I believe brain researchers (neuroscientists) have good intentions when they make blanket statements about other people’s beliefs to be “right or wrong.” Some of them probably believe their “expert status” enables them to make broad and sweeping declarations on behalf of all of humanity – I suppose. I believe, the belief that an “expert” gets to set the rules for what is “right or wrong” is a type of perceptual bias in itself. Just to be clear, there needs to be context when judging right and wrong anyway, since the situation or circumstance can make a huge difference. Life is just not black or white.
In fact, science is full of bias. Just read history…or your current online copy of a variety of current research studies. Can we just get comfortable with the facts of life? Life is not neat and predictable. Everyone, including myself, filter what he or she sees and experience through their own biased lens. The best we can ever do is to continue to raise our self-awareness so that we can be more in the moment to make our own choice as clearly as we can. Simple as that. It is not black or white, “objectivity.”
My bias is that I don’t believe a scientist, researcher or anyone else can determine objective results 100% of the time. It’s easy when we are referring to mechanistic, physical objects. For example, if we as human beings have agreed that the color red looks like…”red”… and then we see a red apple, one can argue that another is “right or wrong” if the color is called purple. That’s what standardized tests attempt to do. Teach people what to think and then test them on it.
Yet, somewhere back in time, red was “made up” and we all agreed upon it and generation after generation it was taught to children this way. It’s called, “language.”
What I have trouble with is when I see articles from scientists saying, for example, “we (people) see patterns where there are none.” Oh, “none” to whom?
Work and life balance is central to health, real wealth and enjoyable relationships. Gratitude and appreciation are apparently little known secret ingredients to what everyone is really seeking – inner peace, meaning and joy. Then we can “in joy” our efforts and monetary results and use money constructively and with greater purpose. “Stuff” starts to lose its meaning in general.
“Happiness” is very situational, yet joy is the “peace that passes understanding”. It is not a transient mental state; it is the essence of our “being”. We’ve just lost sight of this truth. So, why is there so much increase in disease, debt and divorce or unsatisfying relationships – at home and at work? For one thing, we have forgotten, “who we are”. We have attached our worth and identity to “stuff” that many of us don’t really want.
In fact, I’d venture to say that most people don’t really know what they want or “why” they are so busy “doing” things. It has become a national epidemic – “Doingitis” – a “dis-ease” state. Then, we don’t even feel grateful or appreciate what we accomplish or have. There are steps and processes one can take to disentangle one’s self-worth and meaning from this chronic distracted way of living. However, here I will offer one simple remedy; cultivate gratitude and appreciation. This one thing, felt with the heart and not just an intellectual exercise can:
Diversity as a consulting arena was not something I was attracted to historically – until now. I notice that it too often seems to be only “representation” which is better than nothing…somewhat anyway. Just to have physical bodies in a room is really not creating a culture of inclusion and innovation. I attended a “diversity and inclusion” corporate event last week and I am inspired to see that some people are starting to realize that personal individual growth will need to be addressed as well as structure change to create inclusion.
Outer change cannot happen until the inner landscape of our mind is adjusted first.
Here’s the traditional ways that society has addressed diversity:
1. External Social Laws
2. Excessive Discussion without change
3. Hiring women and people of color
This is a place to start AND, it’s now time to go deeper. We can’t “force” inner change. Women are smart and more than capable. People of color – men and women – are smart and capable. Where the “smartness and capable” can be applied is not based on color or gender in reality. To do so is just due to one’s blind spot and belief system. The challenge is to help people to grow beyond their inner insecurity on the one hand, and to also help those stuck in “homogeneous comfort zones” to embrace change that brings opportunity to the whole of humanity.
Until there is balance within our minds and hearts, we will not have inclusion or effective innovation in the mini laboratory of change called the “work place”. Change begins at our CORE as individuals and it requires Courage, Open-mindedness, Reflection and Enthusiasm. Organizations are composed of individuals. Here’s three ways to create inclusion and a more diverse work place, both in terms of people and ideas:
1. Start with the culture – be brave enough to explore values, purpose (“why) and without blame, to examine what is no longer working and commit to change
2. Recognize that “know thyself” is the key to creating better and more effective leaders and teams – create a culture of personal growth and development using processes that promote “self-awareness” first which leads to better “emotional intelligence”
3. Realize that people are now looking for meaning, autonomy and fulfillment – beyond money and the weekly grind if you want to attract and retain committed employees