14: Dr. Dan Siegel: Mindsight the New Science of Personal Transformation

Daniel Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.

Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the founding Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is the author of Brainstorm, The Developing Mind, Mindsight and many more.

Favorite Success Quote

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Key Points

1. Take Time to Figure Out Who You Are 

If you want to achieve success beyond the materialistic and professional distractions that so many people get trapped in, then you need to take time to figure out who you really are and what you really want.

So often men become trapped in an identity that was thrust on them by society, their family, or their social circle.

Then they continue living a life that is inauthentic and unoriginal because it is what they have always known.

The key to true fulfillment is to take the time for yourself to figure out who you really are and then live a life that is unashamedly and unapologetically you.

Find what lights you up, find what sets a fire in your belly, and then go and do that!

Do you love dancing? Music? Art?

Are you a capitalist who loves the joy of making deals or are you an environmentalist who prefers the company of trees and birds?

There is no right or wrong answer.

Find out who you are and then be yourself.

2. You Need to Understand Your Mind 

One of the reasons that so many people live unfulfilling and uninspiring lives is that they do not understand their minds.

They don’t understand how they are wired and how they can actually control their thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Why is it that we procrastinate? Why do you know what you need to do but don’t do it? Why do you squander opportunities and adventures in favor of comfort?

Once you can peer into your mind and see the inner workings of your character at play, you have true power over yourself.

And when you understand how the mind works, you have the power to understand others and act in a more conscientious and empathetic way in social situations.

3. Use Awareness to Ride the Emotional Waves

The key to overcoming your mind and gaining true power over yourself is to become a master of awareness.

Be aware of your emotions, of your desires, and of your true identity.

When you have this awareness, you are able to ride the emotional waves and understand what is going on beneath the surface.

This is not an easy task, and for many of you who have fallen prey to the victim mentality, it will be even more difficult.

But once you can build a true level of awareness about who you are and how you operate, you will be able to develop power over your emotions and your actions and thereby power over your destiny.

4. Learn to Separate Your Identity and Emotions

So many men associate their identity with their emotions.

Whenever a certain emotion arises, they say “I am angry”, “I am depressed”, or “I am anxious.”

But you must realize that you are not your emotions.

What you feel in any given moment is not your identity.

It is simply what you are feeling.

Whenever you feel a surge of negative emotions, interrupt the pattern and tell yourself “I am not angry, I am simply feeling angry with this situation and I have the power to change it.”

Disassociating your identity from your emotions is the fastest way to take control of your life and create the success and fulfillment you desire.

5. Are You Willing to Embrace the Uncertain?

If you want to achieve your goals and live a life of passion and love, you are going to have to face… no.. Embrace the uncertainty of life.

There are no guarantees.

There is no security.

And you must learn to be ok with this.

You need to embrace the uncertainty of life and be ok with things not working out.

Your brain is wired to keep you safe, not to keep you fulfilled.

This means that you must master your mind and dive into the uncomfortable and uncertain situations no matter what the consequences are.

Influential Books

Anam Cara – John O’Donahue

Love 2.0 – Barbara Fredrickson

The Green Boat – May Pipher


Connect with Dr. Dan Siegel




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