BrainStyles Applied

In BrainStyles, there is a unique concept called Time Zero. Simply put, Time Zero is when you confront a new or unfamiliar situation and must use your natural brain hardware to think through an answer and take action, rather than remember what to do. This requires our natural brain processing, or brainstyle.  Often this is disconcerting when we expect ourselves to be smart, quick, and know what we’re doing. We give up authenticity in favor of looking good.


Imagine we could stretch “Time” out on a line:


  0___________ +5_____________+10__________________+25


In school and then at work we reward those with the hands up the fastest.  Quick is smart. Slow is dumb.  We learn to prize the time when we’ve learned things, because it is much more comfortable to use neural pathways in our brain that are already there in our memory than to search and literally lay down new ones.  With just a simple reframing of this information, we get exciting and new.  Thoughtful and measured.  Brain research says this “shift in mindset” lays down new pathways that increase mental flexibility.

Breakthroughs, and the gifts that bring them, hatch from raw, unformed originality, outside of time, speed or measures.  They build on stored experience and use natural brainstyle strengths as their source.  Your personal breakthroughs cannot be conceived when the need is to get past that initial, natural decision-time, to recall someone else’s smart answer.


A Deeper Dive

I am reminded of the work of a Buddhist Nun called Pema Chodron. Her work is focused on the expansion of awareness – coming awake – by fully focusing on living in the moment.  She speaks to living like this no matter what, but especially when faced with discomfort, pain, stress, or decisions.

The notion of Time Zero is rich in opening one’s awareness in the moment of stress or decision to slightly shift the focus to gifts, to strengths, to what works instead of what does not.  This Buddhist philosophy says to enter these moments without judgment, to “neither indulge or repress” emotions or thoughts, but to let them be–thus opening the space for love and acceptance to emerge from who we truly are.

Just how willing are we to lighten up and loosen our grip? she asks. As we embrace our strengths, it begins the process of loving kindness with ourselves and naturally expands to relationships.  The most natural, authentic way to do so is in the moment, unrehearsed, out of a series of decisions we use to open our view from critique to seeing what is, without judgment.  The outcome she speaks of is to treat yourself with loving kindness which is NOT “self-improvement” or building yourself up.  We embrace the fullness of who we are and who we are not, and we do so by embracing the moment, allowing more Time Zeroes. We allow an open approach to situations with the freshness and trust of valuing ourselves and others.