The Power of Being Human

Pause, presence, peace. A state of mind that works better.

Why do we focus on what we are not doing enough of? Why do we tend to notice what we are doing wrong before we embrace what we are doing right? Why do we emphasize our weaknesses when discussing improvement and growth?

Humans often think we are a problem to fix rather than an advantage to harness. You have probably heard me say this many times. It’s also the very first quote in my book. The Self-Care Mindset isn’t about fixing ourselves; it’s about understanding and unlocking ourselves.

It’s innate in us to look for danger. At work, that means people who don’t like us, things we can be criticized for, and situations that expose our vulnerabilities. The good old survival mode kicks in “to keep us safe.”

However, it breeds a toxic culture where we watch out for ourselves instead of each other.

The fear-driven culture is part of the old paradigm of control and management. We have essentially inherited this mindset from the Industrial Revolution. It comes with the belief that time is how we measure performance, and people are a resource we use up and replace. 

The new paradigm sees people as our collective intelligence and power. We allocate responsibilities, and people take accountability for their work. They care, and they show up because the work matters. It’s an eco perspective, not an ego perspective. 

People are the backbone of any organization because relationships drive business. Instead of time being our most important currency, care is. Care is the key to how we use our minds. Work is about thinking, engaging, and acting as problem solvers. If you think about it, work is a continuous list of projects and problem-solving. Even when we execute repeating tasks, we still need to pay attention and care about the outcome.

To care with intention and purpose is our unique human advantage. We can choose what we pay attention to. We can choose to care or not. We can choose to pause, listen, and ask more questions. We can choose to communicate with curiosity and collaborate with courage. But it takes pause. Power-Pausing is how we become present. It’s how we pay attention to what matters and what we care about. Not just individually but also collectively.  


You have probably heard me talk about the pothole. Stress hijacks our minds, and we get stuck focusing on what’s not working, fixing problems instead of creating change. Yet change is the key to growth; that is what work and life are all about. Stress is not effective. We solve problems with the same mindset that causes them to begin with. 

We often fail to pause to ask more questions before we act. Can we control our stress? Intellectually, we know that we cannot control what happens; we can only control how we respond to it. Accepting this emotionally is the key to navigating uncertainty and harnessing change without the impact of stress. You can think of it this way: How we embrace change is the difference between being agile and being overwhelmed by stress. It matters that we choose how to respond to reclaim agency over stress.

New research has shown that bragging about being stressed is no longer admired. It makes us seem as if we don’t manage our time well. Of course, the other side of this is something I have mentioned before: stress-shaming. Stress shaming hurts our mental health and isolates us in our struggle to do our best work. 

We need to cultivate a culture where we feel psychologically safe asking for help and have the tools to manage stress, and we can do so together. This is why I wrote the Self-Care Mindset


Instead of the fear-driven work culture that triggers us into the trap of fixing the urgent, we are moving towards a care-driven culture where people pause and make decisions based on purpose, values, and evolving growth goals. Instead of the old mindset of fighting our way to the top, we collaborate our way to shared growth. 

Instead of thinking we have to hide our emotions and go it alone, we engage in conversations that explore how our emotions are cues and signs that help us make better decisions, innovate, and create an impact that matters.

Instead of getting laid off, we get re-skilled. It takes longer to teach someone new to understand the culture, share the trust, and be vulnerable enough to ask for help than it takes to teach someone new skills.

Is this a far-fetched future? Not really, but it does take courage to remind ourselves that the old ways don’t work in a new world. Under stress, we fall back on our training; it’s time to train for a future where our humanity, not our time, is our most important resource.

We have come to the end of Mental Health Awareness Month. However, our mental health is always at the core of how we work and live better. Let’s focus on creating positive change, growing stronger together, and building work-life quality.

Let’s keep our focus and attention on creating positive change, growing stronger together, and building.

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