Loading... please wait

Clean the Lens, Sharpen the Blade, Tune the Instrument

Dr. Stephen Sideroff, Psychologist & Consultant, UCLA

Opening his discussion, Dr. Stephen Sideroff, Psychologist & Consultant at UCLA, told the story of two lumberjacks. One chopped wood nonstop all day while the other took a break to rest and sharpen his blade every hour. At the end of the day, the second lumberjack had chopped more wood. Tying the story to everyday experience, Sideoff explained how a person’s body is the instrument through which their experience flows, and that patterns are set during childhood that lock in stress response.

This stress, Sideoff continued, is linked to telomere aging, which then causes disease. Slowing down this process is crucial to slow down progression to disease. When we retune our nervous response, we can increase health and longevity and enhance effectiveness. Strengthening resiliency can help. In order to achieve better resilience, Sideoff explained, people should engage in a process of positive self-reinforcement.  

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The strongest connections in our brains are imprinted in our childhood. Neurons that fire together create the most lasting impact, which is often linked to stress. 
  • Improving resiliency can improve function and achievement. It can also allow for better performance under pressure.

“The process of reaching inside and believing you are going to find strength, in itself is the crucible through which strength and resilience will develop.”


Dr. Stephen Sideroff, Psychologist & Consultant, UCLA