No matter how you define success – making lots of money; landing a great job; keeping a great job; staying happily married; graduating from the highest levels of education; becoming a professional athlete or famous actor; you name it – success requires the same underlying foundational neurocognitive skill. It’s often called self-regulation (otherwise known as executive function or cognitive control).
Decades of research studying thousands of subjects from all over the world, has brought us this culture-changing revelation: self-regulation in childhood, as evidenced by the ability to focus attention, persist at a task, and calm down after an upset, predicts FINANCIAL SUCCESS and HEALTH in adulthood better than any other factor. That includes race, IQ, ethnicity, or the wealth of family of origin.
Self-regulation is not something fortunate people are born with and others are not. It is a skill that can be learned, cultivated, practiced, and mastered at any stage of life.
In some cases, we develop self-regulation before entering school and have it forever. In other cases, we have self-regulation early on in life but because of unforeseen, often stressful or traumatic events, we lose it. In other cases still, it is something we never have until we learn it, practice it, and get better at it over time. The latter scenario is how self-regulation developed in me.
Through a process of what is now called “positive neuroplasticity,” I was able to hardwire into my brain and body more resilience, happiness, and peace. And believe me when I say: if I can do it, anyone can!
From a life of trauma, chaos, and instability, can emerge a life of calm, comfort, and serenity. Not every moment, that’s for sure, but certainly beyond my wildest imaginings. I hope you will consider for yourself – not for your family members, colleagues, clients, or students, but for YOU – the possibilities for rewiring your nervous system for greater balance, health, and joy.