Mirror Neurons

This morning, I made a cup of tea and sat down to watch an interview with Charlie Rose and Chris Anderson, the Ted conference curator. I love Ted.com. If you haven't visited the website, please do. It's filled with exciting, creative, and provocative speeches delivered by great thinkers - scientists, philosophers, technology gurus, and all kinds of people who are passionate about their work. 

Each time I visit Ted.com and listen to their talks, I'm reminded that the world is filled with people who are curious, hungry to learn, excited to share compelling ideas, and committed to humanitarian efforts that make life better for us all.  In its own way, the Ted community is an agent of change that has the power to lift humanity to a whole new level of consciousness.  

As a speaker, watching a variety of presentation styles has taught me the importance of being vulnerable and telling stories.  It's authentic communication and real-life examples that leave an imprint on our hearts and minds long after a talk is done. As Charlie and Chris were discussing the gift of storytelling and the ability to inspire an audience with the spoken word, Charlie said something beautiful: "It's a magical thing to see somebody walk into a room and be able to, through telling stories, through the magic of their own communication, have (the audience) almost breathing in rhythm with the speaker."  

Chris agreed, and went on to explain, "What's amazing is that's what's happening. There is all this amazing research about mirror neurons and we now know that when one human being does something or exhibits an emotion, the other people watching that person have the same mirror neurons firing in their brains that are causing the same experience and emotion as the speaker. So they actually are that person, in a sense, for a moment." 

Wow. I don't know about you, but when I consider the notion that those listening to me may be mirroring my experience and emotions, I feel a whole new level of responsibility for what I say and do...in any situation.  

Now that's something to think about.

Take Action Challenge 

Here's a fun idea. As you talk with people during the week, ask yourself: "Would I want what I'm saying and feeling right now to be experienced by others?"  

Here's a great ted.com talk. Thanks, Nancy! You can find it here

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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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