capable of will not be a repeat performance of something you have done before, although your past experience prepares you, but it will move you BEYOND where you have ever been, to GROW and EXPAND in an orderly way.Therefore, since the Divine cannot change its inherent nature, it must operate in the same manner in me; (so trust in the way your life unfolds—it’s all going the way it’s supposed to go) consequently in my special world, of which I am the center, it will move forward to produce new conditions, always in advance of any that have gone before. Meaning that when we keep working diligently towards our goals in life, we will keep producing NEW results that go beyond where you were before. We are always expanding and growing when we are taking action—so keep aiming for bigger and better things, and never stop learning/growing. REVIEW OF THE 6 BIG IDEAS:BIG IDEA #1 Paradigms: Something is Holding You Back. When You Become Aware of it, You Can Move Forward. Take some time to figure out what paradigms are holding you back, and start to work on changing just one paradigm at a time. This will require some work, as the paradigm is ingrained in your non-conscious mind, but with time, one day, you will look back and notice the growth that occurred because you took the time and put in the effort to make this change.BIG IDEA #2 Prosperity Thinking: The More We Give, The More We Stretch our Minds to Receive and Keep Giving More. Where is your thinking right now? I know that these are difficult times, but if you notice your mind leaning towards lack and limitation instead of abundant thinking, it’s time to take immediate action. Go somewhere where you feel energized and begin to work on changing your thinking. Volunteering or helping others can also help shift your mindset here, as you begin to see that your situation is much better than many other people in the world, and this can help shift your mindset.BIG IDEA #3 The Law of Vibration and Attraction: You Attract What You Are. If you have had trouble achieving your goals, this is the first place I would look. Do you know yourself well enough to know whether you are operating at a high or low frequency? When you are feeling good, and life is flowing, you are definitely on the right track. If things are difficult, and you feel unhappy, something needs to change, and the change starts with changing your energy or frequency by thinking new thoughts, that will stimulate new feelings and motivate you to take new actions, that in turn will change your conditions, circumstances and environment. The change begins with you.BIG IDEA #4 Learn to Live Beyond the 5 Senses with the 6 Higher Faculties of the Mind. You don’t need to master all 6 of these at once, but if you just picked ONE to work on and sharpen for the next year, you will notice the results in your life change. Pick one factor, and really dive deep into studying it in your spare time. Writing this episode has been a powerful review for me as well. I’m always working on improving my intuition, because I think it’s just fun to see how often you can guess something ahead of time, but I also see the importance of working on some of the other faculties, like the imagination, which is a key ingredient for creating something new. This is where inventors of the past went to figure out how to make the airplane take flight, where the iPhone was created and where the inventions of the future will come from. Also, just a reminder to not let what we see (with our senses-which are limiting) going on in the world limit or control us. We can’t change it, but we can keep studying, learning and growing, so that we change and improve ourselves when times are difficult. BIG IDEA #5 Spirit is Everywhere. We are all Connected, Like a Rainbow. This idea has come up with Dr. Daniel Siegel’s work where he talks about the fact that quantum physics proves that there are 2 realms: one where we operate through our senses, and the other, the plane of possibility that is timeless. We could spend a considerable amount of time thinking about this idea, but I’m just going to trust that my understanding will continue to grow here as I continue a daily meditation, prayer, and gratitude practice. The faith that comes from this practice is based on understanding and when new ideas come, I know it’s important to act on these ideas and do the work with the talents and skills that God has given me. Each of us will have our own meaning with this idea, based on our individual beliefs. Whatever you believe, find the practice that works for you to feel this connection.  BIG IDEA #6 Thomas Troward:  Life is for Fuller Expression, Increasing Life Always Aim for Bigger and Better Things. Keep studying, learning, growing and reach for more in life. You won’t be able to do this alone, so be sure that you find mentors to help you reach your new levels of achievement. Just keep learning, increasing your awareness, and growing. And answer the question “What do you REALLY want?” There is great opportunity for the person who understands themselves. I hope that you have found these ideas as powerful as I have. Remember, these are just a few of the most powerful concepts I learned from working 6 years directly with Bob Proctor, attending his seminars live, and then continuing to study and apply these ideas.  These concepts do take time before the results become apparent, but if you really want something, you will do the work and one day, you will look back, and realize that you have achieved the goals you’ve always wanted, so that you can then help others do the same.If you found this episode helpful, please share it on social media, and tag me. I would love to hear your take-aways of what you liked or learned. Until next episode, have a great week. See you next time.REFERENCES:[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #66 with Bob Proctor on “Social and Emotional Learning: Where it All Started.” June 3, 2020 https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/the-legendary-bob-proctor-on/ [ii] Tips and Tools Go to Download a FREE Copy of You Were Born Rich https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/tips-and-tools[iii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #44 with Andrea Samadi on “12 Mind-Boggling Facts About the Brain” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/andrea-samadis-12-mind-boggling-discoveries-about-the-brain/ [iv] Paradigm Shift Seminar https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/events/paradigm-shift?utm_source=1-Events-Page&utm_medium=1-PG.I-Site&utm_campaign=PS-Event[v] Neuroscience Meets SEL EPISODE 2 “Self-Awareness: Know Thyself” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/self-awareness-know-thyself/ [vi] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success page 13 (January, 2017) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i3 [vii] Mark Cuban on Tips for Small and Large Businesses on Navigating Today’s World https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6650799192853753856/ [viii] The Science of Getting Rich Seminar based on the book by Wallace D Wattles https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/programs/science-of-getting-rich?utm_source=Programs%20Page&utm_medium=PGI%20Site&utm_campaign=SGR[ix] David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior https://www.amazon.com/Power-Force-David-Hawkins-M-D/dp/1401945074 [x] The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale (2005) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1640951083/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyM0RHNzJCT1I3QTA4JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzg3NzMzMU9ETzhJWUU2MU82RyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDA2NjYwMTBWMldKMzdVRlZVOCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU= [xi] The Science of Getting Rich Seminar based on the book by Wallace D Wattles https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/programs/science-of-getting-rich?utm_source=Programs%20Page&utm_medium=PGI%20Site&utm_campaign=SGR[xii] Imagination is Everything YouTube by Earl Nightingale https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e25hRhKPm4M [xiii] Neuroscience Meets SEL EPISODE 65 Dr. Barbara Schwarck on “Using Energy Psychology and Emotional Intelligence to Improve Leadership in the Workplace” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-barbara-schwarck-on-using-energy-psychology-and-emotional-intelligence-to-improve-leadership-in-the-workplace/ [xiv] Developing Intuition by Shakti Gawain (March 30, 2010)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000054737/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 [xv] Thomas Troward The Dore and Edinbugh Lectures on Mental Science https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036FTEX0/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
June 4, 2020
Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast. If you’ve been listening to our podcast and wonder what exactly we do at Achieveit360.com, go to our website and take a look.[i] We provide courses, books and tools for teachers to implement Character and SEL programs in the classroom along with other consulting services that can be used in the corporate workplace. You can watch this interview on YouTube, but you won't be able to hear the backstory, unless you listen through your favorite podcast channel. Listen to all past episodes here.  Here’s the Back Story behind the programs and services that were inspired by our guest today, Bob Proctor. You can go to our website’s About Us[ii] section to see an outline of the last 20 years, and you will see a picture of him at the top of the page, but first let me explain who he is. In 1961, Bob Proctor started studying the book, Think and Grow Rich[iii] (right now it’s showing as #1 in Entrepreneurship Books on Amazon) and this book transformed his life. If you’ve been lucky enough to see Bob Proctor speak live, you’ll see this book and one look at it, you’ll know he’s been reading it every day.He listened to Earl Nightingale’s condensed recording of the book thousands of times, he said he would put this record player in his car and listen to it (back in the days that I can still remember when we had vinyl records before music and audio recordings became available online). He then created his own position that allowed him to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Earl Nightingale at Nightingale-Conant (that at the time was the largest distribution house for personal development programs). He worked there until 1973, before leaving to start his own personal development company where he’s been training people around the world ever since. Today, Bob has studied thousands of books, continues to read Think and Grow Rich every day, and is considered the world’s foremost expert on the human mind.I can personally say that Bob Proctor is one of the rare speakers out there who truly lives and breathes what he teaches, with full integrity—he walks his talk and inspires those around him to do the same. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Bob in the late 1990s when I was a school teacher in Toronto, when I asked my neighbor, Mark Low, what he did for a living, and he didn’t say much, but he handed me Bob’s You Were Born Rich[iv] book that I read the next day in a staff meeting (hiding it behind my binder as I pretended I was listening to the meeting) and my life was never the same after that day. The book was not just about being rich financially, but was about being rich in potential, saying that we all have deep reservoirs of talent within ourselves, and that we have greatness locked up inside ourselves...everyone has reservoirs of great talent and ability within us and if we can bring it to the surface we can accomplish anything we want. I really liked that idea.That was 24 years ago, and it’s definitely been a journey that started when I quit my job as a teacher and went to work in his offices selling seminars. I want to share some of the top lessons learned from Bob, before we go into the interview. I will definitely do a deep dive into his content after this episode, as it’s so valuable, but looking back to the day I met him, here are my biggest take-aways. If you have some that you want to share, please tag me on social media when I post this interview and share some of yours.Lesson 1: I learned how to set huge goals that most people would say were crazy when Bob asked me “what do you really want?” When I told him, he told me that there were certain steps I needed to follow, that started with writing my goals down on this card he gave me, and if I did all the things he suggested, and believed in what I was doing, I could have what I wanted. I really believed him and followed what he told me to do. Lesson 2: I learned how to be resourceful and make money based on my natural talents and skills. When Sept 11th happened, I had just moved to the US and had big plans of what I was doing...all of them halted just like many peoples plans halted or changed during the pandemic, but I knew I was great with children, and ended up getting a job as a nanny through one of the local resorts, eventually being the most requested nanny’s there. I also always valued keeping a clean and tidy house, so when I needed to make more money, I found work cleaning houses that was great money, and also very humbling, and not far from the work that Bob did in his early days...he would talk about it all the time, how he made great money cleaning offices, and it kept me on track with my goals. Lesson 3: I learned the basics of sales, which came in handy when I worked in the publishing industry. It was this skill, along with persistence, that allowed me to earn enough money to buy my first home in AZ and start living the life that I described when he first met me, and asked me “what do you really want?”Lesson 4: Was on how to generate energy so that I could accomplish more in less time. There was this one time that I was going to an event at 5am and this was years before I was an early riser. I was not like this when I lived in Toronto. When the car arrived at my house one morning to take me to an event, Bob was in it, and when I jumped in...he asked me how I was. And this at 5am it was pitch black, and I was probably still sleeping...and I said I was tired...and Bob said...pardon? I thought he was losing his hearing so I leaned forward and told him again, I’m tired Bob...and then he said something I never forget to this day.He said, “I thought you knew that we can create our own energy.”I was quiet for a minute and realized that he was expected me to integrate what he was teaching at these seminars...into my daily life."Ahhh"...I said...and I never told him I was tired again. And when anyone ever asked me how I was, and I was tired, I never admitted that…ever again.I learned how to generate my own energy through diet and exercise that ensures I can accomplish more, but it started that early morning, when bob asked me “how are you?”Bob has always surpassed me with energy. He’s got more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen. He starts his seminars on a Thursday or Friday night, and runs straight through till late Sunday night, never sitting down, taking a break, or saying, phew, I’m tired. Lesson 5: Is about the impression of increase or to put in more effort than you expect back. Well, that came from the SGR seminar and is a concept that has stuck with me to always do my best, without expecting any gain.Lesson 6: is about integrating your beliefs with your behavior. If you look at your goals, and what you believe, then look at whether the actions you are taking line up and ask “is by behavior consistent to what I want?”  I learned that Bob really does do ALL of the things he says he does.There was one day about a month after Sept 11th happened and I was in the same place he was staying at for a few days, and I knew things were up in the air with his company as no one was getting on airplanes to travel to the seminars. Things had changed overnight just like that. When I looked over at where he was sitting, I saw that he was reading Wayne Dyer’s There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem[v] and I knew right then and there that Bob was looking for answers on where to pivot to next. He’s always reading something to gather new ideas and strategies and of course I bought that book immediately not wanting to miss out on some important knowledge.Lesson 7: To live every day like it’s your last. He’s the one who told me the idea that when you really want something, you are trading your life for that goal. That didn’t make sense until recently, I see the work that went into where I am today, and yes, I traded my life for that. The daily repetitive work towards the goal I always wanted, until I got to one level, then to next, and I can see how I traded each day for that goal I wanted and am grateful that I picked a worthy goal to trade my life for.Lesson 8: Excellence is a commitment to completion. I learned to complete what I start early on, not that I’ve always done this, but I know how important it is to see a project through until it’s completed. Whether it’s a project, or something as simple as saying, I’m going to the gym and actually taking the action to go, when we say we are going to do something, I believe in the importance of doing it.Lesson 9: when stuck with your direction, I learned how to write out on a piece of paper on the left side what I don’t want, let’s say you are not happy with your work, you’ll want to get a clear picture of what will make you happy, and seeing it on paper will open your eyes. Once you know what you don’t want, it’s easy to go to the right side and write the polar opposite on the paper....so you know what you can work towards. This is a huge lesson in self-awareness. You’ll get to know yourself better after you do this and then you need to honor the things that make you happy.Lesson 10: I learned that success really is possible if you really want it, but there will be work involved. If I am willing to do that work that involves daily reading, studying and then taking action on the ideas I want to create, that “strange and marvelous things will happen with constant regularity as you alter your life.”I would love to hear any thoughts or take-aways as you listen to the interview. Let’s get straight to the interview…and hear directly from Bob Proctor himself.This is episode #66 with world renowned speaker, motivation and success coach, author of best-selling books, and my mentor, Bob Proctor[vi].Welcome Bob, thank you so much for taking the time to come on this podcast that really is here because of you, for inspiring me 24 years ago to take action with these ideas. You asked me “what do you really want?” and I told you. Then you showed me how to get it and here we are today. Thank you so much for helping me to create the life that I saw all those years ago. I’ve had a chance to thank pretty much everyone who’s helped me along the way, kept in touch with Greg Link from the Covey Organization and he always asks how you are doing, so along with thanking you, I wanted to be sure to pass on a few of the people along the way who have always asked about you because you’ve made such an impact on their world as well. Another person was Joe Gray, from Sunlife’s Scarborough Branch. My Mom worked there, and she still keeps in touch with him, and he’s always asking about you because of the impact you made with those guys selling life insurance back in the day. The last time I was there, they all still carried their goal cards in their shirt pockets. Thanks for all you’ve done to wake so many of us up to take action and create a life that we wouldn’t have thought was possible without you pushing us to think of the limitless possibilities.INTRO: Bob, the reason I wanted to reach out to you, and have you on this podcast is because I discovered social and emotional learning skills that are making inroads in our schools today, with plenty of research to back up the results that occur with students who study these skills—I discovered them, by chance through you and we are a year into this podcast now, and are experiencing incredible results, showing me that people are looking for ways to learn new strategies and tools to improve their results, using the most current neuroscience, while also tapping into their own social and emotional skills…and you knew this YEARS AGO…Can I take you back to when I had this HUGE AHA moment?It was one of those unforgettable moments, you know, one of those moments in our life when we know things will never be the same again—a clear moment of truth. Like when I think back to it, there could have fancy orchestra music playing as if to say, “Pay Attention Andrea!”  You were working with a group of teens we called them YMI or Youth Mentor International (I think we were in New Orleans at the Superdome) with skills that developed their attitude, mindset, confidence and goal-setting abilities, (what we used to call soft skills) and it skyrocketed their results.I know you’ll remember Brian Johnson, but not sure if you would know that at the time you were showcasing these students, I was in the audience of at least 8,000 people, and Brian had just started to speak his part and share what he was learning from you, and he started to stutter, and we’ve all been there, public speaking at any age is stressful, let alone at the Louisiana Superdome and you stood behind this teen and rubbed his back in such a way that he calmed down and was able to speak without any problems, and I was blown away, on so many levels.  As a teacher, I had really struggled to make an impact on the students in my classroom, and then here were these 12 teens talking about their unusual results after only a few months of working with lessons that mirrored what we now know to be called growth mindset, self-awareness and self-regulated learning that are now evidence-based strategies being implemented in schools (and workplaces) around the world.  I just remember it felt like a brick hit me in stomach, and I seriously couldn’t breathe, I just started crying, my face went all red and blotchy, because I knew at that moment that this was it—this is what I was meant to be doing for the rest of my life, and then I had to go and help Gina with back of the room sales and then Milt Campbell who was up on stage that day, was there and came over to introduce himself to me—and I knew I needed to learn what you were teaching these kids more than anyone.Q1: Thinking back to those 12 YMI teens you started working with (and then the hundreds of them who followed working with the tape program) Why do you think these teens had such incredible results after just a few months of working with you and these lessons?  What were they missing? Q2: You’ve been studying for almost 60 years now—if we count back to when you started reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich book and I wonder what you think are some common reasons that people don’t reach their full potential? I think it’s something that I learned from your You Were Born Rich Book, to recognize the potential in ourselves and other people (and I know that we all have this potential) I see it especially with young people—some of them shine like a bright light—but only the rare few actually develop their talents and abilities to their fullest. I wrote down this quote in 1999 (I think from the SGR Seminar). You said “the person who is certain to advance is one who is too big for his place and has a clear concept of what he wants to be—who knows that he can become what he wants to be and is determined to be what he wants to be.” It makes sense to me that schools are now teaching self-awareness to students to help them to uncover their strengths but what do you think is the formula that we should all know on how to develop an unwavering belief in our abilities so we don’t default back to doubt/worry/ anxiety and fear that sabotages our results?Q3: Back when I worked with your offices, I was always looking for something to study and I found this old video program, called “The Journey of the Mind” where you were walking through this set that has large stones, and you covered topics like responsibility, paradigms, goals, attitude, persistence, and decision. This program became the outline of my first book, The Secret for Teens Revealed[vii] and you wrote the foreword and it became the backbone for the courses that I’ve created for the school market. I don’t know what ever happened to that course you created, but I think it’s crazy to think that years later, Carol Dweck published her book Mindset: The Psychology of Success[viii] (that changed millions of lives with its insights into growth mindset). You didn’t call it growth mindset but were teaching this all along with your programs when you were teaching about changing results by changing our beliefs. What about YOUR belief Bob? When you were creating some of these programs that didn’t take off (I think the one I saw was never produced into a film like it was supposed to) did you ever lose belief in what you were doing? How did you stay on track until your programs took off the way you envisioned?Q4: I know when things really changed for your organization, and it was when Rhonda Byrne contacted you about appearing in this movie, The Secret,[ix] that accelerated your work around the world, along with many others. For those who have never heard this story, can you share how you just happened to be in the right place, at the right time, to meet her? Why do you think we meet certain people at certain times in our life who accelerate us/take us to our next level and what can we do to prepare ourselves to be ready when this happens?Q5: This is the only science-based question, but I have to ask it because it ties directly to your work.  I’ve been studying Dr. Daniel Siegel[x] (do you know Dan?) He’s a clinical professor of psychiatry from UCLA’s School of Medicine and executive director of The Mindsight Institute[xi] who did episode 28 on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence”[xii] and he has spent years showing the scientific connection between the mind and the brain. Dan talks about that “science clearly demonstrates that we have 2 realms in our physical universe—and this is not commonly known.”  He asked 3,000 tech experts and 3,000 therapists and only 5% had ever heard of this. That reminded me of when you asked all those schoolteachers if they knew what the faculties of their mind were, and none of them could tell you. Well, Dan shows how there is one world where time/space exist, and the other world, the quantum world, is timeless and full of possibilities.To me, this is what Wallace D. Wattles speaks about in The Science of Getting Rich[xiii] book that inspired half a billion people since the movie The Secret was inspired by this book and all the possibilities that exist in this other realm. Can you talk a bit about what you know about this second realm as it pertains to not only making money, but the place we go in our mind when we pray, or say our affirmations, or reach during meditation, because science shows that there is this plane of possibility or the “formless source” where anything is possible. Q6: I listened to the podcast you did with Lewis Howe’s[xiv] this weekend. I love that guy and his podcast and learning from those who are doing well within industry, and it made me think of something else I wanted to ask you. Do you have time to cover one last Q? If so, what do you think is important for all of us to be thinking and doing during these strange times? Thank you, Bob, I want to let people know about your upcoming programs, and how they can learn more about you. Just go to https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/ and you can see your next virtual seminar coming up called Paradigm Shift[xv]  they can easily download the book that inspired me, You Were Born Rich,[xvi] for free on your site and find you on social media @bobproctorlive on Twitter, and search for you on Facebook. REFERENCES:[i] https://www.achieveit360.com[ii] https://www.achieveit360.com/about-us-history-and-mission/[iii] Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill TarcherPerigee; Revised & enlarged edition (August 18, 2005) https://www.amazon.com/Think-Grow-Rich-Landmark-Bestseller/dp/1585424331[iv] You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/programs[v] There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Wayne Dyer (Reprint Oct. 2009) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FC144O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[vi] https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/our-story[vii] The Secret for Teens Revealed by Andrea Samadi (2008, Wheatmark Publishing Tucson, AZ).  https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Teens-Revealed-Teenagers-Leadership-ebook/dp/B078TQ4NF5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=andrea+samadi+secret+for+teens&qid=1590796709&s=books&sr=1-1[viii] Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (Dec. 2007) https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322[ix] The Secret by Rhonda Byrne https://www.thesecret.tv/products/the-secret-book/[x] https://www.drdansiegel.com/[xi] https://www.mindsightinstitute.com/[xii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #28 Dr. Daniel Siegel on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Learning” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761[xiii] The Science of Getting Rich Seminar based on the book by Wallace D Wattles https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/programs/science-of-getting-rich?utm_source=Programs%20Page&utm_medium=PGI%20Site&utm_campaign=SGR[xiv] Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness Podcast Episode with Bob Proctor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKBtPesxp1M[xv] Paradigm Shift Seminar https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/events/paradigm-shift?utm_source=1-Events-Page&utm_medium=1-PG.I-Site&utm_campaign=PS-Event[xvi] Tips and Tools Go to Download a FREE Copy of You Were Born Rich https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/tips-and-tools
June 1, 2020
This is episode #65 with Dr. Barbara Schwarck, CEO of Clear Intentions International, who has been helping people get unstuck and make powerful, lasting life changes for over twenty years. Dr. Schwarck is an award-winning, dual-certified coach with extensive academic training in Psychology, Management, Spirituality and Kinesiology. Through her extensive training, she created her unique Neuro Emotional Coaching, a cutting-edge coaching tool rooted in neuroscience, emotional intelligence, with their implications for leadership, and the Muscle Testing 101 app, a tool for people who want to learn how to use kinesiology. Watch the interview on YouTube here. What’s interesting is that Dr. Schwark and I share some of the same influencers. We have Bob Proctor, my mentor and inspiration behind the work I started with youth, coming on our next episode #66 and Dr. Shwarck, like me, has studied his work along with many others. She has used her technique to successfully coach more than 1000 CEOs, professionals, family business owners and thought-leaders who want to be effective leaders, strong performers, clear communicators and difference-makers.  In her private coaching practice, clients work with her on anxiety/depression, self-esteem, relationships and personal growth. Last week, Dr. Schwarck and I spoke on a video conference, and she is located right now in Israel, and she wanted to demonstrate her work before we did this interview. I’m a firm believer in reading energy even if you are not in the same room with someone, you can feel it and Dr. Schwarck is the most advanced person at this skill, that I have ever seen. Through a zoom video, she was able to tap into my energy field and find an area where my subconscious or non-conscious mind was holding me back.  Once we identified these 2 areas of work, and we named them, we tamed them (like we just talked about on our last episode with Greg Wolcott) showing me that no matter how much work we are doing on ourselves, there is always something we can do to improve. Welcome Barbara, it’s great to see you again. I feel like we know each other well now, after our last session together and even moreso to hear that you are working with one of my closest friends from high school who is living in Cyprus, Greece right now. What a small world this is! She saw that you were coming up on the podcast this week and sent me a message raving about the results she has created with you.Q1: Barbara, what do you think is at the root of becoming a stronger performer, leader, and be able to communicate with clarity and effectiveness?Q2: How do you use Neuro Emotional Coaching to uncover what is holding you back and when we were speaking, is it always this simple to identify people’s blocks? You picked up where I was incongruent in a few minutes and fixed it just as quickly. Q3: How does someone integrate their beliefs with who they become, especially when they experience quantum leaps with their results?Q4: How exactly would you suggest leaders engage their employees, create stronger teams or become a champion of positive change?Q5: What is emotional intelligence, and can you give some context as to why it’s so important these days and how do you motivate the individual employee? Q6: What are some strategies that people can take away right now to improve their emotional intelligence? Are there strategies to uncover where you have blocks or do you need to work with someone on this one? How are they received in the corporate world today? Thank you so much Dr. Schwarck for your time to share your years of coaching and training to help improve people’s lives and results. If someone wants to reach you, what is the best way for them to find out more about your programs and services? For more information, visit www.clearintentions.net or contact Dr. Barbara Schwarck at barbara@clearintentions.net, or USA: +1.412.656.8841 / Israel: +972.54.2178550. REFERENCES:https://clearintentions.net/whats-next/ https://clearintentions.net/clear-intentions-tools/book/ https://clearintentions.net/clear-intentions-tools/muscle-testing-app/
May 30, 2020
This is episode #64, with a returning guest from our 7th episode, Greg Wolcott, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in a suburb of Chicago as well as an adjunct professor and author of the phenomenal book Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today’s Schools.[i] I first saw Greg on an EdWeek Social and Emotional Learning Webinar back in 2016, where he was talking about this concept that he was using in schools that he called “Significant 72” and this concept wasn’t even a book yet. I thought his idea was powerful—so I wrote it down and began telling his story when I was presenting to educators who could use this idea. It’s really a powerful concept, and I’ll let Greg tell you more about it. When I launched this podcast, a year ago, I was looking for high quality experts to provide tools and resources that we could all apply to take our results to the next level, and I immediately thought of Greg. Watch the interview on YouTube here.We’ve kept in touch over the entire year since we started and he’s reached out to me with thoughts and ideas for how he sees each episode being applied within his schools, and brainstorming new ideas, or applications of how the content can help the education and corporate sectors. He makes connections between speakers that I might not have seen and has been an invaluable resource for me to keep moving forward with new speakers and ideas. Welcome back Greg and thank you so much for all you’ve done to support and cheer me on over here, your help means a lot. Before I get to the questions, can you give an overview of what you do over there, where the concept of “Significant 72” came from and also, what’s your outlook with where things are right now in our schools as we prepare to transition to the summer and into a new year, still living in the midst of a pandemic?Q1: Greg, you sent me a recent presentation that you did called “Creating Connections During a Crisis”[ii] and I loved everything that you presented so I wanted to ask you some questions that would dive a bit deeper into what you covered. We can share you screen here if that helps with the visuals.  Can you explain why you think it’s so important right now to prioritize social and emotional learning in today’s educational space?Q2: I saw something that you shared on social media on Twitter, (I think it’s your pinned tweet @GregJWolcott)and it was about how important it is for educators to reach out personally to every student in their class to remain connected, and that tweet you sent had almost 9K likes, and over 2K retweets! I’ve never seen numbers this high. Can you share what stories you are hearing from educators/students who have been keeping in touch during the pandemic and also maybe some students who you’ve heard have been having a tough time with not being in an academic environment so we can keep in mind how important keeping these connections are for our students?Q3: What about the how behind an SEL Implementation? Can you go over the concept of STORY, which is an acronym from your book where you talk about how every student has their own STORY or strengths, tendencies, opportunities, resources and yearnings (which is how you break down this acronym and how SEL and the most current neuroscience research is infused into each of these areas? Starting off the S in STORY, why is it so important for our students, and ourselves to understand our unique strengths?Q4: What about the T in STORY, for tendencies. Why is it important that we understand our tendencies as it ties into the 3 parts of our brain with strategies to overcome those times we become overwhelmed? Q5: What about the O in STORY, opportunity? How do we recognize the opportunities for growth (which is actually one of my top 5 values)—like you talk about understanding our emotions, categorizing them, and then coming up with a strategy to move beyond where we are right now when we are stuck. Can you explain this 3-step process to slow down and make a change with our emotions in mind so we can experience growth?Q6: For the R in STORY, or the resources, I found this part the most interesting, mainly because most of what you mention, we’ve been talking about here on the podcast and some of these concepts have taken some time to become known and accepted. It really does help to have the point of view of an assistant superintendent to bring some credibility to some of the resources that  you are using.  Can you share some of the resources that have used in your local schools to help students with their learning, and how these resources are being received by the students themselves as well as the teachers? (Vagus Nerve and some of the ways it can be activated to calm someone down)Q7: For the Y in STORY, for yearnings, what’s the best way to remind ourselves of what students want, need and desire to produce their best work?Q8: Greg, our family loves eagles, and we always seem to notice them when we are driving in the car, and your son made a pretty powerful statement about the eagle—I always think it’s important to listen to what our kids are saying as they can say some pretty impactful things, if we can take the time to listen.  Can you tell your son, Jack’s Eagle Story?Q9: Is there anything that you think is important that we might have missed?Thank you Greg, for taking the time out of your day to speak with us and share your Significant 72 book, ideas and resources for making the Neuroscience/SEL Connection. If someone wants to learn more, they can go to www.significant72.com  to get your book and find you on Twitter @GregJWolcott to reach you. Thank you so much again for all of your ideas that are impacting the success of this podcast. RESOURCES:[i] www.significant72.com[ii] Creating Connections During a Crisis with Greg Wolcott Published on May 6, 2020 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=WwcbXDIknVE&app=desktop
May 27, 2020
This is episode #63 with Hans Appel, who has been a school counselor from Richland SD, WA for the past 19 years and is the author of the NEW book, Award Winning Culture: Building School-Wide Intentionality Through Character, Excellence and Community[i]  that you can find RIGHT NOW on Amazon. My husband has worked closely with this District when he was a Regional VP of Sales with Scholastic and he agrees that they go above and beyond with everything they do, and it’s not surprising to hear that they emerged as International Thought Leaders over there but there’s much more to this story than meets the eye. I look forward to sharing Hans’ background and story for those who would like to replicate Award Winning Culture in their school, workplace or organization. Click here to watch the YouTube interview. Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a parent trying to figure out homeschooling and working from home,  or someone working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.    Today we are speaking with Hans Appel, has worked as a counselor in the Richland School District for the past 19 years at Enterprise Middle School since it opened.  He’s passionate about school culture, servant leadership, and kindness.  In 2018, EMS was awarded the ASCD Whole Child Award for the State of Washington and the Global “Class Act Award” for creating a culture of excellence through kindness, service, and empathy.  Additionally, the were selected as a finalist in the 2019 PBIS Film Festival and took top prize in the Community, Parents, and Staff category.  When I first spoke with Hans, just last week, to learn more about his background and new book, his humble nature came through. It wasn’t until last night, when I started to read his book “Award Winning Culture” that just became available last Friday, that I got to know and truly understand where Hans’ passion for building school-wide culture emerged from. I could go on with Hans’ bio, but will include more details in the show notes, and urge you to read his book yourself, and his website[ii] where you can learn more about Hans’s story, and about his wife Jen, who is an educator at Enterprise MS. Welcome Hans!Q1: Hans, when we were speaking last week, you were telling me how all of this started but we didn’t speak at all about your personal story that you share in the beginning of your book.  For anyone looking to understand how change takes place, I do highly suggest reading this book to get a deeper understanding with someone who has grown up firsthand with ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Before we get to the questions, can you share how you used your difficult upbringing to fuel your passion for change within your local school District?Q2: Can you explain how this all began at Enterprise Middle School that caused you to write your book, Award Winning Culture and create the framework around what you did to cause such an international interest?Q3: Hans, I’m familiar with how important it is to infuse SEL skills into a school, home and emotional intelligence training in our workplaces, with what we’ve been doing here, but many schools or workplaces are not sure how to begin, where to even get started with a program. Can you give some ideas of where someone can start to implement award winning culture within their school or organization to reap the benefits that will follow with a program like yours?Q4: Imagine a school or an organization that has not yet implemented a program, and they are well aware that change needs to occur. The part in your book about the reporter crying when she “felt” the energy of your school and asked “why aren’t all schools like yours?” made me think of the fact that I have walked into thousands of schools in the US/Canada over my 20 year career working with schools and that reporter was right. When you see or get that “feeling” that’s hard to explain, but it’s there…usually right when you walk in the front doors (sometimes it can be felt before you walk in) but it’s hard to forget a school like this. What’s involved in changing a school or organization from where they are now, and get them to where they want to be to experience what we know can be felt? I’m sure this change takes time, so what is the process?Q5: Most of us by now are aware of Simon Sinek’s book or TED TALK “Starts with Why” where an organization must have a clear understanding of their “why” before they can make a larger impact with their goals. Once they know WHY they are there, the HOW and WHAT they do becomes simple. What is YOUR “Why” and how do you identify, and tie in a school’s purpose (the foundation) and ensure that all stakeholders are on board with this purpose for existing?  Q6: Is there anything that’s important to mention that you think we have missed? Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and share your powerful story of creating Award Winning Culture in a school or workplace. Your story could have gone 2 ways as we are all well aware of the effects of ACES on a child’s future, but you used your experience to fuel for something that has, I think only just begun for you. I want to recognize you for doing the work to get to where you are today,  (because I know work was involved) and thank you for the impact you are having not just locally in your state, but across the country and internationally. If someone wants to reach you directly, I will put all of the links in show notes and be sure to find the book, Award Winning Culture on Amazon and contact you to learn more about your programs and services for implementing Award Winning Culture. Thank you!Hans can be contacted at hansappel094@gmail.com.  Follow Hans on twitter @HansNAppel. Follow AWC on twitter at @awculture @awcpodcasting or Instagram @awardwinningculture.Wildcat Nation on Instagram @emscounseling #WildcatNation #AwardWinningCultureHANS’ BIO:In 2018, Hans launched his own blog about School Culture and rolled out a student-led leadership podcast called Award Winning Culture: Hosted by Wildcat Nation, which can be subscribed, listened or reviewed on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, PodBean, and Libsyn.   Hans’ blogs have appeared on DisruptED TV magazine, CharacterStrong, and PBIS Rewards.  He’s written social-emotional lessons for CharacterStrong.  He has also been featured on numerous educational podcasts speaking his brand of school culture into existence.   He’s been a contributing writer on three upcoming educational books: “ Define Your WHY: Own Your Story So You Can Live and Learn On Purpose,” “Reflective Impact Journal,” and “ALL IN: Taking a Gamble in Education.”  Hans’ own book about school culture was just released on Amazon on May 22nd. Hans is the Director of Culture for the Teach Better Team and a member of the coveted Teach Better Speakers Network.  He presents at conferences, schools, and districts all over the country.  Topics include: Creating an Award Winning Culture, Amplifying Student Voice, Student-Led Podcasting, and Infusing Servant Leadership through PBIS. He can be contacted at hansappel094@gmail.com.  Follow Hans on twitter @HansNAppel. Follow AWC on twitter at @awculture @awcpodcasting or Instagram @awardwinningculture.Wildcat Nation on Instagram @emscounseling #WildcatNation #AwardWinningCultureREFERENCES:[i] Award  Winning Culture: Building School-Wide Intentionality and Action Through Character, Excellence and Community by Hans Appel (May 22, 2020)  https://www.amazon.com/Award-Winning-Culture-School-Wide-Intentionality-ebook/dp/B088JCRRYR/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=[ii] http://www.awardwinningculture.com/#/
May 20, 2020
This is episode #62: with the President and CEO of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, which is the trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning) Karen Niemi. You can watch the interview on YouTube here. Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a parent trying to figure out homeschooling and working from home,  or someone working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.  Today our podcast comes full circle, as anyone who follows our work, will know that we launched this idea almost a year ago, when I saw a huge need for a platform for social and emotional learning when Casel’s first SEL Exchange in 2019,[i] drew an interest from over 850 speakers around the country to present their ideas to help improve our schools, homes and communities with SEL and this inaugural SEL conference drew over 1,500 attendees from 48 states and 30 countries. I am thrilled to have the Karen Niemi, the President and CEO of CASEL here today. Karen oversees and directs all of CASEL’s activities to enhance and expand evidence-based social and emotional learning, including practice, research, communications, policy, and development. This is no small feat, but as an accomplished business leader with a long track record of success in the education sector she blends a deep understanding of school systems and pedagogy with solid business practice and has successfully led educational companies through all stages of growth.  She has also helped schools advance their educational mission by making research and best practices accessible and actionable by teachers and administrators and has brought learning tools and strategies to school systems and students nationwide.Welcome Karen, it’s such an honor to have you here today. I must give David Adams from episode #54[ii] a shout out and thanks for introducing us and let you know that we have had a few leaders from Casel, like Clark McKown, the President and Founder of xSEL labs[iii] who is on the advisory board for Casel’s Measuring SEL Initiative[iv] as well as Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence Founder Marc Brackett with his important book “Permission to Feel.”[v]  Thank you for coming on today to share your thoughts, experiences tools and resources for SEL at such an important time for parents, educators and everyone for that matter.  Question 1: I was speaking with the President of a large publishing company to potentially develop an SEL program, and many people in this company, were still unclear of the years of research and data behind implementing SEL in our schools. So, even though there’s this huge interest in SEL, not everyone has caught up yet to the benefits behind implementing an SEL program (in our schools) or even an Emotional Intelligence Training program in our workplaces for those who are in the workforce and are missing these important skills. I pointed them to your research page https://casel.org/research/ and explained about the 11 percentile point academic gain. How can we spread the word of all of the resources that Casel offers, that’s really been the Hallmark of your work since its founding? Can you give an overview of all of the resources that Casel offers?Question 2: There’s a lot of people who work at Casel with your board, staff, consultants, funders and collaborators. I know Linda Dusenbury from following her Collaborating States Initiative[vi] since 2016 as I watched with amazement when SEL standards slowly but surely started being implemented in schools across the country, and I know of some of the people in your research department, but can you give an overview of “Who Works” with Casel in addition to some of the new initiatives that have been formed like your Assessment Work Group[vii]?Question 3: With the research in mind, why should every student be exposed to SEL? What gains do they see? For schools listening, what would you say would be the main reason behind why should schools invest in SEL, the importance of parents implementing these skills at home and corporations continuing to reinforce these skills in the workplace? (How is Casel currently conducting research?[viii])Question 4: What are the social and emotional competencies, and out of all of them, what ones do you think have been missing in our schools? Why do you think this is the case? What’s different now, from 20 years ago?Question 5: As more and more schools are looking for SEL programs, highlighting evidence-based programs and how to access them would be helpful. On CASEL’s Recommended Program Guides: What are they, how can people access them?[ix]Question 6: As a vendor of an SEL program I created and launched with a partnership with AZ schools and AZ Dept of Education in 2014 a few years before this buzz for SEL began,  I’m speaking on behalf of all the great programs out there that have not a) even thought of what they must to do to show efficacy and to appear in your program guide b) are not even sure of where to begin this process.Back in 2014 there just wasn’t all the valuable resources available as there are now. Panorama Education was just emerging with their SEL measurement tools and I didn’t have the understanding of how to properly measure students who I was working with (that I know better now from Clark McKown) and I know that many other vendors are not clear on how to properly measure students before, during and after program results. After a few years of measuring and submitting data to earn the “evidence-based” criteria and being unsuccessful, I just gave up.Would there ever be a step by step training program on the requirements to have a program reviewed to be considered evidence-based so it would be clear on exactly how a program qualifies to appear in your program guides, especially for the middle and high school ages where there could be more options for schools? How would NEW vendors be able to qualify for the program guide review process? Do you recommend partnering with your local University for this?Question 7: Where do you envision SEL going in the next 5 years? Do you think it will ever be as important as the core subjects?Karen, I want to thank you very much for the time you have taken to meet with me today, and share a deeper dive into everything that you offer at Casel. For people who want to learn more about Casel, they can go to casel.org and I have included everything we are speaking about in the show notes. Can you explain your CASEL CARES[x] Initiative, and your Weekly Webinar Series[xi], and anything else that I might have missed that you think would be important for people to know about?REFERENCES:[i] 2019 CASEL Exchange Conference https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/casel-sel-exchange-2019-conference-chicago-il/[ii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #54 David Adams on “ A New Vision for Education: Living Up to the Values We Want for Our Next Generation” https://www.achieveit360.com/director-of-sel-david-adams-on-a-new-vision-of-education-living-up-to-the-values-we-want-for-our-next-generation/[iii] xSEL Labs: Helping Educators Understand Children’s Social and Emotional Strengths and Needs  https://xsel-labs.com/about/about-us/[iv] Measuring SEL Initiative https://measuringsel.casel.org/our-initiative/[v] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #22 with Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence Founder, Marc Brackett with his book, “Permission to Feel.” https://www.achieveit360.com/founding-director-of-the-yale-center-for-emotional-intelligence-on-his-new-book-permission-to-feel/[vi] https://casel.org/collaborative-state-initiative/[vii] https://casel.org/assessment-work-group/[viii] https://casel.org/from-casel/[ix] https://casel.org/guide/[x] https://casel.org/resources-covid/[xi] https://casel.org/weekly-webinars/
May 18, 2020
This is episode #61: Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a parent trying to figure out homeschooling and working from home,  or someone working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.  We’re just a month away from our one year anniversary of when we launched this podcast that is now being listened to in over 95 countries, and we’re thrilled to see that we’ve hit the top 100 charts for Apple iTunes Education How-To Category for multiple countries (Canada, USA, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden and just hit #1 in Switzerland this week) so thank you listeners. I’ve actually lived in 3 of the countries that keep showing up on these charts and am grateful to all our supporters around the world. Today we have someone who I know will share some valuable and timely tips for all of us--Maria Natapov[i], a Certified Parent and Caregiver Coach with a specialty in trauma and neuroscience and its application. Maria teaches practical and actionable parenting techniques to caregivers that bring out the best in their child, with a specialty in healing trauma and breaking its cycles. She partners with parents, teachers, and childcare professionals through individualized, targeted sessions that empower caregivers to curb their child's challenging behaviors and deeply connect while taking care of their own needs. In addition to parent coaching, she has worked as an applied behavioral analysis therapist in home and school settings.  Maria moved to the United States from Russia at age 8 and is deeply sensitive to the role that cultural differences play in behavior and parenting. If you were to take the time to hear Maria’s story and background, you would understand where her passion to help other parents navigate through difficult times originated, especially when trauma is involved.[ii] I’ve included a podcast she did on this topic that  you can access this in the show notes to learn more about her background. Maria founded Restorative Parent Coaching to help caregivers create nurturing environments in which adults and children can thrive. To watch this interview on YouTube, click here.   I first met Maria when she connected with me through social media and saw instantly that we had common ground with our work. The interview questions I’ll be asking today came directly from an article she wrote called “5 Strategies to Mitigate Covid-19 Related Anxiety and Trauma for Children.”[iii] When we connected, I knew immediately that Maria’s work tied into some of our past speakers. I could see her influence from Dr. Daniel Siegel’s work when she mentioned that our children really need to be “seen and heard” during these stressful Pandemic times, and also Dr. Bruce Perry’s work when she speaks about the importance of adults learning how to regulate themselves in order to calm a stressed or anxious child. Welcome Maria, thank you so much for speaking with me today, and sharing your work and ideas with the community. I think that speaking with you is timely and important right now, as many of us are now 2.5 months into working from home (and many people I know now are working a hybrid of home/office hours) while still trying to figure out this new schedule with the addition of home-schooling. How are things going for you right now over there in Massachusetts on the East Coast? I am sure that the timelines are different for some people listening, but here in the US, my 2 girls have been home from school since the beginning of March, and school starts back up again for us here the end of July, and we still aren’t sure of what that is going to look like. I’ve recently spoken to one of my friends from Toronto who is a Superintendent at one of the large Districts there and he mentioned that schools there aren’t going back until September, so that’s 2 countries right there, where school ended abruptly and it’s the parents (with support from the schools) who are now working with our children to be sure they are on track.   Q1:  We know how important it is that parents and caregivers stay calm and regulated especially these days, since a dysregulated or stressed adult can NEVER regulate a child. I know that my kids are “watching my every move, and how they see me responding to situations that come up will be strategies and habits that they will learn to develop for themselves.” (Maria Natapov). For example, as we are going through our day and something happens (like it always does) I try to still keep the pace and keep moving no matter what. There’s lots of little incidents: A dish breaks, we clean it up and don’t cry or freak out about it, putting it all into perspective. It’s just a dish. How can we use structure or blocks of time to set up a daily routine or rhythm in our lives so that we can sail through these summer months until our children go back school and use this routine to keep our lives calm and peaceful, while helping us to respond (peacefully) to the situations that come up instead of react that can happen while we are under stress? What ideas do you have to create routine?  (Around mealtimes, educational activities, play times, family time, and virtual time with friends while learning to handle the challenges that come up with more grace)? Q2: I love learning from other people with this next question. We all know how perceptive our kids are and how they “easily can pick up on negative or anxious energy of those around them, so it’s important to be intentional with creating a peaceful atmosphere.” (Maria Natapov) I’m phenatic with cleaning, keeping order in my house, and when I wake up, I play the Pandora Spa Music channel so that I can set the stage for the peace I expect for the rest of the day. Of course there are still stressful moments, it’s not all peaches and cream no matter how much we prepare ahead of time, but what suggestions do you have that you have seen that are easy to implement, to be sure that we are fostering a calm environment in our home? Q3: One of the most powerful discoveries of Michael McKnight and Dr. Lori Desautels’ work[iv] (EPISODE #16) centers around the impact that stress has on children and their learning. We’ve heard that when kids are stressed, overwhelmed, worried or anxious, it might come out as a “power struggle, an argument, not listening, being emotional or other forms of challenging behavior” (Maria Natapov). We also have seen that when an educator is stressed, it will raise the cortisol of the student, causing a never-ending cycle that is the cause behind educator burn-out. I can see this burn-out happening in our homes as parents are now being overloaded with homeschooling activities. What are some techniques that you have seen working well for parents/educators to calm themselves, and in turn create a peaceful learning atmosphere that doesn’t just work to get us by this summer, but that we can use moving forward to improve our home life? Q4: When we were speaking, you mentioned the importance of our children feeling “seen and heard” and how when they are younger, they look to us as their superhero. Can you explain the need that our children have with their parents, and how this need changes when they become teenagers?  Q5: Is there anything that you think is important for us to understand, that I might have missed? Maybe something that taps into the fact that anxiety is at an all-time high for our students. Do you have thoughts on the best way to bridge the communication gap with our children so they feel comfortable enough to talk to us about the things they are thinking and feeling? Thank you so much Maria for taking the time to share your work on this much needed topic. If someone wants to contact you, and learn more about your services, is the best place to go to your website https://www.restorativeparentcoaching.com/ where you offer a free consultation for anyone who would like to learn more about your programs and services?  RESOURCES:https://www.renniecenter.org/research/back-school-blueprint/helping-students-heal-traumaREFERENCES:[i] https://www.restorativeparentcoaching.com/[ii]https://open.spotify.com/episode/1DrKNB3WVIUyEegca938HZ?fbclid=IwAR1DrX7DfEExU4fPJoFLf6hcMy3Cr1G00lkw_QfJuaik2VuSKLWAF-3zWuw&nd=1 [iii] 5 Strategies to Mitigate Covid-19 Related Anxiety and Trauma for Children by Maria Natapov Published April 14, 2020 https://thriveglobal.com/stories/5-strategies-to-mitigate-covid-19-related-anxiety-and-trauma-for-children/?utm_source=Newsletter_Transaction&utm_medium=Thrive&utm_campaign=Published[iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #16 on “The Future of Educational Neuroscience in our Schools and Workplaces.” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/lori-desautels-and-michael-mcknight-on-the-future-of-educational-neuroscience-in-our-schools-and-communities/
May 13, 2020
This is episode #60 on The Science Behind a Meditation Practice with a Deep Dive into Dr. Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace and created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a parent trying to figure out homeschooling and working from home,  or someone working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.  After watching Dr. Daniel Siegel the past few weeks on his “Pep Me Up Talks”[i]  where he shares with an audience around the world about his books, tools and resources like the “Wheel of Awareness Meditation”[ii] that I’ve been using every day since preparing for his interview last year, I thought it was important to cover a deep dive into this topic to bring in the science behind meditation, to increase belief and credibility behind these practices that are now commonly seen in our schools, homes and workplaces.  We did cover the topic of meditation for beginners with Mindfulness and Meditation Expert Mick Neustadt in episode #25 with “How Meditation and Mindfulness Changes Your Life”[iii] if you want to review that episode. I have been following Dr. Dan Siegel since 2015, reading his books, and learning from his resources, and on the interview I had with him for episode #28 on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence”[iv] (close to the end of the interview) we talk about what I have been learning from doing the meditation tool that he created. At the time—in October 2019, I had been doing his meditation every morning for 2 months. You can see this part of the interview here at (42:52)[v] where he asks me what I have learned from this practice, and although I downloaded this activity, and explored the Wheel in 2015, I didn’t start doing it daily until I was preparing for his interview, because I knew he would ask me what I had learned from this practice, and when I first tried it, and in the beginning, I honestly found it a bit advanced and confusing and didn’t want to tell him that so I put in some extra effort to understand it. If you have not yet tried “The Wheel of Awareness”[vi] Meditation, please do go to the link and download it, so you can see the image of the wheel, and try it out. This episode might make more sense once you do that and if you feel like I did in the beginning, don’t worry, it’s now been 8 months of practicing this daily and I’m just starting to figure out how to explain it now, so just try it and see what benefits you notice.I wanted to share Dan’s findings of asking thousands of people around the world, over the years first.  If you have ever heard him talking about the Wheel of Awareness, you will know that the idea came to him when he bought a custom-made round table for his office so that his patients didn’t have to sit at a regular table. His mediation has evolved over the years as he has shared it with experts, and those who hold scientific evidence of the benefits of incorporating a daily meditation into your routine and life. If you are listening to this podcast, you will want to look at the image of the wheel in the show notes so you can physically see each of the segments I’m going to describe. In his book, Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Dr. Siegel explains that there are research-based elements of mind training that should include 3 pillars: focused attention, open awareness and kind intentions towards others.[vii] This practice involves all 3 of these pillars and profound changes happen with the body when you do mind training. He also explains that a 3-pillar meditation practice (like his Wheel) changes the structure and function of the brain in these fascinating ways:There’s an integration of structure and function of the brain (integration means well-being).There’s a reduction of the stress hormone cortisol.There’s an enhancement of immune function.Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors.Reduction in inflammation via epigenetic changes.An optimization of telomerase—which is fascinating as it repairs and maintains the ends of chromosomes and slows aging.Who wouldn’t want these benefits? The science is clear and proves that implementing a daily meditation practice improves your physical and mental health with many more benefits we will explore further. Here's How Dr. Dan Siegel Breaks Down Each Segment of The Wheel of Awareness Segment 1: The 5 Senses: Dan explains that we must send the “spoke of awareness” which is just another way of saying to focus on one of the senses at a time, to each of the 5 senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. With each sense, we move the spoke, so we are actively thinking and feeling about the data we are bringing from the outside world into our awareness, with each sense.Segment 2: The 6th Sense/Bodily Sensations/Neuroception/Interoception: With this part, Dan takes us from head to toe, giving us access to the wisdom from within our body. This part helps us to become more aware of our organs, bones and muscles, and are probably parts of our body that we have rarely ever put our focused attention towards.Segment 3: The 7th Sense or our Mental ActivitiesI’ve divided this segment into 3 parts to make this easier to understand.PART A: This is where Dan asks us to bring any thought or memory into our awareness and see what happens. He reassures us that many things may come, or nothing at all. For me, this segment took some time, and when a thought finally did come, I just used this part of the meditation to solve problems I might be having, to see what kinds of solutions I might be able to think of on my own.PART B: Now Dan asks us to examine the thought that comes in and pay attention to how it presents itself. Was it sudden? Did it vibrate or slide in? And how does this thought leave our awareness? Is it replaced by another mental activity or thought, and if not, what does the space feel like? To me, this part was really deep, and I could think of a thought, and strong thoughts would vibrate, but I don’t think I’m advanced enough yet to describe this any further.PART C: Now he asks us to bend the spoke in the hub and just rest in pure awareness. This is where we feel fully alive, present and focused. I never really understood why he was asking us to bend the spoke, until I heard him explain it another way recently.[viii] If you have access to the show notes, look at the 3-P Diagram of State of Mind and see the shaded area under the x axis with a new axis called the z-axis. This shaded area represents awareness and it made more sense to me imagining the bended spoke, to create this shaded area. This part of the meditation many people talk about a feeling of peace, calmness and energy. This is where Dan explains that physics comes in to explain that “energy is movement from possibility to actuality” (the definition he got from asking quantum physicists what exactly energy is).  So, when we are in this part of the meditation, we can gain access to energy, peace, calmness, ideas and possibility.  This is what I have heard many people say is the reason why they meditate in the first place.Segment 4: Our sense of connection to others. This is the final segment of the meditation where Dan asks us to focus on those who are physically close to us, friends or family, those in our community, city, state, country and around the world. This part of the practice allows us to feel a connection to others as we sent wishes of well-being towards other people in the world. This part is powerful as it really does help us to focus outside of ourselves and put some energy towards others. It’s just like sending prayers to everyone in the world you can think of.I had some thoughts about this practice, specifically with the first segment where we strengthen our five senses. It made me think of the work I learned in the late 1990s through the speaker Bob Proctor, who taught me to live beyond my 5 senses, using the Higher Faculties of the Mind which are the will, intuition, reason, perception, memory and our imagination. This would be an episode on its own, but as we are strengthening parts of our mind, I think it’s important to include these higher faculties.Andrea's Findings From the Wheel of Awareness MeditationSo, here’s what I learned after just 2 months of actively listening to this 30-minute meditation. I’m going on 8 months now of doing this practice daily, and the findings are more noticeable now than when he first asked me and I’m sure that another year from now, I will have a deeper understanding. I noticed:An Increase of Focused Attention with the 5 Senses: and that my awareness expanded with an increase in focused attention (which really helped to focus while working from home). Where your focus goes, energy flows, and what we are putting our attention on, grows, so you can imagine that doing this every day will increase awareness, and sensations within our 5 senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch.An Increase of Awareness and Sensations Within the Body: I noticed with the focus on bodily sensations that I was developing or improving this 6th sense that I’ve mentioned in prior episodes that Dr. Stephen Porges calls “neuroception”[ix] where he suggests we must get better at sensing what’s happening within the body. When you get to this part of the meditation, Dan takes you through each body part, (starting with the face and going throughout the entire body) and it reminded me of an activity that my Mom told me she did that she believes helped her to beat Uterine Cancer in the late 1990s. She told me that during her treatment, she would go through each body part with her mind and pretend to chop up each cancer cell she saw with an axe--it sounds crazy, but she did this daily during her chemotherapy treatments and she was the only one in her group who recovered 100%. Her surgeons were so amazed at her results that they asked her to come in and speak to other patients while they were going through treatment with an explanation of what she did. As you focus on each part of the body, (just like we focused on our senses) you’ll notice with time that your awareness of the sensations you feel within your body, will increase as well, there will be insights that you can learn from these sensations like your “gut feelings” become clearer and easier to read.An Increase in Connection to People Around the World: With this part of the meditation, Dan asks you to send kind intentions to those close to you, and other people in your community, city, state, country, continent, and world. I noticed an immediate connection to others all around the world when I was thinking of them, and it had to be sincere, sending thoughts of kindness and well-being towards them. The attention was taken off me and what I want in this world, and directed towards other people, which really is a powerful experience. It made me see that even though I’m working alone, in an office, in Arizona, USA, that I am a part of a larger whole around the world and Dan believes that these words when said out loud, can make an impact on our body and the world.There is much more that we can say on this topic, and I know that with time, practice and as my own awareness increases, I will have a deeper understanding the 4 segments of the Wheel of Awareness.I would love to know what you think. What insights do you see at each segment?I look forward to your thoughts and will see you on episode 61.RESOURCES:[i] Dr. Dan Seigel “Pep Me Up Talks” https://www.crowdcast.io/e/PEPPTalk/5?utm_source=Mindsight%20Institute%20Master%20List&utm_campaign=8ccdbf6436-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_28_01_08_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_562796b3c8-8ccdbf6436-300769001 [ii] https://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/wheel_of_awareness/ [iii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast #25 with Mindfulness and Meditation Expert Mick Neustadt on “How Meditation and Mindfulness Changes Your Life” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mindfulness-meditation-expert-mick-neustadt-on-how/id1469683141?i=1000453919865 [iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast #28 with Dr. Daniel Siegel on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence”  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761 [v] YouTube interview of Andrea Samadi with Dr. Dan Siegel on The Wheel of Awareness Meditation Findings (42:52) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7pnea2Vbzc&list=PLb5Z3cA_mnKhiYc5glhacO9k9WTrSgjzW&index=21&t=0s [vi] https://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/wheel_of_awareness/[vii] Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J Siegel, MD Published August 21, 2018 Tarcher Perigee https://www.amazon.com/Aware-Practice-Presence-Groundbreaking-Meditation/dp/1101993049 [viii] Dr. Dan Seigel “Pep Me Up Talks” https://www.crowdcast.io/e/PEPPTalk/5?utm_source=Mindsight%20Institute%20Master%20List&utm_campaign=8ccdbf6436-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_28_01_08_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_562796b3c8-8ccdbf6436-300769001 [ix] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #59 with Suzanne Gundersen on “Putting The Polyvagal Theory into Practice” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/suzanne-gundersen-on-putting-polyvagal-theory-into/id1469683141?i=1000473826604
May 7, 2020
This is episode #59 with Suzanne Gundersen. You can watch the interview with graphics here on YouTube. Thanks for tuning into the podcast today! I’m always excited about the guests we bring on here, as each person has achieved high levels of success in their field and I know they can help others by sharing their knowledge. Our next guest is an expert in a topic that has been on my reading list the past year. When I was speaking with Suzanne Gundersen and she mentioned her life’s work has been based on putting Dr. Stephen Porges’[i], Polyvagal Theory into practice, I stopped what I was doing and asked if she could tell me more about this.  For the past year, I’ve been watching trainings from Deb Dana[ii] (whose mentor was Dr. Porges) and just bought her book The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy[iii] and had written down that I wanted to interview an expert on the Polyvagal Theory. Plus, I have heard Dr. Lori Desautels mention Dr. Porges’ work the past year, and so  I wasn’t surprised when an expert showed up. If you are new this work, like me, you would know why I would be looking for an expert to explain this theory. Someone who could in simple terms explain what we must all understand about our Central Nervous System when it comes to managing our stress response. These days this understanding is more important than ever before and this is exactly what Suzanne does with two tracks, first is stress education (the science of stress) and secondly, she speaks about nervous system with regulation techniques.Welcome Suzanne, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today to share your knowledge, and programs on such an important topic. Like we spoke about, there are many layers to this theory, and at first glance of all the notes I have taken on it, I still can’t explain it very well. Thanks for helping us break down this theory so we can think about how it can apply for our teachers in the classroom, for us as parents working from home, as well as for those who want to apply this idea in the workplace.Q1: What is “Polyvagal?" and why is this theory so important for us to understand these days?  Answer is that it's the science of safety and connection, a map for living our most modern survival strategy, social engagement.  Porges theory shows how our evolution has delivered us to human form where our unique communication abilities offers us possibilities for secure and deeply meaningful connections to survive and thrive. Q2: I actually have 2 version of the polyvagal chart (one you sent to me) and what we must know to remap our nervous system as dysregulation occurs. I got the first chart from Dr. Lori Desautels last October when I attended one of her live trainings. Can you give an overview of the Polyvagal chart and what’s happening at each level with the Ventral Vegal (safety), Sympathetic (danger) and Dorsal Vegal (Life Threat) stages so we can recognize these stages in ourselves and others? Crash course on neuroscience three branches most modern VV, then SNS, then PNS, and in order to understand it we have to go way back to when we were fish, strategy to freeze, then amphibians with legs to fight/flight, then humans to communicate.   We automatically respond to stress, hierarchically, start with most modern first then use more ancient strategies to keep us alive.  When we sense threat, our first reaction is to is to look to another for safe connection to help us know we are safe, we look for facial cues, tone of voice, regulated heart beat, if we don’t receive what we need to know safety and connection, we revert to SNS (mobilization), if doesn’t satisfy, then to PNS freeze.  Each stage has a co-relating stress symptoms and body system status (SNS- charged system- increase heart, breath, blood to limbs), SNS- systems release/go limp (drop bowls).  Q3: We have been talking on past episodes on the responsibility we have as parents and professionals to keep ourselves regulated (or in the green zone of your chart) but how do we do this? What are some suggestions/strategies that you offer when day to day stress hits us—strategies we could do at work, home or in the classroom? – get ourselves regulated, to be able to offer /hold presence space for children to be in their moment.  Vagal toning…. Quick inhale/long exhale, hold breath, hum, ommm, squeeze/release, shake and twist body, pound thymus, drum.== what really doing is restoring natural rhythm to vagus nerve.  When we’re stressed ,it’s like a hiccup to the body systems, these techniques restore rhythm. Q4: I heard the term “neuroception” from Stefanie Faye[iv], who did EPISODE #39 with us on “Using Neuroscience to Improve Mindset, Self-Regulation and Self-Awareness.” She explained this term means that we must get better at sensing what’s happening in the body, the environment and between two people in relationship with each other. Can you explain how neuroception can help us to understand ourselves and others better with the polyvagal theory in mind?Neuroception is a word Porges made up to deepen the word ‘perception’ to include more of an intuitive sensing component to it.  Our ANS responds automatically and if responded through perception could infer a mental awareness, when our response is faster than our mind.  So, neuroception is about our intuitive sensing of our surroundings so we know if we need to react to threat or if we can be immobile without fear.  To understand this let’s chat about animals.  Animals attack each other for food or control.  As humans, we too are animals and while some humans fight each other for blood our dominant evolution is to connect. Neuroception helps us know/intuit who is safe to connect and be immobile without fear.  And that if we’re threatened, to use language to communicate to resolve threat.  It’s our evolution potential ,however you can imagine we’re still working on it.  Q5: What are some of the healing modalities that you have seen used to help with stress relief? Top down (talk therapy) vs bottom up (integrating the mind and body). What popular strategies are you seeing today?Traditionally we’ve been so focused on the mind, talk therapy, mindset work, as the western way of managing stress.  While that top down approaches are still valid, so many are opening up to whole mind/body solutions. Let’s visual a brain…. Stem – instinct (body) , then limbic- memory, emotions then pre-frontal cortext – thinking mind.  Top down would be to start with the pre-frontal cortex, like CBT, Talk Therapy, Mindfulness, Mindset, Hypnosis, Meditation.  Bottom up would be to start with the body/NS patterns – TRE, myofascial release, yoga, breath work, SE.    Then there are some that meet in the Limbic middle, Tapping, EMDR.  Every modality works, however some need to start with more body work / brain stem & NS to be regulated enough to relate within the limbic system and then rationally access the reasoning of the pre-frontal cortex thinking mind.  This is why some people can’t meditate, they just aren’t regulated enough to sit with their dysregulated systems and distracting emotional habits to be present and calm.  STORY: When I was preparing my questions for you, I did see that you mention Energy Tapping as one of your bottom up models for stress reduction. I have to tell a quick story, because I learned energy tapping back in 2001 when I met a doctor from Singapore (Dr Joseph Guan)[v] who came to the US and was doing some teaching on what they were doing Internationally. Of course, I attended his seminar, and learned all about the meridian points, and how it worked, and began using it right away--mostly to build up my resilience and mental strength. This doctor was well-known, respected and at the time was working with Dr. Bruce Lipton[vi], an American developmental biologist who is well-known in this field today. So here’s my story-back when I worked in the corporate world, in educational publishing, a sales manager heard about energy tapping from a TV show and she approached me to see what I thought. She wanted to know “Did I know what it was, could this concept help the sales team, was I using this idea myself, and could I present this idea to the sales team in our next weekly meeting?” All of the answers were yes. Of course, if there was a strange, new productivity strategy, people would ask me first if I had heard about it.So, here I am, in the front of my sales team (a mix of males and females) and introducing the success strategy of the week as energy tapping, and I will never forget the look on their faces. They seriously were not ready for a strategy like this. I knew they all thought I was crazy, and they did. It really didn’t matter if the strategy was making the news, would improve their results in sales and increase the company’s revenue, the sales team wouldn’t do it. That was definitely one of many ideas that I tried to introduce to the corporate world that I would say I was ahead of the time for. How have things changed as you see it? How does the Corporate World now embrace these new stress reduction modalities like energy tapping? I know this modality has received criticism and some people have felt it lacked scientific evidence, but there are clearly many studies now showing its effectiveness[vii]. Great story, I can relate.  When I started sharing Tapping with others around that time, they thought I was crazy, however I think the collective consciousness is waking up, physically, emotionally and mentally and realizing they want to move from coping to thriving which is opening the door more and more to tapping.  More common these days for companies to have wellness programs that include mindbody programs full of yoga, breathwork/meditation.  Tapping is slowly making its way in the US, thanks to Ortner’s great marketing work on the technique however many still don’t understand it or how to easily put it to use.  My ACE system solves that problem and I’ve been sharing it with my corporate peers who are open minded and willing.  Q6: Can you provide some other example of bottom up models for stress relief?There are many traditional and holistic modalities out there and they all work, the question is to find what will work for you.   I like to start with the body because it makes sense in terms of the brain’s evolution.  Massage, Yoga, Vagal Toning exercises or practitioner led TRE, SE to discharge the tension and overwhelm.  It’s not a one size fits all, but start trying them and see what fits and once you found it, work it with persistency. Q7: Is there anything else that you think is important that we might have missed?We’re living in very transformative times, with the world as we know it dismantling in front of us, threatening our ‘normal’ lives.  That threat has us living in stress, which is to live in survival energy.  The evolution of our mind has taken it away from the body and we are dis-integrated.    Our integrated evolution has been stunted and why the Earth has hit a reset button for us to come back to the body, back to basics.  We need to retrain our nervous system from the value we put on busyness to the value of restoration.  We have a huge opportunity now to deeply connect within to know ourselves and share that authentic version with the village we choose to surround ourselves, that makes us feel safe and that we belong, for who we truly are.  Polyvagal Theory helps us understand our evolution and our potential for living with genuine aliveness. RESOURCES:If someone wants to learn more about Suzanne’s programs and services, go to www.transformedconnections.com to learn more and gain access to a FREE 30 minute consultation.REFERENCES:[i] https://www.stephenporges.com/ [ii] Deb Dana https://www.rhythmofregulation.com/ [iii] The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy by Deb Dana Foreword by Stephen Porges (Norton and Company, 2018)  https://www.amazon.com/Polyvagal-Theory-Therapy-Interpersonal-Neurobiology/dp/0393712370/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1585756602&sr=1-2 [iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #39 with Stefanie Faye on “Using Neuroscience to Improve Mindset, Self-Regulation and Self-Awareness”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/neuroscience-researcher-stefanie-faye-on-using-neuroscience-to-improve-our-mindset-self-regulation-and-self-awareness/ [v] https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-joseph-guan-5156a23/ [vi] https://www.brucelipton.com/ [vii] https://www.thetappingsolution.com/science-research/
May 4, 2020
This is episode #58 with James MacDiarmid and Natasha Davis. Thanks for tuning into the podcast today! I’m always excited about the guests we bring on here, as each person has achieved high levels of success in their field and I know they can help others by sharing their knowledge. Our guests today hit a chord with me when I saw their work because their vision, and my vision are 100% aligned. You can watch the interview on YouTube here. A few years ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about a thought I had of teaching social and emotional learning skills via virtual reality.  I had some prominent virtual reality companies that I had been following and put up on my wall, with the vision that maybe someday, we would see students learning SEL via these new modes of learning that were highly engaging.  I had an image of what the lessons would look like (I could see a forest with students choosing different paths and learning new skills with each pathway that they took). For example, if they made a life decision, it would give them the opportunity to see the effects of this decision and see the reality of “if I do this, this will happen” showing them the consequences of their actions. After my interview with David Adams[i], (episode #54) I received a message on LinkedIn from James MacDiarmid (who had heard David’s podcast) about a potential next guest for the show with a video link for me to learn more about what our next guest had created. When I finally had a chance to watch the video, I have to say, I was blown away. This was the vision I had for SEL brought to life. I watched a walkthrough of a virtual reality lesson from the Wise: Emotional Fitness program and there was even a forest in the video. I wrote back to James with tears in my eyes, that yes, I want to learn more and before I know it, I’m speaking with James from Curiious[ii] - that’s with two ii’s- in Australia via video conference about the Wise program. And here we are today.  Let me give you more background on James and Natasha.James has extensive experience in education, learning design and consultancy, with a passion for new technologies and enacting transformational change across whole-school systems.He is a published author, contributing writer for TEDx and was a co-creator for PlayFutures, with the LEGO Foundation[iii] where they focus on bringing learning through play to children around the world. After a few minutes of speaking with James, his passion for building authentic learning opportunities and inspiring future generations came through loud and clear.Natasha[iv], who James explained was the heart and sole of the program, is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years experience designing, researching and implementing emotion regulation and relationship building programs for adolescents and adults. She is the Director of a community-based clinic and has held many leadership positions in private and non-profit sectors. Natasha was the lead subject-matter expert during the development of this truly innovative program.Welcome James and Natasha.  Thank you so much for being here, and sharing what you have created, all the way from Australia where it’s already Monday morning over there for you. I wanted to learn more about the Wise Program and have some questions for you.Q1: The first question is for Natasha. First of all, congratulations on what you have created. I think it is purely brilliant. Can you explain where this vision began for you?Q2: What is the methodology behind this program? 'Designed for impact, Wise uses an Inside-Out methodology which equips participants with the practical skills to build strong connections from themselves (Inside) to others and the world around them (Outside). This is enhanced by the blended learning context whereby learning within virtual reality (Inside) is reinforced through the verbal and written self-reflective process, and teaching others the techniques (Outside). By using the principles of behavior change, and reinforcing the development of self- awareness and the empowerment to make change within ourselves, we are then guided to be able to change how we interact with others and the world around us. With our emotions being like the engine of the car, individuals are shown how to adjust and “steer” their reactions by understanding how to “tune into” their emotions, better understand the “mechanics” of their emotional system and know how to “rev up” or “slow down” their emotional responses where needed, or even “brake” if they are about to do something dangerous or damaging. These skills are practiced and reinforced to build confidence in managing more complex emotional and relational situations. Students are further supported through the Wise adult programs and resources which provide skills and resources to the adults in their lives. Educators, coaches, mentors, parents, guardians or other caring adults can learn skills and strategies through the program. Educators have additional training through professional development programs which assist them to learn the skills and facilitate student learning. Adults can take these skills and strategies into the home, workplace and broader community activities. This whole system approach ensures that each individual’s learning is supported by and contributes to the systems that they live in. This is the Wise Learning Ecosystem.'Q3: James, I know you are the educational advisor to the program, can you give some background of all that you are doing to ensure that Wise is evidence-based, aligned to Casel.org’s SEL competencies, and universal curriculum requirements?Q4: Who are some of the influencers of this program that you have spoken with? How have they influenced your work?Q5: What has been the feedback you are receiving from educators/students using the program? Research with FM Labs at ICA. Preliminary results/study with students during the initial development phase have indicated that there is a great amount that can be taken from this not just this approach but also the material covered throughout the program itself.Q6: What is your vision for the Wise program?All kids, parents, teachers, coaches have access to these emotional regulation skills to improve the emotional fitness of each individual and those who support them.  Whole school systemic change. Q7: Can you give us some more background on the company Curiious? If someone wants to learn more, what’s the best way?'Curiious is a creative communication company. For more than 20 years, we have used creativity & technology to solve problems, grow businesses and challenge traditional methods of communication. With offices in Sydney, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York, we create story-driven immersive experiences, backed by the latest technology, innovative design and strategic thinking to captivate, inspire and educate audiences.'To contact James you can email him at james.m@curiious.com and Natasha is natasha.d@curriious.comThank you both so much for taking the time to speak with me today, and for creating such an innovative program to help young people develop into the responsible citizens that we all hope for our next generation. We do look forward to following your progress and hope this interview will lead as an introduction to connect you with schools and educators who want to learn more about this innovative VR emotional fitness program. Thanks so much. RESOURCES:The Wise SEL/ Emotional Fitness Program Walk-Through REFERENCES:[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #54 David Adams on “A New Vision of Education: Living Up to the Values We Want for Our Next Generation” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/director-sel-david-adams-on-new-vision-education-living/id1469683141?i=1000471762331 [ii] https://curiious.com/about-us/ [iii] https://www.legofoundation.com/en/what-we-do/playfutures/ [iv] https://clinpsychcentre.com.au/profile/natasha-davis/
April 28, 2020
This is episode #57 on “Taking Initiative, Your Brain and Change and Leveraging Mentors”Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Since you are listening to this podcast, I’m sure you are like me, and love to learn, grow, challenge yourself and always are looking for that competitive edge, these days more so than usual, I’m sure. This weekend I had a phone call from Marissa Leinert from Parent Led Academy[i] an organization helping parents to improve their skills at being better parents using social and emotional learning resources. She contacted me via LinkedIn and asked if she could brainstorm some ideas with me on the direction of her business, since she is just starting out this field. I told her to call me and sent her my number because when people take the initiative to reach out, asking for help, I think it’s important to lend a hand, share ideas, contacts and resources if you have them, and collaborate.When we finally connected, we chatted about where she was with her company and I thought back to 20 years ago when I first wrote down the idea that turned into Achieveit360’s programs and services for schools and the workplace, and eventually this podcast. I remembered all of the people who helped me to get to where I am today and thought of a quote by Robin Sharma who said that “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”  If you are like Marissa, and have been thinking about an idea that you want to pursue, maybe a new direction for your career, a new product that you want to create, or something and you just aren’t sure of even where to begin, this episode is for you.  This episode will focus on some key starting points so you can follow the steps and get moving with something new. Whatever idea you have, that you might be thinking about, start with writing it out, and then expand on your vision by writing down some ideas and see where you can begin to take action. I was lucky enough to have met some of the top leaders in the country who shared their secrets with me over 20 years ago when I first started and I felt that since I had this opportunity, that I had an obligation to take action with the strategies and tips they shared with me. Now that I am being asked more often, how did you get started with this idea, I thought I would share with you the process that I used and hope you find these ideas helpful.Step 1: “Know Your Why” Which Also Can Be Seen as “Know Your Values”Simon Sinek[ii] built his career from this idea and before starting anything new, I always suggest revisiting Simon’s “Golden Circle”[iii] where he talks about the importance of knowing your “Why, Your Purpose, What You Believe.” If everyone in your organization knows this for themselves, then it will be easy to motivate each person towards the common organizational goal.  Before any pivot you make, go back and look at your purpose and make sure the new direction aligns to this your why, purpose or values.  The “How” or your process will come easy once you’ve identified your “Why” and the “What” you do, or end result will naturally follow. What you believe can also be seen as your values. Once you know the values that are important to you and your organization, everything else becomes crystal clear.For me, I know that we believe that well-being equals achievement and productivity, (with physical and mental health being my #1 value).  Everything we create/market/sell/produce must help improve well-being that will lead to an increase of productivity, achievement and results.  What are your highest values? Go back and listen to episode 2 “Self-Awareness: Know Thyself”[iv] where we dive deeper into uncovering your values or what’s important in your personal and professional life to ensure happiness.  Remember: To “know thyself” is the most substantial achievement we can have in our lifetime.” Jim Rohn, an American author, speaker and entrepreneur reminds us that “The major value in life is not what you get. It’s what you become.” Step 2: Recognize the “Change Barrier” and the Need for Safety in Your BrainThis topic is something that we aren’t taught in school so many of us when faced with trying something new, or pivoting to a new direction, are hit with what I write about in the Level Up[v] book (lesson 7) called “The Change Barrier.” It’s the fear that hits us from a subconscious level when we begin a new idea. Whenever there is a major shift in your life, you will find yourself face-to-face with this “Change Barrier” that’s like a brick wall and wants to keep you safe, in your old world. When you are making a decision and you start to feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, recognize this as hitting the “Change Barrier.” Your entire central nervous system goes off as you think about the new thought or idea in your conscious mind, that challenges you to do something you have never done before.  You might have some automatic negative thoughts that cross your mind that say things like “who are you to try something new, don’t waste your time, this idea didn’t work the last time you tried it” or something like that. You will need to have strategies in place to help you to move past this stage in the direction of your goals, instead of quitting, that will happen if you don’t properly prepare.Remember that the panic you feel is real. What’s actually happening, is the amygdala (in your limbic/emotional brain) begins to fire when it’s recognizing that something is an actual or perceived threat. The amygdala acts like a thermostat and fires as stress and anxiety rise. High levels of stress hormone cortisol flood your body and it tries to get you to stop taking the actions that are causing the anxiety and go back to safety or your old world.  You can either keep going and move beyond the fear or go back to safety and comfort. That feeling doesn’t go away until with time and practice we have infused the new idea into our brain, creating the new neural pathway of this new idea, and we finally get to that place of freedom, where we no longer feel uncomfortable with the new idea. We have bypassed fear and anxiety and stepped forward, to growth.This one takes some self-awareness as well, as years into your new role, it is common to have doubts and fears around this new position. I remember speaking to a very successful CEO of a large company, and he shared with me that there are many days he sits at his desk and marvels at how someone with his background could have reached the heights of success that he was living on a daily basis. It’s important to remember to integrate your success into your new life. Celebrate your small and large wins, so that they sink in at the non-conscious level in your brain. On those few days that you experience self-doubt, take a break and do something that you enjoy. Be kind to yourself and remember that you do deserve everything that you have earned.Step 3: Find Your MentorsI was lucky enough to have crossed paths with some powerful thinkers in my late 20s who got me started on this journey of creating, developing and launching new ideas.  Speaking with Marissa this weekend, reminded me that at this point in many of our lives, we are thinking of new ways of conducting business. If we were used to doing live trainings in the past, many of us have adapted to online training.  If we have never done this before, we will want to look for mentors to help us to gain the confidence we need with our new business models. With confidence, we build competence with our new skills and eventually they become second nature.If you say “well, I don’t know any powerful leaders to ask for their advice” don’t quit just yet. Keep looking and as you might have heard before, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”Stay 4: Keep an Open Mind In 2014 when I was looking to take my programs and services online, like many people are doing now, I found a mentor to show me everything I needed to know and he was unlike anyone I had ever worked with in the past. His name is Austin Walsh[vi], and at the time, he was a high school student living in Chicago. I had to wait for him to finish classes to return my calls, as he worked with me over Skype on creating the membership area of my website where all of our content is hosted. He had worked with some of the speakers I knew (Les Brown and Mark Victor Hansen from the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) so he came highly recommended and I’m still amazed at how this then-16-year-old knew so much about the online world. I learned so much from him and would still say he’s one of my most memorable mentors.Step 5: Manage Your Relationships In my late 20s, I was fortunate to have met many world leaders when I worked in the motivational speaking industry. Always stay in contact with people you meet as you never know who will continue to impact you in your future.One powerful influencer I met in 2001 was Greg Link, who partnered with Stephen Covey to form CoveyLink.org and co-author “Smart Trust: The Defining Skill That Transforms Managers into Leaders.”[vii] He saw my interest in youth development while he was very busy building the Covey empire and taking the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People[viii]” book to impact millions of people worldwide, but I kept in touch with him over the years. He always was there with ideas, business model suggestions for my programs for the school market, and just plain inspiration to keep going. It’s been a few years since I have seen Greg, but as I was writing the outline for this episode this past weekend, I heard from Greg via Linkedin and it made me realize the importance of keeping in touch with your connections and then helping others (like Marissa) who need your help. See Greg’s testimonial of our work 7 years ago.[ix]Step 6: Be Open to Ongoing Learning When you surround yourself with others who put value on learning/growth, you will inherit new ideas that you can implement for your own business growth. There is always someone who has done what you are looking to do, and with success, so keep learning, attending conferences (when they are back up and running) and networking with those people you see leading in your field.Before I launched the Level Up [x]program for the school market, I attended a class called the “Make, Market and Launch It[xi]” based on the book by Pam Hendrickson and Mike Koenigs.  If you are looking to launch a product, I highly recommend this book that you can get right away on Amazon. You will learn the 7 most important steps to making or creating your product, and then launching it to the market of your choice.Always think about the problem that you are looking to solve which is Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec’s #1 tip for entrepreneurs.[xii] He suggests that the best businesses are ones that “find a problem and then solve it.”Once you have created your product (whether it’s a book, online course) or whatever it might be, then get feedback from your audience. Don’t ask your sister or your Mom for their feedback—they will lie. Be prepared for someone to tell you it’s awful, ugly, the worst idea ever, and listen to what they say. Take that feedback to improve what you have created I hope you have found these 6 tips useful. I would love to hear what you think. Send me a message through LinkedIn, or Twitter, and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode with an exciting new guest from Australia. See you soon.REFERENCES:[i] Parent Led Academy an SEL  Resource to Help Parents Improve Their Skills https://parentledacademy.org/[ii] Simon Sinek https://simonsinek.com/commit/start-with-why/[iii] https://www.freshworks.com/freshsales-crm/resources/summary-of-start-with-why-blog/[iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #2 “Self-Awareness: Know Thyself” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-awareness-know-thyself/id1469683141?i=1000443474075[v] Level Up: A Brain-Based Strategy to Skyrocket Student Success and Achievement by Andrea Samadi (Wheatmark, 2015) https://www.amazon.com/Level-Up-Brain-Based-Skyrocket-Achievement/dp/1627872647[vi] Austin William Walsh  https://www.facebook.com/pg/walsh.austin/posts/[vii] Smart Trust: The Defining Skill That Transforms Managers into Leaders by Stephen Covey and Greg Link https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Trust-Defining-Transforms-Managers/dp/1451652178[viii] 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People[ix] Greg Link Testimonial of Achieveit360 and Andrea Samadi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_z_d6iBdfw[x]  Level Up Online by Andrea Samadi https://www.achieveit360.com/level-up-online/[xi] Make, Market Launch It by Pam Hendrickson and Mike Koenigs (2013) https://www.amazon.com/Make-Market-Launch-Ultimate-Creation-ebook/dp/B00B9JKODO[xii] Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec’s Top 5 Business Tips for Entrepreneurs (May 16, 2019) by Abby Narishkin and Jack Houston  https://www.businessinsider.com/shark-tank-robert-herjavec-top-business-tips-entrepreneurs-2019-5
April 22, 2020
This is episode #56 with Dr. Lori Desautels, a returning guest who I know everyone loves as much as I do. If you want to hear our first interview with Lori, go back and listen to episode 16[i] with Lori and Michael McKnight on “The Future of Educational Neuroscience in our Schools and Communities.” To watch this interview on YouTube, click here. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace and created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.  Thanks for tuning into the podcast today! If this is your first time here, I am so grateful that you have taken the time to listen. Today I am thrilled at the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lori Desautels for the second time.I first found Lori from her TEDx Talk from Indianapolisi when I was searching for anything in the field on educational neuroscience back in 2014 and watched her videos to understand how parts of the brain worked, how they are interconnected and impact learning. In Lori’s Ted Talk, she mentioned that “neuroscience and education have come together” and it’s a huge connection because every day experiences change the brain structurally and functionally—and I thought, this is incredible that we can finally explain how we can accelerate learning with this understanding of the brain.  Over the years as I’ve continue my research in this field, each person I speak with points me back to Lori Desaultel as a pioneer in this field. Her work is groundbreaking as she ties the research into these practices that we must all learn to stay at the height of our productivity and achievement. Welcome Lori, thank you so much for coming back on as a returning guest. I feel like we are old friends now that I had the chance to see you speak live this past October, and with the fact you are sharing your new book with me in real time as you are writing it. I’ve been reading it as you are sending the chapters and emotions really are contagious. Before we dive into the questions, can you tell me more about why this book is so timely, and maybe a bit about the work you are doing on a day to day basis for the field of education. 1- Your new book “Connections Over Compliance, Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline” begins with exploring this new perception of discipline with educator and parent brain state. I wish I knew this when I stood in front of my first class as a new teacher (in Toronto in the late 1990s) wondering why no one was listening, and watched their behavior escalate to where I started to count down the days till the school year was over. I had no idea where to even begin...and never would have thought of—with myself. Can you explain why we must “look under the hood at our own brain state” when we are teaching or relating to others?Q2-Im so grateful that brain research is helping us to gain a deeper understanding of how to improve our results, achievement and learning and that leaders like you are spear heading the way with this understanding. How can we better understand a regulated vs dysregulated brain state? These are not terms I was taught in my teacher training classes over 20 years ago. In a perfect world, everyone would be able to recognize when they are becoming dysregulated with strategies to get themselves back on course. What work still needs to happen for this awareness? Q3- I learned about Dr. Bruce Perry from you, and a couple of our most recent podcasts focus on his research. You quote him in the beginning of your book when he states that “The key to the success of any educational experience is the capacity to ‘get to the cortex.’ Yet, each year, nearly one-third of all children attending U.S. public schools will have significantly impaired cortical functioning and behavioral challenges due to abuse, neglect, domestic violence, poverty, and other adversities.”2 How are teachers expected to teach if this is the case? How can we bring more awareness to your work so that teachers can better prepare themselves for these experiences, so they come in with self-regulation strategies that they use like clockwork? What about these strategies for parents? I can pick out a handful of times that I’ve written a lesson on self-regulation and then in seconds have become dysregulated when my own kids have pushed my buttons. I know these strategies, and with practice (meditation has helped my ability to respond instead of react) but some of these strategies have taken me years of practice. What can we do now immediately to help families in these times of increased stress to bring in the idea that we can be fully regulated, but become dysregulated quickly if we aren’t trained. According to Nickolas Long, “If the adult is neither trained nor prepared to accept their own counter-aggressive feelings, the adult will act on them, in effect mirroring the student’s behavior.” (Ch 2)Q4- I was shocked when I heard Dr. Perry[ii] talking about the vulnerability in the population that can occur when we are exposed to prolonged stress response. I first learned about the impact of stress on the brain and learning from you. Dr. Perry brought in the research from families from the Katrina Disaster in 2005 and how the research shows that the offspring of those families exposed to this level of stress response had an increase of substance abuse issues. That made me stop and think of how important and timely your work is right now, not only before we had the COVID-19 outbreak, but what about AFTER this time, for those marginalized families? Can you dive deeper into why an understanding of our brain is so important right now?  Do you have thoughts or plans on how to reach families in need of these strategies?  Thank you so much for all you have done to support us here at Achieveit360 to learn about educational neuroscience. If anyone wants to reach Dr. Lori Desautels, please do reach out to via email to ldesaute@butler.edu and via her website at http://revelationsineducation.com/ REFERENCES:[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #16 with Dr. Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight on “The Future of Educational Neuroscience in our Schools and Communities.” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/lori-desautels-and-michael-mcknight-on-the-future-of-educational-neuroscience-in-our-schools-and-communities/[ii] https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources
April 18, 2020
This is EPISODE #55 with Torsten Nicolini. You can watch this interview on YouTube here. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace and created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level. Thanks for tuning into the podcast today!If this is your first time here, I am so grateful that you have taken the time to listen. I can’t wait to introduce you to our guest today,  Torsten Nicolini[i] a Strategy Coach whose joining us today all the way from Germany. who has devoted his life to helping small business owners fulfill their greatest potential by teaching them how to become more successful at work and in life. I first met Torsten last summer 2019 when he contacted me to review his book called Work Smart in One Day: How to Be More Effective at Work and Get More Out of Your Life by James Barrett [ii] (Torsten's pen name) and I get asked to review a lot of books (I must be on a list somewhere because I do get at least a request each week) and I usually just delete the requests because I don’t have the time, but this time, the title caught my attention because I had launched this podcast and had been researching workplace productivity extensively for the past year. When I read Torsten’s "Work Smart in One Day" it felt like a compilation of the most effective productivity strategies, all in one place. Some history, in the late 1990s, I worked in the motivational speaking industry, and worked closely with some of the leading motivational speakers in the world.  Of course I had access to all of their books and content that I read extensively.As I read through Torsten’s book, the great speakers of the past echoed in my head as I could see who influenced him, and the strategies in his book were spot on. He's organized them in a way that ANYONE can improve their productivity, and I can tell that he must also operate this way, with the detail of his examples.  I reviewed his book that day, and I remember exactly where I was at the time, on a family vacation at a local resort, and I refused to leave the room until I finished his book and review, it was that captivating.A bit about Torsten:- he is currently working "fulltime" as an engineer at an automotive supplier since 2015 (Yazaki)- he accomplished an apprenticeship as a toolmaker in 2009, technician in 2013, Bachelor of Engineering in 2018 an currently studying "part-time" Masters of Enginering that I will finish 2021.- he started to learn about personal development in 2017 (now age of 32) and with this "initiator" I launched a side business in marketing and webdesign, started a blog and different projects for small business owners (website re-design, marketing, etc.)- Since 2018 I am really loving to create content, to write articles and now publishing books.As many of us are in the middle of figuring out how to work from home,  and might be  looking for new ways to work with some key strategies for better productivity, I thought I would ask Torsten to come on the podcast to share more about his website, the books he is reading and strategies for productivity.  Q1: What are Highly Efficient People Doing Better than the Average Person (and how do they manage tasks be increased productivity)Q2: What are some New Habits That Go a Long Way (making you think about a morning routine, if you've not got one already) Q3: How do you eliminate What's Pulling You Down (identify what is stealing your energy) Q4: What are some Tips for Maintaining Your Success (so that it continues all year)Q5: Anything else you think is important that I might have missed to help people during this time to be more productive.If someone wants to contact you, what’s the best place? Email torsten@lastingprinciples.com or through his website https://lastingprinciples.com/    [i] https://lastingprinciples.com/ [ii] https://www.amazon.com/Work-Smart-Day-More-Effective-ebook/dp/B082RWTXQK/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
April 17, 2020
This is EPISODE #54 with David Adams. You can watch the interview on YouTube here. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace and created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level. Thanks for tuning into the podcast today!If this is your first time here, I am so grateful that you have taken the time to listen. I am so excited about our guest today. His name is David Adams, and I’ve been watching his work, seeing his posts on social media and he’s doing some ground-breaking work. I noticed when he spoke on a panel[i] with former CNN host and educational activist Campbell Brown, Founder, The Seventy Four[ii]; (a phenomenal education focused website that I love learning from)  Susan Crown, Founder of the Susan Crown Exchange[iii]; (whose mission is to help people acquire the skills needed to succeed and thrive in a rapidly changing and connected world), Marc Brackett, Director Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence[iv] (who did EPISODE #22 on his book “Permission to Feel”)[v] and Karen Niemi, (Neemi) President & CEO, CASEL[vi].  If we are truly “the sum of the five people we spend the most time with” like Jim Rohn once said, you can only guess how impressive his bio is going to be.David is The Urban Assembly’s Director of Social and Emotional Learning,[vii] where his team builds schools' capacity to ensure that all staff and students they work with receive relevant experiences and purposeful instruction to develop the social emotional competencies that impact students’ success in school, work, and life. (Everything that we speak about on this podcast).  He is on the Board of Directors for CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) which is the trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning and I have to mention that he was also a Civil Affairs Officer in the United States Army, so you know that he is on a serious mission to achieve results.David, welcome! Thank you so much for being here today.Q1: I’ve read quite a BIO for you, and it seems that when we are dealing with education that we have a certain expectation of what we are looking for (whether it’s our students learning in the classroom, professional development for teachers, or even choosing the right assessments that measure what we are learning). What does it mean to you for a person to be educated?Q2: With everything that you see going on in the world today, why do you think our communities are struggling so much to solve problems across differences?Q3: In your recent article[viii] A New Vision of Education: Reimagining the Social Contract you talk about the fact that nobody is perfect, but we all have a responsibility to strive to live up to the values we want the next generation to embody.You talked about this phenomenon where education level is negatively correlated to the accuracy of perception of people across the political spectrum. Can you explain what you mean here, and why do you think this is the case?Q4: Tell me a little bit about the neuroscience behind this and how SEL specifically improving awareness can help us to all move forward. Q5: What are your final thoughts for how we can use SEL to solve our nation’s most pressing concerns to restore some hope, especially during these uncertain times?Thank you so much for your time today, and for sharing your insights with us. If anyone wants to reach you to learn more about your programs at the Urban Assembly, what is the best way? You can find David Adams on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-adams-10236721/ or on Twitter https://twitter.com/DAdams_SEL REFERENCES:[i] David Adams with Campbell Brown, Founder, The Seventy Four; Susan Crown, Founder of the Susan Crown Exchange; Marc Brackett, Director Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Karen Niemi, President & CEO, CASEL. https://urbanassembly.org/news-press/uas-director-of-social-emotional-learning-david-adams-at-chicago-ideas-week[ii] The 74 https://www.the74million.org/[iii] The Susan Crown Exchange http://www.scefdn.org/[iv] Marc Brackett  https://www.marcbrackett.com/[v] Neuroscience Meets SEL EPISODE #22 Marc Brackett on his book “Permission to Feel” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/yale-center-for-emotional-intelligence-founder-marc/id1469683141?i=1000450933434[vi] www.casel.org[vii] https://urbanassembly.org/strategy/social-emotional-learning[viii] A New Vision of Education: Reimagining the Social Contract by David Adams (March 17, 2020) https://thriveglobal.com/stories/a-new-vision-of-education-re-imagining-the-social-contract/?
April 11, 2020
Welcome to EPISODE #53 “Self-Regulation and Your Brain: Strategies to Bounce Back Towards Resilience.” During these strange and different times that we are all living these days, we need to have strategies that we are using on a daily basis to navigate through these challenging times, where we are all feeling the pressure, so we can stay focused on regulating ourselves first, and then in turn,  help others around us to stay regulated. You might have had strategies in place before the corona virus pandemic changed our world, but might be noticing that as each day passes, and we recognize more and more stressors and unpredictability facing us, that our baseline is changing, and our resilience levels are not the same.  Since we all have a brain, we will all be experiencing this in some way and I’m sure that like me, you will find this information helpful to build your own resilience levels back up to where we are used to having them, so we can resume our day to day life with a feeling of accomplishment, instead of letting the pressures get the best of us.But First, what is Self-Regulation and Why is it So Important?I do recommend going back to EPSIODE 14[i] where we covered self-regulation (one the 6 social and emotional learning competencies that we launched this podcast with) as “the foundational learning skill for future success.” This episode covers self-regulation strategies to help our children as well as for ourselves in the workplace. Just a quick review.Self-regulation is “the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, adjust to a change in expectations and (the ability) to handle frustration”[ii] In other words, it’s the ability to bounce back after a setback or disappointment, and the ability to stay in congruence with your inner value system.  These days, this skill takes practice from all of us, and is one of those crucial life skills that I thought was important to cover on a deeper level.The ability to control one's behavior, emotions, and thoughts is an integral skill to be taught to young children as well, so they can form and maintain healthy relationships and connections later in life.[iii] As an adult, self-regulation is crucial to develop as we all know that life is full of ups and downs (and it seems like more so these days than usual) but we must be able to make our way through challenging situations before we can reach any level of achievement and success. It’s these challenging times that give us our future strength. We all know people who seem to bounce back after adversity. A calm, regulated leader can make others feel safer but it’s not by chance –it’s because they have learned how to self-regulate and intentionally get themselves back on course. This is a learned skill and if we are modeling and teaching this skill well, it will strengthen our students/children/workplace organizations, communities, culture and world, putting us all on the pathway of resilience where we can handle challenge and adversity. What does self-regulation look like in the brain? This episode will dive deeper into what’s actually happening in our brain when we become dysregulated, so we can learn how to recognize when we are in this place, and get ourselves back to a regulated, calm state.  Image: Dr. Bruce Perry's Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 3 on Emotion Contagion https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resourcesIf you have listened to the last episode[iv], you will know that I have been learning from Dr. Bruce Perry (who is an American psychiatrist and senior fellow of the Child Trauma Academy is Houston, Texas) and his online resources that he has created to help everyone (parents, educators, counselors) to navigate these challenging times with more understanding and he ties the brain into each topic that he covers. I’ve watched his Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series[v]” and have taken notes that have given me ideas to share on this podcast that we can all use right away. If you would like to learn more, please do visit his video series that I have included in the show notes (along with images to explain each concept) and have personally reached out to Dr. Perry to see if I could get him on this podcast in person, but this may take some time due to how busy he is right now doing his best to educate those in his close network (and I did see him working with Oprah yesterday) on best practices during these challenging times. Please do stay tuned, and in the meantime, I’ll share with you some concepts that I think are crucial for us to not just understand but be actively practicing on a day to day basis to keep our resilience buckets full.When we are regulated, and calm, we will have access to the higher levels of thinking in our brain through our neocortex. We can think, make decisions, and carry out our day to day activities, and have learned strategies to help us to self-regulate when stressors come our way. If you have access to the show notes, you will see a diagram of an upside-down triangle showing that when we are regulated, we have access to our neocortex and can make well thought out decisions. What’s happening now is that so many new stressors are coming our way and hitting us in a manner that many of us are now on our way to dysregulation where we do not have access to our higher-level thinking but become more reactive. I noticed this happening to me when I was working with one my kids on their school work this week (not something new but the whole working from home AND home-schooling is now new for many of us) and my daughter wasn’t happy with the fact she now has to do this either, so she was slouched over, trying to answer her math problems, with a bit of an attitude and was not putting in much effort. This pushed my buttons and before I know it, I’m reacting, and we all need to take a break and breathe. I had to stop and think about something I have been thinking about all week after watching Dr. Perry’s video series, that “a regulated, calm adult can regulate a dysregulated, anxious child, BUT a dysregulated adult can NEVER regulate a dysregulated child”[vi] and had to make some changes. In order for any of us to find our way through these times, we need to stop the minute we notice we are heading towards dysregulation and take a break and return when we are calm. “When a young child is made to feel safer (without a parent yelling at them) they will have access to their thinking brain, but if they are nervous, they will feel the power differentiator and lose the ability to use the higher functions of their brain.”[vii]This was my experience, but it’s also happening to parents all over the country, educators who are being asked to facilitate these new distance learning courses, front line workers in the health care industry who are now being pushed to their breaking points. Now more than ever we need to recognize when we are at the state of dysregulation and implement strategies to get us back to our baseline and build resiliency.DID YOU KNOW?“That when we are dealing with a dysregulated person, we can regulate them by the tone of our voice, how we listen to them, non-verbal signals and they will be able to reflect our calm?”[viii]Now more than ever we need to find strategies to help us to stay calm, and keep our head, because emotions are contagious. We will never make inroads with our children unless we maintain our calm and we want to avoid where Dr. Perry warned us that “for years to come, there will be a vulnerability in the population and their offspring”[ix] if we don’t take control of our emotions in times of stress.Tips to Stay Regulated, and Avoid the Traps of Dysregulation: Once you can get yourself to a place that’s calm, by BYPASSING negativity, you can RELAX, REFUEL and REFLECT/THINK[x] where you will have access to your neocortex/thinking part of your brain. If you can build these steps into your daily routine, you will be filling up your resiliency cup and building strength that you can use for years to come.BYPASS: Negative media like the news and social media. I’m sure you have heard that watching the news is bad for your brain, but have you ever wondered why? It’s the same reason that hanging out with the wrong crowd affects your results. After a prolonged amount of time, you begin to think and act like those you are spending the most time with. The longer we watch the news, or scroll through social media, the more stress we are exposed to, disconnecting us more from our calm, regulated state. Turn it off and just read the headlines if you want to stay on top of what’s happening.REFLECT: Give yourself some quiet time to think. Take a 3-5-minute break where you step away from your work and take this time to let your mind wander. It’s during these times of rest that flashes of insight can come our way. We can solve problems in this time, generate new ideas and think deeply.“We don’t learn from our experiences; we learn from reflecting on our experiences.”(John Dewey, 1933).RELAX: Meditation, music, deep breathing, or mental imagery. Research shows meditation improves health, well-being and our ability to deal with stress) but not everyone has the time to add this into their day, especially not right now when we all have more on our plates. Taking a few minutes, throughout your day to think of something that makes you happy is a quick way to relax and self-regulate.REFUEL: Find what gives you more energy and make it a priority. When you can get the right amount of sleep, exercise and healthy nutrition, your body should naturally feel refueled. Avoid things that drain your energy and keep things that refuel you on your daily schedule. Did you know that Einstein used to walk 2 hours/day to regulate? Dr. Dan Siegel[xi], clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute reminds us that during this bad and threatening moment in time, we can look towards a vision of the future where there might be an improved/better world. Think of where you can be of service to others and improve your current relationships. Use this time to connect to others, learn new skills, improve and be kind to yourself, and to others. There are many places that you can go to learn new science-based approaches that can be applied to improve resiliency in your own life, or in schools and the workplace. I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting our podcast. When we launched this podcast, last June, I had no idea that we would have the interest we have received for this information. Thank you especially to our Canadian listeners who are keeping us in the Top 100 charts for iTunes for the Education: How-to Category[xii] for our United States listeners who have just got us into the top 100 charts for iTunes for the Education: How-to Category[xiii] and for everyone who listens to the episodes, increasing our visibility. We have just hit the Top 10 Social and Emotional Learning Podcasts to follow in 2020.[xiv] I know it’s important and timely, and I do look forward to bringing on new guests to help you to implement practical neuroscience in your daily life. See you next episode. RESOURCES:Relational Contagion Graphic from Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 3 on Emotion Contagion https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources REFERENCES:[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #14 “Self-Regulation: The Foundational Learning Skill for Future Success.” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-regulation-foundational-learning-skill-for-future/id1469683141?i=1000447299318[ii] How Can We Help Our Kids with Self-Regulation https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/amp/[iii] How to Practice Self-Regulation https://www.verywellmind.com/how-you-can-practice-self-regulation-4163536[iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #52 “Igniting Your Personal Leadership to Build Resiliency” Inspired by Dr. Bruce Perry https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/igniting-your-personal-leadership-to-build-resiliency/id1469683141?i=1000470528327[v] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[vi] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 5 on Regulation  https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[vii] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 3 on Emotion Contagion https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[viii] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 3 on Emotion Contagion https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[ix] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network Covid-19 “Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” VIDEO 1 on Patterns of Stress: Risk and Resilience https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[x] Kristie Brandt “Reflective Supervision” Training Friday April 10, 2020  https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[xi] Dr. Dan Siegel Friday April 10, 2020 Crowdcast MWE Gathering  https://www.crowdcast.io/drdansiegel https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761 and Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #28 "Mindsight: The Basis of Social and Emotional Intelligence"https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761[xii] Apple iTunes Charts for Canada Education: How-To Category  https://chartable.com/teams/neuroscience-meets-social-and-em/dashboard/charts?chart_id=75897&chart_type=itunes&podcast_id=neuroscience-meets-sel-with-andrea-samadi[xiii] Apple iTunes Charts for USA Education: How-To Category  https://chartable.com/teams/neuroscience-meets-social-and-em/dashboard/charts?chart_id=136377&chart_type=itunes&podcast_id=neuroscience-meets-sel-with-andrea-samadi[xiv] Top 10 Social and Emotional Learning Podcasts to Follow in 2020 https://blog.feedspot.com/social_emotional_learning_podcasts/
April 4, 2020
Now more than ever, we need leaders to emerge and take charge whether it’s you as a parent taking charge of your family’s daily schedule, or you as a worker navigating working from home. The powerful news is that you can use your own personal leadership skills to build resilience in your brain that will propel you and those around you forward. As we navigate the constant change we are all experiencing with the corona virus pandemic, I think it’s crucial that we stop and take some time to think about how we can take our own personal leadership skills to the next level to support those around us- those we work with, our families and our community. Understanding how our brains works during times of stress is more important than ever. I highly recommend listening to Episode 26, Simple Strategies for Overcoming the Pitfalls of the 3 Parts of Your Brain.[i]Once we have an understanding of how our brain works, we can use the extra energy we have to build our own personal resiliency, model it in our homes with our family and then reach out to others who might be under more extreme stress and could use your help and support. Together we are stronger.But first, just a reminder of how our brain deals with stress, understanding the 3 levels of stress response. Remember that some stress is good for us. We did cover this in EPSIODE 29 “How to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness and Well-Being to Optimize Learning.”[ii] Here’s a quick review. The Neuroscience of Anxiety: Calming the Basal Ganglia in Your BrainWithin our Limbic System, our emotional brain, is the Basal Ganglia that when revved high, makes us feel anxious. Do you know the difference between anxiety (our body’s natural response to stress that can become a mental disorder when someone regularly feels unusually high levels of anxiety) or stress (which is our body’s response to a challenge or demand)? Some anxiety is normal, and the same goes for stress.We know there are 3 levels of stress response.POSITIVE: Mild stress motivates us to complete our work projects or helps us to find solutions to problems that arise. This type of stress keeps us on our toes in our day to day lives and helps us to build resilience (which is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties). We all want to raise resilient children and model resiliency in our homes, and we are doing this when we can manage this level of stress. We’ve all experienced that brief increase in heart rate when mild elevations in stress hormone levels hit our central nervous system when we need to speak in front of a crowd, play a sport, take a test, or that nervous energy we feel before a job interview.TOLERABLE: Serious, temporary stress responses, buffered by supportive relationships. The key is to have support systems in place for this type of stress. In the times we are facing today, many people are unable to get out and connect face to face with people to help manage this type of stress. I have seen news articles about the devastating impacts this type of stress is having on people. If you know someone who might be in this category, please keep in contact with them. Do your best to call them, and remember that connecting face to face over technology is much better than not at all.TOXIC: Prolonged activation of stress response systems in the absence of protective relationships. This is the one we are most concerned about as this type of stress causes the most damage. I recently learned that after the Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August, 2005, the offspring of people who went through this disaster showed an increase of substance abuse. (Perry, 2020).We must have strategies in place to help us to reduce anxiety and stress so that they don’t interfere with our day to day life. The more we can keep our stress levels on the tolerable side, the more regulated we become, increasing the resiliency we will have for ourselves, our families, our future children, community and workplaces.  A calm, regulated leader can help make others feel safer. (Perry, 2020). We must have strategies in place to regulate ourselves, by using our peers, friends and family to help support us, so we can then go on and extend ourselves to support others in need.A REMINDER OF STRATEGIES TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESS Exercise, meditation and deep belly breathing to increase oxygen to the brain. If you want some exercise tips, be sure to check out episode #51 with Kelly Schmidt[iii] and for meditation examples, episode #25 with Mick Neustadt.[iv]Go for a walk outside-research shows that different brain regions are activated when you’re outside. Getting out into the sunshine increases the production of Vitamin D and serotonin—plus it just feels good. If you can’t go outside, look out a window.Zone out-let yourself do nothing for a while and just let your mind wander. Research shows that “creative incubation” happens during mind-wandering. You are more likely to problem-solve successfully if you let your mind wander and then come back to the challenge. Flashes of insight and solutions to problems often show up at this time, but we must be willing to allow these breaks.Don’t watch the news all day—silence is good for the brain.Mental imagery—warming images (like a cup of hot chocolate) if you are feeling stressed, or a place that makes you happy (the beach).Dietary supplements like fish oil, magnesium, l theanine (in green tea) and gabba supplements are known to help calm the brain. For years I have been quoting Dr. Bruce Perry’s work when referring to the fact that the amygdalae (the part of the limbic system in the brain which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory) are “hyper-responsive (exhibiting an exaggerated response to stimuli)  in children coming from hard places” (Perry, 1994) so students, educators, parents and the community must find tools and strategies to manage these more extreme levels of stress. This past Friday night, I found some quiet time to clean out my email inbox and came across a video I sent myself earlier in the week to watch when I had more time. If you are like me, it’s been a bit crazy with homeschooling emails, online sports emails mixing in with my work emails and I almost deleted this video without watching it. Thank goodness I didn’t. It was Dr. Bruce Perry[v] (an American psychiatrist, currently the senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago) speaking on a zoom training call about the importance of stepping up your leadership skills to help others who might be struggling at this time. This inspired me to create this podcast and send out a tweet about his training. My phone went crazy all night and the entire next day when I was writing this episode, with the activity on this tweet, so I know this message is important and timely. You can see Dr. Perry’s video series here[vi] but I thought I would summarize his main points for this episode and hope to have him on as a guest as soon as possible. We want to find ways where we can emerge as the calm leader, keep our stress controllable, where we are building resilience. When stress falls into the unpredictable side (where it can be at times these days when we aren’t sure what exactly is happening), sensitization happens where the brain sees everything as a threat. This is where dysregulation happens and is what we want to avoid since this stress causes physical problems in the body.  Research shows that this type of stress can have an epigenetic impact (impacting the well-being of our children’s children) beyond just our own, which is beyond scary. Dr. Bruce Perry reminds us that if we don’t find the leadership we need to help regulate our population in these stressful times that “we will have a sensitized population where years to come there will be a vulnerability in the population and their offspring.”[vii] To me this show us of the dire importance of leadership needed and finding the calm within the storm in our own lives, so we can be there to help others and prevent this from happening. I’m not willing to compromise future generations because of this mass hysteria and I hope you agree with me on the importance of helping yourself, so you can reach out and help others. Dr. Perry Suggests:Structure Builds Resiliency (so keep your daily routines).Be physically distant, but not emotionally distant. Be mindful outside of yourself.Continue the activities that regulate you from the bottom up (brainstem to neocortex) where our thinking and judgments remain sound and clear. Keep calm, and this will prevent you from going to your emotional state of mind where you might not make the best decisions.If we can all do our part to take leadership in our own families, regulate ourselves and make decisions from a calm place of mind, rather than from fear, we will be on the right path for building the resiliency our world needs at this time.    REFERENCES:[i]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode 26 “Simple Strategies for Overcoming the Pitfalls of the 3 Parts of Your Brain” by Andrea Samadi  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/simple-strategies-for-overcoming-pitfalls-3-parts-your/id1469683141?i=1000454366492[ii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #29 “How to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness and Well-Being to Optimize Learning”[iii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #51 with Kelly Schmidt https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/fitness-expert-kelly-schmidt-on-easy-to-implement-fitness-and-nutrition-tips-to-maximize-home-workouts-and-meal-planning/[iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #25 with Mick Neustadt https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/mindfulness-and-meditation-expert-mick-neustadt-on-how-meditation-and-mindfulness-changes-your-life-results-and-potential/[v] https://www.neurosequential.com/why-choose-us[vi] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network’s “Covid-19 Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources[vii] Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Network’s “Covid-19 Stress, Distress and Trauma Series” https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources (Find this quote at 25:16)
April 3, 2020
This is episode #51, Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level. If you are like me, and love to learn, grow, challenge yourself and always are looking for that competitive edge, listen closely to the tips our next guest has to say, and write down the ones that you want to implement immediately. Watch the interview on YouTube here. Our guest today has been training my husband and I since we were dating back in 2006, and I can honestly say that I would never hire another trainer after working with him. He not only challenges our fitness and nutrition goals, but also wants to know what’s going on with our businesses and family life.  Let me tell you more about this incredible entrepreneur.Kelly Schmidt[i], is one of the leading personal training and fitness experts in Arizona, who has over 20 years of personal training and health development experience all over the world with his online and in person training programs. When Kelly graduated from high school, he was 115 pounds (which is hard to imagine knowing him today) but he says he felt that he was the little guy, which fueled his transformation that took him to 3rd place in his first professional body building show just 5 years ago (in 2015). He now coaches busy professionals all over the world in person at his gym in Glendale, AZ and with his online training programs to help people fit health and fitness into their lifestyle for long term, sustainable results.[ii] Welcome Kelly! Kelly, the minute I got the notification that all gyms were closing, I thought of you to help people at all different stages of health, with these strange times where we are quarantined inside our homes. You came to my mind immediately because you’ve been working all year with me on workouts, I can do at home so that I spend less time in the gym. I’ve been seeing posts from people all over the place asking questions about the best way to begin an exercise program. I do want to add the disclaimer, that for anyone at the beginning of their health and fitness journey, please do begin with consulting with your healthcare provider before trying anything new.Kelly, thanks, so much for being here today, and sharing your ideas and tips with us to help those who might be at the start of their fitness journey, to those looking for more challenge with a home workout because with you, that’s exactly what you’ll get.   The first question I have for you is on nutrition, which is such a wide topic. We all have different health goals (some people want to lose weight, others gain weight, add more muscle) what would you suggest are some best practices for ALL of us with our nutrition these days? I know that you taught us meal-prepping, and what we should be eating/not eating. Has anything you are doing changed? Is there any staple food that you used to buy that you can’t get these days? How has your nutrition stayed the same and how has it changed?I had a doctor years ago get me off sugar when he was researching the impact of sugar on our health and he wrote this book called Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health.[iii] I had some health issues that went away 100% and ever since then, I’ve been wary of even fruits because he had me stop eating anything with sugar, and specifically high glycemic fruits. Do you stay away from any fruits and what do you put in your shakes? What impact do you see sugar having on you?What are macros? How can people figure out what’s the best combination for them or is even talking about macros over kill? I don’t want to stress people out, so how important do you think it is that people have an idea of the numbers that work best for them with the ratio of fats/proteins/carbs that they should be consuming?What about Celery Juicing. You started us on this practice a few years ago, since we are on our 2nd celery juicing machine.[iv] Then I started to follow this expert Anthony William who is @medicalmedium on Instagram and he’s been helping millions of people around the world for years with his book Celery Juice: The Powerful Medicine of our Time Healing Millions Worldwide.[v]  What benefits have you noticed with this?I’ve been learning from Dr. Daniel Amen on the best nutraceuticals to take to help improve my health and what sticks out to me is that he mentions that most people are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids, so I force myself to take fish oil daily. What supplements do you take daily? Have you added more vitamin c lately?I know what cardio exercise you do daily because we share our activity through the activity app on our watches. I know that people can do this on their Fit Bit as well. Can you share what your daily workouts look like with what you do for cardio, and strength training and what would be 10 exercises that people could do at home that are just as impactful as using machines at the gym?Besides exercise, what are you doing for your mental health?How are you balancing your business and fitness goals? What does your daily schedule look like?Thanks so much Kelly for sharing your thoughts with us. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend, and for all you have done to help support our family, and for the business ideas you’ve shared. It was Kelly who suggested I record my podcasts on video and put them up on YouTube! Great idea, I really appreciate you. For those who want to learn more about your programs,  they can visit http://www.lifefuzionfitness.com/programs/ and follow you on social media. If anyone wants to access your FREE home video workouts, they can email you at kelly@lifefuzionfitness.com  Keep up the incredible work, and thanks for the decades of health tips and inspiration. RESOURCES:Will Fruit Make You Fat? Kelly Schmidt  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMz9pOIWO_sWhat Are Macros? Kelly Schmidt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VliM09e653AREFERENCES:[i] http://www.lifefuzionfitness.com/kelly-schmidt/ [ii] http://www.lifefuzionfitness.com/lifestyle-blueprint/ [iii] Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health by Dr. Richard P. Jacoby and Rachuel Baldelomar https://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Crush-Inflammation-Reverse-Reclaim/dp/0062348221 [iv] Celery Juicing Machine https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DKFH9QM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 [v]Celery Juice: The Powerful Medicine of our Time Healing Millions Worldwide by Medical Medium Anthony William https://www.amazon.com/Medical-Medium-Celery-Juice-Worldwide/dp/140195765X
March 31, 2020
You can listen to this episode on all podcast channels, or watch the interview here on YouTube. Before I introduce our next guest, I wanted to send out a message to everyone listening today, as we are recording this, it’s Monday March 30th, 2020, and there is a lot of turmoil in the world. We just can’t ignore it and jump into our episode without acknowledging where things are with the impact of the Corona virus on our everyday life. Wherever you are, we hope you and your families are safe, have the food and supplies that you need, and are managing through these difficult times. More than ever, we need strategies for our mental health, and well-being. Together we are stronger, and just want to remind you to stay connected as we all figure out our new normal.Now let’s jump into this next episode,  which just happens to be EPISODE 50 with Shark Tank Season 1 Success Story (that aired back in 2009)[i] Tiffany Krumins, who was awarded $50,000 to fund her invention Ava the Elephant, a medicine dispenser that was inspired by a sweet-natured boy with Down syndrome who struggled to take his medication. As his nanny, Tiffany tried her best to sooth his anxiety. Using her creativity to invent a plastic medicine dropper, and by imbedding a recordable sound chip from a greeting card, Ava the Elephant was born, and is now one of Shark Tank's most well-known and beloved successes.  Tiffany’s story immediately grabbed our hearts because as a former nanny here in Arizona, I related to Tiffany’s entrepreneurial path. We used this product with BOTH our girls in our home, improving our experience of giving the girls their medicine when they were sick, which is never an easy task, so thank you for seeing this invention through. Tiffany's infectious spirit has attracted the attention of media heavy hitters, such as Dr. Oz, Fox Business, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and most recently the Today Show. Tiffany cruised from nanny to inventor to entrepreneur on a wave of creativity, business strategies, and ideas that tugged at her giving heart. A respected inventor, iHeartRadio host,[ii] motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, and mother of three, Tiffany now leads the Mom Genius[iii] team of passionate entrepreneurs by her daily intention that business success and personal fulfillment are not mutually exclusive. Tiffany, it’s awesome to speak with you after all of these years of following and supporting each other’s work. For those watching, some history for you, Tiffany filmed a video[iv] for our early character ed program with her success story to inspire young entrepreneurs) and she has been supporting and cheering on our programs for the school market, which is exciting now, Tiffany, that you have created your own course for inventors that can be used by anyone, including schools. Welcome Tiffany and thanks so much for doing this on a day that most of us are working AND home schooling our children.  Tiffany, it’s been a whirlwind since we first spoke over 10 years ago. Can you give a quick snapshot of what’s happened in your life since your appearance on Shark Tank in 2009? I know a lot has happened to you both personally and professionally Can you tell us about your online course[v] (who it is for, and what it covers)? How has your vision changed since you first launched Ava the Elephant and how have you navigated through this change?  How do you stay on track? I know over here, I’ve made many mistakes with product creation and marketing. What were some of your most memorable mistakes? Were there times you felt like giving up and if so, how did you get past that to where you are now? I did see an article that you wrote about “facing your fears of public speaking.” Is this still what you would say sticks out as your biggest learning experience? What have you learned most about yourself[vi] the past 11 years since your appearance on Shark Tank? How have you managed being a mompreneur, raising 3 children and handling everything that goes along with a business? What’s your current focus and vision for where you are going in the next few years? Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day, especially during such unusual times in the world. We look forward to following and supporting your success and spreading the word of your online courses and anything new you might think up.  What’s the best way for people to learn more about you?  [i] Tiffany Krumins Season 1 “Shark Tank” https://www.sharktankblog.com/business/ava-the-elephant/ [ii] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/product-genius-with-tiffany-krumins-shark-tank-winner/id1406649018 [iii] https://www.momgenius.com/tiffany-krumins [iv] Advice from Tiffany Krumins for Achieveit360 Students https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id38wvYbzzA&list=PLb5Z3cA_mnKiiOxLqeDi_Jd2eG15S-ALF&index=19&t=0s [v] https://www.tiffanykrumins.com/products/new-online-course-purchase [vi] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/face-your-fears-them-often-until-longer-tiffany-krumins/?articleId=6475550041732902912#comments-6475550041732902912&trk=public_profile_article_view
March 26, 2020
This is episode #49 with someone who is one of today’s leading Leadership and Marketing Strategists and is also a long-time good friend, mentor and colleague of ours here at Achieveit360. Dr. Jeff Magee works with C-Suite, Business Leaders, Military Generals and the top CEOs across America. We first met Dr. Jeff Magee back in 2009 when we partnered with his Professional Performance Magazine and created the Teen Performance Magazine. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.  Jeff is the Author of more than 20 books, three college graduate management texts, four best sellers, and is the Publisher of PERFORMANCE/P360 Magazine,[i] former Co-Host of the national business entrepreneur program on Catalyst Business Radio,[ii] and a Human Capital Developer for more than twenty years. You can download a FREE version of the Teen Performance Magazine here.[iii] Welcome Dr. Jeff, it’s incredible to see you and sorry it’s been so long. You literally just popped into my head this morning on my hike and emailed you the minute I returned to my desk. This has been the fastest reply I’ve ever had, but I expect that of you. You don’t waste a second of your time. Thank you so for spending some time with me today.  Jeff, I was thinking--just a few hours ago and wondering what other high performers like you are doing to stay focused during these scary times. Can you share how maybe some of your experiences working with the Army National Guard and Military Generals have prepared you for this time, and what are you doing differently?I know that most of your training happens in live events or in person, so how have you pivoted your business the past few weeks?What about your mental mindset? I know in the past when I have been stuck with my business, and I’ve contacted you for ideas, I’ve come away with a list of 20 new ideas to help me to move forward. What are some ways that people can get past places they might be stuck? Perhaps thinking of people who are working from home and now have their children at home that they need to keep busy?What are you doing with your time to add new skills? How has your schedule been the past few weeks? How is it the same or different?What have your learned about yourself and your business the past few weeks? What are you taking away from this experience to improve what you do at JeffreyMagee.com?Any final thoughts, or something I might have missed that you think is important for us to think about as we prepare for the next few months?  Thank you so much for the quickest reply I have ever had! If anyone wants to learn more about you and your online training programs they can go to jeffreymagee.com[iv]  and find you on social media @drjeffmagee on Twitter. What’s the best way for people to reach you and learn more? REFERENCES:[i] https://www.professionalperformancemagazine.com/ [ii] http://www.catalystbusinessradio.com/index.php [iii] https://www.magcloud.com/browse/magazine/77535 [iv] https://www.jeffreymagee.com/
March 23, 2020
This is episode #48. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years.  I’ve always loved this quote, and it just seems relevant today.“In a time of drastic change, (like our world today) it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned (those who think they know it all) usually find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” (Eric Hoffer, Philosopher)Today’s episode will focus on some strategies to help you to remain productive at work, whether you are working from home, or home schooling your children, AND working, let’s take a look at some evidence-based strategies with the application of the most current, fascinating brain research to help you to stay focused, so when all of this chaos that’s happening in our world today comes to an end, (because it will) you will emerge as stronger, more efficient and knowledgeable, with perhaps a different outlook of some new and improved ways of living your life. I just learned some new ways of thinking from Jim Bunch, who is known as “The Ultimate Life Entrepreneur” –he spent years working side-by-side with Tony Robbins. Jim’s mission is to inspire happiness, health, and wealth worldwide. He is the founder of The Ultimate Game of Life app[i] that I have been using for the past 504 days. I’m counting only because my plan was to use the app for 30 days to recover from a surgery and get my workouts back on track—and 504 days later, I realized there was much more to the app than meets the eye. This week, Jim was talking about some new ways of thinking and reminded us that during these strange times, you’ll notice some things that you have been doing that give you energy and make you stronger.[ii] Think about what they are and amplify those activities. Do more of what gives you energy, and less of what is draining.  You’ll notice some things that are becoming obsolete in your life. Notice them and take note of what is replacing them. Are these new ways better than the old way? Be aware of your new way of living and see what you can learn from this time to improve life when it returns to its new normal. What will you keep doing more of, and what will you think about changing or deleting? What new strategies and knowledge can you gain? This can be a powerful time of renewal.Brain Network Theory: The New Brain Science of Reducing Stress Before we dive deep into this week’s episode, let’s take a closer look at the new brain science of overcoming stress and avoiding work burnout called Brain Network Theory—that we should all be aware of to increase positivity, reduce stress and anxiety and increase our work productivity and results.  Remember, just like Theory of Mind from EPISODE 46[iii], this is also a theory. Brain Network Theory is now being talked about all over the place, so if you follow the most current neuroscience research, I’m sure you will have heard about it. There are many books being written on this NEW Brain Network Theory (I’ve mentioned Dr. Srini Pillay and his book about the power of the unfocused mind in past episodes). I’ve been working closely with Mark Waldman (from EPISODE 30)[iv] this past week and know that applying Brain Network Theory to our life at this point in time can be powerful. With any theory, just keep an open mind, listen to the ideas, and see how they can fit into your life. So what is Brain Network Theory? If you were to go to www.pubmed.gov  and search for the most recent studies on the brain, instead of looking at different parts of the brain, like we used to do, we now know and study different networks in the brain to gain understanding, and we can measure and see the activity in each of these brain networks. Some people use fMRI scans, others use SPECT image scans, but I am sure you have seen these images that show how different parts of our brain light up when we are doing different things. You will no longer see studies that talk only about the individual parts of the brain—like the thalamus or hippocampus, you will now see images that describe brain networks, nodes and connectivity. This is a fascinating discovery that comes to life with these images. Just imagine, at any particular time, you might be resting, thinking or daydreaming and a different network in your brain will light up.We have hundreds of these networks, but most of them are non-conscious (we are not aware of them). We are only going to talk about 3 of these networks for this strategy of increasing productivity. I will include an image in the show notes (that is so far the ONLY visual created on Brain Network Theory) that can be used as a tool for those of us who, like me, prefer a visual of what we are learning. Think of this image as a map or a tool that you can use to organize the networks.  Let’s take a look at these 3 Networks so you can start to use and apply Brain Network Theory in your daily life.IMAGE: © 2019 Mark Robert Waldman and Monica Evason We have the Default Mode Network, (imagination processes like daydreaming, creative problem solving, and mind wandering. This area is significantly larger than the other networks possibly because it develops so early in life and plays such an important role in child and brain development). Marty Seligman, the founder of positive psychology calls this the Imagination Network (because who would ever remember Default Mode Network anyway) and involves those thought processes that can include worry, doubts and fears like “don’t try that, it didn’t work out last time” and so on. Swiss Psychologist Piaget called this “inner speech” that can be positive or negative, depending on what you are thinking. This network is important to tap into, as it also contains your ability for creative problem solving, so it doesn’t just contain our worries and fears, but our ability to move past them. We just need to be mindful of what we are thinking about, to prevent the negativity bias from taking over our mind (when we get stuck ruminating on negative thoughts instead of positive creative thoughts).  Be sure that we are thinking positive thoughts, so we don’t default into this negative cycle of thinking. This takes practice, but with time, does become a habit and so does the ability to tap into the creative mind-wandering zone to solve problems. If you have ever stepped away from your desk to take a break and got an instant flash of insight to add something else to your presentation, this is the Imagination Network at work. I’ve also talked about the Default Mode Network in other episodes, as Einstein used it when he created his Theory of Relativity that came to him first in a dream, through his imagination, and then he moved these ideas into the next Network. Next we have the Central Executive Network (which holds our conscious decision-making processes like thinking, planning, concentration, taking action in an organized way and focused attention). This area is in our prefrontal cortex and is also known as our Executive Functions—all of our task-oriented thoughts. If we are NOT performing a task, and do NOT have focused attention, this area turns off, and we can go into the Imagination Network into daydreaming, worrying or creating, depending on what we are allowing into our thoughts. When this network is turned on, when we are working and using our focused attention, and the Imagination Network is turned off. We can only be in one network at a time. That’s why it is so important to take breaks to prevent burnout, and to allow for creative thoughts to flow into your mind when working on difficult tasks. Finally, there’s the Salience Network that doesn’t fully develop until we are around 28-30 years old, (which holds our awareness, intuition and compassion processes that integrate and stabilize the other two networks helping us to develop social awareness, empathy and our values).  This network puts the importance of what we are thinking, weighs what is important, and helps to balance the other networks. To benefit from Brain Network Theory, we should all develop a deeper understanding of how to go back and forth between the Imagination or Default Mode Network and Central Executive Network of focused attention so that we are using our focused attention for a bit, and then taking a break to allow for creativity. By taking breaks from our focused work and using mindful awareness where we become aware of our thoughts and feelings in the present moment, and observe them without judgement, like Jon Kabat Zinn[v], American professor and founder of the Center of Mindfulness in Medicine suggests, we will be at our highest level of productivity.    How to Apply Brain Network Theory at Work:Imagine you are working on a presentation, and you have been at your desk for an hour, the most current brain research says that you must learn to give your brain a break at least for one minute each hour. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. We know our brain needs breaks. If you are able to set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up, stand, stretch, walk around, get a glass of water, go outside for a minute, when you return to your desk to work, you will feel refreshed and will be better prepared mentally to continue your focused attention on completing your work. Think about the map, and that you must jump from the thinking/focused central executive network, (in your prefrontal cortex) to the imagination default mode network (with rest) to achieve the balance you need in the salience network where stabilization takes place.  When you finish your presentation, you should feel energized and not drained.Applying Brain Network Theory with your Children While Working from Home:A quick glance at my social networks today and I have seen countless images of families who are on day 1 of working with their children from home while schools are closed due to the corona virus pandemic. I have seen posts from good friends saying things like, “I’m not sure what I am doing, I’m lost on how to make a lesson plan and looking for ways to make our days filled with wonder and excitement.”  If you can relate, I sure can, so be sure to listen to EPISODE 47 with Erik Francis on “Transitioning Teaching and Learning in the Classroom to the Home.”[vi] He offers some stress free strategies on working with our children at home, while sticking to educational pedagogy in the classroom. We are going to try some of Erik’s strategies a bit later today, and I will be sure to post how they go.Just remember, when we are asking our children to give their focused attention, think about Brain Network Theory. Focus will cause brain fatigue, and too much of it depletes your brain of glucose and depletes you. Be sure to allow your children the time to shift back to their Imagination network so they can gain insights that are impossible during focused times.  Allow them time to get up, walk around, go outside and take short breaks every hour to keep them as productive as they can be.Some final thoughts, as we are navigating new and unchartered territory in our lives, just remember that this time will pass, and that we can make use of the time we have been given during these difficult times to figure out what will we enhance and do more of? What will we find to be obsolete?  Don’t get caught up into thinking we have to do everything perfectly. Todd Woodcroft, the assistant coach to the Winnipeg Jets mentioned in episode #38[vii] that “when we are embracing the daily grind (which right now is our new normal) it’s not going to be a pretty game, or a pretty classroom…and it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a daily grind. But at the end of the rainbow, the success is worth all that mud, all that grease (and effort).” When things become difficult, just keep the bigger picture in mind. I’m looking forward to your thoughts of applying Brain Network Theory to your daily life, and hearing what is working that you will amplify moving forward and what is becoming obsolete? REFERENCES:[i] https://theultimategameoflife.com/ [ii] Jim Bunch Facebook Live March 19, 2020 “The Tetrad Model: How to Deal with Massive Change.” https://www.facebook.com/itsjimbunch/videos/623575255156367/?comment_id=623590708488155&notif_id=1584632259347084&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic [iii] “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” EPISODE 46 “As Close to Mind Reading as Brain Science Gets: Developing and Using Theory of Mind in Your Daily Life” with Andrea Samadi  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/as-close-to-mind-reading-as-brain-science-gets-developing/id1469683141?i=1000468491005 [iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #30 Neuroscience Researcher Mark Robert Waldman on “12 Brain-Based Experiential Learning and Living Principles.” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/neuroscience-researcher-mark-robert-waldman-on-12-brain/id1469683141?i=1000458597396 [v] Jon Kabat Zinn https://www.mindfulnesscds.com/pages/about-us [vi] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #47 ASCD Author Erik Francis on "Transitioning Teaching and Learning in the Classroom to the Home" https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ascd-author-erik-francis-on-transitioning-teaching/id1469683141?i=1000469152382 [vii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #38 Assistant Coach to the Winnipeg Jets, Todd Woodcroft on "the Daily Grind" in the NHL https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/assistant-coach-to-winnipeg-jets-todd-woodcroft-on/id1469683141?i=1000464224487
March 22, 2020
This is episode #47 with Erik Francis, our first returning guest to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast. Erik was just on with us for episode 41 with “How to Use Questions to Promote Cognitive Rigor, Thinking and Learning” with his book, Now That’s a Good Question and because of these strange times we are in right now, I thought it would be perfect timing to ask Erik back to share his thoughts on how to transition from teaching and learning in the classroom, to teaching and learning at home. You can watch the YouTube interview here.  Welcome back Erik! Thank you for your willingness to do this, especially on a weekend.  Now Erik, we all could benefit from hearing your thoughts of exactly what you are doing to ensure that your girls are still learning while schools have been cancelled for longer than we could have anticipated. Question 1: What are you doing with your girls (middle school/highschool age?) to ensure they are still learning, without stressing everyone out over there? Question 2: I did see a great post from Learning A-Z[i] (the educational company that does the RAZ early readers). I will post a link to this article that I think is great because it covers some of the basics for learning at home. What does your day look like? How have you added in this new daily learning? And are you still keeping your usual daily routines? Question 3: I saw you and Greg Wolcott post something on social media about websites for read a louds and activities. I pulled this resource[ii] up but wasn’t sure what it was. Can you explain how to use these resources? Question 4: How can you tie DOK into what you are doing and make learning enjoyable instead of this “thing” we are doing now. I want to trick my kids into learning. Question 5: What other thoughts do you have on making learning fun, knowing that my next lesson is on Brain Network Theory, where I will be going deep into the 3 networks of the brain, and why rest is so important each hour in order to learn. How are you making this whole experience fun for your girls? I can be a bit of a drill sergeant with mine, so could use some tips to lighten up a bit. Thank you Erik for your thoughts on how to transition from teaching and learning in the classroom to teaching and learning at home. Do you have any other resources that you are working on that you want to direct people to? Stay safe and wishing all the listeners the same. If anyone wants to reach out to Erik for anything, you can email him directly at erik@maverikeducation.com REFERENCES and RESOURCES[i] https://www.learninga-z.com/site/breakroom/school-at-home-tips [ii]  https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1OH-_GM-eYefOa7JDNmM6wdUb9fsa1H8k8O_XgPih4m0/mobilebasic
March 15, 2020
This is episode 46. This week we are on our last solo episode of diving deep into Dr. John Medina’s Brain Rules. I wonder: how are you managing your time during these unexpected life events that are happening in our world today? “You can build up your ‘cognitive reserve,’ or your brain’s innate ability to get a job done, through different types of learning and or through new experiences.” People with a stronger and healthier cognitive reserve—one that’s been strengthened with learned experience—have been shown to be more capable of coping with unexpected life events.” (30 Amazing Facts About Your Brain).[i] I highly encourage using any extra time that you might have in your schedule for learning instead of reading the news or wasting time. This can be a time for all of us to ramp up with our knowledge if we are able to manage the inevitable distraction around us.Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.In episode 42[ii], Dr. John Medina gave us some new insights on applying 12 Brain Rules to our daily life. I could spend a year on these rules but have just taken a few of the concepts that stuck out to me as important, to dive deep into. Dr. Medina spoke a bit about Theory of Mind as being “as close to mind reading as brain science gets.”[iii] So why is Theory of Mind so important? Theory of Mind (ToM)[iv]  is crucial for everyday social interactions with others[v] as it is used to analyze, judge and infer other people’s behaviors. It is an important “social-cognitive skill that involves the ability to think about mental states, both your own and those of others.”[vi]Psychologists have called this idea a theory because we really do not know exactly what is going on in someone else’s mind, we can only learn to make inferences based on life experience, intuition and practice. Why would this skill be important in the classroom? Imagine how much easier life would be if you could look at your students and be able to know if they were feeling anxious before a test, or even before a sporting event and be able to intervene with a quick strategy to calm their nerves.What about in the workplace? Imagine if you were working in a restaurant, how much easier it would be to serve your customers if you could read facial cues that come along with needing something like an empty water glass, or a utensil or maybe even something like warming up a plate of food that came out and wasn’t hot. The ability to look and read what someone else is thinking makes life much easier in these situations and is a skill that can be learned with practice.Before we take a deeper dive in ToM, I want to tell you when I first learned about this skill. When I was in high school, (In Toronto, Canada where I grew up) there was this awful span of time where there were crimes committed by someone the media called the Scarborough rapist (late 1980s-1990s). Anyone living in Canada at this time would remember when they finally caught this man, who committed these terrible crimes with his wife that ended up being the most horrific crimes in Canadian history, the media changed what they called them to the Ken and Barbie Killers based on their appearance. I remember asking my Mom at the time, “how would I ever know if someone is bad, if these two people could be so evil, yet they don’t look evil at a glance?”My Mom looked at me and said, “you can’t see it in their eyes?” and sat me down at the kitchen table and started what were known as our “reading the mind in the eyes” lessons which I now know can be tested. You can test your social intelligence score and how well you can read the emotions of others by looking in their eyes with the Theory of Mind Test[vii] that was developed by Professor Simon Baron Cohen at the University of Cambridge (yes, this is the cousin of the well-known Sasha Baron Cohen—the English actor and comedian).I don’t know what training my Mom had with Theory of Mind, but we started these lessons by taking random people’s photographs from the local newspapers, and she would teach me to isolate one eye with a piece of paper. Then she would ask me to tell her what feelings I would get from looking at that one eye. At first it was really difficult, and I wasn’t sure what feelings I was getting, and of course, who wants to just guess and get this all wrong. After a few weeks of reading regular people’s eyes, she asked me to isolate the eyes of that evil couple from a photo that appeared in the paper. At first glance, the photo looked like just anyone else on their wedding day but when I isolated their eyes, I saw what she meant. I could read more into these two people from this practice of looking into their eyes than I could just at a quick glance of their entire face.This began my practice of learning ToM that was a skill that became very useful later in life. I just wish I had always listened to what I would feel from people’s eyes, because this skill can help you navigate life with ease, if you can learn to develop and then listen to what you feel. Tips for Reading the Mind Through the EyesWhere to begin? Start with photographs and isolate one eye, and just listen to what you feel. Start with photographs of world leaders, or people whose character you know already to begin.What are you looking for? Study real people when you are interacting with them and look at both of their eyes. Pay attention to what you feel. Emotions like happiness, fear or sadness show up in someone’s eyes, just as when someone is not telling you the truth. You should be able to recognize when your child is telling you they have a stomachache if they really don’t feel well, or if it’s something else that is bothering them by looking at their eyes.Verify what you think. Write down what you learn and if you know the person you are studying well enough, ask them what they think.Learn and improve. How can what you are learning help you to be a better friend, spouse, employee, parent, or coworker?Dr. Medina talked about ToM in episode 42 with the question I asked him about Art Linkletter and Walt Disney. He defined ToM as “the ability to understand the intentions and motivations of someone else” and because Walt Disney didn’t have this ability, when he was describing his vision of Disneyland to his friend, years before it became a reality, he missed some important social cues with Art Linkletter that could have allowed for a completely different outcome if the two had partnered together with this venture.  Dr. Medina did say that there is scientific evidence on how to improve ToM that’s been well documented in research. He says that you can improve your ToM score by reading narrative fiction, 10-15 minutes a day, by authors who have won awards (so that you are reading well thought out sentences). He suggests to create book clubs and study literature as a group to continue to work on this skill.If you are curious about your ToM score, you can take the test yourself[viii] and then see if you can use these tips to improve your score, and with time and practice, improve your social interactions as you become more in tune with others. I scored 29/36 with this test and know there is always room for improvement with anything we are learning.  If you take the test, I would love to know how you score.To close this episode, I just want to remind you to go back and listen to Dr. John Medina’s episode #42[ix] if you want to hear his thoughts on ToM. Also, episode 22[x] is a powerful lesson to review with Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett on his book “Permission to Feel” as a reminder for how to recognize our own emotions and the importance of self-regulation, especially during the difficult times we are facing in our world today.  If we can all do our part to work on ourselves, just a little bit each day, like Aristotle said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” We can achieve more together. REFERENCES:[i]72 Amazing Human Brain Facts by Deane Alban November 1, 2019  https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/[ii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE 42 Dr. John Medina on “Implementing Brain Rules in Schools and Workplaces of the Future” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dr-john-medina-on-implementing-brain-rules-in-schools/id1469683141?i=1000466618504 [iii] As Close to Mind Reading as Brain Science Gets YouTube Published July 11, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELOXxwyRN74[iv] Theory of Mind: Mechanisms, Methods and New Directions Published August 13, 2008 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737477/[v] Why is Theory of Mind Important for Referential Communication? Published August 10, 2016 (Sidera, Perpina, Serrano, Rostan) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132837/[vi] How the Theory of Mind Helps Us to Understand Others by Kendra Cherry Oct. 1, 2019 https://www.verywellmind.com/theory-of-mind-4176826[vii] Theory of Mind Test NOTE: My score was 29/36  http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/[viii] Theory of Mind Test NOTE: My score was 29/36  http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/[ix] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE 42 Dr. John Medina on “Implementing Brain Rules in Schools and Workplaces of the Future” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dr-john-medina-on-implementing-brain-rules-in-schools/id1469683141?i=1000466618504[x] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE 22 Marc Brackett on his book “Permission to  Feel” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/yale-center-for-emotional-intelligence-founder-marc/id1469683141?i=1000450933434
March 9, 2020
This is episode #45 with Dalip Shekhawat, an educator from Manitoba, Canada, who is no stranger to challenge. Last May, Dalip reached the summit of Mount Everest to raise funds for the St. Amand School (in Winnipeg, MB) and is now preparing for his next challenge, that is tied into raising funds for the Wounded Warriors of Canada where he will run a combined distance of more than 500 kilometres (311 miles) over different terrain, in different climates, and at different altitudes, to "simulate the physical adversities these warriors faced."  You can watch the interview on YouTube as well.UPDATE: Watch the extended interview with more details on the trip up Mount Everest here. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their field with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.Welcome Dalip! I want to first of all thank my friend Sheryl Watt, from Winnipeg, for sending me your story. When I first read about your challenge to summit Mount Everest to raise funds for St. Amant center for people with developmental disabilities, I knew I needed to reach out to you. Then I find out you are in the middle of raising funds for another just as equally important challenge now for the Wounded Warriors[i].  Wow! Thanks so much for speaking with me bright and early on a Sunday morning.Question 1: Dalip, I’m an avid hiker here in Arizona, but I can’t imagine hiking up Mount Everest! What was behind the drive to motivate you to actually summit Mount Everest and then run more than 500 km for your next challenge?Question 2: How did you prepare for Everest last May? I read that you have climbed more than 15 other mountains. Which ones have you hiked and where were they? The last time I looked, I only saw 2 mountains in Manitoba. Also, how are you training for your distance run? Question 3: When I read that 2/6 of those you were hiking with didn’t make it back down, I wondered how on the earth you could prepare yourself for something like this? What mental strength did you need to develop to handle the things that you saw? Was there any point that it crossed your mind to turn around knowing you have a family back home? Question 4: What physical toll did the hike take on your body? And is it true that it takes 2 months to hike to the summit? Take me through the hike from start to finish.Question 5: How did this experience change you? What did you learn about yourself? Thank you Dalip for your quick reply to meet with me for this interview. I know there will be a lot of wisdom that comes from your experiences that others can learn from. For those who are interested in supporting your Wounded Warriors Challenge, I will put the link to the donation page in the show notes.Question 6: Can you give us your final thoughts on why you think it’s so important to raise funds for disadvantaged groups like the Wounded Warriors or the St. Amant School?Thank you again for your time today, Dalip. We look forward to seeing you raise the funds you need for the Wounded Warriors and see what other challenges you set up in the future. Have a wonderful rest of your day. REFERENCES and LINK TO SUPPORT DALIP'S WOUNDED WARRIORS of CANADA CHALLENGE[i] To support Dalip with his Wounded Warriors of Canada Challenge, in any way that you can, please visit and share this link! https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=4668411&langPref=en-CA#&panel1-3
March 7, 2020
This is episode #44. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. This episode will be focused on “12 Mind-Boggling Discoveries About the Brain” that are outlined in Chapter 3 of my most recent book, Level Up: A Brain-Based Strategy to Skyrocket Student Success and Achievement.[i]Back in 2014 when I was urged to add the most current brain research into my programs, I consulted with one of the leading neuroscience researchers in the country, who I still work very closely with, Mark Robert Waldman. He shared with me some of these discoveries, and then I created the real-world application so that we can start to look at the world with a different lens and improve our own personal and professional awareness.  These are my own Brain Rules with two being the same as Dr. John Medina’s. Let’s take a closer look and see how these 12 mind-boggling discoveries about the brain can be applied to your daily life.Mind-Boggling Discovery 1: Did you know that “Our eyes don’t see colors; they see light waves.” This fact reminds us of how colors are created inside our brain. The part of the brain that we actually “see” the world from is our frontal cortex (right above our eyes). What we see is like a movie that blends light waves and sound waves with our emotional experiences that forms a story that is far removed from the reality that actually exists.  Colors from what we are looking at are decoded in the brain.[ii] If you can look at the image in the show notes, you will see how our brain really sees color.Light hits what we are seeing with our eyes.This reflected light goes into the pupil and to the back of the eye to the cone cells.These cone cells decode the light waves based on how excited they are, (based on how long their wavelenghts are) and the brain translates the color of what we are seeing.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE?  There is a lot more to what we see than meets the eye. If we think of all that we can “see” with our eyes, we can gain some appreciation for the world, and our place in it. Next time you are in nature, look around and marvel at the sky, the mountains, or the ocean. There is so much to see and experience in the world and when we put our minds and brain to work, we can actually bring our visions that begin in our mind, into reality. This is the creative process. Take time away from your work when you want to create a new result in your life. With this creative process, everything that you create begins first off in your brain, and then when you take action to create it, so it is important to think and imagine what you want in clear detail, in your brain first, where everything we see with our eyes first takes shape. Our brain is involved in everything that we do. This is one of the reasons why writing down our goals is so important because writing stimulates our goals and behavior. It’s the first step of the creative process.Mind-Boggling Discovery 2: Did you know that “Consciousness is created in the brain the minute we wake up?” Have your ever thought about what consciousness is? Stop the recording now and think about it. What is consciousness to you without looking up a definition. When I was first asked this question, I could just come up with the word “awareness.” Consciousness is something that after 2600 years of speculation, everyone agrees that it exists, but so far “no one knows what it is, or how it works.”¹ (Andrew Newburg M.D and Mark Robert Waldman “Words Can Change Your Brain). Various disciplines of science have tried to define what exactly our mind and our conscious awareness is, and Dr. Daniel Siegel tackles the definition with the idea that that  “the mind, brain and relationships are all connected” ² (Daniel Siegel M.D. Mindfulness and Neural Integration)  which is very interesting to think that we are all connected in some way.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE? When you wake up and start thinking, pay attention to the thoughts, ideas, people and places you are thinking about. You might get a strong feeling to call someone, email them, or go somewhere. Listen to your instincts as science is clearly coming to an agreement that our minds, brains and relationships are all connected and to pay attention to this insight. For example, there were times I had a random thought of someone I wanted to reach out to for an interview on this podcast. I always write down these thoughts and think about how each person fits into the content. The key is to pay attention to the thoughts you are having, write them down and then you can analyze these thoughts in greater detail. This is just another tool for using your conscious awareness in the creative process.Mind-Boggling Discovery 3: Did you know that “Subliminal words can affect our thoughts, feelings and actions?” New research shows that “words and phrases repeated at a volume we can barely perceive can create subtle changes in mood.”³ (J. Weinberger, S. Kelner and D. McLelland). Studies show that the brain gives more attention to negative words, even when we can barely hear them.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE? Stay away from the news. We know that the same bad news is broadcast over and over again, but now research shows to even have the news playing in the background at a low volume, it can affect your mood. Turn it off!  This also explains why it is so important to hang out with positive people. You really are the sum of the 5 people you hang out with the most. If you don’t like this, you can make the necessary changes to improve your world by who you allow into it. Words really can change your brain, so be careful and selective of the words you are using (even thinking) if you want to elevate your results.Mind-Boggling Discovery 4: Did you know that “The conscious mind can only hold 7-10 words in our working memory?”  If you want to remember a sentence, it must have less than ten words in it. We can only remember small chunks of information at one time.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE? Write it down, if you want to remember it! Use your notepads on your phone or keep a small notebook handy to write down daily tasks you need to remember. Don’t become frustrated when you can’t remember something. Know the limit of your working memory (otherwise known as our short-term memory) and success is yours!Mind-Boggling Discovery 5: Did you know that “Memories are not real?” Memories are inaccurate and each time they are recalled, they are changed. When you remember something, the brain re-wires the connections between the neurons–literally changing the structure of your brain as you recreate the memory, change it and re-memorize it. The memory is subject to change each time you remember it.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE? Oh no, I thought I had an incredible memory! This does explain some of the articles I have read that suggest that memories are not reliable.[iii] This is even more incentive to keep a journal and write things down. Also, when looking at Dr. John Medina’s Brain Rules, he explains that since two people have different life experiences, we will perceive the same situation in a different way.Mind-Boggling Discovery 6:  Did you know about the Negativity Bias that states “You must think positive thoughts to build optimism and resilience to stress?” You must have more than three positive thoughts or feelings for every negative thought you have in order to build optimism and reduce stress.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE?  Since you can only think one thought at a time, be sure that your positive thinking outweighs your negative thinking. This is easier said than done, I know! A strategy I have used for years is to say “switch” when a negative thought creeps into my mind. Then replace the bad thought immediately with something positive and uplifting. We need to find strategies to get rid of automatic negative thoughts that will impact our results. What we think really does matter and can impact those around us.Mind-Boggling Discovery 7: Did you know that “Our beliefs shape our reality more than our sensations?”  Our memories form our behavior, but they also form the foundation of our belief system. A belief is a thought process and the more we repeat that thought process, the more real it becomes.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE? Sometimes our beliefs can be limiting, so be open to challenging our beliefs with a different perspective or point of view. Think about some of the beliefs that you once held, that you don’t believe anymore. Here’s an example of a belief I have changed in the past few years in relation to diet and nutrition. 20 years ago, I would never have believed in the health benefits of eating high fat foods. When I first heard this a few years ago through biohacker Dave Asprey[iv] and his bulletproof coffee, it really stretched my mind. How could this be possible?  After being open to a new belief, I can clearly say now that adding fats to my diet (good quality fats that is—like grass fed butter) has improved my health and didn’t make me fat. Take your time when learning new things and be open to the fact that your beliefs might be outdated. If you were to ask me 20 years ago if I would ever put butter in my coffee or MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil in my shakes, I would have thought you were crazy. Think about some of the beliefs you’ve had over the years that have changed and be open to changing your beliefs in the future.Mind-Boggling Discovery 8: I’m sure you have heard that “Too much stress disrupts the neural activity in the brain” since this is in line with Rule #8 from John Medina’s Brain Rules that “stressed brains don’t learn the same way.” We all know that stress affects both the mind and body in a negative way, so why not try some of the most recent and proven strategies to combat stress?WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE?  The fastest way to interrupt stress is by yawning because it lowers the hyperactivity of the frontal lobe. Add in some slow stretching and you will be more relaxed in sixty seconds or less. Be sure to add activities to your day that strengthen neural activity like giving your brain the rest time it needs to consolidate information, daydream, take a walk outside in nature, and practice being grateful in your life.Mind-Boggling Discovery 9: Did you know that “Every brain is wired differently?”  For example, words don’t have the same meaning for everyone. Words like love, happiness, or peace might mean something different to your friend than to you. This is Rule #3 with John Medina’s Brain Rules, and his book explains why “no two people’s brains store the same information the same way, in the same place.”[v]WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE?  Don’t assume that the words you use will have the same meaning to others as they do for you. This is a recipe for miscommunication. Always keep an open mind and honor the fact that we all “think” differently.Mind-Boggling Discovery 10: We don’t pay attention to boring things…or people.  John Medina chose this as Brain Rule #4[vi] and it is so important to understand this while attempting to learn something new. Medina explains that audiences “check out after 10 minutes” so it’s important to keep the interest of students during a class with engaging stories to help the brain to learn and remember.  (John Medina, Brain Rules). When presenting or teaching something to others, think of ways that you can be engaging and make your presentation memorable. What can you say that will stick in your audience’s brain and hold their attention? If you can tell a story that connects emotion to what you are saying, your audience will connect with you and trust you on a deeper level. Mind-Boggling Discovery 11: Did you know that “the brain thrives on happiness, joy, laughter and positive thoughts and feelings?” It feels great to laugh and it’s contagious! Even a fake smile can trigger circuits of happiness in the brain.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN OUR DAILY LIFE?  We know what this means! Laugh more! Smile more! Tell more jokes! Be happy.Mind-Boggling  Discovery 12: Did you know that “the brain does not like conflict and incompleteness?” The brain works hard to keep you working a certain way. When changes are made, habits are broken and new actions are taken, the brain freaks out and sends messages to your consciousness saying “go back to the way you were” since it’s easier that way. This is why it is so difficult to change old habits.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? When you have ambiguity or doubtfulness in your life, the brain will struggle. If you lack certainty in your life, your brain will struggle. To keep your brain working optimally, you must have certainty with the actions you are taking. Adopt this mindset and you will see progress in leaps and bounds.With an understanding of your brain in mind, we really can adopt new strategies that change and improve the results we are looking for in our personal and professional lives. I hope you have enjoyed these mind-boggling brain discoveries as much as I have and have taken away some ideas that you can integrate into your life.  If you check the show notes for this episodes, you will see a graphic of these 12 mind-boggling brain discoveries that you can print as a reminder.REFERENCES:[i] Level Up: A Brain-Based Strategy to Skyrocket Student Success and Achievement by Andrea Samadi (October 2015, Wheatmark) https://www.amazon.com/Level-Up-Brain-Based-Skyrocket-Achievement/dp/1627872647 [ii] A.R. Wade and A.V Benjamin “How Do We See Color?” https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2013.00010 [iii] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hidden-motives/201203/unreliable-memory [iv] https://blog.daveasprey.com/category/podcasts/ [v] Dr. John Medina’s Brain Rule #3 “Every brain is wired differently.” https://vimeo.com/52294892 [vi] Dr. John Medina’s Brain Rule #4 “We don’t pay attention to boring things.”  https://vimeo.com/52294894
March 5, 2020
This is episode #43. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. The next three episodes will be solo lessons to dive deeper into Dr. John Medina’s episode #42 that I could probably spend the next year on.For those who have not read his Brain Rules book, or would like a quick review, I’ll outline them briefly with thoughts on why they are so important to implement into YOUR daily life with some applicable strategies. Here are Dr. John Medina’s Brain Rules[i]: If you click on the link in the show notes, you will be taken to his website and can watch a video on each rule. I also highly recommend reading the book, because there are so many examples that will bring these rules to life.RULE 1:  EXERCISE: Exercise boosts brain power.  Did you know that “aerobic exercise, just twice a week, halves your risk of general dementia? It also cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent.” (Summary Rule 1, Brain Rules, Page 28). I also heard this from Dr. Daniel Amen in his “Thrive by 25”[ii] online course where he talks about a recent study that rigorous aerobic exercise over a 12-week period, was just as effective for those suffering from depression as taking an anti-depressant.  This class talked about the fact that aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, swimming, running or cycling seems to solve EVERY brain or health problem. The solutions were always to improve your diet and add aerobic exercise. This should be incentive enough for everyone to be sure they are moving at least 3 times a week for at least 20 minutes, or that’s what Dr. Medina would say will have an impact on your brain and improve cognition, problem solving and emotional regulation. I found it interesting that he mentions that strength training did not improve cognition in the studies, but I still think both strength training and aerobic exercise are important to do on a weekly basis, regardless of whether one is making you smarter or not. The latter will definitely make you stronger and is important to include as we age.RULE 2:  SURVIVAL: The human brain evolved, too.I’m sure by now you have heard that the brain’s main function is to keep us safe, something that’s been built in for our survival. If we think about evolution and the survival of the fittest, what happened with the human brain when it evolved and adapted over time was that the brain got smarter with evolution, not stronger. We can clearly see how the human brain and cognition is vastly different than other animals.  The human brain consists of 3 main parts (the hindbrain that developed first, that keeps us breathing, the midbrain that keeps us alert and where our emotions are stored and the last part of the brain to develop, the forebrain that holds the most power with our thinking/reasoning, emotional regulation, and cognitive functions. Our ability to think and reason is what separates us from the animal kingdom and a feature of our brain that we shouldn’t waste or take lightly. Since we have this unique ability, I think it’s our responsibility to pay attention to this important part of our brain and continue to develop and improve our thinking and reasoning skills.RULE 3:  WIRING: Every brain is wired differently.The experiences that you have in your life, “what you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like—it literally rewires it.” (Summary Rule 3, Brain Rules).  This explains why we are all different since “no two people’s brains store the same information in the same place.” (Summary 3, Brain Rules, Page 70). This rule is important to understand since each person we interact with throughout our life will be different with their life experience. We have to learn to read and understand people better, and this can be done with Theory of Mind Skills[iii] that we will investigate at a deeper level in a future episode. We cannot ignore the fact that “every student’s brain, every employee’s brain, every customer’s brain is wired differently. Eric Kandel, an Austrian-American medical doctor who specialized in Psychiatry, who was also a neuroscientist won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2000 for his discovery that a single neuron in a sea slug can grow new axons and dendrites and that “when people learn something, the wiring in their brain changes.” (Chapter 3 Wiring, Page 57). This explains why my brain will be completely different from your brain. We all have different life experiences that will build and shape our brains. The key is to learn how to interact with and honor our individual differences.RULE 4:  ATTENTION: We don't pay attention to boring things.I’m sure you have heard that “audiences check out after 10 minutes” (Summary 4, Brain Rules, Page 94) or that the brain can only focus on one thing at a time, making multitasking a bad idea. The funny thing is that although you may have heard of the fact that the “average person’s attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish, there’s no evidence that human attention is shrinking or that goldfishes have particularly short attention spans either.”[iv] We do know that when audiences are checking out after 10 minutes, we can grab their attention back by “telling narratives or creating events rich in emotion.” Emotions help memories form and stick so if you want to make your next presentation or lesson memorable, the best way is to somehow connect with your audience or class with a story that they connect to on an emotional level. This activates the mirror neurons in your audience, and they will listen, connect with you and trust you on a deeper level.RULE 5: MEMORY (SHORT-TERM): Repeat to remember.This rule explains why we must repeat something in order to remember it, or at least to pull it out of our short term or working memory. There are two types of memory: declarative (for facts) and non-declarative (for things we find difficult to explain, like how we ride a bicycle, or something we do, but can’t declare or explain it).  Let’s take a closer look at declarative memory.Declarative memory follows 3 stages of processing:Encoding: When we take in information, it’s “like a blender left running with the lid off. The information is literally sliced into…pieces as it enters the brain and splattered all over the insides of our mind).[v] We “remember things much better the more elaborately we encode (or convert) what we encounter, especially if we can personalize it.”[vi] For example, if I want to remember a phone number, something we don’t need to do that often these days, try to associate pictures or images with each number to be sure you encode the numbers into your mind. I have heard this method called ridiculous association. The crazier the image you put with each number, the easier it is for your brain to remember it. You would think that making this elaborate story in our heads would be more work for our memory system, but it isn’t. “More complexity means greater learning.”[vii] Storing: “The neurons in the cortex (the outer bark of the brain) are deeply involved in permanent memory storage.”[viii] Memories are not stored in one place, like we would imagine, they are stored all over the surface of the cortex. Retrieval: Of information can be improved if you are able to replicate the conditions to the initial encoding. You remember best if you can put yourself in that same environment for in which you first put it into your brain. We also remember information best when it’s “elaborate, meaningful and contextual”[ix] so providing real-world examples to anything you want to remember is important. RULE 6: MEMORY (LONG-TERM): Remember to repeat.We know that most memories disappear within a few minutes, and we often forget what we have learned in class after 30 days, so how can we guarantee information be retained in our long-term memory? The best strategies we have heard in other episodes with Dr. John Dunlosky[x] and his idea of spaced repetition. We learn best and remember when we repeat what we want to learn in intervals or by using spaced repetition.RULE 7:  SLEEP: Sleep well, think well.I’m sure you have heard that “loss of sleep hurts attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity.” (Summary 7, Brain Rules, Page 168). Staying up late and scrimping on sleep is no longer the “in” thing to do when it comes to productivity and results. There are even hundreds of sleep apps that you can use to see how well you are sleeping, that log REM sleep, deep sleep and light sleep and can give you a score that shows you how mentally sharp you will feel the next day based on your score. Dr. Medina agrees that people “vary in now much sleep they need” but circadian rhythm expert, Dr. Satchin Panda[xi] explains that “8 hours of sleep is not everyone’s number, but aim to have 7-8 hours in bed” which means you can wake up and read or meditate and you will still be on track for a productive day.RULE 8:  STRESS: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.We know there are 3 levels of stress response.POSITIVE: Brief increase in heart rate, mild elevations in stress hormone levels (what happens when we need to speak in front of a crowd, play a sport, take a test, or that nervous energy we feel before a job interview).TOLERABLE: Serious, temporary stress responses, buffered by supportive relationships. The key is to have support systems in place for this type of stress.TOXIC: Prolonged activation of stress response systems in the absence of protective relationships. This is the one we are most concerned about as educators as this type of stress causes the most damage. (For us as well as our students).“Under chronic stress, adrenaline creates scars in your blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or stroke, and cortisol damages the cells of the hippocampus, crippling your ability to learn and remember.” (Summary 8, Brain Rules, Page 195).So, we really need to be sure we have stress reduction strategies in place to help us deal with positive and tolerable stress, and a plan in place if we have toxic stress in our lives. If we don’t take control of our stress, it will definitely take control of us.RULE 9: SENSORY INTEGRATION: Stimulate more of the senses.Did you know that “we absorb information about an event through our senses, translate it into electrical signals (some from sight, others from sound) disperse these signals to separate parts of the brain, then reconstruct what happened perceiving the event as a whole?” (Summary 9, Brain Rules, Page 219). Our brain also relies on past experience when deciphering an event, and since everyone’s brain is different, two people will have a different perception of the same event. Smells also have an “unusual power to bring back memories, because smell signals bypass the thalamus and head straight to their destinations” (Summary 9, Brain Rules, Page 2019) and smell directly stimulates the amygdala that in turn stimulates emotions. We do learn best if we can stimulate several senses at once, since our senses work best paired together. If I want to improve my focus, I usually keep peppermint essential oil nearby so I can focus on writing something new, like this lesson.  We have seen this phenomenon in department stores that pair scents with the shopping experience to boost sales, or even the fact that some stores, like Starbucks, won’t allow their employees to wear perfume because it would distract customers from the smell of coffee. Either way, the more we can have a multi-sensory experience, whether in school or the workplace, the more we can improve our results.RULE 10:  VISION: Vision trumps all other senses.“Vision is by far our most dominant sense, taking up half of our brain’s resources” (Summary 10, Brain Rules, Page 240) and “what we see is only what our brain tells us to see.” Information hits the retina in the eye, and depending on the wavelength of light, will depend on the color that our brain’s visual center sees. Each eye takes in “a slice of the visual world which is processed in the opposite brain hemisphere before integration into a coherent image.”[xii] If you want to strengthen your neural networks for your vision, neurologist Richard Restak suggests to “closely observe all facets of objects like a bonsai tree”[xiii] since there is so much for the eye to see. RULE 11:  GENDER: Male and female brains are different.Did you know that men’s and women’s brains are “different structurally and biochemically—men have bigger amygdala and produce serotonin faster and women and men respond differently to stress.” (Summary 11, Brain Rules, Page 260).  Women remember emotional details easier not because they are more emotional, but because “they perceive their emotional landscape with more data points (or detail) and see it in greater resolution.”[xiv] RULE 12:  EXPLORATION: We are powerful and natural explorers.“Babies are the model of how we learn—not by passive reaction, but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment and conclusion.” (Summary 12, Brain Rules, Page 280). Google actually allows their employees time for this exploration—it’s called “20 percent time” where they can just let their minds wander and think and this is where products like “Gmail and Google News”[xv] came from.  Mark Robert Waldman[xvi], one of the leading neuroscience researchers in the country calls this time “mind-wandering” and explains it’s crucial for the creative process. When you are able to let your mind wander, you will have flashes of insight that you must write down, and then investigate or explore the idea when you are in a more focused state.To integrate these Brain Rules into your daily life, I suggest picking one to work on and focus on, at a time. Think of the goals that you are currently working on and pick one Rule that you think will help you to see things a new and different way. I highly recommend reading the book, watching the videos that go with each chapter and then write down a couple of strategies you will implement right away for each rule.THINK ABOUT THIS:Think about the rules you are already using. Are there any that you have integrated into your daily routine already?For Brain Rule #1, I can clearly see how exercise boosts brain power. I make sure I integrate aerobic activity into my day, especially when I need to write or create something new. Without this rule, I would have a hard time focusing or even sitting still, let alone write anything. The more brain power I need, the more exercise I get. Rule #7, the sleep rule is something I am always working on. Using a sleep app has helped to log my sleep and see how I’m improving on a day to day basis. I liked hearing from the sleep expert that 8 hours of sleep isn’t something that we must all get, but to aim for 7-8 hours in bed, so we can wake up and meditate and that can be included in our rest time.  REFERENCES:[i] http://www.brainrules.net/the-rules [ii] https://brainmd.com/brain-thrive-by-25[iii] How the Theory of Mind Helps Us to Understand Others https://www.verywellmind.com/theory-of-mind-4176826[iv] 72 Amazing Brain Facts #32 by Deane Alban https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/[v] Page 104, Brain Rules[vi] Page 111 Brain Rules[vii] Page 111 Brain Rules[viii] Page 112 Brain Rules[ix] Page 114 Brain Rules[x] EPISODE 37 Dr. John Dunlosky https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dr-john-dunlosky-on-improving-student-success-some/id1469683141?i=1000463221516[xi] https://blog.daveasprey.com/satchin-panda-560/[xii] National Geographic “Your Brain: 100 Things You Never Knew.” (2018)[xiii] National Geographic “Your Brain: 100 Things You Never Knew.” (2018)[xiv] Page 258 Brain Rules[xv] Page 274 Brain Rules[xvi] EPISODE 30 Mark Robert Waldman on “12 Brain-Based Experiential Living and Learning Principles.” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/neuroscience-researcher-mark-robert-waldman-on-12-brain/id1469683141?i=1000458597396
February 25, 2020
This is episode #42! If you are in the field of education, our next guest doesn’t need an introduction. I want to introduce a concept that he would say is “like fairy dust to the brain”[i], and use “virtual transportation” or mental time travel to take a trip down memory lane, visualize and remember when you first heard about Dr. John Medina and his Brain Rules Series[ii] that he wrote with the idea in mind to redesign our schools and workplaces. I was given my first copy of Brain Rules when I worked as an inside sales rep, in a cubicle, for Pearson Education, (2009) by my Sales Manager, who knew I needed to read this book. At the time, I had no idea just how important these Brain Rules would be for me, however, 5 years after this, when my Character and Leadership Programs were chosen by the State of AZ for a Grant, and I was urged by an educator to incorporate brain-based learning into these programs, it was Dr. Medina’s Brain Rules that I grabbed off my bookshelf to understand how the brain impacts learning and achievement. If you have read his book, and it’s impacted you in any way, you must listen to today’s interview. You can listen to the interview here, or watch the visuals on YouTube. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.Welcome Dr. John Medina.John, before we get into the questions,  I’ve got to tell you that I emailed you back in 2014 to ask if I could use your book cover and your headshot in my presentations as I mentioned you as an early influencer with my work. Of course, you said yes, and I presented a slide with your book series ever since then so you would understand why I’m thrilled to speak with you today as your work has significantly impacted mine, and I can see that many others feel the same way. Thank you so much for being here today.Question 1: Dr. Medina, I know that you wrote Brain Rules (the 2nd book in your series) to redesign classrooms and workplaces with the brain in mind. These rules are all brilliant, with so much research to validate each rule.  Can you give us some concrete examples for those of us looking to implement these rules in the K-12 school or workplaces.  Where have you seen your Brain Rules working really well? What exactly would a school or a workplace of the future look like to you? Of your 12 Brain Rules, which ones do you think would impact schools and our workplaces the most? Question 2: Everyone loves this topic, which is obvious with how much interest and feedback I have had with this podcast, but there’s so much pseudoscience out there. What would be some best practices that you suggest preventing the repetition of some of the most common myths, and stay true to current evidence-based research?Question 3: We all want the best for our children and students, (and I know that you feel the same way) and as a parent, there’s nothing I want more for my 2 girls than their happiness. With the clear fact that anxiety and depression are a nation-wide epidemic, (it is so bad where I live in Chandler, AZ that audiences gasp when I talk about the statistics of teen suicide within my local community) so I’m always looking for ways that I can be a better parent and spread the word to change these dismal statistics. What does the research say about the best ways to raise our children/students these days, to be confident, resilient and hopefully bypass anxiety and depression?Question 4: When I was researching your work, watching your Talks at Google[iii] you mention Art Linkletter and his show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” a few times. I actually met Art Linkletter in the late 1990s and asked him to write the foreword to my first book after his speech where he told us about the day that his good friend Walt Disney took him to a place in Orange, CA full of orange trees and said “Art, look at this land...do you see what I see? I see a place where families and children will come and play, laugh and experience joy. It will be a theme park right here and it will be the happiest place on earth. Do YOU see this, and will you be my partner in business with this idea?” Art looked carefully at the land, but explained that he didn’t see Walt’s vision and declined this partnership. He also declined, politely, to writing the foreword to my book, via fax, which was ok, I did find a better match, but Dr. Medina, when you hear Art’s story, what do you think? I’ve heard you talk about Theory of Mind as being “as close to mind reading as brain science gets.”[iv] With an understanding of Theory of Mind (ToM)[v] why couldn’t Art see his good friend Walt Disney’s vision? (NOTE: Click this link to take the test to test your social intelligence).  If they were good friends like Art mentioned, wouldn’t Art have been able to use this Theory of Mind to tap into Walt’s vision enough to change his no to a yes? Can you explain what theory of mind is, and perhaps how we could learn to develop it, so we could use it to our advantage and not have any regrets in life like Art Linkletter? Question 5: To tie these Brain Rules all together, we have covered the ones you think would make the best schools and workplaces of the future. You have offered us some thoughts on how to be a better parent to raise resilient children that bypass anxiety and depression. Is there anything that you think we have missed that’s important that would help us all to improve our lives and results whether we are a teacher in the classroom, working in a corporate office, or even an athlete looking for an edge to improve their performance. What final advice would you give us?Thank you so much Dr. Medina for the time you took today to share your research and books and take a deeper dive into your Brain Rules Series. For people who want to buy your books, and learn more, they can go to http://brainrules.net/ and find a ton of resources, video, references and tips to learn more. Is there anything you are working on now that you want to share?BIODr. Medina[vi], a developmental molecular biologist, has had a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organizes information. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School[vii] -- a fascinating book with 12 Rules that challenge and reshape our thinking around how our schools and work environments are not currently designed with the brain in mind. Then there’s Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five that helps parents like me, doctors and educators to learn about brain science so we can all raise happy, smart and moral kids. His latest book in the series "Brain Rules for Aging Well: 10 Principles for Staying Vital, Happy, and Sharp” offers some ground-breaking ideas for those of us who want to stay healthy and happy as we age.RESOURCES:Test your social intelligence score and how well you can read the emotions of others by looking in their eyes with the Theory of Mind Test.NOTE: My score was 29/36  http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/REFERENCES:[i] How to Hack Your Brain at Any Age Dr. John Medina and Dave Asprey on Bulletproof Radio EPISODE #509 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWIKtkU6H4c [ii] http://www.brainrules.net/buy [iii] Brain Rules for Aging Well YouTube Published January 17, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NujSdn1bg5k [iv] As Close to Mind Reading as Brain Science Gets YouTube Published July 11, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELOXxwyRN74 [v] Theory of Mind: Mechanisms, Methods and New Directions Published August 13, 2008 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737477/ [vi] http://www.brainrules.net/about-the-author [vii] http://www.brainrules.net/buy
February 19, 2020
This is episode #41 with Erik Francis, an international author of the book Now THAT'S a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning[i] published by ASCD and presenter with over 20 years of experience working as a classroom teacher, a site administrator, an education program specialist with a state education agency, and a professional development trainer.   He’s conducted trainings at K-12 schools, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and internationally in Canada and Singapore.  You can watch the interview with visuals on YouTube.Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level. Today, we have Erik Francis, the owner of Maverik Education[ii], where he provides academic professional development and consulting to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities on developing learning environments that challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge (DOK).    Welcome Erik. Thank you so much for being here today (on Valentine’s Day of all days) and for the support you’ve given me over the years as I have been navigating my programs and services in the K-12 school market. It’s always a blessing to have a good friend with your knowledge and understanding so thanks for always lending a hand to help us over here and for coming on today to share your knowledge with others. Before I get into the questions I have for you, can we first of all talk about cognition or acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses.  This is a powerful concept as to actually think…takes a lot of effort. Then to think up questions takes even more effort. Q 1: Why did you decide to write your book tying in asking good questions to promote cognitive rigor?When I saw the title of your book, Now That’s a Good Question…it made me think about The Four Agreements and the fact that we all need to get better at asking questions to gain clarity.Q 2: What is cognitive rigor and how can we use questions to challenge anyone to think? What about thinking in the corporate world? Can these concepts transfer into the modern workplace?Q3: I’m really into creating frameworks or graphics of ideas to help bring clarity to complex thoughts or concepts. Then I heard you speak about how someone created a framework of depth of knowledge that spread across the country and was adopted into every state, but it was inaccurate. Can you explain what exactly is depth of knowledge, where the concept came from, and why the D.O.K. Wheel is inaccurate?Other Thoughts: When you created your graphic, did you consult with other educators? What can we learn from this? Can Depth of Knowledge be translated into the workplace? What about in sports?Dok 1- What is the knowledge? Recall and Reproduce.Dok 2- How can that knowledge be used? Apply it or explain it with basic reasoning.Dok 3- Why can this knowledge be used? Think strategically.Dok 4- How else can this knowledge be used? Think extensively. Apply to the Classroom, workplace, sports? Q 4: I’m thinking of when I first saw a graphic created by Casel.org for the 5 sel competencies. I had been working with concepts that we used to call soft skills since the late 1990s and used Casel’s 5 competencies, adding in carol dwecks growth mindset to come up with my framework for SEL. Having a framework brings clarity to complex ideas. When did you first recognize that this graphic needed to be changed? What did you do next to instigate this change? Did you receive criticism for your thoughts?   Q 5: What are the results of improving questioning in the classroom? What about your own children at home? How are you personally using these ideas? Other thoughts:What would your vision be for the classroom of the future? How can we go from where we are now to where these changes can be made? Who at the school level needs to be involved in these changes to infiltrate into our classrooms? What can we do as parents at home?  Q 6: What are you working on now? Your second book on Depth of Knowledge? If anyone wants to contact you, is the best way through maverikeducation.com? Where else can people reach you?Thank you so much Erik for your time, knowledge and ideas to encourage all of us to think, and ask questions to gain new knowledge. I look forward to the release of your next book and to continue following your work in this exciting field. REFERENCES:[i] Now That’s a Good Question http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Books/Overview/Now-Thats-a-Good-Question-How-to-Promote-Cognitive-Rigor-Through-Classroom-Questioning.aspx [ii]  Maverick Education LLC https://maverikeducation.com/
February 9, 2020
This is episode #40 with Frank Shankwitz, the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who was identified as one of the "10 Most Amazing Arizonans"[i] and if you don’t already know who Frank Shankwitz is, I hope that you will go and find his biographical movie on Netflix (The Wish Man) and watch it. I have been following the making of his movie for at least the past 5 years, as we both belong to a networking group that supports entrepreneurial visions. There are few words to describe someone like Frank, but I think it goes so much deeper than just one of 10 amazing Arizonans. Frank is a former Arizona Highway Patrol officer turned Wish Man, who granted the "wish" of a 7-year old boy with leukemia, whose wish was to be a Highway Patrol officer. If you watch the movie, you’ll see how Frank made his wish come true and the rest is history with his vision of The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Frank has spent most of his adult life seeking to fulfill the dreams of others no matter how big or small. If you have ever met a child who has gone through leukemia, it’s devastating for the family as well as for the child. A few years ago, my husband’s best friend from high school, called one night to let him know that his daughter, who was my husband’s god daughter, was diagnosed with leukemia and we watched first-hand the years of treatment involved along with everything that goes into ensuring the well-being of that child. Back then, I didn’t realize it was Frank who was behind the Make-A-Wish Foundation (even though I was following the making of his movie, The Wish Man) and that it was his idea behind the organization that gives so much back to families in their years of treatment, to offer some stress relief, peace and support.Frank has changed the lives of thousands of people through his generosity, grit, and belief in the human spirit. Because of his work, he has received the President's Call to Service Award[ii], the Making a Difference in the World, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor awards.[iii] Frank, it is such an honor to speak with you today. I just wish we could be speaking face to face since we are both located in Arizona. Before we even get into the questions about your book and movie, I do have to first of all honor you for all the years you dedicated to law enforcement through AZ Department of Public Safety. My husband, along with his fulltime job, is a commander with the sheriff’s posse with the Maricopa Sheriff’s office, so we have a deep understanding of the sacrifices that are made by law enforcement officers on a day to day basis when they are going out every day to help, give back, give away their time and often put themselves in the seat of danger, to make a difference. Thank you for these years of service that I see from your LinkedIn began a year after I was born!   Question 1: Frank, I watched the formation of your book turn into a movie, though our mutual friend Greg Reid, and I didn’t fully know your story back then until I watched your movie and then followed you through social media. Can you give an overview of where this all started? How did your life become a book, and then a movie which I just watched was in the running for an Oscar? Question 2: Who helped you with all that you needed to know to take your movie to these heights?  There are so many little details that you would have needed to know, especially the criteria for an Oscar. Who helped/guided you along the way? Question 3: In our podcast, we talk about social and emotional skills that we see are missing in today’s world. Skills that I know you recognize like empathy for others and giving back. They are making their way into schools, but students are not prepared for the workplace with these basic skills (we call them emotional intelligence skills in the workplace). What skills do you think are missing from our schools, and how do you see this impacting the workplace and society?Question 4: With all of your years of experience working with Arizona’s Highway Patrol, and then looking back at everything you have done, (the book and movie) what message would you have for listeners that you think is important for us to hear?Question 5: I watched the process of your movie being created, through Greg Reid who posts on Facebook about everything, and it feels like the movie was in production for a long time (was it about 5 years?) What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned from making this movie?Question 6: What’s next for you?  I know that you do public speaking. If anyone wants to reach you, is the best place your website https://www.wishman1.com/ Thank you so much Frank for taking the time today to speak with me and share your fascinating story. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit more through social media and hope to meet you some day soon. BIO: Frank was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Law, from St. Norbert Frank Shankwitz[iv] was a member of the Arizona Highway Patrol's ten man tactical unit[v] that covered the entire state by motorcycle, he stayed in the police department for 42-years  before retiring in 2014. After 18-months he passed on the Make-A-Wish Foundation to more capable hands who he said, 'turned it into what it is today'June 2019, Frank joined 89 celebrities, when he received his REFERENCES:[i]Arizona Central Published Dec. 30th, 2015  https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/best-reads/2015/12/30/amazing-arizonans-make-a-wish-frank-shankwitz/77373092/https://www.wishman1.com/media-awards [ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_Call_to_Service_Award [iii] https://www.wishman1.com/media-awards [iv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Shankwitz [v] Published in the Daily Mail August 31, 2019 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7413151/Biopic-Wish-Man-covers-life-Arizona-Highway-Patrolman-Frank-Shankwitz-founder-Make-Wish-foundation.html
February 4, 2020
This is episode #39 with neuroscience researcher and clinician Stefanie Faye, whose research is focused on brainwaves, heart rhythms and micro-movements[i] that influence our ability to self-regulate and build healthy relationships. Listen to the interview here or watch the YouTube for the visuals.Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level.  I’ve got to give you a bit more background on Stefanie Faye Frank, whose graduate research at New York University and fieldwork at the NYU Phelps lab for neuroscience research, the NYU Institute for Prevention Science and Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine focused on the cross-section of self-directed neuroplasticity, empathy and social justice.  For the past decade, she’s been teaching and consulting in countries all over the world by combining scientific insights and her training in monasteries with meditation masters from India, Africa and Vietnam.  She has delivered a series of workshops for Google's Analytics Academy in London, Chicago, Tel Aviv, Munich and Singapore focused on the Science of Learning. Stephanie, I am so grateful to have you here today, to share some of your fascinating research with our listeners. I found your work through YouTube[ii], one night, when I was looking to take my understanding of Growth Mindset just a bit deeper for the programs that I offer in the school market. Then I came across one of your videos, that led me to your Mindset Neuroscience Podcast[iii], and then your interview with Maria Xenidou on How to Develop a Growth Mindset[iv] and from here I was blown away with your work, how simple you made everything seem, and I was hooked and wanted to learn everything. I love the FREE online courses you have on your website http://stefaniefaye.com/ and the fact that you are also Canadian (from Calgary) and I grew up in Toronto.  Welcome Stefanie! Question 1: Stefanie, I watched your “Mindset Neuroscience” video course, and thoroughly enjoyed the way you connected neuroscience to building a growth mindset. We have covered Growth Mindset on this podcast with episode 20[v] with “Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles and Cognitive Biases.” I’ve mentioned an Ed Week survey that found that “the vast majority of educators believe that a growth-oriented mindset can help improve students’ motivation, commitment and engagement in learning. But the study found that applying those ideas to practice, and helping students shift their mindset around learning, remains an elusive challenge.”[vi] So applying growth mindset has proven to be something that has not been simple or easy to do—whether in the classroom, workplace, or even in the field of athletics. With your experience why is applying growth mindset proving to be so difficult? What’s happening or not happening at the brain level that we can learn from, to improve the application of these strategies?  Question 2: You talk about some keys to building a Growth Mindset in your video course and one of the keys is to understand neuroplasticity (the ability for the brain to continually change over our lifespan) or how the brain creates high priority pathways with skills that we are practicing and then eliminates low priority pathways with skills we ignore. Can you explain how the brain re-wires itself using myelin and why patterned repetition is so important at the brain level for those skills we want to improve, develop and keep? Question 3: This is definitely the era where we are coming around more to the fact that we must celebrate mistakes and to fail quickly and often. Can you explain why this is so important to understand from a neuroscientific point of view? What happens to the brain when we fail, make mistakes or do something that we find challenging? Question 4: One of the most popular episodes, with the highest downloads to date on this podcast was on self-awareness[vii], showing me, this is an important topic to people all over the world. Listening to your podcast, Mindset Neuroscience, I learned about the term Interseption, or becoming aware of the sensations we have in our body and listening and learning to what we are feeling. I have heard before from Dr. Daniel Siegel (episode 28) where he mentions that we have a second brain.  Can you explain what this is, is it like intuition? How it can help us with our self-awareness? How can we develop interception to help us be more confident with ourselves? Question 5: What do you think is the best way to teach self-regulation to students in the classroom, or even adults in the boardroom? No one seems to be immune from learning new skills to keep us on task. When someone is doing something that is working, how can they learn to replicate this experience so they can repeat this strategy in the future? On the other hand, when something is not working, instead of allowing frustrations to come and giving up, losing hope or momentum, how does someone know when and what to do or try next? Do we all need coaches to help guide us/offer feedback or is this a skill we can learn ourselves? Question 6: As we come to a close, and bring this all in together, is there anything that you think is important to emphasize about how the brain impacts our mindset, self-awareness and self-regulation? Stefanie, thank you so much for taking the time out of your weekend to speak with me here. I know this is a topic of high interest and appreciate you diving deep with me to help others gain more understanding. If someone wanted to learn more about you, is the best place where I found your online courses www.stefaniefaye.com?  Be sure to see Stefanie’s TEDx Talk “Humans: the Most Experience-Dependent Species on the Planet.”[viii] Thank you! RESOURCES:[i] https://medium.com/delasign/muscle-mimicry-how-our-thoughts-generate-micro-movements-invisible-to-the-naked-eye-98f2a60f9830 [ii] Stefanie Faye YouTube “Why Growth Mindset Won’t Work” Published March 3, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brfWMFKcsfI [iii] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mindset-neuroscience-podcast/id1366359821 [iv] http://stefaniefayefrank.com/podcast/how-to-develop-a-growth-mindset-my-interview-with-maria-xenidou-part-2/ [v] https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/coaching-a-growth-mindset-strategies-for-overcoming-obstacles-and-cognitive-biases/ [vi] “Why Growth Mindset Still Has some Growing to Do” by Rupa Chandra Gupta Nov.12, 2018 https://www.edsurge.com/amp/news/2018-11-12-why-the-growth-mindset-still-needs-to-grow-up[vii] https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/self-awareness-know-thyself/ [viii] http://stefaniefayefrank.com/articles/my-tedx-talk-humans-the-most-experience-dependent-species-on-the-planet/
January 30, 2020
This is episode #38 with the assistant coach for the Winnipeg Jets, Todd Woodcroft, who has built up a 20-year career that has taken him all over the world in the field of ice hockey. His NHL resume includes stops in Minnesota, Washington, Los Angeles, and Calgary, before joining the Winnipeg Jets in 2016 as an assistant coach. You can watch this interview on YouTube here. Todd won a Stanley Cup in 2012, during his second of four seasons with the Kings. Internationally, he has two gold medals on his resume. One in 2004 with Canada at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, and in 2017 he earned another one with Sweden at the same event. These days you can find him standing behind the Winnipeg Jets next to their head coach, Paul Maurice, where he is challenged on a daily basis to take their team to the end result of making the finals, and then winning the Stanley Cup. Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top of their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately, whether you are a teacher or student in the classroom, or working in the corporate world, to take your results to the next level. Welcome Todd, it’s so good to see you face to face after all these years!  For those who don’t know, Todd has been a good friend of mine since the late 1990s…we actually sat in teacher training classes together at the University of Toronto, and it’s been crazy Todd, to watch your success over the years. Let me get straight to the questions, so you can get back to work over there…and where are you right now, by the way? Todd, where did this all begin for you? I always knew you were into hockey, but can you give a quick overview of how you broke into coaching in the NHL, some of your early influencers, the coaches and players you have worked with to give our listeners an overview of your background?I know it’s easy for those of us watching a sports game to notice when the team is in synch, working together, really well. How does the identity     of a team form to where players begin to work together like clockwork? And then how does it change throughout the season?I’ve heard your team be called “the best face off team in the NHL by far” and know this is your expertise. With skill building, we’ve heard from researchers (we just covered this on our last episode with John Dunlosky) that the best way to learn anything new is with spaced repetition of a skill. In athletics you practice a skill over and over again but how do you know what skills are most important to practice (like puck drops), how do you make these skills priority with such a busy schedule, or without things getting boring?Todd, you’ve got a unique background with your training in education that I’m sure helps you as a coach. With your teaching background in mind, can you think of why the proven method to learn/master a skill works so well in athletics, but it’s really hard to translate into the classroom? We all know to practice a sport over and over again to improve performance (or even a musical instrument or for a dance recital) but when it comes to studying for a test, some students still fall back to cramming vs the evidence-based method of spaced repetition. If you were to visit a classroom, what advice would you offer teachers/students with your experience working with pro athletes on learning new skills?After watching some of the interviews with your players and coaches, and some of your games, I saw that there were quite a few games where you won by just one goal, many in overtime and in the last few minutes or seconds of the game. I’ve also seen that the opposite can happen—in the last few seconds, with a frustrating loss. There’s this fine line between the win and the loss that happens in sports (just like in the corporate world with the win or loss of large business deal). What do you do to prepare your players for both scenarios—winning and losing games?What are some differences you’ve seen working with international teams? Aside from working in Canada, I know you’ve worked with and recruited athletes from Russia and Finland where we know the educational systems are surpassing the results in the United States.[i] Canada, where we grew up, always ranks high (top 10) with these studies. With this in mind, how does this translate into the sports world? What can we learn from international athletes? How do you see they are they different? I could keep asking you more questions but know you’ve got work to do. I wanted to end with any of your final thoughts, or anything that you think might be important that we haven’t talked about? I know you have the All-Star Game coming up this weekend? What’s so important about this event for players/coaches and any final thoughts?For anyone listening, whether a student or educator in the classroom, someone in the corporate world, or an athlete looking to take your skills to the next level, we can all learn from the daily grind, the mindset and routine that pro athletes embrace, without complaining or resisting. Thank you so much Todd, for sharing your experiences so we can all take our game to a higher level. I have surely learned from this inside look at the life of a pro athlete and coach and do look forward to seeing the results of the end of your season. Wishing you all the best in pursuit of the end results of making the playoffs and winning the Cup this year. Best of luck! REFERENCES:[i] The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2015 performance on global rankings on student performance on mathematics, reading and science.https://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12
January 21, 2020
This is episode #37 with Dr. John Dunlosky, a Professor of Psychology at Kent State University, who has contributed empirical and theoretical work on memory and metacognition, including theories of self-regulated learning and metacomprehension. You can watch this interview on Youtube for the visuals.Welcome to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator whose been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Each week we bring you an expert who has risen to the top in their industry with specific strategies that you can implement immediately to take your results to the next level.I’m so excited to introduce you to Dr. John Dunlosky. John’s research has focused on understanding three inter-related components of self-regulated learning: (1) the monitoring of learning, (2) control of study time, and (3) the application of strategies during learning.  These three components of learning fall under the rubric of metacognition, which is about people's cognition (the mental processes like thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem-solving, all involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension).[i] By studying metacognition in students across the life span, a major goal of his research involves developing techniques to improve student learning and achievement.Welcome John! Thank you so much for taking the time away from your important work to be here to share your research and thoughts for improving student learning.Question 1: I first heard you back in 2016 on an Edweek Webinar, speaking about “deliberate practice” being one of the most effective learning strategies, vs cramming, and I wrote that down and that concept has ended up in all my presentations for the K-12 school market ever since. I recently watched your presentation from the McMaster Symposium on Cognition, Learning and Education[ii] where you dive deep into your research. Can you give an overview of what launched your research with learning strategies and do you think that we can learn ANYTHING with enough deliberate practice over time?Question 2: When you were doing your research to find which learning strategies work the best, what surprised you the most, and what feedback did you hear about your discoveries?Question 3: Knowing what strategies scored the highest in your research (distributed practice—spacing study sessions out over time vs cramming) and retrieval practice or practice test taking using multiple choice, fill in the blanks, or essay type recall) do you see that these methods are used more frequently now by students? What have you seen with the application of your research?Question 4: What happens next? Once a student uses distributed practice and retrieval practice, what is successive relearning?Question 5: It caught my attention that a major aim of your research is to develop techniques to improve the effectiveness of people’s self-regulated learning because self-regulation is the most requested topic I see when working with schools, especially with older students (middle school and high school) and it seems to be the skill that challenges most adults (thinking where we are at the start of the year setting new goals for ourselves and many goal-setter fall off their plan before January is complete).  Why did you choose self-regulation opposed to let’s say growth mindset or something, and what are your current goals with your Metacognition and Education Lab?[iii] Note- Self-Regulation is one of the six social and emotional competencies that we dive deep into here on the podcast (episode 14).[iv] Question 6: I was reading your book on the weekend, the first textbook to be written on metacognition, can you share what metacognition is, and why it’s so important for the learning process?Question 7: Is there anything else that’s important that you have uncovered to help improve student learning and achievement that I might have missed? Thank you very much John, for taking the time to be here today to share your knowledge and wisdom on these evidence-based learning strategies. If someone wants to learn more about your work is the best place through Kent State’s website? [v] I’ve also included your full study from Sage Journals[vi] in the show-notes. Thanks John. REFERENCES: [i] The Basics of Cognition and Mental Processes by Kendra Cherry June 16, 2019  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognition-2794982[ii] Dr. John Dunlosky McMaster Symposium on Cognition, Learning and Education (YouTube Published Dec. 12, 2013). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KsC9CktCno&t=2102s[iii] https://www.kent.edu/psychology/metacognition-education-lab [iv]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #14 “Self-Regulation: The foundational Learning Skill for Future Success” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-regulation-foundational-learning-skill-for-future/id1469683141?i=1000447299318[v] https://www.kent.edu/psychology/profile/john-dunlosky[vi] https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/rbtfl/Z10jaVH/60XQM/full
January 14, 2020
This is episode #36 with the creator of The Learning Pit®,[i] a sought-after keynote speaker and author of 9 books about teaching, learning and leadership, James Nottingham,[ii] from Northumberland, UK. Within a few minutes of posting about this interview on my social media channels, I had good friends who are deeply invested in teaching and learning from around the world, message me about how excited they were to hear this interview. You can listen to the interview here, or watch the visuals on YouTube. It’s not surprising that The Swedish Teaching Union describes James as “one of the most talked about names in the world of school development.”James’ most recent book, Challenging Learning (2017) describes the theory and practice of guiding students through the “Learning Pit” encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone. This practical book is filled with ideas for making lessons engaging, thought provoking and collaborative.Welcome James! Thanks, so much for taking the time to be here today all the way from the UK.Q1: James, we all know that our educational system worldwide has been under a microscope of discussion for transformation the past few years and that some countries that you are working with are leading in this transformation over others. Just a note, here in Arizona, USA, we are ranked near the bottom[iii] which is scary for me as a parent, but it motivates me to want to do more. Where did your vision to improve education begin and did you ever imagine that you would be creating such an impact? Q2: I dove right into your book, Challenging Learning,[iv] this weekend, and should have known from the title that I would be drawn in as challenge is actually one of my Top 5 values. I don’t work well without it and now have a completely different perspective as to why. Can you explain a bit more about how you Challenge Learning with The Learning Pit®? Q3: Why is challenging students “to question, to wonder, to challenge together”[v] such an important life skill? How does this improve their self-esteem, help them to become more self-reliant and achieve more?Q4: I saw your TEDx about Labels that Limit Learning[vi] and it did surprise me as I thought we are on track over here with our 2 girls, implementing Growth Mindset now, being careful not to tell them they are “so smart” (Carol Dweck) and now I see I’m going down the wrong path with labels even with ones I would think were positive. I often say “just do your best” (with school or sports) not thinking at all that they might translate for them into “they must be THE best” dropping their expectation. Can you explain the research by Jacquelynne Eccles about how labels can lower expectation and impact the effort someone will put into something?Q5: I’ve heard before that we always remember the people in our lives who have challenged us to “think” differently or think at all. And I had some early influencers who impacted me this way, and from reading your book, I can see that you have also.  Can you share some of your early influencers and how you went from idea to action with the Ready, Aim, Fire concept with your work? (Clay Shirky/Michael Fullan-who was the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto when I was in teacher’s college in the late 1990s)?Q6: What is your vision with your company Challenging Learning and The Learning Pit® with such a broad audience and staff in 6 countries. Where are you going with this vision in the next few years?Q7: Is there anything else that you think is important that I might have missed?REFERENCES:[i] https://www.jamesnottingham.co.uk/learning-pit/ [ii] https://www.jamesnottingham.co.uk/ [iii] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education [iv] https://www.jamesnottingham.co.uk/books/ [v] James Nottingham, Learning Challenge (Learning Pit) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IMUAOhuO78 [vi] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viHaslVc9cc
January 11, 2020
This is EPISODE #35, focusing on understanding how the brain works to break those bad habits that zap your energy so you can have a highly productive 2020. Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, I’m a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years.As we are well into our New Year, and new decade, I am sure you have been thinking about ways that you want to improve this year over the last. Have you thought about what specific actions you’ll take? Have you thought about the activities that you’ll start, stop, and continue? This is a good place to start as we are evaluating what worked for us last year, and keep doing more of what’s working, with an awareness of what didn’t work. Once we know what we want to change, then we will look at how the brain forms habits, so we can break them.WHAT YOU WILL START THIS YEAR: Think about positive behaviors that you would like to implement in your life. Do you want to be more self-aware? More proactive? More forgiving? Do you want to take more action, or more doing vs thinking and planning? Look at the START/STOP/CONTINUE graphic in the show notes and think about what actions you want to begin this year.WHAT YOU WILL STOP: Do you have some habits that you need to let go of? You know what they are, the ones that zap your energy, with an impact on your productivity. If you have some habits that are draining you, you’ll be well aware of what they are. Write them down. There’s never a better time than now to become aware of what needs to go this year.WHAT YOU WILL CONTINUE: Think about the things in your life that gave you energy, joy, and happiness. You will probably want to keep those things on your list for 2020. Whatever brought you focus and inspiration, should stay this year.How Exactly Do We Break Bad Habits?This article was originally published on Achieveit360.com blog.We Must Understand How the Brain Learns to Forms Habits, in Order to Break Them.I learned the idea of "neurons that fire together, wire together" from Mark Robert Waldman, (from EPISODE 30)[i] the world's leading expert on communication, learning and the brain. If you think about it, it’s kind of obvious—where your attention goes, your energy flows. Never underestimate your own power and be mindful of where you place your attention, especially when you want to improve your focus. This year be intentional about where you are placing your attention. When "neurons are out of sync, they fail to link"[ii] so when you are not working on or thinking about something that you want, maybe because your attention is being taken away by something else, the neurons will not link, the neural pathways will not be formed, and eventually the neurons for what you want will prune away, since you have not applied the correct focus with your attention. This is exactly why people fail to achieve what they want. They have not properly applied their attention. So how can we safeguard ourselves from this happening in 2020?  Let’s dive deeper into our brain to see what’s happening.  We have around 100 billion brain nerve cells called neurons that connect the brain to the body. "If you took 100 billion sheets of paper and stacked them on top of each other, it would be 5,000 miles high. That's the distance from Los Angeles to London!" (Dr. Joe Dispenza, TED TALK, Feb 8, 2013). This puts the vastness of your brain into perspective.Each neuron has one axon with many tails (terminals).  When you are learning, the axon terminals send electrochemical messages to other neurons across tiny spaces called synapses.Learning creates a synaptic connection when you are thinking, feeling, or actually doing something new. New neural pathways are formed. This is how you create a new habit.Breaking a habit is just the opposite; by avoiding certain thoughts, feelings or actions, your impulses or neural connections become weaker and weaker. Just as knowledge and skills are constructed in our brain with focus, they also diminish without the focused attention. As we learn, our dendrites actually grow as they make new synaptic connections. Learning something new happens when we forge these new connections."Neurons that fire together, wire together" and "neurons that are out of sync, fail to link." It is easy to see now that "we are what we think about" or "we create our reality" as we do reinforce our neural pathways with attention to the habits or goals that we want. We even reinforce what we don’t want when we are thinking " I don't want that piece of pie" or " I don't want this project to fail" or “I don’t want to lose that game” and so on. The neural pathways for “I don’t want this or that” are being formed! See how tricky this can be. Our brain only knows what we tell it, so we must be very careful with our thoughts, feelings, and actions, as they will cause our conditions, and circumstances.Are You Ready to Break Some Bad Habits?Now that we can clearly see how the brain works, we must now apply this to our daily lives if we expect change. This is the hard part. Change is difficult, uncomfortable, and hard work. Most people won’t do this, but if you are ready to take your results to the next level, stay with me here. Anyone can break out of old habits and personalize this new knowledge for new results. Once we are aware of what we want to change, then we must take the action steps needed for this change to take place. To mentally prepare for a whole new way of thinking, being and taking action, I highly recommend reading John C. Norcross’ book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.[iii] This book will prepare you to accomplish something that you have never done before. You can find a PDF overview[iv] of the book to get an idea of the 5 steps he takes you through in pursuit of what change you want to tackle.Here Are 5 Ideas for Breaking Habits that No Longer Serve You1. Replace the bad habit with a good habit and begin to strengthen the new neural pathway. If you want to give up coffee in the morning, replace it with hot lemon water. With time, the neural pathway of the old habit of drinking coffee will prune away with the new habit of drinking hot lemon tea. Write out any bad habits that depletes your energy, and beside the habit, write out something more positive that you will replace the habit with.Put This into Action:Here’s an example: Every year, at the start of the year, sometimes over the summer, I do a no sugar, no alcohol challenge, for at least for 30 days. This year, to launch the new decade, I am doing the challenge for 90 days. If you have never done this, it really is a powerful activity. When you cut out toxins, or foods that are known to be bad for our bodies and brain, something amazing happens. After the first 2 weeks, the cravings go away, and you won’t miss the food you used to enjoy. It will actually taste bad if you sneak a taste because your brain and body has become used to the clean, healthy foods, making the bad foods feel poisonous, which helps to continue with the new habit.You will gain some new awareness about yourself with this challenge. When I cut out drinking wine with my dinner, I replaced wine with carbonated water, (following the tip of replacing the bad habit with a more healthy one) but I drink the water in a wine glass. I realized that it’s not the wine I miss, it’s actually the glass! I would love to hear about any new awareness’s you have had if you have eliminated toxic foods from your diet to help others to perhaps give it a shot.2. Try brain-training. Over time and repetition, you can change old habits, and beliefs with guided meditations or affirmations. I use John Assaraf's programs at www.myneurogym.com and Dr. Daniel Siegel’s (EPISODE 28) Wheel of Awareness. [v]There are many different meditation or relaxation apps you can download and use on your phone. The key is to use something. Visit our episode #25 where Mick Neustadt discusses how meditation and mindfulness changes your life.[vi]Put This into ActionIf you want to change your brain, old patterns, habits or beliefs that operate within your subconscious mind, brain training is an excellent first step, but it’s not a quick fix. Results with brain training will come with time, effort, practice, persistence and daily application. One day, you will be able to articulate the affects, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Brain training definitely has helped me to relax about certain things, bringing me more peace and has been well worth the effort. If you are pressed for time, you don’t need to spend a long time doing this. Just a few minutes a day will allow you to calm your brain to improve your results and give you a sense of peace. You can search for mindfulness apps[vii], or play music that relaxes you.3. Create a daily habit tracking sheet to keep track of your daily habits. If you recall from Kent Healy’s episode 33[viii] that we all have the same amount of time, and that the most successful people in the world manage their time really well.Put This into ActionTo better manage your time and activities block off your activities that are non-negotiable on your calendar, and then you can add in negotiable activities around what you must do. Be clear about what could possibly take you away from the activities you have blocked off so that you don’t just cancel the important parts of your day when you are called to do something else. Protect your time, as it is your greatest asset. With the proper use of your time, you will see your results will soar. Click here if you would like to access the tracker that I use.4. Replace negative thinking with positive thinking. In order to break negative thought patterns, or ruminating, use something in your head to break this destructive pattern. Put This into ActionAn effective strategy used in cognitive behavioral therapy[ix] is to say the word “SWITCH” in your head as you focus on switching the negative emotion that you feel to something more positive. We all have automatic negative thoughts that come into our head at times, but we must have a strategy to stop them from ruminating or continuing in a loop, since we know that switching off these negative thoughts is an important step towards moving us towards our goals. I’ve always used the strategy of saying “STOP” when this happens and changing the thought pattern in my head to something more productive.5. Find an accountability partner who you can count on to keep you on track with your goals. Entrepreneur, investor, author and public speaker Gary Vaynerchuk did this when he wanted to lose weight. His trainer followed him around every minute of the day to keep him on track. You should be able to change your habits without having to go this extreme, but if you are still struggling, there are many ways to reach out to others and ask for help.I hope you have found these tips helpful and would love to hear from you if you do implement any of these ideas. I’m excited about the next few guests to launch the New Year with ideas, research and strategies that are being implemented around the world to improve performance in schools, sports and the workplace. Stay tuned! Happy New Year!REFERENCES:[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE 30 with Mark Robert Waldman https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/neuroscience-researcher-mark-robert-waldman-on-12-brain/id1469683141?i=1000458597396 [ii] Dr. Joe Dispenza and Lewis Howes “Where Your Attention Goes, Your Energy Goes.” (YouTube Published July 25, 2019) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om435J7u1T8 [iii] John C Norcross Changeology https://www.amazon.com/Changeology-Steps-Realizing-Goals-Resolutions-ebook/dp/B006VJMYQC [iv] PDF Overview of the book Changeology http://www.isihome.ir/freearticle/ISIHome.ir-21161.pdf [v] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761 [vi] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mindfulness-meditation-expert-mick-neustadt-on-how/id1469683141?i=1000453919865 [vii] https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps#the-mindfulness-app[viii] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/author-kent-healy-on-managing-time-our-greatest-asset/id1469683141?i=1000461240028 [ix] What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Therapist Kati Morton YouTube uploaded Sept. 23, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7B3n9jobus
January 7, 2020
This is episode #34 with Chris Farrell, host of the podcast “Setbacks and Success”[i] where Chris, a former radio/TV presenter turned lifestyle entrepreneur, shares the struggles, obstacles and hurdles in life, and how we can overcome them. Be sure to check out Chris’ podcast  where you will see his first episode with the creator of Baywatch, who I am sure I recall he met on an airplane, who shares how this billion dollar brand almost failed, and his second episode is with one of my favorite podcasters, Lewis Howe’s with his School of Greatness[ii]. You can hear this flashback interview here, or on YouTube.Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Our guest today, Chris Farrell is one of the most respected and successful internet marketers in the industry. Chris’s training products and websites have already helped tens of thousands of people create and grow their online business and I was blessed to be mentored by Chris when I was creating our online courses for Achieveit360. Chris is a popular in demand public speaker – having worked with and spoken on stage with Brian Tracy, the late Dr Stephen Covey, Gary Vaynerchuck, Robert Cialdini, Daymond John, and Harv Eker amongst others. In 2017, Chris began his podcast Setbacks & Success, showcasing the highs and lows of business owners, entrepreneurs, and people doing great things. He travels the world and has one of those personalities where he is drawn to meet people and when he gets to know you, he’s always looking for ways that he can bring value and wants to genuinely help others reach those higher levels of success.  He’s Originally from London, England (which explains his accent) – but relocated to Los Angeles.  I hope you enjoy this flashback interview, that I felt was very relevant for the launch of this New Year.  Even though this was at the start of the year in 2014, I am sure you will find his success strategies helpful and inspiring.REFERENCES:[i] https://setbacksandsuccess.com/podcast/[ii] https://lewishowes.com/sogpodcast/
December 31, 2019
This is episode #33 with Kent Healy, the co-author of The Success Principles for Teens[i] with Jack Canfield and the co-creator of The Uncommon Life[ii] where you can go to learn more about this phenomenal writer, thinker, entrepreneur and now family man. You can listen to the podcast here or watch Kent's visuals on YouTube.Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Today we have a flashback interview with Kent Healy, someone I discovered by chance, over 14 years ago, when I was researching the most popular books for teens and success, before the release of my first book, The Secret for Teens Revealed. [iii]I came across Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles for Teens” and since I owned his National Bestseller The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,[iv] (if you have never looked at this book—I highly recommend it). After seeing Kent’s connection to Jack Canfield,[v] who is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for Soul Books with Mark Victor Hansen, I thought I had better find out who Kent Healy was, and get to know him better. Back then I wasn’t on Facebook, and don’t remember how I searched to learn more, but I did find out that Kent had written a few books, and he was in his 20s.After a few minutes of thinking about the time I had wasted in my 20s, before I started to manage my time, I read his books and was blown away by the dedication, awareness and motivation that this young man had at an early age. Since I was always looking for high performers, I knew that he could help inspire some of the young people I was working with at the time, and when I needed help with launching Achieveit360 (2012), Kent was the first person I asked to say a few words of inspiration to help this next generation of learners.I hope you enjoy Kent’s thoughts on how the most successful people in the world manage their time, our greatest asset, and think of some ways that you can better manage your time in 2020.Kent Healy: Welcome to AchieveIT360.com my name is Kent Healey. I am the co author of the Success Principles for Teens and the cocreator of TheUncommonlife.com. So I assume since you're on this website you're looking for more, maybe more from yourself, more from your life. I really respect that-- the challenge is, you know, in order to get more, we often start with this question, do I have what it takes to get me to that next level? The problem with this question is it usually leads to a game of comparison, a game that we usually end up losing. So it's one thing to look at somebody else and appreciate and respect, you know, the talents and the skills that they've built. It's another to look at it and then compare yourself to those talents and skills that you're still in the process of building. Basically to say that you're not a leader is to compare yourself to somebody else and focus only on those differences.But if we had to focus on what was most common, one thing that we often overlook is the fact that we all have the same amount of time. It doesn't matter who the person is, you know, whether they're a successful athlete, or a successful business owner or successful in any other way. It's not that they have more hours in a day or more days in a week. It's that they use that time extremely well. And this is why I always say that talent is overrated. So hands down, time is the greatest asset that we have. Time is really the great equalizer more than anything else. It's how we use our minutes that matter most. Successful individuals realize that time is more valuable than skill, than money, than almost any other resource there is. Because with enough time you can hone skills, you can raise capital, you can nurture relationships, and you can summon whatever is required to lead an exceptional life or to achieve the specific goal that you're after.So you may ask, well, is it really that important to obsess about the seconds and minutes that make up my day? Well, rather than just give you my opinion, let's look at some specific numbers. So I don't know about you, but I've been guilty of saying, eh, whatever, it's only 10 minutes. Well, in the course of a year, that's two and a half days. In five years, that's almost two weeks. But 10 minutes is such a small period of time. I mean, let's look at something more realistic, like 30 minutes. Maybe that's the length of a TV show that you love to watch. Well, just 30 minutes every day in one year is a week in five years, that's 38 days. So you can see how time adds up and why it really matters. So what's really alarming though is the number of people that really can't answer or identify where their time goes, especially in increments of say like five to 10 minutes.I mean, just think of yesterday, for example, what were you doing at 2:00 PM? You know, it's hard to really identify and it gets even worse the longer we go back. So the problem is we usually write off these lost minutes as no big deal, but it really does add up. I mean, let's use this fun example. So imagine that every morning a deposit of $86,400 was added to your checking account, but with each deposit came two unbreakable rules, number one, at the end of each day, your account balance is completely wiped, meaning that you know everything you don't spend and on that day disappears. No transfers allowed. Number two, the game can end at any time without warning. So the questions you have to ask yourself is, what would you do with this money? How might you act differently? And what would your days look like? Okay, so truth be told, this is not an exercise in finance.It's actually much more sobering than that. Metaphorically, this is your game of life. So the daily deposits I mentioned of 84,600 are actually the number of seconds that we're given each day. So money or not, the same rules, right I mean, at the end of the day, we don't get to use those seconds in a different way and the game may end at any point in time. So we have to be in the moment and appreciate every second that we're given. That's what makes the difference. So I'm currently in my twenties now and when I look back over the last 10 years or so, you know, I'm very pleased with the amount of stuff I've been able to do in that period of time. But I'm also smart enough to know that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. There's a lot of people who are born with more natural talent and ability than I am.But it's funny that this awareness has actually changed my life in a surprisingly positive way. Instead of focusing on this like obscure, immeasurable, and inheritable concept of talent, I've turned my attention to maximizing what we all have that's equal. And that's time. So over the years I've developed this healthy obsession for these 84,000 seconds that I get given in a day. And that to me has made all the difference. So here's the thing. No one else can make you care. No one else can make you care about these 84,600 seconds that you're given every day. But in the end, that is what makes the difference. It's not innate talent. The best tips and the best insights will do absolutely nothing if not proceeded by the willingness to take action and apply what it is that we learn. So let's stop looking at things in which we can't control and start focusing on what we can.It's the passing of time combined with just an effort and a commitment to be a better person is all that we need is all the opportunity necessary to accomplish the goals that we want. We just have to demonstrate that commitment each and every day. Look at nature, even the largest mountains, the hardest rocks are no test against the tenacity of time. And the reality is we have far more time than we know what to do with or that we care to admit. So do you have what it takes to succeed? Well, if you use your time well, the answer of course is yes. If you could just spare 15 minutes each day to work towards your goal, then that equals 3.8 full days at the end of the year. That's a lot of time to start, you know, building a new skill to start networking with other successful, extraordinary individuals to start raising capital or to start doing whatever necessary for you to reach a goal. The only question remaining is, will you, nobody can force you to take action, but most importantly, will you stop focusing on this arbitrary idea of talent and start focusing on what you do have control of it, which is time. I hope you enjoyed this video and be sure to check out the other amazing resources here at achieveit360.com  RESOURCES:[i] The Success Principles for Teens by Jack Canfield and Kent Healy (April 15, 2008) https://www.amazon.com/Success-Principles-Teens-Where-Want/dp/0757307272/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2R17R5H9SJ7ZG&keywords=the+success+principles+for+teens+by+jack+canfield&qid=1577812252&s=books&sprefix=the+success+principles+for+%2Cstripbooks%2C186&sr=1-1[ii] www.theuncommonlife.com[iii]The Secret for Teens Revealed by Andrea Samadi (September 15, 2008)  https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Teens-Revealed-Teenagers-Leadership/dp/1604940336[iv] The Success Principles by Jack Canfield (10th Edition January, 2015) https://www.amazon.com/Success-Principles-TM-Anniversary-Where/dp/0062364286/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AYWLT8GZ525P&keywords=the+success+principles+by+jack+canfield&qid=1577812462&s=books&sprefix=the+success+principl%2Cstripbooks%2C189&sr=1-3[v] https://www.jackcanfield.com/
December 22, 2019
This is episode #32 with John Assaraf, one of the leading mindset and behavior experts in the world, who has appeared numerous times on Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. You can watch this Flashback interview on YouTube.Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Today we have John Assaraf—he has built 5 multimillion-dollar companies, written 2 New York Times Bestselling books and has been featured in 8 movies, and today, he is the founder and CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced technologies and evidence based brain training methods to help individuals unleash their fullest potential and maximize their personal and professional results.In 2014 when my company was awarded grant funding to run character programs in Arizona schools, I knew I needed to find someone who had a proven path for business success to make sure I had the right systems in place, so I immediately looked up John to see what courses he was teaching and applied to join his “Cloning for Business Success Class” that he was teaching at the time. For those interested, you can see a similar business acceleration mastermind he is currently accepting applications for called The Escape Velocity Mastermind.[i] I had no idea that this class would lead me to brain-training (I was given a FREE course to try that has been a part of my daily routine for the past 6 years), and that this decision would lead me to Mark Robert Waldman, and eventually adding the most current neuroscience research to my programs. It all started with John and with anyone who has met him, or knows his work, you would know that this was a pivotable point in my career as he has such a wealth of knowledge, is an expert at helping people change their behaviors to get the results they want, and he sincerely wants to see other people succeed.To learn more about John, go to www.myneurogym.com and enjoy this Flashback interview from 2016. Keep in mind this was 4 years ago, when he speaks about research that has just emerged. We apologize for the sound quality, but sure you will agree with me that this information is powerful. [i] See John’s most current course Escape Velocity 212 Mastermind http://links.myneurogym.com/EV212
December 10, 2019
Welcome to EPISODE #31, this is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Today we have a flashback interview from 2016. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some of our high-level interviews that are hosted in our online learning portal for schools and the workplace. These interviews are eye-opening with some of the most powerful insights from world leaders, and high achievers from around the globe. This interview was audio only, but there are some visuals on YouTube of Nik's work.Today I want to introduce you to The Thrillionaire® Entrepreneurial Alchemist, Civilian Astronaut, Extreme Adventurer, and Keynote Speaker. Nik Halik is the founder and CEO of Lifestyle Revolution and 5 Day Weekend®. He became a multi-millionaire and amassed great wealth through savvy investments in property, business and the financial markets. Nik’s group of companies have financially educated and life coached over 1 Million clients in over 57 countries.Nik has trekked to over 157 countries, dived to the wreck of the Titanic to have lunch on the bow, been active as a mountaineer on some of the world's highest peaks, performed a HALO skydive above the summit of Mt Everest in the Himalayas, climbed into the crater of an exploding erupting volcano [1,700 Degrees Fahrenheit] for an overnight sleepover and just recently, entering the hermit kingdom of North Korea to expose a sweat shop factory operating illegally for an American conglomerate. To learn more about Nik Halik visit www.nikhalik.com or find him on Twitter @nikhalik or Facebook Nik Halik. He was the back-up Astronaut for the NASA / Russian Soyuz TMA-13 flight to the International Space Station in 2008. He currently remains in mission allocation status for a future flight to Earth's only manned outpost in orbit– the International Space Station with the Russian Federation. Andrea Samadi: He has a crazy background. If you look him up, you can see, and when you get to know Nik, you learn that he's humble down to earth with zero ego. He just wants to do as much as he can to help others. Take a listen to what Nik has to say. His story is so powerful, it will blow your mind on how he's taken his vision for his life and created a screenplay for that vision and how he's living that out now.QUESTIONS NIK WILL UNCOVERQuestion 1: I’ve never seen anyone who has set and achieved such high goals for themselves. What was the situation that ignited your passion to live life to its fullest?Question 2: How did you heal your body so you could go out into the world and accomplish your goals?Question 3: Nik, you make everything look so simple. Was what you have done difficult? How do you approach the obstacles you have faced?Question 4: Do you still count down each day in your life so you live each day to it’s fullest? NOTE: The ticker website is no longer working, but the concept or idea is valuable.Question 5: What do you do in your down time? Do you watch tv and if so, what are you watching/learning from these days?Introduction: For the first decade of his life, Nick Halik was medically confined to his bedroom, so at age eight he drafted the screenplay of his life, including his top 10 list of goals. At age 14 he opened up his very first business. At age 17 he relocated to Hollywood, California to perform live on stage. At age 19 he bought his very first investment property. Five years later, he became a multimillionaire. Now he owns private homes in the most beautiful places on earth, nature versus the planet and pursues exciting how your adrenaline and Epic adventures. He has summited the highest mountains in the world and visited over 100 countries. He's dived down five miles and had lunch on the bow of the ship wreck Titanic. He empowers thousands of individuals, passionately sharing his life story and insights on how to live a true life. In 2009, he wrote an additional goal to create and inspire 1 million new thrilling airs across the globe and to sell fund the building of educational schools in poor remote villages across South America and Africa. Nik became a flight qualified and certified civilian astronaut. Now he's set to rocket to outer space, live on a space station and with future plans to walk the lunar surface of the moon, completing the remainder of his original top 10 list of goals. Let's give a warm welcome to global wealth strategists, successful entrepreneur, national speaker, astronauts, high adrenaline adventure and best selling author.Andrea Samadi: Nik, we are thrilled to speak with you today where we reached you today.Nik Halik:  I'm just basically, you know, in a airline lounge right now. I've just been traveling around the world. I've been in Iran, Italy, and Brazil the last,  10 days. I've been in a whirlwind tour. And, right now I'm just making my way to Asia and Australia the next few days.Andrea Samadi: So exciting. Now, Nik, the purpose of this call is to inspire young people who study the Jumpstart to Success program. So they're motivated and empowered by your story to create their own exciting ethic following your lead in example. Now I'm going to give a quick background for those who are listening and have not heard of Nik Halik yet, but if anyone goes on Google and just looks up your name, you'll be blown away by what he has accomplished in his lifetime. Now, Nik, I've never heard of people who've set goals like this. Can you go and explain to our listeners what situation influenced you to set such extraordinary goals for yourselfNik Halik: Definitely you know, like, I mean for the first 10 years of my life, for those who are not really privy to my life story, but,  I was medically confined to my bedroom. I had chronic allergies, debilitating asthma, and I pretty much led that the boy in the plastic bubble type life kind of thing. I never really joined academia until about age 10. So I believe my initial conditioning was somewhat different because I sort of grew up, I mean my, my initial mentors where the encyclopedia Britannica and the world of Tintin who was this animated cartoon hero, this Robin reporter going into most craziest adventures around the world. And it's amazing how sort of reflect on my life. I mean there's the articulate side, but there's also the, the, there's also the,  the kaleidoscopic adventurous side gang on wakey crazy adventures and all sorts of this kind of things.Nik Halik: So for me, I sort of grew up differently because the world, to me, that, I will never be able to lead, live a ordinary life. I mean, I'll always be played by medical complications, medical hurdles or whatever. So for me, I've, I just changed the polarity on the whole world. I mean, I just changed my whole map of the world. In fact, you know, basically everybody knows, I just perceived it as a temporary. Yes and I just, I kind of, I just changed the polarity of my thinking. So an actual fact as opposed to being tired, I was going to live a very ordinary lifestyle. I knew that I to extract more out of my life in order to live a more extra ordinary type life. So at age eight, I drafted the screenplay to my life and those top 10 list of goals, is basically consumed over 32 years of my life and I'm still acting out those goals, those very same goals.Andrea Samadi: Wow. What a story.That's just amazing. I can understand how it happened because I'm a mom and I had a daughter who was ill, very ill, young, and so I'd had to pull her out of school so I understand how it happened, but in my head, at age 10, how did you, did you heal yourself, do you think?Nik Halik: Here's the thing, I mean, I was placed in an incubator round about 30 days old and I mean I was, I was actually born a 10 pound five ounces and I, and I lost a lot of weight. I got really sick, was in and out of hospitals for like for the first, you know, the first eight years kind of thing. And that was tough and for a long time there, you know, in incredibly paranoid parents as you can imagine. But here's the thing, you know, say pharmaceutically,  doped, you know, addicted and it wasn't around until about age 10 that I basically just stopped taking all the pharmaceutical drugs. You see. The thing was my immune system was so addicted. These debilitating and chronic allergies and asthma.Nik Halik: What have you, I mean, You are so weak that I'm even a sick of dust and in cental Poland. But, I stopped, I changed the polarity thinking I stopped, I refuse to go the doctors and the hospitals and I refuse to take the medication. And, it wasn't like an overnight turnaround. But, it was a gradual process and I just, you know, I mean, I really healed. But here's the thing, I, I believe that the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry had sabotaged my health and all I basically did was, you know, I gave life to that particular you know, mindset I guess. And I, I had personally altered that particular paradigm and change it. So I can just, I can do things more on my terms as opposed to being dictated to by the pharmaceutical industry.Andrea Samadi: absolutely. So you really did find and prove the mind body connection,Nik Halik: And it's like a particular frequency. Once you dial into it, it's like bottles of the bag. It's like there was just, you know, there was a whole world that that appeared to me kind of thing. And, for me, what really kept me going was when I, when I sort of digested and absorbed every page of the encyclopedia Britannica, I knew there was a world that that existed outside my bedroom windows kind of thing. And that was the one of those that was that captivating, caliber budding type energy though that kept me going because I wanted to like, you know, live their life that existed in the encyclopedia Britannica. And I knew that all's all up to me and that's an actual day. And the crazy thing was a, I wrote down my top 10 list of goals and as I reflect on our same top 10 list of goals, inadvertently what I did was I drafted the screenplay to my life because, and, and since age eight, you know, I've been the actor, the producer, and a director of my top 10 screenplay that I wrote down as an eight year old.Nik Halik: And you know, I'm still accountable to their young eight year old. They're still resides in my heart because here's my coach and I'm still the student because it's the little, this little eight year old kid still inside me, they're still dictates and drives my life.Andrea Samadi: Wow. Nick, it's such a powerful story when, when I read what you've accomplished, I was curious how you got past and healed your body to start blowing out all your goals so at age 14 opening your first business. It couldn't have just happened. Like it seemed like it was so easy for you.Nik Halik: I mean, trust me, I've had every medical, every medical hurdle and obstacle. I mean, I'm going to want, I embrace obstacles. I love obstacles. I look, I seek obstacles where most people actually feel and a deterred by them. For me, it's the only way to grow and for me. And so I'm so fortunate, even though I had all these, I had all these medical dramas, I'm so fortunate to have had that type of experience because it extracted more out of my life. It extracted more out of me because, you know, being pharmaceutically addicted, I lost my faculty of thinking. Whereas I claimed ownership on my thinking and you know, and you know. And an interesting thing was, you know, those top 10 list of goals. I didn't view it as a, as a bucket list because I don't believe in bucket lists.Nik Halik: I think, I think buckle is a very negative because you know, why have a buckle list and you know, and then you know, be told you've got terminal cancer and then one day decide to live a life. I mean, I became the assessment on my own life. In other words, they become this. I became like an assassin going out there to make sure that I extract the most kaleidoscopic adventures and just add as much color into my life and nothing because I was deprived of that in my first book and using my life. Trust me. I mean, you know, I've just, life has just reciprocated with interests for me.Andrea Samadi: Absolutely. I actually saw an interview that you did on 21st century TV with Lou Hardy that you mentioned that you had somewhere a ticker. Do you still do that Are you still, um, timing each day as if it's your lastNik Halik: yeah, I've actually got a, I'll put up a website a number of years ago and it's basically my, my countdown clock to my life expiry enough basically every day. I mean, I'm, you know, I, all my life I've always, I've always done the most extreme things, but I've always polarized and changed the polarity of how I basically view life. NOTE: The ticker is no longer on Nik's website, but the idea is still valuable.Nik Halik: I mean, look, there are statistics out there that basically tell how long I'm going to live for, for example, a female in America is about, uh, about 81 and for a male 77 is the average. Well, here's the thing, why do people buy into this? What do people bind to these statistics? And what I view, you know, these are invested interests, is, is there an agenda. And it turned out to a lot of individuals when they do retire with continues in retirement, most people tend to die because they've lost it. They've given up a purpose led life a lot without purpose, basically all you're doing is you'll, you'll, you're retiring and you'll find your job securing preparation to dichotomy. So for me, I love life because I knew that the first 10 years of my life were very, very young and very tumultuous kind of thing.Nik Halik: So for me, I love live and I've gone to great lengths to make sure that I loved my life and live my life each day as if it's my lines kind of thing. And genetically wise, looking at my family tree, my great, great grandparents, my grandparents, and you know, really exemplary the family tree and examining my culture, the foods that I eat, how I live my life. I sort of worked out a particular age that I see foreseeable in relation to my light's expiring date. And I created a, I created a countdown clock.Nik Halik: I've got a thousand of clients who are using my philosophy and they've taught me that the productivity levels have skyrocketed over 200% because they're getting more done on the day. They're this, they're smiling, they're more happy each day because they're approaching age days. If it's the last day. And think about it, if today was your last day, what would you do differently You'll extract more out of it. You'll tell people that you love them, you know, your contact friends they haven't seen in years, and take them out to lunch, you'll go down and do dates, point of vigils without the accolades kind of thing. You'd go in there and make a difference. So that's exactly how I approached my life on a daily basis. So, I mean today, I've got you can, you can probably, I'll tell you exactly how many, how many thousands of hours I've got to go.Nik Halik: Um, It's probably about, I mean, you've probably got a NikHalik.com you could probably say for yourself, but it's a very, very unique social experiment that's really had a great impact on my clients.Andrea Samadi:So there is no television watching on your end? I see you don't waste your time?Nik Halik: I'll look, I'll watch probably television at nighttime kind of thing. But for me it's gotta be, um, it's going to be educational. It's gonna be something, it's going to be insightful. And it's unfortunate. I mean, I live in the United States in an 85% of American television is all reality TV. I mean, you know, there's, here's the thing, the system right now, the way it works, there's, there's a, there's an agenda right now about the dumbing, the dumbing down and the numbing, the numbing down on the world's population. Because when you dumbed down the population, you keep them in field and then capitalism kicks in and you make sure that, um, uh, society basically takes on way too much debt.Nik Halik: Now they live in fear of losing their house, their job, their car, and whatever kind of thing. And now you're, you're dumbing down the population. You feed them crap on television, which means you're now able to control the population. It control the faculty of their respective thinking. And what happens People die on time. Why Because it's, it's, I mean, look, there's, there's a lot of thinking around this. And the way I look alive is I'm not gonna allow anybody else to dictate their perception of me. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna allow anybody else to define my reality. In other words, I've drafted my own screenplay of my own date, my own expiry date. Uh, in life. There are two rules. One of the one, there are no rules. One, number two is don't forget rule number one. And that's pretty much how I view live.Nik Halik: And I, I can control anything in the world except the weather and traffic. But I want to, I want control. I want total dominion about everything in life. And for me, it's all about I'm living, love my own terms and conditions at all times.Andrea Samadi: Absolutely, did anyone discourage you or laugh when you showed them your goals?Nik Halik: You know what, And it only served the purpose of energizing me further. And I love it. I, NASA is a lab dream still is. A lot of individuals are say no because I perceived a person's no as a temporary. Yes. Because ultimately I will always get in my way. Right. You know, you know, I'll negotiate my way out of any particular circumstance in life. I'll always get to my way because, you know, for me it's, it's, it's, it's not about changing my life.Nik Halik: I want to impact other people's lives because in the words of Socrates, Socrates said in life, and let it be measured by your contribution. You know So for me, I view myself and my teachings as a bottle break for, you know, for freedom seeking free spirit of visionaries, change agents, rebels, rockstars, entrepreneurs and pioneers. And that is my why. That's what defines me. That's what drives me and me. That's what I'm, you know, that's what really calibrates me because there are individuals just like me who says they are different, you know, I mean, you know, I mean, I've cut a part of my life now to the highest order right now. You know, why Because I sensed the disturbances in the fabric of human society and I knew there was something there. And I'm new and I'm, and I view my teachings and my, my, my role as a leader right now, you know, uh, I'm a big enough light, Illumina and a path for others to follow. I want to be a lighthouse. I want to inspire them so they in turn can inspire the next generation and the next generation kind of thing. Because, you know, the way I look at it, there's a brain rewarding neural pathway, which gives access to that reckless life quality that produces this particular calibration of energy.Andrea Samadi: Absolutely.  How did you, who mentored you to get to this level of thinking I know the adventures of Tintin on television, the Britannica, but, who, who got your mind to this level?Nik Halik: Yeah. Well, here's the thing, right Um, you know, for the age of the men, I've always been inspired by a lot of individuals. I've always been inspired by a lot of individuals, um, historical figures who then became part of my virtual mastermind in my teenage years. I used to have cutouts on my virtual mastermind individuals from the history. And I would always, I would always recount back to them and go, what would he say What would he do What would they say So I had my virtual mastermind. They were pretty much a part of my life and my teenage years. But it wasn't until I arrived in the United States as a teenager that I'm Bob Proctor's teaching. Bob, we had a great kaleidoscopic influence I have in my life kind of thing. And, you know, Bob gave me a set of You Were Born Rich and Bob Proctor also exposed me to Napoleon Hill or all in the same year.Nik Halik: And mind you, I was only a teenager at this particular point. And the funny thing is being exposed to Napoleon Hill's work by Bob Proctor, I'm now an advisor for the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I've actually partnered with them and I've been involved at a couple of projects with them, in a couple of their, products, which is, which has been a great, a great testimony to their particular calibrating mindset kind of thing. But being exposed as a young teenager and now being an advisor for their sane Napoleon Hill Foundation,  and absolute buzz. But definitely I actually, Bob Proctor is my, in a Bob's like the alkaline battery of the personal development industry kind of thing. And Bob Proctor, you know, I call him my godfather, but, he's had his, an amazing impact on my life too. And I love the guy. I mean, I'm going to be with him in a couple of months time. We'll be speaking together in Toronto, in Canada. But, he truly is an Epic individual.Andrea Samadi: Absolutely. We share the same mentor. He's behind the whole Jumpstart to Success program through videos. And he's definitely the one that I met in my late twenties that changed my path.Nik Halik: Right. Definitely. It like, you know, he drills deeper than anybody else in the industry kind of thing. And like is a, is it really is a, it's just a, is this a wonderful noble individuals, a wonderful person.Andrea Samadi: Exactly. Now, Nick, what are you doing now with your time What's your next stepNik Halik: Well, for me, I'm, I'm on this constant quest to basically, visit every country on the planet. I've now been to 135 countries. I've got 63 more countries remaining. You know, I've climbed the highest mountains in the world. You know, I've had lunch in the Titanic, I've rocketed into space. You know, I've, I've explored the deepest caves with the largest crystals on the planet. So for me, it's all about adding more color to my life, you know, and I've got, all those remaining 10 goals that are right down as a young eight year old, eight down, two to go. I've got to fly to the international space station in the coming years that I've already negotiated with the Russian government. And the bigger hurdle, which will be number one, will be toward the lunar surface of the moon. And, um, I've got a backup plan if my life was to expire for whatever reason, I've already paid an American consortium to rock and my crematory remains to the literal sense of the moon.Nik Halik: That way I will get to walk an event because on the moon there is no atmosphere, no rain, no wind, meaning where my ashes are sprinkled on the moon, I will get to walk on the moon irrespective, I guess, you know. So for me it's all about, um, you know, um, there's so much I want to do and it's like I'm, I'm just, you know, I'm, I'm blessed to live this life and I don't waste each day. I, man, I make each day count, you know, I want to impact people's lives on a daily basis kinda thing. And for me that's, that's what's really, um, as what's calibrated very, very strong in me ever since I was a young boy kind of thing. And, you know, ultimately it's my responsibility to leave the world a better place. You know, it's the legacy, it's the footprints that I'll leave behind and I want to keep that big and of light, still illuminating for the next few centuries. That isAndrea Samadi: absolutely. Well, Nick, you're incredibly inspiring and we want to follow you and keep up learning from you as you keep moving forward. What's the best way for people to learn and watch you?Nik Halik: Definitely www.nikhalik.comAndrea Samadi: Well, you're such an inspiration, Nick, and I want to thank you so much for taking the time as you're traveling on the road and all over the world to speak with our students that will study the Jumpstart to Success program. We're going to follow you and I'll keep everyone updated on where Nik is and we just want to thank you so much. You're an amazing individual, so inspiring and you're definitely making an impact on the world.Nik Halik: Thank you so much. Definitely. So, you know, in passing, just, you know, dare to dream, Liberty, passion, define your smile and just monetize your passion and monetize your life. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time.
December 3, 2019
This is episode #30 with Mark Robert Waldman, one of the world’s leading neuroscience researchers on consciousness, communication, and spirituality, and his discoveries have been published in journals throughout the world. You can listen to the podcast here, or watch the interview and presentation on YouTube. Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Today we have one of the leading neuroscience researchers in the country who I was blessed to be mentored by 5 years ago when I needed to add the most current brain research to my programs. Mark has an international practice as a NeuroCoach, training students and business leaders how to use the latest discoveries in neuroscience to enhance personal and professional development.  I can say that if I was able to learn this information, well enough to teach it to others, that anyone can. Mark took his time and was patient as I learned the basics of neuroscience and he taught me in such a way that I never once felt that the information was too difficult to grasp though it did take effort and focus to learn these new concepts.Mark has authored 14 books, including the bestseller How God Changes Your Brain, an Oprah pick in 2012. His new book called NeuroWisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness, and Success contains 100 evidence-based strategies, with guided audios and videos, showing you how to manipulate and balance the major networks of consciousness, awareness, and imagination.  These tools are now used in schools, health centers, and businesses throughout the world.  He teaches at Loyola Marymount University and his work has been featured in Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Oprah Magazine. He has been on hundreds of radio and television programs including PBS and NPR. For more information, go to www.MarkRobertWaldman.com.  You can find Mark on Twitter @MarkRWaldman, LinkedIn or Facebook.Welcome Mark! It’s always fun to speak with you. I’m so grateful for all that you’ve taught me.I know you have a presentation planned and will share your screen with us. Before we dive into your lesson:Can you explain what exactly “Neurowisdom”[i] is (the title of your most recent book) and how we can discover this new voice to guide us towards a greater sense of awareness?Questions Mark will uncover during presentation:Can you explain the new research that shows “you can consciously teach your brain to lower neural activity that generates negativity and fear and increase neural activity that generates confidence and positive decision-making?”[ii]Why is mind-wandering essential for problem-solving and decision-making? “If you don’t allow your brain to enter this highly imaginative state of mental activity before a challenging task, your memory, performance and mental health will be compromised.”[iii] Last summer, I watched the baseball player Wilson Ramos[iv], from the NY Mets, sit and meditate before his game while the other players were warming up. His performance in this game was phenomenal with a homerun and focused play and I did wonder about the science behind his focused mind before the game.What exactly do you mean when you say that “Daydreaming and mind wandering give you direct access to creative talents that are unique to human beings?”[v] Is this our intuition? What talents do we have? When we get flashes of insight how do we know what they mean? Can we misinterpret what we see? How can we best use this talent/skill?How do you teach mindfulness to your Executive MBA students, so they learn to “remain calm, relaxed, and highly focused on achieving more goals with little stress?” [vi]Can you explain what happens when your values are not aligned with your work and why this causes “increased neural stress, happiness fades away, and burnout is more likely to occur?”[vii]Why do we experience deeper levels of happiness and satisfaction with “self-awareness and social awareness?”[viii]  You Will Learn:What is Brain-based Experiential Learning and LivingHow to use your IntuitionBrain-Network TheoryNew Brain Science for Overcoming AnxietyHow the Brain LearnsDiscover how your brain likes to learn (it will surprise you and has nothing to do with what you’ve experienced the classroom) 2. Find out why mind-wandering and daydreaming are essential for psychological health. Right in line with Srinivasan Pillay’s book “Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try” that talks about the default network in the brain and the power of “unfocusing” your brain. Mark’s book “Neurowisdom” was the first book to talk about the default network mode and provides many practical examples for using your brain to improve finances, happiness and success. 3. Learn how Brain Network Theory is changing the world of neuroscience…and your health! 4. See what living neurons and networks actually look like.RESOURCES:Mindfulness Bell App (search in the app store)[i] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[ii] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 23[iii] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 24[iv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Ramos[v] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 24[vi] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 27[vii] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 28[viii] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Jan 31, 2017)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1     Page 82
November 25, 2019
Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” podcast EPISODE #29, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Let’s dive right into this topic on “How to Re-Wire Your Brain for Happiness and Well-Being to Optimize Learning.” You can watch this episode on YouTube for the visual effects for more impact and learning.  I’m sure most of us are aware that stress is the number one cause behind anxiety, depression, low energy, work burn-out, and cardiovascular disease[i], but do you know how stress impacts our brain? Did you know that:Chronic stress and depression causes measurable brain shrinkage?[ii]“51% of us will have a mental health issue (post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive, personality, anxiety, addiction, or an eating disorder to name a few) at some point in their life”[iii] andthat 1/5 students struggle with depression, while ¼ struggle with anxiety which means we have reached epidemic levels with today’s youth.And these shocking statistics impacts society with:Work burn-outAnxiety and DepressionCardiovascular DiseaseNeurological Disorders and eventually leading toDeathAlso Impacting our Students:A recent study[iv] shows that if the educator is stressed, the student will also be stressedStress is impacting our ability to learnStudent behavior was also impacted, contributing to more stress for educatorsDr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist of the Amen Clinics[v] and the father of Chloe Amen from podcast #25 with “Strategies to Change Your Brain to Change Your Grades”[vi] explains that “if you struggle with attention, focus, sadness, anxiety, worry, flexibility, stubbornness, or impulsivity, welcome to the club—this is normal.”[vii] These days it is more normal to have a problem, than not have a problem. Most of us will have a mental health issue in our lifetime—and when it happens, we think that we are the only one and that no one else understands. Dr. Amen has a book coming out in March 3, 2020 called “The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience is Transforming Psychiatry and Helping Prevent or Reverse Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Addictions, PTSD, Psychosis, Personality Disorders and More.”[viii] If left untreated, these brain disorders can have “serious personal, interpersonal, occupational and social consequences.”[ix] In this podcast episode, we are going to look at the neuroscience of happiness, anxiety, stress, learning and retention with some ideas and strategies to naturally improve each area, so that we can get a handle on life’s largest challenges with an understanding of our brain chemistry. Our goal is to intentionally set ourselves up for success with this new level of awareness.We will cover:A reminder of the recipe for peak performance (fun, fear, focus) from episode #27.What’s the neuroscience of happiness—and how to boost our serotonin levels to generate more happiness.What’s the neuroscience of anxiety (our body’s natural response to stress that can become a mental disorder when someone regularly feels unusually high levels of anxiety) and stress (which is our body’s response to a challenge or demand) with strategies to calm our limbic, emotional brain.What’s the neuroscience of learning and how can we be sure that our brain is primed to learn?All of the answers to these questions can be found within the chemistry of our brain and with how active or hard certain parts of the brain are working. The best course I have taken to understand how my own brain is working is Dr. Amen’s Thrive by 25 Online Course[x] where he outlines some of the most common problems he sees within the brain with natural solutions to overcome each challenge. The most interesting fact I found was that diet and exercise were solutions to the most common brain problems he spoke about, (anxiety/depression/emotional issues) so if you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, taking supplements and exercising, you are on the right track for preventing the most common brain problems.  Have you ever thought about your brain with regards to your work, learning, success or productivity? What about your happiness, personal life or relationships? “Your brain controls everything that you do, so when it works right, you work right.”[xi] It’s only been the past five years for me, where I’ve been learning about the importance of my brain and its health and I’m not surprised that the recent advances in neuroscience have led to an emerging field of educational neuroscience—bringing together researchers in cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology, and technology to create new programs for the classroom. Why not look at the application of these ideas for the workplace and our personal lives as well?Mental health is something that society still doesn’t talk openly about. When I look at my personal family situation, with my 2 parents and 2 sisters and myself—my parents and both of my sisters struggled with depression at one point. You can add me to statistics as I didn’t figure out healthy eating habits until my late 20s when a doctor[xii] recommended I cut sugar out of my diet, (I’m talking about all sugar, including high glycemic fruits) and it completely transformed my life, cleaning up every health issue I had. Although our family didn’t talk about the importance of our mental health growing up, or the importance of diet and exercise (I remember begging my Dad to let me go running in an ice storm because exercise has always been my solution to improve well-being) my Mom  taught us about the importance of using our mind to attain our goals.  I’m sure no one was surprised when I decided to take move from Toronto (where half the year we dealt with dark, gloomy days and freezing weather) to the sunny, bright and warm climate in Arizona, with year round sunshine and vast mountains for daily exercise, --what research shows combats the most common brain problems.  The environment you live in impacts your happiness, but if you don’t have the ability to pick up and move somewhere else, there are many other strategies you can incorporate to boost your mood, which is turn will boost your results. As a kid, I also wondered if helping my parents more with tidying the house would help offset some of their stress, but I know now, that there was much more involved with what was happening to them than just needing help with housework. Understanding the chemistry of our brain, and what brain type[xiii] we have is important, and then we can look for strategies to help promote our brain and body health for optimal results in our life.NOTE: Look up and take Dr. Amen’s Brain Type Assessment[xiv] to get an idea of what type of brain you have. You will receive an email with a video explaining your brain type, characteristics of this type of brain, dietary suggestions for your specific brain type and a full report with your brain fit score. My Brain Fit Score was 82/100 and Brain Type 1 and I’m fully aware of the areas I can improve on. The dietary suggestions were also right on the mark for me. Awareness is the key so that we can take action for these improvements to occur. Try it out!Remember the Neuroscience of Success: Dopamine, Noradrenaline, Acetyl Choline (Fun, Fear, and Focus)In our podcast #27 with Friederike Fabritius, we covered the DNA of success or peak performance[xv] which is that brain state where we lose the presence of time and are the most productive. She mentioned the importance of having fun with your work, releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, having just enough fear or a challenge to release the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and that with these two factors, focus will occur, and the neurotransmitter acetyl choline will be released. These three factors must be in place for peak performance to occur and when we hit this level of performance, it’s important that we are able to manage our distractions so that we can stay here for as long as possible for those higher levels of productivity.Throughout the episodes on this podcast, I’ve been focused on finding those leaders who are doing important work in the field of social emotional learning and neuroscience—to show how these two emerging fields can impact our cognitive abilities. It’s clear that people are drawn to this work, not just in schools, but this understanding has implications in different areas of society like economics, law and security.[xvi] It’s interesting to see how understanding how our minds and brains work in addition to self-awareness is spreading around the world as more and more people are looking for solutions to life’s challenges from within. I also noticed that listeners to this podcast are increasing rapidly as we now are in over 42 countries. I do appreciate the feedback and support for these ideas, and it does help me to hear what you think as we move ahead.  Each of these episodes are currently being transcribed and will be released as my next book.What is the Neuroscience of Happiness? Increase Serotonin with that 5:1 Ratio of Positives to NegativesWe all want to experience happiness, and there is a neuroscience to happiness. Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and New York Times Best Selling author, is one of the leading experts in the neuroscience of happiness. In the 2019 Mindful Peace Summit, he opened his session by explaining that he got into the work of mindfulness and began searching for answers to the neuroscience of happiness because in his youth he “wondered why people were so unhappy, including himself. He wanted to be less lonely, and more proud of himself”[xvii] and recalled that most of his childhood consisted of feeling “less than” others so he grew up lacking confidence in himself. If we don’t get the acceptance we needed growing up, that will translate into an emptiness that lingers in your mindset and will impact our future performance. Dr. Hanson explains that if you want to be more confident, you must “embrace experiences that bring out your confidence.”[xviii] We see many young people, like the successful podcaster Lewis Howes,[xix] (Who does The School of Greatness Podcast)[xx] who were bullied as a kid, turn to boxing or wrestling as a way to fight back and gain this confidence back.Dr. Hanson noticed in college that when he ignored how he was feeling, he just kept feeling bad about himself, but when he had a positive experience, and stayed with it, over time he was able to build more positive experiences than negative, building up his confidence. He explains that “neurons that fire together, wire together” and he was actually rewiring his brain from being insecure and negative, to confident and positive.  We also know that you can “name it to tame it”[xxi] and when you are able to express what you are feeling, these feelings and emotions become manageable. There is also the negativity bias to be aware of where the brain must have at least a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative interactions so that the negative interaction won’t cause an impact. As parents, teachers, coaches and co-workers we must remember that when giving someone feedback, we must have at least five positive things to say to every one negative thing since “good experiences bounce off the brain like Teflon and bad experiences stick to the brain, like Velcro.”[xxii] Be sure to consciously focus on the positive experiences so you won’t let that one negative experience stick around, or it will impact your mindset and future results.Remember: The brain has mood chemicals called neurotransmitters that are “chemical messengers sent into the synapse (of a neuron) by an electrical charge in the axon, released at the synaptic gap to communicate with dendrites of another neuron, impacted heavily by exercise, and nutrition. Levels of the different neurotransmitters have a profound effect on emotion, perception, memory, alertness, and energy.”[xxiii] If you are someone who enjoys intense exercise, you will notice the benefits of endorphins that are released in the brain and reduce our perception of pain.  Researchers are still not sure what causes us to have chemical imbalances in the brain, when we don’t feel right, there are some things we can do to change the chemistry of our brain.  STRATEGIES TO INCREASE HAPPINESS and NATURUALLY INCREASE YOUR SEROTININ LEVELSEmbrace experiences that bring out your confidence. Do you know what makes you happy? This takes self-awareness. Do you know what makes other people happy? Do you ask them? Learn more about other by saying “Hey, how’s it going today?” and listen to what they say. Taking this extra step will strengthen your relationship with your co-workers, friends or relationship.Remember the 5:1 negativity bias and say at least five positives to every one negative piece of feedback since good experiences bounce off the brain like Teflon and bad experiences stick to the brain like Velcro.Remember that “neurons that fire together wire together,”[xxiv] so stay with the positive feelings more and eventually the negative ones will fade away since neurons that are out of psych, fail to link.Think of news ways to “generate”[xxv] happiness and start practices that make you feel happier and better about yourself. It really is our responsibility to generate our own happiness. No one can do this for you.Diet and nutrition, supplements and exercise are also important to boost serotonin levels, increasing happiness naturally. You can take “saffron supplements, 5 HTP, exercise, eat low glycemic, healthy carbs (hummus/berries), and keep your gut healthy with probiotics.” [xxvi] The Neuroscience of Anxiety: Calming the Basal Ganglia Within our Limbic System, our emotional brain, is the Basal Ganglia that when revved high, makes us feel anxious. Do you know the difference between anxiety (our body’s natural response to stress that can become a mental disorder when someone regularly feels unusually high levels of anxiety) or stress (which is our body’s response to a challenge or demand)? Some anxiety is normal, and the same goes for stress.We know there are 3 levels of stress response.POSITIVE: Brief increase in heart rate, mild elevations in stress hormone levels (what happens when we need to speak in front of a crowd, play a sport, take a test, or that nervous energy we feel before a job interview).TOLERABLE: Serious, temporary stress responses, buffered by supportive relationships. The key is to have support systems in place for this type of stress.TOXIC: Prolonged activation of stress response systems in the absence of protective relationships. This is the one we are most concerned about as this type of stress causes the most damage.We must have strategies in place to help us to reduce anxiety and stress so that they don’t interfere with our day to day life.STRAEGIES TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESSExercise, meditation and deep belly breathing to increase oxygen to the brain.Go for a walk outside-research shows that different brain regions are activated when you’re outside. Getting out into the sunshine increases the production of Vitamin D and serotonin—plus it just feels good. If you can’t go outside, look out a window.Zone out-let yourself do nothing for a while and just let your mind wander. Research shows that “creative incubation” happens during mind-wandering. You are more likely to problem-solve successfully if you let your mind wander and then come back to the challenge. Dr. Sriny Pillay writes about the power of the unfocused mind in his most recent book “Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try” where you sharpen your ability to think and get things done using your ability to make your mind wander. Flashes of insight and solutions to problems often show up at this time, but we must be willing to allow these breaks.Unplug from technology—silence is good for the brain.Mental imagery—warming images (like a cup of hot chocolate) if you are feeling stressed, or a place that makes you happy (the beach).Dietary supplements like fish oil, magnesium, l theanine (in green tea) and gabba supplements are known to help calm the brain.The Neuroscience of Learning: Acetyl Choline, Dopamine, Serotonin, NoradrenalineAs far as learning, think about this: Why is it that I can forget some words I used to know in French (but haven’t practiced in a few years) but that I will never forget my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Walker, teaching me to play basketball, or doing math equations.Why is it easier for me to learn a second language at age 5 versus age 55?Why do I learn better after a good night’s sleep?Why is my creativity enhanced when I run up and down a mountain before I sit at my desk?If there is a formula for peak performance, (Fun, Fear, Focus), a neuroscience to happiness and anxiety, then there must also be one for learning. Bruce McCandliss, professor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and the director of the Stanford Center for Mind, Brain and Computation, believes that brain-imaging technology is revolutionizing the study of educational experiences and their effect on the brain. These brain images are showing new insights in how children are learning to read. He talks about the fact that “when you focus your mind, you actually amplify the circuits in your brain that lead to learning and amplify information processing.”[xxvii]   This is something we spoke to Dr. Daniel Siegel[xxviii] about (episode #28) with his “Wheel of Awareness” Meditation. When we are focusing intentionally on something (whether it’s our health, relationships, business or learning) we amplify the information processing and change the structure of the brain in this area. We actually re-wire the brain with the activity we are doing. Remember: Neurons that fire together, wire together and neurons that are out of psych, fail to link. Dr. Siegel mentioned that the research was there to show that this practice improves health in addition to many other benefits.Let’s see if we can take our understanding to the next level with how neuroscience impacts the learning process so we can create more impactful lessons as an educator, thoughtful skill-building drills as a coach, or connect our employees to new ideas and information in an engaging and enjoyable manner.STRATEGIES TO INCREASE LEARNING:USE EMOTION AND FREQUENCY OF USE: To help memories stick and “motivation, cues, context and frequency of use can all affect how accurately you remember something.” [xxix] It’s the reason I remember my 6th grade teacher, and frequency of use is the reason I have forgotten most of the French words I used to know.  When learning a new skill, how will you make it memorable?FIND YOUR FOCUS: If you are a teacher who can creatively get your students to somehow “focus” on their work, you will be re-wiring their brain which will lead to learning.  Whether it’s putting their finger under each word they read or using a pointer on their finger as they read, however you can get a student to focus on what they are learning, is where the magic happens.  If you look at some of the most successful modern workplaces, you will find they have meditation and exercise rooms, dream walls to record vision and goals, plenty of relaxation areas, and of course, a place to grab a cup of tea, water or coffee. Think about starting meetings with a clear intention for the meeting to stay on track and focused on the outcome.MORE HAPPINESS, JOY, LAUGHTER: The brain thrives with happiness, joy and laughter. The more we can create fun with our learning, we have seen with peak performance and flow states, we will be encouraging learning in a way that time will be lost.  Remember that the recipe for peak performance includes fun! Major Neurotransmitters that Impact Learning:Acetyl Choline - plays an important role in learning and memory.Dopamine - involved in conscious and emotional response and basis of the brain's natural reward system, associated with positivity.Serotonin – brain balancer, involved in arousal, temperature regulation, sensory perception, regulates melatonin, involved in relaxing, mood, emotions, learning and memory, affected by exercise, eggs, lean meat contains L-tryptophan which helps make serotonin.Norepinephrine/noradrenaline – arousal, involved in fight or flight stress response, metabolic rate, blood pressure, and mood.[xxx]On our next episode with Mark Waldman, we will uncover new brain research documented in Mark’s new book Neurowisdom[xxxi] showing that relaxation, creativity, imagination and intuition are essential for learning and problem solving.Discover how your brain likes to learn (it will surprise you and has nothing to do with what you’ve experienced the classroom) 2. Find out why mind-wandering and daydreaming are essential for psychological health. Right in line with Srinivasan Pillay’s book “Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try” that talks about the default network in the brain and the power of “unfocusing” your brain. Mark’s book “Neurowisdom” was the first book to talk about the default network mode and provides many practical examples for using your brain to improve finances, happiness and success. 3. Learn how Brain Network Theory is changing the world of neuroscience…and your health! 4. See what living neurons and networks actually look like.If we can intentionally practice strategies that reduce our stress and anxiety, while increasing our happiness, we will be well on our way to retaining what we are learning. See you next week!ADDITIONAL HELP SUGGESTIONS:These suggestions have been compiled as I am researching these areas to offers ideas, strategies and suggestions to bring more awareness to the topics. Please do know that the ideas and strategies I’m sharing with you should not replace seeking professional help[xxxii] if needed.[i] Chronic stress disrupts neural coherence between cortico-limbic structures João Filipe Oliveira, Nuno Sérgio Dias, Mariana Correia, Filipa Gama-Pereira, Vanessa Morais Sardinha, Ana Lima, Ana Filipa Oliveira, Luís Ricardo Jacinto, Daniela Silva Ferreira, Ana Maria Silva, Joana Santos Reis, João José Cerqueira, Nuno Sousa Front Neural Circuits. 2013; 7: 10. Published online 2013 Feb 6.[ii] 72 Amazing Brain Facts (Deane Alban, January 2018). https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/?fbclid=IwAR0amQTdwOEAlsh_7gQ34RhvJDZefHiZFVYGG7O__hGyOwD_j7lJM0qYxDA[iii] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course by Dr. Daniel Amen https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/tag/brain-thrive-by-25/[iv] “Social and Emotional Learning, Teacher Well-Being, and Student Success: What Do We Know? And Where do We Go From Here?” Webinar June 5th 2018 with Dr. Mark Greenber, Penn State and Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl https://vimeo.com/275147739[v] https://www.amenclinics.com/[vi] 15-year-old Chloe Amen Reveals Strategies on how to "Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades" https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/15-year-old-chloe-amen-reveals-strategies-on-how-to/id1469683141?i=1000446233385[vii] ibid[viii]Dr. Daniel Amen, March 3, 2020 The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience is Transforming Psychiatry and Helping Prevent or Reverse Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Addictions, PTSD, Psychosis, Personality Disorders and More. https://www.amazon.com/End-Mental-Illness-Neuroscience-Transforming-ebook/dp/B07T6C3CWH/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574362380&sr=8-3[ix] https://www.amenclinics.com/spect-gallery/anxiety-depression/[x] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course by Dr. Daniel Amen https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/tag/brain-thrive-by-25/[xi] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course by Dr. Daniel Amen https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/tag/brain-thrive-by-25/[xii] Dr. Richard Jacoby and Raquel Baldelomar “Sugar Crush” (Harper Wave, 2nd Edition April 2015) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KPVB4OA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[xiii] What’s Your Brain Type Quiz by Dr. Daniel Amen https://brainhealthassessment.com/[xiv] What’s Your Brain Type Quiz by Dr. Daniel Amen https://brainhealthassessment.com/[xv] Friederike Fabritius: "Fun, Fear, and Focus: The Neurochemical Recipe for Achieving Peak Performance" | Talks at Google Published Jan.15, 2019  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWi-oCySuFA[xvi] Educational Neuroscience Michael Thomas Published July 5, 2018  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uK3d9hL-IQ[xvii] 2019 Mindful Kids Peace Summit https://www.mindfulkidspeacesummit.com/first-page[xviii] Rick Hanson “Hardwiring Happiness” YouTube Published Nov. 7, 2013 TEDx Marin 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpuDyGgIeh0[xix] https://lewishowes.com/[xx]Lewis Howes School of Greatness Podcast  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-school-of-greatness/id596047499[xxi] Dr. Dan Siegel “Name it to Tame it” YouTube Published Dec. 8th, 2014  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcDLzppD4Jc[xxii] Rick Hanson “Hardwiring Happiness” YouTube Published Nov. 7, 2013 TEDx Marin 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpuDyGgIeh0[xxiii] Neurotransmitters and Learning by Joseph Georgic April 22, 2015  https://www.hastac.org/blogs/joegeorgic/2015/04/22/neurotransmitters-and-learning[xxiv] “Neurons that Fire Together, Wire Together, So Simple” by Andrea Samadi on LinkedIn published Nov. 17, 2016 https://achieveit360.com/neurons-that-fire-together-wire-together/[xxv] Brendon Burchard “The Secret to Happiness” https://brendon.com/blog/the-secret-to-happiness/[xxvi] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course by Dr. Daniel Amen https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/tag/brain-thrive-by-25/  (Lesson 4 Cingulate and Cognitive Flexibility).[xxvii] Bruce McCandliss “The Neuroscience of Learning: Thinking Big About Learning” YouTube Published Nov. 3, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_6fezBz9IA[xxviii] Dr. Daniel Siegel on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clinical-professor-psychiatry-at-ucla-school-medicine/id1469683141?i=1000456048761[xxix] 72 Amazing Brain Facts by Deane Alban https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/[xxx] Lizzy Brown Learning on the Move: Brain Parts and Neurotransmitters https://www.learningonthemove.org/brain-parts--neurotransmitters.html[xxxi] Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success by Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning PhD. (Jan.31, 2017).  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[xxxii] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml
November 6, 2019
Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. This episode is available on YouTube and we highly recommend watching the visuals that go along with this interview for a more immersive experience.This is episode #28 with Dr. Dan Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and executive director of the Mindsight Institute where you can find his courses, workshops, books and tools to help anyone understand and apply what can sometimes be complicated scientific concepts and make them easy to understand and applicable to our daily lives. He has dozen books the last time I counted with his most recent parenting book with Dr. Tina Payne called The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired[i] coming out Jan. 7th, 2020. Be sure to pre-order your copy as it has already hit the top 20 books in cognitive neuroscience, child development and neuropsychology. Also, he is working on the 3rd edition of his book The Developing Mind. Welcome Dan!Dr. Siegel, I can personally say that I’m a more mindful[ii] parent, more aware[iii] of myself and others, have learned some no-drama discipline[iv] strategies, feel prepared for when my 2 girls reach their teenage years[v], with the reassurance that I don’t have to be perfect, and that I can repair relationships when my buttons have been pushed—all from reading your books the past few years. It’s such an honor to have you here—your influence is significant with the thousands of people around the globe you’ve been helping with your books, mnemonics to remember your strategies, and tools like your Wheel of Awareness Meditation.  Thank you for being so accessible so we can take a deeper dive into some of the important concepts of your work.Q1: Dr. Siegel, before I get into the questions I have for you, I wanted to ask what led you to write all of these books and create tools to help our next generation become more aware and connected to each other?Q2: I know we can’t train the next generation of students for the old world; we must do things differently. On our podcast we have been speaking to leaders about the emergence of social and emotional learning skills in our schools and emotional intelligence training programs in the workplace (with people like Casel’s Clark McKown on measuring SEL to Marc Brackett and the importance of Emotional Intelligence and recognizing and naming our feelings.  I know you have been working with the Blue School[vi] in New York City. What skills do you think have been missing in our schools and how do we bring these missing skills back for our next generation of students so that we can prepare them for success in the workplace? (3Rs and what else is missing?)Q3: When I was in my late 20s I started to study the mind with a motivational speaker and learned some strategies that really helped me as an adult related to thinking positively, having a good attitude, awareness, you know those skills we used to call “soft skills” but 20 years ago, there just wasn’t the research behind SEL and mindfulness. Then I heard you mention that when you began surveying mental health professionals around the world who should know about the mind that “95% of them had never even been given a lecture on the mind, and probably couldn’t even tell you what the definition of the mind was”[vii] ) so you wondered how can we expect to develop it, without this understanding and explore the concept of the mind in your book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation[viii] where you prove that you can define what a healthy mind is, not just describe it.In your book Mindsight, you say that “Mindsight is the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence.” What is Mindsight?  What does the research tell us about our ability to change the structure and function of our brain by using this “Mindsight” and how can this potent skill can set up our next generation for success? How are you using “Mindsight” at the Blue School[ix] is NYC? What are some other ways that Mindsight could be used in schools, homes the workplace or any examples you’ve seen in the field of medicine/health?Q4: In preparation for this interview, I did a podcast (episode #23) on “Understanding the Difference Between the Mind and the Brain”[x]  and this episode rose to the top of our episodes, showing me that listeners are really interested in this topic. Can we look at your definition of mind as “an embodied and relational process—since it’s in the body and it’s in our relationships with one another—that regulates the flow of energy and information”[xi]  and can you explain why relationships are so important for our well-being health, and an integrated brain as you describe it? Once we know what the mind is, then how does the mind differ from the brain and what about the fact we have a brain in our gut, not just our head? Q5: We know that in order to have well students in our classrooms, we need well teachers, just as to have well children in our homes, the parent’s mindset matters. We are coming to grips here with what “the mind” is but we still have a society that struggles with health. Can you explain the best way that we as adults can stay on top of our health and well-being so that we can avoid burn-out and also keeping in mind the research you said has come out of Harvard and McGill University with Martin Teitcher[xii] and Michael Meaney[xiii] on epigenetics and how the stress felt by our grandparents can be passed on and impact our lives? How can we take this new research and use it in such a way that we prevent more stress in our lives and our children’s lives and our student’s lives to create an integrated brain versus a non-integrated brain of chaos or rigidity?Q6: I have been practicing your Wheel of Awareness meditation[xiv] for the past 2 months while I have been preparing to speak with you. I actually downloaded it from your website in 2015 but didn’t make this a part of my daily routine until recently. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my own thinking process since incorporating this practice. Can you explain why this reflective meditation is different from using let’s say a relaxation app like Calm.com or just listening to peaceful music? What is happening to our brain as we focus inwardly on the four parts of this wheel? What are the outcomes are you seeing of this practice on society?Q7: Is there anything important that you think I have missed with my questions today to give listeners some tips on how they can be more aware, practice using Mindsight and find a deeper meaning and connection and purpose in this world? Thank you so much Dr. Siegel for coming on the show to dive deeper into your work. I really could talk to you all day, but know I’ve got to let you go. For those who would like to learn more about Dr. Siegel you can go to www.drdansiegel.com (where he has a ton of tools, books and resources that you can use immediately like the Wheel of Awareness Meditation) or find you on Linkedin (Daniel Siegel), Twitter @DrDanSiegel Instagram @drdansiegel and Facebook. He has a new book coming out The Power of Showing Up[xv] in Jan 2020 with Dr. Tina Bryson that I mentioned in the beginning that is already hitting the TOP 20 books before its release! Thank you again for all you are doing to promote well-being and health in the world. You are a true difference maker and it’s been such a pleasure to have this opportunity to speak with you. BIO: Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions and behavior. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the LifeSpan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.Dr. Siegel's unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policymakers, mediators, judges, and clergy. I was referred to Dr. Siegel’s work when a neuroscience researcher was helping me to add brain-based concepts to my work and I quickly learned the 3 parts of the brain and their functions and was able to teach others using his “Hand Model of the Brain.” [xvi]WHEEL OF AWARENESS RESOURCE:https://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/wheel_of_awareness/REFERENCES:[i] The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson (Ballantine Books, January 7, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1524797715/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6[ii] Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human by Daniel J Siegel October 18, 2016 (W.W Norton and Company) https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Journey-Norton-Interpersonal-Neurobiology-ebook/dp/B01CKZM39I/ref=pd_sim_351_2/144-0582078-3016428?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01CKZM39I&pd_rd_r=524a4609-ef8e-4405-b86e-826c0dfe4756&pd_rd_w=lkyDh&pd_rd_wg=Wj12A&pf_rd_p=5abf8658-0b5f-405c-b880-a6d1b558d4ea&pf_rd_r=GC135MTVN7YQ2YKQA8S0&psc=1&refRID=GC135MTVN7YQ2YKQA8S0[iii] Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J Siegel August 21, 2018 (Penguin Group, USA) https://www.amazon.com/Aware-Presence-Groundbreaking-Awareness-Meditation/dp/B07FDGTCRM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=aware+dan+siegel&qid=1572802485&sr=8-1[iv] No-Drama Discipline: The Whole Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind https://www.amazon.com/No-Drama-Discipline-Whole-Brain-Nurture-Developing-ebook/dp/B00JCS4NMC/ref=pd_sim_351_49?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00JCS4NMC&pd_rd_r=083bcdfa-8b36-4f44-8b03-ba1253cda3f2&pd_rd_w=MHy7B&pd_rd_wg=mO3Nq&pf_rd_p=5abf8658-0b5f-405c-b880-a6d1b558d4ea&pf_rd_r=8MRRV2G8KZTD8VCED844&psc=1&refRID=8MRRV2G8KZTD8VCED844[v] Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain Daniel J Siegel January 7, 2014 (Penguin Group, USA) https://www.amazon.com/Brainstorm-Power-Purpose-Teenage-Brain-ebook/dp/B00C5R8378/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=brainstorm&qid=1572803186&s=digital-text&sr=1-1[vi] https://www.blueschool.org/[vii] Mindsight: The New Science of Transformation Dr. Dan Siegel https://www.drdansiegel.com/about/mindsight/[viii] Mindsight: The New Science of Transformation Dr. Dan Siegel https://www.drdansiegel.com/about/mindsight/[ix] https://www.blueschool.org/[x] “Neuroscience Meets SEL” Podcast #23 Understanding the Difference Between Your Brain and Mind for Increased Results https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/understanding-your-brain-and-mind-for-increased-results/[xi] Dr. Dan Siegel Defines The Mind Published Feb. 11, 2010 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdq04xbHAs[xii] https://www.mcleanhospital.org/profile/martin-teicher[xiii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Meaney[xiv] https://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/wheel_of_awareness/[xv] The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson (Ballantine Books, January 7, 2020) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1524797715/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6[xvi] Dr. Dan Siegel’s Hand Model of the Brain Published on YouTube August 9th, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-m2YcdMdFw
October 23, 2019
This is episode #27 with a Pioneer in the field of Neuroleadership and author of the book, The Leading Brain, Friederike Fabritius,[i] all the way from Dusseldorf, Germany. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.Welcome to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” podcast, my name is Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with understanding the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace for the past 20 years. Today we have an inspiring speaker who I’ve been following for the past 3 years.FRIEDERIKE FABRITIUS, MS, is a neuroscientist and pioneer in the field of neuroleadership. She trained at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and is an alumna of McKinsey & Company (helping organizations to create change).  Friederike delivers brain-based leadership programs to Fortune 500 executives and organizations around the globe to transform how they think, innovate, and navigate change. Her book The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier has been translated into several languages and has received numerous awards. Her most recent presentation this year was at Talks at Google[ii]  where she describes the recipe for achieving peak performance.Welcome Friederike! I am beyond excited to be speaking with you today. A warm welcome today as you join us here in Arizona, USA all the way from Germany!I wanted to let the listeners know that I recorded an episode yesterday[iii]  “Simple Strategies for Avoiding the Pitfalls of the 3 Parts of the Brain” so that today we could dive a bit deeper with our time together.  If you are listening now and have not heard that episode, be sure to go back and listen to episode #26 as an overview for today.Q1: I first found you on YouTube when I was searching for a way to understand how our neurotransmitters work in peak performance. I found this video where you explained neuroleadership[iv]  just beautifully to top executives in Barcelona, Spain and how we can create peak performance[v] or that flow state we all seek for those high levels of achievement.  Can you explain what we need to do to get into peak performance/flow state whether we are an employee looking for improved results in the workplace, an athlete in the field, or a student in the classroom? Q2: What does flow look and feel like? What can we do to stay in this flow state longer to experience that increased productivity you mention in your book where productivity increases by fivefold?[vi] What is guaranteed to throw us out of flow—so that we don’t do that?Q3: On our podcast here “The Neuroscience of SEL” we have spoken a lot about self-awareness and understanding our self so we can make the changes needed for improved results. Can you explain why some people need to be challenged in order to perform at their very best, while others need to have less challenge and less stress to do their best work, and what do these people look like in an organization so people listening can recognize what type of person they are on that performance/stress scale?Q4: We know that the PFC is important for executive functions (like logical thinking, decision-making, or planning) and it’s the part of our brain that determines our level of success in life and with our careers. What strategies do you personally do to strengthen this part of your brain to operate at its best for these high levels of performance?Q5: What do you think are the next most important parts of the brain for anyone to understand specifically for those who are looking to take new actions or create new habits to achieve higher levels of performance?Q6: What about mindfulness and meditation? In your book, you mention that “mindfulness has been shown to physically change several regions of the brain in as little as 8 weeks.” Can you explain what parts of the brain mindfulness improves and how this could help people improve their results in life and at workQ7: In your book, you mention 2 examples of people who didn’t rely on their conscious thinking brain, but they used their unconscious brain to increase the speed, efficiency and accuracy of their performance. The first example was with Sully Sullenberger’s quick thinking with his emergency landing of that plane in the Hudson River and the other was with Wayne Gretzky, who used his unique “hockey sense” to “skate where the puck will be, not where it is.” Can you explain the parts of the brain that are responsible for this gut-instinct or “expert intuition?” and maybe the difference between expert intuition vs just our wishful thinking? Q8: I could ask you so many more questions but will stick to just one more. It’s about inhibition or the strategy we often use to hide or hold back our real thoughts or feelings about someone or a situation instead of just dealing with them openly with transparency. Can you explain why inhibition is a bad idea, what happens to the brain when we are doing this, what happens to our productivity and a better strategy for people to embrace and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings rather than hide or ignore them?Q9: Is there anything that you think is important that I might have missed to help listeners implement some hacks for peak performance that will help them to work smarter, better, and happier?Dr. Freiderike Fabritius it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you. I seriously could have asked you another 10 questions as I found your book fascinating! I love how it offers practical tips and short cuts that anyone can understand and then apply for improved results.  The end of chapter summary section was also very helpful for a review of everything covered.  For those who would like to learn more about your work they can find your book “The Leading Brain” on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.[vii]  What’s the best way for someone to reach you?Learn more through your website at https://www.fabulous-brain.com/ , or find you on Linkedin (with your name) and Twitter and Instagram @fabulous_brainREFERENCES:[i] https://www.fabulous-brain.com/[ii] Friederike Fabritius: "Fun, Fear, and Focus: The Neurochemical Recipe for Achieving Peak Performance" | Talks at Google Published Jan.15, 2019  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWi-oCySuFA[iii]EPISODE 26 “Strategies for Overcoming the Pitfalls of the 3 Parts of Your Brain”  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/strategies-for-overcoming-pitfalls-3-parts-your-brain/id1469683141?i=1000454366492[iv] Freiderike Fabritius “Neuroleadership: A New Approach” YouTube Published Dec. 11th, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g4XhlLZ5ak[v]Friederike Fabritius –“The Leading Brain: Neuroscience hacks to work smarter, better, happier”  Published Sept. 29, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOK612_n2Y0[vi] Friedrike Fabritius “The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier” (Feb.21, 2017)  https://www.fabulous-brain.com/the-leading-brain (page 108)[vii]Friedrike Fabritius “The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier” (Feb.21, 2017)  https://www.fabulous-brain.com/the-leading-brain
October 21, 2019
This episode focuses on understanding the three main parts of your brain and I had to write this lesson and record this prior to the next podcast tomorrow with Dr. Friederike Fabritius as many of my questions to her will rely on the understanding of these three parts of the brain so I thought it was important to record this first.  Let’s take a closer look at the human brain, so that the insights Dr. Fabritus will share tomorrow, will have more of an impact.The human brain is the most complex organ in the body. Parts of the brain communicate with each other and enable us to enjoy food, communicate, and feel emotions; the brain shapes our entire world and all of our experiences. Understanding how to harness the power that exists within your own body is the key to unlocking the code that controls your results and future. What this future looks like is up to you. Once you have an understanding of how your brain works, and you have some strategies to overcome the pitfalls associated with the three main parts of your brain, you can set yourself up for a razor’s edge advantage over someone else who might not be paying attention to the largest and most complex organ in the human body.  To be honest, I was not paying attention to this part of the body until just a few years ago. No one had ever asked me what I was doing for my brain health—not until I started researching in the area of neuroscience did I know these strategies existed. So, don’t worry if this is new to you. We all start at this place.There are three parts of the brain that I think everyone should understand, whether you are five years old, or 55 years old, we can all understand the basics of how our brain operates for improved results.Understanding the Reptilian Brain: The Ancient Instinctual Brain also known as The Hindbrain The brain stem (imagine this part at the top of your spine on the back of your neck) is the oldest part of the brain and is often referred to as the reptilian brain.[i] This is where vital body functions such as heartbeat, respiration, body temperature, and digestion are all monitored and controlled. The brain stem also holds the reticular activating system (RAS), which is responsible for the brain’s alertness—regardless of whether we’re asleep or awake.This part of the brain functions to keep us alive and safe and works closely with the entire body as well as the limbic system to create our emotional state of mind. The brain stem does not work alone. It is linked to the limbic system above it (in the middle of the brain) to assist, for example, in creating both our fighting states when we feel anger and our fleeing states when we feel fear.[ii] This Ancient Instinctual Brain Controls Our-Sensory motor functions (how our body runs) Survival instinct of fight, flight, freeze, faint[iii]When we understand that we can't help the fact that when we feel fear with something, consciously or unconsciously, our Reptilian Brain reacts on its own with the urge to fight, flight, or freeze.FIGHT- is when we react instead of responding to a situation (those times when we let our emotions take control)FLIGHT- is when we run awayFREEZE- is when we stay frozen and don't even tryTo overcome the pitfalls of the Reptilian Brain, we just need to learn strategies for overcoming our fears that are natural, and instinctual, coming from the part of our brain that was designed to keep us alive. Those who are longtime meditators speak of the ability to take the time to respond to a situation rather than reacting but if you are looking for a quick fix, try these simple strategies.[iv]S-STOP whatever you are doingT-TAKE deep belly breaths to bring more oxygen to your brainO-OBSERVE and think “how am I feeling right now in the moment?” Can you name the emotion? When you can name the emotion, science has proven that soothing neurotransmitters are released to calm you down.[v]P- PROCEED with whatever you are doing with a new awareness. Our next guest Dr. Friederike Fabritius,[vi] talks about this strategy in her book, The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier.[vii]She also dives into the importance of adding a sense of fun and fear to your work since fun will add the neurotransmitter dopamine that will help you to retain information better and boost your performance, while just the right amount of fear when you try new things, and push your boundaries will release noradrenaline, a positive hormone that’s released when you have a challenge. Adding fun and fear will prevent boredom and drive you towards focus where the brain will release acetyl choline during this time of focused attention to help us to achieve flow or these high levels of peak performance that we all seek.[viii]Understanding the Second Part of the Brain: The Limbic SystemAbove the brain stem and below the cerebellum (in the midbrain imagine this part of the brain in the middle) is a collection of structures about the size of a lemon, referred to as the limbic system and sometimes called the mammalian brain or Midbrain. Most of the structures in the limbic system are duplicated in each hemisphere. This area is also responsible for “regulating internal chemical order .”[ix] The Limbic Brain or The Emotional Brain Controls Our-Feelings/emotions Motivations The brain’s reward circuit Memory, and our Immune systemThis part of the brain responds really well with motivation and rewards and since it’s the seat of our emotions, this part of the brain will take over ALL the other parts of the brain because our emotional Limbic Brain always wins.[x]In this part of our brain we all have a REWARD and a THREAT system. Most of us work well when we can see the reward for what we are working on. Our brain will release dopamine as we check off our to-do list items and make progress towards our goals. When we are working in a reward state, we will be happy, in a good mood, high performing and achieving our goals. This state is where we should all aim to spend our time as we will be the most productive.But when we are in a threat system, our brain will release cortisol and our prefrontal cortex will shut down, making us unable to work as we go into the fight, flight, freeze state.  Some people do work well with an element of threat to motivate them, (like when you have a deadline for something you are working on)  but too much threat can cause too much stress and lead to eventual burn-out.[xi]To overcome the pitfalls of the Emotional Limbic System:Find ways to make the work you do fun so that dopamine (the neurotransmitter that helps us to feel pleasure and satisfaction) will be released and will help you to see rewards and will motivate you to move towards them.Laugh more because dopamine (this pleasure and satisfaction chemical) is released with laughter. Always keep that funny person on your team who makes everyone laugh. They will help boost the dopamine of your entire team, making everyone motivated towards their goals.Find ways to keep things new since the brain loves novelty. Remember—we don’t pay attention to boring things.[xii]Always push your boundaries and challenge yourself to prevent boredom. The brain will release the positive neurotransmitter noradrenaline that will increase alertness and energy. OTHER IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE LIMBIC SYSTEM that I think are important to know about.The thalamus is the first part of the brain to receive sensory information (except smell) coming from the outside world.The hippocampus plays a crucial role in converting short-term memory to long-term memory. The amygdala plays an important role with emotions, especially fear.The anterior cingulate connects attention, emotion, social function, and pain perception.[xiii]The Basal Ganglia is an important part of the brain connected to the cortex, thalamus and brainstem and is connected to procedural learning, habit learning, cognition and emotion. Stay tuned for the next episode to understand the power associated with this part of your brain.Finally, Understanding the Third Part of the Brain:The Neocortex/The Decision-Making Brain also called our Forebrain where our Prefrontal Cortex Lives.The neocortex is the “outer bark of the brain”[xiv]  that consists of folded gray matter and resembles a walnut. (Imagine this part of the brain as being folded over the midbrain and connecting all parts together). It is divided into areas that control specific functions that “ultimately are about making maps of various things—from perceptions of the outside world to ideas about the brain and well-being .”[xv]The Genius, Decision-Making part of the brain is the newest part of the brain (think of it this way—the brain develops from back to front—the oldest part with our brain stem and the newest is the front of our brain) and it tells us to be LOGICAL and REASONABLE with everyone. This part of the brain controls ourThinking and reflecting Perceiving and remembering Reasoning and planning Language development Multiple intelligences, and our Awareness and self-awareness This is the part of our brain that determines the level of success we will see in our careers. It’s also the part of our brain that reacts when we are tired, or when someone pushes our buttons, we can lose control of the Decision-Making Brain and do or say things are not in our normal character.It is reassuring to know why we lose control, and how to repair our relationships with those around us when this occurs by addressing it, and stepping back, and then taking some time out before coming back to regain composure.To overcome the pitfalls of the Decision-Making Brain we can:Get plenty of sleep and exercise so that we keep our prefrontal cortex operating at its best.Remember that when we drink alcohol, it will interfere with our decision-making brain and too much alcohol can lead to poor judgment, and even impair your memory.[xvi]You can take brain supplements to help you to achieve more focus and alertness.[xvii] I follow Dr. Daniel Amen’s[xviii] work and have learned what my brain type is so that I can be sure to be taking the right supplements for my brain type[xix] and follow the best nutritional plan for brain health.When we can find strategies to keep our brain working at its best, we will perform at our best. I hope these strategies and an understanding of the 3 parts of your brain help you to achieve higher levels of achievement. I’m excited to speak with Dr. Friederike Fabritius tomorrow morning and will dive deeper into the neuroscience of leadership and high performance. See you next tomorrow.RESOURCES:Andrea Samadi Level Up: A Brain-Based Strategy to Skyrocket Student Success and Achievement (2015 Wheatmark, Tucson, AZ).(Lesson 2: Use Your Brain Wisely)REFERENCES[i] David D’Sousa, How the Brain Learns, 3rd Ed. Page 18 (Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2006).[ii] Dr . Daniel J . Siegel, “Brain Insights and Well-Being,” Inspire to Rewire, Psychology Today,  January 7, 2015  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inspire-rewire/201501/brain-insights-and-well-being[iii] ibid[iv] Friederike Fabritius, “Take Charge of our Emotions” Published Dec. 10, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liu3cbEB3H8&t=1759s[v] Dan Siegel “Name it to Tame it” YouTube Published Dec. 8th, 2014  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcDLzppD4Jc[vi]Friederike Fabritius: "Fun, Fear, and Focus: The Neurochemical Recipe for Achieving Peak Performance" | Talks at Google Published Jan.15, 2019  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWi-oCySuFA[vii] The Leading Brain by Friederike Fabritius (TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition February 20, 2018). https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Brain-Neuroscience-Smarter-Happier/dp/0143129368/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+leading+brain&qid=1571680862&sr=8-1[viii] Friederike Fabritius: Dopamine, Acetylcholine, and Focused Attention https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0C93OcfzGk[ix] Dr . Joe Dispenza, “TedTalks with Dr . Joe Dispenza,” TED video, 17:50 posted        February  8, 2013       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W81CHn4l4AM&t=105s[x] Friederike Fabritius “Why the Limbic System Always Wins” YouTube Published   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb5UITosUUI[xi] Friederike Fabritius Prefrontal Cortex, Limbic System and Performance YouTube PublishedOct. 26, 2016   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDuQM94RT9M[xii] John Medina, Brain Rule #4 http://www.brainrules.net/attention[xiii] Dr . Daniel J . Siegel, “Brain Insights and Well-Being,” Inspire to Rewire, Psychology Today,  January 7, 2015  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inspire-rewire/201501/brain-insights-and-well-being[xiv] ibid[xv] ibid[xvi]Alcohol Memory Blackouts and the Brain https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/186-196.htm[xvii]12 Prescriptions for Creating a Healthy Brain and Life by Dr. Daniel Amen Jan. 15, 2018  https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/12-prescriptions-for-creating-a-brain-healthy-life-part-1/[xviii] http://danielamenmd.com/[xix] https://brainhealthassessment.com/
October 18, 2019
Welcome back to the "Neuroscience Meets SEL" Podcast episode #25 this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will also be available on YouTube. Today we have Mick Neustadt, a retreat teacher at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education,[i] a company that holds in depth mindfulness programs for teens, young adults and parents. Their programs that teach the skills we have been talking about on this podcast like self-awareness, compassion, ethical decision-making, hold retreats across the US, Canada and United Kingdom.Mick is a long-time mindfulness and meditation practitioner and clinical social worker. As a result of 20 years of personal practice Mick has experienced the profound benefits of mindfulness. He realizes that we have a great capacity to connect deeply with our full selves and others. Through dedicated practice we can transform the way that we relate to ourselves, those closest to us, and the world. With his rich background as a therapist, former schoolteacher and coach, Mick brings a wide range of skills and dedication to helping young people on their journey of self-exploration. Since 2011 he has formally taught mindfulness to teens in schools, on retreats and weekly groups.Welcome Mick, thank you for taking the time out of your day to share more about mindfulness, meditation and the philopophy of iBme.Q1: Can you define what “mindfulness” is since this term is used so often these days. Everyone seems to have an idea or thought about what mindfulness programs are.Q2: Can you explain why mindfulness is so important for young people (and adults) to develop especially these days where anxiety and depression are at an all-time high?Q3: How does your retreat work compared to someone using an app like Calm or a guided meditation? Can you explain a bit about your process? (I can see a calendar on your website.)[ii] Can you explain how your retreats work?Q4: Can you explain what the research[iii] says about mindfulness programs? What are the long-term effects of the retreat practice of meditation and mindfulness? 3 months after the retreat, what did the participants notice? And also, would someone receive similar benefits if they just started their own mindfulness practice at home?Q5: I have heard Jon Kabat Zinn who I know has worked with your organization mention that “the real meditation is with how we live our lives.”[iv] –meaning how we change from being stressed, rushed, to being calmer and more present. What parting thoughts would you like to leave us with about how to get started with a meditation program in our daily lives (perhaps from a parent point of view, student, or someone in the workplace) so anyone can learn how to go from knowing to doing, and reap of the benefits of a mindfulness program.Thank you so much Mick for sharing your extensive knowledge in this field. If anyone wants to learn more about you and the programs at iBMe, they can go to ibme.com. What’s the best way for them to reach you?[i] www.ibme.com[ii] https://ibme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/iBme_Sample-Daily-Schedule.pdf[iii] https://ibme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Galla-Research-on-I mpacts-of-iBme-Research.pdf[iv] Jon Kabat Zinn “From Doing to Being” YouTube published Feb. 16, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-2QoTYujNg
October 10, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” episode #24 this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will also be available on YouTube.Our very special guest today, Dr. Jeff Rose, is the founder of Leading Ed Solutions[i], a community of school superintendents and leaders providing solutions, strategy and support so that no one has to lead alone. His successful podcast, Leading Education[ii] focuses on innovative conversations surrounding the most important topics that our modern schools face that are relevant to anyone who wants to lead in education and beyond. The topics he tackles are applicable to any leadership position, providing the most up to date ideas and strategies around these enormous concepts that require new ways of thinking for improvement and change. Jeff has a proven track record of innovation and an unrelenting focus on student achievement. He’s the former Superintendent of Fulton County Schools (which is Atlanta, Georgia’s 4th largest school district) responsible for the leadership, administration and management of over 96,000 students, 105 schools, 14,000 employees and a $1.1 billion general fund budget. During his 23 years in education, he has served as a classroom teacher, principal and a director of school improvement.  Welcome Jeff. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today to share what you are doing to support educational leadership.Jeff, I love your work and your podcast inspired me to get moving on mine over the summer. I want to dive into some questions to hear your perspective on a few of the topics that I thought were the most relevant in our schools and communities today.Q1:  I’ve heard you describe education as “the perfect mess” because when you are working, you will have challenges, and everyone has an opinion about these challenges. I’ve also heard this as it relates to business. When you are taking action, things will go wrong and it can all feel like a mess. When you are doing nothing, you won’t have problems to solve, but also won’t have any impact for change. What led you to launch your company, Leading Ed solutions and tackle some of the most challenging problems education has seen in the past few decades to impact change and when did you first think about starting this idea?Q2: There are so many important concepts that you speak about—I love hearing your point of view— but one concept stuck out to me from the earlier episodes when you spoke about how lonely leadership is, when you first felt being lonely at the top and how you got used to this feeling. Unless someone is walking in the shoes of a school superintendent, administrator, or District leader, (or even equate this to those who lead in the corporate world) I know it could be easy to make up what others think your job entails and say things like “Oh, it must be nice….with their xyz assumption.” Hearing your perspective on what leadership is like for those who are given this responsibility is important for anyone who must learn to lead themselves. (We all have heard that to be a good leader is to be a good follower).[iii] Was this why you launched your podcast to give more insight to bridge this gap that exists between school leadership, schools and the community and shed some light with what this leadership role really entails?Q3: You mention that one of the biggest concerns you hear from parents and the community is the rise in student anxiety these days (episode 4)[iv] and I’m seeing it here in my local community in Chandler, Arizona, USA where this time last year we hit 31child/teen suicides in 15 months.[v] This issue is a huge concern and goes on past the pressure to perform academically in the K-12 system to higher education. (I just heard another podcast by Jay Shetty where he interviewed Laurie Santos[vi] who created the most popular course at Yale to combat this issue when she saw how stressed her students were to perform academically at the beginning of their University career.) Your interview with David Smith and Cathy Murphy from The Summit Counselling Center[vii]  really opened my eyes to the fact that we do need to involve the community to bring more awareness and discussion around mental health issues for today’s students.What do you think is a good call to action for parents to begin this dialogue to support their child’s mental health in addition to their own?What about our schools? It still feels like this is a topic is not easy for some people to speak openly about. When I first heard of this rise in suicides in my area I had posters created (inspired by a teen in one of my presentations, who was shocked at the statistics in the US compared to Canada—this was a HS student in Toronto—he stood up and said “how is it that we know what to do when we are on fire—we stop, drop and roll, but we don’t know what to do when someone is struggling mentally or emotionally—at all?” The whole room full of District leaders gasped at his observation.)[viii] So we created posters with a call to action for how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a young person struggling with anxiety, and what number to call if they need additional help—but I still felt the awkwardness around the topic as if schools would be happy to not talk about it at all. How can we change this?How do you see community and faith-based organizations forming stronger relationships with our schools? I know you cover this extensively with a 2-part episode,[ix] but what would be some first steps for a successful school/community partnership?Q4: You covered the widely discussed topic of School Safety and Social Media on episode 19[x] from the end of August. I have always felt that social media and the advancements of technology are where all of the problems begin for our students—because we just didn’t have these problems when we were growing up because we didn’t have the internet—and these challenges create stress for our teachers and parents and make me question about should I or shouldn’t I buy a phone for my kids? Then I listened to this episode and it made me shift my thinking when I heard your guest from www.bark.us talk about their company’s technology and how they have created an algorithm that has avoided 16 credible school shooting threats. I have heard of similar alerts with credit monitoring, but never thought about this technology moving into the schools. Can you share how you came across this technology and how you see this system supporting our schools in the future?  How can we shift people’s perspective to show that technology can solve some of these problems we are seeing with social media, rather than just be the cause of them?Q5: What would be some parting thoughts with your experience in the past few decades leading in education to impact long-lasting and sustainable change in today’s schools? What is your vision for Leading Ed Solutions?Jeff is holding an event for Superintendents in Scottsdale, AZ next month. Here are more details. https://www.leadingedsolutions.com/event-az If anyone is interested in learning more, please contact him directly jeff@leadingedsolutions.comLearn more here https://vimeo.com/334815600Thank you so much for your time, thoughts and ideas today Jeff and for being so accessible for this conversation. If there are school superintendents listening, what criteria are you looking for to join your inner circle?  If anyone is interested in contacting you, is the best way through your website leadingedsolutions.com? They can also find you on LinkedIn and @DrJeffRose on Twitter.  Thank you.REFERENCES:[i] https://www.leadingedsolutions.com/[ii] Leading Education with Jeff Rose Podcast on iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/leading-education-with-jeff-rose/id1456969336[iii] Research: To be a good leader, start by being a good follower by Kim Peters August 6, 2018 https://hbr.org/2018/08/research-to-be-a-good-leader-start-by-being-a-good-follower[iv] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/student-anxiety-and-social-emotional-challenges/id1456969336?i=1000434241155[v] http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/news/teen-suicides-in-months-fuels-alarm-in-ev/article_7038d252-cf64-11e8-8765-abf84bf9e713.html[vi] https://jayshetty.me/laurie-santos/[vii] http://summitcounseling.org/our-leaders/[viii] https://achieveit360.com/product-category/posters/[ix] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-line-that-unites-us-part-1/id1456969336?i=1000448861382[x] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/student-safety-social-media/id1456969336?i=1000448036071
October 2, 2019
If I were to ask you what are the qualities that you most want for your children, students, employees, or even for yourself so that you can reach those optimal levels of health, well-being and happiness, (no matter what part of the world you are listening from),  the answer would probably sound something like this.  “I want to them to develop a healthy mind, to pursue excellence, to have the skills needed to excel independently, to have compassion and empathy for others, to acquire the skills needed in this ever-changing world, or to adopt the mindset of lifelong learning that’s needed to thrive not just survive in this world” –something along those lines that focuses on developing the minds of our next generation with social and emotional skills.In order to bridge this gap between knowing and actually implementing these skills, we must first of all have a clear understanding of what they are. If social and emotional skills are skills that we could say are of the developed mind, and we are moving into cognitive skills of the brain, it leads us to question what is the difference between the mind and the brain before we continue further? Once we have a clear definition of each of these, it’s much easier to continue to develop and implement these strategies needed for improved results. Have you ever thought about what your mind is? What about your brain? And how are they different?Dr. Dan Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, (who I’m so excited to share will be coming on the podcast later next month) has spent a considerable amount of time defining the mind.[i] He was shocked when he first started to study the mind and began surveying mental health professionals around the world who should know about the mind that “95% of them had never even been given a lecture on the mind, and probably couldn’t even tell you what the definition of the mind was”[ii] so he wondered how can we expect  to develop it, without this understanding? He explores the concept of the mind in his book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation[iii] where he proves that you can define what a healthy mind is, not just describe it. His book allows that Mindsight “is the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence.”[iv] He explains that psychology means the study of the mind and behavior and elaborates that “when a parent senses the inner mental life of their child, (their mind) their child does really well in life. This ability to see the mind actually changes the structure of their brain. It’s called neural integration.”[v] Siegel further explains that when we can adopt this practice of “seeing the inner-life” or the minds of our students, children, friends or family members, it makes a considerable difference in the results and well-being that they achieve. Even developing our own practice of being more mindfully present of our own inner mind can “change the ends of the chromosomes in your cells”[vi] proving that what you do with your mind, makes a difference for the health of your body and your relationships.Dan Siegel explains that a neuroscientist would define the mind “as the activity of the brain”[vii] but he could not settle on this definition as a therapist since this would mean our brain would control everything that we do. He came up with a definition in the mid-1990s made the most sense  to him and his colleagues and it was that the mind “is an embodied and relational process—since it’s in the body and it’s in our relationships with one another—that regulates the flow of energy and information.”[viii]  This definition really got me thinking. I probably listened to it for a good week.It got me thinking about the flow of energy and information and how it comes into our body through our senses, and what we do with this information to cause the results in our life. One of my first mentors studied the mind intensively and came up with a picture diagram that he called the stickperson[ix] that originated from the work of the late Dr. Thurman Fleet from San Antonio, Texas, who was the founder of Concept Therapy. Dr. Fleet’s diagram of the mind included the conscious mind that included how we perceive the outside world with our five senses, our (sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell) which is how we take in information from the outside world, along with the six higher faculties of our mind, our (perception, reasoning, will, memory, imagination and intuition) that give us a deeper perspective of the information we receive. The diagram also shows the sub-conscious (or non-conscious mind as it is more commonly called today) where information comes in automatically, and the fact that what we think about with our mind, shows up with our thoughts, feelings and actions, and causes the results in our life as our conditions, circumstances and environment change based on the actions that we take.[x]  Dr. Fleet’s diagram shows how important it is that we understand how our mind operates in order to reach our highest levels of potential.In our last interview with the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of the book Permission to Feel,[xi] Marc Brackett reminded us that “people don’t lose their jobs because of a lack of ability in the cognitive areas, it’s usually because of social skills—someone who just doesn’t fit into the organization for some reason, or who can’t seem to get along with the team.”[xii]  Developing these social skills of the mind is what we all want. These are the universal skills that we want for ourselves and for others and it’s interesting that it’s taken so long for our schools to put an emphasis on developing the minds of our next generation of students.The benefits of learning these skills does take time to be seen, but the research is evident.  Casel (the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) has clear research that proves that implementing these SEL skills will improve students’ academic abilities. Casel’s meta-analysis of 213 studies involving 270,000+ students showed that “SEL interventions that address CASEL’s five core competencies (that we have covered in our social and emotional track) increased students’ academic performance by 11 percentile points, compared to students who did not participate in such SEL programs. Students also showed improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school.[xiii]   The research also showed that we as parents, educators, coaches and counselors must first of all practice these concepts ourselves, before we teach others because if we haven’t developed a practice ourselves, our students will pick up on the lack of authenticity and won’t take the concept seriously either.Marc Brackett also shared with us that the social and emotional competencies were harder to learn and implement than the cognitive strategies. He reminded us in episode 22 that “we can’t be sure that once we have learned a strategy (for example like one for improving our mindset) that we will then be able to implement that strategy while under stress whereas memorization of our times tables, a cognitive skill, is much easier to learn, use and remember.”[xiv] It’s a lifelong commitment to understanding ourselves, our emotions and continuing to apply the strategies to regulate us. We should refer back to the strategies in the social and emotional lessons to be sure that we are continuing to “sharpen the saw”[xv] and implementing these ideas for continual improved results. Once we have a solid practice for developing our social and emotional mindset, (understanding ourselves and our emotions) it makes sense to move onto the cognitive strategies which are the processes of thinking and include the ability to focus and pay attention, set goals, plan and organize, persevere and problem solve.[xvi] If cognition is the realm of thinking, then metacognition involves thinking about our thinking, reflecting on your own thinking process and the ability to monitor and manage your learning. This is where we must begin to create a plan to improve what we would like to learn.  It is possible to learn anything with the right study habits, the ability to practice and refine the skills needed, with a positive growth mindset, we can create those “Aha Moments” of learning that come when we persist through something we are working on.What Slows Down Our Learning?Stress and anxiety make it difficult for learning to occur. When you feel threatened or anxious, the brain releases chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals quickly alter the way that you think, feel and behave and shut down the oldest part of the brain that are designed to keep us safe when we feel stress. It’s smart to learn quick and simple relaxation strategies that you can use immediately when you feel stressed or anxious. Taking some deep, long breaths can fuel your brain for focused attention and learning and prevent your emotions from taking control. If you are looking for a longer term solution, research does show that those who consistently practice mindfulness and mediation strategies, decrease the size of the amygdala, (the part of the brain that highjacks our emotions) and improves our ability to handle stressful situations so that we possess more equanimity, a mental calmness, composure and evenness of temper, especially during difficult situations.What Strengthens Our Brain and Cognition?When you are curious and interested, you will be ready to put in the effort needed to work hard and concentrate on new information. You must also be happy and relaxed in order to consolidate this new information. In his book Words Can Change Your Brain[xvii], Mark Robert Waldman outlines his brain-scan research suggesting that “the strategies incorporated in mindfulness could strengthen the neural circuits associated with empathy, compassion and moral decision making .”[xviii] This demonstrates just how powerful it can be to stop and think . Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can enable you to be more observant, creative, and ready to see the opportunity within your daily obstacles and challenges.Here are Three Tips to Strengthen Your Brain and Cognition That You Can Implement Immediately:Take brief relaxation breaks to maintain focus and improve your ability to problem solve. We must find a way to relax our brain and body. It’s during these “resting states” that remarkable activity takes place, allowing the brain to creatively solve problems. Dr. Srini Pillay, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, wrote a book about the importance of this resting period in his book, Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind.[xix] In this book Pillay explains that too much focus depletes your brain of glucose and depletes you. Be mindful of ways to eliminate decision fatigue and allow those times for your mind to become unfocused. He shared that Einstein discovered his Theory of Relativity by using his intuition, and then used logic to explain it. Unfocused time can take you to places and insights where focus cannot.Improve the circuits of your brain by learning to look within for answers. In his book, “Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation” Dr . Siegel shares that teachers introduced to “mindsight or the ability to focus on the inner life of their student or child” teach with the brain in mind and are reaching students in deeper and more lasting ways .”[xx] The research shows that developing the ability to make sense of your own life and past experiences, translates into the development of your students and children. Dr. Siegel is an expert on Attachment Research and discusses the fact that having Mindsight ourselves, will help develop securely attached children who will learn resilience.Create a plan for persistence. If your first plan does not succeed, what will you try next. Map out strategies for your plan b and be ready to pivot or try something new if the first plan fails. Those who fail, often attribute their failure to lack of inspiration, ability, talent or lack of time, but most often it’s due to insufficient application of strategies towards a goal and lack of persistence. I hope you have found these tips and further study of the mind vs the brain to be helpful as we move into the cognitive track and dive deeper into how we can use our brain to facilitate and improve our ability to learn and create lasting results. I’m excited to speak with Dr. Siegel the start of November. His work has inspired a lot of my early research into the brain and there’s no one like him who can explain such complex concepts in a way that anyone can understand them.  I look forward to bringing in new experts to inspire new ways of thinking around the power and purpose of our brain in our cognitive track.  See you next time. RESOURCES:Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development (SEAD) March 2019 The Aspen Institute https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/integrating-social-emotional-and-academic-development-sead-an-action-guide-for-school-leadership-teams/“How to Reach the Aha Moment of Learning” Diagram adapted by Andrea Samadi with permission https://www.dropbox.com/s/lktxwm2u130vllr/18-Metacognition.jpg?dl=0REFERENCES:[i] Dr. Dan Siegel Defines The Mind Published Feb. 11, 2010 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdq04xbHAs[ii] TEDx Sunset Park Dr. Dan Siegel “What is the Mind?” YouTube Published July 4, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak5GCyBFY4E[iii] Mindsight: The New Science of Transformation Dr. Dan Siegel https://www.drdansiegel.com/about/mindsight/[iv] Mindsight: The New Science of Transformation Dr. Dan Siegel https://www.drdansiegel.com/about/mindsight/[v] TEDx Sunset Park Dr. Dan Siegel “What is the Mind?” YouTube Published July 4, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak5GCyBFY4E[vi] TEDx Sunset Park Dr. Dan Siegel “What is the Mind?” YouTube Published July 4, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak5GCyBFY4E[vii] Dr. Dan Siegel Defines The Mind Published Feb. 11, 2010 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdq04xbHAs[viii] Dr. Dan Siegel Defines The Mind Published Feb. 11, 2010 on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdq04xbHAs[ix] How Your Mind Works Proctor Gallagher Institute, idea originally from Dr. Thurman Fleet  https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/25593/how-your-mind-works[x] How Your Mind Works Proctor Gallagher Institute, idea originally from Dr. Thurman Fleet  https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/25593/how-your-mind-works[xi] Marc Brackett “Permission to Feel” https://www.marcbrackett.com/[xii] Marc Brackett on the Importance of Emotional Intelligence https://www.pbs.org/wnet/amanpour-and-company/video/marc-brackett-on-the-importance-of-emotional-intelligence/[xiii] The Impact of SEL https://casel.org/impact/[xiv] EPISODE #22 Interview with Marc Brackett, Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/founding-director-yale-center-for-emotional-intelligence/id1469683141?i=1000450933434[xv] Sharpen the Saw 7th Habit of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/habit-7.html[xvi] Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development (SEAD) March 2019 The Aspen Institute https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/integrating-social-emotional-and-academic-development-sead-an-action-guide-for-school-leadership-teams/[xvii] Andrew Newburg M .D . and Mark Robert Waldman, “Words Can Change Your Brain,” (The Penguin Group, New York, New York) Page 12https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0074VTHMA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[xviii] Andrew Newburg M .D . and Mark Robert Waldman, “Words Can Change Your Brain,” (The Penguin Group, New York, New York) Page 12https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0074VTHMA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1[xix] Dr. Srini Pillay Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try: Unlok the Power of the Unfocused Mind https://www.amazon.com/Tinker-Dabble-Doodle-Try-Unfocused-ebook/dp/B01JWDZ7SK/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=pillay+tinker&qid=1570042219&s=digital-text&sr=1-1[xx] Dan Siegel, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, (New York: Bantam, 2010) Kindle Edition Location 133 https://www.amazon.com/Mindsight-New-Science-Personal-Transformation-ebook/dp/B002XHNONS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=mindsight&qid=1570042869&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
September 23, 2019
Watch this interview on YouTube here.Marc Brackett, Ph.D., [i]is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence [ii]and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of the RULER approach,[iii] (the 5 skills of emotional intelligence). RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by nearly 2,000 pre-K through high schools across the United States and in other countries and the approach is seeing huge success.[iv] He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (known as CASEL)[v]. Marc’s new book, Permission to Feel (Celadon/Macmillan) inspires a new mindset around the power of emotions to transform our lives. Instead of the idea that our “emotions get in the way of our success, they are actually the key to it.”[vi] Using science, passion, and lively storytelling, this book serves as a guide for understanding our own and others’ emotions, as well as provides innovative strategies for developing emotional intelligence in adults and children so that emotions help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. I haven’t been able to put his book down because it captivated me! Welcome Marc!Q1: I am thrilled, excited, motivated, and inspired to be speaking with you—all of those yellow (high energy and pleasant feelings) on your Mood Meter Chart—that tool you developed to help people become aware of their feelings—that’s in the first few pages of your book. I actually watched your Talk at Google[vii] and learned so much—before I had started to read “Permission to Feel” I thought I would introduce this concept of “how do you feel” to my girls (ages 10 and 8) and that it would be just like how we added Growth Mindset into our homework slot. But I had an eye-opening situation that showed me we are not as emotionally literate as I had thought in my household. Can I tell you the story of what happened to get your point of view on the situation? So, a couple of weekends ago we went to see the movie, Lion King, and my two girls were the only kids in the theatre bawling their eyes out when Musafa, the Dad, dies. I thought, let me see if I can give them “Permission to Feel” and implement Marc’s book —so I say, “Why are you crying?” expecting they would say “because the Dad died and I don’t want my Dad to die” and we would start a conversation about that but my oldest just grunted and pushed me away, and the youngest was crying too hard to say anything at all. I realized that we could be doing a better job with talking about emotions in our home. Marc, what happens when we deny the “Permission to Feel” and where would you suggest anyone begin when implementing your RULER approach, whether we are a parent, teacher or employee in the workplace?Q2: Now that I know this approach—and know that knowledge and application are poles apart, can you explain what are the biggest things we should avoid, and what should we watch for to be sure we are properly implementing the RULER approach?  Q3: When I first opened your book “Permission to Feel” and saw the Mood Meter Chart I went straight to where I hang out most of the time. (Upbeat, cheerful, lively, focused, and joyful) that’s me—but to get here—takes daily work (meditation and exercise) that has taken some time to figure out what I must do to be my best self. Then I thought about some other people in my world working in high stress careers who hang out in stressed, anxious, frustrated, and worried with different work responsibilities and priorities. What are some strategies you suggest helping people who might be hanging out in the red quadrant who are pressed for time to create this work/life balance? Q4: Can you give a quick background for why this book is so important and timely with such a rise in mental health issues these days? We all know the shocking statistics for our nation’s youth with the current suicide epidemic, and depression and anxiety being common in kids at young ages these days. How did we arrive at this place where we still struggle to talk about how we feel—how even the most educated in this field could use some help, especially with the first 3 strategies of recognizing, understanding and labelling our own and other people’s emotions? Q5: Self-regulation is always the most requested topic I hear when I’m working with a school. I heard you mention how important this skill is even for those in the workplace. In one of your most recent interviews, you mentioned that “people don’t lose their jobs because of their abilities in the cognitive areas, it’s usually because of their inability to regulate.”[viii] What does the research tell us about the parts of our life that emotions drive so we can improve these life skills and increase our performance? How can we learn the language and strategies to better manage our emotions?Q6: What is your vision for “Permission to Feel” and the work you are doing with the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence and anything important that you would like to add that we might have missed?Thank you so much Marc for writing this book the way that you did, sharing your true self, to show the importance of feeling the emotions in our lives, so that we can truly reach those higher levels of achievement. If anyone wants to reach you, what is the best way? To buy the book you can go to http://www.marcbrackett.com/  I also saw that you are starting a new blog to help people to become emotion scientists. Where can we find more about this? I will be sure to follow the blog and keep you posted on our results as we implement the RULER approach in our home. Thank you Marc![i] https://www.marcbrackett.com/[ii] http://ei.yale.edu/[iii] https://www.rulerapproach.org/[iv] https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/09/permission-to-feel-the-link-between-emotional-intelligence-and-academic-success/[v] https://casel.org/[vi] https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/09/permission-to-feel-the-link-between-emotional-intelligence-and-academic-success/[vii] Marc Brackett Emotional Intelligence as a Superpower Published July 31, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFefehMpZ0[viii] https://www.pbs.org/wnet/amanpour-and-company/video/marc-brackett-on-the-importance-of-emotional-intelligence/
September 19, 2019
You can watch the interview on YouTube here. Today we have someone I have been watching, cheering on, supporting and giving him all the love I can possibly imagine because when I first heard about his goal to create an educational documentary to impact change on our struggling schools, I knew he would be the one to accomplish this. Spencer Taylor is a filmmaker, the co-founder of Vybesource (a movement of conscious thinkers dedicated to mind, body and soul) and he has spent the past 3 years traveling the world from the US, Canada, Finland, and China, to interview leaders in education for his upcoming documentary “The Death of Recess.”Welcome Spencer from the road…on your way to LV!  It’s great to have you here to share what you have been up to the past 3 years.Q1: Can you give some background on your vision for this film that you have been working so hard on, and why you saw the need to get this information into the world? Also, how will this documentary be different than what we are used to watching on Netflix?Q2: What are some of the challenges you have learned about from this interview process and how will someone watching your film be able to make changes?Q3: What are some of the main differences you saw going from the US to Canada and into schools in Finland—where their educational system is labeled as the best in the world with school hours cut in half, little homework, no standardized tests, 50 minute recess and free lunch[i]. What changes do you think we need to focus on here?Q4: What other issues does the film covers and what do you hope to accomplish with the release of this film?Q5: Who was the most impactful interview you did and why?Thank you so much Spencer for taking the time to share the vision of this documentary. This is important work and I know you are beyond busy. I appreciate your time, and all you are doing. What is the best way to support the release of the film moving forward? Contact Spencer@VybeSource.com if you are a school with an innovative story that you would like to share.Thanks Spencer![i] https://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/january/finnish-schools-reform-012012.html
September 16, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” EPISODE 20 this is Andrea Samadi. I want to thank everyone who has been tuning into these episodes. In just a few short months of launching, we have reached 20 countries and the feedback has been incredible. Not only am I hearing that the topics are relevant and applicable, but the need is very clear to continue to interview new leaders in this field of social and emotional learning/emotional intelligence and neuroscience and continue to offer ideas and strategies that can be implemented immediately. If you do have feedback or want to reach me directly, you can find me (Andrea Samadi) on LinkedIn or Twitter or send me an email to andrea@achieveit360.com Our initial goal with this podcast was to close the gap recent surveys show exists in our workforce where 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. Research shows that social-emotional skills like social awareness, self-regulation, and growth mindset (the skills that we have been covering in the past episodes) are crucial to college and career readiness. The outcomes of developing these intelligences are vast as they impact our performance, leadership, personal excellence, time management, and decision-making.As we have progressed, these episodes are bringing together leaders and practitioners in the field who have programs, products, books, and ideas to share, with an urgent need to get this message out to impact our schools, communities, and workplaces.  As Clark McKown, the President of xSEL Labs, SEL Assessment mentioned in our podcast interview EPISODE 10, “it’s important that we bring people to have conversations (around SEL/emotional intelligence) to propel us forward—bringing the different strands of the SEL movement together—and having them coordinate is going to be (the) key. There’s potential for a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”[i]  I hope that you agree with me how important this work is, and if you are finding these episodes helpful, please do share them on your social media so that others can gain access.So far, we’ve covered five of the six social and emotional learning competencies to dive deep into and tie in how an understanding of our brain can facilitate these strategies. The sixth social and emotional competency, Mindset, fits in to the Social and Emotional Track with the ability to understand your own emotions (when you feel like something might be difficult and you become frustrated and ready to give up) as well as the Cognitive Track, using the executive functions of our brain—with the needed ability to persevere, problem solve, and come up with a different strategy. With each competency, we investigate the best practices that you can use to develop and improve your own SEL/Emotional Intelligence and well-being practice, before extending these strategies to your districts, schools, classrooms, workplaces and communities. We must first of all practice the concept ourselves, before we teach others because if we haven’t developed a practice ourselves, our students will pick up on the lack of authenticity and won’t take the concept seriously either. The interviews are designed so that you can hear directly from experts in the field who are using these skills on a daily basis. We want the ideas you take away with you to be actionable whether you are an educator working in a school, an employee or manager in a corporation, or someone just looking to take their skills to the next level. Be sure to look for the resources in the show notes section if you would like to dive deeper into this topic. Moving onto the topic of “Mindset” it’s important to notice that ten years after Carol Dweck’s essential finding that for “children who have a “growth mindset” their intelligence can be developed (and students) are better able to overcome academic stumbling blocks than those who have a “fixed mindset” (who think) that intelligence is predetermined  (or they must be born with a certain set of skills that can’t be changed)— (these findings are) as relevant as ever.”[ii]  Dweck’s work has reached thousands of schools, students and teachers, around the world and her research has been recognized and honored as she was the recipient of the $3.8 million Yidan Prize, the world’s largest international prize in educational research and development.Applying growth mindset has proven to be something that has not been simple or easy to do—whether in the classroom, workplace, or even in the field of athletics. In the next few sections we will look at the obstacles behind the application of growth mindset in each of these three fields with some suggested strategies for a successful implementation. John Hattie, Professor and Deputy Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, answers the key question of "WHEN is the appropriate situation for thinking in a growth manner over a fixed manner?"[iii] In the following situations, having access to growth thinking helps resolve the situation, move the person forward, and not lead to resistance, over reaction and fear of flight into a fixed mindset. The major situations for growth mindset are:When we do not know an answerWhen we make errorWhen we experience failure orWhen we are anxious.In each of these situations, having a strategy to help us to pivot, try a new angle, so we can learn from what did not work last time, will help access those breakthroughs, and those Aha! Moments of learning that can only occur when we persist and persevere instead of giving up. Our end goal is to work towards changing our belief in ourselves, giving us confidence and hope, that comes with time, effort and with each new experience where we overcome a struggle. Let’s Examine the Obstacles Behind the Application of Growth Mindset in the Classroom:An Education Week survey found that “the vast majority of educators believe that a growth-oriented mindset can help improve students’ motivation, commitment and engagement in learning. But the study found that applying those ideas to practice, and helping students shift their mindset around learning, remains an elusive challenge.”[iv]Key Findings from the Education Week Survey[v] showed:∙           Educators believe growth mindset has great potential for teaching and learning.  Nearly all teachers (98%) agree that using growth mindset in the classroom will lead to improved student learning. ∙           Teachers see a strong link between a growth mindset and a range of positive student outcomes and behaviors.  More than 90 percent believe growth mindset is associated with excitement about learning, persistence, high levels of effort, and participation in class.∙           Practices thought to foster a growth mindset are consistently used in the classroom.  The majority of teachers report praising students for their effort on a daily basis or encouraging them to continue improving in areas of strength or to try new strategies when they are struggling. ∙           However, putting growth mindset into practice poses significant challenges.  Only 20 percent of teachers strongly believe they are good at fostering a growth mindset in their own students. They have even less confidence in their fellow teachers and school administrators.  And just one in five say they have deeply integrated growth mindset into their teaching practice.So, what’s happening to yield such a gap with theory and practice? Carol Dweck has expressed “concern that teachers are placing emphasis merely on students’ efforts instead of their learning strategies”[vi] and wants to remind us that the real purpose behind growth mindset was to boost student’s learning. All of the effort in the world will not yield results if it’s the wrong strategy for the student.Three Strategies That Build Growth Mindset in the Light of These ObstaclesHave students try different learning strategies for different subject areas. While preparing a book report, “one student may find a graphic organizer to be a helpful tool for citing evidence, while another prefers to highlight supporting points in different colors. Another might list every possible option for evidence and cross out the weakest ones.”[vii] They may have an entirely different strategy for studying for a science test that would involve mnemonics and memorization, and rote practice of math problems for a math test.  Whatever method they choose to use, they will need to monitor and observe how this strategy is working for them and make adjustments when needed.Be sure that teachers are not labelling students “as difficult to teach based on their perceived mindsets.”[viii] It might be easier to suggest that a student has a “fixed mindset” rather than identify a learning challenge with a student. Be sure that all options are explored for each student with the proper interventions put in place.Be careful of a “false” growth mindset. We all want to believe that we have a growth mindset all of the time, but the truth is, that we all go back and forth, depending on what we are doing, and the different circumstances in our lives. Dweck herself notes “we are all a mixture of growth and fixed and need to understand both in ourselves. (She) particularly notes the reactions we have when we face challenges, are overly anxious, in fight or flight. [ix]  Self-awareness comes into play here as we learn to identify the skills in our life that we have a desire to change, and perhaps the ones that we are happy with where they are.What About Obstacles Behind the Application of Growth Mindset in AthleticsThe Rover Soccer Training Academy, one of the top teams in the UK Soccer League, whose Director of Team Performance, Tony Faulkner, came to visit Carol Dweck to find some answers to the problem he was having with some of their players not reaching their highest potential. The problem existed because the British culture held the belief that “soccer stars are born, not made” and if you believe this, and have incredible talent, then the belief would impede this player from seeing the point of daily practice to improve their craft.Before we can see the benefits that having a Growth Mindset yields, we have to hold the belief that we can in fact change with effort, hard work, practice, persistence and perseverance and because of the British culture, this team needed to do some work with their core beliefs and Cognitive Biases.What are Cognitive Biases and How Do They Work?A cognitive bias is “a type of error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them.”[x]  There are over 200 known cognitive biases that cause us to think and act irrationally[xi] and are the result of our brain’s need to simplify information, helping us make decisions quickly.  When we are making decisions, we must take in information quickly, and the brain does this by way of a mental shortcut called heuristics that can be accurate, but can also sway us a certain way, causing us to make poor decisions based on our own limited thinking.Learn more about a few of the most common types of cognitive biases that can distort your thinking.[xii]Confirmation Bias: This is favoring information that conforms to your existing beliefs and discounting evidence that does not conform. A confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias that involves favoring information that confirms your previously existing beliefs or biases.[xiii]The Bandwagon Effect: This is the tendency for people to do or think things because other people do or think them.Availability Heuristic: This is placing greater value on information that comes to your mind quickly. You give greater credence to this information and tend to overestimate the probability and likelihood of similar things happening in the future.Halo Effect: Your overall impression of a person influences how you feel and think about his or her character. This especially applies to physical attractiveness influencing how you rate their other qualities.Self-Serving Bias: This is the tendency to blame external forces when bad things happen and give yourself credit when good things happen. When you win a poker hand it is due to your skill at reading the other players and knowing the odds, while when you lose it is due to getting dealt a poor hand.Attentional Bias: This is the tendency to pay attention to some things while simultaneously ignoring others. When making a decision on which car to buy, you may pay attention to the look and feel of the exterior and interior but ignore the safety record and gas mileage.Actor-Observer Bias: This is the tendency to attribute your own actions to external causes while attributing other people's behaviors to internal causes. You attribute your high cholesterol level to genetics while you consider others to have a high level due to poor diet and lack of exercise.Functional Fixedness: This is the tendency to see objects as only working in a particular way. If you don't have a hammer, you never consider that a big wrench can also be used to drive a nail into the wall. You may think you don't need thumbtacks because you have no corkboard on which to tack things, but not consider their other uses. This could extend to people's functions, such as not realizing a personal assistant has skills to be in a leadership role.Anchoring Bias: This is the tendency to rely too heavily on the very first piece of information you learn. If you learn the average price for a car is a certain value, you will think any amount below that is a good deal, perhaps not searching for better deals. You can use this bias to set the expectations of others by putting the first information on the table for consideration.Misinformation Effect: This is the tendency for post-event information to interfere with the memory of the original event. It is easy to have your memory influenced by what you hear about the event from others. Knowledge of this effect has led to a mistrust of eyewitness information.False Consensus Effect: This is the tendency to overestimate how much other people agree with you.Optimism Bias: This bias leads you to believe that you are less likely to suffer from misfortune and more likely to attain success than your peers.The Dunning-Kruger Effect: This is when people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are when they can't recognize their own incompetence.The Rovers soccer Training Academy in the UK was definitely suffering from the Bandwagon Effect—the tendency for people to do or think things because other people do or think them since most people believed that “soccer stars were born and not made” and that daily practice and drills wasn’t important for certain players. They had to work on looking at their belief system to make changes in the results of their players. Dweck gave advice for the Rovers Soccer Training Academy that holds true for anyone stuck in a fixed mindset. “Changing mindsets is not like surgery,” she says. “You can’t simply remove the fixed mindset and replace it with the growth mindset.” The Rovers are starting their workshops with recent recruits — their youngest, most malleable players. The team’s talent scouts will be asking about new players’ views on talent and training — not to screen out those with a fixed mindset, but to target them for special training.[xiv] Tips for Building a Growth Mindset with Cognitive Biases in MindThe first step is to be aware of the fact that cognitive biases exist and that we must challenge our own thinking and beliefs.Pick ONE cognitive bias and look at where we might be making flawed decisions based on your beliefs. Having discussions on the bias can help bring more awareness to how other people think.Why is Growth Mindset Important in the Workplace or Your Organization?We know that developing emotional and cognitive skills like growth mindset yield noticeable results in the workplace with the ability to recognize our emotions when we are becoming frustrated with something we are working on, and then having the ability to try another strategy, angle or plan for success to overcome the challenge.  So, what are some things that you and your organization could be doing to develop a growth mindset? Carol Dweck’s research outlines the main attributes that create a growth-mindset environment. This includes;Presentation skills are learnable.Conveying that the organization values learning and perseverance, not just ready-made genius or talent.Giving feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success and presenting managers or coaches as resources for learning. (Dweck, 2007)Promoting time to think and reflect.OUTCOMES AND RESULTSIN SCHOOLS: A review of the key findings from Edweek’s survey that once the theory and practice of Growth Mindset are implemented,Nearly all teachers (98%) agree that using growth mindset in the classroom will lead to improved student learning.More than 90 percent believe growth mindset is associated with excitement about learning, persistence, high levels of effort, and participation in class.The majority of teachers report praising students for their effort on a daily basis or encouraging them to continue improving in areas of strength or to try new strategies when they are struggling.IN ATHLETICS: As we saw with the Rovers Soccer Training Academy, once the players were able to adopt a Growth Mindset, the entire organization was able to align their values and beliefs behind consistent daily practice for success and infuse these beliefs into the future of the academy.IN THE WORKPLACE:Did you know that employees in a “growth mindset” organization are: [xv]47% likelier to say that their colleagues are trustworthy, 34% likelier to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the organization, and, 49% likelier to say that the company fosters innovation (HBR, November 2014).Whatever reason you might be interested in learning more about Growth Mindset, just keep in mind what Carol Dweck herself suggests, that we cannot just remove a Fixed Mindset and replace it will a Growth Mindset. It will take time and practice to develop a Growth Mindset in your brain, but just like anything we do, with practice, those pathways form and eventually become habits, yielding us the results that we have worked so hard to attain.Thank you for staying right to end of this episode. I’m grateful for your support and interest in these topics and look forward to sharing some of the most successful leaders in the field and social and emotional learning and emotional intelligence to help put this theory into practice. Stay tuned for my next guest…he’s someone who won’t need much of an introduction if you are in the field of education. I can’t wait to share his most recent book and work…see you next time. RESOURCES“Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers” by Education Week Research Center https://secure.edweek.org/media/ewrc_mindsetintheclassroom_sept2016.pdfREFERENCES:[i] Clark McKown, President of xSEL Labs “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Interview) August 2, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9-CvUbHkc0&list=PLb5Z3cA_mnKhiYc5glhacO9k9WTrSgjzW&index=7&t=1199s[ii] “Why Mindset Matters” by Marina Krakovsky https://neuroscience.stanford.edu/news/why-mindset-matters (Oct. 20, 2017).[iii]Misinterpreting the Growth Mindset: Why We're Doing Students a Disservice by Peter DeWitt June 28, 2017https://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?cid=25920011&item=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.edweek.org%2Fv1%2Fblog%2F95%2Findex.html%3Fuuid%3D72639[iv] “Why Growth Mindset Still Has some Growing to Do” by Rupa Chandra Gupta Nov.12, 2018 https://www.edsurge.com/amp/news/2018-11-12-why-the-growth-mindset-still-needs-to-grow-up[v] “Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers” by Education Week Research Center https://secure.edweek.org/media/ewrc_mindsetintheclassroom_sept2016.pdf[vi] “Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers” by Education Week Research Center https://secure.edweek.org/media/ewrc_mindsetintheclassroom_sept2016.pdf (page 5)[vii] “Why Growth Mindset Still Has some Growing to Do” by Rupa Chandra Gupta Nov.12, 2018 https://www.edsurge.com/amp/news/2018-11-12-why-the-growth-mindset-still-needs-to-grow-up[viii] “Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers” by Education Week Research Center https://secure.edweek.org/media/ewrc_mindsetintheclassroom_sept2016.pdf (page 5)[ix] Misinterpreting the Growth Mindset: Why We're Doing Students a Disservice by Peter DeWitt June 28, 2017https://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?cid=25920011&item=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.edweek.org%2Fv1%2Fblog%2F95%2Findex.html%3Fuuid%3D72639[x] How Cognitive Biases Influence How You Think and Act by Kendra Cherry September 7, 2019  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-cognitive-bias-2794963[xi] Infographic https://www.instagram.com/p/B0TNjU0lr_s/?utm_source=ig_web_options_share_sheet[xii] How Cognitive Biases Influence How You Think and Act by Kendra Cherry September 7, 2019  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-cognitive-bias-2794963[xiii] How Confirmation Bias Work by Kendra Cherry Sept. 8, 2019 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-confirmation-bias-2795024[xiv] “Why Mindset Matters” by Marina Krakovsky https://neuroscience.stanford.edu/news/why-mindset-matters (Oct. 20, 2017).[xv] Growth Mindset—Why is it Important for Your Organization? By Lisa Everton Nov.7, 2018 https://www.centreforleadershipadvantage.com/2018/11/07/growth-mindset-why-is-it-important-for-your-organisation/
September 10, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” EPISODE 19 this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Today we have Bob Jerus, author of “Mind Matters: Applying Emotional Intelligence for Personal and Professional Success”[i] among five other books on the topic of communication, leadership and sales.  His focus is on making performance, teamwork and organizational development happier and more result driven. He’s a certified human resource professional with over 30 years of experience in staffing, development, engagement and organizational development. He founded Success Dynamics International and developed the EIQ-2 Learning Systems. As a university professor and administrator, he developed, taught, administered, delivered and assessed both curriculum and courses at graduate and undergraduate levels for traditional, adult education and on-line programs. He’s taught marketing, management, HR, adult development and psychology with a focus on measurable, sustainable results.Bob has been a trusted advisor for the work we do with Achieveit360, and someone I reach out to often for advice with his in-depth knowledge in a wealth of different areas.Welcome Bob! It’s great to speak to you face to face for a change.Q1: It’s interesting and timely that we are speaking on World Suicide Prevention Day since the one of the last times I reached out to you for advice was to get some help in this area with some challenges I was seeing in our local schools. Can you provide some background on where you started your career and perhaps any words of advice on suicide prevention, since this is your area of expertise?Q2: We see a movement these days to implement social and emotional learning/emotional intelligence programs in our schools and workplaces. Why do you think programs like this are so important right now?Q3: Your book “Mind Matters: Applying Emotional Intelligence for Personal and Professional Success” explains every facet imaginable for success using Emotional Intelligence for Personal and Professional Success. I love how it’s written in a how-to style, connecting the brain and the most recent neuroscience research, with many graphics and visuals to guide the reader towards implementing the wisdom in each chapter. Can you explain why you wrote “Mind Matters” and what is your favorite/most important concept this book teaches? Q4: Self-regulation (managing one’s emotions) is always the most requested topic I am asked about when working with schools. Obviously, this is a skill that must be trained, but in your experience, why is it so difficult to perceive, understand and manage our emotions so that we can find that balance of self-leadership that’s so important in the workplace?Q5: What is your current vision now for your work with Success Dynamics and bringing Emotional Intelligence into the workplace? Q6: Is there anything that I might have missed? Any final words of wisdom that you would like to leave with us to help us to stay focused on applying emotional intelligence for more success in our life?[i] Mind Matters: Applying Emotional Intelligence for Personal and Professional Success” https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Matters-Emotional-Intelligence-Professional/dp/1502441918RESOURCES:Robert Jerus Article from LinkeIn “Suicide: The Final Answer?” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/suicide-final-answer-robert-jerus-sphr-always-on-your-mind-2e/?trackingId=RjS3pyL0TOeDZnHnxFtEOQ%3D%3DEmotional Intelligence Training with Bob Jerus http://www.eiq-2.com/
September 9, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” EPISODE 18 this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Today we have someone I have been friends with for almost 10 years. I’ll never forget seeing the review he left for my first book[i] on Amazon and when I saw his interest in what I was doing, I reached out to him to learn more about how he was using books like mine in schools, to see how I could improve.  Dr. Kohutek has spent his adult life working in the fields of psychology, neuropsychology and education. Through the experience of working with a myriad of students in settings ranging from Charter, Title I, Parochial schools, residential treatment centers, and psychiatric hospitals. He’s able to provide examples of situations which many elementary and middle school students experience in today’s educational system.I’ve been interested in his books[ii] over the years, and this is our second interview. We spoke many years ago about enhancing children’s cognitive abilities, years before educational neuroscience was so prevalent in our schools.  I was thrilled and honored when he asked me to write the Foreword to his most recent book, “Chloe and Josh Learn Grit and Resilience with Grit Gal” volume 1, available this week at Barnes and Noble[iii] and Amazon[iv] Welcome Dr. Kohutek, who is on campus today at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School in Austin, Texas. Q1: I love this book, especially with it being the first Foreword I have ever written, thank you for this opportunity! Can you tell me what inspired you to write a book on Grit, Mindset and Resilience?Q2: For years I envisioned tools and books like this in our classrooms and am excited to see the results it will produce. What made you intertwine the social and emotional competencies with the cognitive capabilities—which is exactly what I am doing here on the podcast? Q3: I love how the book covers these skills connected to stories because our brain looks for and stores memories based on emotions and stories are one way to elicit that emotion. Was there a particular student who made you think of Grit Gal providing the insight to overcome each of the seven stories?Q4: Why do you think the discussion questions with each chapter are so important? How can you see each chapter helping a student whether they are working with their teacher in the classroom, or at home, with their family?Q5: Why do you think this book is so timely? Why do most people never develop Grit?Q6: What is your vision for this book? I see that you are already working on Volume 2. What topics are coming up next?Q7: What are your final words of wisdom for us on this topic? Anything that we might have missed that you think is important to share?Q8: Where is the best place for someone to find your book? How can they reach you with any questions?Thank you very much for taking the time out to speak with me today and share this new book. I’m excited to hear about the results it creates for students and teachers as well to follow this series. Best of luck and thanks for all you are doing for students and schools. I know it’s not easy to write a book with a busy schedule of working in at[i] https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Teens-Revealed-Teenagers-Leadership/dp/1604940336[ii] https://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Cognitive-Enhancement-Program-Combined/dp/0989116441/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=kohutek&qid=1568050887&s=digital-text&sr=1-5-catcorr[iii] https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chloe-and-josh-learn-grit-and-resilience-with-grit-gal-kenneth-j-kohutek-ph-d/1133283703?ean=9781982231224 Barnes and Noble[iv] https://www.amazon.com/Chloe-Josh-Learn-Grit-Resilience-ebook/dp/B07XMJBDPQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=chloe+and+josh+learn+grit&qid=1568050783&s=gateway&sr=8-1 Amazon
September 6, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” EPISODE 17 this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Today we move into our Cognitive Track with Jenny Woo the founder of award-winning Emotional Intelligence games, 52 Conversations and 52 Essential Relationships and Harvard Graduate School of Education researcher of social and emotional learning. With her game, "52 Essential Conversations,[i]" Jenny has created a tool for parents, counselors, and teachers to support children's social-emotional development that comes with her own podcast channel “52 Conversations to inspire children for life”[ii] where she has in depth episodes on topics that match the lessons in her cards. I have both sets of cards here and have been using them with our family the past few weeks and have been having a blast with them. The game is designed for ages 5 to adult, covering six categories (That align to Casel’s competencies[iii] that we have been covering here on this channel)  (self-awareness; relationship skills; self-management; social awareness; responsible decision-making; and diversity, equity, and inclusion) and ask questions such as What is fairness? or What is luck? They can be used in a multitude of ways — as conversation prompts during dinner or daily errands, or in place of playing cards in a game of Go Fish. I used the cards to help stimulate discussion with my own children (ages 7 and 9) on the topic of friendship when my youngest was struggling with this at school. We all gave examples of what being a good friend means, and the examples I am sure will extend outside of our family discussion into her daily life. We all had a blast with the cards and look forward to learning more as we implement them.  Her game allows parents and children to learn about one another while developing life skills and preparing them for the world. These cards are used in over 40 countries, all 50 States, in schools and in the workplace, so you can see why I jumped at the chance to speak with Jenny Woo.Welcome Jenny! Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today. As we move into our cognitive track on the podcast, I was looking for experts to interview and was so excited when we connected on Linkedin.Q1: Can you give us some background to how you went from the Corporate world in management consulting to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and how this switch helped you to find your true calling and create such a timely product to help develop social and emotional skills for children, as well as life skills for adults?Q2: “We’ve seen tremendous advances over the decades in the learning sciences but there are still so many myths out there.  Can you help clear up some of the most common myths? For those of you interested, please visit Jenny’s website (in the show notes) for a quiz to see your knowledge of these brain myths.[iv]We only use 10% of our brain.If a child cannot sit in a classroom by 3rd grade, then he/she has an undiagnosed learning disability?The brains of boys/girls develop at different rates?Academic achievement can be negatively affected by skipping breakfast?Some children are born naturally creative.Children learn best when information is presented in their preferred learning style?Some people are left brain/right brain, and this explains how we learn best?Listening to classical music increases children’s cognitive reasoning ability?A common sign of dyslexia is seeing letters backwards.Teens circadian rhythms cause them to sleep/wake up later?Q3: From your research, can you give some strategies that you’ve incorporated into your game to help students/adults with their mindset, knowing that there are days we are all thrown off course?Q4: I recently posted something on Instagram on Cognitive Biases. It was a graphic where I quoted “Did you know there are almost 200 known cognitive biases and distortions that cause us to think and act irrationally.”[v] Someone posted in the comment section “Where do we even begin? I didn’t even know I had these.” Can you explain what cognitive biases are, and what we can do about them, so they don’t negatively impact our decision-making and life? Q5: When I first began to study with a neuroscience researcher, there was a brain fact about working memory that stuck with me. It was the fact that “the conscious mind can only hold 7-10 words in our working memory.” What does this mean for students and learning? With this in mind, how do you recommend students study for their spelling tests where they have 30 words or more to remember? What are the best strategies for memorization? Q6: Is there anything else that you think is important that we have missed? Thank you so much Jenny, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and your work. I’m looking forward to hearing how the Casel Exchange goes for you in October and continuing to support and share your work. Thanks for sharing your time and knowledge today.Links:Mind Brain Parenting Website (http://mindbrainparenting.org)52 Essential Conversations on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FKSQV47)52 Essential Relationships on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QKMVB35/)About Jenny Woo (speaking and consulting) (https://mindbrainparenting.org/jenny)Follow Jenny Woo on Social Media:@mindbrainparenting for Facebook | Instagram @mindbrainparent for Twitter LinkedIn (LinkedIn is the best way to contact). Not sure if I should include my email? It's jwoo@mindbrainparenting.orgBio: A Harvard-trained educator, neuroscience researcher, and mom of three, Jenny’s career has been dedicated to developing big and small human beings. Jenny founded Mind Brain Parenting and developed 52 Essential Conversations, an “anytime and anywhere” game that builds social and emotional life skills. It won the 2018 Parents’ Choice Awards, featured by CASEL and Harvard University, and used in over 40 countries. [i] https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/18/09/power-conversation[ii] https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/52-essential-conversations-to-inspire-children/id1418151997[iii] https://casel.org/core-competencies/[iv] https://mindbrainparenting.org/parenting-myths[v] https://www.instagram.com/p/B0TNjU0lr_s/?utm_source=ig_web_options_share_sheet
August 30, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Background and Introduction:Today we have two pioneers in the field of educational neuroscience; Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight. I first found Lori from her TEDx Talk from Indianapolis[i] when I was searching for anything in the field on educational neuroscience back in 2014. It was 5 years ago that I partnered with Arizona’s Dept of Education and was urged from an Arizona educator to write another book that focused on the brain science behind learning, and back then there wasn’t as much information out there as there is now in this field. I found Judy Willis[ii], and learned about the amygdala highjack, read David Souza’s “How the Brain Learns” and John Medina’s “Brain Rules” and hired a neuroscience researcher (named Mark Robert Waldman[iii] ) so I could be sure I had the correct understanding of the brain and learning, but still needed some help to tie everything together. Finally, I found Lori, and watched her videos to understand the other parts of the brain and how they are interconnected. In Lori’s Ted Talk, she mentioned that “neuroscience and education have come together” and it’s a huge connection because every day experiences change the brain structurally and functionally—and I thought, this is incredible that we can finally explain how we can accelerate learning with this understanding of the brain. And then through Lori, had a chance to see Michael’s work and dive deeper into understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences. So, thank you for all you are both for pioneering this field, and helping so many around the world to understand what at first might seem like complex concepts, (if like most of us, we’ve not had a crash course in how our brain works) so this is groundbreaking by making this all so relatable for everyone.    I’m thrilled to finally “meet” you both, face to face, after many years of emails, social media replies. Please do follow Lori and Michael’s pages as they both share often about the impact; they are igniting in our schools today.  I will add their bios in the show notes, so you can learn more, but want to get straight into some questions.  Welcome Lori and Michael!Q1: For new people who are getting to know your work, can you give some background on how you both met and began working together, leading to you writing  your two books “Unwritten, The Story of a Living System”[iv] and your most recent book that I haven’t been able to put down “Eyes are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of our Most Troubled Students”[v] and if you could explain the new movement of being trauma informed? Q2: I can ask this next question two ways, the first focuses on the problem when I ask “what could we possibly do to make an impact on our schools and students today knowing we are in a crisis with drug use, bullying, suicide and suicide ideation, and anxiety”  or I could ask it from this point of view where we change the narrative and focus on the solution by asking “how does shifting away from the traditional disciplinary approach to acknowledge the impact of stress on behavior and our students’ ability to focus and learn” shift the results you are both seeing in our schools today? Q3: Can you explain what educators, and parents should understand about the brain and how our emotions impact learning? Q4: I know firsthand about stress in the classroom—my first teaching assignment was a behavioral class back in the late 1990s. Like many teachers, I burned out before I even got started and if you were to ask ANY of my friends back then, I was the least likely to quit. Chapter 1 of your book “Eyes are Never Quiet” was eye-opening and even brought tears to my eyes with the advice that Michael gave an educator (who Lori shared was her daughter making the story even more impactful) because she was at the end of her rope in the classroom. I remember exactly how frustrating that felt and didn’t make the decision to quit and leave the profession quickly—but it did make me wonder—especially with the crisis around teacher shortage, what would happen if ALL new teachers were given Michael’s advice, and found strategies to thrive, not just survive in this profession? Q5: What is your vision for your work? Where would you like to see the most impact/change?Q6: What is your vision for the standards in the US as they relate to SEL/neuroscience/health and well-being and how can advocates with this work make sure that all states align as new standards are being created?Q7: What about the educational publishers? What should they consider when creating new curriculum that aligns with these new standards and important developmental benchmarks for students?Q6: Do you both have any final thoughts or words of wisdom to leave us encouraged as we continue to learn more about how emotions and learning are intimately connected and processed in the brain? Is there anything I might have missed that you think is important? Thank you both for so openly sharing your knowledge with the world. I urge any listeners who want to learn more about this work to follow Lori and Michael. Lori is @desautels_phd and Michael is S on Twitter. You can find them on Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram to see their strategies in action. Thank you both.BIODr. Lori Desautels, is an assistant professor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Butler University in Indianapolis. Lori's passion is engaging her students through neuroscience in education, integrating Mind Brain Teaching and Learning Strategies into her courses at Marian and now Butler University.Dr. Desautels designed and teaches the Applied Educational Neuroscience certificate program at Butler. This program is specifically designed to meet the needs of educators, social workers and counselors who work beside children and adolescents that are experiencing adversity and trauma. Lori has conducted workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Lori's second book was published in January 2016, "Unwritten, The Story of a Living System," co-authored with Michael McKnight and they recently published “Eyes are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of Our Most Troubled Students”[vi] that should be required reading for parents, educators, and counselors looking to understand the impact of stress on behavior in today’s schools.Michael McKnight is currently an educational specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education working in the Cape May and Atlantic County Office of Education. Michael works closely with the 42 school districts in the counties and is involved with a wide range of school issues. Michael has a passion for creating and supporting Reclaiming Environments for “at-risk” children and youth as well as the adults who serve them.He has been involved with program and staff development for over 30 years.  He views himself, not as an expert, but as a learner and a teacher who has always enjoyed building strength-based cultures with others.[i] A Call to See and to Serve in Education Lori Desautels, YouTube published Nov. 26th, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9KhDjGGHCk[ii] Judy Willis What Do Teachers Need to Know About the Brain YouTube published April 23, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GdufhdthFo[iii] TEDx Conejo published 3/27/10 Mark Robert Waldman on “How to Change the World” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvhCLXEeSDQ[iv] Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight Unwritten: The Story of a Living System: A Pathway to Enlivening and Transforming Education Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing (January 9, 2016)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AF3OVG0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 [vi] Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight Eyes Are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of our Most Troubled Students https://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Are-Never-Quiet-Listening-ebook/dp/B07ML51Q8G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3RXFMT86D73A9&keywords=eyes+are+never+quiet&qid=1566934605&s=digital-text&sprefix=eyes+are+never+%2Cdigital-text%2C183&sr=1-1
August 21, 2019
Welcome back this is Andrea Samadi, thanks so much for your continued support with this podcast. As we are completing our 15th episode, I’m getting a lot of feedback via social media messages and would love to hear more about what you think about these competencies/episodes...and how they might be of use to you whether you are working with students in the classroom, teams in the boardroom, or you are just looking to take your results to that next level. I can clearly see that the last lesson on “Self-Regulation” that the strategies offered were valuable—it does help me when I receive your feedback on what lessons you like and how they are helpful. This was the most requested competency when I was working with the school market, as everyone wants our students to learn how to self-regulate. It’s also a crucial skill for adults to learn.This podcast is not only for you, but I’m learning with each interview and episode. When we started, the end of June, it was to provide tools and resources for you—however, in this process, I am getting the best education—which is a testament to the fact that we learn more when we teach others. Today we have another student who we’ve brought back after 5 years of studying this material, to see how these skills really do transfer from high school into your career for future success. There’s nothing more exciting to me than watching those who can take their results to these higher levels—we all have the ability to do it and then experience the freedom of the life we know we created and had as a vision for—usually one that seemed so far off from reality, but with time, effort, and following that daily grind—one day we wake up and realize we are living the life we had imagined. Then we are amazed, as we look back, connecting the dots, that it wasn’t rocket science, but just following a few simple principles through to completion. So few people follow the principles, or do things in this certain way—to get to these levels, which is why I’m hoping these episodes will offer tips, ideas and strategies to help more people implement these concepts into their daily life.Today’s guest is someone who has been a friend of mine since we published the Teen Performance Magazine back in 2009. His name is Donte Dre Winrow and he learned the power of networking when he was in high school helping him to break into a career path that he’d never had the opportunity for without knowing certain people. Let’s hear how Donte broke through to reach these higher levels of achievement. Click the link to view the video of this interview on YouTube.I’m excited for the cognitive track coming up...as we are nearing the end of the social and emotional competencies. Stay tuned for the last SEL competency and moving into the next track of learning. Thanks for listening. Right now, we are reaching 16 countries, all just from organic sharing on social media, no paid advertising. please do send me a message with your thoughts on these episodes, what you like, what you’d like to see....so I can improve moving forward. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
August 20, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. Our goal with this podcast is to close the gap recent surveys show exists in our workforce where 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. Research shows that social-emotional skills like social awareness, self-regulation, and growth mindset are crucial to college and career readiness. The outcomes of developing these intelligences are vast as they impact our performance, leadership, personal excellence, time management, and decision-making.We’ve chosen six social and emotional learning competencies to dive deep into and tie in how an understanding of our brain can facilitate these strategies. With each competency, we’ll investigate the best practices that you can use to develop and improve your own SEL/Emotional Intelligence and well-being practice, before extending these strategies to your districts, schools, classrooms, workplaces and communities. We want the ideas you take away with you to be actionable whether you are an educator working in a school, an employee or manager in a corporation, or someone just looking to take their skills to the next level. Be sure to look for the resources in the show notes section if you would like to dive deeper into this topic.Our next competency is self-regulation.What is Self-Regulation and Why is it So Important? Self-regulation is “the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, adjust to a change in expectations and (the ability) to handle frustration”[i] In other words, it’s the ability to bounce back after a setback or disappointment, and the ability to stay in congruence with your inner value system. The ability to control one's behavior, emotions, and thoughts is an integral skill to be taught to young children as well, so they can form and maintain healthy relationships and connections later in life.[ii] As an adult, self-regulation is important in day to day life as we must learn how to handle and bounce back from life’s challenges and disappointments in our personal and professional lives.  This skill is crucial to develop as we all know that life is full of ups and downs and we must be able to navigate through challenging situations before we can reach any level of achievement and success. We all know people who seem to bounce back after adversity. It’s not by luck or chance, it’s because they have learned how to self-regulate and intentionally get themselves back on course. This is a learned skill and one that we must teach or model to our students/children for them to be able to master it as adults.Scott Bezsylko, the executive director of the Winston Prep school explains that they approach self-regulation skills “in the same way (they) approach other skills, academic or social: (they) isolate that skill and provide practice. When you think of it as a skill to be taught — rather than, say, just bad behavior — it changes the tone and content of the feedback you give kids.” [iii] Just like we would create a drill for improving dribbling for a basketball player, or practicing vocabulary words for a spelling test, we can create practice for self-regulation. Self-Regulation Tips for Children The key to teaching these skills to children is to model them, coaching younger children, until they can produce the results on their own.[iv]MODEL SELF-TALK: This works well with younger students as they learn how to identify their emotions. Teachers can model self-regulation in class by naming the emotions they are experiencing since we learn by watching others. Help students to recognize the emotions they have (for example-today I am feeling frustrated because I am stuck on my math problem) and offer a strategy on how to deal with the problem, perhaps by taking some deep breaths when they feel frustrated and to keep working the problem.[v]ENCOURAGE SELF-CONTROL: If you are a student and value academic achievement, you’ll have the ability to complete your homework and make sacrifices to study for upcoming tests, instead of watching Netflix or going out with your friends. Teachers can offer tips and strategies that they used personally in pursuit of their goals by offering the rewards they gained from giving up something they liked to do to make time for study. This will build trust with students as they share their own stories and experiences.UNCOVER THE MOTIVATION: When students understand the importance of what they are studying, how it applies to the real world, or their daily life, there will be motivated to achieve that end goal. They must figure out how to make connections with what they are learning to motivate themselves intrinsically, learning for the fun of it, and become lifelong learners. Encourage students to make a game out of their learning to increase motivation.[vi] How do they learn best? Is it by taking notes, perhaps drawing images next to their notes to help them to identify and remember what they are learning? Do they remember what they are learning if they read their notes out loud? What strategies did you use to study and learn? Have students share their ideas with each other in a classroom discussion as one person’s ideas can help or encourage another to try something new.REACHING THOSE AHA! MOMENTS: When students start learning something new, they will go through different stages on the way to metacognition, where they are aware of what they are learning. When students can learn to form habits around how they learn best, with time and practice, they will learn how to naturally break through where they may become stuck, to experience the Aha! Moments when they finally understand something that might have escaped them for so long. Students must find ways to relax their brain and body and it’s during those “resting states” that remarkable activity takes place, allowing the brain to creatively solve problems, and take the student to new heights of achievement. Dr. Sriny Pillay, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard’s Medical School, talks about the power of building “unfocused time into your day” so that you can make better decisions, and become more productive whether you are in the classroom, or boardroom. Dr. Pillay brings in the latest brain research to prove that our brains must have time to rest in order to be productive and that too much focus causes brain fatigue. If you have ever noticed that great ideas come to you sometimes while in the shower, it’s this principle at work. The unfocused brain takes us to new places, insights, and Aha Moments, where focus cannot.Einstein discovered his theory of relativity in a daydream he had (while he let his mind wander) and he used logic to explain it.Steve Jobs explained that “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” [vii] These Aha Moments might not be apparent until you look back at them.So how does self-regulation translate into the workplace? To reach these high levels of achievement in the workplace, there’s more involved than just using your self-control and your will power. The executive functions of your brain are involved, and we have mentioned in previous episodes that in order to self-regulate, our brain must work right. We must put brain health first by getting enough sleep, nutrition, supplements and exercise, and when our brain works right, we work right. We must have strategies to calm down our emotions first, since our executive functions won’t be working right while we are under stress. Whether that means taking some deep breaths or walking away to recalibrate.Here are 3 Self-Regulation Tips for the WorkplaceEMBRACE THE DAILY GRIND: Remember that when you are working on something that’s important to you, the more time and effort you put in, focused on this goal, that things don’t get easier for you in this pursuit—they become more difficult. When you become better at what you are doing, gaining more competence, you will gain more success, but things won’t get easier for you—as we would imagine—they get harder as more challenges appear. When you are working, taking action, and doing something, problems and obstacles will show up. Those who are the most successful in their craft will understand and embrace that hardship with daily focus, and consistent practice to overcome the obstacles. With focus, persistence and daily practice, confidence will develop and will propel you forward.REMEMBER THAT WE HAVE A CHOICE: When difficult situations arise, we have three choices. We can approach (by asking questions), avoid, or attack.[viii] The best results obviously occur when we are able to respond to a situation (approaching it with understanding) rather than react (by avoidance or attack) by asking questions to uncover more and see if there might be something we are missing or some sort of miscommunication. We always have a choice on how we respond to situations. The research is clear that mindfulness and meditation can help increase the gap between a stimulus and our response to it, so those who have developed their own practice, will find making this choice to respond vs react, much easier.[ix]LEARN TO “SWITCH” IT OFF: Once you are clear on the situation, if your feathers were ruffled and you didn’t like something that occurred, you must have a strategy in place to switch off the emotions that you feel so that you don’t react. An effective strategy used in cognitive behavioral therapy[x] is to say the word “SWITCH” in your head as you focus on switching the negative emotion that you feel to something more positive. We all have automatic negative thoughts that come into our head at times, but we must have a strategy to stop them from ruminating or continuing in a loop, since we know that switching off these negative thoughts is an important step towards self-regulation and moving us towards our goals. I’ve always used the strategy of saying “STOP” when this happens and changing the thought pattern in my head to something more productive.Outcomes and ResultsSelf-regulation develops, grows and improves from birth through young adulthood and beyond.[xi] As parents, and teachers working with our students in the classroom, modeling these strategies will be crucial for our students to begin to implement and grasp them. As students move from high school and into the workplace, developing a mindfulness and meditation strategy early on can only further strengthen this skill so that we can provide our best selves in our community, families or workplaces.Thank you for staying to the end of this episode. Stay tuned for more interviews this week with students who have been applying these principles for the past five years and are returning to share the results they have created in their lives. Next week we will cover the Mindset competency, and move into the Cognitive Track, where we will dive deep into our brain and how are results (personally and professionally) are all controlled by this powerful organ.RESOURCES:30 Games and Activities for Self-Regulation https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/self-regulation/Strong Self-Regulation Skills: Why They are Fundamental by Committee for Children YouTube Published August 1, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4UGDaCgo_s&feature=youtu.beEmotional Self-Regulation Techniques for Teaching https://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/October-2016/emotional-self-regulationUsing Your Brain to Get You to Where You Want to Go: Guide for High School Students https://schoolsocialwork.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Brain_Drivers_Education-Operators_Guide.pdf (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2010) This document is available under a royalty-free license at www.schoolpsychiatry.orgBradley University: How to Teach Clients Self-Regulation Skills https://onlinedegrees.bradley.edu/blog/how-to-teach-clients-self-regulation-skills/Curriculum for Teaching Emotional Self-Regulation by Scott Carchedi July 24, 2014  https://schoolsocialwork.net/curriculum-for-teaching-emotional-self-regulation/Middle and High School Self-Regulation Lessons https://apps.esc1.net/ProfessionalDevelopment/uploads/WKDocs/71257/Self-Regulation%20Lessons.pdfREFERENCES:[i] How Can We Help Our Kids with Self-Regulation https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/amp/[ii] How to Practice Self-Regulation https://www.verywellmind.com/how-you-can-practice-self-regulation-4163536[iii] How Can We Help Our Kids with Self-Regulation https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/amp/[iv] How Can We Help Our Kids with Self-Regulation https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/amp/[v] Edutopia article “Teaching Self-Regulation by Modeling” (January, 2019) https://www.edutopia.org/video/teaching-self-regulation-modeling[vi] Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2249/Motivation-SELF-REGULATED-LEARNING.html[vii] Steve Jobs Stanford University Commencement Speech  https://news.stanford.edu/2005/06/14/jobs-061505/[viii] How to Practice Self-Regulation https://www.verywellmind.com/how-you-can-practice-self-regulation-4163536[ix] Mindfulness, Meditation and Executive Control https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/8/1/85/1694475[x] What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Therapist Kati Morton YouTube uploaded Sept. 23, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7B3n9jobus[xi] Seven Key Principles of Self-Regulation https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/srts_7_principles_brief_revised_2_15_2017_b508.pdf
August 15, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Today we have a very special guest. She is someone who has helped us at Achieveit360.com with ideas, video editing, student voice and customized art work since 2015. If you have a copy of the Level Up book, she’s the teen artist on the back cover who designed the original cover of the book for a school administrator who requested a customized version for his school and you can also see more about her story in the history and testimonial section. She was involved in creating the name of the book and program, Level Up, and the videos in the program, all with the teen in mind. She learned how to take action on her ideas at an early age, without any limits in her mind, and we are so excited to share her most recent news. She just accepted a 4 year, all paid, prestigious leadership scholarship at the University of AR Fort Smith and begins this adventure this week! Welcome Sam. Can you give us an example of when you FIRST started to use your voice as a young teen, and the results that you created by staying true to yourself and developing your strengths/passions/talents with your artwork?Looking back now, what skills would you say you learned as a teen that helped you with the success you’ve attained with you most recent achievement?What advice do you have for other students as they are navigating through HS to stay focused on the end result vs drama that can be a part of this time period?What tips do you have for students who would like to apply for a scholarship like you did? Where do they begin? How do you ever find out about scholarships like this?How about parents of teens? How can we help our kids be more successful? What should we do more of/less of?What about secondary school educators? How can they help their students be more successful?What has winning this scholarship been like for you? How did it feel when you first got the news?What are you learning there? What will this year look like for you?What types of courses/programs will you receive that are different than a typical 4-year student? (Extensive Team Building, and other?)Where do you see yourself AFTER your scholarship?What are you most excited about learning?Is there anything that you think is important that we have not covered yet about your journey to get to this point?Thank you for taking the time out of your day to share your story with us. We are thrilled to see the results that you have created for yourself and know that this is only the beginning. You are destined for a very bright future. Well done.
August 9, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. I want to first of all thank YOU for listening and providing feedback of the episodes. Since launching the end of June, without any paid advertising, we are on our 12th episode and we have reached 12 countries so far!  This is incredible! Thanks for all the DMs with feedback on the content and how you are implementing these ideas—I do appreciate hearing how these episodes are being received and how you are using this information. If you’d like to reach me with any questions, you can always find me on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Just search Andrea Samadi.For those who don’t know the background of why we launched the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” it began with the growing movement and interest in social and emotional learning in our schools and need to take these skills into the workplace with emotional intelligence training. Our goal is to close the gap recent surveys show exists in our workforce where 58 percent of employers say college graduates are not adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills like self and social awareness, and growth mindset that are crucial to college and career readiness and are finally being introduced into our schools. We want the ideas you take away with you to be actionable whether you are an educator working in a school, an employee of manager in a corporation, or someone just looking to take their skills to the next level.As a recap, in our first episode, we shared with you the “Why behind implementing an SEL/emotional intelligence training program in your school or workplace” with some strategies that we offered on how to get started. In the second episode, we introduced the first of the six SEL competencies (self-awareness). This episode has been the most popular so far, and the one I’ve had the most feedback on, showing me that self-awareness is of high interest to those interested in this work—both the school market, as well as the workplace. We’ve tied in interviews to connect you to these skills so you can hear directly from experts from the field and those who are implementing programs with success. With each skill we investigate the best practices and strategies that you can use either in the classroom or workplace to develop and improve your own program and practice, before extending these strategies to others. Don’t forget to look for ideas, tools and resources in the show notes section if you want a deeper dive into the content. Today we are on the fourth competency, out of six—Responsible Decision-Making.Understanding the neuroscience[i] behind decision-making can be an important tool when looking for new results.In our last episode with Chloe Amen, we discussed the importance of brain development and results and the fact that “your brain is not fully developed until the age of 25 for females and 28 for males”[ii] so it is critical that we take care of our brain to ensure that we are able to make sound decisions later in life.  An understanding of our brain’s functions and form are crucial to our future success, since our brain is involved in literally everything that we do.In the Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course (by Dr. Daniel Amen) that was designed to help teens and young adults improve brain function and performance, Chloe Amen (from our last episode) participated in the teen panel and noted that “People don’t realize the decisions they make now (as teens or young adults)—will affect their life later because we aren’t thinking about this at all! Decisions can affect our future—So how can I be my best self?”[iii] Imagine if we had all grown up protecting the organ that controls everything that we do? When I was thirteen, no one ever mentioned the importance of protecting my brain, or how it relates to my future success. We were all told to work hard, go to school and study, with the goal to graduate and pursue a career doing something that you love and enjoy. Future success occurred through hard work, perseverance and what we now call grit and many of us had to figure this one out through trial and error as well, or from an internal drive that had either been ignited in us by our mentors and role models or motivated intrinsically on our own. But with the most recent developments in neuroscience, there is now a new importance of taking care of our brain health, since our brain is involved in literally everything that we do. It controls our thoughts, feelings, how we act and interact with other people, our character, decisions, and actions, not to mention sensory motor functions, regulating internal chemical order and our brain’s alertness, whether we are asleep or awake.  There’s so much involved with this powerful organ going on behind the scenes, it shouldn’t shock for any of us to hear that the latest research shows “the brain’s memory capacity is a quadrillion, or 1015” [iv] You can see how an understanding of our brain’s function and an emphasis on brain health is the first step towards making responsible decisions, since the brain is involved in everything that we do. So, what does this look like in action? We all have situations that happen in our lives where we must step up and assume responsibility for our future success. When we look at our lives, and don’t like the results we have created, it’s up to us to make the changes needed for new results. It all begins with the thoughts we are thinking—our mental mindset. It’s never a lack of knowledge or skill that holds us back, it’s our mindset, the emotional blocks and deeply engrained habits that we have acquired over time (either consciously or subconsciously) that we must release to clear the path for our future successes. It’s our thoughts that cause our feelings and emotions, leading us to take certain actions. The actions that we take cause results that set up our conditions, circumstances and the environment of our life (take a minute to look around you right now—where you are at this exact minute is all based on your past decisions) and if you don’t like what you see, you must go back to change the thoughts you are thinking, (back to your mental mindset) to create new feelings, new actions, new results, and this in turn will create new conditions, circumstances and environments.Changing our thinking is the first step towards changing our results and no one can do this for you. The next step is taking action on the decisions. Most people get stuck here and end up blaming others for their results when they look around and don’t like what they see. They blame the job market for the fact they don’t have the job they would like to do, or what’s going wrong in the world for whatever results they have created. Responsible people never blame others for their results but take 100% responsibility and ownership. This is an important skill to learn in the classroom as well as the workplace.Let’s start with the classroom. How do we teach this to our students, especially knowing that their brains are not fully developed yet? Their prefrontal cortex (the front of the brain) that contains the executive functions like focus, judgement, planning and impulse control have not yet developed, so we must begin there to help guide our children and young adults in the decision-making process.5 Tips to Improve Decision-Making with Students and Young Adults:Teaching students about the three parts of their brain at an early age is crucial. Children as young as five have the ability to understand their reptilian brain (hindbrain) the oldest part of their brain where they have their survival instincts of flight, flight and freeze. When they realize these reactions happen automatically to keep them safe, they can learn strategies to deal with them when they occur so they don’t get caught off guard. For example, taking deep breaths when they are afraid or nervous instead of running away or avoiding a decision that is naturally shutting down their brain. For their emotional/limbic brain (midbrain) they should understand that this is where their feelings and emotions are controlled and that they must have strategies in place when their buttons get pushed and their emotions take over. Strategies like learning how to respond to situations (by asking questions) rather than automatically reacting based on assumptions without knowing all of the details of a situation. Finally, they have a decision-making brain, the neocortex (forebrain) that controls our thinking and reflecting, reasoning and planning—but this part of the brain is not fully developed until age 25 for females and 28 for males, so we must take guidance from our parents, teachers, friends and role models until we are old enough to make responsible decisions on our own. Parents and teachers must remember that although young adults “think” they are old enough to make their own decisions, we must be there to support, listen and influence the decisions that they make, since these decisions often will impact their future. We can be there as guides to offer tips based on our experiences and role model the results and behaviors we expect of them, but also giving them room to make their own decisions whether they are the best ones or not, they must learn the process of failing forward.Teens and young adults should understand the power of taking responsibility for themselves and their own decisions. Remember that responsible people never blame others for their results. Think about a time that someone blamed you for something you didn’t do. How did you feel? What did you do about it? Blaming does not change what happened. When you blame others for the results you achieve, you are not being responsible. When you take responsibility for yourself, you understand that you are responsible for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and all the results you create in your life. You realize when something goes wrong in your life that you brought the situation on yourself. No one did it to you. This is a powerful concept when it becomes a habit as it will propel you forward.Remember that “everything young people do either helps or hurts your brain development”[v] and hurts your long-term success. We know that drugs and alcohol are not good for the developing brain and current research goes far into this understanding proving that there is an epigenetic connection between drug use at an early age and how it impacts not just your future, but the future of your children[vi] proving that drugs and alcohol are not good for anyone’s brain, and especially damaging to the developing brain.Learn to stop and think when making a decision. Ask “does this feel right?” and you should be able to listen to your gut instinct to know if the decision is responsible. Ask “will this hurt or harm my brain?”[vii] to help make the best decisions for my brain health and future success.Write it out. Write out the problem you are looking to solve with ideas on how you think you could solve it. Create specific strategies with a timeline attached so you stay on track with your plan. Send this plan to someone you know for new ideas, thoughts, or suggestions, as well as to provide accountability that you will complete the steps to solve the problem. Remember that since your prefrontal cortex is still under construction, you will need support with making decisions until your brain has fully developed. Ask for support or help when needed, whether it’s from a teacher, parent or adult. We all need guidance at certain times in our life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.Decision-Making Tips for the Workplace: Even though adults have a fully developed prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain that makes decisions, we still need a process to follow to ensure we are making effective and smart decisions that yield the results we are looking for. Remember that to make an effective decision, you must first learn how to think, and this process is carried out by the executive functions in your brain (in your prefrontal cortex): functions like planning, implementing, monitoring, and making adjustments to overcome problems. When working on a goal, or solving a problem, try these 4 simple steps. Eventually they become habitual but having a process will increase your performance.[viii]Start your decision-making process with these 4 Steps:Evaluate the Problem You Want to Solve: This process begins in your frontal lobes. What’s the problem? What outcome are you looking for? Is your outcome achievable? Is it meaningful? Attach meaning and emotion to help increase motivation. Make sure everyone on the team is on board with the “why” behind the goal.Plan Your Strategy: Next, your frontal lobe maps out the strategies needed as you ask yourself “where am I now, where do I want to go, how will I get there and what strategies and tactics do I need?” Create your plan. I’ve seen this plan mapped out many different ways but knowing where you are starting from, what your end goal is, and identifying what’s missing (your gap) is crucial to this step. This is where skill development takes place and the gaps are filled. Get clear on what’s missing and what must we learned to achieve the goal? Who can we consult with to fill in our gaps? Identify the experts you will need.Implement Your Strategy: Once you have listed the strategies that you will use and the tactics that will follow, your frontal lobe works with your body to put these ideas into action. This is where the hard work comes into play.  Roll up your sleeves and get to work.Monitor and Adjust: When you take action, your frontal lobe is ready to make changes as obstacles come up. Be ready to pivot when needed as you monitor what’s working and what isn’t. Effective decision-making requires ongoing evaluation of these four steps.The Outcomes of Responsible Decision-MakingWith practice, decision-making becomes easier and with students, they will learn to take their time with important decisions, weighing out the pros and cons. Decision-making in the workplace also becomes easier with this four-step approach. Take the time to think and plan ahead of time and it will better prepare you for the future success of the desired outcome and this process with practice will be executed with confidence and certainty as the results you are looking for emerge. It does take effort, hard work and focus, but it’s the first step towards creating predictable results as you follow your decision-making plan, with your brain in mind.This brings us to the end of this lesson, thanks for your interest and sticking it through right to the end. Next week we have the fifth SEL competency, self-regulation and an exciting interview that ties these competencies all together. See you next week!RESOURCES:[i] The Neuroscience of Making a Decision https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-neuroscience-making-decision?amp[ii] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[iii] 13-year-old Cloe Amen in the Teen Panel in the Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[iv] 72 Amazing Human Brain Facts https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/?fbclid=IwAR0wepcGNA2FqFjv6XrYBpxakFkI7r4hyyqrwb01a3b01u4UIf4G-228maA[v] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[vi] How an Understanding of an Individual’s Epigenetics Can Help Measure and Treat Addiction (January 3, 2017) https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/how-understanding-an-individuals-epigenetics-can-help-measure-and-treat-addiction/[vii] Brain Thrive by 25 Online Course https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[viii] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning, Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Diversion Books, January 31, 2017) https://www.amazon.com/NeuroWisdom-Brain-Science-Happiness-Success-ebook/dp/B01N9BLBDH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=neurowisdom&qid=1565268860&s=gateway&sr=8-1
August 6, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video. Today I want to welcome our special guest, Chloe Amen. If you follow Tana and Dr. Daniel Amen’s work on their Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast[i], she doesn’t need an introduction, because the past couple of weeks she’s been speaking about the soon to be released book that was written by her Dad, Dr. Daniel Amen, who draws on his experience as a neuroscientist and psychiatrist as well as the latest brain science to help you study more effectively, learn faster, and understand how your brain works to optimize results (whether we are talking about academic results or results in the boardroom) they both begin with an understanding of our brain.  Chloe and her cousin Alizé Castellanos are major contributors to this book, offering modern day strategies that students and adults will relate to (Coming Sept 17th…you can pre-order it on AMAZON)[ii] “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades.”Here’s more about Chloe so you can see the vast experience that has led her to be an expert and role model for others in this field at such a young age. Chloe Amen, now a junior in high school (a straight A student who has just finished sophomore classes) has been a part of the National Honor Society for the past three years.  She was a guest star on the popular public television show Feel Better Fast[iii] (with Dr. Daniel Amen), and contributor and guest star in the high school program Brain Thrive by Twenty Five,[iv] which is designed to help teens improve brain function and performance. (This is the most thorough and engaging online course that I have ever taken, teaching the theories of brain development as it relates to life success) and has been used in forward thinking schools looking to give their students the leading edge that comes with these strategies.  She is an intern for the Mayor’s Youth Council of Newport Beach, which participates in local government and community service. Chloe also has a passion for service and is an active volunteer for Girls Inc., an afterschool girl’s empowerment program. Chloe has a passion for performing arts, where she is currently pursuing a career. Volunteering at church in activities such as student leadership and campus cleanup has been an ongoing devotion. With her free time Chloe enjoys practicing martial arts, dance, songwriting and singing, and the arts. In elementary and early junior high, Chloe struggled with anxiety and organization which affected her academic performance. Through the techniques she has learned and shared in Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades, she has transformed her mindset and work ethic. As a result, she now has a 4.0 GPA and thoroughly enjoys learning.Welcome Chloe! It’s an honor to have you here today.Q1: Can you give us some background of growing up with brain strategies infused into your household and how you got involved with the modern version of this book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life?Before your involvement with this new book, that’s coming out September 17th, you were already actively involved with helping others understand the power involved with their brain’s function as it relates to achievement. I took the Brain Thrive by 25 Course[v] at least 2 years ago, so am I correct to say that you were 13 when you filmed that? One of the biggest lessons I learned from watching you in the teen panel of was that your brain is not fully developed until age 25 for females and 28 for males.Q2: Can you give us some thoughts of how this fact has changed your decision-making process and perhaps some thoughts of things you know you will do differently with this knowledge as a young adult? Chloe mentions that she has always been taught to make decisions with her brain health in mind being raised by Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen, leaders and pioneers in this industry.[vi] Q3: Let’s talk about this NEW book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades” that is not just for students. It also contains tips and strategies that can be applicable for anyone looking to improve their results in life (how to get a raise at work)…it’s about learning new things to make yourself more valuable. What interested you to get involved with writing and adding tips into the newer version of this book?Q4: When it comes to study habits, organization, productivity and results, there’s a knack for finding the right balance that can set you up for success in life…or failure. Can you explain the 3 brain types that “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades” outlines? What’s your brain type?  What are the other types so listeners can figure out what their brain type might be, whether they are a student in the classroom, or an adult looking for a competitive advantage?Q5: I remember one of my mentors always quoting that “Fear of public speaking is America’s biggest phobia—before death (that’s at #5) meaning that many of us would rather die than make a fool of ourselves in front of others. What tips do you have for public speaking, with the brain in mind? Can you cover why practice before a presentation is so important?Q6: Nutrition plays a huge role in determining success in the classroom, as well as the boardroom. For those who have not been following your parents’ work, (on the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast) can you give some tips on how you began to implement healthy nutrition into your life for improved results? Can you talk a bit about how you handle this as a teen when all your friends might be choosing less healthy food options? How did understanding your brain type help you to choose the best diet to optimize your productivity and results?Q7: With social media emerging as a means of communication the past 22 years with AOL messenger being my first memory of online communication starting in 1997 (a bit before you were born) the world is so different now for teens growing up using technology and social media.  How has not taking things personally helped you at age 15 and how do you stay focused on your academics/away from drama that can emerge online?Q8: Any final thoughts/tips on how you can “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades” that we might have missed.Thank you for taking the time out of your Monday that I know includes school work and many other activities to speak with us today. I think you are brilliant beyond your years and I just wish I had an understanding of this information when I was 15. I’m looking forward to the release of this book and what you will create next.REFERENCES:[i] https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/[ii] https://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Brain-Grades-Science-Based/dp/1948836858/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=change+your+brain+change+your+grades&qid=1565049736&s=gateway&sr=8-1[iii] https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/mar/18/feel-better-fast-and-make-it-last-daniel-amen-md/[iv] https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[v] https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brainthriveby25[vi] http://danielamenmd.com/
August 3, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Today we have Clark McKown, the Founder and President of xSEL Labs, an award-winning social scientist and a leading expert on SEL assessments. His work with SEL assessments began back in 2007 at Rush University and in 2016 he founded xSELLabs and their assessment called SELweb. In 2017 more than 50,000 children completed SELweb during the 2017-2018 school year and they continue to grow.Welcome Clark. I have some questions that tie into the language of SEL and assessment for others to gain some clarity with these terms. There’s a lot to navigate with all the terminology that often has different meaning for different people, so let’s dive right in.Q1: When I was referred to your work from Greg Wolcott, an Assistant Superintendent from Chicago, he mentioned you were the #1 person to look at with regards to SEL assessment in the US.  We know from the feedback from the Edweek 2019 Social and Emotional Learning in Schools Summit that educators are “interested in social and emotional learning but aren’t always sure where to start” [i] and they are looking for “clear starting points in developing their own SEL strategies and programs.” I wanted to have you on today to share your research and knowledge in the growing field of SEL as many school districts begin to implement their programs[ii]   but there’s a lot that I can see that could use some clarification for this field. Can you give an overview of where you see SEL now since you started xSELLabs, and where you see SEL going in the country to bring some clarity to this emerging field? Clark mentions the work Casel is doing with their Collaborating States Initiative[iii] as well as the Assessment Work Group[iv] that he is a steering committee member of. Q2: What first steps would you recommend a District consider when looking to go from intention to action with implementing an SEL program? You mention in your blog “Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices”[v] that there are 2 broad approaches—one being to adopt a widely used SEL program and the other being the kernel approach.  Can you explain these approaches with the pros and cons of each? Clark mentions to begin with Casel.org and Casel’s District Resource Center[vi] for your first implementation steps.Q3: When Districts are choosing an SEL program, a program that is evidence-based, like those found in Casel’s program guides[vii], and data-informed SEL programs both matter.Q4: “One of the main reasons for the historic lack of engagement with social and emotional skill development in schools relates to issues of measurement. It was only a few years ago that a superintendent emailed me an article that asked the question of “how are we going to measure SEL competencies.” He was looking for my thoughts on this and I didn’t know the answer. The latest developments in social and emotional skills measurement allow these skills to be measured meaningfully.”[viii] Can you explain the difference between some measurement tools that are survey-based vs what you have created with SELweb and how SELweb measures SEL competence key performance indicators? How do they differ and why are they both important?[ix] Clark offers his recent book Assessing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Guide to Meaningful Measurement[x] as a resource.Q5: To wrap this up Clark, what are the important ingredients that you think an SEL program should include? (Teacher Well-Being, Teacher Practices, SEL Competencies).Thank you, Clark, for the time you took today to explain how SEL assessments work with SELweb. If anyone wants to reach you to learn more, they can contact you through your website www.xsel-labs.com or on Twitter @xSEL_Labs REFERENCES:[i] Social and Emotional Learning Ed Week Summit March 20, 2019 https://www.edweek.org/ew/events/social-emotional-learning-in-schools-an-education.html[ii] Social and Emotional Learning Ed Week Summit March 20, 2019 https://www.edweek.org/ew/events/social-emotional-learning-in-schools-an-education.html[iii] https://casel.org/collaborative-state-initiative/[iv] https://casel.org/assessment-work-group/[v] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-emotional-learning-sel-programs-practices-clark-mckown/[vi] https://drc.casel.org/[vii] https://casel.org/guide/[viii] http://measuringsel.casel.org/beyond-past-paradigms-building-a-global-ecosystem-for-the-future-of-learning/[ix] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/evidence-based-sel-data-informed-same-both-important-clark-mckown/[x] https://www.amazon.com/Assessing-Students-Social-Emotional-Learning/dp/0393713350
July 31, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. As a recap, in our first episode, we shared with you the “Why behind implementing an SEL/emotional intelligence training program in your school or workplace.” The second episode we introduced the first of six social and emotional learning competencies that we will be diving deep into over the next six weeks. (Self-awareness, Social Awareness, Relationships, Responsible Decision-Making, Self-Regulation and Mental Mindset). With each competency, we’ll investigate the best practices and strategies that educators/and the workplace can use for themselves to develop and improve their own SEL/Emotional Intelligence and well-being practice, before extending these strategies to their districts, schools, classrooms, workplaces and communities. We’ll offer ideas, tools and resources (in the show notes section)—be sure to take a look at the resources, so that anyone can apply these skills themselves, and then teach others for improved results, focus and productivity.Today we are going to dive deep into the relationship competency. We did cover this topic in an interview with Assistant Superintendent of Schools from Chicago, and author of the book, Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today’s Schools, Greg Wolcott. Be sure to see episode 8 with Greg, to learn more about the research behind relationship building and academic achievement.In addition to schools, relationship building is proving to be the key to success and well-being and the attribute that ties all the pieces in your life together. Dr. Daniel Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, proposes in his book “The Developing Mind” that “relationships represented the three aspects of one reality essential to human well-being”[1] (he calls these the 3 Rs, relationships, reflection and resilience) and that “human connections shape neural connections, and each contributes to (developing the) mind.”[2] He explains that “we need to teach more in schools than just reading, writing and arithmetic. We should have reflection, relationships and resilience as the 3 Rs.”[3]Let’s Dive Deeper into Understanding Communication, Relationships and Your Brain:If you want to strengthen your relationship with another person, relate to them better, and have them relate to or understand you better, you must remain “relaxed, observant, and nonjudgmental.” Otherwise, the person that you are interacting with will “feel and connect to your inner stress, causing their brain to assume a defensive stance”[i] and they won’t trust you. Having the ability to “watch a person’s face, their gestures, and their tone of voice”[4] will cause their brain to align with yours, forming a process called “neural resonance” that allows the closest connection between what two people are thinking and feeling.Here are Five Ways to Train Your Brain to Connect to Others MindfullyRemember to observe others mindfully. Before you engage with someone else, always take time to connect this person at the deepest level possible. If you notice facial expressions or body language, ask questions like “how are things going today?” to connect with them and learn more about what could be happening in their world.Always interact with others in a fair and kind manner. Listen to others without judgement and demonstrate that they matter to you by leaning towards them when they speak and then be sure your body language and facial expression matches what you want to convey, in a supportive manner. Show them that you are actually listening.Bring warmth to the tone of your voice with every person you interact with. “If you drop the pitch of your voice, you’ll automatically talk more slowly, allowing the listener to better understand you. This strategy was originally developed and tested in 2011 at the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at the University of Houston to help oncologists present bad news to patients.”[5]Add kindness and compassion activities to your day. “Nearly one hundred peer-reviewed experiments, conducted at universities around the world, have concluded that when practiced for 30 minutes three times a week for a month, it strongly increases positive emotions, improved interpersonal interactions and prosocial behavior, and deepens one’s understanding of others.”[6] Make an effort to do random acts of kindness for others. We all know how good these feel to be on the giving and receiving end of kindness.Practice forgiveness. At Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers found “that the ability to consciously replace unforgiving feelings with positive feelings affects the peripheral and central nervous system, increasing your own feelings of well-being.”[ii] Researchers have found that being unforgiving can be “damaging to your health, while emotional forgiveness of others reduces anger and stress.”[7] Remember that you can exert your energy more productively if you don’t waste it on negative emotions that zap energy that could be used somewhere else.FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR THE CLASSROOM:Ensure everyone feels valued and appreciated. Help students develop meaningful relationships. Make sure you build a support infrastructure with staff to support educator well-being. When one teacher falls, it affects everyone.“Children are more likely to be respectful when important adults in their lives respect them. They are more likely to care about others if they know they are cared about.  Marzano (2003) states that students will resist rules and procedures along with disciplinary actions if the foundation of a good relationship is lacking. He goes on to assert that relationships are perhaps more important at the elementary and junior high levels than at the high school level. And according to Zehm and Kottler (1993), students will never trust us or open themselves up to hear what we have to say, unless they sense that we value and respect them.” [iii] 3 Tips for Improving Relationships in the Classroom:Creating Connections: Research shows that greeting the student at the door produces a 20 percent increase in academic engagement and a nine percent decrease in disruptive behavior. It creates a connection where students feel “seen, heard and valued; where they give without judgement; and when they derive strength from the relationship.” [iv] Gina Connell, in her article 10 Ways to Build Relationships with Students This Year adds the importance of saying goodbye to this daily routine. At the end of the day, she stands at the classroom door, wishing them a good evening, offering closure to a productive day.[v] Building Trust: When I think back to my favorite teacher, Mr. Walker, from 5th and 6th grade, I remember that he had a special nickname for each student. The unique name made us feel special, valued and that we mattered. If a nickname is too much, calling students by their names, is one of the most effective ways we can show their uniqueness.Boost Personalized Learning: Juab School District in Utah improved their high school graduation rates from 78% to 97% by “rethinking what was considered nonnegotiable, to help all students learn more. Class periods could be lengthened, lunch periods could be moved around, deadlines could be changed – all in service of student learning.” [vi]  Superintendent Jim Shank made changes including “redesigning its grading system, changing the length of class periods in the high school, switching from iPods to iPads and better using those devices to transform instruction rather than just provide a new medium for traditional activities. At the center of personalized learning has been to focus on building relationships with students every day.” [vii]So How Does Relationship Building Translate into the Workplace?At the heart of relationship building in the workplace, is the ability to be socially mindful as all employees work towards achieving company and personal goals. Many of these competencies overlap, and work together, but here’s some suggestions:Winn Claybaugh, the Dean of Paul Mitchell Schools emphasizes the importance of choosing the right wording in his team meetings, so they are focused on finding solutions instead of solving problems.[viii] Be careful of what you say and how you say it. Don’t open up the meeting with “I’ve got a ton of problems to discuss!” Turn it around to say, “I’m looking for some solutions to the following problems.” You can feel the difference just by saying it this way. Even saying “I don’t like that idea” can cause interpersonal distress[ix] so be mindful of framing your responses so that the conversation flows in a way that solutions can be found.The research is clear. “Rapid speaking can cause people to distrust you whereas slower speaking will deepen their respect.”[x] We all know it’s important to slow down when speaking, but there is more reason to slow down when we know how our rate of speech impacts how others perceive us. As we mentioned before, slowing down your rate of speech and adding a warm tone to your voice “neurologically improves listener comprehension and reduces stress.” [xi]Be clear about what you would like to accomplish and keep meetings short. Practice speaking briefly and getting your points across in 20 seconds or less and allow time for others to respond to you. This will help you to learn how to be very clear about what you are saying, and prevent time wasting. When I was working with neuroscience researcher Mark Waldman on a project, he asked me to tell him what I wanted to say in 10 words or less. I found this really difficult to do (since I often had a lot that I needed his help with and to say) and I often just sat there, not knowing how to reduce what I wanted to say to 10 words. It was a powerful activity to train your brain to be clearer in conversations.Outcomes and Results: In schools, “Creating strong educational environments for ALL learners continues to be at the forefront of conversations with school systems across the globe.” Professor John Hattie,  in his groundbreaking book, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (2009), set out to identify which strategies and innovations have the greatest impact on student achievement in schools. His research from over 50,000 educational research studies on 236 million school aged students found that teacher-student relationships have an effect size of .72 (which means that strong teacher-student relationships leads to almost two years of student growth in one year’s time). That’s significant.In the workplace “EQ refers to someone’s ability to perceive, understand and manage their own feelings and emotions” (Chignell, 2018).Being more mindful of others in the workplace is one way to improve productivity and results. People will perform better if they feel safe, that they belong and have a purpose for being there. They will be focused on their company goals when they feel valued and respected.This wraps up EPISODE 9 on How to Build and Sustain Relationships. Thank you for joining us on the “Neuroscience Meets SEL” Podcast and staying right to the end. We appreciate that you are here and want to learn with us.Resources for Schools: Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today’s Schools by Greg Wolcott http://firsteducation-us.com/books-2/Lost at School by Dr. Ross GreenThe Montgomery County (Ohio) Education Service Center and Ohio Department of Education video on Relationships https://vimeo.com/339136732/c21552f28fENDNOTES:[1] Daniel J. Siegel The Developing Mind; How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (The Guilford Press, New York, 2012)[2] Daniel J. Siegel The Developing Mind; How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (The Guilford Press, New York, 2012) page 13[3] Dr. Siegel on what we need to teach in school is not just reading, writing, arithmetic, but  the 3 Rs (reflection, relationships, and resilience) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dan-siegel-thrive_n_5214189[4] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning “Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success”[5] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning “Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success”[6] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning “Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success”[7] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning “Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success”REFERENCES: [i] Dr. Siegel on what we need to teach in school is not just reading, writing, arithmetic, but  the 3 Rs (reflection, relationships, and resilience) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dan-siegel-thrive_n_5214189[ii] Forgiveness, health, and well-being: a review of evidence for emotional versus decisional forgiveness, dispositional forgivingness, and reduced unforgiveness. Worthington EL Jr, Witvliet CV, Pietrini P, Miller AJ. J Behav Med. 2007 Aug;30(4):291-302. [iii] Educator’s Guide to Solving and Preventing Discipline Problems by Mark and Christine Boynton http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/105124/chapters/Developing_Positive_Teacher-Student_Relations.aspx[iv] Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today’s Schools by Greg Wolcott http://firsteducation-us.com/books-2/  Page 19[v]  10 Ways to Build Relationships with Students This Year by Genia Connell (Sept 15, 2016) https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/genia-connell/10-ways-build-relationships-students-year-1/[vi]  Tara Garcia Mathewson “In Utah, Personalized Learning with a Focus on Relationships.” https://hechingerreport.org/in-utah-personalizing-learning-by-focusing-on-relationships/ [vii] Tara Garcia Mathewson “In Utah, Personalized Learning with a Focus on Relationships.” https://hechingerreport.org/in-utah-personalizing-learning-by-focusing-on-relationships/[viii] The Brain Warrior Way Podcast “How to Become an Effective Leader at Work” with Winn Claybaugh (July 8, 2019). https://brainwarriorswaypodcast.com/how-to-become-an-effective-leader-at-work-with-winn-claybaugh/[ix] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Diversion Books, January 2017) (Chapter 11: Developing Your Social Brain).  [x] Celerity and cajolery: Rapid speech may promote or inhibit persuasion through its impact on message elaboration.” Smith SM, Shaffer DR. Personality Soc Psych Bul1. 1991: Dec:17(6):663–69.[xi] Mark Robert Waldman and Chris Manning Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness and Success (Diversion Books, January 2017) (Chapter 11: Developing Your Social Brain).
July 26, 2019
This episode is also available on YouTube.Our special guest today is Adam Avin, the founder of Wuf Shanti[1], a company that promotes health, wellness, and happiness in children, and encourages peace and positivity. Wuf Shanti was created by a kid for other kids, and started when Adam was younger, with his illustrations, voice and his dream to make a difference in the world. He shares his character, Wuf Shanti, with children across the planet, in the hopes of guiding them down a path of peace and positivity with his programs. His Wuf Shanti videos are in hospitals around the globe, helping children smile while they heal from their cancer treatments and in 25,000 schools across the country. I first met Adam this past Spring when he was hosting the Mindful Kids Peace Summit[2] (a five-day summit that I was a part of) that brought awareness to the need for immediate change in our schools today. It was incredible for me to see his knowledge and enthusiasm for social emotional learning (he understands the competencies just as well as the experts he interviewed) and his experience with mindfulness and meditation as he interviewed over 70 experts!Welcome Adam! It’s wonderful to speak with you. Q1: For those who have not yet seen your TEDTALK[3] where you explain this in detail, can you give us some background on your company, what exactly Wuf Shanti does, and the reason why did you started this company? Q2: I mentioned in the intro that you were a host of the Mindful Kids Peace Summit this year and interviewed over 70 experts. I know to do this well, you need to research your expert in order to ask questions and be able to speak on the topic you are asking them about.  What did you learn from interviewing these experts, and hosting this summit?Q3: Watching your interview with the teacher from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS (Chelsea Briggs) was a part of the summit that I will never forget, since one of the main reasons I got involved with this work back in the late 90s was because of the Columbine tragedy (April 20, 1999). This is going back before you were born, I was working with a group of 12 teens who created a pin to honor the 13 lives lost in that tragedy. I kept the pin to remind me of why I am doing this work, and last year, I had the chance to meet Darryl Scott the father of Rachel Scott, the first teen shot that day, and he took a pin to remind him of the ripple effect that his daughter has had on the world. The Parkland shooting (not far from where you live) was 17 lives lost, the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook (20 children and 6 adults).  How did speaking with the students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland impact you and your work?ADAM: Mentioned that this event inspired him to work harder because the statistics[4] show the need is imminent for change. We agree as the research shows that “80% of children who struggle with mental health issues receive no treatment.”[5] Q4: We saw “student voice” emerge after the Parkland shooting and it remains a concept, I know schools are placing a focus on. How has Wuf Shanti helped you to bring “student voice” to the forefront? What do your friends think about your work? Have you helped any of your friends with success or coping strategies?Q5: On a lighter note, it was fun for me to watch your promoting the summit, especially when Maroon 5 noticed you on social media. How do you think bringing in a celebrity helped to spread the word and your goals for the summit?Q6: What’s your vision for Wuf Shanti? Where would you like to see your programs go?ADAM: His vision is to have mental health programs in all schools K-12 for students and educators. Educators need stress reduction techniques as well.[6] Q7: What final advice do you have for anyone listening to bring for mindfulness into their daily lives? (the tips you gave at the end of your TED TALK were perfect). Thank you for your time Adam. We think you are wise beyond your years and doing incredible work to make an impact spreading social and emotional learning and mindfulness around the country and world. For a 14-year-old, you’ve accomplished more than many adults. I hope you are proud of your hard work and know that you will keep going to do some incredible things. RESOURCES:https://wufshanti.com/resources/ https://wufshanti.com/resources/mindful-kids-peace-summit/https://wufshanti.com/sflpbs-wuf-shanti-schedule-2017-2018/https://wufshanti.com/resources/kids-association-mindfulness-education/https://wufshanti.com/giving-back/https://wufshanti.com/research/Stay Tuned for the second release of the Mindful Kids Peace Summit coming Sept. 23, 2019.https://wufshanti.com/resources/mindful-kids-peace-summit/RESOURCES:[1] www.wufshanti.com[2] https://www.mindfulkidspeacesummit.com[3] “Mindfulness in Education to Lower Stress and Violence” by Adam Avin, TEDxYouth@KC June 10, 2019. https://www.tedxkc.org/adam-avin-kcyouth/[4] Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-24 (Center for Disease Control) cdc.org[5] Dr. Daniel Amen (Thrive by 25 Online Course) https://www.brainmdhealth.com/brain-thrive[6] “Teacher Stress and Health” by Greenberg MT, Brown JL, and Abenavoli RM  (September 2016) https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2016/07/teacher-stress-and-health.html
July 23, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to look for the YouTube link in the show notes if you would like to view the video.Our special guest today is Greg Wolcott.  He is someone who is “always on the cutting edge of education.”  Greg is the author of the book Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today’s School[i] and is on a serious mission to impact our schools with this movement. Greg currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in a suburb of Chicago as well as an adjunct professor. As an educator in the Chicago area for over 20 years, he is passionate about developing opportunities for all students to succeed as well as finding ways for all teachers and staff members to utilize their strengths to maximize learning. I’m excited to have Greg share more about the “Significant 72” initiative that’s implemented in over two hundred schools across the United States and Canada.  Welcome Greg.Q1: As we dive into the relationship competency, I know there isn’t anyone I could think of that could cover this topic better than you. Can you give some background on the reason why you wrote this book? I remember hearing you talking about the concept of “Significant 72” on an SEL Webinar back in 2016. I remember you mentioned it had to do with the importance of relationship building after 3-day weekends. Where did the concept begin, what does Significant 72 look like in a school (every day, every month and after long breaks)?Q2:  When you mentioned the research you had done, and found the key attribute that all great teachers do—their ability to form strong, caring relationships with students, how did you take this information to help build on this strength to connect with students on a deeper level? Q3: We know from the research that “When students perceive that their teacher knows them both academically and personally, they are better positioned to take ownership of their learning.” (Edwards & Edick, 2013).  We can all recall are favorite teachers who inspired us to learn, but how did they do it? There’s that fine line of showing you care and being too intrusive when asking students about their feelings or personal lives. How did you handle this to get the results you were looking for? GREG: It all began with John Hattie’s research on effect size and how relationship building yielded a gain of 2 years.[ii]Q5: Can you give us your TOP tips used in “Significant 72” for improving relationships with students?Q4: What are the outcomes and results from the schools using this method? How are you measuring this data? GREG: They use Panorama Education Surveys[iii]Q5: What is your 3-5 year vision of where you see “Significant 72” going?Q 6: To sum this all up, what are some final words of wisdom that you think we can all do (parents, as well as educators) to build stronger, meaningful relationships that foster that home/school connection? GREG: Connections Before Curriculum!Thank you Greg, for taking the time out of your day to speak with us and share your Significant 72 book, ideas and resources. If someone wants to learn more, they can go to www.significant72.com  and find you on Twitter @GregJWolcott to reach you.[i] www.significant72.com[ii] https://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/[iii] www.PanoramaEd.com
July 20, 2019
In today’s episode we have Helen Maffini, a Canadian/British international educational consultant. You can watch the video of this interview on YouTube as well as listen on our regular podcast channel. Helen is the host of the Mindfulness in Education and Peace Summits, a doctoral researcher, author and educator and will share with us her experience as the host of  "The Mindful Peace Summits" that bring educators, business leaders, researchers and experts in the field together in one place, to share their ideas, resources and expertise on the future of "Mindfulness and Meditation" in our schools. With time, these practices will be implemented in more and more schools worldwide, and workplaces will follow the way (like in the UK where meditation is used in parliament). Here Helen's thoughts on the following questions. Q1: I’ve been blessed to be interviewed by you for your Mindful Peace Summits where you interview leaders across the world in the area of SEL and neuroscience with guests like Dr. Daniel Siegal, the author of Brain Storm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (and countless other books) as well as many others. Why did you create the Mindful Peace Summits? What have YOU learned from your interviews?Q2: It was powerful watching 14-year-old Adam Avin hosting your last Mindful Peace Summit in February. I think that student-voice is trending in the country, and Adam is spearheading his way. How did Adam impact your Summit? What did you notice about his participation?Q3: I know we have similar visions for where we see education going, and we have both come from similar backgrounds. Where do you think SEL is right now in the US opposed to Canada and Internationally? Is the US behind/at the same pace? (I see Canada as being ahead from the fact that in 2016 they hired me to present on SEL/Neuroscience whereas the US is just catching onto this topic). Curious what you think?Q4: Can you explain your MindBe Curriculum and how it’s impacting schools in Asia? What is your vision for your curriculum? (Canada/USA)?Q5: What’s on the 3-5 year plan for you? I know you are always working on something. What’s next?
July 17, 2019
Our goal with this podcast is to close the gap recent surveys show exists in our workforce where 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. Research shows that social-emotional skills like social awareness, self-management, and growth mindset are crucial to college and career readiness. We have chosen six social and emotional learning competencies to dive deep into over the next 6 episodes to use as a springboard for discussion and tie in how an understanding of our brain can facilitate these strategies. We want the ideas you take away with you to be actionable whether you are an educator working in a school, an employee or manager in a corporation, or someone just looking to take their skills to the next level. We have done all of the research for you and look forward to hearing about the results that you create.As a recap, in our first episode, we shared with you the “Why behind implementing an SEL/emotional intelligence training program in your school or workplace.” In the second episode, we introduced the first of the six SEL competencies (self-awareness). With each competency, we’ll investigate the best practices and strategies that you can use to develop and improve your own SEL/Emotional Intelligence and well-being practices, before extending these strategies to your districts, schools, classrooms, workplaces and communities. We’ll offer ideas, tools and resources (in the show notes section) so that anyone can apply these skills themselves, and then teach others for improved results, focus and productivity.Our next competency is social-awareness.What is Social-Awareness and Why is it Important?“Social awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures.” [i]  Being socially aware means that we have the ability to:Recognize our own emotions in addition to other people’s emotionsUse information about our emotions to help guide or direct our thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviorsBe aware of the thoughts, feelings and motivations of othersBe able to take another person’s perspective“As an educator, part of our role is to help students see the world through others’ eyes.” [ii] How can we become more socially mindful of others? We know that research shows that students with strong social awareness adapt easily to their environment, are empathetic to others, and have fewer behavioral problems.” [iii] This creates a setting where students can focus on learning. Findings also show that students who demonstrate strong social awareness are better able to engage in effective communication with their peers to resolve conflicts and challenges when they arise.In the workplace, there are a lot of components to think about. We are all equals (men vs women) and of diverse backgrounds and everyone on the team can contribute in a different way to achieve the end goal.  We’ve must learn to communicate between different departments-- marketing can’t work without sales and sales can’t operate without marketing. It’s important to learn strategies to connect with all our colleagues. Tap into Your Own Social-Awareness in 4 Steps There is a way to train your brain to increase social awareness and create substantial neural changes in your social brain. This practice will help you to change your behavior and in turn, will cause others to trust and connect with you more.  Imagine you have a team meeting and you know the outcome that you want from the meeting. There are some steps that you can take BEFORE the meeting that can prime your brain for these results. STEP 1: Prepare yourself to engage in the present moment. Yawn, stretch, relax and release any negative thoughts and feelings that might be on your mind. You don’t want to carry anything into the meeting to affect the outcome that you want.STEP 2: Find your power word. Think of a word that resonates with you that represents the outcome of the interaction you are about to have and repeat this word. Words like successful, harmonious, teamwork are examples.STEP 3: Prime your brain for the outcome. Think of a happy memory that puts you in a good mood. This memory will make you smile and when others see you, will be more trusting of you. This is called neural resonance and can easily be felt. It’s when you feel connected to someone and can’t explain it. There’s a resonance that occurs at the brain level.  It can also be felt when you don’t feel a connection to someone, and you get a bad vibe from them. There’s something that your brain doesn’t connect with or it just feels off. This is our mirror neurons at play that help us with social understanding and empathy.STEP 4: Visualize the interaction you want to have, and you will have with a positive outcome.  Remember, your brain can’t determine the difference between what is real and what is imagined, we can use this skill of visualization or our imagination to make our brains fire the exact same way as if we were experiencing what we are thinking or imagining to impact our results.When you intentionally follow through with a plan to be more socially aware, you will be amazed at the results. It does take practice, but even a few minutes a day can yield outstanding results with how others perceive you.Think About This: For EducatorsDiscussion Questions to Increase Your Student’s Social-Awareness How can you tell when one of your friends is sad, or having a bad day?What can you do to help someone else if you notice they are “off” when they come to school?How can you help others fit in and feel included more?Why is it so important to be in tune with other people’s thoughts and feelings?Think About This: For the WorkplaceDiscussion Questions to Increase Workplace Social-Awareness  If you notice your colleague is off, what are some things you can say to them that can be helpful?When someone new comes to your team, what can you do to help them integrate into the team?Why is it important to being aware of your colleagues’ unique attitudes, and emotional states?Outcomes and Results Positive Classroom Climate: Students with strong social awareness adapt more easily to their environment, empathize with the perspectives of others, and engage in fewer disruptive classroom behaviors. This, in turn, creates an environment where students can focus on learning.[iv]Better Relationships: Students who demonstrate strong social awareness are able to engage in constructive communication with their peers and resolve conflicts when they arise. These students benefit from peer learning and know how to take advantage of social supports. [v]Greater Career Success: An employer survey conducted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills demonstrates that four of the five most important skills for high school graduates entering the work force are linked to social awareness: professionalism, collaboration, communication, and social responsibility. [vi]Make it common practice to develop these skills, thinking of ways that we can continually give back and help others solve problems, and it will improve the perception that others have of us.To sum this all up, think of someone you know who is socially mindful. Notice what they do when they are speaking to connect with others. How do they activate your mirror neurons to connect with them empathetically with social understanding? They are connecting with your Limbic/emotional brain where our emotions are controlled, as well as our motivations and the brain’s reward circuit. With practice, this skill can become a habit and yields outstanding results while connecting, impacting others and making you memorable (since emotions help memories form and stick).[vii]Strategies to Build Social Awareness:As with all the SEL competencies, when we build our own social awareness, we can model this skill for others. For adults, you can strengthen this skill by using Active and Constructive Responding. “Responses from others perceived to be active and constructive were associated with emotional well-being with better relationship quality, whereas responses perceived to be destructive or passive were negatively associated with these outcomes.” (Gable et al, 2004). [viii]Strategies for educators/workplace include:Encouraging your colleagues to share positive news or ideas with each other.Practice being active and engaged with your response by saying something that shows you listened to the news or idea vs ignoring or half listening.Try Social Perspective Taking: the capacity to discern the thoughts, feelings, motivations, and points of view of others from their point of view.[ix] Consider the culture the other person comes from and see if you can take another perspective to that person’s thoughts/feelings.Strategies for studentsHave students take out of piece of paper and write down a list of 5 people they would like to improve their relationship with by being more socially mindful of and with them. Each time they interact with a person on the list, have them go through the 4 steps to improve their social interactions (prepare for the interaction, find their power word, prime their brain for the outcome, and visualize the positive outcome). With time and practice, they should notice their relationship with these people improving as neural resonance develops. Resources: Social Awareness Toolkit https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/The Montgomery County (Ohio) Education Service Center and Ohio Department of Education video on Social Awareness https://vimeo.com/339150372/c50495aebe Student:Transforming Education “Social Awareness in Students’ Words” YouTube Uploaded Feb 1, 2017 (2:25) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d75gxU6Nyq0REFERENCES:[i] Social Awareness Toolkit https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/[ii] Former Education Secretary, John King.[iii] Social Awareness Toolkit https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/[iv] Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M. J. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American psychologist, 58(6-7), 466.[v] Social Awareness Toolkit https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/[vi] Casner-Lotto, J., & Barrington, L. (2006). Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers' Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century US Workforce. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. 1 Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001.[vii] Your Brain: 100 Things You Never Knew (National Geographic)[viii] Social Awareness Toolkit PowerPoint Slide 5 https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/[ix] Social Awareness Toolkit PowerPoint Slide 24 https://www.transformingeducation.org/social-awareness-toolkit/
July 16, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel. Today we are speaking with Jennifer Miller, she’s an author and illustrator of the blog Confident Parents, Confident Kids[i] with over 22,000 followers. She has her master’s degree in Instructional Leadership with a focus on social and emotional development, and has a new book coming out just shortly after the SEL Exchange[ii] this October called Confident Parents, Confident Kids: Raising Emotional Intelligence in Ourselves and Our Kids — From Toddlers to Teenagers.[iii]Welcome Jennifer, it’s great to meet you after following your work for the past few years. I was excited to see you as a speaker at Casel’s SEL Exchange this coming October where you will be showcasing your research with educators nationally and internationally.  This is very exciting! Q1: Can you give us a sneak peak of the insights you will be sharing at Casel’s pre-conference institute this fall? Q2: I know we’ve both heard this question many times, and it’s often the question kicked around in many different settings. I hope that this interview can shed some light on some solutions to bridge the gap that exists with the question. The question is….“Whose job is it to educate our kids?” Of course, we know the role of our schools to educate students, but teachers can’t be the only solution. With the fact that students are with their teachers around 6 hours/day, about 180 days/year, [iv] we can’t rely on only the school because there’s a lot of time they are not in school, bringing us to you, for your expertise.  Whose job is it?Q3: What can/should parents be doing at home to support their child’s social and emotional learning? What does SEL look like integrated into family life? (examples for young children-teens)Q4: How do parents access and translate the robust knowledge base from schools to support them in raising confident, responsible children?  What should parents be doing more of to support this new and emergent field?Q5: How can schools who prioritize social and emotional learning authentically partner with families to maximize success with our children?Q6: What would be your top 5 tips for a parent to improve their role to support their local school/educator?Q7: Would be your top 5 tips for teachers to improve their role to support/connect better with parents?Q8: I’m looking forward to the release of your book Confident Parents, Confident Kids: Raising Emotional Intelligence in Ourselves and Our Kids — and look will do all I can to promote your book to help more families. Can you give us some background on why you wrote this book, and the support it will provide for parents?Q9: Thank you Jennifer for taking the time out of your day today. Is there anything you think we have missed, any final thoughts for parents/educators who either watch the video on YouTube, or hear the podcast, to learn more about supporting the home/school connection with social and emotional learning?[i] https://confidentparentsconfidentkids.org/[ii] https://selexchange.casel.org/[iii] Pre-order Jennifer Miller’s Book on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Confident-Parents-Kids-Emotional-Intelligence/dp/1592339042/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=jennifer+miller+parenting&qid=1563316995&s=gateway&sr=8-2[iv] Leading Education Podcast with Jeff Rose https://www.leadingedsolutions.com/about
July 12, 2019
Welcome back to the “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. This interview will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on the regular podcast channel, so be sure to click on the link if you would like to view the video.  In this episode we have a special guest, Ron Hall, the Executive Director of Valley Day School[i] in Morristown, Pennsylvania to discuss how his school improved behavioral outcomes with a neuroscientific approach. If you take one look at Valley Day Schools website in the News Section you can see the forward-thinking nature of this school that is applying cutting edge technology in PE class that combines movement with intellect, challenging students to think while they move. They are using virtual reality to travel to different regions of the world and develop empathy. Teachers hold community meetings with students to get to the root cause of behavioral problems over punishment, and they teach their students about table etiquette, and social/emotional intelligence though advanced technology tools.Welcome Ron, thanks for joining us today.When I saw the article written about your focus on social support rather than the old punitive approach, I knew I had to contact you so you could share your experiences to help other schools that might be thinking of implementing a program like yours. The more I read on your In the News Section of your website, the more excited I got to speak with you to learn more. I know that summer time is a time to get some rest to rejuvenate for the next year, so I do appreciate you speaking with me during the summer break to help others to see some of your strategies. Let’s dive into the questions… In your recent interview “Lessons in Leadership: How an Alternative School Improved Behavioral Outcomes with a Neuroscience Approach”[ii] from educationdive.com you mentioned how you were interested in using an understanding of the brain to facilitate learning prior to being hired at Valley Day School over 15 years ago. It was just a bit longer than that when I was a teacher in the classroom and looking for something like this to help me manage a classroom of behavioral students. My principal sent me to a Tribes workshop, but this was not even close to what I needed. What made you look at brain-based learning back then and what did you discover? We know that 15 years ago there wasn’t the research around social and emotional learning that we now know impacts student achievement and behavior. What do you think is different now than 15 years ago with schools using these strategies to help improve student behavior that we know is tied into achievement? How are you teaching these skills? What happens if some staff do not buy in, or you see some outliers? How do you handle that? Can you explain the demographics of Valley Day School so that other schools can learn from your experience and model your approach? When I looked up your website valleyday.org right on your home page banner under “Cutting Edge Technology” I see a student on a computer with a brain jumping out of the screen. It looks like augmented reality (something I have been following for some time now). What program is that? How are you raising funds for such innovative tools? Where do you see neuroeducation going in the next 5 years and I’m really curious what’s on your roadmap for your next steps in innovation? I really do wish I knew these strategies back when I was in the classroom. It was probably one of the reasons I burnt out of the profession. I know that you believe that to “effectively manage behavior and improve learning, all staff members need to have a thorough understanding of how the brain operates.” Where would you suggest a school begin when looking to implement a neuroscientific approach to prevent teacher burnout? What are the most important components that teachers should grasp about the brain? Ron suggests starting with Harry Wong’s book, The First Day of School.[iii] What do you think students need to know about how the brain works? Teach students how the brain works. “If students understand how the brain works, they can gain greater control over their personal growth.  Therefore, we teach all students how the brain works.  The student will learn where emotions and thoughts come from; how the body reacts to stress and threats; and how life choices of nutrition, exercise, and sleep can profoundly impact their functioning.” (RH)I know that your approach[iv] is centered around developing an environment focused on success. Can you explain how you have used the Bloom Sanctuary Model and Sanchez Resiliency Model to impact your school culture and climate?  We know that what we can measure improves and there’s such an emphasis on measurable outcomes these days, how does what you cannot measure translate into measurable outcomes for you? What are some of the Behavioral and Clinical Supports that you use for students? What do you have in place to help educators handle the stress that comes along with the job?For some first steps to implement these strategies in a school or district, I know that having all staff on the same page is important to begin an implementation. “Do your work and research the leaders in the field. I recommend Dr. Lori Desautels [v] and Horatio Sanchez[vi] to begin with. Also Greg Benner [vii]Is there anything else that I have missed that you think would be important for a District or School to know to implement neuroeducation as a strategy for improving student behavior and achievement?[i] https://www.valleyday.org[ii] https://www.educationdive.com/news/lessons-in-leadership-how-an-alternative-school-improved-behavioral-outcom/556977/[iii] https://www.effectiveteaching.com/store/products/books/new-the-first-days-of-school-5th-edition[iv] https://www.valleyday.org/domain/20[v] http://revelationineducation.com/[vi] https://www.learningandthebrain.com/education-speakers/Horacio-Sanchez[vii] Gregg Benner @GJBenner on Twitter
July 2, 2019
In this episode, we will introduce the first of six social and emotional learning competencies (self-awareness) that we will be diving deep into over the next six weeks. With each competency, we’ll investigate the best practices and strategies that educators/and the workplace can use for themselves to develop and improve their own SEL/Emotional Intelligence and well-being practices, before extending these strategies to their districts, schools, classrooms, workplaces and communities. We’ll offer ideas, tools and resources (in the show notes section) so that anyone can apply these skills themselves, and then teach others for improved results, focus and productivity.With the buzz of the importance and need of social and emotional learning in our schools (and emotional intelligence training in our workplaces), we all know that developing a child’s SEL skills is just as important as their academic content to ensure student motivation and success throughout their school years as well as in their future careers. We do know that students with strong SEL health “demonstrate self-control, communicate well, problem solve, are empathetic, respectful, grateful, gritty and optimistic.”[i]  All of the skills our workforce is actively looking for.We also know that neuroscience has advanced our understanding of these SEL skills. We know that there is a clear connection between educator cortisol increase and student cortisol increase, (meaning that when teachers are stressed, the students will in turn be stressed) and that teachers who demonstrate social and emotional learning competencies (like self-awareness, social awareness, self-regulation, decision-making, relationship building) are more likely to stay in the classroom longer because they are able to work more effectively with challenging students—one of the main reasons for educator burn out. This is something I remember well—since this was one of the reasons I left the classroom over 20 years ago. I wish I knew the research and had some of the tools that I know now, and the importance of working on myself, before considering an impact on others. I hope these ideas, can help offer solutions to deepen the student/teacher relationship as well as connect teachers back to their profession, providing them with that feeling of autonomy, and peace that we all are looking for in our workplace.In the corporate world, these skills aren’t new, but they are “newly important” and of high urgency to develop in our future generations. A recent survey showed that 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills. Our goal with this podcast is to close this gap by exploring six social and emotional learning competencies as a springboard for discussion and tie in how an understanding of our brain can facilitate these strategies. We want the ideas you take away with you to be actionable whether you are an educator working in a school, an employee of manager in a corporation, or someone just looking to take their skills to the next level. We have done all of the research for you and look forward to hearing about the results that you create.Self-AwarenessToday we will begin with Self-Awareness to kick off our first SEL competency since to “know thyself” is the most substantial achievement we can have in our lifetime.“The major value in life is not what you get. It’s what you become.” (Jim Rohn, American author, speaker and entrepreneur).So let’s take a deeper look. What is self-awareness, why do we need it, and how can we get more of it?Self-awareness is “the ability to see ourselves clearly, understand who we are, how others see us and how we fit into the world.”[ii] When we have self-awareness, we have a power within ourselves because there is a comfort in knowing who exactly who we are and where we fit into the larger world around us. Research shows that “people who are more self-aware have stronger relationships, are more creative, competent are better communicators and perform better at work.”[iii]Here’s 6 Steps to Becoming More Self AwareKnow Thyself and Then Build Yourself Up With Self-Esteem and Courage: Have you taken the time to think about who you are? Do you know where you fit into your school, workplace, community, state, country and world? Do you know what your purpose is? Your Why? You are more than just an educator or employee in a corporation, but have you thought about, who exactly you are? If you work in the corporate world, I’m sure you can see that you are more than the day to day job that you are doing. Take some time to think about who you are. Let’s say that you were looking for a new job but lacked some of the skills listed in the job description. You know that you can learn these new skills, but now you must believe it and convince the person who will be interviewing you. The key to increasing your self-esteem is to build up your image of yourself, creating new neural pathways in your brain with your desired self-image and by weakening the old negative self-image that you don’t want anymore (perhaps the image of you in your current job or position). You can do this a few different ways but some of the most effective and proven strategies are: Daily guided meditation focusing on building new neural pathways in the brain…thinking about the desired outcome.Affirmations that you write yourself to create new neural pathways.Stop caring about what other people think and just be yourself. Ignore the nay-sayers.Stop comparing yourself to others! Strong Self-Esteem (what you think of yourself) + Strong Self-Image (how you think others see you) = Confidence that Builds Competence you will need for the new position ----Creating Extra Energy to Overcome Obstacles that you will face and help you to reach the higher level of achievement. You have to believe and trust in yourself and your abilities in order for others to believe in you. Once you have mastered this skill, you will be well on your way to accomplishing anything.Building Your Self-Esteem by Improving Your CourageBrené Brown defines the original meaning of courage as “To share all of yourself. Share your whole story with your whole heart” [iv] even if we must share our vulnerabilities, fears and weaknesses. Remember that everyone has doubts, fears and insecurities. Those who can move forward despite them, are the ones will win. Being courageous also means to be vulnerable enough to share your weaknesses with others. This will allow you to ask for help when you need it.Without courage you will never move up or forward in life. Remember: There will be no innovation without failure.To put this into action—whether we are an educator, working in a school, an employee, working in a corporation, or an athlete on a sports team, we must know how our identity fits into the goals of our school, organization or team to reach our greatest levels of achievement. Once we know our identity, and how we fit in, we can begin to hone our skills to take us to the next level. There must be a reason you are showing up to school/work/practice/life day in and day out that goes beyond the grades/money you will earn for you to tap into your highest levels of achievement.“Schools have a role in shaping students’ development of their own identity, agency, and a sense of purpose in their learning, as well as a role in preparing students with high level knowledge and skills they need to be thriving adults.” (Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development: An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams) page 4For educators: Do you think about the identity of each of your students? Who are they? Do you know something about each one of them? Do you know/use their name? Can you keep up a conversation with them? Do you know what your students are passionate about? Can you tie this into your lesson? Beware of our tendency to teach others how we like to learn best. Be aware of individual student needs.For workplace managers: Do you know your team members? Just like an educator who knows what motivates their students, do you know what motivates your employees? Why are they working in their current position? Can you tie this into your day to day interaction with them?Once you know yourself it’s now more about “aligning” to your true self. When you go off track, you will know it (you will feel out of synch and disconnected) and it will be up to you to know yourself well enough to get yourself back on track where things just flow. Don’t limit yourself: Remember to be careful of labelling yourself based on past performance. “Self-analysis can trap us if we don’t learn to let go of the past.”[v] We cannot base our decisions of what we think we are capable of doing based on what we have done in the past. When things go wrong in our lives, it can taint our self-image and prevent us from reaching for things we really want to be, do or have. Be careful of this trap as you think about who you are. Think about the times when something failed as a lesson that you learned from—not that there is anything wrong with you or your capabilities—but that you were not meant to be doing what failed—at that specific time.  In a world where it didn’t matter if you failed, what would you want to be doing? Not the things you know you can do already, (that are easy) or the things that don’t bring you excitement. What do you think about that brings you energy, excitement, joy, passion, perhaps some fear at the thought of it? This is where you must focus your attention to stretch, grow, and allow your true self to emerge. Keep Stretching Yourself: Have you ever been given an assignment where you thought there was no way that you could complete this? It just seemed to be above your head, above your current capabilities. I have—for sure, but I still accepted the assignment with the goal to grow and challenge myself and it feels incredible when you complete something you thought you could never do at the start! What we find is that we often don’t know what we don’t know and that we are capable of doing much more than we think we can accomplish. Be sure that every quarter (four times a year) you think about whether you are really stretching yourself (with your career/work/finances, your health, relationships, and your contribution to the world). Is there something you have always wanted to do but just have no idea where to begin? Write down the ideas that come to mind and find someone who has done what you want to do. Finding a mentor to coach or guide you along the way is a surefire strategy to ensure that you take action. Know Your Values: Do you know what values are important to you? Life and decision-making becomes much easier when you are clear on your top     values. I keep 5 values in front of me at all times and when I’m working, and something comes up, it’s not difficult to glance over at  what I have already acknowledged is important to me when making decisions.  There are many ways to uncover your values or things that are important to you in your life.  You can hire a coach to help you discover your values[vi] like I have done or discover them with some introspection. Try this activity to uncover your values. Take a piece of paper and on one side label it “Want This in My Life” and the other side is “Don’t Want This in My Life.”Think about your personal life and work life and start to fill in your list of all the things you want or don’t want.  You should be able to identify common themes or words will emerge as your values or things that you want in your life. You can also become clear of the things you DON’T want in your life by thinking of times when things were not going right in your personal or work life. Common themes will emerge on both sides of the list and you can identify things that are important to you. For me, my top values include health, growth and challenge. So, when making work decisions, I usually think “will this project offer me growth and challenge.” If not, I know to pass up the project as I will probably be bored and not do my best work. Same goes when learning how you operate in your personal life. If something goes against your values, you will know it, won’t be as productive and you will feel conflicted. It’s a lot easier to know your values up front to eliminate making choices that aren’t right for you. Create a Morning Routine: Creating a morning routine will simplify your life and warm up your brain. When you wake up, the oldest part of your brain begins to drive you towards your goals that have rewards attached to them.  You can make it easier on your brain and eliminate decision fatigue (where you waste energy unnecessarily) or set yourself up for success with some careful planning the night before. Research shows that if you can take the time for a morning routine that involves becoming aware of your mental state, your brain will function much better for the rest of the day. You will be able to do more, with less stress. Wake up, stretch, and focus on how you feel. What do you notice?Focus on the positive parts of your day.Visualize overcoming any obstacles that you can foresee.Prepare for your day the night before to eliminate decision fatigue. Be More Outward Focused: Finally, think about how you can help others.For Educators: Who are your learners? Turn your attention to your students. Do you have strategies to help them discover their strengths? Help them to find out what they are passionate about. How can you bring their strengths/passions into your lessons to help motivate them? Do they have some idea of how their interests tie into the career that they are working towards?  I remember a student I was working with last year who was into cars. His face lit up when I gave an example using a car shop and asked him to answer the question…using something he cared about.For the Workplace: Who are your employees? How can you help support or encourage them? Do you take the time to connect and check in with them at least on a weekly basis? Do you know what motivates them? What can you do to encourage them further?Outcomes and Results: When we can identify our true self, we can begin to focus on what difference we will make for others, not dwelling on past mistakes but using them as a catalyst to learn and grow from and create more meaning in our lives.TO RECAP THIS EPISODE on the 6 Steps on Becoming More Self-Aware, we covered:Take some time to get to know yourself and discover your identity. Learn how you fit into your school, community, workplace, organization or team. Improve your courage with a strong self-image (what you think of yourself). Having a strong self-image is crucial to ensure that nothing will knock you off course with your goals, however, everyone will experience self-doubt. You must have strategies in place to help you to move past these blocks, and mentors to guide you along the way.Don’t limit yourself. Be careful not to base your future decisions of what you think you are capable of doing based on what you have done in the past. What do you think about that brings you energy, excitement, joy, passion, perhaps some fear at the thought of it? This is where you must focus your attention to stretch, grow, and allow your true self to develop.Keep stretching yourself to reach beyond where you think you can go. Find a mentor to coach or guide you along the way.Know your values and decision-making is much easier.Create a morning routine to simplify your life.Be outward focused and give back to others.That wraps up our 2nd episode on Strategies to Become more self aware. We hope you find the tips helpful! Next episode we will dive deeper into Social-Awareness and Looking Beyond Yourself to Help Others.Resources:The Montgomery County (Ohio) Education Service Center and Ohio Department of Education video on Self-Awareness https://vimeo.com/339138555/1316a95190 VIDEO YouTube “5 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Awareness” (3:08)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-lmNqWUvWI&list=PLb5Z3cA_mnKj5C1ZYZt2bFXnDXFTENhPR&index=6&t=13s[i] SEL: The Why and Hows of Implementation in a School District (Edweb) https://home.edweb.net/webinar/sel20190404/  (April 4, 2019)[ii] “Increase Your Self-Awareness with One Simple Fix” YouTube uploaded Nov. 2017 Tasha Eurich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGdsOXZpyWE[iii] “Increase Your Self-Awareness with One Simple Fix” YouTube uploaded Nov. 2017 Tasha Eurich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGdsOXZpyWE[iv] Dr. Brené Brown: The Two Most Dangerous Words in Your Vocabulary | Super Soul Sunday | OWN (4:06) Published on March 17, 2013. https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=4XTcB1evO8c[v]  “Increase Your Self-Awareness with One Simple Fix” YouTube uploaded Nov. 2017 Tasha Eurich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGdsOXZpyWE[vi] Email Values Coach Fran Henry Fran@ultimate.life for more information on values coaching.
June 21, 2019
Welcome to our FIRST “Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast” this is Andrea Samadi. In this episode, we will be talking about the WHY behind setting up a social and emotional learning program in your school or district, or emotional intelligence training in the workplace.Today I have with me Majid Samadi, Corporate Sales Leader for the past 22 years, and my husband, and we will be talking about “The Why Behind Social and Emotional Learning or Emotional Intelligence Training for Schools and Workplaces” and offering his thoughts with his experience in mind.Andrea to Majid: As someone who works in the corporate world, why do you think teaching SEL in our classrooms is so important to develop our future generations? What skills do you think are missing?Majid to Andrea:  What about you? Since you were a teacher in the classroom, why do you think SEL programs are so important in today’s classrooms? Why now? Hasn’t SEL always been important for preparing young people for the workplace? Sure, these skills have always been important, but the research wasn’t there 20 years ago.When I first started my career in education, in the late 90s, as a classroom teacher, I felt overwhelmed and frustrated by the lack of resources to help me to manage and teach my students (my first teaching assignment was a behavioral class) and I had to be creative to hold their attention, let alone teach what was required. I discovered social and emotional learning skills by chance through a motivational speaker. After seeing students working with skills that developed their attitude, mindset, confidence and goal-setting abilities, (you know, what we used to call soft skills) and it skyrocketed their results, (I saw kids who were able to go from C grades to A grades, from being a bench warmer to the starting line-up and improving their personal lives) I knew we were onto something. It actually hit me like a brick since I was really struggling to make an impact on the students in my classroom, and then here were these 12 teens talking about their results after only a few months of working with lessons that mirrored growth mindset, and self-awareness…and I knew I was meant to be doing this work back then. It’s been a 20-year journey and I am excited to share the resources and ideas with everyone here on the podcast.I know it won’t shock educators to know the statistics that support the need for students and SEL but did you know that:¼ students struggle with anxiety1/5 struggle with depressionResearch now shows us that students with strong SEL health “demonstrate self-control, communicate well, problem solve, are empathetic, respectful, grateful, gritty and optimistic.”[i]  We also know that neuroscience has advanced our understanding of these SEL skills.Here’s more research of what we know now:“Success is life, and in college and career specifically, relies on student’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. (Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development: An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams) page 4“Research shows that teaching these skills result in immediate and long-term improvement in academic achievements and are a better predictor of success than academic ability alone.” (Perspectives of Youth on High School and SEL Webinar, Dec. 11/18).(Research of over 200 studies show that students who studies SEL have an 11% gain in academic achievement). School climate, autonomy, educator health improves.We also know that there is a connection between educator cortisol increase and student cortisol increase. We know that teachers who demonstrate Social and Emotional Learning competencies are more likely to stay in the classroom longer because they are able to work more effectively with challenging students- one of the main causes of burn out.  That’s why this topic is of such interest to so many people these days.“School leader support is the biggest predictor of whether change takes hold and is beneficial” (SEL and Principal Leadership) April 2, 2019 Edweek Webinar. (which is why we knew it was important to launch this podcast with ideas, resources and tools).Adult SEL must be addressed and trained so teachers can use these skills with their students as they are teaching.Only a well-regulated adult can help regulate a student. Teaching is a high stress job, tied for nursing. There must be a plan in place for educator well-being.Since the research is here and proving what we have known for decades, the time is now to implement these programs into the classroom. We know from the feedback from the Edweek 2019 Social and Emotional Learning in Schools Summit that educators are “interested in social and emotional learning but aren’t always sure where to start” [ii] and they are looking for “clear starting points in developing their own SEL strategies.” [iii]  This was one of the main reasons behind launching this podcast for ideas, tools and resources.I also just saw a tweet from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) showing that the US House of Representatives have just passed a bill to increase educational funding by $11.7 B. SEL of one of the initiatives on the list to receive funding (Listed at $260M). Finally, this need is being backed financially. We should see some changes in the next few years.Andrea to Majid: What do you think? Do you see us at the beginning of the curve?Andrea to Majid: How about the corporate world? Why do you think emotional intelligence is important for our workplaces? I know in the corporate world, these skills aren’t new, but they are “newly important.” A recent survey showed that 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, and those employers noted a particular gap in social and emotional skills.Andrea to Majid: What do you think? You’ve been working in the corporate world for over 22 years. What is emotional intelligence? What kinds of scenarios do you see with this gap with social and emotional skills? What can Emotional Intelligence Training do for the workplace?   First, let’s define Emotional intelligence (shortened to EI or EQ for emotional quotient) can be defined as: “EQ refers to someone’s ability to perceive, understand and manage their own feelings and emotions” (Chignell, 2018). [iv]Further, there are five distinct components of EI:Self-awareness: This is important in the workplace because you need to know yourself first before you can help others with your product or service. This is where it all begins.Self-regulation. There will be many times in the day where you will be tested and to be able to manage your emotions under pressure is very important.Internal (or intrinsic) motivation. What is motivating you to get up and serve each day, and do you know what motivates your customers?Empathy is an important skill to have to connect with others. You must be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes.Social skills are important from ordering your lunch in a restaurant, to picking up your rental car and dealing with the front desk employees in the hotel you are staying at.It’s easy to see how EI applies in the workplace! Those who learn to master these important skills will get ahead faster with less effort and frustration than those who lack these skills.Majid gives an example.Majid to Andrea: So now that we know the “why” behind the introducing a program to your school or workplace, what are some good first steps to begin? For Schools, there are some steps to consider:Identify your team. In schools this will consist of principals, counselors, teachers, district leaders and students.Align your mission (what you are doing) with your values and beliefs (why you are doing it). This will create the buy in needed.Map Out Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities for Growth and Threats (SWOT) to become more aware of where you are right now, what are some areas of improvement, and some roadblocks with some strategies to overcome them.Create Your Roadmap: Now that you know where you are, where do you want to go? Based on the analysis above, what are some areas of focus?Choose Your Program Whether you look at the curriculum we offer with the Level Up program, or another program, choose the topics that will help you solve the needs you have identified and map out your year.Pick Your Training Format Choose a few schools to implement in the beginning or go District wide with all schools receiving training together.For the workplace,Identify your team. In the workplace, office managers, sales leaders, and pick a few leaders from within the organization to help you spearhead your program.Align your mission (what you are doing) with your values and beliefs (why you are doing it). This will create the buy in needed.Map Out Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities for Growth and Threats (SWOT) to become more aware of where you are right now, what are some areas of improvement, and some roadblocks with some strategies to overcome them.Create Your Roadmap: Now that you know where you are, where do you want to go? Based on the analysis above, what are some areas of focus? Consider doing climate surveys to find out what employees are thinking and feeling.Choose Your Program Whether you look at the curriculum we offer with the Level Up program, or another program, choose the topics that will help you solve the needs you have identified and map out your year.Pick Your Training Format Training can be completed via webinar, or live. Resources:VIDEO: The Heart-Brain Connection the Neuroscience of SEL (video by Neuroscientist Richard Davidson for Casel.org). https://www.edutopia.org/video/heart-brain-connection-neuroscience-social-emotional-and-academic-learningWHITE PAPER: SEL Guidance: What Social and Emotional Learning Needs to Succeed (Chester Finn and Frederick Hess) https://www.aei.org/publication/what-social-and-emotional-learning-needs-to-succeed-and-survive/For School Implementations: Casel’s District Resource Center https://drc.casel.org/How to Improve Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/emotional-intelligence-workplace/VIDEO The Impact of Social and Emotional Learning https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YMDp8FHvZt0 (1:14) YouTube November 14, 2018EndNotes:[i] SEL: The Why and Hows of Implementation in a School District (Edweb) https://home.edweb.net/webinar/sel20190404/  (April 4, 2019)[ii] Social and Emotional Learning Ed Week Summit March 20, 2019 https://www.edweek.org/ew/events/social-emotional-learning-in-schools-an-education.html[iii] Social and Emotional Learning Ed Week Summit March 20, 2019 https://www.edweek.org/ew/events/social-emotional-learning-in-schools-an-education.html[iv] How to Improve Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/emotional-intelligence-workplace/
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