Paul L. Caron
Dean


Monday, April 22, 2019

Windmills Of Your Mind: The Importance Of Neuro-Intelligence For Law Students, Law Profs, And Lawyers

Debra S. Austin (Denver), Windmills of Your Mind: Understanding the Neurobiology of Emotion, 54 Wake Forest L. Rev. ___ (2019):

Intelligence has been parsed into categories including general intelligence (IQ), which is cognitive capacity, and emotional intelligence (EQ), describing social competency. Perhaps the most important new form of intelligence that lawyers can cultivate is neuro-intelligence (NQ), which is an understanding of the most important tool a lawyer must deploy — the brain. NQ can help us understand how emotions that arise in the brain are often experienced in the windmills of the mind as “words that jangle in your head”. Boomers will enjoy the Noel Harrison version of Windmills of your Mind, which won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Original Song, while Millennials should check out the Sting version from the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crowne Affair.

This article describes the importance of developing mental strength, and challenges lawyers to enhance their understanding of the role emotion plays in their relationships with colleagues, clients, employees, and constituents. Brain Literacy defines key components of the emotional and thinking brains. The process of memory formation is illustrated in Learning and Memory. Stress and Cognition outlines the harmful impacts of stress on brain health and mental performance. Recent research results are reviewed in Law Students and Lawyers are at Risk for Impaired Well-being. The brain’s automated response to emotional stimuli is detailed in Emotion. Emotion Regulation explores methods for responding to emotion, and the difference between survival and attachment emotions. Emotion and Decision-Making depicts the process that helps us determine what outfit to wear, what rewards we are strong enough to defer to meet our long-term goals, and how public policy is shaped by emotion. Finally, Interventions to Strengthen the Mind links mental strength to happiness, explains three obstacles to developing mental strength that are commonly experienced by law students and lawyers, and provides ten practices that can promote mental strength.

This article proposes that law students, legal educators, and lawyers will benefit from developing their NQ, as well as their understanding of the impact of emotion and stress on performance, and the how building mental strength can empower their professional and personal lives. With greater NQ, individuals can improve well-being and performance, and organizations can leverage healthy human beings to enhance capacity and innovation.

WIndmills Of Your Mind
Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!

Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!

Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly, was it something that you said?
Lovers walking along a shore and leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair!
Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find 
In the windmills of your mind!

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/04/windmills-of-your-mind-the-importance-of-neuro-intelligence-for-law-students-law-profs-and-lawyers.html

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