Poverty tanks far too many organizations. Yet individual leaders can outrun its wiles.
After seeing too many workers caught in endless poverty, I’ve felt compelled to ask this question: How can we lead from a brain’s position within poverty?
Look at oppression around you – and sometimes you see more bullies than brains. Yet, even in an oppressive environment we can break away from poverty, with a few mental strategies.
Insights about surplus first came to me when I found myself trapped on the street at 14, and since then I’ve spent a lifetime developing strategies against poverty, based on new neuro discoveries.
Your brain comes equipped with endless hidden and unused capabilities.
At 14, I faced a shocking experience of finding myself out on the streets and completely alone. My mother died of cancer and I searched desperately for mental survival skills within my sea of challenges.
Ridiculous as it seems, I asked myself soon after I landed on the streets, How can I stay on the honor roll so that I can win a scholarship to college and stay in school? A dumb question from a kid without a dime or a dash of hope, as the sun went down around me on a busy Halifax street.
Wisdom often hides within a daily choice
Along the way, I became grateful for those few leaders who understood both the brain’s resilience, and its endless challenges for a teen caught alone in dire poverty. Ever been there?
The key is to act.
Or have you wondered what prompts some people to hitch their wagons to a star, while others sadly fail to spot even the smallest step toward a finer dream?
Here at the Mita International Brain Center, I’ve studied and wrapped my career around observing and researching brain-powered learning and leading in the face of tough challenges.
Neuro discoveries that reboot fate
Below are three discoveries about how to beat poverty that prevents you from leading yourself and others beyond shortage.
1. Look to inner strengths first. Your brain comes equipped with endless hidden and unused capabilities. It literally changes its shape and operation each time you find and act on one strength, skill or insight. The key is to act. When I devised a plan to talk a rooming house owner into allowing me to stay free for the first week – I honed articulation skills, that later landed me a job at 14.
2. Avoid blame. The brain fuels itself with dangerous chemicals whenever we resort to finger pointing, and chemicals such as cortisol literally shut down innovative possibilities that can help you win freedom against life’s unfair blows. That one took me a solid 10 years to grasp, but people smarter than me taught me the value of fueling with serotonin by letting go faster.
3. Run risks that fly contrary to status quo ruts. To remain on the honor roll in 10th grade seemed dumb to even educated adults back then. Yet it led to a PhD in a career that’s been especially good to me, and a lifetime of work that many only dream of attaining. Surplus tends to follow serotonin and other mental chemicals for wellbeing when risk-taking fuels your brain with its winning power to move forward without fear of failing.
Ready for change?
Does poverty tend to follow you? It may hammer you with money woes, perceived lack of talent, stress or depression. If today holds you back from choosing surplus for yourself and those around you, poverty likely grips you in one of the three clamps it tossed over me as a trap at 14.
What surprising choices would help you to break out and inspire the rest of us to do the same?