Amishi Jha: Peak Mind
Amishi Jha is Director of Contemplative Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. With grants from the Department of Defense and several private foundations, she leads research on the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, resilience, and performance in education, corporate, elite sports, first-responder, and military contexts.
She launched the first-ever study to offer mindfulness training to active duty military service members as they prepared for deployment. Her work has been featured in many outlets including TED, NPR, and Mindful Magazine. In addition, she has been invited to present her work to NATO, the UK Parliament, the Pentagon, and at the World Economic Forum. She is the author of Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day*.
In this conversation, Amishi and I explore the importance of our attention and why harnessing it is essential for leaders. We dive into the neuroscience and how our brain is similar to a computer in how much we can hold at one time. Plus, Amishi provides us several practical starting points if we wish to do a better job of placing our attention in the most useful places.
- Attention is powerful, fragile, and trainable.
- Our working memory is like the RAM inside a computer — there’s only so much we can hold at a time.
- You experience what’s in your working memory, even if that doesn’t correlate to what’s right in front of you.
- If your working memory is full, it blocks the ability to encode or whatever you are trying to learn.
- A key tactic is to be aware of what’s in your working memory — and what you choose not to rewrite.
- Mindfulness practice can provide the white space for the space in our working memory that we need.
Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).
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- How to Be Present, with Dave Crenshaw (episode 511)
- Help Your Brain Learn, with Lisa Feldman Barrett (episode 513)
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