Calm Clarity: How to Use Science to Rewire Your Brain for Greater Wisdom, Fulfillment, and Joy (Paperback)
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Author of the viral Medium piece, "Poor and Traumatized at Harvard," Due Quach shares her Calm Clarity program to show readers how to deal with toxic stress and adversity.
We often don't realize how much control we have over our thoughts, feelings, and actions--on some days, the most minor irritation can upset us, but on others, we are in our best form and can rise to challenges with grace. These fluctuations depend on the neural networks firing in our brains, and we have the power to consciously break hardwired thought patterns. Due Quach developed an intimate understanding of the brain during her personal journey of healing from post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to Quach, people function in three primary emotional states: Brain 1.0, Brain 2.0, and Brain 3.0. In Brain 1.0, people act out of fear and self-preservation. Brain 2.0 involves instant gratification and chasing short-term rewards at the expense of long-term well-being. Brain 3.0 is a state of mind that Quach calls "Calm Clarity," in which people's actions are aligned with their core values. As Quach confronted PTSD and successfully weaned herself off medication, she learned how to activate, exercise, and strengthen Brain 3.0 like a muscle. In Calm Clarity, she draws on the latest scientific research and ancient spiritual traditions alike to show us how we too can take ownership of our thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to be our best selves.
About the Author
Due Quach (pronounced "Zway Kwok") is the founder and CEO of Calm Clarity, a social enterprise that uses science to help people master their mind and be their best self. A refugee from Vietnam and a graduate of Harvard College and the Wharton MBA program, Quach overcame the long-term effects of poverty and trauma by turning to neuroscience and meditation. After building a successful international business career in management consulting and private equity investments, Quach created the Calm Clarity Program, which is accessible to people of all backgrounds. She now leads Calm Clarity workshops in inner-city high schools, university lecture halls, and corporate executive board rooms alike. She is also the founding chair and executive director of the Collective Success Network, a nonprofit that supports low-income, first-generation college students in achieving their academic, personal, and professional aspirations. The Collective Success Network collaborates with the wider business community to create innovative approaches to foster socioeconomic diversity and inclusion. After living and traveling all around the world, Quach is once again a proud resident of Philadelphia, her hometown.
"Calm Clarity tells Due Quach’s story of transformation, weaving her rich life experience with in-depth scientific insights from across diverse fields. Due has created practical and accessible tools for readers to not just be inspired by her transformation, but to set off and experience their own profound changes as well."
—Sharon Salzberg, New York Times bestselling author of Real Love and Real Happiness
"Our world is in need of healing because there is so much pain and negativity being transmitted. Calm Clarity provides a powerful, practical, science-based approach to healing and transforming our pain and cultivating compassion to enable others to do so also. The compelling story of Due Quach's personal modern-day metamorphosis from a skeptic into a mystic will touch the hearts and minds of seekers everywhere, and her ongoing efforts to bring these tools to low-income communities to end the transmission of toxic stress and trauma is inspiring."
—Richard Rohr, bestselling author of Falling Upward
"Quach offers an extensive exploration of neuroscience and trauma resolution that led her from a struggling beginning with her impoverished Vietnamese family, to Harvard, a Wharton MBA, and business success. She delves into the importance of meditation, ancient wisdom teachings, and the latest scientific research in transforming 'outer success' into a deep inner peace and calm clarity. This is an extraordinary work by an extraordinary woman."
—Allan Lokos, author of Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living
“Due’s rich personal narrative is interwoven with deep research into the way our brains work, offering lessons and tools that all of us should embrace for our own good and for the good of the world we live in.”
—Philip W. Lovejoy, Executive Director of the Harvard Alumni Association
"Calm Clarity is refreshingly readable, easily accessible, and understandable, a very valuable addition to contemporary books on transforming our minds and creating the foundation of a happy life."
—Sylvia Boorstein, PhD, author of Happiness Is an Inside Job
“Imagine leading an organization where taking personal responsibility, having positive interpersonal relationships, performing at the highest level, and thinking creatively are commonplace. This is the future: Calm Clarity’s mixture of cognitive science, spirituality, and enlightened thinking are already transforming everything we know about life and work."
—Howard Blumenthal, Visiting Scholar, The University of Pennsylvania
“Calm Clarity is an essential guide for the masses, to not only understand how the brain works in a simple but scientific way, but also to find a pathway to inner peace and a joyful life.”
—Tom Cronin, founder of The Stillness Project and producer of The Portal documentary film
"One of the best books I have ever read. Yes, this book is about rewiring your brain for greater wisdom and joy, but it also shares Due's compelling story of resilience and grit, a very personal account of shifting from entanglement to enlightenment."
—Rick Bellingham, EdD, CEO of iobility
"Calm Clarity captivates not only the mind, but also the heart, soul, and imagination. Due Quach skillfully interweaves scientific understanding with spiritual wisdom and grounds these important insights in everyday life by sharing how they enabled her inspiring personal journey of healing and transformation. This book can help anyone looking for effective tools to manage anxiety and their inner critic.”
—Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD, coauthor of Wired to Create
“Calm Clarity is the powerful story of a woman’s journey from early chaos to a life of profound purpose. Combining the latest research on the brain with a skeptical dive into ancient spiritual wisdom, Due Quach develops an impressive program of ‘brain hacks.’ These tools can help all of us, especially those who have traumatic histories, to fashion a better life by thinking more clearly and more calmly.”
—Robert Kreider, former President and CEO of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
“Accessible yet deep, Calm Clarity helps readers achieve inner transformation, untangle emotional knots, and find clarity. This book is a revelatory and inspiring guide on the spiritual path that also helps people develop the leader inside them.”
—Patricio Barriga, CEO and President of Fagor America Inc.
"Calm Clarity is both inspiring and practical. Due Quach combines her incredible personal journey with a deep scientific exploration and practical tools to help people investigate their own paths. This book is for seekers, pragmatists and all those who are looking to live a deep, meaningful life."
—Larry Schwartz, Founding Chair of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality
"Due Quach has given us an exceptional gift—she's taken research on neuroscience and mindfulness and made it easy to understand. But more than that, she's used this research to build a set of practices that will help you to optimize your nervous system and rise to the challenges you face. And she's done this with a keen awareness of the social realities of our time. Highly recommended!"
—Paul Zelizer, founder of Awarepreneurs
"Quach has broken down complex neuroscience into an easily understandable three-stage framework, making it possible for anyone interested in personal fulfillment and joy to follow a simple path and attain success."
—Krishna Pendyala, President of the Mindful Nation Foundation, Chief Empowerment Officer of ChoiceLadder Institute, and author of Beyond the Pig and the Ape
“Following Due on her journey is so inspiring that you can’t help but think about your own path and life’s purpose. Her fascinating insights into current brain science and ancient Buddhist teachings provide the foundation for her Calm Clarity program, which all of us can use to live happier, more fulfilling lives.”
—Robin White Owen, creative producer, MediaCombo, Inc.
"The book is a tour de force—really well written, clear, easy to follow, and inspiring."
—Tom Tritton, former president of Haverford College and the Chemical Heritage Foundation