Museo Nacional de Antropología, México

What Is Important?

Laust Lauridsen, MD

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Would you save yourself, your loved ones or the rest of the world in a given situation? The answer to such an extreme dilemma is hard to predict. It depends on what is at stake, the odds of winning or losing, your self-narrative, your perception of reality and much more. However, one thing is clear: to make the best possible decision in the situation, you need to know what is important. Significant and valuable. But to whom? And for what?

A dilemma is the difficult choice between two or more comparable alternatives. It can be small or enormous. When no decision is right or easy to make, we consult the seat of importance in our brain: the limbic system, a group of interconnected neural structures responsible for emotional processing. Put simply, the perceived importance corresponds to the number of limbic cells involved. What occupies the brain fills the mind.

Every day, we face minor dilemmas. Should I work from home and miss my colleagues or in the office and lose my focus? Should I fly to save time, go by train to save money, or choose a virtual meeting to save the planet? Should I buy the cheap fast-grown or expensive eco-friendly chicken? These dilemmas may seem like trivial paradoxes of modern life, but you still have to make up your mind. As we all have, again and again. Our choices, as they sum up, can have a huge impact.

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Laust Lauridsen, MD

Help leaders and teams go beyond to transform and perform. Writer, speaker and facilitator.