Who's in Your Driver Seat?

You wouldn't drive a sportscar like a beat-up runaround, would you? But that's exactly what most people do with the most valuable asset they have.

Jill Bolte Taylor, the scientist who famously documented her experience of having a stroke and gaining insight into how her right and left brain hemispheres functioned, says in her book, 'My Stroke of Insight', 

"When I take responsibility for the circumstances of my life, I put myself in the driver's seat and own my power."

Many people have offered similar teachings and observations over the years. We are the captains of our ships, etc etc. 

But what happens when you try to sail a ship, or drive a sports car without knowing how? At best, you'll muddle through. At worst, you'll probably crash. 

This is what I see time and time again - people with incredible potential, and not enough information or awareness to make the most of it. 

These are people who don't sit in their own driver's seat. 

And you might think that's crazy. You're a grown-up. You make your own decisions. You've achieved stuff. Hey, you may even have your own sports car. 

Yip. I hear you. 

And if you are fulfilled and confident in the way life is going, congratulations, my friend. You are one of the beacons. Just keep doing what you're doing. This post isn't for you. But, hey, nice car, right? 

If, on the other hand, it sometimes feels like you're banging your head off a wall, and you don't know why you keep doing or saying things that don't get the results you want, then maybe you need some advanced driving skills for that incredibly powerful brain. 

I absolutely love looking under the hood, reading the books, synthesising the concepts. That's my joy in life. All the stuff I gather from that is basically the 'applied neuroscience greatest hits' - things that can actually help in everyday life to improve those actions, reactions and interactions, in order to consistently make better choices. 

Imagine knowing the power, feeling the power, and controlling the power. That's what happens when you apply the science. 

We all want autonomy, to have control, and a level of certainty over our lives. 

The best way to achieve that is through understanding - having the knowledge, applying it, and seeing more effective options. 

Greater awareness = greater understanding = greater choices = greater effectiveness. Always. 

That's my two cents' worth on the matter. 

So let me ask you this, if you had a choice (which you do, btw, we always have a choice) to sit fully and comfortably into that driving seat, knowing what makes your engine rev, so to speak, or just continue being driven by unseen and unknown forces within you, which would you choose? 

 If you're now feeling the bug of the brain-curious, feel free to  - check out some of the short videos I've made about applied neuroscience, which I like to think of as 'brain stuff / no fluff'. 

 - head over to my podcast, The Ambition Incubator. You might be interested in episode #87 on the topic of Marginal Losses, 

 -  alternatively, you can check out some of the events I organise at the NeuroDevelopment Institute

If you have questions, they're my favourite. I normally have quite a few myself. Drop me a line, or find me on LinkedIn to tease them out. 

Categories: : applied neuroscience, brain power, brain science, coaching, development, efffectiveness, personal development, potential, resilience