In response to Jane Mayer’s mind-bending book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, what if we take another look at mindful brains beyond bucks? If an immediate response is urgent, and I think it is, how can we each help lead mindfulness forward? Urgency accompanies Koch money that grows dangerous gaps between a few at the top and any who stand in their way of wealthy gains from status quo systems. In the interest of buying back personal “freedoms,” for instance, the Kochs assembled and network closely with several hundred fellow billionaires. Built over the past few decades, this privileged white circle hopes to stop climate change, destroy voting rights, gridlock Congress, and widen gaps between the top 1% and the rest of Americans. How so?
These self-proclaimed conservatives meet secretly in desert resorts, and influence their nationally distrusted network of 1,200 full-time staffers in 107 offices nationwide, in an impressive list of front groups.
Many question the ethics behind obscene fortunes of the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, the Bradleys, and others in this right-wing network, with inherited money from family oil and other monied industries. Koch brothers’ father, for instance, invented a process to refine crude oil into gas. Because of up-front money he then helped Stalin and Hitler to build successful refineries, willing to look the other way and grow infinite wealth by using his invention to promote leaders in opposition to US democracy.
The cry, “Get rid of big government with its socialistic regulations,” becomes a rallying cry for Koch brothers who profit immensely from American enemies. Without accountability to US leaders, the Kocks remain free to fund university research centers that push their radical right wing agenda from influential places such as Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and many other secret round tables.
While the Koch Industries paid $30 million, the largest fine in history for violating the Clean Water Act, in 2012, it mattered little to their wealthy network that they were condemned as the largest producer of toxic waste in the nation. See any connection to Senate’s stall on climate change? Or global warming? Yet Kochs continue to pump tens of millions of dollars into dozens of organizations that fight climate reform and other regulations that would benefit many and yet curb their bottom line. Could we each learn and lead part of the change?
Mindful leaders decry the extreme destruction of these billionaires who dominate our political arenas, after their think tanks finally laid the groundwork for the Citizens United and SpeechNow, which opened doors for big money to buy elections. But is that enough to restore mindful leadership? Koch influence may appear inevitable to some, especially after they gained 675 seats in state houses across the country, so that Republicans controlled our redistricting process and a new census resulted. Are the mindful among us doomed to greed and self-gratification?
Self-serving weapons certainly continue to move fast, easy money across secret places. Yes, the same places Bernie Sanders attempted to spotlight by illuminating big money’s shadowy and exclusive influences.
Apparently the Kochs are currently in the midst of a branding makeover to win over independent voters. To that end they now fund a “Well-Being Forum” at the Charles Koch Institute in Washington, where they hope to present a lofty vision through their new version of change which continue to prosper their own evil commercial gains.
Would you agree that an alternative is possible? What if we begin together to heal the heart of learning and leading in ways that benefit all! It’s no secret that the Koch-connected-wealthy hold a disdainful view of the masses in our democracy.
Dark Money offers severe dangers we will continue to face if Koch network becomes unstoppable, in its ironclad far-right juggernaut pushed by plutocrats. What if we challenge Koch’s secretive, self-serving machinations with a brain based crusade that builds moral solidarity among wealthy ideas and talents so that all benefit? What if we by-pass both liberal and conservative narratives to launch an brain-friendly ideology that depends on diverse brainpower and new neuro discoveries to move our nation beyond gridlock and into greatness that benefits our amazing and multi-dimensional whole! Here are several tools that could offer a kick-start to brain based learning and leading. You likely have many more and possibly richer tactics than mine, to help us build and sustain an awesome new direction that emanates the kind of Hope, Grace and Awe our great nation deserves!
Here are 6 tips we use to lead mindfulness without dark money
First, let me introduce our namungos – or fictional characters – with real brain parts!
6 surefire ways namungos help us lead mindfully into goldmine benefits.
1. Bas stores good habits that mindful leaders build – such as innovations that improve on broken practices. It starts with what people already experience and care about, yet leads forward from that place. Each mindful habit – such as helping others to develop their unique talents – is stored in Bas and becomes another practice easily retrieved to lead diverse solutions.
Armed with good choices, mindful leaders consistently challenge the brains’ pack-rat basal ganglia which warehouses ruts and broken routines such as personal greed – like squirrels stockpile nuts in winter. How will Bas help you stockpile mindfulness and lead good habits that open doors into new ventures? More urgently, how will you ditch tired basal ganglia routines such as personal greed in order to run forward with mindful tactics and real riches.
2. Sero fuels laughter at silly mistakes you make along the way so that confidence is built along with expectation to do better in the next run through. Sero can be raised in several observable ways that cultivate mindfulness and foster growth for entire communities.
You’ve likely heard that serotonin – the brain’s wellbeing and mindful chemical – packs new zest when we laugh at our mistakes. But did you know that to lead others mindfully into laughter they enjoy, is to send serotonin’s magic across an entire room? Would you agree that not all laughter leads to mindful benefits? Or have you considered why sarcasm rarely leads mindfulness?
3. Disrupt a less effective approach with a new replacement learned and watch Plas change your brain’s dial toward mindful. It’s easier than most people realize. Ask, What if…? and then act on a new, improved approaches learned, for instance.
Your plasticity is simply your brain’s ability to change itself reshape, after each action you risk, and add new data to improve what you do. See why you grow more mindfulness with each innovative move you lead forward?
4. Jot down cool tips learned because tiny WM’s equipped to lose unused data. You may even add a few hints to show how you’ll use these new insights or facts to lead mindfully it later. Expect to forget even the best ideas if not applied though, because your working memory acts like a computer’s copy-paste file. How so?
When new facts fly in from the next idea encountered, your brain’s thimble sized capacity for mindful facts there, gets displaced. Outsource your working memory by creating cheat sheets of mindful tactics you will try and then be sure to act on these before they hit the dust. See how easily we can default back to Bas’ greed or ego if that’s what we stored by earlier actions.
5. Run from vents and people who sprout them. Instead offer a mindful proposal that may help to improve anything you dislike. What do vents trigger?
Cortisol – the brain’s toxic stress chemical – packs a sucker punch to all whenever we vent, rage, gloat, grab out of greed, or nay-say. Get yourself and others proposing mental make-overs wherever you spot snags and watch those flawed moves fade into mindful approaches forward, as cortisol decreases. See why your brain cannot hold cortisol’s toxins at the same time is leads mindfulness through serotonin’s magic.
6. Ramp up emotional IQ and lead on roughest waters with calm, steady waves of mindful possibilities. Some call it taming your amygdala which is the brain’s seat of emotions. Why mindful leaders rarely settle for an untamed amygdala?
Your tamed amygdala stores every shout out you make for a peer, every gesture of thanks you offer a fellow participant, every smile you flash to a person who disagrees with you! A tamed amygdala sets the stage for life-changing takeaways – that get you more bang for every buck than dark money can offer.
Grab dark dollars for self – and your untamed amygdala responds by storing that choice for the next opportunity to fight your way mindlessly to the top of the heap.
Ready to rock more mindfulness into your leadership?
Will you become one of the few who takeaway more, contribute more and influence others through mindfulness? If so, expect to rock electrifying opportunities that may well remain hidden and unseen to leaders who settle for dark dollars and look the other way at greed.
Check out this brief namungo video to see mental assets namungos could bring to transform your next mindful interactions. Richer than a dark dollar?
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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset