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How Your Gut Brain Helps You Think About Others

March 21, 2019 Joe Mechlinski


Using our head brains to innovate and our heart brains to inspire isn’t good enough for us to achieve different results if we aren’t also connected, behaving like a hive, with a collective consciousness. 

We can only do this when we grasp the importance of the third piece of the puzzle, or the importance of the third of our three brains, the brain in the gut. The brain in the gut is the intelligence center that has us thinking not for ourselves, but for the rest of the world.

This blog and others are adapted from my book Shift The Work. Now, readers sometimes assume that every action in my life is directed by a sense of mission, that every time I open my mouth, put my fingers to the keyboard, or speak to a client, I’m taking into consideration the impact it will have on the community and the world. 

In reality, I struggle with living up to my ideals every single day. Ideally, I’m always looking for ways to integrate my values into my life, but I, like everyone else, have problems with managing my priorities and remembering what’s important in life.

Five years ago, I thought long and hard about my obligations toward the city I love. It was time to act on my principles. It was time to put my gut brain more into play. To become more engaged on a community level. 

Politics seemed like a good entry point, so I applied to be on the Baltimore City school board. The universe didn’t agree with my plans, and my application was swiftly denied. With that setback, I gave up any desire to get involved in local politics on a formal level. 

But I didn't give up on giving back to the community. I did what I could on a personal and professional level to see how I could engage with my city, and have an impact on people's lives. I channeled  my desire to make an impact into helping companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs integrate broader missions into their work culture.

That was my gut brain at work. I felt that something was missing in my personal journey, and my gut brain steered me toward the community in which I lived. 

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