Why N = 1 is the most useful study

Meditation doesn’t work for everyone. Let’s be clear, I’m not maligning the research or dissing what has become a regular and helpful practice for many. But I am wary of is anything that assumes there is not an exception, or many exceptions, to whatever the received or perceived wisdom of the day is.

 Every brain is different. In fact, recent research indicates as much as 30% of our brain differs from other people, mostly in our higher-order functions. The problem is none of us are born with a user’s manual. As a consequence, none of us really know how to get the best from ourselves. The only way we can figure this out is to make ourselves a disciplined study of one, in terms of what does and doesn’t work for us.


Here’s a starter for ten:

  • What is the optimal work environment for you? Consider the physical environment, who and how many people you want to be around and what and who you need in your environment at different times of the day.

  • How do you learn best? Consider not only your learning style but the subject matter, the people (both teachers and fellow learners) and the purpose of the learning that enables you to learn best.

  • How do you lead best? Consider the cause or outcome for which your leadership is best suited, the kind of people that benefit most from your leadership, and the circumstances in which you show up at your best as a leader.

Most of us don’t have answers to these questions without giving them some serious thought, but if we can’t answer them, we can’t find or create the circumstances where we make our best contribution.

 For extra credit, circulate these to your fellow team members and compare notes.

 #gettingoutofourownway #WhyN=1isthemostusefulstudy

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