Strengths and Thinking, Part Two

October 5, 2015

Our strengths, like our thoughts, are nourished by different sources.  When we know what to look for we can find fuel for our minds, bodies, and spirits.  The strengths provide a looking glass. 

Let’s start this out with the same question from last time…

Where do thoughts come from?  For real, where is it?

Conventional wisdom would tell us that all thoughts come from one place: our brains.

Fact is, biologically speaking, this has become a dated idea.  The science and medical  communities have determined that there are two other hubs of neural activity in our bodies: the heart and the gut.

There’s even a new division of medicine known as neurocardiology, which studies the heart as a thought center and a generator of consciousness.  Wired with more than 40,000 neurons—which are cells that carry messages—the heart communicates with the brain.  These heart cells can sense, feel, learn and remember and, literally, affect the brain’s processes.

Not only that, one in three cells in the gut are these neurons.  We’ve all heard the expressions “listening to our gut” and “butterflies in our stomach”, well, it turns out, that these are actual results of neurological activity in those areas.  Ideas are literally being created and processed in the gut and then sent up to the head for evaluation.  That’s why it can feel so strange to “have a hunch”.

If all this was not enough, heart transplant patients routinely report having new memories after the surgery, which later prove to be accurate to their donor’s lives.  In some cases, recipients are capable of performing new skills that their donor’s knew—composing poetry, playing the piano, and solving mathematical equations.

(Just in case any of this sounds too unbelievable click here and click here and click here.)

Thoughts are happening all over the body and then channeled to the brain for review—which makes sense, since the brain has the most computing power, weighing in at more than 100 billion neurons.

That said, we all know those who lead primarily with their heart, gut, or head.

Our strengths are no different.  That is, the strengths are the places from which we lead.  They are our foundations.  And our strengths create meaning in our lives in the way that the body’s neurons create thoughts in our minds.  Our strengths transmit messages to us about how to live.

We are all fueled by different sources and our greatness manifests in different ways, but at the end of the day, the result is the same: action.  Like thoughts through a brain, our strengths channel themselves though our lives, experiences, and activities.  And, when we allow them, they reveal to us the path of highest value to us.

We all know that learning is good for the brain—well, action is good for our strengths.  It’s not enough to simply know our strengths, we have to do things with them.  And, this doesn’t mean that we have to take  run a marathon, or buy stocks, or propose to our sweetheart today.  Instead, strengths-guided action means that do something that moves us toward our greatness.

The strengths encourage us to take action—we might get this as a hunch (gut) or as a thought (brain) or as a feeling (heart)—and when we listen, we find that we are always being guided.

How do our strengths communicate with us?  What does greatness look like today?  What action can we take today that moves us in the direction of our dream life or a life goal?  Did we have any goals when we woke up this morning?  What would change if we sought out new fuels for our strengths?—people, places, things, YouTube videos, music, books, websites…

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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