The Power of People

I have been on a personal journey of rediscovery. Who am I and where am I headed? On a recent trip to Nashville for a conference, I had a chance to hear reknowned psychologist and author Dr. Henry Cloud. He spoke on concepts such as brain chemistry and how it affects human decision-making. Stress, anxiety, and poor nutrition all play a potentially detrimental part in performance and how decisions are made.

I have admired Dr. Cloud’s work for over 10 years and read several of his books. After he spoke I picked up his recent book “The Power of the Other: The Startling Effect Other People Have on You From the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond– and What To Do About It” Dr. Cloud’s talk and his thoughts on the subject of decisions couldn’t have come at a better time. My personal life had taken a recent downturn, and it had negatively affected my business.

His ideas are not new concepts, but Dr. Cloud takes the effect of influence to a new level of understanding. It isn’t just about brain chemistry and how to change it. He talks about the power of the people in your life, broken down into four easily digestible categories. After my recent turn of events, I knew I needed some rest and relaxation. I booked a cruise to teach a watercolor art class on board. I made sure I had time to paint for myself too. But I also meditated on what Dr. Cloud had to say about surrounding yourself with people who are all moving in a positive direction, and who support you.

When I’m hurting, it becomes very tempting to isolate myself, or to reach into unhealthy areas to console myself. And yet scientific evidence has proven that the human touch, interaction, and connection hold a power that can’t be measured. I opened myself up to really connecting with new and interesting people. It was good practice. By far, my experience on this trip felt more fruitful, and serene at the same time. I found myself moving past my emotional upheaval, and feeling stronger for having reached outside of myself. With a renewed vision of my future I saw I could come back, strengthen my relationships, and forge a new beginning.

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