Amazing Video Called ‘This Is Water’

A cool part about blogging is that it leads to the unexpected.  A friend, who knows I’m an avid fly fisherman, talks about the importance of  “unexpected turns in the river” in life.

An email yesterday from Scott Denne brought that home.

Now, knowing Scott was also a turn in the river.  We first interacted when he was a WSJ reporter.  He and I used to email and talk on the phone.  I a few years ago decide to accept an invitation to speak at a conference.  Scott was there and we met for the first time.

Fast forward.  My exec. coach invited me to a meditation workshop.  I took a risk and decided to go. I then blogged about it (click here).  Scott Denne read it and then emailed me a link to a David Foster Wallace video called “This Is Water.”  I had no idea that he read my blog.

In the midst of a crowded business morning, I watched the video.  Scott wrote that the video changed his life, and so, I had watch it right away.

The video is awesome. Truly brilliant.  Only nine minutes. It talks about your brain’s “natural default mode.”  It’s something the speakers at the workshop mentioned specifically and often and labeled it the “default mode network.”

Basically, when you’re not actively working on a problem, your brain switches to default mode. It begins to ruminate.  And, if we let it, the brain will dwell on problems we need to solve.  Over time, anxiety sets in–and, here’s the scary part–those worry neurons get stronger and stronger. Stress can then be a permanent part of your life.

We need to train the brain not to do that.  It’s critical.  Wallace in fact hanged himself at age 46.

Thank you, Scott, for the email and link.  You totally rock.


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