PR Scott Warrick | Brain Health

 

When our car runs hot, we immediately know that something’s wrong and we need to do something about it. The same is true with our brains. In today’s episode, we have Scott Warrick talk about the importance of keeping our brains healthy, especially in today’s stressful work environment. Scott is a three-time best-selling author, a national professional speaker, a practicing Employment Law Attorney, and a Human Resource Professional with 40 years of hands-on experience. When our brains are under stress, we have to learn how to pull back, keep our brains cool, and avoid further damage. Scott digs deep into the negative effects of being miserable at work on our brains and the coolant we need for a healthier brain. With his own history of brain damage and working in a high-stress environment, Scott tells us how important it is to take care of our mental health and equips us with the resources to do that in the workplace. Protect your brain and your overall well-being. Let today’s show shed light on why we must keep our brains free from stress, even if it may seem that the world is working hard against us.

Show Notes:

  • 02:45 Disputes And Brain Damage
  • 09:12 Coolant For The Brain
  • 13:44 Scott’s History With Brain Damage
  • 23:20 EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  • 28:15 Healing the Human Brain
  • 32:38 Creating Resilience

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Teaching The Value Of Brain Health At Work With Scott Warrick

Welcome back to another episode of the show. I’m happy to be sitting in the seat to introduce my conversation with Scott Warrick. Scott is a three-time bestselling Author and National Professional Speaker, a practicing Employment Lawyer, and a human resource professional with several years of hands-on experience in the background in helping organizations get where they want to be going. That includes coaching training managers and employees in his own unique practical and as you will see, entering style. Sit back and enjoy my conversation with Scott Warrick.

All right, Scott, you’re used to hearing your bio. I know you’re a keynote speaker, in addition to being an Attorney and an Author. You get introduced to here and there from time to time. My question to you is, what’s one thing that is not a part of your standard bio or introduction that you would love for people to know about you?

That I was brain-damaged. Severe post-traumatic stress disorder. I discovered it because my oldest son was born with Asperger’s Autism. At the time, at the turn of the century, we were told that that’s just the way he is. That’s the way he’s wired. There’s nothing you can do about it. To make a long story short, I did a lot of my own research and discovered that it was 180 degrees wrong.

I’ll tell you what I learned to save my life and probably my son as well. It’s completely taken over my practice of law, as a human resource consultant and all of my programs. It’s because everything you do involves your brain. Everything bad that happens to you can be good, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this.

There’s an element of how we define resilience in our work in the world and our research and things of that sort. We are often confronted with different versions or different definitions of what resilience is. There’s an element of resiliency in what you said. I also want to point out at the outset, you and I are brothers of a sort and in more ways than just one.

We have both been attorneys. You are still an attorney I have practiced for a few dozen years. My specialty as an attorney at the time was employment law. I did some real estate work as well. I did some bankruptcy work early on in my career. It was the employment work that I did, primarily plaintiffs employment work, that had me the most passionate during my career or that period of time in those disputes which were often tenaciously battled.

I did a lot of litigation there, and these were cases that were not purely commercial. In nature, commercial litigation, when employees and employers have disputes, those disputes tend to be ugly. Before we started our interview, you said something to me that I found fascinating. I want to get back into that, which dovetails hopefully with what I just said. You said, “In every employee-employer dispute, there is some element of brain damage.” I want to toss that right back to you, Scott. Tell us what you mean by that.

Where I get this from is I was severely brain damaged, massive post-traumatic stress disorder, and it’s probably some of my OCD that I had at the time. I did not believe what my psychiatrists were telling me. I started looking into the world of Neuroscience, and one thing that I discovered through all of my research, and I mean literally a few thousand hours or across several years.

I have a storage facility that is chock-full of my research. I’m not a neurologist, but I have been able to completely 100% cure my OCD. Part of my research is to show what the human brain is supposed to look like in a nuclear spec scan. These aren’t MRIs. MRIs are X-rays on steroids. They look at the structure. Anybody that watches football will see that every football team will have someone get an MRI, oftentimes on their head, on their brain.

That will look for tears and bleeds. It’s structural. An MRI looks the same on a live person as a dead one. There’s no difference. A nuclear spec scan is looking at live human tissue so we can watch you think, and my brain was a mess. It looked exactly like I got back from the war. What does a normal brain look like? It’s getting good blood flow. It has hot spots to keep it moving, like the back of your brain. You want your cerebellum as hot as you can get it. Those are your automatic functions and your coordination.

The rest, you want cool and understand I have to teach this to people with no background in the law and neurology. If you understand how a car engine works, you understand how the human brain works. You want it to run cool. You want the spark plugs to fire, but you want the rest to be cool. If it’s running hot, you could be born with a brain that is inflamed and burning too hot, 15% and 20% hotter, or like most of us, like me, we damage it with our thoughts.

Understand 80% to 70% of everyone you know who has prescription drug coverage is on psychiatric medications. I will never bash psychiatric medications, but do you ever wonder why somebody has a good psychiatrist and they get the person on the right medications? They’re working. Psychiatric medications don’t cure anything. They calm the symptoms. It’s like putting water on a fire, but people keep treating their brains like soccer balls.

Medications don't cure anything, they calm the symptoms. Click To Tweet

The number one thing is the way we treat each other. If your car won’t start, that will release massive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. That’s fight or flight. We’ve got the same brain that Fred Flintstone had thousands of years ago. If another human being attacks you, you and I both know that that human being might kill us. We release three times the cortisol adrenalin. Twenty percent of that goes to your brain.

You will damage your brain in a very short period of time. It’s the first organ to go. If you ever have an upset stomach because of stress, your brain’s already damaged. If you start to get hives, your brain’s already damaged because 20% went to 2% of your brain. I looked at my scans and when I started coaching people, I discovered that a normal healthy brain is Betty White. She had a great sense of humor. She was not hypersensitive.

Let me tell you, hypersensitivity has been a diagnosable mental disorder for several years. It’s not normal to be upset over everything that happens to you or somebody who goes from 0 to 60 with their temper all the time. Those are hot spots that’s brain disorders. Every mental disorder is brain damage.

I’ll tell you, over the years, I’ll have people who I’ll talk to about their diet and exercise. All the things that we do to take care of our brain are within our grasp. You want to drink half your weight in ounces in water every day. These are 32 ounces each and I got four of them. I fill them up every day and guess what? You drink all that water because you’re flushing your brain. Diet, exercise and the people you hang around.

I love the analogy of the car. A lot of people don’t exactly know how a car functions and operates, but we all get the idea that a car is supposed to run at a temperature that is not hot. If it runs over hot, we’ve seen what overheating in a car looks like. You’re on the side of the road. It’s 104 degrees outside and your radiator’s steaming and you waiting for AAA to show up.

Lubrication is the thing that often is an issue in a car. If you ever let your oil get so low that it’s not there, you could seize your engine. People get those ideas. Certainly, when it comes to that idea of the overheat and the radiator, the solution of that is antifreeze. It’s coolant. I want to ask you two things. First of all, I want to know what that lubrication or what that coolant for the brain is. You were about to get into that anyway. If the goal is to keep our brains cool, my question to you is, what kinds of things can people do to do that? You already said hydration, so drinking enough water throughout the day. What are some other things that hydrate, cool or lubricate the brain?

We talk about resilience. We talk about your brain, body, and mental health. Those are all the same things. Your body is nothing but a transport system for your brain. You could lose your legs. Your body is still going to operate your brain. It’s the most important thing you got, so 25% of everything you eat goes there. Twenty percent of everything that’s in your blood will go there to 2% of your body weight, your brain.

If you want to talk about lubrication, what do we want to do to keep our brain healthy? If I’m getting bullied at work and understand, this is one of our biggest things. We spend more time at work than any place else, and 75% to 80%, maybe a low of 70%, depending on what study you look at, of all Americans say they are miserable at work. They hate their job. Most people get a sick feeling in their gut over the thought of going into that hellhole.

That is killing you. It’s 40% worse than smoking. Chronic ongoing distress will kill you. Eighty percent of all of our trips to the doctor’s office are from chronic ongoing distress. Having said that, I want to get good chemicals in my body. Stress management means I’m going to try to get the distress chemicals, which are cortisol adrenaline, out.

I’m going to try to replace them with EUstress chemicals. What are those? Dopamine, the motivation drug. Serotonin. That combats depression. Oxytocin, which is a happiness drug. Telomerase, which is released in your body and surrounds your DNA and helps them from aging. You get younger, ergo, Betty White. What did I do to repair my brain? Back to the water and change my diet entirely. It’s best for everybody to go ahead and eat as if they were diabetic, low carb and high protein.

You want unsaturated fats, not saturated fats. These people who go on a no-fat diet are killing themselves. I want unsaturated fat. My brain is largely fat. What else? I want to hang around good people. These studies on this are amazing. Our veterans who go and help other veterans at VA hospitals or clinics recover much faster from their PTSD. It makes sense what they’re doing is it makes them feel good.

What does it mean when you feel good? It’s like when you get a massage. I try to get a massage every month. COVID threw a monkey wrench into that, but now we’re getting past that. Think about this. I’m so relaxed. I got this great massage. You’re pulling out. Let’s say you’re pulling out of the parking lot, and someone who did not get a massage cut you off and almost hit your front end. Think about this. You’re in a great mood. How do we react? “He missed me. No big deal.” It’s because you’ve got your mood in order. What is that? EUstress chemicals.

If we stop thinking about mood and all this, let’s think about chemicals. Hanging around good people, going to concerts, going and spending time with our friends, taking a walk, and hobbies are all therapies. Meditation is a huge deal, and I stole everything that I know about meditation from the Navy SEALs.

I will tell you, when these guys can overcome the fear of drowning, that’s superhuman. Meditation helps you do that. On my website, I give all kinds of free videos. It’s in the book all this stuff about how do you rebuild the brain. You got to know what’s damaging it. Mostly, it’s the people you’re hanging around, then what do you do to heal it? If you call that lubrication, perfect.

In the beginning, you said that you experience brain damage, and it was the result of PTSD. What would you give us some sense of what that was about? What’s the story there? I’m always searching for the first domino in a situation. It sounds to me like that was your first domino.

I will tell you, this is one of those things that I’ve learned. Mine goes all the way back to my childhood, bullying, and everything like that. I will tell you anybody under the age of 25 is particularly susceptible to bullying. Have you ever noticed babies, when they’re born, they can’t walk? They then start to crawl. They then start to hobble a little bit. They walk like drunks, then they learn how to run it. What’s happening is you got all these bare wires all throughout your brain when you’re born. They’re raw, just like raw wires in your walls, but you get something called the myelin sheath. That is that fatty protective tissue.

Once that gets covered, that neuron becomes 10 to 100 times more efficient than scatter, ergo the term scatterbrain. It moves up your brain and all the way over here. Your frontal lobes, your logical brain, doesn’t fully form until you’re 25 or 26 years old for a female and 27 or 28 years old for a guy. A little kid like me, 4, 5 or 6 years old, flooded with all this adrenaline and cortisol like Fred Flintstone, burning my brain. That was the beginning because kids are most susceptible to brain damage as children because they don’t have that myelin sheath on there. We still get it as we get older.

PR Scott Warrick | Brain Health

Brain Health: Kids are most susceptible to brain damage because they don’t have that myelin sheath on there.

 

Was that the result of bullying? To understand what we’re talking about here. You are 5 or 6 years old and bullied. That’s the damage we’re talking about.

Here’s one of the problems, literally getting beat up very bad. When you’re bullied and beaten up or threatened to be being beaten up, the danger is your gut keeps churning, and you’re releasing all that adrenaline cortisol, and 20% is going to go to your brain. You’re always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

That’s why if somebody’s gut is turning, Sunday night thinking about going into that horrible workplace the next day, they need to think, “I’m smoking one and a half cigarettes.” That’s how bad that is for them. That is the worst thing you can do for your body, chronic ongoing distress. Mine goes back and then I made the mistake of becoming a lawyer. We had more lawyers kill themselves than ever before on record.

It’s one of those things people don’t realize. When it comes to suicidal ideation and substance abuse and ethical issues, lawyers rank among the top 2 or 3. Doctors are very high on the list as well and it is something to take note of. You said you made the mistake of becoming a lawyer in a tongue-in-cheek way. By the way, I didn’t close the loop on that. Not only do you and I share that as a profession, but we also share the same barber.

We must be related in DNA somewhere because this is not a fashion choice, by the way.

It is for me. I chose to be bald. Hair’s overrated. Let me ask you something. You work in the employment law space. Has that been where your practice started, or did you evolve into that? Tell us a little bit about your choice of that area of practice.

My whole career has been very unconventional. I went into human resources, problem-solving, and communication. My undergrad was in Communication, how do you address and resolve conflict in organizational communication. I worked with a consultant at Procter and Gamble for a while. It’s a fascinating organization that’s very big into open communication. A wonderful place.

Everything in the late ‘80s became so legalistic when I started in human resources, just to give you an idea. In a lot of parts of the country, sexual harassment is legal. It was not illegal yet. There were no ADA, FMLA, and I-9 forms. There was nothing. It’s basically title seven and some pregnancy and age laws out there. I thought, “If I’m going to know human resources, I’ve got to go back to law school.”

I paid for all my degrees myself. I worked at Owens Corning Fiberglass to pay for my undergraduate degree. I was a glass bottle blower union guy. I was a steel-watt worker at an aluminum factory to pay for graduate school. I worked all day as an HR guy and went to law school at night. I destroyed my health. I pretty much lived on Arby’s 5 for 1 roast beef burgers. You can steer with your knees pretty good when you’re eating. It’s amazing.

When I graduated in 1996, I got an offer from a big law firm. That’s the mecca. It’s like, “I never thought.” That was a good move to learn what you should never do. The partners I worked for, in my opinion, were not human. I was thrown into the middle of stuff. The disgusting things that I saw were like watching ten wolves fight over the littlest lamb in the lot.

I learned an awful lot about how the practice of law works in these big firms. When I do get to speak to young law students about something like this, my advice is always the same: “Go to work for a small or midsize firm because they will take the time to teach you things.” I tell you, a lot of the things I saw at other big firms and things like this, if the public knew, these folks would not be disbarred. They go to jail. Litigation. When I say lawyers, I mean litigators.

PR Scott Warrick | Brain Health

Brain Health: Go work for a smaller midsize firm because they will actually take the time to teach you things.

 

I saw some of the most horrendous stuff. The attacks that you get on the phone from the counsel. I’ve never lost a case. I am a nerd. One of the books I wrote is on employment law, and it is up to about 800 pages. It’s not in print. It’s digital. It’s a hernia carrying this thing. That’s what I do. I do legal updates every year, and I’m finishing up stuff. I’ll look at all these cases, and I’ll put them in there. That 800-page book will grow by another 50 pages by 2024.

The stuff that I’ve seen with litigators and a lot of litigators, I will tell you, the alcoholism. You talk about lubrication. This is perfect. It is amazing to me. In Ohio, we’ve got something called OLAP, Ohio Legal Assistance Program. That sounds good. It sounds like we’re going to help lawyers. It’s for all the alcoholics and drug addicts. What’s happened is this is like with our soldiers, the brain’s on fire. How did they burn their brain? They burn their brain by all this flooding attack. You’re flooding your brain with all this cortisol adrenaline. It’s gasoline, and your brain feels like soft room-temperature butter. It’s extremely fragile.

It’s most fragile organ in your body. More than your skin. You’d burn it to a crisp, ergo, when I’m drinking Jack Daniels or snorting cocaine, that calms your brain down. It works, but you can’t stay drunk or high all the time. This drives me crazy. We send people to substance abuse or drug rehabilitation. I went to visit a friend of mine who was in drug rehab, and they had breakfast for him. I’m like, “I can’t believe this.”

They had pancakes, syrup and bacon. Why don’t you give them a .45? You are dosing them up. It would have been better to give them a Snickers. At least a Snickers has peanuts in it. You shouldn’t be eating that crap. It’s going to damage your brain. What we do, we get people off the drugs. We don’t help the person with the mental disorder, so they get out. I wonder why they relapse.

It’s all part and parcel. I have taken all these terrible experiences. I’ll tell you, I work with employers so that they don’t get sued. An employer in 27 years who follows what I tell them to do, follows my processes for coaching, warning, and dealing with people, I’ve never had one sue. None of my clients have ever gotten sued.

You brought up that your PTSD, or let’s say the earliest trauma in your life, was bullying. Do you see bullying at work? How big an issue now is the equivalent of bullying? I know it’s an extreme word, but it’s appropriate. Where do you see bullying at work?

Let me go to a very credible source, the EEOC. EEOC is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for all the folks out there. If you have some protected class issue, you can go to your State Civil Rights Commission or the National EEOC. They’re 50,000 to 60,000 cases behind. Think about this and how easy it is. I can get my phone. I don’t even have to go anywhere. I can go to the bathroom, sit there, and file a civil rights charge against my employer.

It’ll be 10 or 11 months before they even get to you. You will not hear me give a big hand to the federal government very often. I’m just a product of the ‘60s in the Vietnam War and all this stuff, but I will tell you, the EEOC on this harassment task force hit a home run. It was marvelous, and they said, “We got to stop using lawyers for training because they bore the bejeebies out of you. All they want to do is talk about remedy.” We need to talk about prevention, like tolerance and conflict resolution.

What they said in there were astonishing statistics. They said, “How many women in the workforce are actively seeing sexual harassment or being sexually harassed? 94%.” It goes on and on. How many people have been felt that they have been discriminated against because of their race? It’s up in the 70% and 80%. Age, up in the 60%, and sex is probably one of the top ones. You go and look at Gallup poll. Gallup poll or Harris poll, they’re all saying the same things. Between 70% to 75% or maybe 80% of everybody feels like they’re being bullied on a daily basis, ergo, look at the harassment claims that are going to the EEOC and civil rights.

It is a major epidemic and might mess up. I mentioned I love doing this. I’ll tell you, when people hear my message and think about this when you’re at the grocery, 30% of everybody there has active post-traumatic stress disorder like I did. They will kill you. You do not poke the bear. Have you noticed? Think of our national society. In 2018, we had 0.9 mass shootings in American workplaces every day. That’s terrible. Now we’re at two.

Maine was one. Our mental health was at critical mass in the first quarter of 2020, according to the American Psychological Association. Most of that is from our job because we spend so much time there. Most people hate their jobs and that’s according to everybody, and then we got COVID, so we isolated. Picture yourself in isolation. You’re not getting those EUstress chemicals. You are isolated, and now you’re going to worry about finances. It pushed us over the edge. Our mental health is a disaster.

Here’s my message, and this is why I go all over the country to safety conferences. It’s funny when I go to a safety conference because I’m not there to talk about your fingers, toes, legs, or life. In 2022, Ohio had 171 fatalities on the job. That’s terrible. We had over 1,500 suicides of people of working age. Forget mental health. Think brain.

I’ve been to so many mental health conferences where nobody talks about, “This is what you’re doing to destroy your brain.” Here’s what you need to do to fix it. I promise you, here’s my high. Every single time I do my session, I will save somebody’s life, and I hear about it. It does cause a bit of an issue because when I’m done, I’ll get dozens of phone calls and emails for the next several weeks about people asking about the brain scans and their lifestyle. I say, “You can buy the book, or if you want to do it quickly, go to my website and listen to the free resources.” I give this stuff away because this stuff saves lives now.

I see in the background, and not everybody is looking at this on YouTube, many people are just reading to it, but Healing The Human Brain. Will you tell us in the last couple of minutes that we’ve got here a little bit about that book? We have a sense of what inspired you to write it, but what’s in that book that you may not have shared with us already?

PR Scott Warrick | Brain Health

Healing the Human Brain: A First-Hand User’s Guide for Rewiring Your Mental Health

The main thing I thought about this. It took me twenty years to write. I will tell you, I had to be the guinea pig. My son was the guinea pig, and I had to make sure what I was saying was researched. I’m an attorney, so I’ll never say anything that I have not researched and I can’t enter into evidence. It’s about hope. If you have hope, and I’ll get into my philosophy, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl has been picked by many groups as one of the top ten books ever written.

Viktor Frankl is a psychologist who survived Dachau. How did he do it? He said, “I always had the belief that there was meaning. That there was a reason.” When you have meaning, it gives you hope. What that does is release EUstress chemicals into your body, which he didn’t know at the time, but he felt it.

If you have hope, then you can survive just about anything, including Nazi concentration camps. I’ll hear from a lot of people, “I’m going to try this. My husband’s suicidal. I’m suicidal. What did you do?” I said, “You can start doing this now. Start by drinking water and half your weight in ounces every day. Start by taking your multivitamin packets every day. That will start you on the right road and add something else later.”

I coach a lot of people, and I will tell you, if someone comes to me to be coached, I’m the only thing in between them and the door. They’re about to get fired. They’re all brain-damaged. You’re not going to have behavioral problems if you have a healthy brain, and I can relate. I had a damaged brain. My clients who stick with it all get better. They all get better because they drink their water and sleep better. A lot of them are like, “I’m getting bullied like this.” It’s very common that I will be coaching a problem child, and my report back to the company is, “You better do something about these supervisors because this is what’s going on.”

It’s taking control of your life. I’ve heard people say, “I can’t quit my job.” Do you want Alzheimer’s? I will tell you we discovered in the last few years massive amounts of cortisol in your body causes Alzheimer’s cells to grow. You don’t want that. If somebody smokes cigarettes for 40 years and then they got lung cancer, they shouldn’t be surprised. We are now discovering that about Alzheimer’s. Do you want to live on psychiatric medications for the rest of your life? Do you want to get Alzheimer’s? No job is worth that. You have to find a place whose values match yours.

No job is worth getting Alzheimer’s. You have to find a place whose values match yours. Click To Tweet

The book is all about hope. Michael, my son, was born with Asperger’s autism. The kid that they said would probably never go to college graduated from Ohio State with honors and went to Roosevelt University. Picture this. This is a kid with autism. I drove in our van up to Chicago, let him out in the middle of the business district by the Buckingham, Married With Children fountain, and left him there. He thrived and never looked back.

Here’s a kid who maneuvered all throughout Chicago, graduated with a 3.91 grade point average, and now wants to go on and get his Doctorate. He was born that way. I developed it, so let’s get back to resilience. You choose to be who you are. Don’t you even tell me, “This is just.” You choose to be that way. I’ll tell you, if I hadn’t learned this stuff, I could have killed myself by now. I used to think it was normal to sit around and think, “I’ll try this this week, and you can always kill yourself next week.”

I’ve got one final question for you, Scott. It dovetails quite well with what you shared, and that is to ask you in terms of your own resiliency, what’s the one thing that you do on a ritual basis? Whether it’s daily or in some other frequency, what’s the one thing you would say if you could do this one thing? It has helped to create more mental, emotional, physical, and maybe even spiritual resilience for you than almost anything else you’ve tried or anything else you’ve done.

One of the biggest things for everybody is that I love what I do. I don’t get sick about coming to work because what am I going to do at work? I’m going to help somebody with their contracts so they can get a better job. I’m going to help somebody with one of my programs. I’m working on four different programs now for four different clients in four different states. I’m going to go in and spend a whole day with these people. I’m going to teach them how to communicate, build a safe environment, and how to heal their brain.

I love doing that stuff. Probably 75% or 80% of my practice is training people to live better lives, and that means tolerance. I’m not going to pick on you because you’re Black or White or you disagreed with me. I’m going to teach tolerance, brain health, and how we communicate so that we can live better lives. These are all life skills, and I love it.

My wife talks about life skills. She was a teacher for eighteen years and still with our kids in so many different contexts, that idea of learning life skills. You can learn life skills at any age, by the way. This is not just about teaching a ten-year-old. This is about teaching ourselves something new at any age, as you said. I couldn’t agree more, Scott. We are in charge of our destinies. I know a lot of people may think that there’s somebody else or something else that’s in charge of how you feel and also what your life experiences.

I’ll say that from my standpoint, the greatest freedom we have is the freedom to think. Nobody can ever take that from us. There’s nobody that’s responsible for that for us and can’t abdicate that responsibility. It is the key to anything that we would call happiness or fulfillment. It’s just what you said, honestly, Scott. We have that ultimate freedom, and that should give hope to anybody, especially somebody who doesn’t find themselves that happy at this moment or has considered suicide. Many people have it or is experiencing intense anxiety, depression, or anger in the feeling of just being helpless in in many situations.

The best that we can hope for is honestly, in this moment, recognize that the one thing we have ultimate control over is how we experience this moment. You can experience from any of those disempowered states. You can also, in the moment, take a breath and feel gratitude. Even in the midst of an effed-up situation or a lot of things that maybe you don’t like or don’t approve of or wish we’re different, but in this moment, we can simply choose to be grateful, feel hopeful, and change.

Everything can happen for us in this moment if we simply decide that that’s where we want to direct our focus, attention, and our thoughts. Scott, it’s been a pleasure to hear your philosophy. I love the fact that your resilience ritual is to do work that you love, fulfilling and meaningful. I very much appreciate your reference to Viktor Frankl and his work in the world, his meaning therapy work. If you haven’t read that book or haven’t looked at it, I recommend that to our audience as well.

Scott, again, thanks so much for being on the show. For our audience out there, we’d love it, as always, for you to provide your feedback. You can do that by going to AdamMarkel.com/podcast. You will get more information. You can leave a comment or question there. You’ll find out more information about Scott, his work, books, and places that he is planning to be in terms of his speaking ways that you can hire him to come and speak to your organization and purchase a book. For the moment, I want to wish everybody a beautiful and blessed rest of your day, evening, or wherever this message has found you. Thank you again and ciao.

I so enjoyed that conversation with Scott Warrick. He’s a unique guy. You could tell his way of expressing himself is very animated and intense, born out of a lot of trauma and early childhood stress that he called PTSD. I recall him referring to being bullied as a child, physically, mentally and emotionally bullied at the same time as being traumatic and something that created PTSD in him that he ultimately had to find his way out of.

What’s unique about Scott as opposed to, in many cases, people who have been bullied living in some respect in a way perhaps less than they’re capable of still dealing with that trauma many years later. Many people find themselves in those situations and have also been, in some respects, the aggressors in their lives because of that early disempowerment. They are wanting to take control and assert themselves, perhaps the way to make up for that. It’s every variety on the spectrum of how it is that people have dealt with bullying.

A lot of people have been bullied. There hasn’t been enough conversation about it. Probably more of us would find that we have those things in common. I know I was bullied as a child as well, and perhaps less intensely than Scott had, but perhaps not. I know that I’m still processing some of those events through the lens of hurt. I found myself being a justice warrior at various stages of my life. As with Scott, I became a lawyer to be able to defend people, the underdog, and take on the bullies. That was mostly my work as a lawyer for a couple of dozen years in that arena.

I also found that I was harboring a lot of anger and, frankly, that I was easily angered. What I understand now is that much of that flows out of having been hurt at a very impressionable time in my life when I was very young. That feeling of hurt and not knowing how to process that, but making meaning of it as we do when we’re 5, 7, 8 or 10 years old. Some of that meaning might have been that I’m not wanted or good enough or not worthy or any of those kinds of things that hurt. What do you do about it? You defend yourself.

As a child, there’s not much you can do to defend other than to avoid. As you get older, you develop these more mechanistic ways to mentally, emotionally, and even physically defend yourself, whether that’s to become the person that can’t be bullied anymore, physically speaking. Whether that’s to become someone who is immune on the mental side and even the emotional side, perhaps immune to those attacks because you’ve developed that hard outer shell that deals with those emotions. You suppress them and repress them. It’s not a place you want to go.

I’ve had to revisit those things later in life because I found that they were coming up but in ways that I wouldn’t have expected. Everything was drawing me back into that inquiry and to the conversation with myself about what it was like to be a five-year-old kid and being told, “You’re not a part of this little group. You’re not wanted here,” or whatever those messages were at the time. To come back, revisit it, and look at it through this lens hurt as a way to then go back and say, “What was it feeling? How do I feel now that is a reflection perhaps of some of those things that I felt then and was not equipped to resolve, deal with, or integrate, if you will?

Speaking of Scott brought those things up for me. He talked a lot about brain health, brain hygiene, inflammation, and how our brains run hot. We could see that all around us in the world that we’re living in. The people are very much inflamed, to use Scott’s words. The idea here is to cool down, to cool our brains, and there are ways that we can cool our brains. He provides some of those ideas about what he does to lubricate and cool down his brain using water, hydration, and other techniques he talks about. The difference between distress and EUstress.

Distress is caused by fight-or-flight chemicals that produce adrenaline, cortisol, etc. when we are in fight-or-flight mode. When we’re doing that, we’re damaging our brains. One thing to be in that mode when you’re truly being chased and threatened and when there’s something that you do need to defend. Much of our time is spent ruminating on things that are not life-threatening to us. In doing so, we’re causing our brains to be inflamed. That inflammation, if you will, is deteriorating the experience of living we have now, which is all we’ve got.

It’s also interfering with longevity. It’s getting in the way of healthy brain activity as we get older. The chance of Alzheimer’s or other things is exacerbated and perhaps even brought on earlier by this perpetual inflammation of our brain. Ultimately, we have things that we can do to be conscious about that, consciously aware, make changes and not have to accept those things as something that we are powerless over. Similar to the way a person who’s being bullied, whether they’re bullied as a child or, as we talked about, bullied by their employer or a manager or any of those other contexts that that we are, in fact, quite a bit more powerful than we think. We have a lot more power and even control over those kinds of things than maybe we believe.

I enjoyed my conversation with Scott. He has an interesting perspective. He’s not a run-of-the-mill speaker, author, or someone who’s in the law profession to this day because he’s still practicing there and advising HR professionals and corporations in a way that is quite unique. I’ve enjoyed it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode as well.

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About Scott Warrick

PR Scott Warrick | Brain HealthScott Warrick is a three-time best-selling author, a national professional speaker, a practicing Employment Law Attorney, and a Human Resource Professional with 40 years of hands-on experience. Scott uses his unique background to help organizations get where they want to go, which includes coaching and training managers and employees in his own unique, practical, and entertaining style.