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“Why we need to stop judging, start listening, and pay attention” with Jim Poole of NuCalm

Stop judging, start listening, and pay attention. If someone is ‘different’, or ‘strange’, or ‘awkward’, we have a tendency to label them, avoid them, and sequester them. How does that help? Being human is so complex and then you add ‘nurture’ and ‘epigenetics’ to the equation and it gets even more complex. If I had […]


Stop judging, start listening, and pay attention. If someone is ‘different’, or ‘strange’, or ‘awkward’, we have a tendency to label them, avoid them, and sequester them. How does that help? Being human is so complex and then you add ‘nurture’ and ‘epigenetics’ to the equation and it gets even more complex. If I had the ability to insert a simple corrective action plan, I would do this: individuals: people, stop and listen, and recognize the humanity in your brothers and sisters; society: let’s spend the right time and money helping the people who need it most. Big corporations don’t need tax breaks, those dollars could be allocated for human beings and solving real problems and making people’s lives better; government: enough with the special interest groups and making rich people, richer. Let’s build an ecosystem that supports the weakest, not dismisses them.

As a part of my series about “Mental Health Champions” helping to normalize the focus on mental wellness, I had the pleasure to interview Jim Poole, CEO and President of NuCalm. Jim is a recognized and respected business leader who managed the largest private equity acquisition in the history of the dental industry (Credit Suisse/DLJMB and Den-Mat). Mr. Poole has been a leader of people, projects and organizations for the past 25 years. Mr. Poole has successfully launched global products, managed growth strategies, and effectively optimized business operations for both large and small organizations across the dental, healthcare, biotechnology, market research, and IT industries. He has a unique understanding of business principles that enable him to simplify the most complex of issues. Mr. Poole possesses the expertise and proven track record needed to lead this enterprise to the next level of growth. Mr. Poole lectures around the world and has published over 35 articles on business strategy in industry trade journals. He earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and an MBA with honors in International Business/Marketing from Babson College.


Thank you for joining us Jim! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path with wanting to help people better their mental wellness?

My ‘backstory’ is more like my life story. I grew up with a single mom and my identical twin brother. My mom instilled in both of us the principle of self-respect and respect for others. Any chance you have to help someone and make a tiny difference is an opportunity to serve. I don’t remember it being a choice; it was hard coded in my sensibilities. My mom was a late bloomer and earned her Masters in Social Work from Smith College in her late 30’s. She spent 30 years as a clinical psychologist. I majored in Psychology as an undergrad and worked in the field for several years before getting my MBA and directing my personal efforts towards technologies that could help people achieve wellness. It has been a life-long passion and it still thrives in me today.

According to Mental Health America’s report, over 44 million Americans have a mental health condition. Yet there’s still a stigma around this. Can you share a few reasons you think this is so?

I would submit that every American has a mental health condition. It’s part of the human condition and it’s okay. It’s how you learn to adapt and develop coping skills. I think of the mental health condition as an opportunity for understanding yourself and working towards improving and reaching a place where you can be proud of who you are and how you overcame labels. We live in a culture of inescapable judgement. It puts a heavy burden on each of us. At the end of the day, we are part of the animal kingdom and natural selection is based on judgement. When I meet someone I work very hard at listening, understanding, and NOT judging them. It’s a simple way to connect and learn how we can help each other. I am a firm believer that people just want to be heard, feel important, and be relevant.

Stress is a significant contributor to mental health and all facets of health and wellness. The stress response is designed to keep us safe and alive. However, psychological stress is extremely unproductive and damaging. That’s where NuCalm can be an asset.

Can you tell our readers about how you are helping to de-stigmatize the focus on mental wellness?

It’s simple. We all need help. No one has ‘the answer’. People take themselves too seriously. I understand the need for acceptance. I yearn for that too. When you listen to a person’s story, you can begin to understand who they are and what they are trying to deal with and overcome. The best I can do as one single person, is to help people understand what stress is and how to develop a stress management strategy and action plan that will help them achieve life balance and hopefully joy. NuCalm is just a technology. It’s how you bring it to people and what they do with it that matters. I have been on this journey with NuCalm for over nine years and it’s has been the most rewarding experience of my life because of the people I connect I with. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Was there a story behind why you decided to launch NuCalm?

I used to subscribe to ‘free will’. Now, after nine years of being part of the NuCalm engine, I am a firm believer in fate. I would like to believe that I have been in control of this, but it’s not me. The great thing about NuCalm and the reason I let it consume my life is that it works and people need help. It’s a binary equation.

In your experience, what should a) individuals b) society, and c) the government do to better support themselves and others struggling with mental wellness?

Stop judging, start listening, and pay attention. If someone is ‘different’, or ‘strange’, or ‘awkward’, we have a tendency to label them, avoid them, and sequester them. How does that help? Being human is so complex and then you add ‘nurture’ and ‘epigenetics’ to the equation and it gets even more complex. If I had the ability to insert a simple corrective action plan, I would do this: individuals: people, stop and listen, and recognize the humanity in your brothers and sisters; society: let’s spend the right time and money helping the people who need it most. Big corporations don’t need tax breaks, those dollars could be allocated for human beings and solving real problems and making people’s lives better; government: enough with the special interest groups and making rich people, richer. Let’s build an ecosystem that supports the weakest, not dismisses them.

What are your 6 strategies you use to promote your own wellbeing? Can you please give a short story or example for each?

SLEEP — I make sure that I sleep at least six hours per night, every night. I also use NuCalm daily to help augment my sleep habit.

HYDRATION — I don’t count the glasses of water I drink, I just keep drinking from 7am to 8pm daily. I workout in the afternoon, so I am especially conscious of hydrating before and after.

STRESS MANAGEMENT — guess? (NuCalm)

PASSION — live a life of passion. It is mission critical to me to love what I do and who I do it with.

LOVE — it’s all about family, close personal relationships, and trust.

POSITIVITY — I am earnest about surrounding myself with people who think positive. I can tolerate negative thoughts and transactions, but I can’t sustain the energy I need if I don’t get some ‘wins’ every day.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire your mental wellness?

I derive most of my inspiration from the people in my life. My personal relationships with Dr. Holloway, Tony Robbins, Dr. Michael Galitzer, Brother Craig Marshall, and many others feed my soul. I used to read for pleasure, but in the last two decades I find myself reading as an investment in my knowledge base. The last four books I consumed are:

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert M. Sapolsky

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean

The Power of When, Michael Breus, PhD

12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson

I am a big fan of several health-focused podcasts –

Ben Greenfield Fitness

TEDTalksHealth

Bulletproof radio

Total Body Health and Fitness with Josh Holland

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

https://www.instagram.com/nucalmperformance/

www.nucalm.com

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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