How often do you remember or tell yourself how amazing you are? Many of us would be the first to admit that we can be our own harshest critics and frequently forget who we truly are. This applies to me as much as it does for many of the people I coach. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I came across Shirzad Chamine recently. He is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in America who has drawn from the latest developments and research in positive psychology, neuroscience, and even organization science to show students and business leaders new ways to foster optimism, compassion, and other good feelings.

He made a really inspiring presentation last year at the Stanford TEDx conference. Having watched it a few times, it struck me that his message is relevant whether you are a business leader or manager, an executive, a parent, child, student, traveller, retiree, coach, mentor or teacher. Which is the reason that I am sharing it with you. Whatever your thing is, I believe his presentation is truly worth twenty minutes of your close attention. If you take my advice and watch it, you may find yourself reflecting deeply about some of the ideas he puts across. The first of these is that we are all totally awesome and whilst we knew this with certainty as very young children, we have somehow forgotten. His research reveals that there is an 80% probability you have no idea just how magnificent you truly are. Perhaps more concerning is that as you grow up from childhood into adulthood, you develop an inner voice which he refers to as “the judge”. He delightfully illustrates how this invisible character takes control of your mind and distorts your reality – resulting in the sabotage of whatever it is you want or are trying to do.

To counter this, he explains how you can learn to strengthen your “sage”, or original “true self” and by doing so, shed some light on any one of your resident gang of nine saboteurs. And this is the key to your liberation. In fact, you can release what Chamine refers to as the “five great sage powers”, which enable you to Empathise, Explore, Innovate, Navigate and take the appropriate Action in any given situation. When you watch his presentation, you will also understand how mindfulness can accelerate this learning.

If it all sounds a bit airy fairy to you, I recommend you take a look. Chamine has worked with over 100 powerful and successful CEO’s to develop their capability. When he explains how he gets them to anonymously write one secret they have never shared on a piece of paper, and you hear what some of these are, it is very moving and you may find yourself letting go of any cynicism you might have had.

After watching this presentation, I felt a huge sense of relief that many if not all of the existential anxieties we suffer from can be shifted and transformed if you know what to do. This is something I already knew, yet Chamine has a charming way of reminding us. If you have children, there is an extra special bonus for you. He tells a heartwarming story about a game he often plays with his young son to help him strengthen his “sage” muscles. So if you are ready to know how to fully reclaim your beautiful true self and wonder what life would be like and what would become possible if you did, take a beak and watch the video. And when you have, let me know your thoughts and how you felt via the comments section below. I am curious to hear how it affects you.


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