The 5 Essentials: Using Your Inborn Resources to Create a Fulfilling Life

3.14 avg rating
( 51 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780142181102: The 5 Essentials: Using Your Inborn Resources to Create a Fulfilling Life

Raise the bar to become the best version of you

Most of us set the bar too low in our lives, both personally and professionally. Bob Deutsch, a cognitive neuroscientist/anthropologist turned entrepreneur, has spent a lifetime studying people and found that we choose not to pursue our greatest ambitions because we feel we are incapable of reaching them. But he has also found that we are each born with the fundamental abilities to live the full, creative, dynamic lives we dream about.  Curiosity, Openness, Sensuality, Paradox, and Self-Story—these are our five inner resources. Through interviews with inspiring people, including Wynton Marsalis and Richard Feynman, and case studies of personalities like Bruce Springsteen and Anna Quindlen, Deutsch shows us how to access and use these resources to open our lives to unimagined possibilities.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Dr. Robert Deutsch lives in New York City.
Lou Aronica is also the Publisher of The Story Plant and The Fiction Studio. He lives in Connecticut.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

First published by Hudson Street Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2013

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Deutsch, Bob (Robert D.)

2013021130

Acknowledgments

IN A SENSE I began writing this book at birth, even before I had language. It is my personal story reflected upon and then turned outward as a parable for everyone, to make of it whatever they will. Yes, my story—just like everyone’s story—is unique. But if you look at your own life’s narratives and the narratives that informed them, you can abstract certain universal principles. I have done that in hopes that others would be motivated to find their own story—what I call “self-story”—and use that to evoke their own ongoing self-expansion.

Many have helped me to consider and continue to create my own self-story. To all those unwitting coauthors I am indebted to you for my life—for what is a life other than the narratives that make up “I”?

The impetus for this book came as a result of a process I write about in these pages: directed serendipity. I have a plan, I start enacting that plan, then the plan meets up with the world, and I go careening off in this direction and that direction depending on my own mass and velocity, seeing what excites and attracts me or does not.

As a result of some writings I did, I once got a call to give a speech. Diane McArter, who was in that audience, later called and asked me to talk at an event she was organizing. It sounded interesting, so I agreed to participate. After that speech a man came over to me and introduced himself. His name is Peter Miller. Peter became my literary agent. He is good, in every sense of the word. He then introduced me to Lou Aronica, who helped me write this book. At Peter’s behest I met Lou for breakfast one morning in New York, and before our oatmeal was served I already felt he was like a brother. We were simpatico in so many ways, and complementary in many others. My brain works by symbolic association and metaphor. That has its benefits (I hope), and it has its downside. Lou, by his graceful intelligence and book-producing skills, found a way to take my deficits and help make them artful. Regardless of what comes of this book, meeting Peter and Lou has already made writing it a success for me. These now buddies of mine helped me give voice to what was already in me but was loosely formed. They helped me expand myself. Also in the process of writing this book, Sydney Olshan provided research support that always showed initiative and intelligence, regardless of the difficulty of the research request. Her persistence consistently encouraged the feeling of forward motion in the writing pace. That’s important.

Caroline Sutton, my editor, not only took on this project with enthusiasm, but after the first draft was completed, she made a recommendation that changed the structure of the book. I immediately knew her suggestion was right, and true, and necessary to make this book better than what was on the page at that moment. She pointed to the need to make the idea of self-story the fulcrum of The 5 Essentials. In doing so, Caroline Sutton became an everlasting part of my self-story.

Others, each by contributing in their unique way to my continuing search for my own way, prepared me for my eventual union with agent and cowriter.

Family first. After my father’s early death at age thirty-five, my mother sacrificed much to see that I had plenty. My father, I am told, even at thirty-five, had already given me all he had to give: He was a dreamer; so am I. His sister, Molly, was also of that kind. Just by her way of being, she added to my dreaming. My mother’s sister, Pearl, her husband, Milton, and their son, Martin, always looked out for me, especially when I most needed looking out for. I owe them so much. And as I suspect is not too uncommon in families, in addition to learning from our elders we gain from our youngers. My daughter (and only child), Phoebe, inspired me to do the opposite of what most new parents do: Because of her intrinsic joy, she made me less responsible. Her happiness, positive expectations, and playfulness made me discover the deeper dreamer in me. For that, she was “parent” to me. She remains a total joy. Kathy Drasher, my wife now of seven years, has stimulated a journey we have taken together that has been fun, especially in the midst of the hopscotch directions we have traveled to find a home in a place we both love. She has also taught me about beauty. She is it and she has an eye for it. Her artistry captures my attention on a daily basis.

Many colleagues and friends have also been crucial in my life. Albert Scheflen and Robert Plutchik, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, first helped me thwack out a career path that excited and challenged me. Ada Reif Esser then taught me something about how to add depth to that path. She often read me the riot act, and I trusted her enough to take her admonitions to heart. She is still with me in my heart. Next I met Lionel Tiger, the Charles Darwin professor of anthropology and sociology at Rutgers. His brilliance, gentlemanly manner, and fierce commitment to truth and to mankind continue to influence me. Lionel indirectly guided me to all manner of things that eventually led me to the Max Planck Institute in Seewiesen, Germany, and to Dr. Iraneus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz, and Dr. Wulf Schiefenhovel. My years working with them and under the auspices of the institute were vital to my developing self-story. These three bighearted men gave me the gift of showing me that science and the artistry of science could be made one. They helped me find me.

George Scribner, first a colleague and very soon thereafter a friend, has it all, a softness that can be strong, and a feeling for the everyday life of people that is as genuine as it is insightful. I value him greatly. I was introduced to Tom McCaffery by someone who wanted to hire me as a consultant, but before she would, she said I would have to “get through” Tom. Well, I don’t know if I got through Tom, but he sure got to me. He got to me as someone who is doing justice to what is and what could be. He is someone to be reckoned with. And I reckon he is also now my friend. I take meeting Jeffrey Rayport as an example of how the seeming chaos of the cosmos can work directly for one’s betterment. A decade before I met Jeffrey, someone I was working with introduced me to someone else, who introduced me to Jeffrey. Jeffrey is singular: the best a friend can be and the best a brain can be. I adore him. I met Michael Spiessbach through a fleeting encounter I had with a mutual acquaintance. These many years later I still think of Michael the same way I did after our first meeting—he’s fun, knows about what comprises a life, is Mr. Curiosity, and stands as a living totem to personal integrity.

To all the people I interviewed for this book, some world renowned and some known only in their world, I owe a great deal. Each opened their hearts and minds to me, and in doing so, opened me. The audio recordings and printed transcripts I have of those sessions are to me nothing less than ritual incantations and sacred texts. To highlight just two I interviewed—Wynton Marsalis and Debra Byrd—their ways of being and their ways of expressing their being have no time tag. Their way is age-old and ageless, wise.

Two other people I quoted in this book had a similarly huge effect on me: Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Paul Simon speaks eloquently about collaboration when talking about the making of his award-winning album Graceland. His way of fusing impulses from different cultures into a singular vision that retains the authenticity of each contribution stands as a model for every person and every nation, if we ever are going to stop “tumbling into turmoil” and see more peaceful and brighter days. Bruce Springsteen . . . well, I now know why he’s “the Boss.” This man is living a totally conscious life, conscious of his own and others’ courage and frailties, and conscious of his responsibilities to himself and to his audience. He’s the benevolent leader humankind has always hoped and waited for.

All these people helped me dream. All these people are a lasting part of my self-story. They are essential.

Introduction

WHO ARE YOUR favorite characters from novels? My guess is that even if you don’t read much fiction, you have a few. Maybe it’s Jane Eyre because she’s so strong. Or Huck Finn because he’s so crafty. Perhaps it’s Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter novels, because she’s so smart and centered. Then again, it could be Sam-I-am, from Green Eggs and Ham, because he’s so damned persistent. All of these characters resonate with us because they feel larger than life. They seem iconic, representing outsize versions of us. They have great stories.

Maybe you’ve considered characters like these from time to time and wondered what it would be like to have that kind of substance, that kind of consequence, to have that kind of effect on the world. What would it be like to live a life that has the impact and color of a great literary character?

Maybe it’s time for you to find out. Because you have everything inside you necessary to have a great, meaningful, and constantly alive story—to be the Hermione or Huck in your world and in the worlds of the people around you. To contribute big- time and live big-time. As you follow me through these pages, you’ll see that all the resources you need are already at your disposal. I’ve been studying this my entire life, I know this to be true, and I’m ready now to share what I’ve discovered with you.

A life in search of story

My background is in cognitive neuroscience and anthropology, so studying human behavior is a regular gig for me. I’ve studied chimpanzees and preliterate tribes and investigated how they use tools and rituals to affect their world. I’ve done extensive worldwide research on us modern humans and how we access the conceptual resources at our disposal to define and redefine ourselves. I’m endlessly fascinated by the ways in which people use what’s in and around them to hold tight to—and sometimes expand—their own brand of meaning. I’ve been watching people create their stories for decades, and both the effort and the results are instructive.

We all have some natural abilities and some incapacities. I can easily attest to the latter myself. In spite of my fascination with the world’s cultures and peoples, I cannot learn a foreign language, no matter how hard I try or how much time I devote to it. However, I’ve always had a natural interest and a modicum of ability to observe and assess the true nature of people. I remember at the age of seven telling my mother that I thought her friends, a married couple I observed at a dinner party at our house, would soon get a divorce (this was in the fifties, when divorce was less common and young children knew little about it). I felt this way about them despite the fact that I could not even hear them speak to each other because they were across the room. Later that night my mother scolded me for being presumptuous and brash. Some months after that, though, she told me that the couple was splitting up.

A while later, when I had just begun graduate school, I went to a presentation by two behavioral scientists describing their assessment of the relations between the guests they had analyzed from the home movies made at one son’s birthday party. After that presentation I was manic for two days. These men were doing for a living what I thought I had it in me to do.

I went to one of them, Dr. Albert Scheflen, and after weeks of begging, I became one of his research assistants. That led to some breakthrough experiences for me. One thing his Project on Human Communication, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did was get permission from a number of New York City families to place cameras in their homes to film them in situ. I watched many of those films, often more than once. Real life, not being cinematically directed, is of course slow and messy. But for me what was so fascinating and captivating was that you could see in real time almost all human qualities and frailties: the daily routines and the power of love, the courage and the weakness, the hesitancy and the passion, the coalitions and the individuality, the expected events and the unpredictable ones. Watching those films, I not only heard the stories; I saw the stories. And I was transfixed by it all.

Studying human nature and the nature of the mind—how it creates beliefs and attachments—was a natural for me. I craved an understanding of people who lived by narrative and ritual, unencumbered by the accoutrements of modern, high-tech life. I wanted, needed to see and experience life lived under a minimum of outside influence. I felt this need because I am curious about human behavior. But I am also selfish. In attempting to understand others, I understand my life better. One of the reasons you will encounter so many stories in this book is that I believe the stories of others always teach us something about ourselves.

The universal message of high achievement

In the course of my studies, I’ve become especially fascinated with people who are following pursuits that fulfill them and feel natural to them. Two projects of mine were particularly defining here. One was studying people who were acknowledged as experts; the other was a study of small business owners. What has become clear to me is that people living truly fulfilled lives have something in common: They have the capacity to access, either consciously or unconsciously, a deeper well of internal resources than others do. They are using tools that most people don’t use. And for the most part they are having fun and are happy.

However, while their use of these resources is unique, the resources themselves are not unique to them in any way. These resources exist for all of us. They’re part of our makeup as human beings, and each of us has as much of a chance of using them effectively as anyone else has.

It’s natural to look at others who have made great achievements and think of them as outliers. The accomplished humanitarian, scientist, athlete, artisan, and so on must be built differently than the rest of us. How else could they achieve what they’ve achieved?

Certainly, there’s no arguing that some people have innate talents the rest of us simply don’t have. If I tried to leap like Michael Jordan, my feet would barely leave the ground, and I’d probably wind up in traction. However, in terms of constituent capabilities, none of us are any different from Jordan or anyone else who has accomplished a great deal. In our own lives and on our own scale, we can embody the same processes as the most successful and acclaimed among us. You will discover stories in this book about people who have achieved tremendous fame, such as Richard Feynman, Jane Goodall, Wynton Marsalis, and Stella McCartney. These people all possess traits and behaviors that you will easily recognize, perhaps even in yourself.

Consider the case of Chuck Jones, the legendary anim...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Deutsch Ph.D., Bob; Aronica, Lou
Published by Plume
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Mesilla Internet
(Mesilla, NM, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0142181102 New. Bookseller Inventory # Z0142181102ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
1.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Deutsch Ph.D., Bob; Aronica, Lou
Published by Plume 2014-08-26 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
ThriftTaco
(INDIAN TRAIL, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume 2014-08-26, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. 0142181102 Brand new and ships pronto! 100% guarantee. Multiple quanities available. Bookseller Inventory # BOOKS84-9780142181102-11-6262

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
3.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Deutsch, Bob
Published by Plume Books 2014-08-26 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 9
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume Books 2014-08-26, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780142181102B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
3.91
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.56
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Bob Deutsch, Lou Aronica
Published by PLUME, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PLUME, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Raise the bar to become the best version of you Most of us set the bar too low in our lives, both personally and professionally. Bob Deutsch, a cognitive neuroscientist/anthropologist turned entrepreneur, has spent a lifetime studying people and found that we choose not to pursue our greatest ambitions because we feel we are incapable of reaching them. But he has also found that we are each born with the fundamental abilities to live the full, creative, dynamic lives we dream about. Curiosity, Openness, Sensuality, Paradox, and Self-Story these are our five inner resources. Through interviews with inspiring people, including Wynton Marsalis and Richard Feynman, and case studies of personalities like Bruce Springsteen and Anna Quindlen, Deutsch shows us how to access and use these resources to open our lives to unimagined possibilities. Bookseller Inventory # ADB9780142181102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Bob Deutsch, Lou Aronica
Published by PLUME, United States (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PLUME, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Raise the bar to become the best version of you Most of us set the bar too low in our lives, both personally and professionally. Bob Deutsch, a cognitive neuroscientist/anthropologist turned entrepreneur, has spent a lifetime studying people and found that we choose not to pursue our greatest ambitions because we feel we are incapable of reaching them. But he has also found that we are each born with the fundamental abilities to live the full, creative, dynamic lives we dream about. Curiosity, Openness, Sensuality, Paradox, and Self-Story these are our five inner resources. Through interviews with inspiring people, including Wynton Marsalis and Richard Feynman, and case studies of personalities like Bruce Springsteen and Anna Quindlen, Deutsch shows us how to access and use these resources to open our lives to unimagined possibilities. Bookseller Inventory # ADB9780142181102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Deutsch Ph.D., Bob; Aronica, Lou
Published by Plume (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Russell Books
(Victoria, BC, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 0142181102. Bookseller Inventory # FORT270284

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.32
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Deutsch Ph.D., Bob; Aronica, Lou
Published by Plume 2014-08-26 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume 2014-08-26, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. 0142181102 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0142181102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.03
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Bob Deutsch Ph.D.; Lou Aronica
Published by Plume (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0142181102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.84
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Deutsch, Bob/ Aronica, Lou
Published by Plume (2014)
ISBN 10: 0142181102 ISBN 13: 9780142181102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Plume, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. reissue edition. 246 pages. 8.25x5.25x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0142181102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds