Looking for a new hope to hold onto? Wish for more contentment or crave less conflict? Dream of leading a new era innovation that offers wonder in a broken world? Wait for nobody else to affirm personal worth, and activate the internal kindness we all crave, by engaging intrapersonal IQ. Think of it as our brain’s personal power tool to strengthen and activate a rich inner life.
We alone shape our personal history through every choice we make. Yes, today will add another stone to our lifelong brickwork, that enormous monument to personal priorities, challenges, passions, and persistence. It’s up to each of us.
Choose to make the most of our situation, and we awaken one of our multiple intelligences to repack possibilities into our potential. Or choose poorly and our day will stoop to scary at an alarming sprint.
When I found myself alone on the street at 14, after my mom died of cancer, I kept wondering what choice would stand the test of time, and prepare me for a life less challenging.
People often ask me how I ever survived without a penny or parents, and I have to admit my path was rarely without barriers, or my journey without detours and restarts. Had I waited for affirmation from parents, I’d still be waiting. If I’d looked to support from siblings, I’d still be lost emotionally in the suicides that hit my brothers after we were left on our own.
Sure, I started out dreaming beyond the horrific challenges of that day, and tried to imagine myself as a researcher I hoped to become. Even back in those teenage years I was beginning a brain researcher’s life, simply by staying in school and accepting daily detours to step in the direction of where I was meant to end up.
Not surprisingly, intrapersonal intelligence is our most promising starting line, regardless of where we stand at this moment. Awaken those personal interests, activate a passion we possess, and then go for it! That’s the way we grow our intrapersonal intelligence to help us reach our highest dreams.
This personal, intuitive capacity equips us to actualize what’s in our minds and regulate what’s in our hearts so that we can make it to the peaks. Yes, in spite of the many bumps in life’s roads.
Tether inner IQ to any dream, even one that’s hidden or untested, and follow its star. It could be a family we wish to create, it could be an academic achievement, it could be the place we hope to travel with close friends, or an innovation we plan to launch. How does it work? Tell ourselves today that we can do it and our brains equip us to take one small step in the direction of our new peak! Turn the dial from cortisol toxins in our brains and we stop the inner nag that insists we could never do that because we’re not smart enough, not wealthy enough, not …. We differ here in buttons a toxic brain can push.
In contrast, intrapersonal IQ shifts us into our brain’s serotonin mode. That shift prompts us to think big for ourselves in spite of difficulties we face. Like a superpower it heads us off in a finer direction. Whether we hit our highest peaks is less important, than the new directions that keep us moving toward that dream worth chasing.
That same intrapersonal IQ we all possess guides us to locate our enormous dreams, even those hidden and unmet. It also holds potential to nudge us out of comfort zones that keep us back. It’s our brain’s warehouse for tools to build safe spaces. Not spaces without challenges. Not spaces where we rest on past achievements. Sacred spaces where we grow and where success finds us ready to embrace bolder choices. It’s an inner mental domain, waiting for each of us, just beyond the other side of ruts.
Intrapersonal intelligence is fluid, not fixed! It fuels our next enormous or daring leap, and grows each time we leap forward. It helps us to see refreshing meadows beyond dank ravines we slog through or rugged canyons we cross. It moves us to keep going in spite of our heartbeat racing, our hands sweating in fear. Each time we take another step toward a healthy dream, we develop higher intrapersonal intelligence to help step toward our peak again and again and again.
Today may open an opportunity to try something new or to adjust something tried in past. We may follow our hearts, investigate our instincts, or simply examine our conscience. Awaken that inner IQ though, and we begin to trust that our attempts will be OK. We’ll find clear insights to help us stick to former or failed plans, or shift to a newly formed dream.
As we grow intrapersonal IQ, by stepping toward a dream worth chasing, we steady ourselves to trust our guts, embrace our strengths, and cobble our faith before we leap over any edges.
One of the craziest leaps I ever made occurred a couple of years ago. I left home, career and friends in New York to join my beloved family here in Canada. When my family invited me to come, I started to pack my way into a different lifestyle. To some friends and colleagues it made perfect sense to stay with the success the Mita International Brain Center stationed in New York. But intrapersonal IQ (which includes our emotional intelligence) told me that if I didn’t make the move to Canada that month, I may never have the guts again to move close to family I cherish.
The move was the most difficult and the best leap over a steep edge I’ve ever taken in my life to date. An enormous loss of all I’d give up felt replaced with all the uncertainty of scary, unknown mystery spaces waiting in Canada. Intrapersonal IQ became my survival sentient along the way.
The moment I accepted my daughter’s invitation I also realized I may never own another home like the one I left. I had just metaphorically detonated my back patio that overlooked gardens I cultivated and a creek I banked with rocks over 26 years. All for a vision of an unknown start for myself closer to family.
What leap could offer a new landing to your day? Perhaps both feet are firmly planted inside your comfort zone. Possibly you fear you may not be able to land your wobbly legs or fear you’ll faint rather than climb on the other side of routines you’ve mastered.
We’ve all been in that place where disappointment sets us back on our heals. A lifetime later I still remember how devastated, and humiliated I felt when a close friend in elementary school threw a big birthday bash, and told me she could not invite me because I was “too poor.” Without intrapersonal IQ in tact we remain losers who get excluded from life’s fun adventures. Take a risk with it’s support however, and we land in safer spaces and scale more extravagant peaks.
Rather than slip into self-pity when we hit bottom, intrapersonal IQ gets us going again. One of the most significant lessons of my life showed me that we alone chase treasured dreams. Our sheer determination activates inner IQ to grow and helps us to make something terrific out of every opportunity we encounter.
Rather than wish for shortcuts and crave paths paved with possibilities, inner IQ gives us warm sun at our backs and wind in our sails. The rough spots we hit, the steep slopes we climb, the burden we feel on our backs, simply awaken inner intelligence that leaves us strong and content. It’s our most reliable tool to ensure future treasures and land our most daring leaps. It enables us to discover inner strengths that we have to find out for ourselves by overcoming obstacles and enjoying our deepest dreams.
If we let it, our intrapersonal IQ draws on our mistakes to design smoother stepping stones forward. We may even look back to what seemed a lost opportunity with a new filter where mistakes become our mentors and not our oppressors.
Awaken our inner IQ and we become full of confidence and charged to get going again. We see clearer plans ahead and we know we can plot a fresh narrative for our day. We look beyond that tiny vessel that barely keeps us adrift in choppy seas and we spot lofty dreams that inspire us to begin thinking about how to get there. Whether we are lost or leaping at the moment, intrapersonal IQ creates a path that will fulfill our purpose. Not all dreams are equal though.
Several years back, I dreamed of becoming a neuro surgeon, as I saw it as a way to use my zest for brain research to help others. Luckily, I ended up pursuing another related path that allowed me to create an award-winning model that helps people discover their inner genius. The same intrapersonal IQ we all possess, enabled me to avoid getting summit fever for one dream so that I could embrace another. As a brain based researcher I was better able to help myself and others to accomplish things never before accomplished by using parts of our brains never before used to get ahead.
Just because this inner IQ is personal, does not prevent us from learning from others around us. Talk to people who’ve made it to the top as well as those who seem contented on their current climb. Intrapersonal intelligence is shaped and extended by our efforts, life lessons we learn, skills we perfect along the way, and most significantly, those friends and family we value most.
It’s only two years since I moved to Canada, and I still discover new reasons for my move here daily. I still miss my beloved New York home. I still see its towering trees, hear its bubbling creek, lean my dreams against its cedar fence that flanked fragrant lilacs and blueberry bushes. And I miss longtime neighbors and friends who sipped wine on my deck as we watched the evening sun slip lazily behind a favorite rock garden.
Yet I’ve learned that things have a way of coming around and life can handle a few of our losses and disappointments. I’ve also discovered that those missteps that appeared to ruin our lives were the very secure footpaths that didn’t leave us alone or lost.
Inner IQ equips us to value our own unique worth. It helps us not to stress over those incidents we look back at and wish we could delete. It precludes stress when we watch others climb higher, move faster, gain more wealth, receive an inheritance, move into a dream home, or take a cherished trip abroad. Intrapersonal IQ makes us content as we extend the life we live, and prevents us from becoming discontent because of lives that others create. It hands us the tools we need to add that next brick into the extraordinary personal monument we will be thrilled with at our peaks and leave behind as legacy.
Just as a day can bottom us out without using our inner IQ, our lives become valuable monuments-in-the-making when we awaken intrapersonal intelligence. It starts with simple choices to see new beauty in things around us, while reaching out to find delight in new adventures that fulfill a dream. Our hearts beat to our new cadence, our minds fly us over sand traps that used to slow us down. Inner IQ is ours to help us live the dreams we hope our legacy will find in us.
Imagine standing at the top of that highest peak today. Forget any missteps that held us all back in past. Now plan to take a first new step toward an adventure that inner IQ equips each of us to reach. I’ll be the one cheering us all on loudest from behind the bleachers along the most thrilling journey we can imagine. An inspired climb toward our own unique and delightful dream. Can you also envision with me, those sacred spaces we will begin to build together from within our personal and collective dreams?
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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset