Today we are going to move on to the 2nd core mental fitness muscle: The Sage Muscle.
We often think of the brain as one organ, but there are actually different regions and they operate very differently. Fair warning: I am NOT a neuroscientist, so this is in non-technical terms.
First, let’s talk about the Saboteur brain. This lives in the limbic system, the brainstem and parts of the left brain. The Saboteur brain motivates us through emotions like fear, guilt, shame, stress, anger and insecurity. Some people believe that this is the way that you should motivate yourself. If we believe that, we tell ourselves things like, “No pain, no gain.” “Never take it easy on yourself.” “You have to push yourself hard.” “Keep pushing.” And so on. Here's the catch: you can be successful by motivating yourself this way; the problem is that it is hard to be happy this way.
When I learned this, it clicked with me why so many of the highly successful people that I’ve worked with over the years have said: “I know that I’m successful, but I’m not really happy” or “I feel like I’m missing out on the rest of my life.”
The Sage brain, by contrast, lives in parts of the brain like the prefrontal cortex, the empathy circuitry, and parts of the right brain. The Sage brain is associated with positive emotions like peace and calm, clear-headed focus, creativity, big picture thinking, and the ability to act with clarity and calm.
The Sage brain also helps us frame challenge as an opportunity. It motivates us with positive emotions like empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion and purpose. This is how we can experience our highest levels of success AND happiness.
Tune into this episode to learn more and why 80% of people end up stuck in the Saboteur brain.