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Mark Goulston, M.D. Headshot

Anderson Cooper: Good Luck, Break a Leg!

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by Mark Goulston and Doc Barham

We'll admit this right out of the gate: we are big fans of Anderson Cooper.

Our greatest hope for what future media will do is to fill a hole smack dab in the middle of the fabric of humanity with something that causes everyone to feel more whole and then to have that cross over into a more wholesome way of interacting with our families, our communities and our global community.

We would love it if Anderson could help in that regard.

We think his best and most central quality, and we pray it's for real, is that he appears real and present and comfortable in his own skin. All of those are important because the majority of people we see in the media and in our communities appear to prefer being absent, avoidant and then if you happen to say the least non-positive thing to them, they become defensive and reactive. And almost like a metronome they alternate between being very uncomfortable in their own skins and then getting under ours.

The way we are wired, defensive and reactive begets defensive and reactive and matters escalate from there until everyone's talking and nobody's listening.

Fortunately, we are also wired that sincere unrushed kindness and caring triggers a deep sense of gratitude that crosses over into reciprocal kindness and caring (in all but "dyed in the wool" and unforgiving cynics).

Anderson, we look for extraordinary people and to identify and distill that special sauce that enables them to be extraordinary. That is something they are often unaware of because they are totally engaged with and committed to helping some enterprise or the world outside them rather than narcissistically dwelling on how to grab, take and get more from it. Identifying your secret sauce is very helpful, because it is a way to orient yourself wherever you are and with whoever you meet. Knowing that extraordinary thing about yourself enables you to come from it more consistently and then continue to achieve even more extraordinary results.

Your secret sauce is that you "listen into people's eyes" and when you do that, you see and touch their souls. And when you do that they feel less alone which results in an experience for them called, "hope."

So Anderson, best of luck, hit it out of the park and stay the present caring person you are. It's the best part of you and it is in short supply and becoming even shorter every day.

Continue to listen into people eyes and let others feel your real compassion for them. You would be surprised how that alone can save lives.