by Alberto Lozano
Sahar Yousef, a PhD scientist researching cognitive ability, spoke on the importance of cognitive self-awareness when one is networking or otherwise attempting to succeed. She emphasizes various methods one can use in order to build a closer relationship with someone when speaking to them in person, such as maintaining 30 seconds of eye contact. One should also build a relationship based on reciprocity and communicate their needs with others.
“Relationship building and networking is meaningless if all you are is buddies with someone. Think of networking and building your career as watering a tree,” Sahar said. “You don’t get fruit out of a tree today if you only have seeds. Before desperation hits and you need anything from anybody, you need to go around and plant seeds.”
She also heavily emphasizes the importance of meditation in everyday life. Meditation can lead to tangible increases in concentration and mental well-being.
“At any moment, our own reality can be shifted in a way that is more positive, intense, peaceful, creative, fruitful, attentive and present. We can do that quite rapidly,” Sahar said.
Sahar also mentions that meditation is a learned behavior that takes time to develop.
She recommends that everyone should take a class on meditation if they are able to.
“For anything that you want to learn, you should have a teacher. It makes it so much easier. It’s hard to motivate yourself to do it.”
Sahar has served as a neuroscience research consultant and cognitive training instructor. She is currently a PhD scientist at UC Berkeley researching cognitive ability. Her research involves stress management, emotional control, motivation and productivity.