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I have long been a proponent of the idea that the essence of who we are ultimately stems in large part from our thoughts.
"Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character — and our character will determine our eternal destiny."
Whenever I memorize something, I try to go beyond mere repetition and attempt to internalize the truth in whatever words I choose to make a part of me. Especially during my impressionable teen years, this particular quote played a role in what I chose to occupy my thoughts with. That process of intense meditation led to numerous insights about the relationships between my thoughts and the realization of my goals.
During the final semester of my graduate work, we studied an audio recording of a teleseminar by Anastasia Pryanikova on the relationship of brain science and leadership. I was only able to attend a handful of class sessions my final semester because injuries from a car accident limited my mobility and cognitive abilities. Thankfully, this particular class period was one that I was able to attend.
We were unable to find a written copy of the lecture and I indicated that I would transcribe it for the benefit of our class and to be used in future courses in conjunction with the audio. It was only this week that I was able to work on the transcript and it sparked again in me a desire to seize greater control of my eternal destiny by becoming a master of my thoughts.
I highly recommend this lecture to anyone interested in bettering any part of their life; our thoughts, whether conscious or otherwise, are inseparably connected from all of our strivings. This audio recording in particular is targeted towards leadership, but the principles are not limited to that particular field.
I include here the brief conclusion to the roughly 40 minute teleseminar. In this quotation, Pryanikova summarizes the points associated with the acronym, VALVE (emphasis added):
VALVE is about vision. It is important to have a very clear vision because of comparative plasticity because your brain filters a lot of information based on what is important to you. You want to put the right filters into place.Attention is your most precious resource and it is very limited as far as the conscious brain comes in. You want to access your subconscious brain maps for insights, for “aha!” moments, for those unrelated pieces of information that come together to form a creative solution.Learning is the process that keeps the brain plastic throughout our life. You want to look for new ways to challenge your brain. Your brain is like a muscle; it likes new challenges. If you keep doing the same thing, the effect diminishes. You have to try new hobbies, new materials, try to keep your brain excited.Value is all about our dopamine and predictions and expectations. You want to understand how the prediction mechanism works so you can bring more of excitement and motivation for your brain into your life.Finally, energy is about taking time and good care of your brain through proper nutrition, exercise, and good interactions.
If you are interested in obtaining a transcript of Pryanikova's entire lecture, feel free to email me.