2024 June 11 You are perfectly you

Jun 11, 2024

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me today to talk about looking at the brain differently. If you like what you hear tonight, please leave a like, tell your friends, or send me a message. 


Tonight we'll talk about those things that drive you crazy about yourself. They may actually be a really desirable thing in the modern world. Perhaps you criticize yourself for what they call squirrel brain, or shiny object syndrome.


You keep thinking of different things. There are lots of thoughts going through your head. Maybe you're working on 10 things at once instead of just finishing one task, or being too hyper and doing too much, or maybe making connections between thoughts that everyone else thinks is a complete non sequitur and makes no sense to them at all.


Maybe you're working on something interesting and you suddenly realize you've been doing it for two hours. Maybe you're too shy until you meet some like-minded person, and then the two of you can't stop talking.  The list goes on and on. We all have our own special quirks and our own special personality. The good news is the diagnosis and description of all those different traits, and more, are now handily consolidated as neurodivergence.


I'm glad medicine and science finally caught up to what I've concluded many years ago, which is that most of the abnormal people aren't abnormal at all. They just have different talents and abilities. If you are mildly autistic, for example, and it really bothers you when things are even slightly out of order, even in patterns that others can't recognize, the major IT companies want to talk to you. They're looking for you badly for things like cybersecurity and related software pattern matching positions.


As a matter of fact, while researching this topic, I came across a number of neurodivergent hiring sites specifically looking for people with different approaches to their thinking. Who knew this would become a thing? Perhaps you can't stand the office chatter, or you are happiest when you have on headphones and you can get lost in doing something rewarding—some difficult code, reviewing images, or something where you can just really bury yourself in the work. 


Companies are now realizing that there can be opportunities that accommodate your preferences and enable you to outperform your peers, often by a large margin. You think in detailed but unusual ways. When you see something, you look at it completely differently than everybody else.


The way you talk about it and the way you describe the situation, no one else thinks about it the same way. Some of the biggest accounting firms have realized that you may also be a wizard at writing amazing AI prompts. They're using them now, these scripts written by these people  that scan contracts for inconsistencies and find tax deductions. 


There's a whole range of the way people think, and only now it's starting to dawn on people that there's more than one way how people think. They're really finding a lot of benefits—to themselves, of course, but also to the world in general. 


Rachel Lovenstein is an autistic woman who was diagnosed only in 2020. She was working at the advertising company Mindshare.  When she told them about the diagnosis and what it was about, they had her become the official support person for other neurodivergent people at Mindshare. They were aware enough to realize that those people had great talents. They'd already been doing good work, and with more support, they might be able to be even better at what they could do. 


Rachel now works on her own. From her LinkedIn page, she says she is your autistic big sister on the internet. Rachel has 10 years of experience as a media executive and creative leader, helping some of the biggest brands in the world grow through cultural fluency and social impact. She has worked with brands like Nike, Chanel, Booking.com, Unilever, General Mills, Getty Images, UN Women, and more.  Not bad for somebody who's different. 


The big takeaway, as we've often spoken about, is that you are exactly who you are supposed to be.  Who you are doesn't have to be society's definition of perfect—pretty, or handsome, or too tall, too short, too easy to distract. You're always coming up with crazy ideas. 


You are who you are, and you should love yourself exactly for that reason. You have skills and talents and feelings and insight that absolutely nobody else has. That's a wonderful thing.  Nature advances by trying different things. That's the basis of evolution. Try something. If it works, great. If it doesn't, then it will fade away.  The skepticism of anything different is a natural reaction. It's part of a survival mechanism. But society, as it's gotten more organized, has become better at defining different


Society has long treated any differences as something to be driven away and not tolerated. Unfortunately, that's gotten even worse in the age of social media. and the general drop in tolerance, both in social media and in the cancel culture. If anything or anyone is different in any way, even including how they perceive a situation, they're immediately considered intolerable.


That brings us around to the workplace, and lo, doesn't the exact same intolerance exist there? Especially in Western cultures, management and work processes are set up, and they're based upon expected common ways of learning and performance. If you didn't fit into that expected common methodology, you're just considered untrainable or unfit for the job. 


It's never considered that maybe—just maybe—you had other skills that were increased and were also beneficial. Indeed, maybe you are actually extraordinary in less obvious ways.  It's interesting to note how many of the modern tech leaders are also neurodivergent. The list includes people like Elon Musk, Sam Bankman-Fried, Alex Karp (the head of Palantir Software, a huge industry leader), and Wanda Chachams (the founder and principal of Liberty Company, Liberty Company). These people succeeded in ways others couldn't imagine, exactly because others couldn't imagine what they could imagine. 


So you're saying, Okay, I love myself just as I am. Self love, true self love and self acceptance, are important and necessary steps in the process of developing your true life vision. Otherwise, you'll be trying to develop the vision that society has forced upon you by trying to define what is acceptable, even down to the level of how you process thoughts and how you think. Your thoughts are what define you. They are you. And if you're not comfortable with how you interact with the world around you, then it will be very difficult to ever be comfortable with yourself. Do we all have traits and characteristics that sometimes annoy us? Of course we do.  I'm not saying that any of us is perfect. We are all perfectly ourselves, and we should all be totally comfortable with that.


That's it for the evening. Be pleased with yourself and realize your imperfections may really be your superpowers. Your homework (always optional)  is to think about personal traits that you have in the past tried to hide or minimize, and why you did that. What made you start doing that? Extra points if you think about how those same characteristics actually have a positive side. Even something like a speech impediment may actually result in your thinking more before you answer. You may actually be perceived as the one with the wise answer, who waits for everyone else to finish arguing, and then you give a summary answer that kind of wraps it up for everybody. So don't be too quick to judge yourself. 


Remember the wars in Ukraine and in Palestine and Gaza. There's lots of things going on elsewhere in the world as well. Remember to pray for all those people. Do what you can. There are links to help Ukraine at UKR7.com. You can support the World Central Kitchen at WCK.org. They work in areas of disasters across the world. If you can donate to one of those or some other group, great. If you can't donate, remember that just smiling at somebody can make their day a lot better. One of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. It changes your perspective on the world, puts you out into the world, and I think just gives you a better view on things. 


As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along and hit that like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dream of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you. 


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