As you read this, you could be doing a hundred other things. You might be thinking of them, either at the back or front of your mind, even at this moment. The dishes, the laundry, something for work, haven’t been to the gym in a while…. You are here but your presence may be fleeting. Amy Cuddy’s PRESENCE, subtitled Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, examines the challenges of being fully present in such a distracting world, suggests strategies for how to overcome these challenges, and explains why it matters.
One of Cuddy’s guiding principles echoes a quote from the great American dancer Martha Graham: “The body says what words cannot.” In other words, it is virtually impossible to hide what you think or feel because your expressions and posture will give you away. Conversely, Cuddy’s research also shows that engaging in powerful poses (particularly before a stressful job interview or difficult conversation, for example) can actually give you power. Your body can help your mind.
This book has helpful implications for all of us.