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Dr. Alan Watkins: Being Brilliant Every Single Day (Part 1) at TEDxPortsmouth (Transcript)

So for example, if you take a very common experience of most people, if we look at what is the energetic signature, if you will, of something like anxiety? So what goes on physiologically when we’re in a state of anxiety? If we look at the heart rate, it’s fast. The heart’s going, “boom – boom – boom – boom — boom.” What else is happening? What’s happening in the mouth? The mouth is dry. So you’re talking as though you’ve got co– co– wooly can’t get the, that’s happening. What’s happening in the palms of your hand? They’re sweaty. What’s happening in the gut? It’s churning. These are the specific physiological constituents of that thing that you would know as anxiety.

And I’ll ask you, how did you feel? And you say, “All right.” So all that data is there. You’re just not feeling it. And if you’re not feeling it, it’s altering what you’re thinking and how well you’re thinking it, which is changing what you’re doing. But you don’t realize that because you feel all right. You’re not noticing any of that. You’re just thinking what you’re thinking and doing what you’re doing.

So what we’re saying is that the brilliance every day requires on you to tune in to what’s happening down here at the physiological and the emotional level, and not only become aware of that but get control over it. Because most of you do not have the control at that level. In fact, very few people have got control of any of this stuff on the inside. Even when people have been highly trained on regulating their behavior, even they haven’t got that much control over this. So that’s the source of your brilliance.

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If you can get control of the whole thing, you can crank out your A-game every single day. So how do you get control? Well first we’re going to start with which bit of the physiology, given that so many different signals, where are we going to start? Well we’re going to start with one specific signal, which is the electrical signal of your heart.

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So your heart beats. So when your heart beats, “ping, ping, ping, ping.” If you watch the medical programs before it goes, “beep,” which it always does, doesn’t it? So the ping is — the heart basically contracts and causes a spike of electricity. And you can measure the distance between each heartbeat. And I don’t know whether you know, but the distance between each heartbeat varies over time. So if we look at your heart rate over time, we’ll see that your heart rate will vary up and down like that. And if you go to your doctor, he takes your pulse rate and he says your average is 70. But in taking the average, he’s ignoring all the variance. And it’s the variance that really matters.

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Taking the average, you lose all the critical data. That’s like listening to Mozart and saying the average is, “daaaaaa.” Was that Mozart or was it Pearl Jam? Okay, we don’t know. So it’s the variance, or something that’s called heart rate variability, that’s key.

Heart rate variability is key for three reasons. Number one, it predicts your death. So if I measure your variability for 24 hours, I can tell when you’re going to die. So now I have your attention. All right. So we tell this to organizations. Do you know what? They don’t care. So we can’t sell them on that. So the other reason is it predicts — if we measure HRV for 24 hours, it can tell you how much energy you have got. Which is sort of interesting to leaders, because leaders need lots of energy. But the real reason that they buy and they’re interested in this is because HRV alters brain function.

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So when I put you under pressure, what basically happens to your HRV is it becomes super chaotic. So basically, your brain receives a signal from your heart up the nerve channels, which when under pressure becomes super chaos. The consequence of the super chaos is it shuts off your frontal lobes and you have a DIY lobotomy. So under pressure, you lobotomize yourself. It’s as though you’ve suddenly taken the stupid pills and you’ve gone like that.

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So I thought we’d just show that to you for a live demonstration. To show you how easy it is to create chaos in your biology, whether you want it to happen or not. So we need a willing volunteer for this moment. So just come and sit in the chair, and I’m going to show you how to be brilliant by showing you your physiology. So we need a volunteer just to come up, if you would. And all we’re going to do is just put a little clip on your earlobe. So thank you very much. Give him a round of applause, by way of encouragement. Thank you. What’s your name?

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[Neil: Neil Nelson.]

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So Neil is very kind. He has no idea what we’re going to be doing to him, so this is really very brave. So first of all, we’re going to make sure Neil is alive. So is his heart beating? So you can see that every time his heart contracts, it squirts blood up into his ears and his ears go red. Between contractions, all the blood drains out and his ears go white. So if you look at the person sitting next to you, you can actually see their ears flashing: red, white, red, white. Actually you can’t see that, because your eyes aren’t sensitive enough.

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By Pangambam S

I have been a Transcriber and Editor in the transcription industry for the past 15 years. Now I transcribe and edit at SingjuPost.com. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do let me know. And please do share this post if you liked it and help you in any way.