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What We Learned on Day 4 of Dreamforce ’19

The Dreamforce ‘19 finale gave Trailblazers the chance to explore brain health and resilience with Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke and author Deepak Chopra.

The topics of brain health and resilience featured prominently in the finale of Dreamforce ’19, giving Trailblazers the chance to explore new ideas and ways to achieve their maximum potential. More than a dreamy conclusion to the four-day conference, the fourth day of the conference gave us a chance to put aside conversations about technology and business success to look inward. Here’s what we learned.

1. Metacognition can help you make tough decisions

Many of us struggle to establish the presence of mind necessary to make life’s tough decisions. Yet there is a way to rewire the brain and reach a sort of “metacognition” whereby one is aware of the present moment. This was the theme of a session with author and Metahuman founder of The Chopra Foundation, Deepak Chopra and actor, musician, and humanitarian Kat Graham.

“When we settle into our presence, we move into answers,” said Chopra. As a way to illustrate the process, Chopra and Graham led the audience through a meditation that asked, “Are you present right now?” The audience responded with a loud “yes.” According to Chopra, this is the basics of metacognition.  (Pro tip: this is safe to try at home.)

2. Through hardship can come empowerment

In 2011, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke suffered an unlikely brain hemorrhage that caused her to lose her ability to process or express speech. Her long road to recovery included three surgeries and lots of rehabilitation.

In this interview with brain expert, researcher, and president of Bennet Omalu Pathology Dr. Bennet Omalu, Clarke recounted her hospitalization and recovery, an experience that led her to found SameYou to help increase neuro-rehabilitation access. For Clarke, it was one thing to leave the hospital, but another to manage the rehabilitation process. “I wanted to disappear,” said Clarke. “No one in that situation has 100% confidence.”

While medicine excels at saving lives, rehabilitation from brain injury or stroke is lacking in many countries. Clarke, who describes herself as “pathologically hopeful,” encouraged others in her situation to know that brain resilience is possible. Omalu remarked that Clarke overcame her fear and channeled the experience to make a difference for others. “It takes only one person — empower another human being, you’ll empower yourself,” Omalu said.

3. Mindful monastic advice for professionals

“Mindfulness always has an object; it is always the mindfulness of something,” said Sister Chân Lăng Nghiêm surrounded by seven of her fellow monastics from the Plum Village monastery in southeastern France. 

Whether it’s the mindfulness of drinking tea, adjusting your glasses, the act of being present and aware starts with an object. The monks led the audience in meditation to explore how to use mindfulness to achieve greater clarity.

“You can feel the visceral movement of society, so we need to make sure we don’t get carried away by the motion of the majority,” said Nghiêm. While it is easy to give oneself over to distractions like social media, true clarity allows us to navigate thoughts and fears to achieve better outcomes — in both our personal and professional lives.

“You can feel the visceral movement of society, so we need to make sure we don’t get carried away by the motion of the majority,” said Nghiêm. While it is easy to give oneself over to distractions like social media, true clarity allows us to navigate thoughts and fears to achieve better outcomes — in both our personal and professional lives.

As a long-time devotee of meditation, Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff ensures the Plum Village monastics feel at home on the Dreamforce campus. This year, their on-site meditation center was more prominent than ever.

Then, with the gentle chime of a bell, Dreamforce ’19 drew to a close with the monastics filing from the stage. 

In case you missed any of the insights from this year’s event, the Salesforce Blog has you covered. Check out our recaps of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. Find complete coverage of Dreamforce ’19 on Salesforce LIVE.

 

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