Neuroscience and Empathy: Graham Lutz’s Quest to Understand the Mind

Education, religion, and societal norms condition our minds and lead to how we think, behave, and the basis of our beliefs. 

We believe what we have been taught and experienced. And if we don’t analyze and question some of the things that were exposed to us, mostly for fear of being “wrong,” they form the basis of our limiting beliefs.

According to author and neuroscience educator, Graham Lutz, your brain has both automatic responses and complex predictions. This means that some of our responses are instinctive and quick, while others involve analyzing our past experiences and making educated guesses.

In essence, you are most likely to believe that your perspective is the only one that is “right.” That is unless you are open-minded, willing to accommodate new perspectives and ideas, and ready to challenge some of your beliefs and be willing to be wrong.

Limiting beliefs block you from effectively interacting with others and attaining your full potential. On the other hand, challenging these beliefs and expanding your perspective can help you shift from a mindset of rigidity to one of growth and open-mindedness.

Graham Lutz is a storyteller and advocate for mental health, neurodiversity, personal growth, 

and unlocking one’s maximum potential. He teaches overcoming limiting beliefs is the beginning of living a more fulfilled life. 

His work is informed by his self-discovery journey, religious deconstruction, and ADHD diagnosis, which shaped his quest to understand how our brains and beliefs influence our lives.

Self-discovery and New Mission

When Graham was diagnosed with ADHD, it finally shed some light on many things in his life. He had labelled himself a “screw-up” because he just didn’t seem able to handle some of the things he had started. He had too many starts and stops in his life — business failures, radical career changes, divorce, among other things.

As a scientist, when he was faced with the idea that his brain could be working differently from the expectation of others, he took the information with a pinch of salt. He set a new mission, finding all he could about ADHD.

Graham dug all the information he could about the science behind ADHD from experts and medical journals. This quest to discover how ADHD influences the brain and understand himself better led him to seek to know the mind better.

Among the many things he learnt was that he was physiologically different, and there were things he did not have control over. He also developed a mindset shift so that instead of seeing his diagnosis from a victim’s perspective, he embraced it. He realized that even without control over some things, he had control over his response to them and the beliefs about himself that he had formed. 

Thus began a journey to reevaluating his limiting beliefs and reframing his mindset. This was influenced by understanding the science behind limiting beliefs. In a nutshell, Graham says that the path to overcoming limiting beliefs can be summarized into these science-backed steps:

  • Understand the neurological power of your beliefs
  • Identify those beliefs that keep you from taking action
  • Set your goal beliefs
  • Build a Path to that belief
  • Generate evidence for that belief

Graham Lutz offers workshops and courses where he gives practical strategies for deconstructing limiting beliefs, cultivating self-awareness, and nurturing an ever-expanding perspective of the world. Additionally, he is writing a book that explores the incredible science and history of our brain, focusing on the power of changing perspectives, compassion, and empathy.

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