I’ve listened to the audio version of Neurowisdom twice now on my daily commute. Neurowisdom is a book that combines neuroscience with the application of principles that allow you to achieve your goals. Notably: monetary goals. In the book, they argue that money does contribute to happiness. The happiest people are also the people who are living in comfortable wealth. Wealth allows you to care for yourself. Wealth allows you to care for your family. Wealth provides a stash of money you might need in case of emergency. You live comfortably and securely in your own property. You maintain your possessions and you avoid fix-it tickets when you drive your car with a broken tail light. You avoid penalties and fees when you get into trouble because you can pay it all at once. While having possessions doesn’t make you happy, being able to afford experiences makes you happy. Experiencing activities with your loved ones provides happiness, and that many times involves spending money. Not always. But, most of the time.
So at the risk of coming across shallow, which the book does not, the authors outline the four pillars of wealth. And the four pillars of wealth involved listing brain regions that ties into our ancestral, primal motivators. Here are my notes from reading this section of the book:
The Four Pillars of Wealth
- Motivation. The brain tends to move toward the object of desire. You might be motivated by the security of having more money, or you might be motivated by having things or experiences. This is our primal drive to acquire more wealth. It all starts in the nucleus accumbens, and this is where Dopamine is released. As long as dopamine is released, it motivates us to move toward our goals.
- Decision Making. Dopamine travels to the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the executive part of the brain where decisions are made. This is where you lead new skills, develop new habits, make decisions, talk to yourself with internal dialogue, and analyze. This is where the left and right brain talks to each other, balancing out logic and feelings.
- Creativity. Focusing on only tasks and problems will lead to mental fatigue. You need to be creative to allow breaks for your brain. The brain needs to relax with 30 second breaks. Mind wandering is a natural process that your brain uses to recharge. This influences your memory, your mental health, and it allows you to have direct access to creative talents. being creative and taking mental breaks allows you to increase your learning capacity.
- Awareness.When you reach your 20’s and your brain connections start to mature, then awareness really kicks in. Self awareness and social awareness both develop through mindfulness. Doing mindfulness exercises is an awareness enhancement activity.
Mindfulness practice leads to awareness of:
- Bodily sensations
- Positive and negative thoughts
- Positive and negative feelings
- Old habits and behaviors
- Self image and self esteem
- Belief systems
- Purpose and values
- Other people’s thoughts and feelings
- Social consequences of actions
- Awareness of awareness
According to the book, self awareness leads to social awareness. Your values should be aligned with your work. Social awareness is what leads you to work in your calling, to relate to others better, and to have fulfillment in your work. Mindfulness is now being taught in some business schools. Mindfulness brings you into your present moment. Mindfulness creates inner and outer wealth.
Mindfulness strengthens pillars 2, 3, and 4 so you can interact with others more effectively.
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