Sood’s book is based on a course that he has taught to “tens of thousands of patients and learners at the Mayo Clinic and elsewhere,” but when I searched the Mayo website for the course, all I could find were countless references to this book. I skimmed through the book pretty quickly because, although its numerous insights seem dead-on, they are also self-explanatory to a person who does much thinking about these issues.
I was going to say the insights are intuitive, but as Sood points out, these are things that need conscious reasoning, the opposite of intuitive. Sood begins the book by discussing how the brain works, and how it works badly because of its DNA for “fight or flight” and other such tendencies that don’t work well or aren’t needed in modern life. A major concern for Sood is the brain’s tendency to multi-task and shift into what he calls its default mode instead of its focused mode. There is much discussion of getting the brain more often into the focused mode – so-called attention training or what one of my work seminars labeled “Be Here Now.”
After Sood gets the brain working better, he shifts our attention to seven aspects of our life that can make it less stressful:
- High Meaning
- Tribe (family and friends)
- Relaxation and Reflection (meditation)
I probably could have benefited from devoting more reading time to learn the techniques that Sood offers for developing these seven aspects, but I’ve got a book on Roger Ailes waiting for me.