#16 BEAUTIFUL BRAINS PROJECT: Matt Corker's secret
Every time I have met socially Matt Corker, I had to take a mental note of how much I really liked him. There is something quite likeable about him. He is not the type who would over do it. No over cheering, no over compliments. He does not NEED new friends. He will choose new friends. If he approaches you, it is because he is authentically interested.
MSAF aka Matt Secret Advantage Factor
So: Very selfishly I invited him to the VBL and get some ETwM ( Exclusive Time w Matt). Also my scientific curiosity wanted to investigate about the MSAF (Matt Secret Advantage Factor). How is he so cool, so poised, so efficient and so calm?
I was up to a full spectrum investigation.
A couple of things we spoke about really tickled me. Such a refreshing perspective. Such a no BS attitude. Quite original:
Number one: Failure is not an opportunity, failure is failure. You don’t need to be so indulgent with yourself. Failure is not great. Failure is what is it.
Number two: we can be ok with having goals. With achieving results. Goals and results are words that in Vancouver have been quite “contaminated”. They don’t belong to the “chill out and things will come to you” philosophy. Yet. You won’t achieve an MBA sitting on the couch and waiting for research projects to materialize. Goals are cool. And we can implement a strategy to achieve them. Goals are Vancouver’s new tabu. Let’s break it.
Number three: for goodness sake, people. Can we all take ourselves less seriously. You can take your goals seriously AND yourself lightly. If you give a 5 minutes presentation, just remind yourself it is a 5 MINUTES PRESENTATION, not the Universal Judgement.
This reminded me of a quote from an Italian movie, Caos Calmo (I am sure you like Italian movies, Matt): “people think of us infinitely less than what we believe. They actually barely think of us”.
With Matt we did both the brain assessment and the stressIQ assessment.
The main points we observed from his brain assessment are:
@ Cz: central cortex,
great focus, theta/beta ratio is the marker for attention, no surprise: his ratio was much below any concerns for ADD, so very prone to focus and be productive.
A restlessness marker, theta/SMR was a little high, a marker normally observed with hyperactivity, not a surprise to know how on the go he is. Anita, does this sound familiar? Yoga teachers marker, apparently!
When Matt closes his eyes, Alpha goes up 4 times as much as average. This is a marker for high creativity.
@O1: occipital lobe
Matt has a good ability to calm the brain when he close your eyes.
@F3/ F4: frontal lobes:
Matt has a Good emotional balance, not frequent mood swings.
Fz: pre-frontal cortex
STUBBORNESS :-), Matt has a "hot" anterior cingulate gyrus, so determination, tenacity, grit, ocd ;-) like traits. (kidding, just kidding).
This was all very interesting. BUT it is in the stressIQ assessment, we found the ultimate "MATT" secret, THE MSAF.
VERY HIGH HEART RATE VARIABILITY. Simple.
I have said this already, but let me say it once more. This is a very important marker, for performance in general. It is a measure of great health in the autonomic nervous system, therefore of the organism in general.
We saw how his peripheral temperature (the orange line) grew consistently, even after 20! minutes of exposure to stress.Temperature is a good indicator of internal stress. When it goes down it is because the brain perceives the stressor as stressful. To see temperature going up, like in this case, is an index of high resiliency. He really likes to perform!
We discovered about his skin conductivity. Initially it was so low and so steady I feared the sensor had broken. Then there came the math test. With subtractions. Stress went up a bit. A little bit.
We saw that stress accumulates a bit, so the baseline was .4 and after math is was .8. When the stroop test (a color test used in psychology) came, yellow went even higher. That is normal. Again: we accumulate stress!
When he breathed at the end , we looked at his HRV. This is my approach to tech- based-meditation. Developing a meditation practice based on info on physiology is the best!
Breathing IN: sympathetic drive, I am here, I am excited, I bring oxygen in.
Breathing OUT: para sympathetic drive, I have arrived, I allow my body to sink, I let the force of gravity breathe me.
Matt's HRV was as high as a top athlete! which he is. But it is also a feature in high regulated, highly resilient, highly functioning and highly empathic humans. Which he also is.
There you go.
You are welcome.