By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
This Independence Day week, I have been thinking a great deal about the belief system of our Framers. I have wondered, how was it possible for them to craft and draft a document which resulted in a way of living that has created more freedom, prosperity, and progress than any other nation in history? There are many answers, and they range from values to education to prayer. But one thing I know is true, and that is we are free today because they knew how to think, and the application of their thinking resulted in far-reaching success. The rest of, of course, had to do with the courage of soldiers, the sacrifices of the citizenry, and the calling and destiny of our American people, no matter the country where they started out. On Flag Day, I had the privilege of speaking at Athens State University, and one of the things I said with passion is that we have exchanged teaching our kids how to think for telling them what to think. Clearly we have paid a high price for doing so; however, all is not lost.
I’m a-dancin’ with anticipation and trying to wait patiently for August 7 to come. Why? That is the launch date for famed neuroscientist Dr. Caroline’s latest book entitled, Think, Learn, Succeed. Anyone who knows me well has heard me talk for years about Dr. Leaf’s work—it has changed my life and given me science-based as well as scripturally sound hope for change on a level previously not considered possible.
Dr. Leaf has studied the brain for over 30 years, and is not just a theorist. For several of those years she worked with the poorest kids of South Africa, and under her tutelage they learned how to learn, and were successful beyond anyone’s expectations. Since then, Dr. Leaf has taken the same principles she and others have discovered and applied them successfully in such disparate settings as with survivors of human trafficking, a maximum-security prison populated by three-strikers, on a TED talk. In any context, there has been measurable progress that has forced the medical, therapeutic, and educational professionals to rethink a number of their labels.
What can we expect from this latest in a long line of game-changing books? A careful treatment of mindset, genetics, a profile of gifts and strengths, how to learn effectively, change your circumstances, increase creativity, improve memory and its functionality, increase emotional control by learning how to make stress work for you and not against you, and how to experience intellectual satisfaction. By the way, Dr. Leaf is a woman of faith herself, and is just as adept at speaking before secular audiences as she is to churches, and I heard her myself at the Rock Family Worship Center’s Women’s Conference last summer. Here’s a peek at some of her work:
“A mindset is an attitude, or a cluster of thoughts with attached information and emotions that generate a particular perception. They can catapult you forward, allowing you to achieve dreams, or put you in reverse drive if you are not careful.”
Given everything from the current political climate, what passes for entertainment, and a wholly uncivil societal war of words, isn’t it time to declare our individual independence and take back our ability to think, learn, and succeed? Join me on August 7! Perhaps we shall start a glorious revolution.